Important Current affairs dated 24th March 2017 for Competitive Exams in India.
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MHA issues Advisory for Compliance Of Flag Code Of India 2002
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory to the chief secretaries, administrators of all state governments, UT administrations, secretaries of all ministries, reiterating to ensure strict compliance of the provisions contained in the ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’ and ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971’.
- The advisory directs that mass awareness programmes to be carried out and also wide publicity through advertisements in both the electronic and print media.
- The advisory states that the National Flag represents hopes and aspirations of the people of the country and, therefore, should occupy a position of honour.
- The National Flags made of plastic are also being used in place of paper flags. Since, the plastic flags are not biodegradable they do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposal of National Flags made of plastic commensurate with dignity of the flag.
- The advisory directs that on important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are used by public in terms of the provisions of the ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’ and such paper Flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the event. Such Flags are to be disposed of, in private, consistent with the dignity of the Flag and wide publicity, for not using the National Flag made of plastic, should be made along with its advertisement in the electronic and print media.
- Such Flags are to be disposed of, in private, consistent with the dignity of the Flag and wide publicity, for not using the National Flag made of plastic, should be made along with its advertisement in the electronic and print media.
18th edition of Asia’s largest convention of the business of media and entertainment FICCI Frames 2017
- The 18th edition of Asia’s largest convention on the business of media and entertainment “FICCI Frames-2017” has started in Mumbai, Maharashtra from March 21. The 3-day international convention will
- The 3-day international convention will covers the entire spectrum of Media & Entertainment like Films, Broadcast (TV & Radio), Digital Entertainment, Animation, Gaming, Visual Effects, etc. with nearly 2000 Indian and 800 foreign delegates encompassing the entire universe of media and entertainment expected to attend the event.
- The theme of this year’s convention is “Digital-Divide or Dividend”. Canada is partnering the event for the first time this year.
23rd conference of auditor’s General Of Commonwealth Countries and British Overseas Territories held in New Delhi
The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs Shri Arun Jaitley addressed the 23rd Conference of Auditors General of Commonwealth nations and 9 British Overseas Territories in New Delhi on 22nd March 2017.
The Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) hosted the Conference.
This was the first time India hosted this prestigious conference.
The conference had the main theme of “Fostering Partnerships for Capacity Development in Public Audit” with the following two sub-themes:
1. Leveraging Technology in Public Audit, and
2. Environment Audit: A Commonwealth Perspective.
The two sub-theme discussions was led by Auditors General of Tanzania and Canada.
The auditing organizations in these countries come together every three years to discuss the major challenges before them. The last such conference was held in Malta in 2014. About 80 delegates from 37 countries are expected to participate in the conference. Among the guests there will be 24 heads of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI)
The last such conference was held in Malta in 2014. About 80 delegates from 37 countries are expected to participate in the conference. Among the guests there will be 24 heads of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI).
The CAG of India is a pioneering SAI in the field of Data Analytics and use of technology in Public Auditing. The CAG also heads the International Working Group on Information System Audits and provides technical assistance to various audit institutions of other countries in use of technology and conducting IT audits.
The CAG also heads the International Working Group on Information System Audits and provides technical assistance to various audit institutions of other countries in use of technology and conducting IT audits.
Similarly on Environment related subjects, several CAG reports on Water Pollution, Waste Management, Renewable Energy and Compensatory Afforestation have been lauded nationally and internationally. On both these aspects, Information Technology and Environment Audits – the CAG of India has its own International Training Centers at Noida and Jaipur respectively where auditors from all over the world are trained in specialized aspects of Public Auditing.
CBDT forms committee to check absconding I-T dept officers
The CBDT has constituted a three-member committee to identify those IRS and other junior-rank officers of the Income Tax department who are on unauthorized leave or are absconding so that strict disciplinary action could be initiated against them.
The three-member committee, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) carried out a “one-time count” of all the officers working in the department and identify those Group A officers (Indian Revenue Service) who are presently on unauthorised leave or are absconding.
The committee is headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Director General (ADG).
The committee will analyse the records of all the IRS officers currently in service and identify the IRS officers who are absconding or are on unauthorised leave.
“The Committee is authorised to obtain information or certificate from controlling officers regarding any IRS officer prima facie found to be absconding or on unauthorised leave to ascertain whether such officers are still in service and/or on authorised leave and what action has been initiated against these officers.
Meghalaya Assembly Passes Rs. 13,048 Cr Budget
- The Meghalaya Assembly today passed the financial bill of over Rs 13,048 crore including “ways and means advances” of Rs 175 crore for the year 2017-2018.
- The amount would be utilised to meet various expenses for the next fiscal.
- chief minister Mukul Sangma presented the state budget for 2017-2018 in the Assembly that saw an increase in fiscal deficit to Rs 1,236 crore from Rs 1,090 crore last year.
- Sangma estimated the total expenditure at Rs 12,873 crore during 2017-18 of which revenue expenditure was estimated at Rs 10,648 crore and capital expenditure at Rs 2,225 crore. However, excluding repayment of loans, the estimated total expenditure will be Rs12,538 crore.
- Sangma had also estimated the total receipts of Rs 12,510 crore, revenue receipts at Rs 11,280 crore and capital receipts at Rs 1,230 crore. But excluding borrowings, the total estimated receipts stood at Rs 11,302 crore.
- Taking into account the total estimated receipts of Rs 11,302 crore lesser than the total estimated expenditure of Rs 12,538 crore, the budget resulted to a fiscal deficit of Rs 1,236 crore, which is around 3.8 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP).
- The budget also indicated that interest payment during 2017-18 was estimated at Rs 589 crore and pension payment at Rs 730 crore.
SBI Arundhati Bhattacharya Ranked 26 in Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders 2017
- State Bank of India (SBI) chief Arundhati Bhattacharya has been ranked 26th in the Fortune’s top 50 greatest leaders. She is the only Indian corporate leader in the list.
- Ms Bhattacharya is the first-ever woman to chair the country’s largest lender.
- The leaders in this Fortune list excel at leading effectively in today’s challenging business environment.
- Bhattacharya has steered the SBI through an ongoing battle with bad loans, surprise demonetisation move and will be overseeing the upcoming six-bank merger.
- She had led the 211-year-old institution into the digital era. She has been well recognised and granted a rare extension in her three-year term at the SBI.
Afghan Taliban capture crucial town of Sangin
- The Taliban have captured the crucial south Afghan district of Sangin after a year-long battle.
- Government forces say they have made a tactical retreat from the centre of Sangin.
- A spokesman for Helmand’s governor confirmed the district police and governor’s headquarters were now in militant hands.
- Almost a quarter of British troops killed during the UK’s combat mission in Afghanistan died defending Sangin.
- Hundreds of members of the Afghan security forces died there in recent fighting.
- Separately, at least nine local policemen were killed in an “insider” attack in Kunduz in the north.
Banking And Finance
World Bank signs USD 100 million healthcare deal with Uttarakhand
- The World Bank has inked a USD 100 million credit agreement with the Uttarakhand government.
- The deal is signed to improve the quality of healthcare facilities in all 13 districts of the state.
- Most public health facilities in the middle and upper mountainous areas of Uttarakhand are unable to functional optimally or at the required level of quality, because of large-scale vacancies of health staff, as deployment and retention in such geographically remote areas has proven to be extremely difficult.
- “In 2013, 48 percent of the posts of general duty medical officers and 75 percent of the specialists posts were vacant, despite a liberal government policy to hire contractual doctors and to pay them incentives for remote area postings.
- The project also aims to reduce the financial risk for its citizens and make affordable, quality health care available to all.
- The agreement for the project was signed by Joint Secretary in Ministry of Finance Raj Kumar on behalf of the Centre, Additional Secretary Health and Project Director for the Uttarakhand Health Systems Development Project Neeraj Kharwal on behalf of Uttarakhand and World Bank India Operations Manager and Acting Country Director Hisham Abdo Kahin on behalf of the World Bank.
Tata Capital launches mobile app to offer personal loans
- Financial services company Tata Capital launched a mobile app to extend its personal loans offering to young and mobile savvy audience.
- The app – ‘myLoan’ is a social profile based personal loan mobile application.
- It will make a real-time assessment of the borrower’s loan application through an algorithm, using a mix of digital, social and financial data.
- Aim: To sustain our digital presence through new and unique application that uses financial and alternate information during the borrower’s credit analysis,
- The app allows users to link up their social media profiles and obtain a score which reflects their potential credit—worthiness.
- The app uses information such as location, utility bill payment history and social data like employment history and interests, obtained from Facebook and Linkedin. These data points along with Cibil score is used to give user a score.
- The app offers personal loans up to a maximum of 15 lakh.
- The company’s COO (digital business) Veetika Deoras, said, “the app makes the loan application process seamless and uses multiple credit under—writing scorecards at the backend, suited to varied customers’ profiles. It will offer personal loans to under—served segments such as first time loan takers and to cater to small ticket loans with shorter tenures.
- At present digital contributes 10 per cent to the overall personal loan portfolio of the company.
- “With the launch of this app we see contribution of digital going up to 12.5 per cent in the next one year.
- The company’s retail book currently is close to Rs 30,000 crore.
- Home loans contributes 35—40 per cent to the overall retail portfolio of the company. Personal loan book stands at Rs 1,000 crore
Awards and Recognition
Six Indian Americans Named for 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honour
- PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, author Fareed Zakaria are amongst six Indian-Americans nominated for the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honour 2017 – the highest civilian award in the US for immigrants.
- Among 88 named recipients, the four other Indian-Americans are Harman International Industries chairman CEO Dinesh Paliwal, Dr Annapoorna S Kini, Yashvant Patel, Mohan H Patel.
- Nooyi has been the CEO at PepsiCo since 2006 and chairman since 2007.
- She was previously the president and chief financial officer at the company, as well as senior vice-president, and senior vice-president of corporate strategy and development.
- Zakaria is the host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” as well as a columnist for The Washington Post. He has also served as a columnist at Newsweek, an editor at Newsweek International and editor-at-large of Time.
- Paliwal has served as the president and CEO at Harman since July 2007 and later became the chairman in 2008.
- The Ellis Island Medal of Honour founded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organisations (NECO) are given annually to individuals whose accomplishments in their field and service to the country are cause for celebration.
- Since its inception in 1986, the medal has been officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of the nation’s most prestigious awards.
Raghu rai Honoured with Lifetime Achievement at the National Photography Awards
- Photojournalist Raghu Rai was conferred with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry for “his remarkable contribution to the field.”
- Rai was honored with the award by I&B minister M. Venkaiah Naidu at 6th National Photography Awards organized by the photo division of the ministry in the capital. The ministry felicitated a total 13 photographers. Among the winners were K.K. Mustafah, Atul Choubey, Dipayan Bhar and Ravinder Kumar.
- National Photography Awards is an annual event organized by the ministry to “promote art, technique of photography and to encourage professional and amateur photographers from all corners of the country.”
Appointments & Resigns
RBI okays appointment of T S Anantharaman as part-time chairman of CSB
- The Reserve Bank of India has accorded approval for the appointment of T S Anantharaman as part-time chairman of Catholic Syrian Bank. Anantharaman has been holding the position of non-executive director of the bank since August 28, 2009.
- Anantharaman is a senior chartered accountant with wide and varied experience in practice, industry, teaching, consulting and service. He had served with United Nations for seven years.
- Anantharaman was the President of Chamber of Commerce, Thrissur, Thrissur Management Association and a number of other institutions.
- At present, he is an investment consultant and director of number of other companies and institutions.
BHEL commissions 250-MW unit at Bongaigaon plant in Assam
- State-run power equipment maker BHEL has commissioned a 250-MW unit at the upcoming Bongaigaon thermal power station in Assam.
- “BHEL is executing the main plant package contract for setting up three coal-fired units of 250 MW each at Bongaigaon TPS of NTPC. Significantly, this is the highest rating coal-based power plant in the North-East region,”.
- The first unit of the power plant was commissioned earlier by BHEL and is now operational, while the third and final unit is in advanced stage of commissioning.
- Bongaigaon power plant is located at Salakati near Bongaigaon in Kokrajhar district of Assam.
- Also known as the gateway to lower Assam, Bongaigoan is one of the industrial towns of the state, which also has a major petrochemical industry. This project has been set up after demolishing an old 4×60 MW power station of Assam State Electricity Board.
- In Assam, BHEL is also executing a gas-based combined cycle power project of 98.4 MW at Namrup
Bengaluru gets India’s first vertical garden
- After China’s vertical forests went viral on social media, people are now praising Bengaluru’s very first vertical garden that aims at curbing pollution and making the city beautiful.
- The organic garden has come to Hosur Road Electronics City Flyover where over 3,500 saplings of 10 different species have already been plante
Books & Authors
Shri Singh launch Coffee Table Book titled “50 Years – The Great Indian Milk Revolution”
- The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the growth in dairy production is the result of dairy cooperative societies’ hard work. Shri Singh said it at the launch of Coffee Table Book titled “50 Years – The Great Indian Milk Revolution” commemorating National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) Golden Jubilee year.
- This book encapsulates NDDB’s remarkable 50-year journey and the value it has created for millions of dairy farmers in this country.
- The book highlights NDDB’s belief that cooperative principles are as relevant today as they were in the past and the institutions which follow these will form the structural framework for the growth of the dairy sector in the future.
- It also highlights the Dairy Board’s efforts towards bringing about socio-economic change in rural India.
Science and Technology
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Launches MoPNG e Seva
- Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched MoP&NG e-Seva, a dedicated grievances redressal platform on Social Media for all queries and grievances relating to Oil and Gas Sector.
- The MOPNG e-Seva is an integrated grievances redressal platform across social media for all Oil & Gas related service issues. This portal will be a single point interface for all customers to reach out to the government for addressing their feedback or grievances related to Oil & Gas Sector on social media. MOPNG e-Seva will also deliver 24 x 7 support for consumers.
- The e-Seva portal will serve as a single point for queries on Twitter and Facebook to begin with; and other social media platforms in due course. A team of Nodal Officers from Oil Companies and Allied Services have been formed to address issues on real-time basis.
- Conversations are being tracked on real-time basis and a standard operating procedure has been put into place for immediate intervention and closure by concerned officials of Companies under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. While Oil Companies will continue to do regular redressal through their respective channels for complaints redressal, theMOPNG e-Seva is an exclusive integrated portal that would handle queries that are received on the official handles of Petroleum Minister, Petroleum Ministry and MOPNG e-Seva.
The World’s Largest “Artificial Sun” Is Powering up in Germany
- Synlight is the largest collection of film projector spotlights ever assembled in one room, and scientists in Germany are turning them all on at once in the pursuit of efficient and renewable energy.
- This experiment involving the world’s “largest artificial sun” is taking place in Jülich, a town located 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Cologne, and it was designed by scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The device features 149 industrial-grade film projector spotlights, and each one boasts roughly 4,000 times the wattage of the average light bulb.
- When this artificial sun is turned on, it generates light that’s 10,000 times as intense as natural sunlight on Earth. Swiveling the lamps and concentrating them on one spot can produce temperatures of around 3,500 degrees Celsius (6,332 degrees Fahrenheit), which is three times as hot as the heat generated by a blast furnace.
Tamil literature thiagarajan passed away
- Noted Tamil litterateur Asokamitran passed away On 24th March 2017 after a brief illness, aged 85.
- A well known novelist and essayist, he was noted for his subtlety and refreshing creativity in expression.
- Born Thiagarajan, he assumed the pseudonym Asokamitran in the 1960s.
- His work “Appavin Snegithargal”, a collection of short stories won him the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996.
- “18-vadhu Atchakkodu”, translated into English as “The Eighteenth Parallel”, is one of his highly acclaimed novels.
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