Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 29 March, 2016. These are important for the upcoming NABARD Assistant Manager Exam.
European Investment Bank to loan €450 million for Lucknow Metro
- The European Union, through the European Investment Bank (EIB), will lend India €450 million (approximately Rs. 3,300 crore) towards constructing a 23-km long Lucknow Metro rail line and a purchasing a fleet of new trains.
- The EIB is the EU’s official bank and the world’s largest international public bank, and its loan will cover half of the total project costs for the Lucknow Metro. The first tranche of €200 million will be signed on Wednesday, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels, as part of the 13th India E.U. Summit.
- The remaining tranches will be disbursed over the course of the project. Lucknow’s Metro is expected to increase the public transport mode share from 10% to 27% in the city of 3 million.
- The EIB is also expected to announce the opening of its South Asia office in New Delhi during Mr. Modi’s visit on Wednesday. The office is expected to be operational by the end of the year.
Govt allows 100% FDI in e-commerce marketplaces
- The government today permitted 100 per cent FDI in the market place format of e-commerce retailing with a view to attract more foreign investments.
- As per the guidelines issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on FDI in e-commerce, foreign direct investment (FDI) has not been allowed in inventory-based model of e-commerce.
- At present, global e-tailer giants like Amazon and Ebay are operating online marketplaces in India while homegrown players like Flipkart and Snapdeal have foreign investments even as there were no clear FDI guidelines on various online retail models.
- To bring clarity, the DIPP has also come out with the definition of 'e-commerce', 'inventory-based model' and 'market place model'.
- Market place model of e-commerce means providing of an IT platform by an e-commerce entity on a digital and electronic network to act as a facilitator between buyer and seller.
- The inventory-based model of e-commerce means an e-commerce activity where inventory of goods and services is owned by e-commerce entity and is sold to consumers directly, according to the guidelines.
Reliance Defence forms JV with Rafael to take up $10 bn worth projects
- Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence has inked a pact with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence System to set up a JV in India for specialised areas including air-to-air missiles that will oversee projects worth USD 10 billion (over Rs. 65,000 crore) in ten years.
- The venture will have 51 per cent holding from Reliance Defence and 49 per cent by Rafael as per the current guidelines of the government, it said.
- It will provide big thrust to the field of indigenous production and development of high precision and state of the art weapon systems in India.
- The partnership with technology power house and one of the world leaders in defence technologies, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel will mark the entry of Reliance Defence in the complex field of air-to-air missiles and air defence systems manufacturing in India, it said.
- Rafael is a market leader in air-to-air missile segment and has world renowned product like Python and Derby.
- Similarly, for the Air Defence Systems, Rafael portfolio includes SPYDER short range and medium range and Barak missiles family of Surface to Air Missiles in the short and medium range.
Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project dedicated to people of Andhra Pradesh
- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on 28 March 2016 dedicated the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project to the people of the state.
- The project is situated at Pattiseema village of Polavaram mandal in West Godavari district. It started functioning on a full-scale as the installation of all 24 pump sets was completed on 24 March 2016.
Features of Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project
- It seeks to link the two major rivers of the state – Godavari and Krishna – to benefit farmers of Krishna and Guntur districts.
- Its primary objective is to use Godavari’s flood waters for the stabilisation of Krishna delta region that faces acute shortage of water for irrigation from June to August.
- At present, an estimated 80 TMC of the 3000 TMC of the Godavari’s flood waters goes waste into the sea every year.
First direct container MV Harbour-1 Vessel between India and Bangladesh flagged off from Krishnapatnam
- The first direct container MV Harbour-1 Vessel between India and Bangladesh carrying cotton was flagged off from Krishnapatnam of Andhra Pradesh to Chittagong on 28 March 2016.
- The voyage was started as a part of a coastal shipping agreement to facilitate trade between India and Bangladesh.
- The trade agreements were earlier signed during the reign of the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1974 and they were revived back after a period of four decades during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka in June 2015.
Key Features of the Agreement
- A standard operating procedure was signed between India and Bangladesh in November 2015 to move commercial cargo between the two countries. The provisions and procedures to be followed for such movement were also stated.
- Many conditions were waived by both countries to facilitate easy bilateral trade. The vessels of both the countries upon entry in to India and Bangladesh shall be treated as domestic vessels and not foreign going vessels.
- The provision will play a key role in addressing the traffic congestion at Petrapole (India) and Benapole (Bangladesh) the two border points which pose as one of the biggest impediments to the movement of EXIM cargo.
Telecom Commission approved 112 as Single Emergency Number for India
- The Telecom Commission approved the number 112 as the single emergency number for India on 28 March 2016. This is similar to 911 of United States and 999 of United Kingdom.
- With this, Indian citizens in distress can just dial the single-number 112 for all emergency services such as police, ambulance and the fire department. It will direct the call to concerned departments immediately for help.
- The service will also be accessible even through those SIMs and landlines whose outgoing call facility has been stopped or temporarily suspended.
- A user will be able to make communication even through SMS and the system will learn about the location of the caller that will be shared with the nearest help centre.
Tata Motors signed a contract with Indian Army to supply another 619 HMV trucks
- Tata Motors on 28 March 2016 announced that it signed a follow-on contract with the Indian Army to supply 619 units of its 6X6 high-mobility vehicle (HMV) multi-axle truck.
- This is in conjunction, to an earlier order awarded to Tata Motors for 1239 units of its 6X6 MMV. This is the single largest order awarded to an Indian private firm in land systems by the Indian Army under the Union Ministry of Defence, Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).
- Built with a material handling crane, the Tata 6X6 HMV is meant for loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment.
UNICEF launched animated film series ‘Unfairy Tales’ on refugee and migrant children
- The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on 29 March 2016 launched animate film series ‘Unfairy Tales’.
- The series seeks to help frame positive perceptions towards the tens of millions of children and young people on the move globally.
- As per an estimate, at least 65 million children and young people globally are on the move to escape conflict, poverty and extreme weather and find a stable life and a place to call home.
Details related to Unfairy Tales
- It is a collection of 3 animations that explain the horror behind fleeing of three children in real life.
- One story – “Ivine and the Pillow” – animates the true story of 14-year-old Ivine and her pillow, Pillow. After a perilous escape from Syria, Ivine settles at a refugee camp in Germany only to face new challenges.
- “Malak and the Boat”, tells the tale of a young girl’s voyage in a leaky boat.
Bangladesh Supreme Court upheld Islam as State religion
- The Supreme Court of Bangladesh on 28 March 2016 upheld the status of Islam as the State religion. The ruling was given by the High Court Division of the court while dismissing a petition filed by Samendra Nath Goswami.
- Goswami challenged the legality of the constitutional provision of Islam as the state religion (8th Constitutional Amendment, 1988) despite revival of secularism as a fundamental state policy under a 2011 amendment to the Constitution.
- Bangladesh was formed out of Pakistan as a Muslim majority country in 1971. As per the 2011 census, around 87 percent are Muslims and 12 percent are Hindus.
- However, the secularism principle was removed from the constitution in 1977 by the 5th amendment by Ziaur Rahman-led Government.
- Subsequently, Islam was declared as the state religion by the 8th amendment to the constitution in 1988.
Sergey Karjakin won 2016 World Chess Candidates Tournament
- Russian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin on 28 March 2016 won the FIDE World Chess Candidates Tournament held in Moscow.
- In the final Round 14, the Russian grandmaster defeated American grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
- Karjakin will now play with the incumbent world champion, Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, in a match for the world chess crown in the United States in November 2016.