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DAILY GK -- MARCH 2016 --- 151 TO 200

151. Long march against Indo-Bangladesh power plant near Sundarbans started
i. A 250 km-long protest march against plans to build Rampal Power Station, Indo-Bangladesh coal-fired power plant near the Sundarbans, was kick-started on 10 March 2016.
ii. The protest march calls for scrapping the project that supposedly will harm the ecosystem of the world's largest mangrove forest.
iii. Environmentalists, cultural and political activists, and eminent individuals began the four-day march from Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka to persuade the Bangladeshi Government to drop its backing for construction of the plants near the Sundarbans, an area of rice paddies, shrimp farms and vast mangrove forests.
iv. The Rampal Power Station is a proposed 1320 megawatt coal-fired power station at Rampal Upazila of Bagerhat District in Khulna, Bangladesh.
v.It is a joint partnership between India's state owned National Thermal Power Corporation and Bangladesh Power Development Board.

152. PM Modi to unveil railway project in Bihar
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Patna today on a day-long visit to Bihar where he will dedicate to the nation the newly constructed Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge and inaugurate a new rail bridge in Munger.

ii. The Prime Minister will also kick-start the operation of the goods trains on the newly constructed rail portion of Munger Rail-Cum Road Bridge from Sahebpur Kamal end in Begusarai district.
iii. He will also lay the foundation stone of the additional rail bridge near existing Rajendra Bridge in Mokama over the river Ganga.
iv. The Prime Minister will attend the concluding function of the centenary celebrations of Patna High Court.
v. He will also address public meetings at Chhaukia in Hajipur.

153. Gujarat: Leaks In Kakrapar Nuclear Plant, One Unit Shut
i. A power generation unit at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station in Surat was shut down after leakage of heavy water.

ii. Leakage in the primary heat transport system of unit one of Kakrapar atomic power station in Gujarat has forced the authorities to shut down the unit as an emergency measure.
iii. The leakage occurred but officials maintained that “no nuclear radiation has occurred due to the leakage.”
iv. Consequent to a small leak in primary heat transport (PHT) system, the reactor was shut down as intended as per design provisions. 
v. All safety systems are working as intended. The radioactivity/radiation levels in the plant premises and outside are normal.

154. Crisil Sees GDP growing at 7.9% in 2016-17
i. The country’s GDP can grow by 7.9 per cent next fiscal if the monsoon is normal and the government implements the reform measures announced so far, domestic rating agency Crisil. 
ii. Even though he flagged concerns on the banking front, It implementation of reforms should help the economy achieve higher growth and termed 2016-17 as the “year of reckoning” which has the potential to illustrate the path which the economy can take.
iii. India has faced weather shocks for three consecutive years, including two years of deficient rains in 2014 and 2015, and a normal monsoon season this year can lead to a 4% growth in agriculture on lower base effect.

155. HDFC Bank Ties Up With 5 Start Ups
i. HDFC Bank has chosen five start-ups it will work with to strengthen their web, mobile and payment offerings. 
ii. The Bank shortlisted these five from 30 applications to work together in its field of operations at its maiden Digital Innovation Summit.
iii. Five start ups  companies with whom HDFC Bank has tied up are Sense forth Technologies into AI customer response, Tagnpin -a marketing and customer engagement company, Safe 2 Pay-a point of sale-free payment system, Bugclipper-an in-app feedback tool, Taptis Technology– a bio metric payment company.
iv. The bank had previously tied up with Chillr, which had raised $6 million from Sequoia Capital, where it developed a system which helped customers pay without a wallet. 
v. Nitin Chugh, country head, digital banking, said the bank wanted to break out from these one-off ties and open themselves to new and innovative ideas. 

156. Uber Opens Asia's 1st Engineering Hub In India
i. Uber, the ride sharing service provider has opened its first Asian engineering center in Bengaluru highlighting the focus on India to solve the localized challenges of Uber users in the country. 
ii. The center will focus on software engineers, product developers and others working initially on problems specific to users in India.
iii. The center will eventually play a role in improving Uber’s customer-facing technologies worldwide. Worldwide, Uber has about a 1,000 engineers spread over nine engineering centers.
iv. The engineering center in Bangalore is different from the Center of Excellence the company opened in Hyderabad which deals with operations and provides multi-channel support via email, phone and social media to ensure seamless experience before, during and after a ride.
v. The company is investing over $1 billion in India to build its network of cabs and has pumped in $50 million to open an operations-support center in Hyderabad last month. Uber engineering center currently has 8 engineers and plans to increase the head count to over 100 employees this year. The center, temporarily headed by Jaikumar Ganesh, is looking to hire more people in the near future, including a permanent India engineering head.

157. Defence Ministry gives nod to 7 stealth frigates worth Rs 13,000 crore 
i. The defence ministry on Friday approved a Rs 13,000 crore weapons and sensors package for the seven new stealth frigates being constructed by defence shipyards for the Navy as well as accorded the initial approval for the Rs 7,200 crore project to indigenously manufacture 244 air defence guns for the IAF.
ii. The defence acquisitions council (DAC), chaired by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, also discussed the new defence procurement procedure (DPP), which will have a pronounced thrust on the 'Make in India' endeavour as well as the "strategic partnerships" provision for private sector companies. 
iii. Another DAC meeting is likely to be held this month to clear the final policy.
iv. The Rs 13,000 crore package for stealth frigates will be undertaken on a "single vendor and repeat order basis". Basically, this means the frigates will be equipped with long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) systems, jointly developed by DRDO and Israeli Aerospace Industries, which are already fitted on the three Kolkata-class destroyers. 
v. The package will also include BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, Ajanta electronic warfare systems and Humsa-NG radars.

158. Cabinet approves ratification of BIMSTEC Convention
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and ratification of the Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. 
ii. The Ministry of Home Affairs has been designated as the Central Authority under Article 15 of the Convention. 

iii. The BIMSTEC comprises of seven countries viz., Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
iv. The establishment of regional arrangements for mutual assistance in criminal matters will greatly contribute to more effective cooperation in the control of criminal activities. 
v. The Convention aims to extend widest measures of assistance to each other through mutual cooperation for enhancing capability and effectiveness of the Member States in investigation and prosecution of crimes, including crimes related to terrorism, transnational organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and cyber-crimes.

159. Tezpur University and JNU won the annual Visitor’s Awards for Central Universities
i. Tezpur University on 10 March 2016 won the annual Visitor’s Award for the Best University. 
ii. Rakesh Bhatnagar and the Molecular Parasitology Group of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have also won the Visitor’s Awards for Research and Innovation respectively.
iii. President Pranab Mukherjee will present Visitor’s Awards for 2016 to the winners at a function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 14 March 2016, as part of the Festival of Innovations.
iv. The Visitor’s Award for Innovation will be given to Professor Rakesh Bhatnagar of Jawaharlal Nehru University for development of a genetically engineered vaccine and a therapeutic antibody against anthrax.
v. The Visitor’s Award for Research will be presented to the Molecular Parasitology Group of Jawaharlal Nehru University of pioneering work in the area of molecular parasitology, especially anti-malaria, leishmaniasis and amoebiasis. The Best University will receive a Citation and Trophy while winners of Visitor’s Award for Innovation and Research will receive a citation and cash award of one lakh rupees.

160. Honey festival in Mangaluru from March 12
i. The Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, in association with the Karnataka Horticulture Department, will conduct a ‘honey festival’ in Mangaluru on March 12 and 13.
ii. Addressing presspersons in Mangaluru on Thursday, PI Sreevidya, Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat, said horticulture crops are the mainstay of the district and the festival is aimed at encouraging apiculture among farmers in the district.
iii. Apart from increasing the productivity of horticulture crops, apiculture also provides a source of income to farmers, she said.
iv. Yogish HR, Deputy Director of the Karnataka Horticulture Department, said bee colonies of various species and materials required for bee-keeping would be on display at the festival.
v. The Dakshina Kannada Bee-Keepers’ Cooperative Society will make arrangements for the sale of honey at the festival. The organisers will also conduct a bee-keeping training programme as part of the honey festival on March 13, he said.

161.IMF and India to set-up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center in Delhi 
i. India and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have decided to set up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTC) in New Delhi. 
ii. In this regard, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

Key facts 

  • SARTTC will set up for enhancing capacity development and training officials in dealing with macro-economic and financial issues in the South Asia region. 
  • It will become the focal point for planning, coordinating, and implementing the IMF’s capacity development activities in the region on a wide range of areas.
  • These wide range of areas are includes macroeconomic and fiscal management, financial sector regulation, monetary operations and supervision, and macroeconomic statistics. 
  • It will help to address existing training needs and respond to the demand for IMF training in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
  • SARTTAC will build upon the IMF’s in-depth experience with capacity development on the experiences of the IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Centres (RTACs) and Regional Training Centres (RTCs). 
  • Funding for the centre will come from contributions by Regional Member countries and Development Partners. 
  • Australian Agency for International Development, South Korea and India also have pledged financial support for the Centre. 

162. Anand Mahindra conferred with France's Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur
i. Mahindra& Mahindra Chairman and Managing Director (MD) Anand Mahindra was conferred with Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by French Government. 
ii. He was presented with this award by Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India in recognition of his outstanding national and international achievements. 
iii. Anand Mahindra is one of the most prominent business leaders in India. Under his leadership Mahindra & Mahindra group has turned into a global company of outstanding repute. 

About Knight of the Legion of Honour 
  • Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur is the highest French civilian award which was started by first emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. 
  • It is bestowed upon person for his outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality. Its motto is Honour and Fatherland. 
  • Note: Anand Mahindra’s father Harish Mahindra and uncle Keshub Mahindra have also been recipients of this award in the past. 

163. Union Power Ministry named LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme as UJALA
i. Union Power Ministry has announced name UJALA for the LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP). UJALA is acronym for Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All. 
ii. The National LED based DELP programme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 2015 for energy conservation by reducing energy consumption. 
iii. The target of programme is to replace 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is implementing it and is currently running successfully in over 120 cities across India.
iv. The initiative is part of the Union Government’s efforts to spread the message of energy efficiency in the country. LED bulbs have a very long life, almost 50 times more than ordinary bulbs, and 8-10 times that of CFLs, and therefore provide both energy and cost savings in the medium term. It will help in saving of energy around 24 crore units every year.

164. Lt Gen N P S Hira appointed Deputy Chief of Army
i. Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) N P S Hira has been appointed as Deputy Chief of Army Staff. He will be now moving to Army Headquarters in New Delhi.
ii. Presently he is posted as Chief of Staff of Northern command at Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir. He was commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry. 
iii. He has a rich experience of counter insurgency operations in J&K and in the northeast region, as well as conventional operations in Western command.
iv. He had commanded the Battalion in Assam (Op Rhino) during high violence period. The unit under his command has bagged 32 gallantry awards and COAS citation. 
v. He had commanded 12 Infantry Brigade deployed on the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector. He also had commanded the 10 Infantry Division in J&K on the LoC with distinction for which he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal. 
vi. Awards and Honours: He has earned an Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra and many more gallantry awards. 

165. India, US launch Fullbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship
i. India and United States have launched the Fulbright – Kalam Climate Fellowship enabling Indian research scholars to work with American institutions in the field of climate change. 
ii. It will sponsor up to 6 Indian PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to work with US institutions for a period up to one year. 
iii. The fellowship has been named after late Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. It was launched as part of a commitment made by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build long-term capacity to address climate change-related issues in both the countries. 
iv. It will be operated by the binational US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) under the umbrella of the prestigious Fulbright programme. It will be jointly funded by both the governments.

166. Arab League declares Lebanese movement Hezbollah a terrorist group
i. The Arab League has declared Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a Shia political organisation a terrorist group. The move comes after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had adopted the same stance. 
ii. Decision in this regard was taken during the Arab League Foreign Ministers’ meeting at the organisation’s seat in Egypt’s capital Cairo. All-22 Arab League members supported the decision except Lebanon and Iraq expressed reservations.
iii. Hezbollah (Party of God) is a Shia political organisation created by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the 1980s. It was established with an armed wing during Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1990. Currently, it is fighting in Lebanon’s neighbouring Syria to support the Government of President Bashar al-Assad. 
iv. The United States, Canada and Australia already have listed Hezbollah as a terrorist group and the European Union (EU) has also blacklisted its military wing. 

167. India successfully test-fired Agni-I ballistic missile
i. India on 14 March 2016 successfully test-fired indigenously built nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-I ballistic missile. It was launched from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) on the Odisha coast.

ii. The trial was as part of training exercise by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army.
iii. The sophisticated missile covered 700 km distance within 9 minutes and 36 seconds. The latest trial of Agni-I followed the first successful test-fire that was conducted on 27 November 2015 from the same base.
iv. Agni-I was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory, the premier missile development laboratory of DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.
v. The missile is 15-metre-long and weighed 12 tonnes and equipped with sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. It is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload.

168. 13th meeting of Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development held in Dubai
i. The 13th meeting of Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development was held on 14 March 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The meeting was held to promote the power of broadband networks and services for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ii. It brought the leaders from the public, private and social sectors together to seek the solutions to achieving education, equity and employment for all. The Broadband Commission also discussed among other issues like how to innovate in education through technology.
iii. The full meeting of the Commission revisited the issue of new broadband targets to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting set the ground for new concrete, measurable broadband targets to be agreed for the next full meeting of the Commission in September 2016 at the New York meeting.
iv. The Dubai meeting of the Commission was held at the invitation of Broadband Commissioner Sunny Varkey, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, in the context of the Global Education and Skills Forum, and right after the joint ITU/UNESCO Policy Forum during UNESCO Mobile Learning Week.
v. The Broadband Commission works to ensure that no one is left behind by leaving no one off-line. In 2015, 44 percent world population remains offline, including 36 percent of LDC population while there are 200 million fewer girls and women online than boys and men.

169. Palestinian Hanan Al Hroub won 2016 Global Teacher Prize
i. A Palestinian primary school teacher from a refugee camp, Hanan Al Hroub, on 13 March 2016 won one million dollar Global Teacher Prize. She was awarded for her outstanding contribution to the profession.
ii. Hroub, who runs the Samiha Khalil High School in Al-Bireh, Palestine, defeated nine other finalists from around the world, including India’s Robin Chaurasiya to win the award. The 2016 Winner of the Global Teacher Prize was announced by Pope Francis in a ceremony held at the Atlantis Palm Hotel in Dubai.
iii. Hroub uses a specialist approach in her school, which she developed, detailed in her book 'We Play and Learn' to overcome tense environments of the region under the shadow of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Hroub's approach has led to a decline in violent behaviour in schools where it was a frequent occurrence. She has also inspired her colleagues to review the way they teach and their classroom management strategies.
iv. Robin Chaurasiya runs a not-for-profit school in Mumbai for girls from the city's red light district of Kamatipura.
v. The Global Teacher Prize is a 1 million US dollar award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

170. Services won Santosh Trophy of Football 2-1
i. Services on 13 March 2016 won the Santosh Trophy National Football Championships title. In the summit clash at SEC Railway Stadium in Nagpur, Services defeated host Maharashtra 2-1.
ii. Arjun Tudu, a national camper for the SAFF Cup in 2015, scored twice in the space of 11 minutes (26th and 37th) to help Services clinch their fifth title overall. Services took away 5 lakh rupees for winning the tournament while Maharashtra got 3 lakh rupees for finishing runners-up.
iii. Santosh Trophy, started in 1941, is an annual Indian football tournament. It is contested by states and government institutions. It was the premier football competition in the country before the National Football League started in the year 1996. The first winners were Bengal, who also leads the all-time winners list with 31 titles to date.
iv. The trophy is named after the late Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh (now in Bangladesh) who had been the President of the Indian Football Association, the football organisation of Bengal and the donators of the trophy.

171. Maritime India Summit 2016 to be held in Mumbai
i. Maritime India Summit 2016 (MIS 2016), the maiden flagship initiative of the Union Ministry of Shipping, will be organised from 14 to 16 April 2016 at Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre, Mumbai. Republic of Korea is the partner country for MIS 2016.
ii. The summit will provide a unique global platform for investors to explore potential business opportunities in the Indian Maritime Sector. The conference aims to foster interaction between stakeholders through B2B and G2B meetings. It will have special sessions on factors and services related to Indian Maritime Sector.
iii. The conference will also highlight investment opportunities in the Indian Maritime States and Union Territories.

172. 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves inaugurated at Lima
i. 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves was inaugurated on 14 March 2016 at Lima in Peru. The event will be held from 14 March to 17 March 2016 to address different issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
ii. It is a world meeting of the Committees of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) and experts directly involved in the practical implementation of biosphere reserves including representatives of governments, biosphere reserves, local communities, UN agencies, NGOs, academic institutions, and organizations and institutions from all over the world working with the MAB Programme.
iii. The Congress will discuss on education for sustainable development, the economic viability of nature conservation systems, human migrations and protection of natural resources, among others.

173. Rock legend Keith Emerson died
i. British Keyboardist and progressive rock legend Keith Emerson died on 10 March 2016. He was 71.

ii. Emerson, the co-founder of British prog-rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, was widely considered one of the top keyboard players of the progressive rock era.
iii. Apart from ELP, founded in 1970, Keith Emerson is best remembered for his role in The Nice, formed in 1967. The British musician and composer was born in Yorkshire in 1944.
iv. ELP rose to become one of the most popular bands of the 1970s, and were voted in at number seven on Rolling Stone’s 2011 Reader Poll of the best prog-rock acts of all time.

174. ICICI Bank ties up with Ferrari for co-branded credit card
i. Country's largest private sector lender ICICI BankBSE 3.70 % today said it has tied up with marquee sports car maker Ferrari to launch co-branded credit card. 
ii. "The 'Ferrari Credit Card' comes in two variants on the Visa platform and offers customers a host of offers including an all-expenses-paid trip for top spenders to Italy and also includes a Scuderia Ferrari watch as a joining gift," the bank said in a statement here. 
iii. Details of the fees, if any, were not immediately shared by the bank. ICICI bank's General Manager Kusal Roy said this is the first-ever Ferrari range of credit cards in the country. 
iv. The bank had over 34.69 lakh outstanding credit cards as of November, that saw transactions of over Rs 2,393 crore at ATMs and POS terminals.

175. Kerala Tourism’s Responsible Tourism Campaign Wins Golden City Gate Award At ITB Berlin
i. Kerala Tourism’s new campaign on responsible tourism has bagged the prestigious Golden City Gate Award at the world’s leading travel trade show , ITB in the German capital of Berlin.

ii. Titled ‘New Worlds’, the multimedia campaign containing three short films directed by reputed Malayalam filmmaker Anwar Rasheed won the silver prize of this year’s Das Golden Stadttor or Golden City Gate, dubbed as the Oscar of Tourism communication, at the ITB.
iii. The ‘New Worlds’ campaign was launched internationally by UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai at the World Travel Mart in London .
iv. It portrays the importance of responsible tourism initiatives under taken in Kerala which have led to several life-changing stories and have become the heart of it.
v. Golden Gate Award is entitled as Oscar in tourism communication. It is awarded every year for the ultimate recognition in global tourism communication at the ITB-Berlin which is the world’s leading travel trade show.

176. Record-breaking Astronaut Scott Kelly Retiring This April
i. Astronaut Scott Kelly will retire from NASA next month, after spending nearly a year in space and setting a record for the most cumulative days in space of any American.
ii. Kelly is a former Navy pilot who joined NASA in 1996, will leave the agency April 1. Kelly joined the astronaut corps in 1996 and currently holds the American record for most time spent in space. After retiring, Kelly will continue to participate in the ongoing research related to his one-year mission.
iii. Kelly flew in space four times, beginning with space shuttle Discovery’s trip to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on the STS-103 servicing mission in 1999.
iv. Kelly broke the American record for most cumulative time in space during his one-year mission, accruing 520 days.
v. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
vi. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Cornell University Astronomy Professor Steven W. Squyres, as chairman of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC).

177. Free Wi-Fi Service launched At Srinagar International Airport
i. State-run telecommunication company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched free Wifi services at the Srinagar international airport.

ii. Tourists visiting the Kashmir valley can now access hi-speed Internet services at the international airport here free of charge for the first 15 minutes as BSNL today launched its state-of-art WiFi HotSpot services. The 4G-based WiFi HotSpot services of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) at the Srinagar International Airport was inaugurated by Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Asgar H Samoon.
iii. Passengers will have to login after turning on WiFi services on their laptops or smartphones or any other wireless device. Then, a BSNL-WiFi prompt will pop-up on their device and the passengers will have to register and then they will be provided with a one-time password, he said. After verification, they will be able to browse.

178. Vijender Singh Registers Fourth Straight Win In Pro Boxing
i. Indian boxer and Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh notched up his fourth successive knockout win in the professional boxing circuit, beating Hungary’s Alexander Horvath in under three rounds in Liverpool.
ii. The Bhiwani boxer achieved the knockout victory in the third round after being the one with the upper hand in the first two rounds as well. With the win, Vijender’s record in Pro Boxing stands at four bouts, four wins and four knockouts.
iii. Vijender Singh Beniwal, also known as Vijender Singh or Vijender Beniwal, is an Indian professional boxer and former amateur boxer from Kaluwas, Bhiwani district in Haryana.

179.India Inc first in the world to formally adopt UN’s SDG
i. India Inc. is set to formally adopt the United Nations’ (UN) agenda for the world’s sustainable development and the 17 goals identified for its implementation.
ii. SDG- Sustainable Development Growth;
iii. MDG- Millenium Development Growth
iv. SDG- 17 goals; MDG- 8 goals
v. SDG will be a evaluated, monitored and reported in a time-bound manner
vi. MDG was in implementation from 2001-2015

180.SAARC Programming Committee meet begins in Pokhara
i. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will leave for Nepal to attend SAARC ministerial meet. Before the Ministerial meeting, a session of Programming Committee of SAARC will be held in Pokhara (Nepal). Standing Committee of the SAARC, which is a Foreign Secretaries-level Forum, will be held on 16th of this month.
ii. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the meetings are part of regular interactions within the SAARC framework.
iii. India's focus would be not only to take stock of the decisions but also to work out the way forward on priority issues.

181. Anil Wadhwa concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of San Marino
i. Anil Wadhwa, Ambassador of India to Italy, has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of San Marino with residence in Rome. He is an Indian Foreign Service Officer of the 1979 batch was also posted as Secretary (East) in 2014.
ii. He has also served as the Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand (Nov 2011 to Jan 2014) and previously as the Ambassador to Poland and to the Sultanate of Oman.

182. Myanmar Parliament elected Htin Kyaw as first civilian President
i. Myanmar's Parliament on 15 March 2016 elected Htin Kyaw as the first civilian president to lead the country after 53 years of military rule. Army took power in a 1962 coup. He is a close aide and adviser of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

ii. He was elected with 360 of the total 652 votes casted while, military-nominated Myint Swe received 213 votes and stood second followed by the other NLD candidate, Henry Van Thio, who got 79 votes.
iii. They will serve as first vice-president and second vice-president respectively. Kyaw will replace Thein Sein who will step down at the end of March 2016 after five years of army-backed rule.
iv. Htin Kyaw was elected under a complex system in which the two chambers of parliament nominated two presidential candidates and military MPs nominated a third, assuring the army continued influence.
v. The army also retains 25 percent of seats in parliament under a 2008 constitution that it drafted, giving it an effective veto on constitutional change. It also keeps key ministerial portfolios related to security.

183. Parytak Mitra Programme to enable Students to act as Tourist Facilitators
i. Parytak Mitra Programme was in news on 14 March 2016. It came in news after the information on the same was provided in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (I/C) Dr. Mahesh Sharma.
ii. The programme was launched by Union Ministry of Tourism on 12 January 2016 (National Youth Day) to inculcate appropriate tourism traits and knowledge amongst the trainees to enable them to act/work as Tourist Facilitators (Prayatak Mitra).
iii. The programme seeks to improve the sectoral service standards, which is one of the pre-requisites for attracting tourists in larger numbers.
iv. College going student including those enrolled with the NCC & NSS in the age group of 18 – 28 years. The age will be reckoned on the last date prescribed for application for admission. The applicant will also furnish a no-objection / sponsorship letter issued by the Principal concerned as to his/her joining the programme.

184. Venezuela president extended economic emergency to protect citizens from economic warfare
i. Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on 14 March 2016 declared a two-month extension on emergency powers meant to help shore up the country's crippled economy.
ii. The declaration will bestow more time on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to intervene in the market, boost productivity and redress a flagging financial sector.
iii. It will also allow the government to take more anti-crisis measures to reduce fiscal moratorium and to tap up funds from the 2015 budget to address short-term social needs.
iv. The extension will bring in measures to enhance positive impacts on the national economy. These include actions on healthcare, nutrition, education, employment.
v. Venezuela has the biggest known oil reserves in the world but has suffered from the plunge in world oil prices since mid-2014. The official inflation rate topped 180 percent in 2015 which is one of the highest in the world. Non-government economists estimate the real rate is several times higher.

185. YES Bank inked MoU with India Brazil Chamber for strategic cooperation
i. India's fifth largest private sector Bank, YES Bank on 11 March 2016 signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India Brazil Chamber of Commerce (IBCC) to enable significant cooperation in terms of knowledge partnerships, project consultancy, B2B opportunities, skill and technology initiatives.

ii. As per the announcement of YES Bank, the MoU signing comes in the run up to the 8th Annual BRICS Summit to be held in New Delhi in 2016. The core sectors covered in the MoU will be Sports, Media and Entertainment with special focus on IT, Infrastructure, Broadcast and Innovative solutions driven business opportunities.
iii. YES BANK and IBCC will jointly endeavour to explore exchange of best practices in Sports goods Manufacturing, CSR in sports, SM&E talent management.
iv. Moreover, IBCC will also recommend YES BANK as the Preferred Bank to Brazilian companies looking to do business in India.

186. Altico Capital names Naina Lal Kidwai as Non-Executive Director
i. Mumbai based Non-banking financial company Altico Capital India has appointed former HSBC India chairperson Naina Lal Kidwai as an independent non-executive director.

ii. Altico, focused on real estate, is looking to invest about Rs 2,500 crore every year for five years in the Indian real estate market. Naina lal Kidwai retired as executive director on the board of HSBC Asia Pacific and chairperson of HSBC India last year, after a 13-year stint.
iii. She is on the boards of Larsen & Toubro Limited, Advent Private Equity, Nestle SA, Cipla Ltd and Max Financial Services Ltd besides being chairperson of South Asia Harvard Business School. iv. She is currently involved with several industry associations and has previously been president of FICCI.

187. India Post Selects Deloitte As Consultant For Payments Bank
i. India Post has selected Deloitte to advise it on setting up a payments bank and an agreement between the two will be signed on March 14. The Public Investment Board has already approved the Rs 800-crore proposal of India Post and in 15 days, it will go to the Cabinet for final approval.
ii. Trail run project for the payments bank is set to start from January and the full-fledged operations will start by March As many as 40 international financial firms including World Bank and Barclays have shown interest to partner the postal department for setting up the bank. India Post has 55 lakh branches across the country.
iii. The Department of Posts, trading as India Post, is a government-operated postal system in India; it is generally referred to within India as "the post office". As of 31 March 2011, the Indian Postal Service had 154,866 post offices, of which 139,040 (89.78 percent) were in rural areas and 15,826 (10.22 percent) in urban areas.
iv. It had 25,464 departmental Post Offices and 129,402 Extra-Departmental Branch Post Offices. At the time of independence, there were 23,344 post offices, primarily in urban areas.
v. The postal service is under the Department of Posts, which is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Government of India. 

188. 253 Indian Villages Lit Up In Just One Week Under The Scheme Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna
i. 323 villages have been electrified across the country during last week (from 6th to 13th March 2016) under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY).

ii. Out of these electrified villages,  86 in Odisha, 73 in Jharkhand , 61 villages in Uttar Pradesh, 42 in Arunachal Pradesh , 33 in Bihar, 16 in Assam, 6 in Chhattisgarh, 3 in Madhya Pradesh and 3 in Rajasthan. 
iii. In view of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s address to nation, on Independence Day, Government of India has decided to electrify remaining 18,452 un-electrified villages within 1000 days i.e. by 01st May, 2018.
iv. The project has been taken on mission mode and strategy for electrification consists of squeezing the implementation schedule to 12 months and also dividing village electrification process in 12 Stage milestones with defined timelines for monitoring.

189. Lin Dan Earns His Sixth All England Badminton Title
i. Lin Dan from China has won the prestigious 2016 All England Badminton title in the men’s singles category.In the final match played at Birmingham, England he defeated Chinese teammate Tian Houwei by 21-9, 21-10 score.
ii. It was his overall sixth All England badminton title and earlier he had won it in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012. Nozomi Okuhara of Japan marked her 21st birthday with her first All England title after beating two-time champion Wang Shixian of China 21-11, 16-21, 21-19 in their thrilling final.
iii. Lin Dan is a professional badminton player from China. He is a two-time Olympic champion, five-time world champion, and six-time All England champion.

190. Mother Teresa to become a saint on Sept. 4: Pope Francis
i. Mother Teresa will be made a saint on September 4, Pope Francis announced. 19 years after the death of the Nobel Laureate who spent 45 years serving the poor and sick on the streets of Kolkata.
ii. “Pope Francis today approved Mother Teresa’s elevation to sainthood and set September 4 as the date for her canonisation,” said a message from the Vatican to the Mother House — the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata.

iii. Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity and spent 45 years serving the poor, the sick, the orphaned, and the dying on the streets of Kolkata. She died at the age of 87 here in 1997.

191. 7th Governing Board meeting of Indo-German Science and Technology Centre held in New Delhi
i. 7th meeting of the Governing Board of the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) was held on 15 March 2016 in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by the Union Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

ii. During the meeting, Dr. Vardhan highlighted the achievements and progress of IGSTC in accelerating the bilateral Science & Technology collaboration.
iii. India is investing approximately 14 million euro for the construction of an India focussed beam line and access to the synchrotron facility at PETRA-III in DESY at Hamburg, which will be ready for inauguration later in 2016.
iv. India is also an equity share holder with investment of 36 million euro in the construction of the international Facility for Antiproton-Ion Research (FAIR) at Darmstadt.
v. Innovative projects on affordable biomedical devices, lab-on-chip for water pathogen detection and nano-materials for adsorption of uremic toxins for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients have been initiated.

192. Singareni 600 MW power unit synchronised in Telangana
i. The first of two 600 MW power generation units at the Singareni Thermal Power Plant (STPP) at Pegadapalli in Jaipur mandal of Adilabad District, was synchronised with top officials including Singareni Collieries Chairman and Managing Director N. Sridhar participating in it.
ii. The power generation unit will be inaugurated by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Raoin April.
iii. According to chairman the STPP at Jaipur will eventually bring down the deficit in power generation in Telangana State.
iv. Among the officials who were present were Singareni Director (Projects and Planning) A. Manohar Reddy, Director (E&M) P. Ramesh Babu, Director Finance, Pavithran Kumar, General Manager, STPP, Sudhakar Reddy, GM (Civil) Muralikrishna and GM, Srirampur are, Sd. M. Subhani.

193. MoU Signed Between M/O Tourism And Ecotourism Society Of India For Responsible And Sustainable Tourism
i. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India  has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) to take its commitments to Responsible and Sustainable tourism to the next level.
ii. In accordance, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, M/o Tourism and Steve Borgia, Honorary President, Ecotourism Society of India signed the MOU in the presence of Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism in New Delhi on March 15, 2016.
iii. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has officially declared ESOI as their partner in helping develop policy guidelines, code of conduct and ethical practices for Sustainable Tourism, to position India as a Global ecotourismdestination embracing Responsible Tourism guidelines across the various sectors of Tourism & Hospitality, Transport, Aviation etc.
iv. In this context ESOI will prepare a 10-year Road Map for advocacy and certification under the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India. The Road Map will be based on regional workshops held with relevant stakeholders across the country.

194. March 15 World Consumer Rights Day
i. World Consumer Day is celebrated across the World on 15th March 2016.
ii. The Day is an occasion of solidarity among consumers and to promote the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and for protesting the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them. 
iii. Theme for the World Consumer Rights Day 2016 – Antibiotics off the menu. It is a campaign to stopover the sale of meat raised up with the use of antibiotics important to human medicine.

195. Anita Brookner, Booker Prize-Winning Author, Dies Aged 87
i. Anita Brookner, the Booker prize-winning British author and renowned art historian, has died at the age of 87.
ii. She won the Booker in 1984 for her novel Hotel du Lac, one of 24 novels she wrote after a distinguished career as an art historian. She was highly regarded as a stylist and her novels explore themes of emotional loss and difficulties associated with fitting into society, and typically depict intellectual, middle-class women.
iii. London born novelist graduated in BA History from King’s College London In 1949, was the first woman to hold the prestigious Slade Professorship of fine art at Cambridge University. She also taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her first novel, A Start in Life was published in 1981 at the age of 53. Her most recent novel was published in 2011.
iv. She has awarded with Man Booker prize in 1984 and in 2010 she had won James Tait Black Memorial.

196. ICICI Bank launched NFC-based mobile payment solution Touch & Pay
i. ICICI Bank on 15 March 2016 announced a new mobile payment solution Touch & Pay. This solution is based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and will enable the bank’s customers to make secure contactless payments at retail stores using smartphones.

ii. The feature will be incorporated into the existing Pockets application of the bank. Customers can make payment by tapping smart phone at a NFC enabled merchant terminal and make the payment through account linked ICICI Bank Debit/Credit Card.
iii. To ensure security of the card details, for every payment done at a merchant store using this service, a one-use unique token is created by the Bank's server and will be sent via encryption to the merchant,
iv. The facility will be available in the last week of March 2016 at more than 60000  merchants across the country.

197. Union Government and Jammu & Kashmir Government signed MoU on UDAY Scheme
i. Union Government and Jammu & Kashmir Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the Scheme Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) on 15 March 2016 for operational and financial turnaround of the State’s Power Distribution Department.
ii. With this, J&K became the ninth state to sign MoU with the combined DISCOM debt around 1.94 lakh crore rupees. The main aim for signing the MoU is to restructure high interest rate of the total discom debt thereby improving financial condition of State Discom
iii. An overall net benefit of approximately 9800 crore rupees would accrue to the State 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, coal reforms etc. during the period of turnaround.
iv. It will enable Jammu & Kashmir to raise funds at cheaper rate to clear the outstanding dues of around 3538 crore rupees of Community and Public Sector Union (CPSUs), which would entail an annual saving of 1200 crore rupees over 4 years towards interest cost to the State.

198. World Happiness Index : India Ranks 118 out of 156 Countries
i. India ranked 118th out of 156 countries on the United Nations World Happiness Index (WHI) 2016.

ii. It was revealed by the fourth World Happiness Report 2016 and published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the UN. 
iii. In 2015 India was at 117 th in the happiness list.
iv. According to the report 2016, Denmark takes the top spot as the happiest country in the world. It has replaced Switzerland. 
v. Rwanda, Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi were the least happy countries this year. India comes below nations like Somalia (76), China (83), Pakistan (92), Iran (105), Palestinian Territories (108) and Bangladesh (110). The US is ranked 13th, coming behind Australia (9) and Israel (11).

199. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the most influential people on the Internet and Modi to Join World Leaders in Wax at Madame Tussauds
i. The TIMEs magazine cited Modi’s unconventional announcement on Twitter of his visit to Pakistan last year while naming him among ‘The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet’ for the second year in a row in this year’s unranked list.

ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the most influential people on the Internet, According to TIME magazine  describing the Indian leader as an “Internet star” who often uses social media to “conduct diplomacy”. 
iii. In other news Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join the ranks of prominent global leaders at Madame Tussauds in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok to In april 2016, the world famous wax museum announced. 
iv. Describing him as a “hugely important figure in world politics”, according to museum the Indian Prime Minister had given the museum’s team of artists and experts a sitting at his residence in New Delhi earlier this year.

200. Indian Software Engineer Wins UN Data Visualization Challenge
i. The UN honoured the founder of India-based Miavy Systems Abdulqadir Rashik for the Unite Ideas  LinksSDGs Data Visualization Challenge. 

ii. It will be used to identify further research opportunities and guide policy decisions around the implementation of global sustainability initiatives.

iii. He was bestowed with the Challenge’s top prize for his submission Links to Sustainable Cities an interactive visualization that identifies and maps the links between Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and the other 16 Goals.

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