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March 18, 2017

18th March 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (18th March 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 18th March 2017

International Current Affairs
  • The US and China today pledged to work together in addressing the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear programme
    • Both China and the United States' efforts had not succeeded in curbing the threat, therefore, the two countries will together persuade North Korea to move away from the development of their nuclear weapons, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.
National Current Affairs
  • Chandigarh administration has declared the state highways as 'major district roads' in order to avoid closure of liquor vends in the city. 
    • This comes after Supreme Court directed all states and union territories to close liquor vends on all national and state highways. All major roads in Chandigarh were state highways, as per a notification issued nearly 20 years ago.
  • The Union Labour Ministry has proposed a labour code which will provide social security cover to the entire workforce in the country, including self-employed and agricultural workers. 
    • In this regard, it has proposed a draft code on Social Security and Welfare with an aim to provide social security cover to the entire workforce in the country of about 45 crore workers.
New Appointments
  • BJP today named Yogi Adityanath as the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
    • He is a five-time MP from Gorakhpur. Adityanath is also the head priest at the Gorakhnath Temple in his constituency. 
    • He will take oath as CM on March 19.
    • BJP leaders Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma have been chosen as the Deputy Chief Ministers.
  • BJP leader and former RSS pracharak Trivendra Singh Rawat today took oath as Uttarakhand's 9th Chief Minister
    • Prakash Pant, Harak Singh, Yashpal Arya, Subodh Uniyal and Satpal Maharaj were also sworn in as cabinet ministers. 
  • Former BJP legislator from Gujarat Manhar Valjibhai Zala has assumed charge as Chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK)
    • Along with him, two other members Dilip Kallu Haathived from Maharashtra and Manju Diler from Uttar Pradesh also took charge as members of the NCSK.
Business & Economic Affairs
  • An American business group is organising a two-day conference in Houston on the theme 'Make in India – The Inside Story'. 
    • The conference, which will begin on March 24, will discuss the latest developments and best practices of doing business in India. 
  • As a one time measure, the government has decided to write off outstanding taxes of 21.54 lakh taxpayers who owe ₹100 or less
    • This is to reduce the administrative burden of maintaining very low amount of arrears. 
    • Removal of 21.54 lakh cases (16% of cases) of low-value arrears would have a positive impact, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar said.
  • The government today announced that the RBI has been authorised to conduct field trials of plastic notes of ₹10
    • Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said “it has been decided” to conduct the trial with plastic notes at five locations of the country. He further said plastic notes are expected to last longer than cotton substrate based banknotes.
  • The World Bank has approved $175 million for India’s ambitious National Hydrology Project to improve its ability to forecast floods and reduce vulnerability to recurring floods and droughts. 
    • The loan has been issued from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) with maturity of 23 years. 
    • It also has a six-year grace period in which no interest payments will be due.
  • National racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife died in a car accident in Chennai today. 
    • The 27-year-old racer had previously driven for German racing team Ma-Con Motorsport in 2008.
Science & Technology
  • The first ever spacewalk was performed by Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov on this day (18th March) in the year 1965. 
    • Leonov exited the Voskhod 2 spacecraft by climbing through a cylinder-like object and floated into open space for about 10 minutes. 
  • French aerospace giant Airbus will set up India’s first full flight simulator and training centre near the Delhi Airport
    • The airport has signed a land license agreement with Airbus India to set up the facility. 
    • The training centre will be spread over almost 7,000 square metre and is expected to be operational by 2018-end with two full flight simulators.
  • Israel has shot down a Syrian anti-aircraft missile using its most advanced anti-missile system 'Arrow' for the first time.
    • The intercepted missile came down in Jordan, while two others are said to have landed in Israel.
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) have signed an agreement to work together.
    • They will work together on crop improvement and agronomy programmes for grain legumes and dryland cereals. It will benefit small farmers in India and globally.
MOUs & Agreements
  • India today signed two agreements with Russia for long-term maintenance and technical support for the Indian Air Force's Sukhoi-30 fighter jets.
    • India has inducted 240 Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft out of the 272 contracted from Russia. 
  • India and Brazil have finalised text of the Social Security Agreement (SSA). 
    • It will come in force by early 2018 after it is ratified. It will be the first such agreement between the BRICS countries. 
    • This SSA takes forward the spirit of Goa Declaration adopted at 8th BRICS Summit, outcomes of the meetings of BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers held in June 2016 in Geneva and September 2016 in New Delhi.
Sports Current Affairs
  • Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been appointed the Ambassador of Blind Cricket World Cup's fifth edition
    • The tournament will be hosted by the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council in the UAE and Pakistan in January 2018. 
  • Nuclear hit Fukushima (Japan) will host baseball and softball matches at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
    • Fukushima was affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused a nuclear disaster at a power plant, reportedly the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl accident. 
    • The Azuma Baseball Stadium, 70 kilometres from the plant, will host the matches.

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