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Current Affairs Today March 3 2018

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

India to have its own size chart for clothes, NIFT to conduct survey
Under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Textiles, the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) – New Delhi, will conduct a National Sizing Survey of India to develop an ‘India size chart’ for the garment industry.
i. The survey would be administered on 25000 men and women in the age group of 15-65 years, across six cities and regions viz. Kolkata (east), Mumbai (west), New Delhi (north), Hyderabad (centre), Bengaluru (south) and Shillong (north-east), using 3D whole-body scanners.
ii. Approximate cost for the project would be Rs. 30 crore, out of which Rs. 21 crore would be provided by Union Ministry of Textiles while NIFT will chip in Rs. 9 crore…………………………………………………Click here to Read more

Odisha launches scheme ‘KHUSHI’ to provide free sanitary pads
On 26th February 2018, the Odisha government launched ‘Khushi’, a scheme that offers free sanitary pads to 17 lakh girl students in Odisha.Odisha launches Khushi schemeKhushi:
i. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the scheme ‘Khushi’. This will offer free sanitary pads for girl students from Class 6 to 12 studying in all government and government-aided schools of Odisha.
ii. He said that, this scheme will help in improving health and hygiene of adolescent girls and in higher retention of girl students in school.
iii. Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena said that, Odisha government will also provide sanitary pads at a subsidised price to rural women through ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers.
Some temples in Odisha:
♦ Konark Sun Temple – Konark
♦ Jagannath Temple – Puri

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Pakistan admits to being on ‘grey list’ of FATF
On March 1, 2018, Pakistan confirmed that it will be on the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) from June 2018.
i. Decision to place Pakistan on ‘grey list’ was taken at FATF meeting in February 2018.
ii. Pakistan will be placed on the ‘grey list’ as FATF has observed deficiencies in its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Terrorist Financing framework.
iii. Being on the ‘grey list’ will make it harder for Pakistan Government to raise money from foreign sources, including multilateral financing agencies.
Quick Facts about FATF:
♦ Formed in – 1989
♦ Purpose – To combat money laundering and terrorist financing across the world
♦ Headquarters – Paris, France

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI lifts per-borrower loan cap for MSMEs
In a bid to increase the importance of services sector and to encourage banks to lend more to this sector, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to remove the per borrower loan limits for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) involved in services, for classification under priority sector lending.RBI stretched out SAARC Swap ArrangementLending to MSMEs:
i. In case of the services sector, MSMED (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development) Act, 2006 defines micro and small enterprises as an entity where the investment is more than Rs.10 lakh, but does not exceed Rs. 2 crore.
ii. Mmedium enterprise has been defined as an entity where the investment in equipment is more than Rs. 2 crore but does not exceed Rs.5 crore.
iii. As per the current norms, loans to Micro/ Small enterprises up to Rs. 5 crore and loans to Medium Enterprises up to Rs. 10 crore were classified as priority sector lending (PSL).
iv. However, with the removal of this cap, all loans to MSMEs involved in providing/rendering services will be classified as priority sector lending.
About Priority Sector Lending:
♦ A specified portion of a bank’s total lending to be extended to select sectors is referred to as Priority Sector lending. Some of the priority sectors are agriculture and allied activities, micro, small and medium enterprises; education; housing etc.

BUSINESS

CBDT achieves important milestone of signing 200 APAs
During the month of February 2018, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into seven more Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs), taking the total number of APAs to 203 so far.
Details about APAs signed by CBDT:
i. All seven APAs signed in February 2018 are unilateral APAs and pertain to automobile, pharmaceuticals, Financial and Food & Beverages sectors.
ii. Out of all APAs entered into by the CBDT till date, 185 are Unilateral APAs and 18 are Bilateral APAs.
iii. In the current financial year, i.e. 2017-18, CBDT has entered into 51 APAs so far, out of which, 44 are Unilateral and 7 are Bilateral.
iv. APA provisions were introduced in the Income-tax Act, 1961 in 2012. Objective of APA scheme is to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and thereby reducing litigation.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Shatrughan Sinha wins lifetime achievement award in UK
Indian Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the fields of arts and politics at the annual ‘Political and Public Life Awards’ presented by Britain’s Asian Voice weekly newspaper.Shatrughan Sinha wins lifetime achievement award in UKShatrughan Sinha’s Accomplishments:
i .‘Political and Public Life Awards’ presented by Britain’s Asian Voice weekly newspaper, honours individuals who have made a significant impact on public life or made a difference in their local communities.
ii. The award ceremony was held on March 1, 2018 at the Members’ Dining Room in the House of Commons building in UK’s Parliament complex.
iii. Shatrughan Sinha started his career as an actor in late 1960s. Till date, he has acted in over 225 films.
iv. He is a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He represents Bihar state’s Patna Sahib Constituency in the Lok Sabha.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Armen Sarkisian elected as President of Armenia
On March 2, 2018, Armenian Parliament elected Armen Sarkisian as country’s next president.Armen Sarkisian elected as President of ArmeniaMore Information about Armen Sarkisian:
i. 64 years-old Armen Sarkisian is Armenia’s former Prime Minister and currently serving as Armenia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.
ii. In the Presidential vote by Armenia’s National Assembly, 90 members voted in favour of Armen Sarkisian, 10 voted against and one abstained.
iii. This is the first time in Armenia’s history, that a president has been elected by the National Assembly instead of popular vote.
iv.Armen Sarkisian will succeed the incumbent President Serge Sarkisian, whose term will end on April 9, 2018.
Quick Facts about Armenia:
♦ Capital – Yerevan
♦ Currency – Dram
♦ Current Prime Minister – Karen Karapetyan
♦ Neighbouring Countries – Turkey, Georgia, Iran, Azerbaijan

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA launches advanced weather satellite for western U.S.
On March 1, 2018, NASA launched GOES-S, another of world’s most advanced weather satellites.
Details about NASA’s GOES-S:
i. Abbreviation GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites.
ii. GOES-S has been launched to safeguard Western US, by monitoring, forecasting and providing crisp images of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, mudslides and other natural calamities.
iii. GOES-16, the first spacecraft in the series, has been monitoring the Atlantic and US East Coast for the past year for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of US.
iv. GOES-S will not only keep a watch over West Coast of US, Alaska and Hawaii, but also over Mexico and Central America.
Quick Facts about NASA:
♦ Formed in – 1958
♦ Headquarters – Washington D.C., US

SPORTS

India won Snooker Team World Cup
On March 2, 2018, India won the inaugural IBSF Snooker Team World Cup in Doha, Qatar.
i. India beat Pakistan by 3-2 in the best-of-five final.India won Snooker Team World Cupii. In the finals, Indian duo of Pankaj Advani and Manan Chandra staged a remarkable recovery after being 0-2 down.
iii. In the semi finals, India won against Iran by 3-2, while Pakistan had beaten Hong Kong by 3-2.
Quick Facts about International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF):
♦ Functioning as IBSF since – 1973
♦ Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Shubhankar Sharma tied 2nd at WGC-Mexico Championship
Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma secured tied second position after the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Mexico City.
Shubhankar Sharma tied 2nd at WGC-Mexico Championship:
i. Shubhankar Sharma fired six-under 65 and obtained tied second position after the opening round. Now, he is one shot behind Louis Oosthuizen.
ii. This is the first WGC tournament for Shubhankar Sharma. Shubhankar Sharma is 21 years old.
About 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship:
♦ Dates – 1 – 4 March 2018
♦ Location – Mexico City

Navjot Kaur clinches India’s first gold in Asian Wrestling Championships
On 2nd March 2018, Navjot Kaur became the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in the Senior Asian Championships by winning gold medal in the 65kg freestyle category in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.Navjot Kaur clinches India's first gold in Asian Wrestling ChampionshipsNavjot Kaur clinches gold in the Asian Wrestling Championships:
i. India’s Navjot Kaur defeated Japan’s Miya Imai 9-1 in the finals of the women’s 65kg freestyle category and won gold medal. Also, this is India’s first gold medal in the 2018 Asian Wrestling Championships.
ii. India’s Sakshi Malik defeated Kazakhstan’s Ayaulym Kassymova 10-7 and won bronze medal in the 62kg freestyle category.
About 2018 Asian Wrestling Championships:
♦ Dates – 27th February – 4th March 2018
♦ Host – Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

OBITUARY

Former HUL Chairman T Thomas passes away
On 2nd March 2018, T Thomas, former Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Business Standard chairman, passed away at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.
Death of T Thomas:
i. T Thomas was 90 years old. He had been ill for some time. He was Chairman of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) from 1973 to 1980.
ii. He was also a visiting scholar at Sloan School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He was also non-executive chairman of companies like Glaxo and Lafarge.
About Hindustan Unilever (HUL):
♦ CEO & MD – Mr Sanjiv Mehta
♦ Chairman – Mr Harish Manwani

BOOKS & AUTHORS

“Namaste Shalom”, a magazine on India-Israel relations launched
On 2nd March 2018, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, launched the social media of “Namaste Shalom”, a magazine on India-Israel relations.“Namaste Shalom”, a magazine on India-Israel relations launchedNamaste Shalom:
i. The magazine ‘Namaste Shalom’ is edited by Tarun Vijay, former MP. Mr. Daniel Carmon, Israeli Ambassador to India, and other officials were also present on the occasion.
ii. Dr Jitendra Singh said that, a food processing centre in collaboration with Israel will be launched in Aizwal, Mizoram on 7th March 2018. The centre has been established at a cost of Rs 8-10 crore.
iii. This centre has been set up exclusively for processing of citrus fruits. This is the first such centre with Israeli collaboration in the North East region.
iv. This centre has been established through tripartite collaboration of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Government of Israel and State Government of Mizoram.
About Israel:
♦ President – Reuven Rivlin
♦ Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Wild Life Day – March 3
On 3rd March 2018, World Wild Life Day was celebrated all over the world.World Wild Life DayWorld Wild Life Day:
i. On 20th December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) announced 3 March, as UN World Wildlife Day, to mark the date on which the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed.
ii. The World Wild Life Day is celebrated to create awareness about the world’s wild animals and plants and safeguard them.
iii.The theme for World Wildlife Day 2018 is: “Big cats: predators under threat”.
About Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):
♦ Secretary General – John E. Scanlon
♦ CITES Secretariat – Geneva, Switzerland