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DAILY GK MARCH 2016 -- 251 TO 300

251. Obama Embarks On Historic Cuba Visit
i. US President Barack Obama embarked on a historic trip to Cuba more than a year after Washington reset its foreign policy towards the island following decades of Cold War animosity that almost led to a nuclear war.

ii. The three-day trip - the first by a US president in 88 years - was unthinkable until Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in December 2014 to re-establish diplomatic ties. 
iii. The US broke off ties with the communist nation of 11 million when Cuban revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro ousted a pro-American government in 1959.

252. Prince Harry Begins 5-day Trip To Nepal
i. Britain’s Prince Harry reached Kathmandu on a five-day visit to Nepal to mark the 200th anniversary of the bilateral ties.

ii. Prince Harry, who is leading a 30-member delegation, called on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and discussed Nepal-Britain bilateral co-operation. 
iii. During the meeting, he praised the role played by Gorkha soldiers in the British Army and inquired about the conservation efforts made by Nepal in protecting endangered wild animals including tiger and one-horned rhino.
iv. Harry is scheduled to call on Nepal’s first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at the Presidential Office at Sheetal Niwas. 
v. Harry will also visit the British Gorkha Camp in Pokhara.
253. General Lori Robinson Nominated As 1st US Female Combatant Chief
i. The US President Barack Obama has named the General Lori Robinson to head the U.S. combatant command. 

ii. The position is one of the most senior in the US Military and Robinson becomes the first woman to head this position. 
iii. President Barack Obama has approved the choice and now her nomination depends on Senate approval. If approved by the Senate, US Air Force General Lori Robinson will be the new North com chief and will be responsible for any missile threats against the homeland.
iv. Presently she leads US air forces in the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) and Executive Director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff since 2014. According to Pentagon PACAF is responsible for Air Force activities spread over half the globe in a command that supports more than 46,000 airmen mainly in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam.
v. Robinson had enrolled in the US Air Force in 1982. And Earlier in September 2007 Lori had made history after she became the first Air Battle Manager and first woman 552nd ACW commander to be frocked to brigadier general. Her appointment comes after US Government had announced to open all combat roles in the US military to women in December 2015. The move had opened up about 220,000 positions to women.

254. Lionel Messi Named As Huawei Global Ambassador
i. FC Barcelona’s player Lionel Messi has been named as Huawei global ambassador. 

ii. The partnership with Lionel Messi showcases the brand’s alignment with people and brands that demonstrate and strive towards its shared value of connecting greatness. 
iii. The football player is the company's Global Brand Ambassador because Huawei believed the striker and the company make "a perfect fit" as both "are always pursuing not success but challenges to be better".
iv. Huawei believes that sports are a great way in which people enrich their lives and that is why our commitment towards sports in general is so strong. According to Huawei, "Lionel's history, philosophy and values, the greatest football player in the world are in line with Huawei's mission and values".
v. Huawei is one of the top 3 Smartphone manufactures in the world and their products are available in more than 170 countries. Huawei shipped 108 million smartphones in 2015 and became the third-largest player after Apple and Samsung. The company has set a target of growing its smartphone sales by 300 per cent this year.

255. Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt Bags Olympics Berth
i. India star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt secured an Olympic quota place for India with a gold-medal finish in the men's 65kg freestyle category on an otherwise disappointing day for the country's grapplers in the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament in Astana, Kazakhastan.

ii. In the road to the final at the Asian Qualifying tournament, Yogeshwar defeated Ju Song Kim 8-1 and then in the quarter-finals the Indian wrestler defeated Xuan Dinh Nguyen of Vietnam by fall. 
iii. This is the second quota place that Indian wrestlers have bagged for the Rio Olympics to be held later this year. 
iv. Narsingh Pancham Yadav had bagged a quota place in the men's 74kg freestyle division in Las Vegas last year.

256. Indian-origin student wins first Noor Inayat Khan Prize In London
i. An Indian student is the winner of the first Noor Inayat Khan Prize for 2016, the London-based Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust announced.

ii. Geetakshi Arora of SOAS South Asia Institute has won the first Noor Inayat Khan Prize, the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust announced in London on. 
iii. The Trust is awarding the annual prize to the post-graduate student from SOAS, University of London, working in the area of gender studies and South Asian history. 
iv. The prize which consists of 1,000 pounds and a certificate is for a dissertation which is in keeping with the spirit of Noor Inayat Khan, a descendant of Tipu Sultan.
v. Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan GC was an Allied Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent during the Second World War who was posthumously awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian decoration in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth nations. 

257. Bangladesh Bowlers Taskin And Sunny Suspended By ICC
i. Bangladesh left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny and pacer Taskin Ahmed have been suspended from bowling in international cricket council with immediate effect after an independent assessment found their bowling actions to be illegal, dealing a massive blow to the team’s campaign in the ongoing World Twenty20.
ii. Both bowlers underwent assessments in Chennai last week, after being reported for suspect actions during the World T20 round-one match against Netherlands in Dharamsala on 9th March. 
iii. They can apply for a re-assessment at any stage after modifying their bowling actions. 
iv. Arafat’s analysis revealed that the elbow extension for majority of his deliveries had exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the ICC Regulations while not all of Taskin’s deliveries were legal. 
v. Now the left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib will replace Sunny in Bangladesh's World T20 squad and Taskin will be replaced by offspin-bowling all rounder Shuvagata Hom. 

258. 22nd March : World Water Day
i. United Nations World Water Day is an international observance held every March 22 that provides an opportunity to learn more about water related issues and take action on a current or future challenge to make a difference. 

ii. This year’s theme of Word Water Day is ‘Water and Jobs’ focuses on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods and even transform societies and economies.
iii. The day first marked in 1992 at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. 
iv. It aims to raise awareness about water related issues. 
v. The occasion of World Water Day is also used to highlight required improvements for access to WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) facilities in developing countries.

259. Current Account Deficit Narrows To 1.3 % of GDP In 3rd Quarter
i. India’s current account deficit narrowed to 1.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the fiscal third quarter. 

ii. In the earlier year 1.5% traded as deficit contracted. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed in date that trade deficit during the October-December quarter narrowed to $34 billion from $38.6 billion during the same period in 2014-15.
iii. The Economic Survey released before the 29 February budget said India’s external sector outcome continues to be strong and sustainable because of strong macroeconomic fundamentals and low commodity prices. 
iv. The survey said that while global concerns over China’s economic growth and normalization of the monetary policy in the US may affect global financial flows with policy reform initiatives and a strong macroeconomic outcome. 
v. The deficit in the current account is likely to be more than fully financed through stable flows and the volatility in global financial markets may affect the exchange rate less than in other emerging economies.

260. PM Modi confers Himachal Pradesh with ‘Krishi Karman Award’
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred ‘Krishi Karman Award” to the government of Himachal Pradesh for its landmark achievement in showing highest production of food grains in year 2014-15, despite adverse weather conditions and rain-fed farming in the state.

ii. The award was received by Agriculture Minister Sujan Singh Pathania – who led a team of senior officers including Additional Chief Secretary (Agri) Upma Chawdhry at a ceremony held at New Delhi.
iii. The award consists a trophy, citation and cash amount of rupees one crore.
iv. The Union Ministry of Agriculture had selected Himachal Pradesh for the award under total food grains category-II of the Krishi Karman Award.
v. During last three years, total food grains production had increased to from 15.41 lakh in 2011-12 to 16.73 lakh tonnes in 2014-15. The department had also done commendable work in promoting poly-house cultivation, micro-irrigation, organic farming and soil health management.

261. IRDA Okay With LIC Investment In Public Sector Banks
i. The regulatory authority of Insurance sector has given its nod to the Biggest life insurance company of India- LIC to invest in the Public Sector Banks. 

ii. IRDA after complete scrutiny of the investments of LIC in PSU’s have agreed to the proposal of increasing its investments in Public sector banks.
iii. RBI had expressed concern over LIC making huge investments in PSU banks, saying it can affect the financial stability. 
iv. The RBI which has asked banks to clean up their balance sheets by March 2017 has given them a list of some 150 accounts which had either become NPAs or are on the verge of becoming NPAs.

262. India Distributed Scholarships To Over 800 Bangladeshi Students In Dhaka
i. India distributed scholarships to over 800 Bangladeshi students under the 'Muktijodha Scholarship Scheme'. 

ii. The scholarships were distributed at the hands of Minister for Liberation War Affairs in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Sringla.
iii. The Indian Government in 2006 initiated the scholarship scheme to strengthen the historic legacy that both countries share in fighting and winning the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan. 
iv. Under the scheme, descendants of freedom fighters get selected on merit basis to pursue undergraduate studies. It is estimated that over 9500 students have been benefited from the scheme so far. 
v. Over 9500 students have been benefited from the scheme so far. Under the scheme, more than 130 million takas have been distributed so far.

263. Nadda launches CBNAAT machines for quick diagnosis of TB
i. Union Health Minister JP Nadda launched Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) machines for the quick diagnosis of Tuberculosis within two hours.

ii. The CBNAAT is a revolutionary rapid molecular test which detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin drug resistance, simultaneously. 
iii. This test is fully automated and provides results within two hours.
iv. At present 121 CBNAAT machine are functioning and five hundred more such machines were launched by the Minister.
v. Nadda also launched a new anti-TB drug Bedaquiline, which is a new anti-TB drug for treatment of Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. This drug is indicated for use in the treatment of drug-resistant TB. The drug will be made available in six public hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati and Ahmedabad.

264. Govt Withdraws Recognition of Delhi Stock Exchange
i. The government has formally withdrawn the recognition of Delhi Stock Exchange (DSE) after it was derecognised by markets regulator Sebi in November 2014 for "serious irregularities" in its functioning. 
ii. The DSE board had overlooked the "due transfer of shares in demat accounts and receipt of funds by the appointed date", the Sebi order had said. 
iii. DSE was incorporated in 1947.
iv. Under certain provisions of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956, the recognition to a recognised stock exchange can be withdrawn if it "has not been corporatised and demutualised within the specified time.

265. Infibeam IPO Subscribed 0.21 times On Day 1
i. Infibeam Incorporation Ltd, the first Indian e-commerce firm to launch an initial public offering (IPO), saw its issue being subscribed 0.21 times on the opening day of the share sale. 

ii. According to data from BSE, the qualified institutional buyers portion was subscribed 0.22 times, with all the bids coming in from foreign institutional investors, while the retail portion was subscribed 0.17 times.
iii. The Ahmedabad-based e-tailer, which aims to raise Rs.450 crore from the share sale, has already run into problems with two of the four domestic investment banks opting out on concerns over pricing and timing of the issue. 
iv. Kotak Mahindra Capital and ICICI Securities withdrew as bankers to the issue. S
v. BI Capital Markets Ltd and Elara Capital (India) Pvt. Ltd are the two bankers managing the offer currently.

266. Paytm ties up with PVR to sell online movie tickets
i. Cinema exhibition chain PVR cinemas and mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm have announced a strategic relationship that will bring PVR’s movie tickets to Paytm’s e-commerce platform as a part of its nationwide foray in the online movie ticket segment.

ii. In the first year of this relationship, PVR targets to sell tickets worth Rs 250-300 crore on Paytm’s e-commerce platforms in addition to revenues from ticket sales at box offices and other channels.
iii. This is another initiative to augment the box office revenues by reaching out to more consumers and achieving better penetration into micro markets.
iv. Paytm is aggressively extending its presence in new verticals as a part of its strategy to be ubiquitous in daily life of its customers.
v. While the movie ticketing market in India is worth around $2 billion growing 10% annually, the online movie ticketing market is only 15% of the total domestic market. Paytm intends to double the share of online movie ticketing market in quick time.

267. SEBI For Doing Away Of Fresh KYC For Opening Of New Accounts In Securities Market
i. Indian capital market regulator SEBI is considering doing away with the requirement of a fresh KYC for opening of new accounts in securities market if the investor has got a bank account. 

ii. Under the proposed move, the market intermediaries like mutual funds would rather be allowed to use the Know Your Customer or KYC checks conducted by banks themselves.
iii. According to SEBI Chairman U K Sinha, the common Know your Customer or KYC for the entire financial sector is also in works, but the regulator in the meantime is considering allowing banks’ KYC for the securities markets.
iv. Speaking after a board meeting of SEBI in New Delhi recently,Mr. Sinha also said SEBI has also put in place new relaxed norms for listing of startup companies. v. Coupled with the sops announced by government in Budget, it may result in many such ventures hitting the markets

268. Govt pays GMR's 'due' in Chhattisgarh
i. Government of Chhattisgarh  had deposited money that factually GMR Group was supposed to pay for disbursing compensation to project affected farmers.

ii. The GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited, a subsidiary of GMR Group, is setting up 1370 Mw (2x685 Mw) super critical coal based power plant located in Raikheda of Raipur district. 
iii. The plant would require 40.3 cusec water and the supply would be met from the Samoda barrage on Mahanadi. 
iv. The state government had acquired land in four villages straddling between Raipur and Mahasamund districts that were coming under submergence area.
v. The company was supposed to deposit Rs 30 crore with the Mahasamund district administration (the details of Raipur district could not be known) for paying compensation to the farmers who gave away their land for the construction of barrage. It however, deposited only Rs 3 crore while failed to respond for the remaining amount even after series of reminders sent by the water resources department. 

269. IKEA donates Rs 92 crore for safe water projects in India, Indonesia
i. Swedish furniture retailing giant IKEA will contribute 12.4 million euro (Rs 92.84 crore) to provide safe water and sanitation to one million people in India and Indonesia through Water Org.

ii. IKEA Foundation has announced a new grant of 12.4 million euro to Water Org on the occasion of the World Water Day (March 22).
iii. IKEA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies.
iv. The World Bank estimates that 2% of communicable diseases in India are linked to unsafe water and the lack of hygiene practices, and 50% of India’s population continues to practice open defecation, the statement said.
v. In Indonesia, more than 33 million people lack access to safe water and 100 million lack access to improved sanitation facilities.

270. Attack in Brussels
i. On the morning of 22 March 2016, three explosions occurred in Belgium, two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem and one at Maalbeek metro station in Brussels. 

ii. In the wake of the attack, 34 people were killed and 198 others were injured, resulting in three days of national mourning in Belgium.
iii. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The attacks are the deadliest act of terrorism on Beligan soil.
iv. There were two explosions in the Brussels Airport international departure hall shortly after 08:00 local time.
v. One near the American Airlines and Brussels Airlines check-in desks and the other next to a Starbucks coffee shop.

271. Former Danish Prime Minister Anker Jogensen Passed Away
i. Anker Henrik Jorgensen, who was a Danish politician and served at various times as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Denmark has passed away on Sunday. 

ii. He led five cabinets as Prime Minister between 1972 and 1981. He was 93. 
iii. Jorgensen’s time in power was characterized by a sluggish economy and rising unemployment and although popular. He was criticized for not doing enough to reform the economy.
iv. On 3 October 1974, the Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag resigned his post and appointed Jorgensen as his successor. Throughout his tenure he continued to live with his wife and four children in an apartment in a working class district of Copenhagen.
v. He first became prime minister in 1972 after Denmark in a referendum had voted yes to joining the European Economic Community of which it became a member the following year. He led or represented the Social Democratic Party for well over 30 years. He has been described as not having the image of a strong or visionary leader, but through his down-to-earth and earnest demeanor he managed to maintain a wide support for the Danish welfare state in the population. 

272. HS Prannoy wins 2016 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton title
i. Ace Indian shuttler HS Prannoy (World no 13) has won the prestigious 2016 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in the men’s single category. 
ii. In the final match played at Basel, Switzerland, he defeated Marc Zwiebler (World no 7) of Germany 21-18, 21-15 score. 
iii. It was his second Grand Prix Gold title after the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold won in 2014. 

273. India and Bangladesh PMs launch two bilateral projects
i. Primer Ministers of India and Bangladesh commissioned international gateway of internet service in Agartala and supply of 100 MW power to Bangladesh from Tripura. 

ii. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar also graced the cross border occasion connected through video conference.
iii. Both Prime Ministers were accompanied by their external affairs ministers, power and telecommunication ministers in their PMOs  when two bilateral projects launched.
iv. Agartala has become third station connected to submarine cable for internet bandwidth after Chennai and Mumbai while the state also landed in international power map by starting supply of electricity from Suryamaninagar grid to the grid in Commilla of southeast Bangladesh.
v. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in their speeches termed the commissioning of 10 GBPS bandwidth import and 100 MW electricity from south Tripura’s 726 MW Palatana gas based project a historic one and a day to celebrate friendly relations between two neighbors.

274. India to host 8th BRICS Summit in October in Goa
i. India will host the eighth annual Summit of BRICS from October 15-16 in Goa in its capacity as chair of the influential bloc comprising five countries with 42 per cent of the world population and combined GDP of over $16 trillion.

ii. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made the announcement today during a function where she also unveiled a logo and a website of the Summit. 
iii. India assumed chairmanship of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India- China-South Africa) from Russia on February 15 and it will last till December 31. 
iv. As per the The External Affairs Minister of India's core-theme during BRICS chairmanship will be building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions for the grouping. 
v. The logo for the Summit is a lotus having colors from all the five member countries and a traditional 'namaste' in the center.

275. Core banking facility available at 25K post offices by April
i. The Department of Posts will offer core banking solutions (CBS) to its customers at 25,000 post offices by April, against 20,494 CBS-enabled branches.

ii. CBS-enabled post offices allow customers to access their postal savings from any of the branches where the facility is available.
Postal department’s digitization is integral to Digital India.
iii. The core banking linkage of post offices is bigger than that of State Bank of India, which has 16,333 CBS-enabled branches.
iv. Implementation of CBS is part of the government’s plan for IT Modernisation Project of the Department of Posts, which aims to bring in various IT solutions with the required IT infrastructure to the post offices.
v. In September 2015, the postal department received an in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a payments bank within 18 months.

276. 21 states to implement National Food Security Act by April 1
i. The National Food Security Act (NFSA) will be implemented in 10 more states from April 1 this year, taking the total number of states implementing NFSA to 21, Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan.

ii. only 11 states had implemented the National Food Security Act and that too they had not implemented totally. 
iii. The number of states has increased from 11 to 21, including Gujarat, which will implement it by April 1, 2016," Paswan told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting organised here with Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials of Gujarat
iv. As many as 3,83,44,000 beneficiaries have been identified in Gujarat to whom a total 21 lakh tonne food grains will be distributed annually under the programme.  
v. According to Paswan  Gujarat has prepared the allocation list before hand for a possible rise in the number of beneficiaries, as the current calculation of beneficiaries is based on the 2011 census. Gujarat has a storage capacity for 6.89 lakh food grains which will be sufficient to hold food for 3-4 months 

277. HL Dattu appointed to International Human Rights body
i. Justice HL Dattu, chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, India emerged as the unanimous choice to be appointed as a member of the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs (ICC) Bureau in Geneva.

ii. Justice Dattu with his vast experience and legal expertise is expected to contribute richly to the approach of the ICC on the human rights issues being faced by the international community.
iii. His presence on the ICC Bureau will help in not only strengthening the ICC but also enhance the role of NHRIs in the United Nations mechanisms. 
iv. He will also be working towards the creation of new NHRIs in the countries, which have not set up such bodies.

278. India's Agasthyamala Listed Among 20 World Biosphere Reserves
i. India's "unique" Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats is among 20 new sites added by the UN's top cultural body UNESCO to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. 

ii. The International Co-ordinating Council added the new sites during a two-day meeting on Saturday in Lima, capital of Peru, bringing the total number of biosphere reserves to 669 sites in 120 countries, including 16 transboundary sites. 
iii. The newly adopted sites include 18 national site and one transboundary site shared between Spain and Portugal. 
iv. The Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (ABR) was established in 2001 and is spread across the two states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 
v. Biosphere reserves are places for learning about sustainable development aiming to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with the sustainable use of natural resources. New reserves are designated each year by the International Co-ordinating Council of the UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, which brings together elected representatives of 34 UNESCO Member States. 

279. India's Defence Lab Develops Thermal imaging Radar To Look Through Walls
i. In what can prove to be a great aid for the Indian forces in dealing with hostage situations, India's premier government R&D body DRDO has developed a radar that can look through a wall.

ii. The Through Barrier Imaging Radar, named 'Divyachakshu' (divine eye), has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) based in Bangalore and is going through development trials now.
iii. It can look though walls of 20-30 cm thickness made of any material, by using thermal imaging.
iv. "The radar can produce images from the other side of the barrier up to a distance of 20 metres. 
v. It catches the thermal signatures and movements in a room can be clearly seen," a scientist working on the project told IANS on condition of anonymity.

280. Cabinet approves National Capital Goods Policy
i. The Union Cabinet has approved the national capital goods policy. 

ii. The government believes implementation of the capital goods policy is critical and needed to give a boost to the sector and the ‘Make in India‘ initiative.
iii. The government had unveiled the National Capital Goods Policy in February. This is the first time such a policy has been framed for the sector.
iv. The Cabinet has also green flagged the doubling of two rail lines in Bihar and Jharkhand and approved incentives for rural housing.
v. In particular, the policy will make sure the country utilizes the capital goods that already exist and cut down on imports, he says. To give a rough idea, the capacity utilization for the industry as a whole, he says, would be between 45 percent and 70 percent, adding, Thermax operated at a capacity level of 50 percent-60 percent.

281. Ashok Leyland To Partner With US Firm To Develop Defence Systems
i. Hinduja Group’s Ashok Leyland Defence Systems Ltd (ALDS) has tied up with US-based defence contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop combat vehicles for the Indian Army.

ii. The base platforms of Lockheed combat vehicles will be used to develop light specialist and light armoured multipurpose vehicles for the Indian Army. 
iii. Ashok Leyland would serve as the prime contractor and provide “cost effective” manufacturing hub for global  requirements of the vehicles. As a licensed manufacturer of CVNG, the association with Lockheed Martin opens up a huge opportunity  towards exports of vehicle platform as a Made in India product.

282. Cabinet approves Udaan scheme till 2019-20
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for extension of time period of the “Special Industry Initiative for J&K” (SII J&K) Udaan scheme till 2019-20. 

ii. Initially, the time period of Udaan was up to 2015-16.
iii. Udaan provides exposure to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to the best of corporate India and corporate India to the rich talent pool available in the State. So far, 67 leading corporates have partnered with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under Udaan with a commitment to train youth from the state covering Organized Retail, Banking, Financial Services, IT, ITES, Infrastructure, Hospitality etc.
iv. More than 19,000 candidates have been selected, more than 15,000 have joined training, out of them, 8700 candidates have completed training and 6,838 have been offered jobs.
v. It is expected that the target of the scheme, to train and enhance employability of 40,000 graduates, post graduates and three year engineering diploma holders, will be achieved by 2019-20.

283. Akhilesh Ranjan committee submits recommendations on Taxation of e-commerce
i. A committee was constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes to examine the business models for e-commerce, identify the direct tax issues in relation to e-commerce transactions and provide suggestions.

ii. This committee was headed by Akhilesh Ranjan, Joint Secretary (CBDT) and it includes officers of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, representatives from the industry, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and tax experts. 
iii. According to this report, Equalization Levy may be imposed on payments to non-residents for specified services by a separate chapter in the Finance Act, 2016 Akhilesh Ranjan committee submits recommendations on Taxation of e-commerce.
iv. The rate of Equalization Levy may be between 6 to 8 percent of the gross sum received.
v. Any income arising from a transaction on which Equalization Levy has been paid should be exempted from income-tax, by necessary amendment in Section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961. The implementation and impact of Equalization Levy may be monitored on a regular basis.

284. Ali Mohamed Shein is a new President of Zanzibar
i. The electoral authority of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, the ZEC, announced incumbent President Ali Mohamed Shein had won his re-election bid, after polls boycotted by the main opposition party.

ii. Shein from the ruling CCM party easily won after the main opposition party, the Civic United Front or CUF, boycotted the election, protesting the ZEC’s decision to nullify the results of last October’s general election in which the opposition apparently won both the presidency and the house of representatives.
iii. International observers, including the European Union and other international bodies, made clear their stand by condemning not only the election re-run, but also the nullification of the October election results.
iv. International observers also did not also go to Zanzibar to observe polls, except for African Union representatives. Since the multiparty system was re-introduced in the country in 1992, with the first multiparty general election in 1995, there has been no easy election for Zanzibar’s ruling CCM.
v. In some four consecutive presidential elections, Hamad claimed to be the winner, but was unrecognized as such by electoral authorities. In 2010, the election in Zanzibar went smoothly following constitutional amendments which led to a government of national unity between the ruling CCM and the main opposition CUF, with Hamad appointed first vice president to Shain.

285. Ex-Intel CEO Andy Grove dies
i. former Intel Corp. chief executive Andy Grove, the  whose youth under Nazi occupation and escape from the Iron Curtain inspired an “only the paranoid survive” management philosophy that saved the chip maker from financial ruin in the 1980s, died. He was 79.

ii. Grove was Intel's very first hire and played an instrumental role in taking the company from a scrappy startup to the most powerful chipmaker in the world. 
iii. His leadership at Intel spans over 30 years, being named the company's President in 1979 and CEO in 1987. 
iv. Andy Grove was one of the giants of the technology world. 
v. He loved our country and epitomized America at its best. 

286. I&B Minister gives away 5th National Photography Awards
i. I&B Minister Arun jaitley gives away 5th National Photography Awards. Addressing the event Union Minister Jaitley said our impression of personalities and historical events are based on visuals and a good photograph has an indefinite life.

ii. The Minister lauded the professional work of Shri Bhawan Singh who was given the Life Time Achievement Award for this year, recalling his excellence in capturing the visual journey of India from late 70s.
iii. The Life Time Achievement award was presented to Shri Bhawan Singh for his illustrious career and contributions to the field of Photography. Shri Bhawan Singh has worked in the Indian news industry for over five decades and is one of the senior photo journalist in the country. His career which started in a newspaper has been built mostly around magazines. He worked as Magazine Photo Editor with India Today magazine. He is a recipient of the World Press Photo Award.
iv. The total number of awards in the various categories were thirteen.
v. The various categories included Professional Photographer of the Year, Special Mention Award (Professional), Amateur Photographer of the Year, Special Mention Award (Amateur).

287. Gurmeet Singh becomes 1st Indian to win Asian 20km Race Walk Championships
i. Gurmeet Singh created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to clinch a gold medal in the Asian 20km Race Walk Championships as he won the men's event with his season's best effort.
ii. Gurmeet Singh created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to clinch a gold medal in the Asian 20km Race Walk Championships as he won the men's event with his season's best effort.
iii. Gurmeet clocked 1 hour 20 minutes and 29 seconds. He beat Japan's Isamu Fujisawa (1:20:49) in a close fight in the last 5km. Kazakhstan's Georgiy Sheiko won the bronze medal in 1:21:52.Gurmeet clocked 1 hour 20 minutes and 29 seconds. 
iv. He beat Japan's Isamu Fujisawa (1:20:49) in a close fight in the last 5km. Kazakhstan's Georgiy Sheiko won the bronze medal in 1:21:52.
v. By winning the Asian title Gurmeet has made a strong case for himself for selection in the Rio Olympic Games. Nine Indians have so far bettered the Games qualifying standard in men's 20km race walk and only three will make it to the final in Rio.

288. World Tuberculosis Day: 24 march
i. World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year. This time the Theme is "Unite to End TB".

ii. It is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.
iii. It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. 
iv. At the time of Koch's announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. 
v. Koch's discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.

289. Union Cabinet Has Approved Rs. 9000 Crore for Swachh Bharat Mission
i. The government of India has approved a $1.5 billion (approximate Rs 9,000 crore) to support Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in rural areas. 

ii. This offer has been made by The World Bank. The approval also provides for a mechanism of incentivisation through World Bank credit. States’ performance will also be gauged through performance indicators.
iii. Apart from the above The GOI has also approved a revised cost of Rs 4,021 crore for the 720 Mw Mangadechhu Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan. 
iv. The project will provide surplus power to India. For this project the bilateral agreement was signed in April 2010 with an estimation Rs 2,896 crore. 
v. In this project the GOI is funding 30% and 70% has been taken as loan on which 10% annual interest to be paid back in 30 equal six month instalements.

290. AROGYA Fair To Be Commence From March 26 In Goa
i. The 4 days National AROGYA fair is going to be started from 26 March in Goa. 

ii. The fair will be organised by AYUSH Ministry and Confederation of Indian Industry. 
iii. This year fair is being organised with the objective of promoting and popularising Indian Medicine Systems to the general public and update industry of the latest developments in the sector. 
iv. The fair will also promote and propagate the Indian Medicine systems namely Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homeopathy. 
v. The 4 days fair are expected to cover free medical check-ups, distribution of medicines and technical sessions. The ministry is expecting approximate 15,000 to 20,000 people to attend the event.

291. Indian Coast Guard Vessel Arnvesh Commissioned
i. The Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV), ICGS Arnvesh, of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was commissioned in Visakhapatnam. 

ii. The vessel was commissioned by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht.
iii. The ship is primarily intended to undertake surveillance at sea, coastal patrol, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations.
iv. Arnvesh is equipped with the most-advanced navigational and communication sensors and equipment, including night vision capabilities, and is fitted with 40/60 Bofors gun onboard as main armament.
v. Arnvesh is the 16th vessel among the 20 vessels in this category being constructed by Cochin Shipyard Limited. The ship is built by the Cochin Shipyard Ltd.

291. Bajaj Finance enters life care financing segment
i. Shares of Bajaj Finance went up by nearly 4 per cent today as the company is entering the Rs 20,000-crore life care segment.

ii. Bajaj Finance is entering the Rs 20,000-crore life care segment.
iii. Under this segment it will finance expenses for stem cells storage units, cosmetics-based hair treatment, dental and eye care, IVF & maternity care, laproscopic cure for a dozen ailments, and elective medical/paramedical care for many other issues.
iv. The Pune-based company, which claims to be the first to enter this segment in the country, expects to net around Rs 1,000 crore in sales over the next five years from this business hoping to an encore of the massive demand for such segmental funding in the Western markets where life care segment is a booming business.

292. Justice Permod Kohli Appointed As Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal
i. Retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Justice Permod Kohli has been appointed as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT). 

ii. His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
iii. Justice Kohli will have tenure of five years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or till attaining the age of 68 years, whichever is earlier.
iv. Mr. Kohli born in 1951 in the town of Rajouri, Jammu and Kasmir. He joined Bar at Jammu in 1972. Mr. Kohli became Advocate General of Jammu & Kashmir in December 1990. He is an expert in Constitutional, Civil and Taxation cases. He remained Legal Advisor to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and Sri Mata Vaishno Devi University till elevation. 
v. He as Judge has provided services to the High Courts of Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Punjab & Haryana. Prior to this appointment in 2011 Mr. Kohli was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court.

293. South Indian Bank gets ISO 9001:2008 certification
i. The South Indian Bank has announced that its personnel department has achieved the ISO 9001:2008 certification. 

ii. It is a very remarkable achievement for the bank as only very few personnel departments have won this certification in the industry. 
iii. The announcement has been made by the MD & CEO of South Indian Bank Mr. V G Mathew. 
iv. The ISO certification signifies a global benchmark in customer satisfaction, reduction in defect levels and product quality. 
v. The standard recognizes all the services required by the customer, it can be product services, hardare or software etc.

294. Nepal becomes Shanghai dialogue partner
i. After a long wait, Nepal has officially become a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation with the signing of a memorandum.

ii. Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi and SCO Secretary-General Rashid K Alimov inked the memorandum amid a special ceremony held at the SCO Secretariat in Beijing.
iii. The programme was witnessed by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other senior ministers, who are on an official visit to China. iv. Nepal had applied for dialogue partner of the SCO in 2007 and in 2015. 
v. The 15th SCO Summit held in July last year in Ufa, Russia, decided to grant Nepal the dialogue partner status.

295. India and France sign MoU for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur
i. India and France have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, two months after the two countries decided to conclude the techno-commercial negotiations for the project by the year end.

ii. The pact was inked at the end of the two-day visit of a high-level delegation of Electricite de France (EDF) — French public utility to Mumbai for holding discussions with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) on the construction of the plants.
iii. French Ambassador to India Francois Richier, who was present on the occasion, reiterated his country’s commitment to working seamlessly with India through a collaborative approach to enable both sides to contribute collectively to the development of nuclear energy in India in the most economical manner.
iv. The Jaitapur nuclear power project is proposing a nuclear power plant of 9900 MW.
v. It consists of 6 European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) of 1650 MW each.

296. Kadhaprasangam Maestro And Actor VD Rajappan Passed Away 
i. Kadhaprasangam maestro and actor VD Rajappan has passed away at a private hospital in Kottayam. He was 70. 

ii. He was Kerala's popular 'Kadhaprasangam' (story telling) artiste and Malayalam film actor mainly known for his comic roles. 
iii. Rajappan had acted in more than 50 Malayalam movies. 
iv. He was the centre of attraction at festival grounds in Kerala at the peak of his career in 1970s and 80s. 
v. He acted in many movies including 'Kakka', 'Kusruthikkattu', 'Kattupothu', 'Kuyilinethedi' and 'Engane Nee Marakkum.' His last movie was 'Ok Chacko Cochin Mumbai'. He went on to have a successful tint as a comedian in cinema and was very popular among the masses.

297. Football legend Johan Cryuff passes away
i. Johan Cruyff aka Flying Dutchman, the legendary Dutch football striker and coach has died of lung cancer at the age of 68. 

ii. As a player, Cruyff was the embodiment of Dutch “total football”, a fluid style of play focused on ball possession and rapid passing, and involving all members of the team in both attack and defence.
iii. He emerged as one of the world’s greats in the early 1970s when he helped Ajax Amsterdam win three European Cups in a row from 1971-73.
iv. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1971, 1973 and 1974.Johan Cryuff. He joined Barcelona for a then-world record transfer fee of $2.0 million.
v. He was also a key player in the great Netherlands team that reached the 1974 World Cup final. Cruyff had been a heavy smoker, and had had heart surgery in 1991. His death comes less than six months after he announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

298. Australia’s Shane Watson To Retire From Internationals After World Twenty20
i. Veteran Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has announced today that he would retire from international cricket at the end of the ongoing World Twenty20 tournament in India. He is 34 year old. 
ii. He shared his decision to call it quits with teammates in Mohali, where Australia take on Pakistan in a World T20 group match on Friday," Cricket Australia said. Mr. 
iii. Watson had retired from Test cricket at the end of last year's Ashes tour of England.  
iv. Mr. Shane Watson made his debut in year 2002 as an opening batsman and a reliable pacer. 
v. He also took 168 ODI wickets and holds the Australian record for the highest ODI score, an unbeaten 185 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2011. 

299. Pranab Mukherjee greets Greece on Independence Day
i. President Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the government and people of Greece on the eve of their Independence Day. 

ii. In a message to President Prokopis Pavlopoulos he said, "On behalf of the government, the people of India and on my own behalf, it is with great pleasure that I extend warm greetings and felicitations to Your Excellency and to the people of the Hellenic Republic (Greece) on the occasion of your Independence Day. 
iii. India and the Hellenic Republic enjoy excellent relations based on our common commitment to shared values and our cultural ties that go back into antiquity," Mukherjee said.
iv. Both India and Greece seek to consolidate and strengthen their cooperation and take it to a higher level. 
v. He added "I would also like to take this opportunity to convey my best wishes for Your Excellency's well-being and for the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly people of the Hellenic Republic".
300. Arvind Kejriwal named among world’s 50 greatest leaders by Fortune
i. Arvind Kejriwal has been named among the world’s 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine with the Delhi Chief Minister being the sole Indian leader on the list topped by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

ii. Fortune’s third annual ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list features men and women from across the globe from the fields of business, government, philanthropy and the arts who are “transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same.”
iii. 47-year-old Aam Aadmi Party chief is ranked 42nd on the list and is the sole leader from India.However, South Carolina’s Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley is also on the list at 17th while another Indian- American Resham Saujani is at the 20th spot.
iv. Fortune credits Kejriwal for his efforts to curb pollution in New Delhi through the scheme of allowing vehicles of odd and even numbers on alternate days on the city’s roads.

v. The list includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2), Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi at (3), US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko (22), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (36), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair and CEO Melinda Gates and Susan Desmond-Hellmann (41), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (48) and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay (50).


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