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March 20, 2015

20th March 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • Delhi will become the first state in the country to launch an E-ration card service next week.
    • The E-ration card will be linked with Aadhaar cards with a view to curb corruption and increase transparency in the system.
  • Rajya Sabha passes Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill.
    • This is the second major reform measure to receive the approval of the legislature in the first half of the Budget Session.
    • The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, seeking to hike FDI in insurance sector was the first reform measure passed by Parliament.
  • Cabinet approves 33% reservation for women in police forces of Union Territories and Delhi.
  • The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) will organise yoga training sessions for central government employees and their dependents from 1st April 2015.
    • There are about 31 lakh Central government employees working across the country.
  • The government is considering to allow foreign law firms to practice in Indian courts.
    • The matter is being considered in consultation with the Bar Council of India, a statutory body.
  • The government has launched 'www.Gama.Gov.In', a dedicated portal to help consumers register their grievances against misleading advertisements.
    • Launched by : Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan  
    • On a pilot basis, 'Grahak Suvidha Kendra' was also launched in six cities including Delhi and Ahmedabad.
  • Delhi govt hikes water tariffs by 10 per cent about a month after it announced a free-water scheme for people in the national capital.
    • The increase in tariff will be effective for households which consume more than 20,000 litres of water per month.
    • However, people consuming under 20,000 litres will not be affected by the hike.
  • Government is ready to consider a proposal to allow private FM radio channels to broadcast current news under certain conditions, Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
    • Currently, private FM channels are not allowed to broadcast news under the FM Radio (phase-II) policy guidelines as there is no mechanism yet to monitor it and anything anti-national may go un-noticed
    • Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting : Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
  • The cabinet today approved an outlay of Rs.1,500 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
    • PMKVY will be the flagship scheme for skill training of youth to be implemented by the new ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship through the national skill development corporation (NSDC).
    • The scheme will cover 24 lakh persons.
International Affairs
  • Today is World Sparrow Day. 
    • It is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration
      with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organisations across the world.
    • This day is designated to raise awareness of the house sparrow and other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations.
    • This year's theme :  I LOVE Sparrows
  • Today is International Day of Happiness.
    • This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012.
    • This day marks the historical milestone of globalizing the Happiness Development Movement that started in 1972.
  • Today is World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People.
  • Triple suicide bombings killed 77 people and wounded 121 others today at mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa attended by Shiite Huthi militiamen who have seized the city.
    • Sana’a has been under Houthi control since it was overrun in September following fierce fighting.
    • President : Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi
  • India and the U.S. are in the process of exchanging the inked copies of Administrative Arrangements (AA) for the nuclear deal, paving the way for the implementation of the pact which was signed seven years ago.
    • The AA, text of which was finalized during the visit of US President Barack Obama in January this year, contains the terms and conditions for the implementation of the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal.
  • China and Japan held their first security talks in four years in Tokyo. 
    • The talks halted in 2011 when China and Japan's relations fell to a new low over the Diaoyu islands territorial dispute.
Books & Authors
  • Sumitra Mahajan, the present speaker of Lok Sabha released the book 'Indian Parliamentary Diplomacy- Speaker's Perspective' written by Meira Kumar, the former Speaker of Lok Sabha.
    • President Pranab Mukherjee has received the first copy of the book.
Awards & Honors
  • I&B Secretary Bimal Julka today conferred 4th National Photo Awards
    • Life-Time Achievement Award : Surendra R. Patel
    • Best Professional Photographer : Swarup Dutta
    • Best Amateur Photographer : R. Sasikumar winner
Business & Economy
  • Finnish entertainment company Rovio, creator of the hugely popular Angry Birds brand, has announced that it was introducing 3D version of Angry Birds.
  • World Cup
    • Australia defeat Pakistan by six wickets,to face India in the second semifinal on Thursday
    • Pakistan cricketers Misbah-ul-Haq and Shaheed Afridi take retirement from One Day International cricket.
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