Friday, 17 March 2017

Daily GK Update 17th March 2017: Current Affairs

Current Affairs and GK Update 17th march 2017
1. ‘Women in Politics’ map launched by UN:
  • Women in Politics map was jointly launched by UN Women and Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU).
  • It represents the political empowerment of women on the sidelines of the ongoing session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
  • India stood at 88th position in a list of 186 countries with 18.5% of women appointed in ministerial positions as on 1st January 2017.
  • In the ranking of nations as per the number of women elected or appointed to parliaments as on 1st January 2017, India stood at 148th place among the 193 UN countries, with only 11.48 per cent women in the Lower House of Parliament and 11 per cent in the Upper House.
2. BSNL - MTNL Merger suggested by Parliamentary Panel:
  • The committee of petitions led by BJP MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari has suggested the merger of BSNL - MTNL in its report for the long term survival of these entities.
  • The committee was formed to look into the improvement in services of BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) and MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited).
  • The merger is expected to create huge opportunities for the two firms that have not been able to perform properly for some time now.
3. India joins WHO call to end TB by 2030 in South East Asian:
  • India with World Health Organization (WHO) signed a 'call for action' and pledged to scale up measures to end the Tuberculosis by 2030.
  • India among other countries in the South East Asian Region, which bear half of the global tuberculosis burden. India reports 2.8 million new TB cases annually and nearly half a million deaths due to the disease.
  • Six of the region's countries Bangladesh, Democratic People's Republic (DPR) Korea, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand are among the 30 high TB burden nations globally.
4. National Health Policy 2017 approved by Union Cabinet:
  • J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, announced that the National Health Policy 2017 is patient-centric and quality-driven, which provides the much needed policy framework for achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at an affordable cost.
  • The Health Ministry has formulated the National Health Policy 2017 after a gap of 14 years.
  • The move aims to address the current and emerging challenges necessitated by the changing socio-economic and epidemiological landscapes since the last National Health Policy was framed in 2002.
5. Trade Infrastructure Export Scheme (TIES) launched by Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
  • The scheme was launched by Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister.
  • Rita Teaotia, Commerce Secretary said the scheme would provide assistance for setting up and up-gradation of infrastructure projects with overwhelming export linkages like the Border Haats, Land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres, dry ports, export warehousing and packaging, SEZs and ports/airports cargo terminuses.
6. Manhar Valji Bhai Zala assumes office as the new Chairman of  National Commission for Safai Karamcharis:
  • Two other members,  Manju Diler and Shri Dalip Kallu Hathibed also assumed office with him.
  • As per Narain Dass, Secretary of the Commission, the posts of the Chairman and the members were lying vacant for  almost one year.
  • Manhar Valji ensured that issues affecting the Safai Karamcharis  socio-economic and working conditions will be addressed to in the right earnest.
7. Changi voted World's Best Airport for 5th consecutive year:
  • Singapore's Changi Airport has been voted the World's Best Airport by air travellers at the 2017 World Airport Awards for the fifth consecutive year. 
  • The 2017 World Airport Awards are based on 13.82 million customer nominations across 105 nationalities of air travellers, with 550 airports worldwide taking part.
  • Changi Airport was also named the Best Airport in Asia, and Best Airport for Leisure Amenities, the latter a title it has held since the award category was introduced in 2009.
8. IISc, Bengaluru Placed Among Top 50 in THE’s Asia Universities Ranking:
  • The Times Higher Education (THE) released its Asia University Rankings 2017. The top rank in the Asia University Rankings was attained by the National University of Singapore (NUS) for the second consecutive year. 
  • According to the 2017 ranking, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru has been ranked best Indian University and has been placed at 27th position among the universities in Asia.  
  • Besides, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay was another Indian university among top 50 placed at 42 position.
9. Pinterest is now blocked in China:
  • According to reports, image-curation website Pinterest has been unavailable in mainland China since last Thursday.
  • The service joins Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on the list of social media platforms blocked in China.
  • People mostly use the site to pin images on home decor, hair styles, among others.
10. China, Saudi Arabia ink deals worth about $65 billion:  
  • China and Saudi Arabia have signed preliminary deals that is about $65 billion while four-day visit by Saudi King Salman to China. 
  • China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Ming stated that President Xi Jinping and King Salman inked a total 14 cooperation agreements, including a memorandum of understanding on 35 projects for production capacity and investment cooperation.
11. MoU between LBSNAA and NIPAM for capacity building of public officials of Namibia approved by Union Cabinet:
  • The signing of MoU has been approved between Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie and Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM), Namibia.
  • The MOU will help the Academy to disseminate some of its experience in running a training institution for higher civil services in the country to NIPAM.
  • It will also help the two sides to engage in collaborative activities in the sphere of public administration and capacity building.
12. SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launches EchoStar 23 Satellite: 
  • SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket conducted its third flight of the year to launch a commercial communications satellite in the geosynchronous transfer orbit. 
  • ii. The launch took off from NASA’s Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and carried the EchoStar 23 communications satellite into orbit. 
  • iii. Having a mass of around 5,500 kilograms (12,000 lb), EchoStar XXIII was the heaviest geosynchronous payload yet launched by the Falcon 9 and will operate at 45 degrees west in geostationary orbit.
13. Indrani Das wins top prize in Regeneron Science Talent Search competition:
  • Indian-American teenager Indrani Das (17) has won the top prize of $2,50,000 in the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition in the United States (US). 
  • She has won the award for her research on treating brain injury and disease. 
  • Her research showed a way for increasing the survival rate of neurons affected by brain injury or neurodegenerative disease.
14. Dilip Shanghvi appointed as member of RBI's western board:
  • Sun Pharmaceuticals Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi has been appointed by the central government as a member of the western area local board of Reserve Bank of India.
  • The appointment is for four years with effect from March 11, 2017, as per the central bank.
15. Bandhan Bank ties up with Avenues India :
  • Bandhan Bank, has signed an agreement with Avenues India Pvt Ltd, a payment solution provider to provide merchants with seamless access to point-of-sales (POS) and payment gateway products.
  • Merchants are expected to have a faster and more direct access to POS machines, payment gateways, and competitive financing options.
16. BSE ties up with Sentifi for algo analysis, updates:
  • The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has tied up with Sentifi, a Swiss company and leader in algorithmic-based analysis, for social media updates of 40,000 globally listed stocks.
  • Sentifi analyses in real time the public online communication of more than 60 lakh persons and organizations relevant to the financial markets. 
  • Under the partnership, Sentifi would track, analyze and report social media messages on various stocks which would be provided on the BSE website. 
17. ONGC to invest Rs 21,500-crore in India's deepest gas find:
  • State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will invest over Rs 21,500 crore to develop India's deepest gas discovery by 2022-23, helping it more than double output from its prime KG basin block.
  • ONGC, which had last year firmed up an investment of Rs 34,012 crore in bringing to production 10 oil and gas discoveries in its Bay of Bengal block KG-DWN-98/2 (KG-D5), plans to invest another Rs 21,528 crore in developing the ultra-deepsea UD-1 find.
18. Aeries Financial Tech, Rubique form tie-up:
  • CASHe, a fin-tech product promoted by Aeries Financial Technologies, has entered into a strategic partnership with online marketplace for financial products Rubique.
  • Under the partnership, Rubique will enlist CASHe on its online platform for borrowers to avail viable short-term loan products from CASHe. 
  • CASHe disburses multiple loan products ranging from Rs. 5,000-1 lakh payable over 15, 30 and 90 days.
19. India hosts world’s oldest algae fossil:
  • Indian Scientists have uncovered a pair of 1.6 billion-year-old fossils that appear to contain red algae. 
  • It may be the oldest plant-like life discovered on Earth. Until now, the oldest known red algae was 1.2 billion years old. The discovery was published in the journal PLOS Biology.

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