DAYS TO REMEMBER:
World Sparrow Day – 20th March
The World Sparrow Day was observed across the world on 20 March 2017. The day was created with an aim to raise awareness about the house sparrow and then other common birds to urban environments. The World Sparrow Day also speaks of threats to their populations. The day also provides an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the common biodiversity which is taken so much for granted.
International Day of Happiness – 20th March
The International Day of Happiness (known as Happiness Day) is celebrated throughout the world on the 20th of March. The International Day of Happiness (“Happiness Day”) was founded by United Nations adviser Jayme Illien on June 28, 2012, when all 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted UN resolution 66/281 The International Day of Happiness, following a multiyear campaign initiated in 2011 by the Illien Global Public Benefit Corporation.
4 GST supplementary legislation bill got clearance from Union Cabinet :
The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved four supporting drafts for Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills, which will now be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing Budget session. These supporting drafts will help in the rollout of the singular indirect tax reform, which the Centre plans to do from July 1 this year.
Beacons on govt cars of Punjab to be removed to end VIP culture :
In a bid to end VIP culture in the state, the Punjab Cabinet has decided to ban the use of beacons on government vehicles, foreign travel of ministers for two years and hosting banquets at state expense. It was also decided to provide 33% reservation for women in all government jobs. The Cabinet meeting was presided by CM Amarinder Singh.
State : Punjab
Capital : Chandigarh
CM : Amarinder Singh
Governor : V. P. Singh Badnore
Full Membership of Mumbai removed from BCCI in new constitution:
Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators has removed 41-time Ranji winners Mumbai as Full Member of BCCI and granted it Associate status. As per the Lodha Committee recommendations, only one association from a state is permitted Full Membership, with the Maharashtra Cricket Association representing the state. Bihar, Telangana and all Northeastern states have been given Full Membership.
Centre reduces interest cost of states participating in UDAY by Rs 11,989 cr :
The Centre has said, the interest cost of states participating in the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) has been reduced by 11,989 crore rupees for the first nine months of this year, as compared to the previous financial year. Union Power Minister Piyush Goel in a written answer in the Rajya Sabha today said the inbuilt control mechanism of the scheme ensures that there is no debt piling up.
He said the scheme provides for debt financing by banks and financial institutions to DISCOMs only for working capital.
5th foundation day function of BIRAC inaugurate by Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi:
Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan will inaugurate the 5th foundation day function of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council in New Delhi today.
More than 300 Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Industry Experts, and Policy Makers including a large number of stakeholders both national and international wil take part in the event. The discussion will focus on the impact the Biotech Ecosystem is making on the Indian economy and the opportunities which exist for the Indian Biotech Sector as a global player.
Meeting held between India and Pakistan on PIC in Islamabad :
The 113th meeting of Permanent Indus Commission between India and Pakistan began in Islamabad today. Discussions on disputed projects including Miyar, Lower Kalnai, and Pakal Dul are on the agenda of the two-day meeting. A 10-member Indian delegation, led by Indus Water Commissioner PK Saxena, External Affairs Ministry officials and technical experts, is participating in the meeting. The Pakistan side is headed by Indus Water Commissioner Mirza Asif.
Country : Pakistan
Currency: Pakistani rupee
President: Mamnoon Hussain
Prime minister: Nawaz Sharif
Search portal to be launched by Sports Ministry to find young sports talent in rural India :
The Indian Sports Ministry will soon be launching a talent search portal that will help spot, groom, support and encourage young Indians from across the country, especially from the rural region. The announcement was made by the Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Vijay Goel while interacting with the Indians in Dubai. Explaining the intention behind the move, the sports minister stated that the main idea is to ensure that the grassroot population in India also gets an opportunity to contribute their share in sports.
Ministry : Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
Head : Vijay Goel
First ever Made-in-India train flagged off at Dadar station :
The first fully made-in-India train, Medha was flagged of at Dadar station on 18 March 2017 for its maiden run to Borivali at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. The train made stops at Bandra and Andheri. The 12 coach train, part of India’s Make in India campaign, was flagged of by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu amidst the presence of Central and Western Railway general manager DK Sharma and other senior officials. The effort aims to boost rail connectivity in the region and enhance the convenience of the people.
Italy ranked No:1 in world’s healthiest country list :
Italy has been ranked the world’s healthiest country by Bloomberg Global Health Index, with a citizen expected to live up to 89 years. Italy is followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia. Americans, Canadians, and Brits were found to be suffering from higher blood pressure, cholesterol, and poorer mental health compared to the Italians.
Country : Italy
Prime minister: Paolo Gentiloni
Pakisthan President Mamnoon Hussain promulgates Hindu Marriage bill as law :
Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has promulgated the Hindu Marriage bill into a law. The Act will protect Hindu marriages and family rights. The legislation prohibits the marriage of minors and prescribes a minimum age of 18-years for contracting marriage in addition to protecting the customs and customary rites of the Hindu community. It also introduces the concept of judicial separation. The legitimacy of children born out of void and voidable Hindu marriages has also been protected under the bill.
Country : Pakistan
Currency: Pakistani rupee
President: Mamnoon Hussain
Prime minister: Nawaz Sharif
57 billion US dollar announced by World Bank for sub-Saharan Africa :
World Bank has announced 57 billion US dollar financing for sub-Saharan Africa over the next three fiscal years. Of that total, 45 billion dollar will come from the International Development Association, the World Bank fund that provides grants and interest-free loans for the world’s poorest countries.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in a statement yesterday said the package will also feature an estimated 8 billion dollar in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation, a private-sector branch of the World Bank, and 4 billion dollar will come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the bank’s unit for middle-income nations.
Organisation : World Bank
Headquarters : Washington, D.C., United States
CEO :Kristalina Georgieva
International Day of Happiness celebrated in UAE :
The UAE will be celebrating the International Day of Happiness, which falls on March 20 every year. This day is marked by the establishment of the World Happiness Council by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination,” Ohood Al Roomi, the Minister of Happiness said on the eve of the International Happiness day. Al Roomi, who was appointed to her post in February, last year, is the world’s first cabinet-level official to head the happiness ministry of a nation.
Country : United Arab Emirates UAE
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
New app ‘Mera iMobile’ launched by ICICI Bank for rural customers with features for agri services :
ICICI India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, announced the launch of a mobile banking app for rural customers that allow them to access banking services as well as information on agri services. The app is open for both bank customers as well as others and is available in eleven different languages.
Named ‘Mera iMobile’, it allows users in rural areas to avail as many as 135 services — some of which are unprecedented in the industry — on their mobile phone, helping them to save the time and cost of visiting a branch to avail these services. The list of services include Kisan Credit Card, Gold Loan, Farm Equipment Loan and loans to Self-Help Groups (SHGs). The app also enables them to undertake an array of frequently used banking services from their smartphone, without using mobile internet service.
Bank : ICICI Bank
CEO :Chanda Kochhar
Slogan :Hum Hai na…
Mobile payment platform Chillr to launch UPI :
India’s first multi-bank mobile payment platform Chillr is all set to launch its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) facility by March-end, which will enable customers of nearly 45 banks to make payments on a single platform. “We will meet bank officials in a couple of days for deciding the date of launch,” Sony Joy, CEO and Co-Founder, Chillr, told BusinessLine on Monday.
The multi-bank mobile banking app enables users send and receive money to/from anyone in their phone book. It differs from online wallets as all fund transactions are between bank accounts.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY NEWS :
Idea, Vodafone merger approved to form India’s largest telecom :
Idea Cellular’s board today approved merger with Vodafone India to create country’s largest telecom company both in terms of revenues and subscribers. While Vodafone will hold a 45.1% stake in combined company, Idea will hold a 26% stake and remaining stake will be held by public. The merger reportedly values Vodafone India at $12.4 billion and Idea at $10.8 billion.
Kumar Mangalam Birla to be appointed as Chairman of Vodafone-Idea entity :
Following the announcement of the merger between Vodafone India and Idea, Kumar Mangalam Birla has been appointed as the entity’s Chairman. “I am pleased and honoured to be the chairman of the new company,” he said. The new entity is expected to create India’s largest telecom operator. The merger reportedly values Vodafone at $12.4 billion and Idea at $10.8 billion.
Snapdeal appoints Jason Kothari as CEO of FreeCharge :
Snapdeal has committed to invest $20 million in online recharge platform FreeCharge and appointed Snapdeal’s Chief Strategy and Investment Officer Jason Kothari as the CEO of FreeCharge. Kothari will continue with his role at Snapdeal but will also join FreeCharge’s board. In 2015, Snapdeal had acquired FreeCharge for an estimated₹2,400 crore.
Justice Navniti Prasad Singh sworn in as Chief Justice of Kerala HC :
Justice Navniti Prasad Singh took oath as the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court today. Governor P. Sathasivam administered him the oath at Raj Bhavan in Thiruvanathapuram.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other state ministers were present on the occasion. Justice Singh was a former judge in the Patna High Court. Justice TB Radhakrishnan, who had been serving as the acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court.
State : Kerala
Capital : Thiruvananthapuram
CM : Pinarayi Vijayan
Governor : P Sathasivam
AWARDS AND HONOURS:
Names of 5 Indians listed in WEF’s 100 Young Global Leaders list :
Five Indians have made it to the World Economic Forum’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders under 40 years of age. These include Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Blippar app’s Founder Ambarish Mitra, journalist Hindol Sengupta, Swaniti Initiative’s Rwitwika Bhattacharya and The Tamara Coorg hospitality’s Shruti Shibulal. All the people in the list are entitled to a five-year leadership journey.
Aussie player Shaun Tait becomes Overseas Citizen of India :
Australian bowler Shaun Tait took to twitter to announce that he has become an Overseas Citizen of India. Tait is married to Indian model Mashoom Singha, tying the knot in 2014 after a four-year courtship. As an Overseas Citizen of India, Tait will get the same privileges as an NRI, except the right to vote or hold public offices.
Indian Wells 2017 title won by Roger Federer for record-tying 5th time :
Swiss tennis player Roger Federer defeated compatriot Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to win the Indian Wells Masters for the fifth time, tying Novak Djokovic’s tournament record. With the win, 35-year-old Federer became the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title. This was Federer’s 90th career title, putting him third on the all-time list in the Open era.
Trophy : Indian Wells Masters
Sports : Tennis
K T Irfan wins bronze in Asian 20km Race Walk Championships :
National record holder K T Irfan clocked an impressive timing to win a bronze in the 20 kilometre men’s event in the Asian Race Walk Championships in Japan today. In the event held at Nomi, Irfan finished the race in 1 hour 20 minutes and 59 seconds, a tad slower than his national record timing of 1 hour, 20 minutes, 21 seconds. He had set the national recod while finishing 10th in the 2012 London Olympics.
Korea’s Kim Hyun-Sub took the gold in while Georgiy Sheiko of Kazakhstan bagged the silver in the event. In the women’s 20 kilometre event, India’s Priyanka failed to climb the podium as she finished fourth.
Pyarimohan Mohapatra former Rajya Sabha member passes away at age 77 :
Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, former bureaucrat turned politician, once considered the most influential force behind Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s BJD government succumbed to a brain haemorrhage late last evening at a hospital in Mumbai.
The 77-year-old former Rajya Sabha member and founder of the Odisha Jan Morcha was battling lung cancer in the hospital. Leaders across party lines condoled the death of Mohapatra.
Gujarati poet Chinu Modi passes away at age 78 :
Noted Gujarati poet and ghazal writer Chinu Modi passed away in Ahmedabad last evening, he was 78 and hospitalised last week after severe heart attack. Born on 30th September 1939, Chinu Modi has made a great contribution to Gujarati literature with his poetry, plays, novels and stories.
Born in Vijapur town in North Gujarat, he completed LLB in 1961 and MA with Hindi subject from Gujarat University in 1968. During 1965-75 he was professor in Ahmedabad’s Swaminarayan Arts College. He worked as script writer in Indian Space Research Organisation during 1975- 1977.
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