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March 26, 2015

26th March 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Saudi Arabia launches a military operation against Houthi rebels to defend legitimate government in Yemen.
  • Sri Lanka’s new president Maithripala Sirisena held talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping amid a push to recalibrate his predecessor’s strongly pro-China policies and a review of major Chinese projects in the island nation.
    • Mr. Sirisena and Mr. Xi reaffirmed longstanding ties between their countries at the start of their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing. 
    • The talks kicked off Sirisena’s first visit to China since taking office in January and follow his recent trip to India.
    • The two sides were likely to discuss a $1.5 billion China-funded port city project in Colombo which Mr. Sirisena’s government suspended pending scrutiny of environment impacts and alleged corruption. 
  • US aircraft have launched bombing raids to support Iraqi forces fighting to recapture Tikrit from the Islamic State (IS) group, after Baghdad issued a request for air power.
    • Tikrit : Executed dictator Saddam Hussein's home town

National Affairs
  • The Ministry of Railways appointed Ajay Shankar Committee to review the performance of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) cell functioning under the Railway Board.
    • This Committee will recommend measures to make the cell more effective, customer friendly and result oriented. 
  • PM Narendra Modi chairs 5th National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) meet 
    • The Prime Minister is the the ex-officio Chairman of the Authority while Chief Ministers of Bihar, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand are its members.
    • The previous meeting was held on October 27 last year, which was chaired by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti. 
    • About NGRBA 
      •  NGRBA is as an empowered planning, financing, monitoring and coordinating authority for river Ganga.
      • Constituted : 2009
      • Objective : To ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river Ganga by adopting a holistic approach with the river basin as the unit of planning. 
      • Functions : All measures necessary for planning and execution of programmes for abatement of pollution in the Ganga in keeping with sustainable development needs.
New Appointments
  • Diplomat Vikas Swarup has been appointed as the new official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.
    • Present spokesperson, Syed Akbaruddin has been appointed as Chief Coordinator of the India-Africa Forum Summit.
    • Important Point to Note : Vikas Swarup is also the author of bestseller novel Q & A, on which the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire was based,
  • Former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will head a special presidential task force to identify urgent reconciliation needs of the minority Tamil community.
  • Google Inc has appointed Ruth Porat as Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
    • She took the charge today. 
    • She succeeded Patrick Pichette who announced his retirement on 10 March 2015.

Science & Technology
  • The 59-and-half hour count down for PSLV-C27/IRNSS-1D Mission has started today
    • IRNSS-1D is India's latest navigation satellite.
    • Which is going to launch on 28th March 2015 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
    • This will take the country closer to setting up its own navigation system on par with the GPS of the US.
  • World Cup 2015
    • India knocked out of World Cup, lose to Australia in semifinals. 
    • Australia beat India by 95 runs. 
    • Australia will play ‎Cricket WorldCup‬ final against ‎New Zealand‬ on 29th March.
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