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Current Affairs Today – March 17 2016

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CAT March 17 2016


India Inks Social Security Agreement Pact with Australia

India has signed a pact with Australia under which the employees deputed to Australia from India and viceversa need not make double social security contribution.

  • This agreement provides the exception to the employees who have been deputed on a short term basis say less than 60 months from paying social security contribution to both the countries.

India And China Exchange Tariff Cut Offers

India and China, Asia’s two fast growing large economies of the decade have planned to liberalise trade ties as they exchange offers on tariff cuts in goods imports.

  • Against India’s offer to remove 5% of tariff lines under the 16-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), China has expressed its willingness to abolish equivalent amount of tariff lines for India.

Punjab passed Punjab Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal land (Transfer of Proprietary Right) Bill, 2016

Punjab Assembly unanimously passed the Punjab Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal land bill-2016. The bill was passed in contradiction of the construction of contentious Sutlej Yamuna Link.

  • The bill emphasizes to offer transfer of proprietary rights back to the land owners from whom the land was acquired by the state government for the construction of SYL free of cost.
  • The enacted bill allows to transfer free of cost the entire 5,376-acre land to the owners that was acquired for the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal over three decades back by giving Rs 35 crore compensation.

Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal:

  • The canal is a proposed 214-kilometer long heavy freight canal to connect the Sutlejand Yamuna 

Singareni 600 MW power unit synchronized in Telangana

Power generation in the first of two 600 MW has been synchronised at the Singareni Thermal Power Plant (STPP) at Pegadapalli in Jaipur of Adilabad District.

  • Telangana will get an additional 1, 200 MW of power from Singareni from May this year. One of the two thermal units (each 600 MW) of Singareni Thermal Power Plants has been trailed and another unit of 600 MW would be synchronized in April this year.
  • The New Plant will ultimately bring down the deficit in power generation in Telangana.


  • Capital: Hyderabad
  • Chief Minister: Chandrasekhar Rao
  • Governor: ESL Narasimman

Career Guidance Counselling Centres launched in Delhi to improve employment opportunities for women

Young women seeking Employment in the Delhi NCR region can receive career Guidance from the newly launched Dedicated Counselling centres.

  • This is the first of its kind dedicated to women,established on the findings of a UNDP commissioned study which revealed that almost 80 percent of young women in Delhi did not have access to accurate and timely information on educational and job opportunities.
  • The physical centres will be complemented by a cloud-based platform which provides services such as work readiness e-learning, comprehensive mapping of the opportunities existing in the vicinity of the centre three such centres on the pipeline.

India aviation show 2016 begins in Hyderabad

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 5th edition of the India Aviation 2016 and the five-day biennial aviation show jointly organised by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).India Aviation show

  • The theme of Indian civil aviation sector: Potential as global manufacturing hub.
  • About 25 countries and 200 major participants are expected to take part in the Indian Aviation show at the Begumpet airport. Hyderabad.
  • Leading aircraft and helicopter manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Textron,AA Embraer, Gulfstream, Dassault, Agusta Westland, Bell Helicopters, and Russian Helicopters are participating in the show.

Punjab Government notified Swine Flu under Epidemic Disease Act

Health and Family Welfare department of the Punjab government notified Swine Flu (H1N1) under the Epidemic Disease Act.

  • All the Hospitals be it government or private owned will have to inform the Department of Health about a case of ILI (Influenza like Illness) having chronic diseases.
  • In order to ensure such cases are treated at the earliest and proper guidelines of the Government is been followed. The treatment of swine flu is provided free of cost to all the patients as recommended by the Government.

Epidemic Diseases:

  • Anepidemic describes the rapid spread of a virulent contagious disease throughout a population. Through 2015 swine flu outbreak in India Gujarat and Rajasthan are the worst affected.
  • The total number of laboratory confirmed cases crossed 33000 mark with death of more than 2000 people.


India ranked 118 in Happiness Index

The World Happiness report, 2016 released by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative of the United Nations placed India in 118th rank in terms of Happiness Index.

  • Denmark tops the list holding the tag of Happiest Nation in the world
  • It is followed by Switzerland, Iceland ,Norway, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand with Australia and Sweden occupying 9th and 10th position respectively
  • US has been placed 13th behind Israel

Modi To Join World Leaders In Wax At Madame Tussauds

The Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is set to join the league of the most prominent world leaders at the World famous Wax Museum Madame Tussauds in London.

  • Recently, Modi figured in the Time Magazine’s Person of the Year’s list which gives him enough support to figure in the museum.
  • He is currently the second most followed politician on twitter after President Obama also confirms the intense interest the public have in him

4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves inaugurated in Lima

The 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves was inaugurated in Lima, Peru. It is a 3 day event from 14th to 17th March. The event will focus on Sustainable Development Goals and the Post Development agenda of 2015.

  • It is a world meeting of the Committees of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program(MAB)
  • The participants include experts from governments, biosphere reserves, local communities, UN agencies, NGOs, academic institutions, and organizations and institutions from all over the world working with the MAB Programme

First Electrical Double decker bus operated in London

The world’s first fully electric-powered double-decker bus has been unveiled in London a month ahead of its road release.

  • Being built by Chinese manufactures BYD, will be able to travel 180 miles on a single charge
  • The buses are expected to cost more than £350,000
  • Transport for London (TfL) say the electric buses will lower carbon emissions and help improve London’s air quality
  • These buses will come into operation by April

Points to note

  • Britain capital– London
  • Director of surface transport of London-Leon Daniels


Four Oil Psus Sign Pacts To Raise Stake In Russian Oil Field

The national Oil Giants namely ONGC Videsh Ltd, Oil India Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltdand Bharat Petro Resources — and Russia’s Rosneft have signed two separate memorandums of understanding, one Heads of Agreement, and one sale purchase agreement worth $2 billion to increase India’s participation in the Siberian oil and gas fields.

  • The first MoU was signed between ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas investment arm of ONGC, and Rosneft that would enable the Indian company to raise its stake in Vankorneft, the operator of the Vankor oil and gas field in Siberia, to 26 per cent from the existing 15 per cent.

SBI Partners With Uber For Instant Vehicle Financing

India’s largest Public Sector lender, SBI ties up with Taxi Aggregator, Uber to provide instant vehicle finance to “driver partners’ on the latter’s platform.

  • The scheme would encourage skilled drivers to overcome liquidity crunch and excess documentation requirements to become an entrepreneur
  • The loans could be sanctioned in one day using an inbuilt digital offering.
  • The loans would be collateral free as well as carry a very competitive interest rate.
  • All loans will be covered under the government’s Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna Scheme

Gamesa wins solar order from Sri Lanka

Spain Major Gamesa Wind Turbines has won the solar energy order from LAUGFS Power Ltd in Sri Lanka to provide solar power in Baruthankanda village in Sri Lanka.

  • The project capacity of 20 MW solar power project in Sri Lanka, which is expected to commence operations by October. Gamesa will provideEPC (Engineer, Procure, and Construct) solutions that include engineering & design, supply of Gamesa Electric inverters, erection and commissioning.

Gamesa Wind Turbines:

  • Gamesa is Spanish based manufacturing company involved in the fabrication of wind turbines and the construction of wind farms. The companyhas installed over 2,000 MW of wind turbines in India started its operations in 2015 in India.


Andrew Wiles awarded with the Nobel prize of Mathematics

Andrew Wiles awarded with the Nobel prize of Mathematics

Sir Andrew wiles has been awarded the 2016 Abel Prize, regarded as mathematics’ equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for his stunning proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem which baffled the Mathematicians for more than 300years.

  • There are no whole number solutions to the equation xn + yn = zn when n is greater than 2, unless xyz=0


Michelle Yeoh appointed UNDP goodwill ambassador

Malaysian-born action heroine Michelle Yeohhas been appointed as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill ambassador.

  • The New ambassador will focus on raising awareness and mobilising support for the recently propelled Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Yeoh will pursue her longstanding passion for global development issues, including gender equality and the eradication of poverty

US President Barack Obama nominates Merrick Garland for US Supreme Cour

President Barack Obama selected the nation’s 113th chief justice Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court choosing a centrist judge meant to win over recalcitrant Senate Republicans.

  • President Barack Obama has nominated appeals court judge Merrick Garland to be the next US Supreme Court Justice. Theappointment comes after Supreme Court vacancy follows the death of Antonin Scalia last month.

Merrick Garland:

  • He graduated from Harvard College and Law School and the oldest candidate nominated for the Supreme Court since the 1970s.
  • Prior to his nomination he is serving Chief Judge of the Washington DC appeals court.

Fazle Kabir appointed as Governor of Bangladesh’s Central Bank

Bangladesh government has appointed former finance secretary and Sonali Bank chairman Fazle Kabir as governor of the central bank for four years.

  • This appointment comes from the government after governor Atiur Rahman resigned over the recent cyber heist of $81 million. Kabir is all set to join as the new governor of the central bank after he returns home from the US next week.

Abul Fazle Kabir:

  • Fazle Kabir completed his graduation as well as Masters in Economics from the Chittagong University.
  • He had started his career in 1980 with Bangladesh Railway as an assistant traffic superintendent.
  • He was also a member of the board of directors of state-owned Janata Bank.

Ashley Judd appointed U.N. Goodwill Ambassador

American actress Ashley Judd has been appointed as their latest Goodwill Ambassador by United Nations.UN Goodwill Ambassador

  • Ashley and UNFPA will be joining forces to raise awareness of the huge work that still needs to be done across the world to stop women dying giving life and to empower women to choose when and how often to become pregnant.
  • This appointment comes at the opening of the historic 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, UN exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.


Paralympics Games began in Arunachal Pradesh

The first Paralympic Games in Arunachal Pradesh began at the SangayLhaden Sports Academy Complex, Chimpu, Itanagar began on March 15 with Sport and Youth affairs Secretary DaniSalu officially inaugurated the Open Event.

  • The three-day event being organised by the Arunachal Pradesh Paralympics Association (APPA)Scheduled to be held from March 15 to 17.
  • The five point memorandum has been submitted by APPA to the Sports Secretary during the event that demanded corpus fund of Rs. 20 Lakh for Paralympic Games, Rs. 10 Lakh each for Umang Festival and for procurement of sports goods, boys’ and girls’ hostels for persons with disabilities, their training at SLSA, and appointment of five posts of coaches for them.


Shehnai Exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan Passes Away

The 77 year old Shehnai maestro, Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan passed away leaving his mesmerising Indian Classical tunes with the world.

  • Born on March 21,1939 in Kolkata
  • He taught Shehnai at Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata in 1974
  • He represented the Benaras School of Shehnai
  • He was regularly featured on All India Radioand Indian Television

Paul Daniels, TV Magician, Dies Aged 77

Paul Daniels, TV Magician, Dies Aged 77

Newton Edward Daniels, has died aged 77, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

  • Daniels is best known for his BBC TV series The Paul DanielsMagic Show, which ran from 1979 to 1994.He achieved international fame through his television series
  • Debbie started to work with Paul as his assistant in his 1980 show in Bournemouth before she graduated to the role in his long-running BBC series The Paul Daniels Magic Show.

Paul Daniels:

  • He was born in 1938 in South Bank, Middlesbrough, where he began his career as a magician and entertainer.
  • Daniels was awarded the prestigious Magician of the Year Award by the Academy of Magical Arts in 1982, and was the first magician from outside the US to receive it.