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UPSC Civil Services prelims: Mission Shakti test to LS election, top events of March

UPSC Civil Services 2019: The UPSC Civil Service prelims will be conducted on June 2, 2019. Check the top news in March

By: Careers Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 30, 2019 1:27:21 pm
UPSC Civil Services 2019, UPSC Civil Services exams, ias exam, upsc notification, UPSC Civil Services prelims, UPSC Civil Services mains, UPSC GK news, UPSC Current Affairs UPSC Civil Services 2019: Check top news in March

UPSC Civil Services 2019: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil services preliminary examination is scheduled to be conducted from June 2, 2019. The 17th Lok Sabha election dates were announced in this month, and students can expect questions from this topic in both prelims and mains.  Like every year, an estimate of 8 lakh candidates will sit for civil services examinations.

There are lots of events happened this month, from the announcement of Lok Sabha election dates to India’s prestigious ‘Mission Shakti’, here is a list of the top news of March you should know before appearing for the UPSC prelims examination.

UPSC Civil Services: Top news of March

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Important points

– This is the 17th Lok Sabha elections, with the first elections in independent India in 1951.

– The 17th Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases, between April 11 and May 19, involving close to 90 crore voters.

– The results will be declared on May 23, 10 days before the term of the current House expires.

– VVPAT units- This is the first general election where there will be 100 per deployment of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) units. A VVPAT produces a printout of the vote cast using an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), which can be shown to the voter to dispel doubts.

LIVE UPDATES | Lok Sabha elections 2019

– For the Lok Sabha polls, Bihar, UP and West Bengal will have the longest voting schedule across seven phases.

– In Jammu and Kashmir, the elections will be conducted in five phases.

– In Jharkhand, MP, Maharashtra and Odisha, the elections will be conducted in four phases, three in Assam and Chhattisgarh, two phases in Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan and Tripura.

– The first phase of elections on April 11 covers the maximum number of states — 91 constituencies across 20 states

– The second phase on April 18 will cover 97 constituencies across 13 states.

IN VIDEO | Why first-time voters are important in LS elections 

The third phase is scheduled for April 23, covering 115 constituencies in 14 states, followed by 71 seats in nine states on April 29

– Seven states will vote in the fifth phase to be conducted on May 6

The sixth phase will take place in 59 seats in seven states on May 12 and the seventh in 59 seats across eight states on May 19.

– In 2014, BJP was elected to the Lok Sabha with a majority of 282 seats — 10 more than the majority mark of 272 and Congress was reduced to 44.

– The first Lok Sabha election in India was conducted in between 1951-52. The Indian National Congress (INC) won 364 seats and Jawaharlal Nehru became the first prime minister of independent India.

Mission Shakti: India prepare to take the enemy in space

After India executed a low-orbit satellite in space, it became the fourth country after Russia, the United States (US), and China to have the capability in taking down an enemy in space. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarified that India’s mission is to strengthen its defence and not to wage war.

“Today, we have enough satellites that are contributing in various segments such as agriculture, disaster management, communication, weather, navigation etc. India has always been against the presence of weapons in the space and this development will not change our stand,” Modi said.

VIDEO | What is Mission Shakti 

Attributing the success to the immense hard work of the scientists, PM Modi said, “In the journey of every nation there are moments that bring utmost pride and have a historic impact on generations to come. One such moment is today. India has successfully tested the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile. Congratulations to everyone on the success of Mission Shakti test

IAF Pilot Abhinandan Varthaman’s returns; a big diplomatic win

The homecoming of captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was seen as a big diplomatic victory for the country. After Pakistan released Varthaman on March 1, 2019.

VIDEO | Abhinandan Varthaman returns to India 

The wing commander was also joined to his squadron in Srinagar. After his four-week sick leave period, a medical board will review his fitness to help the IAF top brass decide whether he can return to fighter cockpit as desired by him.

Manohar Parrikar dies at 63

Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (63) passed away on March 17 after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. Parrikar had been ailing for the last one year and has undergone treatment in the US as well as at AIIMS, Delhi, and a private hospital in Mumbai.

Orbituary: From IIT graduate to four-time Goa CM

Born on December 13, 1955, in Goa’s Mapusa, Parrikar completed his schooling from Loyola High Schol and graduated from IIT-Bombay in metallurgical engineering in 1978. After getting married to Medha Parrikar, the couple was blessed with two sons. However, in 2000, his wife died of cancer.

Nirav Modi arrested in London

After months in disguise, the most wanted man of India, Nirav Modi suddenly came into the spotlight in March, after a UK daily tracked him in the streets of London following his arrest. The fugitive diamond jeweller was arrested in London on March 21, a day after a London court issued an arrest warrant against him in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in connection with the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.

VIDEO | Nirav Modi arrested in London 

Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly stole Rs 13,500 crore from PNB through fraudulent of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Letters of Credit. ED and CBI investigations have found that Modi diverted a large part of these funds to family members and for personal purposes.

Facebook, Twitter, social media platforms asked to maintain poll ethics

The Election Commission urged social media platforms including Google, Facebook and Twitter to develop a “Code of Ethics” for the election-related operational details. The commission suggested the platforms should consider incorporating “deterrents like some punitive actions” against users and adding “a clear clause” of voluntary agreement that would bind users to not “misuse social media platforms for election or political purposes”.

The EC also suggested that the platforms should frame a code for the “immediate context” that can also become a “lasting document in the long run.”


India won 368 medals in Special Olympics World Summer Games  

India won 368 medals, including 85 gold, at the Special Olympics World Summer Games which was held at Abu Dhabi, UAE from March 14 to 21. The Indian team of 284 athletes also clinched 154 silver and 129 bronze medals in its highly successful campaign at the prestigious event.


UGC bans these courses in distance mode, check the list

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prohibited the universities from continuing a list of courses in distance mode. As per the new rules, agriculture and related courses will also be considered professional and institutes cannot deliver degree programmes in the field in open or distance mode anymore. Under the new rule, many institutes will have to shut their courses or tweak the degree programme.

The list of degree courses not allowed to be imparted through distance mode include – engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy and agriculture.


Cyclone Idai: Thousands dead, numbers rising

The Cyclone Idai which hit the Mozambican port city of Beira on March 14 has caused the dead of more than thousand people. Though there is no specific confirmation on the death toll, but according to reports, 417 people were killed in Mozambique, 259 in Zimbawe, and 56 in Malawi, as reported by Reuters.


Cyclone Idai made landfall the night of March 14 near the port city of Beira, bringing heavy winds and rains. Two major rivers, the Buzi and the Pungue, burst their banks, submerging entire villages and leaving bodies floating in the water.

IN PICTURES | Aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique and New Zealand

Number killed: 417

Number injured: 1,400

Number displaced: 600,000

Houses damaged or destroyed: 17,400

Crops damaged: 385,300 hectares

Number affected: 1.8 million

Brexit dilemma: UK PM Theresa May says she will quit if Brexit deal gets passed

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she would quit if her twice-defeated EU divorce deal passes at the third attempt, making a last-ditch bid to persuade rebels in her Conservative party to back her. May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers she would stand down if her divorce plan finally got through a bitterly-divided parliament, to ensure a smooth path for a new leader to begin the next step of negotiating the future relationship with the European Union.

May’s announcement is the latest dramatic turn in the United Kingdom’s three-year Brexit crisis, but it still remains uncertain how, when or even if it will leave the European Union, as reported by Reuters.

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