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Current Affairs Today – March 24 2016

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PM Inaugurates Power transmission line between India & Bangladesh

India strengthens its relationship consistently with its Neighboring nations. Further improving the relation between India and Bangladesh, PM Narendra Modi has inaugurated a power transmission line between the 2 countries.

  • PM Narendra Modi, inaugurated a transmission line from Tripura that will supply 100 MW power to Bangladesh
  • Modi inaugurated the new line via video conferencing from Agartala

Arun Jaitley Launches Fasal Bima Yojana

The Union government’s scheme to revamp the farmers by providing crop insurance known as theFasal BimaYojana and Unified Package Insurance scheme was launched by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana– It is an insurance scheme for the farmers which provide relief to the farmers when crops are affected by Natural calamities
  • It is different from the other schemes in that it provides a higher sum compared to other insurance schemes and also it requires low premium

India & France signed MoU to create 6 Nuclear Reactors

India ,whose power demand grows day by day is now concentrating on Renewable energy sources and Nuclear power to meet its demand. In a move to further increase the Nuclear power generation potential of India, it has signed an MoU with nuclear energy pioneer France.

  • The proposed MoU will enable the building of six new nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra
  • The agreement was signed between Electricite de France and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd

Cabinet approves agreements with other Nations

The Union cabinet has given its approval to various MoU’s signed between India and other nations. The MoU’s approved by the cabinet belong to various sectors and various nations.

  • India and Lithuania signed an MoU in the field of agriculture and the agreement proposes to include horticulture, post-harvest management, organic farming, cold chain development and agro processing industry, animal husbandry, dairying and aquaculture etc
  • India signed a agreement with UAE in fields of Infrastructure development with the NIIF
  • The Union government has given its approval to the Ashgabat agreement which facilitates transport of goods between Central Asia and Persian Gulf.
  • India and Russia will join hands to minimize the consequences of Natural calamities like Flood and Earthquake.

Himachal, Mumbai to have electric buses

Himachal Road Transport Corporation and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authorityto introduce zero-emission retrofitted electric buses under its flagship scheme Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India).

  • HRTC and MMRDA will roll out 25 electric buses each. Under FAME India, the department will fund up to 75 per cent cost and the department of heavy industry has granted in-principle approval.

Cabinet approves Udaan scheme till 2019-20

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for extension of time period of the Udaan Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir till 2019-20 from the earlier time period of 2015-16.

Udaan Scheme:

  • Udaan is a national integration scheme with the goal to mainstream J&K youth with rest of the country and targeting to train and enhance employability of 40,000 graduates, post graduates and three year engineering diploma holders, will be achieved by 2019-20.Udaan Scheme
  • More than 19,000 candidates have been selected, more than 15,000 have joined training, out of them, 8700 candidates have completed training and 6,838 have been offered jobs. 67 mega selection drives have been held so far covering all districts of the state.
  • 67 leading corporates have partnered with National Skill Development Corporation has pledged to train youth from the State including Organised Retail, Banking, IT/ITES, Infrastructure, Hospitality.

Govt approves National Highway project worth Rs 6,284 cr

Union government has approved 11 highway projects with a total length of about 453 km and worth of Rs 6,284 crore for various states.

  • The NHAI approved projects include two four-laning of BRT Tiger Reserve boundary to Bengaluru section of NH-209 in Karnataka at a cost of Rs 1,253.51 crore. Another project pertains to four-laning of Nerchwok-Pandoh project of NH-21 on EPC mode in Himachal Pradesh at a cost of Rs. 1273 .71 crore.
  • The other highway project is four-laning of Takoli-Kullu section of NH-21 on EPC mode in Himachal Pradesh under NHDP phase-IV B at a cost of Rs 742.40 crore.

Project Mode:

  • Nine highway projects will be implemented in Engineering, Procurement and Ponstruction (EPC) mode, one in BOT (Toll) mode and one in hybrid annuity mode.
  • The project has four road overbridges (ROBs) involving a total cost of Rs 683 crore.

Swachh Bharat rankings: RashtrapatiBhavan among the cleanest buildings

Rashtrapati Bhavan, UPSC Building, Hyderabad House, Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan and Vigyan Bhavan have been ranked among the cleanest government buildings in New Delhi in a survey carried out under Swachh Bharat Mission.

  • Rashtrapati Bhavan and UPSC building have got full marks to be stated as the cleanest buildings in a survey, however NirvachanSadan, Jaipur House, Jamnagar House, Jaisalmer House and AGCR Building found their place at the bottom of the list of 36 such buildings.

Central Public Works Department Survey:

  • Under Swachh Bharat Mission the assessment workout was carried out by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) between March 16 and 21.
  • The cleanliness survey was based on three distinct parameters sanitation infrastructure in the office and overall cleanliness with 40 per cent weightage each and mechanism employed for proper disposal of solid waste with 20 percent weightage.

110 villages in Chhattisgarh declared ‘open defecation Free

110 gram panchayats in Chhattisgarh were declared open defecation-free under the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, taking the total number of such villages in the state to 1,849.

  • Union Panchayat and Rural Development Minister ChowdharyBirender Singh declared 110 village panchayats as ODF while felicitating at the concluding function at Raipur.

Open Defecation in India:

  • India is the country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation: around 600 million people or nearly half of the population, It is estimated at 65 percent of the population covering mostly in villages.
  • The Government of India has taken up an initiative called Swachh Bharat Mission wherein a large scale drive has been initiated to construct toilets on mass level.


Nepal to join Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO)

Nepal has joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a dialogue partner.Joining SCO, Nepal will enjoy the benefit of mutual cooperation with the other member nations of SCO.

  • It is a Beijing based security organization
  • It was established in 2001
  • The member nations are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

PM Modi, Sania Mirza among contenders for TIME’s Most Influential people

TIME’s Most Influential people

The popular magazine across the globe, TIME has released its contenders for the top most influential people in the world. India must feel proud having PM Modi, tennis player Sania and Bollywood actress Priyanka in the list.

  • The editors of the Magazine will remain the final deciders however it has asked people to vote for their favourite leader among the 127 contenders
  • Indian born CEO’s of top firms Google and Microsoft- Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella also occupy the honorary position
  • Indian origin actor Aziz Ansari is also in the list

OECD released Standardised e-format for Exchange of Country-by-Country reports to assist Tax Administration

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has made a standardised electronic format for the exchange of Country-by-Country (CbC) Reports between jurisdictions to ensure swift and efficient implementation of the BEPS measures.

  • Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)refers to tax planning strategies that exploit these gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid.


World Bank to support Swachh Bharat Mission

PM Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Campaign on October 2, 2014.Since then the scheme has been constantly in news. Now it has gained attention with the cabinet approval to theWorld Bank’s funding to the Scheme.

  • World Bank proposed a $ 1.5 billion dollar as funding to the clean India campaign popularly known as the Swachh Bharat in rural areas
  • According to the cabinet approval, the fund will be incentivized based on the performance based indicators like DLi’s

RBI makes it easier for banks to improve liquidity

The watchdog of the Indian Banking system, RBI has announced to soften the rules on Liquidity measurement there by providing a sigh of relief for the banks to be in accordance with the new Basel III norms.

  • Liquidity Coverage Ratio need not include the retail deposits whose maturity value is beyond a month
  • The calculation also excludes the pledged deposits over 30 days maturity date

Lakshmi Vilas Bank ties up with NBHC for collateral management & warehousing

Sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank kept its alliance with National  Bulk  Handling Corporation Private Limited (NBHC), a major Agri-Infrastructure player for collateral management and warehousing services.

  • The primary objective of these services will allow industry traders and farmers in financing their capital requirements at all stages of supply chain, ranging from pre-harvesting to the marketing and export stages.
  • This would allow the bank to provide financial flexibility to farmers, minimising the seasonal price fluctuations and distress sales during crop harvest season.
  • NBHC services to the needs of the members of the commodities future exchange for strong commodities and delivery through designated warehouses.

South Indian Bank gets ISO 9001:2008 certification

Kerala based South Indian Bank has disseminated that its personnel department has achieved the ISO 9001:2008 certification.

  • South Indian Bank came into being during the Swadeshi movement established in 1929 spread across more than 26 states and 3 union territories in India

The ISO 9001:2008 certification:

  • The Standard provides a framework to manage your business and ensure a philosophy of continual improvement in all aspects of your business.
  • It is externally assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure these business practices are maintained.
  • It acknowledges that the policies, practices and methods adopted by the department are system oriented and in tandem with international standards.


Justice Permod Kohli appointed as Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal

PermodKohli named as the Chairman in the Central AdministrativeTribunal, Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment.He is a retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.

  • The appointment was for a period of five years with effect from the date of assumption of Justice Permod Kohli appointed as Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunalcharge of the post, or till attaining the age of 68 years, whichever is earlier.
  • Kohli as Judge has provided services to the High Courts of Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Punjab & Haryana.

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)

  • CAT was established under Article 323A of the Constitution. It exercises original jurisdiction in relation to recruitment and all services matters of public servants covered by it.
  • A Chairman who has been a sitting or retired Judge of a High Court heads the Central Administrative Tribunal. Besides the Chairman, the authorized strength consists of 16 Vice-chairman and 49 members.


Telephone feedback mechanism for Grievance Redressal

The Union government has taken various technological initiatives to ease the administrative works of various departments. The telephone feedback system is one such initiative for redressal of grievances of the people.

  • It was launched by the Union Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances-Jitendra Singh 
  • This mechanism will allow the people to come in direct contact to register their complaints about various departments
  • Jitendra Singh on the inauguration ceremony randomly selected 3 persons and contacted them directly over phone and sought clarification about the clearance of their grievance


Asia most exposed to disasters, Africa most vulnerable: Study

Asia has the largest number of people affected by natural disasters, but African countries are the most vulnerable to them, largely because of political instability, corruption, poverty and inequality, a new global assessment shows.

  • Over 1.4 billion people in South Asia such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan face at least one major threat from nature. In the case of Bangladesh, 100% of its population is exposed, compared to 82% for India and 70% in Pakistan.


Shane Watson to quit international cricket after World T20

Australiaall-rounder Shane Watson has decided that he will end his international career after theOngoing ICC World Twenty20 in India.

  • The 34-year-old retired from Tests last year after Australia’s unsuccessful Ashes campaign in England but opted to continue playing in the limited-overs formats. He debuted for the Australian cricket team in 2002, playing his first ODI match against South Africa. Shane Watson to quit international cricket after World T20
  • While he has not featured in the one-day team since September 2015, the big-hitting batsman and seamer has been involved in both of Australia’s opening matches of the World T20.
  • Shane Watson is the only player to win Australian Player of the Year award across the format of the game.


‘Kadhaprasangam’ famous V D Rajappan died

The famous story telling ‘Kadhaprasangam’ artist and Malayalam Actor V D Rajappan died at the age of 70.

  • He is a famous comedian in Malayalam cinema and acted over 50 movies‘Kadhaprasangam’ famous V D Rajappan died
  • He was in peak in 1970’s & 1980’s for his unique satirical style of ‘Kadhaprasangam’
  • His famous Kadhaprasangams include ‘Kumari Eruma’, ‘Mak Mak’, ‘Priye Ninte Kura’, ‘Amittu’, ‘Pothu Puthri’ and ‘Ennennum Kurangettandeh
  • His last movie was ‘Ok Chacko Cochin Mumbai’


World Tuberculosis Day – March 24 2016

World Tuberculosis Day is being celebrated worldwide that aims to raise public awareness of tuberculosis and the efforts made to eliminate the disease.

  • This event is held on March 24 each year and is promoted by organizations such as the World Health Organization.
  • World TB Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization.
  • The theme of World TB Day 2016 is “Unite to End Tuberculosis”.