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Daily GK Updates : 20th March Current Affairs
1. Konark Sun Temple and Statue of Unity to be included in ‘Iconic Sites’ list
- The famous Konark Sun temple in Puri district of Odisha and Statue of Unity is to be included in the ‘Iconic Sites’ list, informed Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel.
- Accordingly, the Sun temple will be developed as an iconic site by the Centre. The Union Minister further said that the total number of monuments in the list is to be raised from 17 to 19.
- Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech for 2019-20 fiscal had announced allocations to develop infrastructure at 17 famous tourist places across the country to develop these monuments as iconic sites.
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that five archaeological sites across India will be developed into “iconic” sites. The five archaeological sites include Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Dholavira in Gujarat, Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu, and Sivasagar in Assam.
2. Greece handed over Olympic flame to Tokyo 2020 organisers
- Greece has handed over the Olympic flame to Tokyo 2020 organisers at an event which was ‘significantly scaled-down’ due to coronavirus pandemic. The ceremony, which took place at Athens’ iconic Panathenaic stadium, did not include the planned cultural ceremonies from Greece or Japan.
- Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos handed the torch over to the Tokyo Organising committee represented by Naoko Imoto, who lit the lantern and left with it.
- The Tokyo Olympic Games are slated to be held from July 24 to August 9. However, many athletes raised concern over the event taking place despite the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
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Tokyo was selected as the host city during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 7 September 2013. This will be the second time that Japan and specifically Tokyo will host the Summer Olympic Games, the first being in 1964, making it the first city in Asia to host the summer Games twice.
3. DAC gives approval for procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for IAF
- Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) gave approval for procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for Indian Air Force.
- The Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is indigenously-designed by Aircraft Development Agency (ADA) under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- This procurement will be a major boost to Make in India as the aircraft is indigenously designed.
- The Defence Acquisition Council also accorded approval for acquisition of indigenous Defence equipment for about 1,300 crore rupees.
4. PM Modi calls for Janata Curfew on 22nd March in the wake of COVID 19
- PM Narendra Modi has announced Janata Curfew on Sunday (22nd March) in the wake of COVID 19 outbreak. It will be self-imposed and self-regulated and will be effective from 7 in the morning till 9 in the evening. He said, no one should step out of their homes during this period except those people in essential services.
- The Prime Minister was addressing the nation last evening in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Mr Modi requested all people to step out of house in the coming few weeks only if extremely necessary and work from home as much as possible.
- He also urged senior citizens above the age of 65 years to stay at home in the coming days.
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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the name given to the 2019 novel coronavirus. COVID-19 is the name given to the disease associated with the virus. SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
5. Rs 20,466.94 crore of loans sanctioned under Stand Up India Scheme
- Rs 20,466.94 crore of loans have been sanctioned under Stand Up India Scheme to over 91,000 accounts since inception of the Scheme.
- The Scheme facilitates bank loans between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore to at least one Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe borrower and at least one woman borrower, per bank branch of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs), for setting up greenfield enterprises in the manufacturing, services or the trading sectors.
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The Stand Up India scheme was launched by Government of India on 5 April 2016 to support entrepreneurship among women and SC & ST communities.
6. Iraqi President Salih appoints Adnan al-Zurfi as new PM-designate
- Iraqi President Barham Salih has appointed Adnan al-Zurfi as the country’s new prime minister-designate in the latest bid to resolve a months-long political crisis.
- Al-Zurfi would replace caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who quit in December following widespread mass demonstrations against a government that protesters see as corrupt, failing to provide them with basic services, and beholden to powerful neighbouring Iran.
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Iraq Capital: Baghdad; Currency: Iraqi dinar
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