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Indian Affairs

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah launches ‘Pratibimba” to project achievements   

  • Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched a comprehensive web-based platform showcasing the government’s performance and achievements to the citizens.
  • Pratibimba’ will serve as a tool to improve efficiency in governance and allow citizens to track government’s progress.
  • Pratibimba” is a reflection of the growth story and development of the state, and the dashboard will reflect the works of all the departments across flagship schemes, key programmes and projects undertaken in the state.
  • The dashboard is available both in English and  Kannada.
  • Karnataka is the second state in the country after Andhra Pradesh to have such a dashboard.

Mobile World Congress to be held in India on September 27

  • India will organize its first mobile congress in September with a special focus on reaching out to the South East Asian markets.
  • There is Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and an edition in Shanghai. There is nothing in between for South East Asia.
  • India is emerging as one of the global leaders in telecom which we will also showcase in the Indian Mobile Congress.

Mobile World Congress:

  •  The GSMA Mobile World Congress is a combination of the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world.
  •  The 2017 event was held in Barcelona between 27 February to 2 March 2017 and Mobile World Congress Shanghai between 28th June 2017 to 1st July 2017.

PM Modi Inaugurates Petrochemicals Complex at Dahej & Extradosed Bridge Across River Narmada at Bharuch in Gujarat

PM Modi Inaugurates Petrochemicals Complex at Dahej & Extradosed Bridge Across River Narmada at Bharuch in Gujarat
PM Modi Inaugurates Petrochemicals Complex at Dahej & Extradosed Bridge Across River Narmada at Bharuch in Gujarat
  • PM will inaugurate a four-lane bridge over the river Narmada in Bharuch.
  • The 1.4-kilometre ‘extradosed’ cable-stayed bridge is reportedly the longest in the country. It is expected to ease traffic woes on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai National Highway, considered to be one of the busiest in India.
  • Modi will inaugurate a national convention of women sarpanch, and address an industry meet of OPAL project of ONGC in Dahej.
  • The Prime Minister will also address a public gathering in Bharuch and lay a foundation stone for a bus port in the town.

Destination North East 2017 Festival Held in Chandigarh

In the run-up to the International Yoga Day on June 21, the Government is organising a three-day International Yoga Fest 2017 from March 8 here to be attended by a battery of eminent yoga gurus like Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Dr HR Nagendra, yoga consultant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor of Bangalore-based S-Vyasa University.

  • Parallel workshops by eminent yoga masters
  • Lectures and
  • Special yoga techniques

Prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskars given away to 33 women by the President

  • The awards were presented to 33 women in recognition of their efforts in rendering distinguished services for the cause of women, especially vulnerable and marginalised women.
  • The Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi congratulated the awardees for receiving the highest award for women in the country.

NITI Aayog presents the 2nd edition of Women Transforming India

  • In partnership with the UN in India and MyGov, NITI Aayog presented the second edition of Women Transforming India, an online contest to celebrate women achievers, leaders and change makers from across the country.
  • Twelve exceptional women, including a 104-year-old from rural Chhattisgarh, who sold her goats to build a toilet in her village or a widow from Himachal Pradesh fighting for the rights of widows and deserted women, were awarded with certificates of appreciation to acknowledge their phenomenal work in transforming societies.
  • NITI Aayog’s 15-year vision document also proposes key reforms to enable and encourage women’s workforce participation across sectors in India. This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5, Gender Equality, whose adoption into policy-making is being steered by NITI Aayog.

Swachh Shakti 2017 – A Convention of Women Sarpanches at Gandhinagar

  • The event was held on 8th March 20017 in Gandhinagar and PM was present on the occasion.
  • Swachh Shakti is an occasion to honour Sarpanches who have contributed immensely to the movement towards a Clean India.
  • The PM Shri Narendra Modi stated that cleanliness is even more important than political freedom.
  • This mega event being organised by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY).

116th meeting of trustees of Somnath Trust held at Somnath

  • The 116th meeting of the trustees of Shri Somnath Trust was held at Somnath on 8th March 2017
  • The meeting was attended by trustees: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Lal Krishna Advani, Shri Amit Shah, Shri Keshubhai Patel, Shri P.K. Laheri, Shri J.D. Parmar and Shri Harsh Neotia.
  • Shri Keshubhai Patel was re-elected as Chairman of the Somnath trust for the year 2017 as well.
  • He also said that the Trust should organise special Mahotsavas in all major cities.

International Yoga Fest Began in New Delhi on March 8, 2017

  • The two-day International Yoga fest was inaugurated by Union Information And Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi.
  • It is organized by the Morarji Desai National Institute Of Yoga in association with the Indian Yoga Associations.
  • More than 3,500 participants including eminent yoga gurus, yoga masters, scholars, policy makers and representatives from 15- 18 countries will participate in this mega event.
  • It will comprise parallel yoga workshop, lectures, Satsang, cultural programmes and yoga demos.
  • A half-day seminar will be conducted on Life Sketch and contributions of two Yoga gurus Swami Ved Bharati and T.K.V. Desikachar for the promotion and development of Yoga.

Delhi Government Presents Rs. 48,000 crore Budget for 2017-18

International Affairs

India Has Highest Bribery Rate Among 16 Asia-Pacific Nations: Transparency International Survery

  • India had the highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia Pacific countries surveyed by Transparency International. Nearly seven in 10 Indians who had accessed public services had paid a bribe.
  • The only silver lining is that over a half of the respondents from India were positive about the government’s efforts to combat bribery.
  • India was followed by Vietnam (65%), Thailand (41%), Cambodia, Pakistan and Myanmar, each with 40%.
  • Besides, China (26%) was one of the least corrupt nations and it was the lowest in Japan (0.2%).
  • Banking and Finance

Vice President Hamid Ansari Attends IORA Summit in Jakarta

Vice President Hamid Ansari Attends IORA Summit in Jakarta
Vice President Hamid Ansari Attends IORA Summit in Jakarta


  • Vice President Hamid Ansari Monday embarked on a two-day visit to Indonesia to attend the summit of the 21-nation Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Jakarta, where he is expected to lay emphasis on connectivity, open maritime trade and rights of navigation.
  • He is also expected to pitch for cooperation among the think tanks of the member countries to evolve common strategies to meet the conventional and non-conventional threats.
  • The theme of the Summit is ‘Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean’.
  • IORA is a regional forum which aims at facilitating and promoting economic co-operation, bringing together, inter-alia, the representatives of the Member States’ governments, businesses and academia.

Banking & Finance

ESAF Microfinance Issues Commercial Paper Worth Rs 330 crore

  • ESAF Microfinance, the only company from Kerala to receive the Small Finance Bank license, has issued Commercial Papers worth Rs 330 crore to meet the short-term funding needs.
  • The papers are rated A1 by CARE ratings. The subscribers to the CP are major private sector banks and NBFCs.
  • The biggest advantage of becoming a bank is that ESAF can offer value-based banking with a difference.
  • The bank will give loans for farming, small businesses, housing and education. It will also have a spectrum of deposit options for all customers including non-resident Indians (NRIs).
  • The company hopes to start the banking operations with a network of around 85 branches and 300 plus customer touch points in the first year.

IDFC Launches Biometric Based Payment System Aadhaar Pay

IDFC Launches Biometric Based Payment System Aadhaar Pay
IDFC Launches Biometric Based Payment System Aadhaar Pay
  • IDFC Bank has become the first bank to launch the biometric-based payment system Aadhaar Pay through its network.
  • The bank aims to onboard anywhere between 50,000-75,000 merchant to the Aadhaar pay module in the next two years with a total target of touching 1,00,000 merchants over the next 36 months or three years.
  • The bank has targeted to cover about 50,000-75,000 merchant to the Aadhaar pay module by 2019 and touching 1,00,000 merchants over the next 36 months.


Karur Vysya Bank launches 3 technology services

Karur based Karur Vysya Bank’ s Chief Executive K. Venkataraman has rolled-out of three technology services FASTag, UPI and BBPS on March 8, 2017.
FASTag was launched in association with Indian Highways Management Company, a subsidiary of National Highway Authority of India, wherein pre loaded tags affixed to vehicles help them move on without having to join queues at toll plazas and handing cash for payment.
FASTags can be pre-loaded with amounts and the toll amount will automatically be debited by the toll plazas through sensors.
The tags can be reloaded as and when required and tags are valid at all toll lazas throughout the country.
The transfer is effected through the Immediate Payment Service platform of NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India).
Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), a facility offered through NPCI where in customers can make utility bill payments like electricity, water, gas, DTH and telecom servioces through a single utility, instead of accessing multiple sites.

SBI launches ‘Work from Home’ facility for employees

SBI launches ‘Work from Home’ facility for employees
SBI launches ‘Work from Home’ facility for employees
  • State Bank of India launched a new facility to enable its employees to work from home.
  • The Board of the bank has recently approved the Work from Home policy to enable its employees to work while at home using mobile devices to address any urgent requirement they may have, that prevents their travelling to work.
  • The lender will be using mobile computing technologies and shall have continuous control over all the enabled devices centrally to manage and secure the data and applications on the mobile devices.
  • The use of technology and services shall be monitored through carefully designed MIS and dashboard to enable improvements and refinements.
  • The bank said going forward cross-sell, marketing, CRM, social media management, settlement & reconciliation, complaints management applications will also be enabled to make the work from home services comprehensive and increase the employee productivity multi-fold.

Appointments & Resigns

D. Bala Venkatesh Varma concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to Andorra    

D. Bala Venkatesh Varma concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to Andorra
D. Bala Venkatesh Varma concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to Andorra
Mr. D. Bala Venkatesh Varma, presently Ambassador of lndia to Spain, has been concurrently accredited as the country’s next Ambassador to the Principality ofAndorra, with residence in Madrid.
Mr. Varma, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1988 batch, was expected to take charge of the assignment shortly,


CBDT signs another APA with subsidiary of a Japanese Company taking the total APAs entered into by the CBDT to 141

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) with rollback provision with a Japanese subsidiary.
  • With this signing, the total number of bilateral APAs with Japanese subsidiaries has reached five, all with rollback provisions.
  • Four APAs out of these five have been signed in the current financial year. All these five bilateral APAs are with Japanese trading companies.


Environment Minister launches Web Portal for obtaining CRZ Clearances

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Anil Madhav Dave, launched the web portal for obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone clearances.
The Portal is a web-based system for obtaining clearances required from the Ministry under the “Coastal Regulation Zone” (CRZ) by the Project proponents.
The system will enable the Project proponents and the concerned State/Union Territory bodies like the State Coastal Zone Management Authorities (SCZMAs) and Municipal/Town Planning agencies in tracking the status of their proposals.
The system is based on web architecture, similar to the existing systems in place for according environmental and forest clearances.
The portal allocates a unique identity for each proposal for all future references.  It is accessible from any computer with internet facility.
The objectives of the web portal include – enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability in the process of CRZ clearances; enhance responsiveness through workflows and availability of real-time information on the status of CRZ clearance proposals; ease of business and convenience of citizens in accessing information and services; standardised procedures and processes across Central and State levels.

Science and Technology

CBSE introduces Exam Locator app to help students

CBSE introduces Exam Locator app to help students
CBSE introduces Exam Locator app to help students


  • The Central Board of Secondary Education has come up with a mobile application named Exam Locator, which will help students locate their examination centre on the basis of their roll number.
  • Using this App student can easily find the address, images and geolocation of the designated exam centre on the map and get to know how to reach there.
  • This development comes amid exams are round the corner for class X or XII examinees who can access information by selecting the option class and entering their roll number.

The Fifth Satellite Of Sentinel Series Launched By Europe

The Fifth Satellite Of Sentinel Series Launched By Europe
The Fifth Satellite Of Sentinel Series Launched By Europe

Europe launched the fifth of its Sentinel Earth observation satellites as part of its multi-billion-euro Copernicus program to provide speedy images of land, oceans and waterways.
The Sentinel-2B satellite, part of a system of satellites that is to monitor Earth, blasted off on board a Vega rocket from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana at 8:49 p.m. EST (0149 GMT on Tuesday).
It will join its twin Sentinel-2A, which has been in orbit since 2015, to take high-resolution, color and infrared images for a wide array of environmental initiatives, including crop forecasting and monitoring natural disasters.
The two satellites will orbit 488 miles (786 km) above Earth, on opposite sides of the planet.
The Copernicus project is described by the European Space Agency (ESA) as the most ambitious Earth observation program to date. The European Union and the ESA have committed funding of more than 8 billion euros ($9 billion) to it until 2020.


OPPO wins Indian team sponsorship rights till 2022

OPPO wins Indian team sponsorship rights till 2022
OPPO wins Indian team sponsorship rights till 2022
  • OPPO Mobiles India, the smartphone manufacturer, has won the Indian team sponsorship rights for a five-year period, starting April 1 2017.
  • OPPO Mobiles will pay INR 1079 crore (approx USD 162 million) for the duration of their contract having beaten the only other bid of INR 768 crore (approx USD 115 million) from Vivo, another smartphone manufacturer.
  • The minimum reserve price was set by the BCCI at INR 538 crore (approx USD 81 million).
  • OPPO’s was worth INR 4.61 crore (approx USD 693,000) per match for bilateral series and INR 1.51 crore (approx USD 227,000) per match for ICC sponsored tournaments. The existing team sponsor, Star India, whose contract expires on March 31, had paid INR 1.92 crore (approx USD 289,000) and 61 lakh (approx USD 92,000) per match for bilateral and ICC tournaments respectively.


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