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  1. President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to changes in the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, which will rationalize and harmonize the system of levying stamp duty and help curb tax evasion.
    • The Amendments to the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, were introduced as part of the Finance Act 2019.
    • The amendments propose to create the legal and institutional mechanism to enable states to collect stamp duty on securities market instruments at one place by one agency (through the Stock Exchanges or Clearing Corporations authorised by the stock exchange or by the Depositories).
    • The duties levied by Maharashtra will be taken as a benchmark as it accounts for 70% of the total collection.


  1. The 2-day long Regional Maritime Safety Conference 2019was held in Mumbai to discuss maritime safety in the India-ASEAN sub-region, safeguarding our shores and promoting maritime trade.
    • It was organized by India for the first time, by the National Maritime Foundation (NMF), in coordination with Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of External Affairs.


  1. Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, inaugurated Tripura’s first mega food park named Sikaria Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd at Village Tulakona in Agartala.


  1. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) formed a 4-member committee to look into the matter of taxation related pain points and submit its final report and recommendations by mid-March.
    • The committee will be headed by Income Tax Commissioner Sanjeev Sharma.
    • It will tackle the issue by addressing some current pain points and recommending some steps borrowed from international best practices.
    • As per government figures, 465,349 cases related to taxation are pending at various forums.
    • Of this, about 1% cases are high value cases and constitute about 90% of the total tax demand.


  1. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singhinaugurated ‘Waste to Wonder Park’ which houses the replicas of seven wonders of the world at Sarai Kale Khan, Delhi.
    • The replicas are — Taj Mahal (20 ft), the Great Pyramid of Giza (18 ft), Eiffel Tower (60 ft), Leaning Tower of Pisa (25 ft), Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer (25 ft), Rome’s Colosseum (15 ft) and New York’s Statute of Liberty (30 ft).


  1. Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Irani launched the Integrated Large Scale Eri Farming in Arunachal Pradesh under North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS).
    • The project aims to support Eri food plantations and also empower the tribal women of the state with employment opportunities and sustainable livelihood.


  1. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has stated in the Supreme Court that Spotted Cheetahs being translocated from Namibia would be kept at Nauradehi sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
    • India’s last spotted cheetah had died in 1947.
    • In 1952, the animal was declared extinct in the country.


  1. The government of Madhya Pradesh has launched the Mukhyamantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana to provide employment for youth.
    • The scheme guarantees 100 days of employment every year to urban youths from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
    • The youth would get Rs 4,000 stipend per month and total Rs 13,500 for the 100 days period would be provided.
    • During this period, they would be given skill development training, so that they become independent.
    • The scheme defines Economically weaker sections as those whose family’s annual income is less than Rs 2 lakh and the scheme is limited to youth in the age group 21-30 years.


  1. The Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has unveiled the Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) at the Aero India 2019 to meet the ever-increasing need for drinking water worldwide.
    • The Atmospheric Water Generator would generate water straight from the humidity present in the atmosphere through a novel technology.


    1. Zimbabwe launched a new currency called RTGS dollars (Real Time Gross Transfer Dollars) to resolve a long-term monetary crisis.
      • RTGS Dollars is money made up of bond notes, bond coins and RTGS balances (electronic money).


    1. According to a statement by Bank of Baroda, its merger with Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank shall come into force from 1st April 2019.


    1. The Reserve Bank of India created a single category for Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) by bundling their present three-tier structure.
      • It has been done to provide greater operational flexibility to non-banking lenders.
      • It has been decided that exposures to all NBFCs, excluding core investment companies, will be risk weighted as per credit ratings.
      • Asset finance companies, Loan companies and Investment companies have been merged into a new category called NBFC- investment and credit companies (NBFC-ICCs).
      • A deposit taking NBFC-ICC shall invest in unquoted shares of another company which is not a subsidiary company or a company in the same group of the NBFC, an amount not exceeding twenty per cent of its owned fund.



    1. Justice Uma Nath Singh took the oath as the first Lokayukta of Nagaland.
      • The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority constituted at the state level.
      • It investigates allegations of corruption and mal-administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances.


    1. 33-year-old, Divya Karnad became the First Indian Woman to be honored with the “Global Future of Nature Award” for her work on marine conservation.
      • She is the second Indian to receive this award after Charudutt Mishra.


    1. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) was conferred with the prestigious ‘FICCI CSR Awardfor Women Empowerment for its innovative and high impact women.


      1. Australia’s wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy set a new Guinness World Record after achieving the feat for the ‘highest catch of a cricket ball’ (80 metres) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).


        1. Wallace’s giant bee (Megachile pluto) – the largest bee known on the Earth which was considered to be extinct since 1981 was re-spotted in an Indonesian forest.


        1. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has awarded French aerospace and defence company-Thales a contract to supply 135 2.75-inch (70-mm) rocket launchers.


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