CURRENT AFFAIRS/GK | 20 March, 2019

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 NATIONAL NEWS

34TH GST Council Meet held in New-Delhi-

1) The 34th GST Council Meeting was held on March 19th, 2019 in New Delhi. Arun Jaitley, finance minister of India, chaired the council meeting so as to examine and pass previously announced notifications.
2) The 34th GST Council meeting made available a new GST rate of 1% without Input Tax Credit (ITC) for new projects relating to the construction of “affordable houses” as defined by the GST Council. Ongoing constructions of affordable houses under the Central and State Housing Schemes are also eligible for a concessional GST rate of 8%.
3) A new GST rate of 5% without ITC has been made available for new projects relating to the construction of all the other houses.

14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships held in New-Delhi-

1) Ministry of Commerce & Industry will be organising the 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnerships, in association with Confederation of Indian Industry and EXIM Bank of India in New Delhi from March 17-19, 2019.
2) The event will mark the deepening of India-Africa economic and business ties and pave the way for a whole range of cross-border project partnerships.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Kazakhstan President Resigns after nearly 30 years in power-

1) Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has announced his resignation after nearly 30 years in power. The 78-year old leader had ruled the country since it emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
2) The Chairman of the Kazakh Senate would take over. The announcement came less than a month after the President sacked his government, citing a lack of economic development despite the country’s vast energy resources.

Spice Jet, first Indian low-cost carrier to get IATA Membership-

1) SpiceJet has joined global airlines' grouping IATA as a member, becoming the first Indian low-cost carrier to get the membership. IATA has over 290 airlines as members. Other Indian members of the IATA include Air India, Jet Airways and Vistara.
2) The membership would help SpiceJet, which has ambitious expansion plans, to have codeshares and agreements with other carriers.


APPOINTMENTS


Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw reappointed as the Independent Director of Infosys-

1) India's biotech queen and Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw re-appointed as Lead Independent Director of software major Infosys from April 1 for 5 years.
2) Kiran is highly respected in the corporate world and has been named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.


Gauri Sawant becomes first Transgender Election Ambassador-

1) Election Commission of India (EC) appointed Mumbai social worker and a transgender activist, Gauri Sawant as one of the 12 election ambassadors from the state.
2) It’s the first time in the history of elections that a transgender has been appointed as an election ambassador in India.


Popular Indian Fashion Designer Ritu Beri, appointed Cultural and Tourism Ambassador of Uzbekistan-

1) Popular Indian fashion designer Ritu Beri has been appointed as the Cultural and Tourism Ambassador of Uzbekistan in India by the Ministry of Tourism of Uzbekistan.
2) This is in recognition of her contribution towards bringing the two countries together by way of fusing cultures in her clothes line.


IMPORTANT DAYS


International Day of Happiness observed on 20 March-

1) International Day of Happiness is celebrated every year on March 20. This year the focus will be on what we have in common, rather than what divides us. It is celebrated by all 193 UN Member States.
2) The theme for IDH 2019 is ‘Happier Together’.


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