Current Affairs Update – 24th-25th March, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 24th and 25th March, 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 24-25th March, 2016
  1. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 March 2016 approved the 1500 million US dollar project of World Bank to support Swachh Bharat Mission - Gramin (SBM-G).
  2. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), has successfully commissioned a 600 Mw coal-based thermal power plant “Singareni thermal power project” in Telangana.
  3. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 21 March 2016 established the Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer (GIRI) near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 March 2016 inaugurated broadband connectivity to North Eastern States via Bangladesh to strengthen telecom services in the region.
  5. The Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV), ICGS Arnvesh, of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was commissioned on 21 March 2016 in Visakhapatnam.
  6. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 22 March 2016 launched the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI).
  7. National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 22 March 2016 fined 20 lakh rupees on Uttarakhand-based Darrameks Hotels and Developers Pvt Ltd (DHDPL) for construction on Ganga floodplains.
  8. World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) 2016 was globally observed on 24 March 2016 with the theme Unite to End TB.
  9. International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2016 was observed globally on 25 March 2016.
  10. Arvind Kejriwal has been named among the world's 50 greatest leaders 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders'  by Fortune magazine with the Delhi Chief Minister being the sole Indian leader on the list topped by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The 47-year-old Aam Aadmi Party chief is ranked 42nd on the list and is the sole leader from India.
  11. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on 23 March 2016 approved the appointment of Justice (retd) Permod Kohli as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). He is a former Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.
  12. Australia’s Shane Watson on 24 March 2016 announced that he will retire from international cricket at the end of the 2016 World Twenty20 Tournament.
  13. The Netherland's soccer legend Johan Cruyff died of  lung cancer on 24 March 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.


Finance/Industry –

Union Cabinet approved World Bank’s $1500 million support to Swachh Bharat Mission - Gramin


  • Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 March 2016 approved the 1500 million US dollar project of World Bank to support Swachh Bharat Mission - Gramin (SBM-G).
  • The approval seeks to provide for the mechanism of incentivisation of States under the SBM-G through World Bank credit.   The incentivisation of the States on the basis of their performance under the SBM-G was approved by the Union Cabinet on 24 September 2014.
  • Under the project, the performance of the States will be gauged through certain performance indicators, called the Disbursement-Linked Indicators (DLIs).

Following are three DLIs.
  •    Reduction in the prevalence of open defecation: The funds under this result area shall be released to the States on the basis of reduction in prevalence of open defecation amongst rural households in the State, compared to the previous year.
  •    Sustaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in Villages: The funds under this result area, shall be released on the basis of estimated population residing in ODF villages.
  •    Increase in percentage of rural population served by improved Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM): The funds under this will be based on the population served with acceptable level of SLWM services.


BHEL commissions 600 Mw power plant in Telangana


  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Maharatna central public sector enterprise, has successfully commissioned a 600 Mw coal-based thermal power plant in Telangana, the company said on Friday.
  • "The unit has been commissioned at the upcoming 2x600 Mw Singareni thermal power project located in Adilabad district," the power plant equipment manufacturer said in a BSE filing.
  • The company has built 600 Mw rating sets which comprise of a four cylinder turbine, designed in-house.
  • With the commissioning of the unit, Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) has successfully diversified into the power generation business.
  • According to the filing, the second unit of Singareni is also in an advanced stage of construction and is expected to be commissioned shortly.


Union Cabinet approved India’s accession to the Ashgabat Agreement


  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 March 2016 gave its approval for India to accede to the Ashgabat Agreement. The Agreement is an international and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.
  • India’s accession to the Agreement would enable it to utilise this existing transport and transit corridor to facilitate trade and commercial interaction with the Eurasian region.
  • Further, it would also synchronise India’s efforts to implement the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) for enhanced connectivity.


India –

ISRO established GIRI Radar System at Tirupati


  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 21 March 2016 established the Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer (GIRI) near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It was set up at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) which is an autonomous research institute of the Department of Space.

Features of GIRI System
  1. It is a 30 MHz radar system that will be engaged in meteor and space weather research in a comprehensive way.
  2. It consists of a rectangular antenna array of 160 two-element Yagi-antenna, arranged in a 20x8 matrix, 20 transmitter units, 6 digital receivers including data processing systems, a radar controller, and a host computer.
  3. Its primary objective is to carry out unattended observations towards studying the forcing from the sun like variation in solar flux, solar flare and magnetic storm on the ionospheric irregularities.
  4. It also seeks to study unattended observations from the underneath atmosphere (e.g., waves generated by weather phenomena) on the ionospheric irregularities.




Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated broadband connectivity to NE States via Bangladesh


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 March 2016 inaugurated broadband connectivity to North Eastern States via Bangladesh to strengthen telecom services in the region.
  • Under the project, an international gateway for broadband connectivity will be set up at Agartala in Tripura.
  • Using this platform, connectivity will be provided to other North Eastern States like Manipur, Nagaland, etc through Bangladesh.
  • The cost of the project is around 19 crore rupees and BSNL will bear annual operational expenditure of around seven crore rupees from its own resources.


Indian Coast Guard vessel Arnvesh commissioned


  • The Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV), ICGS Arnvesh, of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was commissioned on 21 March 2016 in Visakhapatnam.
  • The vessel was commissioned by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht.
  • The ship is mainly intended to undertake surveillance at sea, coastal patrol, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations.
  • Arnvesh is the 16th vessel among the 20 vessels in this category being constructed by Cochin Shipyard Limited.
  • The 300-tonne and 50-m long vessel is propelled by triple Rolls Royce Kamewa water jets and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots.


Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched Longitudinal Ageing Study in India


  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 22 March 2016 launched the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI).
  • The Longitudinal Ageing Study is the largest survey of its kind. It will survey more than 60000 elderly over 25 years plan. The survey will provide scientifically validated data on various issues of the elderly.
  • The study will be important as it will investigate various health structures, and impact of social determinants on health of the elderly. It will also help in framing evidence-based policy.



NGT fined Uttarakhand-based developer DHDPL 20 lakh rupees for construction on Ganga floodplain

  • National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 22 March 2016 fined 20 lakh rupees on Uttarakhand-based Darrameks Hotels and Developers Pvt Ltd (DHDPL) for construction on Ganga floodplains.
  • It was fined for constructing a hotel within 200 meters from the Ganga river bank.

Main Highlights of the Order
  • It slapped the environmental compensation on the developer for violating the order passed by Uttarakhand High Court. In the said order, the HC had prohibited construction of any commercial unit within 200 meter of the river bank.
  • DHDPL also violated the conditions set in the Consent to Establish issued by the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB).


Days –

World Tuberculosis Day 2016 observed with theme Unite to End TB


  • World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) 2016 was globally observed on 24 March 2016 with the theme Unite to End TB.
  • The theme was selected against the backdrop of the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.
  • The Goal 3 of the Agenda aspires to ensure health and well-being for all, including a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030.


International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade 2016 observed


  • International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2016 was observed globally on 25 March 2016. The theme for the year 2016 is Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots.
  • The theme draws attention to the rich African culture and traditions that have impacted life in countries that were involved in the slave trade and where the African Diaspora continues to make major contribution in all aspects of life. It also highlights the cultural linkages that exist among people of African descent throughout the world.


Lists/Reports –

Kejriwal named among world's 50 greatest leaders by Fortune


  • Arvind Kejriwal has been named among the world's 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine with the Delhi Chief Minister being the sole Indian leader on the list topped by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
  • Fortune's third annual 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders' list features men and women from across the globe from the fields of business, government, philanthropy and the arts who are "transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same."
  • The 47-year-old Aam Aadmi Party chief is ranked 42nd on the list and is the sole leader from India.
  • However, South Carolina's Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley is also on the list at 17th while another Indian- American Resham Saujani is at the 20th spot.
  • Fortune credits Kejriwal for his efforts to curb pollution in New Delhi through the scheme of allowing vehicles of odd and even numbers on alternate days on the city's roads.


Appointments –

Justice (retd) Permod Kohli appointed Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal


  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on 23 March 2016 approved the appointment of Justice (retd) Permod Kohli as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). He is a former Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.
  • He was appointed for a period of five years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post, or till attaining the age of 68 year, whichever is earlier.


Sports –

Australia’s Shane Watson announced retirement from international cricket


  • Australia’s Shane Watson on 24 March 2016 announced that he will retire from international cricket at the end of the 2016 World Twenty20 Tournament.
  • Watson retired from test cricket in September 2015 and since then he didn’t play any One Day Internationals also.


9th International Abilympics started in France


  • 9th International Abilympics started on 23 March 2016 at Bordeaux in France. Abilympics is coined from Olympics of abilities of persons with disabilities.
  • It is a global work skills competition held every four years. The event aims to promote social awareness in the field of skills development and employment both locally and internationally, and foster friendship among the competing nations.
  • The name Abilympics comes from the idea of organizing a competition to promote the skills of persons with disabilities. It combines Abilities with the idea of the Olympics.


Obituaries –

Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff died


  • The Netherland's soccer legend Johan Cruyff died of  lung cancer on 24 March 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. He was 68.
  • Cruyff’s talent was such that he is comfortably placed alongside Pele, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer and Lionel Messi as the best footballers of all time.
  • He was considered as one of the best player, coach, thinker, speaker and mentor in the football world.






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