20th March 2017 – Current Affairs Today


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National Current Affairs

2017 International Buddhist Conference Held in Bihar

  • Theme: The main theme of the conference was: Buddhism in the 21st Century– Perspectives and Responses to Global Challenges and Crisis.
  • One of the main highlight of the conference was the release 41-volume of the Pali Tripitaka by His Holiness the Dalai lama, reprinted by the Nava Nalanda University in Devanagri script.

First Made-In-India Train, Medha, Flagged off at Dadar Station

  • India’s first home made train for Western Railway Fleet, Medha was flagged off for its maiden run
  • The 12-coach, made-in-India train, halted at Bandra and Andheri stations during the transit.  Currently there are two rakes of Medha which will run on the Western Railway network.
  • Medha has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. The train has been installed with LED lighting to reduce energy consumption
  • Medha rake costs  43.23 crore, which is approximately Rs. 1 crore less than the German-made Bombardier rake running on the western railways which is Rs.44.36 crore.

Punjab Approves 33 Percent Reservation for Women in State Govt Jobs

  • The state government has decided to provide 33 percent reservation for women in all government jobs. The reservation would apply even in the contractual appointments of women in the state government jobs.
  • The representation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and urban local bodies would go up from 33 percent to 50 percent.
  • The government has also decided to provide a house to every freedom fighter along with allocating 300 units of free electricity every month. One out-of-turn tube well connection will also be given to them and exemption from toll tax.

Business & Economy

NTPC Commissions 2nd Unit of Mouda Super Thermal Power Station

  • National Thermal Power Corporation Limited(NTPC) commissioned the second unit of 660 MW of Mouda Super Thermal Power Station Stage-II
  • With this commissioning, the total capacity of Mouda Super Thermal Power Station, NTPC and NTPC group has become 2,320 MW, 41,907 MW and 48,873 MW, respectively.

ONGC Signs Pact to Acquire Entire Stake of GSPC in KG Block for $1.2 billion

  • State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has signed definitive agreements to buy Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation’s (GSPC) entire 80% stake in KG-basin natural gas block for $1.2 billion. 
  • The company will close the deal and pay debt-ridden GSPC the money after getting the regulatory approvals like government nod for transfer of participating interest (PI) and change of operatorship.
  • Besides, another $200 million will be paid for six other discoveries for which GSPC has been finalising an investment plan to bring them to production. ONGC will also have to pay for the entire development cost of the six discoveries
  • Under the farm-in and farm-out agreement, ONGC will pay $995.26 million for three discoveries in the KG-OSN-2001/3 block that are under trial production since August 2014.

People in News 

Indian-American Sandeep Matharani Ranks 4th Among 25 Overpaid CEOs in US

  • Indian-American CEO, Sandeep Matharani, has been ranked 4th on a list of top 25 overpaid CEOs in the United States, as per the report by US based NGO ‘As You Sow’.
  • Sandeep Matharani, CEO of General Growth Properties, Chicago was paid a total compensation of USD 39.2 million in 2016.
  • According to the report, he was overpaid by USD 26 million.
  • The list was topped by Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS. Moonves earned compensation worth USD 56.7 million in 2016.
  • Marc Benioff of Salesforce ranked second on the list with a total compensation of USD 33.4 million.
  • Discovery Communications David Zaslav was placed third with a compensation of USD 32.4 million.

Yogi Adityanath Takes Oath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh

  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, Yogi Adityanathtook oath as the 32nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
  • Yogi Aditya Nath (44), a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur, was unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader
  • Besides, two deputy Chief Minister, nine MoS (independent charge), 24 cabinet ministers and 13 ministers of state also took the oath.

Shahid Afridi appointed ambassador of Blind Cricket World Cup

  • Former captain of the Pakistan national cricket team, Shahid Afridi has been roped in as the ambassador for the 5th Blind Cricket World Cup  by the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC)
  • Blind Cricket World Cup will be hosted by PBCC in the United Arab Emirates(UAE) and Pakistan in January 2018.

Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi appointed as member on RBI’s western board  

  • The central government has appointed Dilip Shanghvi, managing director of Sun Pharmaceuticals as a member on the western area local board of Reserve Bank of India.
  • His period of tenure is four years with effect from March 11, 2017.

Pioneer of Rock n Roll, Chuck Berry Dies at 90

  • American guitarist, singer and songwriter, Chuck Berry who is recognized as one of the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll music died at the age of 90.
  • He received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
  • Berry was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most influential guitarists who performed his signature duck walk move, bending his knees and bobbing his head at every concert.

Meteorologist Sikka Passes Away

  • Former director of Pune based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Dev Raj Sikka was passed away at the age of 85.
  • Sikka has proposed a link between the El Nino phenomenon and the Indian monsoon and he was the first Meteorologist to report this connection in 1982.
  • He was also the Chairman of the Monsoon Mission of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, a program to improve monsoon-related forecasts.


Indian-American Computer Scientist Anshumali Wins NSF’s CAREER Award

  • An Indian-American computer scientist, Anshumali Shrivastava, was honored with the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award for his research on redesigning current machine-learning processes.
  • Shrivastava, who is currently working as an assistant professor of computer science at Rice University, hopes to come up with clever algorithmic strategies to enable faster, more scalable computations required by big data and machine-learning technologies.
  • He has done his MS and BS in mathematics and computing from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2008 and a PhD in computer science from Cornell University in 2015 and then in the same year he joined the Rice faculty.

Sports Current Affairs 

BCCI Formulates New Constitution for Full Member Association

  • The Committee of Administrators, constituted by the Supreme Court to manage the affairs of the cricket board, finalized and uploaded a new constitution for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
  • The new constitution has removed the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai as its Full Member and has given all north-eastern states the Full Membership status.
  • The Mumbai Cricket Association and the Saurashtra Cricket Association which were Full Members earlier were downgraded to Associate membership.
  • As per the new constitution 30 associations have been nominated to be the controlling bodies for cricket in their respective states and were considered to be Full Members with voting rights. Maharashtra and Gujarat were included in that list
  • In States with multiple Existing Members, the full membership shall rotate annually among such Existing Members such that only one of them will exercise the rights and privileges of a Full Member at any given point of time.
  • The new constitution also states that BCCI office bearers cannot be over the age of the 70 or be a Minister or government servant. They also cannot hold any post in a sports athletic association or federation apart from cricket.
  • The term of office for each office-bearer will be three years and no office-bearer can have more than three terms. There will remain a three-year cooling-off period between each term.
  • It also added that a person shall be disqualified from being an Office Bearer if he or she has been an Office Bearer of the BCCI for a period of 9 years or an office bearer of any Member for a period of 9 years.