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Current Affairs Today March 18 2018

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Indian Affairs

Coast Guard commissions interceptor boat C-437 at Porbandar
On March 17, 2018, Indian Coast Guard commissioned C-437, an interceptor boat at Porbandar.

Coast Guard commissions interceptor boat C-437 at PorbandarDetails about Indian Coast Guard’s C-437 interceptor boat:
i. Indian Coast Guard’s C-437 interceptor boat is 27.80 metres long, has displacement of 106 tonnes and can attain a maximum speed of 45 knots.
ii. It is equipped with advanced navigational and communication gear and is capable of carrying out multifarious roles such as surveillance, search and rescue operation as well as rendering assistance to boats in distress at sea.
iii. C-437 will not only strengthen the security umbrella of the West coast but will also help augment patrolling to prevent illicit activities such as smuggling, infiltration and illegal fishing.
Quick Facts about Indian Coast Guard:
Established in – 1978
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Current Director General – Rajendra Singh

LS passed amendment to stonewall scrutiny of foreign poll funding
On March 14, 2018, Lok Sabha passed 21 amendments to the Finance Bill 2018 including an amendment to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
More Information about amendment to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010:
i. As per Representation of Peoples Act, political parties in India cannot accept foreign funds.
ii. As per Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010, which repealed and replaced FCRA 1976, any company  registered abroad or with subsidiaries abroad was defined as foreign firm.
iii. Through Finance Act, 2016, definition of foreign firm was changed and a firm with less than 50 per cent of share capital held by a foreign entity was no longer considered a foreign firm.
iv. Despite of this change, foreign funds received by a political party before FCRA 2010 was enacted, were open to scrutiny.
v. The retrospective amendment to FCRA 2010 through Finance Bill 2018  will do away with the scope for scrutiny of a political party’s funding since 1976 and will thus provide relief to Bharatiya Janata Party as well as Congress from 2014 Delhi High Court judgement that held both guilty of violating the FCRA.

President releases commemorative coins on Nabakalebara festival
On March 18, 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind released Rs 1000 and Rs 10 commemorative coins on Nabakalebara festival in Puri, Odisha.

President releases commemorative coins on Nabakalebara festivalCommemorative coins on Nabakalebar festival:
i. Nabakalebara is a festival observed in the Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri, Odisha at a predefined time according to Hindu Calender. It is a symbolic recreation of the wooden forms of deities at Jagannath Temple, Puri. ‘Naba’ means new and ‘Kalebara’ is body.
ii. The commemorative coins were released during the centenary celebrations of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan. 
iii. Odisha Governor S C Jamir, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and Minister of Tribal Affairs, Jual Oram were also present at the occasion.

KUSUM scheme to install grid connected solar plants in rural India
On March 15, 2018, R.K. Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Power and New & Renewable Energy informed Lok Sabha that Central Government is in the process of formulating a ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM)’ scheme.
About ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM)’:
i. KUSUM scheme envisages, installation of grid-connected solar power plants each of capacity up to 2 MW in the rural areas and installation of standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfill irrigation needs of farmers not connected to grid.
ii. It will also provide for solarization of existing grid-connected agriculture pumps to make farmers independent of grid supply.
iii. Under KUSUM, farmers will be able to sell surplus solar power generated to power distribution companies (DISCOMs) and get extra income.
iv. Besides, KUSUM is also aimed at solarization of tube-wells and lift irrigation projects of Government sector.
v. Details on funds to be allocated and mode of implementation will be decided at the time of approval of the Scheme.

7th Women Science Congress Inaugurated at Imphal
On March 18, 2018, Governor of West Bengal, Keshari Nath Tripathi inaugurated the 7th Women Science Congress at the ongoing 105th session of Indian Science Congress in Imphal, Manipur.

7th Women Science Congress Inaugurated at ImphalMore information about 7th Women Science Congress:
i. First edition of Women Science Congress was held in 2012.
ii. Objective of Women Science Congress is to inspire young women to be a part of scientific community and engage themselves in active scientific research.
iii. More than 1000 women scientists from different parts of India participated in 7th Women Science Congress.
iv. Keshari Nath Tripathi also released a souvenir of Women Science Congress on the occasion.

 South Asia’s First Ever Coworking & Coplay Space Launched In Gurugram
Monkey Business, a first of its kind co-working space in South Asia that also provides onsite childcare was launched in South Point Mall, Gurugram, Haryana.

South Asia's First Ever Coworking & Coplay Space Launched In GurugramOverview of Monkey Business Coworking & Coplay Space:
i. Monkey Business, is ideal for young parents to work while their kids are engaged in productive activities at the onsite play area.
ii. Spread over 3000 sq ft, Monkey Business has thoughtfully designed play zone and includes a nap area, a feeding and diaper changing room.
iii. Monkey Business is managed by a group of working moms. Some of these moms have corporate world experience while others have been associated with education sector.

International Affairs

Singapore is world’s most expensive city: Worldwide Cost of Living 2018
i. Singapore is the most expensive city in the world as per Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 report by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
ii. Singapore has retained its title as the world’s most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year.
iii. India’s capital New Delhi along with Chennai and Bengaluru has featured in the ten cheapest cities of the world………………………………………………Click here to Read more

10 Most Expensive Cities in the World:

2Paris, France
3Zurich, Switzerland
4Hong Kong
5Oslo, Norway
6Geneva, Switzerland
6Seoul, South Korea
8Copenhagen, Denmark
9Tel Aviv, Israel
10Sydney, Australia

10 Cheapest Cities in the World:

133Damascus, Syria
132Caracas, Venezuela
131Almaty, Kazakhstan
130Lagos, Nigeria
129Bengaluru, India
127Karachi, Pakistan
127Algiers, Algeria
126Chennai, India
124Bucharest, Romania
124New Delhi, India


Anti-dumping duty imposed on Ofloxacin import from China
India has imposed anti-dumping duty on import of Ofloxacin from China to protect domestic producers from below-cost shipments.
i. Ofloxacin is a pharmaceutical product, used in treatment of certain infections.
ii. Aarti Drugs, a pharmaceutical company had approached Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) for initiation of anti-dumping investigation and imposition of the duty on Ofloxacin exported to India from China.
iii. DGAD conducted a probe and concluded that Ofloxacin exported to India from China was indeed below its normal value and thus recommended to slap anti-dumping duty.
iv. Anti-dumpping duty on import of ‘Ofloxacin’ from China will be in the range of USD 2.58 to USD 9.48 per kg for three years.
Quick Facts about China:
♦ Capital – Beijing
♦ Currency – Renminbi
♦ Current President – Xi Jinping
♦ Important Rivers – Yangtze, Yellow River

Appointments & Resigns

Mauritius president Ameenah Gurib-Fakim resigns
Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Africa’s only female head of state and a renowned biologist, resigned from her post on March 17, 2018.

Mauritius president Ameenah Gurib-Fakim resignsReason behind Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim’s resignation:
i. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has resigned in wake of allegations against her for using a credit card provided by an NGO to buy items worth $26000 not related to her work.
ii. Since 2015, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim had been associated with Planet Earth Institute (PEI), a London-based NGO, for promoting science, technology and innovation in Africa.
iii. PEI had provided a credit card to Ameenah Gurib-Fakim for covering her travel expenses related to the work. However, she has been accused of using it to buy jewellery and clothing for personal use.
Quick Facts about Mauritius:
♦ Capital – Port Louis
♦ Currency – Mauritian rupee
♦ Current Prime Minister – Pravind Jugnauth

Ex-SEBI Chief U K Sinha appointed as Additional Non-Executive Independent Director of Vedanta
On 13th March 2018, Vedanta Limited said that, it has appointed U.K. Sinha as its additional non-executive independent director.
U K Sinha – Additional Non-Executive Independent Director of Vedanta:
i. U K Sinha’s appointment is for a fixed term starting from end of business hours on 13th March 2018 to 10th August 2021. He is the former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
ii. He is an IAS officer of the Bihar cadre. He was Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Unit Trust of India Asset Management Company (UTIAMC) also known as UTI Mutual Fund.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
♦ Chairman – Ajay Tyagi
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai

 Awards & Recognition

Bhawana Kanth becomes second Indian Woman Fighter Pilot to go solo
On 16th March 2018, Bhawana Kanth became the second woman pilot of Indian Air Force to fly solo in a fighter aircraft.

Bhawana Kanth becomes second Indian Woman Fighter Pilot to go soloBhawana Kanth becomes second Indian Woman Fighter Pilot to go solo:
i. Flying Officer Bhawana Kanth flew in a MiG-21 Bison aircraft from Ambala Air Force Station on 16th March 2018.
ii. The first woman pilot of Indian Air Force to fly solo is Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi.
iii. Bhawana Kanth is 25 years old. She is one of the three in the first batch of women pilots who were inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron on 18th June  2016.
About Indian Air Force:
♦ Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) – Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

Agri science centre in Chhattisgarh gets award for integrated farming model
Chhattisgarh’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra has been named the best such centre in India for its initiatives like nutrition gardens and integrated farming techniques.
Agri science centre in Chhattisgarh gets award for integrated farming model:
i. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra is located in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh. It is affiliated to the IGKV (Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya). It has been named the best of the 650 agriculture science centres in India.
ii. Dr S K Patil, vice chancellor of IGKV in Raipur, and Birbal Sahu, coordinator of Kanker Krishi Vigyan Kendra, received the ‘Pt Deendayal Upadhyay Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Award-2017’ from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17th March 2018 in New Delhi.
iii. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh for infrastructure development and a citation certificate.
iv.The centre has taken initiatives like nutrition garden, integrated farming system and promoting the production of ‘Kadaknath’ chicken.
About Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (IGKV):
♦ Vice chancellor – Dr S K Patil
♦ Location – Raipur, Chhattisgarh


Chennaiyin FC beat Bengaluru FC to lift Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 title
On 17th March 2018, Chennaiyin FC won the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 title at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Chennaiyin FC beat Bengaluru FC to lift Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 title

Chennaiyin FC won Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 title:
i. Chennaiyin FC defeated Bengaluru FC 3-2 and won the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 title.
ii. Mailson Alves scored 2 goals and Raphael Augusto scored 1 goal for Chennaiyin FC team. Sunil Chhetri and Miku scored one goal each for Bengaluru FC team.
About Hero Indian Super League (ISL):
♦ Started – 2014
♦ Co-promoted by – IMG-Reliance and Star India
♦ Supported by – All India Football Federation (AIFF)

Deepa Malik becomes Asian Rank 1 in Javelin F-53 Category
India’s Deepa Malik has secured number 1 rank in Asia in F53 Javelin category.
Deepa Malik Becomes Asian Rank 1 in Javelin F-53 Category:
i. On 15th March 2018, Deepa Malik bagged gold medal in the F53/54 Javelin event at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai.
ii. She has qualified for the Asian Para Games 2018 that will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 8th to 16th October 2018. She has received Arjuna award in 2012 and Padma Shri award in 2017.
About Deepa Malik:
♦ Age – 47
♦ Events – Shot Put, Javelin Throw, Swimming & Motorcycling

Kevin Pietersen announces retirement from all forms of Cricket
On 17th March 2018, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen announced his retirement from all forms of Cricket.
Retirement of Kevin Pietersen:
i. Kevin Pietersen is 37 years old. He was the captain of England cricket team in 2008-09 period.
ii. His international cricket career ended in 2014 when he was sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
iii. He played 104 test matches for England. He also played 136 one-day internationals and 37 Twenty20 internationals.
iv.He played for Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore teams in the Indian Premier League.
Some cricket stadiums in India:
♦ Mahabir Stadium – Hisar, Haryana
♦ Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium – Ranchi, Jharkhand
♦ Visvesvaraya Stadium – Mandya, Karnataka

Important Days

Global Recycling Day – March 18
On 18th March 2018, Global Recycling Day was celebrated all over the world.

Global Recycling Day - March 18Global Recycling Day:
i. The Global Recycling Day has been launched by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR). It also coincides with the 70th anniversary of BIR.
ii. This is the first ever observation of Global Recycling Day. Its aim is to create awareness on the importance of recycling.
iii. It insists to consider recyclables as “resource – not waste.” Recyclables have become world’s Seventh Resource apart from the six major natural resources: water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals.
About Bureau of International Recycling (BIR):
♦ President – Ranjit S. Baxi
♦ Location – Brussels, Belgium

Books & Authors

Himachal CM launches ‘Mahila Suraksha’ handbook on women safety
On 14th March 2018, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur released ‘Mahila Suraksha’, a handbook on women’s safety.

Himachal CM launches 'Mahila Suraksha' handbook on women safetyMahila Suraksha:
i. The ‘Mahila Suraksha’ handbook has been brought out by the Shimla administration. It explains personal safety measures and safeguards related to crimes, and also about sexual harassment at workplace.
ii. It also has important telephone and helpline numbers. Jai Ram Thakur said that, the efforts of Shimla administration to bring out a handbook in Braille in both English and Hindi will help the visually challenged women.
Some National Parks in Himachal Pradesh:
♦ Great Himalayan National Park
♦ Inderkilla National Park
♦ Khirganga National Park