World Sparrow Day: 20 March
World Sparrow Day is a day designated to raise awareness of the house sparrow and then other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations, observed on 20 March.
- It is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organisations across the world.
- The theme for World Sparrow Day is I Love Sparrows.
Singapore named the world’s most expensive city
Singapore has been dubbed the world’s most expensive city to live in for the fifth year running.
- The city state marched in ahead of New York, London and Los Angeles, which didn’t even feature in the top 10 priciest places in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 survey.
- The EIU’s annual ranking compares the prices of over 150 items in 133 cities around the world, such as bread, wine, cigarettes and petrol.
- Damascus ranked cheapest in the world.
- Bangalore, Chennai and New Delhi also featured among the top 10 cheapest locations this year.
Punjab to impose permanent ban on hookah bars
The Punjab Government is all set to impose a permanent ban on hookah bars across the State instead of issuing temporary orders against them every two months.
- Punjab will be the second State in the country, after Gujarat, to take the significant decision.
- Gujarat has banned Hookah bars in the State by passing the COTPA Amendment Bill, 2017.
Dr. Jitendra Singh to inaugurate international yoga fest
A 3-day International Yoga Fest from 21-23 March, 2018 will be held at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.
- International Yoga Fest is being organised as a curtain raiser for International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2018.
- The event is being organised by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY).
- More than 5000 participants including eminent yoga gurus, yoga masters, scholars and yoga enthusiasts are expected to participate in the festival.
Indian Navy to host Bilateral Exercise ‘Varuna’ with French Navy
The Indian Navy and the French Navy have conducted bilateral maritime exercises since May 1993.
- Since 2001, the exercises have been named VARUNA and there have been fifteen editions of the same till date.
- The last edition of VARUNA was conducted off the French Coast in Apr 2017.
- This year too VARUNA-18 would be conducted in three sea areas, namely, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and South Western Indian Ocean.
‘Tribal Diaries’ Mobile App to strengthen internal monitoring
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has developed an android based mobile application called Tribal Diaries for internal monitoring as also connecting with officers/officials concerned with implementation of schemes / programmes for tribal development.
- The application is for accredited users.
- This application provides an opportunity for visual feedback in terms of photographs, videos, uploading reports of official tours / inspections and sharing of best practices etc.
First National Workshop on POSHAN Abhiyaan
The first National workshop on POSHAN Abhiyaan involving all the states and union territories is being held on 20th March at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra,New Delhi.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development is organising the day long workshop with participation from all the states/UTs.
British teacher wins global best teacher award
A British school teacher has won a $1-million Global Teacher Prize instituted by an Indian-origin entrepreneur’s foundation in the United Arab Emirates to honour an exceptional teacher who has made a significant contribution to the profession.
- Andria Zafirakou (39), who teaches art and textiles in a Brent secondary school, was selected at the Global Education and Skills Forum, organised by the Varkey Foundation which is run by Kerala-born education philanthropist Sunny Varkey (60).
Del Potro outlasts Federer to win Indian Wells final
Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro stunned top-ranked Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/2) to win his first Indian Wells title and second consecutive ATP crown.
- The 29-year-old from Argentina handed Federer his first match defeat of 2018 and extended his own win streak to 11 matches, including a title run earlier this month at Acapulco.