1. Luxembourg became first country to make public transport free
As of February 29, 2020, Luxembourg has become the first country with a free public transport system, with all fares for trams, trains and buses abolished
- The one exception is first-class train travel, which will cost £2.60 (€3) per journey.
- The plan was originally announced in 2018, with a Summer 2019 launch planned, but delays overtook the move this year.
- Luxembourg currently has more than 600,000 residents, but 214,000 more commutes to work each day from neighboring Germany, Belgium, and France, with most traffic jams commuting by car.
Luxembourg Capital: Luxembourg
2. Western Railway declares a bonus of 5% for every recharge to R-Wallet
To promote mobile ticketing, Western Railway had announced a bonus of 5 percent as an incentive for every recharge to the R-Wallet until 24th August 2020.
- The existing bonus scheme, which expired last week, has been extended to encourage more and more users to use mobile ticketing.
- Western Railway has said that passengers are requested to use the UTS mobile ticketing app and avail of the benefits associated with their use.
- Western Railway is one of the 18 regions of the Indian Railways and is headquartered at Churchgate, Mumbai.
3. Ajay Bhushan Pandey elected as the new Finance Secretary
The Government of India appointed the current Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey as the new Finance Secretary. His appointment has approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
- He replaced current Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar.
- Pandey is a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Maharashtra cadre.
- He had earlier worked as chief executive officer of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the organization behind the Aadhaar.
4. Former Indian spinner Sunil Joshi elected BCCI’s selection committee chairman
Former India spinner Sunil Joshi has been elected as the chairman of the national selection panel by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC).
- The 49-year-old Joshi has played 15 Tests and 69 ODIs between 1996 and 2001, taking 41 and 69 wickets respectively.
- The Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising Madan Lal, RP Singh, and Sulakshana Naik, chose the two selectors with Joshi replacing South Zone representative MSK Prasad and CAC also will review the panel’s performance after one year and make recommendations accordingly.
5. Shafali Verma topped in ICC women’s T20I rankings
Shafali Verma, the teenage Indian batting sensation, has topped in the ICC women’s T20 International rankings.
- She has grown up as only the second India batter after Mithali Raj to top the women’s T20 International rankings.
- She jumped 19 places and gave New Zealand captain Suzie Bates the top spot with 761 points.
- During the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, Shafali has scored 161 runs in four innings demonstrating an explosive batting performance at the top of the order.
6. Google states its plans to open Delhi Cloud Region
Google announced its plans to open a Delhi Cloud Region.
- This will be the company’s second cloud sector in India as it launched in Mumbai in 2017, three years ago.
- The new cloud region will expand Google’s existing network to 8 regions in the Asia Pacific and 22 regions globally.
- The Google Cloud regions bring Google Cloud Platform services to global organizations in industries such as media and entertainment, retail and manufacturing.
- Estimated to begin in 2021, the Delhi Badal region will have three areas to protect against service disruptions.
7. Gairsain has named Uttarakhand’s new summer capital
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has named Gairsain as the new summer capital of the state.
- Rawat made the announcement shortly after the conclusion of his budget speech on the third day of the assembly session called in Gairsain.
- Gairsain, located in the Chamoli district between the Kumaon and Garhwal regions, will function as the summer capital.
- The state’s current winter capital is Dehradun. Uttarakhand was carved out as a separate state from Uttar Pradesh in 1998.
8. EPFO lowered the interest rate on deposits to 8.5% for 2019-20
For the current financial year, the Retirement fund body, Employees’ Provident Fund Organization, (EPFO) has lowered the interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.5 percent that was 8.65 percent earlier.
Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar has made this announcement in New Delhi after the meeting of the EPFO apex decision-making body – the Central Board of Trustee.
9. RBI deputy governor Vishwanathanregins before retirement
Reserve Bank of India deputy governor NS Vishwanathan has resigned three months ahead of his retirement in June due to health reasons.
- Viswanathan will end his four-decade career by March 31, when the central bank relieves him of his duties.
- As a deputy governor, he was looking after key departments such as banking regulation, non-banking regulation, co-operative banking, financial stability, deposit insurance, and inspection.
- Viswanathan, a master of economics from the University of Bengaluru, was the face of the RBI in the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the central bank of Basel-based central banks for the past few years.
10. Mumbai commenced hosting IOC session in 2023
Mumbai is set to host the 2023 International Olympic Committee’s session after the IOC Executive Board recommended the Indian city for the annual conference.
- The IOC Executive Board has decided to put Mumbai’s candidature to a vote of the members.
- The decision is to be ratified at the 136th IOC Session in Tokyo in July this year.
- After ratification, this will be the second IOC session to be held in India after a long gap of 37 years.
- India last hosted an IOC session in 1983 in New Delhi.