Current Affairs Daily Updates: 14th March 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 14th March 2017
OnePlus India Ropes Amitabh Bachchan as its New Brand Ambassador
  • Chinese smartphone company OnePlus has roped in Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as its new brand ambassador for India on March 6, 2017.
  • Mr Bachchan is the first major face that OnePlus India is associating with for its latest flagship smartphone, OnePlus 3T.
  • According to the OnePlus team, Bachchan has been considered since he better represents ‘OnePlus’ motto ‘Never SettleOnePlus 3T is rated as the best smartphone as compared to other brands based on consumer ratings on Amazon India.
Seema Verma to be chief of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • The US Senate confirmed healthcare consultant Seema Verma as administrator of the 1 trillion dollars Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Senate voted 55-43 to approve Seema Verma to run the US health program.
  • Seema Verma was a nominee of President Donald Trump. The Indian-American woman will be running the US government’s health program for the elderly, poor and disabled.
President Pranab Mukherjee appoints Chief Justices in four High Courts
  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 10 March 2017 appointed Chief Justices for High Courts in Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
  • Hemant Gupta was appointed as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. Before this appointment, he was serving as the Acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court . Acting Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court P K Mohanty was appointed as the Chief Justice of Jharkhand itself.
  • Justice Navniti Prasad, a judge in Patna High Court, was appointed as the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court.  Justice T B Radhakrishnan, Acting Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, was named as the Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court.
  • The Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar recommended nine names to the government for taking over as regular High Court Chief Justices. This was a much-anticipated move to appoint regular chief justices for High Courts instead of having acting chief justices for months.
IIT-Madras won 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award
  • The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras in the first week of March 2017 was selected for the 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award.
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has chosen the IIT-M for the award for its solar-direct current (DC) inverter system.
  • The IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award is presented to a company or an institution voted by the IEEE Spectrum editors as having developed the technology that has the potential to benefit mankind.
Over 1 lakh SB accounts opened in TN: Airtel Payments Bank
  • Airtel Payments Bank, offered by telecom major Bharti Airtel, announced that over one lakh savings accounts were opened in 100 villages across Tamil Nadu.
  • Through the initiative, the villages would have access to banking services along with the option of making digital payments.
  • By launching the service, Airtel Payments Bank will not charge any processing fee from its customers and merchant partners for digital transactions.
  • Airtel Payments Bank, which was the first payments bank to go live, has committed investment of Rs 3,000 crore countrywide and plans to build digital payments with over five million merchants.
  • Payment Banks accept deposits from individuals and small businesses up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh per account.
Hyundai Signs 3 Bn Euro Deal For Iran Oil Project
  • Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co has signed a deal worth 3 billion euros (USD 3.2 billion) with an Iranian investment fund on March 13, 2017 to invest in a major Iranian oil project.
  • Agreement covers construction of the second phase of the Kangan Petro Refining Complex in southwest Bushehr province of Iran in which Hyundai Engineering plans to invest 3.1 billion euros which is 95 percent of the overall project cost.
  • The South Korean company will have nine months to secure financing for the oil project which is a potential obstacle due to continued reluctance of international banks to engage with Iran.
  • The second phase of the deal involves the construction of four production plants at the Kangan site and is expected to take four years.
  • The first phase of the Kangan project was 30 percent completed with an investment of nearly 120 million euros.
Intel to buy Mobileye for $ 15.3 billion
  • Intel has announced a deal under which it will buy Israeli technology company Mobileye for $15.3 billion.
  • Mobileye provides anti-collision, driver assistance, and autonomous driving solutions. Intel will buy all the shares of Mobileye at $63.54 per share in cash.
  • The acquisition will combine the computer vision expertise of Mobileye with the high-performance computing of Intel to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the car.
  • Prof Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s Co-founder, Chairman, and CTO will lead this new combined entity. He will further report to Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich.
Malayalam filmmaker Diphan passes away
  • Malayalam film director Diphan also known as Deepan passed away on 13 March 2017 following liver cirrhosis and kidney failure in a private hospital at Kochi. He was 47.
  • He is survived by his wife and two children.
  • Diphan is known for his films namely Puthiya Mukham, Hero and SIM.
Pakistan to Conduct its First Census in 19 years From March 15
  • The Pakistan government is set to conduct its first national census in 19 years from March 15, 2017 for proper allocation of funds and resources.
  • The census will be done in two phase. The first phase of the census will begin on March 15 and last on April 15. After a ten day gap, the second phase will start from April 25 and conclude on May 25.
  • The census will include the assistance of over 200,000 Army troops and 118,918 civilians who are government servants from various departments.
CAS bans Sergei Portugalov for lifetime in doping case
  • The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 13 March 2017 upheld a lifetime ban levied against Sergei Portugalov for his role in providing illicit substances to Russian athletes.
  • Portugalov is former Chief of the Russian Athletics Federation's Medical Commission.
  • The CAS upheld the ban as part of an arbitration involving the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and the Russian Athletics Federation.
PM Narendra Modi launches #IAmNewIndia campaign:
  • PM Narendra Modi unveiled #IAmNewIndia, a nation-building exercise on the NaMo App, which is "a pledge to build a new India".
  • The pledge can be undertaken with just a few clicks on the NaMo app.
Arunachal Pradesh Launches Adarsh Gram Yojana for Rural Poor
  • The Arunachal Pradesh government has launched a new scheme Adarsh Gram Yojana that is in accordance with the basic philosophy of the Prime Minister “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas” (Collective Efforts Inclusive Growth).
  • The scheme aims to reach the poor people in rural areas of the state to serve them better.
  • Under the scheme, 123 villages (comprising one village per circle) will be developed as ‘Model Villages’ during the fiscal year 2017-18.
  • The state government has allocated an amount of Rs.93 crore in the Budget 2017-18 for infrastructure development and for creating employment opportunities and community assets for the people of those villages.
Karnataka announces Rs10-crore fund for women entrepreneurs:
  • Karnataka has announced an Idea2POC (Proof of Concept) fund of Rs10 crore for women entrepreneurs. 
  • Under this (Idea2POC) scheme, the Karnataka Department of IT, BT and S&T will fund up to Rs50 lakh for any woman innovator looking for funds for Proof of Concept validation, certification, and cover costs in manufacturing of pilot devices. 
  • The IT/BT Department, under the Multi-Sector Startup Policy of Karnataka, created the Idea2PoC Fund.
NTPC installs India’s largest Floating Solar PV Plant in Kerala
  • The 100 kWp (kilowatt peak) floating solar PV plant has been indigenously developed as a part of Union Government flagship ‘Make In India’ initiative.
  • It has been indigenously developed by NETRA (NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance), R&D arm of NTPC, in collaboration with Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Chennai.
  • The system was installed by Chennai based Swelect Energy Systems Ltd with support from NETRA and NTPC Kayamkulam station in a short span of 22 days. Floating solar PV systems are fast emerging as an alternative to conventional ground mounted PV systems which are land intensive.
  • It can also be installed on saline water environment. It has various benefits like conserving water through reduction of evaporation, increased power generation due to cooling effect on the panels, reduced installation time etc
Foundation stone of the Banana Research Centre laid in Vaishali, Bihar
  • Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare Minister, on 11 March 2017 laid the foundation stone of the Banana Research Centre at Gorole, Vaishali, Bihar.
  • The Banana Research Centre is established to fulfil the aspirations of the banana growers of Vaishali.
  • The centre will work in the areas of finding reasons of less production in banana, enhancement in acreage for cultivation, suitable utilization of the various parts of the plants, different products, marketing and value addition.
  • It is expected that the cooperation of the researchers of the centre along with the participation of farmers would help to bring a new era of banana cultivation in Bihar and surrounding states.
Rs605-crore ‘KCR Kit’ scheme for pregnant women, new born:
  • Focussing on women welfare and new born, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has come out with an innovative scheme – KCR Kit.
  • The scheme is designed to address complications during the time of pregnancy and aimed at reducing infant mortality rate and encourage institutional deliveries.
  • The KCR Kit consists of 16 essential things needed for a new-born and will be useful for up to three months. The government proposes to earmark Rs605 crore for the scheme.
Union Government launches Mission Fingerling to achieve Blue Revolution
  • In order to recognize the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector, the Union Government envisaged a program named Blue Revolution.
  • The Blue Revolution focuses on creating an enabling environment for an integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio economic development of fish farmers.
  • This program with a total expenditure of around Rs 52000 lakh will facilitate the establishment of hatcheries and Fingerling rearing pond to ensure the fish production of 426 crores fish fingerling, 25.50 crores Post Larvae of shrimp and crab in the country.
  • This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually and will benefit about 4 million families.
  • It lays greater emphasis on infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer.
  • Productivity enhancement will also be targeted through integration of various production oriented activities such as production of quality fish seeds, cost effective feed and adoption of technology etc.
  • Fish Fingerling production is the single most important critical input visualised to achieve fish production targets under the Blue Revolution.
  • Use of high yielding verities of brooders is another significant aspect to be addressed on priority.
  • The Union Agricultural Ministry identified 20 States based on their potential and other relevant factors to strengthen the Fish Seed infrastructure in the country.
  • The implementation of this programme will supplement the requirement of stocking material up to a large extent to achieve the enhanced fish production.
Japan to send its largest warship to South China Sea in its biggest show of military power
  • In its biggest show of naval force since World War II, Japan is planning to send its largest warship, JS Izumo on a 3-month tour through the South China Sea, starting from May 2017.
  • The main aim is to test the capability of the warship by sending it out on an extended mission.
  • It will be stopping over in Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka before joining the Indian and US naval vessels for a joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean in July 2017 and it will return to Japan by August 2017.
Punjab wins 2017 Santosh Trophy of Football
  • Punjab has won the 71st Santosh Trophy football tournament by defeating Railways by 2-1 goals. It was Punjab’s overall ninth Santosh Trophy after it had earlier won it in 1970, 1974, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1987, 2006 and 2007. For Punjab, both goals were scored by Rajbir Singh (16th and 61st minutes). For Railways, goal was scored by Rajesh Soosanayakam (59th minute).
  • Santosh Trophy is an annual Indian football tournament played in India. It was founded 1941. The trophy is named after the late Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh (now it is in Bangladesh). It is knock-out competition contested by the regional state associations and government institutions under the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Winners of 2017 All England Championship Title of Badminton
  • Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei won the 2017 All England Championship Title of Badminton in the men’s singles event. In the final match he defeated China’s Shi Yuqi by 21-12, 21-10 score. It was his overall fourth title in men’s singles event and had earlier won in 2010, 2011 and 2014.
  • Women’s Single: Tai Tzu-ying (China) won the title by defeating Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) by 21-16, 22-20 score.
  • Men’s Doubles: Indonesia’s Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo won the title by defeating China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen by 21-19, 21-14 score.
  • Women’s Doubles: South Korea’s Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee won the title by defeating Denmark’s Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen by 21-18, 21-13 score.
  • Mixed Double: China’s Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong won the title by defeating Malaysia’s Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh by 18-21, 21-19, 21-14 score.