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March 25, 2016

25th March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (25th March) is International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade.
    • Theme for the year 2016 : Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots
  • Good Friday, the day commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is being observed across the world.
  • Authorities in China's capital Beijing have passed a new family planning rule to allow remarried couples to have a second child
    • The new law also grants 128 maternity leaves (98 earlier) for mothers and a 15-day holiday for fathers
    • This comes months after China scrapped its three-decade-old one-child policy, following a sharp increase in people aged above 60 years.
  • Iran President Hassan Rouhani is on a 2-day visit to Pakistan.
    • During the visit, Mr Rouhani is expected to discuss a pipeline project for transporting Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.
  • Sri Lanka's much-awaited Right to Information (RTI) Bill was tabled in Parliament today fulfilling an election promise of the Sirisena government.
    • The Bill provides for the establishment of a Right to Information Commission and the appointment of information officers among other things to uphold the people’s right to know.

National Affairs

  • The department of heavy industry has granted in-principle approval to Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to introduce zero-emission retrofitted electric buses under its flagship scheme FAME India.
    • FAME India - Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid & Electric vehicles in India).
    • HRTC and MMRDA will roll out 25 electric buses each. 
    • Under FAME India, the department will fund up to 75 per cent cost of the buses.

Science & Technology
  • Researchers at the University of East Anglia, UK, have developed a lip-reading speech recognition technology that can be applied at places where the audio is not good enough to determine the speech. 
    • It could be used in several situations like helping people with hearing or speech impairments or enhancing audio-less video footage with additional speech data during criminal investigations.

Awards & Honors
  • Amazon Founder and CEO, 52-year-old Jeff Bezos, has topped Fortune magazine's 'World's Greatest Leaders' list, followed by German Chancellor Angel Merkel and Burmese stateswoman Aung San Suu Kyi. 
    • Important Points to Note : 
      • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been ranked 42 in the list (He was the only Indian on the list)
      • Kejriwal was credited for his efforts to curb pollution in Delhi through the scheme of allowing odd and even numbered vehicles on alternate days on the city's roads.
      • The list also featured 23 women, an increase from last year's 15. 
      • German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi featured in the second and third positions on the list respectively. 
      • Indian-origin American politicians Nikki Haley and Reshma Saujani were ranked 17 and 20 on the list respectively.

  • Malayalam actor Jishnu Raghavan (35) passed away.
    • Jishnu is best known for films like 'Nammal', 'Choonda' and 'Freedom'.
  • US actor Garry Shandling (66) passed away.
    • He had influenced a generation of comedians with his Emmy winning TV series, ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’.
  • One of Kerala’s most popular Kadhaprasangam (story telling) artistes and film comedian V.D. Rajappan died.
    • He is also famous for his movies like Meleparambil Aanveedu, Alibabayum Arara Kallanmarum, Mutharamkunnu P.O, Kusruthikkaattu.
    • Kadhaprasangam (story telling) 
      • In the yesteryears, Kadhaprasangam was a hugely popular performing art in the state. 
      • It is performed by just one person who tells the story by acting, singing and speaking and at times playing musical instruments as well. 

Business & Economy
  • Private lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank has tied up with National Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC) for Collateral Management and Warehousing Services.
    • The objective of these services will enable industry traders and farmers in financing their capital requirements at all stages of supply chain, ranging from pre-harvesting to the marketing and export stages.
    • This would allow the bank to provide financial flexibility to farmers, minimising the seasonal price fluctuations and distress sales during crop harvest season.
  • The government has approved 11 highway projects in states like Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh at a cost of ₹6,284 crore
    • The total length of the roads will be about 453 km
    • Note : Under the 2016 Budget, ₹97,000 crore was assigned for the development of roads and highways.
  • According the the recently released ASSOCHAM report, Odisha has the maximum share of over 17% in the total live investments worth about ₹33 lakh crore attracted by India’s manufacturing sector. 
    • Note : The study titled ‘Impact analysis of delay in investment implementation in manufacturing’, however, also stated that Odisha has highest share (31%) of delayed projects facing cost escalation.
  • After increasing its market share to 38 per cent in the debit card segment, RuPay, domestic card payment service provider, will be venturing into the Credit Card space this September.
    • It plans to issue 100,000 such cards in the first year of its launch. 
    • It will initially focus on two variants of a credit card — Regular and Platinum — and gradually extend its portfolio to offer co-branded cards.
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