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- Current Affairs 2017 March
Andhra Pradesh Renames Tirupati Airport and Vijayawada Airport
i. The Andhra Pradesh State Cabinet during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on March 2, 2017 approved proposals to rename the Vijayawada Airport and the Tirupati Airport.
ii. The cabinet proposed to rename the Vijayawada Airport in Gannavaram as ‘Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) Amaravati Airport’ after the legendary actor and founder of the ruling Telugu Desam Party and the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
iii. The Tirupati Airport at Renigunta has been renamed as ‘Sri Venkateswara Airport’ after Lord Venkateswara of the temple town.
iv. The state government will send the renaming proposal to the Union Government for final approval.
Airports in Andhra Pradesh
♦ International Airport: Visakhapatnam Airport
♦ Domestic Airport: Vijayawada Airport at Gannavaram, Rajahmundry Airport at Madhurapudi, Tirupati Airport at Renigunta, Cuddapah Airport.
Maharashtra Cabinet Plans to Regulate Web-Based Taxi Services
The Maharashtra government led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has decided to implement the Maharashtra City Taxi Regulations 2017 to regulate the web-based taxi services in the state.
♦ The aim of the move is to ensure affordable travel for passengers and commuters and bring transparency.
♦ The decision was based on the complaints that web-based taxis like Ola, Uber, Taxi for Sure charged fares as per the supply of the taxi services and demand by the commuters.
Key Features of the Regulation
i. As per the new regulation, the vehicle would have GPS/GPRS system in the vehicle and there will be a display of the route and fare to be recovered for the same.
ii. Besides, the service providers will have to register in the city where they wish to operate the taxi service.
iii. These taxi services will have separate permits and will be air-conditioned. They will run on clean fuel.
iv. The taxi drivers would be required to give a bill for the payment made by the commuters. Government will formulate the maximum and minimum fare. The fares will be different for small taxis, medium luxury taxis and large taxis.
v. The normal black and yellow taxis that run in the city can also upgrade to air-conditioned and register as app-based service but they would not be allowed to shift back again to meter system.
India to supply additional 60 MW power to Bangladesh
i. North Eastern state Tripura has agreed to supply an additional 60 MW to Bangladesh over the 100 MW of power the north-eastern state is supplying to the neighbouring country.
ii. This development comes after Bangladesh sought 100 MW electricity from India to solve its power crisis in the eastern part of the nation. They have no transmission facility to receive their entire request of 100 MW now.
iii. The Country has been receiving 100 MW since March 23, 2016, besides it has also been provided 500 MW by the West Bengal government.
♦ Capital: Dhaka
♦ Currency: Bangladeshi taka
♦ Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
♦ President: Abdul Hamid
Haryana Government announces Tirtha Darshan Scheme for Senior Citizen
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced Tirtha Darshan Scheme on March 3, 2017 during the ongoing budget session of the Haryana Assembly.Under the scheme, senior citizens of Haryana domicile above the age of 60 years will be able to go on a Pilgrimage within the country at government expense.
♦ The government would bear the entire cost of the tour of senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
♦ In case of a couple, the expenses of the spouse belonging to BPL family would also be borne by the government. They would also be allowed to take an assistant along with them.In case of senior citizens of non-BPL families, the government would bear only 70 percent of the cost.
♦ The selection of the senior citizens for the pilgrimage would be made by a district committee headed by the deputy commissioner on the basis of draw of lots.The maximum number of pilgrims would be only 250 every year and over 400 destinations can be visited under the scheme.
Facts about Haryana
i. Folk Dances: Jhumar, Ras Leela, Phag Dance, Daph, Dhamal, Khoria.
ii. Main Agricultural Products of Haryana – Rice, wheat, maize, bajra, cotton, sugarcane, barley, potato and pulses.
iii. Haryana is India’s largest manufacturer of passenger cars, motorcycles, bicycle, refrigerator, scientific instruments and tractors.
iv. Famous sportsperson like Kapil Dev (Chandigarh), Saina Nehwal (Dhindar), Vijender Singh (Bhivani), Sakshi Malik belong to Haryana.
v. Haryana is the first state which has electrified all of its villages.
India To Lead the world in Smartphone Adoption During 2016-2020: GSMA Report
i. According to the GSM Association report released in Barcelona, India will lead the world in Smartphone adoption with a net addition of 350 million connections in 2016-20. The report was based on the estimates of the GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2016 conducted across 56 countries on the mobile usage trend.
ii. As per the report, the developing world is set to add 1.6 billion smartphone connections between 2016 and 2020.
iii. It also stated that the Smartphone adoption across developing markets will increase from an average of 47 percent in 2016 to 62 percent in 2020 which would be led by India, China and Indonesia.
iv. In developing region, the Smartphone accounted for 51 percent of all mobile connections at the end of 2016 which was greater than that of basic and feature phone in all regions except sub-Saharan Africa.
IMF Reaches Preliminary Agreement with Ukraine
i. The International Monetary Fund reached a preliminary agreement with Ukraine on an updated Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies on March 4, 2017.
ii. The agreement will pave way for the IMF’s Executive Board to consider the third review of the arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and disburse fresh aid of $1 billion (0.9 billion euros) to Ukraine in the first half of March 2017.
iii. The International Monetary Fund approved a $17.5 billion loan program for 4 years for Ukraine in 2015 to help the former Soviet republic financially amid a conflict with pro-Russia rebels.
iv .Disbursements under the programme have seen repeated delays over the past two years due to stop-start progress on reforms. So far Ukraine has received $7.7 billion under the programme.
v. After the latest consultations with the IMF conclude, the disbursement of the fourth tranche must be approved by the Fund’s Board at a meeting in Washington.
♦ Capital: Kiev
♦ Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia
♦ President: Petro Poroshenko
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
♦ The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization of 189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
♦ CEO: Christine Lagarde
♦ Founded: 27 December 1945
China hikes defence budget to $150 billion
i. People’s Republic of China has increased its defence budget by 7% for 2017, the lowest increase in seven years and second year in row.
ii. In real terms, the defence budget of the world’s largest armed forces, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is likely to be close to the $ 145 billion-mark.
iii. China’s defence budget is much smaller compared to that of the US, which announced a 10% increase in its defence outlay after the change of oval office.
iv. The country minimised its defence expenditure is a follow suit of its neighbours with many of whom Beijing has maritime disputes.
BANKING & FINANCE
IRDAI Proposes 50% Hike In Motor Insurance Premium From April 1
i. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has proposed to increase the insurance premium to 50 percent for cars, motor cycles as well as commercial vehicles from April 1.
ii. The proposed hike would be applicable for mid-segment cars (1,000 – 1,500 cc) as well as bigger cars and SUVs. The insurance premium would be raise to Rs 3,355 for cars up to 1,000 cc and Rs 9,246 for bigger ones.
iii. However, the third party motor insurance premium for small cars (up to 1,000 cc) would remain same at Rs 2,055.
iv. The regulator has also not proposed any increase for two-wheelers having engines up to 75 cc. However, the insurance premium for sports bikes and super bikes (more than 350 cc) has been increased to Rs 1,194 from the present Rs 796.
v. The proposal has been made to increase the premium for tractors up to 6 HP from Rs 510 to Rs 765.
vi. IRDAI also proposes to increase premium rates for e-rickshaw and entry level bikes (77-150 cc) and performance category (150-350 cc).
vii. IRDAI has released exposure draft on premium rates for motor third party insurance covers for the financial year 2017-18 and invited stakeholders comments till March 18.
viii. The insurance premiums have been calculated on the accident related data from 2011-12 to 2015-16 provided by the Insurance Information Bureau of India (IIBI).
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)
♦ The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is an autonomous, statutory agency tasked with regulating and promoting the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.
♦ Chairman: T.S. Vijayan
♦ Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana
PAC Favors Naming and Shaming of Corporate Houses to Deal with NPA
i. K V Thomas, Chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has come out with a solution of “Naming and Shaming” big corporate houses which default on repayment of bank loans to help financial institutions get back their money.
ii. According to the government data, the Non Performing Assets (NPA) of the scheduled commercial banks was about Rs. 6.8 lakh crore in September 2016.
iii. Out of the Rs 6.8 lakh crore of NPA, around 70 percent constitutes those taken by big corporate houses, while hardly 1 percent of it constitutes loans to farmers.
iv. In case of farmers or small traders banks act strong and they go to their houses to recover money. They even get published their name and photograph in newspapers. But when it comes to corporate houses, they don’t reveal the names.
v. Thus the PAC intends to give names of such big defaulters who owe money to banks in their reports to be submitted in Lok Sabha before the end of budget session.
China sets 2017 GDP growth target at around 6.5%
i. National People’s Congress, (NPC) of China has set its GDP growth target at around 6.5 per cent for 2017, compared with a target range of 6.5 to 7 per cent last year.
ii. The Downward target reflects the market situation globally that forces the world’s second largest economy to set this target. The GDP last year reached 74.4 trillion yuan (over USD 11 trillion) clocking 6.7 per cent.
iii. The GDP target is in consistent with both economic principles and realities and will help to stabilise market expectations and facilitate the country’s structural adjustments.
iv. The NPC in its target report mentioned that it is targeting over 11 million for urban job creation this year emphasizing the greater importance China attaches to employment.
Facebook Launches ‘SheLeadsTech’ to Support Women Founded Startups in India
i. Social networking giant Facebook has launched a new initiative named SheLeadsTech to support startups which are founded or co-founded by women population.
ii. The aim of the program is to encourage more women founders who wish to have their own startup or business.
iii. The year long program will give the startups access to “FBStart” which will provide tools, resources and mentorship to help overcome some of the barriers they face.
iv. Under the mentorship programme the women founders will get support and advice from an all-women mentor panel.
v. Besides, Facebook will also be expanding its SheMeansBusiness program that supports women-led small businesses.
♦ Facebook (FB) is an American for-profit corporation and online social media and social networking service.
♦ Founded: February 2004
♦ Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, United States
♦ Chairman: Mark Zukerberg
Ola Signs MoU with MP Government to Train 25,000 People
i. Online cab aggregator Ola has signed MoU with Government of Madhya Pradesh on March 4, 2017 to impart training to 25,000 youths in the state.
ii. The MoU was signed between Madhya Pradesh State Skill Development Mission (MPSSDM) and Directorate of Skill Development (Technical Education & Skill Development Dept).
iii. The aim of the MOU is to provide training, skill development and empowerment of 25,000 driver partners in the next two years.
iv. Besides, the company has also set a goal of nurturing micro entrepreneurship and skilling 50 lakh drivers by 2020.
v. Ola will work closely with the Skill Development Department of the state in providing essential training infrastructure, utilities and technology framework to ensure an improved employment scenario for the youth of Madhya Pradesh.
vi. In addition, Ola will organize on-ground events, build communication modules and create conducive ecosystem for aspiring driver partners to get requisite training and skills.
♦ ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd., operating under the trade name Ola, is an Indian online transportation network company founded as an online cab aggregator in Mumbai, but is now based in Bangalore.
♦ Ola operates in 5 cities Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
♦ Founded: 2010
♦ CEO: Bhavish Aggarwal
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
M P Veerendra Kumar Presented Moortidevi Award
i.Eminent Malayalam author and journalist M P Veerendra Kumar was presented the 30th Moortidevi award by Bharatiya Jnanpith organisation in Kozhikode Kerala.
ii.The Sahitya Akademi award winning writer was chosen for the prominent award for his Malayalam travelogue Hymavathabhoovil, which dwells upon ancient trails of Indian culture, myth, literature and people strewn in the plains, valleys and mountains of India”.
iii.The book also portraits environmental concerns over “fragile mountain ecosystem” and calls for action over lack of water resources and waste disposal systems.
♦ Moortidevi award, which is presented every year for “contemplative and perceptive work” published in in all Indian languages besides English pertaining to Indian philosophy.
♦ The precious Award consists of a Saraswati statue, a citation plaque and cash award of Rs four lakh.
♦ Kumar, a native of Kerala who earlier won the Sahitya Akademi award for the same book, is also the Kerala state unit President of Janata Dal (United). He is currently a trustee of Press Institute of India.
♦ A prolific writer and an eminent entrepreneur, Kumar is Chairman and Managing Director of the Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi and a Rajya Sabha MP.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Baichung Bhutia removed as AIFF advisor
i. Former India Football captain Bhaichung Bhutia was removed from the post advisor to both the AIFF and President Praful Patel.
ii. The decorated footballer was removed from the post last December after AGM, It is learnt that out of favour with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) due to differences in opinion this development occurred.
iii. The Sikkim based Bhutia was roped in as advisor two years back and has since then been involved in bringing India coach Stephen Constantine back till February 2018.
All India Football Federation
♦ Founded: 1937
♦ Headquarters Dwarka, Delhi,
♦ President: Praful Patel
Study Finds Earth’s Mantle 60 degrees Hotter than Thought
i. According to the findings by United States based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the Earth’s mantle is about 60 degree Celsius hotter than as previously thought by the scientists.
ii. The new study could change the thinking of the scientists regarding the issues in Earth science including how ocean basins form.
iii. The result is significant as a hotter mantle would be more fluid and thus help to better explain the movement of rigid tectonic plates.
iv. Since it is not possible to measure the mantles temperature directly, geologists have to estimate it through laboratory experiments that simulate the high pressures and temperatures inside the Earth.
v.The finding was published in the journal Science
List of Winners of the ISSF Shooting World Cup 2017
i. The 2017 ISSF World Cup was held at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad in New Delhi from February 22-March 4, 2017.The annual ISSF World Cup is governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation.
ii. Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu bagged the first ever gold medal in the newly included 10m pistol mixed event at the ISSF Shooting World Cup.
iii. Pooja Ghatkar clinched bronze medal in the women’s 10m air rifle event in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup.
iv. India’s Deepak Kumar gave an impressive performance in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.
v. Jitu Rai won gold medal in the 50-metre free pistol event on March 1, 2017 in the ISSF World Cup
Overall Medal Tally
2017 Dubai Tennis Championships
i. The Dubai Tennis Championships (also known as the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for sponsorship reasons) were held at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
ii. Britain’s Andy Murray claimed his first title of the year with a straight-sets victory over Fernando Verdasco despite a soggy start in the high octane game.
|Men’s Singles||Andy Murray (United Kingdom)||Fernando Verdasco(Spain)|
|Women’s Singles||Elina Svitolina(Ukraine)||Caroline Wozniacki(Denmark)|
|Men’s Doubles||Netherlands Pair
Jean-Julien Rojer / Romania Horia Tecău
|Rohan Bopanna (India) / Marcin Matkowski (Poland)|
|Women’s Doubles||Ekaterina Makarova(Russia) / Elena Vesnina(Russia)||Andrea Hlaváčková (Czech Republic) / Peng Shuai ( China)|
101st Birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik observed in Odisha
i. Odisha observed the 101st birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik on March 5, 2017.
ii. As a part of the occasion, the mini-marathon was flagged off by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from Biju Patnaik Park in Bhubaneswar which ended at the Kalinga Stadium.
iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to Biju Patnaik and acknowledged his diligence with which he served the society.
iv. Biju Patnaik was born on March 5 in 1916. He had serve as the Chief Minister of Odisha for two times, in 1961 and 1990.
v. Patnaik who is also known as ‘Sher-e-Utkal’ (Lion of Odisha) died in 1997.
iv. Odisha has made considerable development under his leadership in infrastructure, job creation, attracting investment and women empowerment.