- Today (26th March) is the Independence Day of Bangladesh.
- This day commemorates the country's declaration of independence from Pakistan in the year 1971.
- Important Points to Know about Bangladesh
- Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed a law that blocks state funding for clinics that provide abortion.
- Florida already has laws that prohibit the state from funding abortion, but the new law also blocks money for preventive services at such clinics.
- Note : Many clinics had to be shut down in Texas after the state passed a similar law.
- Union Health Minister JP Nadda today introduced the rotavirus vaccine for diarrhoea in the government's immunisation programme in an attempt to reduce child mortality.
- The vaccine will be introduced in four states in the first phase and will be extended to the others later.
- Note : Rotavirus infection kills around 78,000 children under the age of 5 annually in India.
- The Director of School Education in Kashmir declared all schools in the valley as 'Polythene-free' zones.
- He also asked officials to ensure a ban on the sale of tobacco products to minors in all educational institutions within 100 yards of schools.
- The Centre has issued directives to all states to impose fines for littering, public urination and open defecation in at least one ward in each city by April 30.
- The ₹200-5,000 fine will be imposed fully by September 2018.
- The government has also set a timeframe to provide enough public toilets and dustbins in all cities.
- A batch of 20 women forest guards in Maharashtra has completed their month-long commando training to become the state's first women forest commandos.
- The 20 forest guards, in the 19-24 age group, were trained to set up an ambush, patrol in formations and carry out raids.
- They are posted in eight areas in the Maoist-affected Sironcha division.
- About 2.5 lakh SC/ST entrepreneurs would be created under the Centre's Stand Up India initiative, Union Minister for MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) Kalraj Mishra announced today.
- Note : Bank branches would be encouraged to fund a SC/ST and woman entrepreneurs.
- Andhra Pradesh government inaugurated India’s first river linking project viz. Pattiseema lift irrigation project connecting Godavari River with Krishna River from the ongoing Polavaram Multi-purpose Irrigation Project.
- Note : The project has been completed in a record time of one year by the Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL).
People in News
- The BJP has announced that former Indian cricketer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth will contest on the party's ticket from state capital Thiruvananthapuram in the upcoming Kerala Assembly Elections.
Business & Economy
- According to a UN-backed report, China and India led developing countries in investments made in renewable energy in 2015, with $102.9 billion and $10.2 billion respectively.
- India was also among the top 10 investing nations.
- Note : This was the first time that developing countries outweighed developed economies in investing in renewable energy, with $156 billion and $130 billion respectively.
- The Federal Bank is set to launch a dedicated service for startups called 'Launchpad', to open incubation centres at its Bengaluru and Ernakulam branches.
- Special lounges at these branches will provide startups advice on capital, regulatory support and even disburse funds.
- The bank also has a dedicated startup fund worth $3.7 million to fund or lend to promising startups.
- According to data released by the US Treasury Department, India’s overall holding in US government securities climbed to $119.8 billion in January.
- In January alone, India bought American government securities to the tune of $3 billion.
- State-owned Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has become the country's first lender to start the distribution of the government's Indian Gold Coins.
- Available in the denominations of 5, 10 and 20 grams, the coin, bearing the national emblem of Ashok Chakra on one side and Mahatma Gandhi's face on the other, was launched by PM Narendra Modi in November 2015.
- State-owned lender Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) has announced that it has cut interest rates for deposits less than 1 crore across various maturity periods in a range of 0.25-0.5% with effect from March 28.
- This comes against the backdrop of the government's recent interest rate cut on small savings schemes and RBI's upcoming monetary policy meet in April.
Science & Technology
- NASA has launched its largest resupply mission ever to the International Space Station (ISS) with over 7,700 pounds of supplies.
- Aboard the Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft, the delivery was captured by Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra using a robotic arm.
- Once detached from the ISS, the spacecraft will also undertake a remote experiment to study a large fire in microgravity.
- Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) announced that it successfully commissioned a 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Telangana.
- The unit was commissioned at the upcoming 2x600 MW Singareni Thermal Power Project (TPP) located at Jaipur in Adilabad district of Telangana.
- The 1200 MW Jaipur Power Plant is being developed by Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).
- Former Andhra Pradesh minister Pusapati Ananda Gajapathi Raju (66) today passed away.
- He started his political career with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1983 and has served as Health and Education Minister in the state.
- Union Civil Aviation Minster Ashok Gajapathi Raju is his younger brother.
- Playing an ICC World T20 group match against West Indies, South Africa's Quinton de Kock scored 47 runs, thereby becoming the tournament's highest scorer with 144, surpassing England's Joe Root's 143.
- Note : After Kock and Root, Martin Guptill is third on the list with 125, while the leading run-scorer for India in the tournament Virat Kohli is at 11th with 102 runs.
- Chris Gayle became the third player to score over 1,500 runs (1,506) and collect more than 15 wickets (17) in T20Is, after picking up two wickets in the WT20 group match against South Africa.
- Note : Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez leads the list with 1,614 runs and 46 wickets, followed by South Africa's JP Duminy with 1,338 runs and 17 wickets.
- South Africa, with 13,337 T20I runs, displaced Australia to become the second-highest T20I run-scoring team, after registering 122/8 against West Indies in the WT20 group match.
- Pakistan remained on the first spot with 15,353 runs overall, while West Indies are placed seventh with 10,538 runs.
- Note : India is placed eighth on the list with 10,445 T20I runs.
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