1. 18th March as Ordnance Factory Board foundation day
The Ordnance Factory Board are observing their 219th foundation day on the 18th March 2020.
- The first Ordnance Factory, now known as the ‘Gun and Shell Factory’ Cossipore in Kolkata was established on this day.
- From these beginnings, the OFB has evolved into one of largest defense manufacturing conglomerates in the world with more than 90% of indigenous content and a strong technological and R&D infrastructure which currently contributes to 25% of revenue.
- The highlight of the previous year, the handing over of “Dhanush” 155 X 42 artillery gun system to the Army, was followed this year by the dedication of the up-gunned version of the 1950s vintage Russian 130mm to 150X45 caliber known as “Sharang” at the recently concluded DEFEXPO at Lucknow.
2. Supreme Court cleared permanent commission for women in Indian Navy
Maintaining that women and men officers should be treated equally, the Supreme Court cleared permanent commission for women in the Navy and asked the Centre to complete the modalities within three months.
- A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said, there cannot be any excuses for not granting gender equality in the armed forces.
- The bench, also comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi, rejected the Centre’s stand that sea sailing duties cannot be granted to SSC (Short Service Commission) women officers in the Navy as its Russian vessels do not have washrooms for them.
3. Lok Sabha passes Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 through a voice vote
The Lok Sabha passed the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 through voice vote.
- While introducing the bill, the Minister said that the amendments would fulfill the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
- This will enable the three regulatory bodies in the Civil Aviation sector in India, namely Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau to become more effective, which will lead to enhancement in the level of safety and security of aircraft operations in the country.
International Civil Aviation Organization Headquarters: Montreal, Canada
Head: Fang Liu
4. Ravinder Singh Dhillon designated PFC CMD
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared the appointment of Ravinder Singh Dhillon as Chairman and Managing Director of Power Finance Corporation (PFC).
- Dhillon has been cleared for appointment as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) in PFC with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post on or after June 1 till the date of his superannuation on May 31, 2023.
- Power Finance Corporation Ltd. is an Indian financial institution.
- Established in 1986, it is the financial backbone of Indian Power Sector.
5. ECI designated Hirdesh Kumar new Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir
The Election Commission of India appointed Hirdesh Kumar as the new Chief Electoral Officer of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
- He will replace Shailendra Kumar with effect from the date he assumes charge.
- Hridesh Kumar, a 1999 batch IAS officer is presently serving as Commissioner Secretary in the School Education Department of J&K.
6. First human trial to evaluate vaccine against COVID-19 begins in US
The first human trial to evaluate a candidate vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 has begun in Seattle, US.
- The open-label trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers ages 18 to 55 years over approximately 6 weeks.
- The first participant received the investigational vaccine on 16 March.
7. President Kovind chooses former CJI Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha
President Ram Nath Kovind has nominated Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha.
- Mr. Gogoi served as the 46th Chief Justice of India from 3rd October 2018 till 17th November last year.
- The President of India nominates twelve persons to the Rajya Sabha.
8. Oil India signed a crude sales agreement with Numaligarh Refinery
Oil India Ltd (OIL) announced it has signed an agreement with Numaligarh Refinery for sale and purchase of crude oil.
- The Crude Oil Sales Agreement (COSA) will come into effect from 1 April, 2020 to 31 March 2025, that is, for a term of five years.
- The agreement is expected to streamline sales and purchase transactions of crude oil produced from fields in North East India.
- The Numaligarh Refinery is in Golaghat district, Assam. It is a joint venture between Bharat Petroleum, Oil India and Govt of Assam.
9. ‘An Extraordinary Life’: Book on the late Goa CM Manohar Parrikar
A book on the life and times of bureaucrat-turned-politician Manohar Parrikar, who served as the defense minister and Goa chief minister, will hit the stands in April. Parrikar was among the few from Goa who made it to the national level. He held the defense portfolio in the Modi government from 2014 till 2017 before returning to his first love, Goa, to take over the chief minister’s post.
- The book titled ‘An Extraordinary Life: A biography of Manohar Parrikar’ is written by veteran journalists Sadguru Patil and Mayabhushan Nagvenkar.
- 17 March marks the first death anniversary of Parrikar who died after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year. He was 63.