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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 2nd March, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 2nd March, 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 2nd March, 2016
  1.  The International Monetary Fund has projected a robust growth rate of 7.3 per cent for India this fiscal, picking up to 7.5 per cent next year.
  2. The National Association of Software & Services (NASSCOM) today announced the inauguration of its first warehouse in Chennai today. The MoU in this regard was signed between Department of Information Technology, Tamil Nadu, acting through the Electronics Corporation of Tamilnadu and NASSCOM.
  3. In line with the Petroleum Ministry’s decision to open skill development institutes in different parts of the country, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd will set up one such institute in Kerala.
  4. The Zoji La tunnel was in news in the first week of March 2016. It was in news because the Union Government has ordered rebidding of the strategic 10050-crore rupees tunnel contract in Jammu and Kashmir, which was earlier given to IRB Infrastructure.
  5. India has been ranked at the 90th place in Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report of 126 countries compiled by WEF on the basis of their ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy, which was topped by Switzerland.
  6. The Telangana Government on 1 March 2016 decided to illuminate 25 municipalities in the state with Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs in 100 days.
  7. Haryana government renamed village Mustafabad in Yamuna Nagar district to Saraswati Nagar. A notification to this effect was issued by Haryana Revenue and Disaster Management Department.
  8. Five Indian women have made it to the Forbes list of world’s richest people in the world, which saw 190 women billionaires — a little over 10 per cent of the total count. Among the Indian women on the list Savitri Jindal and family was ranked at the 453rd place on the list with a net worth of USD 3.5 billion.
  9. Toyota appoints Akito Tachibana as new India MD.
  10. Portugal Government on 29 February 2016 nominated former Portuguese Prime Minister and head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres as a candidate for General Secretary at United Nations.
  11. Columnist and author Jerry Pinto on 1 March 2016 was chosen for the 2016 Windham-Campbell Prize. Pinto, an Indian, won the award for his novel Em and The Big Hoom (published in 2012) in the fiction category.
  12. Three British scientists, Tim Bliss, Graham Collingridge and Richard Morris, on 1 March 2016 won the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize, largest prize for neuroscience in the world.
  13. Veteran playwright and director Ratan Thiyam was on 1 March 2016 named for Lifetime Achievement Award of the 11th edition of the Mahindra Excellence Theatre Awards (META).
  14. Zero Discrimination Day was observed across the world on 1 March 2016. The day was observed with the theme - Stand Out.
  15. Malayalam film director Mohanroop, who created magic through his debut film Vettah in 1984, passed away.
  16. International Cricket Council (ICC) on 1 March 2016 banned South Africa left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso from bowling.
  17. Olympian Basanta Bahadur Singh Rana on 28 February 2016 won the gold medal in men's 50km race walk event on the final day of the National Championships in Jaipur.



Finance/Industry –

IMF projects 7.3% growth rate for India this fiscal


  • Bullish on India, the International Monetary Fund has projected a robust growth rate of 7.3 per cent for the country this fiscal, picking up to 7.5 per cent next year.
  • The multilateral lending agency welcomed recent measures aimed at increasing public infrastructure spending, rationalising subsidies, creating more flexible labour and product markets as well as enhancing financial inclusion.
  • "India has a very good outlook at the present time. India certainly benefited from low oil and energy prices, one of the world's largest oil importers and that's raised the real income of all Indians," said Paul Cashin, India Mission Chief for the International Monetary Fund.
  • The agency's protections are lower than the government's estimate of 7.6 per cent growth in 2015-16 while Reserve Bank sees economy expanding by 7.4 per cent this fiscal.


NASSCOM, Tamil Nadu ink MoU for start-up warehouse in Chennai


  • The National Association of Software & Services (NASSCOM) today announced the inauguration of its first warehouse in Chennai today.
  • The MoU in this regard was signed between Department of Information Technology, Tamil Nadu, acting through the Electronics Corporation of Tamilnadu and NASSCOM in presence of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha over video conferencing.
  • The warehouse will spread across 8,000 sq ft and can house up to 50 startups allowing them to learn, work, and accelerate their companies. It will nurture nearly 200 entrepreneurs to foster innovation under one roof. A co-working space like this is necessary in order to boost the startup ecosphere of the city.


BPCL to set up skill development institute in Kerala

  • In line with the Petroleum Ministry’s decision to open skill development institutes in different parts of the country, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd will set up one such institute in Kerala.
  • The company has signed an agreement with Kerala Government for setting up the institute at Ettumanoor for which the government had allotted 8 acres vacant land at the ITI campus.
  • The Petroleum Ministry’s move to set up such institutes in various parts is to bring out the best of the youth and to enhance their employability in the oil and gas industry and other sectors. Accordingly, each major Oil & Gas PSU’s such as IOCL, ONGC, BPCL, HPCL, OIL and GAIL volunteered to set up one skill development institute and BPCL selected Kerala.
  • A society of the PSUs will be formed to run the Institute and the cost will be shared among oil companies, a press release said.


Union Government ordered rebidding for 10050 crore rupees Zoji La tunnel


  • The Zoji La tunnel was in news in the first week of March 2016. It was in news because the Union Government has ordered rebidding of the strategic 10050-crore rupees tunnel contract in Jammu and Kashmir, which was earlier given to IRB Infrastructure.
  • The decision to rebid the tunnel project was taken at a meeting, presided by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
  • As some doubts were raised in respect of the project, rebidding was ordered to maintain complete transparency and uphold probity in public life.
  • Zoji La is 9 km from Sonamarg and provides a vital link between Ladakh and Kashmir. It runs at an elevation of approximately 3528 metres, and is the second highest pass after Fotu La on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway.


India –

Telangana Government to illuminate 25 municipalities with LED bulbs in 100 days


  • The Telangana Government on 1 March 2016 decided to illuminate 25 municipalities in the state with Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs in 100 days.
  • A high level meeting by a group of ministers with the officials from the Energy Efficient Services Limited (EESL) decided that 90 lakh households in the state will be provided LED bulbs at reduced price.

Key highlights of the programme
  • During the first phase of the programme, 12 lakh households in Medak, Nalgonda and Nizamabad districts will be supplied LED bulbs.
  • The EESL will supply these bulbs to illuminate 12 lakh households in 25 municipalities.
  • The government will bear the expenditure to supply two such LED bulbs to every household.
  • In the second phase, the street lights in 25 municipalities will be replaced with LED bulbs.


Haryana renamed Mustafabad village as Saraswati Nagar

  • Haryana government renamed village Mustafabad in Yamuna Nagar district to Saraswati Nagar. A notification to this effect was issued by Haryana Revenue and Disaster Management Department.
  • A paleo channel claimed as River Saraswati identified in Muglawali village of Haryana
  • The village is located about 20 kilometers from the district headquarters and officials say an old dried-up riverbed of Saraswati River exists near the village. Revenue records substantiate the claim.


Appointments –

Toyota appoints Akito Tachibana as new India MD


  • Japanese car maker Toyota has announced appointment of new managing director for India.
  • The world's largest car maker has appointed Akito Tachibana as the managing director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor with effect from April 2016 to replace Naomi Ishii.
  • Tachibana has spent three decades at Toyota. His experience in Toyota Motor Corporation spans across various functions like domestic and overseas planning, used car and product management. He currently heads the Technical, Purchase and Quality Assurance functions in India.
  • Ishii has been appointed as the General Manager of Corporate Planning Division-Toyota, Japan from April. Ishii was made India head in January 2014. This appointment is a part of the organisation changes at Toyota Motor Corporation, the company said.


Portugal nominated ex-refugee chief Antonio Guterres for UN Secretary-General


  • Portugal Government on 29 February 2016 nominated former Portuguese Prime Minister and head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres as a candidate for General Secretary at United Nations.
  • Guterres served as Prime Minister in 1995-2002 and as UN Refugee Agency High Commissioner in 2005-2015.
  • With this, Guterres joined a list of six mostly Eastern and Central European candidates to succeed Ban Ki-moon on 1 January 2017. Ban took the office in January 2007.


Lists/Indexes –

India ranks 90 in the Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report


  • India has been ranked at the 90th place in a list of 126 countries compiled by WEF on the basis of their ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy, which was topped by Switzerland.
  • The latest Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report, explored the energy architecture of 126 countries based on their ability to provide energy access across three dimensions of the “energy triangle” — affordability, environmental sustainability, security and access.
  • The list was topped by Switzerland followed by Norway and Sweden in the second and third place, respectively.
  • Others in the top 10 include France (4th), Denmark (5th), Austria (6th), Spain (7th), Colombia (8th), New Zealand (9th) and Uruguay (10th).
  • Among the BRIC nations, Brazil was the top performer as it was ranked at the 25th place, followed by Russia (52nd), India (90th), China (94).


Five Indian women among Forbes World’s Billionaires List


  • Five Indian women have made it to the Forbes list of world’s richest people in the world, which saw 190 women billionaires — a little over 10 per cent of the total count.
  • Globally the number of women in the coveted rich list declined from last year. Of the total 1,810 billionaires this year, 190 are women, down from 197 in 2015. Moreover, women still account for just a small percentage — a little over 10 per cent of the total richie rich population.
  • Among the Indian women on the list Savitri Jindal and family was ranked at the 453rd place on the list with a net worth of USD 3.5 billion.
  • On Jindal, Forbes said, in the past five years, matriarch Savitri Jindal’s fortune has declined by close to USD 10 billion due to a downward slide in shares of her O P Jindal group companies.
  • Indu Jain who chairs media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman & Co, was placed at the 549 rank globally. Her net worth stood at USD 3.1 billion.
  • Others on the list include, Smita Crishna-Godrej ranked 810 on the list with a net worth of USD 2.2 billion. This is her maiden appearance on the billionaires list by virtue of a one-fifth stake in the family assets.
  • Meanwhile, low profile heiress Leena Tewari debuted on the billionaires list. She chairs and owns privately held Indian generics maker USV, known for its drugs for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, among much else. Leena Tiwari was placed at 1067 position with a net wealth of USD 1.7 billion.
  • Vinod Gupta ranked 1577 with assets of USD 1.1 billion, is the wife of Qimat Rai Gupta, who died in November 2014. She inherited her husband’s shares in electrical firm Havells India, though she doesn’t hold an executive or board position.
  • Globally, the grand dame of L’Or, Liliane Bettencourt and her children were ranked at the top among the richest women in the world. She was placed at the 11th position with a net worth of USD 36.1 billion, followed by Alice Walton ranked 16th with assets of USD 32.3 billion and Jacqueline Mars (27, USD 23.4 billion).


Awards & Honors –

Windham-Campbell prizes for the year 2016 announced


  • Columnist and author Jerry Pinto on 1 March 2016 was chosen for the 2016 Windham-Campbell Prize. Pinto, an Indian, won the award for his novel Em and The Big Hoom (published in 2012) in the fiction category.
  • Em and the Big Hoom was Pinto’s first work of fiction that tells the story of an unnamed narrator’s slow, painful attempt to come to terms with his mother’s bipolar disorder and suicidal tendencies.
  • Apart from Pinto, eight other writers were chosen for the award in three categories, namely fiction, non-fiction and drama. The winners will each receive 150000 dollar to support their work.


Three British scientists won Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize


  • Three British scientists, Tim Bliss, Graham Collingridge and Richard Morris, on 1 March 2016 won the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize, largest prize for neuroscience in the world.
  • The trio have won the award for their seminal work on understanding what happens in the brain when humans make and lose memories.
  • This is the first time the Brain Prize has been won by an entirely UK team.
  • The award ceremony will take place in Copenhagen on 1 July 2016, where the prize will be presented by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.


Veteran playwright Ratan Thiyam named for 11th META theatre award

  • Veteran playwright and director Ratan Thiyam was on 1 March 2016 named for Lifetime Achievement Award of the 11th edition of the Mahindra Excellence Theatre Awards (META).
  • He was selected for the award for creating a new language in theatre and enriching the art form in various roles as writer, director, designer, composer and choreographer. He is the current chairman of the National School of Drama.
  •  In the past, this award has been given to theatre greats such as Zohra Sehgal, Badal Sarkar, Khaled Chowdhury, Ebrahim Alkazi, Girish Karnad and Heisnam Kanhailal.


Sports –

Basanta Bahadur Rana won gold in 50km race walk at National Championships

  • Olympian Basanta Bahadur Singh Rana on 28 February 2016 won the gold medal in men's 50km race walk event on the final day of the National Championships in Jaipur.
  • Rana clocked 4 hours 7 minutes 24 seconds to finish first on a fast Jaipur course.
  • Uttarakhand's Chandan Singh, who has already achieved Rio qualification mark in men's 20km event, finished second with a time of 4:09:50 while Jitender Singh Rathore of Rajasthan grabbed the bronze medal in 4:12:10.


Cricketer Aaron Phangiso suspended for illegal bowling action

  • International Cricket Council (ICC) on 1 March 2016 banned South Africa left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso from bowling. He was banned after his bowling action, which exceeded 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the regulations, was found illegal.
  • Phangiso was reported by umpires after helping Highveld Lions reach the final of South Africa's domestic 50-over competition. He was reported for suspect action on 25 February 2016 while playing for Highveld Lions against Warriors at Wanderers.


Days –

Zero Discrimination Day observed with theme Stand out


  • Zero Discrimination Day was observed across the world on 1 March 2016. The day was observed with the theme - Stand Out.
  • Zero Discrimination Day is an opportunity to join together against discrimination and celebrate everyone’s right to live a full and productive life with dignity. It calls for fair and just societies and urges people to value, embrace diversity and recognize the diverse set of talents and skills that each person brings.


Obituaries –

Malayalam director Mohanroop passes away


  • Malayalam film director Mohanroop, who created magic through his debut film Vettah in 1984, was interred in his parish church near Thrissur in Kerala on Wednesday (March 2), his family member said.
  • Mohanroop, who breathed his last on Tuesday (March 1), was bid a final goodbye by his family and friends, with hardly anyone turning up from the film industry. He was 56.
  • Mohanroop's Vettah was one film which featured present-day superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal together, and it received a warm reception upon its release.





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