02-03 March 2017 - Daily Current Affairs

02-03 March 2017 - Daily Current Affairs

02-03 March 2017 - Daily Current Affairs

PSBs begin to rationalize 35 overseas operations

  • The state-owned banks started rationalising overseas operations by consolidating 35 operations and closing down non-viable branches as part of the clean and responsible banking initiative.
  • The consolidation will be without affecting international presence of PSBs in these countries.
  • It is part of govt’s commitment to ‘clean and responsible banking and move towards cost efficiencies and synergies in overseas market. 
  • The rationalisation of overseas operations of banks comes at the time when jewellery designer Nirav Modi had allegedly cheated Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs.12,700 crore in connivance with PNB staff and officials of overseas branches of other state-owned banks.
  • At present, public sector banks have about 165 overseas branches, besides subsidiaries, joint ventures and representative offices.
  • State Bank of India (SBI) has largest number of overseas branches (52) followed by Bank of Baroda (50) and Bank of India (29).
  • As per the banking sector agenda approved at PSB Manthan in Nov 2017 public sector banks (PSBs) have to examine all 216 overseas operations.

CBDT achieves important milestone of signing 200 APAs

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) crossed an important milestone of having signed 200 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).
  • After entering into seven more APAs in Feb 2018, CBDT achieved this milestone.
  • All the seven are Unilateral APAs and pertain to pharmaceuticals, automobiles, financial and food & beverages sectors of the economy.
  • CBDT till has entered into 203 APAS (185 Unilateral and 18 Bilateral APAs). 

Govt approves Rs 2,919 cr projects under Nirbhaya fund

  • The Women and Child Development Ministry approved projects worth Rs 2,919 crore under Nirbhaya Fund for creating eight safe cities, viz, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow. 
  • The safe cities projects will have special focus on women safety in public spaces and quick response systems to create deterrence against crime.
  • Project worth Rs 663 crore was approved for Delhi to enhance safety of public places like roads, schools and metro stations. 
  • Project worth Rs 252 crore was sanctioned for Mumbai to enable GIS mapping of criminal hotspots, video surveillance, training of investigating officers and quick response police teams. 
  • Chennai will receive Rs 425 crore for project that will create safe-zone clusters at hot crime zones, security in public transport, GIS-based crime mapping, capacity building of police authorities as well as a helpdesk service for women. 
  • Rs 253 crore was approved for Ahmedabad for ABHAYAM Vans for quick response to women in distress, ‘She Teams’ of women for surveillance and One Stop Crisis centres. 
  • Kolkata will get Rs 181.32 crore for various schemes, including for strengthening nine women police stations.
  • Bengaluru will get Rs 667 crore for projects which will be utilised for setting up women police outposts and creation of safety islands.
  • Nirbhaya Fund is created by Ministry of Finance in 2013.

‘India by the Nile’ to be held in Cairo

  • The ‘India by the Nile’, mega annual cultural festival is going to be held in Cairo, Egypt from Mar 6 with main focus on classical culture.
  • It is the 12-day event which will host a wide range of events to celebrate Indian culture and its diversity.
  • It is the biggest foreign festival in Egypt which provides audiences an Indian cultural experience and encourages artistic collaborations between India and Egypt will be held in several cities such as Cairo.

Cabinet approvals

Approves establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority
  • The Union Cabinet approved establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) as an independent regulator for the auditing profession.
  • It aims to tighten regulatory oversight over auditors and plug loopholes. 
Approves Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018
  • The Union Cabinet approved introduction of Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 in Parliament.
  • The bill, proposed by Finance Ministry, aims to curb practice of evading criminal prosecution by economic offenders (wilful defaulters) who flee from country to evade clutches Indian law by remaining outside jurisdiction of Indian courts. 

NIFT to conduct National Sizing Survey

  • National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) under Ministry of Textiles is going to conduct National Sizing Survey dubbed as Size India to develop comprehensive size chart for ready-to-wear industry based on body measurements of Indian population.
  • 14 countries have successfully completed national sizing surveys that include US, UK, France, Canada, Spain, Germany, South Korea, Mexico, China and Australia. 
  • Size India project is scientific exercise where anthropometric data will be collected from 25,000 sample (with men and women in equal numbers) population in age group 15 to 65 years across six major cities.
  • The six cities are Kolkata (east), Mumbai (west), New Delhi (north), Bengaluru (south), Hyderabad (centre), and Shillong (northeast). 

India, Russia, Bangladesh sign pact

  • India, Bangladesh and Russia signed tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in construction of Rooppur nuclear power plant near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • This is the first initiative under India-Russia nuclear deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries.
  • It will also be  India’s first atomic energy venture abroad. 
  • Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project, Rooppur Nuclear project is having capacity of 2*1200 MWs.
  • Bangladesh will become third South Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness atomic energy for energy purpose. 
  • Russia will build nuclear power plant for this plant on a turnkey basis.

Arunachal Express connecting Naharlagun-Anand Vihar flagged off

  • Arunachal Express, a new train between Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh and Anand Vihar Terminal in the national capital has been flagged off.
  • The second direct train for Arunachal Pradesh and overall 14th for North East aims to connect with the national capital.
  • Arunachal Express will cover 2013 kilometre distance between Naharlagun (Arunachal Pradesh) and Anand Vihar Terminal (New Delhi) in over 38 hours.

India, Jordan ink 12 agreements

  • India and Jordan inked 12 agreements covering areas as diverse as defence, mass media, health, culture and tourism after the high level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jordanian King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein in New Delhi.
  • MoU on Defence Cooperation
  • Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP)
  • Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement
  • MoU between Prasar Bharati and Jordan TV
  • Twining Agreement between Agra and Petra (Jordan)
  • Visa waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders
  • MoU for long term supply of Rock Phosphate and Fertilizer/NPK
  • MoU for setting up of the next generation Centre of Excellence (COE) in Jordan
  • MoU for cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine between India and Jordan
  • MoU between University of Jordan (UJ) and ICCR regarding setting up of a Hindi Chair at the University
  • Cooperation between Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and Jordan Media Institute (JMI) 

World’s largest solar park launched in Karnataka

  • The first phase of world’s largest solar park, Shakti Sthala solar park was inaugurated in drought-prone Pavagada region of Tumkur district, Karanataka.
  • Shakti Sthala solar park has the total capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW).
  • The park is in line with the Central Govt’s scheme to generate 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power by 2020.
  • The solar park is spread over 13,000 acres and five villages.
  • The land was taken on 25-year lease by govt from around 2,300 farmers.
  • These farmers are paid annual rental of Rs.21,000 per acre, with scope for 5% increase every two years.
  • The first phase of the Rs. 16,500 crore park will generate 600MW power, while the balance 1,400MW will be commissioned in second phase by end year 2018. 

Maharashtra’s first Mega Food Park inaugurated at Satara

  • The Maharashtra’s first Mega Food Park, Satara Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd. inaugurated by Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Degaon Village in Satara district.
  • The 12th Mega Food Park operationalized in country will leverage additional investment of about Rs. 250 crores in 25-30 food processing units in park.

Indian Navy sailboat INSV Tarini arrives in South Africa

  • Indian Navy’s sailboat INSV Tarini, led by all-women crew, reached Cape Town, South Africa as part of Navika Sagar Parikrama expedition.
  • The last phase of its maiden voyage to circumnavigate globe before it depart Cape Town and return to Goa in April 2018, on completion of the voyage.
  • The expedition was covered all five legs, with stop-overs at Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands-UK), and Cape Town (South Africa).
  • The vessel has passed through Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans so far. 
  • The Navika Sagar Parikrama expedition was flagged-off by Nirmala Sitharaman Goa in Sept 2017.
  • This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.
  • The vessel is skippered by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, and all women crew comprises Lieutenant Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.

Bharati Defence delivers interceptor boat

  • Bharati Defence and Infrastructure Ltd (BDIL) has delivered high-speed interceptor boat ICG C-162 to Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at BDIL jetty in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
  • This is the fifth interceptor boat delivered by BDIL’s Mangaluru shipyard to ICG and the sixth boat will be delivered after three-and-a-half months of the delivery of the fifth boat.
  • The vessel will be based at Kochi, Kerala and will be used for patrolling purposes. 

China to build nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

  • The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) will built its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Liaoning by the middle of the next decade.
  • The announcement is the part of list of ambitions hope to achieve in weaponry and technical developments for People’s Liberation Army (PLA)-Navy by 2025. 
  • China has ambition to have four carrier groups operating with PLA-Navy by 2030. 

Only 13% of over hundred tiger conservation areas meet global standards

  • According to recent survey, only 13% of tiger conservation areas that are part of Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS) Partnership meet global standards.
  • The surveyed area is home to approximately 70% of the world’s wild tigers.
  • At least one-third of tiger conservation these areas are severely at risk of losing their tigers and most of these sites are in Southeast Asia. 

Shatrughan Sinha honoured with lifetime achievement award

  • The legendary actor-politician, Shatrughan Sinha has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the fields of arts and politics at a ceremony in the UK’s Parliament complex.
  • The annual ‘Political and Public Life Awards’ presented by Britain’s Asian Voice weekly newspaper, recognises individuals who have made a significant impact on public life or made a difference in their local communities. 

Armen Vardani Sarkissian elected as new president of Republic of Armenia

  • Armen Vardani Sarkissian has been elected as the new president of Republic of Armenia.
  • He will succeed Serzh Sarkisian and will assume the presidency in April 9, 2018.
  • This was the first time in Armenia’s history when the president was elected by the National Assembly instead of popular vote. 

Navjot Kaur becomes first Indian woman to win gold at Asian Wrestling Championship

  • Ace wrestler, Navjot Kaur has become the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold medal in the 65kg freestyle wrestling category of Senior Asian Championship held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
  • In the final match the women’s 65kg freestyle wrestling category, Navjot defeated Japan’s Miya Imai by 9-1 score.
  • Earlier, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik had who won the bronze in 62kg freestyle category after defeating Kazakhstan’s Ayaulym Kassymova 10-7.
  • These two medals have taken India’s overall medal tally to six, which consisted one gold, silver and four bronze medals. 

Indian Snooker team lifts first edition of IBSF Snooker Team World Cup

  • The Indian Snooker team lifted the first edition of IBSF Snooker Team World Cup title.
  • With this, the team won the prize money of $15,000.
  • The Indian duo of Pankaj Advani and Manan Chandra defeated Pakistan (Muhammad Asif, Babar Masih) in the best-of-five final played in Doha.

Vinesh Phogat wins Silver in 50kg Freestyle competition

  • India’s star wrestler, Vinesh Phogat settled for Silver Medal in the 50kg Freestyle competition at the Asian Wrestling Championship in Kyrgyzstan.
  • She lost to China’s Chun Lei. Another Indian, Sangeeta claimed Bronze in 59kg division. 

Khagendra Jamataia passes away

  • The Tripura Fisheries and Cooperation minister, Khagendra Jamataia, has passed away in New Delhi at the age of 64.
  • He was a CPI (M) candidate from the Krishnapur constituency in the Feb 18 assembly election. 

Former Supreme Court judge, Justice S. Ratnavel Pandian passes away

  • The former Supreme Court judge, Justice S. Ratnavel Pandian passed away at Chennai, Tamil Nadu at the age of 89.
  • He was a multi-faceted personality who tried his hands in politics before entering the legal profession. 

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