National News Weekly Current Affairs Update (14 March to 20th 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 14 March to 20th March 2016.
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Jodhpur has developed a sensor capable of detecting radiation levels during a nuclear accident. This sensor, ‘Derald Nuclear‘, can be fitted on a drone and can detect gamma radiation from a height of 50 m.
- India has observed the 10th Earth Hour on 19th March between 8.30 pm and 9:30 pm.
- Earth Hour is a global movement dedicated to protecting the planet and highlighting the effects of climate change. This annual international event aims at conserving energy by urging people to voluntarily switch off non-essential lights and electrical appliances for an hour.
- Advisor to the Chairman of multinational group LVHM Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton,Tikka Shatrujit Singh was conferred the Knight of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest honour, by French Ambassador François Richier in New Delhi. He is accorded the top honour for his “extraordinary work in exchanging the French lifestyle and Indian culture with each other”.
- Ace fashion designer Ritu Beri has been appointed as the advisor for Khadi promotion.
- India has entered into a social security agreement with Australia. Under this agreement, employees of India deputed to Australia and vice versa will not have to make double social security contribution. With this, Australia has become the 14th country with which India has a social security agreement in force.
- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launched India’s first state-wide broadband project called AP FiberNet.
- The Supreme Court has allowed the use of pictures of Chief Ministers, Governors and Cabinet ministers in the government’s media advertisements. The SC had earlier ruled that the advertisements could only have pictures of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India. Thatearlier order was aimed at removing the association between government policy and politicians.
- Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley has inaugurated the 6th National Community Radio Sammelan in New Delhi. This conference will bring together Community Radio Operators, policy makers, Ministries, Departments, International bodies like UNICEF and UNESCO and other stakeholders for exchange of ideas and cross learning. Theme of the conference : ‘Community Radio in India: Towards Diversity and Sustainability’.
- The Indian Air Force have demonstrated its combat and fire power capabilities as part of the mammoth Exercise Iron Fist 2016. The exercise was witnessed by President Pranab Mukherjee, the supreme commander of India’s armed forces, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the deserts of Pokhran, Rajasthan.
- Punjab’s Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution against construction of the proposed Sutlej-Yamuna link canal. Punjab has also recently returned Haryana’s cheque for the construction of the canal to share water. This comes just after the Supreme Court directed that the existing state of the land, which was acquired for building the canal, be maintained until the dispute is resolved.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has featured in TIME magazine’s ’30 most influential people on the Internet’ list for the second time in a row. Modi, who has over 18 million Twitter followers and 32 million Facebook likes, has been described as an “internet star” by TIME.
- The World Economic Forum (WEF) has named four Indians in its list of 121 young global leaders aged under 40. They are : Kanika Dewan, President of Bahrain-based Bramco Group; Dhivya Suryadevara, CEO of US-based GM Asset Management ; Sheetal Amte-Karajgi, CEO of Baba Amte-founded Maharogi Sewa Samiti ; Shaurya Veer Himatsingka, Deputy MD, India Carbon.
- The Lok Sabha has passed a bill to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR Act) to allow the transfer of captive mining leases that are not granted through auction. This move will enable banks and financial institutions to sell stressed assets, where a company or its captive mining lease is mortgaged, to recover debts.
- The Rajya Sabha has passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill after it was introduced by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It aims to remove the exception given to the Sahajdhari Sikhs in 1944 to vote in the elections, and select the members of the Board and committees constituted under the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925.
- Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh has told the Lok Sabha that over ₹1,500 crore was spent by the government ministries on foreign travel over the last three years. Note that : Under the new regulations issued in January, officials cannot go on more than four official visits in a year and these visits cannot exceed five working days.
- Food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugrated International Food and Hospitality Fair, AAHAR 2016 in New Delhi. Over 90 countries are participating in 31st edition of AAHAR fair.
- President Pranab Mukherjee has formally inaugurated the 5th edition of the India Aviation 2016 and the five-day biennial aviation show is being jointly organised by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at the Begumpet airport, Hyderabad.
- Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has decided to rope in the Indian Army to teach patriotism in universities controlled by the government. Central universities were earlier directed to hoist the Indian flag on campus.
- The government aims to bring over 50% of farmers under insurance cover through the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in the next two years. The scheme, which will be implemented from April 1, will replace the existing two government agriculture insurance schemes.
- Defexpo India 2016, the ninth in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibition, will be held at Goa from March 28-31, 2016. This is for the first time that the Expo will travel to Goa from Delhi.
- Delhi has topped the list for crimes against foreign tourists with 135 reported cases registered in 2014, while Goa stood second with 66 cases, as per the data by the National Crime Records Bureau.
- Maritime India Summit 2016 (MIS 2016) in partnership with South Korea, the maiden flagship initiative of the Union Ministry of Shipping, will be organised from 14 to 16 April 2016 at Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre, Mumbai.
- Nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-I was successfully test fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Odisha’s Abdul Kalam Island. The intermediate-range surface-to-surface missile, developed indigenously by DRDO, can carry a one-tonne payload and is capable of hitting a target 700 km away.
- The Health Ministry has banned the sale and manufacture of over 300 combination drugs that are being sold in India without government approval. In 2014, the government had set up a committee to review over 6,000 combination drugs that had entered the market based only on state regulators’ approval.
International News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (14th March to 20 March 2016)
By reading the following Weekly Current Affairs 2016, you can know the highlights of the week starting from 14 March to 20th March in brief.
- The 5th ‘International Day of Happiness‘ has been observed by the United Nations to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. Theme of the year 2016 : Angry Birds Happy Planet
- Pakistan’s Sindh province has declared a public holiday on March 24 to mark the occasion of Holi for the first time. This comes after the Pakistan National Assembly earlier adopted a resolution to take steps to declare Holi, Diwali and Easter as holidays for minorities.
- US President Barack Obama will embark on a historic 3-day visit to Cuba which is expected to open a new era in the relationship between the two countries. Mr Obama, who will be the first US president to visit Cuba in 88 years, will hold talks with Cuban President Raul Castro, followed by a joint press event and a state dinner.
- The Bangladesh government is going to organise programmes in eight different locations in India to honour the contributions of Indian soldiers during the 1971 war.
- Chile‘s lower house of Congress has approved a proposal that lifts a ban on abortion in cases of rape, when there is health risk for the mother, or when the foetus is not viable. Despite being predominantly Catholic, Chile allowed abortion until 1989.
- The largest nuclear security centre in the Asia-Pacific region has been opened in Beijing, China. It has been financed jointly by China and the US, the centre is capable of training about 2,000 nuclear-security staff. The site will enable international exchanges on nuclear security, demonstrate advanced technology and promote peaceful use of nuclear power.
- According to the World Happiness Report 2016 published by the United Nations,India has ranked 118th out of 156 nations in a global list of happiest nations. India comes below nations like Somalia (76), China (83), Pakistan (92), Iran (105), Palestinian Territories (108) and Bangladesh (110).
- The US has imposed new sanctions on North Korea , after North Korea’s recent nuclear tests. The US can now freeze any property of the North Korean government in the US and prohibit export of goods to the country.
- The world’s first fully electric-powered double-decker bus has been unveiled in London. The five models, built by Chinese manufactures BYD, will be able to travel 180 miles on a single charge.
- Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry exchanged courtesies at the SAARC dinner in Nepal. The meet marks the first official interaction between the two foreign secretaries since the January 2 terror attacks on the Pathankot airbase, which derailed bilateral ties between the nations.
- Myanmar‘s Parliament has elected National League for Democracy’s (NLD) Htin Kyaw as the President, making him the first civilian in over 50 years to lead the country.
- A WHO (World Health Organization) study has found that almost one in four deaths (around 12.6 million) every year are caused due to environmental risks. The study also found that two-thirds (around 8.2 million) of these are due to non-communicable diseases which have seen a significant rise in 10 years.
- Palestinian teacher Hanan Al Hroub from a refugee camp has been awarded prestigious one million dollar 2016 Global Teacher Prize.
- European and Russian space agencies have successfully launched ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to find evidence of alien life that exists or may have existed on Mars. The spacecraft, which is expected to complete the 500-million km journey to Mars in seven months, also includes a Mars lander named ‘Schiaparelli‘.
- According to NASA data, the temperature recorded in February has broken previous records by being 1.35°C warmer than the monthly average calculated over the baseline period (1951-80).
- Google has removed an app from its Play Store that was reportedly used by Pakistani intelligence agencies to spy on the Indian Army. Called SmeshApp, it was reportedly used during the Pathankot airbase attack to access classified information.
- (2nd Monday in March) is celebrated as Common wealth Day. 2016 Common Wealth Day Theme :– An Inclusive Commonwealth
- The world observed ‘Pi Day‘ to celebrate March 14 (3/14), which coincides with Mathematical constant Pi’s value (3.14) Note that: The month, day and year are Pi’s value to four decimal places rounded up to the nearest decimal place (3.1416), which happens once in a century. Pi denotes the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle in Mathematics.
- China‘s Chief Justice Zhou Qiang has announced plans to set up an “International maritime judicial center” to help protect China’s sovereignty and its rights at sea. This comes amid China’s militarisation of the South China sea islands in spite of conflicting territorial claims.
- Malaysia has banned the recruitment of new foreign workers after widespread criticism of its decision to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshis to work in the country, a move that may also negatively affect Indian labourers.
Economics News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (14th March to 20 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.
- The RBI has said that it is discontinuing a two-year-old provision where banks had to submit data pertaining to NEFT transactions by walk-in customers not having a bank account, from the quarter ending March 31. However, banks should continue to maintain the relevant records.
- The Finance Ministry has announced that artisans and job workers in the jewellery industry need not pay the proposed 1% levy on jewellery. In case the jewellery is manufactured on job work basis, the duty is to be paid by the manufacturer.
- The government has relaxed FDI norms for the insurance sector by permitting overseas companies to buy 49% stake in domestic insurers, subject to verification by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. Currently, FDI up to 26% is permitted through automatic approval route and up to 49% with the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.
- The World Health Organization has suspended the approval of tuberculosis drugs made by Mumbai-based Svizera Labs, a major supplier to developing countries, citing the company’s unreliable manufacturing standards as the reason.
- The RBI has relaxed its norms for banks holding bonds of debt-ridden State Electricity Boards (SEBs). Banks have reportedly been allowed to keep Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) bonds under the Held-To-Maturity (HTM) category. HTM refers to a part of debt holdings which are not subjected to daily price movement and can be held by banks till maturity.
- The interest rate on Public Provident Fund (PPF) was cut from 8.7% to 8.1% . The government also slashed interest rates on several other small savings schemes, including that of the Kisan Vikas Patra from 8.7% to 7.8% and the 5-year senior citizen scheme from 9.3% to 8.6%.
- The Maharashtra government has exempted sugar exporting mills from paying cane purchase tax for the 2015 to 2016 marketing year, which began in October. The Maharashtra government levies 3% purchase tax on sugarcane.
- India and China have exchanged offers on the removal of a list of tariffs on import of goods. Against India’s offer to remove 42.5% of tariff lines, China has expressed willingness to abolish the same amount of tariff. India’s merchandise exports to China for 2014-15 stood at $11.9 billion against China’s $60.4 billion exports to India.
- The governor of Bangladesh Bank, Atiur Rahman, has resigned after $81 million was stolen from the central bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February. His resignation comes days after he claimed the Bangladesh Bank did not inform him of the heist, wherein unknown hackers transferred the amount to casinos in the Philippines.
- The Mines Ministry has announced that it will auction 22 mineral blocks in the country during April-May. The mineral blocks include two of limestone in Chhattisgarh, 14 of iron ore in Karnataka and 6 of limestone in Andhra Pradesh. Further, seven states have identified 42 blocks for the next phase of the auction to be held during the next fiscal.
- The State Bank of India has released arrears worth ₹1,465 crore to 7.75 lakh defence pensioners under the ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme. This is the first installment of the arrears in the OROP scheme, which the government announced in November 2015 for over 24 lakh defence ex-servicemen and 6 lakh war widows.
- Consumer products company P&G announced that it has halted the sale and manufacture of its Vicks Action 500 Extra, following the Health Ministry’s ban on 344 fixed-dose combination drugs. The combination of the product is included in the list. Meanwhile, an antibiotic combination marketed in India by US pharma major Abbott Laboratories also got banned.
- India Inc. became first in the world to formally adopt the United Nations’ (UN) agenda for the world’s sustainable development and 17 goals identified for its implementation. It was formally adopted by the India Inc. at the 11th National Convention on Sustainable Development Goal (NCSDG) organized by the Global Compact Network in Mumbai.
Sports News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (14th March to 20th 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.
- For the first time in close to three decades, Viswanathan Anand has lost his India number one ranking. With a current Elo rating of 2763, Anand is narrowly behind Pentala Harikrishna’s 2763.3, after suffering a fourth round loss at the 2016 Candidates Championship in Moscow.
- Playing against England in the ICC World T20 , West Indies player Chris Gayle has recorded the most number of sixes in T20I cricket with 98 in 46 matches, surpassing Brendon McCullum’s record of 91 sixes in 71 matches. Note : Gayle also became the first player to hit 50 sixes in World T20, the highest, ahead of Yuvraj Singh’s 31.
- The United Nations has suspended tennis player Maria Sharapova as a goodwill ambassador following her admission that she tested positive for the banned substance ‘meldonium’ at the Australian Open in January. Sharapova, who was a part of the UN Development Programme for the past nine years, focused her efforts to help the survivors of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
- Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar announced a joint venture with Arvind Fashion Brands, to launch his premium menswear apparel and accessories brand, ‘True Blue‘.
- Shehnai exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan (77) has passed away. He is known for composing the signature tune for Doordarshan along with Pandit Ravi Shankar. He was felicitated with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009 for his contribution to Hindustani instrumental music.
- Lloyd Stowell Shapley, an American mathematician and Nobel Prize-winning economist has passed away. Shapley, who contributed to the fields of mathematical economics and especially game theory, won the Nobel Prize for economics in 2012.
- The Booker prize-winning British author and renowned art historian Anita Brookner has passed away. Brookner, who won the Booker in 1984 for her novel Hotel du Lac, was a bestselling author and wrote more than 25 novels.
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