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President of India inaugurates the 12th CII-Exim bank conclave on India Africa Project Partnership
- The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 12th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership in New Delhi.
- The Conclave was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the EXIM Bank of India with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
- For the first time ever, we welcomed representatives of all 54 countries of Africa at the third India-Africa Forum Summit in October 2016.
- India has supported development in Africa through Lines of Credit estimated at over US$7 billion under the IAFS process.
Adarsh Railway Stations
The scheme was launched in 2009. 1253 stations have been identified for development under Adarsh Station Scheme. Out of 1253 stations, 1017 stations have already been developed and remaining railway stations are planned to be developed by 2017-18.
Model Railway Stations
‘Model’ Stations are provided with “Desirable Amenities”, depending on the category of the station, such as, retiring room, waiting room, public address system/computer based passenger announcement system, electronic train indicator board, water coolers, standardized signages, Pay & Use toilets etc. 594 stations were identified for development and all stations have already been developed. Development of stations under ‘Model’ Station Scheme was in vogue from June 1999 to November 2008.
CISF celebrates 48th Day with Parade in Ghaziabad
- The CISF today secures Government buildings and provides security to most of the high-risk installations such as the airports, harbours, atomic power plants and space research facilities.
- CISF is also providing security to 78 VVIPs presently.
- The CISF personnel bagged the Best Marching Contingent Trophy during this year’s Republic Day Parade.
- This CISF started in 1969
Mega Food Parks in Maharashtra
- M/s Wardha Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd in Wardha District
- M/s Paithan Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd in Aurangabad District
- M/s Satara Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd in Satara District.
The Mega Food Park Scheme (MFPS) will create modern infrastructure for the food processing. The government has sanctioned 42 Mega Food Park projects in the country.
Banking and Finance
Government Issues Draft Rules For Digital Wallet Companies
Amid growing concerns over security of financial data on digital wallet platforms, the ministry of electronics and IT has put together draft rules.
Safeguarding consumer interest.
The draft Information Technology (Security of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Rules 2017 thrusts upon protection of consumer’s financial data along with introducing a strong grievance redressal system at wallet companies to address these issues.
The government has also suggested every wallet company appoint a chief grievance officer whose details should be prominently made available on their websites.
he guidelines say that issues should get resolved within a month of being flagged and that the officer in charge shall act within 36 hours of the complaint coming in .
Paytm Withdraws Levying 2% fee on Recharging Wallet via Credit Card
- Paytm has withdrawn the 2 per cent fee on adding money to mobile wallets using credit cards, just two days after introducing the levy.
- The Alibaba-backed company had introduced the fee on March 8 after it found multiple users using its platform to get free credit by using credit cards to top up their mobile wallets and then transferring the money back to their bank accounts at zero transaction cost.
- The company is also strengthening the team that focuses on identifying and blocking various types of misuse.
- Mobile wallet companies have to pay charges to card networks and issuing banks when consumers use their credit cards and so lose money if users simply add money from credit cards to wallet and transfer the same to the banks.
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank opens 6 new branches in Bengaluru
- Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (Ujjivan SFB) has opened its six new branches at the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru said by Samit Ghosh, MD & CEO, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.
- Six new branches are located at Magadi Road, Chandra Layout, Chamarajpet, Uttarahalli, Devaiah Park and Nelamangala.
- The bank is also planning to open 12 more branches in the city across 24 States in a planned and phased manner.
RBI Restricts Cash Loan Against Gold by NBFC to Rs 25,000
- Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) cannot lend more than Rs 25,000 in cash against gold, the Reserve Bank of India said.
- RBI reduced the amount to Rs 25,000 from the earlier Rs 1 lakh in line with the provisions of the Income Tax Act.
- The earlier provision for NBFC was that high value loans against gold of Rs 1 lakh and above must only be disbursed by cheque.
- This assumes significance in the backdrop of government’s focus on less cash economy and promoting digital payments.
Awards and Recognition
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to get honorary doctorate in veterinary sciences
RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat was bestowed with an honorary doctorate for his “contribution to indigenous cattle and its conservation” by the Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University.
The D.Litt honour has been given to Bhagwat for his “letters and research” on “Gaushalas and cow urine products having medicinal value.
IIT-M solar inverter system wins award
Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has won the 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award for its solar-direct current (DC) inverter system.
The system, developed using micro grid technology, converts in-home power distribution from 230V Analog Current to 48V DC to directly power appliances and devices.
The system is also equipped to tap rooftop solar power, making it the most energy efficient solution for homes and offices, according to a press release.
The system consists of DC solar generation, DC power-line, DC appliances and battery. Currently, the system has been deployed in 4,000 off-grid homes in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and is being deployed in around 7,200 homes in Assam. The inverter system has been installed in villages in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Appointments & Resigns
Narendra Kumar takes over as Chairman Central Water Commission
- Shri Narendra Kumar has been appointed as the chairman of Central Water Commission.
- He is an officer of Central Water Engineering Service of 1979 batch (CWC).
- He obtained his BE degree in Civil Engineering from IIT Roorkee and M Tech from IIT Delhi in Structural Engineering. He has served in various capacities in CWC as Assistant Director in Design Organisation, Deputy Director in Project Appraisal Directorate and Director in Dam Safety Organisation and Project Monitoring Directorate.
- He has also worked as Commissioner of B&B wing of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation during 2011 to 2014. He was also member of Experts Committee for Scientific Assessment of flood prone area in India and Standing Committee for Morphological studies of Indian rivers.
- He took over as Member (River Management) of Central Water Commission in October 2014.
Donald Tusk re-elected as European Council president
Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk was re-elected as the president of the European Councilfor the second time. He won the 27 votes out of 28 EU’s governments. Tusk will act as the president of EU council until the end of 2019.
He has been President of the European Council since 1 December 2014.
Prior to this, he was the Prime Minister of Poland and a co-founder and chairman of the Civic Platform party.
Vishwanath Mahadeshwar elected Mumbai Mayor
- Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was elected Mumbai’s new mayor by a show of hands in which the BJP supported the Shiv Sena corporator, handing over control of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Asia’s richest civic body, to its ally again.
- He is a three-time municipal corporator from Bandra
KPMG appoints Bill Thomas as Global Chairman
He will replace John Veihmeyer, who has spent his entire 37-year career at KPMG, in September.
ICC appoint Sachin Tendulkar as official ambassador of women’s World Cup 2017
Former Indian cricketer and captain Sachin Tendulkarhas roped as an ambassador of Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 which will begin from 24th June, 2017 in England and Wales said by International Cricket Council (ICC)
8 cricket teams from different countries will play 21-day tournament having 28 matches to win the coveted trophy.
Punjab University Develops 3 Bt Cotton Varieties
- Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana has developed country’s first genetically-modified (Bt) varieties of cotton — the seeds of which could be reused by farmers, resulting in saving the repeated cost they have to bear every season.
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has identified three Bt cotton varieties — namely PAU Bt 1, F1861 and RS 2013 — for cultivation in states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
- PAU Bt 1 and F 1861 were developed by PAU, whereas, RS 2013 was developed at Rajasthan Agricultural University (RAU), Bikaner.
- While the PAU Bt 1 was completely developed at Punjab Agricultural University, the F 1861 and RS 2013 varieties were converted to Bt version by Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur. All the three varieties carry ”cry1Ac” gene imparting resistance against bollworm complex.
Science and Technology
Iran successfully Tests Ballistic Missile Hormuz-2
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran successfully test-fired a domestically producedballistic missile Hormuz-2 from a navy vessel on March 9, 2017.
The Hormuz-2 ballistic missile was test-fired off the coast of Iran and successfully destroyed a floating target about 250 kilometers (155 miles) away.
The latest ballistic missile is designed to destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (186 miles) while maintaining remarkable accuracy.
Earlier on March 6, 2017, advanced S-300 air defense system of Iran, delivered by Russia following the July 2015 nuclear deal after years of delay became operational.
NASA Spots ISRO’s Lost Lunar Spacecraft, Chandrayaan-1, Still Orbiting the Moon
- India’s first lunar probe — the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft — which was considered lost, is still orbiting the Moon, NASA scientists have found by using a new ground-based radar technique.
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 on August 29, 2009, almost a year after it was launched on October 22, 2008.
- Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California have successfully located the spacecraft still circling some 200 km above the lunar surface.
- NASA has been able to detect NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in lunar orbit with ground-based radar.
- Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is very small, a cube about 1.5 metres on each side — about half the size of a smart car.
- The radar tech is expected to help space agencies for future missions, as optical telescopes do not help much, in finding small objects as the reflection on the Moon is too high.
Women Safety app ‘Ammavin Aran’ launched by AIADMK
- The AIADMK IT Wing has launched the first-of-its-kind women safety application in Tamil Nadu. The app is called ‘Ammavin Aran’ meaning ‘mother’s fortress’.
- The app will give the user details about the nearest police station and hospital along with map details and phone number. There is an in-built whistle, which can manipulate the phone speaker to create a loud noise when pressed by anyone in distress.
- The app carries an in-built call recorder and and ‘Tips’ icon to provide life saving information.
- The app was launched as a part of Women’s Day celebration.
India Surpass Belarus 3-1 to Win Women’s Hockey Series 5-0
- Indian women’s hockey team beat Belarus 3-1 in their fifth test to clinch the five-match Test series 5-0on March 8, 2017 in Bhopal.
- Under the captaincy of striker Rani, India’s first field goal came by Vandana Katariya in the sixth minute. While in the first quarter, Gurjit Kaur converted a penalty corner in the 15th minute to make it 2-0
- Besides, both teams displayed good defensive structure in the next two quarter before Yuliya Mikheichyk converted a penalty corner in the 52nd minute.
Gravitational Waves Pioneer Ronald Drever Dies at 85
- Noted Scottish physicist Ronald Drever passed away on March 7 in Edinburgh. He was 85.
- Prof Drever was well known for developing the world’s first successful gravitational wave detectors Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO).
- The LIGO detected the gravitational waves set off in the fabric of space-time by the merger of a binary black hole pair in September 2015.
- Drever’s most recent work involved the development of magnetically levitated optical tables for seismic isolation of experimental apparatus.
Former Puducherry Minister M Chandrakasu passes away
- Former Agriculture Minister of Puducherry M Chandrakasu died of renal failure at a private hospital in Chennai on March 08 2017.
- Chandrakasu was first elected as Congress legislator from Neduncadu reserved constituency in Karaikal in 1980. He retained the seat in the 1985 polls and became Speaker of the Assembly.
- He was Minister in the Congress ministry led by V Vaithilingam between 1991 and 1996 after being elected for the third successive term from Neduncadu.