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March 31, 2016

30th March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Brussels (Capital city of Belgium) in the first leg of his three nation tour.
    • During this visit, he attended the 13th India-EU summit today.
    • He will leave for Washington on Thursday to attend the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama. 
    • He will then head to Saudi Arabia for a bilateral visit.
  • The 4th Nuclear Security Summit -2016 will begin in Washington DC, the United States (March 31st).
    • A total of 53 countries and five international organizations including the UNO, International Atomic Energy Ageny -IAEA will take part in the two-day summit that was initiated by President Barack Obama in 2009.
    • The last three summits were held in Washington, Seoul and The Hague in the Netherlands in 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively.
    • The fourth summit which is the last summit under the current format and also under the presidency of Obama is expected to take stock of the measures being taken by all countries to safeguard nuclear materials and facilities and also prevent non-state actors gaining access to them.
  • Thailand is facing its worst drought in over 20 years, with water levels in the nation's largest dams below 10%. 
    • Of the 76 provinces in the nation, 22 have been affected by the drought, and numerous reservoirs are below 50% of their water capacity. 
    • Meanwhile, the nation has begun pumping water from the Mekong River into its waterways.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) had announced that Ebola is no longer an international health emergency and the risk of virus spreading is now low.
    • Note : Worldwide, there have been 28,639 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 11,316 deaths as of 13 March, 2016.
National Affairs
  • Rajasthan is celebrating its 67th foundation day today. 
    • The state came into being on this day (30th March) in 1949 after unification of 22 princely states.
    • Important Points to Note :
      • Capital : Jaipur
      • Total Districts :  33
      • Governor - Kalyan Singh
      • Chief Minister - Vasundhara Raje
  • Bihar assembly unanimously passes the Bihar Excise Amendment Bill 2016 paving the way for liquor ban in the state from April 1 this year. 
  • Kachhabali village in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district has became the first liquor-free village in the state after its residents voted in support of shutting down the only liquor shop in their panchayat. 
    • Over 94% of the 2,049 voters, out of a total of 2,886 residents, voted in favour of alcohol prohibition. 
    • This comes after anti-liquor campaigning by the village's women.
  • The Central Government, in collaboration with States and Panchayats, will organize a ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’ (Village Self Governance Campaign).
    • The campaign aims to generate nation-wide efforts to increase social harmony across villages, strengthen Panchayati Raj, promote rural development, and foster farmers’ progress.
    • Note : Prime Minister will inaugurate the Gram Uday se Bharat Uday Campaign of 14th April 2016 at MHOW in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has approved a hike in the salaries of its legislators
    • Among others, the monthly salary of the CM went up from ₹1.43 lakh to ₹2 lakh, while that of MLAs increased from ₹71,000 to ₹1.1 lakh. 
    • Note : Earlier this month, a hike in the state's MLA development funds from ₹80 lakh to ₹2 crore was announced.
New Appointments
  • National League for Democracy's Htin Kyaw was sworn in as President of Myanmar
    • With this, he became the first elected civilian President of Myanmar in over 50 years. 
  • Former RBI Deputy Governor Rakesh Mohan has appointed as Independent director to Nestle India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed a currency swapping agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, under which RBI's Sri Lankan counterpart can withdraw up to $700 million for a maximum of three months. 
    • Note : Sri Lanka is also seeking a loan of $1.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to boost its foreign exchange reserves.

Business & Economy
  • India tops in Asian Development Bank's Growth outlook for Asia in 2016.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the one-day Make in India conference in Sydney and asked Australian businesses to make investments in India. 
  • The RBI has announced that fixed-rate loans of up to three years tenor offered by lenders will have to be set based on the marginal cost of funding, effective from April 1. 
    • RBI had earlier said that all fixed-rate loans will be exempt from the consideration of factors like the repo rate, deposit rates, and other borrowing rates.
  • Insurance major Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has increased its stake in public sector lenders Dena Bank and Andhra Bank through a preferential issue of shares. 
    • Post the sale, the stake of LIC in Dena Bank has increased to 14.5% from 11.63% while it now holds 14.39% stake in Andhra Bank against the earlier 10.15%.

  • Actress Patty Duke (69), who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Helen Keller in the 1962 film, 'The Miracle Worker' ,passed away.
Science & Technology
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel remotely launched Asia's biggest telescope, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), built with Belgian assistance. 
    • Located at Devasthal near Nainital in Uttarakhand, it has a 3.6-metre-wide primary mirror. 
    • The telescope will be used to study structures and magnetic field of stars.
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