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March 04, 2015

4th March 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • China will raise its defense budget by around 10 percent this year, compared with last year's 12.2 percent.
    • China's defense budget rose by 12.2 percent last year to 808.2 billion yuan (about 131 billion U.S. dollars), riding on a multi-year run of double-digit increases.
    • The figure will put the world's second largest economy's defense spending at some 890 billion yuan (about 145 billion U.S. dollars).
  • For the first time the opening prayer for the Idaho state senate was said by a Hindu cleric amid protests by some senators who claimed the United States was a Christian nation and denounced Hinduism.
    • Universal Society of Hinduism President Rajan Zed, who said the prayer in Sanskrit and English, made a call for the legislators to "act selflessly without any thought of personal profit" because "selfish action imprisons the world".
    • He was invited by Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill to be a guest chaplain and deliver the invocation which is usually made by a Christian chaplain at the start of the day's legislative session in Boise.
  • SAARC Yatra : Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar visits Afghanistan today.
National Affairs
  • The long-pending controversial Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015, a key economic reform legislation providing for raising foreign  investment cap to 49 per cent, was today passed by Lok Sabha with the government insisting that the measure is crucial for expanding the penetration of insurance in the country.
    • This controversial bill seeks to replace an ordinance, also provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years for selling policies without registration with the regulator IRDA.
  • The Lok Sabha also passed the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, to allow e-auction of coal blocks after the Supreme Court cancelled their allocation leading to uncertainty in the coal sector, amid opposition by Left and some other opposition parties.
    • This bill would replace two ordinances issued by the government - the first on October 21 last year and the other in December, after the apex court cancelled the allocation of 204 blocks.
  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2015 to amend the Citizenship Act to remove disparity between Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders was also passed today.
    • This was one of the six bills on which ordinances had been promulgated by the NDA government.
  • As a British filmmaker's interview of Mukesh Singh, one of the 16 December gangrape convicts for a documentary in which he showed no remorse triggered a storm today.
    • Government took a serious view of the matter as Delhi Police lodged an FIR and secured a court order restraining the media from carrying the interview.
    • This documentary was made by - Leslee Udwin
  • The Delhi High Court today allowed recall of 13 prosecution witnesses, including the victim, in Uber cab rape case, on the plea of the accused driver.
    • Apart from the victim, the court also allowed recall of the investigating officers as well as some of the doctors who had examined the victim as well as the accused, saying it was necessary for ensuring a fair trial.
  • Telangana‬ government has decided to launch the E-Panchayat programme in 18 Village ‪‎Panchayats‬ in Domokonda of Nizamabad district initially.
People in News
  • The oldest woman in the world, Japan's Misao Okawa (born in 1898), celebrated her 117th birthday today.
    • Okawa is one of the five documented people born in the 1800s who are still alive today.
Science & Technology
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (‎ISRO)‬ has postponed the launch of India’s fourth Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1D onboard PSLV-C27.
    • The launch was originally scheduled for March 09 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
    • ISRO sources say that an anomaly was observed in one of the telemetry transmitters of the satellite during the integrated electrical checks of Launch Vehicle along with Satellite after the closure of heat shield on March 03.
    • The next launch date of PSLV-C27 with IRNSS-1D will be fixed after the technical anomaly is rectified through further test, simulation and analysis.
Business & Economy
  • RBI has lowered its policy Repo Rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 per cent.  
  • The biggest-ever auction of 2G and 3G spectrum started today and this is likely to fetch the government over Rs. 82,000 crore based on the reserve price.
    • The government is however hopeful of getting around Rs. 1 lakh crore from the sale of radiowaves used for mobile telephony.
  • Bharti Airtel Limited partnered with China Mobile under which the two companies will work towards the growth of the long term evolution (LTE) ecosystem and evolving mobile technology standards.
    • Both the companies will also work towards shaping up a joint strategy for procurement of devices that include Mifi, smartphones, data cards, LTE CPEs and USIM.
    • This MOU was signed by Sunil Mittal, Chaian, Bharti Airtel, and Xi Guohua, Chairman, China Mobile.
Sports
  • World Cup
    • Australia mauls Afghanistan by a whopping margin of 275 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
    • Pakistan won against United Arab Emirates. This victory made Pakistan's quarter-final hopes alive.
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