- The United States on March 27, 2019, circulated a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to blacklist Chief of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Masood Azhar. Azhar is linked to terrorism for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities carried out by JeM”.
2. India and the United States on March 27, 2019, signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement for Exchange of Country-by-Country (CBC) Reports between the countries. It would do away with the practice of local filing of the CBC Reports by India-based subsidiary companies of the US MNEs.
3. The three pioneers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun were on March 27, 2019, awarded with the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award “for conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing”.
4. Pinaki Chandra Ghose was on March 19, 2019, appointed as India’s first Lokpal also known as the anti-corruption ombudsman. Currently, Ghose is serving as a Member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He was appointed as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1997. He served as the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court before his elevation to the Supreme Court in 2013.
5. President Ram Nath Kovind was honored with Croatia’s highest civilian award ‘Grand Order of the King of Tomislav’. The honor is bestowed upon the heads of state for their important contribution towards the development of state relations between Croatia and their respective countries.
6. Comoros President Azali Assoumani was re-elected on March 26, 2019, by a landslide, as per results published by the electoral commission of the Indian Ocean archipelago. Azali, who first took office in 2016, won 60.77 percent of the votes, way ahead of his closest rival Mahamoudou Ahamada, who garnered only 14.62 percent of the ballots cast.
7. India and the African Union on March 27, 2019, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish an India-Africa health sciences collaborative platform. The agreement is expected to pave the way for cooperation in research and development, capacity building, health services, pharmaceutical trade and manufacturing capabilities for drugs and diagnostics.
8. The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 27, 2019, approved the continuation of the Biomedical Research Career Programme beyond its initial 10-year term from 2008-09 to 2018-19 to a new five-year phase from 2019-20 to 2023-24. The total financial implication of the same will be Rs 1092 crore.
9. The Union Cabinet was on March 27, 2019, apprised of an MoU signed in February 2019 between India and Argentine on Antarctic cooperation. The agreement will help scientific cooperation on projects in the fields of earth sciences, as well as those related to the protection and conservation of the natural environment of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans.
10. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prohibited imparting distance degree programmes in agriculture. The decision was taken by the higher education regulator at its last meeting on the ground that a degree programme in agriculture is technical in nature as it requires practicals or laboratory courses. The Union agriculture ministry had referred the matter to the commission.
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