Current Affairs Daily Updates: 24th March 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 24th March 2017
Frenchmen Yves Meyer Wins 2017 Abel Prize for Wavelets Theory
  • Yves Meyer, a French mathematician, was honored with the 2017 Abel Prize, given by Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, on March 21, 2017 in a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.
  • The 77 years old nomad was honored the prestigious award for his contribution in the development of the mathematical theory of wavelets.
  • Yves will receive 6 million Norwegian krone (about £600,000) cash award from His Majesty King Harald V at an award ceremony in Oslo on May 23, 2017.
Ed Sheeran to receive Songwriters Hall Of Fame 2017 award
  • The 26 year old English singer songwriter and record producer Ed Sheeran from UK will be honoured with the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s 2017 Hal David Starlight Award
  • Sheeran will receive the award at the 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner on June 15, 2017 in New York.
  • Other Awardee:
    • Global Ambassador Award – Pitbull
    • 2017 SHOF inductees – Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm & James Pankow p/k/a “Chicago,” Max Martin and Shawn “Jay Z” Carte
Indian journalist Ravish Kumar conferred with first Kuldip Nayar journalism awards
  • Ravish Kumar, the senior executive editor of NDTV India, was awarded the inaugural Kuldip Nayar Journalism Award at New Delhi’s India International Centre on March 19, 2017 in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the world of Journalism.
  • In the event organised by the Gandhi Peace Foundation, Ravish was presented the prestigious award by veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar after whom the award has been named.
  • He was conferred with an award plaque along with a cash amount of Rs 1 lakh. iv. Ravish has earlier won several prestigious awards including the Ramnath Goenka Award in 2013.
  • He was also awarded the best journalist of the year 2015 by Mumbai press club.
Raghu Rai honoured with Lifetime Achievement at National Photography Awards
  • Veteran photojournalist Raghu Rai on 22 March 2017 was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th National Photography Awards.
  • Rai began his career in photography in 1965. He has also served on the jury of World Press Photo and Unesco’s International Photo Contest.
Assam govt, SBI sign MoU over housing, educational loan at subsidized interest rates
  • The state government of Assam has signed two MoUs with Mumbai based State Bank of India (SBI) to provide housing loan and education loan for its employees.
  • Devajyoti Hazarika, state additional secretary of finance and Om Prakash Mishra General Manager of SBI of NE Circle have signed MoU for loan facility at subsidized interest rates.
  • Housing loan at the interest rates of 5% for women employees Housing loan at the interest rates of 5.5 % for men and Education loan for higher education for their children at 4% interest rate The maximum limit of the housing loan is Rs 15 lakh and Education loan is Rs.10 lakh
World Bank signs USD 100 million Health Care Deal for Uttarakhand
  • The World Bank has signed a USD 100 million credit agreement with the Union Government and Uttarakhand to improve quality of healthcare services in all 13 districts of Uttarakhand.
  • The agreement for the project was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary in Union Ministry of Finance; Neeraj Kharwal, Project Director for the Uttarakhand Health Systems and World Bank India Operations Manager and Acting Country Director Hisham Abdo Kahin.
  • The project aims to reduce the financial risk for its citizens and make affordable and quality health care available to all.
  • It will also strengthen the government’s ability to effectively engage with the private sector to pursue the innovations planned under this project.
IOB to get Rs.1,100­crore capital infusion
  • Chennai Based Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) will get Rs 1,100 crore capital infusion from the Government
  • This was confirmed by Finance Ministry on March 22, 2017.
  • This was approved after the bank achieved the parameters set by the government as part of a turnaround linked capital infusion plan.
  • It was the second tranche of capital infusion in public sector banks to enhance their capital base while the first tranche was first announced in July, 2016.
India Notifies Amended Tax Treaty With Singapore
  • The Government of India has officially notified the third Protocol amending India Singapore Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) on March 23, 2017.
  • The third DTAA will come into force from April 1, 2017.
  • The India Singapore DTAA will provide source based taxation of capital gains arising on sale of shares in a company.
  • This will curb revenue loss, prevent double non taxation and streamline the flow of investments.
  • It would facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases.
  • Capital gains on shares during the period 1st April, 2017 to 31st March, 2019 will be taxed in source country at half of normal tax rate.
  • It also inserts Article 9(2) in the DTAA which would facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases.
Bharti Airtel acquires 4G business of Tikona Networks
  • Bharti Airtel on has acquired 4G business of Tikona Networks including the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) business and 350 sites across 5 circles of Tikona Digital for Rs 1600 crore.
  • Currently, Tikona has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles.
  • With this acquisition, Airtel will be second company after Reliance Jio to have pan-India presence in 2300 Mhz band. The 2300 Mhz band has second largest ecosystem of 4G devices.
  • The acquisition of the 4G business in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Himachal Pradesh will be undertaken by Airtel, while in the Rajasthan circle, it will be accomplished through Airtel's subsidiary Bharti Hexacom Limited.
Noted Tamil writer Ashokamitran passes away
  • Noted Tamil litterateur Thiagarajan, popularly known as Ashokamitran, passed away on 23 March 2017 following a brief illness in Chennai. He was 85.
  • A well known novelist and essayist, Ashokamitran was noted for his subtlety and refreshing creativity in expression.
World Tuberculosis Day 2017 observed globally
  • The World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2017 was observed globally on 24 March 2017 with the theme Unite to End TB: Leave no one behind.
  • This year, WHO places a special focus on uniting efforts to Leave no one behind, including actions to address stigma, discrimination, marginalization and overcome barriers to access care.
  • This year marks the second year of the End TB Strategy of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The strategy aims to help ensure that countries implementing it adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of all those affected.
India Ranks 87 in Energy Architecture Performance Index 2017
  • Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI) 2017 by World Economic Forum released on March 22, 2017.
  • The 5th annual index has been topped by Switzerland while Bahrain is ranked the lowest at 127th. 
  • Top 5 Countries in EAPI 2017 are Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and France.
  • The report showed that including India, some of the other largest consumers of energy such as China (95th), Japan (45th), the Russian Federation (48th) and the United States (52nd) have either slipped in the rankings or experienced only marginal gains.
Five Indian cities included in World Heritage List
  • India has been placed at 87th position among 127 countries in the global
  • The Union Government informed that five Indian cities were included in the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • The information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Dr Mahesh Sharmain in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
  • The five Indian cities included in the list are –
    • Ahmedabad
    • Delhi
    • Jaipur
    • Bhubaneswar
    • Mumbai
Union Cabinet approves proposal to establish a Fund of Funds for Start-ups
  • The Union Cabinet in 2016 approved the proposal to establish a Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) with a total corpus of Rs 10000 crore.
  • Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs) supported by FFS shall invest at least twice the amount of contribution received from FFS in Start-ups. If the amount committed for a Start-up in whole has not been released before a Start-up ceases to be so, the balance funding can continue thereafter.
  • It was also decided that operating expenses will be met out of the FFS to the extent of 0.50 per cent of the commitments made to AIFs and outstanding.
  • The operating expenses including carrying out due diligence, legal and technical appraisal, convening meeting of Venture Capital Investment Committee, etc.
  • The operating expenses will be debited to the fund at the beginning of each half year that is on 1 April and 1 October.
Ministry of Culture Organizes 5th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav in North East Region
  • The Fifth ‘Rashtriya Sanskrit Mahotsav (RSM) – 2017’ is being organized in North Eastern Region of India by Ministry of Culture from 23rd to 31st March, 2017.
  • The festival will be inaugurated at Parade Ground, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on 23rd March, 2017 and extend to other Northeastern states including
    • Dimapur (Nagaland)
    • Majuli (Assam)
    • Imphal (Manipur)
    • Aizawl (Mizoram)
    • Gangtok (Sikkim)
    • Shillong (Meghalaya)
    • Khowai (Tripura)
  • The essential thrust of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) is to present rich diversity and uniqueness of Indian culture and to promote the cultural inter-linkages amongst the states to strengthen National integration and also to bid the artists of other parts of the country with the people of North East in a single thread of culture.
CCEA approved North East Road Network Connectivity Project Phase I
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Phase I of the North East Road Network Connectivity Project. The approval was given at a meeting of the CCEA chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 March 2017 in New Delhi.
  • Details related to North East Road Network Connectivity Project Phase I : Under the project, 403 kilometers of National Highways (NHs) will be developed in Meghalaya and Mizoram.
  • Out of 403 kilometers, approximately 52 kilometers will be in Meghalaya and 351 kilometers in Mizoram.  The project will be executed in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode.
  • The projects will be taken up for implementation during the financial year 2017-18.
NCST approves proposal for 5 additional seats for tribals in Sikkim Assembly
  • The National Commission for Schedule Tribes (NCST) approved the proposal for five additional seats for tribals in the Sikkim assembly.
  • The commission approved the proposal requesting the increase in the reserved seats for the Scheduled Tribes from 12 to 17 at a meeting held in New Delhi.
  • The meeting, chaired by the Chairman of the Commission Nand Kumar Sai, saw in attendance the Vice Chairperson of the Commission Anusuiya Uikey, Members Hari Krishna Damor and Harshdbhai Chunilal Vasava, Secretary of the Commission Raghav Chandra and other senior officials.
ISRO sends four teams to 36th Expedition to Antarctica
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in March 2017 announced that it has sent four teams to install stakes on ice for Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) to validate the glacier surface velocity.
  • The teams will mount the stakes around Indian station known as Bharati and Maitri.
  • One team is from Space Application Center and the second team is from National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC). The third and fourth team belongs to IRS Dehradun and Space Physics Laboratory.
  • Based on the data collected, the teams will validate the glacier surface velocity in order to measure the thickness of snow over the land and sea using GPR’s. Further, the teams will also verify the situations of snow over the sea and land ice.
  • In addition, these four teams will study snow melt and freeze dynamics on Antarctica. They will use space-based and ground-based facts and data to research on this.
Ankur Mittal clinches gold in double trap event in ISSF World Cup Mexico
  • Indian shooter Ankur Mittal won the gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation Shotgun World Cup in the men’s double trap event at Acapulco, Mexico on March 23, 2017.
  • Mittal beat Australia’s James Willet with a score of 75 out of 80 while Willett managed 73.
  • With this, India got its first medal of the competition where it has sent a nine member squad.
  • In the six man 80­targets final round, Ankur missed a total of 5 targets, including just two in his last 40.