- The United States will use a nuclear-capable B-52 warplane to bomb Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria starting April.
- The B-52s will replace the bombers that have been sent back for upgrades.
- The B-52s were a part of the nuclear deterrent force during the Cold War and can carry a 70,000-tonne payload including cluster bombs and precision guided missiles.
- France's lower house of parliament today passed an amendment imposing a $385,000 fine on technology companies that refuse to provide encrypted data in terror-related cases.
- Note : The National Assembly is set to vote on this entire bill on March 8.
- Chinese censors have banned all depictions of homosexuality, underage relations, one night stands and extramarital affairs on television to regulate content that “exaggerates the dark side of society”.
- President Pranab Mukherjee today inaugurated a two-day National Conference of Women Legislators in New Delhi.
- The conference is being organized at the initiative of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
- The conference is being attended by 300 women MLAs, MLCs, MPs, Union Ministers and Chief Ministers.
- Theme : Women legislators-building resurgent India.
- The Centre has decided to issue universal ID cards for persons with disability, which will be valid throughout the country, unlike the state-issued certificates that are not recognised by other states.
- This move will allow the differently-abled to easily avail the benefits of various schemes and reservations.
- Note : The government plans to ensure complete accessibility for the disabled by 2019.
- The Madras High Court has directed that the National anthem should be sung in all private schools in Tamil Nadu during the morning assembly.
- The directive was based on a PIL submitted by an ex-serviceman, which stated that the national anthem was not sung in various private schools while it was sung in central and state government schools.
- As part of the ‘Digital India’ campaign, the government will digitalize 1.5 lakh post offices across India, including 1.3 lakh post offices in rural areas, by March 2017.
- A budget of ₹4,909 crore has been allocated for the same.
- Further, postmen across the country would be provided with solar-powered handheld devices that would be connected to national data centers.
People in News
- Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha is all set to attempt an entry into the Guinness book of world records on International Women’s Day on March 8.
- The attempt is to win the title for 'most people painting their fingernails simultaneously'.
- The event will be held in Mumbai.
- The government today appointed the CEO of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) N Chandrasekaran and two others as Part-time non-official directors to the board of RBI.
- Former Chief Secretary of Gujarat Sudhir Mankad and Mahindra & Mahindra non-executive chairman BN Doshi were the other two appointed members.
- Important Note : The government can nominate up to ten non-official directors to the RBI board.
- Justice Ajit Singh was today sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.
- Earlier, Singh was serving as the Acting Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court.
- Note : Gauhati High Court includes the High Courts of Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Ramesh Kymal, Chairman and Managing Director, Gamesa Renewable Private Limited has been elected as Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry Tamil Nadu State Council for 2016-17.
Business & Economy
- The Finance Ministry has announced that the government will issue Gold bonds under the third tranche of its Sovereign Gold Bond scheme on March 29.
- Investors can apply for the bonds between March 8 and 14, to be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited and designated post offices.
- About ₹1,050 crore was raised from the first two tranches.
- The JICA has pledged Official Development Assistance loan of Rs. 5700 crore in two installments for widening and up gradation of National Highway projects in North East India.
- JICA - Japan International Cooperation Agency
- An MoU was signed between the Indian Army and IndusInd Bank on the Defence Salary Package.
- The first MoU between IndusInd Bank and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of three years.
- The revised MoU is tailor made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers.
- Number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the revised MoU after concerted efforts.
- Author Pat Conroy (70), passed away.
- He was best known for his book, The 'Prince of Tides', in which he has shared his real-life experiences including his childhood as a "military brat" and his relationship with his abusive father.
- Conroy's books won awards and were also made into Oscar-nominated movies.
- Veteran singer Stevie Wonder was honoured with Global Green Hero award.
- Argentine footballer Lionel Messi along with three-time Sportsman of the Year award winner Usain Bolt have been nominated for 2016's Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.
- Other nominees for the award include tennis star Novak Djokovic and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. Notably, Serena Williams was nominated for the tenth time for the World Sportswoman of the Year Award.
- Indian men's and Women's table tennis teams won golds in their respective categories in the second division of the 2016 World Table Tennis Championships today. I
- ndian women's team defeated Luxembourg 3-1 to win the gold medal for the first time in 12 years, while the men's team defeated Brazil 3-2 in the final.
- The International Hockey Federation (FIH), has promoted Hockey India national-level umpire Nepoleon Singh as the International Outdoor Umpire.
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