Date: 3/13/2019

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  • Special Olympics World Games 2019 which is being held from 14th to 21st March in UAE has made history by welcoming a record-breaking 200 nations ahead of the World Games. Of the 200 nations, 195 will compete in the Games and five will observe.
  • Record 200 Nations represented at the World Games - 195 participating and 5 observing Start of the next 50 years of Special Olympics begins with a ‘Games of Firsts’ - more nations, more female athletes, and more unified than ever before The UAE has the biggest team at the World Games followed by India, while Saudi Arabia sends female athletes for first time
  • Held in the Middle East for the first time, 7,500 athletes will take part in 24 Olympic-style sports over seven days. With the highest number of women taking part and the largest number of Unified team mates on board, the World Games will capture the attention of the globe.
  • More than 2,500 women will fly the flag for their nation, with almost half of them performing in athletics competitions. Saudi Arabia will send female athletes for the first time, with 14 women participating.
  • The host nation, the UAE, will filed its largest-ever squad of athletes at a World Games, with 320 sportsmen and women participating making it the biggest delegation at the event, closely followed by Special Olympics Bharat and Special Olympics USA
  • Nine world-class venues in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will accommodate 500,000 spectators,1,500 officials will referee the Games, while 3,000 coaches will assist the athletes.
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  • Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft grounded in India following global concerns over safety; DGCA says, the aircrafts will remain grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken.
  • Following the disastrous crash of the Ethiopian Airlines boeing 737 max in which claimed 157 lives including that of 4 indians.
  • The DGCA said it has also barred any Boeing 737 MAX from entering the country. The ban came a day after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had allowed the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to fly under stricter conditions.
  • The ban would impact SpiceJet the most. SpiceJet and troubled Jet Airways are the only two airlines operating the Boeing 737 MAX in the country.
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  • State Bank of India (SBI) has launched doorstep banking service for senior citizens over 70 years of age and differently-abled customers.
  • Eligible customers can avail this service at a nominal fee of 100 rupees per transaction for financial transactions and 60rupees for non-financial transactions.
  • According to a statement, doorstep banking services are available to KYC- compliant account holders, with a valid mobile number registered with the bank and residing within 5 kilometres radius from their home branch.
  • This service will not be available for accounts operated jointly, minor accounts, and accounts of non-personal nature.
  • Cash pickup and deliver, check pickup, checkbook slip, life certificate and form 15 pickup are some of the services that will be provided.
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  • The Embassy of India, Kathmandu awarded 200 Golden Jubilee Scholarships to meritorious Nepali students for continuing their studies in various undergraduate courses at different Universities and Colleges in Nepal.
  • Awarding the certificates to meritorious students in Kathmandu today, Nepal's Secretary of Education Khaga Raj Baral said India has been providing valuable support for the development of education in Nepal.
  • He said with the Government of India scholarships Nepali students have excelled in various fields and it has helped in human resource development of Nepal.
  • In his address Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri advised students to achieve personal and professional fulfillment.
  • He said it will contribute towards Nepal’s socio-economic development and will further deepen and strengthen India-Nepal relations.
  • This year the scholarships recipients covered for 36 undergraduate courses including MBBS, BDS, BE, BSc, BBA and BCom etc. The students have been shortlisted from 50 districts of Nepal. They include around 45% girls and 8% differently able students.
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  • Long-term exposure to harmful smog particles increases the risk of diabetes, a new study in China has shown, providing evidence for a link between the country's air pollution and the disease.
  • China is facing the largest diabetes problem in the world with around 11 per cent of its population suffering from the metabolic illness, according to a United States study published in 2017.
  • Increased prosperity has brought changing diets and lifestyles, along with an air pollution crisis that the World Health Organization estimates causes over a million premature deaths every year.
  • The risk of diabetes rose by about 16 percent for an increase of 10 microgrammes per cubic metre in long-term PM2.5 particle exposure, researchers from Fuwai Hospital in Beijing and Emory University in the US found in a study published online by Environment International last week.
  • "Sustained improvement of air quality will help decrease the diabetes epidemic in China," Lu Xiangfeng, one of the study's authors, told AFP in an email.
  • Researchers collected data from over 88,000 subjects across 15 provinces, estimating their exposure to PM2.5 based on satellite data from 2004 to 2015.
  • PM2.5 includes toxins like sulfate and black carbon, which can penetrate deep into the lungs or cardiovascular system, and have been linked to higher rates of lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and heart disease.
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  • The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for India’s Accession to the Nice, Vienna and Locarno Agreements, that would harmonise the classification systems for examination of trademark and design applications, in line with the systems followed globally.
  • The accession is expected to instill confidence in foreign investors in relation to protection of IPs in India.
  • The accession will also facilitate in exercising rights in decision-making processes regarding review and revision of the classifications under the agreement, said an official statement.
  • It will give an opportunity to include Indian designs, figurative elements and goods in the international classification systems.
  • The Nice Agreement deals with the international classification of goods and services for the purposes of registration of marks, the Vienna Agreement deals with an international classification of the figurative elements of marks and the Locarno Agreement deals with an international classification for industrial designs.
  • The government also started the process of notifying the dates of the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls by sending the Election Commission’s recommendation to President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • The first notification will be issued on March 18 for the polls starting April 11. The EC had announced the poll schedule on March 10 and had sent the mandatory recommendation to the Union Law Ministry to notify the Lok Sabha election dates.
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  • IT czar Azim Premji has earmarked economic benefits of about 34 per cent of his shares in Wipro, worth Rs 52,750 crore, for his foundation involved in philanthropy, according to a statement.
  • With this, the total value of the endowment corpus, which supports Azim Premji Foundation’s philanthropic activities, contributed by Premji has swelled to a staggering Rs 1.45 lakh crore, which includes 67 per cent of economic ownership of Wipro Ltd, it said.
  • Wipro Chairman Premji, who is also the chairman of Azim Premji Foundation, announced on Wednesday that he has increased his commitment to philanthropy, by irrevocably renouncing more of his personal assets and earmarking them to the endowment corpus.
  • “He has done this (contribution) by additionally earmarking all economic benefits for philanthropic purposes, in approximately 34 per cent of the shares in Wipro Limited (current market value Rs 52,750 crore), held by certain entities controlled by him,” according to the statement by the Azim Premji Foundation.
  • This is in addition to his earlier donations to philanthropy, which included Wipro’s shares, as well as other assets owned by him.
  • The promoter holding in Bengaluru-based IT services giant Wipro Ltd stood at 74.3 per cent as on December 2018.
  • The Azim Premji Foundation works in education in the country and supports other not-for-profit organisations working in some specific areas through multi-year financial grants.

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