31st March 2017 – Current Affairs Today


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National Current Affairs

Tripartite MoU with AAI, DRDO for Development of Deoghar Airport in Jharkhand

  • Under the MoU, both the government organization would help the state to complete the international airport project in Deoghar worth Rs 300 crore within a time period of two years.
  • AAI and Jharkhand govt would contribute  50 crore each while DRDO would provide Rs. 200 crore for the project.
  • Government has also acquired 34 acres of land to be handed over to AAI in addition to the existing 53.41 acres land of non-functional Deoghar Airport.
  • The state government has also decided to provide free electricity for 5 years to AAI as well as not to charge any civic taxes. Landing charges for DRDO flights and parking bays will also be free.

Kerala, Tripura & Arunachal Pradesh Takes States’ List Under UDAY to 26

  • A total of 26 stateshave now become the part of the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) with the recent entry of Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura for the revival of debt stressed Discoms.
  • With the participation of the three states in the UDAY, they would have an overall net benefit of approximately Kerala-Rs 4,178 crore, Arunachal Pradesh-Rs 309 crore and Tripura-Rs 810 crore due to cheaper funds, reduction in AT&C and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency during the turnaround period.

Uttarakhand High Court Orders State Government to Ban Mining for 4 Months

  • State government of Uttarakhand has been strictly directed by the Uttarakhand High Court on March 28, 2017 to stop all the mining activities in the state with immediate effect for a period of four months.
  • The order comes after an incident where a forest guard was allegedly killed by illegal miners near Corbett National Park when he had tried to stop them and a tiger was crushed by an earthmovers used by miners in the region.
  • The High Court has ordered the state government to constitute a high-powered committee to look into the matters of mining activities and find out whether mining activity should be permitted in the state or not.
  • The committee is also required to also prepare a 50-year blueprint regarding environment limits related to mining operations.
  • The state government has been directed not to grant any fresh licence/mining lease/reconnaissance or prospecting licence, in any form till the final report is furnished by the high powered committee to this court.

International Current Affairs

Montenegro Set to Become NATO’s 29th Member after US Senate Vote

  • Montenegro, a tiny Balkan country, is set to become the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)soon after US senate ratifies its pending membership.
  • For Montenegro to become NATO’s member, all 28 NATO members must ratify Montenegro’s entry and only Washington is left among them to do so.
  • US Senators voted 97-2 favoring Montenegro’s entry into the alliance.

Business & Economy

Tata AIA Launches m-Insurance Jointly with Tata Telecom

  • Tata AIA Life Insurance have partnered with Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) to launch m-Insurance for the prepaid customers of the Telecom Company.
  • Beginning with, the pilot launch has been made in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and eventually would cover other states.
  • The m-Insurance is a term life plan with two options for the sum assured-  50,000 and Rs. 1 Lakh.
  • The initiative is in line with the mission of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), which is not just regulation but development too.
  • It will help to cover large section of the society under insurance without much cost of distribution and will also be able to include the economically weaker section of the society who otherwise are not able to avail the insurance benefits.
  • Any citizen of India can between the age of 18-80 years, simply needs to visit any Tata DoCoMo’s retail outlet and purchase the respective STV on which the plan applies.

‘Unnati’ credit card launched by SBI

  • India’s largest Public Sector Lender State Bank of India has launched a unique credit card ‘SBI Card Unnati’
  • This new brand credit card targets at all SBI customers, including Jan Dhan account-holders across the country.
  • SBI Card Unnati will be issued to the customers with a minimum balance of 25000.
  • This card is provided on issue of valid KYC (Know Your Customer) documents and the application form.
  • The annual fee of Rs.499 is waived off for the first 4 years.(i.e., no charges are to be paid)

India become net exporter of power for the first time

  • This feat was accomplished by exporting 5,798 Million Units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar against import of around 5,585 Million units from Bhutan for the period from April 2016-February 2017.
  • The exports outweighed the imports by 213 million units. Major contributing factor in this surplus was the export to Bangladesh and Nepal which have increased 2.8 times and 2.5 times respectively in last three years.

FSSAI and Coca Cola Signs Agreement to Train Street Food Vendors

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)signed an agreement with carbonated soft drink maker from USA, Coca-Cola to train 50,000 street food vendors under FSSAI’s project named ‘Clean Street Food’
  • Coca-Cola India will be responsible for the program execution through its network of trainers and available infrastructure.
  • FSSAI will ensure the relevance of the training content and will oversee the overall delivery.

Centre Imposes 10% Import Duty on Wheat & Turdal

  • Recently, the wholesale rate of turdal declined due to higher output. In some places farmers are not getting even the minimum support prices (MSP).
  • Therefore, government has imposed the duty that will help to curb fall in the wholesale prices of these two commodities and ensure support price to farmers who are expecting a good crop.
  • Besides, it will also help to stop the import of cheaper wheat from countries like Australia & Ukraine.

People in News

 STAIRS Founder appointed to the governing body of Sports Authority of India

  • Siddhartha Upadhyay has been appointed to the governing body of Sports Authority of India. 
  • Siddhartha Upadhyay, founder and secretary general of STAIRS (Society for Transformation, Inclusion, and Recognition through Sports)who is a sportsman, brand consultant, philanthropist and social entrepreneur.
  • Upadhyay have received Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar, from the President of India. He also represents the organization in Steering Committee for FIFA U-17 World Cup and BRICS U-17 Tournament.
  • He also took part in Mission XI Million Program and a program of Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society started by Shri Vijay Goel.

David Beasley Appointed New head of World Food Programme by UN

  • Former Governor of South Carolina, David Beasley has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the World Food Program(WFP)
  • He will replace Ertharin Cousin of America, who was serving the post since 2012

Indian-Origin South African Anti-Apartheid Activist Ahmed Kathrada Dies

  • Ahmed Kathrada, renowned Indian- origin South African anti-apartheid activist, who was sentenced to life imprisonment along with Nelson Mandela, died following a brain surgery.
  • He was involved in a number of anti-apartheid activities of the African National Congress (ANC) including the Rivonia Trial of 1964 for which he was sentenced to long-term imprisonment. However, he obtained four university degrees while being in prison.
  • He was also among 2,000 people who were arrested for defying a law that discriminated against South African-Indians.
  • After he was released in 1990, he became a member of parliament to represent the ANC.
  • He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in 2005.

Science & Technology

De-Induction Of Indian Navy’s TU142M Aircraft and Induction of Boeing P8I Into INAS 312

  • After 29 illustrious years of service,TU142M aircraft has been de-inducted from the Indian Navy.
  • TU142M is being replaced by a fleet of P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft.P-8I has been developed by Boeing Company and is popularly referred to as Boeing P-8 Poseidon by the United States Navy.

Researchers Discovers Earth-like Planetary Waves on Sun

  • According to a new study conducted by the scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), similar planetary waves that exist in the atmosphere high above the Earth surface may also exist on Sun.
  • The scientists thus believes that since the Sun is also rotating is made largely of plasma that acts like a vast magnetized ocean, chances that existence of Rossby-like waves on Sun is possible.
  • Planetary waves are also known as Rossby waves. These large scale waves naturally exist in the atmosphere and oceans of planets due to the rotation of the planet.

New Weather Monitoring System for Indian Navy

  • The Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS), which is the new Weather Monitoring System to Indian Navy, is launched to use
  • The main reason behind the launch of IAAMS is that the project will give a major boost to aviation safety, through automation of weather monitoring process.

Sports Current Affairs 

Lionel Messi banned from next 4-competitive international matches for Insulting Referee

  • Argentinean footballer Lionel Messi received a 4-match ban after using insulting words at an assistant referee in the match against Chile
  • The top scorerfor his country, Messi was found guilty for violating the Act 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (FDC)        
  • Messi will miss the upcoming matches against Bolivia and Uruguay (away) as well as Venezuela and Peru (home). He will play only in the last qualifier match against Ecuador.

Vietnam International Challenge Badminton tournament – Chirag and Satwik triumphs

  • Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy the Indian men doubles team won the title at the Vietnam International Challenge Badminton tournamentat Hanoi 
  • The world Ranked 59 Chirag and Satwik clinched the title against Trawut Potieng and Nanthakarn Yordphaisong from Thailand.
  • The world ranked 89 Thailand duo lost to Indian duo 17-21, 21-9, 21-15.