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Current Affairs Today – March 21 2016

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AYUSH joins hands with WHO

In a move to popularize the Ayurvedic medicines, AYUSH ministry has roped in with World Health Organisation and signed an MoU.

  • India also enters into agreement with US in research field of Cancer through Ayurveda medicines
  • The Arogya fair which aims to create awareness among the people about efficiency of the AYUSH Systems, their cost effectiveness and the availability of herbs and plants used for prevention and treatment of common ailments was inaugurated in Pune
  • Central Research Councils and National Institute in the AYUSH Systems of Medicine along with the National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB), Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporations Limited (IMPCL) are a few institutes involved in research of Ayurveda products

Points to note

  • AYUSH minister- Shripad Yesso Naik

Shri J P Nadda launches new initiatives to combat TB

With a view to combat tuberculosis in the country, the govt. of India is making every effort. Recently, Union Health Minister J P Nadda, launched Bedaquiline new anti-TB drug for Drug Resistant TB as part of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) on the eve of World TB Day.

  • The event was organsied by Health Ministry and WHO ahead of the World Tuberculosis Day on March 24.
  • The drug is a new anti-TB drug for treatment of MDR-TB. According to the resources, the Centre will not be a constraint in the fight against the disease and there will be no dilution or diversion in the process.

Key Points:

  • The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) was started in 1997 and saw ups and downs, strategising and destrategising.


Obama makes Historic visit to Cuba

Obama makes Historic visit to Cuba

US President, Barack Obama made a historic visit to Cuba which was its rival nation for years. This visit is historic because it is the first visit of a US president in 88 years.

  • It is a three day visit by Obama. Since rapprochement, the two sides have restored diplomatic ties, signed commercial deals on telecommunications, and scheduled airline services
  • On the eve of Obama’s visit, a US hospitality company announced its first business deal in Cuba since the 1959 revolution, while online lodging service Airbnb said it would now allow travellers from around the world to book stays in private homes in Cuba

Points to note

  • Cuba President– Raul Castro
  • Cuba Capital– Havana

U.K. Lifts Ban On Sikh Separatist Outfit

The British government has lifted the ban on the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) after both houses of the British Parliament supported a motion to drop it from the list of proscribed organisations.

  • The International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) is a proscribed organisation that aims to establish an independent homeland for the Sikhs of India in Khalistan. It is banned under Japanese, British, Indian, Canadian and American terrorism legislation.
  • In 1984, the All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) started the ISYF as an international branch in U.K. ISYF was banned in India in 2002.


IRDA approved LIC’s idea to invest in PSB’s

The regulatory authority of Insurance sector has given its nod to the Biggest life insurance company of India- LIC to invest in the Public Sector Banks.

  • IRDA after complete scrutiny of the investments of LIC in PSU’s have agreed to the proposal of increasing its investments in Public sector banks
  • RBI had expressed concern over LIC making huge investments in PSU banks, saying it can affect the financial stability

Government cancels Recognition of Delhi Stock Exchange

The Government has withdrawn its recognition to DSE following the cancellation of recognition of its activities by SEBI in 2014.

  • DSE’s recognition was cancelled following the serious irregularities in its demutualization functioningGovernment cancels Recognition of Delhi Stock Exchange
  • DSE was formed in 1947
  • Under certain provisions of Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956, the recognition to stock exchanges can be withdrawn if it has not been corporatized and demutualised within the specified time

Points to note

  • Delhi Stock exchange Chairman– Mohinder Singh


WHO suspends TB drugs from Svizera Labs on quality concerns

After the investigations, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has suspended the approval of tuberculosis (TB) drugs made by India’s Svizera Labs, a major supplier to developing countries due to the manufacturing standards and quality management being unreliable.

  • The WHO had previously also issued a warning letter to Svizera Labs in September 2015, after finding dirty surfaces, black mould in a cleaning area, low hygiene standards and inadequate record-keeping.
  • Svizera Labs has its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Ola expects newly-launched service ‘Micro’ to overtake Uber in India

Taxi app Ola has launched its new service called ‘Micro’ and it expects that ‘Micro’ will alone overtake its rival Uber in terms of a number of rides in a month’s time. Micro has been launched in seven Indian cities – Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune and will be launched in other cities as well.

  • Ola chief marketing officer said, “Micro in merely three weeks has achieved the same number of rides what Ola took around three years to achieve”.

Key Points:

  • OlaCabs CEO: Bhavish Aggarwal
  • OlaCabs Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Uber CEO: Travis Kalanick
  • Uber Headquarters: San Francisco, California, U.S.


UN appoints ‘Red’-the leader of angry birds as the Ambassador to Climate change

The popular mobile game figure Angry bird-‘Red’ is now to become the honorary ambassador of Climate change announced by the UN.

  • The announcement was made as a part of the campaign launched to create awareness among the people regarding climate changes through the renown characters
  • It was declared on the International day of happiness by the UN that ‘red’ the head of angry birds will be the honorary ambassador of climate change

Lionel Messi-Ambassador of Huawei

The world famous soccer, Lionel Messi has been appointed by Huawei as its Global ambassador for its mobile products.

  • Huawei shipped 108 million smartphones in 2015 and became the third-largest player after Apple and Samsung.
  • The company has set a target of growing its smartphone sales by 300% this year.
  • It has been in the Indian market for the last 16 years and has associated itself with cricket as a sponsor of IPL team RCB
  • Lionel Messi is also the ambassador of Tata Motors

Points to note

  • Huawei India CBG President- Allen Wang

Ritu Beri appointed as Adviser to Khadi Commission

Fashion designer Ritu Beri was appointed advisor to the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for promotion of khadi in India and across the world.

  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission is a statutory body formed by the Ritu Beri appointed as Adviser to Khadi CommissionGovernment of India, under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956
  • In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board
  • The commission appointed Beri as an advisor for a period of one year during which she will advise on ways to promote khadi


Baxi app to now work without Internet

Gurgaon-based Baxi has come up with a new feature in its android mobile app which will allow its users to book rides on the app without using Internet. The bike-taxi hailing app offers services in Gurgaon and Faridabad.

  • For booking offline, the user will have to open app and just press the BOOK button. The app will send SMS to send the user’s location and request to its server, find the closest Baxi and respond to the user with that information using SMS.
  • With this innovation, Baxi app has become the first and only taxi-booking app in the world that will operate without an Internet connection.


‘Agasthyamala’ included among UNESCO’s new 20 Biosphere Reserves

Agasthyamala– the biosphere reserve shared by Kerala and Tamil Nadu has been placed in the new 20 Biosphere reserves list released by UNESCO.

  • Location:  Western Ghats, in the south of India
  • The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (ABR) was established in 2001 and is spread across the two states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu


HS Prannoy wins Men’s single title in Swiss open

HS Prannoy won the men’s singles title at the 2016 Swiss Open in Basel, Switzerland.

  • He is India’s fourth highest ranked men’s badminton player
  • He clinched the title by defeating Marc Zwiebler of Germany 21-18, 21-15 in the final
  • The 2016 Swiss Open men’s singles title is Prannoy’s second title at a Grand Prix Gold tournament, after he won the 2014 Indonesian Masters

SSP Chawrasia clinches the Hero Indian Open title

SSP Chawrasia clinches the Hero Indian Open title

SSP Chawrasia, who remained four-time runners-up, has finally clinched the Hero Indian Open 2016 title at the Delhi Golf Club. He won by 2 strokes with runner ups Anirban Lahiri of India and Jeunghun Wang of Korea.

  • The 2015 title was won by Anirban Lahiri with runner up SSP Chawrasia.
  • With this victory he also secured his European Tour card. Overall, this is his 14th win of his professional career.

About Hero Indian Open:

  • The Indian Open, known as the Hero Indian Open due to sponsorship, is a golf tournament on the Asian Tour that has been held for several years at the Delhi Golf Club.
  • It became a European Tour co-sanctioned event in 2015.
  • It was established in 1964, and the first one to win Hero Indian Open was Peter Thomson of Australia.


Former Danish PM Anker Joergensen died

Former Danish Prime Minister Anker Joergensen died at 93. He served as the Prime Minister 2 times from 1972 to 1973 and from 1975 to 1982.

  • He had also served as the Foreign Minister of Denmark.
  • He also led the economy through two oil crises while the country recorded its slowest growth in the postwar era.


Important Observance – March 21

  • The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March.
  • March 21 is celebrated globally as the World Poetry day. It is celebrated with the motive to promote reading, writing, publishing poetry throughout the world.
  • World Down syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed on March 21. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness about the syndrome and well being of people with Down syndrome
  • The International Day of Forests is celebrated on 21st day of March. Each year, various events celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generation.