Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 1st March, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 1st March, 2016. These are important for the last phase of LIC AAO 2016 and also for the upcoming Interviews.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 1st March, 2016
  1. India today signed a loan agreement with multilateral lending agency World Bank for $300 million for Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Quality Improvement Project.
  2. The Centre's green panel has given approval to the Rs 4,640.88-crore Kiru hydroelectric power project to be developed on Chenab river in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  3. UltraTech Cement Limited on 28 February 2016 entered into a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jaiprakash Associates Limited for the acquisition of its identified cement plants for an enterprise value of 16500 crore rupees.
  4. Piramal Enterprises has acquired US-based healthcare software firm Adaptive Software for $24.5 million.
  5. President Pranab Mukherjee on 27 February 2016 formally declared Kerala as the first digital state of India. The declaration was made after President launched a digital empowerment campaign in Kozhikode aimed at bridging the digital divide by 2020.
  6. Union Government on 29 February 2016 constituted a committee to consider Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities of Assam. The committee will be headed by Special Secretary (Internal Security) Ministry of Home Affairs, Mahesh Kumar Singla.
  7. Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on 29 February 2016 received three international awards, including for best airport by size in the Asia Pacific region. The ranking was announced by the ACI -- a trade association of the world's airports founded in 1991 -- for the 2015 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards. Delhi airport has retained the world's number one position for the second consecutive year in 25 to 40 Million Passengers Per Annum category. The two other awards are for best airport by size & region Asia Pacific (25-40 MPPA) and second best airport by region (Asia Pacific). In retaining the title, the IGIA scored 4.96 on a scale of 1 to 5 in the ASQ survey.
  8. Jet Airways' chief financial officer Amit Agarwal has been given the additional charge of acting chief executive officer.
  9. V B Fadnavis has taken over as regional executive director(South) of NTPC Limited.
  10. RH Muralidhara has been appointed as Director -Defence Business and Member of the Board of BEML Limited, a Public Sector undertaking under the Ministry of Defence. He took charge on Tuesday.
  11. Former SpiceJet executive Sanjiv Kapoor today joined Vistara as its Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer.
  12. Rahul Sachdev on 29 February 2016 won the 1st All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016 in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
  13. Car racer Armaan Ebrahim on 28 February 2016 was awarded the Motorsports Man-of-the-Year Trophy at ceremony organised by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI).
  14. Oscar winning actor George Kennedy, who won Academy Award for the 1960s classic Cool Hand Luke, died in the city of Boise, Idaho on 28 February 2016. He was 91.




Finance/Industry –

India signs $300 mn loan agreement with World Bank for Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Quality Improvement Project


  • India today signed a loan agreement with multilateral lending agency World Bank for $300 million for Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Quality Improvement Project.
  • The objective of the project is to improve student outcomes especially of disadvantaged groups in selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and to increase the effectiveness of the Higher Education System in Madhya Pradesh, a finance ministry statement said.
  • The agreement was signed between Department of Economic Affairs Joint Secretary Raj Kumar on behalf of India and World Bank's Country Director Onno Ruhl on behalf of World Bank.
  • The project has three components that include grants support to higher education Institutions, State Level Initiatives and improving system management, the statement said.


Centre's green panel gives nod to Rs 4,641 cr J&K Kiru hydroelectric power project


  • The Centre's green panel has given approval to the Rs 4,640.88-crore Kiru hydroelectric power project to be developed on Chenab river in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Last month in a meeting, the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Environment Ministry had examined the proposal.
  • Based on its recommendations, the ministry will soon take a call on giving the final green nod.
  • The Kiru project will be developed by Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Ltd, a joint venture among NHPC, J&K State Power Development Corporation and Power Trading Corporation of India.
  • The project envisages construction of a 123 metre (from river bed level) high concrete gravity dam across river Chenab with four intakes, four pressure shafts, an underground powerhouse of four units of 156 MW each. The construction period of the project is 54 months.


UltraTech acquired cement units of Jaiprakash Associates for 16500 crore rupees


  • UltraTech Cement Limited on 28 February 2016 entered into a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jaiprakash Associates Limited for the acquisition of its identified cement plants for an enterprise value of 16500 crore rupees.
  • The cement plants of Jaiprakash Associates to be acquired have a cement capacity of 22.4 mtpa situated in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Anadhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • Under the deal, UltraTech will pay an additional 470 crore rupees for completion of the grinding unit for 4 mtpa capacity under implementation.


Piramal Enterprise acquired Adaptive Software for $24.5 mn


  • Piramal Enterprises has acquired US-based healthcare software firm Adaptive Software for $24.5 million. The payment will be made in a staggered fashion, part of which will be made only if the company achieves performance targets.
  • The acquisition will take place through Piramal's US subsidiary, Decision Resources Group, Piramal said in a BSE statement.
  • Adaptive sells a suite of software products to US-based Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and health insurers, both of which must maintain complex pharmacy benefit design data accurately and in real-time (e.g. drug lists, formularies, restriction, and pricing). These products streamline prescription formulary management, pharmacy networking, pricing, and pharmacy benefit design.
  • In fiscal years 2013, 2014 and 2015, Adaptive’s revenues on a cash basis were $0.6 million, $2.0 million and $3.2 million, respectively.


India –

Kerala declared first digital state of India by President Pranab Mukherjee


  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 27 February 2016 formally declared Kerala as the first digital state of India. The declaration was made after President launched a digital empowerment campaign in Kozhikode aimed at bridging the digital divide by 2020.
  • Besides the digital empowerment campaign, President Mukherjee also inaugurated Cyber Park, IT Park under the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society. He also launched the Kanivu Scheme and dedicated the Gender Park of the Department of Social Justice.
  • The State has a mobile tele-density of 95 percent and internet covered over 60 percent of the population.



Mahesh Kumar Singla committee constituted to consider ST status to six communities of Assam


  • Union Government on 29 February 2016 constituted a committee to consider Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities of Assam. The committee will be headed by Special Secretary (Internal Security) Ministry of Home Affairs, Mahesh Kumar Singla.
  • The committee will recommend the modalities for granting of Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities namely Koch Rajbongshi, Moran, Matak, Tai Ahom, Chutia and Adivasi (Tea Tribes) in Assam.
  • The Committee will submit its report by 31 May 2016.


Awards & Honors –

IGI airport bagged three international awards


  • Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on 29 February 2016 received three international awards, including for best airport by size in the Asia Pacific region.
  • The ranking was announced by the ACI -- a trade association of the world's airports founded in 1991 -- for the 2015 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards.
  • Delhi airport has retained the world's number one position for the second consecutive year in 25 to 40 Million Passengers Per Annum category. The two other awards are for best airport by size & region Asia Pacific (25-40 MPPA) and second best airport by region (Asia Pacific). In retaining the title, the IGIA scored 4.96 on a scale of 1 to 5 in the ASQ survey.
  • IGIA is managed by Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) -- a joint venture between the GMR Group, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Fraport.
  • Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad has featured among the world's top thee airports for the seventh year in a row in Airports Council International's (ACI's) airport service quality (ASQ) ranking.


Appointments –

Jet Airways designates Amit Agarwal as its acting CEO

  • Jet Airways' chief financial officer Amit Agarwal has been given the additional charge of acting chief executive officer.
  • This follows the resignation of his predecessor Cramer Ball last December. Agarwal joined the airline last December and has over two decades experience in leadership roles in India, Europe and North America.
  • Last week the airline announced appointment of Rahul Taneja as its chief people officer.


V B Fadnavis appointed as executive director of NTPC South

  • V B Fadnavis has taken over as regional executive director(South) of NTPC Limited.
  • Prior to this appointment he was the executive director of NTPC Sipat in Chattisgarh.
  • A graduate of mechanical engineering from Devi Ahilya Viswa Vidyalay, Indore and also an M.Tech in Thermal Engineering from IIT, Delhi, Fadnavis had joined NTPC as engineering executive trainee in 1979.


RH Muralidhara appointed BEML’s Director-Defence Business

  • RH Muralidhara has been appointed as Director -Defence Business and Member of the Board of BEML Limited, a Public Sector undertaking under the Ministry of Defence. He took charge on Tuesday.
  • Graduated in mechanical engineering from Malnad College of Engineering, Hassan, Muralidhara joined BEML in 1983.
  • He has served in various capacities in different functional areas of the company like production, quality engineering and planning prior to becoming director.
  • Muralidhara was the Chief General Manager -Defence Production at KGF Complex.


Sanjiv Kapoor joins Vistara as Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer


  • Former SpiceJet executive Sanjiv Kapoor today joined Vistara as its Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer.
  • Kapoor will be responsible for managing a wide portfolio of Vistara's commercial and planning functions, including strategy development, network planning, pricing and revenue management, sales and distribution, among others, Vistara said in a release.
  • Kapoor succeeds Giam Ming Toh, who is returning to Singapore Airlines on completion of his deputation with Vistara.
  • Tata Sons holds a majority 51% stake in Vistara - a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, which holds the remaining 49%.


Sports –

Rahul Sachdev won 1st All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016


  • Rahul Sachdev on 29 February 2016 won the 1st All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016 in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
  • This tournament was organized by Billiards and Snooker Association of Aurangabad and had no relation with Cue Sports India.
  • Rahul defeated Pushpender Singh of Railways in the final with 5-3 Score. Though Pushpender emerged as a strong contender and had lost only one frame before reaching the final while Rahul scored a break of 104.


Armaan Ebrahim won FMSCI Motorsports Man of the Year Trophy

  • Car racer Armaan Ebrahim on 28 February 2016 was awarded the Motorsports Man-of-the-Year Trophy at ceremony organised by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI).
  • Ebrahim was presented with the Raymond Gautam Singhania Rolling Trophy and cash prize of 2 lakh rupees for his performance in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series.
  • On the other hand, B.I. Chandhok received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to motorsports in the country.


Obituaries –

Oscar winning actor George Kennedy died

  • Oscar winning actor George Kennedy, who won Academy Award for the 1960s classic Cool Hand Luke, died in the city of Boise, Idaho on 28 February 2016. He was 91.
  • He won an Oscar in 1968 as Best Supporting Actor for portraying Dragline (a savage chain-gang convict) opposite Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. The movie garnered four Academy Award nominations, and Kennedy was named best supporting actor.
  • He won an Oscar in 1968 for Best Supporting Actor for portraying Dragline (a savage chain-gang convict) opposite Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke.





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