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March 30, 2016

29th March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Myanmar’s President Thein Sein lifted a state of emergency and curfew in Rakhine, where communal clashes left over 200 people dead in June 2012. 
    • The decision means the military will not provide day-to-day security in the area
    • The nighttime curfew, lasting nearly four years, was imposed after clashes between the minority Rohingya Muslims and majority Buddhists displaced over 100,000 people.
  • UK news organisation The Independent on Saturday published its last print edition after its launch in 1986, to shift completely to the digital-only format. 
    • The final edition also carried four magazines that look back at the newspaper's history.

National Affairs
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the scores obtained by candidates in government and PSU recruitment exams will be shared with the private sector to help them hire matching talent. 
    • This will reduce search cost in the labour market for both employers and employees, he added.
    • Note : Currently, scores in these exams have been retained by the government.
  • The Haryana Assembly has passed the Jat Quota bill unanimously after it was tabled for discussion on the same day. 
    • Jat protesters had been demanding that the community be classified under the OBC category and sought reservation in government services and educational institutions. 
    • They had threatened to resume violent agitation if their demands were not met.
  • Uttar Pradesh government has made it mandatory for primary school students to sing the national anthem, 'Jana Gana Mana', every day. 
    • The directive also states that primary schools must run 200 days a year, while higher secondary schools must run 220 days a year. 
    • Furthermore, schools must observe 'swachhata diwas' (Cleanliness Day) every Wednesday, according to the same.

Awards & Honors
  • Indian playback singer P Susheela has become the Guinness World Records title holder for the highest number of solo, duet and chorus-backed songs in over six Indian languages numbering at 17,695 tracks
    • She made her singing debut in the 1952 Tamil film 'Petra Thai'. 
    • She was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2008 and has also won five National Awards.

New Appointments
  • China has appointed Xie Xiaoyan as its first special envoy for the Syrian crisis in a bid to 'help push the peace process'.
  • Indian-American NanditaBakshi has been appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the West.

Business & Economy
  • The government has approved 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Marketplace model of e-commerce under the automatic route. 
    • However, FDI is still not permitted under the inventory model. 
    • Note : Under the automatic route, FDI is allowed without the prior permission from government or RBI. 
  • According to Symantec, India ranks third among countries with the most number of financial Trojan infections, after the US and Germany. 
    • Financial Trojans are used to defraud customers of online banking. 
    • Note : India has consistently moved up the rankings for countries with the most number of financial Trojan infections, from the seventh position in 2013 to the third position in 2015.
  • New Delhi has topped the list of top 25 destinations in India by travel website TripAdvisor as part of its 'Travellers' Choice Awards' for 2016
  • Jaipur has ranked second and Goa third on the list, while Pondicherry rounds up the list as the 25th destination. 
  • State-owned lender IDBI Bank has announced that  the insurance major LIC of India has increased its stake in the bank to 14.37% from 7.21%, after a preferential issue of shares last week. 
    • With this transaction, IDBI is now the second largest equity holding in a bank for LIC, after a 21.22% stake in Corporation Bank.
  • The government is planning to enable users to make landline calls from WhatsApp, Skype and Viber
    • The move has already been cleared by the inter-ministerial telecom commission and groundwork to get it going will start soon.
  • State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) today approved an investment of $5 billion (around ₹34,000 crore) in two fields in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin over the next three years. 
    • The investment can boost the company's crude oil output by 15% and natural gas output by 25% in the next 4-5 years, according to the company's production figures.
  • The Telangana Assembly has passed a bill increasing the salaries and allowances of CM, MLAs, and MLCs among others. 
    • Under the Telangana Payment of Salaries and Pension and Removal of Disqualifications (Amendments) Bill 2016, the salary of MLAs and MLCs has been increased to ₹20,000 from ₹12,000, while their monthly allowances have gone up to ₹2.30 lakh from ₹83,000.

  • Jim Harrison, the prolific author, poet and outdoorsman passed away.
    • His famous novella of the American frontier, “Legends of the Fall,” became a hit movie starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, has died. He was 78
  • Mother Mary Angelica, the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network, passed away.
    • She is fonldy known as  “Mother Angelica".

Science & Technology
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to launch 22 satellites in a single mission, its highest so far, this May. 
    • The launch vehicle PSLV C34 will carry India’s remote sensing satellite Cartosat 2C along with 21 other satellites, including four micro-satellites and 17 nano-satellites. 
    • Important Note : Satellites of foreign agencies like US, Canada, Indonesia and Germany are included in the launch.
  • Singapore Navy (RSN) has successfully test-fired a Barak missile from its Victory-class missile corvette RSS Vigour during Fleet Exercise conducted in the South China Sea.
    • The RSN’s Missile Corvette Squadron, on the conduct of the exercise and the capabilities of the missile corvette.
  • The world’s first cyborg Olympics will be held in October this year in Switzerland
    • Named Cybathlon, it aims to bring together technology developers and people with disabilities and make available robotic tools to a broad public. 
    • About 80 teams are expected at the event which is being organized by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
  • Union Defence Minister ‎Manohar Parrikar‬ flagged off India's first indigenously developed SONAR dome during the 9th Edition of Defexpo 2016‬ at Goa.

  • Indian batsman Virat Kohli has reclaimed the top spot in the T20I batsmen's rankings released by the ICC today, surpassing Australia's Aaron Finch. 
    • In the bowlers' table, West Indies' Samuel Badree has returned to the number one position. 
    • Note : India retained its place as the top-ranked T20I team, with New Zealand moving up two places to the second position.
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