1. South Africa has been ranked as the world’s most dangerous country to drive in while India came in at fourth place, according to a research study undertaken by international driver education company Zutobi. Among the list of 56 countries in the study, Thailand came in second position and the US took up third spot. The safest roads in the world can be found in Norway, with its Scandinavian neighbour Sweden having the third safest roads while Japan took second place, according to the study.
2. India is likely to register the greatest increase in the number of deaths among children below five years among six South Asian countries in 2020 and also the highest number of maternal deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted the country’s health services, according to a UNICEF report. Six most populous countries of the South Asian region – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
3. Senior IPS officers MA Ganapathy and Kuldeep Singh were appointed Director General of National Security Guard and the Central Reserve Police Force, respectively.
4. Poet Arundhati Subramaniam is among the 20 writers to receive the Sahitya Akademi Award for 2020. Subramaniam won the award for her poetry collection When God is a Traveller in English. Apart from Subramaniam, the others who won the award in poetry include Harish Meenakshi (Gujarati), Anamika (Hindi), RS Bhaskar (Konkani), Irungbam Deven (Manipuri), Rupchand Hansda (Santali), and Nikhileswar (Telugu). While writer-director Venita Coelho has been named as the recipient for the Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2020 for her book Dead as a Dodo, English author Yashica Dutt received the Yuva Puraskar for her memoir Coming out as Dalit among other recipients of the respective awards.
5. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a sounding rocket to study attitudinal variations in the neutral winds and plasma dynamics from Sriharikota spaceport. ISRO has developed a series of sounding rockets called Rohini series, important among them being RH-200, RH-300 and RH-560, number in the name indicating the diameter of the rocket in MM.
6. In an attempt to push back the Chinese Navy’s rapidly-expanding People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the Indian Navy commissioned INS Dhruv (codenamed VC 1118) ship, which is capable of tracking nuclear missiles and satellites from a distance. The indigenously-developed surveillance ship has been built at Hindustan Ship Yard Ltd in Vishakhapatnam under the Make in India initiative.
7. Global Recycling Day is observed globally on 18th March every year by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and celebrated globally every year to raise awareness of the importance of recycling. The theme for this year’s Global Recycling Day is “celebrating our Recycling Heroes”.
8. Ordnance Factory Day is celebrated on March 18 with a slew of programmes. The day is observed to commemorate the foundation of the first Ordnance Factory at Cossipore near Calcutta in 1801.
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