Current Affairs -1st & 2nd March 2015
1. Arun Singh Named New Indian Ambassador to UnitedStates
i. India has named Arun Singh, currently its Ambassador to France,as its next top envoy to the US and has informed the Americangovernment in this regard.
ii. A 1979-batch IFS officer, Mr Singh will be replacing SJaishankar, who was appointed as Foreign Secretary on January 28 thisyear.
iii. Earlier, Singh had served as ambassador to Israel (2005-2008)and later was served as deputy chief of mission in Washington(2008-2013.). Singh was appointed as ambassador to France in 2013.
2. Mufti Mohammed Sayeed sworn-in as Chief Minister ofJammu & Kashmir
i. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on1 March 2015 was sworn in as the 12th Chief Minister of Jammu andKashmir. His oath of office and secrecy was administered by GovernorNN Vohra at Zorawar Singh Auditorium in Jammu University.
ii. This is the second time that Sayeed will be heading acoalition government in the state. Earlier in 2002, he led aPDP-Congress alliance government and was Chief Minister for threeyears.
iii. Nirmal Singh of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was made theDeputy Chief Minister of the state. Apart from Sayeed and Singh, 23other leaders from both PDP and BJP were sworn-in as ministers. PriyaSethi (BJP) and Aasiya Naqqash (PDP) were the two women legislatorswho took oath as ministers.
iv. This is the first time that BJP has become a part of thegovernment in Jammu and Kashmir after PDP and BJP agreed to form acoalition government as no party secured an absolute majority in theJ&K Assembly elections in December 2014.
v. After the swearing ceremony, Mufti released the Common MinimumProgramme (CMP) of the PDP-BJP alliance. The CMP promised to maintainthe special status of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with theArticle 370 of the Constitution and examine the need for de-notifyingthe disturbed areas in the state to enable the Union Government totake a final view on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA),1958.
3. Ficci appoints Arvind Virmani as Economic Mentor
i. Noted economist, will now mentor Ficcis public policy &economic work.
ii. Arvind Virmani, served as the countrys Chief EconomicAdvisor and Principal Advisor in the Planning Commission.
iii. Virmanis association as Economic Mentor to Ficci will spurthe growth agenda for the Indian economy.
4. Dalmiya becomes BCCI president
i. Jagmohan Dalmiya was on Monday unanimously elected president ofthe BCCI.
ii. The N. Srinivasan camp suffered a huge setback with rivalfactions Anurag Thakur beating Sanjay Patel for the post ofSecretary at the Boards Annual General Meeting.
iii. Jharkhand Cricket Associations Amitabha Chodhary waselected the Joint Secretary beating Goas Chetan Desai, belongingto the anti-Srinivasan faction.
5. Government may declare additional 101 routes asnational waterways
i. Government is considering a proposal to declare an additional101 routes as national waterways.
ii. The proposal covers waterways across the country, which havepotential for year-round commercial navigation.
iii. Infrastructure development is poised to take a giant leap asthe Budget promises rapid construction of highways, ports, ultra megapower plants, airports and renewable energy projects with the help ofmassive public funding made possible by delaying fiscalbelt-tightening.
6. Rafael Nadal of Spain won the Argentina Tennis Open
i. Spanish tennis ace, Rafael Nadal on 2 March 2015 won theArgentina Open title of Tennis. In the summit clash, Nadal defeatedJuan Monaco of Argentina in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 in Buenos Aires.
ii. This was the 65th career title for Nadal. As a result, Nadalmoved onto fifth place in the Open era all-time list led by JimmyConnors of the US who had won 109 titles.
iii. Also, this was Nadals 46th career clay-court title, thus,he equalled the record of Guillermo Vilas of Monaco who played during1970s and 1980s.
iv. This win enabled Nadal to move up to third position in theworld rankings overtaking Britain's Andy Murray, who is now placedfifth, with Japan's Kei Nishikori on fourth position.
7. Wipro partners World Economic Forum for quantifyingcyber risk
i. Countrys third largest software services firm Wipro haspartnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to develop a cybervalue-at-risk (VAR) framework.
ii. This will allow organisations to assess threat landscape, thenature of assets needed protection and quality of defences.
iii. As per the Forums estimates, the resultant new cyberregulations and restrictive policies could hurt innovation by about$3 trillion by 2020.
8. Kannan Ramesh appointed as Judicial Commissioner toSupreme Court Bench of Singapore
i. Indian-origin lawyer Kannan Ramesh was appointed as JudicialCommissioner to Singapore's Supreme Court bench.
ii. 49-year-old Senior Counsel Kannan Ramesh has beenappointed to the bench for two years. He will acquire the position onMay 22.
iii. He will quit from other positions including being a member ofSingapore Academy of Law's Law Reform Committee and a localtelecommunications company M1 Board.
iv. Ramesh's appointment in the Supreme Court will now include 13judges, 10 judicial commissioners and five senior judges.
Current Affairs - 3rd March 2015
1. Baldev Sharma appointed as chairman of National BookTrust
i. Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on 2 March 2015appointed Baldev Sharma as chairman of National Book Trust (NBT).
ii. He is a former Panchajanya editor. He replaced A.Sethumadhavan.
iii. A. Sethumadhavan resigned six months earlier. He wasappointed in September 2012.
iv. Panchajanya is an Indian weekly newspaper published byRashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Hindi. It was launched by RSSpracharak Deendayal Upadhyaya in 1948 in Lucknow.
v. The weekly was launched on 14 January 1948, the day of MakaraSankranthi. Its first editor was Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
2. Savitri Jindal among five Indian women on Forbesbillionaires list
i. Five Indian women have made it to the Forbes list of theworlds billionaires that saw a record number of women this year,although they still account for just about 11 per cent of the total.
ii. Among Indian women, Savitri Jindal and family was ranked 283on the list with a net worth of $5.3 billion in 2015, up from $4.9billion in 2014.
iii. Indu Jain who chairs media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman &Co, was placed at the 603 rank globally. Her net worth stands at $3.1billion.
iv. Christy Walton, who inherited a stake in retailer Wal-Mart,retained the title of worlds richest woman at $41.7 billion,followed by Liliane Bettencourt, the principal heiress to the LOrealcosmetics fortune in the second place with $40.7 billion.
3. IAS officer Kewal K Sharma appointed as Delhi ChiefSecretary
i. IAS officer Kewal K Sharma is appointed as Chief Secretary ofDelhi. His appointment was approved by Union Home Ministry.
ii. At present, Sharma is the chief secretary of Goa. Sharma wasappointed as the Goa chief secretary on 1 January 2015.
iii. Besides serving the Governments of Delhi, Goa and ArunachalPradesh, Sharma served in the United Nations (UN) Mission in Kosovofrom 1999 to 2005 as a Civil Affairs Officer.
4. Mary Kom to quit boxing after 2016 Rio Olympics
i. Olympic medalist pugilist MC Mary Kom on 2 March 2015 announcedthat she will quit boxing after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Shedecided to retire after the Olympic Games as her body would not beable to cope with the rigours of the sport any further.
ii. The 32-year-old May Kom who won a bronze medal in 2012 LondonOlympics said that after retirement she will concentrate on herboxing academy set up in Imphal, Manipur.
About MC Mary Kom
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom also known as MC Mary Kom is anIndian boxer belonging to Kom tribal community of the north-easternstate of Manipur.
She is a five-time World Boxing champion,and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the sixworld championships.
She is the only Indian woman boxer tohave qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, who won a bronze medalin the flyweight (51 kg) category.
She became the first Indianwoman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 inIncheon, South Korea.
Nicknamed Magnificent Mary was born on 1March 1983 in Kangathei, in Churachandpur district of Manipur.
5. Infosys signs outsourcing deal with TNT
i. Infosys had signed a five-year agreement with Dutch company TNTto help it simplify and transform its technology applications.
ii. The company did not disclose the financial details of thedeals. As part of its turnaround and transformation strategy calledOutlook, TNT is overhauling its IT capability to reducecomplexity and cost and increase flexibility.
iii. Under the partnership, the current IT applications of TNTwill be consolidated and standardised for higher quality of serviceand lower cost of operations.
6. INCOIS launches app for fishermen
i. The app, developed in-house by the Hyderabad-based IndianNational Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) MarineFishery Advisory Services team is for the benefit of fishermen.
ii. There are plans to make available the app on Google Play storeand on INCOIS website.
iii. For those using basic phones the Centre unveiled an SMSservice in local languages. The text messages will provide potentialfishing zone advisory on a real time basis.
7. Lok Sabha passed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015
i. The Lok Sabha on 2 March 2015 passed the Citizenship(Amendment) Bill, 2015 by voice vote. The Bill seeks to amend theCitizenship Act, 1955 which regulates the acquisition anddetermination of citizenship and details registration of OverseasCitizens of India and their rights.
ii. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was introduced in LokSabha on 27 February 2015. The Bill, if enacted, will be consideredto have come into force on 6 January 2015.
Provisions of the Bill
It allows the Union Government to relax the requirement of 12months stay or service if special circumstances exist in casesrelated to citizenship by registration and naturalization. Relaxationup to 30 days may be permitted by the government.
It providesadditional grounds for registering an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)card such as Minor children whose parent(s) are Indian citizens,spouse of an Indian citizen or OCI/ PIO cardholder subjected tocertain conditions, great-grandchild of a person who is a citizen ofanother country, but meets one of several conditions of CitizenshipAct, 1955.
It introduces a new provision which allows theunion government to register a person as an OCI cardholder even if hedoes not satisfy any of the listed qualifications.
It providesthat union government may notify that PIO cardholders shall beconsidered to be OCI cardholders from a specified date. It mergesPersons of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India cardholders.
It allows the union government to cancel the OCI card where it isobtained by the spouse of an Indian citizen or Overseas Citizen ofIndia cardholder, if the marriage is dissolved by a court, or thespouse enters into another marriage.
Current Affairs - 4th March 2015
1. World Wildlife Day observed globally
i. The World Wildlife Day was observed on 3 March 2015. The 2015theme of the day is Wildlife crime is serious, lets getserious about wildlife crime.
ii. The day is celebrated as an opportunity to celebrate thevaried forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of themultitude of benefits that conservation provides to people.
iii. The day also reminds us of the urgent need to step up thefight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic,environmental and social impacts.
2. Worlds largest and tallest Indian flag unfurledin Faridabad
i. Worlds largest and tallest Indian national flag was unfurledat Town Park in Faridabad, Haryana. The flag was unfurled by BJPpresident Amit Shah, Haryana CM ML Khattar and Bollywood actor RanbirKapoor.
ii. The flag has dimension of 96 feet by 64 feet and weighs 48kilograms. Flag was hoisted at the height of 250 feet (75 meters).Thus, making it the worlds largest and the highest hoisted Indianflag in the world.
iii. Another such flag is located at the Central Park in ConnaughtPlace, New Delhi. This flag is 60 feet in width and 90 feet in lengthand is hoisted at the height of 207 feet.
3. Indian-American physician Rahul Jindal selected forFulbright Nehru Distinguished Chair
i. Indian-American physician Rahul Jindal was on 3 March 2015selected for the prestigious Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair.
ii. The Ahmedabad-based HL Trivedi Institute of TransplantationSciences will host Rahul Jindal for the duration of the chair. TheInstitute performs about 400 kidney transplants in a year and hasdeveloped innovative transplant tolerance models.
iii. Rahul Jindal is a Professor of Surgery and Global Health atthe Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda,Maryland. Jindal was also presented with a prestigious immigrantaward of the US government in 2013, in recognition of his outstandingachievements.
4. RBI cuts repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut down repo rate by 25basis points to 7.5 percent from 7.75 percent, with immediate effectciting that the fiscal consolidation was better than what numbersshow and that the combined fiscal deficit is much lower due to thegovernment transferring more funds to the states.However, RBI haskept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4 percent.
ii. It is the second change in rates by 25 basis points sinceJanuary 2015. With this change, RBI is signaling that it wasconvinced by the fiscal consolidation measures announced in theBudget.
iii. This is the first time that the Reserve Bank of India hasannounced a monetary policy action ahead of markets opening.
5. President gives assent to Maharashtra AnimalPreservation Amendment Bill, 1995
i. President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the MaharashtraAnimal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995. It received assent nearlyafter 19 years it was passed by State Assembly in 1995.
ii. This bill amends Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act 1976 andbans slaughter of bulls and bullocks in the state. As per theprovisions of new Act, anyone found to be selling beef or inpossession of it can be jailed for 5 years and fined Rs 10,000.
iii. However, this Act allows slaughter of water buffaloes,which provides carabeef that is generally considered as an inferiorquality meat.
6. Rani Mukerji awarded by National Institute of GenderJustice for representing the cause of women
i. Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji was on 3 March 2015 awarded withthe National Award for the Best Representation of the Cause ofSafety, Security and Protection of Women and Girl Child by NationalInstitute of Gender Justice (NIGJ).
ii. Rani is the first ever film personality to be felicitated withthis prestigious award. She was awarded for creating awareness aboutchild trafficking in New Delhi.
iii. Rani was honoured not only for her incredible work incinema but also for the kind of work she has been doing to createawareness about child trafficking.
Current Affairs - 5th March 2015
1. Three South Asian women selected for InternationalWomen of Courage Award
i. Three South Asian women, namely Niloofar Rahmani, NadiaSharmeen and Tabassum Adnan on 3 March 2015 were selected for theprestigious International Women of Courage Award for the year 2015given by the US Secretary of State.
ii. They were among the 10 extraordinary women selected from 10countries for the award for demonstrating exceptional courage andleadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights and genderequality.
International Women of Courage Award
* Established in 2007, the annual Secretary ofState's International Women of Courage Award honours women around theglobe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership inadvocating for human rights, womens equality, and social progress,often at great personal risk. This is the only Department of Stateaward that pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide.
* Since the inception of this award in 2007, theDepartment of State has honoured 86 women from more than 50 differentcountries including India
2. BBC released a documentary film India's Daughter
i. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on 4 March 2015 releaseda documentary film India's Daughter. The documentary film hasbeen directed by Leslee Udwin.
ii. The film is based on the Delhi gang rape and murder of the23-year-old female named Nirbhaya that took place on 16 December2012. The film was simultaneously released in Denmark, Sweden,Switzerland, Norway and Canada.
iii. The documentary includes an interview conducted by Britishfilmmaker Leslee Udwin and BBC of Mukesh Singh, the driver of thebus. Mukesh has made derogatory statements against women.
iv. A Delhi court has restrained the media from publishing,broadcasting, telecasting or uploading the interview on the internet.Also, Indian Parliament witnessed outrage over the interview anddemanded to ban the screening of the documentary to which UnionGovernment heeded.
v. The makers of the documentary had earlier decided to releasethe film on the occasion of International Womens Day on 8 March2015. However, they decided it to launch it earlier following thedecision by the Indian authorities to ban the film.
3. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar completed his SAARCYatra
i. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar completed his SAARC Yatra offour nations on 4 March 2015. His SAARC Yatra started on 1 March 2015and ended on 4 March 2015. He undertook the SAARC Yatra with an aimto firm up Indias ties with members of the grouping whilereviewing regional and bilateral cooperation.
ii. During the Yatra, he visited four countries namely Afghanistanon 4 March 2015, Pakistan on 3 March 2015, Bangladesh on 2 March 2014and Bhutan on 1 March 2015.
4. Union Minister Dadarao Danve resigns
i. Union Minister Raosaheb Dadarao Danve, who was made MaharasthraBJP president a few months back, on Thursday resigned from theCouncil of Ministers over the principle of one-man, one-post
ii. Mr. Danve submitted his resignation to Prime Minister NarendraModi, who accepted it and forwarded it to President Pranab Mukherjee,sources said.
iii. Mr. Danve, who held the portfolio of Minister of State forConsumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, quit the Council ofMinisters over the principle of one-man, one-post, the sourcessaid.
iv. Mr. Danve had taken over as the Maharashtra BJP presidentafter Devendra Fadnavis, under whose leadership the party came topower in the October 15 Assembly polls last year in the state, becamethe Chief Minister.
5. RBI adopted Inflation Targeting as a policy tool formonetary regulation
i. Inflation targeting was in news recently as Union Governmentand Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 20 February 2015 signed anagreement on Monetary Policy Framework. As per the agreement, RBIaccepted to focus on flexible inflation targeting.
ii. Inflation targeting is defined as an economic policy in whicha central bank estimates or decides for a medium-term targetinflation rate. In Indian context, as per the agreement, inflationtargeting means that the RBI will have to maintain
iii. Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation targets below sixper cent by January 2016 and four per cent from 2016-17, with a bandof plus/minus two per cent.
iv. The transition from monetary targeting suggested byChakravarty Committee (1988) to Inflation targeting suggested byUrijit Patel Committee is similar to the practice adopted by centralbanks in developed countries.
Benefits of Inflation Targeting
* The benefits of inflation targeting are many.Two of the prominent benefits of inflation targeting are enhancementof transparency and reduction of price variability.
* The most important benefit of inflationtargeting is that it helps the central banks to maintain lowinflation and low inflation eventually promotes long term growth.
* Other most important benefits of usinginflation targeting include enhanced public understanding of monetarypolicy, increased central bank accountability, and an improved statefor economic growth.
6. Australia created the record for highest ever scoreof 417 in Cricket World Cup
i. Australian cricket team on 4 March 2015 created the World Cuprecord for highest-ever score of 417 for 6 in a match againstAfghanistan in Perth. It defeated Afghanistan by 275 runs which wasthe biggest winning margin in the tournaments history.
ii. Afghanistan was bowled out for 142 in 37.3 over.
iii. The record was created with the help of David Warners 178runs, Steve Smiths 95 runs and Glenn Maxwells 88 runs.
iv. The previous record of highest runs in a World Cup match washeld by India and it was 413 run at a loss of 5 wickets. The recordwas created on 19 March 2007 against Bermuda played at Queen's ParkOval and India won the match by 257 runs.
v. The winning margin of India which was broken by Australia wasearlier equaled by South Africa on 27 February 2015 in their victoryover West Indies in Sydney.
7. Shanghvi is richest Indian: Forbes
i. Dilip Shanghvi of Sun Pharmaceuticals, with a net worth of$21.5 billion, surpassed Mukesh Ambani as the worlds richestIndian on Wednesday, two days after the Reliance Industries Ltd.chief was ranked Indias wealthiest for the eighth consecutiveyear.
ii. A real-time update by the business magazine Forbes reworkedthe rankings. On the global rich list, Mr. Shanghvi moved up to the37th position, while Mr. Ambani slipped to the 43rd.
iii. Earlier on Monday, Forbes released its annual rich list for2015, ranking Mr. Ambani at the 39th position and Mr. Shanghvi at the44th. Azim Premji of Wipro was ranked 48th, from which he has movedup one place now. Mr. Shanghvis net worth stood at $ 21.5 billion,following a sharp rally in the share prices of his group companies.
Current Affairs - 6th & 7th March 2015
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi named among 30 mostinfluential people on internet: Time Magazine
i. Time Magazine has named Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modiamong the list of 30 most influential people on the internet.
ii. As per Time magazine PM Narendra Modi has around 38 millionfollowers on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.
iii. He is ardent user of social media and uses it to communicateand reach to Indias 200 million-plus online population directly.
2. Kathmandu-Varanasi-Kathmandu bus service flagged off
i. The Kathmandu-Varanasi-Kathmandu bus service was on 5 March2015 flagged off jointly by India and Nepal. Nepal Minister forPhysical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi and Ambassadorof India to Nepal Ranjit Rae flagged off the bus service.
ii. The bus service was launched under the ambit of Motor VehicleAgreement signed between India and Nepal during the 18th SAARCSummit.
iii. This is the second direct bus service between Nepal andIndia. Earlier in November 2014, during the 18th SAARC Summit, IndianPrime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepals Prime Minister SushilKoirala jointly launched the direct bus service between Kathmandu andthe New Delhi.
3. India lowest among 16 Asia-Pacific countriesin economic parity for women
i. The socio-economic standing of women in India is the lowestamong 16 Asia Pacific countries, according to Mastercards latestIndex of Womens Advancement.
ii. Indian women stand even lower than their counterparts fromBangladesh and Sri Lanka.
iii. Across the region, New Zealand had the highest overall Indexscore of 77, followed by Australia (76),the Philippines (72.6) andSingapore (70.5).
iv. India (44.2),Bangladesh (44.6) and Sri Lanka (46.2) hadscores below 50, indicating that much more needs to be done toachieve gender parity.
4. Walmart India appoints Ashwin Mittal as CFO
i. Walmart India today announced two executive appointments withAshwin Mittal as the new Chief Financial Officer and Javier Rojo ashead of Real Estate and Business Development.
ii. Mittal will replace Jill Anderson, currently the CFO ofWalmart India, who will soon repatriate back to Walmart in US.
iii. Mittal joined the company in 2007 as Head of FinancialPlanning and Analysis and since then has assumed various key roles,including Head - Business Finance and Strategy, Deputy CFO and ChiefBusiness Development Officer.
5. Fifteen crore Aadhar cards linked with bank accounts
i. The National Payments Corporation of India on Friday announcedlinking of 15 crore Aadhar cards with various bank accounts in India.
ii. With this achievement NPCI has moved a step closer to map itstarget of linking all 17 crore DBT accounts with Aadhaar numbers by30 June 2015.
iii. It is expected that soon all beneficiaries of all types ofgovernment subsidiaries and benefit transfers will be brought underthe linkage programme. Such a framework of electronic benefittransfer would not only be unique, but will be one of the largest inthe world.
iv. Apart from this linking programme NPCI is also nodal agencyfor all retail payment systems under the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) which was launched in 2014 to push DBT and financialinclusion.
6. EU formally adopts climate change targets forDecember 2015 UNFCCC Paris Conference
i. The European Union (EU) has formally adopted climate changetargets for December 2015 UNFCCC Paris Conference. Adopted climatechange target includes a 40 per cent cut in emissions by 2030.
ii. These targets were agreed by leaders of the 28 EUmember-states at a summit in October 2014 but now have beenofficially forwarded to the United Nations.
iii. United States also has formally announced its intention toreduce emissions by 26-28 per cent in 2025 compared with their levelin 2005. It should be noted that US accounts for 12 per cent ofglobal greenhouse gases emissions.
7. Kerala Assembly speaker G Karthikeyan passed away
i. Kerala Legislative Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan passed awayon 7 March 2015 in Bangalore, Karnataka following a prolongedillness. He was 66.
ii. Karthikeyan was elected as the Speaker of Kerala LegislativeAssembly in 2011, after Congress party returned to power.
iii. Karthikeyan was a member of Indian National Congress party inKerala. He had started his political career through Kerala StudentsUnion (KSU),the student outfit of Congress. Later, he was appointedstate president of KSU and Youth Congress.
8. NASAs Dawn spacecraft reaches dwarf planet Ceres
i. NASAs Dawn spacecraft has created history by becoming thefirst mission to achieve orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres with anaim of providing new insights and capturing images from the distantworld.
ii. The spacecraft was approximately 61,000 kilometres from Cereswhen it was captured by the dwarf planets gravity.
iii. Since its discovery in 1801, Ceres was known as a planet,then an asteroid and later a dwarf planet.
9. Artificial glacier in the form of Ice stupa to storewater inaugurated in Phyang village of Ladakh
i. Artificial glacier in the form of Ice stupa was inaugurated atPhyang village in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Phyang villageis a desert region of Ladakh.
ii. The purpose of building such stupa is to store water to greenthe entire desert of Phyang which has an area of 1500 acres.
iii. The Ice stupa with a height of 50 feet will store roughly twomillion liters of water while another 6 million liters of waterabsorbed in the ground will add moisture to the earth for treeplantation.
Current Affairs - 8th & 9th March 2015
1. 8th March: International Womens Day
i. International Womens Day was observed across the world on 8March 2015. The theme for the year 2015 is Make itHappen and it encourages effective action for advancing andrecognizing women.
ii. The theme was declared by United Nations.
iii. The day represents an opportunity to celebrate theachievements of women while calling for greater equality.
iv. The day sees several events to mark the economic, politicaland social achievements of women. These events are organised bygovernments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups,corporation, media and other institutions.
2. Government decides to speed up Rs 90,000 crore powerprojects
i. Government has decided to fast-track 10 power projects worthRs90,000 crore planned by state-owned companies led by NTPC, which havebeen held up by land-related issues.
ii. After factoring in the 10 projects taken up by the powerministry, 305 projects worth Rs 18.85 lakh crore are now awaitinggovernment intervention to get off the ground, including 97 publicand private sector power projects with investments of Rs 6.33 lakhcrore.
iii. NTPC is developing eight of the 10 projects that the powerministry has sought to expedite, with investments of over Rs 76,000crore at stake to generate about 15,000 MW.
iv. Law and order problems over land have stalled NTPC's 1,320 MWMeja thermal power plant in Allahabad district, with possession ofland for laying critical water pipelines pending in eight villages.
3. Kerala Tourism won the silver prize of Golden Gateaward for promoting the backwaters of Kerala
i. Kerala Tourism on 8 March 2015 won the silver prize of GoldenGate award at the Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin (ITB-Berlin)2015, Germany. Kerala won the award for its global multimediacampaign to promote the backwaters of Kerala.
ii. The campaign was conceptualised by Kerala States TourismDepartments creative and marketing agency Stark Communications.
iii. In 2014, The Great Backwaters campaign of Kerala had won theGolden Gate Silver Prize in the Print category at the ITB-Berlin.Kerala Tourism had won the award for the hugely successful YourMoment is Waiting ad campaign in the print category.
iv. The Golden Gate award (Das Golden Stadttor) is presented everyyear at the ITB-Berlin and is dubbed as the Oscar in tourismcommunication. It is considered the ultimate recognition in globaltourism communication.
4. 'Aapki Beti Humari Beti' scheme launched in Haryana
i. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday launched ascheme for girl child - 'Aapki Beti Humari Beti' - with an aim tocombat the problem of declining child sex ratio in the state.
ii. 'Aapki Beti Humari Beti' will be implemented in both rural andurban areas of the state covering first-born girl child of ScheduledCaste (SC) and Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and all second girlchild born on or after January 22, 2015 of all families.
iii. Under this scheme, the first girl child born on or afterJanuary 22, 2015, in SC and BPL families will be eligible to receiveRs 21,000. Similarly, all second girl child born on or after January22, 2015 of all families will get Rs 21,000.
iv. He also announced to increase the amount of Indira GandhiMahila Shakti Award from Rs one lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh, Behan ShannoDevi Award from Rs 51,000 to Rs one lakh, Life Time Achievement Awardfrom Rs 21,000 to Rs 51,000 and other women achiever award from Rs5100 to Rs 21,000.
5. Lalit Modi removed from Rajasthan CricketAssociation
i. Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was on Monday removed fromthe post of Rajasthan Cricket Association president as the members ofthe association passed a no-confidence motion against him and hisoffice-bearers at the Extraordinary General Meeting.
ii. With the 17 out of 18 members casting their votes againstModi, Amin Pathan is all set to take charge as the new chief.
iii. As per the Sports Act of the state and Constitution of RCA,the Pathan Group needed two-third majority to see the no confidencepassed.
6. Kumar Sangakkara announces retirement from Testcricket
i. Former Sri Lankan cricket captain and ace batsman KumarSangakkara announced that he will retire from Test cricket afterplaying three-match series against India in August 2015.
ii. Sangakkara already has retired from One-Day International(ODI) and Twenty-20 cricket. He had retired from Twenty-20 cricketformat after Sri Lanka won the T20 World cup in 2014.
iii. In ICC World Cup 2015, Kumar Sangakkara created a record bybecoming first batsman to score hundreds in three consecutive WorldCup matches.
7. Global food prices dip to 5-year low in February
i. Global food prices fell to a nearly five-year low in Februarythis year on increased supply of key food items and strong US dollar,according to the United Nations food agency FAO.
ii. Food prices averaged at 179.4 points in February, down from181.2 points in January and 208.6 points in February 2014, the Foodand Agriculture Organisations price index showed.
iii. According to FAO, international sugar prices fell by 4.9 percent, cereal prices were down by 3.2 per cent and meat pricesdeclined by 1.4 per cent in February from the January levels.
8. All England Badminton Championship: Saina Nehwalloses to Carolina Marin
i. Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwals quest for becomingthe first Indian woman to win the most prestigious All Englandbadminton championship ended in agony after she suffered aheartbreaking loss to Spains Carolina Marin in the summitclash.
ii. The World No. 3 Indian let go of a huge opportunity to scripthistory as she squandered an opening game lead to go down 21-16 14-217-21 to the reigning world champion in the womens singles final.
iii. Olympic bronze medallist, Saina, thus, failed to emulate herlong-time coach Pullella Gopichand (2001) and legendary PrakashPadukone (1980),who had won the prestigious title in the past.
Current Affairs - 10th March 2015
1. Pakistan conducts successful test launch ofShaheen-III missile
i. Pakistan conducted a successful test launch of the Shaheen-IIISurface to Surface Ballistic Missile .
ii. The Missile is capable of carrying nuclear and conventionalwarheads to a range of 2,750 km.
ii. The test launch was aimed at validating various design andtechnical parameters of the weapon system at a maximum range.
iii. The launch came within a week of the visit of Indian foriegnSecretary S Jaishankar to Islamabad.
2. Veerappa Moily selected for Saraswati Samman 2014
i. Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader M. VeerappaMoily on 9 March 2015 was selected for the prestigious SaraswatiSamman for 2014 for his Kannada poem Ramayana Mahanveshanam.
ii. Divided into five volumes, Ramayana Mahanveshanam was firstpublished in 2007 in Kannada. Later the poem was translated intoEnglish, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.
iii. The selection for the award was made by a 13-member panel ofscholars and writers headed by former Chief Justice of India RCLahoti.
3. Jharkhand CM announces Rs 1 lakh for alcohol-freevillages
i. The Jharkhand government will grant Rs one lakh to villageswhich will become alcohol-free.
ii. Chief Minister Raghubar Das said those villages becomingalcohol-free would be given the grant and women groups would take theinitiative.
iii. Chief Minister proposed to open 57 more Kasturba Gandhi GirlSchools in the state
4. US dollar hits 12-year peak, emerging marketsspooked
i. The US dollar climbed to multi-year peaks against the euro andyen in Asia amid starkly diverging outlooks for interest ratesglobally.
ii. Currencies from emerging markets came under mounting pressurefrom risk aversion.
iii. The skittish mood spread to Asian stocks as MSCI's broadestindex of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.6 per cent.
iv. Federal Reserve would start lifting interest rates frommid-year, while central banks in the European Union and Japan werebusy easing policy by buying billions in government bonds.
v. Oil managed minor gains, with Brent crude oil up 13 cents to$58.66 a barrel, while U.S crude added 26 cents to $50.26.
5. DLF Ties Up With Snapdeal to Sell Flats Online
i. Realty major DLF has tied-up with online market place Snapdealto sell its apartments and would offer 1 per cent discount topotential home buyers.
ii. DLF will offer on Snapdeal about 50 flats in eight housingprojects across the country in a price range of Rs. 34 lakh to Rs. 3crore.
iii. The offer is likely to start this week. These flats are inprojects located at New Chandigarh, Panchkula, Lucknow, Bangalore,Chennai, Kochi and Kolkata.
6. Prime Minister launched Indias first indigenouslydeveloped rotavirus vaccine Rotavac
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9 March 2015 launched the firstindigenously developed Rotavirus vaccine named Rotavac. This is thethird such vaccine, besides GSK Rotarix and Mercks RotaTeqavailable globally against Rotavirus.
ii. The vaccine will boost Indias efforts to combat infantmortality due to diarrhea. The vaccine will be available at a priceof 1 US dollar per dose making it the cheapest vaccine available forrotavirus globally.
iii. Rotavac vaccine was developed under the public-privatepartnership (PPP) model that involved Union Ministry of Science andTechnology, USs National Institute of Health (NIH),NGOs in Indiasupported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bharat BiotechIndia Limited (BBIL).
iv. Union Government along with NIH of the US funded the basicresearch while the Bharat Biotech India Limited (BBIL) and the GatesFoundation contributed towards vaccine development and testing.
v. The vaccine was the result of an extraordinary effort spreadover the last 25 years. The BBIL that was involved in the developmentand production of the vaccine was selected in 1997-1998 by theIndia-U.S. Vaccine Action Programme to develop the vaccine.
7. India thrash Ireland to register record 9thsuccessive World Cup victory
i. Shikhar Dhawan cracked a scintillating century as a rampagingIndia on Tuesday created a record winning their ninth consecutive ICCCricket World Cup match by demolishing Ireland by eight wickets toseal the top spot in the Group B table.
ii. It turned out to be an extended batting practice session forthe 'Men In Blue' as they toppled the previous eight-match winningstreak record of Sourav Ganguly-led team in 2003. India's nine-matchrecord started from their group league game against West Indies atChennai back in 2011.
8. First Kisan Call Centre of North-East opened inAgartala, Tripura
i. First Kisan Call Centre (KCC) of North-East was opened on 9March 2015 in Agartala, Tripura. The KCC was launched by the TripuraChief Minister Manik Sarkar.
ii. KCC was financed by the Tripura government. It will be run bya private enterprise with experts of agriculture, horticulture,fisheries and animal husbandry.
iii. The Kisan Call Centre will give immediate solution and realtime advisory to farmers if they need expert consultation regardingseed procurement, agro-metric, fertilizer, soil health, pesticidesusage and marketing of the produces.
iv. Apart from that the farmers' portal will issue advisory forfarm production under direct supervision of the experts.
Current Affairs - 11th March2015
1. Manmohan summoned in coal scam case
i. A Delhi court on Wednesday summoned former Prime MinisterManmohan Singh, former Coal Secretary P.C. Parakh and industrialistKumar Mangalam Birla and others as accused in a coal block allocationscam case.
ii. The CBI had sought closure of the case, in which Mr. Birla,former Coal Secretary P.C. Parakh and others were named as accused.
iii. Dr. Singh held the charge of the Coal Ministry foralmost five years from the time the United Progressive Alliance cameto power in 2004.
2. SBI sells 4% stake in Cibil to IIFL for around Rs 72crore
i. State Bank of India has sold 4 per cent stake in the largestcredit information company Credit Information Bureau India Ltd(Cibil) for an estimated Rs 72 crore.
ii. Cibil is the largest and the oldest credit bureau in thecountry having entered the market in 2000.
iii. It claims to enjoy almost 90 per cent of the creditinformation market in India which has three other players - Experian,Equifax and HighMark.
iv. IIFL India Alternatives is a leading mid-growth PE fund,founded by Shivani Bhasin Sachdeva and sponsored by IIFL PrivateWealth.
3. Aditya Birla Retail acquired Total hypermarket
i. Aditya Birla Retail on 10 March 2015 acquired TotalHypermarket. Total Hypermarkets is owned by Jubilant Retail. This isthe second acquisition for Aditya Birla, the first being its 2007buyout of Trinethra Super Retail.
ii. Total Hypermarkets will be merged with Aditya Birla Retail'shypermarket and supermarket brand More.
iii. Aditya Birla Retail is a part of Aditya Birla Group. It isthe fourth largest supermarket retailer in the country. Aditya BirlaRetail currently operates over 500 supermarkets and 16 hypermarketsunder the More brand.
iv. Bangalore-based Total Super Store operates in five stores withthe hypermarket format spanning across over 400000 sq.ft of area.Serving over eight lakh customers every month, the outlets arelocated in densely populated areas of the city.
4. LIC to invest Rs 1.5-L cr in Indian Railways overnext 5 years
i. State-run insurance major LIC committed Rs 1.5 lakh crore tothe Indian Railways for development of various commercially viableprojects.
ii. The investment would be done in bonds issued by variousrailway entities such Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC),beginning next fiscal.
iii. Indian Railways are one of the largest railway networksin the world.
5. Obama names David Hale as ambassador to Pakistan
i. U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated veteran diplomatDavid Hale as the next ambassador to Pakistan.
ii. Mr. Hale previously served as the Special Envoy for MiddleEast Peace from 2011 to 2013, and as Deputy Special Envoy for MiddleEast Peace from 2009 to 2011.
iii. Hale has also served as Director of the Office of Israel andPalestinian Affairs, Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State,and in other positions overseas in Bahrain, Lebanon, and SaudiArabia.
6. Gadkari launches portal to help source cement forconcrete roads
i. In line with the plan to construct cement concrete highways,instead of bitumen ones, Union Road Transport and Highways MinisterNitin Gadkari on Tuesday launched a web portal , www.inampro.nic.in.
ii. INAM-PRO, which stands for platform for infrastructure andmaterials providers, will monitor the supply of cement and hasten theprocess of orders by prospective users and agencies with therespective cement manufacturers.
iii. As of now, 36 participating cement manufacturers will quoterates from 103 factories across India, along with the cement stockavailable, on the web portal.
iv. The procurer/road developer can view the asking price as wellas the closest factory price.
Current Affairs- 12th March 2015
1. New city 'NAINA' to come up over 600 square km nearNavi Mumbai airport
i. Maharashtra government would be developing a new city - 'NAINA'- over an area of 600 sq km around the upcoming Navi MumbaiInternational Airport.
ii. As a part of the smart city mission of the Centre, the stategovernment will develop 30 towns, focusing on "themes" suchas education, medical, entertainment, industry, etc.
iii. The State also announced that for the prohibition ofslaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks, the Maharashtra AnimalPreservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995 had been passed by the statelegislature, and with the President's recent assent, it had now comeinto force.
2. Rs.3,168 crore for compensation in new capital ofA.P.
i. The Andhra Pradesh Budget for 2015-16 has set aside Rs.3,168crore towards the compensation for taking the consent of farmers, topart with their land for the new capital project.
ii. As per the plan, 50 per cent of the total land is to be usedfor common infrastructure for the capital city.
iii. About 25 per cent of the land is to be returned to the landowners in the form of developed reconstituted plots.
iv. This would leave about 7,000 acres with the State forconstructing the capital complex as well as bringing investments toprovide sustainable jobs for the residents of the capital city.
3. N Sakthan elected as Speaker of Kerala Assembly
i. Congress legislator and deputy speaker N Shakthan on 12 March2015 was elected as the speaker of the Kerala Assembly. Shakthandefeated CPI (M) candidate P Aysha Potty by 74 to 66 votes.
ii. He succeeded G Karthikeyan who died on 7 March 2015 inBangalore, Karnataka following a prolonged illness.
iii. Before contesting for the post of speaker, Shaktan resignedfrom the post of Deputy Speaker of the Assembly on 10 March 2015.
iv. Shakthans election as the speaker was announced by thePro-term speaker Dominic Presentation of Congress.
4. India, Mauritius to work to avoid 'abuse' of DTAT
i. India and Mauritius will work together to avoid the "abuse"of double taxation avoidance convention.
ii. the two countries agreed to push negotiations for a longpending revision of the treaty.
iii. Modi is on a two day visit to the island nation of Mauritiusaddressed the National assembly of Mauritius.
iv. Often corporates have been accused of laundering money throughthe "Mauritius route" for channelling FDI in India and thetwo governments have been in negotiations to curb this practice.
v. This is why Prime Minister Modi and Sir Anerood Jugnauth agreedto push forward their negotiations for a long pending revision ofDouble Taxation Avoidance Treaty (DTAT).
5. Govt asks PSU banks increase lending to minorities
i. The Union government has advised PSU banks to step up lendingto minorities with a view to ensuring that they get loans inproportion to their population.
ii. It was decided to increase the percentage share of lending toeach minority community in proportion to their respective share inminority population.
iii. In term of population, Muslims constitute the largestcommunity, followed by Christians. Third largest minority group isthat of the Sikhs.
iv. As per the RBI directive, banks have set up a special cell toensure smooth flow of credit to minority communities.
v. The cell is headed by an officer holding the rank of DeputyGeneral Manager or Assistant General Manager (AGM) or any othersimilar rank who should function as a Nodal Officer.
6. IPS officer M Akhaya appointed as Chief VigilanceOfficer in telecom department
i. IPS officer M Akhaya has been appointed as the Chief VigilanceOfficer in the Department of Telecommunications.
ii. The appointment of the CVO, who acts as distant arm of theCentral Vigilance Commission to check corruption, comes at a timewhen bidding for spectrum by telecom companies is underway.
iii. Akhaya, a 1988-batch IPS officer of Odisha cadre, has beenappointed for an initial period of three years.
7. EPFO trustees okay raising age limit under pensionscheme to 60
i. Retirement fund body EPFO 's trustees decided to raise the agelimit from 58 to 60 years for vesting of pension.
ii. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's apex decisionmaking body, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT),which is headed bythe Labour Minister, took the decisions.
iii. After the amendment to the pension scheme, a formal sectorworker can choose to contribute towards it till 60 years of age. Thiswill provide him a benefit of 4 per cent enhanced pension per year.
iv. The CBT also decided to appoint SBI as it new fund manager fora three year term beginning April 1.
Current Affairs - 13th & 14th March 2015
1. World Kidney Day 2015 observed with theme KidneyHealth for All
i. World Kidney Day (WKD) was observed globally on 12 March 2015.The theme for the year 2015 is Kidney Health for All.
ii. The day is a global health awareness campaign that focuses onthe importance of the kidneys and reducing the frequency and impactof kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.
World Kidney Day
The World Kidney Day is annually observed on the second Thursdayin March. It is a joint initiative of the International Society ofNephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of KidneyFoundations (IFKF).World Kidney Day started in 2006.
2. India's GDP growth will be 7.5 percent this year
i. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that this year the GDPgrowth rate will be 7.5 percent.
ii. Arun Jaitley was in London for Launching the Union Bank ofIndia (UK),a subsidiary of the Union Bank of India.
3. Pakistan tests 1st indigenous armed drone Burraq andlaser guided missile Barq
i. Pakistan successfully tested its first indigenously builtall-weather armed drone named Burraq and a laser guided missile namedBarq.
ii. By successfully testing of Burraq, Pakistan became the 9thcountry in the World to develop an unmanned combat aerial vehicle(UCAV) domestically.
iii. It is developed by a venture of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)and the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM).
iv. With Barq laser-guided missile mounted on it can hit movingtargets as well as stationary targets with pinpoint accuracy.
4. Union Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizerslaunched Pharma Jan Samadhan scheme
i. The Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers Ananth Kumaron 12 March 2015 launched the Pharma Jan Samadhan scheme. It is a webenabled system for redressal of consumers grievances relating topricing and availability of medicines.
ii. The system was created by National Pharmaceutical PricingAuthority (NPPA). The ministry also released Compendium of CeilingPrices of Essential Medicines 2015 prepared by NPPA.
Pharma Jan Samadhan scheme:
The Pharma Jan Samadhan scheme will put inplace a speedy and effective complaint redressal system with respectto availability and pricing of medicines.
It will serve as a robust e-governance toolfor protection of consumers interests through effectiveimplementation of the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013.
It will provide consumers with an on-linefacility to redress their complaints relating to over-pricing ofmedicines, non-availability or shortage of medicines, sale of newmedicines without prior price approval of NPPA, and refusal of supplyfor sale of any medicine without good and sufficient reason.
Once the complaint is redressed, NPPA willinitiate action on the complaint within 48 hrs of its receipt.
5. Harvard University retains top position in TimesWorld Reputation Rankings 2015
i. Harvard University of United States (US) has again topped inWorld Reputation Rankings 2015 published by Times Higher Education.
ii. Times Higher Education in the rankings revealed the top 100universities across the world.
iii. The top ten universities are all located in the US and UnitedKingdom (UK). US alone has 8 universities in the top ten rankings.While, UK has 2 universities in the top 10 ranking.
iv. 2015 reputation rankings shows that US alone has 43 highereducation institutions in the top 100. While, United has 12universities in the top 100.
Top 3 Universities in World Reputation Rankings 2015 are:
Harvard University (US).
University of Cambridge (UK).
Universityof Oxford (UK).
6. Government cuts import tariff on gold and silver
i. The government has slashed import tariff value on gold to $375per 10 grams and silver to $512 per kg following weak global pricetrends.
ii. The tariff value on imported gold was fixed at $393 per 10grams and on silver at $549 per kg.
iii. Gold is the second-largest import item for India afterpetroleum. Higher gold import bill adversely affects the country'scurrent account deficit (CAD).
iv. The government has been repeatedly asking people to desistfrom buying gold and instead invest in other saving instruments.
7. Former Maldives President Nasheed jailed for 13years
i. Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was convicted andsentenced to 13 years in prison after a quick and disputed trial forallegedly ordering a senior judge arrested while in office.
ii. Nasheed has denied ordering the arrest. His supporters saidthe charges are aimed at eliminating him as a challenger againstincumbent President Yameen Abdul Gayoom in the 2018 presidentialelection.
iii. Nasheed was the countrys first democratically electedPresident.
8. NASA launches 4 spacecraft to solve magnetic mystery
i. NASA has launched four identical spacecraft on a billion-dollarmission to study the explosive give-and-take of the Earth and sunsmagnetic fields.
ii. The unmanned Atlas rocket, and NASAs MagnetosphericMultiscale spacecraft, took flight right on time. Within two hours,all four observatories were flying free.
iii. Each observatory resembles a giant octagonal wheel,stretching more than 11 feet (3.35 meters) across and 4 feet (1.22meters) high, and weighing 3,000 pounds (1,360.79 kilogrammes)apiece.
Current Affairs - 15th & 16th March 2015
1. 15 March: World Consumer Rights Day
i. The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2015 was observed on 15March 2015. The theme for the WCRD 2015 is Helping consumerschoose healthy diets.
ii. The theme was taken up by the Consumers International (CI)because unhealthy diets are linked to four of the ten biggest causesof death viz., overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, highblood glucose and high cholesterol worldwide. According to anestimate by the CI obesity alone is estimated to cost 2 trillion USdollars per year.
iii. WCRD is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of allconsumers, for demanding that those rights are respected andprotected, and for protesting the market abuses and social injusticeswhich undermine them.
iv. Every year, the CI chooses a theme and organizes variousconsumer awareness activities in close coordination with thegovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
v. Consumers International (CI) is the world federation ofconsumer groups that serves as the only independent and authoritativeglobal voice for consumers.
vi. The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is observed on 15 Marchevery year to commemorate the historic address given by the then USPresident John F Kennedy to the US congress in 1962 in which heoutlined the definition of consumer rights for the first time. He wasthe first world leader to formally define consumer rights.
2. IMF supports tight stance of Reserve Bank
i. The International Monetary Fund (IMF),chief ChristineLagardes has supported the tight monetary stance of the ReserveBank of India (RBI) and says 5-per cent inflation in the country wasstill high.
ii. Lagarde is on a two-day India visit that began from today.
iii. Ms. Lagardes itinerary during her two-day visit includesmeetings Prime Minister Narendra Modi and key leaders includingFinance Minister Arun Jaitley and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.
iv. IMF has previously expected a 6 percent growth for India
3. Indian women win World Hockey League Round 2
i. India won the final of the Hero womens Hockey World LeagueRound 2 with a margin of 3-1 against Poland at the Major DhyanChand National Stadium.
ii. Vandana Katariya broke the deadlock in the 15th minute afterseveral close chances were missed.
ii. Poland struck back immediately on resumption in the secondquarter, Oriana Walasek deflecting home off the teams firstpenalty corner.
iv. The Final result: India 3 (Vandana Katariya, Rani, RituRani) bt Poland 1 (Oriana Walasek).
4. Facebook acquires The Find e-commerce search engine
i. Facebook has acquired The Find, a nine-year-old company with asearch engine that indexes products across thousands of e-commercesites.
ii. That probably means the ads Facebook users see will be morerelevant to products theyve been browsing and buying online,perhaps highlighting local retailers. One of The Finds features isthat it attempts to mix online and local stores and says its resultsare based on your social profile.
iii. For Facebook, the technology might make the social network amore valuable platform for merchants. While The Finds own websitewont survive the acquisition.
5. Assam rolls out scheme to promote double cropping
i. Assam government has launched an ambitious scheme to increaseagricultural production by providing facilities and assistance tofarmers for double cropping in their lands.
ii. Under the programme 'Momai Tamuli Barbaruah Krishak BondhuScheme', facilities and assistance will be provided for doublecropping in all the crop areas which have so far been utilised forsingle cropping only.
iii. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi launched the scheme at Timtimiavillage in Jorhat.
6. Wipro appoints Abid Neemuchwala as COO
i. India's third largest IT services exporter Wipro Ltd. announcedthe appointment of appointment of former TCS top executive Mr. AbidAli Neemuchwala as the Group President and Chief Operating Officer ofthe company.
ii. Mr Neemuchwala was heading the Business Process Servicesglobally.
iii. Apart from this he was also involved in several leadershiproles during his 23-year-long career with TCS.
7. Services win fourth Santosh Trophy title
i. Services lifted the Santosh Trophy after edging out hostsPunjab 5-4 via tie-breaker in a nail-biting summit clash at GuruNanak Stadium in Ludhiana .
ii. During the tiebreaker all the five players includingcaptain Anthony, Vibin, Francis Zonuntulnga, Arun Tudu and RakeshSingh scored goal for the winners.
iii. Services have won the title for the fourth time besidesfinishing runners up on five occasions.
8. Srikanth wins Swiss Grand Prix Gold championship
i. Young Indian shuttler K. Srikanth clinched the Swiss Grand PrixGold championship title after overcoming a strong challenge fromViktor Axelson in a hard-fought mens singles final.
ii. World No. 4 Srikanth showed nerves of steel to prevail overhis Danish opponent, ranked sixth in the world, 21-15, 12-21, 21-14in the thrilling summit clash of the $120,000 event .
iii. Srikanth previously created a major upset in the final of the2014 China Open Super Series Premier by beating five-time worldchampion and two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan.
Current Affairs - 17th March2015
1. Union Ministry DoNER announced to appoint Mary Komas the brand ambassador of the NE regi
i. Union Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER)on 14 March 2015 announced to appoint Olympic Bronze medallist boxerMC Mary Kom as the brand ambassador of the North-East region.
ii. She as the brand ambassador of the Northeast will showcase thepotential of the region which offers 2.4 trillion rupees businessopportunities across various sectors.
iii. Her name was selected from the list of shortlisted famouspersonalities by a committee headed by DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh.
About MC Mary Kom
Mary Kom is nicknamed Magnificent Mary.
She is afive-time World Amateur Boxing champion and the only woman boxer tohave won a medal in each of the six world championships.
Shewon a bronze medal in 2012 London Olympics in the flyweight (51 kg)category and is the only Indian woman boxer to qualify for thiscategory.
She is also first Indian woman boxer to get a GoldMedal in the 2014 Asian Games held at Incheon, South Korea.
She belongs to Kom tribal community of the north-eastern state ofManipur.
She had announced to quit boxing after the Rio deJaneiro Olympics in 2016.
2. Mirach to file $400 million defamation suit againstSahara
i. US-based Mirach Capital today said it is initiating a $400million defamation lawsuit against the Sahara group.
ii. The crisis-hit group had alleged that Mirach and its CEOSaransh Sharma's criminal conduct and lack of financial capabilitiesto honour such huge commitments led to the breaking down of the deal,
iii. Mirach accused Sahara's representatives of making unfoundedallegations against it while the group scrambled for more time forits jailed CEO.
3. Ashu Suyash appointed as Managing Director and ChiefExecutive Officer of CRISIL
i. Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) on16 March 2015 announced to appoint Ashu Suyash as the ManagingDirector (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.
ii. Her appointment was confirmed by the Board of Directors of theCompany.
iii. She will succeed Roopa Kudva and will take charge from June2015. Rupa Kudva was the MD and CEO of CRISIL from 2007 to September2014. She had joined CRISIL in 1992.
iv. Ashu has over 26 years of experience in the Indian financialservices industry. She currently is the CEO of L&T InvestmentManagement Ltd. She was appointed to this post following theacquisition of Fidelity Worldwide Investments India AssetManagement business by L&T Investment Management Ltd.
v. CRISIL is an Indian unit of Standard & Poor.
4. Centre includes compensation in GST Const AmendmentBill
i. The Centre has included in the GST Constitutional AmendmentBill the compensation which will be paid to states for revenue losson account of rolling out the new indirect tax regime.
ii. As part of the proposed GST regime, the CST is being phasedout and its rate has been reduced to two percent from four percent.
iii. The Centre collects CST and distributes it among states. TheCentre has agreed to compensate states for losses they have incurreddue to CST phase out.
5. Snapdeal buys stake in logistics firm GoJavas
i. Online marketplace major Snapdeal today picked up minoritystake in logistics firm GoJavas as it looks to further strengthen itsdelivery operations in the country.
ii. Snapdeal co-founder Rohit Bansal said this is the first everinvestment by Snapdeal in the logistics segment and that the companyis looking to invest $150-200 million in logistics this year.
iii. Snapdeal, which has more than 60,000 sellers on board andmore than 40 million registered users, has been dependent on thirdparty services such as Blue Dart, GoJavas, Ecom Express for handlingdeliveries in the country.
6. HDFC Bank launches instant money transfer app
i. HDFC Bank has launched Chillr, a mobile app that allows usersto instantly transfer money to any contact in their phonebook 24hours a day and seven days a week.
ii. HDFC Bank has partnered with MobME, a Kochi-based technologyfirm, to launch this app.
7.Supreme Court sets aside Jat quota
i. The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the notification issuedby the erstwhile UPA government to include Jats in the Central listof Other Backward Classes (OBC) for according benefits of reservationto them.
ii. a bench of Justice Tarun Gogoi and Justice R.F. Nariman foundfault with the Centres decision to overlook the findings of theNational Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) stating that Jats donot deserve to be included in the Central list of OBC as they dontform socio-economic backward class.
iii. The Narendra Modi government had supported UPA regime'sdecision to include the Jat community in the central OBC list forproviding reservation.
8. Hitachi India, Siemens sign MoU with CII for smartcities
i. Hitachi India Ltd and Siemens Ltd on Tuesday signed an MoU withthe Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to form a consortium thatwould create pilots and replicate them throughout the country forsetting up 100 smart cities.
ii. The MoU aims to establish a national mission for such citiesas a platform comprising industry leaders and experts and providepolicy advocacy and thought leadership to Government and otherstakeholders.
iii. It would also manage a knowledge repository to provide inputsto the Ministry of Urban Development on best practices.
Current Affairs - 18th March 2015
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mauritius
i. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited Mauritius between11 March and 12 March 2015 as part of his three nation tour toSeychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka that took place from 10 March to14 March 2015.
ii. Prime Minister of Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth gave theceremonial reception to Prime Minister Modi during his arrival in thecountry.
During his visit, five Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)were signed between the two nations.These include:
MoU in the field of Ocean Economy
MoU on Programme for Cultural Cooperation for the year2015-18
MoU on the Protocol for theimportation of fresh mango from India
MoU forthe Improvement in Sea and Air Transportation Facilities at AgalegaIsland of Mauritius
MoU on Cooperation in thefield of Traditional System of Medicine and Homeopathy
2. Israeli prime minister Netanyahu defies the polls toseal election win
i. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling LikudParty scored a resounding victory in the country's election, astunning turnaround after a tight race that had put his lengthy rulein jeopardy.
ii. The election was widely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, whohas governed the country for the past six years.
iii. Netanyahu focused his campaign on security issues, while hisopponents instead pledged to address the country's high cost ofliving and accused the leader of being out of touch with everydaypeople.
3. India to host seventh Asian Ministerial Conferenceon Disaster Risk Reduction in 2016
i. India will host the seventh Asian Ministerial Conference onDisaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in 2016. This was announced by HomeMinister of India Rajnath Singh on 17 March 2015 at the Third UNWorld Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan.
ii. Also, this will be the first AMCDRR to be hosted by India inthe post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, though India hadhosted the Second AMCDRR in 2007.
iii. The conference in 2016 will be held in collaboration with theUnited Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
iv. The ministerial conference is set to endorse a regionalimplementation plan of the new post-2015 framework for disaster riskreduction. This will form a key element of the initial global effortto implement the new framework.
v. The Sixth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster RiskReduction was held in Thailand from 23 June to 26 June 2014.
vi. It was the final regional inter-governmental meeting in Asiabefore the completion of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-15 andthe Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015.
4. WEF names Smriti Irani as Young Global Leader fromIndia
i. Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani was today named Young GlobalLeader from India by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
ii. Others who have been named Young Global Leader (YGL) in thepast include British Prime Minister David Cameron, Alibaba Groupchief Jack Ma, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Google chief Larry Page,Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
iii. In the list of 187 YGLs for 2015 from across the world,Irani is accompanied by 10 other Indians, including Gaurav Gogoi, anMP and son of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
5. India, Kyrgyzstan ink MoU for cooperation ontextile, clothing
i. India and Kyrgyzstan signed MoU to strengthen bilateralcooperation on textile and clothing.
ii. The MoU was signed by Minister of State (MoS) for TextilesSantosh Kumar Gangwar and his counterpart Minister of Energy andIndustry of Kyrgyzstan Kubanychbek Turdubaev in New Delhi.
iii. The MoU seeks to strengthen bilateral cooperationbetween both nations in the three fields including Textiles andClothing, Silk and Sericulture and Fashion.
6. Sohail Aman new Pakistan Air Force chief
i. Air Marshal Sohail Aman, an accomplished fighterpilot, was appointed as the chief of Pakistan Air Force.
ii. The Pakistan Air Force announced that the new air chief willtake over after his predecessor Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Buttretires.
iii. Air Marshal Sohail Aman was commissioned in the GD (P)Branch of Pakistan Air Force in November, 1980.
7. South Africa ease into semi-finals
i. South Africa cruised into the World Cup semi-finals witha one-sided thrashing of a sorry Sri Lanka in Sydney.
ii. Off-spinner JP Duminy took a hat-trick and leg-spinnerImran Tahir 4-26 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 133.
iii. The Proteas then eased to their target for the loss of onlyone wicket in 18 overs, with Quinton de Kock making an unbeaten 78.
iv. They go on to a last-four meeting with New Zealand orWest Indies in Auckland on Tuesday.
8. Lewis Hamilton of Britain won Australian Grand Prixof Formula One
i. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain on 15 March 2015 wonthe 2015 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park,Melbourne, Australia. Only 11 cars were able to take the chequeredflag.
ii. This was the first Australian Grand Prix win for LewisHamilton since 2008 and overall it was his 34th Grand Prix.
iii. Hamilton, who led the race from start to finish, was followedby teammate Nico Rosberg (second place),Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari),Felipe Massa (Williams).
9. Sangakkara, Jayawardene bid adieu to ODI cricket
i. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara might not have got afairytale ending to their final ODI match of their glorious careers.
ii. The duo had already called time on their respective ODIcareers before the 50-over showpiece event and it all ended on abitterly disappointing note as Sri Lanka bowed out with a nine-wicketloss to South Africa in the quarterfinal.
iii. The 37-year-old Sangakkara, scored 14,234 runs in 404 ODIs.
iv. Jayawardene, who had already quit the longest format, now bowsout of the international scene after a career that started in 1997.He leaves with 17,838 first-class runs to his name, 11,814 of them in149 Test matches. He played 448 ODIs, accumulating 12,650 runs.
Current Affairs - 19th March 2015
1. Kerala to host its first global conference on genderequality
i. The Gender Park, an institution under the state department ofSocial Justice, is organising the three-day International Conferenceon Gender Equality (ICGE -I) here with the support of UN Women fromNovember 12-14.
ii. It is envisaged to be the country's first such large-scaleexercise in creating a space to share knowledge and globalexperiences in reducing gender inequalities.
iii. "Gender, Governance and Inclusion" is the coretheme of the conference that will discuss issues ranging fromcitizenship, globalisation, work, governance, health and education tomasculinities, disability and the role of media
2. India Successfully Test Fires Air-to-Air AstraMissile
i. Indias indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR)air-to-air missile Astra was successfully tested from a Sukhoi-30fighter aircraft.
ii. The test was undertaken at the Integrated Test Range locatedat Chandipur in Odisha.
iii. Missiles all subsystems like propulsion, navigation,guidance and separation from the aircraft were also successfullytested.
3. EVMs to carry photos of candidates from May 1, 2015:EC
i. Election Commission has announced that Electronic VotingMachines (EVMs) and ballot papers will carry photographs ofcandidates from 1 May 2015.
ii. This move of EC seeks to avoid voters being misled by severalnamesakes in the election fray.
iii. In this regard EC has issued an order to all politicalparties and State Chief Electoral Officers for implementation.
4. China-backed AIIB to be joined by France, Germany,Italy
i. Three nations from European Union (EU) France, Germany andItaly have agreed to join the China-backed Asian InfrastructureInvestment Bank (AIIB) after the United Kingdom (UK) decided to jointhe bank.
ii. If these western nations join the bank, the total number ofthe banks member states including India will go up to 30.
iii. It should be noted that UK was the first Western country tojoin the bank and also first nation to disregard the reservationsexpressed by the United States (US) which had raised concerns overbanks transparency.
AIIB is an international financial institution proposed by Chinawhich seeks to provide support to infrastructure projects in Asia. Itis expected to be operational by the end 2015 and its headquarterswill be located at Beijing.
5. Kavinder Gupta elected as J&K assembly Speaker
i. Kavinder Gupta was unanimously elected as Speaker of the 12thAssembly of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
ii. The motion to elect the speaker of assembly was moved by StateMinister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Basharat Bukariand seconded by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh.
iii. Gupta was elected with voice vote as there was no one fromthe Opposition going against the motion. He will replace the ProtemSpeaker Muhammad Shafi of National Conference.
iv. Kavinder Gupta is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator fromGandhinagar constituency in Jammu district. He is the firsttime MLA to state assembly.
6. Railways rope in Ratan Tata to lead Kaya Kalp panel
i. Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu has roped in notedindustrialist Ratan Tata to head a new innovation council calledKaya Kalp he proposes to set up to turn around the ailingstate-run rail network.
ii. Former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai is likely tobe a member of the innovation council, which will also include thegeneral secretaries of the two major railway unions.
7. India storm into semi-finals by thrashing B'desh by109 runs
i. Rohit Sharma blasted a strokeful century as defending championsIndia stormed into the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup bythrashing a hapless Bangladesh by 109 runs in a lop-sided contesthere today.
ii. Riding on Rohit's spectacular 137 off 126 balls and hisrollicking 122-run fourth wicket stand in only 15.5 overs with thebelligerent Suresh Raina (65),India were able to post a commendable302 for six after opting to bat at the MCG.
iii. India will now meet the winner of the third quarter-finalbetween Australia and Pakistan at Sydney on March 26.
Current Affairs - 20th March 2015
1. Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan named as President ofBritains Royal Society
i. Nobel Laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been confirmedas President Elect of the Royal Society.
ii. His appointment was confirmed by the societys councilmeet and will assume the charge on 1 December 2015.
iii. He will succeed eminent geneticist Sir Paul Nurse who hadtaken on the role in 2010 and will step down after the customary5-year term.
iv. In 2009, Ramakrishnan was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry fordiscovering the precise structure of ribosomes.
2. Wipro, HCL in race for Sebi's fraud detection systemupgrade
i. Tata Consultancy Services, HP, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and fiveother companies have evinced interest in assisting the SecuritiesExchange Board of India (SEBI) in upgradation of its fraud detectionsystems.
ii. The markets watchdog is planning to expand the capacity of itsData Warehousing and Business Intelligence System (DWBIS) installedat data centres in Mumbai and Chennai.
iii. DWIBS is used for speedy analysis of trade data to identifypossible violations such as insider trading, share pricemanipulation, front running and pump-and-dump scams.
3. National Air Quality Index to debut in April
i. The environment ministry will be launching the National AirQuality Index, a simple, composite, and easy to understand measure ofair quality, on April 6.
ii. The index will measure the eight major pollutants that impacthealth - particulate matter (PM 10 and PM2.5),nitrogen dioxide,sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead - anddisseminate information on associated health risks through acolour-coded easy to identify format.
iii. Each colour will indicate a level of the index. There are sixlevels: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor andSevere.
4. Hyderabad International Airport handled record 10million passengers in 2014-15
i. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabadclocked 10 million passengers in the financial year 2014-15. BhanuKhannan who arrived at the airport from a Chennai bound flightemerged as the 10 millionth passenger at the airport.
ii. This was informed through a press statement issued by theairport authorities on 19 March 2015. The press statement alsomentioned the airports impressive growth in the passenger trafficand freight volumes.
iii. During the 2014-15 financial year, the airport had witnesseda traffic growth of 20 percent over last financial year (2013-14) ledby 22 percent growth in domestic passenger traffic and 15 percentgrowth in international traffic. The traffic growth numbers werehigher than the average growth witnessed by other major Indianairports.
iv. On the cargo front, the airport is well poised to reach the100000 tonnes mark during the financial year 2014-15. The cargofacility at the airport was built with a capacity for 150000 tonnesper annum. While air freight volumes in India have grown at aCompounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7 percent, RGIA recorded a 15percent growth in 2014-15.
5. Former Australian PM dies
i. Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has died aged84.
ii. Mr Fraser, who led the nation between 1975 and 1983, diedafter a short illness.
iii. He became its leader in controversial circumstances,after the unprecedented dismissal of PM Gough Whitlam.
iv. He championed the rights of Indigenous Australians andrefugees, a stance that put him on a collision course with his ownparty in later life.
6. Union Government launches BIRAC AcE Fund toaccelerate growth of entrepreneurs in Biotechnology
i. Union Government launched Biotechnology Industry ResearchAssistance Council (BIRAC) AcE Fund to accelerate growth ofentrepreneurs in Biotechnology.
ii. It was announced by Minister of State (MoS) for Science andTechnology (S&T) and Earth Sciences Y.S. Chowdary on the occasionof the third foundation day of BIRAC in New Delhi.
iii. The BIRAC AcE Fund aims to address the pressing needs ofaccelerating the growth of entrepreneurs, in the field ofBiotechnology.
iv. This equity fund will be operated by BIRAC a Public SectorUndertaking (PSU) under the aegis Department of Biotechnology (DBT)of Union Ministry of Science and Technology.
7. NCPs Ramraje Nimbalkar unanimously electedMaharashtra Legislative Council Chairman
i. NCP nominee Ramraje Nimbalkar was unanimously elected as theLegislative Council Chairman, even as the Congress and Shiv Senawithdrew their candidates from the fray.
ii. The Congress had fielded party loyalist Sharad Ranpise whilethe Sena had nominated its spokesperson Neelam Gorhe.
8. Mahendra Singh Dhoni became first Indian Captain toregister 100 ODI wins
i. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Captain of Indian One DayInternational (ODI) Cricket team on 19 March 2015 became the firstIndian captain and third in the history of the game, to lead hiscountry to 100 ODI wins. He reached the milestone of 100 wins in178th ODI.
ii. By achieving this fete, he joined the Australian pair of RickyPonting (165 wins) and Allan Border (107 wins).
iii. Dhoni achieved the fete after India defeated Bangladesh by109-run in their 2015 ICC World Cup quarter-final match in MelbourneCricket Ground.
iv. With the win, Indian cricket team led by Dhoni became thefirst ever side to take 70 wickets in seven consecutive World Cupgames.
v. The quarter-final win over Bangladesh also helped India toregister a record ninth knock-out win in ICC tournaments, whichincluded the 2007 World T20, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophytitles.
vi. The 33-year-old wicketkeeper batsman in 2007 took over the ODIcaptaincy from Rahul Dravid and led the team to its first-everbilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
9. Maharashtra Government announced to rename GirgaumChowpatty as Swaraj Bhoomi
i. Maharashtra Government announced to rename Girgaum Chowpatty asSwaraj Bhoomi to honour veteran freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
ii. The demand was raised by the Lokmanya Tilak Gaurav Samiti.They demanded that the spot at Chowpatty where Lokmanya Tilak wascremated, and where a garden stands now, should be called SwarajBhoomi.
iii. Girgaum Chowpatty is the oldest and most famous beach ofMumbai, Maharashtra. The Girgaum beach was called Chau-pati becauseof four channels of water that existed there.
10. Meira Kumars book released
i. Former Lok Sabha Meira Kumars book entitled IndianParliamentary Diplomacy Speakers Perspective wasreleased.
ii. The book was released by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan andits first copy was presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee at afunction held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
iii. The book features an account of the parliamentary diplomacyand its role in furthering foreign policy and strengtheninginternational relations.
iv. It is also a collection of select speeches and reports byKumar during her stint as Lok Sabha speaker and as leader of Indianparliamentary delegations at several international fora.
11. Australia beats Pakistan; to meet India insemi-final
i. Australia defeated Pakistan by six wickets to enter thesemi-finals of the cricket World Cup at the Adelaide Ova.
ii. Shane Watson made the most of an early reprieve to guideAustralia to a six-wicket win over Pakistan with an unbeaten 64 inthe Cricket World Cup quarterfinals.
ii. Pakistan won the toss and batted but was all out for 213 inthe last over, with recalled paceman Josh Hazlewood taking 4/35 forAustralia.
iii. Australia will play defending champion India in a semifinalat Sydney on 26th March 2015.
Current Affairs - 21st March2015
1. International Day of Forests observed
i. International Day of Forests was observed on 21 March 2015 withthe theme "Forests and Climate Change."
ii. The theme highlights forest-based solutions to address climatechange mitigation and adaptation, and more broadly forests andsustainable development.
iii. The day provides a platform to raise awareness of theimportance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests. Theday is also used to communicate the vital role forests play inpoverty eradication, environmental sustainability and food security.
2. 1st Counter-Terrorism Conference 2015 held in Jaipur
i. The 1st Counter-Terrorism Conference 2015 was held in Jaipurfor three days from 19 March 2015 to 21 March 2015. It was organisedby India Foundation in association with the Sardar Patel Universityof Police Security and Criminal Justice, Jodhpur at Jaipur inRajasthan.
ii. The central theme of the Conference is IntegratedApproach to Counter-Terrorism
iii. The focus of the deliberations was on exploring the contoursof 21st century terrorism and sharing the Counter-Terrorismexpertise. Some of the sub-themes on which the conference focusedinclude 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack, Talibanisation of Af-Pak region,New Caliphate in West Asia, Maritime Terrorism and Piracy, Chemical,Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism and Cyber andSpace terrorism.
iv. The Conference acted as a global platform for eminentscholars, strategic thinkers, field experts and policy makers engagedin counter-terrorism activity from various governments, agencies,think tanks and academic and research institutions from all over theworld.
v. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Rajasthan chief ministerVasundhara Raje, Former Union Home secretary GK Pillai, Former chiefof Defence Staff of Sri Lanka Sarath Fonseka and Former chief of ArmyStaff of Nepal Rookmangud Katawal were among the speakers at theconference.
3. Amitabh Bachchan roped in as Brand Ambassador forCampaign against Hepatitis B
i. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is roped in as the brand ambassadorfor Union Governments campaign against Hepatitis B, a criticalpublic problem in India.
ii. Bachchan was roped in as the brand ambassador for Indiasfight against Hepatitis B after his successful stint as UNICEFsgoodwill brand ambassador of pulse polio campaign in India.
iii. The campaign against Hepatitis B will be launched in April2015. The campaign is a part of the Union Governments ambitiouschild immunization programme named Mission Indradhanush, againstseven vaccine-preventable diseases.
4. Union Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana
i. The Union Cabinet has approved the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana (PMKVY) to provide skills training to youth across thecountry.
ii. Decision in this regard was taken in the Union Cabinet meetingchaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
iii. The PMKVY Scheme will be implemented by the Union Ministry ofSkill Development and Entrepreneurship through the National SkillDevelopment Corporation (NSDC).
iv. The target for skilling under the scheme will be associatedwith Union Governments flagship programmes such as Make in India,Digital India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and National Solar Mission.
5. World Sparrow Day observed
i. The World Sparrow Day was observed globally on 20 March 2015with the theme "I Love Sparrows". Thetheme has been inspired by the hope that more and more of us willcelebrate the relationship between People and Sparrows.
ii. The day is designated to raise awareness of the house sparrowand other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to theirpopulations.
6. Lata Mangeshkar won the Laadli Voice of the Centuryaward
i. Legendary Singer Lata Mangeshkar on 20 March 2015 was presentedwith the Laadli Voice of the Century award. She was awarded at thesixth edition of the National Media and Advertising Awards for GenderSensitivity held at Mumbai, Maharashtra.
ii. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was the chiefguest at the awards ceremony.
Winners of the National Media and Advertising Awards indifferent category
Laadli Voice of the Century award LataMangeshkar
Best movie award Queen
Laadli Grand Prix award advertising agency Ogilvy andMather for its advertisement, Titan Raga tum nahi badle
Laadli extraordinaire award Charu Khurana, she won alandmark judgment in the Supreme Court regarding Bollywoods biasagainst women make-up artistes
7. 33% Cops in Delhi, Union Territories to be women:Government
i. The Union Cabinet has cleared 33 per cent reservation for womanin the lower levels of police units of the seven Union Territories(UTs),including Delhi.
ii. The move aims at increasing representation of women in policeand to make the force gender sensitive.
iii. This reservation for women will be applicable in eachcategory (SC/ST/OBC and others) through direct recruitment innon-gazetted posts from constables to sub-inspectors.
8. Cricket World Cup: Martin Guptill double ton powersNew Zealand to massive win over West Indies
i. New Zealand opener Martin Guptill sent the ball soaring and therecords tumbling by striking a cricket World Cup record of 237 notout to set up his team's crushing 143-run victory over West Indies inthe last quarter-final.
ii. Guptill became the first New Zealander to score consecutiveWorld Cup centuries, bettered his own national record of 189 not outthen overtook Chris Gayle's World Cup record of 215 set againstZimbabwe at the current tournament. His innings took 163 balls andincluded 24 boundaries and 11 sixes.
iii. The Match made Guptill the first New Zealander to scorecenturies in consecutive World Cup innings after having made 105against Bangladesh.
9. Pakistani cricketers Misbah-ul-Haq, Shaid Afridiretired from ODI cricket
i. Pakistani cricketers, Misbah-ul-Haq and Shaid Afridi retiredfrom the One Day International (ODI) format of cricket.
ii. They retired after the World Cup quarter-final match againstAustralia played at Adelaide, Australia. In the quarter-final, theylost to Australia by six-wickets.
iii. Though Misbah will continue to play in the Test matches butAfridi will feature only in T20 format of the cricket.
Current Affairs - 22nd & 23rd March 2015
1. 22 March 2015 : World Water Day
i. World Water Day (WWD) 2015 was globally observed on 22 March2015 with the theme Water and Sustainable Development.
ii. The theme for the WWD 2015 talks about how water links to allareas we need to consider creating the future we want.
iii. WWD is celebrated every year to make a difference for themembers of the global population who suffer from water relatedissues. Its a day to prepare for how we manage water in thefuture.
iv. Facts about the water crisis
--> Roughly 75% of all industrial waterwithdrawals are used for energy production.
-->There are 658 million people living without access to water inAfrica.
--> By 2035, the global energy demandis projected to grow by more than one-third.
-->Diarrhoea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation and handhygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, whichis 2,300 people per day.
2. Infosys, Accenture in last lap for Rs 900-crore deal
i. Infosys and Accenture have entered the final lap to clinch a Rs900-crore ($150 million) IT outsourcing contract from Australia-basedfinancial services provider Macquarie Group.
ii. Macquarie provides banking, financial, advisory, investmentand funds management services.
iii. It employs more than 13,900 people in 28 countries.
iv. HCL, Cognizant and Genpact-Headstrong are some of Macquarie'sincumbent IT service providers.
3. Nation observes Martyrs Day
i. March 23 is marked as the Martyr's Day to honour the sacrificeof Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev who were hanged to death on thisday in 1931.
ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after his arrival in Amritsarheaded straight for Hussainiwala by a helicopter where he paid hisrespects to freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.
iii. It was in Hussainiwala that the three martyrs wereunceremoniously cremated by the British after their hanging in Lahoreon March 23, 1931.
4. SEBI bars three companies from mobilising publicmoney
i. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred threecompanies from raising funds from the public, with immediate effect.
ii. SEBI said these companies collectively garnered over Rs. 29crore from close to 12,000 investors through issuance of securitiesand prima facie violated various provisions of the Companies Act.
ii. The firms Everlight Realcon Infrastructure Ltd, TrestySecurities Ltd and Real Vision International Ltd issuedsecurities to over 50 persons each, which under the rules made it apublic issue.
5. India becomes 3rd biggest steel producer overtakesUS
i. India has become the third-largest steel producer in the worldby overtaking United States (US) in first two months of year 2015.
ii. It was revealed in the Data compiled by World SteelAssociation (WSA).
iii. Indias production in first two months i.e. January-February of 2015 was 14.56 million tonnes (MT).
iv. China tops in steel production and accounts for nearly half ofthe global steel production. During this period China has produced 65MT steel.v. Japan is the second-largest steel producer and hasreported a total production of 17.4 MT.
6. Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore died
i. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister and architect ofthe tiny Southeast Asian city-state's rapid rise from Britishtropical outpost to global trade and financial centre, rested inpeace.He was aged 91.
ii. Mr. Lee co-founded the People's Action Party (PAP),which has ruled Singapore since 1959 and led the newly born countrywhen it was separated from Malaysia in 1965.
iii. He stepped down as prime minister in 1990, handing power toGoh Chok Tong, but remained influential as senior minister in Goh'scabinet.
7. 23rd March: World Meteorological Day
i. The World Meteorological Day (WMD) 2015 was observed across theworld on 23 March 2015. The theme for the WMD 2015 is ClimateKnowledge for Climate Action.
ii. The theme assumes significance in the backdrop of necessity todisseminate Climate Change related knowledge to take up appropriatemitigation and adaptation actions.
iii. Every year on the occasion of WMD, awards for meteorologicalresearch are also given. These awards include The InternationalMeteorological Organization Prize, Professor Dr. Vilho Vaisaila Awardand The Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award.
iv. 23 March is celebrated as World Meteorological Day tocommemorate the entry into force of the World MeteorologicalOrganisation (WMO) Convention in 1950 aimed at creating theorganisation.
v. WMO became the UN's specialized agency for meteorology,operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences in 1951. Itoriginated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO),which was founded in 1873. At present, WMO is represented by189 member states and territories.
vi. The theme for World Meteorological Day 2014 was Weather andClimate: Engaging Youth.
8. Rajendra Singh, the Water Man of India, named as the2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate
i. The Waterman of India Rajendra Singh was named as the 2015Stockholm Water Prize Laureate on 20 March 2015.
ii. Singh was named for the prestigious award for his innovativewater restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India,and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his questto improve the living conditions for those most in need.
iii. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm WaterPrize, will present the prize to Rajendra Singh at a Royal AwardCeremony during World Water Week in Stockholm on 26 August 2015.
iv. Singh has invested several decades of his life to defeatdrought and empowering communities of Rajasthan through hisorganisation Tarun Bharat Sangh (India Youth Association).
v. He addressed the problem of waters in villages of Rajasthanthrough building Johads or traditional earthen dams. These Johads, bynow about 8600 in number, helped 1000 villages of the state inrevival of water.
vi. His efforts also helped in increasing the forest cover in thestate, which helped the return of antelope and leopard in the state.
9. Former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka became first FieldMarshal of Sri Lanka
i. Sarath Fonseka, the former Army Chief of Sri Lanka, on 22 March2015 was conferred with the country's highest military rank of FieldMarshal. He was awarded the honorary title by President MaithripalaSirisena for achieving victory over terrorism.
ii. With this, Foneska became the first Sri Lankan Army officer tobecome Field Marshal. Fonsenka is a former Chief of Defence Staff andis now a member of Sri Lanka Parliament from Colombo district.
iii. Under his leadership, the 26-year Sri Lankan Civil War cameto an end in 2009 in which the rebels Liberation Tigers of TamilEelam (LTTE) were defeated by Sri Lankan army.
iv. Earlier, he was jailed for three years on alleged treasoncharges by the previous regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2012; however,with the electing of Sirisena as President of Sri Lanka in 2014, hewas cleared of all allegations including those of treason by usinghis executive powers.
10. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won the womendoubles title of BNP Paribas Tennis Open
i. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the Indo-Swiss women pair ofTennis, on 21 March 2015 won the women doubles title of BNP ParibasOpen. In the title clash played at Indian Wells, USA, the duodefeated the Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina6-3, 6-4.
ii. En route to the title, the top seeds Sania and Hingis didntdrop even a single set in the tournament.
iii. Till date, Hingis has won 11 Grand Slams which include ninein women's and two in mixed, while Sania has claimed three GrandSlams, all in mixed.
iv. The women singles title of the BNP Paribas Open was won byWorld Number 3 Simona Halep of Romania. She defeated World Number 1Serena Williams of the US.
11. Novak Djokovic won Indian Wells Open Tennis Men'sSingles title
i. Novak Djokovic of Serbia on 22 March 2015 won his fourth IndianWells Open Tennis Mens Singles title. In the final clash, Djokovicdefeated Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-3, 6-7 (5),6-2.
ii. This win at Indian Wells Open was the 50th tour-level titlefor Djokovic. With this fourth title in Indian Wells, he also becamethe 12th player in the Open Era to win 50 titles, surpassing hiscoach, Boris Becker, of 49 trophies.
iii. On the other hand, Simona Halep of Romania defeated formerJelena Jankovic of Serbia 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 to win her the Indian WellsOpen Tennis Womens Singles title. For Helep, this was the biggesttitle of her career.
iv. Halep is the first player to win three WTA titles in 2015.Earlier, she had won Shenzhen Open and Dubai Open in 2015.
Current Affairs - 24th March 2015
1. 24th March : World Tuberculosis Day observedglobally
i. The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee gave message tothe nation on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, which isobserved every year on March 24.
ii. In India National Tuberculosis Control Programme has been ableto test 86 million persons, treat 19 million patients and save 3.4million lives since its inception in 1993.
iii. TB is a major health problem which afflicts mainly the youngand working population of our country.
iv. It is unfortunate that in India even today one person diesevery two minutes due to this menacing disease.
2. India to grow at 7.8 percent in 2015-16 :ADB
i. The Asian Development Bank projected India's growth rate tosurpass China and improve to 7.8 per cent in next fiscal and furtherto 8.2 per cent in 2016-17.
ii. The Asian Development Outlook, an annual publication of theADB said, India's growth and investor confidence will improve on theback of government's structural reform agenda and improved externaldemand.
iii. It forecast that India's growth will improve from 7.4 percent in current fiscal to 7.8 per cent in 2015-16 and further to 8.2per cent in 2016-17.
3. 62nd National film Awards 2014-15 announced -
i. The awards will be given by President Pranab Mukherjee on 3rdof May in New Delhi
ii. The awardees are -
BestActor : Sanchari Vijay (Nanu Avanalla Avalu)
Best Actress :kangana ranaut (Queen)
Best Director : Srijith Mukerjee(Chotushkone)
Entertainment Film : Mary Kom
Environment Film :Ottal (Malayalam)
Music Director : Vishal Bhardwaj
Singer (Male) : Sukvinder Singh
Singer (Female ) : Utara Unnikrishnan
4. Shashi Kapoor gets Dadasaheb Phalke Award
i. Charming Shashi Kapoor, whose nuanced acts in memorable filmslike Deewar, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Trishul andKabhi Kabhie captivated Hindi film buffs, will be conferred theDadasaheb Phalke Award for 2014.
ii. The veteran actor-producer, 77, is the 46th winner of thehonour, conferred by the government for outstanding contribution tothe growth and development of Indian Cinema.
iii. In 1978, Shashi set up his production house Film Valas, whichproduced critically acclaimed films such as Junoon (1978),Kalyug (1981),36 Chowringhee Lane (1981),Vijeta(1982) and Utsav (1984).
5. Indian Railways launched RuPay pre-paid debit cards
i. Indian Railways on 24 March 2015 launched its own RuPaypre-paid card. The card will enable passengers to book their Railtickets and do shopping using RuPay pre-paid debit cards. Card can beavailed from either the Union Bank or the IRCTC.
ii. The RuPay pre-paid card was launched by Indian RailwayCatering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC),the Railways' tourism andcatering arm, in collaboration with the Union Bank of India.
iii. RuPay is India's own card payment gateway network andprovides an alternative system for banks to provide debit cardservice.
iv. The transaction charge will be 10 rupees per ticket forbooking a ticket through the card on the IRCTC portal. As an openingoffer, the transaction charge will not be levied for six months forpurchasing tickets on the IRCTC's website. The initial value of thecard is 10000 rupees, which can be recharged.
6. Section 66 A of IT Act unconstitutional, SupremeCourt rules
i. The Supreme Court struck down Section 66 A of the Informationand Technology Act, which allows police to arrest people for posting'offensive content' on the internet.
ii. The bench said the public's right to know is directly affectedby Section 66 A and the Section clearly affects the right to freedomof speech and expression enshrined under the Constitution of India.
iii. A bench of justices J. Chelameswar and R.F. Nariman had on 26February reserved its judgement on one of the most controversialissues regarding the freedom of expression that the court has had todeal with in recent times.
iv. The government said it did not want to curtail the freedom ofspeech and expression but contended that the cyber space could not beallowed to remain unregulated.
7. Madhav Gadgil and Dr. Jane Lubchenco won Tyler Prizefor Environmental Achievement 2015
i. Indian ecologist Madhav Gadgil and US Scientist Dr. JaneLubchenco were on 23 March 2015 named for the Tyler Prize forEnvironmental Achievement 2015.
ii. They were named for the award for their leadership andengagement in the development of conservation and sustainabilitypolicies in the United States, India and internationally.
iii. As the winners of the Tyler Prize, Lubchenco and Gadgil willshare the 200000 US Dollar cash prize and each will receive a goldmedallion at a private ceremony in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles on 24April 2015.
iv. Madhav Gadgil became the second Indian to receive the awardafter MS Swaminathan in 1991. He received the award to helpdramatically improve crop yields in India.
v. Ecologist Madhav Gadgil was the Chairman of the Western GhatsEcology Expert Panel (WGEEP). He was awarded for his landmark reporton the preservation of the unique ecosystem of the Western Ghats andthe inclusion of local committees.
vi. Dr. Lubchenco is a distinguished Professor and Advisor inMarine Studies at Oregon State University. She was awarded for herdedication to raising awareness of the importance of the ocean andthe need to protect ocean ecosystems, notably during her tenure from2009 to 2013 as administrator of the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration (NOAA).
vii. She was recently named first-ever U.S. Science Envoy for theOcean by the United States Department of State.
8. South Africans choked again as Kiwis advance tomaiden final with 4-wicket win
i. South Africa-born Grant Elliott`s brilliant 84 not out, cappedwith a stunning six off the penultimate ball, saw New Zealand to afour-wicket win over the Proteas in a cliffhanger World Cupsemi-final at Auckland`s Eden Park.
ii. NewZealand faced a revised target of 298 under theDuckworth/Lewis method after South Africa made 281 for five in 43overs.
iii. South Africa, struggling to throw off their unwanted "choker"tag, have now failed to win all four World Cup semi-finals they havecontested.
iv. Newzealand will now play with the winner of the second semifinal between India and Australia.
Current Affairs - 25th March2015
1. Veteran poet Gopaldas Neeraj awarded inauguralNational Kavi Pradeep Samman
i. Noted Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj was awarded with firstNational Kavi Pradeep Samman.
ii. He was presented the award by Madhya Pradesh CultureMinister Surendra Patwa at a function held in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
iii. He is among the renowned poets and authors in Hindiliterature and also is a famous poet of Hindi Kavi Sammelan.
iv. National Kavi Pradeep Samman is instituted by the Governmentof Madhya Pradesh in the memory of late renowned poet and songwriterKavi Pradeep. v. The Award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a shawland a citation.
2. Benjamin Nethanyahu of Likud Party won the IsraelElections 2015
i. Benjamin Nethanyahu of Likud Party on 18 March 2015 won theIsrael Elections 2015. The elections for 120 seats of the Knesset,Parliament of Israel, were held on 17 March 2015.
ii. In the elections the incumbent Prime Minister BenyaminNetanyahu's party secured 29 seats. It was followed by center-leftZionist Union party of Isaac Herzog which secured 24 seats and JointArab List or Hadash party came at third place by securing 14 seats.Joint Arab List party is an alliance of Israeli Arab-dominatedparties that united for the first time.
iii. Apart from this, Yesh Atid party secured 11 seats, Kulanuparty secured 10 seats, Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party secured8 seats, Shas and United Torah Judaism party secured 7 seats each,Yisrael Beiteinu party secured 6 seats and Meretz party secured 4seats.
iv. The 2015 elections saw the turnout of 71.8 percent which was4.6 percent higher than the previous election in 2013 and was thehighest since the 1999 elections that saw a turnout of 78.7 percent.
3. 2 mega food parks each for Punjab, Haryana; among 17approved
i. Union Government has approved 17 mega food parks for foodprocessing across the country.
ii. It was announced by Union Cabinet Minister of Food ProcessingHarsimrat Kaur Badal. Out of these 17 food parks, 7 parks have beenallotted to state agencies whereas 10 to private players in 11states.
iii. These food parks will attract more investment in theconcerned states and generate employment opportunities. It will alsobenefit five lakh farmers who are suffering due to lack of storageand proper transport system.
4. Amitav Ghosh among the 10 finalists shortlisted for2015 Man Booker International Prize
i. Indian author Amitav Ghosh was shortlisted for the 2015 ManBooker International Prize. He is the only Indian among the 10finalists shortlisted for the prize.
ii. Kolkata born, 58-year-old Mr. Ghosh had narrowly missed out onthe Booker Prize back in 2008 when he was shortlisted for his workSea of Poppies.
iii. The international version of the popular literary prize, tobe held in London on May 19, is awarded every two years to a livingauthor who has published fiction either originally in English orwhose work is generally available in translation in the Englishlanguage.
5. Google Inc appointed Ruth Porat as Chief FinancialOfficer
i. Google Inc on 24 March 2015 appointed Ruth Porat as ChiefFinancial Officer (CFO). She will take the charge on 26 May 2015. Shewill report to Google CEO and Co-Founder Larry Page.
ii. She succeeded Patrick Pichette who announced his retirement on10 March 2015. Currently, she is working as Chief Financial Officerat Morgan Stanley.
iii. Ruth joined Morgan Stanley in 1987 and has played several keyroles at the company, including Vice Chairman of Investment Banking,Global Head of the Financial Institutions Group and co-Head ofTechnology Investment Banking.
iv. She is Vice Chair of the Stanford University Board ofTrustees, a member of the US Treasurys Borrowing AdvisoryCommittee, a Board Director at The Council on Foreign Relations and amember of the Advisory Council of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal andMonetary Policy at the Brookings Institution.
6. Govt launches Digital India initiative with TwitterSamvad
i. The Union government launched a new platform, in associationwith Twitter, for direct communication among leaders, governmentagencies and citizens through tweets and text messages, helping booste-governance plans.
ii. Through Twitter Samvad, a set of curated Tweets will bedelivered every day from the accounts of the government and theleaders to mobile-phone users across the country as text messages.
iii. The service can come in handy during emergencies asgovernment agencies can share live updates, even time-sensitiveinformation on law and order or rescue.
7. 'Largest ever asteroid impact' found in Australia
i Scientists at Australian National University (ANU) found theworlds largest asteroid impact zone in the Warburton Basin ofcentral Australia.
ii. Dr Andrew Glikson from the Australian National University(ANU) School of Archaeology and Anthropology was the lead author ofthe study.
iii. The 400-kilometre (250-mile) wide area is buried deep in theearth's crust and consists of two separate impact scars. The asteroidbroke into two before it hit, with each fragment more than 10kmacross.
8. Gujarat Philatelic Exhibition Gujpex-2015inaugurated in Ahmedabad
i. Hon. Governor of Gujarat Shri O.P. Kohli inauguratedGujpex-2015 at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial, Ahmedabad.Gujpex-2015 is the 13th state level philatelic exhibition of Gujaratpostal circle.
ii. Hon. Governor also inaugurate a special cover on 'River front'and a book 'Collector's guide to british India bazaar card- Edwardian& Georgian period' written by philatelist Shri Prafful Thakkar.
iii. This exhibition will run from 24 March to 27 March 2015 andis organized by the Gujarat Postal Circle with the active support ofphilatelic associations of Gujarat.
Current Affairs - 26th March 2015
1. Dolly Shivani Cherukuri became the youngest Archerto enter India Book of Records
i. Three-year-old archer Dolly Shivani Cherukuri of Andhra Pradeshon 24 March 2015 entered the India Book of Records. She entered thelist of records by scoring 388 points in the recurve segment in twodistances, seven and five meters, at the Volga Archery Academy inVijayawada.
ii. At the time of entering the India Book of Records, she wasnine days less than three years.
iii. She shot 36 arrows each from five metres and seven metres toscore 388 points in presence of judges from the India Book of Recordsand the Archery Association of India (AAI).
iv. Shivani is the youngest sister of Cherukuri Lenin, formerinternational archery champion and archery coach, who died in a roadaccident in 2010. She was trained at the Volga Archery Institute runby her father Cherukuri Satyanarayana.
2. TCL partners with Indosat to make inroads intoIndonesia
i. Tata Communications Ltd (formerly VSNL) has partnered withIndonesian firm Indosat to provide a wide range of technology andcommunication solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and to makeinroads into that region.
ii. This partnership combines Indosats extensive regionalcoverage and expertise with Tata Communications globalconnectivity and managed service capabilities to design acomprehensive portfolio of services for the Indonesian market.
iii. The total Enterprise IT spending in the Indonesian market by2018 is expected to reach $14.09 billion out of which telecomservices will account for $4.96 billion.
3. Vikas Swarup to be new spokesperson of ExternalAffairs Ministry
i. Senior Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer and noted novelistVikas Swarup of Slumdog Millionaire-fame will be the new spokespersonof the Ministry of External Affairs.
ii. The Hollywood movie Slumdog Millionaire which won eightOscars was based on Mr. Swarups successful debut novel Q&A.
iii. The third edition of the summit is scheduled to take place inIndia on October 29.
4. Web Ratna Awards to honour eGovernance initiatives
i. National Informatics Centre (NIC),under the ambit of IndiaPortal (http://india.gov.in)organised the third edition of Web Ratna Awards.
ii. For Innovative Use of Technology, MKisan?Government of IndiaPortal for Farmer Centric Services won the Platinum Award.
iii. In the Citizen Centric Service Category Platinum Award wasbagged by Passport Seva Project.
iv. Web Ratna Awards through its unique initiative has contributedto the overall increase in quality and quantity of web presence ofvarious government departments across the country.
5. Novel titled Family Life written by Akhil Sharma wonthe Folio Prize 2015
i. He was presented with the winner trophy by Jean-Marc Rathe ofThe Folio Society and a cheque of 40000 pound at the awards ceremonyheld in London.
ii. His novel Family Life was one among the eight booksshortlisted from 80 works of fiction and was chosen as the bestfiction published in the UK in 2014 by the 235 writers and criticswho constitute the Folio Academy.
iii. Family Life is an autobiographical story of an immigrantfamily floundering in America. The book tells the story of AjayMishra who moves from Delhi to the United States as a child in thelate 1970s. When Ajay's brother has a life-changing accident, itshatters his family's new life.
About The Folio Prize
The Folio Prize was instituted in 2014. The prize recognizesthe best English-language fiction from around the world, published inthe United Kingdom (UK) during a given year, regardless of form,genre or the authors country of origin.
It is the first major English-language book prize open towriters from all over the world.
In 2014, American short story writer George Saunders becamethe first winner of The Folio Prize. He won for his collection ofshort stories Tenth of December.
6. Artist Bharti Kher conferred with the Knight of theOrder of Arts and Letters of France
i. Artist Bharti Kher of India on 23 March 2015 was conferred withthe Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans lOrdredes Arts et des Lettres). This is the highest cultural award ofFrance.
ii. She was awarded for her contribution in contemporary artlandscape. Kher's artworks span several mediums like painting,sculpture and installation.
iii. Her An Absence of Assignable Cause which is a 14 feet highsculptural interpretation of the heart of the blue sperm whale isamong the finest works from the experiment.
iv. The French government distinction Chevalier des Arts et desLettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) is conferred onpersons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in thefield of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to theinfluence of arts in France and throughout the world.
7. Indias first Polar Remotely Operated Vehicleoperationalised in North Antarctica
i. Indias first Polar Remotely Operated Vehicle (PROVe) wassuccessfully operationalised for research in North Antarctica on 25March 2015. PROVe has been indigenously built by National Instituteof Ocean Technology (NIOT) under the Union Ministry of EarthSciences.
ii. Union Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan made thesymbolic launch of the PROVe from the National Institute of OceanTechnology (NIOT) headquarters in Chennai.
iii. The results of PROVes findings will contribute vastly tomankinds understanding of climate besides enhancing the capabilityto predict the Monsoon
What will PROVe do?
Monsoon prediction and reading of patternwill become easier
It will measure parameterslike ocean currents, temperature and salinity in the Arctic
It is capable of probing the sea bed under normaltemperature and is capable of exploring up to 200 meters ininhospitable and tough regions like the ice clad Antarctica.
8. India decimated, Australia through to finals
i. India's World Cup dreams crashed as they were inflicted a95-run defeat by Australia in their World Cup semifinal at the SydneyCricket Ground.
ii. Chasing a huge victory target of 329 runs, India were bowledout for 233 runs in 46.5 overs.
iii. Steven Smith's brilliant century propped up Australia beforeIndian bowlers staged a comeback of sorts but the hosts still managedto post a commanding 328/7.
iv. Australia will now meet New Zealand in the finals on 29th ofMarch.
Current Affairs - 27th & 28thMarch 2015
1. CNN IBN announced Indian of the Year Award2014
i. CNN-IBN announced the Indian of the Year Award 2014 on 18 March2015. The award recognises the remarkable achievements andcontributions of Indians who worked tirelessly towards strengtheningIndias foundation in 2014.
ii. The CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Award is presented annually tovarious Indians for their work in their respective fields. The awardsare presented in various categories of Politics, Sports, Business,Entertainment, Public Service and Global Indian.
iii. List of the Winners of CNN-IBN Award 2014:
* Narendra Modi - Indian of the Year 2014
*Arun Jaitley - Indian of the Year 2014: Politics
*Jitu Rai - Indian of the Year 2014: Sports
* NChandrasekaran - Indian of the Year 2014: Business
*Chetan Bhagat - Indian of the Year 2014: Entertainment
*Tongam Rina - Indian of the Year 2014: Public Service
*Satya Nadella - Indian of the Year 2014: Global Indian
*K Chandrasekhar Rao - Indian of the Year 2014: Popular Choice
*P Vijayan - Indian of the Year 2014: Popular Choice
*Kangana Ranaut - Indian of the Year 2014: SpecialAchievement
* Pankaj Advani - Indian of the Year2014: Special Achievement
* Kailash Satyarthi -Indian of the Year 2014: Outstanding Achievement
*Azim Premji - Indian of the Year 2014: Outstanding Achievement
*The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) - Indian ofthe Year 2014: Lifetime Achievement
2. 25 March: International Day of Remembrance of theVictims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
i. International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery andthe Transatlantic Slave Trade 2015 was observed globally on 25 March2015. The theme for the year 2015 is Women and Slavery.
ii. The theme is a tribute to the many women who suffered and diedduring the slave trade.
iii. On this occasion the United Nations (UN) unveiled a permanentmemorial for victims of transatlantic trade, named as Arc of Retrun,at the UN headquarters in New York. The memorial reminds not only thegross injustice done to African slaves but also the successfuljourney of the UN in restoring their dignity by actively condemningthe practice.
3. ISRO won Gandhi Peace Prize 2014
i. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 27 March 2015 wonGandhi Peace Prize 2014. The award was selected by the jury under thechairmanship of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
ii. Besides Prime Minister, other members of the Jury thatselected the ISRO for the award were Justice H L Dattu, Chief Justiceof India; Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the single largest OppositionParty in the Lok Sabha; LK Advani, Member of Parliament andGopalkrishna Gandhi.
iii. The Indian space agency successfully launched Mars OrbiterMission (MOM) and at a very cost effective price of 450 crore rupees.
iv. The launch makes India the first Asian country to enter theMartian sphere of influence.
v. ISRO became the fourth space agency after National Aeronauticsand Space Administration (NASA) of the US, Russian Federal SpaceAgency (RFSA) and European Space Agency to have undertaken a missionto Mars.
vi. Besides launching various research and communicationsatellites, the space agency through its cutting-edge technologiescontributes to the nation's development through satellite basededucation, health care and connectivity to community activities forsustainable economic development.
4. Nobel Laureate John Nash won Abel Prize 2015for work on partial differential equations
i. Nobel Laureate John F Nash Jr. won the Abel Prize 2015 for hiswork on partial differential equations.
ii. The prize was announced on 25 March 2015 by the NorwegianAcademy of Sciences and Letters. They will receive the Abel Prizefrom His Majesty King Harald at a ceremony in Oslo on 19 May 2015.
iii. He will share the Prize with Louis Nirenberg, ProfessorEmeritus at New York University's Courant Institute of MathematicalSciences. They both will share the prize money of 760000 US dollar.
About the Abel Prize
* The Abel Prize is an international prizepresented annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstandingmathematicians. The prize was named after Norwegian mathematicianNiels Henrik Abel.
* The award was established in2001 by the Government of Norway and complements the Holberg Prize inthe humanities.
* The Abel Prize has often beendescribed as the mathematician's Nobel Prize, competing in thatrespect with the much older Fields Medal. It comes with a monetaryaward of 6 million Norwegian kroner (NOK).
5. ADB sanctioned 300 million US dollars underSCRIP for road construction in NBNE region
i. The abbreviation SCRIP (SASEC Road Connectivity InvestmentProgram) was in news as a loan agreement of 300 million US dollarsunder the programme was signed between the Asian Development Bank(ADB) and the Union Ministry of Finance on 26 March 2015.
ii. Under this multi-tranche programme, about 500 km of roads willbe constructed in the North Bengal-North East (NBNE) region. ADB isproviding 500 million US dollars for the execution of the programme.
iii. SRCIP is a strategic initiative that aims to achieve regionalintegration among the members of the South Asia Sub regional EconomicCooperation (SASEC) group by improving road connectivity within theNorth Bengal-North Eastern Region in India. The members of this groupare Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.
6. Book titled Food for All written by Uma Lele
i. The book will be published by Oxford University Press. The booksurveys the food and agricultural development assistance delivered byfive major international organizations since their establishment togauges their relevance, effectiveness, and impacts in a dramaticallychanged world.
ii. The five organisations surveyed by the book are: theWorld Bank Group, Food and Agriculture Organization, World FoodProgramme, International Fund for Agricultural Development andConsultative Group for International Agricultural Research.
iii. The book is the result of a meeting convened at the Bill andMelinda Gates Foundation in October 2010 to explore how to addressthe challenges and opportunities of the global food and agriculturesystem.
About the Author
* Uma Lele is Ph.D from Cornell University andhas four decades of experience in agricultural research, projectdesign and implementation, policy analysis, and program evaluation.
*She is a former senior adviser to the World Bank and haspublished notable works on agricultural and rural development.
7. PM Narendra Modi launches PRAGATI platform forredressal of grievances
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 March 2015 launchedPro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI) platform.
ii. PRAGATI is a multi-purpose and multi-modal platform aimed ataddressing grievances of common man. It also aims at simultaneouslymonitoring and reviewing important Union government programmes andprojects as well as projects flagged by State Governments.
iii. It is an innovative project in e-governance and goodgovernance and accountability with real-time presence and informationexchange among the key stakeholders.
iv. Thus, offers a unique combination in the direction ofcooperative federalism.
v. Prime Minister can directly discuss the issues with theconcerned Central and State officials with full information andlatest visuals of the ground level situation.
vi. On a monthly basis, Prime Minister will interact withbureaucrats i.e. on fourth Wednesday of every month at 3.30 PM-called as PRAGATI Day.
vii. Issues to be flagged before the PM will be picked up from theavailable database regarding Public Grievances, pending Projects andon-going Programmes. These issues will uploaded seven days prior tothe PRAGATI day.
Key features of PRAGATI
* Designed in-house by the Prime MinistersOffice (PMO) team with the help of National Informatics Center(NIC).
* Uniquely bundles three latesttechnologies including Digital data management, geo-spatialtechnology and video-conferencing.
* Three-tiersystem that brings PMO, Union Government Secretaries, and ChiefSecretaries of the States at one stage.
8. Delhi Government launches India's firstE-ration card service
i. Delhi government has launched First E-ration card service inIndia. It was launched Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 27March 2015.
ii. In this service, E-ration card will be linked with Aadhaarcards in order to curb corruption and increase transparency in thesystem.
iii. Along with the E-ration card service, Delhi government isalso starting issuing temporary Fair Price Shop (FPS)-licences. Theselicenses will be issued to around 25,000 FPS in Delhi. FPS areoperated by private players to provide subsided foodgrains.
Current Affairs - 29th &30th March 2015
1. Earth Hour 2015 observed globally from 8.30 pm to9.30 pm local time
i. Earth Hour 2015 was observed globally on 28 March 2015 from8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time. The tagline for the global campaignwas Change Climate Change. This was the ninth edition of the EarthHour that started in 2007.
ii. Earth Hour 2015 was observed across 172 nations andterritories and around 1400+ iconic landmarks of the world switchedoff the lights.
iii. Earth Hour is a global campaign with a simple message toswitch off non-essential lights for one hour on the last Saturday ofMarch between 8:30 and 9:30 pm. This is done as a commitment to theplanet.
iv. Earth Hour is organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF) since 2007 when it was first observed in Sydney, Australia.
Earth Hour in India
* India joined the Earth Hour campaign in 2009and over the years has seen an exponential growth in participationacross cities, towns and even far-flung villages of rural India.
* The brand ambassadors for Earth Hour in Indiaare Arjun Kapoor (actor),Priya Mani (actress),Sania Mirza (Tennisplayer),June Maliah (actress),and Suresh Gopi (Malayalam actor).
2. Reliance Powers Sasan UMPP fully operational
i. Anil Ambani controlled Reliance Power Ltd has announced thecommissioning of the sixth and last 660 MW unit of the 3,960 MW SasanUltra Mega Power Project (UMPP).
ii. The Sasan UMPP is the largest integrated power plant cum coalmining project at a single location involving investment of over Rs.27,000 crore.
iii. Reliance Powers generation capacity has increased to 5,945MW which includes 5,760 MW of thermal and 185 MW of renewable energybased capacity.
3. Madan Mohan Malaviya posthumously awarded BharatRatna
i. Freedom fighter and educationist, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaon 30 March 2015 was conferred the highest civilian award of thecountry Bharat Ratna (posthumous). His family members received theaward from President Prabab Mukherjee at a function in the Ashokahall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
ii. The award was given to Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya or MahamanaMalaviyas family for his outstanding work in the field ofeducation and the country's freedom struggle.
iii. Pandit Malaviya was born on 25 December 1861 in Allahabad. Hestudied at Calcutta University and became a school teacher. Later healso practiced as a lawyer and even a newspaper editor. He was thefounder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Hindu Mahasabha.
iv. Besides, President also presented Padma Vibhushan, PadmaBhushan and Padma Shri awards.
4. ISRO navigation satellite in orbit
i. India demonstrated its ability to establish an independentregional navigation satellite system, as ISROs PSLV C-27successfully launched Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System(IRNSS) 1-D satellite into the intended orbit.
ii. IRNSS is the series of navigational sattelites in answer tothe U.S. GPS system, While the ambit of the U.S. GPS was global, theIRNSS was meant for regional coverage.
iii. While four of the seven satellites in the IRNSS will be ingeosynchronous orbit, the other three would be positioned ingeo-stationary orbit, some 36,000 km above the Earth.
5. Aditi Arya crowned FBB Femina Miss World 2015
i. Aditi Arya was declared fbb Femina Miss India World 2015 at astar-studded event at the Yash Raj Studios.
ii. Aafreen Rachel Vaz walked away with the fbb Femina Miss India2015 first runner-up crown, while Vartika Singh was fbb Femina MissIndia 2015 second runner-up.
iii. Gurgaon girl Aditi Arya, a research analyst, received thecrown from Miss India 2014 Koyal Rana. Aditi will represent India atMiss World 2015 to be held later this year.
6. Saina Nehwal, K Srikanth win India Open titles
i. Saina Nehwal defeated third seeded Ratchanok Intanon ofThialand to win $275,000 India Open badminton championship
ii. Saina blitzed past former World champion Ratchanok Intanon21-16, 21-14 for her ninth BWF Superseries title and first NationalOpen.
iii. In the men's section Viktor Axelsen was defeated by theIndian star K Srikanth to script a brilliant 18-21, 21-13, 21-12triumph.
7. Australia defeated New Zealand to win ICC CricketWorld Cup 2015
i. Australia overwhelmed New Zealand to win the World Cup for afifth time at an ecstatic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
ii. Aussies defeated the Kiwis by seven wickets to complete thefiver.
iii. James Faulkner was adjudged the Man of the Match.
iv. Mitchell Starc was selected as the man of the tournament forhis breath taking performance in the tournament.
v. ICC team of World Cup 2015: Brendon McCullum (c),Sangakkara,Smith, De Villiers, Maxwell, Corey Anderson, Vettori, Starc, Boult,Morkel, Brendan Taylor (12th man)
8. Saina Nehwal scales historic World No.1 ranking
i. Saina Nehwal scripted history by becoming the first Indianwoman shuttler to attain the number one spot in world rankings,reaffirming her status as the country's most consistent performer inthe international circuit.
ii. official rankings will be out only on Thursday next week,Saina has been assured of her ascent to the top owing to theperformances in the Indian open.
iii. Only Indian to be at numero uno was Prakash Padukone in themen's circuit.
Current Affairs - 31st March 2015
1. Japan organised Worlds first Otaku Expo
i. Japan organised the world's first Otaku Expo from 28 March 2015to 29 March 2015 at Makuhari Messe Convention Center in ChibaPrefecture.
ii. The Expo was organized as a part of a special comic book fairheld every five years, which attracts about half a million visitors.
iii. For the first time groups from outside Japan were invited tomark the event. About four dozen overseas Otaku groups attended theExpo.
iv. The visitors so-called Otaku, usually translated as geeks,from at least 18 countries and territories, many dressed as theirfavourite anime characters.
v. The culture of Otaku has grown into a major industry in Japan.The term is commonly used in the country to refer to people obsessedwith Japan's unique take on comics and animation. While it oncecarried a negative connotation, many Otaku are now proudly displayingtheir love for two-dimensional heroes while the number of foreignfans is also soaring.
2. Balbir Singh Senior conferred with Major DhyanChand Lifetime Achievement Award of Hockey India
i. Hockey India on 28 March 2015 conferred Major Dhyan ChandLifetime Achievement Award on legendary Balbir Singh Senior. As anaward, he received a trophy and a cash prize of 30 lakh rupees.
ii. Balbir Singh Senior was a member of three Olympic gold medalwinning Indian team, viz., London Olympics (1948),Helsinki Olympics(1952) and Melbourne Olympics (1956). He was the Vice Captain of theIndian Hockey team during Helsinki Olympics and Captain duringMelbourne Olympics.
iii. His 1952 record of most goals (five) in an Olympic finalstill remains unbeaten and he also figures in the list of 16 iconicOlympians of all-time.
iv. He is often called Balbir Singh Senior to distinguish him fromother Indian hockey players named Balbir Singh.
3. Katsushi Inoue appointed as President &CEO of Honda Cars India Ltd
i. Katsushi Inoue on 30 March 2015 was appointed as President &Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL).
ii. He will assume charge on 1 April 2015 and succeed HironoriKanayama who is due to retire. Inoue was associated with Honda MotorCo for past 29 years.
iii. About Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL)
* HCIL is a subsidiary of the Japanese carmakerHonda dealing with the production, marketing and export of passengercars in India.
* It has started its operations in1995 and was formerly known as Honda Siel Cars India Ltd.
*It was joint venture between Honda and Usha International ofSiddharth Shriram Group. Later Honda had completely bought out UshaInternationals entire stake and was renamed Honda Cars India Ltd(HCIL). At present it is 100% subsidiary of Honda.
4. Gods Bankers authored by Gerald Posnerreleased
i. Book titled God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at theVatican authored by Gerald Posner was released on 3 February 2015.
ii. Posner is an American investigative journalist and an author,through this book he has tried to present the secret side of the200-year history of Vatican finances and the Vatican Bank, theCatholic Church's completely independent financial institution.
iii. The book is about the churchs accumulation of wealth andits byzantine entanglements with financial markets across the world.It talks about the political intrigue and inner workings of theCatholic Church. It displays with extraordinary precision how theVatican has evolved from a foundation of faith to a corporation ofextreme wealth and power.
5. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba took over asCommanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command
i. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba on 30 March 2015 took over charge asthe Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command. Hetook the charge from Vice Admiral SPS Cheema at a ceremonial paradeheld at the Naval base in Kochi.
ii. Prior to assuming command, Vice Admiral Lanba laid a wreath atthe War Memorial.
iii. Vice Admiral Cheema will now assume the charge of the FlagOfficer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command on 31 March 2015on the retirement of the present incumbent, Vice Admiral Anil KumarChopra.
6. Former Union Minister and veteran CongressParty leader Paty Ripple Kyndiah died
i. Former Union Minister and veteran Congress Party leader PatyRipple Kyndiah died on 26 March 2015 due to cardiac arrest. He was87.
ii. He had served as the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs andUnion Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in2004 under the UPA-I government led by Manmohan Singh. He retiredfrom active politics in 2009 prior to the Lok Sabha polls.
iii. He also was a prominent figure in Meghalaya politics. He wasa member of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly from 1970 to 1993.While from 1975 to 1988, Kyndiah served as cabinet minister in State,as Leader of Opposition, Acting Chief Minister and Speaker of theAssembly.
7. Daniel Vettori retired from all forms ofInternational Cricket
i. Veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, the most capped ODIplayer for New Zealand, bid adieu to the 50-over format.
ii. Vettori ended an illustrious 18 year career in which hecreated many records for New zealand.
iii. In his 113 Test appearances, Vettori took 362 wickets and histally in Tests stands at 4531 runs.
iv. He is the most capped Kiwi player but also the teamsleading wickettaker with 305 scalps at an average of 31.71 from295 games.