1. *Amarnath Yatra, 56-day yatra will commence from June 28 and culminate on August 22.* : Jammu & Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh has said there is no threat to Amarnath Yatra.
2. Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has met Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Nitin Gadkari for allocation of funds to enable timely completion of the proposed Chattergala tunnel which will connect district Kathua with district Doda in Jammu & Kashmir, enroute the new Highway via Basohli-Bani through Chattergalla to touch Bhaderwah and Doda.
3. Chattergala Project envisages a 6.8 Km long tunnel for which the Feasibility Survey has already been conducted by Border Roads Organisation (BRO). The tunnel is likely to take about 4 years for completion after the execution work starts and its construction cost is around Rs. 3,000 crores.
4. The RSS on Friday claimed “anti-national and anti-social” forces were trying to thwart efforts towards finding a solution to the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the three central farm laws and said it is not in anyone’s interest for any kind of protest to be prolonged.
5. *The CBI Friday conducted joint surprise checks with the vigilance department of 30 Central government departments in 25 states and union territories to identify areas prone to corruption as part of its special drive*.
6. *For how many generations would reservations in jobs and education continue, the Supreme Court sought to know* during the Maratha quota case hearing on Friday and raised concerns over ‘resultant inequality’ in case the overall 50 per cent limit was to be removed.
7. *A massive fire broke out at a plastic factory in Vatva in Gujarat on Friday evening* . 46 fire-tenders immediately rushed to the location of the incident. Fire fighting operations are currently underway, there have been no casualties reported yet.
8. *The Lok Sabha on Friday cleared a significant Bill to involve private sector participation in mine and mineral exploration..*
9. *Punjab Congress will not hold any political gatherings for the next two weeks in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.* According to the press release, the announcement was made by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation.
10. *Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday (March 19) had ordered a slew of restrictions which include the closing of all educational institutions till March 31 and curbs on cinema and mall capacities.*
11. *Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday (March 19) announced that if his party is voted to power in Assam, they will ensure that Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is not implemented* .
12. Kerala Police filed a case against Enforcement Directorate officials for allegedly forcing gold smuggling scam accused Swapna Suresh to give statements against CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
13. Meat shops falling under the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation’s jurisdiction will remain shut every Tuesday as proposal to this effect was passed by the MC House.
14. *A bill to modify the list of scheduled castes in Tamil Nadu by grouping of seven castes which presently exist as separate castes, was passed by the Lok Sabha on Friday.*
15. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Friday decided to double the number of COVID-19 tests from 25,000 per day now to 50,000, the decision coming on a day when Mumbai reported a record 3,062 cases.
16. In a major relief for ex-Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu, the Andhra High Court has stayed the ‘Amaravati land scam’ case filed by the state CID against him and his ex-cabinet minister P Narayana. Ruling YSRCP MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy had alleged that 500 acres of land belonging to the Dalits in Mangalagiri alone was taken away by dubious means, as per reports. The state CID have filed an FIR under various sections of IPC including criminal conspiracy and SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
17. *The National Testing Agency (NTA) will declare the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test, GPAT 2021 Result shortly.* The conducting body on Friday (March 19) released the much-awaited final answer key. Those who appeared for the exam can access the final answer key on the official website gpat.nta.nic.in.
18. *Indian Police Service officer MA Ganapathy today took over as the new chief of the “black cats” counter-terrorist force National Security Guard (NSG).*
19. The Defence Ministry on Friday inked a contract with Bharat Dynamics Limited to supply 4,960 MILAN-2T Anti-Tank Guided Missiles to the Indian Army at a cost of Rs 1,188 crores.
20. Enhancing its amphibious warfare capabilities, the Indian Navy on Thursday inducted a landing craft utility ship which will be used for a variety of activities like transporting battle tanks and other heavy weapons systems. The eighth and last of the landing craft utility (LCU) mark-IV class ship was commissioned at an event in Port Blair.
1. *The US Defense Secretary Lloyd J Austin arrived in India for a three-day visit on Friday,* this is the first foreign visit since the formation of Joe Biden’s government in the US. He arrived in India after his visit from Japan and South Korea and also met PM Modi.
2. *Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, Pakistani Foreign Minister SM Qureshi will be attended the 9th Ministerial Conference of the “Heart of Asia” on March 30 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.* After many years both Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers will be together and will be under one roof. As of now there is no confirmation on any meeting happening between the two sides.
3. *The second edition of Indo-Uzbekistan Joint Field Training Exercise, EXERCISE DUSTLIK-II culminated on Friday, 19 March 2021, after 10 days of mutual learning.*
4. *In the joint exercise which began on 10 Mar 2021, training was focused on Counter Insurgency / Counter Terrorism operations in urban scenario as well as sharing of expertise on Skills at Arms* . The exercise also provided an opportunity to troops of both Armies to foster everlasting professional and social bonding.
5. *Embassy of India, Seoul launched the ‘Festival of Independence’ India@75 – the 75 Weeks Celebrations on Friday* . On this occasion, Mr. Hwang Hee, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea gave the Congratulatory remarks highlighting the long cultural and historical ties between the two countries.
6. *Despite reminders, the Nepalese security agencies are yet to remove “encroachment” from the no man’s land on the sensitive Uttarakhand-Nepal border.*