Current Affairs in Short: 6 March 2019
Three cities in Madhya Pradesh bagged top awards in Swachh Survekshan 2019 announced by the union government at a function in New Delhi on March 6, 2019.
Israeli spacecraft on its maiden Lunar mission sends back its 1st selfie
• An Israeli spacecraft on its maiden mission to the moon has sent its first selfie back to Earth.
• The image shows a part of the Beresheet spacecraft with Earth in the background.
• NGO SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries launched the unmanned Beresheet - Hebrew for Genesis -- from Cape Canaveral in Florida on February 22, 2019.
• The 585-kilogram craft took off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the private US-based SpaceX company . The trip is scheduled to last seven weeks, with the touch down due on April 11.
• So far, only Russia, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometre journey and landed on the moon.
Roger Federer claims 100th ATP title of his career
• Roger Federer claimed the 100th ATP title of his career with after beating 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships on March 3, 2019.
• The 20-time grand slam champion is the second man, after American Jimmy Connors to claim 100 titles.
• The Swiss great also avenged his shock defeat by Tsitsipas in the Australian Open fourth round in January. Tsitsipas saw the end of an eight-match winning streak as he arrived in the Gulf with the Marseille title from last weekend.
• Federer will have to win 10 more titles to beat Connors' men's record of 109, while Martina Navratilova holds the all-time record having won 167 women's singles crowns during her career.
Indore adjudged cleanest city in Swachh Sarvekshan for third year in a row
• Three cities in Madhya Pradesh bagged top awards in Swachh Survekshan 2019 announced by the union government at a function in New Delhi on March 6, 2019.
• Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded with the title of 'Swachh Cities' on the basis of their cleanliness and sanitation drive as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that was launched in 2014.
• Three cities Indore, Bhopal and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh bagged top awards. While Indore has now retained the top spot in the survey of being the cleanest city for a consecutive three years, it was a hat trick for Bhopal too, as it was adjudged the cleanest capital city in the 2019 survey.
• Another city of state, Ujjain was awarded cleanest city in 3 lakh to one million category.
Google launches 'Bolo' app to tutor children to read in Hindi, English
• Technology giant Google has unveiled a new app called 'Bolo' that aims to help children in primary school learn to read in Hindi and English.
• The free app, which is being launched in India first, uses Google's speech recognition and text-to-speech technology.
• The app features an animated character 'Diya', who encourages children to read stories aloud and helps if the child is unable to pronounce a word. It also lauds the reader when she completes the reading.
• The Bolo app will be available on Google Play Store in India for all smartphones running Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and higher, and can also work offline.
Two Nobel Prizes for literature will be awarded this year: Swedish Academy
• The Swedish Academy has announced that two Nobel Prizes for literature will be awarded this year.
• The decision comes after a sex scandal causing the suspension of the award last year.
• The Academy in a statement at Stockholm said that the Nobel Prize in Literature will awarded this autumn for both 2018 and 2019.
• The much-awaited award had to be postponed last year for the first time since 1949.
China to extend anti-smog measures for 3rd successive winter
• China has decided to extend anti-smog measures for a third successive winter in a bid to reduce pollution levels. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in a pollution battle plan for 2019 published today, vowed to speed up the elimination of small coal-fired heating boilers in major regions.
• The 2019 action plan outlined further steps this year to control coal consumption. The ministry will help draw up new measures aimed at encouraging the use of cleaner-burning replacement fuels and speed up efforts to eliminate small and inefficient coal-fired heating boilers in smog-prone regions.
• It will also promote the implementation of ultra-low emission coal-fired power in western regions, and also encourage steel mills to install ultra-low emission technology.
• The ministry also vowed to crack down harder on the production, import and use of substandard diesel vehicles.