PLACES IN NEWS - 2019 March

March 1

Railways Minister announced new railway zone for Andhra Pradesh
The new railway zone, Southern Coast Railway will be headquartered in Visakhapatnam.
It will be the 18th zone in the country.
The new zone will comprise the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions that currently fall under the South Central Railway.
The cost of creating infrastructure for a new zone is around Rs. 205 crore.

March 4

Prime Minister Modi inaugurates Ahmedabad Metro first phase
After inaugurating the 6.5 km stretch, connecting Vastral to Apparel park area here, Modi also took a ride on the metro.
The Ahmadabad Metro first phase will be 40 km long, of which 6.5 km is underground and the remaining stretch is elevated.It has two corridors - one from Vastral to Thaltej Gam and the other from Gyaspur depot to Motera stadium.
The Union Cabinet had given approval for the Phase-2 of Ahmadabad Metro Rail Project in February 2019. Phase-2 will be just over 28-km long.
According to the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation, These metro Projects will not only add to connectivity but will also reduce the travel time and enhance the ease of living substantially in the urban areas.

March 6

Secretary, DEPwD Lays Foundation Stone of ‘National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation’ at Sehore, Madhya Pradesh
This Institute will be first of its kind in the country. The Central Government has approved an outlay of Rs 180 crore for this project for an initial period of three years.

March 7

Malaysia joins International Criminal Court
Malaysia has become a member of the International Criminal Court, in a boost for the beleaguered institution at a time it faces growing criticism.
The International Criminal Court is the world's only permanent war crimes court and aims to prosecute the worst abuses when national courts are unable or unwilling.
Malaysia becomes the 124th member of the court since its establishment in 2002.

'Azaadi Ke Diwane' museum inaugurated at Red Fort
Union Minister Mahesh Sharmainaugurated ‘Azaadi Ke Diwane’ museum, dedicated to the unsung heroes of the country’s freedom struggle, on the Red Fort premises.
According to the Mahesh Sharma, This new museum ‘AzaadikeDiwane’ is started in the series of KrantiMandir to inspire the younger generation and let them know the cost of freedom that the great fighters achieve by sacrificing their lives.
The museum is a modern, state-of-the-art, informative and educational exhibition involving multi-sensory technology to engage the visitors.

March 8

PM launches Integrated Command, Control Centres Flags off Nagpur Metro
The Prime Minister flagged off the first phase of a 13.5 kilometre stretch of the Nagpur Metro through video-conferencing from New Delhi.
The Smart City Command and Control Centres use digital technology to integrate different service networks.

March 9

Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh To Get National Committee Law Tribunal (NCLT) Benches
The Government has approved establishment of two new benches of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), one at Amravati in Andhra Pradesh and the other at Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
This step has been taken keeping in view the increasing case load, especially under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2016.
At present Andhra Pradesh comes under the Jurisdiction of NCLT Bench at Hyderabad and Madhya Pradesh comes under the jurisdiction of NCLT Bench, Ahmadabad. It is expected that creation of new benches will enable faster disposal of cases.
The NCLT, which has been set up under the Companies Act, 2013, has provided an effective and time-bound adjudication mechanism to deal with matters related to the Companies Act, 2013, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 and theLLP Act, 2008.

March 10

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan released the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) in New Delhi
The ICAP provides an integrated vision towards cooling across sectors encompassing inter alia reduction of cooling demand, refrigerant transition, enhancing energy efficiency andbetter technology options with a 20-year time horizon.
Cooling requirement is cross-sectoral and an essential part for economic growth and is required across different sectors of the economy such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport and industries.
The thrust of the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) is to look for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socio-economic benefits. "The overarching goal of ICAP is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society.

Prime Minister Modi laid the Foundation Stone for Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh
The Project costing Rs. 687 crore being constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) would be completed in the next three years.
It covers a total distance of 12.04 kms which consist of two tunnels of 1790 and 475 meters.
Once completed this would result in:
All weather connectivity to Tawang and forward areas.
Reduction in more than one hour of travelling time from Tezpur to Tawang.
Travellers would be able to avoid the dangerous snow covered Sela top at a height of 13,700 feet.​

March 11

PM attends 50th Raising Day celebrations of Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) at Indirapuram in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
To create awareness amongst the general public regarding the role and functions of CISF, Prime Minister suggested the idea of starting digital museums at airports and metros, showcasing the work of CISF.

March 12

Humsafar Trust inaugurates India's first LGBTQ clinic, one-stop HIV treatment centre in Mumbai.
As many as 20 years later, the Humsafar Trust started a support group for gay men, male sex workers, transgenders for creating awareness about the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The group also inaugurated the country's first HIV treatment centre.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times (HT), the newly-inaugurated centre and the holistic clinic is for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.

March 13

HGS and NASSCOM Foundation Launch Center of Excellence (CoE) for Persons with Disabilities in Bangalore.
Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) partnered with NASSCOM Foundation, to launch a centre of excellence in Bangalore for training differently-abled persons (PwDs) which will train a minimum of 100 PwDs making them industry-ready over the next 12 months with a goal to place at least 50% of them in companies already sensitized for hiring them.

Internet Of Things India Congress 2019 to be held on August 22-23
It will include tracks on segments such as healthcare, manufacturing, telecom, smart cities and agriculture.
The Internet of Things (IoT) India Congress, an event which will see digital technology leaders converge to discuss and explore business opportunities in mainstreaming IoT, will be held in Bengaluru on August 22-23, 2019.

March 16

3rd edition of Namaste Thailand festival held in New Delhi
The 3rd edition of Namaste Thailand festival, organised by the Royal Thai Embassy with an aim to strengthen bilateral ties and increase cultural exchange between India and Thailand, began at Select City walk in New Delhi on 15th March 2019 and will conclude on 17th March 2019.
The festival will feature stage performances by Thai artistes including the much popular Thai folk-jazz band Asia-7.
It will feature a series of Thai craft activities including mulberry paper mini umbrella making, fan painting, body paint, and button badge making along with the traditional Thai cuisines.

March 17

Convention of War Decorated India held in Chandigarh
The two-day national convention of War Decorated India was held at the Manekshaw Auditorium in Chandimandir, the headquarters of the Western Command, near Chandigarh and was attended by some living gallantry award winners and relatives of the deceased awardees. Next of kin, relatives of the awardees were felicitated at the convention.
Chief of Staff Western Command Lt General P.N. Bali addressed the convention. Among Victoria Cross awardees, the relatives of Late Naib Subedar Nand Singh (Sikh Regiment), Late Subedar Ram Sarup Singh (1 Punjab) and Late Badlu Ram (Cavalry) were felicitated.
Among Param Vir Chakra awardees, relatives of Late Col. Hoshiar Singh (Grenadiers) and Late Subedar Joginder Singh (Sikh Regiment) were felicitated.
Among Maha Vir Chakra awardees those felicitated were the relatives of late Brigadier N.S. Sandhu (Dogra), late Brigadier K.S. Chandpuri (Punjab Regiment), late Lt General Gowry Shankar (Signals), late Lt Ved Prakash Trehan (Rajputana Rifles), late Sepoy Anusuya Prasad (Mahar Regiment) and late Porter Mohammed Ismail (Punjab Regiment Civilian Porter).

March 18

MoU signed by Ola and Telangana Government to strengthen traffic infrastructure in Hyderabad
A MoU was signed between Ola and the Government of Telangana to support the government’s initiative to implement smart solutions to enhance mobility experience further strengthening traffic infrastructure in Hyderabad.
Under the MoU, the first pilot project proposed is the dynamic mapping of riding quality of various major roads in Hyderabad through the network of vehicles operating on the Ola platform.
The desired outcome of this pilot project is to reduce accidents causing because of potholes, monitor the construction of roads, and prioritize budget for road repair.

March 19

International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) 2019 held in New Delhi
International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI), a two-day workshop organised by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), and in partnership with the Global Commission on Adaptation, United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank was held at New Delhi.
The objectives of the workshop were:
Identify good practices of disaster risk management in key infrastructure sectors, Identify specific areas and pathways for collaborative research on DRI (Transport, Energy, Telecom and Water).
Discuss and co-create the broad contours of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) as well as a notional roll-out plan for the next three years.
Besides reducing infrastructure losses, disaster resilient infrastructure will also help achieve targets pertaining to reduction in mortality, number of affected people and economic losses due to disasters.
The first IWDRI was held in January 2018 and IWDRI 2019 built upon some of the ideas generated at the IWDRI 2018 as a crucial milestone towards the establishment of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

Indo-Japan workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction held in New Delhi on 18th March
Government of India and Government of Japan organized the 3rd Indo-Japan Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in New Delhi. Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Dr. P.K. Mishra inaugurated the workshop.
The objective behind this meet was to enhance collaboration between research institutes, cities and the private sector in the field of DRR.
The workshop was attended by about 140 delegates from India and Japan including experts from premier research institutes, city administers and specialized Disaster Management agencies.
In September 2017, India and Japan signed Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of DRR.

March 20

Uttar Pradesh Begins Otter Census
For the first time, Uttar Pradesh is taking a census of Otters in its protected areas. The census has begun in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR).
Otters live on fish and spend much of its time in or close to water bodies. A thriving population of otters means a healthy ecosystem. A growing or healthy population of otters means the water bodies are pollution-free.
Clean water bodies mean a healthy ecosystem of the forest. Otters thriving and getting sufficient food to eat means the water bodies in the reserve are in a fine state and the aquatic life in them is healthy.
India is home to 3 of the 13 species of otters found worldwide. They are:
Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) – IUCN status: Near Threatened
Smooth-coated Otter (Lutra perspicillata) – IUCN status: Vulnerable
Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) – IUCN status: Vulnerable

March 21

India’s deepest shaft cave discovered in Meghalaya
During the 28th edition of the annual ‘Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Expedition ’a five-member team of cavers of Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association (MAA) has discovered India’s deepest shaft at Krem Um Ladaw. It has 105 m deep shaft entrance passage.
Last year, the world’s longest sandstone cave, “Krem Puri” was discovered in Mawsynram area of Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya.

March 22

Abu Dhabi to host T10 League for next five years
The magnificent Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi will host the T10 League for the next five years, starting with the 2019 season.
Abu Dhabi Cricket, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the Department of Culture and Tourism- Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has signed a five year agreement with the organizers of the T10 League.
The first match of the T10 League 2019 will be held on October 23.
The T10 format was first introduced to the UAE in 2017.

March 23

Terror Camps on India-Myanmar Border Destroyed
Indian Army in a joint operation with Myanmar’s Army destroyed 10 camps belonging to an insurgent group in Myanmar which had threatened the Kaladan multi-mode transit project. 
Operation Sunrise was a mega task in which Abakan army, an insurgent outfit of Kachin Independent Army (KIA) backed by China, was targeted. 
The camps were destroyed inside Myanmar with active support of the Indian Army in an intense operation lasting over 10 days. 
The Army provided hardware and equipment to Myanmar for the operation while it mobilised massive forces on the border.
The operation was carried out on inputs that the insurgents were targeting the mega infrastructure project linking Kolkata with Sittwe port in Myanmar through sea route. It would have provided another route to reach Mizoram from Kolkata through Sittwe port.
Camps of insurgents all along the India-Myanmar border from Mizoram, Nagaland to Arunachal Pradesh were targeted in one of the biggest operations of its kind.

March 24

Sri Lanka President hands over a proposal to declare Tripitaka as World Heritage
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena handed over a proposal seeking to declare the Theravada Tripitaka as a UNESCO World Heritage.
The Theravada Tripitaka (Sacred scripture of Buddhists) was declared as a National heritage of Sri Lanka by President in January this year.
Buddha’s preaching was propagated through the word to mouth for generations till the Tripitaka was finally written down in Sri Lanka about 100 years B.C

March 25

Fin Tech Conclave commenced in New Delhi
NITI Aayog has organized a FinTech Conclave at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi. The Conclave was inaugurated by RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das.
The motive of the conference was to shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future procedure and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for complete financial inclusion.
The Conclave has attributed 300 representatives from the financial space including central ministries, regulators, bankers, startups, service providers and entrepreneurs.

March 26

Vice President attends 16th convocation of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGDR) in Mumbai
According to the Vice President, M.Venkkaiah Naidu the country needs research, innovation and transformation.
Congratulating the students, he urged the youth of the country to come up with out of the box, creative and dynamic solutions to pressing problems at hand.
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai is an autonomous advanced research institution established by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 1987, on its golden jubilee.
The Institute focuses on research on developmental issues from a multi-disciplinary point of view.
The Governor of RBI is also the chairman of this institute.

March 27

Special Central Police Observers for States of Mizoram, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Tripura have been appointed by Election Commission of Indi
Election Commission of India has appointed Sh. K.K. Sharma as Special Central Police Observer for the States of West Bengal and Jharkhand and Sh Mrinal Kanti Das as Special Central Police Observer for States of Tripura and Mizoram.
Sh. K.K. Sharma, an Indian Police Service officer of 1982 batch and is a Retd DG Border Security Force.
Sh Mrinal Kanti Das, an Indian Police Service officer of 1977 batch and is a Retd DGP Manipur.
Both these officers were allocated to supervise the deployment and other security issues in their respective states.

Special Expenditure Observers for States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Nagaland and Telangana, have been appointed by Election Commission of India
Election Commission of India has appointed Sh. Gopal Mukherjee as Special Expenditure Observers for the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Sh. D.D. Goel as Special Expenditure Observers for the state of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections.
Sh. Gopal Mukherjee is ex- Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of 1980 batch, and former Member of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
Sh. D.D. Goel is ex- Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of 1982 batch, and former Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation (DGIT Inv.).
Both these officers will oversee and monitor the work being done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken against the person/entities who are trying to persuade voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc.

March 28

Israelis cave explorers unveiled world’s longest salt cave
The Israeli cave explorers discovered the world’s longest salt cave named Malham near the Dead Sea, beating the record-holder in Iran.
The cave is spread in an area of 10 kilometers (6.25 miles) and it runs through the Israel’s largest mountain, Mount Sodom and spills out to the southwest corner of the adjacent Dead Sea.

Tashigang in Himachal Pradesh becomes World's Highest Polling Station
Tashigang, a Himachal Pradesh village at an altitude of 15,256 feet has now become the highest polling station in the world.
Situated about 29 km from the India-China border, the polling station covers two villages, Tashigang and Gate.

March 29

Notification of Island protection zone (IPZ) 2019 for Andaman and Nicobar
Island Protection Zone (IPZ) 2019 for Andaman and Nicobar has been notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The purpose of these changes in the IPZ is aligned with the Niti Aayog’s proposal for holistic development in the Islands.
The government is planning to open the blue economy and sustainable utilizing of ocean resources.
In this new notification, eco-tourism projects are allowed at 20 meters from the high tide line (HTL) in smaller islands like Baratang, Havelock, and Car Nicobar and at 50 meters for larger islands from the HTL.
It permits the eco-tourism activities like mangrove walks, tree huts and nature trails in island coastal regulation zone (ICRZ) IA.
This new notification replaces IPZ notification of 2011.
It brings norms for Andaman and Nicobar at par with coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms for other islands.

March 30

The single-use plastics are banned by the European Parliament
The European Parliament has banned the single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers that despoils beaches and pollutes oceans.
This ban will be effective from 2021 in all EU member states.
The law sets a target to gather 90 percent of plastic bottles for recycling by 2029 and plastic bottles should be produced with 25 percent recycled material by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Rajasthan Diwas observed on 30th March
Rajasthan Day is celebrated on 30th March every year to commemorate the day on which the state Rajasthan came into existence as it was previously known as Rajputana.
On 30th March 1949, the state was formed.

March 31

India, Bangladesh to start cruise service through Sunderbans
India and Bangladesh will start a cruise service that would take passengers through the Sunderbans to Dhaka. 
Joint secretary of External Affairs Ministry, Vikram Doraiswami addressed a conference on Multipolarism in Asia: Issues and Challenges in New Delhi. The move aims to strengthen inland waterway routes between the two countries. 
According to Mr. Doraiswami, other than road and rail, India and Bangladesh also have very strong power connectivity through waterways. 
As movement of goods starts using inland waterways, so goods from India can go in the cheapest possible form up to Narayanganj and Dhaka in Bangladesh. 
People would have the option to travel through the Sunderbans on a luxury vessels up to Dhaka and back with border formalities being done at the crossing points in both countries