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March 16, 2017

16th March 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (16th March 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 16th March 2017

International Current Affairs
  • Women will take 50 years to equal the number of men in legislatures across 193 UN nations, a report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women has revealed today. 
    • Percentage of women in parliaments was 23.3% in 2016, up from 22.6% in 2015. 
    • Note : India ranked 148 in women parliamentarians, with 11.8% representation in Lok Sabha and 11% in the Rajya Sabha.
  • British monarch Queen Elizabeth II has granted royal assent to the Article 50 bill by signing it into law. 
    • This gives PM Theresa May the legal power to choose when to start formal Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
National Current Affairs
  • The Union Cabinet today approved the National Health Policy 2017 aimed at providing affordable healthcare to all. 
    • The draft policy aims to raise public healthcare expenditure to 2.5% of GDP from the current 1% and to ensure availability of 2 hospital beds per 1,000 population. 
    • It also proposes free drugs, free diagnostics, and free emergency services.
  • The Gujarat High Court today ruled that reserved category candidates availing age relaxation cannot claim a place in the general category merit list for government jobs.
  • Braille maps and platform indicators were unveiled at the Bengaluru City railway station today, making it the second blind-friendly station after Mysuru railway station in India. 
    • Two Braille scripted maps with directions to platforms, ticket counters, and restrooms were inaugurated. 
    • Further, 600 Braille platform indicators were placed along the railings of the old Foot Over Bridge and subway.
  • The Karnataka government has capped the price of movie tickets at all cinema theatres, including multiplexes, in the state at ₹200
    • The state government also made the screening of Kannada and regional language films in one screen mandatory between 1:30 PM and 7:30 PM at all the state's multiplex cinemas. 

Banking & Economic Affairs
  • World Bank's Chief Economist Paul Romer has praised India's biometric identifier programme Aadhaar, stating, "The system in India is the most sophisticated that I’ve seen.
    • "It’s the basis for all kinds of connections that involve things like financial transactions," he said. "
    • It could be good for the world if this became widely adopted," Romer added.
  • Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Communications has obtained approval from markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to spin-off and merge its wireless division with Aircel and Dishnet Wireless
    • The proposed merger, which is expected to create India’s third-largest telecom operator by users, has also received nod from the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange.
  • The Union Cabinet today approved a special assistance package for Andhra Pradesh by way of funding the state's externally-aided projects and the irrigation component of Polavaram project. 
    • This support for capital expenditure would help the newly separated state of Andhra Pradesh to put its finances on a firmer footing and promote economic growth.
  • The Union Cabinet today approved a 2% hike in Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief, which was due from January 2017. 
    • Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief are provided to central government employees and pensioners to neutralise the impact of inflation on their earnings. 
    • This will have an impact of around ₹6,833 crore on the exchequer in the financial year 2017-18.

New Appointments
  • Captain Amarinder Singh of Congress was today sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister of Punjab
    • This is the second time that Singh took over as Punjab CM, dethroning former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. 
    • Navjot Singh Sidhu took oath as minister in Punjab cabinet. 
  • Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge is set to become the next Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
    • Kharge is going to replace KV Thomas, who will complete his third term as PAC Chairman on April 30. 
  • BJP's Biren Singh, who was sworn in as Manipur's Chief Minister, is India's first CM to have previously been a professional sportsperson
    • Singh was a national-level football player, having represented the Manipur state team for almost 10 years. 
    • He earlier played football for Border Security Force's team and won the Durand Cup by defeating Mohun Bagan in 1981.

Science & Technology
  • After postponing its first attempt to launch communications satellite EchoStar XXIII due to high winds on Tuesday, Elon Musk-led space startup SpaceX today successfully deployed the satellite through its Faclon 9 rocket. 
    • The satellite was deployed into an orbit more than 35,000 kilometres above the Earth’s surface to provide broadcast services for Brazil.

Awards & Honors
  • 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' will be the opening film at the 17th edition of the New York Indian Film Festival, the oldest Indian film festival in the US.
  • The Times Higher Education's Asia University Rankings 2017 released today listed Bengaluru's Indian Institute of Science at 27, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay at 42, and Chennai's Veltech University at 43. 
    • With 33 universities in top-300 (up from 16 last year), India more than doubled its representation, becoming the third most-represented nation on the chart for the first time.
  • The Changi Airport in Singapore has been rated the world's best airport for the fifth consecutive year in a survey by research firm Skytrax. 
    • The airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are listed among the top 100.
    • Top 5 in the List
      • Changi Airport (Singapore)
      • Haneda Airport (Tokyo)
      • Incheon Airport (South Korea)
      • Munich Airport (Germany)
      • Hong Kong Airport complete the top five.

Sports Current Affairs
  • India’s only truck racing championship, Tata Motors’ T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship will return for its fourth season coming Sunday, March 19. 
    • The event will host celebrities like actor Akshay Kumar and singers Garima Yajnik, KK and Siddharth Mahadevan. 
    • The race, which has been themed ‘Junoon-e-Trucking’, will be held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.
  • Ranchi's JSCA Stadium has become India's 26th Test venue, hosting the third Test between India and Australia which began today. 
    • The stadium, the world's 113th Test centre, hosted its first international match in January 2013, an India-England ODI. 
    • Since then, it has hosted four more international games including a T20I, with India winning three matches at the venue.
  • Australia have become only the second team to play 800 Test matches, reaching the milestone in the Ranchi Test against India today. 
    • Note : England is the only other team to have crossed the mark, having played 983 Tests since the first-ever five-day match in 1877. 

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