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RBI to print Rs 10 plastic notes
i. RBI has been authorized by Government of India (GOI) to conduct field trials of plastic notes of Rs 10 in five cities across the country viz Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneswar.
ii. The main purpose of introducing plastic note is to extend the life cycle of banknotes. Moreover, Plastic notes are cleaner, lasts longer and are difficult to counterfeit.

Trivendra Rawat elected as Uttarakhand CM
i. Trivendra Singh Rawat, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Pracharak elected as Uttarakhand's 9th Chief Minister after replacing of Harish Rawat.
ii. He is currently the convener of the Modi government’s flagship program for Ganga cleanup, the ‘Namami Gange’ program and also the party in charge in Jharkhand. 

India, Russia sign long-term support pact on Sukhoi Su-30MKI
i. India and Russia have signed two long-term support agreements for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet, of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
ii. Bangalore-headquartered Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) with United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation also signed an agreement for maintenance of other Russian-origin platforms.

Essar group: India’s first private sector township to go cashless
i. The Essar group’s township at Hazira in Surat district of Gujarat has become India’s first private sector township to go cashless.
ii. This will prove to be an important step towards making India a cashless economy.
iii. TMW is a Mumbai-based financial technology company whose wallet is powered by Mumbai-headquartered RBL Bank Ltd.

GST Council Approves SGST & UTGST Draft Bills
i. The Goods and Service Tax (GST) council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cleared the remaining State GST (SGST) and Union Territory GST (UTGST) draft bills during its 12 Council meeting.
ii. Now with this Council has approved all five draft bills for GST which is likely to be rollout by July 1, 2017.
iii. The UTGST draft law is for the Union Territories like Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which do not have legislative assemblies.

Indian railways signs agreement with Australian research center
i. To support future research and technology development, related to critical infrastructure in India, a railway research center in Australia has entered into an agreement with the Indian Railways.
ii. Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL), a Special Purpose Vehicle set up under the administrative control of Ministry of Railways, has signed an agreement with representatives from Monash University's Institute of Railway Technology (IRT), Australia in New Delhi.
iii. Establishment of a new applied research and development institute in India, SRESTHA (Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement) will be guided by them.

Sanjauli police post becomes first in India to be linked with CCTNS
i. Sanjauli police station of Sanjauli the main suburb of the city of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh has become the first police post in the country to be linked with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), a nationwide online tracking system. Chief minister Virbhadra Singh inaugurated the system.
ii. The system will facilitate people in lodging online/offline complaints, police verification of job applicants, tenants, character verification and migrant labourer registration. 

Kerala gets first private bank: ESAF Small Finance Bank
i. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched ESAF (Evangelical Social Action Forum) Small Finance Bank, Kerala’s first private sector bank since the country’s Independence, in Thrissur, Kerala.
ii. R Prabha, former Chairman, Kerala Grameen Bank, is the Chairman of ESAF Small Finance Bank. The Bank will launch a new social deposit scheme ‘Hridaya Deposits’ for HNI and NRI customers.

World Bank approves funding for India's ambitious National Hydrology Project
i. The World Bank has approved a $175 million loan to India for the National Hydrology Project to improve India’s ability to forecast floods and reduce the recurring chances of floods and droughts.
ii. The loan would be disbursed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The loan has a six-year grace period in which no interest payments will be due and will mature in 23 years.

Social Security Agreement between India and Brazil
i. India and Brazil initialed the text of the Social Security Agreement (SSA) in Brazil.
ii. The SSA between India and Brazil once in force by early 2018 will be the first such agreement between the BRICS countries.

Mallikarjun Kharge becomes next PAC Chairman
i. Former Minister of Inidan Railways Mallikarjun Kharge has been nominated for the post of chairman of the Public’s Account Committee (PAC) of Parliament.
ii. Kharge will take charge from K.V. Thomas on May 1, 2017.

India ranks 148 in 2017 UN Women in Politics Map
i. The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women launched the ‘Women in Politics 2017 Map’ in New York.
ii. The Women in Politics 2017 Map is the visual representation of women’s political empowerment in executive government and parliament as on January 1, 2017. 
iii. As per the Map, India ranked 148 out of 193 UN member nations in representing women in the executive government. The theme for 2017 is 'Women’s Economic Empowerment In The Changing World Of Work'.
iv. Top 5 countries with highest women in parliament: Rwanda, Bolivia, Cuba, Iceland and Nicaragua.

Michael Clarke’s launches his autobiography ‘My Story’
i. Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has launched his autobiography named ‘My Story’ in Kolkata.
ii. This book was triggered by how he was affected by Phil Hughes’ death when India was touring Australia in 2014-15.


Uttar Pradesh now have two Deputy CM

i. Yogi Adityanath, the 32nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh now have two deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and  Dinesh Sharma. 

ii.Other states who have had two Deputy CM are Meghalaya, Telangana and Jharkhand.

First fully India-made train flagged off at Dadar station

i.Medha, the made-in-India rake was flagged off for the maiden run of the 12-coach train from Dadar to Borivali, at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. 

ii.Medha has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, which has installed LED lighting to reduce energy consumption.

Amitabh Bachchan launches world's first app for breast health

i.Mumbai-based Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation has released an app to provide information under one roof.
ii.Launched by Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, the app – ‘ABC of Breast Health’ – will provide information in 12 languages.

Punjab to provide 33 percent reservation for women in govt jobs

i.Punjab cabinet has decided to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in all government jobs.

ii.The cabinet also decided to increase representation of women in the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies from the present 33 per cent to 50 per cent. 

March 16: Indian-American Appreciation Day recognised by Kansas

i.The U.S. state of Kansas has recognised March 16 as ‘Indian-American Appreciation Day’ to honour an Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was killed last month in a racially-motivated hate crime.


Finance Minister finalized capital infusion for 10 PSU banks
i. Coming in support of weak and non-performing Public Sector Banks (PSBs), the Finance Ministry has chalked out a turnaround-linked Rs 8,586-crore capital infusion plan for 10 PSBs.
ii. The Top five capital gaining banks are IDBI Bank (Rs 1,900 crore), Bank of India (Rs 1,500 crore), UCO Bank ( Rs 1,150 crore), Andhra Bank and Indian Overseas Bank with Rs (1,100 crore) each.

3 Day International Buddhist Conference in Bihar
i. The three days 'International Buddhist Conference' organized by Ministry of Culture and Nava Nalanda Mahavira Deemed University in Rajgir, Bihar.
ii. The two highlights of the inaugural session- first, the release of the reprint of the Pali Tripitaka in Devanagari script by the Dalai lama and second highlight was the announcement of the opening of the department of the Buddhist science for the first time in Asia.

Harsh Vardhan to inaugurate 5th foundation day function of BIRAC
i. Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan will inaugurate the 5th foundation day function of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in New Delhi.
ii. The discussion will focus on the impact the Biotech Ecosystem is making on the Indian economy and the opportunities which exist for the Indian Biotech Sector as a global player.

Amazon India brings out ‘A-Z GST Guide’ program
i. E-commerce major Amazon India has come out with a new program for sellers to get insights and help related to the goods and services tax (GST), called the ‘A-Z GST Guide’.
ii. The programme in its pilot phase has already trained over 5,000 sellers on the Amazon platform. The portal provides resources in the form of tutorials, blogs, and free online training sessions.

Idea Cellular board approves merger with Vodafone India
i. The boards of Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group have approved a merger between Idea Cellular and Vodafone India Ltd.
ii. Vodafone India will own 45.1 percent stake in the merged entity. Promoters of Idea will hold 26 percent stake in the company and the remaining will be held by the public.

World Bank announces 57 billion US dollar for sub-Saharan Africa
i. World Bank has announced 57 billion US dollar financing for sub-Saharan Africa over the next three fiscal years (2017-2019).
ii. Of that total, 45 billion dollars will come from the International Development Association (IDA), 8 billion dollars from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and USD 4 billion dollars will come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

Government swaps chief executives of IDBI Bank, Indian Bank
i. The Centre has swapped the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of state-owned Indian Bank and IDBI Bank.
ii. Mahesh Kumar Jain, who was Managing Director & CEO at Indian Bank, has been appointed as Managing Director & CEO of IDBI Bank.
iii. Kishore Piraji Kharat, who was appointed as IDBI Bank CEO, has now been appointed as Managing Director and CEO of Indian Bank.

ONGC signs pact to buy out GSPC’s KG block stake
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has signed definitive agreements to buy out debt-ridden Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation’s (GSPC) entire 80% stake in KG-basin natural gas block for $1.2 billion.

Snapdeal appoints Jason Kothari as CEO of FreeCharge
i. E-commerce firm Snapdeal announced the appointment of Jason Kothari as the Chief Executive Officer of its digital payment platform FreeCharge.
ii. In addition to taking on the role of CEO, Jason will continue his key leadership role as Chief Strategy and Investment Officer at Snapdeal.

Kumar Mangalam Birla named Chairman of Vodafone-Idea merged entity
i. British telecom major Vodafone and Aditya Birla group-run Idea Cellular announced the merger of their operations and Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla has been appointed as the Chairman of Vodafone-Idea merged entity.

Indian-American Computer Scientist Anshumali Wins NSF’s CAREER Award
i. An Indian-American computer scientist, Anshumali Shrivastava, was honored with the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award for his research on redesigning current machine-learning processes.

Former Odisha MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra passes away
i. Former Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra passed away in Mumbai after a prolonged illness. He was 77.
ii. Mohapatra was the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister when Biju Patnaik occupied the top post.

Meteorologist Dev Raj Sikka passes away
i. Dev Raj Sikka, former director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune died of a cardiac arrest.  He was 85 years old.
ii. He was the first to propose a link between the El Nino phenomenon and the Indian monsoon.

Shahid Afridi appointed as ambassador of Blind Cricket World Cup
i. Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been appointed as the ambassador for the fifth edition of the Blind Cricket World Cup 2018.
ii. The announcement was made by the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC). Blind Cricket World Cup will be hosted by PBCC in the United Arab Emirates(UAE) and Pakistan in January 2018.

Roger Federer claims fifth Indian Wells Masters title
i. World famous tennis player Roger Federer (Switzerland) claimed his fifth BNP PARIBAS OPEN, ATP Indian Wells Masters title after defeating Stan Wawrinka in California, USA.
ii. Federer joined Novak Djokovic as the only men to win five Indian Wells titles, adding to those he won in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012.


International Day of Forests: 21 March
i. March 21 is the United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Forests, which promotes the importance of forests and trees in our lives. 
ii. The 2017 theme is 'Forests and energy'.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank to be merged with SBI
i. New-Delhi headquartered The Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) will be merged with the country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI).
ii. The move will ensure that banking services are provided to more women at a faster pace, given the advantage of the large network of SBI.

Branches of SBBJ, SBH, SBM, SBP and SBT to operate as branches of SBI from April 1, 2017
i. All branches of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT) will function as branches of State Bank of India from April 1, 2017.
ii. The Customers, including depositors of all the five Banks will be treated as customers of State Bank of India with effect from April 1, 2017.

India home to 101 billionaires, Mukesh Ambani tops the list: Forbes
i. India is home to world’s fourth highest number of billionaires with Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani (33rd position globally) leading the club of more than 100 super rich Indians.
ii. The list has been topped by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for the fourth year in a row. 

Uttarakhand HC accords human status to Ganga, Yamuna
i. The Uttarakhand High Court has given the status of "living human entities" to the Ganga and Yamuna. 
ii. The Director of Namami Gange project for cleaning and rejuvenating the river, the Chief Secretary and the Advocate General of Uttarakhand will act as the "legal parents" of the holy rivers and work as the human face to protect, conserve and preserve them and their tributaries.

India's first sign language dictionary to come up soon
i. The government is all set to come up with the country's first-of-its-kind dictionary which aims to bring uniformity in sign languages used by hearing and speech impaired people across the nation.
ii. The Indian Sign Language (ISL) dictionary is being developed by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC). The dictionary is being developed in both print and video format.

Solar Energy Scheme for Small Powerloom Units
i. The Government has approved a new scheme to provide financial assistance or capital subsidy to small powerloom units, for installation of Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) plant, in order to alleviate the problem of power cut and shortages faced by decentralized powerloom units in India.
ii. Under the Solar Energy Scheme, the plants have two options:
On-Grid Solar Power Plant where power cut/shortage is negligible and power tariff is high.
Off-Grid Solar Power Plant in areas where there is power shortage & on-grid power is not continuously available.

ICICI Bank launches new app for rural customers 
i. ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets has announced the launch of a mobile banking app 'Mera iMobile' for rural customers.
ii. This app will allow them to access banking services as well as information on agri-services.

India ranks 122nd in World Happiness Report
i. India ranked 122nd out of 155 countries in the recently released World Happiness Report, 2017.
ii. India is behind Pakistan (80th) and Nepal (99th) in the global list of the happiest countries. The top three happiest countries in the list are- Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

ICRISAT, ICAR join hands for crop improvement
i. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) would work together on crop improvement and agronomy programmes for grain legumes and dryland cereals.
ii. ICAR and ICRISAT, recently signed an agreement in New Delhi, in which climate-smart crops, smart food and digitalisation of breeding database were identified as some of the core areas of research.

IIT-Madras inks pact with Tanstia-FNF Service
i. IIT-Madras and small scale industry body Tanstia-FNF Service Centre have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for technology transfer of water treatment analysis kits designed to treat drinking water mainly in rural areas.
ii. The research at IIT-Madras for developing the filter and the kit was funded by International Development Research Centre, Canada.

NBCC to execute social housing project in Mauritius
i. National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), a Navratna construction major under the Ministry of Urban Development will execute a US $ 20 million (Rs.130 crore) social housing project in Mauritius.
ii. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed between NBCC and Mauritius.

Canadian wins $1m Global Teacher Prize
i. A Canadian school teacher Maggie MacDonnell was awarded the annual Global Teacher Prize and won a $1-million prize during a ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Five Indians in WEF’s 100 Young Global Leaders list
i. Five Indians have made it to the World Economic Forum's list of 100 Young Global Leaders under 40 years of age.
ii. These include Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Blippar app's Founder Ambarish Mitra, journalist in Fortune India Hindol Sengupta, Swaniti Initiative's Rwitwika Bhattacharya and The Tamara Coorg hospitality's Shruti Shibulal. All the people in the list are entitled to a five-year leadership journey.

2017 healthiest country index
i. Bloomberg released it's 2017 World Health Index. Italy has been named the healthiest country by the index followed by Iceland and Switzerland at the top second and third position respectively.
ii. The list graded 163 countries based on variables such as life expectancy, causes of death and health risks such as high blood pressure, malnutrition, the availability of clean water and tobacco use.

Tamil Nadu wins Vijay Hazare Trophy
i. In Cricket, Tamil Nadu has won the domestic 50-over competition, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, for the fifth time.
ii. In the Final played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi, Tamil Nadu defeated Bengal. Dinesh Karthik was named man of the match.

Cheteshwar Pujara becomes first Indian to face 500 balls in Test innings
i. Cheteshwar Pujara has become the first Indian to face 500-plus balls in an innings, going past the mark against Australia.
ii. He broke past Rahul Dravid's record of 495 balls, which were the most faced by an Indian in one Test innings.

BCCI’s new constitution ousts Mumbai Cricket Association as full member
i. Mumbai, 41-time Ranji Trophy champions, will no longer be considered a Full Member association in accordance with the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) new constitution. 
ii. The new constitution stipulates that only 30 associations will function as controlling bodies for domestic cricket in their respective states by the Justice Lodha Committee.  
iii. Maharashtra and Gujarat cricket associations were included in the list of Full Members which means that the cricket associations of Mumbai, Vidarbha, Saurashtra and Baroda previously functioning as Full Members will now be considered Associate Members henceforth.


World water day observed globally
i. World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
ii. In 2017, the theme for World Water Day is 'Wastewater'.

Rs 2 lakh is the cash transaction limit, Aadhaar mandatory for I-T returns
i. The Rs 3-lakh limit proposed for cash payments in the Budget for 2017-18 will be brought down to Rs 2 lakh as part of an unprecedented 40 amendments to the Finance Bill. 
ii. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the amendments in the lower House. This is aimed at tightening the noose on those dealing in cash. 
iii. Most other amendments are making Aadhaar mandatory for filing tax returns, applying for permanent account numbers (PAN) and allowing payments by only non-cash modes such as cheques, bank drafts or electronic transfers for electoral trusts are also aimed at curbing black money.

RBI proposes to fix upper limit in PPIs at Rs 1 Lakh
i. The RBI proposed to fix the upper limit for Pre-paid Payment Instruments (PPIs) at Rs 1 lakh in view of growing usage of PPIs for a purchase of goods and services.
ii. The central bank has sought comments on draft circular on Master Directions on Issuance and Operation of Pre-paid Payment Instruments (PPIs) in India till March 31, 2017.
iii. As per the draft, the amount in a PPI should not exceed Rs 1 lakh at any point of time if the customer provides full KYC and Rs 20,000 if the customer provides minimum KYC details to the PPI issuing entity.

Assam Government approves recommendation of 7th Pay Commission
i. The Assam state cabinet has decided to implement the recommendation of the Seventh Pay Commission.
ii. The implementation will make state exchequer bear an additional burden of over Rs. 3000 Crore in the next financial year and the proposed pay structure would come into effect from 1 April 2016.

Second India-UAE conference on globalization to be held in Dubai
i. The second India-UAE conference on globalization held at Dubai with an aim to promote cooperation between the two countries, organized by All India Management Association (AIMA).
ii. Health care innovation will be among the subjects discussed during the conference themed as ‘Resetting Globalisation: Collaborating in a Fast Changing World'.

Russia’s VTB bank to shut India office
i. Russian bank VTB has decided to close its only office in New Delhi, India to cut costs but will continue to work in India.
ii. The decision to shut the branch in India was taken as part of a strategy of VTB Group aimed at optimizing costs and will continue to work on the Indian market expanding its cooperation with local partners. 

 Madhabi Puri Buch appointed as SEBI whole time member
i. The government has announced Madhabi Puri Buch as new whole time member of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for the period of three years.
ii. She is currently serving in the New Development Bank, Shanghai.

ABB India bags award for restoring 1,035 MW Sharavathi plant in Karnataka
i. ABB India has restored and modernized the critical 1,035 MW Sharavathi hydropower plant in Karnataka that accounts for 25% of Karnataka Power Corporation’s generation.
ii. For restoring the crucial power infrastructure, the ABB has bagged 'the India Smart Grid Foundation (ISGF) innovation award'.

ISRO commissions two major facilities at VSSC 
i. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) commissioned two major facilities a Hypersonic Wind Tunnel and Shock Tunnel at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre at Thiruvananthapuram. 
ii. Commissioning of such facilities would provide adequate data for design and development of current and future space transportation systems in the country.

Majuli all set to become India’s 1st carbon neutral district
i. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched initiatives to develop Majuli, world biggest river island, as India’s first carbon neutral district and as a biodiversity heritage- yet not officially released.
ii. He launched “Forests are Lives” campaign to celebrate the importance of Assam’s rich forest and biodiversity.

Shri Upendra Tripathy Appointed as Full Time Interim Director General of ISA
i. Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines and Ms. Ségolène Royal, Minister for Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs Government of France jointly decided to appoint Mr. Upendra Tripathy, as the Interim Director General (IDG) of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on a full time basis.
ii. Mr. Upendra Tripathy was the Former Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

ICMR head named to UN group on antimicrobial resistance
i. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director Soumya Swaminathan has been named to a high-level group set up by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to provide expertise on and coordinate the global fight against antimicrobial resistance.

4 Indian cities among cheapest globally: EIU
i. Four Indian cities are among the cheapest to live in globally, while Singapore (last in the list) has been ranked as the most expensive for the fourth consecutive year, according to a 'Worldwide Cost of Living 2017' report by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
ii. Bengaluru (3rd place), Chennai (6th), Mumbai (7th) and New Delhi (10th) have been ranked by EIU among the 10 cheapest cities in the world.
iii. Almaty has been ranked as the cheapest city in the world. 

 Major Rohit Suri awarded Kirti Chakra
i. Major Rohit Suri, from the Parachute Regiment who led the army team that carried out a surgical strike in PoK last year, was presented the second highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee.
ii. Corporal Gursevak Singh of Indian Air Force was posthumously conferred the Shaurya Chakra for putting up a valiant fight against terrorists who had attacked the frontline Pathankot air base.

K T Irfan Wins Bronze in Asian Racewalking Championships
i. India’s national record holder in men’s 20km race walk, K T Irfan has won bronze at the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan. 


Nation paying tribute on 86th martyrdom day: 23 March
i. Nation is paying tributes to freedom fighters -Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their 86th martyrdom day (23 March).
ii. On this day in 1931, British rulers had executed them in Lahore for their revolutionary activities against the British rule.

World Meteorological Day 2017 observed globally
i. The World Meteorological Day was observed globally on 23rd March 2017.
ii. The theme of WMD 2017 is 'Understanding Cloud' to highlight the enormous importance of clouds for weather climate and water.
iii. The day is organized every year by World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Govt approves 1.17 lakh more affordable houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
i. The government approved construction of 117,814 more affordable houses for urban poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in six states (Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha) with a total investment of Rs 5,773 crore and with central assistance of Rs 1,816 crore.  
ii. With this, the total number of affordable homes sanctioned under PMAY so far has gone up to 1,760,507, with a total investment of Rs 96,018 crore and a central assistance of Rs 27,714 crore. 

Cabinet approves proposal for Amendments to the NABARD Act, 1981
i. Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
(a) Amendments to National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Act, 1981, include provisions that enable Central Government to increase the authorized capital of NABARD from Rs. 5,000 crore to   Rs. 30,000 crore and to increase it beyond Rs. 30,000 crore in consultation with RBI.
(b) Transfer of 0.4 percent equity of RBI in NABARD amounting to Rs. 20 crores to the Government of India.

India ranks 131 on Human Development Index, Norway No.1
i. In the recently released Human Development Index by United Nations, India is ranked 131 out of 188 countries in the list.
ii. The list is topped by Norway followed by Australia and Switzerland on 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.
iii. India’s HDI value for 2015 is 0.624, which puts the country in the medium human development category but behind fellow South Asian countries like Sri Lanka (73rd)and the Maldives(105th).

PM to inaugurate India’s longest road tunnel in J&K on April 2
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation, the country’s longest road tunnel named Chenani-Nashri tunnel, built on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which will cut short the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by nearly 30 km.
ii. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the 9.2 km long twin-tube tunnel on JK highway on April 2, 2017.

NABARD launches water conservation campaign in Karnataka
i. NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) will help Karnataka with low-cost technologies for water conservation and efficient use of water in the drought-affected districts.
ii. The main focus of the save water programme would be to create awareness and to cover maximum number of villages in the districts.

India and ADB Signed $350 Million Loan for Roads in Madhya Pradesh
i. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $350 million loan for improving about 1,500 kilometers of major district roads in Madhya Pradesh in line with the State’s Road Development Plan.
ii. The Project will involve upgrading roads with concrete pavements, strengthening culverts and bridges, and maintaining the improved road assets for a period of five years.
iii. Along with ADB’s loan, the Government of Madhya Pradesh will provide counterpart support of $150 million.

High level committee to examine working of CCIM, CCH and their governing legislation
i. The high-level Committee has been formed to examine the working of the regulatory bodies Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) and Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) and their governing legislations namely, Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970 and Homoeopathy Central Council Act 1973 respectively, for suggesting suitable reforms for AYUSH.
ii. The committee will be headed by Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog. Other members of the committee are Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NITI Aayog and Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH. 

IIT-Kharagpur to get supercomputing facility
i. The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, is the first academic institution to get a supercomputing facility under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
ii. This will provide large computational support to users to carry out both research and teaching activities that involve modern High Performance Computing (HPC) and usher in a new age in research and innovation in the country.

Samsung Pay launched in India 
i. Android phone maker Samsung launched its digital payment application, called 'Samsung Pay', in the country as Indians look to shift to newer payment methods after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation exercise.
ii. The early access service is available only with a few banks - Axis, HDFC, ICICI, SBI, and Standard Chartered.'Samsung Pay' works with both NFC (near field communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission).

HUDCO gets SEBI approval to float IPO
i. State-run Housing and Urban Development Corp. Ltd (HUDCO) has received capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) approval to raise funds through an initial share sale as part of the government’s disinvestment drive.
ii. The government holds 100 per cent stake in the company.IDBI Capital, Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities, SBI Capital Markets and ICICI Securities will manage the company’s public issue.

World Sparrow Day: 20 March
i. The World Sparrow Day was observed across the World on 20 March 2017. The day was created with an aim to raise awareness about the house sparrow and then other common birds to urban environments.
ii. The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010 across the World.

PepsiCo ropes in PV Sindhu as brand ambassador
i. PepsiCo’s sports drink brand Gatorade has roped in Indian shuttler PV Sindhu as its brand ambassador.
ii. Sindhu is the first Indian brand ambassador of the PepsiCo brand.

ICC appoints Ankur Khanna as new CFO 
i. The International Cricket Council (ICC) on announced the appointment of Ankur Khanna as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
ii. Khanna will join the ICC at the end of March leaving Air Asia India where he has held the post of CFO for the last one year.

Ravindra Jadeja replaces Ravichandran Ashwin to rank top test bowler in ICC rankings
i. Ravindra Jadeja replaces R Ashwin to become number 1 Test bowler.
ii. Ravindra Jadeja tops the ICC Test bowlers ranking. He is at number one position with 899 points.


World Tuberculosis Day- 24 March
i. World Tuberculosis Day celebrated on 24 March each year. 
ii. The theme for World Tuberculosis Day 2017 is 'Unite to End TB: Leave no one behind'. 2017 is the second year of a two-year "Unite to End TB" campaign for World TB Day.

ISRO commissions world's third largest hypersonic wind tunnel
i. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by commissioning the world’s third largest hypersonic wind tunnel at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
ii. A wind tunnel is used to study the effects of air flowing past a solid object in ISRO's case, space vehicles.

 India Notifies Amended Tax Treaty with Singapore
i. The government notified the amended India-Singapore tax treaty under which capital gains tax will be levied at source of investments with effect from April 1,2017.
ii. India had amended the tax treaty with Singapore on December 30, 2016, under which for two years  capital gains tax will be imposed at 50 percent of the prevailing domestic rate. Full rate will apply from April 1, 2019.
iii. The revision of tax treaty will help curb revenue loss, prevent double non-taxation and streamline the flow of investments adding that the amended tax treaty has been notified.

Assam govt, SBI sign MoU over housing, educational loan at subsidized interest rates
i. The state government of Assam has signed two MoUs with Mumbai-based State Bank of India(SBI) to provide housing loan and education loan for its employees. 
ii. To provide housing loan at hugely subsidized interest rates of 5% for its women employees and 5.5 % for men, and education loan for higher education for their children at 4% interest rate. Both types of loans will be free of any collateral security and processing fee.

South Indian Bank introduces Aadhar-based payment app
i. To promote cashless digital transactions, South Indian Bank (SIB) has introduced Aadhar-based payment in its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) mobile application- 'SIB M-Pay'
ii. Even non-customers of South Indian Bank can link any of their bank accounts in this mobile application. 
iii. With the latest addition in SIB M-Pay, the fund transfers can be done by just entering the Aadhar number of the beneficiary. SIB M-Pay app is currently available in Android Playstore.

World Bank signs US$ 100 million credit agreement with Uttarakhand, Centre
i. The World Bank has signed a 100 million US dollar credit agreement with the Centre and Uttarakhand in New Delhi to improve the quality of health care services in all 13 districts of the state.
ii. The project aims to reduce the financial risk for its citizens and make affordable, quality health care available to all. 

Airtel acquires Tikona’s 4G business for ₹1,600 crore
i. Bharti Airtel has acquired Tikona Digital's 4G airwaves for Rs 1,600 crore, ramping up its high-speed broadband spectrum capacity to take on Reliance Jio Infocomm and the Vodafone-Idea Cellular in the competitive market.
ii. Bharti Airtel as India's largest telecom company provides access to Tikona's 4G airwaves in five circles are Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan. 

BSE, NSE to launch F&O series in 15 companies
i. Indian capital markets Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) will introduce futures and options (F&O) contracts in 15 companies including InterGlobe Aviation and Indian Bank from 31 March 2017. 
ii.  F&O are derivative securities derived from a debt instrument, share, loan, whether secured or unsecured or any other form of security. It also derives its value from the prices, or index of prices, of underlying securities.

Raghu Rai conferred with Lifetime Achievement award
i. Photojournalist Raghu Rai was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Mr. Venkaiah Naidu for “his remarkable contribution to the field.” at 6th National Photography Awards organized by the photo division of the ministry in the capital. 
ii. Rai is also a Padma Shri awardee. 

Yves Meyer wins the 2017 Abel Prize
i. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the Abel Prize for 2017 to mathematician Yves Meyer.
ii. He was awarded for his pivotal role in the development of the mathematical theory of wavelets. The theory of wavelets that he started and made fundamental contributions to finds wide-ranging applications from image processing to fluid dynamics.

 8th Laadli Media Awards 2016
i. The 8th Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2016 (Northern and Eastern Region) were announced at the Chinmaya Mission in New Delhi. 
ii. Anima Pookkunnyil, Assistant Editor with BusinessLine, and Shreya Ila Anasuya, a freelance journalist, were awarded this year for their critical gender-sensitive reportage.
iii. Ila Anasuya was awarded for her report on Suzette Jordan. Anima Pookkunnyi was awarded for her story about Kamlesh Kairi’s petition to the Supreme Court against the unjust laws.

RBI okays appointment of T S Anantharaman as part-time chairman
i. The Reserve Bank of India has accorded its approval for the appointment of T S Anantharaman as part-time Chairman of the bank. 
ii. Anantharaman has been holding the position of Non-Executive Director of the bank since August 28, 2009. 
iii. At present, he is an investment consultant and director of a number of other companies and institutions.

India ranks 87th on energy architecture performance: WEF
i. India has marginally improved its position to 87th place on a global energy architecture performance index, but ranks among the worst for pollution, a survey showed. 
ii. Switzerland topped the annual list released by Geneva- based World Economic Forum (WEF) and was followed by Norway, Sweden, Denmark and France in the top five. India's rank improved three places from 90th last year. 

Sarbananda Sonowal launches initiative to make Majuli carbon neutral
i. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched initiative to develop Majuli, the world’s largest river island, as the country’s first carbon neutral district and a biodiversity heritage site. 
ii. He launched the Sustainable Actions for Climate Resilient Development (SaCReD) Initiative would ensure that infrastructure in Majuli had less carbon.

Radha Mohan Singh launched Book titled '50 Years – The Great Indian Milk Revolution'
i. The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has launched a Coffee Table Book titled “50 Years – The Great Indian Milk Revolution” commemorating National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) Golden Jubilee year.

Writer Ashokamitran passes away
i. Prominent Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi winner Ashokamitran died at the age of 86.
ii. He was given the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996 for his work Appavin Snegidhar, a collection of short stories.

Ankur Mittal wins gold in double trap at ISSF World Cup
i. Young Indian shooter Ankur Mittal, defeated rival James Willett, and bagged the first World Cup gold medal of his career in double trap at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup.
ii. The event was held in Acapulco, Mexico.

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