Saturday, 4 March 2017

Current Affairs-GK Update: 4th March 2017

Current Affairs and GK Update 4th march 2017
1. 13th ECO Summit ISLAMABAD:
  • The Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) gathered on the occasion of the 13th ECO Summit Meeting, in Islamabad, Pakistan under the theme “Connectivity for Regional Prosperity”  on the 1st March 2017.
  • It aimed to review the objective conditions and progress in the implementation of ECO programs and projects. The headquarter of ECO is in Tehran, Iran.
2. Arunachal Pradesh to introduce smart classrooms in govt schools:
  • The Arunachal Pradesh state govt. to introduce the concept of smart classes in government-run schools to see use of information and communications technology (ICT) to impart education.
  • In the smart classrooms, the blackboards would give way to digital screens, and pens would be replaced with keyboards.
  • These classes would be introduced in all 264 government higher secondary and secondary schools across the state from class 9 to class 10 in a phased manner.
3. Odisha for first time achieves highest decline in IMR:
  • For the first time in 16 years, Odisha has achieved highest decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). This decline is far better than the national average. 
  • According to the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), Odisha’s IMR has come down by 29% between 2005 and 2015 which is highest trend in the country. It was 96 per 1000 births in 2000 has been reduced to 40 in 2015-16. 
  • The IMR in the state has gone down by 25 points between NFHS 3 (2005-06) and NFHS 4 (2015-16), as against national average of 16
  • According to NFHS-4, the Odisa’s IMR is better than six major States Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. In 2000, Odisha was only above Chhattisgarh in the national ranking.
4. NMCG Signs MoU with Rotary India for the Success of Namami Gange:
  • In its effort to make Namami Gange program a mass movement with the involvement of more and more voluntary organizations, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation signed an MoU with Rotary India in New Delhi. 
  • Rotary India will support clean Ganga mission through their WASH in Schools program in various schools. 
5. Shahpur Kandi dam: Punjab, J&K sign agreement:
  • The state govt. of Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir have signed an agreement to fast-track the completion of 206 megawatt 2,285-crore rupees Shahpur Kandi dam project on the Ravi river in Chandigarh.
  • “Shapur Kandi project” was declared a national project in February 2008 by the Centre.
  • Shapur Kandi project will be constructed on the canal from Shahpurkandi Barrage to Madhopur headworks, downstream of the existing Ranjit Sagar Dam.
6. President of India presents ‘Standard’ to 125 Helicopter Squadron and ‘Colours’ to mechanical training institute of Indian Air Force:
  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the ‘Standard’ to 125 Helicopter Squadron and ‘Colours’ to Mechanical Training Institute of Indian Air Force at Air Force Station, Tambaram, Tamil Nadu.
  • Mr. President complimented the 125 Helicopter Squadron and Mechanical Training Institute of Indian Air Force and stated that these units have a glorious past, embedded with rich heritage, stellar efforts and selfless service to the Nation. 
7. Ukraine region to use Russian ruble as currency:
  • Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, state in eastern Ukraine, will use the Russian ruble as its official currency, along with the Ukrainian Hryvnia. 
  • The Russian ruble is already being used in pro-Russian territory which serves to stabilize the volatile economic situation in the region. 
8. 100 districts in India Declared ODF under Swachh Bharat Mission:
  • During occasion of 'Swachh Shakti Saptah' in Gurugram, Haryana, the Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has informed that the number of ODF (Open Defecation Free) districts in India has crossed 100, making it a milestone achievement under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • ii. Besides, over 1.7 lakh villages over the country has also become ODF. Shri O.P Dhankar, Haryana Minister for Development & Panchayats, and Agriculture declared that Haryana will become an ODF State by November 2017. 
9. Endangered Kurukh gets official language status in West Bengal:
  • West Bengal Government has given official language status to endangered tribal language Kurukh, mother tongue belonging to the Dravidian family. It was given this status by the state government last month and but was announced recently by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.  
  • In West Bengal, it is spoken by Oraon tribal community who live in Dooars (alluvial floodplains in northeastern India that lie south of outer foothills of Himalayas and north of Brahmaputra River basin).
  • Kurukh language belongs to subfamily of Dravidian languages, spoken by some 17 lakh people (2001 census report) of the Oraon tribes of Chota Nagpur plateau of east-central India.
10. SBI to charge for breaching monthly average balance in saving accounts:
  • State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest public lender, will resume charging customers who don’t maintain Monthly Account Average Balance (MAB) in their savings bank accounts from April 1, 2017.
  • These charges will be based on the difference between the minimum balance required and the shortfall. 
  • The minimum monthly balance for savings bank account holders in metropolitan areas is Rs 5,000. Similarly, in urban areas, SBI customers will need to maintain a monthly average balance of Rs 3000. In semi-urban areas, the amount is Rs 2,000, while for rural areas, the monthly average is Rs 1,000.
11. ET Money ties up with HDFC Life to launch data-led insurance policy:
  • Long-term life insurance provider HDFC Life has launched an exclusive Data-Led Group Term Insurance Plan in partnership with personal finance app ET Money of Times Internet.
  • This is the country's first term insurance plan which is based on the spending pattern of the users. ET Money Benefit, the group term life insurance plan can be exclusively availed by 1 million users of the ET MONEY app. 
12. India foreign exchange reserves increases by USD 63.7 million:
  • India's foreign exchange reserves increased by USD 63.7 million to USD 362.79 billion in the week ended on 24th February 2017.
  • In the previous week, the reserves had declined by USD 56.8 million to USD 362.73 billion.
  • Gold reserves remained unchanged at 248 billion.
  • The country's reserve position also increased by USD 0.2 million to USD 2.318 billion.
13. Yatra inks MoU with Madhya Pradesh govt to promote homestays:
  • Online travel company Yatra.com has signed an agreement with Madhya Pradesh government to jointly promote homestays in the state.
  • Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Yatra will promote all the state tourism approved homestays, where travelers can book a room with a local family or the entire house.
14. Rihanna Receives Harvard University's Humanitarian Award, 2017:
  • Harvard named the 29-year-old singer Rihanna its Humanitarian of the Year, pointing to her projects that include an advanced center to treat breast cancer in her native Barbados and support for girls’ education around the developing world.
15. French football legend Raymond Kopa passes away:
  • French football legend Raymond Kopa who won the European Cup three times with Real Madrid in the 1950s died in Paris after a long illness. He was 85.
  • He was a central part of the French side beaten by Pele’s Brazil in a classic World Cup semi-final in 1958.

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