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March 04, 2016

4th March 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted the toughest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea in response to its fourth nuclear test and rocket launch.
    • In this regard, the 15-member council passed a resolution drafted by the United States and backed by China.
  • Oculus, the world's most expensive train station was today opened to the public today.
    • This was built in New York, US, on the site of World Trade Center, which got destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. 
    • Note : The 350 feet long and 115 feet wide station, designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava, was initially budgeted at $2 billion but was later completed for $3.85 billion.

National Affairs
  • Today (4th March) is National Safety Day.
    • National Safety Week is being observed from 4th March 2016 to 10th March 2016.
    • The National Safety Day/Week Campaign is celebrated in India every year by the National Safety Council to enhance the safety awareness among people.
    • Note : National Safety Council of India is a self-governing body (non profit and nongovernmental organization for public service) which was established on 4th of March in 1966 under the Societies Act in Mumbai.
    • Themes of National Safety Day/Week
      • Theme of 2016 : "Strengthen Safety Movement to Achieve Zero Harm"
      • Theme of 2015 : “Build a Safety Culture for Sustainable Supply Chain”.
      • Theme of 2014 : “Manage stress at Workplace and Control Hazards” and “Safety: It Takes All of Us”.
      • Theme of 2013 : “Working Together to Ensure Safe and Healthy Workplace”.
      • Theme of 2012 : “Ensure safe and healthy working environment – A fundamental human right”.
      • Theme of 2011 : “Establish and maintain preventative safety and health culture”.
  • Today (4th March) is Rashtriya Suraksha Diwas (National Security Day).
    • This day is observed  to praise the work of security forces, who play a major role in maintaining peace and security of the people in India.
    • Important Points to Note :
      • With a strength of over 1.3 million active personnel, India has the world's third largest military force.
      • 'Operation Rahat', during the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, was one of the world's biggest civilian rescue operations.
      • India's defense budget for 2016 - 2017 is Rs 2.49 lakh crore.
      • National Security Council (NSC), the apex agency that looks into the country's political, economic, energy and strategic security concerns, was established by the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on November 19, 1998
      • The National Security Adviser of India is Ajit Kumar Doval. He is the Chief Executive of NSC and Primary Adviser to the Prime Minister on issues related to National Security
  • Delhi has become the first state (UT) in the country to launch the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a public health programme for school children. 
    • The vaccination programme will be completed in the current academic year 2015-16 over two phases. 
    • In the first year, girls studying in Class VI in government schools will be targeted and in the next year girls between the age of 9 and 13 will be targeted.
  • Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul and 29 Congress MLAs, including Speaker Wangki Lowang, today merged with the Peoples' Party of Arunachal (PPA), the lone regional party of the state as "Congress high command sidelined them".
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the ambitious Rs 50,800-crore Setu Bharatam project, under which a total of 208 railway crossings will be replaced by rail over bridges (ROBs).
    • As part of the project, 1,500 bridges of the British era will be overhauled at an estimated expenditure of Rs. 30,000 crore.
  • Minister of Communications and Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad today announced that, the government will soon launch BPO call centres in villages to empower and digitally connect with the common man.
  • India has been ranked at the 90th place in a list of 126 countries on the basis of their ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy
    • It was revealed by Global Energy Architecture Performance Index (GEAPI) Report compiled by World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • The Election Commission (EC) today released the schedule for five states' assembly elections
    • West Bengal's six-phase elections will take place from April 4 to May 5. 
    • Assam's two-phase elections will be on April 4 and 11. 
    • Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry will have single-phase polls on May 16. 
    • Vote counting for all states will be held on May 19.

Awards & Honors
  • Veteran playwright and director Ratan Thiyam has been selected for prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META).
    •  He will be conferred with this award in recognition for his work for creating a new language in theatre and enriching the art form in various roles as director, writer, composer, designer and choreographer.
    • Note : Currently, Ratan Thiyam is Chairman of National School of Drama.
  • Microsoft Co-founder, Bill Gates has retained the title of the world’s richest person in the Forbes’ 30th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires list (2016 edition)
    • With this, Mr. Gates has topped the list for 17 of the last 23 years, with a net worth of $75 billion. 
    • He was followed by Amancio Ortega (Italy), founder of clothing retail giant Zara was at second place with net worth of $67 billion.
  • Three British scientists have won a prestigious 2016 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize (also known as Brain Prize) for giving vital insight how the human brain remembers, learns and navigates. 
    • They are Timothy Bliss (visiting worker at the Crick Institute in London), Graham
      Collingridge (professor of neuroscience in anatomy at the University of Bristol) and Richard Morris (professor of neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh).  
  • Veteran Bollywood actor Manoj Kumar was today chosen for the 47th Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2015
    • The title is the highest honour in Indian cinema given annually by the government for lifetime contribution to the industry. 
    • Kumar, who was bestowed with the Padma Shri in 1992, is popularly known as 'Bharat Kumar' for playing patriotic roles in films including 'Upkaar'.

Business & Economy
  • China Parliament's spokesperson Fu Ying has revealed that China's 2016 defense spending will increase by 7-8% from last year, the slowest growth since 2010
  • Amazon today launched 'women only' delivery centres, which will be completely run and managed by women. 
    • The company has currently opened a centre in Kerala's Trivandrum, and plans to open more such centres in Kochi and Chennai.
    • Women will also deliver packages in a 2-3 kilometre radius from these centres.
  • According to a new report on smartphone sales by research firm IDC, Delhi has beaten Mumbai to become the biggest smartphone market in India
    • Further, 4G has set a new record by accounting for 45% of all online smartphone sales in urban India. 
    • Overall, Samsung emerged as the largest mobile brand in the country, followed by Micromax and Lenovo, respectively.

  • Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma (P A Sangma) died of heart attack.
    • Sangma was a nine-time member of the Lok Sabha and the Speaker in the 11th Lok Sabha.
    • He had also held important portfolios in the Union government.
    • He was also the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990 and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly from 1990 to 1991.
  • PK Nair, the founder-director of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), passed away today in Pune.
    • Born in Kerala in 1933, Nair, a film archivist and scholar, preserved several major Indian films.
    • 'Celluloid Man', a documentary film based on Nair's life and work was directed in 2012.
  • Founder and former CEO of Chesapeake Energy, Aubrey McClendon died in a car accident. 
    • The 56-year old billionaire is credited with pioneering the practice of hydraulic fracturing that led to the US shale gas boom and the subsequent fall in oil prices globally.

  • The Mumbai under-23 cricket team has won the Col CK Nayudu Trophy for the season 2015-16.
  • Indian shooter Jeetu Rai‬ clinches Gold in 50 m pistol event at ISSF World Cup in Bangkok.
    • This is India's first medal at the ISSF World Cup.
  • Beverage giants PepsiCo have been named as BCCI's official associate sponsor for all international matches in India. 
    • The four-year deal would make PepsiCo as BCCI's official partner for refreshment, snacks and drinks besides grounds where the firm will try to garner maximum visibility for their brands.

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