Google Ads



Author Neil Gaiman Named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador
The author Neil Gaiman has been appointed as a global Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Refugee Agency,UNHCR by Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. He has appointed to raise awareness about the plight of forcibly displaced people and to generate much needed funds.

Delhi: India’s first heliport inaugurated in Rohini
Built by Pawan Hans Limited, a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, India’s first heliport has been inaugurated in north Delhi’s Rohini. Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju inaugurated the heliport. Pawan Hans Ltd Chairman and Managing Director B P Sharma stated that The heliport has come up at an investment of Rs 100 crore.The heliport has a terminal building having capacity of 150 passengers, four hangars with parking capacity of 16 helicopters and nine parking bays. 

SIDBI, CSFB pact to help MSMEs avail loans at cheaper rate
SIDBI signed an agreement with the Capital Small Finance Bank (CSFB) to enable it to provide loans at a concessional rate to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through a multi-pronged strategy comprising of concessional funding at MCLR of CSFB (presently 9.60%) under refinance from SIDBI. The MoU also envisages joint financing/co-financing of MSMEs for capital expenditure under ‘SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises’, popularly known as SMILE, at a concessional rate of 9.60% by SIDBI

OECD cuts India's growth forcast to 7%
Paris based think tank Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has cut India's growth forecast for this fiscal year (2016-2017) to 7% from 7.4% earlier (2015-2016) because of demonetization. But stated that the pace will accelerate to 7.3% next fiscal (2017-2018) and higher in Financial Year 2019. According to OECD India is already in the process of implementing a gradual reduction in corporate income tax to 25% from 30%. 

IAS officer Sumit Mullick appointed as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra
Senior IAS officer Sumit Mullick appointed as the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. Mullick will succeed Swadheen Kshatriya, who was due for retirement on 31st of January,2017 but was given a month's extension. He had earlier served as the Divisional Commissioner of Amravati and worked as Secretary of School Education. He was also Secretary to the Governor.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank ties with Centrum for its wealthy clients 
South-based Lakshmi Vilas Bank has tied up with Centrum Group in which the bank will refer its High Net Worth Individuals (HNI) to Centrum for wealth management and family office services. Centrum will conduct the business through its wealth management arm, Centrum Wealth Management and will offer its existing portfolio of wealth management services to the bank’s HNI clients. This is the first time in the country that a private bank has given the charge to an independent professional wealth.

American Express launches 'Buyer Initiated Payments' to eliminate cheque, draft payments
American Express, a global leader in payment solutions has launched an electronic payment platform linked to corporate card, Buyer Initiated Payments (BIP) to eliminate payment through cheques or drafts. The BIP card will help organizations and their vendors by reducing the processing cost and offer extended payment terms compared to traditional invoice payments. BIP enables companies to increase the Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) while still paying vendors on time management firm for such services.

Canara, HSBC and OBC Banks launched iSelect Term Plan
Canara, HSBC and Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance launched iSelect term plan to expand its online product suit with the meant for family protection. Select term plan provides enhanced protection cover for the family at an affordable premium. It is a pure protection online term plan that provides life insurance cover along with the option to cover against accidental death/ disability.

DIFC, GIFT City join hands for mutual co-operation
Gujarat International Finance Tec City (GIFT) City has signed a pact with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) for exchanging views and expertise in the fields of banking and financial services as well as regulatory practices. The agreement was signed by Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority and Ajay Pandey, director and group CEO of GIFT SEZ.

Cisco, Reliance Jio to build largest all-IP services platform
LTE mobile network operator Reliance Jio has announced a collaboration with the networking giant Cisco to expand Jio’s existing multi-terabit capacity with the first All-IP converged network in India. With this Jio can offer a combination of high-speed data, mobile video, VoLTE, digital commerce, media, cloud and payment services.

MEITY to promote digital transactions in place of NITI Aayog
The government has shifted the responsibility of promoting digital transactions in the country to the Ministry of IT and Electronics (MEITY) from NITI Aayog. MEITY is responsible for promotion of e-governance for empowering citizens as well as promoting inclusive and sustainable growth of electronics and IT in the country. Now NITI Aayog will focus on monitoring and suggesting ways to improve various government schemes rather than getting involved with implementation.

EU member states approve visa-free travel for Georgia
European Union member states approved visa-free travel for Georgia, after agreeing safeguards to prevent any upsurge in arrivals from the former Soviet satellite. Under the accord, Georgian citizens will be able to travel visa-free for 90 days in the EU during any 180-day period. The accord does not apply to the United Kingdom or Ireland.

Popular Gujarati Writer Tarak Mehta Passes Away at 87
Popular Gujarati writer and noted play writer Tarak Mehta passed away. He was 87 and suffering from age related illness since long. The famous humorist was best known for his column 'Duniya Ne Undha Chasma' in Mumbai based Gujarati news weekly 'Chitralekha'. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2015.The popular comic television serial ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah' is a television adaptation of Padma Shri Taarak Mehta's column 'Duniya Ne Undha Chasma'.

Rangaswamy Becomes First Woman to Be Honored BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award
To recongnize the contribution of women cricketers, the BCCI for the first time, has introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women. Former captain, Ms. Shanta Rangaswamy has been nominated for the award. She led India in 12 Test matches and in 16 ODIs. Apart from Mr. Vaman Viswanath Kumar and late Ramakant Desai have been nominated for the BCCI Special Award in recognition of their yeoman services to Indian Cricket.

Jitu Rai wins bronze in 10m shooting ISSF World Cup
Ace pistol shooter Jitu Rai staged a remarkable comeback to clinch the bronze medal in the 10m air pistol event for India’s fourth podium finish in the ongoing ISSF World Cup. He shot a total of 216.7 points in the eight man final to finish third on the podium.The gold went to Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsuda with a world record total of 240.1 points, while Vietnam’s Xuan Vinh Hoang claimed silver with 236.6 points.

Jitu Rai wins gold at ISSF World Cup in 50m free pistol, Amanpreet Singh silver
Jitu Rai won the gold medal in men’s 50 meter free pistol event of the ISSF World Cup, with a world record score of 230.1. India’s Amanpreet Singh wins silver with a score of 226.9.

Indian Badminton Duo Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis Wins Uganda International Series Doubles Title
Top seeded Indian shuttler duo Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis won the Men’s Double title at the 2017 Uganda International Series by defeating Aatish Lubah and Georges Julien Paul of Mauritius, 21-8, 21-14 at MTN Arena Lugogo, Kampala. The Uganda International Badminton Tournament 2017, sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation, was held from 23rd to 26th of February 2017.


DRDO tests interceptor missile successfully
India’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield got a further fillip with the successful test of an interceptor supersonic missile conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Advanced Area Defence (AAD) endo-atmospheric missile capable of intercepting incoming target missile at an altitude of 15 to 25 km range was tested.
iii. It was launched from the Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast to stop an incoming enemy missile which was launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur.

Number of Jan Dhan accounts rose by 2.26 crore after note ban
The demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bank notes on November 8, 2016, seems to have given a thrust to new account opening under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). A hundred days after demonetization, the number of accounts under the PMJDY has increased by 2.26 crore and deposits by Rs 19,084 crore. A major share of new PMJDY accounts came from Uttar Pradesh (57.11 lakh), followed by Maharashtra (25.05 lakh), and Madhya Pradesh (24.11 lakh).

Panneerselvam inaugurates 'Amma Kalviyagam'
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam launched a portal which will be a hub of learning, interaction, opportunity, and connection. The '', named after late chief minister Jayalalithaa, was launched by Panneerselvam as part of her 69th birth anniversary celebrations. Jayalalithaa is fondly addressed as 'Amma' (Mother) by her supporters.It is a platform for learners, experts, academic and industry professionals, and recruiters to meet, gain and provide skills, and discover and hone talent.

Aashray inks MoU with Jharkhand, to set up incubation center for start-ups
Gujarat-based Incube Ventures Pvt Ltd, under the banner of Aashray Promotion of Social Enterprises Foundation announced the signing of an MoU with the Jharkhand government’s Department of Information Technology and e-Governance (DoIT) to establish an incubation center for start-ups in the state.The MoU was entered in the ‘Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors Summit 2017’ held recently.

Ajay Tyagi takes charge as 9th Sebi chief
i. IAS officer Ajay Tyagi is taking charge as the chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 2 March 2017. He has replaced Mr. U.K Sinha.  Mr. Tyagi needs to immediately take a call on five key issues.

World Bank offers over $1-billion loan to Maharashtra
The World Bank has announced an assistance programme of over $1 billion in the areas of urban transport and climate resilient agriculture in Maharashtra, over the next 2-3 years. This was announced by the World Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva. Over the last five years, World Bank had invested over $1.4 billion in Maharashtra in urban transport, rural water supply, and agriculture. 

Reliance General Insurance, Catholic Syrian Bank tie up
Reliance General Insurance (RGI), a part of Reliance Capital, has entered into a bancassurance tie-up with Catholic Syrian Bank. With this tie-up, RGI will offer its general insurance products to Catholic Syrian Bank's 1.5 million customer base spread across its 430 branches in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra. 

JS Deepak named India’s next Ambassador to WTO
Telecom Secretary J S Deepak was named India’s next Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from June 2017. A 1982 batch IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Deepak has been shifted with “immediate effect” from the telecom ministry and has been made Officer on Special Duty in the commerce department.

BEML launches solar rooftop project in Karnataka
BEML (Bharat Earth Movers Limited), a defense public sector company, has set itself a goal of utilizing 100 percent renewable energy for its consumption. In this endeavor, the company has inaugurated a 200 KW grid connected rooftop solar project at its Mysore complex. To achieve 100% renewable energy, BEML has set up a 5 MW windmill project in Gadag district in north Karnataka.

Luis Norton de Matos appointed new head coach of India U-17 football team
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) appointed Portugal's Luis Norton de Matos as the head coach of the India Under-17 team for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. The tournament is scheduled to be held in October 2017 in India. A former manager with the Benfica Reserve side, De Matos replaces Nicolai Adam, who was forced to resign under controversial circumstances after a revolt from the players.

Kohli nominated for Polly Umrigar award, Ashwin for Dilip Sardesai award
India captain Virat Kohli was nominated for the prestigious Polly Umrigar award while all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin named for the Dilip Sardesai award.The awards will be presented at the BCCI Annual Awards to be held in Bengaluru on 8th March, 2017. Kohli becomes the first Indian cricketer to get Polly Umrigar award on the third occasion after 2011-12 and 2014-15 season. Ashwin will also become the first cricketer to receive the 'Dilip Sardesai Award' twice. The award is given to honor the best performance in the bilateral Test series between India and West Indies. 


Indian Navy successfully test-fires missile from Kalvari submarine
The Indian navy successfully test-fired an anti-ship missile for the first time from an indigenously built Kalvari class submarine. The weapon was fired from the submarine, the first of India’s six Scorpene-class submarines which are being built under the Project 75 and it “successfully hit” a surface target during the trial in the Arabian Sea. The submarines were designed by French naval defense and energy company DCNS and are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.

Centre approves over 4,000 PG seats in medical colleges & hospitals
Centre has approved over 4,000 Post Graduate seats in medical colleges and hospitals across the country for the academic session 2017-18. Health Minister J P Nadda in an official statement stated that with this, the total number of PG seats available in the country will go up to over 35 thousand. He also said this will further boost nation's resolve to strengthen tertiary care and improve the medical education in the country. Centre had announced the creation of additional 5,000 PG medical seats every year during this year's (2017) budget with an aim to bolster availability of specialist doctors at secondary and tertiary levels. 

Govt launches nationwide 'Swachh Shakti Saptah' 
The Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar has launched 'Swachh Shakti Saptah' in Gurugram, Haryana to raise awareness on sanitation and cleanliness. Mr. Tomar has decided to observe 'Swachh Shakti Saptah' from March 1 to 8, 2017 across the country. Over 1,500 women sarpanches of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and all women sarpanches of Gurugram division are participating in this event. PM Modi will take part in a closing ceremony of the program on March 8, 2017 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Himachal okays proposal to make Dharamshala its second capital
The Himachal Pradesh cabinet approved the proposal to make Dharamshala as the second capital of the state.The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who had earlier during his winter sojourn to Kangra had expressed his desire to make Dharamshala as the second capital. 

Government’s biotech innovation BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre set up in Bengaluru
The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms – C-CAMP, technology, and innovation hub, will house the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC) in Bengaluru. The center has been set up with the objective of encouraging the spirit of bio-entrepreneurship, facilitating the creation of life science start-ups and mentoring start-ups to increase their chances of success.

JNU wins Visitor's Awards 2017 for best university
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has won the annual Visitor's Award for the 'Best University', 2017. Deepak Pant from the Central University of Himachal Pradesh won the Visitor's Award for 'Innovation' while the Visitor's Award for 'Research' has been jointly won by Shyam Sunder from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Professor Niranjan Karak from Tezpur University. President Pranab Mukherjee will present the Visitor's Awards on 06 March 2017 at a function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan as part of the 'Festival of Innovations'. 

GAIL signs 1st time-swap deal for US LNG with Gunvor
State-run gas company Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) has signed a time-swap deal with Swiss trader Gunvor to sell some of its US Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as the Indian firm tries to ease the burden of its costly foreign LNG supplies. It is the first time-swap agreement by GAIL, which is trying to juggle its LNG portfolio to cut costs for price-sensitive Indian customers after a sharp fall in Asian spot prices made its US gas unattractive.

DRDO Hands Over 3 Developed Products to Indian Army
Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over three of its products for induction into the Indian Army in a formal function.The products are namely:
(a) Weapon Locating Radar (WLR), SWATHI
(b) NBC Recce vehicle
(c) NBC Drugs
The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar who presided the function handed over the products to the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on behalf of DRDO.

Jindal Steel to make high nitrogen steel for DRDO
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed a technology transfer agreement with Haryana-based Jindal Stainless Ltd.(JSHL) for manufacturing High Nitrogen Steel (HNS). HNS has higher ballistic strength. It is not only tough but also has good strength. It is non-magnetic and corrosion-resistant. Its cost is about 40% less than that of Rolled Homogeneous Armour steel (RHA). 

MTNL appoints P K Purwar as Chairman and Managing Director
P K Purwar was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of state-run telecom major Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment to the post for five years. 

Singareni Collieries records new highs in coal output, dispatches
Singareni Collieries Company Limited has set a new record with coal production of 58.7 lakh tons and highest dispatches of 57 lakh tons in a month during February 2017. The mining company’s 1,200 MW power plant has also logged high plant load factor. With this, SCCL recorded a growth of 9.31% in coal production against 53.7 lakh tons during February 2016.


Aadhaar number made mandatory for students to receive midday meals
Students will now be required to have an Aadhaar number for getting their midday meals across the country.The HRD ministry issued this notification. This rule will be applicable across the country, except Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam. However, the ministry has given time till June 30, 2017 for those who are not yet enrolled. 

Ministry of Women & Child Development Observes Swachhta Pakhwada throughout India
The Ministry of Women & Child Development is observing the Swachhta Pakhwada from March 1, 2017 to March 15, 2017 to raise awareness about Swachh Bharat Abhiyan among women and children. The Swachhta Pakhwada is observed by various Ministries of Government of India to achieve the goal of universal sanitation, hygiene and ‘open defecation free’ India by 2019. During the course of the progamme, various activities would be conducted throughout the country through the wide network of Anganwadi Centres (AWCs).

100 districts in India Declared ODF under Swachh Bharat Mission
During occasion of 'Swachh Shakti Saptah' in Gurugram, Haryana. The Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has informed that the number of ODF (Open Defecation Free) districts in India has crossed 100, making it a milestone achievement under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Besides, over 1.7 lakh villages over the country has also become ODF. Shri O.P Dhankar, Haryana Minister for Development & Panchayats, and Agriculture declared that Haryana will become an ODF State by November 2017. 

India foreign exchange reserves increases to USD 362.79 billion
India's foreign exchange reserves increased by USD 63.7 million to USD 362.79 billion. A RBI press release has informed that foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves increased from 63.4 million to USD 339.783 billion. In the previous week, the reserves had declined by USD 56.8 million to USD 362.73 billion. Gold reserves remained unchanged at 19.248 billion. 

Govt approves Rs 756 cr scheme to treat cataract patients
With an aim to free India from cataract by 2022, the government has approved a Rs 756 crore scheme to treat over 700 lakh such patients in the next five years. The scheme would render Rs 2,000 as financial assistance for each operation, including cost of lenses. In addition to it, a mobile application will be developed to bring the government, private doctors, clinics and NGOs together for monitoring the endeavor.

Yatra inks MoU with Madhya Pradesh govt to promote homestays
Online travel company has signed an agreement with Madhya Pradesh government to jointly promote homestays in the state. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Yatra will promote all the state tourism approved homestays, where travelers can book a room with a local family or the entire house.

Kerala’s Capital Thiruvananthapuram Ranks Best City in Urban Governance Survey
According to the fourth edition of the Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems 2016 by Bengaluru-based advocacy group Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala has been ranked as the top Indian city to manage urban governance. Thiruvananthapuram which also ranked No. 1 in 2015 was evaluated against 21 major cities across 18 states of India. Thiruvananthapuram followed by Pune and Kolkata which are in second and third position, respectively. Delhi that has a population of about 18 million has been ranked at a distant 9, behind much smaller cities such as Bhopal and Kanpur.

NMCG Signs MoU with Rotary India for the Success of Namami Gange
In its effort to make Namami Gange program a mass movement with the involvement of more and more voluntary organizations, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation signed an MoU with Rotary India in New Delhi. Rotary India will support clean Ganga mission through their WASH in Schools program in various schools. 

SBI to charge for breaching monthly average balance in saving accounts
State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest public lender, will resume charging customers who don’t maintain Monthly Account Average Balance (MAB) in their savings bank accounts from April 1, 2017. These charges will be based on the difference between the minimum balance required and the shortfall. The minimum monthly balance for savings bank account holders in metropolitan areas is Rs 5,000. Similarly, in urban areas, SBI customers will need to maintain a monthly average balance of Rs 3000. In semi-urban areas, the amount is Rs 2,000, while for rural areas, the monthly average is Rs 1,000.

ET Money ties up with HDFC Life to launch data-led insurance policy
Long-term life insurance provider HDFC Life has launched an exclusive Data-Led Group Term Insurance Plan in partnership with personal finance app ET Money of Times Internet. This is the country's first term insurance plan which is based on the spending pattern of the users. ET Money Benefit, the group term life insurance plan can be exclusively availed by 1 million users of the ET MONEY app. 

World Wildlife Day: 3rd March
On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. World Wildlife Day was celebrated in 2017 under the theme “Listen to the Young Voices”.

President of India presents ‘Standard’ to 125 Helicopter Squadron and ‘Colours’ to mechanical training institute of Indian Air Force
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the ‘Standard’ to 125 Helicopter Squadron and ‘Colours’ to Mechanical Training Institute of Indian Air Force at Air Force Station, Tambaram, Tamil Nadu. Mr. President complimented the 125 Helicopter Squadron and Mechanical Training Institute of Indian Air Force and stated that these units have a glorious past, embedded with rich heritage, stellar efforts and selfless service to the Nation. 

Pakistan diplomat Amjad Hussain B Sial assumes office as new Sec Gen of SAARC
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has named Amjad Hussain B Sial, as secretary general with immediate effect from March 1, 2017.  Mr.Sial from Pakistan succeeded Nepal’s Arjun Bahadur Thapa as the SAARC secretary general who was appointed the Secretary-General in 2014. 

The Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) gathered on the occasion of the 13th ECO Summit Meeting, in Islamabad, Pakistan under the theme “Connectivity for Regional Prosperity”  on the 1st March 2017. It aimed to review the objective conditions and progress in the implementation of ECO programs and projects. The headquarter of ECO is in Tehran, Iran.

INHS ASVINI Mumbai receives Raksha Mantri’s Trophy, named best service Hospital in the AFMS
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar presented the Raksha Mantri’s Trophy and Citation for the best Service Hospital in the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) for the year 2016 to INHS Asvini, Mumbai. The Command Hospital (Southern Command), Pune and Command Hospital (Northern Command) Udhampur have jointly adjudged the second best Service Hospitals.

Ukraine region to use Russian ruble as currency
Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, state in eastern Ukraine, will use the Russian ruble as its official currency, along with the Ukrainian Hryvnia. The Russian ruble is already being used in pro-Russian territory which serves to stabilize the volatile economic situation in the region. 

Rihanna Receives Harvard University's Humanitarian Award, 2017
Harvard named the 29-year-old singer Rihanna its Humanitarian of the Year, pointing to her projects that include an advanced center to treat breast cancer in her native Barbados and support for girls’ education around the developing world.

French football legend Raymond Kopa passes away
French football legend Raymond Kopa who won the European Cup three times with Real Madrid in the 1950s died in Paris after a long illness. He was 85. He was a central part of the French side beaten by Pele’s Brazil in a classic World Cup semi-final in 1958.

Bishnoi appointed international match referee
Former India wrestler Kripa Shankar Bishnoi has been appointed as an international match referee by United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport's global governing body. Bishnoi was selected by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for the annual training course for match referees conducted by the UWW.

Australian cricketer Sarah Coyte announces retirement
Australian women cricketer Sarah Coyte, who was also a part of Australia's 2014 World T20-winning squad, has announced her retirement from all forms of the game. Coyte's decision arrives a year after she stepped down from international duty with the Southern Stars to combat mental health issues.


GST Council approves draft CGST and IGST Bills

The Centre and States approved the model draft Bills for Centre and Integrated goods and services tax (GST).The Council has also included a revised peak rate of 20 percent under GST, instead of the earlier 18 percent. This would mean that the total incidence of the tax could go as high as 40 percent. The next meeting of the Council will now be held on March 16, when it will finalize the draft Bills for State and Union Territory GST.

Punjab, J&K seal fresh deal on Shahpur Kandi project

A renewed agreement between Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir has been sealed for the completion of the Shahpur Kandi Dam project, work on which was halted two years ago following a dispute. This move comes days before its annual Indus Water Commission meeting with Pakistan in Lahore. The 55.5-meter high Shahpur Kandi dam in Punjab, will help in providing irrigation facility to 5000 hectares of land in Punjab and 32173 hectares in J&K, besides generation of 206 MW power.

Google India inks MoU with Telangana government

Google India and Telangana government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at supporting the digitization efforts of the state. Google India will provide Google Cloud credits and access to all cloud platform products to eligible startups engaged with Telangana government’s T-Hub initiative and through its Developer Relations team provide technical mentor-ship and advisory support to various startups.

Hyderabad University research projects bags Rs113 cr funding

Strategic research projects at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) Centre-ARCHEM supported by the Defence Ministry will get a whopping Rs. 113 crore funding for the next five years. The University, among the top five in the country will very soon become the first public-funded University to house a 500 MHz NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), as a joint facility between the the Advanced Centre for Research in High Energy Materials (ARCHEM) and the School of Chemistry.

Former IFS and MP Syed Shahabuddin dies

Former IFS and MP Syed Shahabuddin dies at the age of 82 after suffering from prolonged illness. During his time, Shahabuddin had strongly opposed the demolition of the Babri Masjid and was the leader of the Babri Action Committee. Born in 1935, in Ranchi, Jharkhand, Shahabuddin began working as a diplomat for the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), but later became a politician. He served three terms from 1979-1996 as an MP. He was the Joint Secretary in charge of South East Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific in the Ministry of External Affairs.

South Korea and United States Begin Annual Military Drill Foal Eagle

The United States and South Korean troops started their large-scale annual military drill named Foal Eagle.The month-long exercises will run last in April 2017 and will overlap with the Key Resolve exercise which will begin on March 13, 2017. The aim of the military exercise is to test their defense readiness against the threat from North Korea. North Korea conducted its first ballistic missile test of 2017 in February and views the Foal Eagle Exercise 2017 as preparation for war against it.

Cognizant buys Japanese digital firm Brilliant Service Co

American multinational corporation Cognizant has pocketed a deal to acquire Japanese digital firm Brilliant Service Co which is specialized in intelligent products and solutions, digital strategy, product design and engineering, the Internet of Things, and enterprise mobility. Subsequently, this acquisition will help cognizant to foster its digital transformation portfolio and capabilities to enable clients to build connected and collaborative businesses.


World’s oldest serving aircraft carrier INS Viraat retires
 INS Viraat, the world’s oldest aircraft carrier in active service will be decommissioned on 6 March 2017 with a ceremonial send-off in Mumbai. A glorious chapter in the Indian Navy’s history will come to an end when INS Viraat, the longest serving aircraft carrier will retire after serving the country for nearly three decades. INS Viraat was commissioned in Indian Navy in 1987, before that the historic ship served Royal British Navy for 27 long years. It was built in 1943, during the Second World War.

Centre launches survey on Gangetic dolphins
Centre has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic dolphin.The study is crucial as the animal population in a river indicates the quality of its water. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) committee has stated that the survey will create a baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures. The first leg of the census was launched on March 1, 2017 from Narora to Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. A study to figure out fish species composition in the 2525 km-long river has also been kick started from Harshil in Uttarakhand. 

SBI to penalise non-maintenance of Monthly Average Balance
State Bank of India has decided to reintroduce penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance in accounts from 1st of April 2017. Failing to maintain monthly average balance in accounts will attract penalty up to 100 rupees plus service tax.The public sector bank has also revised its charges on other services, including ATMs.

India’s tallest Tricolor hoisted at Attari border in Punjab
The tallest national flag in the country measuring 360 feet was hoisted at the Attari-Wagah joint check post in Punjab. Earlier, the record was held by the one in Ranchi which is 293 feet high. The flag is 120 feet in length, 80 feet in breadth and is hosted on a pole which is 360 feet high. The concrete base is 30 feet in length and another 30 feet in breadth.

Chandigarh to host Destination North East 2017
Chandigarh will host a three-day long 'Destination North East' 2017 event showcasing North East as a potential destination for investment. Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Jitendra Singh inaugurated the event. It will see round table discussions and exhibition stalls showcasing various features of the North East Region in order to attract investments in tourism, food processing, handlooms and handicrafts, horticulture and floriculture, medicinal & aromatic plants, organic farming and bamboo development.

Assam Cabinet Declares Sanskrit as Compulsory Subject up to Class 8
In a cabinet meeting, the Assam government led by the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal decided to make Sanskrit a compulsory language for students up to class 8th in the state. The government also decided to promote computer education in the state. The government would appoint teachers for the two subject.

West Bengal Clinical Establishment Bill passed
The West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation, and Transparency) Bill, 2017 was passed by the state legislative assembly with full support. The Bill aims to regulate the private hospitals and bring transparency, end harassment of patients and take necessary steps to stop medical negligence in health institutes. The Bill replaces the West Bengal Clinical Establishments Bill, 2010. The state will set up a 13 member West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission which will monitor private healthcare facilities.

West Bengal Gives Official Status to Tribal Language 'Kurukh'
The West Bengal government has given an official status to 'Kurukh' language in the state which has been listed as an endangered language by the UNESCO. The language was given the official status on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day. Kurukh is a tribal language that belongs to the Dravidian family.

Andhra Pradesh Renames Tirupati Airport and Vijayawada Airport
The Andhra Pradesh State Cabinet during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu approved proposals to rename the Vijayawada Airport and the Tirupati Airport. The cabinet renamed the Vijayawada Airport in Gannavaram as ‘Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) Amaravati Airport’ after the legendary actor and founder of the ruling Telugu Desam Party and the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. The Tirupati Airport at Renigunta has been renamed as ‘Sri Venkateswara Airport’ after Lord Venkateswara of the temple town.

Haryana announces Tirtha Darshan scheme
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that the state government had prepared a Tirtha Darshan scheme under which senior citizens above 60 years of age and of Haryana domicile would be able to go on a pilgrimage within the country at government expense. Under the scheme, the government would bear the entire cost of the tour of senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The senior citizens would be selected for the pilgrimage on the basis of draw of lots. Over 400 destinations can be visited under the scheme.

NPAs at record high of Rs 6.8 lakh crore
 As Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of public sector banks soared to a staggering Rs 6.8 lakh crore, the chairman of a key Parliamentary panel favored 'naming and shaming' corporate houses which default on repayment of bank loans. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief K V Thomas hopes 'naming and shaming' such corporate houses may help financial institutions get back their money. Out of the Rs 6.8 lakh crore of Non-Performing Assets of public sector banks, a whopping 70% are those of big corporate houses.

IRDAI proposes up to 50% hike in motor insurance premium
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has proposed to increase the insurance premium to 50 percent for cars, motor cycles as well as commercial vehicles from April 1, 2017.The hike proposed in mid-segment cars (1,000-1,500 cc), as well as bigger cars and SUVs, is 50%. 

Rs 10,000 penalty for bank branches refusing to exchange soiled notes: RBI
 The Reserve Bank of India has clarified that currency notes, which have messages scribbled on it are legal tender. Bank branches that refuse to exchange soiled notes from people will have to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000. The RBI, stated that notes cease to be legal tender if message scribbled on it is political in nature. According to RBI’s Clean Note Policy 1999, no banks can deny to exchange soiled or mutilated currency notes.
iii. The restriction for exchanging soiled notes is that if one exchanges more than 20 notes or notes worth Rs 5,000 in a day, then banks will levy service charges.

Airtel, Millicom ink pact to merge in Ghana
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has signed an agreement with Millicom International Cellular to combine their operations in Ghana. The companies through their respective subsidiaries entered into an agreement for Tigo Ghana and Airtel Ghana to combine their operations in Ghana. As a result, both the companies would have equal ownership and governance rights in the combined entity in Ghana, making it one of the largest communications companies in the country.

Sri Lanka Wins 'Most Popular Tourism Destination Award'
Sri Lanka won the 'Most Popular Tourism Destination Award' at the Guangzhou International Travel Fair (GITF) in China. The island nation won the prestigious award for the second consecutive year which is a testament to its growing popularity among Chinese travel enthusiasts. China has been Sri Lanka's second largest source market for tourism since 2014.

 WCCB Conducts Operation Thunderbird & Operation Save Kurma to Combat Wildlife Crime
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests coordinated 'Operation Thunder Bird' and 'Operation Save Kurma' nationwide. The aim of ‘Operation Thunder Bird’ is to combat illegal trade of wildlife animals in the country. The operation was undertaken in coordination with International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). Operation Thunder Bird is the code name for Interpol’s multi-national and multi-species enforcement operation. It aimed to eliminate poaching of wildlife animals of India. Operation Save Kurma' is a turtle-specific operation where over 15,000 live turtles were seized.

India to supply additional 60 MW power to Bangladesh
North Eastern state Tripura has agreed to supply an additional 60 MW to Bangladesh over the 100 MW of power the north-eastern state is supplying to the neighboring country. This development comes after Bangladesh sought 100 MW electricity from India to solve its power crisis in the eastern part of the nation. The Country has been receiving 100 MW since March 23, 2016, besides it has also been provided 500 MW by the West Bengal government.

To support women founded startups, Facebook launches 'SheLeadsTech'
Social networking site Facebook launched a new initiative 'SheLeadsTech', to support women-founded or co-founded startups. SheLeadsTech will give women-founded or co-founded start-ups access to a year-long program that provides tools, mentorship and resources. The announcement which came ahead of Women's Day aim to bring women on board India's digital revolution in a bigger way.

Kerala tops in GST registrations
Kerala has achieved the maximum number of registrations under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime with at least 60% of an estimated 2.5 lakh traders migrating to the new platform. Its record becomes even more significant considering the fact that these registrations are complete in all respects, including the crucial provision of digital signatures. 

Sam Querrey wins ATP Mexico Open
Unseeded American Sam Querrey has won the ATP Mexico Open hard court tennis tournament.In the final at Acapulco in Mexico, Querrey stunned second-seeded Rafael Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 7-6. Nadal, the 2005 and 2013 champion, had never even lost a set in Acapulco. Querrey, ranked 40th in the world, fired 19 aces, backed up by powerful, precise groundstrokes, en route to his first career victory over Nadal in five meetings. For Querrey, it is his ninth ATP title.

ISSF 2017: India finish fifth with five medals at shooting World Cup
India ended their campaign in the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup (Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun) with five medals, including one Gold, two Silver and two Bronze medals at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, New Delhi.

Andy Murray wins Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for first title of 2017
i. The Dubai Tennis Championships were held at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Britain’s Andy Murray claimed his first title of the year with a straight-sets victory over Fernando Verdasco despite a soggy start in the high-octane game. 

 ‘Number Do Lie’ authored by former cricketer Aakash Chopra
Former Indian cricketer Akash Chopra released book titled Numbers Do Lie, 61 Hidden Cricket Stories which takes a different look at stats.  It is based on the Impact Index analytics by Jaideep Verma, Soham Sarkhel and Nikhil Narain.



PM Narendra Modi to release Special Commemorative Postage Stamp
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release commemorative Postage Stamp on 100th Anniversary of the Yogoda Satsang Society of India at a function in New Delhi .Yogoda Satsanga Society is a non-profit religious organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1917. Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) will celebrate its 100 years journey on 10th March 2017.

PM Narendra Modi to dedicate to nation Petrochemicals Complex
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation a Petrochemical Complex of ONGC Petro Additions Limited at Dahej, Gujrat. During his two-day visit to Gujarat, he will also dedicate a four-lane bridge over the Narmada at Bharuch on NH-8. The 1.4-kilometre 'extradosed' cable-stayed bridge is reportedly the longest in the country. The Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone of Bharuch Bus Port.

Cabinet approval to MoU on energy efficiency between India-UAE
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India's National Productivity Council (NPC) and UAE's Al Etihad Energy Services for various services in the field of energy management and conservation. Under the MoU, the NPC, an autonomous body of the Commerce and Industry Ministry's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will provide energy assessment services, training and certification of energy auditors and demand side management.

Cabinet approves MoU with UN Women
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the signing of an agreement between India and UN Women to strengthen gender equality in governance institutions.The MoU between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) seeks to provide technical support to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj to improve the opportunities for gender equality through legislation, policies and programs in ministry's institutions. Activities under this MoU will be implemented at the district and sub-district level in six states - Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Cabinet approves India-Portugal MoU on renewable energy
The Indian cabinet gave post facto approval to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on renewable energy between India and Portugal. The MoU was signed on January 6, 2017. The MoU aims to promote bilateral technical cooperation on new and renewable issues. The MoU envisages constitution of a Joint Working Group which can co-opt other members from Scientific Institutions, Research Centres and Universities.

Ola signs MoU with Government of Madhya Pradesh
Taxi aggregator Ola has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Madhya Pradesh State Skill Development Mission (MPSSDM) and Directorate of Skill Development. In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Skill India initiative, the MOU is focused towards training, skill development and empowerment of 25,000 driver partners in the next two years.The aim of MoU is nurturing micro-entrepreneurship and skilling 50 lakh drivers by 2020.

National Conference on Jal Kranti Abhiyan to be held
Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti will inaugurate a national conference on Jal Kranti Abhiyan in New Delhi . About 700 participants representing various stakeholder groups such as farmers, panchayat members, NGOs and students will attend the day-long conference. Ministry of Water Resources and River Development had launched Jal Kranti Abhiyan on June, 2015 to consolidate water conservation and management in the country through a holistic and integrated approach involving all stakeholders. 

Indo-Oman joint military exercise 'Al-Nagah-II' begins
In an effort to build bilateral military-to-military relations and skills, a 14-day joint defense exercise 'Al-Nagah-II' between the armies of India and Oman begun in Himachal Pradesh.' Indo-Oman Joint Army Exercise- AL NAGAH-II 2017' was started on 6th march and will end on 19th March in the Dhauladhar Ranges at Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh.

Tribal festival 'Bhagoria' begins in MP
Bhagoria Festival, also known as Bhagoria Haat Festival, celebrated by the tribal people of the Indian state Madhya Pradesh begun on March 6, 2017 in Jhabua district. The festival which has been organized at 34 places in the state is celebrated in the month of March before the Holi Festival by the local tribes called Bhils and Bhilalas.  The week-long festival is organized at different Bhagoria haats (local markets) in the form of Svayamvara or Marriage Ceremony located in Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Khargone and Barwani districts in western Madhya Pradesh.

Finance Minister gives in-principle nod to ESOPs by PSU banks
The Union Finance Ministry has given its in-principle nod to allow Public Sector Banks (PSUs) to offerSTOCK OPTIONS to their employees from 2017-18. However, the Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs) can only be given by those banks which have earned a substantial profit as well as made a remarkable improvement in managing NPAs.  The proposal of ESOP by the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) will help to motivate employees to work towards strengthening the financial status of their banks and hence increase its share value.

HDFC Bank launched chatbot Eva for customer services
Mumbai-headquartered HDFC Bank has launched India’s first artificial intelligence based banking chatbot Electronic Virtual Assistant (EVA) for customer services . Eva is India's first AI-based banking chatbot and can answer millions of customer queries across multiple channels instantly. It can assimilate knowledge from thousands of sources and provide answers in simple language in less than 0.4 seconds.

Canara Bank bags medals at PR Council's communication conclave
Public sector Canara Bank has won a number of medals in the Collateral Awards Category at the 11th Global Communication Conclave held in Bengaluru by the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI). The bank won a gold medal for a radio jingle and silver medals for Corporate Film and Brochure (CSR). It won bronze medals for its in-house magazine (regional language), corporate advertisement – print, table calendar - 2017 and Big Diary 2017.

M P Veerendra Kumar presented Moortidevi award
Eminent Malayalam author and journalist M P Veerendra Kumar presented the 30th Moortidevi award by Bharatiya Jnanpith organization. Mr. Kumar was chosen for the prestigious award for his Malayalam travelogue 'Hymavathabhoovil', which dwells upon ancient trails of Indian culture, myth, literature, and people strewn in the plains, valleys, and mountains of India.The award was presented by Jnanpith laureate M T Vasudevan Nair at a function at the Tagore Centenary, Calicut, Kerala.

Dr K Srinath Reddy appointed as adviser to the Odisha Govt
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced appointment of Prof Dr K Srinath Reddy as the adviser to the Odisha government. Prof Dr K Srinath Reddy will advise the state government on proper implementation and smooth delivery of the ongoing health service programs so as to better the indicators.  Reddy, a Padma Bhushan awardee, was the former head of the Department of Cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

Govt nod for strategic sale of 3 SAIL plants
The Central government has approved outright sale of state-owned SAIL’s three special steel units – Alloy Steels Plant (ASP), Salem Steel Plant (SSP) and Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISP). ASP is located at Durgapur in West Bengal spread over around 467.22 hectares. SSP in Tamil Nadu can produce stainless steel in the form of coils and sheets with an installed capacity of 70,000 tonnes a year. VISP is located in Bhadravati, Karnataka has an installed capacity of 2.16 lakh tonnes of hot metal and 98,280 tonnes of alloy and special steels.

 Vaikom Vijayalakshmi becomes first to play Gayathri veena for record five hours
Kerala’s playback singer Vaikom Vijayalakshmi created a new world record by playing the maximum number of songs in the shortest time (5 hrs) on Gayathri veena during a program in Kochi. She played a total of 69 songs including various classical and filmy songs on the Gayathri veena became the first person to achieve the feat in the world.

Rabi Ray, former Lok Sabha Speaker, passes away
Eminent socialist leader, former Union Minister and former Speaker of Lok Sabha Rabi Ray passed away after a prolonged illness. He was 91. He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1967, from the Puri parliamentary constituency, and was the leader of the Samyukta Socialist Party in the Lok Sabha. 

2017-Mexico Open
Unseeded American Sam Querrey has won the ATP Mexico Open hardcourt tennis tournament.In the final at Acapulco in Mexico, Querrey stunned second-seeded Rafael Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 7-6. Men’s singles: Sam Querrey (United States) defeats Rafael Nadal (Spain). Women’s singles: Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine) defeats Kristina Mladenovic (France). Men’s Doubles: Jamie Murray (Brazil) /  Bruno Soares (United Kingdom) defeats John Isner (Spain) /  Feliciano López (United States). Women’s Doubles: Darija Jurak (Croatia) / Anastasia Rodionova (Australia)  defeats Verónica Cepede Royg (Paraguay) / Mariana Duque Mariño (Colombia)

OPPO wins Indian cricket team sponsorship rights for five years

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that mobile manufacturing company Oppo Mobiles India Private Limited will be the new team sponsor of the Indian cricket team from April 1, 2017 for a period of five years. It has replaced Star India.


International Women's Day being observed
International Women's Day is observed globally on 8th March every year. The theme of International Women's Day (IWD) 2017 campaign is 'Be Bold For Change'.It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

India announces new licensing policy to boost oil output
India has announced an Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP)  for conducting oil and gas exploration in India. The new OALP policy will allow the bidder to select the exploration areas on their own and carve out areas where they want to drill. This will allow pricing and marketing freedom to operators and shifts to a revenue sharing model. The auction of oil and gas blocks under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) will be conducted twice a year with the first round being held in July 2017.

SBI launches 'Work from Home' facility for employees
Country's largest lender State Bank of India launched a new facility to enable its employees to 'work from home'. The Board of the bank has recently approved the 'Work from Home' policy to enable its employees to work while at home using mobile devices to address any urgent requirement they may have, that prevents their traveling to work. The lender will be using mobile computing technologies and shall have continuous control over all the enabled devices. The use of technology and services shall be monitored through carefully designed Management Information System (MIS) and dashboard to enable improvements and refinements.

International Yoga fest to begin in New Delhi
The two-day International Yoga fest will begin in New Delhi. Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the fest at Talkatora stadium. More than 3,500 participants including eminent yoga gurus, yoga masters, scholars, policy makers and representatives from 15-18 countries will participate in this mega event. It will comprise parallel yoga workshop, lectures, Satsang, cultural programmes and yoga demos. 

 Indo-Nepal joint Military exercise begins
A joint military exercise 'Surya Kiran-XI' between India and Nepal begins in Pithoragarh area of Uttarakhand.This is a battalion level joint exercise between the two armies. The two-week long exercise is aimed at training of both the troops in the area of various counter-insurgency operations over a prolonged period. It will also focus on other important aspects such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations and environmental conservation. The Surya Kiran series of exercises are being conducted biannually, alternatively in India and Nepal.

Hyderabad airport ranks 1st in the world in airport service quality
GMR group led Rajiv Gandhi Hyderabad International Airport has secured first position in the world in the prestigious Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey in the 5-15 million passengers per annum (MPPA) category for the year 2016 The survey shows that Hyderabad Airport has steadily improved its score from 4.4 in 2009 to 4.9 in 2016, according to a GMR's Hyderabad International Airport limited (GHIAL). Besides, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi has been ranked world’s second best airport in the category of passenger handling capacity of more than 40 million passengers annually.

CBSE introduces Exam Locator app to help students
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced a mobile application to help students appearing for class 10th and 12th examinations to locate their exam centres. The App named 'Exam Locator', will help students to quickly know the exam center on the basis of their roll number. According to the CBSE, a student can easily find the address, images and geolocation of the designated centre on the map.

First smart tribal village inaugurated in Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali inaugurated the first smart tribal model village 'Habbi' in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Rural Development Department has introduced smart classes in schools, better roads, electricity, and water facility in the village.

MakeMyTrip, PayPal partner forHOTEL bookings
Payments platform PayPal announced an extension of its merchant partnership with MakeMyTrip, Indian online travel booking company, to facilitate hotel and holidays booking in addition to airline tickets. The partnership with MakeMyTrip will help foreign tourists continue to enjoy the seamless and secure PayPal experience to book hotels and holiday packages and tide through the recent challenges they are facing post the demonetization of select Indian currencies.

HC declares Manipur economic blockade 'illegal'
The High Court of Manipur declared the economic blockade in Manipur called by United Naga Council (UNC) as illegal. The order was passed by a bench of three judges Chief Justice R R Prasad, Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Kh Nobin Singh on public interest litigation.

China overtakes eurozone as world’s biggest bank system
China’s banking system has overtaken the eurozone to become the world’s biggest by assets. Statistics show Chinese bank assets hit $33 trillion at the end of 2016, versus $31 trillion for the eurozone. US assets stood at $16 trillion and the Japanese at $7 trillion. The value of China’s banking system is more than 3.1 times the size of the country’s annual economic output, compared with 2.8 times for the eurozone and its banks.

Fitch Estimates Indian Economy to Grow 7.1% in 2016-17
Global rating agency Fitch stated that Indian economy will grow by 7.1% in the current fiscal, 2016-2017 before stepping up to 7.7% in the next two financial years. The US-based agency, however, termed the 7% GDP growth for the October-December, 2016 quarter as surprising, a tad lower than 7.4% in the previous quarter. 

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wins best actress award
The actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who played the character of Sarabjit Singh’s sister Dalbir Kaur, has won the Best Actress award for Sarabjit at the International Film Festival and Awards of Australia (IFFAA).

SERB Fellowship Award To Lalji Singh
Former director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Lalji Singh has been selected for ‘SERB Distinguished Fellow’ award by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) to support his research. The award carries an amount of Rs.60,000 per month and a research grant of Rs.5 lakh a year for three years extendable by two years.

Bengal’s Popular Folk Singer Kalikaprasad Bhattarcharya Dies
Popular Bengali folk music singer Kalika Prasad Bhattacharya died in a road accident at Palsit in West Bengal. He was 47. The folk singer voiced in films like Jaatishwar (2014), Moner Manush (2010) and Bhuban Majhi (2017).

Cuevas wins third Brasil Open tennis title
Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas won his third consecutive Brasil Open title by beating Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a final.
ii. The world No. 33 quickly took control, winning the second set 6-4 and then taking the third by the same score against the second-seeded Spaniard who is ranked 24th. 
iii. Doubles Men's Category: Winners- Rogério Dutra Silva (Brazil) and André Sá (Brazil), Runner Up- Marcus Daniell (New Zealand) and Marcelo Demoliner (Brazil).


List of Winners of BCCI Annual Award 2017
i. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the 'BCCI Annual Awards for 2015-16'. The awards were given away at a ceremony held in Bangaluru March 8, 2017 which also marks the International Women’s Day.  
ii. Indian Skipper Virat Kohli was honored with the Polly Umrigar Award for third time.  
iii. R Ashwin was awarded the Dilip Sardesia Award for the second time for his brilliant performance in test cricket in 2016. He is also the only one to be awarded twice. 
iv. Vaman Viswanath Kumar and late Ramakant Desai were given the BCCI Special Award in recognition of their yeoman services to Indian Cricket.

2-day North-East Business Summit begins in New Delhi 
i. A two-day North-East Business Summit (NEBS) begins in New Delhi.The summit aims to display the strengths, potentials, and initiatives of the North-East, promote investment the region and also have focused deliberations on strategic areas like healthcare, connectivity, agriculture, food processing and energy. 
ii. The Summit will also showcase the untapped business potential of North-East to investors worldwide.

EPFO extends Digital Life Certificate submission through Jeevan Pramaan Patra by March 31
i. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has extended the last date of submission of digital life certificate through Jeevan Pramaan Patra by March 31st, 2017 under Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS).
ii. The decision was taken as many pensioners failed to submit their life certificates for continuation of drawal of pension. 
iii. An official released that members and pensioners of the EPS are required to furnish Aadhaar number by the end march, 2017.

First time Mobile World Congress to be held in India
i. India to host its first mobile congress on 27 September 2017 with a special focus on reaching out to the South East Asian markets at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.This was announced by Rajan S Mathews, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General. 
ii. The three-day event will be organized by GSM Association. All Indian mobile operators, Facebook, Huawei, Ericsson, Cisco etc are likely to participate in the mobile congress. This is the first time held in India after Barcelona(Spain) and Shanghai(China).

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah launches 'Pratibimba' to project achievements 
i. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched a comprehensive web-based platform Pratibimba to showcase the government’s performance and achievements to the citizens.
ii. This dash board will serve as a tool to improve efficiency in governance and allow citizens to track government’s progress.It is available both in English and Kannada. 
iii. After Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka has such dash board which will help to report, track and measure departmental performance on programmes, projects and promises made by the government.

Committee to resolve women’s grievances
i. The Sports Ministry has decided to constitute a high-level committee to resolve the grievances and complaints of women sports persons in India.
ii. Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel addressed a congregation of top women athletes of the country on International Women’s Day at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi. 
iii. He assured the equality of right and all support to the sports women. The committee will function under the chairmanship of Joint Secretary (Sports) and will comprise athletes, an advocate, senior officers of the Sports Ministry and sports journalists.

India Has Highest Bribery Rate Among 16 Asia-Pacific Nations
i. According to the Global Corruption Barometer released by Transparency International (TI), in Berlin for 16 Asia Pacific countries India tops the list for being the most corrupt nation.
ii. According to the survey, about 69 percent of the population in India paid bribe to get their work done. India was followed by Vietnam (65%), Thailand (41%), Cambodia, Pakistan and Myanmar, each with 40%.  Besides, China (26%) was one of the least corrupt nations and it was the lowest in Japan (0.2%).

 Vice President Hamid Ansari Attends IORA Summit in Jakarta
i. Vice President Hamid Ansari was on a two-day visit to Indonesia to attend the 21-nation Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia from March 6-7, 2017.
ii. The theme of Summit is ‘Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean’.
iii. IORA has 21 member states, including Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE, and Yemen.

'India by Nile' fest to begin in Egypt
i. India has organized the fifth edition of the mega cultural festival 'India by the Nile' in Egypt on 8th March to showcase the diversity of the country's culture, arts and cuisine for building enduring partnership between the two ancient civilizations.
ii. For the first time, the Indian flag will be projected onto the Giza Pyramids as part of the celebration. The festival, to be held in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Port Said and Ismaila governorates from March 8 to April 27, 2017.
iii. It is the largest cultural foreign festival in Egypt and has been a great success in the country.

IDFC Aadhaar Pay launched

i. IDFC Bank has launched India’s first biometric-based payment system 'Aadhaar Pay' in New Delhi.

ii. The Aadhaar Pay app has been developed by IDFC Bank under the guidance of the Ministry of IT, NITI Aayog, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

iii. The android app will use the fingerprint of the customer as a digital identity. Customers simply need to select their bank’s name and enter their Aadhaar number in the merchant’s phone.

Karur Vysya Bank launches 3 technology services
Karur-based Karur Vysya Bank’ s Chief Executive K. Venkataraman has rolled-out of three technology services FASTag, UPI and BBPS.
i.FASTag : The FASTag service has been launched in association with the Indian Highways Management Company, a subsidiary of National Highways Authority of India.The preloaded tags affixed on vehicles are valid at all toll plazas throughout the country.
ii.UPI app : United Payments Interface (UPI) is a mobile app that enables inter-bank transfer of funds. The transfer is effected through the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) platform of NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India).
iii.BBPS : BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System) will make utility bill payments such as electricity bills, water charges and gas cylinders, among others, at a single site instead of accessing multiple sites.

D. Bala Venkatesh Varma concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to Andorra
i. IFS officer, D. Bala Venkatesh Varma has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of lndia to the Principality of Andorra, with residence in Madrid (Spain). Venkatesh was presently working as the ambassador of lndia to the Kingdom of Spain.

Environment Minister launches Web Portal for obtaining CRZ Clearances
i. Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Anil Madhav Dave, launched the web portal for obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone clearances in New Delhi. 
ii. The interactive Portal is for obtaining clearances required from the Ministry under the 'Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)' by the Project proponents which Minister also termed the launch of the portal as a good example of ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

IIT-M solar inverter system wins award
i. Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has won the 2017 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award for its solar-direct current (DC) inverter system.
ii. The system, developed using microgrid technology, converts in-home power distribution from 230V Analog Current to 48V DC to directly power appliances and devices. 

Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan dies
i. Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan, an Executive Editor at IANS, died of cardiac arrest.Padmanabhan, who would have turned 50 next month, breathed his last . 
ii. Arvind Padmanabhan had a long inning at IANS, joining the India Abroad newspaper that was then part of the wire service in 1999 as in-charge of its Business Section.He was earlier with the PTI, The Times of India and TV18.

Ashwin, Jadeja jointly ranked number one in ICC Test rankings
i.India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have become the first pair of spinners to be jointly top-ranked in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers as Jadeja has caught up with his spin-partner in the rankings after the second Test against Australia in Bengaluru.  


RBI to issue new Rs 10 notes soon with high-security features
i. The Reserve Bank of India notified that it is soon going to issue Rs 10 denomination notes with enhanced security features for circulation.
ii. Besides, RBI also notified that all the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 10 issued in the past will also continue to be legal tender. The note will be in the Mahatma Gandhi series-2005 and carry inset letter ‘L’ on both number panels.  
iii. The year of printing (2017) will be on the reverse of the note.  Numerals on both the panels will be in ascending size from left to right. The first three alpha-numeric characters (prefix) will remain constant in size.

India-Belgium signs Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement
i. India and Belgium have signed an agreement to amending the existing Agreement and Protocol between the two countries for avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income in New Delhi.
ii. The agreement was signed in the presence of Sushil Chandra, Chairman CBDT and Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium to India.  

10th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV) 
i. The 10th edition of the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV 2017) was held in New Delhi from March 7-9, 2017. The theme is 'Building Knowledge Societies-From Digital Government to Digital Empowerment'
ii. The Objective of ICEGOV 2017 is focused on the use of technology to transform relationships between government and citizens, businesses & civil society. It was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Electronics & IT and Law & Justice Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad. 

Odisha govt launched 181 helpline for distressed women
i. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched 24*7  helpline number 181 to assist women in distress on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8th March 2017). 
ii. A woman from any part of the Odisha can dial 181 to get immediate assistance. The helpline will extend prompt response to women affected by violence, provide information about women-related government schemes and programs and a range of other services

Tamil Nadu launches Rs 1,580 crore housing scheme
i. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami launched a housing scheme estimated at Rs 1,580 crore.The scheme was implemented by the state government with Central assistance for the economically poor. 
ii. In the year 2016-17, concrete houses will be constructed for 50,170 beneficiaries in town panchayat limits.

Minimum balance penalty needed to offset Jan Dhan account costs: SBI
i. SBI recently announced that penalty for non-maintenance of Minimum Average Balance (MAB) from April 1, 2017 as the government asked SBI to reconsider charges.
ii. Arundhati Bhattacharya, SBI chief clarify that the condition of maintaining minimum balance will not be applicable to the Jan Dhan accounts.

Parliament passes bill to raise maternity leave to 26 weeks
i. Parliament approved a bill granting women working in the organized sector paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks now, a decision which will benefit around 1.8 million women.
ii. The law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people and the entitlement will be for the first two children. For the third child, the entitlement will be 12 weeks.
iii. With this, India becomes the country with the third highest maternity leave. Canada and Norway grant 50 weeks and 44 weeks respectively as paid maternity leave.

INS Tillanchang commissioned to Indian Navy
i. The Vice Admiral Girish Luthra has commissioned INS Tillanchang to the Indian Navy in Karwar, Karnataka. INS Tillanchang is a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) and will add to the firepower of the Indian Navy. 
ii. This announcement has come just one day after INS Viraat was decommissioned which the Indian Navy called an end to a glorious era of over 30 years. It was decommissioned in a grand ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.

NTPC commissions 45 MW of Bhadla solar plant 
i. Indian Public Sector Undertaking company National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has commissioned 45 MW solar capacity at Bhadla in Rajasthan. Now the total installed capacity of the project is increased to 160 MW. 
ii. NTPC intends to become a 130-GW company up to 2032 with a with diversified fuel mix and a 600 billion units company in terms of generation. Last month, NTPC had commissioned 115 MW capacity out of the 260 MW Bhadla solar power project.

Iran successfully tests ballistic missile
i. Iran's Revolutionary Guard has successfully tested a ballistic missile named Hormuz 2.
ii. Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the Guard's aerospace division stated that the missile destroyed a target from a distance of 250 kilometers (155 miles).
iii. The Hormuz 2 is capable of hitting floating targets with high accuracy within a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles). It provided no additional details.

Mohan Bhagwat conferred honorary degree of Doctor of Science
i. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the Nagpur-based Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University. 
ii. He was conferred the degree for his contribution in the field of veterinary sciences and social work.

Konkani writer gets Saraswati Samman
i. Eminent Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail has been honored with the Saraswati Samman 2016 for his novel 'Hawthan'.
ii. The 74-year-old’s novel was shortlisted out of 22 books written in as many languages. iii. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh and a citation. Mr. Sail is a bilingual writer who has four Marathi dramas and seven Konkani novels to his credit. He has also written five short stories and a novel in Marathi.

Viola Davis Conferred with Harvard’s Artist of the Year Award 2017
i. The popular actress Viola Davis was awarded the 2017 Artist of the Year Award by Harvard Foundation during its 32nd annual Cultural Rhythms Festival in Memorial Hall’s Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge. 
ii. She also won her second Tony Award for the 2010 Broadway revival of the play.  


No comments

Powered by Blogger.