- The Union cabinet approved the consolidation of 10 public sector banks (PSBs) into four entities, a move aimed at having fewer but stronger lenders in India.
- “The amalgamation is being done so that customers are able to reap the benefit of larger banks being scaled up and more fund being available for credit.
- Banks are fully on board and this will be effective from 1 April. At present, India has 18 state-owned banks compared with 27 in 2017. After the merger, the number will further come down to 12.
- Punjab National Bank (PNB), Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and United Bank will be brought together to form the second largest public sector bank in the country, after State Bank of India (SBI).
- Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank will merge to become the fourth-largest public sector lender, while Union Bank of India will merge with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank to build India’s fifth-largest lender. Indian Bank will merge with Allahabad Bank to make India’s seventh-largest PSB.
- In April 2019, Bank of Baroda (BoB) became the country’s third largest lender after its merger with Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank.
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- In India, citizenship is regulated by the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Act specifies that citizenship may be acquired in India through five methods – by birth in India, by descent, through registration, by naturalisation (extended residence in India), and by incorporation of territory into India.
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019. It amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a path to Indian citizenship for illegal migrants of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities, who had fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014
- Under The Citizenship Act, 1955, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months
- You can also get Indian citizenship if a person resides minimum of 5 years in India.
- This bill was passed in Lok sabha on 10th December and in Rajya Sabha on 11th
- December 2019.
Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia bans all Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca
- Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned Umrah pilgrimages to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina for Saudi citizens and the kingdom’s residents due to concerns over coronavirus(COVID-19).
- The decision to restrict pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina come after Saudi Arabia suspended entry for foreigners intending to do Umrah and tourism from countries where the new coronavirus has spread.
Discovery of 500 Year Old War Medal
- The warriors wearing the medal around their necks around 500 years ago has been found near gudiyathamin karur district.
- It depicts the warrior riding on horseback with women warriors.
100 feet tall world peace buddhist tower
- A 100 feet tall tower has been opened in the village of veerarapu in sankaran kovil town near thenkasi.
- World peace tower has been setup in various cities like Bihar, Odisa, Arunachal pradesh in India.
Water management program
- TN CM laid foundation for water management program for 565 crores which benefits 100 dry lakes.
- The second phase of the project is under consideration for filling the water supply in namakkal district.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase-II launched
- The Union Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) at the National Dissemination and Consultation workshop in New Delhi on March 4, 2020.
- The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) aims to provide universal coverage and safe access to sanitation in rural areas. The mission was launched on October 2, 2014
- The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase II will focus on sustaining the achievements made under the mission in the last five years including ensuring safe access to toilets and their usage, ensuring that no one is left behind.
- It also aims to ensure that effective solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) is undertaken in every gram panchayat of the nation. It will be implemented for a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25
- The second phase of the mission will be implemented at a cost of Rs 1,40,881 crores, out of which Rs 52,497 crore will be allocated from the budget of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the remaining from the funds released under the 15th Finance Commission for solid and liquid waste management.
- The mission’s second phase will be monitored on the basis of the outcome in four key areas: bio-degradable solid waste management (including animal waste management), plastic waste management, fecal sludge management and grey water management.
- The mission will also continue to create employment and give a boost to the rural economy through construction of toilets, both household and community toilets and construction of infrastructure for waste management such as soak pits, compost pits, material recovery facilities and waste stabilisation ponds.