Current Affairs Daily Updates: 25th March 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 25th March 2017
AWARDS AND HONOURS
8th Laadli Media Awards 2016
  • The 8th Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2016 (Northern and Eastern Region) were announced at the Chinmaya Mission in Delhi.
  • Anima Pookkunnyil, Assistant Editor with BusinessLine, and Shreya Ila Anasuya, a Delhi-based freelance journalist, were awarded this year for their critical gender-sensitive reportage.
  • Ila Anasuya was awarded for her report on Suzette Jordan. Anima Pookkunnyi was awarded for her story about Kamlesh Kairi’s petition to the Supreme Court against the unjust laws.
Six Indian­Americans Named for 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honour
  • PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, author Fareed Zakaria are amongst six Indian-Americans nominated for the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honour 2017 the highest civilian award in the US for immigrants.
  • Among 88 named recipients, the four other Indian- Americans are Harman International Industries chairman CEO Dinesh Paliwal, Dr Annapoorna S Kini, Yashvant Patel, Mohan H Patel, as well as Pakistani-American Dr Adil Haider.
  • Nooyi has been the CEO at PepsiCo since 2006 and chairman since 2007.
  • She was previously the president and chief financial officer at the company, as well as senior vice president, and senior vice president of corporate strategy and development.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
BHEL commissions 250 mw plant in Assam
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has commissioned a 250 MW coal-based thermal power unit at its Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station (TPS) in Assam .
  • BHEL is executing the main plant package contract for setting up three coal-fired units of 250 MW each at NTPC’s Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station. This is the largest coal based power plant in North East.
  • The first unit of the power plant was commissioned earlier by BHEL and is presently operational while the third and final unit is in an advanced stage of commissioning.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS
Radha Mohan Singh launches Coffee Table Book titled 50 Years – The Great Indian Milk Revolution
  • Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, on 23 March 2017, launched a Coffee Table Book titled “50 Years – The Great Indian Milk Revolution.”
  • The book was launched to commemorated National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) Golden Jubilee year.
  • The book summarizes NDDB's remarkable 50-year journey and the value it has created for millions of dairy farmers in India.
  • The book also underlines the NDDB’s belief that cooperative principles are as relevant in the present time as they were in the past. It also highlights the Board's efforts towards bringing about socio-economic change in rural India.
IMPORTANT DAYS OBSERVED
International day of Remembrance of the victims of Transatlantic Slave Trade observed globally
  • The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was observed globally on 25 March 2017 with the theme "Remember Slavery: Recognising the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent".
  • The theme aims to draw attention to the consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, especially the ways in which the enslaved Africans and their descendants influenced and continue to shape societies across the world, including in the areas of technology and culture.
  • The theme also highlights the persistent spirit and innovation of the enslaved people.
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Tiny shrimp fossil named after Sir David Attenborough
  • A group of researchers have found a tiny shrimp-like fossil, which is thought to be around 430 million-years-old.
  • The creature was preserved in ancient volcanic rock. The researchers decided to name it after their favourite naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
  • The creature has been named as Cascolus Ravitis, which is a combination of the Latin word for Attenborough, and the Roman word for Leicester, where the naturalist lived.
Taliban captures southern Afghan city of Sangin
  • The Taliban has captured the crucial city of Sangin in southern Afghanistan after a year-long battle. Afghan forces have made a tactical retreat from the centre of Sangin.
  • The fall of Sangin came amid the insurgents’ year-long push to expand their footprint in the Taliban heartland of Helmand province. It signals growing strength of Taliban in Afghanistan.
NATIONAL AFFAIRS
Union Cabinet approved amendments to existing Acts to facilitate implementation of GST
  • The Union Cabinet gave its approval to amend three existing Acts to facilitate the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
  • The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 March 2017 in New Delhi.
  • Following are the three existing Acts which will be amended by the Parliament.
    • The Customs Act, 1962
    • The Customs Tariff Act, 1975
    • The Central Excise Act, 1944
BJP legislator Michael Lobo elected as deputy speaker of Goa assembly
  • Michael Lobo, a BJP legislator was elected as the Deputy speaker of the Goa Assembly on 24 March 2017.
  • Lobo, who is a two-time MLA from Goa’s Calangute constituency, defeated the Congress nominee Izidore Fernandes by 21-15 during the final day of the state’s Budget session.
  • While one Congress MLA Churchill Alemao refrained from voting, another Fransisco Silveira reached late to the House. Speaker Pramod Sawant also did not vote.
  • The state has a 40 member house and one of the MLA’s resigned just days after the assembly poll results were announced. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar after congratulating Lobo on his win escorted him to his chair.
  • Chandrakant Kavlekar, the leader of opposition (INC) and a three-time assembly member also congratulated Lobo on his win.
  • In his victory speech, Lobo showed staunch support for the Chief Minister and stated that he will always be with him due to Parrikar’s vision for Goa.
Pawan Hans to start ‘Dilli Darshan’ chopper rides
  • The National Helicopter operator Pawan Hans is going to launch a new service, ‘Delhi Darshan rides’ from 1 April 2017.
  • The announcement of the same was made by the operator’s Chairman and Managing Director B P Sharma during the inauguration of the nation’s first heliport in Rohini, in the north of Delhi.
  • The service would include two rides, a 10 minute one and a 20 minute one. While the 10 minute one would cost around Rs 2499 per person, the 20 minute one would be a slightly more expensive service with the cost being around Rs 4999 per person.
Parliament passes The Employees Compensation (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • The Parliament has passed The Employees Compensation (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill amends the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923.
  • It ensures compensation up to Rs 1 lakh to employee if an injured in an industrial accident and imposes hefty penalty in case of any violation by the employers.
  • Mandatory for employers to inform the employee of his right to compensation under the Act. Such information must be given in writing at the time of employing him. Employer will be penalised if he fails to inform his employee of his right to compensation.
  • Such penalty may be between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh. Raises amount in dispute related to compensation, distribution of compensation, award of penalty or interest, etc to Rs. 10, 000. It permits the central government to further raise this amount.
Bengaluru gets India's first vertical garden
  • First vertical garden of India has setup at the Hosur Road Electronics City Flyover in Bengaluru to control the pollution level of the city.It will also act as a soundproofing barrier
  • The garden is an initiative of SayTrees which is an NGO having ordinary citizens as its members who are determined to protect nature.
  • The vertical garden is designed in such a way that a pillar of the flyover is covered with the garden flaunting lovely saplings that are organic and refreshing.
  • The garden has an automatic drip irrigation system allowing the plants to get 100 milliliters of water on a daily basis. iv. The world’s first vertical gardens were set up in China.
MHA issues advisory for compliance of ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an Advisory to the Chief Secretaries/Administrators of all State Governments/UT Administrations, Secretaries of all Ministries / Departments of Government of India, reiterating to ensure strict compliance of the provisions contained in the ‘Flag Code of India. 2002’ and ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971’.
  • The Advisory directs that mass awareness programmes be carried out in this regard and also give wide publicity through advertisements in the electronic and print media.
India hosting Commonwealth Auditors General conference
  • India is hosting the 23rd Conference of Auditors General of Commonwealth nations and nine British overseas territories here, starting Tuesday, to discuss the role of technology in public audit.
  • This is the first time that India is hosting the conference, with the theme 'Fostering Partnerships for Capacity Development in Public Audit', the conference will discuss leveraging technology in public audit and environment audit, it said.
  • The conference will see the participation of 52 Commonwealth countries besides the British overseas territories. About 80 delegates from 37 countries are expected to participate in it.
  • On information technology and environment audits, the CAG has its own international training centres in Noida and Jaipur, respectively, where auditors from all over the world are trained in specialised aspects of public auditing.
SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya among Fortune's 50 greatest leaders of the world
  • SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya and Indian-origin physician Raj Panjabi have been named by Fortune magazine among the world's 50 greatest leaders who are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same.
  • Bhattacharya, Chairman of India's largest bank and the first-ever woman to do so, has been ranked 26th on the list while Panjabi, founder and CEO of Last Mile Health, follows closely on the 28th spot.
  • The list has been topped by President of Baseball Operations at Chicago Cubs Theo Epstein, followed by Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma on the second spot, Pope Francis (3), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Cochair Melinda Gates (4) and Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (5).
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY / DEFENCE AFFAIRS
Scientists develop solar-powered skin for prosthetic limbs
  • Researchers including Indian origin from University of Glasgow have developed new prototype prosthetic limbs having solar-powered skin.
  • The solar-powered skin will give amputees with prosthetic limbs a better sense capabilities of touch, temperature and texture compared to battery powered prosthetics.
  • The new technology involves installing a thin layer of pure carbon around a prosthetic arm, hand or leg. This allows light to pass through it and be easily used as solar energy.
  • The sun can provide up to 15 times more energy than is usually needed to power a prosthetic limb. This extra and renewable energy can be used to power sensors.
The world’s largest artificial sun sets sp in Germany
  • German scientists are switching on “the world’s largest artificial sun” in the hope that intense light sources can be used to generate climate-friendly fuel.
  • The Synlight experiment in J├╝lich, about 19 miles west of Cologne, consists 149 souped-up film projector spotlights and produces light about 10,000 times the intensity of natural sunlight on Earth.
  • The aim of the experiment is to come up with the optimal setup for concentrating natural sunlight to power a reaction to produce hydrogen fuel.
SPORTS AFFAIRS
Srinagar to get a football stadium as per FIFA norms
  • The Bakshi stadium in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir is all set to be developed into a world-class facility as per the FIFA norms. The total estimated cost of the project is expected to be around Rs 48 Cr.
  • The announcement was made at a meeting convened by the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, to analyse the activities of Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council.
  • The meeting was attended by divisional sports officer, deputy director planning, district officers from sports council and other concerned officers.