DAILY GK UPDATE --MARCH 2016 NO.1 TO 50
1. Delhi’s IGI airport retains world’s number 1 position
i. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has retained the world’s number 1 position for the second consecutive year in 25-40 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) category.
ii. The rankings were announced by the Airports Council International (ACI).
iii. In 2007, a year after the airport was privatised, the airport’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) ranking was 101 in the world.
iv. In 2011, the airport moved to number 2 position, which it retained till 2013. In 2014, it became no. 1 in the 25-40 MPPA category and retained the rank in 2015 with a score of 4.96 in ASQ survey on scale of 1 to 5.
2. Mahesh Kumar Singla committee constituted to consider ST status to six communities of Assam
i. Union Government on 29 February 2016 constituted a committee to consider Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities of Assam.
ii. The committee will be headed by Special Secretary (Internal Security) Ministry of Home Affairs, Mahesh Kumar Singla.
iii. The committee will recommend the modalities for granting of Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities namely Koch Rajbongshi, Moran, Matak, Tai Ahom, Chutia and Adivasi (Tea Tribes) in Assam.
iv. The Committee will submit its report by 31 May 2016.
v. The committee will consult with the Government of Assam and suggest the modalities for the required reservations, of shifting the existing reservation for these communities from OBC to ST.
3. Former Chief Justice Of India H.L. Dattu Joined NHRC As Chairperson
i. Former Chief Justice of India H L Dattu took charge as the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
ii. He is the 7th Chairperson of the NHRC. His appointment announced under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, by the President on the recommendation of the high powered committee headed by the Prime Minister for the tenure of 5 years.
iii. The committee had cleared the name of Justice Dattu for the post last week.
iv. The post was lying vacant form the last 8 months after the retirement of Justice K G Balakrishnan.
v. The former Chief Justice Of India (CJI) took over the position from Justice C Joseph, who has been the acting chairperson since the end of the five-year term of former chairperson K G Balakrishnan.
4. India Inks $3.1 Billion Deals For Apache And Chinook Helicopters With US
i. Indian Defence Ministry has issued an order worth Rs 22,000 crores for purchase of helicopters, CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache, which will be inducted in the forces soon.
ii. Defence ministry already issued an order for puchase of 15 chinook helicopter and 21 Apache helicopters, which will soon be inducted in the forces," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters on 28-feb.
iii. Ministry had totalling Rs 22,000 crores, has been placed for the purchase of these choppers, which will strengthen the capabilities of country's defence forces.
5. 7th Lamitye Military Exercise Ends
i. The 7th joint military exercise between India and Seychelles military forces came to a close on 28-feb-2016 at victoria mahe island in seychella with a final attack scenario where suspected pirates had escaped at Cap Ternay.
ii. It was conducted aim to improved interprosporaty of both Armis.
iii.This edition of joint military drill, will be concluding phase of the drill.
iv. It will be incorporating a tactical exercise and will be witnessed by senior military officers from both the countries who will review the standards of interoperability achieved by both the contingents.
v. India and Seychelles have been conducting joint drill ‘Exercise Lamitye’ since 2001. Lamitye which means friendship in Creole (local dialect), is conducted biennially with the aim of enhancing military cooperation and interoperability between the two countries
6. SIDBI To Raise Rs 10,000 Cr. For Stand Up India Fund
i. The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will raise the proposed Rs 10,000 Crore corpus for ‘Stand Up India Fund’ from Reserve Bank Of India.
ii. The Fund will be disbursed to Dalit and women entrepreneurs. As per the SIDBI Chairman & MD Kshatrapati Shivaji, It will be raised from the RBI through the priority sector lending shortfalls under the scheme announced by PM Narendra Modi.
iii. According to that scheme each bank branch has been mandated to lend to one micro-enterprise promoted by a woman and SC and ST entrepreneur and the funds will also include one devoted for factoring, educational loans, Mudra loans of up to Rs 10 lakh and the Stand Up India loans.
iv. SIDBI is currently working on 4 new credit guarantee funds, apart from the already operational Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises which gives a cover of up to Rs 1 crore for MSME loans.
v. The bank depends on a variety of instruments to raise resources, including certificate of deposits, commercial papers, non-convertible debentures and credit lines from external agencies.
7. Japan to stipulate 80% emission cut goal by 2050
i. The Japanese government will stipulate a long-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 from current levels.
ii. The move follows the international climate agreement reached in Paris in December 2015.
iii. The plan, being compiled by the environment ministry and the ministry of economy, trade and industry (METI), is likely to be approved by the cabinet before Japan hosts the Group of Seven (G7) summit in May.
iv. The government is obligated by law to update the national plan for cutting emissions, but it has not had a new plan since fiscal 2013 partly because energy policy was thrown into disarray by disasters, including the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.
v. Prior to the global climate talks in Paris, the administration decided on a goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent in 2030 from 2013 levels, which will be included in the upcoming plan.
8. Randeep Hooda Honoured With Achievement Award In Australia
i. Randeep Hooda, the Bollywood actor was felicitated by Melbourne based South Asian community members at a function in Australia. On the occasion, the 39-year-old actor, also shared his memories of the time he spent as an international student in the country.
ii. The members of a non profit organization South Asian Public Affairs Council (SAPAC) honoured the visiting actor with an achievement award for making his mark in the film industry.
iii. At the event, Randeep Hooda formally launched a non profit organisation ‘Nobody Dies Hungry’ founded by an Australian Indian Aloke Kumar.
iv. The award was presented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism Danielle Green.
v. And a local councilor Oscar Yildiz also offered Hooda to become an ambassador of ‘Bully Zero Australia’ which the actor accepted.
9. Hashim Thaci elected as President of Kosovo
i. Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci was on 26 February 2016 elected as president of Kosovo by the Members of Parliament amid the protests.
ii. He succeeded Atifete Jahjaga as head of state after winning the required simple majority in voting held in Pristina.
iii. He was a guerrilla leader during a conflict that led to Kosovo, a mainly ethnic Albanian province declaring independence from Serbia.
iv. He had also served as prime minister fell out with many opposition groups after helping to negotiate with Serbia a deal that gave more autonomy to minority Serbs of Kosovo.
v. Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. It has been recognised by the US and many EU countries. This self-declared independence was not recognized by Serbia and many other countries around the world.
10. NASA Invites India To Jointly Explore Mars
i. India and the US could jointly explore Mars and, who knows, an Indian astronaut could also head to the Red planet on a joint mission.
ii. India Maiden mission to red planets manglyaan has opened the eyes of the world on ISRO’s capabilities at undertaking low cost, high value inter-planetary mission.
iii. Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or JPL Charles Elachi a part of NASA and an institution better known for piloting most of the American planetary exploration efforts with rovers like Curiosity, says India and the US could jointly explore Mars and even invited India to send astronauts to the Red Planet.
iv. When India launched its mission to Mars, and I congratulate India on a superb mission by reaching the orbit or Mars in the very first attempt.
v. JPL supported ISRO in the navigation and communication because of the antennas we have. Reaching the Mars orbit in first attempt was an amazing achievement and that too at such low cost. Now American scientists through its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) mission and India through its Mars Orbiter Mission are sharing data.
11. Zee Media to acquire 80% stake in India Today companies
i. Zee Media Corporation will acquire up to 80 per cent stake in India Today group’s loss-making e-commerce and TV shopping entities — Today Merchandise and Today Retail Network Pvt Ltd — for Rs 166 crore in staggered payments over the next four years.
ii. The investment will be made in tranches.
iii. By June, Zee Media would acquire 49 per cent stake by investing Rs 39.7 crore by subscribing equity shares of both companies and had managerial and operational control over the target company.
iv. Explaining its rationale for investing in the ventures, Zee Media said TV shopping holds great investment value and with this acquisition, the company would shorten the launch timing of TV shopping channel.
12. Rozle Prezelj elected Chairman of IAAF Athletes’ Commission
i. Slovenian high-jumper Rozle Prezelj on 27 February 2016 was elected the Chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletes' Commission in Monaco.
ii. Prezelj took over as Chairman of the commission from Frank Fredericks with immediate effect.
iii. On the other hand, Britain’s marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was nominated Vice Chairwoman of the commission.
iv. His best result was at the 2008 Olympics where he finished 12th in high jump.
13. Rahul Sachdev won 1st All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016
i. Rahul Sachdev on 29 February 2016 won the 1st All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016 in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
ii. This tournament was organized by Billiards and Snooker Association of Aurangabad and had no relation with Cue Sports India.
iii. Rahul defeated Pushpender Singh of Railways in the final with 5-3 Score. Though Pushpender emerged as a strong contender and had lost only one frame before reaching the final while Rahul scored a break of 104.
iv. Rahul sood as the runner up in Nationals in 2013 and it was his highest performance. It is major breakthrough in his career to win All India level Invitation tournament.
v. To reach final, Rahul ousted Laxman Rawat (Railways) 5-1 whereas Pushpender Singh knocked out Kamal Chawla of Railways 5-1.
14. Armaan Ebrahim won FMSCI Motorsports Man of the Year Trophy
i. Car racer Armaan Ebrahim on 28 February 2016 was awarded the Motorsports Man-of-the-Year Trophy at ceremony organised by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI).
ii. Armaan walked away with the glittering ‘Raymond Gautam Singhania Rolling Trophy’ and a cash prize of Rs 2,00,000 for his performance in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series.
iii. B.I. Chandhok recived lifetime achivement award. An avid racer and a founder of FMSCI, Chandhok has served the motorsports fraternity in various roles and the gathering saluted the man for his lifelong achievements.
iv. He was awarded the trophy by FMSCI chairman Vijay Mallya.
15. Bahadur Singh Rana Won Gold In 50 Km Race Walk In National Championship
i. Olympian Basant Bahadur Singh Rana clinched the gold medal in men’s 50km race walk event on the second and final day of the National Championships in Jaipur.
ii. It was the 3rd edition of National Race Walking Championships.
iii. The 32 year old Rana has a personal best of 3:56:48 which he clocked in the 2012 London Olympics, which was a national record.
iv. Delhi walker Rana clocked 4 hours 7 minutes 24 seconds to finish first out of 33 participants in the race but only 9 managed to complete the race.
v. Perhaps it was a good 1 minute 25 seconds behind the Rio Olympic qualification mark. Chandan Singh clinched the silver medal with a time of 4:09:50 while Jitendra Singh won the bronze medal with an effort of 4:12:10. The former has already bettered the Rio qualification mark in the 20km category. In the Women’s category, Neena K.T won the yellow medal with a time of 53:12.49, Bhawna Jat won the silver with a time of 53:27.79 while Priyanka Patel won the bronze, after clocking a timing of 53:32.95.
16.1st Raisina Dialogue Inaugurated By Sushma Swaraj In New Delhi
i. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has inaugurated the 1st Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi.
ii. Envisioned as India’s flagship conference of geopolitics and geo-economics, the Raisina Dialogue 2016 is designed to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration.
iii. It is a key to not only India's development but the entire region and the Asian continent.
iv. The conclave has focused on Asia's physical, economic, human and digital connectivity. Over 450 delegates from around 40 countries are participating in the three-day conference. The delegates also include former president of Sri Lanka Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.
v. As per officials "the Asian century in effect is really about once again integrating Asia with itself, integrating Asia within itself, and integrating Asia with the world". The theme of this inaugural edition of the Dialogue is "Connecting Asia" which tries to capture the various facets of these ambitions.
17. Mukesh Ambani Again Tops 84 Indian Billionaires in Forbes List
i. Mukesh Ambani Reliance Industries chairman again topped 84 Indian billionaires in Forbes 2016 list of the world's richest people once again headed by Bill Gates with a net worth of $75 billion.
ii. Mukesh Ambani with a net worth of $19.3 billion was ranked 36th among world's 1,810 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $6.48 trillion, down from $7.05 trillion last year.
iii. Technology guru Gates, who has topped the list for 17 of the last 22 years was followed by Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega, best known for the Zara fashion chain, with Warren Buffett remaining in the third spot.
iv. United states led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 540, followed by China with 251, Germany with 120, India with 84 and Russia with 77.
v. China had the most of 198 newcomer billionaires, adding 70 to the list. Thirty-three newcomers were from the US, 8 from India and 28 from Germany Notable newcomers included Flipkart cofounders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (No. 1476) of India.
18. M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation To Establish A Research Chair In Kalinga Institute Of Social Sciences (KISS)
i. The MS Swaminathan Research Foundation has signed a MOU with Bhubaneswar -based Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) to establish a Research Chair.
ii. The Chair will be named after MS Swaminathan, father of Indian Green Revolution for promoting knowledge and skill for empowerment for less privileged children in India.
iii. This is the first-ever initiative of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation to establish a Research Chair in any private institute in the country.
iv. The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is the largest residential institute for the tribals in the world.
v. It provides free of cost accommodation, education, food, health care from Kindergarten to Post Graduation to more than 25,000 children of whom 12,200 are girls.
19. UltraTech acquired cement units of Jaiprakash Associates
i. Aditya Birla Group firm UltraTech has announced the acquisition of debt-ridden JP Group’s cement plants for Rs 16,500 crore, making it the biggest deal in the sector.
ii. The buyer will pay an additional amount of Rs 470 crore to complete the grinding unit.
iii. In a transaction that will take its cement portfolio to nearly 91 million tonne, UltraTech Cement will acquire 22.4 mt of assets from Jaiprakash Associates.
iv. The deal includes two units in Madhya Pradesh.
v. UltraTech Cement said it entered into a binding Memorandum of Understanding with Jaiprakash Associates Limited for the acquisition of its identified cement plants having total cement capacity of 22.4 MTPA (million tons per annum) situated in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
20. TCS Recognized As Top Global Employer
i. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading IT services company has been recognized as a Global Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute.
ii. The assessment was done among 1,072 companies worldwide and the TCS become 1st with an exceptional performer across 9 core HR areas including talent strategy, workforce planning, on-boarding, learning and development, performance management and leadership development, among others. These things makes the company one in only eight organizations worldwide to have achieved this status.
iii. This certification is only awarded to the best employers around the world organisations that demonstrate the highest standards of employee offerings.
iv. Others in the list include CJSC Technip, DHL, Dimension data, Saint Gobain, JT International, Mobinil, Mobistar, Orange and Valeo.
v. This year, it was also certified as the Region-wide Top Employer in Europe for the 4th consecutive year. TCS earned the foremost rating in the United Kingdom and Germany, and also received an accreditation in six other countries in Europe - Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
21. Sanjeev Kapoor joins Vistara as Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer
i. Sanjiv Kapoor has been appointed as the Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer of Vistara Airlines.
ii. Kapoor will be responsible for managing a wide portfolio of Vistaras commercial and planning functions, including strategy development, network planning, pricing and revenue management, sales and distribution, among others.
iii. He will also be responsible for in-flight services and ground operations of the carrier.
iv. Kapoor succeeds Giam Ming Toh, who is returning to Singapore Airlines on completion of his deputation with Vistara.
v. Tata Sons holds a majority 51 per cent stake in Vistara - a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, which holds the remaining 49 per cent. Kapoor joins Vistara with over 19 years of experience in the airline industry, in various leadership and consulting role.
22. Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain Takes Over As Chief Of Staff, Eastern Naval Command
i. Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain took over as the Chief of Staff of the Visakhapatnam.
ii. He succeeds Vice Admiral Bimal Verma who has been transferred as Commander-in-Chief of Andaman & Nicobar Command at Port Blair.
iii. Vice Admiral Jain is an alumnus of the Sainik School (Rewa), National Defence Academy (Pune), the Defence Services Staff College (Wellington, Ooty), the College of Naval Warfare (Mumbai) and the National Defence College (Pretoria, South Africa).
iv. He was commissioned in the Indian Navy on 01 July 1982 and post specialisation in Gunnery and Missile Warfare, he held appointments as Gunnery Officer of missile destroyers, IN Ships Ranvijay and Ranvir.
23. RBI unlocks Rs.40000 crore additional capital for banks
i. At the time when public sector banks are facing pressure on their profitability due to a sharp rise in non-performing assets, which is eroding their capital base.
ii. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) move comes revised norms on capital recognition, making available an additional Rs.40,000 crore to Indian banks, this announcement is a big relief for, mainly, public sector banks.
iii. Finance minister Arun Jaitley announced after his budget speech a capital infusion of Rs. 25,000 crore for the fiscal year starting in April.
iv. The minister did not make any increases to the capital infusion amount that was decided in August 2015.
v. Many public sector banks reported huge losses for the quarter ended December 2015 after the RBI asked lenders to identify several accounts as non-performing. Banks are expected to post weak earnings in the current quarter too.
24. Mrugank Paranjape Appointed As MCX MD
i. Multi Commodity Exchange announced the appointment of Mrugank Paranjape as MD & CEO of the exchange.
ii. He will succeed Manoj Vaish. The exchange has also re designated Parveen Kumar Singhal, the present Joint Managing Director as President & Whole Time Director with effect from April 1. The appointment will be for a period of three years and subject to prior approval from SEBI.
iii. Mr. Mrugank Paranjape was Asia Pacific Head of Trust & Securities Services/Cash Management for Financial Institutions and Regional Head of Securities for The Global Network Banking Division, Deutsche Bank (Malaysia) Berhad since last 14 years. Currently, he is India Head, Deutsche Bank.
iv. Last May, SEBI rejected the exchange's proposal to appoint Balasubramaniam Venkataramani, Chief Business Officer of BSE as MD & CEO as MCX had not followed proper procedure.
v. The exchange remained without a full-time MD & CEO since May 2014 when Vaish resigned after just three months stint.
25. Scott Kelly, American Astronaut, Returns to Earth After 340 Days in Space
i. NASA(National Aeronautics and Space Administration) astronaut and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko returned on Earth.
ii. After a historic 340-day mission aboard the International Space Station.
iii. It was a science experiment to study the effects of microgravity on the human body, so that NASA can prepare astronauts for longer flights to Mars and beyond.
iv. Mr. Kelly, who spent the time about 249 miles above the planet aboard the International Space Station, and the Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko landed on Eastern in Kazakhstany.
26. George Kennedy The Oscar Winning Actor Passed Away
i. George Kennedy, who has passed away recently, was one of America’s most recognizable and versatile character actors.
ii. He was 91 year old. He appeared in more than 175 films, ranging from westerns to disaster movies and from thrillers to comedies.
iii. Mr. Kennedy's the tough guy character won an academy award for his portrayal of a savage chain-gang convict in the 1960s. He had undergone emergency triple bypass surgery in 2002.
iv. His biggest acting achievement came in Cool Hand Luke, a 1967 film about a rebellious war hero played by Paul Newman who is bent on bucking the system as a prisoner on a Southern chain gang. Its theme of rebelling against authority and the establishment helped make it one of the most important films of the tumultuous 1960s.
v. Kennedy played the role of Dragline, the chain-gang boss who goes from Luke’s No 1 nemesis to his biggest disciple as Newman’s character takes on folk hero status among fellow inmates. The movie garnered four Academy Award nominations, and Kennedy was named best supporting actor.
27. Aaron Phangiso Suspended For illegal Bowling Action
i. Aaron Phangiso, the South African left-arm spinner, has been suspended from bowling in domestic cricket with immediate effect after his action was found to be illegal.
ii. Cricket South Africa announced An International Cricket Council (ICC) movement expert found his arm extended beyond the 15 degrees allowed.
ii. Phangiso’s action was reported after he took 2 for 38 for the Highveld Lions in their eight-wicket win against Warriors in the semifinal of South Africa’s domestic Momentum One Day Cup.
28. Mega Military Exercise Of ASEAN Plus Countries Begins In Pune
i. The multinational mega Military Exercise Force 18 conducted by Indian Army has started in Pune, Maharashtra from 2nd March.
ii. The theme of the exercise is `Humanitarian Mine Action’ (HMA) and `Peacekeeping Operations’ (PKO).
iii. The exercise will conclude on 8th March, 2016 with around 300 participants from 18 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations ) Plus countries.
iv. Participating ASEAN countries along with ASEAN Plus nations are India, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Russia and US . The ten ASEAN countries from South East Asia are Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
v. The Exercise Force Eighteen is the largest multinational exercise ever conducted by the ground on Indian soil on Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) and Peace Keeping Operatios (PKO). It is conducted by India as part of its ambitious Look (Act) East policy. The exercise will allow the armies of these countries to develop a common understanding in handling any complex situation.
29. India Signs Financing Agreement With World Bank For US$ 3OO Million
i. A financing agreement for International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$ 300 (equivalent) for the Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Quality Improvement Project was signed with the World Bank.
ii. The Financing Agreement was signed by Mr. Raj Kumar (Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs) on behalf of Government of India and Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank, India on behalf of the World Bank.
iii. Objective of this project is to improve student outcomes especially of disadvantaged groups in selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and to increase the effectiveness of the Higher Education System in Madhya Pradesh.
iv. The project has three component- (1) State Level Initiatives, (2) Improving System Management and (3) Grants Support to Higher Education Institutions.
30. NHAI ties up with ISB for skill development
i. NHAI has taken a significant step in ensuring development of management competencies of its technical and managerial manpower, with a tie up with Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad.
ii. With the Government’s ambitious plans for infrastructure development in the country, road sector is seen as one of the thrust areas to achieve the objective and ensure sustained economic growth.
iii. The programme on “Leadership Programme in Infrastructure Management” in ISB aims at developing skills and competencies relating to multiple disciplines : Strategic Planning, Finance, Economics, Law, Social and Environmental issues, Public Policy etc. in Infrastructure Management.
iv. Indian School of Business (ISB) has selected eight NHAI officers after stringent scrutiny and evaluation. Four officers which includes Chief General Managers, General Manager and Dy General Manager, have commenced training in “Leadership Programme in Infrastructure Management” this year with funding support from NHAI.
v. NHAI is planning to create a pool of officers who can play a critical role in ensuring the utmost professional capability to shoulder the responsibilities at senior management level and guide the NHAI towards its long term vision.
31. Government Cancels IRB Contract
i. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has cancelled a contract to build a $1.5 billion tunnel in Himalayas after the opposition politician alleged irregularities in bidding for India most expensive road project.
ii. IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, which recently won the bid to build South Asia’s longest Zoji La Pass tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir.The government has cancelled the award without mentioning any reason.
iii. In january 2016 IRB won the bid for an all-weather Zoji La Pass tunnel road, which was to connect Srinagar to Ladakh region that remains cut off during winters.
iv. With the estimated cost of Rs.10,050 crore, the 14.08-km tunnel was considered India’s most expensive road project, to be completed in seven years.
iv. With the estimated cost of Rs.10,050 crore, the 14.08-km tunnel was considered India’s most expensive road project, to be completed in seven years.
v. The Zoji La project had landed in a controversy as soon as it was awarded, with Congress leader Digvijaya Singh alleging that the promoters of IRB were close to Union roads minister Nitin Gadkari. Digvijaya Singh wrote to the prime minister and approached Central Vigilance Commission seeking a federal investigation into the matter. Gadkari has rejected all charges as false.
32. Government Plans Too Setup More Nuclear Power Plants
i. To meet the need of the country, the Government of India plans to set up nuclear power plants in Haryana, Bihar and Punjab.
ii. The government aims to increase nuclear power generation capacity by three times in 10 years.
iii. As per this nuclear power programme, the government is considering setting up new plants in areas which is not covered before.
iv. For this, a site has been identified to built a nuclear plant at Razauli in Bihar’s Nawada district in the last 18-19 months of the current government but there has been a delay due to water shortage. Since the current level of water is not sufficient for the project.
v. The other places which are listed out by the Minister include Patiala (Punjab), Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and Bulandshahar (Uttar Pradesh), Patiala and the areas explored in Haryana.
33. Parliament passes Carriage by Air amendment Bill, 2015
i. Parliament has passed the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to empower Union government to revise the limits of liability for airlines and compensation as per the Montreal Convention which India accepted in 2009.
ii. The bill was first passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2015 and later it was passed by the Rajya in March 2016.
iii. Now it will go for the Presidential assent as per Article 111 of Constitution.
iv. The Bill seeks to amend the Carriage by Air Act, 1972 to revise the limits of liability for airlines and compensation in order adhere with the global counterparts. Empowers Union government to revise the limits of liability for airlines and compensation as per the Montreal Convention.
v. Empowers Union Government to make rules to carry out provisions of the Act. The Bill intends to raise the liability limit for damage in case of delay, injury or death to each person. It also intends to revise the liability limits in case of damage, loss, or delay of baggage and cargo as per global counterparts.
34. India Ranks 90 In Terms Of Energy Security
i. India has been ranked at the 90th place in a list of 126 countries in terms of Energy Security complied by World Economic Forum (WEF).
ii. The list is topped by Switzerland followed by Norway on the basis of the ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy.
iii. It was revealed by Global Energy Architecture Performance Index (GEAPI) and Report compiled by WEF.
iv. Others in the top 10 include Sweden (3rd), France (4th), Denmark (5th), Austria (6th), Spain (7th), Colombia (8th), New Zealand (9th) and Uruguay (10th).
v. Among the BRIC nations, Brazil was the top performer as it was ranked at the 25th place, followed by Russia (52nd), India (90th), China (94).
35. Chennai Gets India’s First Self Cleaning Smart Toilets
i. A total of 183 self cleaning public eToilets have been installed in the Chennai City. Chennai is the 1st city in India to gets smart Toilets.
ii. These toilets are free for Public use.
iii. Each toilet automatically cleans itself before entry and after use and sensors enable consumption of less water and power with each use.
iv. An Indian social enterprise, Eram Scientific Solution is the brains behind the project and has already installed over 1,600 eToilets in private buildings and schools across 18 Indian states.
v. In 2012, it even won a grant of $450,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
36. Three British scientists win 2016 Brain Prize
i. Three British scientists have won a prestigious 2016 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize (also known as Brain Prize) for giving vital insight how the human brain remembers, learns and navigates.
ii. These scientists are Timothy Bliss: He is a visiting worker at the Crick Institute in London. Graham Collingridge: He is professor of neuroscience in anatomy at the University of Bristol. He is also head of the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto. Richard Morris: He is a professor of neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh
iii. Prize criteria: It is awarded to scientist of any nationality although, research for which they are nominated must be carried in Europe or in collaboration with European researchers.
37. South Korea Lawmakers Pass Contentious Anti-Terror Bill
i. South Korea's parliament Passed the country's first anti-terror bill, with opposition lawmakers leaving the plenary chamber after ending the nine-day marathon speeches.
ii. Among almost 300 parliamentary seats, only 156 ruling Saenuri Party lawmakers and one minority party member participated in a vote on the country's first anti-terrorism legislation, which was passed through the National Assembly with 156 in favour.
iii. One dissenting vote was cast by the minority party member.
iv. Opposition lawmakers launched nonstop speeches to delay the vote on the country's first anti-terror bill from February 23 when the parliamentary speaker sought to put the bill on a vote with his own authority.
v. Lee Jong-Geol, floor leader of the main opposition Minju Party and the last speaker of the filibuster, set a record for his marathon speech that did not stop for 12 hours and 31 minutes.
38. Peru declares emergency after oil spill hits rivers
i. Peru has declared an emergency three weeks after a major oil pipeline burst, affecting two rivers in the country’s northwest.
ii. The pipeline spilled 3,000 barrels of crude oil into the Chiriaco and Morona rivers, which are the main source of water and food for several indigenous communities.
iii. The government has told these communities not to eat fish from the polluted waters.
iv. The broken pipeline reportedly used to transport between 5,000 and 6,000 oil barrels per day. The pipeline is owned by Petro Peru, a state-owned oil company.
v. The oil company has been accused of a slow reaction to the spill – it only started providing food, water and medical attention weeks after the crisis, which has affected the health of more than 200 people. Peru’s main oil pipeline was built more than 30 years ago. This has been the third oil spill in less than a month.
39. International Finance Corporation Launches Masala Bonds
i. International Finance Corporation (IFC), an part of the World Bank group launched its first Uridashi Masala bonds ( Japanese Bonds ) to mobilize R30 crore (or $4.3 million) directly from Japanese household investors to promote private sector development in India.
ii. The 3 year bond builds on IFC's Masala bond program which has raised the approx $1.7 billion from international investors for investment in India.
iii. Masala bonds are rupee denominated instruments sold only to offshore investors, while Uridashi bonds are sold to Japanese household investors.
iv. The steps from IFC's Uridashi Masala bonds will be used to support private sector investment in India.
v. JP Morgan is the sole arranger of the bonds and Daisen Hinomaru Securities is its distributor.
40. Historic Old War Office In London Acquired By Hinduja Group
i. The Hinduja Group is a global conglomerate company acquired the heritage Old War Office in London that was once inhabited by Winston Churchill.
ii. In this Acquirestion with Spanish company Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) on a 250-year lease from the ministry of defence, the plan is to convert it into a hotel and luxury residences.
iii. As per the ministry on the sale of the Old War Office was for “in excess of £350 million following a competitive marketing process”.
iv. At this occasion were Indian High Commissioner Navtej Singh Sarna and former Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan.
41. Bihari Puraskar 2015 To Be Given To Dr. Bhagwati Lal Vyas
i. Poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas has been chosen for the 2015 Bihari Puraskar for his anthology of Rajasthani poems 'Katha Sun Aawe Hai Sabad' Published in 2010.
ii. A recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award, Dr Vyas has highlighted the increasing tendencies of commercialization and degradation of human values through his poetry.
iii. Dr Vyas's works reflect the unpleasant changes in human relations, social disparity and loss of human values although positivity and his faith in human life also shine through the vast collection of his poetry.
iv. Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas best known works authored several short stories and an eminent translator, are compendium of poems titled 'Shatabdi Niforruttar' (1977), 'Footpath Par Chiriya Nachti Hai' (1984) and a collection of short stories 'Suraj Leelti Ghatiyan' stand out.
42. New Zealand Cricket Legend Martin Crowe Dead Dies Aged 53 After Losing Cancer Battle
i.New Zealand Cricketer Martin Crowe passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer that eventually proved one attack the gifted cricketer couldn't see off.
ii. The cricket great had been suffering from lymphoma since September 2014.
iii. He Born on September 22, 1962, in Henderson, Auckland, Crowe's father was former domestic cricketer Dave, while brother Jeff also went on to captain the New Zealand cricket side.
iv. He received the all-clear from the disease in 2012 but confirmed in September 2014 that it had returned.
v. Auckland-born Crowe is widely regarded as one of New Zealand's best ever batsman, having scored 17 centuries and 5,444 runs in 77 Tests at an average of 45.36.Crowe captained his country from 1990-1993.
43. PM Narendra Modi Launches ‘Setu Bharatam’ Project, To Boost Infrastructure
i. Today, The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Rs 50,000-crore "Setu Bharatam" programme to build bridges for safe and seamless travel on National Highways.
ii. With this the government aims to make all national highways free from railway crossings by 2019.
iii. Under this project, 208 new road over bridges or road under bridges places have been identified for construction and nearly 10200 crore rupees will be spent on it.
iv. While around 1500 bridges will be widened, rehabilitated or replaced that are over 50 to 60 years old. The cost of rebuilding the old bridges is expected to be about 30000 crore rupees.
v. The Prime Minister spoke of the Government’s initiatives in other infrastructure sectors as well, including railways, irrigation and digital connectivity. He said that developing rural roads is a priority for the government and it has got huge budgetary support this year. In Budget 2016-17, Rs. 19,000 crore has been sanctioned under the Pradham Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), to connect all villages with roads, compared with Rs. 14,291 crore in the revised estimates of 2015-16.
44. Kerala Government has taken first of its kind initiative by launching the Air Ambulance
i. Government of Kerala has taken first of its kind initiative by launching the Air Ambulance in Kerala launched by the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
ii. The Air Ambulance in Kerala will exclusively be used for the speedy organ transplant.
iii. The Air Ambulance in Kerala is a brand new six-seater aircraft that is a state-owned Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology. It imparts training to the aspirants seeking to become commercial pilots.
iv. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed regarding the Air Ambulance in Kerala took place between the Aviation Academy and the Kerala Network for Organ Sharing that was headed by the principal of the state-run Thiruvananthapuram Medical College.
v. The two organizations will work together or speedy organ transportation between hospitals from brain-dead persons with the help of Air Ambulance in Kerala.
45. Manoj Kumar To Be Conferred Dada Saheb Phalke Award For The Year 2015
i. Veteran Film Actor and Director Shri Manoj Kumar is to be conferred the 47th Dada Saheb Phalke Award for the year 2015.
ii. Award is conferred by the Government of India for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema.
iii. The Award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs and a shawl.
iv. The Award is given on the basis of recommendations of a Committee of eminent personalities set up by the Government for this purpose. This year, a five member jury named as Latha Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Salim Khan, Nitin Mukesh and Anup Jalota, unanimously recommended Shri Manoj Kumar for the prestigious Award. Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley spoke to Shri Manoj Kumar today and congratulated him on being conferred the Award.
v. The Dadasaheb Phalke award is India's highest award in cinema. Last year, the Dadasaheb Phalke award was given to Shashi Kapoor.
46. Alappuzha Backwaters To Get India’s First Solar Ferry
i. A 75-seater solar-powered passenger ferry, the first of its kind in the country, is quietly taking shape at Aroor in Alappuzha district.
ii. The boat is expected to be commissioned within the next three months.
iii. This boat is being built by NavAlt, a Kochi-based joint venture, in collaboration with a French company.
iv. The cost of the Rs.1.7-crore boat will make no noise or cause any pollution, unlike the diesel powered ones.
v. It may work out to be a cheaper option too. An ordinary boat, made of steel and with a carrying capacity of 75 passengers, may cost around Rs.1.9 crore.
47. Government Proposes 10 Member Kashmiri Pandit Panel
i. The government of India has proposed to constitute a committee of Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) to monitor implementation of packages for rehabilitation of the displaced community. The committee panel will consist 10 member.
ii. According to the last month proposal of the Union Home Ministry the panel will includes the representatives of migrant camps from Muthi and Pukhroo.
iii. The proposal has been sent to governments of Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi, asking them to consult various associations of Kashmiri migrants and offer inputs in the matter at the earliest.
iv. This included amounts towards jobs for Kashmiri migrants, rehabilitation of families from Chhamb and PoK, construction of houses, and setting up of five India Reserve Battalions.
v. This year’s budget saw that more than half of the Rs. 580 crore fund allocated for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants remained unutilised during 2015-16 but as per revised estimates, only Rs. 280 crore was provided, leaving Rs. 300 crore unutilised.
48. Ratan Thiyam Selected For 11th META Lifetime Achievement Award
i. Veteran playwright and director Ratan Thiyam has been selected for prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 at the 11th edition of Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META).
ii. The award will be given to the theatre guru Ratan Thiyam for creating a new language in theatre and enriching the art form in various roles as writer, director, designer, composer and choreographer.
iii. Currently he is the chairman of the National School of Drama.
iv. Prior to him, this award has been given to theatre greats such as Zohra Sehgal, Badal Sarkar, Khaled Chowdhury, Ebrahim Alkazi, Girish Karnad and Heisnam Kanhailal.
v. The awards consist of a specially designed trophy and a cheque of 1,00,000 rupees for the best production, 75,000 rupees for best original playwright and 45,000 rupees for all other award categories.
49. World's Costliest Train Station Opened In New York At 9/11 Site
i. The World's most expensive train station in the world opens at the World Trade Center site in New York, United States Of America.
ii. The site World Trade Center destroyed 14 years ago in the 9/11 attacks.
iii. Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish Swiss architect taken 12 years to make it. The site has been made at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub next to the Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the Al- Qaeda hijackings.
iv. The site World Trade Center Transportation Hub is expected to eventually serve more than 2,00,000 daily commuters. The building space measures 350 feet (107 meters) long by 115 feet (35 meters) at its widest point.
v. The center connects the PATH commuter rail to New Jersey with New York subway lines, provides indoor pedestrian access to the Trade Center towers and will also house an enormous shopping and restaurant plaza. The transit hub will serve 250,000 people making it the third largest transportation center in the city.
50. Flipkart launches Commerce Advertising Platform
i. Leading e-commerce company Flipkart launched its own advertisement platform, Brand Story Ads, with over 50 leading brands on board.
ii. Yes Bank, L’Oreal, Micromax, Intel, Gillette, Datsun and Sony have signed up with Flipkart to launch their ads campaigns on the platform.
iii. Flipkart ventured into the online advertising space last year with the introduction of product listing ads to enable sellers on the platform gain more visibility and reach a larger customer base.
iv. With the launch of Brand Story Ads, Flipkart has introduced a new form of advertising called – Commerce Advertising.
v. Commerce Advertising delivers a holistic view of consumer’s purchase journey post ad interactions and highlight effectiveness of the advertising campaigns.
DAILY GK UPDATE --MARCH 2016 NO.1 TO 50 Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 4:03:00 PM Rating: