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March 17, 2016

17th March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • 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).
    • Denmark takes the top spot as the happiest country in the world.
    • Top 5 countries in the list are
      • Denmark
      • Switzerland
      • Iceland
      • Norway
      • Finland
  • The US imposed new sanctions on North Korea today, 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. However, the US has not had a comprehensive trade ban against North Korea and limited sales to North Korea were allowed.
National Affairs
  • PM Narendra Modi today inaugurated the World Sufi Forum in Delhi. 
    • The four-day event, organised by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board, a body of Sunni Muslims in India, will see participation of Indian and International delegates, spiritual leaders, scholars and masters of Sufism.
  • Bodh Gaya will host a Buddhist Conclave during 29th to 31st March 2016
    • The conclave will be organised by the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Tourism. 
    • It aims to develop the Buddhist Circuit in UP and Bihar in India, and Nepal, with foreign investment in the segment.
  • 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. 
    • The move will enable banks and financial institutions to sell stressed assets, where a company or its captive mining lease is mortgaged, to recover debts.
Awards & Honors
  • The Surat railway station has been named the cleanest in India in the A1 category while Beas was named the cleanest in A category by a survey conducted by the Indian Railways. 
    • The survey, conducted across 407 stations and based on the feedback of around 1.34 lakh passengers, classified the stations into 'A' and 'A1' categories based on their traffic.
  • American singer-actress Selena Gomez topped by beating singer-songwriter Taylor Swift to become the most followed Instagram user, with a total of 69.4 million followers. 
    • Swift currently has 69.2 million followers on the photo-sharing app. 
    • Reality television star Kim Kardashian comes third in the list with a total of 63.7 million followers.
  • 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
  • British Professor Sir Andrew Wiles awarded Abel Prize.
    • He was honored with this award for solving a problem that baffled experts for three centuries. 
    • Sir Andrew’s discovery described as ‘an epochal moment for mathematics’. 
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today signed an MoU with the Indian Railways for "developing applications in the field of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)". 
    • Under this, the railways will use space technology tools to provide passenger information systems in all trains. 
    • Currently, it uses space technology to provide connectivity to Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters at remote locations.
New Appointments
  • Nepal is set to have its first woman chief justice with a judicial body today recommending Sushila Karki's name for the top post, months after the country got its first woman President and Speaker. 
    • Important Point to Note :  Nepal already is in news for getting it's First woman president (Bidhya Devi Bhandari) and First woman Speaker (Onsari Gharti Magar).
  • Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff named former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as Chief of Staff.
  • Award-winning action actress Michelle Yeoh has been appointed as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador. 
    • The UNDP works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality.
    • The actress will focus on raising awareness and mobilising support for the recently-launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Russell Adams, the Vice-President of Commercial Operations and Cricket Academy at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), has been named as the new Director of Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited (RCSPL).
    • He is going to replace Vijay Mallya, who has resigned his post as the Director today.
  • US President Barack Obama has nominated veteran appeals court judge Merrick Garland to be the next US Supreme Court Justice.
  • Ashley Judd was appointed as the United Nations latest Goodwill Ambassador.
  • Senior Indian Hockey Women's team defender Deepika will replace Ritu Rani as the captain of the 18-member squad for the upcoming Hawke’s Bay Cup to be held in New Zealand from April 2. 

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