Important Current affairs dated 29th March 2017 for Competitive Exams in India.
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Supreme Court allows CCTV cameras in High Courts but without Audio.
- The video recording facilities will initially be installed in at least two districts of each state and union territory
- The apex court has set a time frame of three months to complete the work of installing the cameras
- The Centre has been pushing for CCTV cameras in courtrooms
India becomes Net Exporter of Electricity for the first time
- As per Central Electricity Authority, the Designated Authority of Government of India for Cross Border Trade of Electricity, 1st time India has turned around from a net importer of electricity to Net Exporter of electricity.
- India has exported around 5,798 Million Units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar which is 213 Million units more than the import of around 5,585 Million units from Bhutan.
- India has been importing power from Bhutan since mid-eighties. On an average Bhutan has been supplying around 5,000- 5500 Million units to India.
- India had also been exporting around 190 MW power to Nepal over 12 cross border interconnections. And at present around 600 MW power is being exported to Bangladesh. Export to Nepal and Bangladesh increased 2.5 and 2.8 times respectively in last three years.
Lok Sabha passes GST Bills after marathon debate
- In a historic step towards implementing a new, consolidated indirect tax regime from the proposed date of July 1, the Lok Sabha Today pass four Bills, relating to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), following a marathon nine-hour long debate.
- The Lower House passed the Central GST Bill, Integrated GST Bill, GST Compensation Bill, and the Union Territory GST Bills.
- The fifth GST legislation, the State GST Bill, will need to be passed by the legislative assemblies of each of the States and Union Territories with legislature.
- The States and the Centre have pooled their sovereignty in the Council.
- The recommendation of the rates will come from the Council. But the Council has two-thirds voting by the States and one-third by the Centre. The GST Council has been given the power to only make a recommendation regarding the model law.
Banking and Finance
Awards and Recognition
Appointments & Resigns
UN appoints David Beasley to head World Food Programme
United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres has appointed David Beasley as head of the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP). Beasley will replace Etharin Cousin, who has been the WFP executive director since 2012. He is former governor of US state of South Carolina.
About World Food Programme (WFP)
- The WEF is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.
- It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
- It works to help people who cannot produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families.
- It was established in 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference.
- Its headquarter is in Rome (Italy) and has more than 80 country offices around the world.
- It provides food assistance to an average of 80 million people in 75 countries each year.
- It is a member of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) and part of its Executive Committee.
Lionel Messi suspended for four matches by – FIFA
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee suspended Argentina football player Lionel Messi for four matches on 28TH March 2017 for the fault in relation to an incident during the match between Argentina and Chile on 23rd March 2017. In the qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Lionel Messi used insulting words to an assistant referee. This incident led to the suspension of for four official matches and sanctioned with a fine of CHF 10,000.
- Lionel Messi is a professional footballer and Argentina national team Argentine.
- Messi plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona.
- He is the only footballer in history till date to win five FIFA Ballons d’Or, four of which he won consecutively.
- In addition to that, he is also the first player to win three European Golden Shoes.
- Messi is often considered as the best player in the world and rated as the greatest in sport of all the time.
Acquisitions & Mergers
IAF launched – Aviation Turbine Fuel Digital Issue and Payment
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC formally launched the Aviation Turbine Fuel Digital Issue and Payment (ATF DIP) system on 28th March 2017. On this occasion, the Chief of Air Staff complimented IOCL for its commitment and unstinted support in ensuring robust supply chain management of Aviation Fuel, especially at high altitude locations and during natural calamities.
Key features of Aviation Turbine Fuel Digital Issue and Payment (ATF DIP)
- It is a web based e-billing module,conceptualized by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in line with the Union Government’s flagship programme – Digital India.
- It helps speedy accounting and the clearance of over 2 lakh aviation fuel bills of Oil Pubilc Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
- This new service will be implemented from 01st April 2017.
SC bans sale of BS-III vehicles from April 1
- The Supreme Court on Wednesday banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage (BS)-III emission norm-compliant vehicles from April 1, saying the health of millions was more important than commercial interests.
- The decision could deal a Rs 12,000-crore blow to auto manufactures as about 820,000 vehicles, most of them two-wheelers.
- India will switch to the more efficient and stringent BS-IV norms, already in place in some parts of the country, including Delhi, from April 1.
- The manufacturers were aware that from April 1 they would be required to manufacture only BS-IV vehicles but they failed to take sufficient pro-active steps.
- The objective behind a cleaner fuel technology would not be achieved if older vehicles continue to flood the market, said Epca, a Supreme-court appointed autonomous body that advises government on ecological issues.
- The court also rejected the Centre’s argument that the BS-IV rollout only banned manufacturing and not the sale of the BS-III vehicles.
Science and Technology
TB vaccine trial on adults begins in June
- In June this year, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India Pvt. Limited will begin a Phase II/III vaccine trial for tuberculosis using a novel, recombinant BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine.
- The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial will be carried out on 2,000 adults who have been successfully treated (and cured) for TB. While 1,000 adults will receive the vaccine, the remaining volunteers will receive a placebo. A single dose of the vaccine will be administered, and the volunteers will be followed up for a year. The trial will be conducted in 15-17 centres across the country.
- The new TB vaccine (VPM1002), which will be tested, is based on the BCG vaccine that is in use. However, it is more powerful and efficacious as it contains a gene, better recognised by the immune system.
Source: The Hindu
AIIMS to study Ayurveda for curing Cancer
- AIIMS will collaborate with experts from the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences and the All India Institute of Ayurveda to study and validate the efficacy of ayurvedic drugs used for treating cancer of the breast, cervix, and oral cancer, among others.
- Research shows that ayurvedic treatment can help relieve cancer symptoms and improve the quality of life, according to a UK-based charity foundation that raises funds for research and awareness in the field.
- Studies have shown that yoga helps lymphoma patients sleep better, and reduces stress in people with breast or prostate cancer
Ashwin receives Garfield Sobers Trophy
Ravichandran Ashwin on 28 March 2017 was awarded the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy in Dharamsala.
Ashwin was honoured with the trophy for being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016.
With this, Ashwin has become the third Indian and the 12th player overall to win the award.
The award was judged by a voting academy, which was completely independent of the ICC. They panel took into consideration performances between 14 September 2015 and 20 September 2016. During this period, Ashwin produced some extraordinary all-round performances across all three formats of the game.
Other recipients of the award include Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Andrew Flintoff, Jacques Kallis Ricky Ponting and others.
About Garfield Sobers Trophy
• The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy is awarded annually by the ICC to its chosen world player of the year.
• It was first awarded in 2004 to Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid.
• The trophy is handcrafted by leading international crystal manufacturer Swarovski.
• The trophy’s design showcases a red crystal cricket ball studded with over 4200 Swarovski crystal chantons, resting on a brass hand extended from a gold-plated base.
• The trophy is named after former West Indies cricket captain Sir Garfield Sobers.
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