General - Current Affairs for March, 2016

General Current Affairs for March, 2016

Month wise coverage of General Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

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▼ Tribunal upholds ban on NSCN (K)   [03-31-16]

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Tribunal comprising a Delhi HC judge was set up to assess whether there is sufficient cause for declaring NSCN(K) an unlawful association under sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

  • It has upheld the ban on NSCN (K) for 5 years
  • MHA on September 16, 2015 declared NSCN (K) an unlawful organisation for 5 years after breaking the unilateral ceasefire by attacking the India Army on June 4.

▼ India, World Bank sign loan pact for Swachh Bharat Mission   [03-31-16]

India and WB have signed a USD 1.5 billion loan pact for the Swachh Bhaarat Mission to support universal sanitation initiative. Pact for the SBM Support Operation Project involves helping citizens in rural areas to access improved sanitation.

  • Project will support the rural component called SMB Gramin over 5 years using a new performance based programme
  • Close to 60 percent of India’s population lives in rural areas
  • The project will be coordinated by MDWS

▼ CBDT has signed 11 unilateral APAs   [03-30-16]

This brings the total number of APAs India has entered to 59. Advance Pricing Agreement programme was introduced by Finance Act 2012 for providing predictable and non adversarial tax regime. The aim is also to reduce litigation in the Indian transfer pricing regime.

▼ Defence Acquisition Council to fast track route for acquiring new weapons   [03-30-16]

The policy has been formed with the aim to facilitate fast track acquisition and provide a push for the Make in India initiative.

It has introduced an Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) category which will benefit the local units.

Parrikar said defence export clearances are to be granted online. He said the policy will also include ‘Start-up India’ initiative.

  • The new DPP would help India reduce its dependency on foreign countries and source defence equipment within the country.
  • The new DPP also allows the Defence Acquisition Council to take the “fast-track” route to acquire weapons.

▼ Bangladesh SC upholds status of Islam as state religion   [03-30-16]

Supreme Court of Bangladesh on 28th March 2016 upheld the status of Islam as a state religion

Ruling was given out of High Court division of the court while dismissing the petition filed by S.N. Goswami.

The legality of the constitutional provision of Islam as state religion despite secularism as a fundamental state policy under a 2011 amendment to the Constitution was challenged by Goswami.

  • Bangladesh was formed in 1971. As per 2011 census, 87% of the population here is Muslim
  • In 2010, the Supreme Court restored secularism as one of the basic tenets of the constitution and declared the 5th amendment as illegal. However, the provision relating to Islam as the State religion remains untouched.

▼ India to adopt 112 as national emergency number   [03-29-16]

India has made the decision to adopt 112 as national emergency number after approval for the move by the inter ministerial telecom commission.

Roll out of 112 will see phase out of current numbers like 100 for police, 101 for fire, 102 for ambulance and 108 for disaster management

TRAI had suggested 112 as the national emergency number in April 2015

▼ Volcano Pavlof erupts in Alaska   [03-29-16]

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a volcano on Alaska’s Aleutian Islands erupted on 27th March and sent ash 20,000 feet into the air. Pavlof Volcano, which is about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupted at 4.18 p.m. local time. The agency also added that the eruption led to tremors on the ground.

About the Volcano

  • It is 4.4 miles in diameter
  • It has 40 known eruptions and “is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc.”
  • Eruptions previously have generated ash plumes as high as 49,000 feet.

▼ UNSC extends UNSOM in Somalia   [03-28-16]

United National Security Council on 24th March 2016 extended UN assistance mission in Somalia called UNSOM to provide free and fair elections in 2016 and universal elections by 2020. Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa.

▼ President’s rule imposed in Uttarakhand   [03-28-16]

President’s rule has been imposed in Uttarakhand a day before the crucial trust vote for the Harish Rawat government. The proposal has received approval from the PM as well as the President. The government said that the President’s rile had been initiated because the Rawat government was “immoral” and “unconstitutional” since March 18th.

▼ Gujarat to set up country’s first university focused on organic farming   [03-28-16]

Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel indicated that the state will set up the first university in the country to be focused only on organic farming. This aims to help farmers switch to unconventional farming methods. The new site is to be located near Gandhi nagar district.

▼ Terror attack in Lahore, 65 dead   [03-28-16]

A blast in Lahore outside a public park in the eastern Pakistani city has killed over 65 persons. The terror attack occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park outside the exit gate. Around 100 people were injured, according to the police. Many nations have condemned the terror attack.

▼ TATA STEEL CEO for EU unit to quit   [03-28-16]

TATA STEEL CEO, Karl Koehler is stepping down as the chief executive of the European unit. He will take a leadership position with a large privately owned industrial company in Germany. Koehler will be replaced by Hans Fischer, Chief Technical Officer at TATA STEEL Europe effective from March 1st, 2016. Koushik Chatterjee, group executive director and board member will become the TATA STEEL ED for EU.

▼ National level AROGYA Fair organised   [03-28-16]

A national level AROGYA fair has been organised by the Ministry of AYUSH, government of India in collaboration with the Goa State government and CII in Goa. The Yoga protocol for the second international day of Yoga was also released. India also signed an agreement with WHO and US for promotion of AYUSH.

▼ Mizoram government and JICA sign MoU   [03-28-16]

Mizoram government and Japanese International Cooperative Agency have signed an MoU on capacity enhancement for sustainable agriculture and irrigation development. MoU will pave the way for technical cooperation in 4 rural development blocks in Mizoram.

▼ India and France sign MOU for construction of 6 nuclear reactors   [03-25-16]

India and France have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, two months after the two nations formed an agreement to do so. Pact was inked following visit of high level delegation of Electricite de France to hold discussion with NPCIL for the construction of plants.

▼ FPV, ICG Amvesh commissioned in Vizag   [03-25-16]

Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Amvesh of the Indian Coast Guard was commissioned on March 21, 2016. Vessel was composed by Flag Office Commander in Chief of the ENC namely Vice Admiral Bhisht. This is 16th among 20 vessels constructed by Cochin Shipyard Limited. This is a 300 tins and a 50 km long vessel.

▼ Ministry of health and family welfare launched LASI recently   [03-25-16]

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India. Its main objective is assessing the needs of elderly persons and framing policies that meet their needs. LASI is the largest study on older population in the area had surveys more than 60,000 elderly over a 25 year plan. International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health and University of Southern California. IS is conducting the LASI under the control of the Ministry of Union Health and family Welfare.

▼ India joins Ashgabat Agreement    [03-25-16]

This agreement has Oman, Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan as its founding members and Kazakhstan joined the arrangement shortly. The aim is to synchronise efforts to implement INSTC or North South Transport Corridor for increased connectivity. India has taken the decision to accede to the agreement and become a party to it.

▼ Nepal Joins SCO as dialogue partner   [03-25-16]

Nepal on 22nd March 2016 became a dialogue partner of regional security grouping, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. It was officially the dialogue partner after a memorandum was signed during the Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli visit to China. As a dialogue partner, Nepal will be able to participate in the multiple field cooperation of the Organisation. Its prototype is known as the Shanghai Five mechanism.

▼ Identity of Brussels attackers found out   [03-25-16]

Belgian authorities identified two of the attackers as brothers Khalid and Brahim Bakraoui. They are believed to have blown themselves up in the attacks.The third man is at large and has not been identified. The brothers were known to police for past crimes, but nothing relating to terrorism.

▼ Government clears MoU Between India and UAE   [03-25-16]

GoI has cleared MoU between India and the United Arab Emirates for exploring chances for mobilisation of close to USD 75 billion long term investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. Cabinet meeting chaired by the PM has provided ex-post factor approval for the MoU between the two nations which was signed on February 11, for mobilising long term investment in the NIIF. The objective of NIIF is maximising economic impact through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, greenfield as well as brownfield. This includes stalled projects. NIIF is category II Alternate Investment Fund as per SEBI.

▼ Terror strikes in Brussels    [03-23-16]

Number of people killed in terror strikes at the departure lounge of an airport and the metro subway of the Belgian capital is 30. Around 200 people have been wounded. Belgian news agency Belga indicated shots were fired before explosions and words in Arabic were heard. IS has claimed responsibility for the attack which was condemned by world leaders.

▼ Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurated Parsi community exhibition   [03-22-16]

The exhibition entitled “Painted Encounters Parsi Traders and the Community & No Parsi is in island” at NGMA in New Delhi. This is part of the Everlasting Flame International Programme which the Minority Affairs Ministry has taken up as the first project under Hamari Darohar scheme.

▼ National Arogya Fair held in Pune   [03-21-16]

The fair was inaugurated at the auth cluster development and research organisation ACRDI at Pune. The Arogya fair had been organised by AYUSH in collaboration with Maharashtra state government and ITPO. The fair will continue till 22nd March.

The Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge) and Health & Family Welfare Shri Shripad Yesso Naik today inaugurated the National Arogya Fair at Auto Cluster Development & Research Institute (ACDRI), PCMC, Chinchwad,Pune. The Fair has been organised by AYUSH Ministry in collaboration with the State Government of Maharashtra and Indian Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO). The fair will continue till 22nd March, 2016. Arogya fair seeks to create awareness about AYUSH for treatment of disorders and diseases.

▼ India’s first aqua park set up in Wayanad district   [03-21-16]

State Fisheries department has set up the aqua park which will be a breeding centre for numerous kinds of fish such as Channa marulius (locally called Vatha varal), Channa micropealtis (Cherumeen), Eteroplus suratansis (Karimeen), Lactus calcariser (Kalanchi), Tor kudree (Decan Mahseer), Heteropneustes fossilis (Kari) and Clarius dismerri (Kadu or Mushi), according to authorities quoted in media reports. Park will be set up to promote conservation of sfish diversity and it has 10 units of floating cages set up for INR 30 lakh.

▼ Goa government classifies Feni as Heritage Spirit of Goa   [03-21-16]

The Goa government on March 17, 2016 classified country liquor Feni as the Heritage Spirit of Goa. Feni is produced exclusively on this coastal state. Feni has become the first liquor product in the nation to obtain this status and received its GI certification in 2000. Feni, a brew made from coconut or cashew fruits is used in traditions, cuisines and has medical value. Government therefore chose not to categorise it is as a country liquor.

▼ Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the most influential people on the Internet: TIME   [03-18-16]

The magazine said Indian leader as an “Internet star” who used social media to “conduct diplomacy.” The magazine cited Mr. Modi’s unconventional announcement on Twitter of his visit to Pakistan last year while naming him among ‘The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet’ for the second year in a row in this year’s unranked list. Others on the list include Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, JK Rowling and Caitlyn Jenner.

▼ UGC established committee for studying off campus centres    [03-18-16]

The committee would comprise UGC members Prof H Devaraj, Prof Mohammad Miyan, Prof Sanjay Govind Dhande and Dr KN Shanti apart from a member convener. UGC has issued notice for several deemed universities which have set up off campus centres without approval from before.

▼ Close to 68% of milk in India does not confirm to standards: Regulators   [03-17-16]

About 68% of the milk in India does not confirm to standards laid down by the food regulator. The most common adulterant found include detergent, glucose, caustic soda, refined oil and white paint. GPS technology could be used to find out where the milk is being tampered with, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

▼ Michael Jackson’s estate to sell stake in catalog to Sony Corp   [03-16-16]

The estate has agreed to sell its remaining stake in lucrative music catalogue Sony Corp for USD 750 million and the agreement for Jackson’s half-share of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalogue will give the company sole ownership of works by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and other hit making musicians, including Eminem and Taylor Swift. This is another posthumous block buster deal for Jackson whose estate has paid back the singer’s massive debts.

▼ KAPS undergoes nuclear reactor leak   [03-16-16]

There was a leak at the Karapar atomic power station classified as Level 1 or lowest in a 7 rung classification scheme. International Nuclear and Radiological Event scale developed by International Atomic Energy Authority rates the mishap as akin to an anomaly in the plant. In contrast, the Fukushima and Chernobyl leaks were level 7 incidents.

▼ 2016 Irom Shormila Scholarship jointly awarded to Vemula and Kumar   [03-16-16]

The 2016 Irom Shormila Scholarship has been jointly awarded to Rohit Vemula (posthumously) of Hyderabad Central University and Kanhaiya Kumar of JNU, by JNUSU at the JNU admin blck.

Award is for student representatives seeking to strengthen India's constitutional democracy by upholding the constitutional ideals of fraternity, equality, right to life, and inspiring many others across the country.

▼ Best Countries Report 2015: India is 22 among 60 nations   [03-14-16]

India has been ranked as 22nd out of 60 nations in the Best Countries Report based on data from US News, BAV Consulting and Wharton. To be included in the Best Countries rankings, a nation had to be ranked in the United Nation’s Top 100 countries in terms of 2013 GDP, the World Bank’s Top 100 in terms of international tourism, the United Nation’s top 150 in the 2014 Human Development Index and the United Nation’s Top 100 Foreign Direct Investment Inflows 2013 report.

▼ Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy/HELP announced   [03-11-16]

This policy seeks uniform licensing for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbon and an open acreage policy. It is also seeking an easy way to administer revenue sharing model and provide marketing and pricing freedom for crude oil and natural gas produced.

▼ MoU between India and Bahrain on prevention of human trafficking approved   [03-11-16]

Union Cabinet presided by PM Narendra Modi on 10th March 2016 have the approval for MoU between India and Bahrain for cooperation on prevention of human trafficking, especially in women and children. This MoU aims at increasing the bilateral cooperation between the two nations on the issues of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking especially women and children expeditiously.

▼ 5 regional centres of NSD to be set up   [03-10-16]

Apart from upgrading a resource centre in Bengaluru to a regional centre, the Broad based Committee NSD Society has approved the proposal to establish 5 regional centres at Mumbai, Goa, Kolkata, J&K and NE. Regional centres have been provided accommodation for this purpose.

▼ Cycling event of Indian Army with theme "Cycle to Recycle" held   [03-10-16]

Cycling event of the Indian Army with the theme Cycle to Recycle was flagged off on March 8, 2016 from Pangsau Pass on the India-Myanmar border as part of the Assam Rifles 181st raising day celebrations. Event aimed to create awareness about nature and environment conservation.

▼ Advitiya Sharma resigns from Housing Dot Com   [03-10-16]

Housing dot com co founder Advitya Sharma has resigned from the company he started with IIT batchmates including ousted CEO Rahul Yadav. Mumbai based real estate portal is one of the hottest tech startups in India.

▼ International Labour Organisation releases Women at Work: Trends 2016   [03-9-16]

The report provides the latest ILO data on women’s position in labour markets and examines factors behind trends and transformative change. A study of 178 nations showed that gender gap in employment, wages and social protection has changed little in 20 years and gender equality in the workplace remains elusive. 812 million of the 865 million women who have the potential to contribute to their national economies through employment live in emerging and developing countries are denied opportunities. They are more likely to be unemployed than men, with global unemployment rates of 5.5 percent for men and 6.2 percent for women.

▼ First Conference of Women Legislators held in New Delhi   [03-7-16]

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first Conference of Women Legislators on the theme ‘The Role of Women Legislators in Nation Building (Mahila Janpratinidhi – Sashakt Bharat Ki Nirmata) at New Delhi on March 5, 2016. With the implementation of affirmative action through the reservation of 33% of the Panchayati Raj Institutions seats for women, there is a sharp rise in women's representation. In fact, today women constitute more than 40% of the elected representatives in Panchayats. In some States, the representation of women in Panchayats is more than 50%.

▼ World’s most expensive train station established at 9/11 site   [03-7-16]

The world’s most expensive train station has opened in New York designed by Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish-Swiss architect. The World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which is expected eventually to serve more than 200,000 commuters daily, is built next to the site of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

▼ Government announces creation of Higher Education Financing Agency   [03-2-16]

The agency has been announced with initial capital base of INR 1000 crore which will leverage funds from the market and work for the purpose of creating infrastructure for IITs and other top educational institutions. Regulatory architecture is also in place for 10 public and private institutions to emerge as world class teaching research institutions. The FM also announced the establishment of Digital Depository for academic certificates and opening of over 62 Navodaya Vidyalayas. HEFA will be an NPO for leveraging funds from the market and supplementing them with donations and CSR funds. Funds will be used for financing improvement in infrastructure in top institutions serviced through internal accruals.

▼ Coastal governments to preserve INS Viraat as Aircraft Carrier Museum   [03-2-16]

All coastal state governments have been told to commit to preserving INS Viraat into an Aircraft Carrier Museum following decommissioning and the Policy letter states transfer of ships to state government will be effected on as is where is basis.

▼ Peru declared emergency on 29th February 2016   [03-2-16]

Peru on 29th February 2016 declared an emergency after a massive pipeline burst impacted two rivers in the country’s northwest. The two rivers are named Chiriaco and Morona and the emergency will continue to remain in force for around 3 weeks. The pipeline burst pour 3000 barrels of crude oil into the rivers which are a main source of water as well as food for indigenous communities and is owned by Petro Peru, state owned oil company used for transporting 5 to 6 thousand barrels of oil per day.

▼ Google celebrates 29th February, 2016 is leap year   [03-1-16]

Google has celebrated the 29th of February as a leap year google doodle. Season 2016 has an extra day due to planetary orbits. Gregorian calendar measures the year to be 365 days following earth’s orbit around the Sun. The earth’s orbit takes 365.24 days to finish its solar orbit and an extra day every 4 years is added to ensure synchronisation of calendar seasons with solar seasons. February was chosen as the month for the leap day as it is the only month without either 30/31 days. If someone is born on February 29th in the UK, their legal date of birth is treated on leap years as March 1st.