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DAILY GK UPDATE --MARCH 2016 -- 101 TO 150

101.Dogri Poetess Padma Sachdev Awarded Krutitava Smagra Samman
i. Renowned Dogri poetess and writer Padma Sachdev has been awarded Krutitava Smagra Samman for 2015. The award was given by the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad  in Kolkata, West Bengal. Sachdev received this award for her outstanding contribution in literature and great service to Dogri Language.
ii. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi presented the award to the poetess. The award carries an amount of Rs. one lakh, a shawl and citation.

iii. Padma Sachdev is an Indian poet and novelist. Padma Sachdev is first modern woman poet of Dogri language.
iv. She also writes in Hindi. She has published her several poetry collection and some of them are Tavi Te Chanhan (Rivers Tavi and Chenab, 1976), Nheriyan Galiyan (Dark Lanes, 1982), Pota Pota Nimbal (Fingertipful Cloudless Sky, 1987), Uttar Vahini (1992) and Tainthian (1992).
v. She has won the Sahitya Akademi Award at the young age of thirty for her first collection of Dogri poetry title Mere Kavita. She has also received the Padma Shri, the Indian fourth highest civilian award in 2001 and the Kabir Samman for poetry for the year 2007-08, given by Government of Madhya Pradesh.
vi. She also has won Soviet Land Nehru Award, Hindi Academy Puraskar, U.P. Hindi Academy Pruaskar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Puraskar, Joshua Poetry Award, and the Jammu & Kashmir Government’s Robe of Honour.

102. Maria Sharapova provisionally suspended after failing drugs test at Australian Open
i. Former world number one Maria Sharapova has revealed she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open. The 28 year old Russian star tested positive for meldonium, a substance, she has been taking since 2006 for health issues. 
ii. The International Tennis Federation said, Sharapova, a five time Grand Slam champion, is provisionally suspended from March 12th pending further action.
iii. Meanwhile, sportswear maker Nike has suspended their relationship with Sharapova till the investigation continues. Sharapova, who lives in Florida, provided the anti-doping sample in question on January 26th, the day she lost to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter finals.

103. Paytm gets ready for first Payment Bank
i. The country’s largest mobile wallet provider Paytm has got into a strategic tie-up with Florida-based global provider dedicated to banking and payments technologies FIS Global.
ii. The deal size would be worth close to Rs 150 crore over a period of five years.
iii. FIS, a Fortune 500 company, would help Paytm with core banking system.
iv. Paytm payments bank would set up nearly 20 signature branches. In addition, there will be 200 smaller store-like branches and at least 1,000 agents

104. Mumbai to host BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave in April
i. Mumbai financial capital of India to host BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave in April involving top Urban Policy makers and Planners from BRICS Nations.
ii. A think- tank working to find the solutions for Mumbai Development to make a global financial centre and is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to promote cooperation among BRICS Nations.
iii. The BRICS Friendship Conclave is a joint initiative of Ministry of External Affairs and Maharashtra Government to be held between April 14 and 16 this year.
iv. Top level dignitaries from the BRICS Nations and also from Indian Ministers and Chief Minister of the State will attend the Conclave to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

105. Iran Successfully Test-Fired Several Ballistic Missiles
i. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has successfully test-fired several ballistic missiles from silos across the country.
ii. These tests were conducted by IRGC to demonstrate the country’s deterrent power and its ability to confront any threat against the state and the sovereignty of the country.
iii. With this Iran has breached United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that compel it to refrain from any work on ballistic missiles for 8 years.
iv. After two Iranian missile tests last October, the U.S. announced new sanctions in January against Iranians and companies for helping Iran’s ballistic missile program.

106. Karnataka Launches Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish Yojana
i. Government Karnataka has launched Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish Yojana to provide free medical treatment to road accident victims for the first 48 hours (2 days) in the nearest government or private hospital.
ii. The scheme has been named after Harish Nanjappa who had donated his eyes moments before his death. He had died as no help was provided to him after he was  severely injured in mishap in February 2016 .
iii. State govenment hospitals would be directed not to reject accident victims and they shall be provided proper medical care for first 48 hours and get treatment at any hospital.

107. NTPC Bags Poll Based Investor Communication Award
i. NTPC  has been conferred the Research Investor Communication Award among the “Large Corporates” category .Director Finance of the Company Shri K. Biswal, received the award at a ceremony held at BSE in Mumbai
ii. This award is bestowed for following transparent and fair communication practices by Research Bytes in an independent poll having participation of over 3000 Fund Managers/Analysts/Non Institutional Investors.
iii. The award NTPC’s effort on building a strong ecosystem based on consistent and regular communication with investors across the globe in a fair and transparent manner.

108. Sun Pharma Signs MS Dhoni As Brand Ambassador For Revital H
i. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited has appointed Indian Cricketer and Captain MS Dhoni as the Brand ambassador for its top selling health supplement Revital H.

ii. This move is in the company’s Pipeline to reposition the brand after 25 years since its launch on the planks of active lifestyle.
iii. MS Dhoni selected as a popular choice basis a consumer research conducted by the company, He is well known for pushing limits and achieving more and perfect combination of physical fitness, strategic thinking and decision making and fits well in the active lifestyle value proposition of Revital H brand.
iv. The Company is also planning to establish a new ad campaign featuring MS Dhoni done by Lowe Lintas which will go live throughout the ICC T20 World Cup.

109. Reliance Jio To Offer free Wi-Fi at 6 stadiums For T20 World Cup
i. Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is an Indian business magnate lead Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited has announced to offer free Wi-Fi services across 6 stadiums in the country ahead of the T-20 World cup.
ii. Spectators of cricket matches in Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali and HPCA stadium in Dharamshala will enjoy free Wi-Fi during T-20 world cup
iii. The network is supported by 100 Gbps backhaul to ensure 15 Mbps speed for about 40,000 spectators during the matches. It is to be noted that Jio free internet is already provided in certain airports and tourist spots JioNet was made operational at Wankhede stadium during the India-South Africa one-day series in April 2015

110.Telangana, Maharashtra CMs ink pact on Godavari water projects
i. Telangana and Maharashtra governments will be signing Memoranda of Understanding to construct five barrages across Godavari and Pen Ganga rivers.
ii. MoUs will be held in Mumbai this morning in which Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will take part.
iii. These two states have already expressed mutual consent to construct barrages at various points on these rivers to benefit farmers in both states, Of the five barrages, Maharashtra Government will take up construction of Rajapet and Penpahad barrages while Telangana will take up Chanak-Korata across Penganga River.

111.Germany Partners with India to Develop Kochi, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar As Smart Cities
i. Germany will partner India in turning Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore and Kochi into smart cities, according to German ambassador to India Martin Ney Germany is an ideal partner in India's mission to create smarter cities as the country is "very strong at smart planning for urban centres.
ii. Germany developed the technologies to make life in cities easier.
iii. They developed the processes to bring on board the stakeholders to make cities thrive and German companies have developed smart solutions to make smart cities.

112.108-feet Jain Teerthankar idol enters "Guinness book of records"
i. 108—feet tall idol of Lord Rishabhdeva, the first Teerthankar of Jains, carved out of a single rock, has entered the “Guinness World Records” as the world’s tallest Jain statue.
ii. The idol was consecrated last month during a grand ceremony where rituals were performed for several days.
iii. Till now, the 57 feet idol of Lord Bahubali in Shravanabelagola in Karnataka was considered the world’s tallest Jain statue.
iv. The impressive statue is located atop Mangi Tungi mountain near Teharabad village of Baglan tehsil in this North Maharashtra district.

113. FM Arun Jaitley Rolls Back Proposal To Tax EPF
i. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley  announced the withdrawal of the budget proposal on taxing Employees Provident Fund, following a backlash in and outside Parliament. He announced to withdraw the proposal while clarifying NDA government’s stand on the issue in the Lok Sabha.
ii. He further stated that government would also like to comprehensively review EPF tax proposal.
iii. However, government retained the tax proposal for National Pension Scheme (NPS) withdrawals. At present, the entire EPF amount is tax free at the time of withdrawal if the employee has completed five years of continuous service.
iv. Earlier in the Union Budget 2016-17, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed to tax EPF and NPS withdrawals with an effect from 1 April 2016. It was announced that 60 percent of the amount deposited in EPF account of the employee would be taxed at the time of withdrawal and remaining 40 percent would be tax free.

114. India’s leading Integrated Travel Thomas Cook Signs Strategic Alliance With Western Union Business Solutions And DCB Bank
i. Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, has announced a strategic collaboration with Western Union Business Solutions, a business segment of The Western Union Company, and DCB Bank Limited (formerly Development Credit Bank Ltd.).
ii. Its aims to assist Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in India with their trade payments across borders.
iii. As per the Mr. Mahesh Iyer, Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.
iv. “This alliance is a pioneering move by Thomas Cook India, to penetrate the high growth Indian SME segment for its international trade payment requirements.

115. Freecharge partners with Mexico-based movie theatre chain Cinepolis
i. Digital payments platform FreeCharge has partnered with Mexico-based chain of movie theatres, Cinepolis, that aims to provide its customers an easy to use and secure way of making payments.
ii. Cinepolis claims to be world’s fourth largest chain of movie theatre. FreeCharge is the first digital wallet partner for Cinepolis. This partnership will start in the second 2nd of March.
iii. Customers can pay for movie tickets and food and beverages across 38 Cinepolis theatres in 28 Cities. Movie goers will be able to pay using their registered mobile numbers with FreeCharge at the existing card machine’s available at the payment counter.
iv. The transactions will get completed in a secure manner within 10 seconds using the dynamic ‘”On-The-Go-Pin”.
v. Mr. Govind Rajan, Chief Operating Officer, FreeCharge said, "India is one of the fastest growing markets for movie digital payments. Partnership with Cinepolis is a huge opportunity to build the habit of digital payments.

116. President Pranab Mukherjee presented 2015 Nari Shakti awards
i. President Pranab Mukherjee on 8 March 2016 presented Nari Shakti Puraskar for the year 2015 to 15 women, 5 organisations, one state and panchayat. The awards were conferred on the occasion of International Women's Day at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
ii. The awards are annually given by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development to institutions and individuals who have made exceptional contribution towards empowerment of women specially belonging to vulnerable and marginalised sections of society. It carries cash award of two lakh rupees and a certificate for institutions and one lakh rupees and a certificate for individuals.
iii. Haryana was awarded as a state for demonstrating improvement with work in improving Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) during 2015. Anganwadipuram Gram Panchayat, Mallapuram of Kerala was awarded for their work towards women empowerment.
iv. Through its activities the panchayat helped women to hold leadership roles and promoted women in decision making.

117. Cabinet Approves Rs 8,000 Crore For Rural LPG Under PMUY Scheme
i. The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana with an outlay of Rs 8,000 crore for three years, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told on Thursday. 

ii. Under the scheme, the government will spend Rs 8000 crore to provide LPG connections to rural households. On Wednesday, the government said that over 80 lakh people have voluntarily given up LPG subsidy.
iii. Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan told the Rajya Sabha that as part of 'GiveItUp' campaign that the ministry initiated, around 53 lakh giving up in the past six months alone.
iv. The scheme aims to provide on a war footing LPG connections to women members of BPL families. Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan said that the move is aimed at empowering women and protecting their health.
v. The ministry said that the oil marketing companies have been targeting people with over Rs 10 lakh income to give up the subsidies. The ministry said, "For top 10 metros of the country, where most of the high income tax payers are likely to be residing, a suitable question has been built in the SMS platforms for ascertaining the income status of the LPG consumers. During telephonic calls also for refills, this is being done. 

118. India And Indonesia To Conduct Joint Training Exercise "Garuda Shakti IV"
i. Garuda Shakti, the 4th edition of joint training exercise between India and Indonesia will be hosted by Indonesia. 

ii. The 13-day long joint exercise will begin from today and will end on March 23 at Magelang, Indonesia. The exercise is conducted on a reciprocal basis and its first edition was conducted in the year 2012 in India. The second edition was conducted in Indonesia in 2013 and third in India in 2014. 
iii. The exercise is aimed at building and promoting positive relations between the two Armies of India and Indonesia. The Indian Army is sending a platoon strength contingent that will be training with the Airborne battalion of the Indonesian Army. 
iv. The exercise will be on a joint counter insurgency operation with the setting of both rural and urban scenarios. The exercise will "enhance" the abilities of both the armies to undertake counter insurgency operations under the United Nations Charter.
v. The opening ceremony for the exercise will be conducted on 11 March 16 and the Senior officers from the army and civilian dignitaries of both the country will be the part of the closing ceremony.

119. Cabinet Clears Amendment To MMDR Act
i. The Union Cabinet approved amending the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act to regulates mining sector activities in the country. 

ii. The move would allow transfer of mining lease for captive mines as compared to the present scenario where transfer of mining lease is only for auctioned mines.
iii. The MMDR Act passed by Parliament in March last year and only allows transfer of mining leases in cases where the mine has been acquired through auction. 
iv. But now through the amendment, the government wants to insert a clause that says: “Provided that where a mining lease has been granted otherwise than through auction and where minerals from such mining lease is being used for captive purpose such mining lease will be permitted to be transferred subject to compliance with terms and conditions as prescribed by central government.”.
v. After the enactment of the amended MMDR Act on January 12, 2015, all mining leases in the country could only be issued after a competitive bidding process. Under the amended Act, even in case of mergers and acquisitions, transfer of mineral leases was only allowed for those that have been auctioned. 

120. Centre To Sign Pacts Worth Over Rs.72,000 cr At Shipping
i. Central government is expected to sign agreements worth over Rs. 72,000 crore with private players on port-related projects at the Indian Maritime Summit to be held in Mumbai.

ii. The Shipping  Ministry has identified 109 projects worth Rs.72,864 crore on which agreements will be signed during the event to be held from April 14-16.
iii. According to Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari South Korea will be the partner country for the Summit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the summit on April 14.
iv. To promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. 
v. Supporting and enabling Port-led Development through appropriate policy and institutional interventions. Port Infrastructure enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports.

121. PSUs Spent Over Rs 2400 Crore In CSR In 2014-15
i. Government of India has announced today that in 2014-2015, 116 Public Sector Enterprises (PSUs) have spent an amount of rs. 2447.59 Crore on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and no complaint has been received on misuse of these funds.

ii. Today, Anant Geete the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister  said in Rajya Sabha during the question hour after several members expressed concern over media reports suggesting that there have been misuse of CSR funds, especially by private companies.
iii. Geete told the members that he understood their concerns and added that he was not ruling out the possibility of misuse. He however added that his ministry had received no "written" complaint regarding which could be acted upon. Speaking about companies in the private sector, he said the government did not control these companies, but has issued guidelines. "If there is a specific complaint, we can act on it," he said.
iv. As members voiced concern about the spending of funds in the private sector, Geete said his ministry was the nodal department for the public sector enterprises. v. Geete also said that meetings to monitor the spending of these funds are held every six months. 

122. Five Healthcare ATMs Launched in 4 States
i. Five healthcare ATMs have come up in four states. Those states are MP, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. 

ii. These ATMs are ging to come up under a Health Ministry pilot that combines telemedicine with a rudimentary free drugs programme. 
iii. The health ministry is aiming that these ATMs would tide over the massive shortage of doctors in the country. It will also save from the risk of pilferage in free drugs programmes. 
iv. For these ATMs technical support is being provided by the division of healthcare technology and National Health Systems Research Centre.
v. These ATMs will be manned by a multipurpose public health worker (MPHW) or an auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) armed with a multi-parameter patient vital monitor and other devices required for checking basic health parameters. 

123. Government mulls policy to promote wind energy projects
i. In Order to propel the Wind Energy Potential in India, Union government will soon unveil a policy to give incentives including an interest discount of 0.25 % for increasing capacity of Wind mills of up to 1MW.

ii. Objective of the policy is to promote optimum utilisation of wind energy resources by creating facilitative framework for repowering, as per the draft. 
iii. It said most of the wind-turbines installed up to the year 2000 are of capacity below 500 kW and are at sites having high wind energy potential. 
iv. It is estimated that over 3000 MW capacity installation is from wind turbines of 500 kW or below.

124. Government To Divest 5% Stake In Concor
i. The government will divest 5 per cent stake in Container Corporation of India (Concor) through the offer for sale (OFS) route. 

ii. The center has set the base price for the stake sale at Rs 1,195, which will help the government mop up around Rs 1,165 crore.
iii. Concor’s OFS follows Rs 5,000-crore worth of divestment in NTPC late February. So far this fiscal, the government has risen around Rs 18,300 crore by divesting stake in six public sector undertakings. 
iv. Retail investors are being offered a 5 percent additional discount. Retail bidding will take place on 9th of March.
v. Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR),is a Navratna Public sector undertaking under the Indian Ministry of Railways. 

125. Railways Forms SPV To Execute Bullet Train Project
i. Railways shifting the gears to introduce trains that run at speeds around 320 kmph, the railways have formed a new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train project named the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited.

ii. Completion of the project aimed on time to avoid additional expenses of the project, a Joint Committee has been formed under the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog with the secretaries of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Departments of Economic Affairs and Foreign Ministry as its members along with the Chairmanof Railway Board.
iii. The project expected that it will take about seven years after the awarding of the contract for the project to be completed, 81 per cent of the funding for the project would come from the loan from Japan. 
iv. It is a soft loan for 50 years at 0.1 per cent annual interest with 15 years’ moratorium period

126. YES BANK launches All-Women ‘YES Grace’ branches
i. Private lender Yes BankBSE -0.18 %  launched an all-women operated bank branch 'Yes Grace' on Cunningham Road here aimed at offering customised banking solutions to women.

ii. The new branch served by 8 employees currently and with plans to raise the count to 12 will also drive financial literacy, family banking, safety and wellness amongst women. 
iii. According to Rana kapoor CEO and MD Of YES BANK "The Yes Grace branch is part of a two pronged approach by Yes Bank; to promote women leadership in financial services sector and enable the evolving financial objectives of women,"

127. Gujarat Top State Regarding Investment Potential
i. Gujarat has topped the list among the 21 cities in a race to be the best state in India having an investment potential,according to the report submit by economic think tank NCAER.

ii. Gujarat is followed by Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. The lowest in the rankings are the UP, Bihar, and Jharkhand.
iii. The rankings of the 21 cities were done on five factors political stability, infrastructure, economic climate, governance, and perceptions.
iv. Gujarat, Delhi and Tamil Nadu are the best places to make fresh investments in India, while Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar lag on this front, a latest survey by think-tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has revealed.

128. IAF To Get The First Batch Of Women Fighter Pilots In June
i. Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Arup Raha announced while speaking on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

ii. Bhawna Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi, and Mohana Singh are likely to create history as India’s first women fighter pilots if they put on the wings and are inducted into the IAF fighter stream. Who among the three, or all of them, make the final cut depends on them clearing the advanced stage training.
iii. The three women trainees have volunteered to join the fighter stream. 
iv. They are under the second phase of their training. 
v. Once they complete their training and are on par with their male colleagues and the passing out parade is scheduled on June 18.

129. S Rao Will Take Over As The New Chairman And Public Interest Director Of BSE
i. Sudhakar Rao will be the new Chairman of BSE and new Public Interest Director announced by BSE. He is going to replace Mr. S Ramadorai. 

ii. As Mr. Ramadorai has retired from the position of its Chairman. 
iii. He was appointed as public interest director and chairman of the board in 2010 and retired on 7 March 2016 after serving BSE for six years.
iv. Currently there are five Public Interest Directors on the BSE's Board including eminent chartered accountant Sethurathnam Ravi who was appointed last month. 
v. Presently, Rao is also an independent director on the boards of Indian Oil Corporation, CMC Ltd and L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd. He is the Group Advisor, Strategy and Development of the Manipal Education and Medical Group. 

130. Sonakshi Sinha Enters Guinness World Record For Nail Painting
i. Actress Sonakshi Sinha has become a Guinness World Records title-holder as she along with several other women participated in an initiative to set a record for ‘most people painting their fingernails simultaneously’.

ii. The 28-year-old actress participated in the event on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
iii. She collaborated with Inglot, manufacturers in colour cosmetics, and its Indian franchise partner Major Brands. 
iv. The women broke the previous record of 1,156 people painting nails simultaneously which was created by Taiwan Nail Association at Banqiao Stadium, New Taipei City, Taiwan on April 27, 2011.

131. George Henry Martin "The Beatless Producer" Passed Away
i. The legendary music producer George Henry Martin has passed away in England. He was 90 years old. 

ii. He was popularly known as the "Fifth Beatle" as he has signed the Beatles and became their indispensable mentor and collaborator. George has signed The Beatles and produced more than 700 records.  
iii. Mr. Henry Martin has worked with countless others over a career that spanned decades, including Peter Sellers, Shirley Bassey, America, Cheap Trick, Jeff Beck and Celine Dion. But he become famous for Beatles as he spend 7 years with Beatles.
iv. The Beatles was the most successful group in the music history. Beatles was a group which helped Mr. Henry Martin to be at top spot with his musical expertise, tasteful arrangements and willing experimentation.
v. In the year 1967 and 2007 he has won 6 Grammy Awards in various categories. He was also made a Knight Bachelor in 1996. He was named by the Guinness World Records as the most successful producer ever with more than 50 Numbers.

132. Rest of India complete record run chase to beat Mumbai by 4 wickets
i. Rest of India (ROI) pull off an incredible chase to beat 41 times Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai by four wickets. 
ii. Needing 480 to win the match with a day and a half to go, ROI went about their job without much fuss as they reached the target with just a few overs left in the match. 
iii. Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah picked up five wickets in the fourth innings, but his team fell short in the end. 
iv. This is not only ROI’s highest score in the fourth innings, but also their highest successful run chase, with the previous best being 273 for 4 against Baroda in 2001, under the leadership of VVS 
v. ROI were bowled out for 306 in their first innings, thereby conceding a lead of 297 runs. Mumbai did not enforce the follow-on, but were bowled out for just 182, thereby setting ROI a target of 480. No other bowler barring Abdullah managed to pick up a single wicket as ROI romped home.

133. NITI Aayog Launches 'Women Transforming India' Campaign
i. The NITI Aayog (GOIs premier think tank) has launched the Women Transforming India initiative on 8th March the International Women's Day in partnership with the UN in India and MyGov. 

ii. Through this initiative the NITI Aayog seeks entries in the form of written essays or stories, preferably accompanied by photographs that set a context to the narrative. 
iii. These stories should reflect new ground broken by women in empowering themselves or others. It will also seeks to encourage and recognize women who have made a difference particularly by demonstrating leadership in the economic, socio-cultural and environmental front.
iv. Entries must be filled online ( womentransform/) on or before March 31st, 2016.  A shortlist of 8-10 best entries by a jury will be put to poll on to determine the top three entries. The final winning entry will be determined by a jury constituted by NITI Aayog.  Spread across a period of over one month, the initiative will also sensitize citizens to gender issues and seek to promote gender equity and equality through a variety of media. 
v. Apart from that, Winner will receive a certificate of appreciation from NITI Aayog and the UN in India. Change makers may also have a chance to interact directly with policy makers in the Government of India to enable affect positive policy action.

134. India To Launch 25 Foreign Satellites This Year
i.  India will launch 25 foreign satellites belonging to seven countries. The list is topped by the USA in 2016-17. 

ii. In written response to a question, Jitendra Singh, minister of state in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) which looks after the department of space, said till date 57 foreign satellites from 21 countries have been launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
iii. Mr. Singh said that Antrix the commercial arm of ISRO has signed the agreements with Algeria and Canada for launching three satellites each, four for Germany, one each for Japan and Malaysia and 12 for the USA in 2016-17.
iv. In the last three years, from January 2013 till December 2015, ISRO launched 28 foreign satellites belonging to 13 countries, with Singapore, the United Kingdom and the USA topping the list. 
v. ISRO earned 80 million euros for the launch.

135. Rajya Sabha Passes Long Awaited Bill To Protect Home Buyers
i. The Rajya Sabha passed a landmark Real Estate Bill  with a promise to secure the interests of homebuyers and developers in equal measure and remove corruption and inefficiency from the sector.

ii. This bill, passed with all the new recommendations that were cleared by the Union cabinet in December, will regulate both commercial and residential projects and set up state-level regulatory authorities to monitor real estate activity.
iii. According Urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told the upper house that real estate is the second largest employer in the country, after agriculture, and contributes 9% to the gross domestic product (GDP). 
iv. Yet, the sector has been marked by a lack of trust and confidence between consumers and developers, which has had an adverse impact on investments in the sector.

136. Ex SC Judge Balbir Singh Chauhan Appointed As Chairman Of 21st Law Commission Of India
i. The Union Government has appointed the former Supreme Court Judge justice Balbir Singh Chauhan as the Chairman of 21st Law Commission of India (LCI). 

ii. The announcement has made after six month of delay because The post has been lying vacant since last September when the commission was constituted. 
iii. Currently he is Chairman of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal.
iv. He was judge of the SC from May 2009 to July 2014. Apart from him, Union Government has appointed former judge of the Gujarat high court Justice Ravi R Tripathi as member of 21st Law Commission of India. He retired as judge last May.
v. The 21st LCI will give its major recommendations on a review of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the criminal justice system and the bail law in order to ensure uniformity in the procedure of granting the relief. While LCI is a non-statutory and non-constitutional body constituted by the Union Government from time to time.

137. Project Mausam Of M/O Culture Aims To Explore Multi-Faceted Indian Ocean World
i. Project Mausam is the initiative of Ministry of Culture which is to be implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the nodal agency with research support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Museum as associate bodies.

ii. This project aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean world collating archaeological and historical research in order to document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean extending from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago. 
iii. Project mausam also aims to promote research on themes related to the study of Maritime Routes through international scientific seminars and meeting and by adopting a multidisciplinary approach. 
iv. It aims to encourage the production of specialized works, as well as publications for the general public with an attempt at promoting a broader understanding of the concept of a common heritage and multiple identities.

138. Rajya Sabha Passes National Waterways Bill
i. The Upper House of the Parliament passed The National Waterways Bill, 2015, which was tabled in Lok Sabha on May 5, 2015 by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Mr. NitinGadkari.

ii. Having been passed in the Rajya Sabha, It would be kept before The President for his assent in the bill. 
iii. The bill comes under Entry 24 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
iv. Once it is a law, it can potentially provide an alternative form of transporting goods, which at present is dominated by road and rail, and open up economic opportunities to new regions.

139. India Signs Raptor MoU To Save Birds Of Prey
i. To conserve several species of birds Government has signed ‘Raptor MoU’ - a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia.

ii. The ‘Raptor MoU’ extends its coverage to 76 species of birds of prey, out of which 46 species, including vultures, falcons, eagles, owls, hawks, kites, harriers, etc. also occur in India. 
iii. India is 56th signatory State to sign the ‘Raptor MoU’ that was concluded on October 22, 2008 and came into effect on November 1, 2008. 
iv. The Union Cabinet, in its meeting, held on December 30, 2015 had approved the proposal of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to sign the MoU, also called ‘Raptor MoU’, on Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, with the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), or Bonn Convention, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 
v. The Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species(CMS) aims to conserve migratory species throughout their range. 

140. Country’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank today launched a credit-linked subsidy scheme for home loans under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
i. Under the scheme, an eligible customer will get a subsidy at 6.5 per cent per annum on a maximum amount of Rs 6 lakh or the loan amount, whichever is lower, for a maximum tenure of 15 years. 

ii. An individual including women borrowers from the economically weaker section and the low-income group will be able to acquire and construct the first brick-and-mortar house of the family by paying significantly lower equated monthly installments (EMIs).
iii. ICICI Bank has signed a MoU with National Housing Bank (NHB) to facilitate the credit-linked subsidy to eligible borrowers.
iv. From the scheme, ICICI Bank is committed to supporting Government’s vision to provide housing for all by 2022. 

141. Tapan Chand Elected As AAI Chief
i. In the aftermath of National Governing Council meeting of Aluminium Association of India Tapan Chad elected as AAI chiefTapan Kumar Chand has been unanimously elected as the President of the metal governing body. 

ii. Prior to his appointment he was serving chairman and Managing Director of National Aluminium Company.
iii. Aluminium Association of India, was founded in 1981 to cater the needs of Indian Aluminium Industry and to interface with various aluminium industries world over. iv. It is the head representing the entire spectrum of Indian Aluminium Industries

142. Egyptian Diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit Named As Secretary General Of Arab League
i. Veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit (73) has been selected as Secretary General of the Arab League. 

ii. The 22-member league voted unanimously in favour of Aboul Gheit who was only contender for the post at its ministerial meeting held in Cairo, Egypt. 
iii. He will succeed Nabil El-Araby, Egyptian diplomat whose term ends in July 2016 after he had rejected second five-year term. 
iv. Abul Gheit is a former ambassador of Egypt to the United Nations. He had served as Egypt’s foreign minister from 2004 to 2011 during the final seven years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule. About Arab League The Arab League is a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Arabia. 

143. Kangana Ranaut Has Become The Brand Ambassador Of Reebok India
i. The renowned Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has announced as the brand ambassador of Reebok India. On the occasion the actress has also launched the new campaign of the brand titled “Be More Human”. 

ii. The new campaign featuring Kangana has been released on the “International Women’s Day”.
iii. This announcement aims to inspire women to become better versions of themselves not just physically but also mentally and socially. 
iv. It is a tribute to the modern Indian woman, telling her that she is fit to rise above stereotypes and carve out her own destiny.
v. In the new campaign of Reebok India, Kangana will be seen challenging herself with various fitness activities including functional training, dance, yoga, kick-boxing and others. Thereby Reebok India communicating the overarching brand message ‘how fit you are defines how far you go’.

144. Brazilian Musician Nana Vasconcelos Passed Away
i. Renowned Brazil musician Nana Vasconcelos has passed away in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife. He was suffering from lung cancer. He was 71. 

ii. He was 8 time Grammy Award winning Brazilian percussionist known for his wide instrumental range and major role in free spirited jazz and world music of the 1970s and 1980s.
iii. He was a master of the single string percussion instrument known in Portuguese as the berimbao and worked over the decades with well known musicians such as Milton Nascimento. 
iv. The American jazz magazine DownBeat named Vasconcelos percussionist of the year for seven consecutive year from 1983 to 1990.
v. He started learning music with his musician father and by the time he was 12 he was playing a drum kit, performing at bars with local groups. 

145. Hyundai Is Now The Official Partner Of BCCI
i. Board of Control for Cricket in India  (BCCI) has entered into a 4 year partnership with Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) as an associate sponsor for all international matches at home. Hyundai is a Korean car maker. 
ii. As per the agreement, HMIL would be the official partner of BCCI for all formats like Test, One day & T20.  
iii. Hyundai fleet of premium cars would be used for transporting various stakeholders of the game throughout the event and also promotional activities during tournaments, in-stadia car display and branding are some other key pointers of the deal.
iv. Besides title sponsor, BCCI has made 3 official associate sponsors and with the help of them the cricket body would get Rs 150 crore in the next 4 years. 
v. Recently, BCCI announced its association with beverage major PepsiCo as its first official associate sponsor for around 80 matches which would be played in four years. Mobile commerce platform Paytm is the official title sponsor of BCCI.

146. India to supply 18 Meter Gauge Diesel Electric Locomotives to Myanmar
i. RITES (Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Railways) signed a contract to supply 18 Meter Gauge 1350 HP Diesel Electric Locomotives to Myanmar Railways.

ii. This supply will help Myanmar to meet increasing demand for passenger and freight traffic.
iii. This contract was signed at Naypyitaw, Myanmar on 4 March 2016.
iv. The supply contract of locomotives is a vital project being funded under an existing line of credit extended to Myanmar by Union Government. 
v. These locomotives will be manufactured by Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi with several modern features like microprocessor controls, fuel-efficient engine and ergonomic cab design etc.

147. Suresh Prabhu Has Launched "Clean My Coach" Service
i. Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu on 11th march 2016 has launched the 'clean my coach' service. 

ii. The service allows a passenger to make request for a dirty coach to be swept and cleaned by sending an SMS on mobile number 58888 or by using an app or a designated website. Prabhu had announced the scheme in the Rail Budget last month. 
iii. The service is in keeping with the railways 'cleanliness drive' Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat', was launched through Video Conferencing from Rail Bhawan in New Delhi/Northern Railway, Mumbai Central/Western Railway and Lucknow Jn/North Eastern Railway.
iv. As per the scheme for any cleaning requirement in the coach, passenger will have to send an SMS on a mobile number 58888. 
v. A passenger can also use the android app 'Cleanmycoach Indian Railways' or webpage '' for logging the request which will be immediately acknowledged via SMS on mobile phone along with a code. 

148. Govt sets new norms for Hydrocarbons licensing
i. Government of India has approved a new policy for exploration and also defined the norms for pricing of existing and new discoveries made in difficult areas. 
ii. The petroleum minister said the new oil and gas exploration policy will now be based on a revenue-sharing model, as opposed to cost-and-output-based norms earlier. iii. The difficult areas for which the new pricing norms have now been formulated are defined as those from deep-water, ultra deep-water and high pressure-high temperature areas. Such areas were not considered when prices were fixed for normal gas discoveries in 2014. 
iv. The bulk of such fields are with Reliance Industries and state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp.
v. He said the new exploration licensing policy will allow production of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, including shale gas, under a single license. 

149. Aadhar Scheme Collects Biometric Data of 99 Crore Indians
i. The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, was passed by a voice vote after a brief debate, during which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured the House that details provided for the card will not be misused in any manner.
ii. When enacted, the Bill intends to empower the government in providing targeted services to the intended beneficiaries by assigning them unique identity numbers, called Aadhaar. 
iii. It will be given to every person, who has stayed in India for 182 days in the year preceding the date of application.
iv. The Biometric data of about 99 crore Indians have been collected so far under the Aadhaar scheme and the data is encrypted and its secrecy and security ensured. v. The government have got 99 crore Indians on Aadhaar. In the case of Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, Rs. 15,000 crore was saved and in the case of PDS, Rs. 2,346 crore was saved in four states through Aadhaar card.

150. Union Cabinet gave green signal for amendment to Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925
i. The Union Cabinet on 10 March 2016 approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs to amend the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 through the Parliament retrospectively with effect from 8 October 2013.

ii. A meeting of the Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, considered the proposal and gave green signal to remove the exception given to Sehajdhari Sikhs in 1944 to vote in the elections for selecting members of the board and the committees constituted under the Act.
iii. The Sehajdhari Sikhs were continuously exercising their voting rights in the SGPC elections since 1949.
iv. In 2003, the Union Home Ministry debarred the Sehajdhari Sikhs from voting by amending the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925 vide a notification dated 8 October 2003, in exercise of the powers conferred by Parliament under Section 72 of the Punjab Re-organisation Act, 1966.
v. However, the notification was nullified by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 20 December 2011 leaving it to the appropriate and competent legislature to decide whether to amend the Act to that effect.

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