Online Current Affairs based on National


ICRISAT and ICAR join hands for crop improvement


  • In a bid to benefit small farmers in India and globally, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) would work together on crop improvement and agronomy programmes for grain legumes and dryland cereals.
  • ICAR and ICRISAT, recently signed an agreement in New Delhi, in which climate smart crops, smart food and digitalisation of breeding database were identified as some of the core areas of research.
  • The focus is on integrating systems modelling tools for upscaling climate resilient agriculture, developing genetic and genomic resources of finger millet and enhancing genetic gains for priority traits.
  • The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is an international organisation which conducts agricultural research for rural development, headquartered in Patancheru (Hyderabad, Telangana, India)
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
In a bid to benefit small farmers in India and globally, which two organisations would work together on crop improvement and agronomy programmes for grain legumes and dryland cereals? 
 - Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). 
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First fully India-made train flagged off at Dadar station


  • The much-awaited made-in-India rake, Medha, is on tracks of the Western Railway.
    Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, via videoconferencing, flagged off the maiden run of the train from Dadar to Borivali, at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.
  • The 12-coach train on the fast track halted at Bandra and Andheri stations.
  • Medha has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, which has installed LED lighting to reduce energy consumption.
  • This will save energy by approximately 30-35% as compared to the existing rakes.
  • This rake has in-built systems to minimise breakdowns during the travel.
  • There is a GPS-based information system to indicate the stations.
  • This rake also has a facility that would help motormen communicate with a guard in case of emergencies.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
First fully India-made train Medha flagged off at which railway station? 
 -  Dadar to Borivali, at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.
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Amitabh Bachchan launches ABC of Breast Health, a Breast cancer app in 12 languages


  • Mr. Amitabh Bachchan launched the World’s FIRST mobile App on ‘ABC of Breast Health’ at an event organised by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation.
  • Both iOs & Android versions of the App which are available in Apple & Google Play Store for FREE download, aims to empower the nation about every aspect of Breast cancer & Benign non-cancer Breast health issues in 12 Languages which are ;
    1. English,
    2. Hindi,
    3. Marathi,
    4. Gujarati,
    5. Punjabi,
    6. Bengali,
    7. Telugu,
    8. Tamil,
    9. Kannada,
    10. Malayalam,
    11. Oriya &
    12. Assamese.
  • There is a specific section on ‘Myths & Facts’ that aims to demystify the common misconceptions relating to various Breast health issues, which would be sent on a daily basis to those who download the App.
  • In addition, the App gives unrestricted access to all issues of PINK CONNEXION – South Asia’s First quarterly Breast health Newsletter published by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation and a couple of Breast cancer awareness films made by the Foundation.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who launched the World’s FIRST mobile App on ‘ABC of Breast Health’ at an event organised by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation? 
 - Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. 
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India joins WHO call to end TB by 2030 in South East Asian


  • India among other countries in the South East Asian Region, which bear half of the global tuberculosis burden, today signed a 'call for action' and pledged to scale up measures to end the disease by 2030.
  • India reports 2.8 million new TB cases annually and nearly half a million deaths due to the disease.
  • Health ministers from countries in WHO South-East Asia Region, which bear half the global TB burden and WHO signed a 'Call for Action' for ending TB, pledging to scale-up efforts and implement adequately funded, innovative, multi-sectoral and comprehensive measures to achieve the global target to end the disease by 2030.
  • Six of the region's countries --
    1. Bangladesh,
    2. DPR Korea,
    3. India,
    4. Indonesia,
    5. Myanmar and
    6. Thailand
    are among the 30 high TB burden nations globally.
  • The global targets seek to reduce TB mortality by 90 per cent and incidence by 80 per cent by 2030.
  • The initiative also stresses on increasing government and partner budgetary allocations to enable national TB plans to be fully funded.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
India signed a 'call for action' and pledged to scale up measures to end the tuberculosis by 2030 in collaboration with which organisation? 
 - WHO (World Health Organization) 
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Union government launches Mission Fingerling to achieve Blue Revolution


  • Recognizing the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector, Government of India has consider a program named ‘’Mission Fingerling ’’ to unlock the country’s latent potential through an integrated approach.
  • The Blue Revolution, in its scope and reach, focuses on creating an enabling environment for an integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio economic development of the fishers and fish farmers.
  • Thrust areas have been identified for enhancing fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt in 2020-21.
    Aim of the mission
  • Greater emphasis will be on infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer to increase in the income of the fishers and fish farmers.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Union government launched which program to achieve Blue Revolution's potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector? 
 - Mission Fingerling. 
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Footwear Design And Development Institute Bill, 2017 Introduced In The Lok Sabha


  • Commerce & Industry Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Bill intends to declare the FDDI as an Institution of National Importance (INI).
  • It further seeks to facilitate and promote;
    1. teaching,
    2. training and
    3. research
    in all disciplines relating to design and development of Footwear and leather products and to enable FDDI to emerge as Centre of Excellence meeting international standards.
  • It proposes to establish the FDDI as a body corporate, unlike the present structure wherein the institute is centrally-funded for meeting its capital expenditure.
  • The institute would consist of a Governing Council, with a Chairperson who shall be an eminent academician, scientist or industrialist from the leather sector, to be nominated by the Central Government.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Commerce & Industry Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman introduced which bill in the Lok Sabha recently ? 
 - Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Bill, 2017. 
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Limits on cash withdrawal from savings bank account removed


  • All restrictions on cash withdrawal from savings bank account have been removed from today as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had announced about it last month.
  • Earlier, it had removed cash withdrawal limits from ATMs from February 1.
  • Last month, the RBI had issued a notification saying that the withdrawal limit of cash from savings bank accounts will be relaxed to Rs. 50,000 from February 20 and there would be no restrictions from March 13.
  • The Central Bank had put restrictions on cash withdrawals and set a withdrawal limit from the ATMs and from bank accounts after the announcement of demonetisation of old Rs. 500 and 1,000 currency notes on November 8th last year.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
All restrictions on cash withdrawal from savings bank account have been removed from which date as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had announced about it last month? 
 - 14th March 2017. 
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Kiren Rijiju launches MySSB APP


  • Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India launched a mobile application "MySSB" in New Delhi.
  • Nearly three months after BSF constable Tej Bahadur accused his force of serving poor quality of food and his seniors of siphoning ration money meant for soldiers, nearly all Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) have developed their own application to address soldiers' grievances.
  • The application will have soldiers' ;
    1. financial accounts,
    2. designations, and
    3. grievances.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who launched a mobile application called "MySSB" in New Delhi which is created to address soldiers' grievances? 
- Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India.
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Maternity Leave Raised To 26 Weeks


  • Women working in the organised sector will now be entitled to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks, as Parliament today passed a bill in this regard that will benefit about 1.8 million women.
  • The new law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people and the entitlement will be for only up to first two children.
  • For the third child, the entitlement will be for only 12 weeks.
  • The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her full paid absence from work, to take care of her child.
  • Among other things, the bill provides for 12 weeks of maternity leave to a woman who legally adopts a child below three months of age and a commissioning mother (defined as a biological mother) who uses her egg to have a surrogate child.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which act protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her full paid absence from work, to take care of her child? 
- The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. 
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President of India inaugurated the 12th CII-Exim bank conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership


  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 12th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in New Delhi.
  • The first CII- EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership was held in the year 2005.
  • The initiative was launched by CII in partnership with EXIM Bank of India and with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
  • Over the last eleven editions, it has emerged as the pioneer event in building partnerships and enhancing the economic engagement between the two regions.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who inaugurated the 12th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in New Delhi?
- The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. 
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Cairo: Mega cultural festival ‘India by the Nile’ opens with Crafts Mela


  • The mega cultural festival ‘India by the Nile’ got off to a colourful start at the foot of the Pyramids with a Crafts Mela, showcasing joint handicraft exhibition of India and Egypt.
  • The Embassy of India in Cairo, in collaboration with Teamwork Arts, presented ‘Crafts Mela’ as part of the IBN 2017 cultural festival.
  • The festival, which is a celebration of;
    1. Indian music,
    2. dance,
    3. theatre,
    4. visual arts,
    5. food and wellbeing,
    is the largest foreign festival in Egypt showcasing 70 events across the country.
  • It is organised by the Embassy of India in partnership with the ;
    1. Ministry of Textiles,
    2. Government of India;
    3. Export Promotion Council For Handicrafts (India),
    4. the Ministry of Social Solidarity (Egypt) and 5. the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI).
  • Three days of the exhibition have been dedicated to joint handicraft of both the countries to “relive and recreate” the ancient civilisational ties.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The Embassy of India in Cairo, in collaboration with Teamwork Arts, presented which programme as part of the IBN 2017 cultural festival? 
- ‘Crafts Mela’. 
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Air India's all-female crew makes history with round-the-world flight


  • Air India says it has become the first airline to fly around the world with an all-female crew.
  • Air India scripted history by flying an all-women crew flight around the world.
  • The Boeing 777 flew from New Delhi to San Francisco, traveling over the Pacific Ocean.
  • The crew completed a mandatory rest period before flying over the Atlantic back to New Delhi, completing the round-the-world trip.
  • Every member of staff -- from the flight's captains to the cabin crew, check-in and ground handling staff -- were women.
  • Even the engineers, who certified the aircraft, and air traffic controllers, who cleared its departure and arrival, were women.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
 Which airlines company has become the first airline to fly around the world with an all-female crew?
- Air India. 
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Largest Flag Inaugurated On India's Tallest Post At Attari Border


  • A 360-foot high (110 metres) flag post, the country's tallest, was inaugurated at the Indo-Pak Attari Border, just a stone's throw from Pakistan.
  • Punjab Minister Anil Joshi inaugurated the country's largest flag on the tallest flag post - measuring 110 metres in length, 24 metres in width and 55 tons in weight.
  • Built at an approximate cost of Rs. 3.50 crore, the post was a project of the Amritsar Improvement Trust Authority of the Punjab Government.
  • The flag post, installed at the border, became an attraction for thousands of tourists who had reached there to watch the Beating Retreat Ceremony during the sunset.
  • At present, the tallest flag mast is in Ranchi, which is 300-foot high.
  • Amritsar city already has a 170-foot tall flag in the local Ranjit Avenue Public Park.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
A 360-foot high (110 metres) flag post, the country's tallest, was inaugurated at which place? 
 - Indo-Pak Attari Border
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Aadhaar made mandatory for a host of farm sector schemes


  • For better targeting of central subsidies, the government has made Aadhaar mandatory for a host of schemes under the agriculture ministry, from soil health card and horticulture development to the Prime Minister’s flagship crop insurance scheme launched last year.
  • According to the notification, farmers without an Aadhaar number have to apply for it by end of March and till that time they can avail services under by furnishing a proof of their application.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The government has made which card mandatory for a host of schemes under the agriculture ministry, from soil health card and horticulture development to the Prime Minister’s flagship crop insurance scheme? 
- Aadhaar. 
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Cabinet approves MoU between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women)


  • The Union cabinet on Monday approved India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention).
  • The convention is an international transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to facilitate seamless movement of goods within and among the parties to the Convention.
  • The move will remove the need for inspection of goods at intermediate borders and physical escorts en route shall be eliminated due to reciprocal recognition of customs controls.
  • The movement of goods under the TIR can be allowed by checking only the seals and the external conditions of the container, reducing border delays, transport and transaction costs. This will result in increased competitiveness and growth for the trade and transport sectors.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Cabinet approves MoU between India and which international agency regarding India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets?
 - United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). 
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PM Modi releases postage stamp on 100 years of Yogoda Satsang Math


  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi released a commemorative postage stamp on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India.
  • He said India's spirituality is its strength, and it is unfortunate that some people link even spirituality with religion, whereas the two are very different.

Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:

Who released a commemorative postage stamp on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India?

 - The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.

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LPG prices raised by Rs 86, steepest hike in India's history


  • The price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was hiked by a steep Rs 86 per cylinder.
  • Non-subsidised LPG, bought by those who have either given up their subsidies or exhausted the quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg in a year at below market price, will now cost Rs 737.50.
  • It was priced at Rs 651.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder till yesterday, according to state-owned oil companies.
  • This hike, steepest in India's history, comes on the back of Rs 66.5 per cylinder increase which was brought into effect from February 1.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was hiked by how many rupees per cylinder?
 - Rs 86 per cylinder.
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MEITY to promote digital transactions in place of NITI


  • The government has shifted the responsibility of promoting digital transactions in the country to the Ministry of IT and Electronics (MEITY) from NITI Aayog.
  • The central government has already changed the business transaction rules to enable MEITY to promote digital transactions, including digital payments.
  • The decision has been taken in view of the core competence of MEITY to promote digital means for various transactions.
  • Government is of the opinion that NITI Aayog -- which is a think-tank -- should focus on monitoring and suggesting ways to improve various government schemes rather than getting involved with implementation.
  • The IT ministry is responsible for promotion of e-governance for empowering citizens as well as promoting inclusive and sustainable growth of electronics and IT in the country.
  • It is also responsible for encouraging the growth of IT-enabled services industries.
  • Earlier, the government had set up a committee under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to push adoption of e-transactions amid the cash crunch faced by citizens due to the note ban.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The government has shifted the responsibility of promoting digital transactions in the country to which ministry instead of NITI Aayog?
- Ministry of IT and Electronics (MEITY). 
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Antyodaya Express flagged off


  • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the country’s first Antyodaya Express.
  • Tejas and UDAY Express will be launched soon.
  • Antyodaya Express is a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes. Antyodaya Express will have facilities like;
    1. Cushioned luggage racks which can serve as seats Additional hand holds in doorway area,
    2. J-Hook near longitudinal luggage racks,
    3. Multiple Unit cables at both ends of the coach,
    4. Vestibuled ends for internal movement of the passengers,
    5. Potable Drinking water dispenser,
    6. Mobile charging points,
    7. Fire Extinguisher with anti-theft lock,
    8. FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) Modular Toilets,
    9. Pleasing interior colour scheme,
    10. Toilet Occupation indication display board,
    11. LED Lights,
    12. SS Slip-free flooring at Doorway & Gangway,
    13. Anti-Graffiti coating for exterior painting, etc.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off which new train recently? 
- Antyodaya Express. 
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School buses must have CCTVs, GPS, speed governors: CBSE


  • School buses will now have to be equipped with;
    1. GPS,
    2. CCTV arrangements and
    3. speed governors as per the revised guidelines issued by the CBSE to ensure greater safety of children.
  • These guidelines have been issued on the directions of Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekarafter a recent school bus accident in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Windows of the bus should be fitted with horizontal grills with mesh wires. School buses should be fitted with speed restriction of maximum speed limit of 40 km/h.
  • GPS and CCTV arrangement should be made compulsorily in each vehicle and should be in working condition all the time.
  • The management and the head of the school will be held responsible for any lapse and it could lead to disaffiliation too. School buses will have to be fitted with alarm bells and sirens
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
School buses will now have to be equipped with which facilities as per the revised guidelines issued by the CBSE to ensure greater safety of children? 
 - GPS, CCTV arrangements and speed governors. 
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