Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 31 - MARCH - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 31 - MARCH - 2016
Thursday, 31 March 2016 03:10

 

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

31-MARCH- 2016

 

BHEL COMMISSIONED 600 MW JAIPUR THERMAL POWER PLANT IN TELANGANA

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) announced that it successfully commissioned a 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Telangana.

The unit was commissioned at the upcoming 2x600 MW Singareni Thermal Power Project (TPP) located at Jaipur in Adilabad district of Telangana.

The 1200 MW Jaipur Power Plant is being developed by Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL). With the commissioning of this unit, SCCL has now successfully diversified into the power generation business.

SCCL is India's second largest coal mining company and operates 16 opencast and 32 underground mines in 4 districts of Telangana.

For Telangana, it is the second major plant after the formation of the State in June 2014. Earlier, in December 2015, the 600 MW Kakatiya Thermal Power Plant Stage-II was commissioned at Bhoopalapally in Warangal district.

Incidentally, both these thermal plants were commissioned by the BHEL that has a major contribution in Telangana's Power Sector. So far, the company has commissioned power plants totaling 5180 MW in the State.

And, the Telangana Government has already placed orders on BHEL for executing around 6000 MW of thermal power projects in the State on Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) basis.

UNSC EXTENDED MANDATE OF UN ASSISTANCE MISSION IN SOMALIA UNTIL MARCH 2017

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) extended the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) till 31 March 2017.

A resolution in this regard was unanimously approved by all the 15 members of the Council in order to support an inclusive, free, fair and transparent electoral process in 2016 and universal elections by 2020.

About the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia

• It was established in May 2013 by the UNSC to create and galvanize the political and strategic environment of Somalia in which stabilisation and peace-building can proceed.

• It supports the Federal Government of Somalia’s agenda of peace, security and nation-building and will help the country move towards free and fair elections in 2016.

• It is led by Nicholas Kay, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, and two Deputy Special Representatives.

• It consists of a number of sections including Political and Mediation Group, Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group, Human Rights, etc.

• Its headquarters is in the Somali capital Mogadishu. In addition, it has a liaison office in Nairobi, Kenya.

PAKISTAN, IRAN SIGNED 6 MOUS TO STRENGTHEN BILATERAL RELATIONS

Pakistan and Iran signed 6 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to strengthen bilateral cooperation in health, commerce, finance and foreign services.

The MoUs were signed in Islamabad during Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Pakistan. This was the first visit by an Iranian head of state in 14 years to Pakistan and also the first visit after lifting of international sanctions on Iran.

Highlights of MoUs

1. MoU to enhance cooperation between Pakistan’s Foreign Service Academy and Iran’s School of International Relations

2. MoU for cooperation and information exchange between the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Central Insurance of Iran

3. MoU on Five Year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan: This is the key agreement among the 6 MoUs signed. It sets an ambitious target of 5 billion US dollars per annum bilateral trade in 5 years from the current 250 million US dollars.

4. MoU for cooperation on health research, training, medicine and medical technology

5. MoU on extending cooperation between the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture of Iran.

6. MoU on cooperation between the Institute for Political and International Studies of Iran and Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) of Pakistan

Besides signing of the above agreements, Dr Hassan Rouhani and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues including opening new border crossings, possibilities of cooperation between Gwadar and Chabahar ports, export of electricity from Iran to Pakistan and counter terrorism cooperation.

FORTUNE RELEASED 2016 WORLD'S GREATEST LEADERS LIST

Fortune Magazine released the World's Greatest Leaders list. This was the third annual list from the magazine and consists of leaders from a wide spectrum of activities – politics, business, religion, etc.

The leaders were chosen after a poll by the readers on the basis of how they inspire others to act.

While the list was topped by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal figured in the list at the 42nd position for his contributions towards curbing pollution in one of the most polluted cities in the world.

Key leaders figured in the list

Leader (Rank)

Position

Jeff Bezos (1)

CEO, Amazon

Angela Merkel (2)

Chancellor, Germany

Aung Saan Suu Kyi (3)

Leader, National League for Democracy

Pope Francis Pontiff (4)

Roman Catholic Church

Tim Cook (5)

CEO, Apple

Sheik Hasina (10)

Prime Minister, Bangladesh

Nikki Haley (17)

Governor, South Carolina

Reshma Saujani (20)

Founder & CEO, Girls Who Code

Maurizio Macri (26)

President, Argentina

Christine Lagarde (36)

Managing Director, IMF

Amina Mohammed (39)

Minister of Environment, Nigeria

Arvind Kejriwal (42)

Chief Minister, New Delhi

Justin Trudeau (48)

Prime Minister, Canada

Tshering Tobgay (50)

Prime Minister, Bhutan

INDIAN-AMERICAN NANDITA BAKHSHI NAMED PRESIDENT, CEO OF BANK OF THE WEST

Indian-American Nandita Bakhshi was appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the West, a unit of French banking giant BNP Paribas. Her appointment was announced by the bank.

She will take over the roles of President and CEO-designate effective from 1 April 2016 and will assume the role on 1 June 2016.

Bakhshi succeeded Michael Shepherd who will take on the role of Chairman of BNP Paribas USA, the new holding company for all BNP Paribas subsidiaries in the US. Shepherd will continue to serve as Chairman of BancWest Corporation and of Bank of the West.

Nandita Bakshi earned a bachelor's degree in History at the University of Calcutta and masters in International Relations and Affairs at Jadavpur University.

A New England News 'Woman of the Year' award recipient, Bakhshi also serves on the board of the Consumer Bankers Association. She previously held several leadership roles at different top Banks in US like

• Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Banking at TD Bank in the US

• Executive Vice President and Head of North American Direct Channels

• Executive Vice President of Consumer Deposits and Payments at Washington Mutual in Seattle, now JP Morgan Chase

• She also held leadership positions at FleetBoston, now Bank of America, as well as at First Data Corp., where she was the managing director of their mobile payments division

About Bank of the West

Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with 75.7 billion dollar in assets as of 31 December 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185000 employees.

HOCKEY INDIA SECOND ANNUAL AWARDS 2015 CONFERRED

Hockey India conferred the Hockey India 2nd Annual Awards 2015 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

The Late Captain Shankar Laxman won the coveted Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award. P.R Sreejesh and Deepika won the Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award for Men and Women respectively, at the awards ceremony.

List of the winners

Award

Winner

Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award

Late Shankar Laxman

Hockey India Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year (Men)

P.R Sreejesh

Hockey India Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year (Women)

Deepika

Hockey India Jugraj Singh Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Men – Under 21)

Harjeet Singh

Hockey India Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Women – Under 21)

Preeti Dubey

Hockey India Baljit Singh Award for Goalkeeper of the Year

Savita

Hockey India Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year

Kothajit Singh

Hockey India Ajit Pal Singh Award Midfielder of the Year

Ritu Rani

Hockey India Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year

Rani

Hockey India Jaman Lal Sharma Award for Invaluable Contribution

Baldev Singh

Hockey India President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement

Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy

PRESIDENT PRANAB MUKHERJEE CONFERRED PADMA AWARDS 2016 ON 56 AWARDEES

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred Padma Awards 2016 on 56 eminent personalities at the Civil Investiture Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

The President presented five Padma Vibhushan, eight Padma Bhushan and 43 Padma Shri awards at the function.

The Union Government announced Padma awards 2016 for 112 eminent persons on 26 January 2016.  Out of them 56 received the awards while the rest including superstar Rajinikanth, actor Priyanka Chopra and tennis star Sania Mirza, will be given the honour at a separate function to be held in April 2016.

List of recipients:

Padma Vibhushan

• Founder of Reliance Industries late Dhirubhai Hirachand Ambani (posthumous)

• Former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Jagmohan

• Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

• Indian-American economist Avinash Kamalakar Dixit

• Renowned dancer Yamini Krishnamurti

Padma Bhushan

• Actor Anupam Pushkarnath Kher

• Badminton star Saina Nehwal

• Former CAG Vinod Rai

• Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry

• Hafeez Sorab Contractor

• Barjinder Singh Hamdard

• Alla Venkata Rama Rao

• Duvvur Nageshwar Reddy

Padma Shri

Some the prominent personalities among the 43 awardees include:

• Actor Ajay Devgn

• Filmmaker Madhur R Bhandarkar

• Scientist Dr Mylswamy Annadurai

• Athlete Deepika Kumari

• Celebrated chef Mohammed Imtiaz Qureshi

SINGLE ALL EMERGENCIES NUMBER TO COME SOON

  • Indian citizens in distress will soon be able to get help using a single number, ‘112’, for all emergency services in the country, including the police, fire brigade and ambulance.
  • At present, such callers need to dial different numbers for different emergencies like 100 for police, 101 for fire, 102 for ambulance and 108 for emergency disaster management.
  • The move, recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in April 2015, was approved by the Telecom Commission.
  • It will be rolled out within months rather than a year.

GLOBAL ENERGY FLOW HAS BEEN CHANGED BY HUMAN ACTIVITY SAYS STUDY

  • The impact that human beings have made on the Earth in terms of production and consumption of natural resources has formed a ‘striking new pattern’ in the planet’s global energy flow, finds a new research.
  • The results, published in the journal Earth’s Future , showed definite signs that human beings have permanently changed the planet and have triggered Anthropocene — an era where humans dominated Earth’s surface geology.
  • Patterns of human production and consumption mainly characterise the era.
  • Human beings have seized something like one quarter of the net primary biological production of the planet.
  • In addition, by digging phosphorus out of the ground and by fixing nitrogen out of the air to make fertilizers; and by exploiting hundreds of millions of years worth of stored carbon-based energy, humans are increasing productivity well above natural levels.
  • The findings revealed that Earth is now characterised by a geologically unprecedented pattern of global energy flow that is pervasively influenced by humans.

HARYANA STATE GOVT APPROVES JAT QUOTA

  • The Haryana Cabinet approved a Bill to provide reservation to Jats along with four other communities in government jobs and education, official sources said.
  • A Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar gave the nod to the draft Bill on reservation to Jats and four other castes including Jat Sikhs, Rors, Bishnois and Tyagis.
  • The Bill, likely to be introduced in the Assembly before March 31, proposes reservation for the five communities by creating a new classification in the Backward Classes category.
  • Mr. Khattar told reporters that the Bill on reservation for Jats could be brought any day in the ongoing Assembly session, which would continue for three more days.
  • He had made it clear that the existing 27 per cent reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the State would not be disturbed.
  • The OBC community has been opposing the inclusion of Jats in their category for reservation.
  • The government wanted to give reservation to Jats under a new category for backward classes BC-3.
  • The existing BC-1 and BC-2 categories already account for 27 per cent reservation in government jobs for backward classes.
  • Jat organisations have been demanding 10 per cent quota in jobs and educational institutions under the OBC category.
  • In February, the Jat agitation for reservation had left the State paralysed for over ten days during which at least 30 people were killed, over 200 injured and property worth hundreds of crores destroyed as the agitation turned violent.

WITH OPENING OF RECONCILIATION VILLAGE SRI LANKA TO IMPROVE DOMESTIC RELATIONS

  • With President Maithripala Sirisena set to declare open a ‘reconciliation village’ in Vavuniya in the Northern Province, it seems the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka is picking up pace.
  • The government organised a trip of a group of journalists, mostly Sinhalese, working in Sinhala and English media, to the Province.
  • The journalists, accompanied by Minister of Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilake and Deputy Minister Karunaratha Paranawithana, visited the offices of Tamil dailies and met C.V. Wigneswaran, the Province’s Chief Minister.
  • A few days ago, the Navy handed back 177 acres of land in Sampur village in the Eastern Province — where they had a training centre — to its original owners.
  • The ‘reconciliation village’ project, however, has triggered criticism from Northern Province Councillors.

PAKISTAN ARRESTED TERRORIST TARGETING CHRISTIANS

  • Pakistan’s Army launched raids and arrested suspects after a Taliban suicide bomber targeting Christians over Easter killed 72 people including many children in a park crowded with families.
  • The Army announced it had carried out raids in Lahore as well as in Faisalabad and Multan, two other major cities in Punjab province. More were planned.
  • Hundreds were injured on Sunday when explosives packed with ball bearings ripped through the crowds near a children’s play area in the park in the eastern city of Lahore, where many had gathered to celebrate Easter.

PM TO PUSH FOR GLOBAL INITIATIVE AGAINST NUCLEAR TERRORISM

  • India will push for a global initiative against nuclear terrorism at the fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS 2016) in Washington this weekend.
  • To safeguard the world from nuclear terrorism, India will ask for institutional follow-up through institutions like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations, Interpol, and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT).
  • India has often called for measures against Pakistan for proliferation of nuclear materials, especially during the tenure of its former nuclear programme chief A.Q. Khan.
  • The Indian delegation at the summit, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will also circulate a national plan and progress report covering the measures taken by India to prevent nuclear terrorism on the Indian soil. “
  • Mr. Modi will land in Washington after a daylong stopover in Brussels, where he will attend the 13th EU-India Summit and is expected to announce the restart of free trade negotiations which have been suspended for the past four years.
  • At meetings with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Mr. Modi is expected to discuss cooperation against terror in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels last week.
  • He will also address a reception for Indian nationals based there.
  • At the last leg of the three-nation tour, Mr. Modi’s trip to Saudi Arabia will focus on the safety and well being of Indian citizens in Saudi Arabia and the GCC region and on an uninterrupted supply of energy from the GCC region to India.

VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS TO START WORKING IN INDIA

  • The Telecom Commission on Monday accepted the telecom regulator’s recommendation to permit Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) in the country.
  • VNOs do not own telecom infrastructure but can offer various services to users by entering into an agreement with existing service providers.
  • It will need the Telecom Minister’s approval.

REDUCTION IN SMALL SAVINGS RATE DOES NOT GIVE RELIEF TO SHORT-TERM MONEY MARKET RATES

  • The reduction in the small savings rate has failed to provide any relief to short-term money market rates as banks rush to meet their business targets for the financial year end.
  • As a result, the rates have increased by 25 to 35 basis points in March.
  • On Monday, the overnight rate climbed as high as 8.3 per cent, intraday, before easing to 6 per cent at the close.
  • There was advance tax outflow in the middle of the month. During quarter-end, banks also try to get more business to increase their balance sheet.
  • Mutual funds also face redemption pressure during this period. In addition, the government goes slow on spending.
  • According to bankers, the shortfall in liquidity in the system is estimated at more than Rs 2 lakh crore.
  • According to dealers, the rate on three-month certificates of deposit, which were issued at 7.9 per cent at the start of the month, has moved up to the 8.20-8.25 per cent range.
  • Short term rates typically rise at the end of a quarter as banks push to grow their balance sheet. Bankers said the liquidity scenario will improve once the new financial year starts.

CRISIL REPORT SAYS SUBSIDY TO FURTHER REDUCE NEXT YEAR

  • The next financial year will see the government’s subsidy bill shrink by about Rs.10,000 crore thanks to the cut in nutrient-based subsidy rates and the lower price of gas, the key feedstock in urea production, according to Crisil.
  • “The reduction in nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) rates announced last week could trim the government’s subsidy bill for phosphatic fertilisers by Rs. 5,000 crore next fiscal,” Crisil said in a report.
  • The cut, which follows declining international prices of di-ammonium phosphate and ammonia, would influence the contracted price for phosphoric acid, the key raw material, for fiscal 2017.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, on March 23, announced that the subsidy rates for nitrogen and phosphatic nutrients would be cut by Rs.5 a kg and Rs.5.4 a kg, respectively, amounting to a 25-30 per cent reduction.
  • The subsidy rate for potassic nutrients was kept largely unchanged.
  • The current price of gas in India, which is set to be reviewed in April, is $3.82 per million British thermal units (mBtu). The consensus view is that the April review will see a further decline in gas prices.
  • The reduction in the subsidy bill could help the government narrow its fertiliser subsidy arrears of about Rs.35,000 crore, which have been carried forward since 2012, Mr. Sural added.
  • The fertiliser subsidy has been estimated at Rs.70,000 crore for 2016-17, lower than the Rs.72,437.58 crore estimated for the ongoing financial year.
  • Crisil finds that the poor monsoon over the last two years has created a vicious cycle in the fertiliser sector. Two consecutive years of deficient monsoon have burdened the fertiliser industry with excess inventory, estimated at around 5 million tonnes.

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 April 2016 03:03