Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Current Affairs Update - 11-14 March, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update from 11 to 14 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 - 11-14 March, 2017 - Tap to show
1.       Buffering woes and continuous reminders to update apps always annoy mobile phone users. Considering this factor, Flipkart is working with Facebook to ensure that the company's website and app works smoothly on low-cost smartphones and slower networks.
2.       The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare on 11 March 2017 launched Mission Fingerling, a programme aimed at achieving the Blue Revolution by enabling holistic development and management of fisheries.
3.       The NTPC Ltd in the second week of March 2017 installed India’s largest floating solar photo voltaic plant at the Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant (RGCCPP) Kayamkulam in Kerala.
4.       The Ministry of Railways on 9 March 2017 signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to formalise the joint cooperation in the area of environmental conservation.
5.       Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare Minister, on 11 March 2017 laid the foundation stone of the Banana Research Centre at Gorole, Vaishali, Bihar.
6.       India on 11 March 2017 successfully test-fired the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile. The purpose of the test was to validate the capabilities of the missile.
7.       Manohar Prabhu Parrikar will take oath as 13th chief minister of Goa on March 14, 2017. He quit as the defence minister of India, a post he had been holding since November 2014 after first reshuffle of the Narendra Modi Cabinet. At the time, he was serving his second term as the Chief Minister of Goa.
8.       Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of the defence ministry on 13 March 2017. He was given the charge after Manohar Parrikar resigned from the post to take on the role of Chief Minister of Goa.
9.       Reliance Commercial Finance, a subsidiary of Reliance Capital, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Devang Mody as chief executive officer.
10.   President Pranab Mukherjee on 10 March 2017 appointed Chief Justices for High Courts in Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
a.       Justice Hemant Gupta - CJ of Madhya Pradesh High Court
b.      Justice PK Mohanty - CJ of Jharkhand High Court
c.       Justice Navniti Prasad - - CJ of Kerala High Court
d.      Justice T B Radhankrishnan - CJ of Chhattisgarh High Court
11.   The US Senate on 13 March 2017 confirmed healthcare consultant Seema Verma as administrator of the 1 trillion dollars Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
12.   The World Bank has raised its first bond linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as it looks to help a global effort to end poverty, tackle climate change and promote equality.
13.   Prominent Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail was on 9 March 2017 selected for the Saraswati Samman 2016 for his novel Hawthan.
14.   The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras in the first week of March 2017 was selected for the 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award.
15.   The World Kidney Day 2017 was observed on 9 March 2017 with the theme Kidney Disease and Obesity: Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys.

16.   Top-ranked Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia on 12 March 2017 won his fourth All England Open crown.


Financial and Banking News:

Flipkart to team up with Facebook to make its app and website lighter for smartphone users


  • Buffering woes and continuous reminders to update apps always annoy mobile phone users. Considering this factor, Flipkart is working with Facebook to ensure that the company's website and app works smoothly on low-cost smartphones and slower networks.
  • Flipkart wants to widen its reach among those who consume less data and don't update their apps often.
  • Developers from both companies are working on the project via open source to make the website work on low networks i.e. by consuming low data, an Economics Times report said.
  • The company wants to increase the number of users who access the site on the web, improving its Flipkart Lite mobile site, which doesn't use too much data. Nagaram said the two ways will eventually converge, a concept that its other partner Google is also working on.

Union Government launches Mission Fingerling to achieve Blue Revolution


  • The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare on 11 March 2017 launched Mission Fingerling, a programme aimed at achieving the Blue Revolution by enabling holistic development and management of fisheries.
  • The main motive behind this programme is to enhance the fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt by 2020-21.
  • In order to recognize the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector, the Union Government envisaged a program named Blue Revolution.
  • The Blue Revolution focuses on creating an enabling environment for an integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio economic development of fish farmers.
  • This program with a total expenditure of around Rs 52000 lakh will facilitate the establishment of hatcheries and Fingerling rearing pond to ensure the fish production of 426 crores fish fingerling, 25.50 crores Post Larvae of shrimp and crab in the country.
  • This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually and will benefit about 4 million families.
  • It lays greater emphasis on infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer.
  • Productivity enhancement will also be targeted through integration of various production oriented activities such as production of quality fish seeds, cost effective feed and adoption of technology etc. 
  • Fish Fingerling production is the single most important critical input visualised to achieve fish production targets under the Blue Revolution

NTPC installs India’s largest Floating Solar PV Plant at RGCCPP Kayamkulam, Kerala


  • The NTPC Ltd in the second week of March 2017 installed India’s largest floating solar photo voltaic plant at the Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant (RGCCPP) Kayamkulam in Kerala.
  • The plant was inaugurated by AK Jha, Director (Technical) of the NTPC Ltd.
  • The 100 kWp floating solar photo voltaic plant is the largest of its kind in India as on date.
  • This floating platform has been indigenously developed by the NETRA (NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance) in collaboration with Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Chennai.

Railways Ministry and UNEP sign Letters of Intent on Environment Initiatives


  • The Ministry of Railways on 9 March 2017 signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to formalise the joint cooperation in the area of environmental conservation.
  • The agreement will help in exploring the opportunity and developing a joint cooperation mechanism in the field of Environment & Sustainability.
  • Collaborate in formulating specific roadmap for achieving 20 per cent reduction in water consumption at railway establishments.
  • Collaborate in the development of a draft action plan for establishing waste management centres at major stations on Indian railways.
  • Collaborate in the development of a draft action plan for Indian railways on sustainable public procurement for green technology.


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Non-financial news related to India and states:

Foundation stone of the Banana Research Centre laid in Vaishali, Bihar


  • Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare Minister, on 11 March 2017 laid the foundation stone of the Banana Research Centre at Gorole, Vaishali, Bihar.
  • The Banana Research Centre is established to fulfil the aspirations of the banana growers of Vaishali.
  • The Banana Research Centre, Vaishali falls under Garole area.
  • Garole has been selected for the establishment of the centre due to its ecological conditions.
  • The centre will work in the areas of finding reasons of less production in banana, enhancement in acreage for cultivation, suitable utilization of the various parts of the plants, different products, marketing and value addition.
  • It is expected that the cooperation of the researchers of the centre along with the participation of farmers would help to bring a new era of banana cultivation in Bihar and surrounding states.
  • India holds number one position in the world in the area of banana production.

Sashastra Seema Bal signed MoU with NSDC & NSDF for skill development


  • The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) for execution of skill development programmes.
  • The MoU was signed on 10 March 2017 in the presence of Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in New Delhi.
  • During the event, Kiren Rijiju launched an an android based and in-house developed mobile application “MySSB”.
  • Under the MoU, the SSB will be able to provide gainful employment to the retiring and retired personnel of SSB.
  • It will help the personnel in resettlement through the generation of second career option.
  • The MoU will establish a framework under which the dependents of SSB personnel as well as locals, school dropouts, victims and potential victims of human trafficking will also be benefited directly in the area or the region where SSB is deployed.

India successfully test-fired BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile


  • India on 11 March 2017 successfully test-fired the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile. The purpose of the test was to validate the capabilities of the missile.
  • It is the first supersonic cruise missile system known to be in service.
  • The missile is capable of carrying a conventional as well as nuclear warhead of 300 kilograms.
  • The BrahMos is a multi-stage missile having a solid propellant in the first stage and the ramjet liquid propellant in the second stage.
  • It can be launched from land, sea, sub-seas and air.

Exhibition ‘Revolutionary Patriots (1905-1947)’ inaugurated on 127th Foundation Day of NAI


  • An exhibition entitled “Revolutionary Patriots (1905-1947)” was inaugurated on 11 March 2017 on the occasion of 127th Foundation Day of National Archives of India (NAI).
  • The exhibition was inaugurated by N.K. Sinha, Secretary, Union Ministry of Culture.
  •  It is organized with a two-fold objective: to sensitize the younger generation to the sacrifices made by the revolutionaries in their fight for independence from the imperial rule, and to inculcate a sense of archival awareness among the public.
  • The exhibition will remain open for public till 10 April 2017 from 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM during working days only.

Appointments:

Manohar Parrikar sworn-in as Goa Chief Minister for third time


  • Manohar Prabhu Parrikar will take oath as 13th chief minister of Goa on March 14, 2017. He quit as the defence minister of India, a post he had been holding since November 2014 after first reshuffle of the Narendra Modi Cabinet. At the time, he was serving his second term as the Chief Minister of Goa.
  • Parrikar, 61, was handpicked by PM Modi for the coveted defence portfolio at the Centre because of his administrative and organisational skills. He has been deputed back to revive BJP's fortunes in Goa, a state which the party has been ruling since 2012. Parrikar will replace incumbent incumbent chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar.
  • Parrikar's term as the Defence Minister was marked by a continued period of tension on the India-Pak border, following a string of Pakistan-backed terrorist strikes and ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir. He also presided over the forces' surgical strikes on terrorist camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), and their punitive response to ceasefire violations.

Arun Jaitley gets charge of defence ministry after Manohar Parrikar resigns


  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of the defence ministry on 13 March 2017. He was given the charge after Manohar Parrikar resigned from the post to take on the role of Chief Minister of Goa.
  • A Rashtrapati Bhawan communiqué said that “Shri Arun Jaitley shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence, in addition to his existing portfolios”.
  • Jaitley was given the additional charge of the defence ministry in addition to his existing portfolios on the recommendation of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is the second time that Jaitley is holding the additional portfolio of Defence Ministry during the present NDA government. Earlier, he was the in charge of the ministry from 26 May to 9 November 2014.
  • Earlier, Parrikar submitted his resignation from the office of defence ministry after BJP staked claim to form an alliance government in Goa. As per reports, Parrikar will be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Goa on 14 March 2017.
  • As a chief minister, he will be heading the BJP-led ministry which has the support of regional outfits and Independents.

Reliance Commercial Finance appoints Devang Mody as CEO


  • Reliance Commercial Finance, a subsidiary of Reliance Capital, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Devang Mody as chief executive officer.
  • Prior to this, Mody served as president of consumer business at Bajaj Finance.
  • The consumer finance business of Bajaj Finance, under his leadership, witnessed a sharp growth to its current size spanning over 300 towns, with market leadership positions across various business lines.
  • Mody, aged 44, has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector. He started his career with Mahajan & Aibara, and then moved on to EY, followed by a stint at GE Money Financial Services where he was VP - Strategic Initiatives, before moving to Bajaj Finance.

President Pranab Mukherjee appoints Chief Justices in four High Courts


  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 10 March 2017 appointed Chief Justices for High Courts in Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
  • Hemant Gupta was appointed as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. Before this appointment, he was serving as the Acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court . Acting Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court P K Mohanty was appointed as the Chief Justice of Jharkhand itself.
  • Justice Navniti Prasad, a judge in Patna High Court, was appointed as the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court.  Justice T B Radhakrishnan, Acting Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, was named as the Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court.

Seema Verma to be chief of Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services


  • The US Senate on 13 March 2017 confirmed healthcare consultant Seema Verma as administrator of the 1 trillion dollars Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Senate voted 55-43 to approve Seema Verma to run the US health program.
  • Seema Verma was a nominee of President Donald Trump. The Indian-American woman will be running the US government’s health program for the elderly, poor and disabled.
  • She was nominated to serve as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on 29 November 2016, by Donald Trump, who was the President-elect at that time.
  • Earlier, the House Republicans released the text of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The health care bill backed by Trump will roll back the key elements of Obama’s health care law and will limit the overall federal financing for Medicaid in the future.

Narendra Kumar appointed as Chairman of Central Water Commission


  • Narendra Kumar was on 9 March 2017 appointed as the new chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC). He succeeded GS Jha, who retired on superannuation on the same day.
  • He worked as the commissioner, Brahmaputra and Barak wing of the ministry between 2011 and 2014.
  • Central Water Commission is a premier technical organization of India in the field of water resources.
  • At present, it is functioning as an attached office of the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

World News:

World Bank issues first UN sustainable development bond


  • The World Bank has raised its first bond linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as it looks to help a global effort to end poverty, tackle climate change and promote equality.
  • The returns on the €163m two-tranche issue led by BNP Paribas are linked to an index of 50 companies that have been identified as making a significant contribution to the advancement of the UN’s sustainable development agenda.
  • The agenda was adopted by UN member states in late 2015 and includes 17 separate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranging from an end to poverty, access to clean water, gender equality and climate action.
  • A €106.8m 15-year tranche sees all returns delivered at maturity to reflect index performance from the initial level to an average over years 10 and 15. The €56.8m 20-year part pays a fixed 1.2% coupon for the first 10 years, with the remaining 10 years paid out via a coupon reflecting the best performance of the index between years five and 10 over an average of the preceding five years.
  • The deal represents the first issue from the World Bank's "SDGs Everyone" initiative announced in January. Unlike a typical Green bond, where proceeds are earmarked for specific environmental projects, proceeds from SDG issues will be used for general development projects.

Awards & Honors:

Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail honoured with Saraswati Samman 2016


  • Prominent Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail was on 9 March 2017 selected for the Saraswati Samman 2016 for his novel Hawthan.
  • The 74-year-old writer's novel, published in 2009, was shortlisted from 22 books written in as many languages.
  • The selection for the award was made by a jury presided by the 29th Chief Justice of India (CJI) AS Anand.
  • The novel 'Hawthan' is a well-researched work of fiction. The book presents the cultural map of the traditional potter community of Goa.
  • Saraswati Sanman is named after Goddess Saraswati, Indian goddess of learning. The award was instituted in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation.

IIT-Madras won 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award


  • The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras in the first week of March 2017 was selected for the 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award.
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has chosen the IIT-M for the award for its solar-direct current (DC) inverter system.
  • The IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award is presented to a company or an institution voted by the IEEE Spectrum editors as having developed the technology that has the potential to benefit mankind.

Mohan Bhagwat awarded honorary Doctor of Science degree


  • Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat on 9 March 2017 was conferred honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the city-based Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University.
  • Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, handed over the honorary degree to Bhagwat at the convocation of the varsity. Bhagwat is a veterinary doctor by training.
  • The RSS chief was honoured with the degree for his contribution in the field of veterinary sciences and social work.

Days:

World Kidney Day 2017 observed with theme Kidney Disease and Obesity


  • The World Kidney Day 2017 was observed on 9 March 2017 with the theme Kidney Disease and Obesity: Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys.
  • The WKD 2017 sought to promote education about the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney diseases.
  • The WKD is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).
Headquarters:

  • International Society of Nephrology: Brussels, Belgium
  • International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF): Bussum, Netherlands

Sports:

Lee Chong Wei wins All England Open Men's Singles title


  • Top-ranked Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia on 12 March 2017 won his fourth All England Open crown.
  • Lee defeated first-time finalist Shi Yuqi of China 21-12, 21-10, to grab the Men’s Singles title at the tournament.
  • The All England Open Badminton Championships is the world's oldest badminton tournament.

Obituaries:

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, best-selling author, dead at age 51


  • Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a popular author, filmmaker and speaker who brightened lives with her wide-eyed and generous spirit and broke hearts when she wrote of being terminally ill and leaving behind her husband Jason died Monday at age 51.
  • Rosenthal had been diagnosed in 2015 with ovarian cancer. Her death was confirmed to The Associated Press by her longtime literary agent, Amy Rennert, who said Rosenthal “was the most life-affirming person, and love-affirming person.” Fellow author John Green tweeted — “She was a brilliant writer, and an even better friend.”
  • A Chicago native and longtime resident, Rosenthal completed more than 30 books, including journals, memoirs and the best-selling picture stories “Uni the Unicorn” and “Duck! Rabbit!” She made short films and YouTube videos, gave TED talks and provided radio commentary for NPR, among others.
  • She also raised three children and had a flair for random acts of kindness, whether hanging dollar bills from a tree or leaving notes on ATM machines.









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