Current Affairs 20th March, 2019

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1.  Cyclone IDAI and Indian Navy in Disaster Relief

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  • The ships of First Training Squadron of Indian Navy (Sujata, Sarathi and Shardul) operating in the Southern Indian Ocean were diverted to Port Beira, Mozambique based on request received from the Government of Mozambique to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to the local population post the devastation caused by cyclone 'IDAI' which struck the coast of Mozambique on 15 Mar 19.

  • Cyclone 'IDAI' made landfall at Beira, Mozambique in early hours of 15 Mar 19 causing widespread damage and loss of human life in the Central and Northern provinces of the country.

  • INS Sujata along with ICGS Sarathi arrived at Port Beira morning of 18 Mar 19 whilst INS Shardul arrived on 19 Mar 19 and are providing necessary support to the local administration.


2. Google Doodle for onset of Spring

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  • Google on March 20 celebrated the spring equinox with an animated doodle of a flower on the surface of the earth.

  • The Spring Equinox doodle’s reach extended to all of Europe, Asia and North America, including India, almost all of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the first day of the season on March 21.

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  • India will welcome the equinox (Latin for equal day and night), when it will be Holi, the festival of colours.

  • Almost everywhere in the world, night-time and daytime will be 12 hours long.

  • Equinox is used to mark the change of seasons, as the balance of light shifts to make days longer than nights. It marks the end of the winter season and informs people about the arrival of warmer days.

  • There are two equinoxes each year, in March and September. The March equinox marks the moment the sun crosses the imaginary equator from south to north and vice versa in September.

  • The March equinox is often used by astronomers to measure a tropical year — the mean time it takes for the Earth to complete a single orbit around the sun.


3. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

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IBBI, SEBI sign MoU for better implementation of IBC.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016

  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was enacted in 2016 to facilitate a time-bound resolution for ailing and sick firms.

  • It could either be through closure or revival, while protecting the interests of creditors.

  • Under IBC, either the creditor (banks) or the loaner (defaulter) can initiate insolvency proceedings.

  • It is done by submitting a plea to the adjudicating authority, in this case, the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT).

  • The resolution process was expected to aid in reducing the rising bad loans in the banking system.

SEBI

Securities and Exchange Board of India is a government established in 1988 authority which controls the securities market in India. Indian Parliament passed SEBI Act 1992 in 1992 India which made SEBI a statutory body. SEBI functions to fulfill the requirements of the following three categories.

  • Issuers –It provides a marketplace in which the issuers can increase finance properly.

  • Investors –It ensure safety and supply of precise and accurate information

  • Intermediaries –It enables a competitive professional market for intermediaries.

The headquarters of SEBI is situated in Mumbai. The regional offices of SEBI are located in Ahmadabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.

IBBI

  • IBBI is the regulator for overseeing insolvency proceedings of service providers like Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPA), Insolvency Professionals (IP) and Information Utilities (IU) in India.

  • It was given statutory powers through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

  • It functions under Ministry of Commerce.

  • The Code provides for a market-determined and time-bound resolution of insolvency proceedings.

  • It became operational in December 2016.

  • It covers Individuals, Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships and Partnership firms.

  • It attempts to simplify the process of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings and speed up the resolution process for stressed assets in the country.


4. Ind-Indo Corpat

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  • Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sultan haha Syaifuddin and Maritime Patrol Aircraft CN-235 arrived at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India for the Opening Ceremony of the 33rd edition of the India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) to be held from 19 Mar to 04 Apr 2019

Ind- Indo CORPAT

  • The ship and aircraft from both the countries would undertake patrolling on the respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary line.

  • The patrolling would be conducted in three phases from 22-31 March 2019. This will be followed by a Closing Ceremony at Belawan, Indonesia, which is scheduled from 01-04 April 2019.

  • The IND-INDO CORPAT Series of bilaterals seek to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly Maritime neighbours countries to ensure good order in the maritime domain, consolidate interoperability and strengthen existing bonds of friendship between India and Indonesia.

India’s SAGAR vision

In addition, as part of the Indian Government’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with EEZ Surveillance, Search and Rescue, and other capacity-building and capability-enhancement activities.


5. Indo-Sri Lanka joint Exercise Mitra shakti-VI

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  • Exercise MITRA SHAKTI is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India & Sri Lanka.

  • The joint exercise for the year 2018-19 will be conducted from 26 March to 08 April 2019 in Sri Lanka. Troops from 1st Battalion the BIHAR Regiment of the Indian Army and Gemunu Watch Battalion of Sri Lankan Army would be jointly undertaking the exercise.

  • The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.

  • The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment under United Nations mandate.


6. U.S. human rights report flags curbs on Indian media

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  • The country Human Rights reports for 2018 were released last week as part of an annual exercise in which the U.S. State Department submits its assessment of such rights as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements to the U.S. Congress.

2018 India Report – Area of Contention between India and U.S

The 2018 India report covers a range of issues including press and media freedoms, forced disappearances, custodial deaths and the NGO clampdown — which became an issue between the U.S. and India, after the NDA government cancelled licenses of some 15,000 NGOs under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act

Related Index

World Press Freedom Index

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 In recently released World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) 2018 by Reporters Without BordersIndia was placed at 138th rank out of 180 nations surveyed worldwide in terms of press freedom in 2017. It was ranked at the 135th in WPFI 2017.