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March 2016
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01 March 2016 Current Affairs

UP implement Food Security Act from 1st March
The Food Security Act is set to be implemented across Uttar Pradesh from 1 March 2016. Once
the act comes into effect, poor families will get wheat at Rs 2 and rice at Rs 3 per kg. Until now,
only families under the Antyodaya scheme were being benefited and the families above and
below the poverty line (APL and BPL) had to pay more. The law has been already implemented
in 28 districts from January 1, but now would be spread across all the 75 districts of the state.

New rule for unreserved train tickets from March 1

An unreserved train ticket for travelling up to 199 km distance will no longer be valid after three
hours of purchase of the ticket as railways has formulated a new rule to be effective from 1
March 2016. Unreserved tickets for distances up to 199 km, the journey has to be started from
the originating station within three hours of the issue of tickets or up to the departure of first train
for the destination whichever is later. The return journey facility for distance up to 199 km for
unreserved tickets has been withdrawn. The facility for issuing paperless platform tickets
through mobile phones is already available on 29 stations.

DMRC to ferry cargo on Airport Express Line from March 1

DMRC, in a first, started ferrying cargo on its premium Airport Express Line linking Indira
Gandhi International Airport to New Delhi railway station from 1 March 2016. This service will
be experimental for three months and if it gets a successful response a tender for a long-term
arrangement shall be floated, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Only non-perishable and
merchandise of e-commerce sites will be transported for the purpose of which DMRC has signed
a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a specialised cargo agency.

India to host Raisina Dialogue on Geopolitics

The 3-day flagship conference of Geopolitics and Geo-economics from 1st march to 3rd march
is designed to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asias
integration with the larger world.With Indias rise in stature on the global stage and emergence
as a major economic power, New Delhi is set to host an international conclave on geopolitics and
Geo-economics. Dubbed as the Raisina Dialogue 2016 the programme will see gathering of big
wigs from across Asia and the world. The programme will last for 3 day and see participation of

100 speakers from over 35 countries. The dialogue is being organised by the external affairs
ministry and the Observer Research Foundation.

02 March 2016 Current Affairs

Poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas to be awarded Bihari Puraskar
Eminent poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas has been chosen for the 2015 Bihari Puraskar for his
anthology of Rajasthani poems Katha Sun Aawe Hai Sabad on 2 March 2016. A recipient of
Sahitya Akademi Award, Dr Vyas has highlighted the increasing tendencies of
commercialization and degradation of human values through his poetry. The best known works
of Dr Vyas are compendium of poems titled Shatabdi Niruttar (1977), Footpath Par Chiriya
Nachti Hai (1984) and a collection of short stories Suraj Leelti Ghatiyan. Bihar Purskar was
Instituted by the K K Birla Foundation in 1991 and is given annually for an outstanding literary
work in Hindi or Rajasthani published during last 10 years by a Rajasthani writer.

Govt winds up National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved winding up of the National
Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) set up in 2004 by the UPA government as a
forum for policy dialogue between the industry and the government. The Union Cabinet on 2
March 2016 gave a green signal to the setting up of a society 36th International Geological
Congress (IGC) for organising the 36th (IGC) in 2020 with a budgetary outlay of 52 crore for
preparatory activities.Former Chairman of NMCC V Krishnamurthy resigned from the post in
May 2014 and its member secretary Ajay Shankar demitted office in November 2014. In the
absence of a chairman and no fresh constitution, the NMCC has become non-functional.

Force 18 Multi-nation Military Drill hosted by India

Force 18, initially labelled FTX-2016, is an ambitious military training exercise involving
army units from eighteen countries ten members of the Association of South East Asian
Nations (ASEAN,) plus eight observer states India, Japan, Korea, China, Russia, the United
States, Australia, and New Zealand. It is scheduled to be held from 2-8 March, in Pune,
headquarters of the Indian Armys Southern Command. The main objective of this drill is to
improve Interoperability between the participating nations under which forces will try to learn
each others best practices and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Maruti Alto in India crossed lifetime sale milestone of 3-million

Indias largest selling car, Maruti Alto crossed lifetime sale milestone of three million units in
India. This was announced by its manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL) on 2 March
2016. It took 15 years and 6 months for Alto, hatchback car, to cross the 3-million milestone in
the country. The car was launched in the Indian market in 2000. It is the only Indian auto brand
to cross this milestone.

India stood at 90th rank in terms of Energy Security

India has been ranked at the 90th place in a list of 126 countries compiled by World Economic
Forum(WEF) on the basis of their ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy,
which was topped by Switzerland. The latest Global Energy Architecture Performance Index
Report, explored the energy architecture of 126 countries based on their ability to provide energy
access across three dimensions of the energy triangle ? affordability, environmental
sustainability, security and access.The list was topped by Switzerland followed by Norway and
Sweden in the second and third place, respectively. Others in the top 10 include France (4th),
Denmark (5th), Austria (6th), Spain (7th), Colombia (8th), New Zealand (9th) and Uruguay
(10th). Among the BRIC nations, Brazil was the top performer as it was ranked at the 25th place,
followed by Russia (52nd), India (90th), China (94).

Ex-refugee chief Antonio Guterres for UN Secretary-General

Portugal Government nominated former Portuguese Prime Minister and head of the UN Refugee
Agency (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres as a candidate for General Secretary at United Nations.
Guterres served as Prime Minister in 1995-2002 and as UN Refugee Agency High
Commissioner in 2005-2015. With this, Guterres joined a list of six mostly Eastern and Central
European candidates to succeed Ban Ki-moon on 1 January 2017. Ban took the office in January

03 March 2016 Current Affairs

Former NZ cricket captain Martin Crowe died
Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe died on 3 March 2016 in Auckland. He was 53. He
is one of New Zealands best ever batsman, having scored 17 centuries and 5444 runs in 77 tests
at an average of 45.36. Crowe captained in 16 Test matches and his highest score was 299
against Sri Lanka in Wellington in 1991. He was named one of Wisdens Cricketers of the Year
in 1985 and was player of the tournament in the 1992 World Cup.

World Wildlife Day observed on March 3

World Wildlife Day was observed on 3 March 2016 across the world. 2016 theme is The future
of wildlife is in our hands, with African and Asian elephants being the main focus of global
campaigns. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 68th session held on 20
December 2013 decided to proclaim 3 March as World Wildlife Day. The date is the day of the
adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora (CITES) in 1973. CITES plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does
not threaten the species survival.

Rajya Sabha passed Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015

Parliament passed the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015 on 3 March 2016 to empower
Union government to revise the limits of liability for airlines and compensation as per the
Montreal Convention which India accepted in 2009. It was introduced in Lok Sabha on 7 August
2015 by the Union Minister of Civil Aviation P Ashok Gajapathi Raju. The bill was first passed
by the Lok Sabha in December 2015 and later it was passed by the Rajya in March 2016. Now it
will go for the Presidential assent as per Article 111 of Constitution. Key facts The Bill seeks to
amend the Carriage by Air Act, 1972 to revise the limits of liability for airlines and
compensation in order adhere with the global counterparts.

The worlds most expensive train station opened in New York

The worlds most expensive train station opened on 3 March 2016 in New York.The station has
cost nearly $3.85 billion and will connect New Jersey commuter rail with New York subway
lines. The European architect who designed it called it a gift of love to the city. It is situated at
the site of the World Trade Center (WTC) twin-towers destroyed some 14 years ago in the 9/11
attacks of 11 September 2001. Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish-Swiss architect who unveiled his
ambitious design 12 years ago.

Veteran Left leader Ashok Ghosh dead

Veteran All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) leader and senior-most leader of the Left Front in West
Bengal, Ashok Ghosh, died in Kolkata on 3 March 2016. He was 94. A freedom fighter, Mr.
Ghosh was the State secretary of the AIFB, the second biggest constituent of the Left Front,
since 1951 for 65 years. He joined the AIFB in 1940, a year after its formation, influenced by
the political philosophy of Subhas Chandra Bose. He born on July 21, 1921 at Chinsurah in the
Hooghly district of south Bengal, he was one of the founding members of the Left Front in West
Bengal, which ruled the State for 34 years from 1977 to 2011. Mr. Ghosh played a significant

role in providing advice and support to his comrades in Bangladesh during the Liberation War of

04 March 2016 Current Affairs

Former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma died
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma died in New Delhi on 4 March 2016. He was
68. Sangma was a nine-time member of the Lok Sabha and the Speaker in the 11th Lok Sabha.
He was also the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990 and Leader of the Opposition in
the Assembly from 1990 to 1991. Born on September 1, 1947 in village Chapahati in the
picturesque West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya. A Congressman, who was one of the
founding members of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), was expelled from it in July 2012
when he refused to accept his partys decision to quit the race for Indias President. In January
2013, he formed the National Peoples Party.

Manoj Kumar honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke award

Veteran Bollywood Actor and Director Manoj Kumar is to be conferred the 47th Dadasaheb
Phalke Award for the year 2015 on 4 March 2016. Award is conferred by the Government of
India for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema. Manoj
Kumar is a recipient of National Film Award for the film Upkar. In the year 1992, he was
honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. Manoj Kumar was born in July 1937,
in Abbottabad, then part of Pre-Independent India.

Sunil Sabharwal took charge as Alternate Executive Director at IMF

Sunil Sabharwal, an independent Indian-American investor took charge as Alternate Executive
Director at International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 4 March 2016. He took the charge after his
appointed was confirmed by the US Senate. He becomes first Indian-American to occupy a key
administration post at the IMF. Sabharwal had worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development as Principal Banker from 1992 to 1996. Since 2006, he has been an
independent investor in the payments sector. He had served as Chairman of the Board of Ogone,
a European e-commerce payment services company.

Prime Minister Launches Setu Bharatam Programme

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Rs 50,000 crore Setu Bharatam programme for
building bridges for safe and seamless travel on National Highways, in New Delhi on 4 March
2016. The Setu Bharatam programme aims to make all National Highways free of railway level
crossings by 2019. The Minister informed that 208 Railway Over Bridges (ROB)/Railway Under
Bridges (RUB) will be built at the level crossings at a cost of Rs. 20,800 crore as part of the

Mumbai U-23 team clinched CK Nayudu Trophy 2015-16

Mumbai U 23 team won CK Nayudu Trophy 2015-16 title, by beating Madhya Pradesh at the
MPCA Stadium in Indore on 4 March 2016. IDBI Federal Life Insurance awards the Mumbai
Team with a cash prize of Rs. 20 Lakh.

05 March 2016 Current Affairs

Uttar Pradesh Assembly passes UP Revenue Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016
On 4 March 2016, Uttar Pradesh Assembly passed the UP Revenue Code (Amendment) Bill
2016 replacing an ordinance issued by the Governor Ram Naik. The Bill allows Dalits of the
state to sell their land to non-Dalits in the state without approval of the administration even if
their remaining holding is less than 3.5 acres.

The first Raisina Dialogue kicks off in New Delhi

The Ministry of External Affairs has co-hosted the first Raisina Dialogue with the Observer
Research Foundation on 1-3 March 2016, in New Delhi. The Raisina Dialogue saw the
participation of more than 450 participants from around 40 countries. The theme of the dialogue
was Asia: Regional and Global Connectivity. The inaugural address was given by Indias
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The conference has been organized on the lines of the
Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore.

First India-US Workshop on Traditional Medicine

The two (3-4 March 2016) days India-US Workshop on Traditional Medicine concluded
successfully in New Delhi. The Workshop was organized under the auspices of the first U.S.India Health Dialogue held in September, 2015 in Washington, D.C.Nearly 175 participants
including experts related to traditional systems and modern medicine, biologists, and researchers
from India and the U.S. took part in the first of its kind Workshop. American President and

Prime Minister of India emphasized to promote bilateral dialogue on Traditional Medicine. The
Workshop was jointly inaugurated by the Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge)
and Health & Family Welfare, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik and U.S. Ambassador to India, Mr.
Richard Verma and Assistant Secretary of Global Affairs at HHS, Ambassador Jimmy Kolker on
3rd March, 2016.

India files trade complaint against U.S. over temporary work visas
India has filed a complaint against the United States decision to impose high fees L-1 and H-1B
categories of temporary working visas in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). US had imposed
fees on certain applicants for L-1 and H-1B categories of non-immigrant temporary working
visas into the country. In December, the US Congress doubled the cost of sponsoring H-1B visas
to $4,000 each and L-1 visas to $4,500 each as part of a major spending bill. Indian business
lobby NASSCOM estimated that would inflate costs for Indian IT export firms by $400 million a

06 March 2016 Current Affairs

India won Asia Cup title for sixth time
India defeated Bangladesh in the final of 2016 Asia Cup by 8 wickets played at Sher-e-Bangla
National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, Bangladesh on 6 March 2016. India won the toss and
elected to field first. Bangladesh posted 121 runs target which India chased down for the loss of
just 2 wickets. Indian cricket team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the Asia Cup for the
record sixth time. 2016 Asia Cup was played from 24 February to 6 March 2016. The countries
that played in 2016 Asia Cup were India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and United Arab
Emirates (UAE).

Pranab Mukherjee Inagurated National Conference on Women Legislation

A two-day National Conference of Women Legislators held in New Delhi from 5 March to 6
March 2016 with theme Women Legislators-Building Resurgent India. The conference organised
by the Parliament. It was inaugurated by the President Pranab Mukherjee. Speaker of Bangladesh
Shirin Chaudhary attended the conference and was the Chairperson of the Plenary Session.

Kalabhavan Mani, famous Malayalam actor and singer dead

Popular Malayalam actor and folk singer Kalabhavan Mani passed away on 6 March 2016 in
Kochi. He was 45. Mani got national special jury award in 2000 for his performance in
Malayalam film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum. Mani was born at Chalakkudy in
Thrissur district. He started his career as mimicry artiste at Kalabhavan in Kochi and then did
comedy roles in Malayalam films. He had acted in 200-odd Malayalam films.

PM adopts Nagepur village under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has selected Nagepur village in his Varanasi Constituency of Lok
Sabha in Uttar Pradesh under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). Earlier in the first
phase of SAGY, PM had adopted Jayapur village in Sevapuri Assembly segment of Varanasi in
2014. The main objective of the Jojana is The development of model villages, called Adarsh
Grams, through the implementation of existing schemes, and certain new initiatives to be
designed for the local context, which may vary from village to village.Under this scheme, MPs
will be responsible for developing the socio-economic and physical infrastructure of three
villages each by 2019, and a total of eight villages each by 2024.

E-mail inventor Ray Tomlinson passed away

Internet pioneer and e-mail inventor Raymond Tomlinson passed away in Washington, United
States. He was 74 years old. Tomlinson invented direct electronic messages between users on
different machines on a certain network in 1971. He implemented the First email system on the
ARPANET system which is considered as the precursor to the Internet. Prior to this system,
users could only write messages to others using the same computer. To send electronic messages
on different machines on a certain network successfully he had used @ sign to separate the user
name from the name of their machine. Since then this separation scheme is used in email
addresses and has become standard.

07 March 2016 Current Affairs

New species of snake in Western Ghats
Indian, British scientists have discovered a new species of burrowing snake in the biological
hotspot of the northern Western Ghats, after a gap of 144 years. The snake has been named after
well known herpetologist from Maharashtra, Neelam Kumar Khaire, as Melanophidium Khairei.
The research paper about it has been published in the scientific journal, Zootaxa in first week of
March. This snake belongs to the family Uropeltidae, and all species in this group are burrowers
and live mostly underground.

Union Government launched Mahila E-HAAT

Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi launched Mahila eHaat, an online marketing platform for women on 7 March 2016. Mahila e-Haat is a unique
online platform where participants can display their products. It is an initiative for women across
the country as a part of Digital India and Stand Up India initiatives of Prime Minister, Shri
Narendra Modi. The Mahila E-Haat will help to meet the goal of financial inclusion of women
and it is a big step forward for empowerment of women. Mahila E-Haat is an initiative for
meeting aspirations and need of women entrepreneurs which will leverage technology for
showcasing products made/manufactured/sold by women entrepreneurs. Participation in e-Haat
is open to all Indian women citizens more than 18 years of age and women SHGs desiring for
marketing their legal products/services after indemnifying RMK from any or all acts of
transaction. The entire business of e-Haat can be handled through mobile phone.

08 March 2016 Current Affairs

International Womens Day was observed March 8
International Womens Day was observed across the world on 8 March 2016. This years theme
for the Day is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality. The campaign theme for
the day is #PledgeForParity. United Nations observance and the idea of this theme reflect on how
to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new
Sustainable Development Goals. The theme will also focus on new commitments under UN
Womens Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, womens
empowerment and womens human rights. International Womens Day was first organized by
the German socialist and theorist Clara Zetkin along with 100 delegates from 17 countries in
March 1911.

SBI Life launches new risk plan for women

On 8 March 2016, SBI Life Insurance launched SBI Life Smart Women Advantage plan that
provides for life cover, savings and female-specific critical illness benefits. The product is a
participating individual traditional endowment plan which also provides optional benefits of
additional pregnancy complication, congenital anomalies (APC & CA) and child birth-related
abnormalities, apart from covering other illnesses.

Maria Sharapova suspended after failing drug test

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, the highest-paid woman in sports failed a drug test at the
Australian Open.The 28-year-old Sharapova, a five-time grand slam champion, will be

provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) starting March 12. She is
the seventh athlete in a month to test positive for meldonium, which is used to treat diabetes and
low magnesium, and was only banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency as of Jan.1.

Telangana, Maharashtra ink MoU for five irrigation projects

An inter-state agreement between Telangana and Maharashtra has been entered into by both the
governments for sharing of Godavari waters and construction of five barrages. The MoU was
exchanged by Telangana and Maharashtra chief ministers K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Devendra
Fadnavis respectively at an official programme in Mumbai on 8 March 2016.
a) Setting up of an inter-state water board on Godavari projects will end decades of discord
between the two States on utilisation of water in the river Godavari and its tributaries.
b) Of the five barrages, Maharashtra Government will take up construction of Penpahad and
Rajapet barrages while Telangana will take up Chanak-Korata across Penganga River.
c) Telangana will also construct Thammidihatti barrage (148 meters height) in Adilabad district
across Pranahita a tributary to Godavari and Medigadda barrage (102 meters) in Karimnagar
district across Godavari.

09 March 2016 Current Affairs

Anand Mahindra conferred Frances Knight of the Legion of Honour
Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Group Anand G Mahindra was on 5
March 2016 conferred with the Chevalier de la Legion dHonneur (Knight of the Legion of
Honour). The honour was conferred upon by Franois Richier, Ambassador of France to India, at
the Residence of France in New Delhi. Anand Mahindra was chosen for the highest French
civilian distinction in recognition of his outstanding national and international achievements and
initiatives at the helm of the Mahindra Group. The National Order of the Legion of Honour
(Ordre national de la Lgion dhonneur) is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte on
19 May 1802. In the past, personalities such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Amitabh Bachchan, Manish
Arora and JRD Tata were honoured with the prestigious award.

ICICI Bank launched iWork@home for women employees

ICICI Bank has launched iWork@home, an initiative that allows women employees to work
from home for up to a year. Chanda Kochhar, managing director and chief executive officer,
ICICI Bank, explained this could be extended for more than one year based on the requirements
of the employee. This initiative allows women employees to have access to their required
operating systems in a safe and secure manner, creating a seamless office-like environment. The

technology platform for this programme has been developed in-house by ICICI Bank in
partnership with students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. The bank has also
launched an initiative which aids women managers who travel on business, by covering the
travel and stay of young children and their caregivers. This would ensure that when a young
mother of a child up to three years travels for an official purpose on an overnight trip, the child is
also allowed to travel with her. ICICI Bank has also introduced new benefits under its
Advantage Woman Savings Account. These include unlimited free ATM usage at all banks,
cash back subject to a maximum of Rs 750 per month on usage of debit card at departmental
stores; it also provides 30 per cent discount on first-year locker rentals.

57 countries to take part in first-ever Maritime India Summit 2016

57 countries are going to take part in the first Maritime India Summit 2016 scheduled to be held
in April 2016 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was announced by the Union Shipping Minister Nitin
Gadkari on the sidelines of media launch of the Maritime India Summit 2016.

IMF to set up data sharing centre in India

In a first for Asia, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will set up a knowledge sharing centre
in India, to provide technical support and assistance here and to five other South Asian nations.
Their team will extend expertise in core macro economic and financial management areas. An
agreement is likely to be signed here on Saturday by IMF managing director Christine Lagarde
with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new IMF centre, being set up amid the global
economic uncertainty, will provide assistance to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan
and Bhutan.South Korea and Japan are likely to be donors in the initiative. IMF had similar
regional centres for southern Africa and west Asia. For the first time, four emerging market
(EM) countries of the BRICS bloc -Brazil, China, India and Russia -will be among the 10 largest
members of IMF. Others in the top 10 are America, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Britain.

10 March 2016 Current Affairs

ISRO Successfully Launched Sixth Navigation Satellite IRNSS 1-F
Sixth Navigation Satellite IRNSS 1-F was launched successfully by the Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota on 10 March 2016.
The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1F) was launched by the Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) weighing 320 tonnes. The IRNSS-1F was launched into a subGeosynchronous transfer orbit with a 284-km perigee (nearest point to Earth) and 20,657-km
apogee (farthest point to Earth). The satellite carries two types of payloads navigation payload
and ranging payload. The navigation payload will transmit navigation service signals to users

while the other consists of a C-band transponder that facilitates accurate determination of the
range of the satellite. IRNSS-1F is the sixth in the series of seven satellites proposed under the
Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS). The IRNSS has come to be known as
the countrys own GPS.

New radio channel for traffic updates on National Highways

The Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry is working on an ambitious plan to broadcast
traffic updates through a dedicated radio frequency across various national highways. The
Ministry is in talks with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to get a frequency band to
disseminate among national highway commuters travel tips, safety tips, traffic updates, including
information on accidents and diversions. As a pilot project, the government on 10 March 2016
launched Highway Advisory Services to give traffic updates to commuters on the 256-km DelhiJaipur National Highway-8. Doordarshan was planning to return its unused UHF band (ultra high
frequency) to the government and it had already asked the Information and Broadcasting
Ministry to allocate that frequency to the Highways Ministry. Another option was to get a licence
for the unused 105.6 MHz frequency which was earlier allotted to Indira Gandhi National Open
University (IGNOU) for its educational radio channel Gyan Vani. The All India Radio had
stopped the operation of the Gyan Vani station because of the discontinuation of payments by

CCEA approved Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to provide free LPG connections to BPL
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, on 10 March 2016 approved Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The scheme seeks to
provide free LPG connections to women from below poverty line (BPL) households
.Incidentally, this is the first time the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would implement a
welfare scheme benefitting crores of women belonging to the poorest households. Under the
scheme, a financial support of 1600 rupees will be provided for each LPG connection to the BPL
households. This will benefit about 1 crore 50 lakh households below the poverty line in 201617. It will be implemented at an estimated cost of 8000 crore rupees over three years between
April 2016 and March 2019 to cover 5 crore BPL households.

Indo-Indonesia Joint Training Exercise Garuda Shakti IV begins

The fourth edition of the India-Indonesia Joint Training Exercise Garuda Shakti has begun at
Magelang in Indonesia on 10 March 2016.The 13 days (till 23 March) bilateral exercise aims at
(i) Building and promoting positive relations between the Armies of India and Indonesia.

(ii) Enhancing their abilities to undertake joint tactical level operations in a counter insurgency
environment under United Nations Charter.

Rest of India beat Mumbai to lift Irani Cup Cricket Title

Rest of India won the Irani Cup Cricket Title on 10 March 2016. Rest of India defeated 41-time
Ranji Champions Mumbai by four wickets. The Irani Cup (earlier called Irani Trophy)
tournament was conceived during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the
Ranji Trophy championship and was named after the late Z.R. Irani, who was associated with the
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928, till his death in 1970.

Brazil musician Nana Vasconcelos passed away

Acclaimed Brazil musician Nan Vasconcelos passed away on 10 March 2016 due to lung
cancer in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife. He was 71. He was 8 time Grammy Awardwinning Brazilian percussionist known for his wide instrumental range and major role in free
spirited jazz and world music of the 1970s and 1980s. He was Born on 2 August 1944 in Recife,
Brazil. Vasconcelos was master of a single-string, multi-toned Afro-Brazilian instrument the
berimbau (in Portuguese).

RBI inks information exchange pact with Bank of Israel

The Reserve Bank has signed a pact with Bank of Israel for exchange of information pertaining
to banking supervision. On 10 March 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed
by Hedva Ber, Supervisor of banks on behalf of Bank of Israel and Parvathy V Sundaram, Chief
General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Banking Supervision on behalf of Reserve Bank of
India. The Reserve Bank has entered into an MoU, Letter for Supervisory Co-operation and
Statement Statement of Co-operation with supervisors of a few countries to promote greater cooperation and share supervisory information. With this, the RBI has signed 32 such MoUs, one
Letter for Supervisory Co-operation and one Statement of Co-operation.

11 March 2016 Current Affairs

Lok Sabha clears Aadhaar Bill
On 11 March 2016, the Lok Sabha cleared the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and
Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016. It was introduced as Money Bill. The
government would save crores of rupees by routing government subsidies through the unique

identification or Aadhaar system. The Bill will empower the States to distribute resources to
deserving people and save the resources that undeserving people get.

New frog species found in China

A new frog species which unlike ordinary frogs lives only in clean mountain brooks and
produces a special sound during mating season has been found in southwest Chinas Yunnan
Province. The new species Leptolalax tengchongensis, commonly known as the Asian litter frog,
was spotted in the Tengchong Section of Gaoligong Mountain National Nature Reserve in the
west of Yunnan and was named after the county of Tengchong. The discovery was jointly made
by scientists from the Hong Kong-based Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG), Sun YatSen University and Kunming Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Bangladesh, India sign $2 billion new line of credit

Bangladesh and India have signed a new $2 billion credit agreement to implement socioeconomic development projects in Bangladesh and strengthen bilateral relations. This is the
biggest line of credit India has extended to any country so far. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
had promised the assistance during his Bangladesh visit last year. The interest rate has been fixed
at 1 percent annually with a 20-year repayment term, including a five-year moratorium.India first
extended a Line of Credit of $1 billion to Bangladesh in 2010.

The Union Cabinet approves cyber security deal with UAE

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the MoU between India and United Arab Emirates
(UAE) on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber-Crime. The MoU would
provide help in handling of the issues related to the cyber-crime between the two countries. The
Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be the nodal agency on the Indian side responsible
for the implementation of this agreement.Both the countries shall cooperate in cyber space and
combating cyber-crime in all forms, particularly through coordination and exchange of
information in relation with cyber crime.

Arab League elects Ahmed Aboul-Gheit as new chief

The Arab Leagues 22 member states have picked veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed AboulGheit to head the body on 10 March 2016. Ahmed Aboul-Gheit was the only contender for the
post of secratary-general. He was the last foreign minister under former president Hosni

Mubarak. The appointment came at a critical time for the Middle East, with Syria marking the
fifth anniversary of its civil war, proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the battle
against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group raging across
the region. Aboul-Gheit was also served as Egypts ambassador to the United Nations, had been
widely expected to win approval from the league members.

Rajya Sabha gives it nod to real estate bill

The Rajya Sabha has passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015 to protect
the interests of consumers and curb the malpractices in the real estate sector. The bill seeks to
create a uniform regulatory mechanism across the country and enhance the growth of
construction sector. It also ensures to bring transparency and accountability in the real estate
sector to access capital and financial markets essential for its long term growth. Establishes state
level regulatory authorities called Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs) and tribunals
called Real Estate Appellate Tribunals (REAT) to settle disputes. 70% of the amount collected
from buyers for a project must be maintained in a separate bank (escrow) account and must only
be used for construction of that project. State government can alter this amount to less than
70%. All information for registered projects must be disclosed on website of the RERA. It will
include details of promoters, land status, layout plan, schedule of execution and status of various

12 March 2016 Current Affairs

10 most expensive and cheapest cities in the world
Singapore remains the worlds most expensive city for a third year in a row, according to the
latest survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). EIUs Worldwide Cost of Living survey
compares over 400 individual prices across 160 products and services including food, drink,
clothing, household supplies and personal care items, rent, transportation, utility bills, private
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world
10. Los Angeles, US





Top 10 cheapest cities in the world

10. Caracas, Venezuela




Israel Kristal as worlds oldest living man

Guinness World Records on 11 March 2016 confirmed that Mr Israel Kristal of Haifa, Israel, is
the worlds Oldest living man. he was born in Poland, near the town of Zarnow on 15 September
1903 to parents Moszek-Dawid and Brucha Krystztal, Mr Kristal has lived through both World
Wars and survived Nazi war camp Auschwitz in the 1940s before relocating to Israel. Kristal
claims the title at the age of 112 years and 178 days as of 11 March 2016. The oldest living
person is Susannah Mushatt Jones (USA,born on 6 July 1899), who is 115 years and 249 days,
also making her the Oldest living woman.

Cuba and EU agree to normalise diplomatic ties

The European Union and Cuba have signed an agreement to normalise diplomatic relations after
two years of talks on 11 March 2016. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and EU foreign
policy chief Federica Mogherini witnessed the signing of the pact, which will replace a policy
imposed by Europe 20 years ago that pushed for changes to Cubas one-party political system.

IMF and India to set-up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center in
India and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have decided to set up South Asia Regional
Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTC) in New Delhi on 12 March 2016. In this
regard, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director,
International Monetary Fund (IMF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The
South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) is expected to
become the focal point for planning, co-ordinating and implementing IMFs capacity

development activity in the region on a wide range of issues, including macro-economic and
fiscal management, monetary operations, financial sector regulation and supervision, and macroeconomic statistics.The centre will help address existing training requirements and respond to
demand for IMF training in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, while
bringing the regions training volume on par with those of other regions. SARTTAC will offer
courses and seminars for policy makers and other government agencies from the six countries.

Lt Gen Hira appointed Deputy Chief of Army Staff

Chief of Staff of Northern Command at Udhampur, Lt Gen N P S Hira, has been appointed as
Deputy Chief of Army Staff and would assume office on March 14. He is presently working as
Chief of Staff of Northern command at Udhampur. He commanded the Battalion in Assam (Op
Rhino) during high violence period. The unit bagged 32 gallantry awards and COAS citation
under his command.

LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme named as UJALA

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal on 11
March 2016 announced the name UJALA for the LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting
Programme (DELP). DELP is currently running successfully in over 120 cities across India.
UJALA, an acronym for Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All, is being implemented by
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The National LED programme was launched by the
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent
lamps with LED bulbs. UJALA is successfully running across 12 states in India namely
Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra
Pradesh, Puducherry, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttarakhand.

Arab League declares Hezbollah group a terrorist organization

Arab League foreign ministers on 11 March 2016 declared Lebanons Shia movement Hezbollah
a terrorist group, after Sunni-dominated Gulf monarchies adopted the same stance.

13 March 2016 Current Affairs

Advancing Asia Conference
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Advancing Asia Conference in Delhi organized
by the Government of India and the International Monetary Fund(IMF).The conference was held

from 11-13 March 2016.During the conference, India and International Monetary Fund (IMF)
have decided to set up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre
(SARTTC) in New Delhi. In this regard, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Christine
Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) have signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU).

Lin Dan won All England Badminton Title

Lin Dan from China has won the prestigious 2016 All England Badminton title in the mens
singles category. In the final match played on 13 March at Birmingham, England he defeated
Chinese teammate Tian Houwei. It was his overall sixth All England badminton title and earlier
he had won it in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012. Nozomi Okuhara (Japan) won the womens
singles title by defeating Wang Shixian (China).

Services Won Santosh Trophy

Services has won the 70th edition of Santosh Trophy Football Championships title 2016 by
defeating hosts Maharashtra. In the final match played on 13 March at SEC Railway Stadium,
Nagpur (Maharashtra), the Services defeated host team Maharashtra by 2-1 goal score. With this
win, Services has retained that title and has won it for fifth time in year 1961, 2012, 2013 and

Hanan Al Hroub won 2016 Global Teacher Prize

A Palestinian primary school teacher from a refugee camp, Hanan Al Hroub, on 13 March won
one million dollar Global Teacher Prize. She was awarded for her outstanding contribution to the
profession. Hroub, who runs the Samiha Khalil High School in Al-Bireh, Palestine, defeated nine
other finalists from around the world, including Indias Robin Chaurasiya to win the award. The
2016 Winner of the Global Teacher Prize was announced by Pope Francis in a ceremony held at
the Atlantis Palm Hotel in Dubai.

14 March 2016 Current Affairs

Parliament Passed BIS Bill 2015
Parliament has passed the Bureau of Indian Standard(BIS)s Bill 2015 with the Rajya Sabha
approving it on 14 March 2016. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in last session.

Ballistic Missile Agni-I Successfully Test-Fired

Indigenously developed nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-I was
successfully test-fired off the Odisha coast on 14 March. It was conducted as part of training
exercise by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army. It weighs around 12 tonnes
and is 15-metre-long. It can travel at a speed of 2.5 km/s and can destroy targets ranging between
700 and 1250 kms away.

ExoMars 2016 Spacecraft Successfully Launched

An unmanned spacecraft named ExoMars 2016 was successfully launched jointly Europe and
Russia to search for biosignatures on Mars (or Martian life) in past or present. The spacecraft
was launched on a Proton-M rocket operated by Russias Roscosmos from Baikonur,
Kazakhstan. ExoMars 2016 is the first of a two-phase of ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars)

15 March 2016 Current Affairs

Myanmar Parliament Elected Htin Kyaw as First Civilian President
Myanmars Parliament on 15 March elected Htin Kyaw as the first civilian president to lead the
country after 53 years of military rule. Army took power in a 1962 coup. He is a close aide and
adviser of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of National League for Democracy (NLD) party. He
was elected with 360 of the total 652 votes casted while, military-nominated Myint Swe received
213 votes and stood second followed by the other NLD candidate, Henry Van Thio, who got 79
votes. Kyaw will replace Thein Sein who will step down at the end of March 2016 after five
years of army-backed rule.

Lok Sabha Passed Real Estate Bill

Lok Sabha on 15 March passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015. The
Bill seeks set up a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) for the orderly growth of the real
state sector. The bill aims at protecting the interests of the large number of aspiring house buyers
and enhances the credibility of construction industry. Earlier, it was passed by the Rajya Sabha
on 10 March 2016.

Pope Announced Mother Teresa To Be Granted Sainthood

Pope Francis on 15 March announced that Mother Teresa will be made a saint of the Roman
Catholic Church at a ceremony on 4 September 2016. The pope cleared the way for sainthood to
Mother Teresa, who was famed for her lifetime of service to the poor, establishing shelters for
homeless, orphanages, soup kitchens and clinics around the world.

Bangladesh Central Bank Governor Resigns

Bangladeshs central bank Governor Atiur Rahman resigned on 15 March after hackers stole
over USD 100 million from the nations foreign reserves in what is believed to be the worlds
biggest ever bank theft that embarrassed the government. Atiur Rahman resigned over after a
meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

16 March 2016 Current Affairs

Obama Nominated Merrick Garland For US Supreme Court
President Barack Obama on 16 March nominated appeals court judge Merrick Garland to be the
next US Supreme Court Justice. Garland will be 113th Supreme Court justice of the US.
Garland, who is the Chief Judge on the US Court of Appeals in D.C. Circuit, will succeed Justice
Antonin Scalia who died on 13 February 2016.

India Ranks 118th On UNs World Happiness Index 2016

India ranked 118th out of 157 countries on the United Nations World Happiness Index (WHI)
2016. It was revealed by the fourth World Happiness Report 2016 published by the Sustainable
Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the UN. Key Highlights of
Report Top 10 countries Denmark (1st), Switzerland (2nd), Iceland (3rd), Norway (4th) and
Finland (5th), Canada (6th), Netherlands (7th), New Zealand (8th), Australia (9th) and Sweden

17 March 2016 Current Affairs

Surat Cleanest Railway Station
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan- Ek Kadam Swachhta Ki Aur is the pet project of our Prime
Minister Narendra Modi which was flagged off on October 2, 2014 with a vision to make India
free of open defecation by 2019 and to fulfil Mahatma Gandhis dream of a clean India. As a part

of this project, a survey was conducted at 407 railway stations, which included 75 A-1 stations
and 332 A-category stations, Surat has emerged to be the cleanest Railway Stations in India,
followed by Rajkot and Bilaspur. Varanasi stood last when evaluated on forty cleanliness
parameters which formed the basis of the survey.

SAARC Foreign Ministerial Meeting

The 37th foreign ministerial meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC) countries concluded in Nepals Pokhara on March 17 with the declaration to convene
the 19th Summit in Pakistan on 9-10 November 2016.

First World Sufi Forum

first World Sufi Forum was held from 17-20 March in NewDelhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
inaugurated World Sufi Forum in New Delhi. The meeting was organized by All India Ulama
and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India.

Narendra Modi on TIMEs Most Influential People On Internet

TIME magazine on 16 March unveiled its second annual 30 Most Influential People on the
Internet list. The list has been topped by the artist and entrepreneur Kanye West. Indias Prime
Minister Narendra Modi boasting more than 18 million Twitter followers and over 32 million
Facebook likes stood at 15th in the list.

18 March 2016 Current Affairs

Iron fist at Pokhran
Indian Air Force (IAF) put up its greatest ever show of air power. The event was witnessed by
the President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cabinet ministers and political
leaders, and the entire military brass. Also present were the air attachs of various countries. The
attachs of China and Pakistan were not invited as these countries do not invite their Indian
counterparts for similar exercises. The event earlier called Vayu Shakti got its current name
Iron-Fist when last held in 2013.

SC allows photos of CMs, Governors in Govt Ads

The Supreme Court has allowed publication of photographs of Governors, Chief Ministers and
the Ministers of the department concerned in government advertisements. Ruling in this regard
was on 18 March given by a SC bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi on pleas by Union
Government and states which had sought review of the Supreme Court judgement. This ruling of
Supreme Court has modified its earlier 2015 order which only had permitted photographs of
President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India (CJI) in the government advertisements.

Astronomers Discovered Largest Sample of 9 monster Stars

British astronomers have discovered largest sample cluster of nine monster stars named as R136
using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The cluster is the largest group of very massive stars
ever identified. The R136 cluster of monster stars have masses over 100 times and are 30 million
times brighter than of our Sun in the star cluster located about 170,000 light-years away. It is
located in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud a satellite galaxy of our
own Milky Way. The young cluster hosts many extremely massive, hot and luminous stars
whose energy is mostly radiated in the ultraviolet (UV).

19 March 2016 Current Affairs

PM Narendra Modi Launched Kisan Suvidha Mobile app
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 March launched Kisan Suvidha mobile application for
farmers. It will provide information on subjects such as weather, market prices, seeds, fertilizers,
pesticides and agriculture machinery. Kisaan Suvidha is an omnibus mobile app developed to
help farmers by providing relevant information to them quickly.

Prime Minister Inaugurates Krishi Unnati Mela

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Krishi Unnati Mela- the National Level Agriculture
Fair-cum-Exhibition in New Delhi on 19 March. Prime Minister conferred Krishi Karman
Awards. Krishi Unnati Mela is organized jointly by the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India and Indian Agriculture Research Institute
(IARI), Pusa, New Delhi at Indian Agriculture Research Institute from 19-21 March 2016.

Agasthyamala Among 20 UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves

The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve was on 19 March 2016 included in the UNESCOs World
Network of Biosphere Reserves. It is one among the 20 new sites adopted by the council to its
Network. It was included at the meeting of the International Co-ordinating Council of the Man
and the Biosphere programme of UNESCO in Lima. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve in
situated at the southern-most end of the Western Ghats and spread over two southern states
Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It was established in 2001. The reserve is named after Agastya Mala
peak that rises up to almost 1868 metres above sea level, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. It
covers an area of 3,500 sq km at an altitude ranging from 100 metres to 1,868 metres above the
Mean Sea Level. It covers Peppara and Shendurney wildlife sanctuaries and parts of the Neyyar
sanctuary in Kerala and the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu.

T V Paul Appointed 56th President of ISA

An Indian Professor has become the president of a scholarly group in the US dedicated to
international studies. Prof T V Paul took over as the 56th president of International Studies
Association (ISA), at its annual convention at Atlanta, Georgia.

Hinduja Brothers Top Britains Asian Rich List

The Hinduja brothers have emerged as the richest Asian-origin entrepreneurs in Britain for the
fourth consecutive year with an estimated personal fortune of 16.5 billion pounds. The Indiaborn brothers GP Hinduja and SP Hinduja topped the Asian Rich List 2016 released on 19
March and the annual rankings showed that they had added one billion pounds to their personal
fortune in a year to be worth an estimated 16.5 billion pounds. The Asian Rich List assesses the
total wealth of Britains top 101 richest Asians and is compiled by UK-based publishing house
Asian Media and Market. Steel tycoon Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was ranked second in the list,
released by the Indian high commissioner to the UK Navtej Sarna. The fortune of Mittal,
however, has plummeted by 3.3 billion pounds to finish with 6.4 billion pounds.

20 March 2016 Current Affairs

EU, Turkey Agreement Comes into Effect
The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to tackle the migrant crisis has
formally come into effect on 20 March 2016. Under this agreement, migrants arriving in Greece
will be sent back to Turkey if their asylum claim is rejected.

China to build rail link to Nepal

China on March 21 agreed to Nepal Prime Minister KP Olis request to build a strategic railway
link between the two countries through Tibet to reduce land-locked Nepals total dependence on
India.KP Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal arrived to Beijing on March 20 for seven day visit. He has
signed 10 agreements during his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. This included a
landmark transit treaty to end the near-total dependence on India for essential supplies.

Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton 2016 Winners

* Mens Singles :- Ace Indian shuttler HS Prannoy (World no 13) has won the prestigious 2016
Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in the mens single category. In the final
match played on 20 March at Basel, Switzerland, he defeated Marc Zwiebler (World no 7) of
Germany. It was his second Grand Prix Gold title after the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold won
* Womens Singles :- He Bingjiao from China won the title by defeating Wang Yihan from
* Mens Doubles :- Denmark pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen won the title
by defeating Chinese Taipei pair of Lee Sheng-mu and Tsai Chia-hsin
* Womens Doubles :- Japanese pair of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito won the title by
defeating Japanese pair of Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao

Nico Rosberg Won 2016 Australian Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany on 20 March won the 2016 Formula 1 Rolex
Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia.
Britains Lewis Hamilton, winner of 2015 Australian Grand Prix, secured the second place in the

Gurmeet Singh Won Gold at Asian Racewalking Championships

Gurmeet Singh on 20 March 2016 became the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in the
Asian 20 Kilometer (km) Race Walk Championships.His feat was the first time in 34 years that
an Indian won a gold in either an Asian Championships or Asian Games in this event. Hakam
Singh and Chand Ram won a Gold medal each in 20-km road walk in 1978 and 1982 Asian
Games respectively. Since then, no Indian won a Gold medal at the continental level in this
event. Gurmeet Singh took 1 hour 20 minutes and 29 seconds to complete the race while his
close competitor Isamu Fujisawa of Japan took 1:20:49 with close fight in the last 5-km. Georgiy
Sheiko of Kazakhstan won the bronze medal in 1:21:52.

Worlds Largest Aircraft Airlander 10 Unveiled

The worlds largest aircraft has been unveiled on 22 March for the first time since being fully
assembled in the UK. The 302ft (92m) long Airlander 10 part plane, part airship was floated
in a First World War hangar in Bedfordshire. It was first developed for the US government as a
long-endurance surveillance aircraft but it fell foul of defence cutbacks.The Airlander 10, which
uses helium to become airborne, can travel at a speed of 92mph (148km/h). It is 143ft (44m)
wide and 85ft (26m) high. British firm Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) launched a campaign to
return the Airlander 10 to the skies in May 2015.

21 March 2016 Current Affairs

PM Lays Foundation Stone For Ambedkar Memorial
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21 March laid the foundation stone of a state of the art
memorial of Doctor B R Ambedkar in New Delhi, which would mainly house his relics and
cover all important aspects of his life and work.

5th National Photography Awards Presented

The Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jailey
on 21 March presented 5th National Photography Awards in New Delhi. The annual awards are
meant to honour and recognize those creative professionals who defined moments in history
through their creative pictorial mastery. In addition to the Life Time Achievement Award, a total
of 12 awards were presented on this occasion to various amateur and professional photographers.
Recipients of major awards* Bhawan Singh Life Time Achievement Award* Javed Ahmed
Dar Professional Photographer Award* Himanshu Thakur Amateur Photographer

Indian Coast Guard Ship Arnvesh Commissioned

The fast patrol vessel (FPV) of the Indian Coast Guard ICGS Arnvesh was commissioned on 21
March at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The ship is primarily intended to undertake coastal
patrol, surveillance at sea, anti-smuggling, anti-piracy operations and search and rescue
operations. The vessel among the 20 FPVs indigenously built by Cochin Shipyard Limited
(CSL). It is capable of carrying a crew of five officers and 34 men on board. The ship is 50metre long, 300-tonne vessel. The vessel is propelled by triple Rolls Royce Kamewa water jets.
It can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots. It has been fitted with the state-of-the-art
communication and navigational equipment including night vision capabilities. Its main
armament comprise 40/60 Bofors guns. At present, the Indian Coast Guard has 120 ships, 63

aircraft and 10,000 men, spread across its 42 Coast Guard Stations, 10 Coast Guard Air Enclaves
and 5 air stations.

Health Ministry Launched new anti TB drug Bedaquilin

The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has launched new anti-TB (Tuberculosis) drug
Bedaquiline. It was launched by the Union Health Minister J P Nadda on 21 March as part of the
TB national programme Initially the drug will be made available in six public hospitals in Delhi,
Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati and Ahmedabad. Later it will be introduced in 104 districts across
five States. Bedaquiline is a new anti-TB drug for treatment of Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.
It specifically targets Mycobacterial ATP synthase, an enzyme which is essential for the supply
of energy to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and most other mycobacteria.

Pakistan Ratifies Nuclear Material Protection Pact

Pakistan on 21 March ratified an amendment to a legally-binding international instrument on the
safety of nuclear material that expands its scope to cover atomic facilities and material in
peaceful use, storage and international as well as domestic transportation. Pakistan has ratified
the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
(CPPNM). The Instrument of Ratification was signed by President Mamnoon Hussain on the
advice of the Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif).

China, Nepal Signed 10 Agreements

Nepal and China signed 10 agreements on 21 March including one aimed at easing transit and
transport between the two neighbours. The agreements were signed in Beijing following a
meeting between visiting Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Chinese counterpart Li
Keqiang. The other agreements relate to free trade, installation of solar grids in 32,000 houses,
soft loan for projects, loan for constructing an international airport at Pokhara, exploration of gas
and petroleum in Nepal and construction of a bridge on the river Hilsa. China will also construct
a bridge in far west of Nepal in Hilsa that will connect Nepal and Tibet. Hilsa was a traditional
trade route.

Former Intel Chairman and CEO Andrew Grove Died

Andrew Grove, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Intel, passed away on
21 March 2016. He was 79. He was present at the Intels founding in 1968. Later in 1979, he

became its president in and CEO in 1987. He served as chairman of the board from 1997 to
2005. Andrew Stephen Grove, also known as Andy, was a Hungarian-born American
businessman, engineer, and author. He was also referred to as the guy who drove the growth
phase of Silicon Valley.

22 March 2016 Current Affairs

8th BRICS Summit To Be Held In Goa
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on 22 March announced that India will host the 8th
BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit from 15 October to 16 October
2016 in Goa. India will host the summit in its capacity as chair of the influential bloc comprising
five countries with 42% of the world population and combined GDP of over 16 trillion US
dollars. India assumed chairmanship of BRICS from Russia on 15 February 2016 and it will last
till 31 December 2016. The minister also unveiled a logo and a website of the Summit in New
Delhi. The logo for the Summit is a lotus having colours from all the five member countries and
a traditional Namaste in the centre. The theme of Indias BRICS Chairmanship is Building
Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.

76 Million In India Lack Access To Safe Water

According to the WaterAid report titled Water: At what cost? The State of the Worlds Water,
India has the highest number of 76 millionpeople in the world without access to safe water
supply, followed by China and Nigeria. The report placed India on the top of 10 countries in the
world with the greatest numbers of people living without access to safe water, followed by China
and Nigeria.

India, France sign MoU for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur
India and France have signed an MoU for the construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in
Maharashtra.The pact was signed between Electricite de France (EDF French public utility)
and National Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) at the end of two day meeting held in
Mumbai on March 22. This cooperation roadmap was finalised during the official state Visit of
French President Francois Hollande to India in January 2016. EDF is Frances public electricity
producer and supplier. It has been designated by the French government for taking over AREVA
NP and shall supply equipment to for Jaitapur nuclear park. About Jaitapur Nuclear Power
Project It is a 9900 MW power project proposed by Nuclear Power Corporation of India
(NPCIL) at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra. On completion, it will become
the largest nuclear power generating station in the world by net electrical power rating.

Justice HL Dattu appointed as member of International coordinating Committee Bureau of

Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and former Chief Justice of
India HL Dattu was appointed a member of the International Coordinating Committee of
National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) Bureau in Geneva on 22 March 2016. NHRC, India
will now be representing Asia-Pacific Region along with Mongolia, Qatar and Australia.No other
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) from the Asia Pacific region nominated a candidate
against Dattu to fill the position of a member vacated by the representative of NHRI of SouthKorea. The International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC)
is a global network of NHRIs administrative bodies set up to promote, protect and monitor
human rights in a given country. The ICC coordinates the relationship between NHRIs and the
United Nations human rights system.

Aung San Suu Kyi Nominated To Myanmars Cabinet

Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been nominated to become a member of the cabinet
Myanmars president-elect, Htin Kyaw. The Nobel Peace Prize-winners name was on a list of
proposed ministers announced on 22 March by the speaker of parliament. The list has Aung San
Suu Kyis name next to four posts minister of the presidents office, foreign affairs, energy
and education.

Indian Wells Tournament Director Resigns

Raymond Moore has on 22 March resigned as tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open in
Indian Wells following a tide of outrage for his controversial comments on womens tennis.

President Conferred Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards

The President and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces Pranab Mukherjee on 22
March conferred Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards at a solemn ceremony at the
Rashtrapati Bhawan. He awarded 16 Param Vashishta Seva Medals, two Kirti Chakras, three
Uttam Seva medals, 24 Ati Vishishta Seva medals and 11 Shaurya Chakras. Among the winners
of the Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime decoration, is Sepoy Jagdish Chandra of
Defence Security Corps, killed while fighting the attackers of the Pathankot air base. Subedar
Mahendra Singh of Parachute Regiment was also awarded Kirti Chakra for his role in an antiterrorist operation in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir.The list of Shaurya Chakra the

third highest peacetime award awardees includes two Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel
Head Constable Mohd. Shafi Sheikh, and Constable Reyaz Ahmad Lone but both
posthumously. The recipients also include Colonel M.N. Rai from Gorkha regiment who died
fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in January 2015, and Commander Mohan Milind
Mokashi, commanding officer of INS Sumitra, who played a pivotal role in evacuating Indian
nationals from Yemen under Operation Rahat.

23 March 2016 Current Affairs

Development of Zika Virus Vaccine Underway In India
India is among five countries where projects are underway to develop vaccines to fight the Zika
virus currently circulating in 38 countries. For vaccines, 23 projects are being worked on by 14
vaccine developers in the US, France, Brazil, India and Austria. Zika virus is posing severe
public health implications and is linked to neonatal malformations and neurological disorders
affecting newborns.

Union Cabinet Approves Construction of 2.95 cr Rural Houses

Union Government on 23 March decided to construct 2.95 crore houses in rural areas under its
ambitious Housing for All by 2022 scheme. The Union Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, gave its nod for the implementation of the rural component of the
scheme. The government will have to spend nearly Rs 81,975 crore over construction of the one
crore houses in the first three years of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin under which it
will provide financial assistance of Rs 1.20 lakh to those living in plain areas and Rs 1.30 lakh to
those in hilly and difficult areas.

Union Cabinet Approved World Bank Project For Swachh Bharat

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 March approved the 1500
million US dollar project of World Bank to support Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G).
The approval seeks to provide for the mechanism of incentivisation of States under the SBM-G
through World Bank credit. The incentivisation of the States on the basis of their performance
under the SBM-G was approved by the Union Cabinet on 24 September 2014. The project is
aimed at supporting government efforts to achieve universal sanitation in rural areas and end the
practice of open defecation in the countryside by 2019. The project will also put in place a robust
and credible independent verification system for annual measurement of improvement in rural

PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates 100-MW power Supply For Bangladesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 March 2016 inaugurated broadband connectivity to North
Eastern States via Bangladesh to strengthen telecom services in the region. Under the project, an
international gateway for broadband connectivity will be set up at Agartala in Tripura. Using this
platform, connectivity will be provided to other North Eastern States like Manipur, Nagaland, etc
through Bangladesh. The cost of the project is around 19 crore rupees and BSNL will bear
annual operational expenditure of around seven crore rupees from its own resources.

India France Signed MoU For Construction of Nuclear Reactors

India and France have signed an MoU for the construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in
Maharashtra, two months after the two countries decided to conclude the techno-commercial
negotiations for the project by the year end. The pact was on 23 March signed at the end of the
two-day visit of a high-level delegation of Electricity de France (EDF French public utility) to
Mumbai for holding discussions with National Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) on the
construction of the plants.

India To Accede To The Ashgabat Agreement

The union cabinet on 23 March gave its approval for India to accede to the Ashgabat Agreement,
an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between central
Asia and the Persian Gulf. The Ashgabat Agreement has Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan and
Uzbekistan as its founding members. Kazakhstan also joined this arrangement later. India would
become party to the Agreement upon consent of the founding members.

US lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Help India Join APEC

A group of influential US lawmakers have on 23 March introduced a Bill in the Congress asking
the US President Barack Obama administration to help India join the Asia Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC). The legislation has been introduced by Matt Salmon, Chairman of the
House Sub-committee on Asia and the Pacific.Indias membership to the APEC would provide it
a constructive forum to glean insight from other Asian countries that have already taken
significant steps to advance their economies. Indian Government is striving for major economic
reforms to open Indias markets, improve trade volume, and facilitate his growing populations
need for continued job growth. US-India partnership is vital to the US strategic interests in the
Asia-Pacific region and across the globe. Economically prosperous India benefits the US
strategic goals in Asia.

24 March 2016 Current Affairs

North Korea Claims Successful Test of Solid-Fuel Missile Engine
North Korea on 24 March successfully tested a solid-fuel engine that boosted the power of its
ballistic rockets. Pyongyangs claim indicates it is continuing to develop an intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM) at a rapid pace in defiance of U.N. sanctions, and amid assessment by
the Souths officials that it could conduct a new nuclear test at any time. North Korea uses liquid
propellants for its main ballistic missiles that target South Korea and U.S. bases in the AsiaPacific region.

South Korea Tops Global Average Internet Speed

According to Akamais State of the Internet report released on 24 March, South Korea has the
fastest average connection speed in the world at 26.7 Mbps. Sweden occupies the second spot
with an average speed of 19.1 Mbps followed by Norway at 18.8 Mbps. India stands at 114th
position with an average internet speed of 2.8 Mbps. Indias neighbour China ranks 89th with
average speed of 4.1Mbps.

Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso Won Re-election

Congo Republic President Denis Sassou Nguesso has won re-election with 60.39 percent of the
vote, extending his 32-year rule of the oil-producing country. Presidential elections were held in
the Republic of the Congo on 20 March 2016. It was the first election to be held under the
constitution passed by referendum in 2015. President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who had exhausted
the two-term limit imposed by the previous constitution, was allowed to run again due to the
adoption of the new constitution.

India Overtakes China In U.S. Direct Investment

India has overtaken China in terms of direct equity allocation by US investors.The data released
by US Treasury shows India makes up 1.8% of US foreign equity holdings as on December 2015
as against 1.6% of China. US investors direct investment in Indian equities has risen from $7
billion in September 2013 to $12 billion in December 2015. During the same period US
investors direct investment in Chinese equities has declined from $12.8 billion to $11.1 billion.
However, Indias overexposure within the EM basket has gradually declined in 2015.

Shane Watson Retires From International Cricket

Australias Shane Watson on 24 March announced that he will retire from international cricket at
the end of the 2016 World Twenty20 Tournament. Watson retired from test cricket in September
2015 and since then he didnt play any One Day Internationals also. He debuted for the
Australian cricket team in 2002, playing his first One Day International against South Africa. He
debuted in the test cricket on 2 January 2005 against Pakistan at Sydney, Australia. He batted in
109 innings of 59 test matches and scored 3731 runs of which 176 was his highest score. He also
bowled in 93 innings of those matches and took 75 wickets. In ODIs, he scored 5718 runs from
190 matches with an average of 40.55. He also took 168 wickets with 31.79 average. In T20
Internationals, he played 52 matches so far and accumulated 1315. His highest score is 124 (not
out). He also holds the record of highest ODI batting average of all Australian opening batsmen
who have scored over 1000 runs.

Mehbooba Mufti to be Jammu and Kashmirs first woman CM

Mehbooba Mufti is set to become the first woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Her
party, the PDP, formally elected her its chief ministerial candidate at a meeting on March 24. Ms
Muftis father, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, died in January as Chief Minister of a coalition
government that included the BJP. After his death Jammu and Kashmir has been under
Governors Rule since January 8.

25 March 2016 Current Affairs

Union Govt Launched Survey To Find New Enemy Properties
With an aim to find new enemy properties, the government has launched a survey in five states,
including Delhi, for identification of movable and immovable assets once held by people who
migrated to Pakistan. The survey work has started in five states Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal,
Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Delhi for identification of new enemy properties. In order to
detect more enemy properties in the states by conducting the survey in an organised manner, the
Home Ministry has appointed 65 personnel for the task that include 50 surveyors and 15
accountancy and management personnel. After the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and 1971 many people
migrated to that country subsequent to which Indian government, in accordance with the Defence
of India Rules framed under the Defence of India Act, took over the properties and companies of
such persons who had taken Pakistani nationality. These enemy properties were vested by the
central government in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.

Cassini Discovered Largest Mountain On Saturns Moon Titan

Scientists working on NASAs Cassini mission have found the tallest peak on Titan, the Saturns
largest moon. The tallest mountain is about 3,337 meters high. The highest point on Titan is
within a trio of mountainous ridges called the Mithrim Montes, and most of the tallest mountains
on this moon are closer to equator. The discovery was led by images and other data collected by
radar instrument on Cassini, which aims at observing surface of the Titan in detail. The
discovery was made during investigation to find active zones within Titans crust, where
dynamic forces have shaped the landscape, perhaps in the relatively recent past.

OVL gets Russias nod For $1.268 Billion Vankor Deal

Russian government has approved ONGC Videsh Ltds deal to buy 15 per cent in the countrys
second biggest oil field of Vankor from Rosneft for $1.268 billion. OVL, the overseas arm of the
state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), had in September 2015 signed an agreement to
buy 15 per cent stake in Vankorneft, the developer of the Vankor oil and gas condensate field in
Turukhansky district of Krasnoyak territory in Russia. Vankor is OVLs fourth-biggest
acquisition ever. Vankorneft, a subsidiary of Rosneft, was founded in 2004 to carry out the
project of the Vankor field development, the largest field to have been discovered and brought
into production in Russia in the last 25 years. It is located in the northern part of eastern Siberia,
in Turukhansky district of Krasnoyarsk territory, 142km from Igarka.

Kejriwal On Fortunes List of 50 Greatest Leaders

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been named among the worlds 50 greatest leaders by
Fortune magazine. He is sole leader from India in the list and has been placed at 42nd position.
2016 edition is Fortune magazines third annual Worlds 50 Greatest Leaders list and it has
been topped by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The Worlds 50 Greatest Leaders list of Fortune
Magazine features men and women from across the globe from the fields of government,
business, arts and the philanthropy who are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the
same. The list was released on 25 March 2016.

BHEL Commissioned 600 MW Power Plant In Telangana

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) on 25 March announced that it successfully
commissioned a 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Telangana. The unit was
commissioned at the upcoming 2600 MW Singareni Thermal Power Project (TPP) located at
Jaipur in Adilabad district of Telangana. The 1200 MW Jaipur Power Plant is being developed
by Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL). With the commissioning of this unit, SCCL
has now successfully diversified into the power generation business. SCCL is Indias second
largest coal mining company and operates 16 opencast and 32 underground mines in 4 districts

of Telangana. For Telangana, it is the second major plant after the formation of the State in June
2014. Earlier, in December 2015, the 600 MW Kakatiya Thermal Power Plant Stage-II was
commissioned at Bhoopalapally in Warangal district.

AP Govt Inaugurates Countrys First Lift Irrigation Project

Andhra Pradesh government inaugurated Indias first river linking project viz. Pattiseema lift
irrigation project connecting Godavari River with Krishna River from the ongoing Polavaram
Multi-purpose Irrigation Project. The project has been completed in a record time of one year by
the Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL). The project has
capactiry to lift 80 tmc (trillion metric cubic feet) of flood water from Godavari River in a span
of 110 days during the flooding season between July and October.

26 March 2016 Current Affairs

Union Govt Launched Rotavirus Vaccine
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda on 26 March launched Indias first
indigenous rotavirus vaccine named Rotavac to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea. It was
launched by Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda as part countrys ambitious Universal
Immunisation Programme (UIP). The vaccine is being introduced initially in four States Andhra
Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh (first to launch it) and Odisha. It would be expanded to the
entire country in a phased manner. The rotavirus vaccine was developed indigenously, under a
public-private partnership by the Ministry of Science and Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare. Apart from the rotavirus vaccine, three new vaccines are also being introduced as part
of UIP including Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Measles, Rubella (MR) vaccine and Adult
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine. With these new vaccines, Indias UIP will provide free
vaccines against 12 life threatening diseases to 27 million children annually, the largest birth
cohort in the world.

Hockey India 2nd Annual Awards

Indian hockey players P R Sreejesh and Deepika who won Dhruv Batra Player of the year
award in Mens and Womens category respectively at the Hockey India 2nd Annual Awards for
the year 2015 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Late Capt. Shankar Laxman was posthumously chosen
for the 2016 Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award.Late Capt. Shankar Laxman was
one of legendary hockey player in India. He was a goalkeeper and was part of the Olympic
medal-winning teams of 1956 (Melbourne, Gold), 1960 (Rome, Silver), and 1964 (Tokyo, Gold).
Other winners * Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award P.R Sreejesh (male), Deepika (female).
* Baljit Singh Goalkeeper of the Year Award Savita. * Pargat Singh Defender of the Year

Award Kothajit Singh. * Ajit Pal Singh Midfielder of the Year Award Ritu Rani. * Dhanraj
Pillay Forward of the Year Award Rani. * Asunta Lakra Upcoming Player of the Year Award
Harjeet Singh (male), Preeti Dubey (female). * Jaman Lal Sharma Award for Invaluable
Contribution Baldev Singh. * Presidents Award for Outstanding Achievement Madhya
Pradesh Hockey Academy.

Ancient City Of Palmyra Recaptured By Syrian Army

Syrian Army and popular defence forces have regained control of the ancient city of Palmyra
from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group on 26 March 2016. The city was
captured by the IS in May 2015 and since then the Army of Syria fought for its control with the
support of national aviation and Russian Aerospace Forces. The loss of Palmyra represents one
of the biggest setbacks for the Islamic State that declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of
Syria and Iraq. The ancient city of Palmyra is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site and
home to some of the worlds most magnificent ancient ruins.

Nandita Bakhshi Appointed as President CEO of Bank of the West

Indian-American Nandita Bakshi has been appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) of Bank of the West, a subsidiary unit of French banking giant BNP Paribas. She will
take over the roles of President and CEO-designate effective from 1 April 2016 and will assume
the role on 1 June 2016. She will succeed Michael Shepherd who has been appointed as
chairman of the BNP Paribas USA, a new holding company for all BNP Paribas subsidiaries in
the United States.

27 March 2016 Current Affairs

Presidents Rule Imposed In Uttarakhand
President Pranab Mukherjee has imposed Presents Rule (State Emergency) in the state of
Uttarakhand on 27 March in the wake of constitutional breakdown under Article 356 of
Constitution. In this regard, President has signed the proclamation state Emergency based on the
recommendation of the Union Cabinet. With this proclamation, Congress Government headed by
Chief Minister Harish Rawat ceased to function and the state Assembly has been suspended.
Background The constitutional breakdown in state was due rebellion in the ruling Congress
Government after its nine rebel MLAs rebelled, bringing government in minority in the state
legislature. These 9 rebel MLAs were disqualified by the speaker under the anti-defection law.
This disqualification had reduced the strength of the 70-member house to 61. So the final tally of
Congress MLAs was 27 and BJP had 28 MLAs.

Surya Deva Appointed UN Adviser On Human Rights and Businesses

An India-born academician Surya Deva has been appointed as the United Nations (UN) Adviser
on Human Rights and Businesses. He was appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights
Council (UNHRC) as the Asia-Pacific representative of the UN Working Group on the issue of
human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Surya Deva is an
associate professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong. His research interests
lie in Business and Human Rights, India-China Constitutional Law, Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development.

World Bank Approved $100 million Loan To Jordan

The World Bank on 27 March agreed to provide concessional 100 million US dollar loan to
Jordan for creating one lakh jobs for Jordanians and Syrian refugees. The loan will be provided
at rates usually reserved for the poorest countries. The announcement was made by World Bank
President Jim Yong Kim during a joint visit of Kim and United Nations Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon to Jordan.

Researchers Research That Mint Plant Can Help to Fight Cancer

Scientists at CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic plants (CIMAP) have identified
that a compound called `L-Menthol derived from Mentha plant, popularly known as mint, can
also be used in anti-cancer drugs. LMenthol can kill the colon cancer cell line without affecting
the normal cell line. Mentha compound inhibits the division of cancer cell and prevent its growth
and spread to other organs of the body.Production of L-menthol is cost-effective, non-destructive
and easily available in comparison to anticancer compound used at present, derived from the
bark of European Yew tree. Mentha is available in abundance across the world, the European
Yew tree is found only in Europe and some parts of Africa and Asia.

28 March 2016 Current Affairs

Defence Expo 2016
Indias biggest ever land, naval and homeland security exhibition Defence Expo 2016 began in
Goa. The four-day biennial event was inaugurated by the Union Defence Minister Manohar
Parrikar. This for the first time, the Expo is being held outside the national capital New Delhi.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 28 March unveiled Defence Procurement Policy during
the ninth edition of Defence Expo India-2016. The 2016 theme is Rise of Futurism and its

vision is to make India prosperous by establishing world class science and technology base in
defence sector.

BHEL Commissions 40 MW Hydropower Plant In West Bengal

Power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned the
second 40 MW hydropower generating unit at the Teesta low dam hydro electric project (HEP)
stage IV in West Bengal. The hydropower generating unit was successfully installed at the
Teesta low dam HEP, a run-of-the-river greenfield project, located in Darjeeling district of the
West Bengal.

First Direct Container Between India and Bangladesh Flagged Off

The first direct container MV Harbour-1 Vessel between India and Bangladesh carrying cotton
was flagged off from Krishnapatnam of Andhra Pradesh to Chittagong on 28 March.The voyage
was started as a part of a coastal shipping agreement to facilitate trade between India and
Bangladesh. The trade agreements were earlier signed during the reign of the then Indian Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi in 1974 and they were revived back after a period of four decades during
Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to Dhaka in June 2015.

USAID and ADB Signed Develop Solar Parks MoU

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) on 28 March signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate 848 million
US dollars in funding to develop solar parks across India. The agreement was signed by Jonathan
Addleton, Mission Director, USAID/India and M. Teresa Kho, Country Director, India Resident
Mission, Asian Development Bank. This agreement between USAID and ADB will help finance
the development of solar parks in support of the Government of Indias renewable energy

Union Govt Notifies Aadhaar Act, 2016

The Union Government has notified the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other
Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016. The Act will provide statutory backing for transfer
of subsidies and benefits to eligible people having Aadhaar (UID) number. Aadhaar Act seeks to
provide efficient, transparent and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services to
individuals residing in India by assigning them unique identity numbers (UID) or Aadhaar

number. It will be used for all benefit that will be linked to consolidated fund of India or the
expenditure incurred from it. The Act gives statutory for establishment of the Unique
Identification Authority of India consisting of a Chairperson (part time or full time) and two
Members (part time). Those individuals not having Aadhaar number shall be offered alternate
and viable means of identification for delivery of the subsidies, benefits or service.

AP Govt Inaugurates Countrys First Lift Irrigation Project

Andhra Pradesh government on 28 March inaugurated Pattiseema lift irrigation project, which is
described as the first river linking project in country, connecting Godavari River with Krishna
River from the ongoing Polavaram Multi-purpose Irrigation Project. The project was awarded to
Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) and completed in a
record time of one year. The project has been designed to lift 80 tmc (trillion metric cubic feet)
of flood water in a span of 110 days during the flooding season between July and October from
Godavari as permitted by the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT). From this project,
water is pumped up to a nearby point and discharged into Polavaram Right Main Canal, which
carry water by gravity to a tributary of River Krishna about 170 km away in the neighbouring
Krishna district above the Prakasham barrage.

ISRO set To Launch Record 22 Satellites In Single Mission

India is all set to script history by launching a record number of 22 satellites, including a
number of micro and nano ones from foreign countries, in a single mission in May 2016.These
satellites (micro and nano) will be launched using ISROs workhorse Polar rocket PSLV C34. It
will be carrying Indias Cartosat 2C along with 21 other satellites from other countries, including
US, Canada, Indonesia and Germany as co-passengers. This launch would be made from the
Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. Earlier in 2008, ISRO had sent ten satellites into
orbit in a single mission. The US space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space
Administration) holds current world record for sending highest number of satellites in single
launch. It had sent 29 satellites to the orbit in a single launch in 2013.

29 March 2016 Current Affairs

US museum Returns 10th century Rama statue To Cambodia
United States returned an ancient decapitated statue of Hindu god Rama stolen from Cambodia
during the South East Asian countrys civil war in the 70s. The sandstone Torso of Rama statue,
which stands 157 centimetres tall and is missing its head, arms and feet, was formally handed
over at a ceremony in Phnom Penh attended by government officials, the US ambassador and the
director of the Denver Museum of Art. In May last year, a 10th century stone statue of Hanuman

was returned to Cambodia by the Cleveland Museum of Art. In January, a 7th century stone
sculpture of Harihara, a deity that combines aspects of Vishnu and Shiva, was returned by France
and reattached to its body for display at a museum in Phnom Penh, more than 130 years after it
was spirited away.

Union Govt Permits 100 percent FDI In e-commerce

Union Government on 29 March permitted 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) under the
automatic route for retail trading, or B2C (business-to-consumer) transactions, in the
marketplace model of e-commerce. At present, 100% FDI is permitted in B2B (business-tobusiness) transactions under the automatic route. This notification has been long-awaited by ecommerce firms, such as Flipkart Ltd, Snapdeal and Amazon India, and brick-and-mortar
companies. The notification is expected to redefine the way online retail is done in India.

Haryana Assembly Passed Jat quota Bill

The Haryana Assembly on 29 March passed the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in
Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016 to provide reservation for Jats and
four other communities in government jobs and education. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal
Khattar moved the Bill in the House to give statutory status to Backward classes Block A,
Backward classes Block B and Backward classes Block C by enacting the Haryana
Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016
and requested the Central government to include this Act in 9th Schedule read with Article 31B
of the Constitution of India.

Singer P.Susheela Enters Guinness World Records

Legendary playback singer P. Susheela Mohan created a new world record for singing highest
number of songs. She has now been recognised by both the Guinness Book of World Records for
singing most number of songs in Indian languages. Guinness Book of World Records officially
credited her for singing record 17,695 songs (solo, duet and chorus backed songs) in twelve
Indian languages. Asia Book of Records also has recognised her for singing close to 17, 330
songs. It bestowed certificate and a badge of honour to the singer for the most number of single
studio recordings. She has five National Awards to her credit, besides the coveted Padma
Bhushan honour, which was presented to her in 2008.

30 March 2016 Current Affairs

Bihar Assembly Passes Liquor Ban Bill

The Bihar Assembly on 30 March unanimously passed the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill 2016
to enforce the ban on country made liquor from 1 April 2016. The 1915 liquor Bill was amended
to incorporate stricter penal provisions, including death sentence, for manufacturers and
distributors of illicit liquor in the event of a hooch tragedy.

4,000 Indian Millionaires Shifted Overseas In 2015

According to a report by New World Wealth,India has seen the fourth biggest outflow of High
Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) globally in 2015 with shifting of 4,000 millionaires overseas.
Some 4,000 uber-rich Indians have changed their domicile in 2015, while France saw the
maximum outflow of millionaires with as many as 10,000 super rich leaving the country. In
terms of countries ranked by millionaires outflow, France was followed by China in the second
place with 9,000 millionaires leaving the country while for Italy, at third position, the figure
stood at 6,000.

PM Narendra Modi Unveiled Asias Largest Optical Telescope

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on 30 March
remotely launched Asias biggest telescope, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational
Sciences (ARIES) which is located at Devasthal near Nainital in Uttarakhand. The telescope is
the product of an Indo-Belgian collaborative effort and was assisted by the Russian Academy of
Sciences. It will replace Vainu Bappu Observatory in Kavalur, Tamil Nadu to be Asias largest
ground-based optical telescope. The ARIES optical telescope has mirror of 3.6 m diameter. The
telescope facility has been incorporated with high end technology which enables it to be operated
with the help of remote control from anywhere in the world.

Myanmars Htin Kyaw Sworn In As president

Htin Kyaw on 30 March sworn in as the first elected civilian (non-military) President of
Myanmar after 53 years of military rule. Myanmars Army was in power since 1962 coup. He
belongs to National League for Democracy (NLD) Party and succeeds Thein Sein, who had
stepped down after end of five years of army-backed rule. Apart from him, Military backed
Myint Swe and NLD member Henry Van Thio were sworn in as first vice-president and second
vice-president of the country along 18 Cabinet ministers. Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu
Kyi who is the leader of NLD party that has majority in the Parliament was sworn in as foreign
affairs Minister. She also is Minister of Presidents office, education, and energy and electric
power. Htin Kyaw is a close aide and adviser of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. He

was as the first civilian President of the country by the Myanmars Parliament on 15 March

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