Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Current Affairs-GK Update: 15th March 2017

Current Affairs and GK Update 15th march 2017
1. World Consumer Rights Day observed on 15 March:
  • 15 March is observed as the World Consumer Rights Day to mark the date in 1962 when John F. Kennedy, US President, first gave the definition of Consumer Rights, with four basic consumer rights – Right to Safety, Right to Choose, Right to Information and Right to be Heard.
  • Theme for this year is ‘Building a digital world consumers can trust’.
2. Nongthombam Biren Singh takes charge as the new CM of Manipur:
  • Nongthombam Biren Singh took charge as Manipur's 24th chief minister.
  • Singh was today sworn in as the Chief Minister of the first-ever BJP-led government in Manipur.
  • Governor Najma Heptulla administered the oath of office and secrecy to Singh at a function in Raj Bhavan in Imphal.
3. Madhukar Gupta Committee on border protection submits report:
  • The Madhukar Gupta Committee on border protection has submitted its report to the Union Government to strengthen border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border
  • It was announced by the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Committee was constituted under chairmanship of former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta in April 2016.
4. Hyderabad best Indian city in living standards: Mercer
  • According to Mercer’s Quality of Living index rankings 2017, for the third consecutive time, Hyderabad (Telangana) has emerged as the best Indian city in terms of quality of living.
  • Both Hyderabad and Pune ranked higher 145 and 146, respectively than the country’s traditional business centres Mumbai and New Delhi, which were ranked at 154 and 161, respectively.
  • Globally, Vienna (Italy) for the fourth time in a row has emerged as world’s best city for overall quality of living for the eighth year running. 
  • In this list, 8 European cities are in the top ten list: Vienna (1), Zurich (2) Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9) and Basel (10).
  • In terms of city infrastructure rankings, Singapore has topped the list followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in 2nd place. Baghdad (230) and Port au Prince (231) ranked at the bottom for city infrastructure. 
  • Amongst Indian cities, Mumbai is ranked the highest at 141, followed by Kolkata (149) and Pune (151) in city infrastructure rankings. Bangalore was rated the lowest (177) by the report.
5. Govt introduces bill on inter-state river water row in Lok Sabha:
  • The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha which proposes to streamline the adjudication of river water disputes and make the present legal and institutional architecture robust
  • Minister of Water Resources and River Development Uma Bharti introduced the Bill in the house. 
  • The tribunal will consist of one Chairperson, one Vice-Chairperson and not more than six other members. The total time period for adjudication of dispute has been fixed at maximum of four and half years.
6. Lok Sabha passed Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill 2016:
  • The aim of the bill is to establish a legal framework, in order to consolidate the existing laws related to admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, arrest of vessels and related issues.
  • The Bill also provides for prioritization of maritime claims and maritime liens while providing protection to owners, charterers, operators, crew members and seafarers at the same time.
7. Enemy property bill passed by Lok Sabha:
  • Lok Sabha passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2006 after incorporating the changes made by Rajya Sabha.
  • The act provides for the prevention of claims to any properties in India by the successors of people who migrated to Pakistan and China during partition.
8. Government Establishes Banana Research Centre in Bihar:
  • The Union Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh laid the foundation stone of the Banana Research Centre at Vaishali, Bihar Centre to fulfill the aspirations of the local banana growers. 
  • The new center will work to find reasons behind less production in banana, enhancement in acreage for cultivation, suitable utilization of the various parts of the plants, different products, marketing and value addition.
9. Pakistan set to conduct its first census in 19 years:
  • Pakistan is set to conduct its first national census in 19 years which will begin on Wednesday with the assistance of over 200,000 troops.
  • Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor and Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb addressed a joint conference about preparation for the sixth census, which will be conducted in two phases and will be completed on May 25, 2017. 
  • Islamabad last conducted a census in 1998, which recorded a national population of approximately 180 million at that time.
10. Scientists discover world’s first fluorescent frog in Argentina:
  • Scientists have discovered polka dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus), the world’s first fluorescent frog in Argentina. 
  • The newly discovered amphibian sports a muted palette of greens, reds and yellows under normal light, but in the dark gives off a bright blue and green glow.
11. Pvt sector employees will now retire at the age of 60:Karnataka
  • The Karnataka government has decided to increase the retirement age in the private sector from 58 to 60.
  • The decision was made by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
  • Government-appointed expert committee on pension reforms had recommended a hike in retirement age in the private sector to 60 years.
12. Gujarat to provide e-marketplace for businesses:
  • The Gujarat government has entered into an agreement with a global cloud-based solutions provider cloudBuy.com to develop a B2B marketplace for small and large business units in the state.
  • The e-marketplace will be used to promote businesses in the state on one single platform, where members can trade with each other and across India and globally. The project has been developed as part of the Centre’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.
13. Google marks the 140 years of Test Cricket with a Doodle:
  • The first ever, officially recognised test cricket match was played between the England and Australian Team from 15th – 19th March 1877 at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • The match was won by Australian Team by 45 runs.
  • Charles Bannerman scored 165 runs to become the first centurion.
14. Reliance Communications gets SEBI approval for merger with Aircel:
  • Reliance Communications has received approvals from markets regulator SEBI and the stock exchanges for proposed demerger of its wireless business into Aircel Ltd.
  • Reliance Communications has received approval of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), BSE and NSE for the proposed scheme of arrangement for demerger of the wireless division of the company into Aircel Ltd and Dishnet Wireless Ltd. 
15. Hyundai Signs 3 Bn Euro Deal For Iran Oil Project:
  • Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co has signed a deal worth 3 billion euros (USD 3.2 billion) with an Iranian investment fund to invest in a major Iranian oil project
  • This agreement covers construction of the second phase of the Kangan Petro Refining Complex in southwest Bushehr province of Iran in which Hyundai Engineering plans to invest 3.1 billion euros which is 95% of the overall project cost.
16. Pawan Goenka gets 2nd term as IIT-Madras Board Chairman:
  • Pawan Goenka Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra has been granted second-term as Chairman of the Board of Governors (BoG) of IIT-Madras.
  • The President of India, in his capacity as visitor of IIT-Madras, approved the nomination of Goenka, for three years with effect from June 9, 2017.
  • He had been serving as Chairman, BoG of IIT-Madras, since 9th June 2014 when he was first nominated to the position for a three-year period.
17. SBI announces Rs 6,000-cr tractor loan settlement scheme:
  • State Bank of India has announced a one-time farm loan settlement scheme worth 6,000 crore rupees primarily for tractors. 
  • SBI in a tweet stated that One Time Settlement is announced for Agriculture Loans and the Scheme is valid until 31st March 2017.
  • Managing Director of the bank Rajnish Kumar stated that loans disbursed before 2011 and falling under doubtful or loss category accounts as of September 2016, will be considered under the scheme.
  • The MD also said other agri-loans like kisan credit cards and other term-loans for tractors and farm loans may also be covered under the scheme. SBI's total farm loan portfolio is 1.25 Lakh Crore rupees and tractor loan book is about 6,000 crore rupees.
18. Central Bank of India wins Official language policy award:
  • Central Bank of India has been awarded first prize in the implementation of Official Language Policy in the western region for the year 2015-2016
  • Sudhir Pathak, Chief Manager of Central Bank of India received the trophy and certificate from Kalyan Singh, Governor of Rajasthan at the Official Language Conference of Central and Western Regions in Udaipur recently.
19. IndusInd Bank to acquire IL & FS Securities Services:
  • IndusInd Bank has entered into an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL& FS) to acquire 100% stake in IL& FS Securities Services Ltd (ISSL).
  • The private sector bank, however, did not disclose the cost of acquisition or the price at which ISSL shares were acquired. 
  • ISSL, which was incorporated in 2007 as a subsidiary of IL& FS, is a capital market intermediary for professional clearing, depository and custodial Services.
20. Joanna Rowsell Shand, Double Olympic Gold Medalist retires:
  • Joanna won 5 world titles in her 10 year long international cycling career.
  • She fetched gold in cycling in Olympics of London 2012 and Rio 2016. She belongs to Great Britain.

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