Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Current Affairs Update - 1 March, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 1 March, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains, NIACL Assistant Mains as well as other insurance and bank exams.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 1 March, 2017 - Tap to show
  1. The World Bank has announced an assistance programme of over $1 billion in the areas of urban transport and climate resilient agriculture in Maharashtra, over the next 2-3 years.
  2. The Government has notified the law that makes holding of more than 10 scrapped notes punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 10,000.
  3. Gujarat-based Incube Ventures Pvt Ltd, under the banner of Aashray Promotion of Social Enterprises Foundation, a techno-social business incubator, on Wednesday, announced the signing of an MoU with the Jharkhand government’s Department of Information Technology and e-Governance (DoIT) to establish an incubation centre for start-ups in that state.
  4. India on 23 February 2017 signed a Financing Agreement with the World Bank for IDA credit of USD 63 million for the 'Tejaswini', a Socio-Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women Project.
  5. India on 1 March 2017 successfully test-fired the Prithvi supersonic interceptor missile. The missile was test-fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.
  6. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in last week of February 2017 banned British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from filming in all Indian tiger reserves for five years. It also imposed a ban on BBC’s journalist Justin Rowlatt for the same period.
  7. Senior diplomat Ruchi Ghanashyam was on 28 February 2017 appointed as the Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  8. Sanjiv Singh was on Tuesday appointed chairman of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), the country’s largest commercial enterprise.
  9. Amina J Mohammed on 28 February 2017 was appointed as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).
  10. Nand Kumar Sai, senior tribal leader from Chhattisgarh, on 28 February 2017 assumed charge as the Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in New Delhi.
  11. D R Doley Barman on 28 February 2017 was appointed as the Director of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.
  12. Sumit Mullick, a 1982 batch IAS officer, was appointed as the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra on 28 February 2017. He succeeds Swadheen Kshatriya.
  13. Zero Discrimination Day was observed across the world on 1 March 2017. The day was observed with the theme Make Some Noise for Zero Discrimination.
  14. The UK-India Year of Culture 2017 was launched on 27 February 2017 at Buckingham Palace to mark a year-long celebration of the strong relationship shared between the UK and India. Queen Elizabeth II hosted a gala event to mark the launch.
  15. Jitu Rai clinched the gold medal with yet another stirring comeback while compatriot Amanpreet Singh bagged the silver in men's 50m pistol event as India secured its first yellow metal in the ongoing ISSF World Cup, here on Wednesday.
  16. Popular Gujarati writer and noted play writer Tarak Mehta passed away on 1 March 2017 at his Ahmedabad residence.  The popular comic television serial ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah' is a television adaptation of Taarak Mehta's column 'Duniya Ne Undha Chasma'.



Financial and Banking News:

World Bank offers over $1-billion loan to Maharashtra


  • The World Bank has announced an assistance programme of over $1 billion in the areas of urban transport and climate resilient agriculture in Maharashtra, over the next 2-3 years.
  • This was announced by the World Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva, at the end of a day-long visit to the city.
  • Over the last five years, World Bank had invested over $1.4 billion in Maharashtra in urban transport, rural water supply and agriculture.
  • “The Government of Maharashtra is committed to sustaining high economic growth for its people. The State faces significant challenges, particularly in the areas of urban transport, climate change and water,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.
  • “We are keen to work with the World Bank in these areas and explore future opportunities to deepen our engagement for the overall development of the state,” he added.
  • Georgieva also met the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, Urjit Patel.

Govt notifies law to make banned note possession punishable


  • The Government has notified the law that makes holding of more than 10 scrapped notes punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 10,000.
  • The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017, was passed by Parliament last month with a view to eliminating the “possibility of running a parallel economy” using the old Rs 500/1,000 notes that have been demonetised.
  • The law, signed by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 27, also provides for a minimum fine Rs 50,000 for false declaration by persons who were abroad during the demonetisation period (November 9—December 30, 2016) and given time to deposit such scrapped notes with RBI till March 31.
  • With the law coming into force, possession of more than 10 pieces of the old notes by individuals and more than 25 pieces for study, research or numismatics purpose will be a criminal offence, attracting fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.
  • The Act also ends the liability of the Reserve Bank and the government on the demonetised currency notes.

Aashray inks MoU with Jharkhand, to set up incubation centre for start-ups


  • Gujarat-based Incube Ventures Pvt Ltd, under the banner of Aashray Promotion of Social Enterprises Foundation, a techno-social business incubator, on Wednesday, announced the signing of an MoU with the Jharkhand government’s Department of Information Technology and e-Governance (DoIT) to establish an incubation centre for start-ups in that state.
  • Accordingly, Incube Ventures will avail of the support listed in the Jharkhand government’s Start-Up Policy 2016 for five years, with the objective of making the incubation centre self-sustaining. The MoU was entered upon during the ‘Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors’ Summit 2017’ held recently.
  • As part of the MoU, Ashray Foundation will incubate at least 20 start-ups certified by the Jharkhand State Evaluation Board, wherein incubatees will gain access to mentoring, business and financial advisory, co-working space, Internet, research and laboratory facilities. Along with mentoring on research projects, technological development and innovation, Aashray will also support incubatees in seeking public and private funding and access to angel networks and investment forums.

India signs Financing Agreement with World Bank for Tejaswini


  • India on 23 February 2017 signed a Financing Agreement with the World Bank for IDA credit of USD 63 million for the 'Tejaswini', a Socio-Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women Project.
  • The Financing Agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Union Ministry of Finance and Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director of World Bank (India).
Highlights of the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women Project 'Tejaswini'

  • The project seeks to empower the adolescent girls with basic life skills.
  • It aims to provide further opportunities to acquire market driven skill training or completion of secondary education, depending on the inclination of the beneficiary.
  • The project will support adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 14 and 24 to complete their secondary level education.
  • It will also help girls in acquiring relevant skills for the job market. 
  • The project has three main components- (i) Expanding social, educational and economic opportunities (ii) Intensive service delivery (iii) State capacity-building and implementation support.
  • About 680000 adolescent girls and young women are expected to benefit from the program.
  • The closing date of the project is 30 June 2021.

Non-financial News related to India and states:

India successfully test-fired Prithvi Supersonic Interceptor Missile


  • India on 1 March 2017 successfully test-fired the Prithvi supersonic interceptor missile. The missile was test-fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.
  • After receiving commands from the radars on the incoming missile, the interceptor missile Prithvi detected and tracked the enemy's ballistic missile.
  • The ‘enemy missile’ was fired from the Interim Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.
  • Prithvi, which has been dubbed as an advanced air defence interceptor, is part of India’s credible ballistic missile defence program.
  • With Prithvi in its armour, India has become the fourth country in the world to have a ballistic missile defence program.
  • The other three countries which have developed a similar ballistic missile defence system include the US, Russia and Israel.

National Consultation Workshop on Urban Development held in New Delhi


  • The National Consultation Workshop on Urban Development was held on 28 February 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • The workshop was organised by the Union Ministry of Urban Development.
  • The workshop discussed strategies to promote social and urban infrastructure in urban areas of the country.
  • The workshop was held with the theme – Transforming Cities Transforming Lives.

Assam to host river festival ‘Namami Brahmaputra’


  • Assam will host its first river festival-‘Namami Brahmaputra’ at the riverfront of Brahmaputra in Guwahati from 31 March to 4 April 2017.
  • The decision was announced by Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal himself. The state’s government has invited India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ambassadors of all the countries and all Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries to participate in the mega event.
  • The five-day festival aims to promote the state’s economy, culture, art, tourism, skill industry, investment option, trade, commerce and heritage.
  • Namami Brahmaputra, which means “Obeisance to the Brahmaputra”, will showcase the grandeur of the river and the land it flows through.
  • It will be spread across 21 districts of Assam.

First meeting of Committee on Cultural Harmony Conclave held in New Delhi


  • The first meeting of the Committee on Cultural Harmony Conclave under the HamariDharohar Scheme was held on 25 February 2017 in New Delhi.
  • The meeting was chaired by the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
  • The meeting was attended by several renowned artists, musicians, writers. They discussed strategies to promote India’s rich cultural diversity of minorities.

Government’s National Family Health Survey-4 shows improved sex ratio and decline in IMR


  • Union Health Ministry on 28 February 2017 unveiled the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) in New Delhi. The survey conducted for the year 2015-16 says that India's health index has made a notable improvement over the last decade.
  • The survey is based on information collected from 6 lakh households, 1.3 lakh men and 7 lakh women. This is the first time that the data is providing district level estimates.
  • The report suggests that there has been a decline in the infant mortality and improvement was visible in the sex ratio with more institutional deliveries and wider vaccine coverage. The survey also says Children within the age of 12-23 months have been fully immunised (BCG, measles and 3 doses each of polio).

BBC banned for five years from filming in Tiger reserves


  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in last week of February 2017 banned British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from filming in all Indian tiger reserves for five years. It also imposed a ban on BBC’s journalist Justin Rowlatt for the same period.
  • As per a report published in a national daily, the ban was imposed on the network after BBC via a documentary, One World: Killing for Conservation, questioned India’s aggressive policy and protection measures to protect endangered rhinos at Kaziranga national park in Assam.
  • Issuing the ban on the network, NTCA directed all chief wildlife wardens of all tiger range states of India as well as field directors of tiger reserves to disallow filming permission to BBC for five years. NTCA that governs all tiger reserves of India.

Appointments:

Ruchi Ghanashyam appointed as Secretary (West) in MEA


  • Senior diplomat Ruchi Ghanashyam was on 28 February 2017 appointed as the Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). She succeeds Sujata Mehta, who recently took over as a Member in Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • Her appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).
  • As the Secretary (West), Ghanashyam will be responsible for looking after the country's diplomatic affairs with the United Kingdom and other European nations.

Sanjiv Singh appointed Indian Oil Corporation chairman


  • Sanjiv Singh was on Tuesday appointed chairman of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), the country’s largest commercial enterprise.
  • The Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved his appointment to the post for a period of five years, an order issued by the personnel ministry said.
  • Singh is at present the director of Refineries at the IOCL. He was selected for the top job after government headhunters Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) interviewed eight candidates.
  • He will be assuming the charge on or after 1 June, the order said.

Amina J Mohammed sworn in as UN Deputy Secretary-General



  • Amina J Mohammed on 28 February 2017 was appointed as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).
  • Mohammed, a former Environment Minister of Nigeria, was appointed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the second highest job at the UN.

Nand Kumar Sai assumes charge as Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes


  • Nand Kumar Sai, senior tribal leader from Chhattisgarh, on 28 February 2017 assumed charge as the Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in New Delhi.
  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the 89th Amendment Act, 2003. The amendment replaced erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by two separate Commissions namely, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
  • The Chairperson of NCST has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister and the Vice-Chairperson that of a Minister of State.
  • The term of office of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and each member is three years from the date of assumption of charge.

D R Doley Barman appointed as Director of SVP National Police Academy


  • D R Doley Barman on 28 February 2017 was appointed as the Director of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.
  • At present, Barman is working as the Director of the North East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong, Meghalaya.
  • Barman is a senior Indian Police Service officer. A 1986 batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre, she replaces Aruna M Bahuguna, who is an Andhra Pradesh cadre of 1979 batch. However, Barman’s appointment has been done by temporarily downgrading the post to ADG level for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
  • Barman will also hold the additional charge of the post of Director, North East Police Academy (NEPA) till the appointment and joining of regular Director, NEPA.

IAS officer Sumit Mullick appointed as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra


  • Sumit Mullick, a 1982 batch IAS officer, was appointed as the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra on 28 February 2017. He succeeds Swadheen Kshatriya.
  • Kshatriya, the incumbent chief secretary of the state, was due for retirement on 31 January 2017, but was given a month's extension. At present, Mullick is the senior most bureaucrat of the state and will retire in April 2018.
  • As per reports, the file of appointing Mullick as the Chief Secretary was signed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the morning of 28 February 2017 and was handed over the charge in the evening.
  • At the time of this appointment, Mullick was working as an Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) and was serving the state as its Chief Protocol Officer in the General Administration department.
  • He had earlier served as the Divisional Commissioner of Amravati and worked as Secretary of School Education. He was also Secretary to the Governor.

Days:

Zero Discrimination Day 2017 observed


  • Zero Discrimination Day was observed across the world on 1 March 2017. The day was observed with the theme Make Some Noise for Zero Discrimination.
  • Zero Discrimination Day 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.
  • The day urges people to join together against discrimination and celebrate everyone’s right to live a full and productive life with dignity.
  • For the year 2017, UNAIDS calls for zero discrimination in health-care settings. The right to health is a fundamental human right that includes access to timely, affordable and quality health-care services for all.

World:

UK-India Year of Culture 2017 launched


  • The UK-India Year of Culture 2017 was launched on 27 February 2017 at Buckingham Palace to mark a year-long celebration of the strong relationship shared between the UK and India. Queen Elizabeth II hosted a gala event to mark the launch.
  • Top Indian celebrities arrived at the event such as Anoushka Shankar, Gurinder Chadha and Shiamak Davar. Additionally, The Big Bang Theory‘s Kunal Nayyar, Ayesha Dharker and Nina Wadia were also in attendance. Anil Kapoor also attended the event as a special guest.
  • On arrival, guests watched an Indian dance performance entitled 'Ekam' in the reception.
  • The UK India Year of Culture marked its launch as the BFI National Archives announce a restoration of silent film Shiraz. Shiraz looks at the 17th century love story behind the construction of the Taj Mahal.

Sports:

Jitu Rai bags gold, silver for Amanpreet Singh in ISSF World Cup


  • Jitu Rai clinched the gold medal with yet another stirring comeback while compatriot Amanpreet Singh bagged the silver in men's 50m pistol event as India secured its first yellow metal in the ongoing ISSF World Cup, here on Wednesday.
  • Entering the event a day after claiming the 10m pistol bronze, Rai upped the ante as the final closed in on the elimination rounds.
  • The unassuming Army man shot a total of 230.1, a world record, to finish on top of the podium, while Amanpreet, who was leading for a major part of the final, had to be satisfied with the silver medal after aggregating 226.9.
  • Iran's Vahid Golkhandan took away the bronze with a score of 208.0 at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.
  • The 29-year-old Rai was placed sixth at the end of the first two competition series of five shots each with 93.8. At that point Amanpreet was leading the eight-man field with 98.9. The Punjabi shooter then extended his domination with a series of high scores, even as Rai tried to make his way back into contention.

Obituaries:

Noted Gujarati Writer Tarak Mehta died


  • Popular Gujarati writer and noted play writer Tarak Mehta passed away on 1 March 2017 at his Ahmedabad residence. Mehta passed away at 87.
  • Tarak Mehta suffered from age related illness for a long time.
  • Tarak Mehta was an Indian columnist, humorist, writer and playwright.
  • He was best known for his column “Duniya Ne Undha Chasma” in Mumbai-based Gujarati news weekly “Chitralekha”. His weekly column first featured in Chitralekha news weekly in March 1971.
  • He wrote around 80 books on various pressing issues.
  • Three books are based on the columns he wrote in Gujarati newspaper Divya Bhaskar. The remaining books were compiled from the stories in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah.
  • The popular comic television serial ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah' is a television adaptation of Taarak Mehta's column 'Duniya Ne Undha Chasma'.


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