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Current Affairs Today March 25 2018

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Indian Affairs

Seventh India-Egypt Joint Commission meeting held in New Delhi
On 23rd March 2018, the 7th Session of India Egypt Joint Commission Meeting was held in New Delhi.

Seventh India-Egypt Joint Commission meeting held in New Delhi7th Session of India Egypt Joint Commission Meeting:
i. Important people: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj led the Indian side. The Egyptian side was led by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
ii. Development in the political, trade & investment, cyber security, capacity building, security, space, culture sectors etc. were reviewed.
iii. Discussions were held on measures to deepen the bilateral cooperation between India and Egypt. Regional, international and multilateral issues of mutual interest were also discussed.
Some important temples in India:
♦ Vaishno Devi Temple – Katra, Jammu & Kashmir
♦ Golden Temple – Amritsar, Punjab
♦ Tirupati Balaji (Tirumala Venkateswara) Temple – Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh

Delhi government presents ‘green budget’ aims at controlling pollution
On March 22, 2018, Delhi government presented a ‘green budget’ aimed at controlling pollution and monitoring its impact on the environment.

Delhi government presents 'green budget’ aims at controlling pollutionHighlights of Delhi Government’s ‘Green Budget’:
i. Rs. 53000 crore Budget for fiscal 2018-19 was unveiled by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia (Aam Aadmi Party).
ii. Mr. Sisodia highlighted that, under Delhi Budget 2018-19, 26 programmes and schemes of transport, power, environment and PWD will be threaded together for devising a unified system of pollution control.
iii. The 26 initiatives include procuring 1000 electric buses, subsidies to restaurants to replace coal tandoors with electricity- or gas-based tandoors and undertaking a joint study with University of Washington to explore the possibility of using technology to ascertain the source of air pollution at designated spots.
iv.Rs 846 crore has been allocated to Public Works Department (PWD) for 2018-19 fiscal for executing several initiatives including landscaping of PWD roads to reduce dust and installation of LED street lights.
v. It is to be noted that 26 per cent of 2018-19 budgetary allocation is towards education, 12 per cent for health and 11 per cent for infrastructure development.
Quick Facts about Delhi:
♦ Chief Minister – Arvind Kejriwal
♦ Lt. Governor – Anil Baijal
♦ Important Monuments – India Gate, Red Fort, Jama Masid, Qutab Minar

IRDAI extends Aadhaar linking deadline for insurance policies
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has extended the deadline for linking of insurance policies with Aadhaar numbers indefinitely.

IRDAI extends Aadhaar linking deadline for insurance policiesInsurance Policies-Aadhaar number linking deadline:
i. Earlier, IRDAI had ordered all insurers to complete linking of existing insurance policies with Aadhaar before March 31, 2018.
ii. This decision has been taken by IRDAI in accordance with Supreme Court of India’s order to extend the deadline of linking Aadhaar indefinitely till the matter is finally heard and the judgement is pronounced.
iii. However, for the new insurance policies, a customer has to submit Aadhaar number and PAN/Form 60 to the insurers within six months from the date of buying the policy.
iv. Customers who are not able to submit Aadhaar number within stipulated time can submit any of the officially allowed document as mentioned in the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules 2005.
Quick facts about Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
♦ Constituted by – Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999
♦ Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
♦ Current Chairman – T.S.Vijayan

Sri Lanka Navy receives second India-built patrol vessel
On March 22, 2018, India has handed over a second advanced offshore patrol vessel (AOPV) to the Sri Lankan Navy.

Sri Lanka Navy receives second India-built patrol vessel Details about AOPV handed over by India to Sri Lankan Navy:
i. Construction work of this AOPV commenced in 2014 at the Goa Shipyard.
ii. The vessel was officially handed over to the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy Rear Admiral Neil Rosayro in presence of Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India, Chithrangani Vagiswara and Chairman and Managing Director of the Goa Shipyard Ltd. Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sheker Mithal.
iii. The AOPV is capable of conducting patrols, policing, undertaking search, rescue, reconnaissance, surveillance, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and pollution control operations in Sri Lanka’s maritime zones.
Quick Facts about Sri Lanka:
♦ Capital – Colombo
♦ Currency – Sri Lanka rupee
♦ Current President – Maithripala Sirisena
♦ Important Stadium in Sri Lanka – R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium

Bengal ranks top in highest no of beggars, Lakshadweep least
As per Census 2011 data, India is home to 413670 beggars. Among all state and Union Territories, highest number of beggars resides in West Bengal (nearly 81000 beggars), while Lakshadweep has only two beggars.
Data on Number of Beggars in India:
i. Above stated data on beggars was quoted by Union Minister for Social Justice Thawar Chand Gehlot in a written reply to Lok Sabha on March 21, 2018.
ii. Out of total 413670 beggars in India, 221673 are males and 191997 are females.
iii. In terms of highest number of beggars, West Bengal is followed by Uttar Pradesh (65835 beggars) and Andhra Pradesh (30218 beggars).
iv. Among Union Territories, New Delhi has highest number of beggars (2187).
v. In states like West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, there are more female beggars than male beggars.

Ambedkar Jayanti to be celebrated as ‘Social Justice Day’
On 23rd March 2018, BJP national spokesperson Anil Baluni announced that, the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar (14th April) will be celebrated as ‘Social Justice Day’.
Social Justice Day:
i. Dr BR Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891. He was the first law minister of independent India.
ii. He is the principal architect of the Indian Constitution. He is a founding father of the Republic of India.
iii. He fought against social discrimination of Dalits. He was an inspiration for the Dalit Buddhist Movement in 1956. In 1990, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna award posthumously.
About Dr BR Ambedkar:
♦ Profession – Jurist, economist, politician, social reformer
♦ Died – 6 December 1956

International Affairs

World’s largest cruise ship “Symphony of the Seas” sets sail
On March 23, 2018, world’s biggest cruise ship, ‘Symphony of the Seas’ was delivered to US company Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd. by French shipbuilder STX.

World’s largest cruise ship "Symphony of the Seas" sets sailMore information about “Symphony of the Seas”:
i. Symphony had been under construction since early 2015 at STX France shipyard in St. Nazaire, France.
ii. It is 362 metres long and weighs nearly 228000 tonnes, being marginally bigger than its sister ship, the ‘Harmony of the Seas’, which too was built by STX France and was delivered to Royal Caribbean in 2016.
iii. The ship costs a whopping USD 1.35 billion. With 2700 cabins, it can accommodate more than 8000 people including 2200 staff members.
iv. The ship has range of modern amenities including an ice rink, water park and full-size basketball court.

Banking & Finance

Metro Plus Card for IndusInd Bank Customers Launched
On March 25, 2018, Delhi Metro, in association with IndusInd Bank, launched a dual purpose Metro Plus’ debit card that will enable customers of IndusInd bank to use it for metro train rides as well as for all other regular debit card transactions.

Metro Plus Card for IndusInd Bank Customers LaunchedMore Information about Metro Plus Card for IndusInd Bank Customers:
i. The Metro Plus Card, developed by IndusInd bank, has an embedded Delhi Metro Transit chip along with the secured Debit Card Chip.
ii. The card can be topped-up via IndusInd Bank ATMs, IndusMobile app, net banking and SMS.
iii. The card users can also get their smart cards auto topped up at Delhi Metro’s (Automatic Fare Collection) AFC Gates.
Quick Facts about IndusInd Bank:
♦ Founded in – 1994
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current CEO – Ramesh Sobti


Appointments & Resigns

Balesh Sharma named CEO of Vodafone-Idea India merged entity
Vodafone Group and Aditya Birla Group have named Balesh Sharma as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Vodafone-Idea India merged entity.

Balesh Sharma named CEO of Vodafone-Idea India merged entityBalesh Sharma – CEO of Vodafone-Idea India merged entity:
i. Earlier, Balesh Sharma was the chief operating officer (COO) of Vodafone India. He joined Vodafone in 2003.
ii. Earlier, he was the business head of Gujarat Circle and the CEO of Vodafone Malta. He served as the CEO of Vodafone Czech Republic.
iii. He is a director on the Vodafone India Board and a member of its executive committee.
About Idea:
♦ Managing Director – Mr. Himanshu Kapania
♦ Corporate Office – Mumbai

Awards & Recognition

Ahmedabad airport receives award for ‘Most Improved Airport’
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, Gujarat has received ‘Most Improved Airport’ award in the Asia Pacific region, in Airport Service Quality awards 2017 organised by the Airport Council International (ACI).
i. ACI is a global non-profit organisation engaged in developing standards, policies and recommended practices for airports.
ii. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad handles 200 flight movements per day.
iii. The airport already has two aero-bridges and works for improving the food courts is also underway.
iv. Besides, upcoming Ahmedabad Metro Project is also connected to the airport, which on completion, will offer hassle-free ride for passengers to Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad.
Quick Facts about Airports Council International (ACI):
♦ Established in – 1991
♦ Located in – Montreal, Canada


PV Sindhu to be India’s flag-bearer at CWG opening ceremony
PV Sindhu has been chosen by IOA (Indian Olympic Association) as Indian contingent’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2018 at Gold Coast, Australia.

PV Sindhu to be India's flag-bearer at CWG opening ceremonyPV Sindhu to be India’s flag-bearer at CWG opening ceremony:
i. This will be the first time in the last three editions of the Commonwealth Games that a badminton player has been selected as the flag-bearer.
ii. She won bronze medal in the women’s singles badminton event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.
About IOA (Indian Olympic Association):
♦ President – Mr. Narinder Dhruv Batra
♦ Established – 1927

Sebastian Vettel wins F1 season’s first Grand Prix in Australia
On 25th March 2018, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won the 2018 Formula One Grand Prix of Australia, in at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, Australia.

Sebastian Vettel wins F1 season’s first Grand Prix in AustraliaSebastian Vettel wins F1 season’s first Grand Prix in Australia:
i. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton started the race from the pole position. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen started in the second position and he was followed by Sebastian Vettel in the third position.
ii. Sebastian Vettel finished the race in the first position and won the 2018 Formula One Grand Prix of Australia. Lewis Hamilton finished in the second position.
iii. Kimi Raikkonen finished in the third position. This is Sebastian Vettel’s 48th career victory.
About Sebastian Vettel:
♦ Nationality – German
♦ Age – 30

Pankaj Advani retains his Asian Billiards Championships title
On 24th March 2018, Pankaj Advani retained his Asian Billiards Championships title by winning over B Bhaskar 6-1 in the finals, in Yangon, Myanmar.

Pankaj Advani retains his Asian Billiards Championships titlePankaj Advani retains his Asian Billiards Championships title:
i. This victory makes Pankaj Advani the reigning Indian, Asian and world champion in billiards for 2017-18.
ii. This is his 11th gold medal at the Asian level. So far, he has won 7 continental billiards titles.
iii. India’s Amee Kamani bagged the Asian Women’s Snooker title by defeating Thailand’s Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan 3-0.
About World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association Limited (WPBSA):
♦ Purpose – governing body for both Snooker and Billiards worldwide
♦ Chairman, Player Director – Jason Ferguson


Veteran Journalist Ghulam Muhammad Mustafa Passed Away
On 18th March 2018, journalist Ghulam Muhammad Mustafa died at a hospital in Gurgaon, Haryana.
Death of Ghulam Muhammad Mustafa:
i. Ghulam Muhammad Mustafa is a retired Indian Information Service officer of the 1969 batch. He started his career with the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
ii. Later he was elevated as Additional Information Director at PIB. He also worked as a News Editor at All India Radio and Doordarshan. He retired from service in 2005.
About Doordarshan:
♦ Director General (News) – Ms. Ira Joshi
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi