By: D.K Choudhary
Nation paying tribute on 86th martyrdom day: 23 March
i. Nation is paying tributes to freedom fighters -Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their 86th martyrdom day (23 March).
ii. On this day in 1931, British rulers had executed them in Lahore for their revolutionary activities against the British rule.
World Meteorological Day 2017 observed globally
ii. The theme of WMD 2017 is ‘Understanding Cloud’ to highlight the enormous importance of clouds for weather climate and water.
iii. The day is organized every year by World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Govt approves 1.17 lakh more affordable houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
i. The government approved construction of 117,814 more affordable houses for urban poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in six states (Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha) with a total investment of Rs 5,773 crore and with central assistance of Rs 1,816 crore.
ii. With this, the total number of affordable homes sanctioned under PMAY so far has gone up to 1,760,507, with a total investment of Rs 96,018 crore and a central assistance of Rs 27,714 crore.
Cabinet approves proposal for Amendments to the NABARD Act, 1981
i. Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
(a) Amendments to National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Act, 1981, include provisions that enable Central Government to increase the authorized capital of NABARD from Rs. 5,000 crore to Rs. 30,000 crore and to increase it beyond Rs. 30,000 crore in consultation with RBI.
(b) Transfer of 0.4 percent equity of RBI in NABARD amounting to Rs. 20 crores to the Government of India.
India ranks 131 on Human Development Index, Norway No.1
i. In the recently released Human Development Index by United Nations, India is ranked 131 out of 188 countries in the list.
ii. The list is topped by Norway followed by Australia and Switzerland on 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.
iii. India’s HDI value for 2015 is 0.624, which puts the country in the medium human development category but behind fellow South Asian countries like Sri Lanka (73rd)and the Maldives(105th).
PM to inaugurate India’s longest road tunnel in J&K on April 2
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation, the country’s longest road tunnel named Chenani-Nashri tunnel, built on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which will cut short the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by nearly 30 km.
ii. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the 9.2 km long twin-tube tunnel on JK highway on April 2, 2017.
NABARD launches water conservation campaign in Karnataka
i. NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) will help Karnataka with low-cost technologies for water conservation and efficient use of water in the drought-affected districts.
ii. The main focus of the save water programme would be to create awareness and to cover maximum number of villages in the districts.
India and ADB Signed $350 Million Loan for Roads in Madhya Pradesh
i. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $350 million loan for improving about 1,500 kilometers of major district roads in Madhya Pradesh in line with the State’s Road Development Plan.
ii. The Project will involve upgrading roads with concrete pavements, strengthening culverts and bridges, and maintaining the improved road assets for a period of five years.
iii. Along with ADB’s loan, the Government of Madhya Pradesh will provide counterpart support of $150 million.
High level committee to examine working of CCIM, CCH and their governing legislation
i. The high-level Committee has been formed to examine the working of the regulatory bodies Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) and Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) and their governing legislations namely, Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970 and Homoeopathy Central Council Act 1973 respectively, for suggesting suitable reforms for AYUSH.
ii. The committee will be headed by Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog. Other members of the committee are Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NITI Aayog and Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH.
IIT-Kharagpur to get supercomputing facility
i. The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, is the first academic institution to get a supercomputing facility under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
ii. This will provide large computational support to users to carry out both research and teaching activities that involve modern High Performance Computing (HPC) and usher in a new age in research and innovation in the country.
Samsung Pay launched in India
i. Android phone maker Samsung launched its digital payment application, called ‘Samsung Pay’, in the country as Indians look to shift to newer payment methods after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation exercise.
ii. The early access service is available only with a few banks – Axis, HDFC, ICICI, SBI, and Standard Chartered.’Samsung Pay’ works with both NFC (near field communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission).
HUDCO gets SEBI approval to float IPO
i. State-run Housing and Urban Development Corp. Ltd (HUDCO) has received capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) approval to raise funds through an initial share sale as part of the government’s disinvestment drive.
ii. The government holds 100 per cent stake in the company.IDBI Capital, Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities, SBI Capital Markets and ICICI Securities will manage the company’s public issue.
World Sparrow Day: 20 March
i. The World Sparrow Day was observed across the World on 20 March 2017. The day was created with an aim to raise awareness about the house sparrow and then other common birds to urban environments.
ii. The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010 across the World.
PepsiCo ropes in PV Sindhu as brand ambassador
i. PepsiCo’s sports drink brand Gatorade has roped in Indian shuttler PV Sindhu as its brand ambassador.
ii. Sindhu is the first Indian brand ambassador of the PepsiCo brand.
ICC appoints Ankur Khanna as new CFO
i. The International Cricket Council (ICC) on announced the appointment of Ankur Khanna as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
ii. Khanna will join the ICC at the end of March leaving Air Asia India where he has held the post of CFO for the last one year.
Ravindra Jadeja replaces Ravichandran Ashwin to rank top test bowler in ICC rankings