National News Weekly Current Affairs Update (21 March to 27th March 2016)
The important weekly current affairs update have been listed below along with the other relevant and significant information regarding them. This compilation is not a substitute to regular newspaper reading. Rather, this will help in revision of all relevant current event happenings of the week starting from 21 March to 27th March 2016.
- India’s Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve has been added to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserve among 20 new sites. It is located in the Western Ghats, established in 2001. Out of the 18 biosphere reserves in India, nine are now included in UNESCO’s network.
- Hanle village in Ladakh has been short-listed as a prospective site to house the World’s largest telescope named ‘Thirty Metre Telescope International Observatory‘. After the permit for the same has been cancelled for a site in Hawaii, first choice for the observatory, the board decided on two prospective sites – Hanle and another one in Chile.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the government is constructing five lakh ‘farming pools’ to tackle the problem of water shortage in some parts of India. He also asked the farming community to reduce the use of fertilisers and adopt water conservation methods like building small water reservoirs.
- Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel has announced that the State is going to set up the country’s first university focusing exclusively on organic farming and research.
- The Centre has planned 17 waterway projects to improve links between North-East India and the adjoining states. Further, one or two of the projects would link the Brahmaputra in Assam with the Bay of Bengal. This move has come after the Parliament passed the National Waterways Bill to convert 106 inland waterways into transport waterways.
- Union Health Minister JP Nadda has introduced the rotavirus vaccine for diarrhoea in the government’s immunisation programme, Mission Indradhanush in an attempt to reduce child mortality. The vaccine will be introduced in four states in the first phase and will be extended to the others later.
- The Centre has issued directives to all states to impose fines for littering, public urination and open defecation in at least one ward in each city by April 30. The ₹200-5,000 fine will be imposed fully by September 2018.
- A batch of 20 women forest guards in Maharashtra have completed their month-long commando training to become the state’s first women forest commandos. The 20 forest guards, in the 19-24 age group, were trained to set up an ambush, patrol in formations and carry out raids. They are posted in eight areas in the Maoist-affected Sironcha division.
- About 2.5 lakh SC/ST entrepreneurs would be created under the Centre’s Stand Up India initiative, Union Minister for MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) Kalraj Mishra has announced.
- Andhra Pradesh government has inaugurated India’s first river linking project viz.Pattiseema lift irrigation project connecting Godavari River with Krishna Riverfrom the ongoing Polavaram Multi-purpose Irrigation Project. The project has been completed in a record time of one year by the Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL).
- The department of heavy industry has granted in-principle approval to Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) andMumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to introduce zero-emission retrofitted electric buses under its flagship scheme FAME India – Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid & Electric vehicles in India).
- Under FAME India, the department will fund up to 75 per cent cost of the buses.
- The Fast patrol vessel (FPV) of the Indian Coast Guard ICGS Arnvesh has been commissioned at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The ship is primarily intended to undertake coastal patrol, surveillance at sea, anti-smuggling, anti-piracy operations and search and rescue operations. It will be deployed in Seychelles till March 23,2016. It will help in curbing illegal activities and piracy as well as ensuring stability and safety in the Indian Ocean region
- HL Dattu, the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and former Chief Justice of India has been appointed as a Member of the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs (ICC) Bureau in Geneva.
- 23rd March is observed as 85th Shaheed Diwas (Martyr’s Day). Nation pays homage to great martyrs of freedom struggle,Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their martyrdom.
- The cabinet has approved construction of one crore houses over the next three years as part of the government’s plan aiming to providehousing for all by 2022. The total estimated cost will be ₹81,975 crore, out of which ₹60,000 crore will come from budgetary allocations and the remaining from NABARD.
- In a bid to boost the manufacturing sector and ‘Make in India’ initiative, the union cabinet has cleared the National Capital Goods Policy. The move aims to increase the domestic production of capital goods – from ₹2.30 lakh crore in 2014-15 to ₹7.5 lakh crore by 2025.
- The government has amended the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) to give an option to a subscriber’s spouse to continue to contribute to the account till the time the subscriber would have turned 60, in case of his/her premature death. Further, the spouse shall be entitled to receive the same pension amount as the subscriber until the death of the spouse.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Unified Package Insurance Scheme in Mumbai. Terming agriculture as “absolutely critical to the country’s economy”, Jaitley said the revamped insurance schemes would be rolled out from April 1 to cover Kharif crops.
- The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and the People’s Welfare Front (PWF) have announced their alliance to contest the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls. While DMDK will contest on 124 seats, the PWF will contest on 110 seats.
- Renowned Malayalam writer M Sukumaran has been chosen for the CV Kunhiraman Literary Prize.
- As per a report released by Water Aid, India has the world’s highest number of people without access to clean water. The report has added that 75.8 million Indians are forced to buy water at high rates or use water that is contaminated with sewage/chemicals.
- The Punjab Assembly has passed a law that imposes life imprisonment for the sacrilege of the Sikh religious book Guru Granth Sahib. Under the new amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), punishment for defiling places of worship has been increased from two to 10 years.
- The government has cleared the new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) that focuses on fast-tracking acquisitions and Indian-made products.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched ‘Kisan Suvidha’ app for farmers to provide information on weather, market prices, seeds, fertilisers, crop protection and agricultural machinery. The app will also send extreme weather alerts to farmers. Market prices of commodities in the nearest market and the maximum price in state as well as India will also be available on the app.
- A new drug to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), Bedaquiline, is now available in India. Bedaquiline became the first TB drug to get a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in over 40 years. The drug will be available in six public hospitals across India.
- Fashion designer Ritu Beri has been appointed as the advisor to the union government’s statutory body Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for promotion of khadi globally.
- The National Food Security Act (NFSA) will be implemented in 10 more states from April 1 this year, said Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan. With this, the total number of states implementing NFSA will be 21.
- India has distributed scholarships to over 800 Bangladeshi students under the ‘Muktijodha Scholarship Scheme‘. The Indian Government in 2006 initiated the scholarship scheme to strengthen the historic legacy that both countries share in fighting and winning the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan.
- Under the scheme, descendants of freedom fighters get selected on merit basis to pursue undergraduate studies.
International News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (21st March to 27 March 2016)
By reading the following Weekly Current Affairs 2016, you can know the highlights of the week starting from 21 March to 27th March in brief.
- Europe’s largest floating solar farm has been built in London on the Thames river, featuring 23,046 solar panels and measuring 57,500 square metres or the size of eight football pitches. Built at a cost of over $8 million, it will generate enough power to light 1,800 houses.
- NASA is sending scientists on an around-the-globe mission to study climate change and the impact humans have on it. In the next six months, researchers will undertake eight new campaigns in locations ranging from the ice sheets of Greenland to coral reefs of the South Pacific. They will also undertake three airborne research campaigns over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
- The UN Human Rights Council has appointed India-born academician Surya Deva as an advisor to its working group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.
- Pakistan and Iran have signed 6 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to strengthen bilateral cooperation in health, commerce, finance and foreign services.
- A 5 member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan arrived in New Delhi to carry out a probe into the terror attack at the Indian Air Force base Pathankot. The team will visit Pathankot for the probe into the attack carried out by Pakistan-based terror group on 2nd of January.
- China has launched its first cybersecurity public organisation aimed at better safeguarding national cybersecurity and guiding internet companies in perform their duties.The CyberSecurity Association of China, launched in Beijing consists of academic institutes, individuals and internet companies including Tencent and popular internet security company Qihu 360.
- NASA has launched its largest resupply mission ever to the International Space Station (ISS) with over 7,700 pounds of supplies. Aboard the Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft, the delivery has been captured by Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra using a robotic arm. Once detached from the ISS, the spacecraft will also undertake a remote experiment to study a large fire in microgravity.
- Amazon Founder and CEO, 52-year-old Jeff Bezos, has topped Fortune magazine’s ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’ list, followed by German Chancellor Angel Merkel and Burmese stateswoman Aung San Suu Kyi.
- Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been ranked 42 in the list (He is the only Indian on the list). Kejriwal has been credited for his efforts to curb pollution in Delhi through the scheme of allowing odd and even numbered vehicles on alternate days on the city’s roads.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi featured in the second and third positions on the list respectively.
- Authorities in China‘s capital Beijing have passed a new family planning rule to allow remarried couples to have a second child. The new law also grants 128 maternity leaves (98 earlier) for mothers and a 15-day holiday for fathers. This comes months after China scrapped its three-decade-old one-child policy, following a sharp increase in people aged above 60 years.
- Sri Lanka‘s much-awaited Right to Information (RTI) Bill has been tabled in Parliament fulfilling an election promise of the Sirisena government. The Bill provides for the establishment of a Right to Information Commission and the appointment of information officers among other things to uphold the people’s right to know.
- United States lawmakers have introduced a legislation asking the Obama administration to help India join the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The lawmakers have agreed that an economically prosperous India would benefit US interests in Asia.
- New Zealand in a referendum has decided to retain its current national flag, with 56.6% of the voters voting in its favour, according to preliminary results. About 43% of the voters supported the new flag, designed by Kyle Lockwood.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina have launched two historical projects between two countries. According to these, India will supply 100 MW of electricity to Bangladesh and in return receive 10 Gigabits per second internet bandwidth.
- Nepal has been officially made a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a Beijing-based regional security grouping. In this regard, Nepal signed memorandum during Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli official visit to China.
- As a dialogue partner, Nepal will be able to participate in the multi-field cooperation of the SCO.
- Belgian Capital Brussels comes under terror attacks. At least 31 killed and 81 injured in blasts at airport and Metro.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a three nation visit to Belgium,United States & Saudi Arabia. Modi will be in Brussels on 30th of this month for India-EU Summit to deepen the India-EU strategic partnership and advance collaboration in priority areas of growth and development. During his second leg of visit, he will attend the 4th Nuclear Security Summit on March 31st to 1st of April at Washington DC.
- India has assumed BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Chairmanship from the Russian Federation for the year 2016. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has formally unveiled the BRICS Logo for the duration of India’s BRICS Chairmanship. She has announced the 8th BRICS Summit would be organized in Goa on 15-16 October this year.
- US President Barack Obama has decided to nominate Air Force General Lori J Robinson to lead all military forces in North America. With this move, she will be the first woman to lead a military combatant command.
- The fourth ‘International Day of Forests‘ is being observed on 21st March. This day has been initiated by the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees.
- Theme for 2016 : Forests and water.
- China has agreed to build the first ever rail link to Nepal. The nations have also signed a transit trade deal. The deal, and nine other agreements aimed at reducing landlocked Nepal’s total dependence on India, were signed during Nepal PM KP Oli’s China visit.
- United States President Barack Obama is on a visit to Cuba. He is the first US President to visit the country in 88 years. Obama met Cuban President Raúl Castro and discussed economic and democratic reforms.
Economics News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (21st March to 27 March 2016)
Important news and events in the economic world that happened over the whole week including the Sunday news has been listed here for quick revision.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the Centre’s policy of directly transferring the subsidy on LPG gas cylinders in consumers’ bank accounts has saved the government ₹15,000 crore last year.
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed the Department of Telecom (DoT) to build a communication network on Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep islands. It has also recommended that the islands, dependent on satellites for communication, be connected using undersea cables.
- According to a UN-backed report, China and India led developing countries in investments made in renewable energy in 2015, with $102.9 billion and$10.2 billion respectively.
- According to data released by the US Treasury Department, India’s overall holding in US government securities have climbed to $119.8 billion in January.
- Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has announced that it successfully commissioned a 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Telangana. The unit has been commissioned at the upcoming 2×600 MW Singareni Thermal Power Project (TPP) located at Jaipur in Adilabad district of Telangana.
- The government has approved 11 highway projects in states like Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh at a cost of ₹6,284 crore. The total length of the roads will be about 453 km.
- According the the recently released ASSOCHAM report, Odisha has the maximum share of over 17% in the total live investments worth about ₹33 lakh crore attracted by India’s manufacturing sector.
- After increasing its market share to 38 per cent in the debit card segment, RuPay, domestic card payment service provider, will be venturing into the Credit Card space this September. It plans to issue 100,000 such cards in the first year of its launch. It will initially focus on two variants of a credit card — Regular and Platinum — and gradually extend its portfolio to offer co-branded cards.
- The Indian Railways have increased the lower berth quota for senior citizens by 50% to 80-90 seats in a train with effect from April 1. Note : Female passengers aged above 45 years and pregnant women also eligible to avail the enhanced quota.
- India Post has released a customised commemorative stamp on Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) in recognition of the company’s 75 years of service to the nation. The tagline of the customized stamp is ‘HAL: The force behind the forces’ and HAL’s platinum jubilee logo on it representing company’s contribution to the nation’s defence forces.
- India and France have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur nuclear park in Maharashtra. It has been inked by Electricite de France (EDF), a French public utility and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). The MoU has been signed after the two countries had decided to conclude the techno-commercial negotiations for the Jaitapur project by the end of 2016.
- Mukund Padmanabhan will be the new Editor for the The Hindu, one of the largest English dailies in the country. He will be the second non family member who hold this position in the 125-year old Newspaper.
- The government has hiked the Dearness Allowance (DA) for central government employees and pensioners by Six Percent (6%). The move is expected to benefit a total of 50 lakh employees and 58 lakh pensioners. The new rate of DA, standing at 125% from the previous 119%, will be implemented from January 1, 2016.
- The government approved $1.5 billion (approximately ₹9,000 crore) World Bank support for the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) in rural areas. Under the project, ₹8850 crore is to provide incentives to the state, and ₹150 crore is for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
- IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced that India has attracted investments over ₹1.28 lakh crore in electronics manufacturing sector.
Sports News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (21st March to 27th March 2016)
Important happenings in the field of sports have been given below. Since candidates don’t focus on sports news over the week, below you will find all the exam worthy details. We hope this weekly sports update is sufficient for your perusal.
- India defeated Australia by six wickets to qualify for the ICC World T20 semi-finals.
- Ravichandran Ashwin became the first Indian bowler to collect 50 T20I wickets after picking David Warner’s wicket against Australia. He stands 12th in the all-time highest T20I wicket-takers list, which is led by Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal, with 97, 85 and 85 wickets respectively.
- PM Narendra Modi has announced that India will host the FIFA under-17 World Cup next year.
- Chris Gayle became the third player to score over 1,500 runs (1,506) and collect more than 15 wickets (17) in T20Is, after picking up two wickets in the WT20 group match against South Africa. Note : Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez leads the list with 1,614 runs and 46 wickets, followed by South Africa’s JP Duminy with 1,338 runs and 17 wickets.
- Denmark’s 17-year-old Mohamad Al-Bacha has been crowned the FIFA’16 world champion after winning the final in New York. He beat England’s Sean Allen in the final to win the $20,000 top prize alongside a chance to visit the Ballon d’Or-2016 ceremony in Switzerland.
- Australian cricketer Shane Watson has announced that he will retire from all forms of international and first-class cricket after the World T20 tournament.
- India defeated Bangladesh by one run to keep their semi-final hopes alive in the World T20 .
- Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has became the highest wicket-taker in World T20 tournaments, after picking up his 39th WT20 wicket in the WT20 Group game against New Zealand . Afridi surpassed Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga’s record of 38 WT20 wickets.
- Olympic gold medalist and Indian ace shooter Abhinav Bindra has set up a venture capital fund named ‘Shooting Star LLP‘. This fund is created in an equal partnership with consulting firm Franchise India, and an initial investment of $2 million. It will invest in emerging sports academies, sports injury, rehab, equipment and training, health apps, child development and organic foods.
- Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has confirmed that this year’s Rio Olympics will be his last Olympics. He won six Olympic gold medals for his performances in 2008 and 2012.
- Hockey India has announced the 18-member Indian Hockey team that will take part in the 25th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. While Sardar Singh will lead the team as Captain, SV Sunil will be supporting him as the Vice-Captain.
- Akhilesh Das Gupta, the president of the Badminton Authority of India (BAI), announced a ₹5 lakh prize for HS Prannoy, who won the men’s singles title at the Swiss Open in Basel on Saturday.
- Veteran BJP leader and Politician Lal Muni Chaubey (73) has passed away.
- Former Andhra Pradesh minister Pusapati Ananda Gajapathi Raju (66) has passed away. He started his political career with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1983 and has served as Health and Education Minister in the state.
- Malayalam actor Jishnu Raghavan (35) has passed away. Jishnu is best known for films like ‘Nammal’, ‘Choonda’ and ‘Freedom’.
- US actor Garry Shandling (66) has passed away. He had influenced a generation of comedians with his Emmy winning TV series, ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’.
- One of Kerala’s most popular Kadhaprasangam (story telling) artistes and film comedian V.D. Rajappan died. In the yesteryears, Kadhaprasangam has been a hugely popular performing art in the state.
- It is performed by just one person who tells the story by acting, singing and speaking and at times playing musical instruments as well.
- Former Intel CEO Andrew Grove (79) has passed away. Considered as a pioneer in the semiconductor industry and the “guy who drove the growth phase” of Silicon Valley, Grove played a critical role in moving Intel’s focus from memory chips to microprocessors.
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