Current Affairs in Short: 18 March 2020
Ajay Kumar becomes next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Uganda
• The Government of India has decided to appoint Ajay Kumar as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Uganda. A. Ajay Kumar is currently posted as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
• He will soon take over this assignment. Uganda is among the poorest countries on the African continent. One-third of the population here is forced to live below the international poverty line.
• Ajay Kumar is a 2001 batch IFS officer. PM Modi visited Uganda in July 2018. He was the first PM who visited Uganda in the past 20 years.
A starch-based “hemostat” to stop bleeding
• A team of scientists at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) has developed ‘hemostat’. It is a starch-based ‘hemostat’ that can prevent rapid bleeding during accidents.
• Starch-based ‘hemostat’ material absorbs excess fluid and create thickens in the blood. It will look like a gel that would remain on the wound until it will heal.
• It was found that moderate to severe bleeding stopped within less than a minute during a study on animals with real wounds. Studies on animals have found that the material is non-toxic and has been confirmed to be naturally degradable.
Gadkari presents ‘Invincible – A Tribute to Manohar Parrikar’ to President
• Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, Nitin Gadkari presented a copy of the book ‘Invincible – A Tribute to Manohar Parrikar’ to the Ram Nath Kovid, President of India.
• Manohar Parrikar was the former Chief Minister of Goa and also served as the Defence Minister of India. He was passed away because of his illness on March 17, 2019.
• Manohar Parrikar remained the Chief Minister of Goa from 2000 to 2002, 2002 to 2005 and 2012 to 2014. He resigned as the Defence Minister of India to join as Chief Minister of Goa on March 14, 2017, for the fourth time.
Moody’s cuts India growth forecast for 2020 to 5.3%
• Moody’s Investors Service projected India’s growth rate for 2020 to 5.3 percent. Earlier, Moody’s had projected real GDP growth of 5.4 percent for India in February 2020. Moody’s said that such interruptions will remain for a long time.
• Many state governments and central banks have taken several relief measures, including financial relief packages, policy rate cuts, regulatory waivers, although steps taken to prevent virus infection will reduce the impact of these measures.
• Moody’s predicted India’s economic growth rate to be 5.8 percent for the year 2021. It has been estimated as several banks have taken various steps for the next couple of months.
Iraq’s President nominates Adnan Zurfi as Prime Minister
• Iraq’s President Barham Salih named Adnan Zurfi, former governor of the holy Shia city of Najaf, the new prime minister of the country. It is a second attempt to find the head of government in recent months.
• Elected representative Zurfi (50) has 30 days to form his cabinet. He has to get a vote of confidence from Iraq’s badly divided parliament.
• He will replace outgoing Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Mahdi resigned from his post in December after huge protests against his government. The protesters accused his government of corruption and incompetence.