Online Current Affairs for March 2017

31 Mar, 17

Virat Kohli, Sharad Pawar, Anuradha Paudwal Receive Padma Shri

  • Political stalwarts ;
    1. Sharad Pawar,
    2. Murli Manohar Joshi and
    3. The late Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma,
    4. Cricketer Virat Kohli and
    5. Bollywood singer Anuradha Paudwal
    were among the 39 people who were conferred this year's Padma awards.
  • Padam Bhuhan Awardees are given below ;
    1. Yoga guru Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
    2. Father of laparoscopic surgery in India Tehemton Erach Udwadia
    3. Thai princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Padma Shri Awardee
    4. Former Lok Sabha Secretary General T K Vishwanathan,
    5. Well-known endocrinologist M M Godbole,
    6. French historian Michel Danino,
    7. Former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Anant Agarwal,
    8. Vice-president of Kanyakumari's Vivekananda Rock Memorial Nivedita Raghunath Bhide.
  • Padma Shri Awardees are given below ;
    1. Folk singer Basanti Bisht,
    2. Entrepreneur Mohan Reddy Venkat Rama Bodanapu,
    3. Madhubani artist Baoa Devi,
    4. Folk artist of Halakki tribe in Karnataka, Sukri Bommu Gouda,
    5. 'Bike ambulance dada' of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal Karimul Hak .
    6. Writer Narendra Kohli,
    7. Para-athlete Deepa Malik,
    8. Theatre artist Wareppa Naba,
    9. Kathakali exponent Chemancheri Kunhairaman Nair,
    10. Malayalam poet Akkitham Achyuthan Nambudiri,
    11. Tribal artist from Kharkhan Mukund Nayak,
    12. Environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal and
    13. Well-known gynaecologist Bhakti Yadav.

Indian Navy gets new weather monitoring system

  • Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba unveiled an integrated aviation meteorological system which is expected to bring accuracy in weather monitoring mechanism in the Indian Navy.
  • The Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS) was launched at Rajali Air Station in Tamil Nadu.
  • The aim of IAAMS is to modernise the meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations (NAS).
  • Equipped with the state-of-the-art meteorological sensors, IAAMS undertakes automatic and continuous recording of relevant weather parameters that are vital for accurate weather forecasting.
  • It has a special alarm feature that alerts the duty staff during abnormal change of weather parameters that may affect safe flying operations.
  • The system can also provide automatic dissemination of routine weather reports as per standards followed by the World Meteorological Organisation to other air stations and Air Traffic Controller towers without human intervention.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who unveiled an integrated aviation meteorological system which is expected to bring accuracy in weather monitoring mechanism in the Indian Navy?
- Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. 

Nomura names Prabhat Awasthi as head of India

  • Japan-based Nomura’s India head of equities business Prabhat Awasthi is taking over as country head with effect from 1 April 2017.
  • Vikas Sharma, who is currently head of India, has been elevated as head of Asia – excluding Japan, also from April 1. Sharma relocated to Mumbai from Japan in 2007 to build the firm’s India business after starting with Nomura in 1999 as a telecom analyst in Hong Kong.
  • Awasthi has around two decades of experience in the Indian equity markets, and assumed his current role at Nomura in 2011.
  • He joined Nomura in October 2008 as head of equity research, India, from Lehman Brothers, where he held the same position.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Japan-based Nomura names which personality as head of Indian Operations? 
-Prabhat Awasthi

General Bipin Rawat made honorary General of Nepal Army

  • Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat was on Wednesday conferred the rank of honorary General of the Nepal Army by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at a special ceremony at the President's official residence Sheetal Niwas.
  • It has been a tradition between the Indian and Nepali armies to confer the honorary top rank on each other's chiefs to signify their close and special military ties.
  • W General Chhetri received a similar honorary rank from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in February last year.
  • The Indian Army chief will be visiting the Nepal Army High Altitude Warfare School at Jomsom, Mustang, close to the Nepal-China border and Pension Paying Office Pokhara on Thursday, followed by calling on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian Army chief General  was conferred the rank of honorary General of the Nepal Army by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at a special ceremony at the President's official residence Sheetal Niwas? 
 - Bipin Rawat. 

Emerging Artist award for Odia artist Sitaram Swain

  • Odisha-based installation artist Sitaram Swain has been chosen as the Glenfiddichs Emerging Artist of the Year 2017.
  • The sixth recipient of the honour, Swain will represent India at the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence (AiR) programme where he will spend three months at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland with seven artists from around the world.
  • It is Swains out of the box concepts and his way with domestic objects to exemplify social issues through his art, that make him stand out.
  • The artist believes that there is a sublime quality of social relevance in day to day objects.
  • The artist will be also awarded Rs 10 lakh, which includes an international allowance of Rs 1,20,000 per month and a work allowance of Rs 500,000, besides being given a solo show at Bestcollegeart.com Gallery.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian artist has been chosen as the Glenfiddichs Emerging Artist of the Year 2017? 
 - Odisha-based installation artist Sitaram Swain. 

SC bans sale, registration of BS-III vehicles from April 1

  • Drawing a strong line on environmental issues, the Supreme Court banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage III (BS-III) vehicles from April 1, when BS-IV emission norms will come into force across the country.
  • In a major setback to automobile manufacturers+ , a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta decided to take the "drastic" step, saying that BS-III vehicles could aggravate the already deteriorating air quality in the country and such a step was needed to handle the menace of pollution.
  • The apex court refused to grant relief to the companies.
  • It said the manufacturers were fully aware way back in 2010 that BS-IV norms would be enforced from April 1 but they chose to sit back and not take sufficient pro-active steps.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
What is BS Standards? 
- Bharat stage emission standards are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. 

Kanha Tiger Reserve gets mascot 'Bhoorsingh the Barasingha'

  • The Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has become the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot, which has been named Bhoorsingh the Barasingha.
  • The Barasingha or swamp deer is the state animal of Madhya Pradesh. Bhoorsingh was chosen among four variations by the Madhya Pradesh forest department.
  • Kanha Tiger Reserve, also called Kanha National Park, is one of the tiger reserves of India and the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh, state in the heart of India.It was established in 1955.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has become the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot, which has been named? 
 - Bhoorsingh the Barasingha.

Montenegro set to become NATO's newest member after US Senate vote

  • Montenegro is set to become Nato's newest member after the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to ratify the tiny Balkan nation's entry.
  • Despite its size, Montenegro bears strategic importance. A former ally of Russia, the country is in the middle of a clash between the West and Moscow over influence in the Balkans.
  • Montenegro's membership gives Nato a contiguous border along the Adriatic coast.
  • US secretary of state Rex Tillerson earlier this month pressed the Senate to act quickly on Montenegro's admission.
  • Montenegro will become the 29th member of the alliance. Nato invited the nation to start entry talks in December 2015, about nine years after the nation of 620,000 people split from Serbia in a 2006 referendum.
  • Russia strongly opposes the expansion of the Western military alliance in a region it considers part of its strategic sphere of interest. Wary of Russian influence in the still-volatile region, Nato wanted Montenegro to join the alliance.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which country is set to become NATO's newest member after US Senate vote? 
- Montenegro. 

SBI Card launched a unique credit card ‘SBI Card Unnati’

  • SBI Card launched a unique credit card ‘SBI Card Unnati’ targeted at all SBI customers, including Jan Dhan account-holders across the country.
  • Tailored for new users of credit cards — those who do not have a credit history — ‘Unnati' would have no annual fees for the initial four years and will be offered through the 20,000-plus SBI branches.
  • Any SBI customer with a balance of at least ₹25,000 in his/her savings account with the bank would be eligible for the Unnati credit card without the need for any credit score or credit history.
  • The idea is to spread credit inclusion among the masses. This would enable those who do not have a credit history to build one so that they could avail themselves of other loan products in the future.
  • SBI Card Unnati has option like Flexipay, wherein users can convert their transactions into easy monthly installments.
  • Make any purchase for Rs 2,500 or more using their SBI Card Unnati, and log in with your username and password to sbicard.comwithin 30 days of purchase to convert it into Flexipay.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
SBI Card launched which unique credit card, which is targeted at all SBI customers, including Jan Dhan account-holders across the country? 
 - ‘SBI Card Unnati’. 

Axis Bank ties up with Wells Fargo for US remittances

  • Axis Bankhas tied up with Wells Fargo, the third largest American bank by assets, to offer real time remittances from the Indian diaspora to their relatives back home.
  • Under the arrangement between the two banks, any member of the Indian diaspora with an account with the Wells Fargo will be able to transfer money to their relatives back home and there will be no transaction fee applicable to the money transfers from USA.
  • But the relative or the beneficiary in India will need to have an account with Axis Bank.
    The beneficiary will get a competitive price for a real time transfer. From April 8, we will be waiving transaction fees for Axis Bank customers.
  • The tie-up is the first of its kind with a US banking entity and will offer multiple channels of remittance to our customers
    Wells Fargo has similar tie-ups with ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which bank has tied up with Wells Fargo, the third largest American bank by assets, to offer real time remittances from the Indian diaspora to their relatives back home?
- Axis Bankhas. 

30 Mar, 17

Ex-South Carolina Governor to Head UN Food Agency

  • Former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley was appointed Wednesday to head the U.N. World Food Program, the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide as it assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries every year.
  • Beasley is a supporter of President Donald Trump who was recommended for the job by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
  • The ambassador left her own job as South Carolina governor to take her U.N. post.
  • Beasley will succeed Ertharin Cousin, an American lawyer and former U.S. ambassador.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who was appointed  to head the U.N. World Food Program, the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide as it assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries every year? 
- Former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley. 

I&B Minister M Venkaiah Naidu launches Online Film Certification System of CBFC

  • Minister for Information and Broadcasting, M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Online Film Certification System of CBFC would facilitate the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Ease of Doing Business and Digital India.
  • The new online certification system would be an important step in making the CBFC Office paper less and would enable effective monitoring & real time progress tracking for both CBFC Officials and the applicant (Producers).
  • The Salient features of the online film certification system
    1. Status of each application would be visible online in the dashboard of the producer/concerned CBFC official.
    2. In case of short films/promos/trailers less than 10 minutes the producer need not visit the Office/Theatre. They can merely submit their creations online.
    3. For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will only have to show the film at the Examining theatre and will not have to visit the CBFC Offices at all except to collect their certificates.
    3. The producer/applicant would be informed by SMS/e-mail of the status of their application and any action needed, beginning from the receipt of application to the certificate collection.
    4. Elimination of middle men would mitigate chances of any corruption and would also avoid allegations of jumping the queue or rigging up of Examination committees.
    5. The implementation of QR code would eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates.
    6. The system envisages a robust MIS system for performance tracking and efficient reporting.
    7. The system has inbuilt alerts depending on the pendency of the application to ensure that time limits prescribed by the Rules are not violated.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who launched the Online Film Certification System of CBFC? 
 - Minister for Information and Broadcasting, M Venkaiah Naidu.

SBI to offer 'zero annual fee' credit cards to accounts with Rs 20,000

  • State Bank of India has said that it will offer credit cards to every account holder who has a balance of Rs 20,000-25,000, without going into credit history.
  • This is the first major joint collaboration between Arundhati Bhattacharya-led SBI and SBI Card after the bank hiked its stake in the joint venture to 74% by buying out part of its partner GE Capital's stake for Rs 1,168 crore.
  • GE Capital will sell its remaining stake to a private equity investor in coming days.
  • In an attempt to encourage adoption of credit cards and facilitate expansion in the reach of digital payments, SBI Card "Unnati" will be offered free, at zero annual fee, for four years.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which bank has said that it will offer credit cards to every account holder who has a balance of Rs 20,000-25,000, without going into credit history?
- State Bank of India. 

Indian-origin UK minister to be awarded Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award

  • Priti Patel, the UK Government's Secretary of State for International Development and first ever UK-India diaspora Champion, has been awarded India's highest honour for members of the Indian diaspora.
  • The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award was granted to Patel by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, for her exceptional contribution to national and international politics, her role in strengthening UK-India relations, and for supporting the Indian diaspora in the UK.
  • The award was presented to Patel by the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Y K Sinha, at a special ceremony at India House in London.
  • Patel was elected to represent the Witham parliamentary constituency in 2010 and re-elected with an increased majority in 2015.
  • In 2013, the then Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her as the first ever UK-India diaspora champion and she has accompanied him on official visits to India and helped facilitate the visit from Prime Minister Modi to the UK.
  • Patel has also served in Government as;
    1. Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury 2014-15),
    2. Minter of State for Employment (2015-16), &
    3. as Secretary of State for International Development (2016 to present).
  • In January 2017 it was announced by the Indian Government that Patel would be awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.
  • She is the first female Indian origin MP to hold a Cabinet position in the UK government.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian-origin UK minister will be awarded Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award
for her exceptional contribution to national and international politics? 
 - Priti Patel, the UK Government's Secretary of State for International Development.

Sima Kamil becomes first woman to lead a major Pakistani bank

  • United Bank Limited (UBL), one of the Pakistan's largest banks, announced Monday that it had appointed Sima Kamil as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the bank, to replace outgoing CEO Wajahat Hussain.
  • Kamil, who will initially serve as deputy CEO at UBL, is slated to take over the top slot after May 31, when Hussain departs from the company.
  • Kamil had previously been leading Habib Bank Ltd's (HBL) Branch Banking since 2011 and oversaw a large expansion of HBL's branch network.
  • She dealt with HBL's retail, consumer, small and medium enterprises, and rural banking initiatives, as well as the bank's wealth management division as head of the HBL Asset Management Company Ltd.
  • Vanita Gupta appointed president of Leadership Conference.
  • Indian-American Vanita Gupta, who headed civil rights division in the Department of Justice in the Obama Administration, has been appointed as president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, becoming the first woman to head the prestigious organisation.
  • Known for her fearless advocacy of all human beings, 41-year-old Gupta will replace Wade Henderson who is stepping down after more than two decades.
  • Gupta, who will also lead its sister organisation The Leadership Conference Education Fund, will begin her new role on June 1.
  • Gupta served as Deputy Legal Director and the Director of the Center for Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
  • She joined the ACLU in 2006 as a staff attorney, where she subsequently secured a landmark settlement on behalf of immigrant children from around the world detained in a privately-run prison in Texas that ultimately led to the end of "family detention" at the facility.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which of the bank of Pakistan, announced  that it had appointed Sima Kamil as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the bank? 
- United Bank Limited (UBL). 

India becomes net exporter of power for the first time: Government

  • India has become a net exporter of electricity for the first time.
  • Upcoming cross-border transmission lines with neighbouring countries such as ;
    1. Nepal,
    2. Bangladesh and
    3. Myanmar
    will increase sales.
  • New transmission lines with Bangladesh and Myanmar helped India sell more
    Known for its crippling power cuts, India has been investing heavily on generation infrastructure over the past few years.
  • A massive surge in the local supply of raw materials like coal in the past two years has also helped power companies boost output.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which country has become a net exporter of electricity for the first time according to a latest data given by the country? 
 - India. 

India take million-dollar prize for finishing No. 1

  • India have finished at the top of the ICC Test rankings for the second successive year after beating Australia 2-1 in the four-Test series. As a result of being No. 1 by the cut-off date of April 1, India will be presented with a cash award of $1 million by the ICC.
  • The ICC also announced that India offspinner R Ashwin will be awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being the ICC Cricketer of the Year for 2016.
  • Ashwin, who was also named ICC Test Cricketer of the Year for 2016, took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs in the eight Tests he played during the period under consideration - September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016.
  • The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy is a cricket trophy awarded annually by the International Cricket Council to its chosen world player of the year. It was first awarded in 2004 to Rahul Dravid.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The ICC announced that which Indian  will be awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being the ICC Cricketer of the Year for 2016?
 - R Ashwin. 

Bhubaneswar to host men's Hockey World Cup 2018

  • The International Hockey Federation and Government of Odisha on Monday officially confirmed that the Men's Hockey World League Final 2017 and Men's Hockey World Cup 2018 will be held in Bhubaneswar.
  • The Kalinga Stadium will host the two of hockey's biggest events, where World League and World Cup champions will be crowned.
  • The venue successfully hosted the 2014 Men's Hockey Champions Trophy. It is also home to the current Hockey India League champions, the Kalinga Lancers.
  • It was also confirmed that the state of Odisha will be title sponsor of both events.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The International Hockey Federation and Government of Odisha  officially confirmed that the Men's Hockey World League Final 2017 and Men's Hockey World Cup 2018 will be held in which city? 
 - Bhubaneswar.

OPPO wins Indian cricket team sponsorship rights for five years

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that mobile manufacturing company Oppo Mobiles India Private Limited will be the new team sponsor of the Indian cricket team from April 1, 2017 for a period of five years.
  • The team sponsorship rights include the the title of official team sponsor and the right to display a commercial logo in the kits of the India men's, women's, A and Under-19 teams.
  • Six companies, Star India included, had picked up the tender document, but only two appeared at the bidding table - Oppo and VIVO, both of which are Chinese companies.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced which mobile manufacturing company as the new team sponsor of the Indian cricket team from April 1, 2017 for a period of five years? 
- Oppo Mobiles India Private Limited. 

Sunaina Singh Appointed Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University

  • President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Sunaina Singh, currently head of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad, as the new vice chancellor of Nalanda University.
  • As per rules, the president has to choose the vice-chancellor from a group of at least three names forwarded by the university’s governing board.
  • 135 names were screened, while six applicants were called for interviews. Out of the three names forwarded to the president, her name was at the top.
  • Earlier on January 27, President Mukherjee appointed computer scientist and former IIT Delhi board chairman, Vijay Bhatkar – who is also the president of the RSS-affiliated Vijnana Bharati – as the university’s chancellor.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed which personality as the new vice chancellor of Nalanda University? 
- Sunaina Singh, current head of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad.
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