1. Paytm Bank to issue Visa virtual debit cards to its customers.
- Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) announced that it will now start issuing Visa debit cards to its customers.
- The card will enable them to transact at all merchants accepting payments through cards.
- This will enable customers to make contactless payment through their chip-inserted cards.
- The bank, known for introducing neo-banking in the country, is already the largest issuer of RuPay Debit Cards and has the fastest-growing bank account base.
2.International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: 21 March
- Every year 21st March is being celebrated as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination all across the world.
- The day is celebrated annually on 21 March as on this day in 1960, the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws”.
- This year the Day is focused on the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
3.21st March Celebrated as International Forest Day
- Every year, the United Nations celebrates International Day of Forest on March 21.
- The Day is being celebrated since 2012. It aims to increase awareness and importance of forests.
- The day also focuses on the significance of trees outside the forests. Also, the day is celebrated to save forests.
- The organizers are the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
- The theme for 2020 is ‘Forests and Biodiversity’.
4.Finance Commission forms Committee To Review Fiscal Consolidation Roadmap
- The 15th Finance Commission has constituted a Committee to review the fiscal consolidation roadmap of the central and state governments.
- The committee will be headed by 15th Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh.
- It will make recommendations on the definition of deficit & debt for central government, overall states, and public sector enterprises.
- It will also lay down the principles for arriving at the debt of the government debt and consolidated public sector.
5.PM Modi announces Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the formation of a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force.
- The task force will be led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
- The task force will remain in regular touch with all stakeholders, take their feedback and make decisions accordingly.
- This task force will also ensure that all steps are taken to reduce the economic difficulties and execute them effectively
6.RBI announces fresh purchase of Rs 30,000 crore govt securities
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced additional purchase of government securities worth Rs 30,000 crore through open market operations (OMO) to boost liquidity.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced additional purchase of government securities worth Rs 30,000 crore through open market operations (OMO) to boost liquidity
- The auctions would be conducted on March 24, 2020, and March 30, 2020
7. SIDBI to Launch a special train ‘Swavalamban express’ for new entrepreneurs
- The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will start Swavalamban Express on June 5 this year for new entrepreneurs.
- The decision to start the train was taken based on the feedback received from various stakeholders.
- The train will travel to 11 enterprising cities starting from Lucknow and thereafter to Jammu, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and finally to Varanasi in a span of 15 days covering 7,000 km.
8. World Poetry Day celebrated on 21 March
- Every year on 21st March the World Poetry Day all across the world to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
- A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.
- In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.
9. ICICI Lombard launches insurance cover for Coronavirus
- The ICICI Lombard has rolled out a coronavirus-focused policy ‘COVID-19 Protection Cover’ in a group insurance mode.
- The COVID-19 Protection Cover will pay 100 per cent of the sum insured irrespective of hospitalization expenses, on the diagnosis of COVID-19 positive cases, amid the contagious pandemic.
- The insurance company will pay out the entire sum insured if the policyholder tests positive for COVID-19 at any of the Government authorized centres.
10. R Gandhi, Ananth Gopalakrishnan appointed additional directors of Yes Bank
- The Reserve Bank of India has appointed R Gandhi and Ananth Narayan Gopalakrishnan as additional directors to the board of YES Bank for a period of two years.
- Gandhi, a former deputy governor of RBI, was previously appointed to the YES Bank board as an additional director by the RBI in May 2019 for a period of two years.
- Ananth Narayan Gopalakrishnan was previously Standard Chartered Bank’s regional head of financial markets for ASEAN and South Asia.
11. World Happiness Report- 2020 released by
- The Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations released the World Happiness Report on 20th March 2020.
- The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.
- Finland is ranked as the world’s happiest nation for the third consecutive year.
- This year India ranked at 144, previously ranked at 140.