DAILY G.K. MARCH 2016 -- 201 TO 250
201. RBI Likely To Pay Rs 57,000 Cr. In Dividends To Government in 2016-17
i. The Reserve Bank of India is likely to pay the government Rs 57,000 crore in dividends in 2016-17, slightly less than the amount it paid in the current fiscal but much higher than that in earlier years.
ii. The amount paid is slightly lesser than the previous fiscal year but much higher than the previous years Last year, the government received Rs.73,905 crores as dividends from various state owned banks and the RBI.
iii. This fiscal year it has estimated to receive Rs.69,897 crores.
202. 14 Indian Investors Among World’s Top 100 Venture Capitalists
i. A total of fourteen Indian investors have been featured in a list of top 100 venture capitalists in the world.
ii. The list has been compiled by CB Insights, a research firm that tracks angel and venture capital investments across the globe.
iii. The list has been prepared based on evaluations of the basis of the investments made by the investors since 2008.
iv. The investors were evaluated based on factors such as investor exits and consistency of investments among others.
203. RUSA Scheme to be implemented to improve Equity, Quality of Higher Education
i. Central government is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) for providing financial support to proposals contained in State Higher Education Plan (SHEP) approved by the State Higher Education Councils (SHECs) in order to achieve the objectives of equity, access and quality.
ii. A total of 115 Universities and 1218 colleges have been approved by RUSA PAB for infrastructure grants.
iii. These approvals were accorded to the proposals included in the respective State Higher Education Plans (SHEPs).
iv. objectives of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)- Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity building at all levels. To achieve the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) target of 25.2% by the end of 12th Plan and 32% by the end of 13th Plan.
v. Only seven proposals from the states under the component of creation of universities through upgradation of autonomous colleges and eight proposals of states under the component of creation of universities through clustering of colleges have been approved by the PAB of RUSA as other proposals could not meet the prescribed norms.
204. Over Rs 1 lakh crore disbursed under MUDRA Yojana
i. Under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Loans worth Rs1.09 lakh crore have been sanctioned to small entrepreneurs, loans worth over Rs.1.09 lakh crore were given to over 2.96 crore beneficiaries.
ii. According to Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha loans worth over Rs 1.09 lakh crore were given to over 2.96 crore beneficiaries.
iii. Under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, which was launched in April last year, loans between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh are provided to small entrepreneurs.
iv. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana under the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank is a new institution being set up by Government of India for development and refinancing activities relating to micro units.
v. It was announced by the Finance Minister while presenting the Union Budget for FY 2016. The purpose of MUDRA is to provide funding to the non corporate small business sector. MUDRA Yojana, which was launched in April last year, loans between Rs.50, 000 and Rs.10 lakh are provided to small entrepreneurs. The Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA) focuses on the 5.75 crore self-employed who have deployed funds totalling Rs.11 lakh crore and provide jobs to 12 crore people.
205. Jammu & Kashmir 9th State To Join UDAY Scheme, To Save Rs 9,800 Cr.
i. Jammu& Kashmir (J&K) became the 9th state to sign the memorandum of understanding(MoU) for power distribution reforms, the Ujwal Discoms Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
ii. It’s a tripartite agreement between the Union Ministry of Power, state governments and the discoms.
iii. The other eight states are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab.
iv. An overall net benefit of approximately Rs 9,800 crore would accrue to J&K by opting to participate in UDAY, by way of savings in interest cost, reduction in aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, and coal reforms, said the officials.
v. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced scheme moved by the Ministry of Power - Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna or UDAY. UDAY provides for the financial turnaround and revival of Power Distribution companies (DISCOMs), and importantly also ensures a sustainable permanent solution to the problem. UDAY is a path breaking reform for realizing the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of affordable and accessible 24x7 Power for All.
206. Bharti Airtel buys Videocon Telecom for Rs 4,428 cr.
i. India’s largest telecom operator by subcriber base, Bharti Airtel, said on Thursday that it has acquired Videocon Telecom for Rs 4,428 crore.
ii. With this, Bharti Airtel will get the rights to use 2X5 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 band allocated to Videocon by the government on April 5, 2013.
iii. On March 16, Idea Cellular had terminated its spectrum deal with Videocon under which it was supposed to buy two circles - Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West) - for Rs 3,310 crore. After this deal, Bharti’s 4G coverage is likely to go up to 19 circles from the current 15.
207. India aviation show 2016 begins in Hyderabad
i. The India Aviation 2016, an international exhibition and conference on civil aviation kicked off in Hyderabad, Telangana.
ii. It is the fifth edition in the biennial series of this international exhibition and was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Begumpet Airport (also known as Hyderabad Old Airport).
iii. India Aviation 2016 has been jointly organised by Ministry of Civil Aviation and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on the lines of Make in India.
iv. More than 200 major participants across the globe are going to part and will be displaying latest aircrafts. Delegations led by Ministers and Senior Government Officials from more than 25 are going to participate in the event. It will also see the participation of leading Aircraft Manufacturers, helicopter manufacturers and engine manufacturers.
v. Global CEO’s at CEO Forum will be also held in the four day event. Major global aviation infrastructure companies are also participating in this event.
208. Actress Michelle Yeoh Appointed As UNDP Goodwill Ambassador
i. Michelle Yeoh, the award winning action heroine has been appointed as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador.
ii. The UNDP works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality.
iii. The Malaysian born actress will focus on raising awareness and mobilising support for the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
iv. The actress is internationally acclaimed for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. she was chosen by People as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” in 1997. She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in 2000 for her movie Hidden Dragon.
v. Prior to this, Her engagements concern development issues which included appointments as Global Ambassador for the Live to Love and Make Roads Safe campaign in 2012 and advocacy during the Zero Discrimination Campaign in 2013.
209. Shehnai Exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan Has Passed Away
i. Famous Shehnai exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan has passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was 77. He was suffering from kidney related problem and hospitalized from the past few days.
ii. He was one of the best players of the instrument after the legendary Bismillah Khan.
iii. He was born in 1939 and represented the Benaras gharana (school) in shehnai music. He was famously known for his innovative style and mastery over the classical and semi-classical and folk. He also used to teach in the Kolkata based ITC Sangeet Research Academy.
iv. He had played Shehnai at the inauguration ceremony of Doordarshan television channel in 1973 with Pandit Ravi Shankar and also had rendered its signature tune. He was a top graded artiste of All India Radio (AIR). He had performed globally.
v. He was awarded with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009 and Bangabhushan award in 2012 of West Bengal government etc.
210. Paul Daniels, TV Magician, Dies Aged 77
i. Television magician Paul Daniels has died aged 77 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
ii. The entertainer was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor in February and last week returned from hospital to spend his “final days” at home.
iii. Daniels is famed for his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994. He was born in 1938 in South Bank, Middlesbrough, where he began his career as a magician and entertainer.
iv. Newton Edward Daniels, known by his stage name Paul Daniels, was an English magician and television performer.
v. He achieved international fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994.
211. FIFA admits taking bribe for hosting World Cup
i. FIFA is seeking to claim “tens of millions of dollars” in bribe money seized by U.S. federal prosecutors.
ii. FIFA submitted a 22-page claim to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York that seeks a big share in restitution from more than $190 million already forfeited by soccer and marketing officials who pleaded guilty in the sprawling corruption case.
iii. Tens of millions of dollars more is likely to be collected by U.S. authorities when sentences are handed down, and from dozens of officials currently indicted but who have denied bribery charges or are fighting extradition.
iv. FIFA claims it is the victim of corrupt individuals, despite widespread criticism that bribe-taking was embedded in its culture in the presidencies of Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter, who was forced from office after 17 years by the current scandal.
212. UN suspends Maria Sharapova as Goodwill Ambassador after doping allegations
i. The United Nations (UN) has suspended Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova as Goodwill Ambassador of the organisation after she was tested positive on doping allegations.
ii. She was suspended by New York based UN Development Programme (UNDP) until the outcome of the investigation into her case is known.
iii. However, UNDP has mentioned that they are grateful to Maria Sharapova for her support to their work, especially around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster recovery.
iv. Earlier in March 2016, the five times Grand Slam champion and the highest-paid female athlete Maria Sharapova had announced that she tested positive for a drug called meldonium, at the Australian Open earlier in January 2016.
213. World Sufi Forum: PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate four-day conclave
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the World Sufi Forum in New Delhi, where more than 200 Indian and international delegates, including Sufi Shuyukh, spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of Sufism, are participating.
ii. The 4 day event is being organised by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India.
iii. The meeting is expected to debate on how Sufi teaching can prevent global terrorism.
iv. The conclave will also debate on how to guide the Muslim community away from sectarian division.
v. The meeting is expected to debate on how Sufi teaching can prevent global terrorism.
214. India has signed $35 million loan agreement with The World Bank for MP project
i. The Government of India has signed a loan agreement with the World Bank for Neeranchal National Watershed Project in Madhya Pradesh.
ii. The loan has been sanctioned by the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm International Development Association (IDA).
iii. The project to be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21) will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.
iv. The Neeranchal project was approved by the cabinet in October last year with a total budget outlay of Rs.2142 crore with the Government share of Rs.1071 crore and the rest 50% by the World Bank.
v. The project size is 50 million dollars out of which 35 million dollar will be provided by World Bank and the remaining amount will be funded out of State Budget. The objective of the project is to improve access and quality of public services in the state through implementation of the Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act, 2010. The duration of the project is 5 years
215. Arun Jaitley to inaugurate National Community Radio Sammelan in New Delhi
i. Information and Broadcasting Minister ArunJaitley will inaugurate the 6th National Community Radio Sammelan in New Delhi.
ii. The theme of the conference is, ‘Community Radio in India: Towards Diversity and Sustainability’.
iii. The conference will bring together Community Radio Operators, policy makers, Ministries, Departments, International bodies like UNICEF and UNESCO and other stakeholders for exchange of ideas and cross learning.
iv. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been organising the National Community Radio Sammelan annually since 2011.
v. The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund is a United Nations program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
216. Indian Railways ties up with ISRO for route surveys
i. The Indian Railway Ministry has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
ii. The agreement will leverage the space technology for providing the passenger information in all trains.
iii. With the help of this tie up Railways will assets and help the new route alignments.
iv. The Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on Thursday with the objective of developing applications in the field of remote sensing and graphic information system to provide information such as train stoppages, real-time train tracking, survey of new rail route alignments in hilly and difficult terrain.
v. At present during disaster, Indian Railways uses space technology to provide connectivity to passenger reservation counters, unreserved ticketing system in remote areas, and emergency communication using satellite phones.
217. Denmark firm to set up pumps manufacturing unit near Hyderabad
i. Desmi Technology a leading international manufacturer of pumps and pump solutions plans to set up a plant on the outskirts of Hyderabad shortly.
ii. A high-level delegation from Denmark representing Desmi Technology headed by its Chief Executive Officer Henrik Knudsen and Lars Boldt Rasmussen called on the Telangana Industries Minister Jupally Krishna Rao in the Secretariat on Thursday and conveyed its interest to start a plant.
iii. Along with the Desmi Technology Country head Murthy, the delegation told the Minister that they were planning to set up Indian operations under the Make in India programme.
iv. Desmi is a leading international manufacturer of pumps and pump solutions. This product is very well known globally and in Indian market especially in Marine i.e. Shipyards for private ships, Indian Navy and Coast Guard vessels.
v. Their main line of activity includes platform, anchor handling, multipurpose and emergency response vessels equipment.
218. 5600 wilful defaulters owe banks Rs 60K Crore
i. According to the data from credit information bureau CIBIL, more than 5,600 borrowers, who owe banks close to Rs 60,000 crore, have been declared wilful defaulters by lenders as on December 31.
ii. These instances of wilful default are those where banks have filed suits.
iii. The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) is owed Rs 12,091 crore, followed by another state-run lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) which has receivables of Rs 9,445 crore lent to 698 borrowers.
iv. Kotak Mahindra Bank has the highest amount of loans stuck with wilful defaulters among private sector banks at Rs 5,442 crore.
v. Wilful defaults for private sector banks stood at Rs 10,250 crore and at Rs 463 crore for foreign banks.
219. Vijay Mallya quits as RCB Director
i. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has confirmed to the BCCI that Russell Adams has been designated as points man for all further correspondence.
ii. The decision has been taken when Mr. Vijay Mallya has resigned as the director of the Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited (RCSPL) on Thursday. But he will hold the post of chief mentor.
iii. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has confirmed that the founding promoter of the Bengaluru franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
iv. RCSPL, the company that runs the daily affairs of the RCB team. Mallya has been representing the UB Group as Chairman from 2008 by a bid for the Bangalore team at $ 111.6 million for ten years (2008-2017).
v. RCSPL is a subsidiary of United Spirits which is controlled by Diageo.
220. TCS named official tech partner for London Marathon
i. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s leading IT services provider, announced a three year partnership with the Virgin Money London Marathon to enhance the digital experience delivered to marathon participants.
ii. Under the terms of the partnership, TCS will become the race’s Official Technology Partner for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 events.
iii. First established in 1981, and part of the World Marathon Majors, the Virgin Money London Marathon is considered one of the world’s foremost marathons.
iv. A record total of 247,069 people entered the ballot for the 2016 race.
v. TCS already partners with seven of the world’s leading races, including title sponsorships of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, TCS New York City marathon, and TCS World 10k Bengaluru. The agreement is the latest example of TCS’ commitment to using digital technology to foster health and wellbeing.
221. Ashley Judd appointed U.N. Goodwill Ambassador
i. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the lead UN agency for delivery of a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled, today appointed actor and activist Ashley Judd as its Goodwill Ambassador.
ii. UNFA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin announcing the appointment, Ms. Judd told journalists that that it was an “honour” to be appointed as UNFPA’s Goodwill Ambassador and to advocate for women’s rights.
iii. Ashley Judd is an American actress and political activist. She grew up in a family of successful performing artists as the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd.
iv. Ashley Judd was born in Granada Hills, California. She is the daughter of Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, and Michael Charles Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horseracing industry While she is best known for an ongoing acting career spanning more than two decades.
v. She has increasingly become involved in global humanitarian efforts and political activism.
222. Surat Cleanest Railway Station; Varanasi Among The Dirtiest: Survey
i. Surat is the cleanest railway station in the country, followed by Rajkot and Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), according to an Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) survey released.
ii. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi's railway station ranked poorly in terms of cleanliness as it stood at 65, among the 75 A-1 railway stations (those earning revenue more than Rs. 50 crore) surveyed.
iii. The survey, conducted based on feedback from around 1.34 lakh passengers, is a part of Mr. Modi’s pet project ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’.
iv. The station at Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh was third among the 75 A1-category railway stations followed by Solapur and Mumbai Central in Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) and Vadodara (Gujarat),as per the preliminary report of the survey, which was released by Railway Minister Suresh Prabu.
223. Hitachi to setup ATM making firm in India
i. Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions Corp (Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions) has established Hitachi Terminal Solutions India Pvt Ltd (Hitachi Terminal Solutions India) to be based in Bengaluru as an ATM manufacturing company.
ii. The new company has been set up with a capital of Rs 100 crore and is set a target to produce 1,500 units of ATMs per month at the end of calendar year 2016.
iii. The new entity is expected to commence production in June 2016.
iv. Hitachi has deployed over 5,000 units of ATM in India by 2015 and at present, there are about two lakh ATMs and CDs (Cash Dispensing ATMs) operating in the country.
v. Hitachi Terminal Solutions India will allow Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions to promptly accommodate the needs of the market, strengthen cost competitiveness, shorten the production lead time from order entry to shipment and expand the business of cash recycling ATMs. Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions had entered Indian market on a full-scale basis in 2010 through sales of the cash recycling ATMs.
224. Amar Abrol appointed as the new CEO of Air Asia India
i. Air Asia India has made an announcement on Thursday that Mr. Amar Abrol will be the new CEO of the company with the effect from April 1, 2016.
ii. He will succeed Mittu Chandilya. Chandilya’s contract with the airline will ends on March 31, 2016.
iii. Mr. Abrol born and raised in India and graduated from Delhi University. He is a chartered accountant by profession. Prior to this appointment Mr. Amar Abrol was working as the CEO of Tune Money. Tune Money is a start-up company that delivers low-cost financial products in South-East Asia.
iv. The airline has also announced the appointment of Mr. Ankur Khanna as the chief financial officer (CFO) and Kiran Jain as head of commercial operations.
v. Mr. Ankur Khanna joins from Air France/KLM, where he most recently held the position of Regional Finance Head for the Middle East/Gulf region based in Dubai. And Kiran Jain has over 25 years of aviation related experience covering airports, airlines and duty free and most recently headed the Airport Marketing and Route Development function at Delhi International Airport.
225. Freecharge allows payments via chat in 5 seconds
i. Mobile wallet and digital payments player FreeCharge has announced the launch of its ‘Çhat and Pay‘ feature. The company said this feature enables social payments between users and merchants.
ii. The chat-based payments interface will let merchants accept payments using the FreeCharge app in under a minute of registration,merchants will also be able to upgrade their payment limit of Rs. 1,00,000 with necessary KYC verification.
iii. FreeCharge is looking to bring on board neighbourhood small shopkeepers, Taxi services and merchants from the unorganised sector using the service, which brings a buyer – seller chat interface for merchants.
iv. To accept payments, merchants must register their bank account number, geo-location and choose a custom identifier, called a paytag to allow customers to identify their service area through their FreeCharge app.
v. Merchants can start accepting digital payments in less than a minute after registering on the FreeCharge app, and the chat-based payment feature has a five second transaction time, the company said.
226. Ex Wipro CFO Suresh Senapaty Has Appointed As The New Chairman Of Honeywell Automation
i. Suresh Senapaty, The ex Wipro CFO has been appointed as the new Chairman by Honeywell Automation India Ltd (HAIL) on Thursday.
ii. He has been appointed as an Additional Director (Non-Executive, Independent) and as Chairman of its Board of Directors.
iii. He will be responsible for contributing to HAIL’s overall strategy and to provide counsel on corporate governance, business, and financial matters.
iv. Mr. L.Rao has been succeeded by Mr. Suresh Senapaty. He has been serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors from August 2014 to February 2016 and as the member of Board of Directors of HAIL from 2002 to 2014.
v. Honeywell partners India through our company’s four businesses – Aerospace, Automation & Control Solutions, Transportation Systems & Specialty Materials with more than 12,000 employees across India.
227. Actor Larry Drake, has Passed away
i. Actor Larry Drake, known for playing Benny on TV show "L.A. Law", has died. He was 66.
ii. The actor played Benny Stulwicz, a mentally challenged law clerk, from 1987 until the TV show's end in 1994.
The memorable role earned Drake two Emmy Awards, in 1988 and 1989, and a nomination in 1990.
iii. He reprised the role for the reunion film, "L.A. Law: The Movie", which aired in 2002.
iv. Drake, who was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was also a series regular on the 1998 sci-fi TV show "Prey" and appeared in several films, including "Darkman" (1990) - as a ruthless villain - and its sequel; as a murderous doctor in "Dr. Giggles" (1992); "Bean" (1997); and "American Pie 2" (2001).
228. The Government Of India Has Slashed The Interest Rates On Provident Fund , Kisan Vikas Patra And On Small Saving Schemes
i. The government on Friday slashed interest rates on small-savings schemes, including the Public Provident Fund and Kisan Vikas Patra.
ii. The decision is aimed at aligning these administered interest rates closer to the market rates. The new rates will come into effect on April 1 and will be valid till June 30.
iii. After the decision taken last month to revise the interest rates on small savings every quarter, the rate under the Public Provident Fund scheme will be cut to 8.1 per cent for the period from April 1 to June 30 from 8.7 per cent, said a Finance Ministry order.
iv. While the interest rate on the KVP will be cut to 7.8 per cent from 8.7 per cent, that on post office savings is retained at 4 per cent. The rates on term deposits of duration varying from one to five years have been cut.
v. The five-year National Savings Certificates will earn interest at the rate of 8.1 per cent as against 8.5 per cent now. A five-year Monthly Income Account will fetch 7.8 per cent as opposed to 8.4 per cent now. The girl-child saving scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Account, will have an interest rate of 8.6 per cent as against 9.2 per cent. The senior citizen savings scheme of five years will earn 8.6 per cent compared with 9.3 per cent. The rates on the post office term deposits are being cut from 8.4 per cent to 7.1 per cent for one-year time deposits, 7.2 per cent for two-year time deposits and 7.4 per cent for three-year time deposits.
229. Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurated Krishi Unnati Mela in New Delhi
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurate three-day 'Krishi Unnati Mela' providing information on new farm schemes and technologies that will help farmers double their incomes within the next few years.
ii. National fair, from March 19-21, will have separate workshops on key schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana, e-agriculture marketing, integrated farming system, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojan, soil health and livestock issues.
iii. In this fair live demonstration of agriculture and horticultural crops, animal husbandry, innovative technologies and farm mechanisation in big plots.
iv. Both public and private companies will display their farm inputs and technologies in over 500 stalls.
v. The plan additionally calls for bringing ministries, offices, organizations, research and financial institutions occupied with creation and recycling of water under one platform so that an exhaustive and holistic outlook of the whole water cycle is considered.
230. SC Allows Pictures of governors, chief ministers and minister in govt advertisements
i. Supreme Court allowed now use of pictures of Chief Ministers, Governors and Cabinet ministers in the government's media advertisements.
ii. The SC had earlier ruled that the advertisements could only have pictures of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.
iii. The earlier order was aimed at removing the association between government policy and politicians.
iv. Chief Ministers and Ministers both at Centre and states had become "nameless and faceless" in government advertisements after the apex court had in May last year held that only photos of three functionaries-President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice--would be published in advertisements.
v. The Centre in its petition argued that it is for the government to decide whose photographs should be published and what the content of advertisements should be.
231. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched FCI’s Depot Online System
i. Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on 17 March 2016 launched the Online Depot System in New Delhi to automate all the operations of Food Corporation of India (FCI) depots.
ii. The key objective of the Depot Online System is to align with Digital India vision for transformation of food distribution supply chain in India.
iii. The system, which efficiently captures data online on a real time basis, will bring total transparency in the working of FCI.
iv. Besides it will also help in better monitoring and supervision to reduce leakages and losses.
v. The Depot Online System will be rolled out in all 554 FCI-owned godowns by July 2016.
232. Indian Overseas Bank Has Become The 1st Bank To Sell Indian Gold Coins
i. Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has become the first bank to commence the sale of Indian Gold Coin (IGC) in the domestic market.
ii. It has tied up with Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) for the sale of IGC of 24 carat purity.
iii. The Indian Gold Coin has the national emblem "the Ashok Chakra" engraved on one side and the face of Mahatma Gandhi on the other side.
iv. The coin also carries advanced anti-counterfeit features and comes in tamper proof packaging. It's very safe and easily recyclable.
v. The current denominations available in the coins are 5, 10 and 20 gm. The Indian Gold Coin is the first ever national gold offering by the Center. This was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5, 2015. The IGC in Delhi was launched in the presence of Alok Pande, Director in the Department of Financial Services, Finance Ministry, and Anand Trivedi, Director (PMS), MMTC, besides other senior officials.
233. India And Bangladesh Enter New Era Of Bilateral Petroleum Trade
i. India and Bangladesh entered into a new era of petroleum trade with a special goodwill train loaded with High Speed Diesel rolling down from India to Bangladesh.
ii. The 42 wagon rail rake is loaded with around 2500 MT High Speed Diesel. It started off from Siliguri station to Parbatipur station over 516 kms.
iii. It is a symbolic gesture of friendship and cooperation that exists between India and BangladeshIndia and Bangladesh. This is the first major petroleum consignment from India.
iv. It is a part of the Sale-Purchase Agreement signed between NRL and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation(BPC)
v. The agreement also includes joint initiative for construction of a 135 km long pipeline, with a capacity of 1 million Metric Ton per annum(MMTPA) from Siliguri to Parbatipur. Presently Bangladesh gets its imports from Chittagong port and the new agreement is cost effective for Bangladesh. The expansion of NRL refinery from 3 MMTPA to 9MMTPA will leave India enough stock to supply Bangladesh
234. Turkey and EU reach landmark deal on refugees
i. Turkey and the EU have reached a controversial deal European leaders hope will stop the flow of refugees to the continent in return for political and financial concessions for Ankara.
ii. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and EU President Donald Tusk confirmed the agreement, which will come into force on Sunday, at a press conference in Brussels after three rounds of talks.
iii. The accord aims to close the main route by which a million people poured across the Aegean Sea to Greece in the last year before marching north to Germany and Sweden.
iv. Leaders of the bloc had agreed on Thursday on a common plan under which Turkey would be given financial and political concessions in return for taking back all refugees who reached Greek islands off its coast.
v. Under the agreement, Ankara would take back all refugees and others, including Syrians, who cross to Greece illegally across the sea. In return, the EU would take in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and reward it with more money, early visa-free travel and faster progress in EU membership talks.
235. India, Australia Ink Pact To Avoid Double Social Security Contribution
i. India and Australia ink pact to avoid double social security contribution Under this agreement, employees of India deputed to Australia and vice versa will not have to make double social security contribution.
ii. Under this agreement Australia has become the 14th country with which India has a social security agreement in force.
iii. The others in the list include Korea, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungry, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. iv. India signed loan agreement of 35 Million dollars with the world bank for Madhya Pradesh citizen access to responsive services project.
v. The objective of the project is to improve access and quality of public services in the state.
236. Russia gets its own Rating Firm – ACRA
i. Vladimir Putin’s homegrown credit-ratings firm is up and running and foreign competitors are already feeling the heat.
ii. Moody’s last week announced it would shutter its joint venture in Moscow of 12 years and Fitch said it will probably stop issuing local ratings on Russian companies, the same day ACRA, which stands for Analytical Credit Rating Agency, applied for a license to operate in Russia.
iii. In the past three weeks, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. and Fitch Ratings Ltd. have said they plan to stop issuing local ratings rather than agree to having their Moscow branches regulated by the Russian government at the cost of breaking international sanctions.
iv. Russia is squeezing the business of foreign-ratings assessors since downgrades it condemned as politically motivated last year pushed the sovereign below investment grade for the first time in more than a decade.
v. The Bank of Russia announced plans to start a company immune to “geopolitical risks” in July after S&P and Moody’s cut Russia’s rating to junk amid a slump in oil prices and sanctions imposed over Ukraine. ACRA’s board is headed by an American, Karl Johansson, who advised the Russian government while at Ernst & Young LLP in Moscow. Ekaterina Trofimova, a former banking analyst for Russia and former Soviet states at S&P, will run the new venture.
237. Tata Steel expects Rs 20,000 cr investment in Gopalpur SEZ
i. Tata Steel is in discussion with foreign companies for investments up to Rs 20,000 crore in heavy industries over the next five years at its Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project at Gopalpur in Odisha.
ii. Tata Steel is the anchor tenant for the multi-product 2,970-acre SEZ at Gopalpur in Odisha.
iii. The UK-based Midget Corporations is setting up an assembly plant for "unmanned aerial vehicle targets" which are used by army for firing practices.
iv. Singapore consultant Subrana Jurong has completed the SEZ's masterplan with all land cleared for leasing within the 30 square km boundary.
v. Tata Steel SEZ will invest between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500 crore by 2020 in the Gopalpur SEZ, for which a Tata Power power plant proposal is also on the drawing board. The company is also discussing a possible investment in expansion of Gopalpur port, about five kms away from the zone.
238. Pfizer Appoints S. Sridhar As New MD For 5 Years
i. Pfizer, the pharmaceutical major has announced the appointed of Mr. S Sridhar as its new Managing Director (MD) with immediate effect for a period of five years.
ii. The announcement came at the time of BSE filings and applied with the immediate effect from 18th March, 2016.
iii. Mr. S. Sridhar has been working with Pfizer from past 10 years. He joined the company in the year 2003 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the company and later in the year 2013 he was appointed as the Executive Director on the Board.
iv. Prior to this these appointment with Pfizer, Mr. S. Sridhar has worked with Diageo India Pvt Ltd as the Finance Director.
v. Pfizer Inc. is an American global pharmaceutical corporation. It is among the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Pfizer develops and produces medicines and vaccines for a wide range of medical disciplines, including immunology, oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, and neurology.
239. Sudhir Raheja Has Given Extra Charge As AAI Chairman
i. The Airport Authority Of India (AAI) has given the additional charge of Chairman to Mr. Sudhir Raheja.
ii. This is the 2nd time when Mr. Raheja has been entitled with the task of heading the national airport company.
iii. Raheja was given the additional charge following the repatriation of the then acting Chairman Alok Sinha to his parent cadre, Uttar Pradesh in August , 2014.
iv. Mr. Raheja's appointment announced in a very sudden manner when Mr. R K Srivastava tenure has been curtailed by the authorities. Srivastava, a 1984 batch Jharkhand-cadre IAS officer, was removed from the post by the government, nearly 15 months after he was brought at the helm for a five-year term. However, this is not for the first time that an AAI Chairman has been shown the door. In January 2014, the then UPA government had abruptly removed V P Agarwal.
v. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India.
240. Indian Professor Appointed 56th President Of International Studies Association
i. An Indian Professor has become the president of a scholarly group in the US dedicated to international studies.
ii. Professor TV Paul took over as the 56th president of International Studies Association (ISA), at its annual convention at Atlanta, Georgia this week.
iii. In his address, which among others was attended by former Canadian Prime Minister, Joe Clarke, Mr Paul called on international relations scholars to explicitly deal with grand strategies of peaceful change more effectively, especially in the context of the rise of new powers such as China and India.
iv. Born in Kerala, Mr Paul in his speech encouraged scholars with historical understanding to offer ideas for policy makers about which strategy produced conflict and which strategy generated unnecessary violence.
v. The James McGill Professor of International Relations at McGill University, Montreal, Canada he is a leading scholar of international security, nuclear proliferation, and South Asia.
241. Tikka Shatrujit Singh knighted with top French award
i. Tikka Shatrujit Singh, chief representative in Asia for French multinational LVMH (Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton) and advisor to the chairman of Louis Vuitton, has spearheaded the development of Louis Vuitton’s business in India.
ii. Tikka Shatrujit Singh, the royal scion of Kapurthala’s Ahluwalia dynasty, has been conferred with the prestigious Knight of the Legion of Honour for his “extraordinary work in the exchanging the French lifestyle and Indian culture with each other.”
iii. Singh is also known for his endeavours to preserve the tangible and intangible heritage of Kapurthala, which is a blend of Indo-French architectural styles.
242. Tenth Asian Film Awards : Complete List of Winners
i. The 10th edition of Asian Film Awards (AFA), which was held at the Venetian Theatre in Macau, China, honoured diverse talents across Asian cinema.
ii. The prestigious awards ceremony was graced by a spectacular gathering of celebrities and industry professionals from different cities of Asia.
iii. Awards won by Assassin- Assassin wins more than half of the 15 awards presented in the Asian film awards :- Best Film: The Assassin, Best Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien for The Assassin, Best Actress: Shu Qi for The Assassin, Best Supporting Actress: Zhou Yun for The Assassin, Best Cinematography: Mark Lee Ping-bing for The Assassin, Best Production Design: Hwarng Wern-ying for The Assassin, Best Original Music: Lim Giong for The Assassin, Best Sound: Chu Shih-yi, Tu Duu-chih and Wu Shu-yao for The Assassin.
iv. Others Awards presented- Best Actor: Lee Byung-hun for The Inside Men, Best Newcomer: Jessie Li for Port of Call, Best Supporting Actor: Tadanobu Asano for Journey to the Shore, Best Screenplay: Jia Zhangke for Mountains May Depart, Best Editing: William Chang Suk-ping, Chu Ka-yat, Liao Ching-sung, Wong Hoi, Philip Yung for Port of Call, Best Visual Effects: Prasad Sutar for Bajirao Mastani, Best Costume Design: Lee Ji-yeon and Shim Hyun-seob for The Throne.
243. 21st March : World Forestry Day
i. World Forestry Day or International Day of Forests is celebrated worldwide every year on 21st of March.
ii. The World Forestry Day was established in the year 1971 at the 23rd General Assembly of European Confederation of Agriculture and later it was established by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012.
iii. The International Day of Forests was observed for the first time on March 21, 2013.
iv. The World Forestry Day is celebrated at the international level in order to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth.
v. The theme of the 2016 International Day of Forests is “forests and water”. To mark the Day a joint celebration of the International Day of Forests (21st of March) and World Water Day, which is celebrated on 22nd of March every year will be held on Monday, 21 March 2016 in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.
244. Govt Allows 49% FDI In Insurance Under Automatic Route
i. The government has relaxed FDI norms for the insurance sector by permitting overseas companies to buy 49 percent stake in domestic insurers without prior approval, which is another effort to bring more foreign players into India’s vast insurance market.
ii. Earlier, an overseas company was allowed to buy up to 26% stake in an India-based insurance company. But, for up to 49 percent the investor had to take prior approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
iii. However in its latest notification the government said, the foreign investment proposals up to 49% of the total paid up equity of the Indian insurance company shall be allowed on the automatic route subject to verification by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
iv. There are 52 insurance companies operating in India, of which 24 are in the life insurance business and 28 in the general insurance.
v. In order to deepen the re-insurance market, IRDAI permitted UK-based Lloyds to set up business in India.
245. BHEL Commissions its 2nd 270 MW Thermal Unit In Punjab
i. Within a month of successful commissioning of a 270 MW thermal generating unit in the state, the state run BHEL ( Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited ) has commissioned another 270 MW unit at Goindwal Sahib coal-fired power project in Punjab.
ii. The unit has been commissioned at the GVK Power and Infra Ltd in Tarn Taran District near Amritsar.
iii. The first unit of the project was earlier commissioned by the company in February, 2016.
iv. Thermal sets of 270 MW rating are an in-house improvisation of 210/250 MW sets supplied earlier by BHEL which today form the backbone of the Indian power sector and have been performing much above the national average as well as international benchmarks.
v. BHEL has so far contracted 35 sets of 270 MW rating, out of which 13 sets have now been commissioned. Notably, all the operational sets of 210-270 MW class in the state of Punjab have been supplied, erected and commissioned by BHEL. In addition to thermal projects, BHEL has a significant presence in the state’s hydro sector also, with 95% share in the hydro generating capacity of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
246. Hinduja brothers top Britain’s ‘Asian Rich List’
i. India-born brothers G P Hinduja and S P Hinduja topped the 'Asian Rich List 2016' released here last night and the annual rankings showed that they had added one billion pounds to their personal fortune in a year to be worth an estimated 16.5 billion pounds.
ii. The 'Asian Rich List' assesses the total wealth of Britain's top 101 richest Asians and is compiled by UK-based publishing house Asian Media and Market.
iii. The Asian Rich List assesses the total wealth of Britain's top 101 richest Asians and is compiled by UK-based publishing house Asian Media and Market.
iv. Steel tycoon Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was ranked second in the list, released by the Indian high commissioner to the UK Navtej Sarna. The fortune of Mittal, however, has plummeted by 3.3 billion pounds to finish with 6.4 billion pounds. Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul is listed as 15th richest with fortune worth 500 million pounds.
v. Sri Prakash Lohia, chairman of the Indorama Corporation, is listed 3rd richest with fortune worth 3 billion pounds. The Arora brothers — Simon, Bobby and Robin — owners of discount retail chain are 4th richest with a fortune worth 2.1 billion pounds.
247. UN Appoints Red From "Angry Birds" As Honorary Ambassador For Climate Change
i. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has appointed Red, the leader of the “Angry Birds” mobile game characters as an envoy to inspire climate action toward a sustainable and happier future for all.
ii. Red's appointment as Honorary Ambassador for Green is the part of a UN campaign launched in partnership with the globally renowned characters to make a direct link between tackling climate change and people's happiness and well-being on the occasion of the International Day of Happiness to be observed on Sunday, 20 March.
iii. The U.N. chief told that the Angry Birds have entertained millions of people around the world and now they are part of making the world a better place.
iv. He also said that there was no better way to mark the International Day of Happiness than to have our animated ambassador raise awareness about the importance of addressing climate change to create a safer more sustainable and happier future for all.
v. The campaign was in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the U.N. Development Program and U.N. Foundation, asks people around the world to make the Angry Birds happy by taking actions to combat climate change such as recycling, taking public transportation and conserving water.
248. Cairn India Bags Five Awards At 'FICCI Excellence Awards'
i. Cairn India Ltd. has remained in the top deciles of safety performance amongst peer group companies for the FICCI Safety Systems Excellence Award in Manufacturing.
ii. The awards, which are dedicated for best safety and occupation health systems act as a motivation and a catalyst for adopting best safety practices and systems in the manufacturing sector.
iii. Cairn India considers safe transportation of its people and its products as an integral part of responsible care.
iv. Cairn India considers safe transportation of its people and its products as an integral part of responsible care.
v. Continuous efforts to improve road and transport safety are therefore part of the company's overall objective to improve safety performance throughout its business.
249. Cisco to invest $100 millions in India; to train over 250,000 students
i. American multinational technology company Cisco Systems Inc will invest over $100 million over the next 18 to 24 months to support the country's ambitious plan to connect thousands of its villages to the internet and create jobs.
ii. The series of investments will include $40 million that will be used to fund early-stage and growth-stage companies in the country, and train around 250,000 students by 2020.
iii. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a series of initiatives under the 'Digital India', 'Skill India,' and 'Startup India' schemes to connect millions of Indians to the Internet, create more tech jobs and move more services online.
iv. According to Dinesh Malkani, president at Cisco India and SAARC company has expertise in areas such as security, cloud, and the Internet of Things which it can lend to emerging companies. "There is a lot of scope for development in IP driven technology software companies in India," he said.
v. The $143-billion firm has over 10,000 people in India. It is also setting up a manufacturing base in Pune to locally make products to "support the Digital India vision" and aims to eventually make it an
250. Mumbai's Wilson College adopts railway station for cleanliness
i. One of Mumbai oldest colleges, the Wilson College has adopted the Charni Road station here for cleanliness and upkeep as part of the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.
ii. Governor and Chancellor of the University CH Vidyasagar Rao congratulated the college for its excellent initiative, which he said will help the cause of cleanliness.
iii. A group of Wilson College students led by executive co-ordinator Dr Kamal Jadhav met the Governor at Raj Bhavan and briefed him about the decision and the various initiatives taken by the students during the past few months to keep the Charni Road station neat and clean.
iv. Dr Jadhav told the Governor that the college took the decision in response to the appeal made by the Governor to colleges and universities to adopt a railway stations or any other public place nearest to the institution and to take care of its cleanliness and upkeep.
DAILY G.K. MARCH 2016 -- 201 TO 250 Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 5:34:00 PM Rating: