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Current Affairs Today – March 23 2016

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CAT March 23 2016

INDIAN AFFAIRS

India to host 8th BRICS Summit, 2016

The external affairs ministry has notified that India will host the 8th BRICS Summit from 15 October to 16 October 2016 in Goa.

BRICS- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

  • Chairmanship –India assumed chairmanship of BRICS from Russia on 15 February 2016 and it will last till 31 December 2016.

Punjab Assembly passes Agriculture Indebtedness bill

The Punjab Assembly has a passed a bill that provides relief to the farmers. The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness Bill, 2016. The bill specifies that the interest payable on debt shall be calculated at such rate as may be notified by the government.

  • According to the new bill, the interest rates on debts will be calculated by the state government
  • This would be in accordance with the interest rates charged by banks on yearly basis.

Union Ministry of Health & Welfare launches LASI

The Union ministry of Health & Welfare have launched a study on Longitudinal Ageing of Indians termed as LASI(Longitudinal Ageing Study in India)

  • The 2011 census revealed that around 6% of the total population of India is elderly people and with increase in life expectancy it will grow further in future
  • Currently there are no clear databases on elderly people in India

Wages of NREGS hiked by 6%

The Union government has proposed to hike the wages of NREGS workers by 6%. They have dropped the new wage calculation formula.

  • The government appointed a committee to revise the wage calculation formula for the MGNREGA workers
  • According to the new recommendations, the wages will be calculated on CPI-rural index
  • The current scheme of wages is based on the agricultural labour index

India Post releases customised ‘My Stamp’ on HAL

Stamp HAL

Post has released a customised commemorative stamp on HAL the first time India Post is coming out with customised ‘My Stamp’ and HAL is the first organisation to have it.

  • The stamp in recognition of the company’s 75 years services to the nation was released by UshaChandrashekhar, Chief Post Master General, Karnataka Circle, and V M Chamola, Director (HR), HAL.
  • The tag line HAL: the force behind the forces for its Platinum Jubilee logo.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited:

  • State-owned aerospace and Defence Company based in Bangalore, is primarily involved in the operations of the aerospace industry these include manufacturing and assembly of aircraft, navigation and related communication equipment and airports operation.

Telangana inks pact with French aviation trainer

To provide training to the aviation fraternity and aerospace, the agreement was signed between Telangana industries department principal secretary Arvind Kumar and Aerocampus Aquitaine general manager Jerome Verschave on the sidelines of the ongoing India Aviation 2016.

  • The agreement paving the way for institute that will come up at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad.
  • The French company plans to set up an academy to train local talent in addition to skilled workforce for the maintenance, repair and overha
  • The Program aiming to train at least 1,000 students a year in aerospace and related areas. We want this aero campus to give maximum preference to Telangana students.
  • These courses will be of various durations from few weeks to one year.

Telangana:

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

Government clears new Defence Procurement Policy

Govt approves key changes to accord priority to locally made equipment and fund private-sector R&D the objective of the new Defence Procurement Procedure is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements.

  • The Policy will come into effect from April 1, 2016.The DPP, which will have provisions to fast-track acquisition of critically-needed equipment’s, will be unveiled at the Defence Expo on March 28
  • The new DPP that will introduce measures to promote indigenization and self-reliance in defence will be unveiled at the Defexpo India 2016, a biennial show of military and security
  • The government will come with the update in Ordnance Factory Board and Defence Procurement Manuals in two months.

Ministry of Defence:

  • The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country.
  • The Armed Forces including Indian ArmyIndian Air ForceIndian Navy and Indian Coast Guard under the Defence Ministry are primarily responsible for ensuring the territorial integrity of the nation.
  • Union Defence Minister: ManoharParrikar
  • Union Defence MoS: Rao InderjitSingh

NTPC starts 250 MW unit in Bihar

Power major NTPC has commissioned a 250 MW Unit-I of its arm at Bihar.
The Unit-I of 250 MW of Nabinagar Thermal Power Station of Bhartiya Rail Bijlee Company Ltd (a subsidiary of NTPC) has been commissioned on March 20, 2016

  • With this, the total put in capacity of Nabinagar Thermal Power Station has become 250 MW and the total installed capacity of NTPC group has become 45,798 MW,
  • Bharatiya Rail Bijlee Company Ltd, a subsidiary of NTPC was merged in 2007 with 74:26 equity contribution from NTPC and Ministry of Railways, respectively for setting up of four units of 250 MW each of coal based power plant at Nabinagar, Bihar.

Consumer Affairs Ministry signs MoUs with industry bodies to promote consumer welfare

Consumer Affairs Department has signed MoUs with the Industry bodies to promote consumer interests and a Joint Working Group will monitor the implementation of agenda

  • The MoUs broadly covers the collaborative programmes on developing and Consumer Affairs Ministry signs MoUs with industry bodies to promote consumer welfareimplementing a self-regulatory code of fair business practices
  • The MoU initiating advocacy action against unfair trade practices and preventing fake, counterfeit and sub-standard products and services and adoption of voluntary standards.

Regulatory Code of ethical business conduct that covers six broad principles to be adopted by the Industry on safety of products and services, building sustainable supply chains, marketing products ethically, non-indulgence in unfair trade practices, complying with competition and anti-trust laws & prompt response to consumer complaints.

Central Government amends Atal Pension Yojana(APY)

Central Government has amended Atal Pension Yojana (APY) to give an option to the spouse to continue to contribute for balance period on premature death of the subscriber.

  • According to the amendment, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the same pension amount as that of the subscriber until the death of the spouse.
  • After the death of both the subscriber and the spouse, the nominee of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the pension wealth, as accumulated till age of 60 years of the subscriber.

About Atal Pension Yojana(APY)

  • Atal Pension Yojana(APY), a pension scheme from our central government  is open to all citizens of India who have a SB account. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and the maximum age is 40 years.
  • Each subscriber under APY shall receive a Central Government guaranteed minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month and the maximum of Rs. 5000 per month, after the age of 60 years until death.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Anand Mahindra and Aditya Puri among top global 30 CEO’s

Barron’s top list of CEO’S across the globe finds a place for corporate honchos Anand Mahindra(M&M) and Aditya Puri(HDFC).

Companies in the list – Amazon, JP Morgan, Netflix, Disney, Alphabet ,Google are few top firms in the list

Top CEO’STop global 30 CEO’s

  1. Warren Buffet(Berkshire Hathaway)
  2. David Cote(Honeywell)
  3. Jamie Dimon(JP Morgan Chase)
  4. Larry Page(Alphabet)
  5. Howard Schultz(Starbucks) and
  6. Mark Zuckerberg(Facebook)

BANKING & FINANCE

India’s GDP growth projected at 7.7%

India’s GDP growth has been projected at 7.7% in a report released by Rating agency ICRA.

  • Estimation – The GDP growth for the current fiscal is estimated at 7.6% in current fiscal and it is projected to grow to 7.75% in 2016-17
  • Increase in domestic consumption post the implementation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission’s recommendations and One Rank One Pension (OROP)

Bajaj Finance enters life care financing segment

Bajaj Finance is entering the Rs 20,000-crore life care segment under which it will finance expenses for stem cells storage units, cosmetics-based hair treatment, dental and eye care, IVF & maternity care, laparoscopic cure for a dozen ailments, and elective medical/paramedical care for many other issues.

  • Anyone can get interest-free loan for personal care treatment at VLCC, Kaya Skin Clinic and Enhance Clinic, among others.
  • In the next five years, the company expecting a segment growth of Rs 1,000 crore. The segment has the potential to grow up to 12% of the portfolio.

BUSINESS

Sachin Tendulkar invests in Smartron India

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkarhas become a shareholder and brand ambassador of domestic original equipment manufacturer Smartron.Sachin

  • In a Bangalore-based start-up Smartron Sachin invested undisclosed amount and also become the brand ambassador of the company.
  • The company is set to launch a range of smart devices and IoT products for consumer and enterprise markets in the first quarter of FY 2016-17.
  • Smartron a US-based semiconductor company with operations in US, India, and Russia is headed by Founder & Chairman Mahesh Lingareddy who is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Soft Machines .

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Justice H L Dattu appointed as member of International Coordinating Committee Bureau of NHRI-ICC

The National Human Rights Commission announced in a statement that Former Chief Justice HL.Dattu has been appointed as member of the International Coordinating CommitteeBureau of National Human Rights Institutions Bureau in Geneva.

  • The chief justice presence in the ICC Bureau will be aimed at strengthening the ICC and also enhancing the role of NHRIs in the UN mechanisms.
  • NHRC, India will now be representing the Asia-Pacific region along with Mongolia, Qatar and Australia.

Paytm appoints ex-head of Alibaba as its President

Mobile Payment and e-commerce site Paytm has appointed Bhusan Patil as its new President. He was the head of Alibaba wholesale groups earlier.

  • Paytm has appointed its new President to help Paytm grow across the borders
  • Currently Paytm has a userbase of 125 Million and it has planned to sell $ 2 billion worth products in 2016
  • It has planned to increase its sellers form 7 lakh to 5 lakhs

Points to note

  • Paytm CEO– Vijay Shekhar Sharma
  • Investors of Paytm Ant Financials ( AliPay), Alibaba Group, SAIF Partners, Sapphire Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Ola acquires payment solutions-Qarth technologies

Taxi cab app based company Ola has acquired payment technology solutions Qarth technologies to strengthen its money base.

  • Qarth, incubated from IIT madras has been acquired by Ola to integrate it with its Ola money to facilitate the payment
  • Qarth developed an app X-pay that will enable customers to pay across 26 banks across the country

Points to note

  • Founders of Qarth– Abhinav Srivastava, Prerit Srivastava
  • Ola senior VP-Pallav Singh

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian Coast Guard ship Arnvesh commissioned at Visakhapatnam

Indian Coast Guard’s fast patrol vessel (FPV) Arnvesh ship was commissioned at Visakhapatnam, by the Eastern Naval Command, Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht.this

  • The Ship will enhance Coast Guard’s capability in furthering its mandate of maritime safety, security on the eastern sea board
  • The 300-tonne and 50-m long vessel is propelled by triple Rolls Royce Kamewa water jets and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots.

DRDO develops RADAR to look through walls

The Indian Army gets its first Thermal based RADAR technology that will enable to look through the walls.

  • Developed by: LRDE(Electronics & Radar Development Establishment) of DRDO
  • Features- It looks through walls of 20-30cm thickness and it works based on Thermal RADAR technique
  • Name- Divyachaksu (divine eye)

Points to note

  • DRDO chairman– S.Christopher

India deploys P8I maritime aircraft to Seychelles

Indian Navy has deployed a P8I maritime Aircraft to Seychelles for monitoring purpose.

  • This is the first time India has deployed a P8I maritime aircraft to Seychelles
  • It will be deployed in Seychelles till March 23,2016P-81 Aircraft
  • It will help in curbing illegal activities and piracy as well as ensuring stability and safety in the Indian Ocean region

Points to note

  • Seychelles Capital– Victoria
  • Seychelles President– James Michel

ENVIRONMENT

Sundarbans becomes no-pollution zone

The district administration and political parties have decided to minimise carbon impression in the Sundarbans islands to ensure least possible damage to the ecosystem of the Sundarbans during this polling season.

  • The objective of this programme to maintain a clean and green Sundarbans this polling season.
  • In an all-party meeting where he said a consensus was reached to restrict the use of plastic or any other non-biodegradable material during the campaign.

MoEFCC notifies new environment standards for Gensets

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified new environment standards for Gensets running on various kinds of fuels including LPG, petrol and diesel in various cities.

  • The objective of the new standards for Gensets is to control air and noise pollution emanating from the operation of Gensets. These standards were recommended by the Central Pollution Control Board after consultations with industries and other stakeholders.
  • It would be revisited in 4-5 years once air and noise emission quality data and technological details pertaining to Gensets are available.
  • Under these standards certification is mandatory for Gensets in terms of ‘Type approval’ and ‘Conformity of Production’ for air emission as well as noise emission.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Meteorological Day & Martyrs Day – March 23

World Meteorological Day is annually held on or around March 23 to remember the World Meteorological Organization’s establishment on that date in 1950

  • The theme of World Meteorological Day is: Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the Future.

March 23, 2016 is declared as the Martyrs day in India to remember the sacrifice and pay homage to the Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru who were fought for India against the British rule for independence.