Current Affairs: March, 19
1. Google makes push to turn product searches into cash
• Google is tying-up with retailers including Target Corp, Walmart Inc, Home Depot Inc, Costco Wholesale Corp and Ulta Beauty Inc to turn product searches into cash.
• Under a new programme, retailers can list their products on Google Search, Google Express shopping service and Google Assistant.
• In exchange for these Google listings and linking, the retailers need to pay Google a piece of each purchase, which is different from payments that retailers make to place ads on Google platforms.
2. Sony India appoints Sunil Nayyar as MD
• Sony India announced the appointment of Sunil Nayyar as its Managing Director (MD) in place of Kenichiro Hibi.
• Hibi, who was MD of Sony India from 2012 till 2018, has now been appointed as President for Sony Brazil.
• Nayyar is the first Indian to be appointed as Managing Director for Sony India. He presently holds the position in Sony North America as head of Retail Experience.
3. UK-US firms create largest genomics project to study Indian population
• A UK-based genomics data platform Global Gene Corp (GGC) and an American genetics company Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC)collaborated to create the world’s largest project of its kind to study Indian population.
• Both the companies will work to find innovative diagnosis and therapies for rare diseases.
• Scientists will sequence the exomes of people from the Indian subcontinent in order to gain insights into alternative forms of genes architecture and specified diseases.
4. Lalu Prasad convicted in another fodder scam case
• A special CBI court in Ranchi on March 19, 2018 convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal Chief Lalu Prasad in another scam case in Dumka, Jharkhand and acquitted former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra in the case.
• The court postponed the judgment as Lalu Prasad filed a petition under 319 CrPC asking the then three officials of the Accountant General, in the 1990s, be made a party to the case.
• This is the fourth case relating to the fodder scam, for the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury.
5. Bilaspur’s stone age tools link Sivalik cultures
• Researchers from the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) have discovered a number of Acheulian artefacts dating to about 1500000 to 150000 years ago from an unexplored site at Ghumarwin in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh.
• The site is close to the site where scientists in the 19th century discovered fossil remains of Sivapithecus, the last common ancestor of orangutans and humans.
• The discovery of stone tools belonging to the Acheulian age presents the possibility of continuity of the two stone age cultures at the site.
6. Take precaution while sharing Aadhaar information on internet: UIDAI
• The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) asked people to take due precautions while sharing their Aadhaar information on the internet for availing any service.
• It asserted that posting of Aadhaar cards on the internet will have absolutely no bearing on UIDAI and not the least on Aadhaar security.
• The statement came after a few reports claimed that information about Aadhaar may be available from third-party websites and that a Google search may lead to Aadhaar details of several people.
7. China appoints Yi Gang as Governor of People’s Bank of China
• China appointed American-trained economist Yi Gang as Governor of People’s Bank of China.
• Yi is currently serving as Deputy to incumbent central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan.
• Yi’s appointment was approved during the ongoing session of 13th National People’s Congress.
8. Aamir Khan replaces Ranveer Singh as Vivo India’s Brand Ambassador
• Chinese smartphone maker Vivo appointed Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador for India, replacing actor Ranveer Singh.
• Aamir Khan’s films “Dangal” and “Secret Superstar” fetched unprecedented success in China.
• Aamir will soon be seen in a full-fledged marketing campaign of the upcoming products and a new TV commercial.
9. Vladimir Putin wins historic fourth term
Vladimir Putin, who has literally been at the helm of Russian politics since the turn of the century, cruised through another historic victory by winning a fourth term in Russia’s Presidential elections on March 18, 2018.
Putin, who has ruled Russia for almost two decades, recorded his best election performance with 76.67 per cent of the vote in the preliminary results. The thumping mandate gives Putin another six years of power. The leader, however, rejected the possibility of staying in power indefinitely.
10 India clinches Nidahas Trophy in last-ball thriller
India on March 18, 2018 pulled off an unforgettable chase beating Bangladesh by four wickets in the Nidahas T20 tri-series final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The nerve-breaking victory came as a result of an incredible performance by wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik who came in at the fag end of India’s batting, with the team needing 34 off the last two overs.
11. E-cigarettes can harm liver: Study
According to a new study, using electronic cigarettes may lead to an accumulation of fat in the liver, consequentially causing harm to the vital organ. The study was conducted on mice, which were exposed to e-cigarettes.
The researchers reported that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is associated with non-alcohol fatty liver diseases. The long-term effects of e-cigarettes on liver disease, diabetes, heart disease or stroke are, however, unknown.
12. Li Keqiang re-elected as Prime Minister of China for second term
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang was on March 18, 2018 re-elected for his second five-year term by the members of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), Chinese Parliament, during its ongoing session.
Li Keqiang received 2964 votes in favour and two in against. The 13th National People’s Congress also approved the appointment of Yang Xiaodu as the Director of National Supervisory Commission, the newly constituted anti-graft committee.
13. New species of water strider discovered in Nagaland
A team of scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered the new species of water strider named ‘Ptilomera Nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra’ from Intangki River in Peren district of Nagaland.
The species is named after the Nagaland state itself. They can be easily differentiated from all the known striders through the absence of curly and tangled dark brown swimming setae and the presence of silvery setae on the sublateral region of the meso and metanota of the male.