Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 23rd March, 2016. These are important for the upcoming NABARD Assistant Manager Exam.
India, France sign MoU for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur
- India and France have signed an MoU for the construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, two months after the two countries decided to conclude the techno-commercial negotiations for the project by the year end.
- The pact was inked yesterday at the end of the two-day visit of a high-level delegation of Electricite de France (EDF - French public utility) to Mumbai for holding discussions with National Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) on the construction of the plants, diplomatic sources said.
- French Ambassador to India Francois Richier, who was present on the occasion, reiterated his country's commitment to working seamlessly with India through a collaborative approach to enable both sides to contribute collectively to the development of nuclear energy in India in the most economical manner.
- The EDF visit was a follow-up on the State Visit of French President Francois Hollande to India in January, during which France and India drew up a cooperation roadmap for concluding techno-commercial negotiations for the Jaitapur project by the end of 2016.
- EDF is France's public electricity producer and supplier and has been designated by the French government for taking over AREVA NP.
- EDF is now leading the negotiations for the French side, with the support of AREVA NP, for the Jaitapur nuclear park and supply of all equipment under EDF's scope.
ReNew Power inks pact with OPIC for $250-mn debt facility
- Sumant Sinha promoted ReNew Power Ventures said on Tuesday that it has signed an agreement to receive debt financing of up to $250 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US Government’s development finance institution.
- The company said that the funds will be utilised to construct 400 MW of new solar power projects across India.
- ReNew Power has more than 2,400 MW of clean energy assets. Its projects are in nine states – Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand. The company has investors like Goldman Sachs, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Asian Development Bank and the Global Environment Fund.
- In the last one year, the company has signed power purchase agreements for four solar projects with a combined capacity of 286 MW in Telangana, won bids in Karnataka for 180 MW of solar power capacity and in Jharkhand for 522 MW of solar power capacity. The power purchase agreements with Karnataka and Jharkhand will be signed soon.
Cabinet okays MoU between India and Lithuania for agriculture
- The Cabinet today approved signing of an MoU between India and Lithuania for cooperation in the agriculture sector.
- The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) provides for cooperation in the fields of agriculture production including horticulture, post-harvest management, organic farming, cold chain development and agri processing industry, animal husbandry, dairying and aquaculture among others.
- The MoU is expected to help in capacity building, knowledge exchange between scientists and technicians, exchange of genetic resources, development of appropriate technologies and farm practices for enhancing agriculture productivity at farmer's field, it added.
Airtel signs pact with ATC for tower sale in Tanzania
- Bharti Airtel has entered into an agreement with American Tower Corporation (ATC) for the sale of about 1,350 mobile towers in East African country Tanzania.
- Under the agreement, ATC may acquire up to approximately 100 additional sites currently in development for an additional consideration, Airtel said in a BSE filing, without disclosing the financial details of the transaction.
- Airtel will be the anchor tenant on the portfolio under a lease with a ten-year initial term, it said.
Union Government and Industry Association signed MoU for effective redressal of consumer complaints
- Department of Consumer Affairs under the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on 22 March 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Industry Association for effective redressal of consumer complaints.
- Under the MoU, the Industry Association comprising ASSOCHAM, CII, DICCI, FICCI and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry will implement six-point agenda to address consumer complaints.
The MoU will broadly cover the following areas under six-point agenda:
- Collaborative programmes on developing and implementing a self-regulated code of fair business practices
- Establishing a Consumer Affairs division/vertical within the Industry Body
Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched new initiatives to combat Tuberculosis
- Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda on 21 March 2016 launched three new initiatives to combat Tuberculosis (TB).
- The initiatives were launched to mark the World Tuberculosis day that is observed annually on 24 March.
Details related to the new initiatives
- The new anti-TB drug was launched to combat Drug Resistant TB as part of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP).
500 Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) machines
- These are in addition to the existing 121 CBNAAT machines that are functional in the country.
Union Government used telephone feedback mechanism under CPGRMS for the first time for grievance redressal
- The abbreviation CPGRMS was in news on 22 March 2016 as the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh initiated a telephone feedback mechanism under the CPGRMS for the first time.
- Using this facility, feedback regarding the response given by the officials will be collected from the complainants who used the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System.
Features of the CPGRMS
- The Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) is a web based portal to receive grievances from citizens on the functioning of Government.
- It was launched in 2007 to improve public service delivery and making governments citizen-centric.
- The portal also allows senior officials to monitor the progress of redressal of grievances at different levels.
Justice H L Dattu appointed as member of International Coordinating Committee Bureau
- Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu on 22 March 2016 was appointed a member of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) Bureau in Geneva.
- NHRC, India will now be representing Asia-Pacific Region along with Mongolia, Qatar and Australia.
- No other National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) from the Asia Pacific region nominated a candidate against Dattu to fill the position of a member vacated by the representative of NHRI of South-Korea.
Mukund Padmanabhan appointed as new editor of The Hindu
- Mukund Padmanabhan will be the new Editor for the The Hindu, one of the largest English dailies in the country. He will be the second non family member who hold this position in the 125-year old Newspaper.
- Since August 2012, Padmanabhan was the editor of The Hindu Business Line. He has been working with The Hindu for the last 15 years.
- The decision to appoint him as the new editor was taken at Kasturi & Sons Ltd (KSL's) Board meeting today, according to sources in KSL. Board of Directors and management officials were not available for comment immediately.
World Poetry Day 2016 observed globally
- World Poetry Day was observed across the world on 21 March 2016. The main objective of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
- It is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster.
- UNESCO first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999 to recognise the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.
World Meteorological Day 2016 observed with the theme Hotter, Drier, Wetter. Face the Future
- The World Meteorological Day (WMD) 2016 was observed across the world on 23 March 2016. The theme for the WMD 2016 was Hotter, Drier, Wetter. Face the Future.
- The theme of WMD 2016 tries to bring focus on the climate change that is disrupting the natural pattern of the seasons. The climate change is also increasing the frequency and intensity of certain extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainfall. These ongoing changes provide a foretaste of a hotter, drier, wetter future.
Nepal became Dialogue Partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
- Nepal on 22 March 2016 became a dialogue partner of the Beijing-based regional security grouping, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
- Nepal was officially made a dialogue partner after a memorandum was signed during the Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli visit to China.
- As a dialogue partner, Nepal will be able to participate in the multi-field cooperation of the Organisation.
- Beside Nepal, Azerbaijan also officially became a SCO dialogue partner on 21 March 2016 upon the signing of a similar memorandum.