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Current Affairs Today – March 19 2016

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CAT March 19 2016

INDIAN AFFAIRS

World Sufi Forum Inaugurated In New Delhi

Giving a boost to the rich Sufi culture in India, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the first World Sufi Forum in New Delhi. It is called the Bain-ul-Aqwami Sufi Conference started with a new ray of hope in New Delhi.

  • 200 Sufi scholars from across 20 countries have converged for the 4 day conference
  • Organised by the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board, the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India.

Goa State Budget Presented for 2016-17

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar who also holds the finance ministry presented a 158 crore rupees revenue surplus budget in the State assembly. The total size of the budget for 2016-17 is 14694 crore rupees.

  • The budget figure of 14694 crores is 9% higher compared to the previous year
  • The State achieved highest per capita income of 257490 rupees in the country during 2015-16.

Maharashtra State Budget 2016-17 Unveiled

The Devendra Fadnavis Government presented its State Budget for the year 2016-17. The State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar presented the budget with an estimated revenue deficit of Rs 3,644 crore.

  • The general VAT rate from 5 to 5.5 per cent in the State budget.

Indian Airforce to conduct day-night exercise ‘Iron-fist’

Indian Air Force displayed its combat and fire power at Rajasthan’s Pokhran firing range in aday & night demonstration. The event comprised six packages depicting six themes in which more than 180 aircraft, including fighters, transport and helicopters participated.

  • Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parikar, Hon’ble Rajasthan Governor Shri Kalyan Singh, Chief Minister Smt Vasundhara Raje and Chiefs of Indian Army and Indian Navy were among others present during the Exercise

Feni now classified as “Heritage spirit of Goa.”

Government of Goa has declared Feni, a form of spirit as the heritage spirit of the state. Feni, was the first liquor product in the country which got Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2000.Feni now classified as “Heritage spirit of Goa.”

About Feni:

  • Feni is a form of Spirit produced exclusively in the coastal state of Goa.
  • It is a brew made from coconut or cashew, is synonymous with the Goan ethos and identity.
  • It finds its uses in various cultural traditions, cuisines as well as it is famed for its medicinal use. So it should not have been categorized as country liquor and it is presently defined under the Goa Excise Duty Act, 1964.

SC allows photos of CMs, Governors, and Ministers in Public ads.

The SC has allowed photographs of CMs, Governors, and Ministers in Public advertisements.

  • A bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi allowed review petitions filed by various state governments, which had sought a modification of the previous order.
  • Earlier SC had issued Guidelines on Regulating Government Advertisements based on recommendations of Prof NR Madhava Menon
  • According to the recommendations of Prof NR Madhava Menon Committee, SC had barred publishing photographs of politicians even State Chief Ministers and bureaucrats. It had only permitted publishing photographs of President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

UNESCO Released Eatlas Of Gender Inequality In Education

The eAtlas of Gender Inequality in Education has been realised by the UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS).

  • AIM: To show gender gaps in education and educational trails of girls and boys.
  • One out of eight children between the ages of 6 and 15 remain entirely excluded from receiving basic education, with girls facing the biggest barriers

India provides 265 million grant for constituting Tagore’s memorial

As a part of the agreement signed during Narendra Modi’s visit to Srilanka, 265 million is given as grant to constitute Rabindranath Tagore’s memorial Auditorium in Srilanka.

  • Location : Rabindranath Tagore memorial Auditorium is constructed in University of Ruhuna, Matara
  • Grant : 265 million from India
  • The competitive bidding was signed with M/S.Link engineering ltd

BANKING & FINANCE

Government slashed the interest rates of PPF from 8.7% to 8.1%

The government announced that Interest rate on Public Provident Fund (PPF) scheme will be cut to 8.1 per cent for the period April 1 to June 30, from 8.7 per cent.

  • The rates of Public Provident Fund was slashed by 60 basis points, and Kisan Vikas Patra, by 90 basis points
  • It is done to create conducive environment for the Reserve Bank of India to ease monetary policy rates further, and help banks transmit rate cuts to customers

IOB becomes first bank to sell Indian gold coins

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has become the first bank to commence the sale of Indian Gold Coin (IGC) in the domestic market.

  • It has tied up with Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) for the sale of IGC of 24 carat purity. The IGC has the national emblem, the Ashok Chakra, engraved on one side and the face of Mahatma Gandhi on the other.
  • The coin carries advanced anti-counterfeit features and comes in tamper-proof packaging.
  • The current denominations available are 5, 10 and 20 gm. IGC is the first ever national gold offering by the Centre and was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5.
  • IGC in Delhi was launched in the presence of Alok Pande, Director in the Department of Financial Services, Finance Ministry, and Anand Trivedi, Director (PMS), MMTC, besides other senior officials.
  • This gold coin is minted by the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd and hallmarked by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

BUSINESS

10 Indian Companies among the 25 best workplaces in Asia list

It is exciting to know that 10 Indian companies among the top 25 best workplaces in 2nd annual best workplaces Asia-pacific list.

  • Best workplace in the world for MNC- DHL
  • Best workplaces in the world for small & medium industry- Salesforce
  • Best workplace in the large industry- Atlassian

Biocon ties up with Mexico’s PiSA

Biocon’s subsidiary, Biocon SA has entered into a co-development and commercialization agreement with Mexican company Laboratorios PiSA for generic recombinant human insulin for the US market.

  • This collaboration will enable to manufacture the rh-insulin drug product at PiSA’s facilities in Mexico and commercialize it under brand Biocon in the US market, which has a huge diabetes burden with over 4 million people diagnosed with diabetes every year.

Biocon will introduce rh-insulin under the Biocon brand to address the $ 2 billion market opportunity in the US.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Skoch Lifetime achievement Award presented to Venkaiah Naidu

Skoch Lifetime Achievement Award conferred on Venkaiah Naidu

Union urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu was conferred with the Skoch Lifetime Achievement Award at 43rd SKOCH summit held in New Delhi.

  • Venkaiah Naidu was selected for the award for his contributions to inclusive growth and towards poverty alleviation in India
  • IT minister of Telangana State KT Rama Rao was awarded the Skoch Award in the Startup India category for his initiative in establishing the path breaking tech incubatorT-Hub

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Pfizer appoints Sridhar as its MD

Pharmaceutical major Pfizer  appointed S Sridhar as its new Managing Director (MD) with immediate effect for a period of five years.

  • Sridhar has worked as the Chief Financial Officer of the company for seven years and was appointed the Executive Director on the Board in May 2013.Pfizer appoints Sridhar as its MD
  • Prior to joining Pfizer, Mr. Sridhar worked as the Finance Director of Diageo India Pvt Ltd

Points to note

  • Pfizer CEO– Ian.s.Read
  • Pfizer Headquarters– Mumbai

Honeywell appoints Suresh Senapaty as its Chairman

Honeywell Automation India Ltd (HAIL) announced appointment of former Wipro CFO Suresh Senapaty as its Chairman.

  • Suresh Senapaty has been appointed as an Additional Director (Non-Executive, Independent) and as Chairman of its Board of Directors, effective from March 8, 2016
  • He succeeds Surendra L. Rao, who served as member of the Board of Directors of HAIL since January 2002 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors from August 2014 to February 2016

Points to note

  • Suresh previously led Wipro’s finance function across its information technology, consumer care, infrastructure engineering, and healthcare businesses
  • HAIL MD– Vikas Chadha

ACQUISTIONS & MERGERS

Magic Bricks acquires property analysis platform”Properji.com”

Property site, Magic Bricks has acquired property analysis startup”Properji.com” of Invact Technologies for an undisclosed sum. It will help the consumer to make an informed property buying decision.

About Magic Bricks & Properji:

  • Magic Bricks.com is a subsidiary of Times Internet Ltd provides a common platform for property buyers and sellers to locate properties of interest in India, and source information about all property related issues. It has over 80,000 projects and over 1.2 million listings.
  • Bengaluru based Properji.com started its operation in 2013. It provides detailed research to buyers and has prepared reports for about 100 projects.

ENVIRONMENT

New Golden Frog Species discovered in Colombia

A team of scientists including a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) research New Golden Frog Species discovered in Colombiaassociate have discovered a new species of pale-gold coloured frog in the cloud forests of the high Andes in Colombia.

  • The new species was found calling from bushes along a roadside at about 8,700 feet elevation near Chingaza National Park, roughly 10 miles east of Bogota, capital and largest city of Colombia.

British Astronomers discover nine “monster stars”

British astronomers have discovered a cluster of nine “monster” stars, 30 million times brighter than the Sun. It is the largest group of very massive stars ever identified.

  • The star cluster is named as R136. It is located in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud.
  • It includes four stars which are more than 150 times the mass of the Sun, five which are more than 100 times as massive and dozens of stars exceeding 50 solar masses. It is 1,70,000 light years from Earth.

SPORTS

Du Plessis 2nd fastest to reach 1,000 T20I runs

Du Plessis 2nd fastest to reach 1,000 T20I runs

Playing in a World T20 match against England, Faf du Plessis became the second fastest player to reach 1,000 T20 runs, taking 32 matches.

  • Virat Kohli was the fastest to achieve the feat, in 27 matches. Meanwhile, Du Plessis also became the third South African player to reach 1,000 T20I runs, behind JP Duminy and AB de Villiers.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Delhi Will Join 10th Earth Hour

Earth Hour is an annual international event created by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund) that urges households and business establishments across the world to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for an hour at the appointed time, to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

  • March 19 is being observed as the tenth Earth Hour and New Delhi has decided to join the league of over a billion people across six cities worldwide to spread the message of energy conservation.
  • It will be observed by switching off electrical appliances between 30 PM and 9.30 PM