1. Planet named after Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand
i. The Indian Chess grandmaster, Viswanathan Anand adds another feather in his cap with a minor planet being named after him. The planet was discovered back in 1988 but had not been formally named until recently.
ii. The minor planet, now known as Vishyanand, was previously identified as planet 4538.
2. Rain-hit areas to get NREGS boost
i. The Union government will increase the number of work days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme from 100 to 150 in places where the recent unseasonal rain and hailstorms have affected crops.
ii. The Finance Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry are readying a relief package that will include cash compensation for damaged crops to farmers hit by the unseasonal rain and hailstorms.
iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought recommendations from NITI Aayog on how insurance can be used to protect farmers from losses arising out of crop damage.
i. Bharti AXA General Insurance (GI) Company Ltd. has launched 'Smart Traveller' that offers global coverage for students, individuals, families and frequent travellers.
ii. The SmartTraveller Insurance policy offers a choice of two major plans catering to Individuals and Families and frequent travelers through a variant - known as Annual Multi Trip International travel insurance plan.
4. Union Government extends National Food Security Act deadline by 6 months
i. Union Government again has extended rolling out deadline for National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 by six months. It was announced by Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in order to give more time to states to roll out NFSA.
ii. The extension will help remaining states adopt and implement the law within next six months.
iii. It is third time, this deadline has been extended and the second deadline was to end on 4 April 2015.
iv. 11 states and UTs that have implemented NSFA fully or partially are- Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh.
i. 21 weightlifters have been provisionally suspended by the Indian Weightlifting Federation after testing positive for banned substances.
ii. Maximum numbers of offenders were caught at the National Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships, which was held in Yamunanagar in January.
6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Give it Up campaign
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Give it Up campaign. The campaign was launched at the annual energy-focussed summit Urja Sangam 2015.
ii. The campaign seeks to extort the better off sections of society to forego their liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) subsidy, which would be utilised in providing subsidised LPG connections to the poor.
iii. The Prime Minister asked companies and banks to encourage their employees to give up the subsidy on LPG. The Give it Up campaign should be taken up on the lines of Swacch Bharat and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiatives.
7. Saina Nehwal ends runner-up at Malaysia Open
i. Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal bowed out of the Malaysia Open badminton championship following a semifinal defeat in a thrilling three-set game against tournament top seed Li Xuerui of China in Kuala Lumpur.
ii. World number one Saina squandered a one-game advantage as she lost 21-13 17-21 20-22 to world number three Li in a gruelling semifinal that lasted one hour and eight minutes at Putra Stadium.
iii. Saina, who won the India Open Super Series last week, once again failed to come good against Xuerui, who has now beaten the Indian nine times in 11 meetings.