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March 28, 2016

27th March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (27th March) is World Theatre Day (WTD).
    • This day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute.
  • Malaysian Prime Minister NajibRazak announced that the country will set up its first counter-messaging centre in a bid to curb the influence of the Islamic State in the cyber world.
  • At least 53 people were killed and 100 were injured after a bomb exploded outside a public park in Pakistan's Lahore today. 
    • Following the blast, an emergency was declared in all hospitals of the city and security was put on high alert.
  • A 5 member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan today arrived in New Delhi to carry out a probe into the terror attack at the Indian Air Force base Pathankot.
    • The team will visit Pathankot tomorrow for the probe into the attack carried out by Pakistan-based terror group on 2nd of January.
  • China has launched its first cybersecurity public organisation aimed at better safeguarding national cybersecurity and guiding internet companies in perform their duties.
    • The CyberSecurity Association of China, launched in Beijing consists of academic institutes, individuals and internet companies including Tencent and popular internet security company Qihu 360.

National Affairs
  • The Centre has imposed President's Rule in Uttarakhand on grounds of "breakdown of governance". 
    • This comes a day before CM Harish Rawat is to take floor test in the Assembly on March 28.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government is constructing five lakh 'farming pools' to tackle the problem of water shortage in some parts of India. 
    • He also asked the farming community to reduce the use of fertilisers and adopt water conservation methods like building small water reservoirs.
  • Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel has announced that the State is going tol set up the country's first university focusing exclusively on organic farming and research
    • A total of ₹10 crore has been allotted towards the university in the 2016-17 state budget. 
  • The Centre has planned 17 waterway projects to improve links between North-East India and the adjoining states.
    • Further, one or two of the projects would link the Brahmaputra in Assam with the Bay of Bengal. 
    • This move comes after the Parliament passed the National Waterways Bill to convert 106 inland waterways into transport waterways.

  • Pakistan and Iran have signed 6 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to strengthen bilateral cooperation in health, commerce, finance and foreign services.
    • The MOUs signed were, 
      1. MoU to enhance cooperation between Pakistan’s Foreign Service Academy and Iran’s School of International Relations
      2. MoU for cooperation and information exchange between the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Central Insurance of Iran
      3. MoU on Five Year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan: This is the key agreement among the 6 MoUs signed. It sets an ambitious target of 5 billion US dollars per annum bilateral trade in 5 years from the current 250 million US dollars.
      4. MoU for cooperation on health research, training, medicine and medical technology
      5. MoU on extending cooperation between the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture of Iran.
      6. MoU on cooperation between the Institute for Political and International Studies of Iran and Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) of Pakistan

Business & Economy
  • The Delhi government has announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) collection in the ongoing fiscal has crossed ₹20,000 crore
    • The government had set ₹24,000 crore as the target but later reduced it to ₹21,000 crore on the grounds of unsteady collection. 
    • Around ₹18,500 crore was collected as VAT in 2014-15. 
    • NOTE : VAT accounts for over two-thirds of the Delhi government’s revenue.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the Centre's policy of directly transferring the subsidy on LPG gas cylinders in consumers' bank accounts has saved the government ₹15,000 crore last year. 
  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed the Department of Telecom (DoT) to build a communication network on Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep islands. 
    • It also recommended that the islands, dependent on satellites for communication, be connected using undersea cables.
 Awards & Honors
  • The Mother's Wax Museum in Kolkata has unveiled a wax statue of pop icon Michael Jackson as a part of its expansion plans. 
    • Note : Mother's wax museum, inaugurated in November 2014, is reportedly India's first wax museum

New Appointments
  • Former Malaysian PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi named as an adviser for state oil firm Petroliam NasionalBhd (Petronas).
  • The UN Human Rights Council has appointed India-born academician Surya Deva as an advisor to its working group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Science & Technology
  • Europe's largest floating solar farm has been built in London on the Thames river, featuring 23,046 solar panels and measuring 57,500 square metres or the size of eight football pitches. 
    • Built at a cost of over $8 million, it will generate enough power to light 1,800 houses.
    • Around 61,000 floats and 177 anchors are used to keep the panels afloat.
  • NASA is sending scientists on an around-the-globe mission to study climate change and the impact humans have on it. 
    • In the next six months, researchers will undertake eight new campaigns in locations ranging from the ice sheets of Greenland to coral reefs of the South Pacific. 
    • They will also undertake three airborne research campaigns over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the US Department of Defense has launched a Grand Challenge for developing artificial intelligence-powered radios
    • Such radios will automatically cooperate with each other to avoid wireless congestion. 
    • The competition will start in 2017 and pick a winner in 2020, who will be awarded a prize money of $2 million.
  • Hanle village in Ladakh was short-listed as a prospective site to house the World's largest telescope named 'Thirty Metre Telescope International Observatory', estimated to be worth around ₹98.26 crore. 
    • After the permit for the same was cancelled for a site in Hawaii, first choice for the observatory, the board decided on two prospective sites – Hanle and another in Chile.

  • Veteran BJP leader and Politician Lal Muni Chaubey (73) passed away.
  • Actor Peter Brown (80), who was famous for his role as  Deputy Johnny McKay in legendary Western TV show Lawman passed away.
    • Lawman, which was aired from 1958-62 and was an extraordinarily popular western on ABC.
  • India defeated Australia by six wickets to qualify for the ICC World T20 semi-finals
  • Ravichandran Ashwin became the first Indian bowler to collect 50 T20I wickets after picking David Warner's wicket against Australia. 
    • He stands 12th in the all-time highest T20I wicket-takers list, which is led by Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal, with 97, 85 and 85 wickets respectively.
  • PM Narendra Modi announced that India will host the FIFA under-17 World Cup next year. 
  • England's Joe Root (168) became the third highest run-scorer in the 2016 World T20, after registering 25 runs against Sri Lanka. 
    • He surpassed South Africa's Quinton de Kock (144) to take the third place behind Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal (295) and Afghanistan's Mohammad Shahzad (198). 
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