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March 31, 2016

31st March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • Haryana Assembly today passed two Bills mandating minimum educational qualification for contesting urban local bodies polls in the state. 
    • The minimum educational qualification for a general male candidate will be Class X, while that for women and those belonging to SC category would be Class VIII. 
    • Note : Haryana had earlier fixed similar qualification for gram panchayat elections as well.
  • Under the new rules of Lokpal Act, all central government employees have been asked to declare details of assets and liabilities including those of their spouses and children by April 15.
    • The employees also have to furnish details of deposits made in foreign banks.
  • According to a new directive by Kerala's Transport and Road Safety Commissioner, Tomin J
    Thachankary, people who purchase two-wheelers will get complimentary ISI-approved helmets with their vehicles from April 1. 
    • The buyers will also receive accessories such as front and rear number plates, rear-view mirror, sari guard, crash guard, and handle grip for pillion riders free of cost.

Business & Economy
  • Japan today committed loans worth about ₹14,269 crore (242.2 billion yen) for five infrastructure development projects in India
    • The projects include the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project, Odisha Integrated Sanitation Improvement Project and Transmission System Strengthening Project in Madhya Pradesh. 
    • In the 2015-16 financial year, Japan has committed around ₹22,976 crore (390 billion yen).
  • Three public sector lenders, Central Bank of India, Bank of India and Allahabad Bank, have received approval from the government for capital infusion into the banks totalling to up to ₹2,375 crore. 
    • This is part of the government's revamp plan for state-owned banks, as part of which ₹25,000 crore capital will be infused into the banks in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
  • The RBI today relaxed the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) norms to help firms raise overseas funds for infrastructure projects in India. 
    • Under the new guidelines, companies in the infrastructure sector will also be eligible to raise ECB, with a minimum average maturity period of five years. 
    • The companies can borrow a maximum of $750 million under the automatic route.
  • The industrial body ASSOCHAM in one of its recent study revealed that Gujarat and Maharashtra contribute nearly 46% of the Indian exports occupying the topmost place.
    • The report mentions that the first five states contribute to 69% of the total export of India.
    • Note : Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh occupy the first 5 places respectively.

Science & Technology
  • Toorputallu and Pedhamyanavanilanka, two villages in Andhra Pradesh, will run completely on solar power from this year.
    • These will be the first two villages in the country to be run 100% on solar power.
    • Note : These villiages were adopted by the  union minister Nirmala Sitharaman under Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojna.
    • The villages will be electrified with a 2 MW solar power plant.

New Appointments
  • For the first time, the Communist Vietnam named Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, a woman to the influential role of chairperson in its rubber stamp National Assembly today. 
    • This is the country's fourth most powerful position.
  • Central African Republic's newly elected President Faustin Archange Touadera took the oath of office today.
    • He is the first elected leader since Muslim rebels overthrew the government more than three years ago.
  • Wipro, India’s third largest software services firm has roped in financial and business strategist Patrick Dupuis as an independent member on its board.
  • Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) has appointed Jitendra Jagota as the Chairman.

  • India were knocked out of the World T20 after suffering a 7-wicket defeat against West Indies in Mumbai today. 
    • West Indies now face England for the World T20 title on Sunday.
  • Virat Kohli became the batsman with the most World T20 50-plus scores, after scoring 89*(47) against West Indies in the World T20 semifinal match today. 
    • This was Kohli’s 10th World T20 50-plus score, surpassing West Indies batsman Chris Gayle’s tally of nine 50-plus scores in WT20. 
    • Note : Kohli also scored his 16th T20I half-century, thereby registering most number of half-centuries in T20Is. He surpassed the tally of 15 half-centuries held by former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and West Indies batsman Chris Gayle.
  • Shiva Thapa has become the first Indian boxer to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
    • He defeated Kazakhstan's Kairat Yeraliyev 3-0 in the semi-finals of the AIBA Asian and Oceanic Olympic qualifiers in Qian’an, China. 
    • Note : Thapa is the youngest Indian boxer to have reached the Olympics, aged 18, at London 2012.
  • Former USA basketball legend Michael Jordan was placed at the top of Forbes' 2015's list of highest-paid retired athletes
    • Jordan, who retired from basketball in 2003, earned a total of $110 million in 2015. 
    • Note : Former football star David Beckham ($65 million) and 86-year-old golfer Arnold Palmer ($40 million) were in the second and third spots respectively.
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