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Shigmotsav 2018 organised in Goa
On 3rd to 17th Match 2018, Shigmotsav 2018 is conducted in various regions of Goa.
i. Shigmotsav or Shigmo is the biggest Hindu festival in Goa. During the festival, parades are conducted that depicts the life of Goan people.
ii. The parade features folk performances by local men and women. Folk dances like Ghode Modni and Fugdi are performed.
iii. Shigmotsav 2018 focuses on traditional folk dances and performance of mythological scenes.
iv. During the parade, Goan people are seen in colorful dresses with multi coloured flags and they play large musical instruments like Dhol Tasha and flutes.
Some wildlife sancturies of Goa:
♦ Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
India’s first helicopter taxi service launched in Bengaluru
India’s first helicopter taxi service (heli taxi) was launched in Bengaluru on March 5, 2018.
i. The first trip of the heli taxi was between Electronic City and Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and was completed in 15 minutes.
ii. This service has been launched by Kerala-based Thumby Aviation Private Limited, using a Bell 407 helicopter with a capacity of six passengers.
iii. Currently, the heli taxi will operate between Electronic City and Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru only. However, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) airport will also be added in the next few weeks.
iv. Seats can be booked online by downloading the Thumby mobile app (Heli Taxii).
v. The fare for this route is fixed at Rs 3500 per seat plus Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 18%.
Himachal to set up medicinal plant board centre
On March 5, 2018, Himachal Pradesh State Government approved the setting up of a regional-cum-facilitation centre of the National Medicinal Plants Board of the Ministry of Ayush.
Medicinal Plants Board Centre in Himachal Pradesh:
i. Decision in this regard was taken during the State Cabinet meeting chaired by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
ii. This centre will be set up in Jogindernagar town in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.
iii. Rs. 748.30 lakh has been allocated for setting up this centre, wherein the central government would provide a grant of Rs 149.60 lakh.
iv. The centre will provide inputs for conservation, cultivation and sale of medicinal plants and will also facilitate training, research and development of region-specific planting material.
Quick Facts about Himachal Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Shimla, Dharamshala (second capital, in winter)
♦ Current Governor – Acharya Dev Vrat
♦ Current Chief Minister – Jai Ram Thakur
♦ Important National Park – Pin Valley National Park, Khirganga National Park
Myanmar puts off border pact with India
Myanmar has indefinitely postponed signing an agreement with India to streamline the free movement of people within 16 km along the border.
i. In context of this news it is important to note that India and Myanmar share a 1643 km unfenced border.
ii. Indian states that share border with Myanmar are Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km).
iii. In January 2018, Union Cabinet had approved the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing with a view to enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries.
iv. Indian Government at Centre had also directed all the above mentioned states to distribute “border pass” to the residents living within 16 km from the border.
v. However, Myanmar has indefinitely deferred signing the agreement citing domestic compulsions.
Quick Facts about Myanmar:
♦ Capital – Naypyidaw
♦ Currency – Burmese kyat
♦ Current President – Htin Kyaw
♦ Important River – Irrawaddy
Indian Navy concludes gruelling two-month long war games “ENCORE”
On February 28, 2018, Indian Navy concluded a gruelling two-month long War Games.
i. The War Games were conducted on both, the Western Seaboard of India as well as the Eastern Seaboard, extending from the Northern Arabian sea off the coast of Gujarat to the Southern Indian ocean off the Sunda Straits near Indonesia
ii. The War Game on the Western seaboard was codenamed Exercise Paschim Lehar and on the Eastern Seaborad the code name was ENCORE (Eastern Naval Command Operational Readiness Exercise).
iii. Conducting War Games on both the seaboards was in line with Indian Navy’s threat perceptions of a two-front war.
iv. All operational ships, submarines and aircraft of Indian Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard along with men and equipment of the Army participated in these War Games.
Punjab inks MoU with Nandan Nilekani’s e-gov to provide online services
Punjab State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nandan Nilekani’s e-Governments Foundation (e-Gov) for managing of electronic governance of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across the state.
Information about MoU between Punjab Government and e-Gov:
i. As per the terms of the MoU, a total of 67 services would be provided online within a span of one year.
ii .The services have been grouped under 12 modules viz. property tax, complaints and grievance, water and sewerage management, licensing, fire service, birth and death, verification, ULB web portal, state and ULB dashboards, mobile application, payroll and financial accounting.
iii. eGovernments foundation (co-founded by Nandan Nilekani) is engaged in transforming urban governance by enabling efficient and effective municipal operations and contact-less urban service delivery, with the use of scalable and replicable technology solutions.
Quick Facts about Punjab:
♦ Capital – Chandigarh
♦ Current Chief Minister – Amarinder Singh
♦ Current Governor – V P Singh Badnore
♦ Important River – Sutlej
Washington becomes 1st state to approve net-neutrality rules
On March 5, 2018, Washington became the 1st state in US to pass its own net-neutrality law after US regulator, Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repealed rules set during Obama administration that banned internet providers from blocking content or interfering with online traffic.
i. Washington’s bill for its own net-neutrality laws was signed by Goernor Jay Inslee.
ii. The bill forbids internet service providers from blocking or slowing the flow of web content, or from charging websites for higher delivery speeds.
iii. Provisions of this bill may technically be in contravention to FCC’s order of repealing net neutrality rules which forbid states from filling the void with their own rules.
♦ Principle that Internet service providers should enable non-discriminatory access to all content and applications on the web, regardless of the source is referred to as net-neutrality.
Sri Lanka declares state of emergency after Buddhist-Muslim clash
On March 6, 2018, Sri Lankan Government declared a state of emergency for 10 days to prevent the spread of communal violence between majority Sinhala and minority Muslims in Kandy district.
State of emergency in Sri Lanka:
i. The violence in Kandy was triggered by the death of a Sinhalese man at the hands of a mob last week.
ii. In the ensuing violence, 10 mosques, 75 shops and 32 houses belonging to the minority community were damaged.
iii. In order to contain the violence by imposing curfew and restoring order, Sri Lankan Government has sent troops and elite police commandoes to Kandy.
iv. This will be the first time since August 2011, that a state of emergency will be in force in Sri Lanka.
v. During emergency, troops are deployed on the street and the armed forces are authorised to search and arrest people without a warrant.
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
BANKING & FINANCE
Paytm unveils ‘Paytm for Business’ app in Tamil Nadu
Paytm has launched ‘Paytm for Business’ app in Tamil Nadu to enable merchants to track payments, view past collections and make settlements instantly.
i. The ‘Paytm for Business’ app is available in Android Play Store. This app is available in 10 regional languages.
ii. It can be used by merchants and business partners who use Paytm as payment mode at their offline stores in Tamil Nadu.
iii. Using this app, merchants can accept payments digitally and immediately view their transactions without waiting for a confirmation SMS or e-mail.
iv. Merchants can check the details of every transaction and download it daily or weekly. They can also check estimated time of bank settlement through the app.
♦ Founder – Vijay Shekhar Sharma
♦ Type – Indian e-payments and e-commerce brand
RBI fines Axis Bank, Indian Overseas Bank
On February 27, 2018, Reserve Bank of India imposed a penalty of Rs. 3 crore on Axis Bank for non-compliance of Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms and a penalty of Rs. 2 crore on Indian Overseas Bank for non-compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.
Penalty on Axis Bank and Indian Overseas Bank:
i. In case of Axis Bank, a statutory inspection of RBI with reference to bank’s financial position on March 31, 2016, discovered violations of various regulations in the assessment of non-performing assets.
ii. In the case of IOB, RBI detected a fraud in one of IOB’s branches, which was traced to non-compliance with KYC norms.
iii. The penalty was imposed after evaluating banks’ reply and oral submissions in context of above matters.
Quick Facts about Axis Bank and Indian Overseas Bank:
|Axis Bank||Indian Overseas Bank|
|Headquarters||Mumbai, Maharashtra||Chennai, Tamil Nadu|
|Current MD & CEO||Shikha Sharma||R. Subramania Kumar|
|Tagline||‘Badhti ka naam zindagi’||‘Good People to Grow With’|
Microsoft inks renewable energy deal for Bengaluru facility
On March 6, 2018, Microsoft announced that it has inked its first renewable energy deal in India for powering its new facility in Bengaluru.
ii. This building will be operational from June 2018, and with the purchase agreement coming in force, Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects will reach nearly 900 megawatts.
iii. Microsoft has set a target that at least 50 % of its energy usage worldwide should come from wind, solar and hydropower electricity by the end of 2018.
Quick Facts about Microsoft:
♦ Founded in – 1975
♦ Headquarters – Washington, US
♦ Current CEO – Satya Nadella
OVL signs pact for developing Susangerd oilfield in Iran
ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), an overseas subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IDRO Oil (a subsidiary of state-run Iranian Development and Renovation Organisation), in developing Susangerd field in Iran. Details about OVL-IDRO Oil MoU:
i. As per the terms of the MoU, OVL and IDRO Oil will jointly bid for a USD 1 billion contract for development of Susangerd oilfield in southern Iran.
ii. Susangerd oil field in Khuzestan province of Iran is one of the newest finds, which can support production of around 30000 barrels per day.
iii. IDRO Oil is one of 17 entities that has received the Iranian oil ministry’s approval to be a lead partner in joint ventures with international companies to work in the country’s energy sector.
Quick Facts about ONGC:
♦ Founded in – 1956
♦ Headquarters – Dehradun, Uttarakhand
♦ Current Chairman – Shashi Shanker
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Forbes India names 25 women as Trailblazers
Forbes India has released its “W-Power Trailblazers” issue, listing 25 women achievers in business.
i. This list is not a ranking. It is a qualitative selection. It consists of ground breakers, game-changers and innovators from various sectors like technology, law, banking, insurance, media, biotech and startup.
ii. This list of 25 women achievers was finalised based on votes from the jury.
iii.Some of the women featured in the list are:
1.Chiki Sarkar – publisher of Juggernaut Books
2.Adhuna Bhabani – founder-director of Bblunt
3.Anupriya Acharya – CEO (India) of Publicis Media
4.Kavitha Sairam – co-founder of FIB-SOL Life Technologies
5.Dina Wadia and Shivpriya Nanda – joint managing partners of J Sagar Associates
About Forbes India:
♦ Editor – Brian Carvalho
♦ CEO – Joy Chakraborthy
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Japan navy appoints Ryoko Azuma as first female chief of warship unit
On 6th March 2018, Ryoko Azuma was appointed the commander of a unit that consists of Japan’s biggest warship, becoming Japan’s first female chief of warship unit.
i. Ryoko Azuma is 44 years old. She will command four warships. The unit consists of 1,000 crew members in total.
ii. Helicopter carrier Izumo, which is Japan navy’s biggest ship, is also included in the unit.
About Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force:
♦ Type – naval branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces
♦ Chief of the Maritime Staff – Admiral Yutaka Murakawa
SBI appoints P K Gupta as Nominee Director on SBI Life Board
On 5th March 2018, SBI Life Insurance Company Ltd announced that, P K Gupta has been named the nominee director on SBI Life Board by SBI.
P K Gupta – nominee director on SBI Life Board:
i. P K Gupta is currently MD (Retail and Digital Banking) in SBI (State Bank of India). SBI Life Insurance Company Ltd is promoted by SBI.
ii. SBI Life Insurance Company Ltd said that, his nomination is subjected to ratification by the Nomination and Remuneration committee of the board of directors of the company.
About State Bank of India:
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Chairman – Rajnish Kumar
Conrad Sangma sworn in as CM of Meghalaya
On 6th March 2018, Conrad Sangma took charge as Chief Minister of Meghalaya.
i. Conrad Sangma took oath as the 12th chief minister of Meghalaya in Shillong. He is the President of National People’s Party (NPP).
ii. The oath was administered by Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad. 11 Cabinet Ministers also took oath during the ceremony.
iii. In the election, National People’s Party (NPP) won 19 seats. It has support from 6 United Democratic Party (UDP) MLAs, 4 People’s Democratic Front (PDF) MLAs, 3 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs, 2 Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) MLAs and an independent MLA.
iv. It has a combined strength of 34 MLAs in the Assembly against Congress party that had won 21 seats on its own.
Some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):
♦ President – Amit Shah
♦ Founded – 1980
Biplab Deb to be the new Tripura Chief Minister
On 6th March 2018, Biplab Kumar Deb was named the new chief minister of Tripura.
Biplab Deb – new Chief Minister of Tripura:
i. Biplab Deb was elected leader of the BJP legislature party in Tripura. He will take charge as Chief Minister of Tripura before Governor Tathagata Roy.
ii. He will take charge on 9th March 2018. Jishnu Deb Burman will be the deputy Chief Minister of Tripura.
iii. The Tripura Assembly election results were announced on 3rd March 2018. BJP won over CPM (Communist Party of India – Marxist). CPM had been ruling Tripura for 25 years.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Tripura:
♦ Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India-US team test-fires M777 ultra-light howitzers in Pokhran
On March 5, 2018, officials from India and the United States were at the Pokhran firing range (Rajasthan) to test-fire M777 ultra-light howitzers.
i. In May 2017, Indian Army took delivery of two M777 ultralight howitzers from BAE Systems, US under a contract signed between Indian and US Government in 2016.
ii. However, in September 2017, during trial firing, a projectile had burst in the barrel.
iii. The test conducted on March 5, 2018, was the first one after that accident. The results of this test will be examined by a joint team of experts.
iv .Built with titanium and aluminium alloys, M777 weighs around 4200 kg. It has a modular design; due to which it can be can be easily towed through narrow and treacherous mountain roads prevalent along India-China border and India-Pakistan Border in Jammu & Kashmir.
Threat of new malware “Saposhi” looms over cyberspace
A new malware named Saposhi has been detected, which can take over electronic devices and make them as ‘bots’ that can be exploited for any purpose.
i. Saposhi has been detected recently by cyber security agencies. It is being monitored and studied currently.
ii. So far, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has not released any alert about Saposhi. It has been said that, alerts and guidelines about protecting devices from Saposhi will be launched soon.
iii. Saposhi can take over electronic devices and can create a Distributed Denial Of Service attack.
About Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In):
♦ Director General – Sanjay Bahl
♦ Formed – 2004
Young 16 year old Manu Bhaker clinched gold, Ravi Kumar bagged bronze in ISSF World Cup
India’s Manu Bhaker has won gold medal in the women’s 10m air pistol and Ravi Kumar has won bronze medal in the men’s 10m air pistol in the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico.
i. Manu Bhaker defeated Mexico’s Alejandra Zavala with 10.8 in the last shot of the 24 shot final of the women’s 10m air pistol.
ii. She topped with 237.5 and won gold medal in the women’s 10m air pistol. She is just 16 years old.
iii. Alejandra Zavala finished at the second position with 237.1 and France’s Celine Goberville came third with 217.0 in the women’s 10m air pistol.
iv. Ravi Kumar won bronze medal in the men’s 10m air rifle event. This is his first World Cup medal.
About ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation):
♦ President – Olegario Vazquez Rana
♦ Headquarters – Munich, Germany
Former Kerala high court judge D Sreedevi passes away
On 5th March 2018, Justice D Sreedevi, former judge of the Kerala high court, died while she was undergoing treatment for some ailment in Kaloor, Kerala.
Death of Justice D Sreedevi:
i.Justice D Sreedevi was 79 years old. She was a social activist. She was born in 1939 at Chirayinkeezhu in Thiruvananthapuram.
ii.From 1997 to 2001 she was high court judge in Kerala. She was appointed the chairperson of the Kerala Women’s Commission in 2001 and 2007.
iii.She had penned down an autobiography named ‘Aa Niyogathaal’.
Some National Parks in Kerala:
♦ Anamudi Shola National Park
♦ Eravikulam National Park
Veteran Bollywood actress Shammi passes away at 89
On 6th March 2018, Bollywood actress Shammi died after suffering a long-term illness.
i. Shammi was 89 years old. She was well known for the comic roles she had played.
ii. She has acted in more than 200 movies. She has also performed in TV shows. Some of her popular movies are: ‘Coolie No 1’, ‘Hum’, ‘Gopi Kishan’, ‘Hum Saath-Saath Hain’.
Some of the busiest airports in India:
♦ Indira Gandhi International Airport – Delhi
♦ Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport – Mumbai
♦ Kempegowda International Airport – Bangalore