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March 23, 2016

23rd March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today is World Meteorological Day.
    • This day is celebrated every year on 23 March to commemorate the entry into force in 1950 of the convention that created the World Meteorological Organization.
    • Theme of the year 2016 : Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the Future
    • Theme of the year 2015 : Climate Knowledge for Climate Action
  • Today (23rd March) is Pakistan Day.
    • This day commemorates the historic Pakistan Resolution on March 23, 1940 - a day which marks the the birth of a separate state for Muslims.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina today launched two historical projects between two countries.
    • According to these, India will supply 100 MW of electricity to Bangladesh and in return receive 10 Gigabits per second internet bandwidth. 
  • Nepal was officially made a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a Beijing-based regional security grouping. 
    • In this regard, Nepal signed memorandum during Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli official visit to China. 
    • Important Points to Note
    • As a dialogue partner, Nepal will be able to participate in the multi-field cooperation of the SCO. 
    • It will also create new opportunities for the SCO’s mutually beneficial cooperation and benefit people living in the extensive region that the SCO covers.

National Affairs
  • Today is 85th Shaheed Diwas (Martyr's Day)
    • Nation pays homage to great martyrs of freedom struggle, Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their martyrdom (23 March, 1931)
  • The cabinet today approved the construction of one crore houses over the next three years as part of the government’s plan aiming to provide housing for all by 2022
    • Important Note : The total estimated cost will be ₹81,975 crore, out of which ₹60,000 crore will come from budgetary allocations and the remaining from NABARD.
  • In a bid to boost the manufacturing sector and 'Make in India' initiative, the union cabinet today cleared the National Capital Goods Policy
    • The move aims to increase the domestic production of capital goods – from ₹2.30 lakh crore in 2014-15 to ₹7.5 lakh crore by 2025. 
    • Note : Presently, around 40-45% of the capital goods demand is met by imports.
  • The government has amended the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) to give an option to a subscriber’s spouse to continue to contribute to the account till the time the subscriber would have turned 60, in case of his/her premature death. 
    • Further, the spouse shall be entitled to receive the same pension amount as the subscriber until the death of the spouse.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Unified Package Insurance Scheme in Mumbai. 
    • Terming agriculture as "absolutely critical to the country's economy", Jaitley said the revamped insurance schemes would be rolled out from April 1 to cover Kharif crops. 
    • Earlier, the Union Cabinet had in January approved the launch of PMFBY.
  • The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and the People’s Welfare Front (PWF) have announced their alliance to contest the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls
    • The political parties have chosen actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth as the chief ministerial candidate of their alliance. 
    • Note : While DMDK will contest on 124 seats, the PWF will contest on 110 seats.
Science & Technology
  • India is one of the five countries involved in developing vaccines to fight the Zika virus that affects newborns in 38 countries and territories.
    • The other countries developing the vaccine are the US, France, Brazil and Austria
    • A total of 14 vaccine developers are working on 23 projects in the five countries.
Business & Economy
  • The government has hiked the Dearness Allowance (DA) for central government employees and pensioners today by Six Percent (6%)
    • The move is expected to benefit a total of 50 lakh employees and 58 lakh pensioners. 
    • The new rate of DA, standing at 125% from the previous 119%, will be implemented from January 1, 2016.
  • The government today approved $1.5 billion (approximately ₹9,000 crore) World Bank support for the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) in rural areas. 
    • Under the project, ₹8850 crore is to provide incentives to the state, and ₹150 crore is for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. 
    • Note : The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is aimed at improving cleanliness and eliminating open defecation.

New Appointments
  • Retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Justice Permod Kohli has been appointed as the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
  • The HSBC has elevated Hitendra Dave to head of global banking and markets in India in charge of trading in debt markets, equity capital markets, debt capital markets and corporate banking including financial institutions (FIs).
    • HSBC - Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp
  • HL Dattu, the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and former Chief Justice of India was appointed as a Member of the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs (ICC) Bureau in Geneva. 
  • Actress Kangana Ranaut has replaced Deepika Padukone as the Brand Ambassador of Lifestyle International's contemporary ethnic wear brand 'Melange by Lifestyle'.

  • India defeated Bangladesh by one run to keep their semi-final hopes alive in the World T20 today.  
  • Indian limited-overs skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, while playing against Bangladesh today in the ICC World T20, became the Fifth Indian batsman and the First T20I captain to cross the 1,000-run mark in T20 internationals. 
    • Important Note : Virat Kohli (1,446 runs) currently leads the list, followed by Rohit Sharma (1,219), Suresh Raina (1,163) and Yuvraj Singh (1,110).
  • After taking the sixth wicket in the World T20 match up against Bangladesh today, Ashish Nehra became the second highest T20I wicket taker for India with 29 wickets. 
    • The list is topped by Ravichandran Ashwin with 49, followed by Irfan Pathan with 28 and Yuvraj Singh with 27. While, Ravindra Jadeja sits at the fifth spot with 27 wickets.
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