Current Affairs Update – 2-5 March, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 2,3,4 and 5 March, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains, NIACL Assistant Mains as well as other insurance and bank exams.

Current Affairs at a Glance 2nd to 5th March, 2017 – Click/Tap here to show
  1. Google India and Telangana government have signed a
    Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at supporting
    the digitisation efforts of the state
    .
  2. After a gap of five years, State Bank of India has decided to
    reintroduce penalty on non-maintenance
    of minimum balance in accounts from April 1
    , and revised charges on other
    services, including ATMs. The country’s largest bank will permit savings bank
    account holders to deposit cash three times a month free of charges and levy Rs 50 plus service tax on every
    transaction beyond that
    .
  3. Finance Ministry has agreed in-principle to allow public sector banks to
    offer stock options to their employees from next financial year
    — a
    move aimed at retaining experienced hands with better incentives. According to
    sources, Employee Stock Option plans
    (ESOPs)
    could be given by those banks which have not only earned
    substantial profit but also made remarkable improvement in managing NPAs.
  4. Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular SA on 3 March 2017 signed an agreement
    to combine operations in Ghana. The agreement was signed between Tigo Ghana
    Limited, subsidiary of Millicom and Airtel Ghana Limited, subsidiary of Airtel.
  5. Cab aggregator Ola on said it has signed MoU with
    Government of Madhya Pradesh to create 25,000 entrepreneurs
    in the state.
  6. Few banks, including ICICI, Axis and HDFC, have decided to charge a penalty
    of minimum Rs 150 on cash withdrawals and deposit at bank branches after four
    free transactions
    . As per reports, the
    move is aimed at discouraging cash transactions and furthering the digital
    payment drive
    .
  7. Online travel portal Yatra.com on Thursday announced that they have signed an MoU with the Madhya Pradesh government to
    jointly promote homestays in the
    region.
  8. Justice (retd) Arijit Pashayat, the Vice-Chairman of the Supreme
    Court-appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) on black money, on 2 March
    2017 said so far the amount of unearthed black money from across the country stands to Rs 70 thousand crore.
  9. The Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, a non-profit
    organization, on 28 February 2017 released the Annual Survey of India’s City Systems (ASICS) 2016 in New Delhi. The
    survey was published by the organization with the theme – Shaping India’s Urban Agenda. India’s cities scored between 2.1 and
    4.4 out of a total of 10. Thiruvananthapuram
    city retained its number one position in 2016. Pune came in at second, up two ranks over 2015 and Kolkata, third, same as 2015.
  10. Andhra Pradesh on 2 March 2017 decided to rename Gannavaram Airport as NTR Amaravati Airport and Tirupati Airport as Sri Venkateswara
    Airport
    .
  11. Sudhin Mathur has been named
    Managing Director of Motorola Mobility India
    and has been inducted as a
    full-time director on the company’s Board.
  12. Popular singer Robyn
    Rihanna Fenty
    was on 28 February 2017 conferred with the 2017 Peter J Gomes Humanitarian of the Year Award of
    the Harvard University
    .
  13. The World Hearing Day 2017 was observed globally on 3 March 2017 with the theme ‘Action for hearing loss: make a sound
    investment
    ‘.
  14. The World Wildlife Day was observed across the world on 3 March 2017 with the theme ‘Listen to the young voices‘.

Financial and Banking News:
Google India inks MoU with Telangana government to support the
digitisation efforts of the state?

  • Google India and Telangana
    government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at supporting
    the digitisation efforts of the state.
  • Google India will provide Google
    Cloud credits and access to all cloud platform products to eligible startups
    engaged with Telangana government’s T-Hub initiative and through its Developer
    Relations team provide technical mentorship and advisory support to various
    startups, a release issued by the government said here today.
  • The MoU was signed yesterday in
    the presence of Telangana Minister for IT and Industries K T Rama Rao and
    Google India representatives, it said.
  • Other initiatives as a part of
    the agreement include, making all government websites mobile friendly and
    introduce programmes to help local small and medium businesses go online and
    stay safe online.
  • Google India will introduce
    Android Fundamentals courses for students pursuing engineering and MCA to skill
    them on mobile app development.
SBI to charge for breach of minimum balance from April

  • After a gap of five years, State
    Bank of India has decided to reintroduce penalty on non-maintenance of minimum
    balance in accounts from April 1, and revised charges on other services,
    including ATMs.
  • The country’s largest bank will
    permit savings bank account holders to deposit cash three times a month free of
    charges and levy Rs 50 plus service tax on every transaction beyond that.
  • In case of current account, the
    levy could go as high as Rs 20,000.
  • As per the list of revised
    charges of SBI, failure to maintain Monthly Average Balance (MAB) in accounts
    will attract penalty of up to Rs 100 plus service tax.
  • In metropolitan areas, there will
    be a charge of Rs 100 plus service tax, if the balance falls below 75 per cent
    of the MAB of Rs 5,000. If the shortfall is 50 per cent or less of the MAB,
    then the bank will charge Rs 50 plus service tax.
  • The charges and MAB varies
    according to the location of bank. It is minimum in case of rural branches.
  • A senior SBI official said the
    bank had suspended levying charges on breach of minimum balance requirements in
    2012 to acquire new customers.
  • The charges are now being
    reintroduced from April 1.
  • The Reserve Bank has permitted
    banks to levy charges for breaching minimum balance limit.
  • Withdrawal of cash from ATMs will
    attract a charge of up to Rs 20 if the number of transactions exceeds three
    from other bank’s ATMs in a month and Rs 10 for more than five withdrawals from
    SBI ATMs.
FinMin gives in-principle nod to ESOPs by PSU banks

  • Finance Ministry has agreed
    in-principle to allow public sector banks to offer stock options to their
    employees from next financial year — a move aimed at retaining experienced
    hands with better incentives.
  • According to sources, Employee
    Stock Option plans (ESOPs) could be given by those banks which have not only
    earned substantial profit but also made remarkable improvement in managing
    NPAs.
  • It will help motivate employees
    to work towards strengthening the financial status of their banks so that their
    share value rises, sources said.
  • Although the Finance Ministry has
    given in-principle nod, the finer details are being worked out like what
    percentage of profit can be earmarked for ESOPs, sources said, adding, this is
    based on the suggestion of Banks Board Bureau (BBB).
  • One of the proposals is to issue
    shares equivalent to a certain percentage of banks’ net profit to employees
    which is being examined.
  • For large banks, the ESOPs could
    be as much as 5 per cent of profit after tax while for the smaller ones, it
    could be about 3 per cent but no decision has been taken yet, sources said.
Bharti Airtel, Millicom International sign agreement to combine
operations in Ghana

  • Bharti Airtel and Millicom
    International Cellular SA on  3 March
    2017 signed an agreement to combine operations in Ghana. The agreement was
    signed between Tigo Ghana Limited, subsidiary of Millicom and Airtel Ghana
    Limited, subsidiary of Airtel.
  • The transaction is subject to
    obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities in Ghana and the satisfaction
    of customary closing conditions. Once completed, it will provide the
    opportunity to develop nationwide digital infrastructure and services in Ghana.
  • As per the agreement, Airtel and
    Millicom will have equal ownership and governance rights in the combined
    entity.
  • The combined business will serve
    nearly 10 million customers, of which 5.6 million are data customers.
  • It will cover more than 80 per cent
    of Ghana’s population with high-speed data and provide the widest 3G coverage
    across the country.
  • The combined business is also
    expected to provide Ghanaian customers with a major boost in both rural and
    urban network coverage, in turn, translating into better voice quality,
    high-speed data services and reinforced network stability and resilience.
  • With the combined fibre footprint
    and increased number of data centres, enterprise customers such as large
    corporations and SMEs will have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class
    solutions.
  • Mobile Financial Services will
    also be greatly enhanced with combined agent networks and platforms.
Ola signs MoU with Madhya Pradesh govt to create 25,000 entrepreneurs

  • Cab aggregator Ola on said it has
    signed MoU with Government of Madhya Pradesh to create 25,000 entrepreneurs in
    the state.
  • The MOU is focused towards
    training, skill development and empowerment of 25,000 driver partners in the
    next two years, Ola said in a release.
  • It said the MoU has been signed
    with Madhya Pradesh State Skill Development Mission (MPSSDM) and Directorate of
    Skill Development (Technical Education & Skill Development Dept).
  • The company has set a goal of
    nurturing micro-entrepreneurship and skilling 50 lakh drivers by 2020.
  • Ola said as part of this
    initiative, it will work closely with the State’s Skill Development Department
    in providing essential training infrastructure, utilities and technology
    framework that will ensure an improved employment scenario for the youth of
    Madhya Pradesh.
HDFC, ICICI, Axis to charge Rs 150 after 4 free transactions

  • Few banks, including ICICI, Axis
    and HDFC, have decided to charge a penalty of minimum Rs 150 on cash
    withdrawals and deposit at bank branches after four free transactions.
  • As per reports, the move is aimed
    at discouraging cash transactions and furthering the digital payment drive.
Highlights of circulars/notices of these three banks

  1. HDFC Bank: This leading
    private sector bank said that the bank would also cap the third party cash
    transactions at Rs 25000 per day.
  2. Axis Bank: At Axis Bank,
    the first five transactions or Rs 10 lakhs of cash deposits or withdrawals
    would be free and charged at Rs 5 per thousand rupees or Rs 150, whichever is
    higher.
  3. ICICI Bank: The bank on
    its website said that there will be no charge for first four transactions a
    month in home branch. Thereafter, Rs 5 per thousand would be charged and this
    charge will be subject to a minimum of 150 rupees in the same month. The third
    party limit would be Rs 50000 per day.
In case of ICICI bank, for
non-home branches after free transaction, the bank would charge Rs 5 per
thousand rupees subject to a minimum of 150 rupees. For anywhere cash deposit,
the Bank would charge Rs 5 per thousand rupees (subject to a minimum of 150) at
branches, while at Cash Acceptance Machine deposit would be charged after first
free transaction of a calendar month at Rs 5 per thousand rupees.
Yatra signs MoU with Madhya Pradesh to promote homestays

  • Online travel portal Yatra.com on
    Thursday announced that they have signed an MoU with the Madhya Pradesh
    government to jointly promote homestays in the region.
  • “The partnership will enable
    Yatra to promote all the state tourism approved homestays, wherein travelers
    can rent a room in the home of a local family (host) or the entire house.
  • With an intend of establishing
    itself as the largest homestays curator of over 3000 homestays across 130
    cities across India, come March the portal will sign two more MoU’s with the
    Governments of Odisha and Chhattisgarh,” Yatra said in a release.
Suresh Prabhu launched freight sector initiatives to transform Indian
Railways

  • The Union Government on 2 March
    2017 launched four new freight sector initiatives to increase the profitability
    of the Indian Railways.
  • The initiatives were launched by
    the Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu at the National Rail
    Museum in New Delhi.
The newly launched freight sector initiatives are –

  1. Roll-on-Roll-off
    (RORO)
  2. Long Term
    Tariff Contracts and Agreements
  3. Double Stack
    Dwarf Containers
  4. Indian
    Railway’s Business Plan 2017-18
Salient features of Roll-on-Roll-off (RORO)

  • In the Railway Budget for 2016-17,
    Suresh Prabhu announced that an action plan will be developed and implemented
    to expand the freight basket through either containerization or new delivery
    models.
  • ‘Roll-on-Roll-off’ is one such
    new delivery model which can provide multimodal transport mix.
  • RORO services were started on
    Konkan Railway and then proliferated to ECR and NFR successfully last year.
Salient features of Long Term Tariff Contracts and Agreements

  • Under this policy, long term
    tariff agreements and contracts will be signed by the Indian Railways with key
    freight customers using pre-determined price escalation principle.
  • The agreements will benefit key
    industries such as cement, fertilizers and steel.
  • These contracts and agreements
    will result in multiple benefits such as stability and certainty of long term
    freight rates to the customers, assured supply of wagons and rakes to the
    customers through preferential traffic order (PTO) and incremental guaranteed
    volume of traffic to the Indian Railways.
Salient features of Trial Run of Double Stack Dwarf Containers

  • This measure is a part of the
    government’s intention to expand the freight basket and recapture the traffic
    through either containerization or new delivery models.
  • Double Stack Dwarf Containers are
    designed with 6 feet 4 inches height to run under wire for maximum throughput
    with increased loadability.
Salient features of Indian Railway’s Business Plan 2017-18

  • The plan is a continuation of
    government’s sustained efforts to make the journeys of passengers more
    pleasurable and to make Indian Railway’s freight business more responsive to
    the needs of customers.
  • The plan seeks to revamp  railways through partnerships with
    stakeholders, RORO, dwarf containers, road-railers and new terminals.
  • Aadhaar -based ticketing
    application will be launched by May 2017.
SC appointed SIT detects 70 thousand crore rupees Black Money

  • Justice (retd) Arijit Pashayat,
    the Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigating Team
    (SIT) on black money, on 2 March 2017 said so far the amount of unearthed black
    money from across the country stands to Rs 70 thousand crore.
  • This Rs 70000 crore of black
    money includes more than Rs 16000 crore, which was detected after a probe was
    launched into the global leaks about Indians stashing funds abroad. It was
    unearthed through different schemes of the government.
  • Justice Arijit Pashayat gave the
    information after a high-level meeting of SIT on black money. The meet was held
    in Cuttack. In addition to this, he also said that the SIT is hopeful that the
    amount will rise substantially in coming days.
  • Justice Pasayat also informed
    that the committee will submit its sixth report to the Apex court in the first week
    of April 2017.
  • He said the SIT during the past
    two years has made several recommendations through its interim reports to the
    Apex court for the Central government to check the generation and tap the black
    money at the source.
  • He said, that on the SIT’s
    recommendation, the Government has already declared that cash transaction
    beyond Rs 3 lakh is to be treated as illegal and punishable.
DMRL, JSHL signs Licensing Agreement for Transfer of Technology of High
Nitrogen Steel

  • Defence Metallurgical Research
    Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad and Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited (JSHL) on 1
    March 2017 signed the Licensing Agreement for Transfer of Technology of High
    Nitrogen Steel (HNS) for armour applications. DMRL is a premier research
    laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
  • The High Nitrogen Steel (HNS)
    technology is a step forward towards Army’s quest for lighter and
    high-performance armouring material as compared to materials that are used at
    present. Apart from its use in Army’s armouring, HNS has the potential of being
    used in numerous civilian applications.
  • Minister of State for Defence, Dr
    Subhash Bhamre who congratulated both DRDO and DMRL for the achievement also
    called upon both public as well as private Industries and Ordnance Factories to
    use this material extensively in their products.
Non-financial news related to India and states:
DRDO hands over 3 products to Indian Army

  • The Defence Research and
    Development Organisation (DRDO) on 2 March 2017 handed over three of its
    products for induction into the Indian Army at a function in New Delhi.
  • The Defence Minister Manohar
    Parrikar, who presided the function, handed over the products to the Chief of
    the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on behalf of DRDO.
The three new products are  –

  1. Weapon Locating Radar (WLR),
    SWATHI
  2. NBC Recce vehicle
  3. NBC Drugs
Annual Survey of India’s City Systems 2016 released

  • The Janaagraha Centre for
    Citizenship and Democracy, a non-profit organization, on 28 February 2017
    released the Annual Survey of India’s City Systems (ASICS) 2016 in New Delhi.
  • The survey was published by the
    organization with the theme – Shaping India’s Urban Agenda.
  • The ASICS 2016 evaluated 21
    cities in 18 States across India and objectively assessed their ability to
    provide citizens a high quality of life.
Highlights of ASICS 2016

  • India’s cities scored between 2.1
    and 4.4 out of a total of 10. Thiruvananthapuram city retained its number one
    position in 2016.
  • Pune came in at second, up two
    ranks over 2015 and Kolkata, third, same as 2015.
  • The biggest gainer is
    Bhubaneswar. It was up by eight ranks and stood at the 10th position.
  • This was on the back of a slew of
    reforms such as instituting municipal cadres, tiered spatial planning even at
    the ward level and a single window clearance process for development projects
    in conformity with plans.
Andhra Pradesh Cabinet accepts naming of Tirupati Airport as Sri
Venkateswara Airport

  • Andhra Pradesh on 2 March 2017
    decided to rename Gannavaram Airport as NTR Amaravati Airport and Tirupati
    Airport as Sri Venkateswara Airport.
  • The decision was taken by the
    State Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister N Chandrababu
    Naidu, in Amaravati.
  • A proposal for renaming the
    airports would now be sent to the Union Government for approval.
  • In addition, the State Cabinet
    also accepted the Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board Draft Bill. The board works in
    the place of Andhra Pradesh Port department.
  • The Cabinet also decided to float
    new liquor policy by introducing amendments in the Assembly, which would be
    meeting from 6 March 2017 at the newly inaugurated Assembly building.
  • The State Cabinet also gave green
    signal to 600 acre land allocation for Bhogapuram Airport and 75 acres for Savita
    University in Amaravati.
Operation Thunderbird & Operation Save Kurma of WCCB

  • The terms Operation Thunderbird
    and Operation Save Kurma were in the news in the first week of March 2017 as
    the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest
    and Climate Change divulged information related to these operations.
Operation Thunderbird

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
    coordinated this operation between 30 January and 19 February 2017.
  • Operation Thunderbird is the
    code-name for INTERPOL’s multi-national and multi-species enforcement
    operation.
  • During the operation, a total of
    2, 524 live species of scheduled animals, 19.2 kilograms of elephant ivory, 1
    tiger skin, 9 carcasses of wild animals, 1 organ pipe coral, 1 jar snake venom,
    8 leopard skins and 1 Indian Mujtac skin were seized.
Operation Save Kurma

  • The operation was convened by the
    WCCB between 15 December 2016 and 30 January 2017. It was a species specific
    operation on turtles.
  • A total of 15, 739 live turtles
    were recovered from 45 suspects, who have interstate linkages.
NGT bans camping activities within 100 m of Ganga in Uttarakhand

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT)
    on 2 March 2017 ordered a ban on camping activities within 100 metres of the
    Ganga in Uttarakhand.
  • The decision was taken by a bench
    of justices headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar. The ban will be imposed
    from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand.
  • There are 33 beaches along the
    riverside of Ganga.
  • The NGT order follows a complaint
    by activist Vikrant Tongad who had moved the tribunal against camping along the
    river.
  • Vikrant had contended that
    camping and river rafting, when done without any regulations, would disturb the
    environment.
NMCG, Rotary India signs MoU for Namami Gange Programme

  • The National Mission for Clean
    Ganga (NMCG) and the Rotary India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
    for the success of Namami Gange Programme. The MoU was signed on 2 March 2017
    in New Delhi.
  • The MoU was signed by Director
    General, National Mission for Clean Ganga U P Singh and Vice Chairman of Rotary
    India P T Prabhakar.
  • The collaboration would initially
    focus on synergizing the strength of Rotary International for Ganga
    Rejuvenation without any additional financial commitment from NMCG.
  • As part of the MoU, the Rotary
    India will undertake activities and campaigns to create awareness in schools
    and communities about Ganga rejuvenation and thereby reducing the pollution
    flowing into the river.
Union Government launches Swachh Shakti Saptah to highlight women’s
role in Swachh Bharat Mission

  • Union Minister of Drinking Water
    and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar on 1 March 2017 launched Swachh Shakti
    Saptah, a week-long programme of activities across the country to highlight the
    role of women in Swachh Bharat Mission and to recognize their leadership.
  • The Ministry made the national
    launch of Swachh Shakti Saptaah in Gurugram, Haryana, at a joint event with the
    Haryana Government.
  • The launch was done with release
    of balloons by ground level women leaders, inauguration of a sanitation related
    exhibition and a series of folk cultural presentation relating to women and
    Swachhta.
  • Deputy Commissioners of 11 ODF
    (Open Defecation Free) districts of Haryana were honoured on the occasion.
  • Over 1000 women swachhta
    champions from grassroots in Haryana attended the event.
  • The launch marked the achievement
    of Swachh Bharat Milestone as over 100 districts in India were declared as ODF
    districts and over 1.7 lakh villages have become ODF.
Indian Navy successfully test-fired Anti-Ship Missile from Kalvari
Class Submarine

  • The Indian Navy on 2 March 2017
    successfully conducted the maiden firing of an anti-ship missile from an INS
    Kalvari class submarine.
  • The test firing was conducted in
    the Arabian Sea and the missile successfully hit a surface target at extended
    ranges during the trial firing.
  • INS Kalvari is a class of
    diesel-electric attack submarine. These submarines are based on the
    Scorpene-class submarine being built for the Indian Navy.
  • While INS Kalvari is designed by
    French naval defence and energy company DCNS, they are being manufactured by
    Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.
Appointments:
Sudhin Mathur appointed Motorola India Managing Director

  • Sudhin Mathur has been named
    Managing Director of Motorola Mobility India and has been inducted as a
    full-time director on the company’s Board.
  • He will also continue to serve in
    the role of Executive Director for Lenovo MBG India.
  • Mathur replaces Amit Boni, who
    was serving as General Manager for Motorola India.
  • In October 2016, Boni
    transitioned to the global strategy team within the company.
P K Purwar appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of MTNL       

  • P K Purwar was on 1 March 2017
    appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of state-run telecom
    major Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).
  • His appointment was approved by
    the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for the duration of five years.
  • Purwar is currently working as
    Director (Finance) in MTNL. Purwar held the additional charge of the post of
    MTNL CMD between June 2014 and June 2015. In June 2016, he was again given this
    additional charge.
Swadheen Kshatriya sworn in as Maharashtra’s Chief Commissioner of RTS

  • Former Chief Secretary of
    Maharashtra Swadheen Kshatriya was on 1 March 2017 sworn-in as the Chief
    Commissioner of Right to Services (RTS) of Maharashtra. Kshatriya’s tenure will
    be of five years.
  • Prior to this appointment,
    Kshatriya retired as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. Senior IAS officer Sumit
    Mullick took over as the new Chief Secretary of Maharashtra in his place.
  • His oath of office was
    administered by Lokayukta Justice (retd) M L Tahiliani at Sahyadri state guest
    house in Mumbai. State Chief Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad, former
    CIC Suresh Joshi and some of the state’s top bureaucrats were present on the
    occasion.
Awards & Honors:
Singer Rihanna conferred with 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award by
Harvard University

  • Popular singer Robyn Rihanna
    Fenty was on 28 February 2017 conferred with the 2017 Peter J Gomes
    Humanitarian of the Year Award of the Harvard University.
  • She was awarded for her charity
    work of building a state-of- the-art centre for oncology and nuclear medicine
    to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in
    Bridgetown, Barbados.
  • Moreover, in 2012, she founded
    Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program, named after her
    grandparents, for students attending college in the US from Caribbean
    countries.
  • The program also supports the
    Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project to offer children
    with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to
    girls, and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.
  • Born in Barbados, singer, actress
    and songwriter Robyn Rihanna Fenty has sold more than 200 million records, won
    eight Grammy Awards and scored 14 number-one hits till date.
Jawaharlal Nehru University wins Visitor’s Award for the Best
University 2017

  • Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
    on 2 March 2017 won the annual Visitor’s Award for the Best University
    2017. 
  • Pranab Mukherjee, President of
    India, will present the Visitor’s Awards for the year 2017 at a function on 6
    March 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The function will be held at a part of the
    ‘Festival of Innovations.’
  • On the other hand, Deepak Pant
    from Central University of Himachal Pradesh won the Visitor’s Award for
    ‘Innovation.’ He won the award for development of a reactor for direct
    conversion of waste plastic to LPG in small scale.
  • The Visitor’s Award for
    ‘Research’ is jointly won by Dr Shyam Sunder from Banaras Hindu University and
    Professor Niranjan Karak from Tezpur University. Dr Sunder won the award for
    his work in the area of diagnosis and treatment of Indian Kala-azar while
    Professor won it for development of renewable resource based bio-degradable hyper-branched
    polymer nano-composites as self-cleaning, self-healing and bio-compatible smart
    sustainable futuristic material.
Days:
World Hearing Day 2017 observed globally

  • The World Hearing Day 2017 was
    observed globally on 3 March 2017 with the theme ‘Action for hearing loss: make
    a sound investment’.
  • This year’s theme draws attention
    to the economic impact of hearing loss. Hearing loss poses a high cost for the
    economy globally and has a significant impact on the lives of those affected.
    World Hearing Day 2017 highlights actions which can be undertaken by decision-makers
    to address hearing loss.
  • Hearing loss and its consequences
    can be mitigated through prevention, screening for early identification,
    rehabilitation through hearing devices, captioning and sign language education.
  • Half of all hearing loss can be
    avoided through prevention. Primary health care interventions including
    immunizing children against diseases such as measles, meningitis, rubella and
    immunizing adolescent girls of reproductive age against rubella will greatly
    reduce risk of congenital hearing loss among babies.
World Wildlife Day 2017 observed globally

  • The World Wildlife Day was
    observed across the world on 3 March 2017 with the theme ‘Listen to the young
    voices’. The day is seen as an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and
    varied forms of wild fauna and flora.
  • The call of the 2017 UN World
    Wildlife Day is to engage and empower the youth. It tends to give a new
    opportunity to provide incentives to the youth to tackle conservation issues.
    It is also an opportunity for them to engage with one another and together
    forge an inspired path to a better world.
  • The day is celebrated and
    implemented by the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in
    Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in collaboration with other
    relevant United Nations organizations.
  • With 183 Member States, CITES
    remains one of the world’s most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation
    through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora.

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