By: D.K Choudhary
World’s oldest serving aircraft carrier INS Viraat retires
i. INS Viraat, the world’s oldest aircraft carrier in active service will be decommissioned on 6 March 2017 with a ceremonial send-off in Mumbai.
ii. A glorious chapter in the Indian Navy’s history will come to an end when INS Viraat, the longest serving aircraft carrier will retire after serving the country for nearly three decades.
iii. INS Viraat was commissioned in Indian Navy in 1987, before that the historic ship served Royal British Navy for 27 long years. It was built in 1943, during the Second World War.
Centre launches survey on Gangetic dolphins
i. Centre has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic dolphin.
ii. The study is crucial as the animal population in a river indicates the quality of its water. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) committee has stated that the survey will create a baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures.
iii. The first leg of the census was launched on March 1, 2017 from Narora to Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. A study to figure out fish species composition in the 2525 km-long river has also been kick started from Harshil in Uttarakhand.
SBI to penalise non-maintenance of Monthly Average Balance
i. State Bank of India has decided to reintroduce penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance in accounts from 1st of April 2017. Failing to maintain monthly average balance in accounts will attract penalty up to 100 rupees plus service tax.The public sector bank has also revised its charges on other services, including ATMs.
India’s tallest Tricolor hoisted at Attari border in Punjab
i. The tallest national flag in the country measuring 360 feet was hoisted at the Attari-Wagah joint check post in Punjab. Earlier, the record was held by the one in Ranchi which is 293 feet high.
ii. The flag is 120 feet in length, 80 feet in breadth and is hosted on a pole which is 360 feet high. The concrete base is 30 feet in length and another 30 feet in breadth.
Chandigarh to host Destination North East 2017
i. Chandigarh will host a three-day long ‘Destination North East‘ 2017 event showcasing North East as a potential destination for investment.
ii. Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Jitendra Singh inaugurated the event.
iii. It will see round table discussions and exhibition stalls showcasing various features of the North East Region in order to attract investments in tourism, food processing, handlooms and handicrafts, horticulture and floriculture, medicinal & aromatic plants, organic farming and bamboo development.
Assam Cabinet Declares Sanskrit as Compulsory Subject up to Class 8
i. In a cabinet meeting, the Assam government led by the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal decided to make Sanskrit a compulsory language for students up to class 8th in the state.
ii. The government also decided to promote computer education in the state. The government would appoint teachers for the two subject.
West Bengal Clinical Establishment Bill passed
i. The West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation, and Transparency) Bill, 2017 was passed by the state legislative assembly with full support.
ii. The Bill aims to regulate the private hospitals and bring transparency, end harassment of patients and take necessary steps to stop medical negligence in health institutes.
iii. The Bill replaces the West Bengal Clinical Establishments Bill, 2010. The state will set up a 13 member West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission which will monitor private healthcare facilities.
West Bengal Gives Official Status to Tribal Language ‘Kurukh’
i. The West Bengal government has given an official status to ‘Kurukh’ language in the state which has been listed as an endangered language by the UNESCO.
ii.The language was given the official status on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day. Kurukh is a tribal language that belongs to the Dravidian family.
Andhra Pradesh Renames Tirupati Airport and Vijayawada Airport
i. The Andhra Pradesh State Cabinet during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu approved proposals to rename the Vijayawada Airport and the Tirupati Airport.
ii. The cabinet renamed the Vijayawada Airport in Gannavaram as ‘Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) Amaravati Airport’ after the legendary actor and founder of the ruling Telugu Desam Party and the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. The Tirupati Airport at Renigunta has been renamed as ‘Sri Venkateswara Airport’ after Lord Venkateswara of the temple town.
Haryana announces Tirtha Darshan scheme
i. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that the state government had prepared a Tirtha Darshan scheme under which senior citizens above 60 years of age and of Haryana domicile would be able to go on a pilgrimage within the country at government expense.
ii. Under the scheme, the government would bear the entire cost of the tour of senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The senior citizens would be selected for the pilgrimage on the basis of draw of lots. Over 400 destinations can be visited under the scheme.
NPAs at record high of Rs 6.8 lakh crore
i. As Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of public sector banks soared to a staggering Rs 6.8 lakh crore, the chairman of a key Parliamentary panel favored ‘naming and shaming‘ corporate houses which default on repayment of bank loans.
ii. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief K V Thomas hopes ‘naming and shaming’ such corporate houses may help financial institutions get back their money. Out of the Rs 6.8 lakh crore of Non-Performing Assets of public sector banks, a whopping 70% are those of big corporate houses.
IRDAI proposes up to 50% hike in motor insurance premium
i. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has proposed to increase the insurance premium to 50 percent for cars, motor cycles as well as commercial vehicles from April 1, 2017.
ii. The hike proposed in mid-segment cars (1,000-1,500 cc), as well as bigger cars and SUVs, is 50%.
Rs 10,000 penalty for bank branches refusing to exchange soiled notes: RBI
i. The Reserve Bank of India has clarified that currency notes, which have messages scribbled on it are legal tender. Bank branches that refuse to exchange soiled notes from people will have to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000.
ii. The RBI, stated that notes cease to be legal tender if message scribbled on it is political in nature. According to RBI’s Clean Note Policy 1999, no banks can deny to exchange soiled or mutilated currency notes.
iii. The restriction for exchanging soiled notes is that if one exchanges more than 20 notes or notes worth Rs 5,000 in a day, then banks will levy service charges.
Airtel, Millicom ink pact to merge in Ghana
i. Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has signed an agreement with Millicom International Cellular to combine their operations in Ghana.
ii. The companies through their respective subsidiaries entered into an agreement for Tigo Ghana and Airtel Ghana to combine their operations in Ghana. As a result, both the companies would have equal ownership and governance rights in the combined entity in Ghana, making it one of the largest communications companies in the country.
Sri Lanka Wins ‘Most Popular Tourism Destination Award’
i. Sri Lanka won the ‘Most Popular Tourism Destination Award‘ at the Guangzhou International Travel Fair (GITF) in China.
ii. The island nation won the prestigious award for the second consecutive year which is a testament to its growing popularity among Chinese travel enthusiasts. China has been Sri Lanka’s second largest source market for tourism since 2014.
WCCB Conducts Operation Thunderbird & Operation Save Kurma to Combat Wildlife Crime
i. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests coordinated ‘Operation Thunder Bird’ and ‘Operation Save Kurma‘ nationwide.
ii. The aim of ‘Operation Thunder Bird’ is to combat illegal trade of wildlife animals in the country. The operation was undertaken in coordination with International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
iii. Operation Thunder Bird is the code name for Interpol’s multi-national and multi-species enforcement operation. It aimed to eliminate poaching of wildlife animals of India.
iv. ‘Operation Save Kurma’ is a turtle-specific operation where over 15,000 live turtles were seized.
India to supply additional 60 MW power to Bangladesh
i. North Eastern state Tripura has agreed to supply an additional 60 MW to Bangladesh over the 100 MW of power the north-eastern state is supplying to the neighboring country.
ii. This development comes after Bangladesh sought 100 MW electricity from India to solve its power crisis in the eastern part of the nation. The Country has been receiving 100 MW since March 23, 2016, besides it has also been provided 500 MW by the West Bengal government.
To support women founded startups, Facebook launches ‘SheLeadsTech’
i. Social networking site Facebook launched a new initiative ‘SheLeadsTech‘, to support women-founded or co-founded startups.
ii. SheLeadsTech will give women-founded or co-founded start-ups access to a year-long program that provides tools, mentorship and resources. The announcement which came ahead of Women’s Day aim to bring women on board India’s digital revolution in a bigger way.
Kerala tops in GST registrations
i. Kerala has achieved the maximum number of registrations under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime with at least 60% of an estimated 2.5 lakh traders migrating to the new platform.
ii. Its record becomes even more significant considering the fact that these registrations are complete in all respects, including the crucial provision of digital signatures.
Sam Querrey wins ATP Mexico Open
i. Unseeded American Sam Querrey has won the ATP Mexico Open hard court tennis tournament.In the final at Acapulco in Mexico, Querrey stunned second-seeded Rafael Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 7-6.
ii. Nadal, the 2005 and 2013 champion, had never even lost a set in Acapulco. Querrey, ranked 40th in the world, fired 19 aces, backed up by powerful, precise groundstrokes, en route to his first career victory over Nadal in five meetings. For Querrey, it is his ninth ATP title.
ISSF 2017: India finish fifth with five medals at shooting World Cup
i. India ended their campaign in the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup (Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun) with five medals, including one Gold, two Silver and two Bronze medals at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, New Delhi.
Andy Murray wins Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for first title of 2017
i. The Dubai Tennis Championships were held at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Britain’s Andy Murray claimed his first title of the year with a straight-sets victory over Fernando Verdasco despite a soggy start in the high-octane game.
‘Number Do Lie’ authored by former cricketer Aakash Chopra