Current Affairs Update - 17 March, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 17 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 - 17 March, 2017 - Tap to show
  1. Bandhan Bank Ltd in March 2017 announced the signing of an agreement with Avenues India Pvt Ltd, the leading payment solution provider in India.
  2. State-owned construction firm NBCC (India) Ltd signed an agreement with the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) for a Rs 1,058-crore irrigation project in Maharashtra.
  3. The World Bank Group (WBG) on 15 March 2017 approved USD 210 million loan to strengthen gram panchayats (GPs) in West Bengal.
  4. Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Friday performed the ground-breaking for Asia's first greenfield training facility being set up by the European aviation major Airbus.
  5. The finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 economies (G20) are due to meet in Baden-Baden in Germany from 17-18 March 2017.
  6. The World Bank Board on 16 March 2017 approved the USD 175 million National Hydrology Project to strengthen capacity of institutions to assess water situation in their regions.
  7. India and Brazil signed a social security agreement on 16 March 2017 in Brazil's capital Brasilia, exempting detached workers of the two countries from making social security contribution in either country, as long as they were making such contributions in their own respective nations.
  8. India and Russia on Friday signed two key agreements for long-term maintenance and technical support for Russian-made Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force.
  9. The three-day International Buddhist conference began at Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Rajgir in Nalanda district of Bihar on 17 March 2017.
  10. The International Cricket Council (ICC) on 16 March 2017 cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as the UNICEF Cricket For Good ambassador for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
  11. Senior IAS officer Karan Avtar Singh was on 16 March 2017 appointed as the Chief Secretary of Punjab.
  12. Commonwealth badminton doubles gold medallist Jwala Gutta in the second week of March 2017 was included as a member of the governing body of the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
  13. Kansas, a state of the United States, recognised 16 March as Indian-American Appreciation Day.
  14. Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin to go to space in 1997, was remembered on 17 March 2017, which marks her 55th birth anniversary.




Financial and Banking News:

Bandhan Bank signs pact with Avenues India to enhance customer support


  • Bandhan Bank Ltd in March 2017 announced the signing of an agreement with Avenues India Pvt Ltd, the leading payment solution provider in India.
  • The agreement signed at the Bandhan Bank headquarters in Kolkata.
  • The pact was signed to provide the merchants with seamless access to the Point of Sale (POS) and the payment gateway products.
  • The partnership will help merchants to have speedier and more direct access to POS machines, payment gateways and competitive financing options.
  • The pact also asks the two parties to cooperate and benefit from each other’s networks, customers, systems, techniques and expertise for the purpose of enhancing customers’ experience.


NBCC inks MoU for Rs 1058 cr irrigation project in Maharashtra


  • State-owned construction firm NBCC (India) Ltd signed an agreement with the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) for a Rs 1,058-crore irrigation project in Maharashtra.
  • "NBCC has been allotted construction of irrigation scheme works in Maharashtra under Gosikhurd National Project, valuing approx Rs 6,000 crore," the company said in a statement.
  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the first phase of work valued at about Rs 1,058 crore was signed today in Mumbai. The first phase is part of the total work of Rs 6,000 crore to be implemented by the company.
  • "The scope of work under Gosikhurd National Project in Maharashtra includes upgradation of civic amenities of rehabilitation villages, right bank canal, canal and distribution system of Nerla and Mokhabardi LIS etc," the statement said.
  • The first phase of project is likely to be completed in about 18 months.


World Bank Group approved USD 210 million for strengthening gram panchayats in West Bengal


  • The World Bank Group (WBG) on 15 March 2017 approved USD 210 million loan to strengthen gram panchayats (GPs) in West Bengal.
  • The loan amount will be utilized for the implementation of the Phase II of the West Bengal Support to Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat Program (ISGPP-II).
  • The ISGPP-II will support all 3,342 GPs in the state to effectively utilize untied and discretionary funds that are being provided to them under the inter-governmental fiscal transfer system.

Features of West Bengal Support to Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat Program (ISGPP)
  • The program seeks to strengthen local communities’ participation in the planning, budgeting and financial management of projects undertaken in rural areas.
  • During the first phase of this project (ISGPP-I), performance-based block grants (PBG) were given to 1,000 better performing GPs within nine districts for investing in priority local infrastructure and service delivery projects.
  • So far, 92,000 activities were carried out by the GPs under the ISGPP. Out of them, while 54 per cent of the activities belonged to the transport sector, 23 per cent in the areas concerning water and sanitation.


Airbus announces Asia's first pilot training centre at Delhi


  • Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Friday performed the ground-breaking for Asia's first greenfield training facility being set up by the European aviation major Airbus.
  • The Airbus India Training Centre (AITC) will support India's growing need for Airbus aircraft pilots and maintenance engineers.
  • The event was also attended by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and Tom Enders, CEO, Airbus.
  • Vistara, a joint-venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, signed a five-year agreement with Airbus Group India Pvt Ltd to provide training services to Vistara pilots for the A320 type aircraft.
  • AITC is Airbus' first fully owned training facility in Asia and will cater primarily to Airbus operators in India and the region.
  • The centre will be built in a modular concept in order to become operational by end-2018 with two A320 full flight simulators, increasing to four and potentially to six simulators in due course.


G20 meet of finance ministers and central bank governors to begin in Germany

  • The finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 economies (G20) are due to meet in Baden-Baden in Germany from 17-18 March 2017.
  • The meeting is expected to focus on strengthening economic resilience in finance and digitalisation and to promote investment in Africa.
  • The meeting will provide a preliminary discussion platform for the finance ministers and central bank governors to discuss their points ahead of the G20 Summit of heads of state and government that will be held in Hamburg, Germany from 7-8 July.
  • All the focus will be on whether they are able to agree to work together to promote free trade between themselves despite the protectionist tendency of the United States.
  • This meet will be the first such gathering of leaders to discuss global economic challenges since Donald Trump took over as the President of United States in January 2017.
  • While most of the G20 nations have been in agreement that encouraging free trade is the way to foster the world economy, Trump administration has been seen taking a protectionist stance on the same, saying it is a part of their effort to save jobs in the US.
  • The results of the meeting will be shared by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann in a news conference, which is to be held on 18 March 2017.


World Bank Board approves USD 175 million National Hydrology Project of India


  • The World Bank Board on 16 March 2017 approved the USD 175 million National Hydrology Project to strengthen capacity of institutions to assess water situation in their regions.
  • This loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of World Bank will have a 6-year grace period and a maturity of 23 years.
  • The project is aimed at assisting the institutions in reducing the vulnerability to recurring flood and droughts.
  • The National Hydrology Project will scale up the successes achieved under Hydrology Project-I and Hydrology Project-II to cover the entire country including the states of Ganga and Brahmaputra-Barak basins.
  • For the first time, under HP-I and HP-II, real-time flood forecast systems integrated with weather forecast in Krishna and Satluj-Beas river systems will give reservoir managers an accurate picture of the water situation in their region.


India and Brazil sign agreement to protect rights of detached workers

  • India and Brazil signed a social security agreement on 16 March 2017 in Brazil's capital Brasilia, exempting detached workers of the two countries from making social security contribution in either country, as long as they were making such contributions in their own respective nations.
  • The text was signed between the Indian delegation led by Joint Secretary of the External Affairs Ministry, K Nagaraj Naidu and Brazilian delegation led by Benedito A Brunca, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Government of Brazil. The same was confirmed through a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The agreement establishes the rights and obligations of nationals belonging to both the countries and provides for their equal treatment and unrestricted payment of pensions even in the case of residence in the other contracting state.
  • The requirements to be entitled for pension can be met by aggregating the periods of insurance completed in India and Brazil, whereby each country pays only the pension for the insurance periods covered by its laws.


Non-financial news related to India and states:

India, Russia sign pacts for maintenance of Sukhoi jets


  • India and Russia on Friday signed two key agreements for long-term maintenance and technical support for Russian-made Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force.
  • Currently, the IAF operates around 230 Su-30MKI fighter jets and according to the agreements, Russian defence majors United Aircraft Corporation and the United Engine Corporation will render technical support and provide maintenance services and spares for the fleet for a period of five years.
  • The pacts were signed between India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the two Russian companies in presence of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russia's Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov.


Dalai Lama Inaugurated the International Buddhist Conference in Bihar


  • The three-day International Buddhist conference began at Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Rajgir in Nalanda district of Bihar on 17 March 2017.
  • The event was jointly inaugurated by the much respected religious leader Dalai Lama and the Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mahesh Sharma.
  • The inaugural session saw the release of Pali Tripitaka book by Dalai Lama and other dignitaries, who were present at the event.
  • Over 1000 delegates from 35 countries including Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Singapore will be participating in the three-day event.
  • The main topic of the conference is Buddhism in the 21st century.


Appointments:

Sachin Tendulkar appointed as UNICEF Ambassador For ICC Women’s World Cup 2017


  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) on 16 March 2017 cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as the UNICEF Cricket For Good ambassador for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
  • The ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 will be hosted in the United Kingdom from 23 June 2017 to 23 July 2017.
  • The ICC Women’s World Cup and other sports platforms will become catalysts in providing spaces for girls to engage meaningfully with sports.
  • The ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 will begin on 23 June 2017 at England and Wales with eight top cricketing countries locking horns to grab the coveted trophy.
  • The 21-day tournament having 28 matches will be played at five different venues with the final at Lord's.
  • The first match of the eight-nation tournament between the hosts England and India will take place at County Ground in Derby.
  • India will join the World Cup against the host nation on the opening day itself at Derby.


Karan Avtar Singh appointed as Chief Secretary of Punjab

  • Senior IAS officer Karan Avtar Singh was on 16 March 2017 appointed as the Chief Secretary of Punjab. His appointment came after the swearing-in ceremony of Captain Amarinder Singh as Punjab Chief Minister.
  • Avtar Singh succeeded Sarvesh Kaushal who was posted as Special Chief Secretary-cum-Director General of the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration.
  • Singh was also given the charge of the Principal Secretary of Department of Personnel, General Administration and Vigilance and Investment Promotion.


Jwala Gutta included in Governing Body of Sports Authority of India


  • Commonwealth badminton doubles gold medallist Jwala Gutta in the second week of March 2017 was included as a member of the governing body of the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
  • In addition, BV Papa Rao, IAS (retired), was also added to the newly constituted governing body. He has the experience of being an officer on special duty of SAI from 1985 to 1990. At present, he is a sports administrator and advisor to Telangana Government.


Days:

Kansas recognises March 16 as Indian-American Appreciation Day


  • Kansas, a state of the United States, recognised 16 March as Indian-American Appreciation Day. The day was recognised to honour an Indian techie, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed in a racially-motivated hate crime in February 2017.
  • Kuchibhotla was killed when a US Navy veteran Adam Purinton, 51, opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani on 22 February 2017 in Olathe. Madasani along with American national Ian Grillot were injured in the attack.
  • While declaring March 16 as the Indian-American Appreciation Day, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said, the unique contribution of Indian community has made Kansas a better place. He asserted that the senseless act of violence will not divide or define the state and said the state of Kansas remains committed to standing with the Indian community. The state will always reject the acts of violence and harm.
  • Brownback, who issued a proclamation to this effect at an event in Topeka, the state capital, said that these actions can never overshadow our shared values. He also said that Kansas will continue to welcome and support the Indian community in the State of Kansas. The governor also publicly apologised for the loss of life and injury to Madasani.


Kalpana Chawla remembered on 55th birth anniversary

  • Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin to go to space in 1997, was remembered on 17 March 2017, which marks her 55th birth anniversary.
  • Born on 17 March 1962 in Karnal, Punjab, the Indian American astronaut first flew on the space shuttle Columbia in 1997. She was the mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator of the mission.
  • In 2003, Kalpana Chawla passed away along with six other crew members during the disaster of the Space Shuttle Columbia.


Awards & Honors:

Indian-American teen Indrani Das wins 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search


  • Indrani Das, an Indian-American high school student, in second week of March 2017 won the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search bagging the top award of USD 250000.
  • Das won the prestigious high school science and mathematics competition for her new approach to neurological damage.
  • The Indian-American teen is a student at the Academy for Medical Science Technology in Hackensack.
  • Aaron Yeiser, a senior at Perkiomen Valley High School, Pennsylvania, won the second place award of USD 175000. He grabbed the prize for his development of a new mathematical method to solve partial differential equations on complicated geometries.
  • The third place was clinched by another Indian-American student, Arjun Srinivasan Ramani. He was awarded USD 150000 for blending the mathematical field of graph theory with computer programming to answer questions about networks.


World:

UK’s Newcastle University gets 1st license to make babies using 3-parent technique

  • The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) of the United Kingdom on 16 March 2017 granted a license to the Newcastle University to create babies using the 3-parent technique.
  • With this, the Newcastle University has become the first organisation to receive a license since the unveiling of the ‘3-parent baby policy’ by the HEFA in December 2016.
  • The 3-parent baby technique involves in vitro fertilization of both the mother's egg and a donor's egg with the father's sperm.
  • Before these two fertilised eggs begin dividing into an embryo, the unhealthy mother’s egg nucleus is replaced with the egg's nucleus of a healthy donor.
  • This gives the doctors with a fertilised egg with a healthy donor mitochondria and the mother's DNA in the nucleus.

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