1. International Day of Happiness is observed on 20 March
On 20 March, International Day of Happiness is observed. The day intends to inspire and advance the global happiness movement.
The campaign theme for the year 2020 is ‘Happiness For All, Together’. The campaign is a global ceremony to mark the United Nations International Day of Happiness.
Jayme Illien, the CEO of the United Nations New World Order project founded and conceptualized International Happiness Day in 2006. The main idea behind celebrating the day is to establish happiness among the general public as a fundamental human right. It was one of the goals of the United Nations (UN) to celebrate the happiness, freedom, and goodness of mankind on earth.
In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution that recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal”, with 2013 celebrating International Happiness Day for the first time.
2. 20 March as World Sparrow Day
Every year on 20th March, World Sparrow Day is celebrated. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about the importance of sparrow in the ecosystem. It also gives the message of conservation of sparrows which are disappearing faster than other common birds.
The theme for the 2020 World Sparrow Day is ‘I Love Sparrow.’ The purpose of the day is to teach the public about the population of the house sparrow and other common bird species about the threat of polluted urban environments and non-caring humans.
The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in the year 2010. In 2011, the World Sparrow Awards were instituted. The award recognizes individuals who have made the greatest contribution towards protecting the environment and protecting common species. The World Sparrow Day was started by Mohammed Dilawar who is the founder of the Nature Forever Society. He also started many projects, including the BiodiverCity Photo Competition, Project Save Our Sparrows, the annual Sparrow Awards, and the Common Bird Monitoring of India program.
3. French Language Day is commemorated on 20th March
French Language Day is recognized on 20th March annually. The day explores the influences of the language as a culture, its achievements, and its history. The day observes multilingualism and cultural diversity.
The French language day is celebrated in order to promote equal use of all six official working languages and to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity throughout the organization.
The observation of French language day was founded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010. The United Nations named six language days in recognition of the six official languages of the UN in 2010. The UN selected 20 March to celebrated the French Language Day in honor of the 40th anniversary of the International Organization of La Francophonie.
French was developed from Latin between the 5th and 8th centuries. It is one of the Romance languages spoken in the world. French is spoken in more than 25 countries. French was the most important language of diplomacy and international relations from the 17th century to approximately the middle of the 20th century.
4. India as the third-largest producer of Electricity in the World
The World Energy Statistics has announced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2019 states that India is the 3rd largest producer of electricity in the world. India listed 106th in terms of per capita consumption in 2017.
- As per the list, the reforms in the power sector has grown continuously.
- India has now become a power surplus from a power deficit situation.
- The power sector reforms focus on the supply of 24×7 quality power to consumers, higher standards of service, promotion of renewable energy sources, development of hydropower, improving efficiency, especially in the distribution sector, etc.
- Also, the Central government is planning to implement reforms linked distribution schemes and changes in tariff policy, among others.
5. DAC approves purchase of 83 indigenous Tejas fighters for the Indian Air Force
Defense Acquisition Council has given approval for the procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for the 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 produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is going to be the backbone of Indian Air Force in future.
- DAC paved the way for the procurement of another 83 of the more advanced version of the aircraft from HAL while orders of 40 Tejas aircraft had been placed with HAL in initial configurations.
- This procurement will be a major boost to Make in India as the aircraft is indigenously designed.
- The Defence Acquisition Council also accorded endorsement for the acquisition of indigenous Defence equipment for about 1,300 crore rupees.
6. Konark Sun Temple and Statue of Unity to be covered in ‘Iconic Sites’ list
The famous Black Pagoda, the Sun temple in Konark in Puri district of Odisha is to be included in the ‘Iconic Sites’ list of 19 monuments, informed Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel.
- Accordingly, the Sun temple will be developed as an iconic site by the Centre.
- 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.
- The Union Minister further said that the Statue of Unity in Gujarat and the Sun temple in Odisha will be included in the said list as the total number of monuments in the list is to be raised from 17 to 19.
7. To spread awareness over COVID-19, Priyanka Chopra collaborates with WHO
To raise awareness about the pandemic, Actor Priyanka Chopra urged followers to rely on authentic sources of information about coronavirus and arranged an Instagram live with top personnel of the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Priyanka and her husband Nick Jonas are on day 8 of self-isolation and have said they are taking all the recommended precautions to combat the spread of the virus.
- The 37-year-old actor documented her videos on Instagram stories where she represented the importance of only relying on authentic information about the highly contagious disease.
8. Iraqi President Salih names Adnan al-Zurfi as new PM-designate
Iraqi President Barham Salih has elected Adnan al-Zurfi as the country’s new prime minister-designate in the latest bid to resolve a months-long political crisis.
- Al-Zurfi has 30 days to form his cabinet which he must then put to a vote of confidence in Iraq’s fractious Parliament.
- Al-Zurfi would succeed 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.
9. Rajnath Singh released Tarun Vijay’s ‘Invincible’ book on Manohar Parrikar
Defence minister Rajnath Singh has released a coffee table book on the life and times of the former Union minister Manohar Parrikar.
- The book titled ‘Invincible’ edited by former MP and BJP leader Tarun Vijay.
- Parrikar, four-time chief minister of Goa and former defence minister,has passed away on March 17, 2019, after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year.