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26th GST Council meeting held in New Delhi
On 10th March 2018, the 26th meeting of the GST Council was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.The GST council was informed that CBEC and GSTN have begun detailed data analytics on the available data sets.
i. The council recommended the introduction of e-way bill for inter-State movement of goods all over India from 01st April 2018.
ii. It has been decided to extend the available tax exemptions on imported goods for 6 more months beyond 31.03.2018
iii. The provisions for deduction of tax at source (TDS) under section 51 of the CGST Act and collection of tax at source (TCS) under section 52 of the CGST Act will be suspended till 30.06.2018…………………………..Click here to Read more

Rajasthan passes bill for death penalty for rape of girls aged 12 & below
On 9th March 2018, a bill approving death penalty to those convicted of raping or gang-raping a girl who is aged 12 years or below, was passed by Rajasthan assembly.
Death penalty for rape of girls aged 12 & below in Rajasthan:
i. Rajasthan has become the second state in India after Madhya Pradesh to approve death sentence for those convicted of raping girls aged 12 years and below.
ii. Gulab Chand Kataria, Rajasthan home minister, introduced the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018 in the assembly. It was passed by a voice vote.
iii. Sections 376-AA and 376-DD have been added in the Indian Penal Code, 1860, in regard with rape and gang-rape of young girls.
iv. It provides that, whoever rapes or gang-rapes a girl up to 12 years of age shall be punished to death or a rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 14 years and 20 years respectively for the sections. This can be extended for imprisonment of the offender’s whole life along with fine.
Some National Parks in Rajasthan:
♦ Darrah National Park
♦ Desert National Park
♦ Ranthambore National Park

Diu becomes the first and only Union Territory to be 100% solar energy efficient
Diu has become the first and only Union Territory of India to achieve full solar energy efficiency.India's largest floating solar power plant starts operations in KeralaDiu becomes the first and only Union Territory to be 100% solar energy efficient:
i. Diu has a geographical area of just 42 square kilometers. It has installed solar power plants in more than 50 acres of land.
ii. 13 MW of electricity is generated from the solar power-generating systems in Diu. Out of which, 3MW is produced from rooftop solar plants and 10MW from other solar power plants.
iii. Earlier, Diu depended on the power grid owned by the Gujarat government for electricity. It started with solar power generation three years ago.
iv. As Diu started electricity production through solar power plants, it has resulted in considerable reduction of line loss.
Some National Parks in Gujarat:
♦ Gir Forest National Park
♦ Blackbuck National Park
♦ Marine National Park

Madhya Pradesh announces pension for single women
On 8th March 2018, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the ‘Mukhyamantri Mahila Kosh’ scheme that will offer pension to unmarried women above 50 years of age.
Mukhyamantri Mahila Kosh:
i. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced this scheme on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
ii. The ‘Mukhyamantri Mahila Kosh’ will offer pension to women who are not married and have crossed the age of 50 years.
Some National Parks in Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Bandhavgarh National Park
♦ Ghughua Fossil Park
♦ Madhav National Park

Banaswadi becomes first all-woman railway station in South Western Railway zone
On 8th March 2018, Banaswadi railway station of Bengaluru became the first all-woman railway station in South Western Railway zone.Banaswadi becomes first all-woman railway station in South Western Railway zoneBanaswadi – first all-woman railway station in South Western Railway zone:
i. On the International Women’s Day, Banaswadi railway station was declared as a facility run by an all-woman crew.
ii. It is the first station in the South Western Railway (SWR) zone and 5th in India to attain the all-woman railway station status.
iii. The Banaswadi railway station was declared South Western Railway (SWR) zone’s first all-woman railway station by Piyush Goyal, Union railway minister, through video link.
iv. The Banaswadi railway station will be operated by its female staff from now on. All 15 officials of the Banaswadi station are now women, including security personnel.
Some wildlife sanctuaries of Karnataka:
♦ Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary
♦ Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary

Swachh Shakti 2018 celebrated in Lucknow
On the occasion of International Women’s Day,The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in association with the Government of Uttar Pradesh, organized aWomen’s Convention called Swachh Shakti 2018 at Lucknow. Swachh Shakti 2018 has been hosted by Uttarpradesh Government.
Key events of Swachh Shakti 2018
i. 8000 women sarpanches, 3000 women Swachhagrahis and women champions from across the country were recognised for their outstanding contribution towards making a Swachh Bharat.
ii. The event included a special exhibition, launch of a film celebrating Swachh Shakti and flagging off of 30 Swachhata Raths that will travel across the State, spreading the message of sanitation at the grassroots.
iii. The Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Sushri Uma Bharti, complimented the commitment made by the Uttar Pradesh government to make the State Open Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2018.
Aim of Swachh Bharat Mission
♦ On October 2nd, 2014 The Swachh Bharat Mission has been launched, by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, is aimed at achieving a Clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2nd October, 2019. From these efforts, 314 districts and 3.23 lakh villages and 9 States and 2 UTs have been declared ODF. The sanitation coverage has more than doubled from 38.70% to 78.98% since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Some important wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh:-
♦ Dudhwa National Park (Tiger Reserve) , Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary , Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary, National Chambal Sanctuary, Nawab Ganj Bird Sanctuary.

‘WE Hub’, India’s first state-led incubator for women launched by Telengana Government
On March 8 2018, Government of Telangana launched Women Entrepreneurship Hub (WE- Hub) in Hyderabad. WE-Hub is India’s first state-led incubator exclusively for women entrepreneurs.Telangana launches 'WE Hub', India's first state-led incubator exclusively for womenPurpose of WE -Hub
WE-HUB will promote women-led, women-owned enterprises in Telangana.
ii. It is a platform which is open to all kinds of innovations including a tech start-up, a start-up in social innovation or an idea which is completely and radically different.
iii. It will encourage women from rural and urban backgrounds helping them achieve being independent and overcome the societal barriers.
Other Important events on WE Hub 2018:-
1.WE Hub was launched by Tessy Thomas, Director, ASL, DRDL and Vani Kola, Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, in the presence of IT & Industries Minister KT Rama Rao.
2.Former Joint Director for Electronics Promotions of Telangana,Deepthi Ravula has been appointed as the CEO of WE Hub.
3.Six MoUs were signed at the WE-Hub launch event.WE Hub will forge several partnerships and collaborate with all the 32 incubators in Hyderabad.
About T-Hub & WE –Hub
♦  T-Hub – It is meant for technology startups
♦ WE Hub – It will be open for all kinds of startups led by women

PM inaugurates two-day National Legislators Conference
On March 10,2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates a two-day National Legislators Conference at the Central Hall of Parliament House.
i. The theme of the conference is – “We For Development”.
ii. Motive of the conference:- It will be a platform for Members of Parliament such as MPs, MLAs, Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils to share  their ideas,plans or experience for country development. Development and optimum use of resources will be the subjects on agenda for discussions.
iii. Participants:- The conference will be attended by Union Ministers, including Arun Jaitley, J P Nadda, Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu, Narender Singh Tomar, Prakash Javadekar and Dharmendra Pradhan.

‘WINGS INDIA 2018’ held in Hyderabad
On March 8,2018,   Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India and FICCI jointly  organized the four-day biennial event ‘WINGS INDIA 2018 ‘ in Hyderabad. Theme of the four-day biennial event this year is ‘India-Global Aviation Hub’.Wings India 2018 conference held in HyderabadWINGS INDIA 2018
♦ WINGS INDIA 2018 is a platform for interactions, forging alliances, investments and air connectivity between the States and the global aviation players & stakeholders.The conference will focus on fostering partnership to transform Indian aviation and the role of conducive regulatory framework to facilitate growth of civil aviation market.
Other points to be noted:-
i. The event was attended by senior ministers of Telangana Government and senior officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA, AAI and representatives from FICCI.
ii. It will witness the presence of 125 exhibitors and 35 CEOs. Apart from the conference and exhibition, other events such as Roundtables on Tourism, Cargo and Logistics and Skills and G2B and B2B meetings are scheduled. More than 300 B2B meetings are scheduled during the event.
iii. FICCI is set to launch its maiden edition of ‘WINGS INDIA AWARDS’ for Excellence in the aviation sector in 14 categories.
Some recent events held at Hyderabad:-
♦ 38th Annual Conference of Indian Society of Nephrology Southern Chapter held at Hyderabad  in February 2018.
♦ World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2018) at HICC in February 2018.
♦ MINING TODAY-2018, an International Conference-cum-Exhibition at HITEX Exhibition Centre, Hyderabad from 14-17 February, 2018.


ISA-ADB, NDB, GCF, AfDB and AIIB ink joint declaration of Financial partnership
On 10th March 2018, International Solar Alliance (ISA) and African Development Bank (AfDb), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Green climate fund (GCF), and New Development Bank (NDB) signed Joint financial partnership declarations.
i. Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs and R.K. Singh, Minister of State (I/C) for Power and New and Renewable Energy were present at the occasion.
ii. The agreements are aimed to deepen their cooperation to support Renewable Energy……………………………………Click here to Read more

KVGB rolls out ‘Vikas She Plus’ loan scheme for women entrepreneurs
Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) has introduced ‘Vikas She Plus’, a loan scheme for women to help them with new ventures and for expanding or modifying their existing businesses.
Vikas She Plus:
i. The Vikas She Plus scheme offers loan up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh. Repayment period for the loan is 60 months under this scheme.
ii. KVGB aims to reach out to 5,000 women entrepreneurs under the ‘Vikas She Plus’ scheme by the end of this financial year.
iii. KVGB has stated that, it has offered loans amounting to Rs 22 crore to nearly 2,500 women on the day the scheme was launched itself.
About Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB):
♦ Chairman – S Ravindran
♦ Head Office – Dharwad, Karnataka

Passport details made mandatory for loans above Rs.50 crore after PNB fraud
Passport details of borrowers obtaining loans of Rs 50 crore and above has been made mandatory to take immediate action in case of fraud and to prevent defaulters from escaping away from India.Passport details made mandatory for loans above Rs.50 crore after PNB fraudPassport details made mandatory for loans above Rs.50 crore after PNB fraud:
i. The Passport details have been mandated for loans worth Rs 50 crore and above, to take immediate action and to inform related authorities to prevent defaulters from flying out of India.
ii. Also, for all existing loans of over Rs 50 crore, banks have been mandated to obtain passport details of borrowers within 45 days.
iii. This step has been taken as a preventive measure after Nirav Modi has been alleged to have defrauded Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 12,700 crore and has escaped from India.
About Punjab National Bank (PNB):
♦ MD & CEO – Sunil Mehta
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi


Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu gets additional charge of Civil Aviation Ministry
On March 10,2018 , Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu was given additional charge of the Civil Aviation Ministry after the resignation of Ashok Gajapathi Raju of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).i. Raju and another Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Y S Chowdary had resigned from the council of ministers
ii. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu took the decision after facing relentless attacks from the opposition for “failing” to secure special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

Sitanshu Kar to be new PIB chief, set to replace Frank Noronha
All India Radio’s News Services Division (NSD) director general Sitanshu Kar has been appointed as the next Director General of the Union government’s publicity wing, Press Information Bureau (PIB).
i. Kar will be replacing Frank Noronha, who took charge of the PIB in 2014.
About Press Information Bureau (PIB)
♦ Press Information Bureau publicizes information to the print, electronic and new media on government plans, policies, programme initiatives and achievements. It has nationwide network of 8 regional offices and 34 branch offices.
♦ Formed  – 1919
♦ Headquarters -National Media Centre, New Delhi


Sir John Sulston, pioneering genome scientist, dies aged 75
UK’s pioneering geneticist Sir John Sulston has died.He was professor and chairman of the Institute of Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester.Sir John Sulston, pioneering genome scientist, dies aged 75i. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology in 2002, along with two of his former colleagues, for work aiding the understanding of how genes control cell division and cell death in organisms.
ii. Sir John founded the Sanger Institute – then called the Sanger Centre – at Hinxton, near Cambridge.

Senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra minister Patangrao Kadam passes away
Maharashtra senior Congress leader Patangrao Kadam passed away in Lilavati hospital in Mumbai.
i. Patangrao was a powerful leader in Maharashtra politics and was known as a staunch Congressman. His son Vishwajeet Kadam is a leader of the Youth Congress wing.
ii. He founded the Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, an educational empire and also set up cooperative ginning mills and sugar mills in western Maharashtra. He was also served as chairman of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).