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Current Affairs Today March 5 2018

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang’s India Visit
i. On March 3, 2018, India and Vietnam signed following three Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) after talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modiand Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.
ii. On March 3, 2018, President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang inaugurated ‘Vietnam Days in India’ exhibition at the India International Centre in New Delhi, showcasing different forms of arts and culture of Vietnam.
iii. After the signing of above stated MoUs, a joint statement was issued mentioning that India and Vietnam will take concrete measure to achieve the bilateral trade target of USD 15 billion by 2020. ……………………………………..Click here to Read more

I&B Minister Smiriti Irani inaugurates FICCI Frame in Mumbai
On March 5, 2018, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Smiriti Irani inaugurated 2018 edition of FICCI Frames in Mumbai.
I&B Minister Smiriti Irani inaugurates FICCI Frame in MumbaiMore information about FICCI FRAMES 2018:
i. 2018 edition of FICCI Frames, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI’s) annual convention on the film and entertainment market is a three-day global convention covering the entire gamut of Media and Entertainment Industry viz. films, broadcasts (TV & Radio), Print Media etc.
ii. Nearly 2000 Indian and 800 foreign delegates from Media and Entertainment sector will be attending this event.
iii. 35 knowledge sessions will be conducted during the course of this event and 200 high profile speakers from across the world will share their views.
Quick Facts about Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI):
♦ Formation Year: 1927
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Organisation Type: Non-Government Trade Association

International Yoga festival held in Rishikesh
On March 1, 2018, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurated the week-long 29th edition of annual International Yoga Festival (IYF) at Parmarth Niketan ashram in Rishikesh.
International Yoga festival held in RishikeshHighlights of 29th International Yoga Festival:
i. However, 29th International Yoga Festival was officially inaugurated by Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu on March 3, 2018.
ii. The International Yoga Festival has been organised by Parmarth Niketan Ashram in association with Union Ministry of AYUSH, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd.
iii. In addition to daily yoga classes, 200 sessions on topics such as Ashtanga yoga, Bhakti yoga, Kundalini yoga and Ganga yoga will be conducted during the course of this event.
iv. More than 80 saints, yogacharyas, presenters and experts from nearly 20 countries will take part in these sessions.
v. Over 1500 yoga practitioners from 94 countries have gathered in Rishikesh for this week-long festival.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Global Firepower ranks India’s military as fourth strongest, Pakistan on 13th
In terms of military prowess, India has ranked 4th out of 133 countries on the Global Firepower (GFP) list 2017.
Global Firepower List 2017 – Highlights:
i. India at 4th rank, trails behind only US, Russia and China.
ii. India and China’s high rank can be largely attributed to a sizeable number of armed personnel, which is the most important ranking parameter………………………………………………Click here to Read more
Global Firepower List 2017:

1 United States
2 Russia
3 China
4 India
5 France
6 United Kingdom
7 Japan
8 Turkey
9 Germany
10 Egypt

Marshall Islands becomes 1st country to launch own cryptocurrency as legal tender
Marshall Islands has announced that, it will launch its own cryptocurrency and it will be circulated as legal tender along with the U.S. dollar.
Marshall Islands becomes 1st country to launch own cryptocurrency as legal tenderMarshall Islands – 1st country to launch own cryptocurrency as legal tender:
i. This cryptocurrency is named SOV. Its legal tender status has been approved by the parliament of Marshall Islands.
ii. It has been said that, the SOV will be issued to the public through an initial coin offering.  Marshall Islands has limited the SOV supply at 24 million tokens to prevent inflation.
iii. SOV will function like regular money. Marshall Islands has tied up with Neema, an Israeli financial technology startup, for issuing SOV.
iv. The launch date of SOV has not yet been decided. SOV functions on “Yakwe framework”. This system mandates users to identify themselves on the blockchain. This will eliminate the anonymity problem that affected bitcoin.
About Marshall Islands:
♦ President – Hilda Heine
♦ Official languages – Marshallese, English

BANKING & FINANCE

Government constitutes Steering Committee on Fintech related issues
Central Government has constituted a Steering Committee to consider various issues relating to development of Financial Technology (Fintech) space in India.
Details about Steering Committee on Fintech related issues:
i. This committee will be headed by Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs(DEA) under Ministry of Finance.
ii. Objective of this committee is to come up with measures aimed to make Fintech related regulations in India, more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship.
iii. While considering various related issues, the Steering Committee will focus on how Fintech can be leveraged to enhance financial inclusion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
iv. Idea to constitute such committee for Fintech related issues was first announced by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget 2018.

HDFC, Happay partner to help firms manage T&E expenses
HDFC Bank and Happay, a business expense management solution provider, have entered in to a collaboration to introduce a new prepaid card-linked Travel and Entertainment (T&E) expense management solution which will help Indian firms to efficiently manage their business travel expenditure.
Details about HDFC Bank – Happay collaboration:
i. Through Happay-HDFC Bank prepaid cards and Happay mobile app, employees of the companies will be able to seek trip advances, get trip itineraries pre-approved by management, do trip bookings and even file trip expenses digitally.
ii. This solution will be equally useful from Company’s management, as it will help to manage employee cards online – from loading and withdrawing funds from cards, activating and deactivating cards, setting card limits and view travel spend analytics.
iii. This solution holds special significance in context of a report published by Forrester Research (an American market research company) which highlighted that Indian business travel is on the rise and T&E expense still remains the second most difficult operating expense to control in an organisation.
Quick Facts about HDFC Bank:
♦ Founded in – 1994
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current MD – Aditya Puri
♦ Tagline – ‘We Undertand Your World’

RBI to conduct additional repo operations to provide liquidity support to banks
On March 5, 2018, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it will conduct additional repo operations during March 2018 to provide additional liquidity support to banks.
RBI to conduct additional repo operations to provide liquidity support to banksRBI’s additional repo operations:
i. Repo operation are undertaken by RBI to provide liquidity to banks which helps in overcoming temporary liquidity mismatches.
ii. In the current scenario, wherein the liquidity has tightened in the banking system owning credit growth outpacing deposit growth, additional repo operations appear to be a viable way out.
iii. Thus, RBI will provide additional liquidity support to banks by undertaking additional repo operations for longer tenors up to 31 days, on every Tuesday of March 2018 for Rs 25000 crore each.
iv. These operations will thereby infuse liquidity aggregating Rs 1 lakh crore in to the banking system by the end of March 2018.
Quick Facts about Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
♦ Commenced Operations on: 1st April 1935
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Current Governor: Mr. Urjit Patel

RBI lifts per-borrower loan cap for MSMEs
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to remove the per borrower loan limits to Micro/ Small and Medium Enterprises (Services) for classification under priority sector lending.
RBI lifts per-borrower loan cap for MSMEs:
i. This has been done in a move to increase importance of the services sector and to encourage banks to lend more to the services sector.
ii. Loans to Micro/ Small and Medium Enterprises (Services) up to Rs 5 crore and Rs 10 crore, respectively, was considered priority sector lending (PSL) previously.
iii. Now the per borrower loan limits to Micro/ Small and Medium Enterprises (Services) have been removed.
iv. Hence all bank loans to MSMEs that are involved in services as specified in terms of investment in equipment under the MSMED Act, 2006,will be considered priority sector lending without any credit limit.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Governor – Urjit Patel

Citibank India launches home loans linked to T-Bill
On 5th March 2018, Citibank introduced a new variable interest rate mortgage product that will be linked to the 90-day Treasury bills and will change every quarter.
Citibank India launches home loans linked to T-BillCitibank India launches home loans linked to T-Bill:
i. Citibank will charge a spread above the 90-day Treasury bill rate based on the borrower profile. Changes will be made in the rates once in every quarter on March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1.
ii. Citibank will take the t-bill rate on 12th of February, May, August and November from Financial Benchmarks India Pvt Ltd to fix the benchmark rate.The T-Bill-linked home loan is based on the 3-month T-Bill rates published on the 12th of each month by Financial Benchmarks India Pvt Ltd (FBIL)
iii. Citibank has chosen 90 day treasury bills since it provides better accuracy on local rates. Also, resetting the rates every quarter, makes sure that, the rates are in line with market reality.
About Citibank:
♦ Headquarters – New York City
♦ CEO – Michael Corbat
♦ Country treasurer for India – Badri Nivas

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Krishna Kumari Kohli becomes Pakistan’s first Hindu woman to be elected to Senate
On 3rd March 2018, Krishna Kumari Kohli became Pakistan’s first Hindu woman to be elected to Senate.
Krishna Kumari Kohli – Pakistan’s first Hindu woman to be elected to Senate:
i. Krishna Kumari Kohli contested on behalf of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from a constituency reserved for women candidates in Tharparkar district.
ii. She has won the election conducted on 3rd March 2018 and has become the first Hindu woman of Pakistan to be elected to Senate.
iii. Krishna Kumari Kohli was born in 1979 in a poor family. She was married off when she was in ninth class.
iv. She continued her education as husband and family supported her education. She completed her master’s degree in sociology from University of Sindh in 2013.
About Pakistan People’s Party (PPP):
♦ Headquarters – Islamabad, Pakistan
♦ Chairperson – Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

MS Dhoni becomes Brand Ambassador of gaming platform Dream11
On 5th March 2018, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named the brand ambassador of Dream11, a gaming platform.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni – brand ambassador of Dream11:
MS Dhoni becomes Brand Ambassador of gaming platform Dream11i. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be the new face of Dream11’s multi-channel marketing campaigns and brand engagement activities.
ii. Dream11 has a user base of 2 crore players currently. Its main products are related to cricket, football, kabaddi and basketball.
About Dream11:
♦ CEO – Harsh Jain
♦ Corporate Office – Mumbai

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Oscars 2018: The Shape of Water bags Best Picture Award
90th Academy Awards ceremony, popularly referred to as Oscars 2018, honouring the best films of 2017 was held in Los Angeles, California, United States.
i. Fantasy drama film, ‘The Shape of Water’ got the most awards (in 4 categories) including the Best Picture Award. ii. ‘The Shape of Water’ was also credited with most nominations (in 13 categories)……………….Click here to Read more
Oscars 2018 – Winners List

Categories Winner
Best Picture The Shape of Water
Best Director Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
Best Actor Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
Best Actress Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actor Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Best Original Screenplay Get Out – Written by Jordan Peele
Best Adapted Screenplay Call Me by Your Name – James Ivory based on the novel by André Aciman
Best Animated Feature Film Coco
Best Foreign Language Film A Fantastic Woman (Chile) in Spanish
Best Live Action Short Film The Silent Child
Best Animated Short Film Dear Basketball
Best Original Score The Shape of Water – Alexandre Desplat
Best Original Song “Remember Me” from Coco – Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Best Sound Editing Dunkirk – Richard King and Alex Gibson
Best Sound Mixing Dunkirk – Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker and Gary A. Rizzo
Best Production Design The Shape of Water – Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin
Best Cinematography Blade Runner 2049 – Roger A. Deakins
Best Makeup and Hairstyling Darkest Hour – Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick
Best Costume Design Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges
Best Film Editing Dunkirk – Lee Smith
Best Visual Effects Blade Runner 2049 – John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambertand Richard R. Hoover

SPORTS

Viswanathan Anand wins Rapid event at the 11th Tal Memorial Chess
On 4th March 2018, Viswanathan Anand won the rapid event at the 11th Tal Memorial chess in Moscow, Russia.
Viswanathan Anand wins Rapid event at the 11th Tal Memorial ChessViswanathan Anand wins Rapid event at 11th Tal Memorial Chess:
i. Viswanathan Anand completed the rapid event with 6 points and emerged as the winner. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov finished second with 5 points.
iiIt was a 10-player event. It was played as a single round-robin competition. Players should make all of their moves in 25 minutes.
About 11th Tal Memorial Chess:
♦ Dates – 2nd to 4th March 2018
♦ Venue – Museum of Russian Impressionists, Moscow

OBITUARY

Noted Disability rights activist Javed Abidi passes away
On 4th March 2018, Javed Abidi, a disability rights activist, died due to chest infection.
Death of Javed Abidi:
i. Javed Abidi was 53 years old. He was the Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP).
ii. He also held the position of Global Chair of Disabled People International (DPI).
iii. He was born in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. He had worked for the welfare for disabled people. He had lead protests that urged the passing of the Persons with Disabilities Act in 1992.
About National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP):
♦ Established – 1996
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Purpose – working as an interface between the Government, Industry, International Agencies, and the Voluntary Sector towards empowerment of persons with disabilities

Odia actor Sarat Mohanty passes away
On 3rd March 2018, Sarat Mohanty died following a long term illness, at a hospital in Odisha.
Odia actor Sarat Mohanty passes awayDeath of Sarat Mohanty:
i. Sarat Mohanty was 88 years old. He was a comedian. He had acted in several Odia movies.
ii. He had also acted in various TV serials. His popular works are: Laxmi, Amadabata, Kaa, Stree, Puja Phula, Bhulihuena, Malhajanha, etc.
Some National Parks in Odisha:
♦ Bhitarkanika National Park
♦ Simlipal National Park