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Current Affairs Today – March 20 2016

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CAT March 20 2016


Union government unveiled Model Building Bye-laws, 2016

The Union Government has unveiled Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016 for granting permission forconstruction of buildings. It was released by the Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi.

  • Aim: Online single window framework to provide approval for construction of buildings

PM to inaugurate ‘Krishi Unnati Mela’ in New Delhi

Krishi Unnati Mela

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will tomorrow inaugurate three-day ‘Krishi Unnati Mela’providing information on new farm schemes and technologies that will help farmers double their incomes within the next few years.

Venue: Pusa Campus , New Delhi

  • PM Narendra Modi will give Krishi Karman Awards to states and progressive farmers who made remarkable contribution to Agriculture
  • He will visit the theme pavilion and address the farmers

FICCI to fund construction of 250 toilets in govt schools in AP

After a team from Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)  visited Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh to identify schools intended for the “Swachh Bharath Swachh Vidyalaya” project, FICCI has decided to fund for the construction of 250 toilets in govt schools in Andhra Pradesh, with emphasis on Yerpedu, Madanapalle and Tamballapalle mandals in Chittoor district.

  • The construction of 250 toilets is targeted to be completed by March 2017.
  • Earlier also in 2015, some other companies has started their project of constructing toilets there, majority of them have been completed.

Key Points:

  • FICCI headquarters: New Delhi
  • FICCI President: Harshavardhan Neotia
  • Established in 1927, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi by GD Birla and Purushottam Das Thakurdas, it is the largest, oldest and the apex business organisation in India.


Hinduja brothers top the Rich Asian’s List

The Hinduja brothers have emerged as the richest Asian-origin entrepreneurs in Britain for thefourth consecutive year with an estimated personal fortune of 16.5 billion pounds.

  • Published by:  Asian Media and Market
  • Assessment based on:  The Asian Rich List assesses the total wealth of Britain’s top 101 richest Asians

EU strikes a deal with Turkey to return Migrants

The EU has struck a deal with Turkey that would allow all refugees and migrants arriving in Europe being sent back across the Aegean Sea.

  • The European council president, Donald Tusk, confirmed the deal on Friday afternoon after clearing the key sticking points with the Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu


Chhattisgarh Disburses 1800 crores for MUDRA

The Chhattisgarh government has disbursed Rs 1, 821-crore loans to several beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) Yojana (PMMY)

  • The scheme was launched in April 2015 and was aimed to provide funding to the non-corporate, small business sector
  • Under PMMY, loans between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh are provided to small entrepreneurs

HDFC Bank launches banking solution for startups

After SBI’s ‘InCube’ and RBL Bank’s ‘India start-up Club’, HDFC Bank has also come up with its solution for startups, called ‘SmartUp’. SmartUp has been launched in association with Zone Startups India (ZSI), a Mumbai-based start-up accelerator.

  • The mission of SmartUp is not only to provide basic banking transactions, but also valuable services like advisory services, forex and payment solutions. Account holders can also get recommendations of a chartered accountant for tax, regulatory and compliance issues.
  • PM Modi announced the campaign ‘Startup India and Standup India’ on 15th August. Startup India campaign is aimed at promoting bank financing for start-up ventures to boost entrepreneurship along with jobs creation in the country. The Standup India initiative is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among SCs/STs, women communities.


Tikka Shatrujit Singh conferred with French Civil Award

The royal scion of Kapurthala’s Ahluwalia dynasty, Tikka Shatrujit Singh was conferred with the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour).

  • French ambassador to India Francois Richier bestowed the honour on Singh in a ceremony held in New Delhi

Geetakshi Arora conferred with Noor Inayat Khan prize

Geetakshi Arora of SOAS South Asia Institute has won the first Noor Inayat Khan Prize, the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust announced in London.

  • Noor was born in Moscow in 1914 to Indian father Hazrat Inayat Khan and American mother Ora Ray Baker.
  • She was a secret agent in World War II and was sent behind enemy lines. She operated from Paris, doing crucial work for the allies.


Lori Robinson-the First female US Army Combatant Commander

The big boss(USA) has named its first female army combatant commander to be Lori Robinson. The position is one of the most senior in the US military and she was nominated by the President Barack Obama.

  • General Lori Robinson has been nominated to lead the US Northern Command
  • Northern command covers whole of North America
  • US Defence Secretary Ash Carter has nominated the first female in US military history to lead a combatant command

Vijay Mallya resigned as Director of Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited

Vijay Mallya has resigned as Director of Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited (RCSPL) and decided only to be an Honorary Chief Mentor till his son Siddhartha is in the Board of Directors. With this, the new chairman of Royal Challenger Bangalore is Amrit Thomas, President and Chief Marketing Officer of United Spirits.Vijay Mallya resigned as Director of Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited

Key Points:

  • RCSPL is a subsidiary of United Spirits which is controlled by Diageo.
  • Mallya has defaulted in loans in excess of Rs 9000 crore.
  • Mallya had bought Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2008 but it could not win a single IPL title in eight attempts.

Indian Professor appointed 56th President of ISA

An Indian Professor named Thazha Varkey Paul has been chosen as the 56th President of International Studies Association (ISA), at its annual convention at Atlanta, Georgia. ISA is a scholarly group in the US dedicated to international studies.

About Prof T V Paul:

  • He was born in Kerala and has served as ISA’s Vice-President during 2013-14, founding Director of the McGill/-University of Montreal Center for international Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS) and founding Editor of the Georgetown University Press book series: South Asia in World Affairs.
  • He is presently serving as James McGill professor of International Relations in the department of Political Science at McGill University.
  • He has also written many articles and books.


Union Government bans repeat animal testing of drugs

The Health Ministry has banned the repeat animal testing of new drugs which have been already tested abroad. The step is taken in order to spare thousands of animals on which the experiments are done. So the new rule states that if a complete data is available on animal toxicity as per the specifications by the regulatory authority of the country which had earlier approved the drug, repeating of testing is not required.

  • This move was taken after Women Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi wrote to the Health Ministry on this practice.

Key Points:

  • Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare: Jagat Prakash Nadda

I-T gets new tech tool to identify, kill duplicate PAN cards

The Income Tax department has finally got a new technology tool to check the duplication of PAN cards.

  • The department has operationalized an electronic smart platform called the Income Tax Business Application-Permanent Account Number (ITBA-PAN) to identify any duplicate numbers every time a new application for generation of PAN card reaches their portals.
  • Earlier also the checking was used to be done but manually which was not foolproof. The department was trying for a number of years to come up with a tool like this so that nobody can fool the department by having more PAN cards in order not to pay his tax.PAN Card

With the new ITBA-PAN platform, the department will able to check and direct the taxman to surrender his duplicate identity and in case he does not do so, the system will automatically ‘kill’ the duplicate identity.

Key Points:

  • PAN is a ten-digit alphanumeric number issued in the form of a laminated card by the IT department to any person, firm or entity.


Yogeshwar Dutt  Qualifies for Rio Olympics

Yogeshwar Dutt on Saturday secured an Olympic quota place for India with a gold-medal finish in the men’s 65kg freestyle category in Asian Olympics qualification tournament at Astana.

  • Yogeshwar Dutt joins the list along with Narsingh Yadav to qualify for Rio Olympics
  • The top two finishers in each weight category here are assured of a Rio berth
  • The wrestler reserved his place by virtue of reaching the final on the second day of the competition even before clinching the gold medal

Gurmeet Singh creates History winning Asian 20km walking race

Gurmeet Singh created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to clinch a gold medal in the Asian 20km race walk championships as he won the men’s event of the season.

  • Gurmeet finished the race in 1 hour 20 minutes and 29 seconds clinching the Gold medal
  • Japan’s Isamu Fujisawa ended up with a silver medal in 1:20:49 in a close fight in the last 5km with Gurmeet

ICC suspends Bangladesh bowlers Taskin, Sunny

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended Bangladesh left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny and pacer Taskin Ahmed from bowling in international cricket. They were suspended with immediate effect after an independent assessment found their bowling actions to be illegal.

  • They underwent assessments in Chennai after being reported for suspect actions during the World T20 round-one match against Netherlands.
  • Saqlain Sajib and Shuvagata Hom might take their places in the World T20 now. Earlier also, some Bangladesh’s bowlers had been suspended.

Nico Rosberg wins an incident packed Australian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg wins an incident packed Australian Grand Prix

The Australian grandprix was won by Nico Rosberg overtaking Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

  • Nico Rosberg led a Mercedes one-two in the opening race of the 2016 F1 season in Australia Sunday after Fernando Alonsomet with a accident in the race
  • Rosberg won by 10 seconds from his teammate and two-time defending world champion Lewis Hamilton
  • It was Rosberg’s 15th career victory and fourth in a row after dominating the closing races of the 2015 season


Frank Sinatra Jr. Has Passed Away

Francis Wayne “Frank” Sinatra known as Frank Sinatra Jr., the son of the legendary entertainer Frank Sinatra died of cardiac arrest. He was 72.

  • He was an American singer, songwriter, and conductor.
  • In his early times he has performed at local clubs and venues and also with some bands. He has also done acting, appearing in almost 20 shows, including the animated series “Family Guy“.


World Sparrow Day

World Sparrow Day observed on 20 March is a day designated to raise awareness of the house sparrow and other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations.World Sparrow Day

  • It is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society (NFS) of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organizations across the world.
  • To encourage efforts made towards this cause and to selflessly conserve the environment, NFS has instituted the first Sparrow Awards in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on 20 March 2011.

2016 Theme: Rise for the SPARROW – Experience the power of One

International Day of Happiness

The International Day of Happiness (known as Happiness Day) is celebrated throughout the world on the 20th of March. The International Day of Happiness was founded on June 28, 2012, by the United Nations General Assembly when all 193 member states unanimously adopted UN resolution 66/281.

  • It was celebrated for the first time in 2013.