Current Affairs: March 2016

Rajras – March 2016

IMPORTANT DAYS


 

  • March 3: World Wildlife Day
    • 2016 theme: “The future of wildlife is in our hands”.
  • March 8: International Women’s day
    • 2016 theme declared by United Nations: “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
  • March 15: International Consumer Rights Day
    • India: 24th December Consumer Rights Day
    • 2016 Theme: “Antibiotics off the menu”.
  • March 19: Earth Hour
    • Happened on 19 March 2016 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time.
    • What is Earth Hour: An annual global environmental event (movement) organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
    • It was started Sydney 2007
    • Different from Earth Day, which is celebrated on April 22.
  • March 20: World Sparrow Day
  • World Sparrow is organized to raise awareness for the house sparrow and other common birds to urban environments and threats to their populations.
  • March 21: International Day of Forests
    • Theme for 2016: “Forests and water”
  • March 22: World Water Day
    • 2016 Theme: “Better Water, Better Jobs”.
  • March 23: World Meteorological day
    • Theme for 2016 year is “Hotter, Drier, Wetter. Face the Future”.
  • March 24: World Tuberculosis Day
    • 2016 Theme: “Unite to End TB”.
  • March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

 
NATIONAL


  • Supreme Court approved Union Government’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans from being unnecessarily harassed by police or any other authority.
    • Good Samaritans – who help road accident victims.
    • Guidelines based on recommendations of K S Radhakrishnan committee.
  • Union Government released Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 (DPP 2016)- Based on recommendations of Dhirendra Singh Committee.
  • India’s land, naval and homeland security exhibition- Defence Expo 2016 was held in Goa.
    • 2016 Theme is “Rise of Futurism”
  • Union Government notified Aadhaar Act, 2016
    • Result: The act gives statutory status for establishment of the Unique Identification Authority of India
  • President Pranab Mukherjee imposed Present’s Rule (State Emergency) – in Uttarakhand – under Article 356 of Constitution.
  • Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched India’s first indigenous rotavirus vaccine named Rotavac to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea.
    • Rotavac vaccine is another addition to three new vaccines that have been introduced by Union Government as part of country’s UIP.
    • These three vaccines are Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine and Measles, Rubella (MR) vaccine.
  • Indira Gandhi International Airport of Delhi retained World’s number one airport for 2nd consecutive year in 25 to 40 Million Passengers per annum category.
  • Union Government constituted Mahesh Kumar Singla committee to consider Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities of Assam.
  • India ranked at the 90/126 countries on the basis of their ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy.
    • Revealed by Global Energy Architecture Performance Index (GEAPI) Report compiled by World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • Parliament passed the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which empowers union government to revise the limits of liability for airlines and compensation as per the Montreal Convention which India accepted in 2009.
  • Union Government has decided to wind up of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) as it has fulfilled the mandate.
  • Prime Minister Modi launched Setu Bharatam Project to make all national highways free of railway crossings by 2019.
  • The flagship conference on Geopolitics and Geo-economics – Raisina-Dialogue 2016- was held in New Delhi.
    • The 3-day conference is joint initiative of Union Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank based in India.
  • Prime Minister Modi selected Nagepur village in his Varanasi Constituency of Lok Sabha in Uttar Pradesh under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
  • New species of burrowing snake named Melanophidium khairei or Khaire’s Black Shieldtail, was discovered by researchers in Northwestern Ghats.
  • Jalandhar based Capital Local Area Bank Limited became the first financial entity in India to get Small Financial Bank License by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • To facilitate women entrepreneurs to sell their products to buyers, Union Government launched an online marketing platform – Mahila E-HAAT
  • MoEFCC releases 4-Colour Classification Scheme for industries based on Pollution Index
  • The 4-colour classification scheme of industrial sectors is based on the Pollution Index, which is function of:
    • Emissions (air pollutants)
    • Effluents (water pollutants)
    • Hazardous wastes generated &
    • Consumption of resources.
  • Key facts:
  • The PI of any industrial sector is a number ranging from 0 -100.
  • Based on the on ‘Pollution Index‘, industrial sectors have been categorized into 4-colours categories:
  • Red category:
  • Severely Polluting
  • PI score of 60 and above.
  • Total 60 industries including sugar, thermal power plants, paints and others are under in it.
  • Orange category:
    • Moderately Polluting
    • PI score of 41 to 59.
    • Total of 83 industries like coal, washeries and automobile servicing are placed under it.
  • Green category:
    • Significantly low polluting.
    • PI score of 21 to 40.
    • Total 63 industries are under in it.
  • White category:
    • Non- polluting
    • PI score below and upto 20.
    • Total 30 industries are under in it.
    • These industries are exempted from requirement of environmental clearance.
  • Germany will partner with India’s smart city programme and help in developing Kochi (Kerala), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) as smart cities.
  • Air India successfully flew the World’s longest all-woman operated and supported flight from the national capital New Delhi to San Francisco (United States).
  • Indian Railways formed new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train project.
    • Name of the SPV: National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) Limited.
  • Parliament passed Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 to establish Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
    • The Bill replaces the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
    • Bill Summary: PRS
    • BIS bill
  • ICICI Bank has rolled out iWork@Home program for its women employees.
    • They can use the facility for up to a year.
  • Union Power Ministry ] announced name UJALA for the LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP).
    • UJALA – Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All.
  • NITI Aayog launched the ‘Women Transforming India’ initiative.
    • Through the initiative NITI Aayog seeks to directly engage with women leaders from across urban and rural areas of India.
  • Allahabad High Court: 150th foundation year
    • Allahabad High Court was established in 1869 after seat was shifted from Agra to Allahabad in 1869.
    • It is fourth-oldest High Court in India after Calcutta, Madras and Bombay established under Indian High Courts Act 1861.
    • At present it is the highest judicial body of Uttar Pradesh and it has also a bench in Lucknow.
  • India INC. adopted the United Nations’ (UN) agenda for the world’s sustainable development
    • Consequently identified17 goals identified for implementation.
    • It was for the first time that UN is involving private and public sector corporates across the globe to drive its development agenda.
  • Sustainable Development Goals
    • SDG succeeded 8 MDGs, which were adopted in 2000 for fifteen years till 2015.
    • SDG has 17 non-binding goals with 169 specific targets.
    • SDG comprise of different socio-economic issues to be implemented from 2015 to 2030
  • Union Government notified maximum sale price of Bt cotton seed for the year 2016-17.
    • The notification has been issued under the Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 through the Cotton Seed Price (Control) Order, 2015.
  • Union Government imposed anti-dumping duty of up to 44.7 % on import of plastic-processing machines from Chinese Taipei, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam for period of 5 years.
    • Plastic-processing machines are better known as injection-moulding machines.
  • The international exhibition and conference on civil aviation, India Aviation 2016, was organized in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • The largest fair on Food and Hospitality Sector in India, AAHAR 2016 was held in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
    • Organized by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry..
  • World Sufi Forum was held in New Delhi.
  • Supreme Court has allowed publication of photographs of Chief Ministers, Governors and the Ministers of the department concerned in government advertisements.
    • Prof NR Madhava Menon Committee recommended Guidelines on Regulating Government Advertisements.
  • Union Government unveiled Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016
    • MBBL-2016 intend to improve ease of doing business regarding issuance of construction permits.
    • The time limit for all kinds of single window approvals has been set as 30 days and if the same is not done by the concerned agencies within 30 days then it will be deemed as approved.
  • Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare done away with requirement of repeat tests on animals for drugs which already have been approved by other countries.
  • To give effect, ministry has amended Schedule Y of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
  • Surat (Gujarat) was declared the cleanest A1 Category, in the survey of Indian Railways published in April.
    • Category A: Beas (Punjab)
    • Category A-1 stations are those earning revenues more than 50 crore.
    • Category A stations are those earning revenues between Rs. 6 crore and Rs. 50 crore
  • Prime Minister Modi launched Kisan Suvidha mobile application for farmers to provide quick access to agricultural relevant basic information.
  • MOEFCC notified new Plastic Waste Management Rules.
    • These rules seek to curb over 6000 tonnes of uncollected plastic waste generated daily by industries.
    • These rules will replace the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011.
    • The Rules also introduce concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR)
    • Rural areas have also been included and Gram Panchayats have been given more responsibility.
    • Plastic carry bags thinner than 50 microns have been banned.
  • Prime Minister Modi conferred 2014-15 Krishi Karman Awards:
    • Awards list:
    • KRishi Karman
  • Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve of Kerala was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO
  • Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) to assess the needs of its elderly people and frame policies accordingly.
  • Union Consumer Affairs Ministry released a self-regulation Code of ethical business conduct to be adopted by the Industry on providing best products and services.
  • Union Cabinet approved implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin

MOU


  • India signed ‘Raptor MoU’, on conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia.
    • With this India became 56th county to sign the Raptor MoU under the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), which is also known as Bonn Convention.
    • Comes under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
  • The Reserve Bank of India signed MoU with Bank of Israel (BOI) for exchange of information pertaining to banking supervision.
  • Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber-Crime.
  • Union Cabinet approved signing and ratification of the Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
    • BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is the sub-regional group of 7 countries in South Asia and South East Asia.
    • Participants include India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka (from South Asia) and Myanmar, Thailand (from South East Asia).
  • Union Cabinet approved a MoU between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to mobilise long-term investment in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

STATES


  • Telangana Government launched M-Wallet, new mobile app to facilitate citizens to get digital copies of documents like driving licence and registration certificate.
    • These digital documents can be used by users before the police and RTA authorities when demanded.
  • Haryana became the first state in the country to implement the use of injectable contraceptives as a family planning measure.
    • Project Salamati’ was launched by CM in this regard.
  • Andhra Pradesh government inaugurated Pattiseema lift irrigation project -connecting Godavari River with Krishna River from the ongoing Polavaram Multi-purpose Irrigation Project.
  • Japanese International Cooperative Agency (JICA) and Mizoram State Government signed MoU on ‘Capacity Enhancement for Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Development’.
  • The traditional festival of Chapchar Kut of the Mizos was celebrated across the north-eastern state of Mizoram and also in the Mizo-inhabited areas in the neighbouring states.
  • Telangana and Maharashtra Governments have signed MoU to set up an inter-state water board construct 5 barrages across Godavari and Pen Ganga rivers.
  • Karnataka government launched Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish Yojana to provide free medical treatment to road accident victims for the first 48 hours (2 days) in the nearest government or private hospital.
  • Kerala Tourism’s campaign titled ‘New Worlds’ has won the prestigious ‘Golden City Gate Award’ at the at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB-Berlin) 2016.
  • Haryana’s New Secretariat Building in Chandigarh became the first building in the country to have an early Earthquake Warning and Security system (onsite).
  • Punjab Government notified swine flu (H1N1) under the Epidemic Disease Act to prevent the spread of disease in the state.
  • India signed loan agreement of 35 million dollars with the World Bank for Madhya Pradesh citizen access to responsive services project.
  • The aim of the project is to improve access and quality of public services in the state through implementation of the Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act, 2010.
  • Goa government classified Feni, country liquor as the heritage spirit of the state.
  • Punjab Legislative Assembly has passed Punjab Settlement of Agriculture Indebtedness Bill, 2016.
    • The Bill seeks to provide relief to laborers, agriculturists, and others dependent on agriculture by providing them fair settlement of their debt related disputes.
  • Delhi has become the first state (UT) in the country to launch the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a public health programme for school children.
    • HPV is a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family which is mainly a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that causes genital warts and cervical cancer.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


  • PM Modi unveiled Asia’s largest optical telescope Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) at Devasthal in Nainital District, Uttrakahnd.
    • Result of joint efforts of India & Belgium.
  • ISRO installed Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer (GIRI) Radar System near Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Scientists at Lucknow based CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants found that mint plant has medicinal values that can cure cancer.
  • Indian scientists developed herbal medicine against mosquito borne dengue fever using traditional Indian medicine system Ayurveda.
    • Herbal dengue medicine was developed using alcoholic extract of Cissampelos pariera Linn (Cipa extract) derived from velvetleaf, a species of flowering plant.
    • The drug proved to be potent inhibitor to all four types (strains) of dengue virus.
  • Bacterium species Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 capable of breaking down plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyester was successfully isolated by Japanese Researchers.
  • India and United States launched the Fulbright – Kalam Climate Fellowship enabling Indian research scholars to work with American institutions in the field of climate change.
  • An unmanned spacecraft named ExoMars 2016 was successfully launched jointly Europe and Russia to search for bio-signatures on Mars (or Martian life) in past or present.
  • ICICI Bank has launched new contactless mobile payment solution Touch & Pay based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
    • NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology.
    • Devices need to be in close proximity typically, 10 cm (4 inches) from each other.
  • The India Meteorology Department (IMD) has deployed indigenously developed Drishti, an instrument that will provide real time visibility information to pilots.
    • The instrument will help pilots in quick decision-making during critical landings and take-offs of aircraft particularly during foggy or rainy days.
    • Drishti has been developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bangalore and transfer the crucial visibility updates to the pilots in real time.
  • British astronomers have discovered largest sample cluster of nine monster stars named as R136 using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
  • New anti-TB (Tuberculosis) drug Bedaquiline was launched by Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.
    • Further, Union Health Minister also launched CBNAAT (Cartridge-Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) diagnostic machines that can provide quick diagnosis of TB within two hours.
    • These machines have revolutionised rapid molecular test, which simultaneously detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin drug resistance.

DEFENCE


  • India launched its first indigenous composites sonar dome.
    • Designed and manufactured by DRDO
    • SONAR – Sonar: Sound Navigation And Ranging. It uses sound propagation (usually underwater) to navigate, or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels.
  • India, Seychelles joint military exercise LAMITYE 2016 was conducted in Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles.
  • The multinational Military Exercise Force Eighteen conducted by Indian Army has started in at Pune, Maharashtra.
    • Included 300 participants from 18 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Plus countries.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared a proposal to purchase two Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), surveillance aircrafts from Israel.
  • The fourth edition of the India-Indonesia Joint Training Exercise Garuda Shakti has begun at Magelang in Indonesia.
  • Indian Air Force (IAF) has conducted its flagship day-night exercise ‘Iron-fist 2016’ at Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan.
  • The fast patrol vessel (FPV) of the Indian Coast Guard ICGS Arnvesh was commissioned at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

SPORTS


  • Late Capt. Shankar Laxman was posthumously chosen for the 2016 Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Rahul Sachdev has won the first All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016 held at Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
  • Ace Indian shooter Jitu Rai won Gold medal in the 50m Pistol Men final event at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup held in Bangkok, Thialand.
  • Rest of India defeated Mumbai to win the Irani Cup Cricket Title 2015-16.
  • Services defeated Hosts Maharashtra to win 70th edition of 2016 -Santosh Trophy Football Championships
  • Ace Indian shuttler HS Prannoy (World no 13) has won the prestigious 2016 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in the men’s single category.

 PERSON in NEWS


  • Playback singer P. Susheela Mohan, was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for singing most number of songs in Indian languages.
  • Indian-American Nandita Bakshi was appointed the President and CEO of Bank of the West, a subsidiary unit of French banking giant BNP Paribas.
  • Former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu took charge as the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
  • Eminent poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas has been selected for the 2015 Bihari Puraskar for his anthology of Rajasthani poems ‘Katha Sun Aawe Hai Sabad’ published in 2010.
  • Microsoft Co-founder, Bill Gates has retained the title of the world’s richest person in the Forbes’ 30th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires list (2016 edition).
  • Sunil Sabharwal, an independent Indian-American investor took charge as Alternate Executive Director at International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • E-mail inventor Raymond Tomlinson passed away in Washington, United States.
    • He was first to use sign “@”
  • Renowned Dogri poetess and writer Padma Sachdev was awarded prestigious Krutitava Smagra Samman for the year 2015.
  • Former Supreme Court (SC) judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan was appointed Chairman of the 21st Law Commission of India (LCI).
  • Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman and MD Anand Mahindra was conferred with Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by French Government.
  • Tikka Shatrujit Singh, the royal scion of Kapurthala’s Ahluwalia dynasty, was conferred with the prestigious Knight of the Legion of Honour by the French Government.
  • Eminent Shehnai exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan passed away following prolonged illness in Kolkatta, West Bengal.
  • British mathematician Andrew Wiles was named as the winner of the prestigious 2016 Abel Prize.
    • Abel Prize is Norwegian prize, described as Nobel prize in Mathematics.
    • It is awarded annually to one or more outstanding mathematicians.
  • Ashley Judd from US has been appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
  • Indian student Geetakshi Arora was awarded the inaugural Noor Inayat Khan Prize for her excellent dissertation on “Goddess Myths in Graphic Novels: Reimagining Indian Feminity
    • Noor Inayat Khan: famous World War II heroine.
  • Retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Justice Permod Kohli has been appointed as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

INTER-NATIONAL


  • 13th edition of India-European Union Summit was held on in Brussels, capital of Belgium.
  • Key Outcomes:
    • Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement between EU and India – Agreed to carry on further negotiation.
    • European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to lend loan of 450 million Euros – for Lucknow Metro.
    • Cooperation on Water & Environmental program – including India’s flagship program like the ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Clean India’.
  • Russian Government approved a deal of ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) to acquire 15% stake in Vankor oilfield from Rosneft.
  • World Health Organisation has declared that Ebola outbreak in West Africa out of global risk and Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
  • Syrian Army and popular defence forces have regained control of the ancient city of Palmyra from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group
    • The city is situated in a strategically important area on the road between Syria’s capital Damascus and the oil rich eastern city of Deir al-Zour.
  • Government of Peru has declared emergency for 3-weeks because of a major oil pipeline burst in Peru’s northeast region affecting two rivers Chiriaco and Morona.
  • South Korea’s Parliament has passed the country’s first anti-terror bill that was first proposed 15 years ago in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in US.
  • The world’s most expensive train station opened at the 9/11 site in New York, United States. It has been named World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
  • India has filed a complaint against the United States decision to impose high fees L-1 and H-1B categories of temporary working visas in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • India’s largest lender State Bank of India has been granted preliminary approval to operate Myanmar.
  • China’s Supreme Court has decided to set up its own International Maritime Judicial Centre (IMJC) to handle territorial disputes and protect its sea rights.
  • Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary will be elevated to Sainthood.
    • Decision in this regard was confirmed by, Pope Francis.
  • After 53 years of military rule Myanmar’s Parliament elected Htin Kyaw as the first civilian (non-military) President of the country.
  • India ranked 118/157 countries on the United Nations’ World Happiness Index (WHI) 2016.
    • Revealed by the 4th World Happiness Report 2016 published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the UN.
    • Denmark came first and Switzerland second.
  • The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey in order to tackle the migrant crisis has formally come into effect.
    • Under the agreement all irregular migrants into Greece crossing from Turkey after 20 March 2016 will be sent back.
    • And, EU will resettle Syrian migrant for each Syrian returned to Turkey.
  • India assumed BRICS Chairmanship from the Russian Federation for the year 2016.
    • Logo: Lotus with colours from all the five members and traditional namaste at the centre.
    • Core theme: Building responsive, inclusive and collective solution for the grouping.
  • Nepal signedagreement with China to build a strategic railway link between the two countries through Tibet.
  • Nepal was officially made a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a Beijing-based regional security grouping.
  • Union Cabinet approved India to accede to international transport and transit corridor agreement- the Ashgabat Agreement.
    • Ashgabat Agreement is a transit agreement established in year 2011.
    • It establishes international transport and transit corridor between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf countries.
    • Its founding members inc,ude Uzbekistan, Oman, Iran and Turkmenistan.
    • Kazakhstan had joined the grouping in 2015.

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