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Current Affairs in Short: 8 March 2019

The BCCI in the latest list of Central Contracts rewarded the young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant with a Grade A retainership while demoted senior opener Shikhar Dhawan from the elite A plus category.

Mar 8, 2019 17:16 IST
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PM Modi lays foundation stone of Kashi Vishwanath corridor

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of Kashi Vishwanath corridor and beautification at Baba Vishwanath Temple.
• This temple corridor will be a role model for all temples and their safety and security.
• The corridor is spread over around 39 thousand square metre at  Baba Vishwanath temple and nearby areas.
• One of the 12 Jyotirlings across the country, this world fame Baba Vishwanath Temple attracts crores of devotees not only in India but also from abroad.
• The beautification and strengthening of nearby area will boost  tourist Industry at Kashi.
• Prime Minister said this corridor will be a role model of facilities, security and safety for other temples.

Kummanam Rajasekharan resigns as Mizoram Governor

• Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan resigned from his post on March 8, 2019.
• President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the resignation of Rajasekharan.
• Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi has been given additional charge of the state.
• Mukhi will discharge the functions of the Governor of Mizoram, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements are made.

Soumya Swaminathan appointed as Chief Scientist of WHO

• As part of the reforms at the World Health Organisation (WHO), Soumya Swaminathan was promoted from the position of Deputy Director-General to Chief Scientist.
• The position of the Chief Scientist was created to strengthen the organisation’s core scientific work and ensure the quality and consistency of its norms and standards.
• Swaminathan was one among the three Deputy Director-Generals supporting the Director-General in overseeing all programmes. She was the first Indian to hold the post.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approves reforms in Indian Army

• The Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman approved the first batch of reforms in the Indian Army.
• Some of these reforms are - relocation of 229 officers from the Army headquarters, creation of a new post of Deputy Chief for Military Operations and Strategic Planning, and setting up new wings for vigilance and human rights issues.
• The reforms aim to make the 1.3 million-strong force leaner and meaner.
• The post of Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, Strategy was created to deal with military operations, intelligence, strategic planning and operational logistics.

India, Russia sign USD 3 billion deal on nuclear submarine

• India signed a USD 3 billion deal with Russia for leasing a nuclear-powered attack submarine for the Indian Navy for a period of 10 years.
• The countries signed an inter-governmental agreement under which, Russia will have to deliver the Akula class submarine (Chakra III) to the Indian Navy by 2025.
• It will be the third Russian submarine to be leased to the Navy.

Teachers entitled to gratuity under Payment of Gratuity Act: Supreme Court

• The Supreme Court ruled that teachers are entitled to claim gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
• The apex court called back its own judgment and listed the matter for fresh hearing.
• The court freezed the implementation of its January 7 verdict which held that a teacher is not an 'employee' under the Payment of Gratuity Act.
• The January 7 judgment was delivered by a Bench of Justices A.M. Sapre and Indu Malhotra after relying on a 2005 judgment of the Supreme Court.
• The Bench was not apprised of the development of Parliament amending the law in 2009 to effectively include teachers within the ambit of 'employee' under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.

Prime Minister attends the National Women Livelihood Meet -2019 at Varanasi

• The Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the National Women Livelihood Meet 2019, held at Deendayal Hastkala Sankul in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019.
• The Prime Minister visited the exhibition on products manufactured by Self Help Groups aided by Uttar Pradesh Rural Livelihood Mission.
• He distributed Electric Chaak, Solar Charkha and Honey Warp to women beneficiaries and appreciation letters to five women Self Help Groups.
• Various women Self Help Groups supported by Deendayal Anthodia Yojana handed over a cheque of Rs 21 lakh to the Prime Minister as their contribution towards ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ Fund.
• The Prime Minister asked women to fully utilize the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Shram Maan-dhan Yojana as it provides financial security during old age.

Businesses need to pay up to Rs 20 for customer verification for using Aadhaar services: UIDAI

• Business organisations using Aadhaar services now need to pay Rs 20 for each customer verification and 50 paise for authentication of each transaction carried out by the entities, as per the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
• Aadhaar authentication services shall be charged at the rate of Rs 20 for each e-KYC transaction and Rs 0.50 for each Yes and No authentication transaction.
• However, the Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations, 2019 exempt government entities from authentication transaction charges.
• As per UIDAI, a nominal cost for each e-KYC transaction, entities would still be saving on Know Your Customer (KYC) cost while serving people with ease.

Google’s doodle honours women on International Women’s Day 2019 with a colourful punch

• Google marked the International Women’s Day with a colourful doodle.
• The doodle featured the word ‘Woman’ written around the search engine’s logo in different languages, from Urdu, Hindi and Bengali to Russian and Japanese.
• Based on the theme of ‘Women Empowering Women’, the doodle featured quotes from trailblazers like Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, Japanese artist Yoko Ono, boxer Mary Kom, British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, among others.
• The doodle was also designed by female guest artists from across the globe.

BCCI Central Contracts: Rishabh Pant promoted, Shikhar Dhawan demoted

• The BCCI in the latest list of Central Contracts rewarded the young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant with a Grade A retainership while demoted senior opener Shikhar Dhawan from the elite A plus category.
• The BCCI handed retainership to 25 cricketers in four groups of A plus (Rs 7 crore), A (Rs 5 crore), B (Rs 3 crore) and C (Rs 1 crore).
• Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also dropped from the highest-paying category.
• Now only three players -- skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah - figure in the elite category.
• Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw and Vijay Shankar have not been included in the list since they do not meet the criteria of having played either three Tests or eight ODIs.
• Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed and batsman Hanuma Vihari are the new entrants in the C group.

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