Current Affairs Daily Updates: 15th March 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 15th March 2017
Sena's Vishwanath Mahadeshwar elected as Mumbai Mayor
  • Shiv Sena's Vishwanath Mahadeshwar elected as the Mayor of Mumbai with the support of the BJP, marking a coming together of the two parties after contesting the civic polls separately.
  • Mahadeshwar defeated Congress nominee Vitthal Lokare by 171-31 margin. He is the 76th mayor of the city.
Reliance Commercial Finance appoints Devang Mody as CEO
  • Devang Mody was appointed as CEO of Reliance Commercial Finance Ltd (RCFL),a subsidiary of Reliance Capital on March 14, 2017.
  • Prior to this, Mody served as president of consumer business at Bajaj Finance
  • He has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector. He has worked at Mahajan & Aibara and GE Money Financial Services.
Shashank Manohar steps down as ICC Chairman
  • Shashank Manohar resigned as the Chairman of the International Cricket Council on 15 March 2017 stating personal reasons. His resignation would be effective immediately.
  • Manohar had been elected to the position unopposed in May 2016. He had signed a two-year term with the international body that began with immediate effect after he stepped down as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
  • With the move, he had become ICC’s first independent chairman (one not affiliated to any of its member boards).
Hockey India brings on board four Scientific Advisors
  • Hockey India announced the appointment of four new Scientific Advisors for men and women, both senior and junior teams.
  • Scott Conway of Australia took charge as the new Scientific Advisor for the Senior men’s team at the national camp starting in SAI Bengaluru.
  • South Africa’s Robin Anthony Webster Arkell will soon assume duties as the Scientific Advisor for the junior men’s team.
  • South African Wayne Patrick Lombard will take charge as Scientific Advisor at the senior women’s camp in Bhopal.
  • Daniel Barry from Australia was roped in as Scientific Advisor for the junior women’s team.
Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar appointed as Acting Chief Justice of J&K High Court
  • Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) High Court.
  • Sudhakar was appointed by President Pranab Mukherjee in his exercise of the powers conferred by section 100 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Sudhakar is the senior-most Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
  • Sudhakar succeeds Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar who attained superannuation on 14 March 2017. Paul Vasanthakumar joined the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in February 2015.
SBI announces Rs 6000-cr tractor loan settlement scheme
  • The State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a one-time farm loan settlement scheme worth Rs 6000 crore primarily for tractors.
  • In a tweet, the State Bank of India said, One Time Settlement (OTS) is announced for Agriculture Loans and the Scheme is valid until 31 March 2017.
  • Apart from this, the largest lender of India also urged to farmers to contact their branch for details and benefits.
  • Loans that will be considered under the scheme are the loans, which were disbursed before 2011 and at present, falls under the doubtful or loss category accounts as of September 2016.
  • The scheme will also cover other agricultural loans like Kisan credit cards and other term loans for tractors and farm loans
Tata Motors, Volkswagen Group signed MoU for exploring joint development projects
  • Tata Motors announced the signing of a MoU for a long-term partnership with Volkswagen Group and Skoda to explore strategic alliance opportunities for joint development of products.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD of Tata Motors, Matthias Mueller, CEO of Volkswagen AG and Bernhard Maier, CEO of Skoda Auto.
World Consumer Rights Day being observed
  • World Consumer Rights Day is being observed on 15 March 2017. The theme of the day for the year 2017 is 'Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust’.
  • The day is observed with an aim to raise awareness about the basic rights of consumers. The participants of the occasion demand that basic rights of the consumers should be respected and protected.
  • They also protest against the market abuses and social injustices which undermine the rights of the consumer.
  • On this occasion of the Consumer Rights Day, several functions are being organised across India. Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will also preside over a function in New Delhi.
  • In India, besides the World Consumer Rights Day, we observe the National Consumer Day on 24 December.
Scotland's first minister seeks new independence referendum
  • Scotland’s First Minister and leader of Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on 13 March 2017 that she will be seeking the Parliament’s permission to hold a new referendum on Scotland's independence from the UK.
  • Explaining her decision, the First minister stated that she would take all the steps necessary to make sure Scotland gets a choice at the end of the process, whether it is to follow the UK in leaving the European Union or to become an independent country with a partnership of equals with the rest of the UK as well as with Europe.
UK parliament gives final approval for Brexit bill
  • UK’s House of Lords gave its final approval on the Brexit bill on 13 March 2017, thereby paving way for the Theresa May government to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, the legal method to initiate UK’s exit from the European Union.
  • The upper house in its final reading that voted in favour of a meaningful parliamentary vote on the final terms of Brexit.
  • The objections of the Peers were completely overturned by the MPs in the House of Lords, who voted 274 to 118 in favour of the bill being passed unaltered.
  • The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become a law on 14 March 2017.The bill’s passing enables Theresa May to formally initiate the Brexit process this week itself.
Vienna World’s Best City in Quality of Life; Hyderabad Best Indian City: Mercer
  • According to the Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living survey released on March 14, 2017, Vienna, the capital of Austria has topped the list of cities offering the highest quality of life for the eighth year in a row.
  • Baghdad was ranked the worst place at 230 to live due to continuous violence in the city.
  • In India, Hyderabad emerged as the best city in terms of living standards among Indian cities for the third year in a row.
Lok Sabha passes the Enemy Property Bill 2016
  • Lok Sabha on 14 March 2017 passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016. The bill was earlier passed with some amendments by the Rajya Sabha on 10 March 2017.
  • The amendments to the bill were moved in the Lok Sabha by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Bill will replace the ordinance promulgated by the government.
  • With this passage in both the houses of Parliament, the Bill will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his approval. Mukherjee's nod on the bill will turn it into an Act.
Manipur CM Ibobi Singh resigns, Biren Singh to be Sworn in Next CM
  • The incumbent Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh resigned from the post on March 13, 2017 giving way for formation of a new ministry under the BJP.
  • The Congress leader Okram Ibobi announced to resign after BJP named Nongthombam Biren Singh as the party’s leader to form the government with majority win.
  • In 60-member assembly of Manipur, BJP won 21 seats that was 10 seats shorts to prove majority, while Congress won 28 seats.
  • The BJP’s Nongthombam Biren Singh will take oath as Manipur’s next chief minister on March 15, 2017 along with his council of ministers in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minister Jitendra Singh.
Women Safety app ‘Ammavin Aran’ launched by AIADMK
  • The AIADMK IT Wing has launched the first-of-its-kind women safety application in Tamil Nadu. The app is called 'Ammavin Aran' meaning 'mother's fortress'.
  • The app will give the user details about the nearest police station and hospital along with map details and phone number.
  • There is an in-built whistle, which can manipulate the phone speaker to create a loud noise when pressed by anyone in distress. Also the app carries an in-built call recorder and and 'Tips' icon to provide life saving information.
Karnataka Govt announces ₹10-crore fund for women entrepreneurs
  • Karnataka Govt has announced an Idea2POC (Proof of Concept) fund of ₹10 crore for women entrepreneurs.
  • Under this (Idea2POC) scheme, the Karnataka Department of IT, BT and S&T will fund up to ₹50 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.
Madhya Pradesh Rewa solar plant to receive loan from World Bank
  • An international financial institution, World Bank has agreed to provide loan to develop internal transmission arrangements of the upcoming Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (RUMS) project in Madhya Pradesh.
  • This was officially announced by  Public Relations Department official in New Delhi on March 14, 2017
  • RUMS become India’s first solar power project of the country to receive a loan under CTF
  • It will provide 75% of the loan amount with an interest rate of only 0.25% and remaining 25 % of the loan amount under its Clean Technology Fund (CTF), money will be provided at an interest rate of only 0.25 per cent,” a state Public Relations Department.
Three-day International conference on Occupational, Safety and Health to begin in Delhi
  • The three-day international conference on Vision Zero and its relevance to Occupational Safety and Health is scheduled to begin at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on 15 March 2017.
  • The conference is being jointly organised by Directorate General Factory Advice and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India and the Germany-based German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) in association with International Social Security Association (ISSA).
  • Its main objective is to focus on the occupational safety and health issues and challenges in the manufacturing, construction and mining sector.
  • It will provide a platform for promoting safety and health at work through the exchange of knowledge, practice and experience.
Union Minister Uma Bharti introduced bill on inter-state river water dispute in Lok Sabha
  • The Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharti introduced the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Lok Sabha on 14 March 2017.
  • The minister called the bill as a revolutionary step towards the resolution of Inter- State River Water Disputes.
  • The bill proposes the creation of a Single Standing Tribunal with multiple benches instead of the existing multiple tribunals.
  • The proposed single tribunal would comprise a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and a maximum of 6 other members.
  • While the term of office of the Chairperson will be five years or till the time he reaches the age of 70, the term of office of the Vice-Chairperson and other members of the tribunal will be linked to the adjudication of the water dispute.
Madhukar Gupta Committee report submitted to Union Government
  • The Committee, constituted under the Chairmanship of former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, submitted its report to the Union Government.
  • Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, announced the submission of the report on 14 March 2017.
  • The Madhukar Gupta Committee was constituted to strengthen border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border.
  • The Committee has given its recommendations broadly on the issues of Threats and Border Protection, assessment of force level, deployment on the border, infrastructure and technology issues for protection of border and administrative issues.
  • The Government decided to initiate action in light of the recommendations of the Committee in consultation with the stakeholders.
  • The Committee was appointed on 5 April 2016.
SSP Chawrasia won 2017 Indian Open golf title
  • Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia became the only second Indian golfer to successfully defend the Hero Indian Open golf title.
  • He achieved this feat on 12 March 2017 by clinching a seven-stroke win at the redesigned DLF golf and country club in Gurugram, Haryana.
  • With this win, Chawrasia pocketed a winner's cheque of USD 2,91,660. For Chawrasia, this was his sixth win on the Asian Tour and overall sixth international victory.
Double Olympic champion Joanna Rowsell Shand retires
  • Double Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand on 14 March 2017 announced her retirement from international cycling.
  • Shand had won the women's team pursuit at four editions of the World Championships (2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014). She grabbed the gold medal in the same discipline at the Olympic Games in London and Rio in 2012 and 2016.
  • The cyclist also won the individual pursuit at the 2014 World Championship.