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March 03, 2016

3rd March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (3rd March) is World Wildlife Day.
    • All UN Member States observe this day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.
    • On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided to proclaim 3 March, the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as World Wildlife Day.
    • This day was proposed by Thailand.
    • Theme for World Wildlife Day 2016 : The future of wildlife is in our hands
  • Today (3rd March) is International Sex Workers Rights Day.
  • According to a study by real estate consultant Savills, London has topped the list of world's 20 most expensive cities to base an employee. 
    • Note : The only Indian city on the list is Mumbai at rank 17.
  • According to reports, Pope Francis will embark on his first-ever visit to Pakistan this year, after having been invited by Pakistan's Ports and Shipping Minister Kamran Michael on behalf of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. 
    • The Pope reportedly accepted the invitation and will interact with Pakistan's minority Christian community and visit a church, besides meeting Sharif and the President of Pakistan.
  • South Korea's parliament has passed the country's first anti-terror bill, with opposition lawmakers leaving the plenary chamber after ending the nine-day marathon speeches.
    • The bill, which was first brought up in South Korea in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, had repeatedly failed to be enacted due to worries about abuse of power by the country's spy agency.
National Affairs
  • The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced a new Aadhaar Bill - the Aadhaar Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services Bill 2016 - in the Lok Sabha.
    • The bill will provide a legal basis to the the unique identification number.
  • The CBI has set up a working group to coordinate with various financial institutions to help curb financial frauds. 
  • The Government has decided to set up '1033' as a toll free national helpline number to report road accidents
    • The helpline would also cater to other issues relating to the National Highways.
  • TISS and the ICRW have come together to introduce the Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS) program in public schools across Maharashtra. 
    • This program is going to be implemented in 25,000 schools as a part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. 
    • The program aims to inculcate gender-equitable values among children between the ages of 12 and 14.
    • TISS - Tata Institute of Social Sciences
    • ICRW - International Center for Research on Women
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today proposed that only women members should address the Parliament on March 8, in an effort to mark the International Women's Day
    • Important Points to Note
      • The Lok Sabha currently has 62 women MPs – over 11% of the total house strength of 545. 
      • This marks the highest ever representation of women in the Lower House.
  • Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today inaugurated an Air Ambulance facility catering to patients with urgent medical requirements, including organ transplant
    • The Kerala government will bear the expenses for the transport of organs through the facility, for which ₹5 crore has been earmarked. 
    • The service is expected to begin in two months, after the required aircraft is acquired.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet today approved a first-of-its-kind policy on Internet of Things (IoT)
    • The state government aims to set up 10 IoT hubs with private players' participation and create 50,000 jobs.

Business & Economy
  • Google today announced that it is working with the UNICEF to analyze data for mapping and predicting the spread of the Zika virus, linked to birth defects among children. 
    • The company announced a $1 million grant to UNICEF to support the development of the vaccines. 
    • Google has also started prominently providing information about the virus in its search engine.
  • E-commerce major Flipkart today launched its own wallet and payment method called ‘Flipkart Money’. 
    • Currently available on Android devices, users can recharge the wallet with ₹10,000 at a time and a total of ₹25,000 can be added in a month.
    • Note: The development comes after Flipkart’s acquisition of payments services start-up FX Mart in 2015.
  • The government is going to replace the existing Five-year plan system with a medium-term fiscal framework that will project fiscal allocations for the next three years beginning 2017-18, Niti Aayog Vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya said. 
    • This comes in the backdrop of the 12th Plan period ending in 2016-17. 
    • The last two years of the current plan will be used as transition, he added.
  • An Emirates Airbus A380 completed the world's longest direct commercial flight after landing in Auckland today, having started the journey 14,201 kilometers away in Dubai. 
    • The previous record was held by Qantas’ Sydney-to-Dallas flight for a journey of around 13,798 kilometers.
    • Note : It was also the longest direct journey by flight time, at about 17 hours and 15 minutes.

New Appointments
  • US Defense Secretary Ash Carter today announced that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt will head Pentagon's recently unveiled Defense Innovation Advisory Board
    • The new board will help the Pentagon in becoming more innovative and adaptive in developing technology by bringing in Silicon Valley innovations. 
  • Multi-Commodity Exchange today announced appointment of Mrugank Paranjape as MD & CEO of the exchange.
    • Note : Since May 2014, the exchange was functioning without an MD. P K Singhal was handling the affairs of the exchange as joint MD.

Awards & Honors
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sofia Qureshi became the first woman to lead an Indian Army contingent at the largest-ever foreign military training exercise 'Force 18', being held in Pune.
  • Eminent poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas has been selected for the 2015 Bihari Puraskar for his anthology of Rajasthani poems ‘Katha Sun Aawe Hai Sabad’ published in 2010. 
  • Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, the two men who created the famous Diffie-Helman public-key exchange protocol, are conferred with the prestigious Turing Award.
    • Important Note : Turing Award is also known as Oscars of computer science and technology.

  • Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has died of cancer at the age of 53 today.
    • Auckland-born Crowe is widely regarded as one of New Zealand's best ever batsman, having scored 17 centuries and 5,444 runs in 77 tests at an average of 45.36. 
    • Crowe captained the Kiwis in 16 Test matches and his highest score was 299 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in 1991.
    • He was named one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 1985 and was player of the tournament in the 1992 World Cup after scoring 456 runs in nine matches.
  • Tony Warren (79), creator of television’s longest-running soap opera Coronation Street, passed away.


  • A Ream of Refugees will compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil
    • Athletes will be selected for the Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes based on their sporting qualifications and a United Nations-verified refugee status. 
    • The move is aimed at sending a message of hope to all the refugees of the world.
  • Nike today unveiled new kits for Indian men's and women's cricket teams for the upcoming ICC World T20
    • Showcasing the country’s signature blue, the jersey features a new collar design and four-way stretch pants with articulated patterning to withstand aggressive play.

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