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Friday, March 31, 2017

Current Affairs Update – 31st March, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 31 March, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO mains, BOB Manipal 2017, NICL AO 2017 and NIACL Assistant 2017.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 31st March, 2017 - Tap to show
  1. Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) plans to work with African Development Bank (AfDB) on co-financing of projects in Africa, David Rasquinha, Managing Director, Exim Bank has said.
  2. Karnataka Bank and SBI Card have launched co-branded credit cards for the customers of Karnataka Bank. Through this alliance Karnataka Bank and SBI Card will launch two variants of the co-branded credit card – ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’ and ‘Karnataka Bank SimplySAVE SBI Card’.
  3. The government has lowered the interest rates on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi scheme by 0.1 per cent for the April-June quarter, a move that would prompt banks to cut their deposit rates.
  4. India's fourth largest IT services company HCL Technologies today signed an MoU with Andhra Pradesh government to set up its campus in Vijayawada-Amaravati region. The company will invest Rs 500 crore in ten years in the project involving a development centre and a training facility spread over 27.86 acres to be allotted by the government.
  5. India on 30 March 2017 signed loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) of USD 350 million for development and upgradation of major district roads project in Madhya Pradesh.
  6. Amazon.com Inc., the USA based e-commerce giant, on 28 March 2017 acquired Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest online retailer. However, the deal’s specific value was not announced.
  7. Kanha Tiger Reserve in the last week of Macrh 2017 became the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot, named Bhoorsingh the Barasingha.
  8. The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a new child care centre in Mumbai for children who have cancer on 30 March 2017.
  9. The Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on 30 March 2017 released a book on the Indian Railways – ‘Indian Railway-The weaving of a National Tapestry.
  10. The World Theatre Day was celebrated on 27 March 2017 across the globe.



Financial and Banking News –

Exim Bank to work with African Development Bank on co-financing of projects


  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank plans to work with African Development Bank (AfDB) on co-financing of projects in Africa, David Rasquinha, Managing Director, Exim Bank has said.
  • To begin with, both are likely to focus on co-financing of projects in power, agriculture and irrigation over the next 2-3 years, Rasquinha told BusinessLine here after a bilateral meeting with visiting AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina here on Friday.
  • It’s not that both already have a pipeline of projects for co-financing, but would endeavour to work on this, he added.
  • At their bilateral talks, both sides also discussed the aspect of getting the recently formed Kukuza Project Development Company (KPDC) “off the ground and run”
  • KPDC has been set up by Exim Bank in partnership with AfDB, State Bank of India and IL&FS. It’s main purpose is to essentially look to bring infrastructure projects in Africa to a bankable stage and facilitate exports from India to Africa.
  • Opportunities for infrastructure development in Africa are huge with a World Bank study few years back projecting the annual investment requirement in infrastructure at $ 90 billion.

Karnataka Bank, SBI Card launch co-branded credit card


  • Karnataka Bank and SBI Card have launched co-branded credit cards for the customers of Karnataka Bank. Through this alliance Karnataka Bank and SBI Card will launch two variants of the co-branded credit card – ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’ and ‘Karnataka Bank SimplySAVE SBI Card’.
  • A press release said here on Friday that ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’, which has been designed keeping in mind the premium customers, offers features in line with their lifestyle and spending patterns. ‘Karnataka Bank SimplySAVE SBI Card’ is aimed at value conscious consumers and offers rewards and features that enable customers to maximise their savings on their regular spends, it said

Govt lowers interest rate on small savings schemes by 0.1%


  • The government has lowered the interest rates on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi scheme by 0.1 per cent for the April-June quarter, a move that would prompt banks to cut their deposit rates.
  • For April-June, the rates have been lowered by 0.1 per cent across the board compared to January-March. However, the interest rates on savings deposits have been retained at 4 per cent annually.
  • Since April last year, the interest rates of all small savings schemes have been recalibrated on a quarterly basis.
  • A Finance Ministry notification said investments in the public provident fund (PPF) scheme will fetch a lower annual rate of 7.9 per cent, the same as five-year National Savings Certificate. The existing rate for these two schemes is 8 per cent.
  • Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) investments will yield 7.6 per cent and mature in 112 months.
  • The one for girl child savings, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, will offer 8.4 per cent annually from 8.5 per cent at present, while it will be the same at 8.4 per cent for the five-year senior citizens savings scheme. Interest rate on senior citizens scheme is paid quarterly.
  • Term deposits of one to five years will fetch 6.9-7.7 per cent that will be paid quarterly, while the five-year recurring deposit has been pegged lower at 7.2 per cent.

HCL Tech signs MoU with Andhra govt to set up Rs 500 cr campus


  • India's fourth largest IT services company HCL Technologies today signed an MoU with Andhra Pradesh government to set up its campus in Vijayawada-Amaravati region.
  • The company will invest Rs 500 crore in ten years in the project involving a development centre and a training facility spread over 27.86 acres to be allotted by the government.
  • "The objective of this MoU is to create a state-of-the-art global IT development centre, recruit local talent and mainly create an ecosystem to nourish the sector," AP government said in a statement.
  • The company is committed to provide employment to 5,000 local residents under two phases. In phase-1 of the project, HCL plans to invest Rs 300 crore providing employment to 3,000 people while in phase-2, which is likely to commence in 2022, Rs 200 crore will be invested, providing jobs to 2,000 locals, according to the statement.

India signs loan agreement with NDB for development of roads project in Madhya Pradesh


  • India on 30 March 2017 signed loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) of USD 350 million for development and upgradation of major district roads project in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The loan agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and Xian Zhu, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the New Development Bank.
  • While, the project agreement was signed by Pramod Agrawal, Principal Secretary of Public Works Department and Manish Rastogi, Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation (MPRDC).
  • This is the first loan agreement for NDB assisted project in India.
  • The Project is aimed at upgradation of major district roads in the state of Madhya Pradesh to improve connectivity of the interior areas of the state with the national and state highway networks. 
  • It will include upgradation, rehabilitation or reconstruction of approximately 1500 km of district roads to intermediate lane, all-weather standards, with road safety features and improved road asset maintenance & management.
  • It will also aim to improve transport connectivity to the interior regions and resultant boost to economic activity in the rural hinterland.

Amazon acquires Souq.com, the Middle East's biggest online retailer


  • Amazon.com Inc., the USA based e-commerce giant, on 28 March 2017 acquired Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest online retailer. However, the deal’s specific value was not announced.
  • Ronaldo Mouchawar, the Chief Executive and Co-founder of the Souq.com, called the agreement “a critical next step in growing e-commerce presence on behalf of customers across the region.”
  • Souq.com is an English-Arabic language e-commerce platform. It is the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab world.





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News related to India and states –

Kanha Tiger Reserve becomes first in India get official mascot


  • Kanha Tiger Reserve in the last week of Macrh 2017 became the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot, named Bhoorsingh the Barasingha.
  • The step was taken to present the hard ground swamp deer as the spirit of the reserve. It will also spread awareness to save the species from possible extinction.
  • Barasingha (swamp deer) is the state animal of Madhya Pradesh. The Kanha tiger reserve is the only place in the world where the species exists.
  • The Kanha Tiger Reserve is the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The barasingha is a deer species distributed in the Indian subcontinent.


Union Minister inaugurates new Child Care Centre for child cancer patients


  • The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a new child care centre in Mumbai for children who have cancer on 30 March 2017.
  • The centre has been developed by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) for the child patients of Tata Memorial hospital. The inauguration was attended by veteran Bollywood actor Nana Patekar, who along with Gadkari took a tour around the new facility and interacted with the child patients.
  • The centre has been created in place of three dilapidated buildings of the trust and covers an area of about 1.2 acres.
  • It is located in Cotton Green area, a noted residential and commercial area east of Parel, in central Mumbai.
  • The facility aims to provide the children with a free-of-cost clean shelter and transport in order to eliminate the fear of any secondary infection.

Books & Authors –

Indian Railway-The weaving of a National Tapestry released


  • The Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on 30 March 2017 released a book on the Indian Railways – ‘Indian Railway-The weaving of a National Tapestry.
  • The book was jointly authored by Bibek Debroy (Member, NITI Aayog), Sanjay Chadha (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce) and Vidya Krishnamurthi.
  • The theme of this book is the historical development of railways in India.
  • The book is divided into chapters dealing with different periods of development in chronological order.
  • It builds its foundations from periods prior to 1853, when the first commercial passenger railway was inaugurated.

Days –

World Theatre Day celebrated on 27 March 2017


  • The World Theatre Day was celebrated on 27 March 2017 across the globe. To mark the occasion, various national and international theatre events were organised by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) Centres and the international theatre community.
  • The message author of 2017 is Isabelle Huppert, the theatre and cinema actress from France.
  • Since 1962, World Theatre Day has been celebrated by ITI Centres, ITI Cooperating Members, theatre professionals, theatre organizations, theatre universities and theatre lovers all over the world on the 27th of March.
  • This day is a celebration for those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”.

Appointments –

Ali Javed becomes first Muslim to join NYPD's Emergency Services Unit

  • Sergeant Ali Javed in the last week of March 217 made history by becoming the first Muslim to join the Emergency Service Unit of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
  • With this, Sergeant Javed has also become the first Pakistani American to join the elite services.
  • The New York City Police Department is the largest municipal police force in the United States.


Sports News –

Indian forward SV Sunil named Player of the Year in Asian Hockey Awards

  • Indian forward S V Sunil on 30 March 2017 was named the Asian Player of the Year 2016 by the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
  • On the other hand, drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh was named the Asian Promising Player of the Year.
  • Sunil played a vital role in India's successful outing at the FIH Champions Trophy in London where the team grabbed a silver medal.
  • While Harmanpreet won the award in the junior men's category, Sunil has been honoured in the senior men's section.

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