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March 20, 2017

20th March 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (20th March 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 20th March 2017

International Current Affairs
  • The 6th 'International Day of Happiness' is being observed today by the United Nations to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. 
  • Today (20th March) is World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People.
  • Today is World Sparrow Day. 
    • It is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organisations across the world.
    • This day is designated to raise awareness of the house sparrow and other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations.
    • This year's theme :  I LOVE Sparrows
  • The Romanian government has agreed to collaborate with Italian authorities to stop abuses against women migrants in Italy. 
    • This comes after an investigation found that thousands of Romanian agricultural workers were being sexually exploited by their Italian employers.
  • Italy has been ranked the world's healthiest country by Bloomberg Global Health Index, with a citizen expected to live up to 89 years.
    • Italy is followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia.
    • Americans, Canadians, and Brits were found to be suffering from higher blood pressure, cholesterol, and poorer mental health compared to the Italians.
    • Top 10 countries in Bloomberg 2017 Healthiest Country Index
      • Italy
      • Iceland
      • Switzerland
      • Singapore
      • Australia
      • Spain
      • Japan
      • Sweden
      • Israel
      • Luxembourg
National Current Affairs
  • First fully India-made train (rake) Medha was flagged off at Dadar station in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu via videoconferencing. 
    • The rake (group of coaches) costs Rs.43.23 crore, approximately Rs. 1 crore less than imported German-made Bombardier rake, which is Rs. 44.36 crore. 
    • It will save foreign exchange worth $50 lakh per EMU rake along with 25% manufacturing cost.
  • India’s longest surface tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district is complete. 
    • It will be open to traffic soon, following successful completion of trial runs for peak and off-peak hours.
    • The 9-km-long tunnel at Chenani passes through the lower Himalayan mountain range on Jammu- Srinagar National Highway.
  • According to University Grants Commission's latest report, as many as 279 technical institutes in India are offering engineering and other technical courses without permission and don't have the authority to grant degrees.
    • 23 universities in the country are fake. 
    • Delhi has 66 fake institutes, the highest for any state in India.
Awards & Honors
  • Five Indians have made it to the World Economic Forum's list of 100 Young Global Leaders under 40 years of age. 
    • These include Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Blippar app's Founder Ambarish Mitra, journalist Hindol Sengupta, Swaniti Initiative's Rwitwika Bhattacharya and The Tamara Coorg hospitality's Shruti Shibulal
Business & Economic Affairs
  • Idea Cellular's board today approved merger with Vodafone India to create India's largest telecom company both in terms of revenues and subscribers. 
    • While Vodafone will hold a 45.1% stake in combined company, Idea will hold a 26% stake and remaining stake will be held by public. 
    • Impact of this Merger :
      • The merger would create a company with nearly 40 crore users. 
      • The merger between India's second largest operator, Vodafone and its third largest operator, Idea could command a market share of 43%, thereby taking over current leader Bharti Airtel.
      • Further, the merger would create India's largest telecom company.
  • Brian Chesky, the Co-founder and CEO of American homestay startup Airbnb, is on a visit to India. 
    • He is launching Airbnb's Trips platform in the country, that let users discover secret spots and experiences recommended by Airbnb hosts. 
    • He also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved four supporting drafts for Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills, which will now be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing Budget session. 
    • These supporting drafts will help in the rollout of the singular indirect tax reform, which the Centre plans to do from July 1 this year.
New Appointments
  • Snapdeal has committed to invest $20 million in online recharge platform FreeCharge and appointed Snapdeal's Chief Strategy and Investment Officer Jason Kothari as the CEO of FreeCharge
    • Kothari will continue with his role at Snapdeal but will also join FreeCharge's board. 
    • Note : In 2015, Snapdeal had acquired FreeCharge for an estimated ₹2,400 crore.
  • Following the announcement of the merger between Vodafone India and Idea, Kumar Mangalam Birla has been appointed as the entity's Chairman.
    • The new entity is expected to create India's largest telecom operator.
    • The merger reportedly values Vodafone at $12.4 billion and Idea at $10.8 billion.
  • Japan has become the first country in the world to elect a transgender man to a public office.
    • The 25-year-old Tomoya Hosoda was elected as a councillor for the Japan's Iruma after winning 21 of 22 seats in the elections. 
  • Former Rajya Sabha MP and President of Odisha Jana Morcha Party, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra (77), passed away.
    • The leader was also known as the 'Chanakya of Odisha politics'. 
    • He was a former IAS officer of the 1963 batch and also served as the Principal Secretary to former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.
  • Renowned Meteorologist and former director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (Pune) Dev Raj Sikka (85) passed away. 
    • He is famously known as Monsoon Man and the Father of Indian Meteorology
    • He was first proposed a link between the El Nino phenomenon and the Indian monsoon in 1982, but that time less importance was given to it.
Sports Current Affairs
  • Indian cueist Vidya Pillai won a Silver medal at the Women World Snooker Championship in Singapore today. V
    • idya, an eight-time women's national snooker champion, lost the final to Hong Kong's Ng On Yee, a former world champion, after gaining an early lead in the match. 
    • She previously won a gold at the IBSF World Team Snooker Championship in 2013.
  • Australian bowler Shaun Tait has become an Overseas Citizen of India.
    • He is married to Indian model Mashoom Singha, tying the knot in 2014 after a four-year courtship.
    • As an Overseas Citizen of India, Tait will get the same privileges as an NRI, except the right to vote or hold public offices.
  • Swiss tennis player Roger Federer defeated compatriot Stan Wawrinka to win the Indian Wells Masters for the fifth time, tying Novak Djokovic's tournament record. 
    • With the win, 35-year-old Federer became the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title
    • This was Federer's 90th career title, putting him third on the all-time list in the Open era.

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