Current Affairs Update – 26-28th March, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 26, 27 and 28th March, 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 26-28th
March, 2016
  1.  The Reserve Bank of India Monday asked market participants
    interested in subscribing to special securities under UDAY scheme through private
    placement route to approach it by March 30
    .
  2. The 63rd National Film Awards were announced on 28 March 2016. Best Feature Film awarded to Baahubali: The Beginning, Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome
    Entertainment awarded to Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Best Direction awarded to Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Bajirao
    Mastani, Best Actor awarded to Amitabh
    Bachchan
    for Piku.
    Best Actress awarded
    to Kangana Ranaut for Tanu Weds Manu
    Returns
    and Gujarat was named the
    Most Film-Friendly State at the 63rd National Film Awards.
  3. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United States Agency for
    International Development (USAID)
    on Monday signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on supporting India’s expansion plans for clean energy infrastructure.
  4. Wipro on Monday announced a
    five-year partnership with the country’s top food service company Jubilant
    FoodWorks to deliver energy management services
    and help reduce energy and
    operational costs.
  5. The World Bank Board on 25 March 2016 approved a 250 million US dollar Development Policy Loan (DPL) for
    Rajasthan.
    The loan was granted to support the government of Rajasthan in
    improving the performance of its electricity distribution sector under the
    State’s 24×7 Power for All program.
  6. Snapdeal-owned digital payments platform FreeCharge has partnered with a payment gateway CCAvenue, as it gains access to over
    one lakh online merchants across sectors like hospitality, retail and
    education.
  7. Taxi-hailing application, Ola, has partnered with private general
    insurer Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to provide motor insurance solutions to
    its driver partners.
  8. Power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)
    has commissioned second 40 Mw hydropower generating unit at the Teesta low dam hydro electric project (HEP)
    stage-IV in West Bengal.
  9. The Government of Mizoram and the Japan International Cooperation
    Agency (JICA)
    on 24 March 2016 signed a MoU on Capacity Enhancement on Sustainable
    Agriculture and Irrigation Development in the State
    .
  10. Union Health and Family Welfare
    Minister J P Nadda on 26 March 2016 launched the rotavirus vaccine as part of
    the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of the country
    .
  11. President Rule was imposed
    in Uttarakhand on 27 March 2016
    following the approval of the recommendation of the Union Cabinet by the
    President Pranab Mukherjee.
  12. Indian-origin law professor, Surya
    Deva was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as an
    Adviser on human rights and multinationals and businesses
    .
  13. Indian-American Nandita Bakhshi was appointed as the President
    and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the West, a unit of French banking giant
    BNP Paribas
    .
  14. The International Theatre
    Institute (ITI) Centres and the international theatre community across the
    world celebrated the World Theatre Day
    (WTD) on 27 March 2016
    .
  15. The International Day for the
    Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity
    of Victims was observed on 24 March
    2016 across the world.
  16. Hockey India on 26 March 2016 conferred the Hockey India 2nd Annual Awards 2015 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The Late Captain Shankar Laxman won the
    coveted Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award. P.R  Sreejesh and Deepika won
    the Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award
    for Men and Women
    respectively, at  the
    awards ceremony.
  17. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the fourth week
    of March 2016 released the Global Trends
    in Renewable Energy Investment 2016.

Finance/Economy/Industry –
RBI announces private placement of special securities under UDAY

  • The Reserve Bank of India Monday
    asked market participants interested in subscribing to special securities under
    UDAY scheme through private placement route to approach it by March 30.
  • Power Ministry had launched the
    Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) in November last for revival of debt
    ridden power distribution companies (DISCOMs) in different states.
  • The special securities under UDAY
    are being issued by governments of Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand,
    Punjab and Rajasthan.
  • “RBI has asked market
    participants who are interested in subscribing to the special securities under
    UDAY Scheme through private placement route to approach the Internal Debt
    Management Department, RBI, Central Office latest by March 30, 2016,” the
    central bank said in a statement.
  • Under the scheme, the Centre
    allows state governments, which own the discoms, to take over 75% of the debt
    as of September 30, 2015 in two years and pay back lenders by selling bonds.
    For the remaining 25% dues, discoms have been allowed to issue bonds.
  • The scheme is expected to help
    discoms save around Rs 1.8 lakh crore in the next three years. The cumulative
    debt of discoms is Rs 4.37 lakh crore.

ADB, USAID join hands to support India’s clean energy expansion plan
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday
    signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on supporting India’s
    expansion plans for clean energy infrastructure.
  • Under the terms of the MoU, USAID
    will align the components of its technical assistance with ADB’s current and
    planned investments in renewable energy.
  • Teresa Kho, Country Director for
    ADB in India, signed the MoU for ADB.
  • The Department of Economic
    Affairs in the Finance Ministry had requested ADB to provide financing up to $
    500 million each to support rooftop solar, and expansion of the transmission
    network to connect solar parks in multiple states under the Ministry of New and
    Renewable Energy (MNRE) solar park programme.
  • USAID, through its Partnership to
    Advance Clean Energy Development (PACE-D) programme, will work with ADB to
    assist MNRE and select states in the design and development of public private
    partnership (PPP) investment models for solar parks.

Wipro, Jubilant FoodWorks tie up for energy management services

  • Wipro on Monday announced a
    five-year partnership with the country’s top food service company Jubilant
    FoodWorks to deliver energy management services and help reduce energy and
    operational costs.
  • The EcoEnergy business of Wipro
    rolled out its multi-year Managed Restaurant Energy Services (MRES) programme
    last year which ensures effective sustenance of energy cost reduction, Wipro
    said.
  • The remaining 600 plus
    restaurants would be rolled out in the coming months, a Wipro statement quoted
    him as saying.
  • Jubilant is part of Jubilant
    Bhartia group and India’s largest food service company, with a network of 1,004
    Domino’s Pizza restaurants across 230 cities as of February 11, the statement
    said.

World Bank approved $250 million loan to Support Electricity Distribution
Sector Reforms in Rajasthan

  • The World Bank Board on 25 March
    2016 approved a 250 million US dollar Development Policy Loan (DPL) for
    Rajasthan. The loan was granted to support the government of Rajasthan in
    improving the performance of its electricity distribution sector under the
    State’s 24×7 Power for All program.
  • The First Programmatic
    Electricity Distribution Reform Development Policy Loan for Rajasthan will be
    the first in a series of two operations for a comprehensive turnaround of
    Rajasthan’s electricity distribution sector.

The key areas that the operation will support
  • Strengthening governance in the
    distribution sector in the state by giving more operational autonomy to the
    utilities
  • Establishing targets for reducing
    the gap between the cost of supply and revenue recovery
  • Providing incentives to employees
    for improving performance

FreeCharge partners with payment gateway CCAvenue, to tap 100,000
online merchants

  • Snapdeal-owned digital payments
    platform FreeCharge has partnered with a payment gateway CCAvenue, as it gains
    access to over one lakh online merchants across sectors like hospitality,
    retail and education.

  • It will also help them access
    real-time,multi-currency online payment services, FreeCharge said in a
    statement Saturday.
  • This association would allow
    CCAvenue e-merchants use FreeCharge as a payment option.
  • FreeCharge directly competes with
    payment e-wallets like Alibaba-backed Paytm, and Flipkart’s recently launched
    Flipkart Money.
  • Founded in 2001, CCAvenue is a
    payment gateway service provider offering real-time, multi-currency payment
    solutions to businesses in hospitality, education, online retail and other major
    industry verticals.

Ola, Bajaj Allianz tie up to offer motor insurance to drivers

  • Taxi-hailing application, Ola,
    has partnered with private general insurer Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to
    provide motor insurance solutions to its driver partners. Through this tie-up,
    the driver-partners will have easy access to availing motor insurance with a
    host of value-added services and add on covers like depreciation shield and
    engine protector provided by Bajaj Allianz.
  • The two companies are also
    working together to create a digital infrastructure that will bring insurance
    transactions like purchase or claims, fully online. Pranay Jivrajka, COO at Ola
    said that driver entrepreneurs are key stakeholders to the growth of mobility
    in India and they are building a robust ecosystem for them through initiatives
    like these, enabling them to grow professionally and personally.
  • In the past two years, Ola has
    announced several social and financial benefits for its drivers. The company
    had recently announced its partnership with Indifi to offer personal loans to
    its drivers.

BHEL commissions 40 Mw hydro electric generating unit in West Bengal

  • Power equipment manufacturer
    Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned second 40 Mw
    hydropower generating unit at the Teesta low dam hydro electric project (HEP)
    stage-IV in West Bengal, the company said on Monday.
  • A run-of-the-river greenfield
    project, located in Darjeeling district of the state, is being set up by
    National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC). The order was placed with the
    heavy engineering company by NHPC.
  • The order for the electrical
    & mechanical (E&M) work of four units of 40 MW each was given to BHEL.
  • The company’s Bhopal, Jhansi,
    Rudrapur, Mumbai and Bengaluru facilities are supplying equipment for the
    project while the execution of work on site is being carried out by its power
    sector eastern region. The remaining two units of the project are also in
    advanced stages of execution, the company said.

Mizoram, JICA signed MoU on Capacity Enhancement on Sustainable
Agriculture and Irrigation
Development
  • The Government of Mizoram and the
    Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on 24 March 2016 signed a MoU on
    Capacity Enhancement on Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Development in
    the State.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding
    was signed in the presence of State Chief Secretary Lalmalsawma and Satoru
    Fujita, Team Leader and Deputy Director, Rural Development Department, JICA.

Features of the MoU
  • As part of the MoU, JICA will
    undertake technical cooperation project in 4 rural develop blocks in Aizawl,
    Kolasib, Serchhip and Champhai districts.
  • It is primarily a technical
    cooperation project under which training programmes on sustainable agriculture
    and irrigation development
  • The training programmes will take
    place for three times between October 2016 and September 2021 in Japan.
  • The entire project will be based
    on a development study that was conducted by JICA between 2013 and 2015, under
    which a 20-year master plan was prepared

Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and UAE to mobilise long term
investment into NIIF
  • The Union Cabinet on 23 March
    2016 gave its ex-post facto approval for a MoU between India and the United
    Arab Emirates (UAE) to mobilise long term investment into the National
    Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
  • The Memorandum of Understanding
    was signed on 11 February 2016 to maximize economic impact mainly through
    infrastructure development in commercially viable projects in India.

Features of the MoU
  • It seeks to mobilize funds to
    develop commercially viable projects including greenfield, brownfield and
    stalled projects.
  • It will facilitate establishment
    of a transparent and high-level framework and collaboration platform for smooth
    flow of investments for this purpose.

India –
Health Minister JP Nadda launched Rotavirus vaccine as part of
Universal Immunization Programme
  • Union Health and Family Welfare
    Minister J P Nadda on 26 March 2016 launched the rotavirus vaccine as part of
    the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of the country.
  • The vaccine is being introduced
    initially in four states, which are Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh
    and Odisha and will 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.

President’s Rule imposed in Uttarakhand
  • President Rule was imposed in
    Uttarakhand on 27 March 2016 following the approval of the recommendation of
    the Union Cabinet by the President Pranab Mukherjee. The Cabinet recommended
    president rule in the state citing a constitutional breakdown.
  • President signed the proclamation
    under Article 356 of the Constitution dismissing the Congress government headed
    by Harish Rawat and placing the Assembly under suspended animation.
  • Under suspended animation, the
    legislative assembly though is not dissolved but the legislative power of the
    state is taken over by the parliament from the declaration of the president
    rule. An assembly remains in this state until further notice from the
    president.

Awards & Honors –
63rd National Film Awards announced
  • The 63rd National Film Awards
    were announced on 28 March 2016.
  • The awards will be presented by
    Directorate of Film Festivals of India to honour the best films of 2015 in the
    Indian cinema. The award ceremony will be held on 3 May 2016.

  1. Best Feature Film – Baahubali:
    The Beginning
  2. Indira Gandhi Award for Best
    Debut Film Of A Director – Neeraj Ghaywan for Masaan
  3. Best Popular Film Providing
    Wholesome Entertainment – Bajrangi Bhaijaan
  4. Best Children’s Film – Duronto
  5. Best Direction – Sanjay Leela
    Bhansali for Bajirao Mastani
  6. Nargis Dutt Award for Best
    Feature Film on National Integration – Nanak Shah Fakir
  7. Best Film on Environment /
    Conservation / Preservation – Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal
  8. Best Film on Social Issue –
    Niranayakam
  9. Best Actor – Amitabh Bachchan for
    Piku
  10. Best Actress – Kangana Ranaut for
    Tanu Weds Manu Returns
  11. Best Supporting Actor –
    Samuthirakani for Visaranai
  12. Best Supporting Actress – Tanvi
    Azmi for Bajirao Mastani
  13. Best Child Artist – Gaurav Menon
    for Ben
  14. Best Hindi Film -Dum Laga Ke
    Haisha

Gujarat was named the Most
Film-Friendly State at the 63rd National Film Awards.
Appointments –
Indian-origin professor Surya Deva appointed UN Adviser on Human Rights
and Businesses

  • Indian-origin law professor,
    Surya Deva was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as
    an Adviser on human rights and multinationals and businesses.
  • Deva’s appointment to the
    position was approved on 24 March 2016 in Geneva by the UNHRC.
  • After the appointment, Deva will
    serve as a member of the four-member Working Group on the issue of human rights
    and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Indian-American Nandita Bakhshi named President, CEO of Bank of the
West

  • Indian-American Nandita Bakhshi
    was appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the West,
    a unit of French banking giant BNP Paribas. Her appointment was announced by
    the bank on 16 March 2016.
  • 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.
  • Bakhshi succeeded Michael
    Shepherd who will take on the role of Chairman of BNP Paribas USA, the new
    holding company for all BNP Paribas subsidiaries in the US. Shepherd will
    continue to serve as Chairman of BancWest Corporation and of Bank of the West.

World –
Pakistan, Iran signed 6 MoUs to strengthen bilateral relations
  • Pakistan and Iran on 25 March
    2016 signed 6 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to strengthen bilateral cooperation
    in health, commerce, finance and foreign services..
  • The MoUs were signed in Islamabad
    during Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Pakistan. This was the
    first visit by an Iranian head of state in 14 years to Pakistan and also the
    first visit after lifting of international sanctions on Iran.

World Bank approved $100 million loan to Jordan for creating jobs for
Jordanians, Syrian refugees
  • The World Bank on 27 March 2016
    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.
  • The long-term loan is part of an
    attempt by the international community to improve conditions for refugees in
    overburdened host countries Jordan and Lebanon.
  • More than 4.8 million Syrians
    have fled their country since the start of the Syria conflict in 2011. Jordan
    hosts about 640000 registered Syrian refugees and Lebanon more than one
    million.

Days –
World Theatre Day 2016 observed globally

  • The International Theatre
    Institute (ITI) Centres and the international theatre community across the
    world celebrated the World Theatre Day (WTD) on 27 March 2016.
  • The Russian Dramatist Anatoly
    Vasiliev was the World Theatre Day International Message Author 2016. Vasiliev
    is a noted Russian theatre director and one of the leading European
    contemporary stage directors.
  • World Theatre Day was initiated
    in 1961 by the ITI. Various national and international theatre events are also
    organized to mark the occasion. 
  • One of the most important of these is the
    circulation of the World Theatre Day International Message through which, at
    the invitation of ITI, a figure of world stature shares his or her reflections
    on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace. 
  • The first World Theatre Day
    International Message was written by Jean Cocteau (France) in 1962.

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human
Rights Violations observed
  • The International Day for the
    Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity
    of Victims was observed on 24 March 2016 across the world.
  • To mark the occasion, all Member
    States of the UN, international organizations and civil society organizations
    conducted awareness programmes on the importance of protection of human rights.

Sports –
Hockey India Second Annual Awards 2015 conferred

  • Hockey India on 26 March 2016
    conferred the Hockey India 2nd Annual Awards 2015 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • The Late Captain Shankar Laxman
    won the coveted Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award. P.R Sreejesh and
    Deepika won the Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award for Men and Women respectively,
    at the awards ceremony.

Reports –
UNEP released Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016

  • The United Nations Environment
    Programme (UNEP) in the fourth week of March 2016 released the Global Trends in
    Renewable Energy Investment 2016.
  • The report, which was prepared by
    the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate and Sustainable
    Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, assessed investment trends in
    the renewable energy sector across the world in 2015.
  • The report further revealed that
    within the developing-economy category, the “big three” of China, India and
    Brazil saw investment rise 16 percent to 120.2 billion US dollars in 2015.
  • 2015 produced a new record for
    global investment in renewable energy. The amount of money committed to
    renewables excluding large hydro-electric projects rose 5 percent to 285.9
    billion US dollars, exceeding the previous record of 278.5 billion US dollars
    achieved in 2011.

Books & Authors –
Anything But Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha Biography authored by
Bharathi S Pradhan
  • The book entitled Anything But
    Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha Biography was in news in the fourth week of March
    2016. The book was authored by Bharathi S Pradhan.
  • The book describes film actor
    Shatrughan Sinha’s journey from Patna to Film Institute of India (now FTII) in
    Poona and his tryst with the celluloid in Mumbai.
  • This Pradhan’s work also traces
    Sinha’s political journey. In 2003, Sinha set a record as the first film star
    to be sworn-in as a Union Cabinet Minister.



Regards

Team ExamPundit

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