Current Affairs Daily Updates: 16th March 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 16th March 2017
Babul Supriyo Named Vice-President Of FIFA U-17 World Cup LOC
  • Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Babul Supriyo has been named as Vice President of the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup organising committee said by Praful Patel, president of All India Football Federation (AIFF) on March 15, 2017
  • For the first time, India to host FIFA U-17 World from October 6 to 28, 2017.
  • A FIFA team will visit India this month end for the final inspection of the facilities in the six cities which will host matches of the U-17 World Cup.
Justice Sharma sworn in as Upalokayukta of Assam
  • Former Judge of the Gauhati High Court Chittaranjan Sharma has sworn in as Assam’s Upalokayukta by Governor Banwarilal Purohit on March 14, 2017
  • Lokayukta is an anti corruption ombudsmen appointed in states.
  • For the very first time the Maharashtra state has been initiated Lokayukta in year 1971 and at present the Lokayukta system is functioning in 17 states.
Captain Amarinder Singh sworn in as Chief Minister of Punjab
  • Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh was on 16 March 2017 sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister (CM) of Punjab. Alongside, Navjot Singh Sidhu was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister of Punjab.
  • Amarinder Singh was administered oath of office and secrecy by Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore at an impressive ceremony at the Punjab Raj Bhawan.
  • Nine ministers including two women were also inducted in the state cabinet. The ministers inducted included Brahm Mohindra, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manpreet Badal, Charanjit Singh Channi, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa. The two women inducted are Aruna Chaudhary and Razia Sultana.
2016 Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Puraskar presented
  • Ramakrishna Ashram, which is located in the South 24 Parganas of West Bengal, was conferred with the national-level Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Puraskar for 2016.
  • The award was presented by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Radha Mohan Singh on 15 March 2017 during the inaugural function of the Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 in New Delhi.
  • On this occasion, the minister also distributed 11 regional level Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Puraskars.
  • The 3-day long Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 is jointly organised by the Indian Council of Agriculutral Research (ICAR) and the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
HDFC Bank to offer online loans against securities
  • HDFC Bank launched an instant digital Loan Against Securities (LAS) facility in collaboration with the National Securities Depository Ltd.(NSDL).
  • The bank stated that customers can avail themselves of overdraft facility against shares in three steps:
    • Select the shares to be pledged on net banking
    • Accept agreement through one-time password (OTP)
    • Pledge the shares with NSDL online through OTP.
  • Demat customers can calculate their eligibility for overdraft limit against shares, and open a current account instantly.
Andhra Pradesh State Budget 2017-18 presented
  • The Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Rama Krishnudu on 15 March 2017 presented the annual budget for the State for the period between April 2017 and March 2018.
  • The total size of the budget is pegged at Rs 1,56,999.40 crore, out of which revenue expenditure will be Rs 1,25,911.62 crore.
  • Read the complete highlights here.
Digital push: Gujarat to provide e-marketplace for businesses
  • The Gujarat government has entered into an agreement with a global cloud-based solutions provider to develop a B2B marketplace for small and large business units in the state.
  • The e-marketplace will be used to promote businesses in the state on one single platform, where members can trade with each other and across India and globally.
  • The project has been developed as part of the Centre’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.
IndusInd Bank to acquire IL&FS Securities Services
  • IndusInd Bank has entered into an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL& FS) to acquire 100% stake in IL& FS Securities Services Ltd (ISSL).
  • The private sector bank, however, did not disclose the cost of acquisition or the price at which ISSL shares were acquired. ISSL, which was incorporated in 2007 as a subsidiary of IL& FS, is a capital market intermediary for professional clearing, depository and custodial Services.
State Bank of India signs MoU with CREDAI
  • State Bank of India and real estate developers’ body Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly conduct various initiatives towards development of the realty sector.
  • The MoU will be in force for a period of 3 years.
  • CREDAI is the largest real estate association in the country with over 11,500 members.
EU court allows employers to ban workers from wearing religious symbols
  • The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, the highest court in the European Union recently passed a ruling, allowing companies to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols including Islamic headscarves at work.
  • The court, however, added that if a company does not have a policy barring their staff from sporting the religious symbols then customers cannot demand workers to remove their headscarves.
  • This ruling was issued as a joint judgment in the cases of two women from France and Belgium, who were dismissed from their workplace for refusing to remove their headscarves.
  • The court ruled that an internal rule of an undertaking that prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute to direct discrimination.
Saudi Arabia Inaugurates Girls’ Council But Without Any Girls
  • In a bid to encourage women participation in workforce, Saudi Arabia has for the first time decided to launch a Girl’s Council.
  • However, the encouraging initiative became more talk of the town, when none of the female member of the council was present on the stage at its first Qassim Girls Council meeting on March 14, 2017.
  • The meeting in the al-Qassim province was attended by 13 male members while the women were present too but they were in another room, linked via video due to strict Saudi laws on gender segregation between unrelated men and women.
Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha
  • The Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Bill is aimed at declaring the FDDI as an Institution of National Importance (INI).
  • It aims to facilitate and promote teaching, training and research in all disciplines relating to design and development of Footwear and leather products.
  • It will enable FDDI to emerge as Centre of Excellence meeting international standards.
  • The institute shall consist of a Governing Council having a Chairperson who shall be an eminent academician, scientist or industrialist from the leather sector.
CCEA approves Policy for Early Monetization of Coal Bed Methane Gas
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Policy for Early Monetization of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Gas Marketing and Pricing Freedom for CBM Gas.
  • The policy provides marketing and pricing freedom to the CBM Contractors to sell the CBM at Arm’s Length Price in the domestic market.
  • The policy is expected to incentivize the CBM operation in the country to boost gas production and will generate economic activities.
  • It will in turn be beneficial for creating more employment opportunities in CBM operations and related activities.
15 IIITs declared as Institutes of National Importance
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public- Private Partnership) Bill, 2017.
  • Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
  • The Bill will declare the existing IIITs in PPPS as ‘Institutions of National Importance with powers to award degrees.
  • This coveted status will entitle them to use the nomenclature of Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) or Master of Technology (M.Tech) or Ph.D degree as issued by Institution or University of National Importance.
  • The 15 IIITs are: Assam (Guwahati), Andhra Pradesh (Chittoor), Haryana (Sonipat), Gujarat (Vadodara),Himachal Pradesh (Una), Kerala (Kottayam), Jharkhand (Ranchi), Karnataka (Dharwad), Maharashtra (Nagpur & Pune), Rajasthan (Kota), Manipur (Senapati), Tamilnadu (Tiruchirappalli), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow), Kalyani (West Bengal).
Chennai Port Trust signs MoU with the Government of Puducherry for handling EXIM cargo
  • Chennai Port Trust and the Government of Puducherry has signed Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) for handling EXIM cargo originating from Puducherry Port hinterland on March 15, 2017 in New Delhi
  • To promote industrial growth in the region, generate substantial employment and attract investment by major industries.
  • The cargo originating from Puducherry Port hinterland will be transported through sea mode to Chennai Port for shipping to overseas destinations through mainline and feeder vessels and vice-versa.
  • Around 5 Lakh to 10 Lakh tonnes of cargo is expected to be handled between this two ports.
FTII and Canon sign MoU to promote short courses in Film & Television
  • Canon partnered FTII for its Skilling India in Film and Television (SKIFT), an initiative designed to spread the art of cinematography and film making across the country. 
  • Under FTII's unique initiative SKIFT (Skilling India in Film and Television), several short courses, mostly of skill-oriented nature have been proposed to be held in collaboration with several State Governments, Universities and Educational institutions.
  • Initially SKIFT will conduct courses such as Digital Cinematography, Documentary Film Making, Screenplay Writing, Acting, Film Criticism & Journalism and Film Appreciation.
  • As a technology partner for this initiative, Canon India will add value to the program which is endeavoured to scale skill development in film and television to greater heights.
Commerce Minister launched a new scheme to address needs of exporters
  • Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) on 15 March 2017.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Sitharaman said that the scheme aims to address the needs of the exporters and added that the focus is not just on creating infrastructure but to make sure it is professionally run and sustained.
  • The committee will also take the required steps to ensure that the objectives of the scheme are achieved. The committee chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia would also look over the proposals of the implementing agencies for funding.
Twenty projects approved for implementation of Namami Gange Programme in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi
  • The Executive Committee (EC) of National Mission for Clean Ganga on 15 March 2017 approved 20 projects worth nearly Rs 1900 crore.
  • Out of 20 projects, 13 are in Uttarakhand that includes creating new sewage treatment plants, upgrading existing STPs and laying of sewage networks in Haridwar at an estimated cost of around Rs 415 crore.
  • The approved plan for Haridwar is aimed at treating sewage water generated by not only city’s 1.5 lakh local dwellers, but also by people who visit the place for various purposes.
  • All the projects will be completely funded by the Union Government, including the expenditure on operation and maintenance of these projects.