Current Affairs Update – 31st March, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 31 March, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO mains, BOB Manipal 2017, NICL AO 2017 and NIACL Assistant 2017.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 31st March, 2017 – Tap to show
  1. Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) plans to work with African Development Bank (AfDB) on
    co-financing of projects in Africa, David Rasquinha, Managing Director, Exim
    Bank has said.
  2. Karnataka Bank and SBI Card have launched co-branded credit cards for
    the customers of Karnataka Bank
    . Through this alliance Karnataka Bank and
    SBI Card will launch two variants of the co-branded credit card – ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’ and ‘Karnataka Bank SimplySAVE SBI Card’.
  3. The government has lowered the interest rates on small savings schemes
    like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi scheme by 0.1
    per cent
    for the April-June quarter, a move that would prompt banks to cut their deposit
    rates.
  4. India’s fourth largest IT
    services company HCL Technologies today
    signed an MoU with Andhra Pradesh government to set up its campus in Vijayawada-Amaravati
    region
    . The company will invest Rs 500 crore in ten years in the project
    involving a development centre and a training facility spread over 27.86 acres
    to be allotted by the government.
  5. India on 30 March 2017 signed
    loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) of USD 350 million for
    development
    and upgradation of major district roads project in Madhya Pradesh.
  6. Amazon.com Inc., the USA based e-commerce giant, on 28 March 2017
    acquired Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest online retailer. However, the deal’s
    specific value was not announced.
  7. Kanha Tiger Reserve in the last week of Macrh 2017 became the first tiger reserve in India to
    officially introduce a mascot, named Bhoorsingh
    the Barasingha.
  8. The Union Minister for Road
    Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a new child care centre in Mumbai for children
    who have cancer
    on 30 March 2017.
  9. The Union Railways Minister
    Suresh Prabhu on 30 March 2017 released a book on the Indian Railways – ‘Indian Railway-The weaving of a National
    Tapestry
    .
  10. The World Theatre Day was celebrated on 27 March 2017 across the globe.

Financial and Banking News –
Exim Bank to work with African Development Bank on co-financing of
projects

  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim
    Bank plans to work with African Development Bank (AfDB) on co-financing of
    projects in Africa, David Rasquinha, Managing Director, Exim Bank has said.
  • To begin with, both are likely to
    focus on co-financing of projects in power, agriculture and irrigation over the
    next 2-3 years, Rasquinha told BusinessLine here after a bilateral meeting with
    visiting AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina here on Friday.
  • It’s not that both already have a
    pipeline of projects for co-financing, but would endeavour to work on this, he
    added.
  • At their bilateral talks, both
    sides also discussed the aspect of getting the recently formed Kukuza Project
    Development Company (KPDC) “off the ground and run”
  • KPDC has been set up by Exim Bank
    in partnership with AfDB, State Bank of India and IL&FS. It’s main purpose
    is to essentially look to bring infrastructure projects in Africa to a bankable
    stage and facilitate exports from India to Africa.
  • Opportunities for infrastructure
    development in Africa are huge with a World Bank study few years back
    projecting the annual investment requirement in infrastructure at $ 90 billion.
Karnataka Bank, SBI Card launch co-branded credit card

  • Karnataka Bank and SBI Card have
    launched co-branded credit cards for the customers of Karnataka Bank. Through
    this alliance Karnataka Bank and SBI Card will launch two variants of the
    co-branded credit card – ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’ and ‘Karnataka Bank
    SimplySAVE SBI Card’.
  • A press release said here on
    Friday that ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’, which has been designed keeping
    in mind the premium customers, offers features in line with their lifestyle and
    spending patterns. ‘Karnataka Bank SimplySAVE SBI Card’ is aimed at value
    conscious consumers and offers rewards and features that enable customers to
    maximise their savings on their regular spends, it said
Govt lowers interest rate on small savings schemes by 0.1%

  • The government has lowered the
    interest rates on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya
    Samriddhi scheme by 0.1 per cent for the April-June quarter, a move that would
    prompt banks to cut their deposit rates.
  • For April-June, the rates have
    been lowered by 0.1 per cent across the board compared to January-March.
    However, the interest rates on savings deposits have been retained at 4 per
    cent annually.
  • Since April last year, the
    interest rates of all small savings schemes have been recalibrated on a
    quarterly basis.
  • A Finance Ministry notification
    said investments in the public provident fund (PPF) scheme will fetch a lower
    annual rate of 7.9 per cent, the same as five-year National Savings
    Certificate. The existing rate for these two schemes is 8 per cent.
  • Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)
    investments will yield 7.6 per cent and mature in 112 months.
  • The one for girl child savings,
    Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, will offer 8.4 per cent annually from 8.5 per
    cent at present, while it will be the same at 8.4 per cent for the five-year
    senior citizens savings scheme. Interest rate on senior citizens scheme is paid
    quarterly.
  • Term deposits of one to five
    years will fetch 6.9-7.7 per cent that will be paid quarterly, while the
    five-year recurring deposit has been pegged lower at 7.2 per cent.
HCL Tech signs MoU with Andhra govt to set up Rs 500 cr campus

  • India’s fourth largest IT
    services company HCL Technologies today signed an MoU with Andhra Pradesh
    government to set up its campus in Vijayawada-Amaravati region.
  • The company will invest Rs 500
    crore in ten years in the project involving a development centre and a training
    facility spread over 27.86 acres to be allotted by the government.
  • “The objective of this MoU
    is to create a state-of-the-art global IT development centre, recruit local
    talent and mainly create an ecosystem to nourish the sector,” AP government
    said in a statement.
  • The company is committed to
    provide employment to 5,000 local residents under two phases. In phase-1 of the
    project, HCL plans to invest Rs 300 crore providing employment to 3,000 people
    while in phase-2, which is likely to commence in 2022, Rs 200 crore will be
    invested, providing jobs to 2,000 locals, according to the statement.
India signs loan agreement with NDB for development of roads project in
Madhya Pradesh

  • India on 30 March 2017 signed
    loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) of USD 350 million for
    development and upgradation of major district roads project in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The loan agreement was signed by
    Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and Xian
    Zhu, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the New Development Bank.
  • While, the project agreement was
    signed by Pramod Agrawal, Principal Secretary of Public Works Department and
    Manish Rastogi, Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Road Development
    Corporation (MPRDC).
  • This is the first loan agreement
    for NDB assisted project in India.
  • The Project is aimed at
    upgradation of major district roads in the state of Madhya Pradesh to improve
    connectivity of the interior areas of the state with the national and state
    highway networks. 
  • It will include upgradation,
    rehabilitation or reconstruction of approximately 1500 km of district roads to
    intermediate lane, all-weather standards, with road safety features and
    improved road asset maintenance & management.
  • It will also aim to improve
    transport connectivity to the interior regions and resultant boost to economic
    activity in the rural hinterland.
Amazon acquires Souq.com, the Middle East’s biggest online retailer

  • Amazon.com Inc., the USA based
    e-commerce giant, on 28 March 2017 acquired Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest
    online retailer. However, the deal’s specific value was not announced.
  • Ronaldo Mouchawar, the Chief
    Executive and Co-founder of the Souq.com, called the agreement “a critical next
    step in growing e-commerce presence on behalf of customers across the region.”
  • Souq.com is an English-Arabic
    language e-commerce platform. It is the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab
    world.

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News related to India and states –
Kanha Tiger Reserve becomes first in India get official mascot

  • Kanha Tiger Reserve in the last
    week of Macrh 2017 became the first tiger reserve in India to officially
    introduce a mascot, named Bhoorsingh the Barasingha.
  • The step was taken to present the
    hard ground swamp deer as the spirit of the reserve. It will also spread
    awareness to save the species from possible extinction.
  • Barasingha (swamp deer) is the
    state animal of Madhya Pradesh. The Kanha tiger reserve is the only place in
    the world where the species exists.
  • The Kanha Tiger Reserve is the
    largest national park of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The barasingha is a deer species
    distributed in the Indian subcontinent.
Union Minister inaugurates new Child Care Centre for child cancer
patients

  • The Union Minister for Road
    Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a new child care
    centre in Mumbai for children who have cancer on 30 March 2017.
  • The centre has been developed by
    the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) as a part of its corporate social responsibility
    (CSR) for the child patients of Tata Memorial hospital. The inauguration was
    attended by veteran Bollywood actor Nana Patekar, who along with Gadkari took a
    tour around the new facility and interacted with the child patients.
  • The centre has been created in
    place of three dilapidated buildings of the trust and covers an area of about
    1.2 acres.
  • It is located in Cotton Green
    area, a noted residential and commercial area east of Parel, in central Mumbai.
  • The facility aims to provide the
    children with a free-of-cost clean shelter and transport in order to eliminate
    the fear of any secondary infection.
Books & Authors –
Indian Railway-The weaving of a National Tapestry released

  • The Union Railways Minister
    Suresh Prabhu on 30 March 2017 released a book on the Indian Railways – ‘Indian
    Railway-The weaving of a National Tapestry.
  • The book was jointly authored by
    Bibek Debroy (Member, NITI Aayog), Sanjay Chadha (Joint Secretary, Ministry of
    Commerce) and Vidya Krishnamurthi.
  • The theme of this book is the
    historical development of railways in India.
  • The book is divided into chapters
    dealing with different periods of development in chronological order.
  • It builds its foundations from
    periods prior to 1853, when the first commercial passenger railway was
    inaugurated.
Days –
World Theatre Day celebrated on 27 March 2017

  • The World Theatre Day was
    celebrated on 27 March 2017 across the globe. To mark the occasion, various
    national and international theatre events were organised by the International
    Theatre Institute (ITI) Centres and the international theatre community.
  • The message author of 2017 is
    Isabelle Huppert, the theatre and cinema actress from France.
  • Since 1962, World Theatre Day has
    been celebrated by ITI Centres, ITI Cooperating Members, theatre professionals,
    theatre organizations, theatre universities and theatre lovers all over the
    world on the 27th of March.
  • This day is a celebration for
    those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”.
Appointments –
Ali Javed becomes first Muslim to join NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit
  • Sergeant Ali Javed in the last
    week of March 217 made history by becoming the first Muslim to join the
    Emergency Service Unit of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
  • With this, Sergeant Javed has
    also become the first Pakistani American to join the elite services.
  • The New York City Police
    Department is the largest municipal police force in the United States.

Sports News –
Indian forward SV Sunil named Player of the Year in Asian Hockey Awards

  • Indian forward S V Sunil on 30
    March 2017 was named the Asian Player of the Year 2016 by the Asian Hockey
    Federation (AHF).
  • On the other hand, drag-flicker
    Harmanpreet Singh was named the Asian Promising Player of the Year.
  • Sunil played a vital role in
    India’s successful outing at the FIH Champions Trophy in London where the team
    grabbed a silver medal.
  • While Harmanpreet won the award
    in the junior men’s category, Sunil has been honoured in the senior men’s
    section.

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