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March 15, 2016

14th March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (2nd Monday in March) is Common wealth Day.
    • Common Wealth Day Themes :
      • 2016 - An Inclusive Commonwealth
      • 2015 - A Young Commonwealth
      • 2014 - Team Commonwealth
      • 2013 - Opportunity through Enterprise
      • 2012 - Connecting Cultures
      • 2011 - Women as Agents of Change
  • The world observed 'Pi Day' today to celebrate March 14 (3/14), which coincides with Mathematical constant Pi's value (3.14). 
    • Important Note : The month, day and year today are Pi's value to four decimal places rounded up to the nearest decimal place (3.1416), which happens once in a century. 
    • Pi denotes the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle in Mathematics.
  • China's Chief Justice Zhou Qiang has announced plans to set up an "International maritime judicial center" to help protect China's sovereignty and its rights at sea. 
    • This comes amid China's militarisation of the South China sea islands in spite of conflicting territorial claims.
  • Malaysia today banned the recruitment of new foreign workers after widespread criticism of its decision to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshis to work in the country, a move that may also affect Indian labourers.
  • The SAARC Programming Committee meet begins in Pokhara, Nepal.
    • The meeting is scheduled to be held between 14th to 17th March 2016.
    • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will leave for Nepal on 16th March to attend this meeting.
    • SAARC - South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

National Affairs
  • The Health Ministry has banned the sale and manufacture of over 300 combination drugs that are being sold in India without government approval. 
    • In 2014, the government had set up a committee to review over 6,000 combination drugs that had entered the market based only on state regulators' approval. 
    • The drugs were banned based on the assessment of these products.
  • From May, all outstation vehicles entering Shimla will have to pay a green tax.
    • In a meeting of the finance committee of Shimla municipal corporation (MC), it was decided that tax-collection points would be set up at all entries of the tourist town and that the money collected would be used for improving tourist infrastructure and conserving the environment.

Science & Technology
  • Nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-I was successfully test fired today from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Odisha's Abdul Kalam Island
    • The intermediate-range surface-to-surface missile, developed indigenously by DRDO, can carry a one-tonne payload and is capable of hitting a target 700 km away. 
    • The single-stage missile was first test-fired in January 2002.
  • European and Russian space agencies have successfully launched ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to find evidence of alien life that exists or may have existed on Mars. 
    • The spacecraft, which is expected to complete the 500-million km journey to Mars in seven months, also includes a Mars lander named 'Schiaparelli'.
  • According to NASA data, the temperature recorded in February has broken previous records by being 1.35°C warmer than the monthly average calculated over the baseline period (1951-80). 
    • Note : Earlier, January had set the previous high by recording 1.15°C over the average, triggering warnings of a climate emergency. 
    • The long-term rise in global temperature is due to greenhouse gases.

Awards & Honors
  • Palestinian teacher Hanan Al Hroub from a refugee camp has been awarded prestigious one million dollar 2016 Global Teacher Prize
    • She was presented with the award at a ceremony held in Dubai for her outstanding contribution to the profession. 
    • She beat nine other finalists to bag the award including India’s Robin Chaurasiya, who runs a not-for-profit school in Mumbai for girls from the city’s red light district of Kamatipura.   

New Appointments
  • R. Ravindra has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Vishvas Vidu Sapkal appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Fiji.
  • Noted Indian scholar and plant physiologist H Deep Saini has been appointed the next Vice Chancellor of the prestigious University of Canberra.

Business & Economy
  • India Inc. became first in the world to formally adopt the United Nations’ (UN) agenda for the world’s sustainable development and 17 goals identified for its implementation. 
    • It was formally adopted by the India Inc. at the 11th National Convention on Sustainable Development Goal (NCSDG) organized by the Global Compact Network in Mumbai.
  • According to data released by the government, the Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based retail inflation for the month of February fell to 5.18%, down from a 17-month high of 5.69% in January. 
    • Further, the food inflation for the month fell to 5.30% compared to 6.85% in January while the pulses inflation fell to 38.30% from 43.32%.

  • Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar today announced a joint venture with Arvind Fashion Brands, to launch his premium menswear apparel and accessories brand, 'True Blue'. 

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