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March 21, 2017

21st March 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (21st March 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 21st March 2017

International Current Affairs
  • The fifth 'International Day of Forests' is being observed today.
    • This day was initiated by the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees. 
    • As per the UN, around 1.6 billion people, including over 2,000 indigenous cultures, depend on forests for their livelihood.
    • Theme for 2017 : Forests & Energy
  • Today (21st March) is World Puppet Day.
  • World Poetry Day is being observed today.
    • This day was declared by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999.
    • The purpose of the day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world.
  • World Down Syndrome Day is being observed today.
  • International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination observed across the world today.
    • On this day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws.
    • Proclaiming the day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
  • India has been ranked 122nd in the world’s happiest countries category
    • Furthermore, it is ranked behind its neighbouring countries Pakistan, which is ranked 80th, and China. 
    • The rankings are based on gross domestic product per person, healthy life expectancy with four factors from global surveys. 
    • India's previous rank was 118th.
  • Beijing has shut its last large coal-fired power plant to become China's first city to be powered by only natural gas
    • The plant was the fourth to be closed and replaced by gas power in a five-year plan to "make the skies blue again". 
    • Note : The move comes as the Chinese capital averages 10 times pollution levels than recommended WHO standards.
  • UK PM Theresa May will trigger the two-year process of leaving the European Union on 29th March 2017, UK ambassador to the EU Tim Barrow formally notified the EU President Donald Tusk today. 
    • Note : Britain will exit EU on 29th March 2019.
National Current Affairs
  • Plagued with complaints, Indian Railways has announced that it is going to provide fresh food cooked at base kitchens in trains after every two hours to the passengers.
    • Railways, which provide about 11 lakh meals to passengers every day, has separated cooking and distribution of food under the recently launched new catering policy.
  • Minister of State for Water Resources Vijay Goel today apprised the Parliament that water in Ganga is unfit for bathing in parts of Haridwar
    • Important Points to Note
      • Haridwar is the holiest Hindu site where pilgrims go to wash away their sins in Ganga and scatter the ashes of their loved ones. 
      • PM Modi has allotted ₹20,000 crore for Namami Gange Programme.
  • The Uttarakhand High Court today recognised river Ganga as the first living entity of India
    • Following the order, India's longest river will now enjoy all rights provided by the Constitution of India as a living person. 
    • Note : This makes Ganga the world's second river after New Zealand's Whanganui River to be given such a status.
Awards & Honors
  • UN Under-Secretary-General Rima Khalaf was awarded the highest Palestinian honour over her report accusing Israel of imposing an apartheid on Palestinians.
  • Maggie MacDonnell, a Canadian who teaches Inuit students at a school in Salluit, Quebec, has won a $1 million (over ₹6.5 crore) Global Teacher Prize at a ceremony in Dubai. 
    • MacDonnell, who has been teaching for the past six years in the village with high suicide rates, was praised for changing the lives of her students and transforming her community.
Business & Economic Affairs
  • State Bank of India (SBI), which is going to merge with its five associate banks, has decided to shut down 47% of these banks' offices, including the head offices of three of them. 
    • This process will start from April 24. Notably, the five associate banks will cease to exist as legal entities and become a part of SBI from April 1.
  • According to Forbes 2017 World's Billionaires List, Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates is the world's richest person with a fortune of $86 billion. 
    • Top 10 in the List
      • Bill Gates (Microsoft co-founder): $86bn
      • Warren Buffett (US investor): $75.6bn
      • Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder): $72.8bn
      • Amancio Ortega (Inditex founder): $71.3bn
      • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder): $56bn
      • Carlos Slim (Mexican magnate): $54.5bn
      • Larry Ellison (Oracle co-founder): $52.2bn
      • Charles Koch (US businessman): $48.3bn
      • David Koch (US businessman): $48.3bn
      • Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg founder): $47.5bns
    • 94-year-old L'OrĂ©al heiress Liliane Bettencourt has been named the world's richest woman for the second year with a net worth of $39.5 billion.  
    • 20-year-old Alexandra Andresen from Norway is the world's youngest billionaire with a net worth of $1.2 billion.
    • India has been ranked 4th in terms of nations with most number of billionaires at 101
      • This marks the first time that India has had more than 100 billionaires.
      • The US continues to have most number of billionaires than any other nation, with a record 565, followed by China with 319.
      • Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has retained the spot of India's richest person, with a net worth of $23.2 billion,.
  • The world's oldest billionaire, David Rockefeller Sr (101), died today. 
    • Rockefeller, who controlled Chase Manhattan bank (now JPMorgan Chase) for more than a decade, had an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion. 
    • Note : He was the grandson of Standard Oil Co-founder John D Rockefeller, America's first billionaire.
New Appointments
  • International Cricket Council has appointed Air Asia's former Chief Financial Officer Ankur Khanna as its new CFO
    • Khanna will join the ICC in Dubai at the end of March leaving Air Asia India where he has held the post for the last one year. 
  • Snapdeal investor SoftBank has appointed e-commerce veteran Kabir Misra to the board of Snapdeal
    • He has been closely involved in managing SoftBank's investment in Alibaba in China. 
    • His appointment comes amid reports of Snapdeal looking to raise funds from SoftBank at a lower valuation. 
Sports Current Affairs
  • Tamil Nadu has won the Vijay Hazare Trophy after beating Bengal by 37 runs in the final of the 2017 edition today. 
    • With the win, Tamil Nadu has become the only team to win the tournament five times (one of them was shared with Uttar Pradesh in 2004-05). 
    • Dinesh Karthik was adjudged Man of the Match for his century.
  • Shooter Abhinav Bindra and wrestler Sushil Kumar are among the 14 Olympians appointed by Sports Minister Vijay Goel to oversee 2020 Olympics preparations in their respective disciplines. 
    • Five-time world boxing champion and 2012 London Games bronze medalist MC Mary Kom will oversee boxing along with Akhil Kumar, while PT Usha and Anju Bobby George will observe track and field.

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