Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 3rd March, 2016.
SWIFT financial messaging launches in India
- Financial messaging services provider SWIFT launched its services in India on Thursday, bringing with it a unified messaging protocol that can link banks, financial intermediaries, regulators, and stock exchanges and clearing agencies through one suit that can secure transactions by keeping records in a dematerialised form.
- While the service does not facilitate transactions per se, it generate encrypted messages for every transactions made, thereby minimising chances of fraud and easy reconciliation of accounts.
- Newly formed Bandhan Bank, IDFC Bank and Tata Consultancy Services were among 13 clients that signed for the services on the first day.
- SWIFT India is a joint venture between SWIFT SCRL and nine Indian banks -- State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Union Bank of India. The entity will be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and the data centre will be located in India, which is a departure from SWIFT's usual practice.
MoU signed between Indian Army and Indusind Bank
- An MoU was signed between the Indian Army and IndusInd Bank related to the defence salary package today.
- The signing ceremony was chaired by Lt. General Rakesh Sharma, Adjutant General and was attended by top dignitaries of IndusInd Bank headed by Anil M. Rao, Head-General Banking Operations, IndusInd Bank.
- The first MoU between IndusInd Bank and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of three years.
- The revised MoU is tailor made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers. Number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the revised MoU after concerted efforts.
- The army is hoping that this MoU will benefit a large number of serving soldiers who are having their accounts with IndusInd Bank and also provide them an opportunity to access modern banking facilities.
After Amazon, Flipkart and Naaptol tie up with Dept. of Posts
- The Department of Posts is gaining ground as a popular e-commerce delivery platform with more online retailers tying up with it to deliver parcels. From March, post offices will start delivering orders of major players like Flipkart and Naaptol too.
- At present, the department has tied up with 143 e-commerce players, the major one being Amazon, for delivery of articles in Tamil Nadu. Of these, nearly 100 are from Chennai.
- Nearly 5,500 products ordered online either through prepaid or cash-on-delivery modes are being delivered daily.
Facebook, CitrusPay tie up to facilitate e-commerce
- In a move that will enable Indian businesses to use Facebook as an e-commerce platform, the world's largest social media company has tied up with an India payment gateway CitrusPay for cards and net banking transactions.
- At present, the CitrusPay gateway allows Facebook users to make payments for games.
- But those in the financial tech sector said that this could be the first step to enable full-blown e-commerce within Facebook. The company is already moving into the e-commerce space internationally by allowing retailers to open 'shops' in the form of Facebook pages.
- The company is also building fund transfer functionality into Facebook Messenger. Clicking on the purchase button on games opens up CitrusPay's local gateway.
Praxair acquires UK-based NOxBOX from Bedfont Scientific
- Praxair Inc has acquired NOxBOX Ltd, a company that specialises in the manufacture of inhaled gas delivery and monitoring instruments for the medical market, from UK-based Bedfont Scientific Limited, an existing Praxair supplier.
- NOxBOX Ltd, which will remain headquartered in the UK, provides a range of medical devices for in-hospital use as currently authorised by local regulation. One such device, the NOxBOXi delivery system, which is currently sold in many countries, provides intelligent nitric oxide delivery with precise real-time monitoring of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxygen through a touch screen with step-by-step guided interface to enable ease of use.
CCEA approved winding up of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 2 March 2016 gave its approval for winding up of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) with immediate effect. The Council was winded up as it has fulfilled the mandate for which it was constituted.
- Dr. V Krishnamurthy, the former Chairman of the Council resigned from the post on 28 May 2014. Ajay Shankar, IAS (Retd.) demitted office as Member-Secretary of the Council upon expiry of his tenure on 22 November 2014.
- In the absence of a Chairman and no fresh constitution, the NMCC had become non-functional.
Delhi became first state to launch HPV vaccine as public health programme in schools
- Delhi on 29 February 2016 became the first state in the country to launch the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a public health programme for school children.
- The HPV vaccine protects people against the group of 150-odd HPVs, some of which can cause cervical cancer.
Key highlights of the programme
- As part of the programme, girls studying in Class VI in government schools will be targeted in the first year. This will be completed in the current academic year over two phases.
- The programme will target 1-1.5 lakh girls in the first phase.
India, US to partner for cancer and traditional medicine research
- India and the US will collaborative for research on cancer and traditional medicine to pave the way for potential breakthroughs.
- As a part of this initiative, the first US-India Workshop on Traditional Medicine is being held in New Delhi from March 3-4, 2016.
- Representatives from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Global Affairs (OGA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI), and US academic institutions will interact with their counterparts from the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), and Indian research institutes and universities, in New Delhi during the workshop.
- The Workshop is being organised under the auspices of the first US-India Health Dialogue held in September, 2015 in Washington. This effort underscores the discussions between the US President and the Indian Prime Minister to encourage bilateral dialogue on traditional medicine.
Google donates $1 mn to help fight Zika virus spread
- Google is donating $1 million to fight the spread of the Zika virus and offering engineers and data scientists help to determine where it will hit next.
- Zika has become an epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean since last fall. The virus is mainly spread through mosquito bites and has been potentially linked to birth defects.
- Google said in a blog post that it is in a good position to assist since its mission is to help people find information, and it has experience analyzing large sets of data. The company has seen a more than 3,000 per cent increase in global search interest in Zika since November.
- Google operates a group of businesses, including a dominant Internet search engine, under the holding company Alphabet Inc. Google brought in an operating profit of $6.8 billion in last year's fourth quarter.
World Wildlife Day observed with theme The future of wildlife is in our hands
- World Wildlife Day was observed on 3 March 2016 across the world. 2016 theme is “The future of wildlife is in our hands”, with African and Asian elephants being the main focus of global campaigns.
- World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. The Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.
Awards & Honors –
Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman won ACM 2015 A M Turing Award
- Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman on 1 March 2016 were honoured with the Association for Computing Machinery's 2015 A.M. Turing Award.
- Diffie and Hellman were given the award for their fundamental contributions to modern cryptography. Their groundbreaking 1976 paper, New Directions in Cryptography, introduced the ideas of public-key cryptography and digital signatures, which are the foundation for most regularly-used security protocols on the internet at present.
Poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas selected for 2015 Bihari Puraskar
- Eminent poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas was chosen for the 2015 Bihari Puraskar on 2 March 2016. He was chosen for the award for his anthology of Rajasthani poems 'Katha Sun Aawe Hai Sabad'.
- A recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award, Dr Vyas through his poetry has highlighted the increasing tendencies of commercialization and degradation of human values.
Mrugank Paranjape appointed as MD and CEO of MCX
- Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), the country's largest commodity exchange, on 29 February 2016 appointed Mrugank Paranjape as its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Office (CEO).
- The appointment of Paranjape is valid for a period of three years, subject to prior approval from SEBI.
- Since May 2014, the exchange was functioning without an MD. P K Singhal was handling the affairs of the exchange as joint MD.
Books & Authors –
Who was Shivaji? authored by Govind Pansare
- Book titled “Who was Shivaji?” authored by Govind Pansare came in news in first week of March 2016. It came in news because of Shiv Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, which was celebrated across Maharashtra on 19 February 2016.
- Introduction of the book was written by Anirudh Deshpande and Afterword was written by Prabhat Patnaik.
Forbes list of World Billionaires 2016 released
- Forbes list of World Billionaires 2016 was released on 1 March 2016. In its 30th annual guide to the world’s richest, Forbes found 1810 billionaires in 2016 compared to 1826 in 2015.
- Bill Gates remained as the richest person in the world with a net worth of 75 billion US dollars. He has been No. 1 for 3 years in a row and topped the list 17 out of 22 years.
- Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and Head of Amazon, Jeff Bezos made their first appearance in the top ten of Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest.
- The 31-year-old Zuckerberg added 11.2 billion US dollars in this year and moved up to No. 6 from 16.
- Mukesh Ambani followed by Dilip Shanghvi were top 2 billionaires in India.
Former NZ cricket captain Martin Crowe died
- Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe died due to cancer on 3 March 2016 in Auckland. He was 53.
- The ex-Black Caps batsman had been suffering from lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
- Auckland-born Crowe is widely regarded as one of New Zealand's best ever batsman, having scored 17 centuries and 5444 runs in 77 tests at an average of 45.36.
Coronation Street creator Tony Warren died
- Tony Warren, creator of television’s longest-running soap opera Coronation Street, passed away on 1 March 2016 after a short illness. He was 79.
- Warren created the ITV soap in 1960 based in the fictional district of Weatherfield in Greater Manchester.