Current Affairs Today 27th March 2018:
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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
World’s Oldest City Varanasi Becomes ‘Wireless’
- Eighty-six years after the city got electricity, overhead power cables in world’s oldest city ‘Varanasi ‘ is being dismantled after a project to lay underground lines over 16 sq-km has been finally completed.
- Laying cables for 50,000 consumers through the serpentine lanes and congested markets in one of the world’s oldest cities was quite a challenge for Powergrid, the company conducting the integrated power development scheme (IPDS) project.
Ministry of Finance has approved Government guarantee of Rs. 5000 crore in the IRFC bonds:
- Ministry of Finance has approved Government guarantee of Rs. 5000 crore in the current Financial Year for Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) bonds to be subscribed by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). The guarantee fee for the aforesaid amount has also been waived by Ministry of Finance (MOF).
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
Asia’s Largest Tulip Garden in Srinagar Opens for Visitors:
- Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden was opened for visitors in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. It is recognized as the Asia’s largest tulip garden.
- This year, 12.5 lakh tulip bulbs of 48 varieties were sown in the garden by the floriculture department. Apart from the tulips, 40,000 hyacinth bulbs have also been planted.
Surat Becomes 1st District To Have 100% Solar Powered Health Centres:
- Gujarat’s Surat district has become the first district in the country to have 100 percent solar powered Primary Health Centers (PHC).
- There are a total of 52 PHCs in the district and all of them are now powered by the solar system. This initiative will not only bring down the electricity bill by 40 percent but also help fight global warming.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
SWIFT expands GPI Tracker System to help Banks:
- The over Rs 13,000 crore fraud which has been unearthed at Punjab National Bank (PNB) was a case of misuse of non-linkage of bank’s core-banking system (CBS) with SWIFT messaging system as a few PNB officials, in connivance with diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems, bypassed the reporting of global transactions to bank’s CBS.
- SWIFT said GPI accounts for 10 percent of cross border payment traffic and is enabling more than a hundred billion dollars to be transferred across the world rapidly and securely every day.
- The introduction of the unique end-to-end transaction reference in all payment instructions will be effected through the mandatory annual standards update in November 2018.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMIT AND CONFERENCE
‘National Conference on Down Syndrome’ held in New Delhi:
- A’ National Conference on Down Syndrome’ was organised by the National Trust under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi.
- Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chairman, National Trust inaugurated it in the presence of Shri Mukesh Jain, JS & CEO, National Trust, Dr. Surekha Ramachandran, Chairperson, Down Syndrome Federation of India and various stakeholders associated with Down Syndrome.
- A book entitled “Twilights Children” based on the lives of person suffering from Down Syndrome was released on the occasion.
- The conference brought intellectuals from all walks of life on one platform to spur ideas and channelized knowledge on Down Syndrome which was very beneficial to enable a positive change in the people with Down Syndrome.
- People with Down Syndrome and their parents were invited to share their inspirational stories.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCHEMES AND PROGRAMS
Housing & Urban Ministry has approved the construction of 3,21,567 affordable houses under PMAY:
- Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the construction of 3,21,567 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an investment of Rs18,203 crore with central assistance of Rs4,752 crore.
- The approval was given in the 32nd meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) held in New Delhi.
11th Rashtriya Rifles biennial conference at Nagrota on 26-27 March 2018:
- The eleventh Rashtriya Rifles Biennial Conference is being conducted at Nagrota from 26 to 27 March 18.
- The event chaired by Chief of the Army Staff has been attended by Army Commander Northern Command, Director General Rashtriya Rifles, Corps Commander 15 and 16 Corps and all General Officers Commanding Counter Insurgency Forces.
- The Rashtriya Rifles has assisted the locals from inaccessible and far flung areas of the state by providing assistance in diverse fields and has given an impetus to development, growth, education, women empowerment, skill development and communal harmony through its multifarious enabling civil action programs.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Mirnalini Dayal and Yogesh Kumar shortlisted for Commonwealth Youth Awards:
- Two Indian activists have been named among 20 finalists from across 53 member-countries for the Commonwealth Youth Awards 2018 for their work in the field of gender equality.
- Mirnalini Dayal has been recognised for her work as a campaign leader for ‘Health Over Stigma’ and Yogesh Kumar as the founder of social enterprise ‘Even Cargo’.
- Both Delhi-based Indian finalists were singled out for their work in the field of achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 on gender equality.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
Airport Authority of India Signs MoU With Assam Government:
- The Airport Authority of India (AAI) signed an MoU with Assam government under its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) initiative for the sustainable development of human settlements at villages in Kamrup district.
- AAI would provide financial assistance under its CSR initiative of 4.58 crore Rupees for the Kamrup district as per the estimates prepared by the UNDP to improve the resilience of communities around Guwahati Airport.
ISA And India Sign Host Country Agreement
- The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), signed the Host Country Agreement. The Agreement will give ISA a juridical personality and gives it power to contract, to acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings.
- Under this agreement, ISA shall enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities as are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
India Becomes 3rd Largest Electricity Producer In The World:
- India has become the 3rd largest electricity producer in the world as its electricity production grew 34% over seven years to 2017.
- The country now produces more energy than Japan and Russia, which had 27% and 8.77% more electricity generation capacity installed, respectively, than India seven years ago.
- Electricity production stood at 1,003.525 Billion Unit between April 2017-January 2018, according to a February 2018 report by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), a trust established by the commerce ministry.
- With a production of 1,423 BU in FY 2016, India was the third largest producer and the third largest consumer of electricity in the world, behind China (6,015 BU) and the United States (4,327 BU).
India ranks 109th globally in mobile download speeds:
- India, the largest consumer of mobile data in the world, ranks 109th when it comes to mobile Internet download speeds.
- The average download speed over the mobile increased to 9.01 mbps in February from the 8.80 mbps in November last year, but the country’s rank continued to stay at 109th, Ookla’s Speed test index said.
- Norway is positioned at the top with an average download speed of 62.07 mbps.
- India however, fared better on the fixed broadband front, according to Ookla, with its rank improving to 67.
- Singapore leads in the fixed broadband front, with a download speed of 161.53 mbps.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOBILE APP AND PORTAL
Government launches E-Tribes India on e-commerce platforms
- The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India, (TRIFED), under Ministry of Tribal Affairs has launched E-Tribes India banners on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Snapdeal, Paytm & GeM.
- It also launched TRIFED’s websites-www.tribesindia.com, www.trifed.in and Retail Inventory Software and M-commerce app as part of Digital India Initiative. TRIFED’s Handbook for Retail Trade and TRIFED’s quarterly magazine ‘Tribes Haat’ was also launched.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
TESS: NASA, SpaceX collaborate to search for exoplanets:
- NASA has partnered with private space launching company SpaceX to launch Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)to search for exoplanets using the transit method.
- TESS is designed to carry out first space borne all-sky transiting exoplanet survey. It is equipped with four wide-angle telescopes and associated charge-coupled device (CCD) detectors. It is planned to be launched in April 2018 on board of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.