Current Affairs Update – 8th March, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 8th March, 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 8th
March, 2016
  1. Private lender Yes Bank on Tuesday launched an all-women operated bank branch ‘Yes Grace’ on Cunningham Road in
    Bengaluru aimed at offering customised banking solutions to women.
  2. Multinational Field Training Exercise (FTX) – Exercise FORCE 18,
    involving ASEAN Plus countries commenced
    in Pune by displaying true joint manship
    and team spirit. This is the largest
    Ground Forces Exercise ever conducted on Indian soil
    and would be conducted
    from March 2 to 8, 2016 with themes based on ‘Humanitarian Mine Action’ and
    ‘Peacekeeping Operations’. The Indian Army contingent of 40 soldiers is being led by Lt Col Sophia Qureshi, a Woman Officer
    from the Corps of Signals, who now has the rare distinction of becoming the
    first woman officer to lead an Indian Army training contingent in such a large
    multinational exercise
    .
  3. Union Minister for Women and
    Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on 7 March 2016 launched Mahila e-Haat portal in New Delhi.
  4. Swedish furniture retail giant IKEA on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Haryana for an investment of Rs 2,000
    crore. The company would be opening its stores in the state. Its first store is
    likely to come up in Telangana though.
  5. Online payment solutions provider
    PayPal has tied up with budget hotel
    room aggregator OYO Rooms to help it source payments from
    global consumers and allow Indian users to make international bookings.
  6. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 8 March 2016 announced to withdraw proposal to tax
    Employee Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals.
    He announced to withdraw the
    proposal while clarifying NDA government’s stand on the issue in the Lok Sabha.
  7. Telangana and Maharashtra governments have decided to set up an
    inter-state river water dispute resolution board
    to settle the issues
    pertaining to the irrigation projects, both old and new, being proposed in Godavari basin on both sides.
  8. On June 18, India will in all likelihood get its first women fighter
    pilots
    . Bhawna Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh are likely to
    create history as India’s first women fighter pilots if they put on the wings
    and are inducted into the IAF fighter stream
    . Who among the three, or
    all of them, make the final cut depends on them clearing the advanced stage
    training.
  9. International Women’s Day was observed across the world on 8 March 2016.
    This year’s theme for the Day is “Planet
    50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
    The campaign theme for the
    day is #PledgeForParity.
  10. Former world number one Maria Sharapova on 7 March 2016 in a press-conference at Los Angeles
    announced that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open. Due to this
    failure, she was provisionally suspended
    from Tennis
    .
  11. The Patna Pirates on 5 March 2016 defeated U Mumba 31-28 to lift
    their maiden Pro Kabaddi League trophy in the final played in New Delhi.
  12. The US and South Korean troops on 7 March 2016 began their largest ever military exercises off the
    coast of the Korean peninsula.
  13. International Labour Organization (ILO) on 8 March 2016 released a
    report titled Women at Work: Trends
    2016.
  14. Amrita Patel, chairman of Charutar Arogya Mandal and former
    chairman of the National Dairy Development Board, on 3 March 2016 was conferred with the prestigious Mahindra
    Samriddhi Krishi Shiromani Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award)
    in Delhi.

Finance/Economy/Banking –
Yes Bank launches all women branch “YES Grace” in Bengaluru

  • Private lender Yes Bank on
    Tuesday launched an all-women operated bank branch ‘Yes Grace’ on Cunningham
    Road here aimed at offering customised banking solutions to women.
  • The new branch, served by eight
    employees currently and with plans to raise the count to 12, will also drive
    for financial literacy, family banking, safety and wellness amongst women.
  • Simultaneously on Tuesday, two
    more all-women bank branches were opened in at Kalkaji, New Delhi and Vile
    Parle (E), Mumbai with plans to open more branches in major cities.
  • Ravichander said the number of
    Yes Bank branches will go up to 60 by 2018 in Bengaluru and Hyderabad and 1,500
    all over the country by 2020.
  • Founded in 2004 after receiving a
    greenfield bank license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) by Rana Kapoor and
    Ashok Kapoor, the lender’s branch network currently stands at 850 across India.

Union Government launched online marketing platform Mahila e-Haat

  • Union Minister for Women and
    Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on 7 March 2016 launched Mahila e-Haat
    portal in New Delhi.
  • The Mahila e-Haat portal,
    http://mahilaehaat-rmk.gov.in, is an online marketing platform. It will provide
    access to markets to thousands of women who make products and are spread all
    over the country.

Features of Mahila e-Haat
  • It is a unique initiative since
    this is the first time that the government will help women to sell products
    online.
  • Products & services: It
    allows women entrepreneurs to leverage technology for showcasing products made
    or manufactured or sold by women entrepreneurs. This facility is also available
    to services, like tailoring, also.
  • Rahstriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) is
    primarily involved in the creation of the portal and the entire business of
    e-Haat can be handled through mobile phone.
  • 3-Stages of women empowerment:
    The launch of Mahila E-Haat is the first stage towards achieving the objective
    of women empowerment.
  • In the second stage Mahila E-Haat
    will be integrated with e-commerce portals to provide a larger platform for
    selling and buying.
  • In third and final stage, it will
    culminate into Women’s Entrepreneurs Council which will help to expand this
    initiative further and give it an institutional shape.

IKEA to invest Rs 2,000 cr in Haryana

  • Swedish furniture retail giant
    IKEA on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government
    of Haryana for an investment of Rs 2,000 crore. The company would be opening
    its stores in the state. Its first store is likely to come up in Telangana
    though.
  • The company said it would employ
    about 1,000 workers directly and engage around 3,000 more for providing
    services such as furniture assembly, delivery services, among others.         
  • The MoU stands for mutual
    commitment from both parties and intends to provide clarity on working methods
    and ensure a legally and ethically compliant business environment. In 2015,
    IKEA had signed MoUs with Karnataka, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra
    to set up stores.    

OYO Rooms partners PayPal for global payments, bookings

  • Online payment solutions provider
    PayPal has tied up with budget hotel room aggregator OYO Rooms to help it
    source payments from global consumers and allow Indian users to make
    international bookings.
  • The companies, however, did not
    provide any financial details.
  • PayPal’s technology protects
    merchants such as OYO Rooms against unauthorised transactions and mitigates
    associated risks, he added.
  • The partnership with PayPal will
    enable OYO Rooms’ customers to pay for their bookings in Malaysia and other Southeast
    Asian countries, the two companies said in a joint statement.

Union Government announced to withdraw tax proposal on Employee
Provident Fund

  • Union Finance Minister Arun
    Jaitley on 8 March 2016 announced to withdraw proposal to tax Employee Provident
    Fund (EPF) withdrawals. He announced to withdraw the proposal while clarifying
    NDA government’s stand on the issue in the Lok Sabha.
  • He further stated that government
    would also like to comprehensively review EPF tax proposal. However, government
    retained the tax proposal for National Pension Scheme (NPS) withdrawals.
  • The proposal was made by the
    Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget 2016-17
    in the Lok Sabha on 29 February 2016. As per the proposal 60 percent of the amount
    deposited in the EPF account of the employee would be taxable at the time of
    withdrawal, and 40 percent would be tax free. This proposal would have become
    effective from 1 April 2016.
  • It also said that if the employee
    re-invested 60 percent of the EPF in an annuity or pension fund then it will
    not be taxed. At present, the entire amount is tax free at the time of
    withdrawal if the employee has completed five years of continuous service.

Union Government re-classified industries on four-colour scheme based
on pollution potential
  • The Union Minister of State
    (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash
    Javadekar on 5 March 2016 released the list of re-classified industries based
    on pollution levels.
  • The new four-colour scheme was
    announced as per the resolution adopted at the two-day State Environment and
    Forest Ministers’ Conference in April 2015.
  • The re-classification of
    industries is based on the Pollution Index (PI) scores and the new categories
    are as follows –

  1. Industry Category – PI Score – No
    of Industries Covered
  2. Red – 60 and Above – 60
  3. Orange – 41 to 59 – 83
  4. Green – 21 to 40 – 63
  5. White – Up to 20 – 36

India –
Telangana, Maharashtra sign historic pact on irrigation projects

  • Telangana and Maharashtra
    governments have decided to set up an inter-state river water dispute
    resolution board to settle the issues pertaining to the irrigation projects,
    both old and new, being proposed in Godavari basin on both sides.
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister
    Devendra Fadnavis and his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhara Rao on Tuesday
    signed an agreement in Mumbai for establishing a dispute resolution mechanism
    for the inter-state projects on Godavari.
  • The inter-state board, a rare
    step volunteered by two neighboring Indian states, will be headed by one of the
    two chief ministers by rotation.
  • The new board will strive to
    resolve the disputes through consultations in line with the river water
    allocations made by the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal (GWDT) in the past.

‘Exercise FORCE 18’, largest Ground Forces Exercise on Indian soil,
commences in Pune

  • Multinational Field Training
    Exercise (FTX) – Exercise FORCE 18, involving ASEAN Plus countries commenced in
    Pune by displaying true jointmanship and team spirit.
  • This is the largest Ground Forces
    Exercise ever conducted on Indian soil and would be conducted from March 2 to
    8, 2016 with themes based on ‘Humanitarian Mine Action’ and ‘Peacekeeping
    Operations’.
  • In its first phase, over 28
    foreign trainers were trained by the Indian Army from February 24 and March 1,
    2016. These trainers will form the training backbone for the conduct of
    ‘Exercise FORCE 18’.
  • The Indian Army contingent of 40
    soldiers is being led by Lt Col Sophia Qureshi, a Woman Officer from the Corps
    of Signals, who now has the rare distinction of becoming the first woman
    officer to lead an Indian Army training contingent in such a large
    multinational exercise.
  • The officer also happens to be
    the only Woman Officer Contingent Commander amongst all other ASEAN Plus
    contingents present for the exercise.

IAF to get first batch of women fighter pilots in June
  • On June 18, India will in all
    likelihood get its first women fighter pilots.
  • Bhawna Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi
    and Mohana Singh are likely to create history as India’s first women fighter
    pilots if they put on the wings and are inducted into the IAF fighter stream.
    Who among the three, or all of them, make the final cut depends on them clearing
    the advanced stage training.
  • This was announced by the Chief
    of the Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Arup Raha on Tuesday while
    speaking on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

Days –
International Women’s Day observed with campaign theme #PledgeForParity

  • International Women’s Day was
    observed across the world on 8 March 2016. This year’s 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.

Sports –
Maria Sharapova provisionally suspended after failing drug test at
Australian Open

  • Former world number one Maria
    Sharapova on 7 March 2016 in a press-conference at Los Angeles announced that
    she failed a drug test at the Australian Open. Due to this failure, she was
    provisionally suspended from Tennis.
  • The International Tennis
    Federation said Sharapova, a five time Grand Slam champion, is provisionally
    suspended from 12 March 2016 pending further action. She was charged on 2 March
    2016 with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation after testing positive for meldonium.
  • The 28-year-old Russian star tested
    positive for meldonium, a substance, she has been taking since 2006 for health
    issues. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 1 January 2016 included meldonium in
    its forbidden list.

Patna Pirates defeated U Mumba to win 2016 Pro Kabaddi League title
  • The Patna Pirates on 5 March 2016
    defeated U Mumba 31-28 to lift their maiden Pro Kabaddi League trophy in the
    final played in New Delhi.
  • Rohit Kumar of Patna Pirates was
    awarded Best Raider and Mohit Chillar of U Mumba was announced the Best
    Defender of the Match.
  • U Mumba’s Rishank Devadiga
    finished the season as the Most Successful Raider with 106 points.

Golfer Adam Scott won 2016 WGC-Cadillac Championship
  • Australian golfer Adam Scott on 6
    March 2016 won the 2016 WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, Florida, U.S.
  • Scott recovered from two double
    bogeys in his first five holes with six birdies the rest of the round to
    prevail by one stroke over United States’ Bubba Watson.
  • The victory was Scott’s second
    consecutive win on the PGA Tour, having won The Honda Classic in February 2016.

World –
South Korea, US began largest ever military exercises
  • The US and South Korean troops on
    7 March 2016 began their largest ever military exercises off the coast of the
    Korean peninsula. The bilateral exercises come just days after the UN passed
    new sanctions against Pyongyang, North Korea following its recent nuclear test
    and rocket launch.
  • The 8-week long drill will
    involve about 300000 South Korean troops and 15000 US personnel. These are
    being conducted near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas and off
    the eastern coast of South Korea.
  • Drills will include ground, air,
    naval and Special Operations components apart from the computer-simulated
    training.

Reports –
Women at Work: Trends 2016 report released by International Labour
Organization

  • International Labour Organization
    (ILO) on 8 March 2016 released a report titled Women at Work: Trends 2016. The
    Women at Work report provides the latest ILO data on women’s position in labour
    markets and examines the factors behind these trends and explores the policy
    drivers for transformative change.
  • The report which was released on
    International Women’s Day says that gender equality in the workplace remains
    elusive. It finds millions of women worldwide are not getting the same kind of
    quality, well-paying jobs as men.
  • New data of 178 countries present
    a gloomy picture of the current state of working women. The report shows the
    gender gap in employment, wages and social protection has changed little in 20
    years.
  • If female employment rates were
    to match male rates, the GDP of India would increase by 27 per cent.
  • In India, the minimum wages for
    domestic workers is lower than that of the cleaning workers, who are the lowest
    paid. Despite the low minimum wage set for domestic workers in India and other
    countries that were studied, the compliance rate is less than 50 per cent in
    the majority of the countries.
  • In India, Estonia, Japan, Mexico,
    Portugal, Republic of Korea and Turkey, women devote more than three times as
    much time to unpaid care work as men do.

Awards & Honors –
Amrita Patel awarded with Mahindra Samriddhi Krishi Shiromani Samman
  • Amrita Patel, chairman of Charutar
    Arogya Mandal and former chairman of the National Dairy Development Board, on 3
    March 2016 was conferred with the prestigious Mahindra Samriddhi Krishi
    Shiromani Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award) in Delhi.
  • Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister
    of Agriculture, presented the award to Patel for her contribution that made a
    difference in the field of agriculture to increase productivity and rural
    prosperity.
  • Instituted in 2011, the Mahindra
    Samriddhi India Agri Awards are bestowed upon the farmers and institutions to
    recognize their noteworthy and purposeful contribution to the field of
    agriculture.

Obituaries –
Renowned Malayalam actor Kalabhavan Mani passed away
  • Popular Malayalam actor and folk
    singer Kalabhavan Mani passed away on 6 March 2016 in Kochi. He was 45.
  • The winner of National Special
    Jury Award in 2000 for his performance in Malayalam film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum
    Pinne Njaanum, Mani died allegedly because of methyl alcohol consumption.

Regards

Team ExamPundit

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