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March 12, 2016

12th March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (12th March) is World Day against Cyber Censorship.
  • India and US launched the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship, in a new initiative to advance bilateral cooperation on climate change.
    • This initiative will enable Indian research scholars to work with American institutions in the field.
    • Note : The fellowship, named after the late Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, is part of a commitment made by the US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build long-term capacity to address climate change-related issues in both the countries.
  • Citizens of Bhutan planted 1,08,000 trees to welcome the birth of a son to King Khesar and Queen Pema. T
    • he trees, each sealed with a prayer, were planted a month after the couple announced the birth of their first child. 
    • Exactly 1,08,000 trees were planted as the number 108 is considered sacred in Buddhism.
  • US state, California had passed 'The End of Life Option Act'.
    • With the help of this act, Terminally ill residents of the state will legally be allowed to end their lives with medication prescribed by doctors starting June 9 this year.
    • Note : California became the fifth US state to allow physician-assisted suicide

National Affairs
  • Haryana CM Manohar Lal formally launched the Ujala (LED bulbs) scheme of Haryana Power
    • With this scheme, Haryana Govt is planning to distribute LED bulbs at highly discounted prices to nearly 44 lakh domestic consumers.
    • Note : Replacing ordinary bulbs with LED bulbs will result in an estimated saving of 1165.76 Million Units of electricity annually in the state. 
  • The Jammu and Kashmir government will provide a number of medicines free of charge, as part of its new drug policy. 
  • The Parliament has passed the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill.
    • This bill promises to give increased compensation to air travellers in case of death, injury, delay in flights and loss of baggage. 
    • Once the bill is approved by the President, Indian carriers will have to pay compensation amounts equivalent to the rates paid by their global counterparts.
  • Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today announced that the government is planning to install computerised services at all the fair price shops by March 2019 by installing electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices.
    • Note : Currently, around 91,000 of the 5.35 lakh ration shops are computerised and the aim is to increase the number to 3 lakh by March 2017.

Business & Economy
  • Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has presented Chattisgarh Budget 2016-17 (CG Budget 2016-17).
    • With an outlay of 70,059 crore, the budget focuses on infrastructure, social sectors and agriculture.
    • This is Raman Singh's 10th budget.
    • Raman Singh unveiled seven-fold strategy for the all-round development of the state.
      • The seven pillars on which his strategy is built are,
        • Farmers, 
        • Inclusive Development, 
        • Communications, 
        • Health, 
        • Security, 
        • Self-reliance and 
        • Capacity-building.
  • Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das today announced that the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) using the Aadhar card for fertiliser and food subsidy, will soon be implemented. 
    • Currently, the unique identity number is primarily being used for transfer of LPG subsidy and other government programmes.
  • The government has approved a new policy for oil and gas exploration, and defined the pricing norms for existing and new discoveries made in difficult areas. 
    • The new policy will allow production of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons under a single license. 
    • Also, a ₹8,000 crore outlay was provided to extend subsidised cooking gas to 50 million poor families.

  • India and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre in New Delhi with a view to enhancing capacity development and training officials in dealing with macro-economic and financial issues.
    • The MOU was signed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Science & Technology
  • Google's DeepMind Artificial Intelligence (AI) 'AlphaGo' today won the five-game​ series 3-0 after defeating 'Go' World champion Lee Sedol in the third match of the series. 
    • The South Korean has won a total of 18 international titles, which is the second most in the game's history. 

Awards & Honors
  • Guinness World Records has confirmed that the world’s oldest living man at the age of 112 years and 179 days as of today is Israel Kristal from Israel. 
    • Born in 1903, Kristal has lived through both World Wars and survived the Nazi war camp in Auschwitz in the 1940s. 
    • Note : Currently, the oldest living person is the 115-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones.

New Appointments
  • Lieutenant General NPS Hira has been appointed the Deputy Chief of Army Staff.
    • He will take charge at the Army Headquarters in New Delhi on March 14. 
    • He is currently posted as the Indian Army's Northern Command at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • Transportation platform Ola today announced that it has appointed ex-Goldman Sachs executive, Sunil Shirguppi as Vice President, Engineering.
  • Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand defeated Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov in the opening round match to take the sole lead in the 2016 Candidates Tournament
    • Important Points to Note
    • The winner of this eight-player round-robin tournament will challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen for the World title in New York in November. 
    • Anand is set to face Armenia's Levon Aronian in the next round.

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