Current Affairs Daily Digest: March 16, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for March 16, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

Cabinet approves 2% additional DA for Central Government employees

The Union Cabinet has approved 2% additional Dearness allowance for Central government employees and Dearness relief for pensioners. It will be effective from 1 January, 2017. This decision will benefit about 48.85 lakh Central government employees and 55.51 lakh pensioners. Its combined impact on the exchequer will be over 6,833 crore rupees in 2017-18 for a period of 14 months from January, 2017 to February, 2018.

Sanjauli police post in Himachal Pradesh becomes first in India to be linked with CCTNS

Sanjauli Police Station in Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) has become the first police post in the country to be linked with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS). The linking of the police post will facilitate the people for lodging online/offline complaints, Tenants, police verification of job, Character verification and migrant labourer registration through police post. About CCTNS

International

Trump administration backs India’s NSG bid

US Government has announced its support India’s full membership in the four multilateral export control regimes including Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). It indicated no change in US’s policy on the issue under the Trump administration. US and India have been working together on this issue since the Bush Administration (2001-09). Despite its best effort, the Obama administration (2009-17) was not able to complete the job due to opposition from China. Read more

China, Saudi Arabia ink deals worth about $65 billion

China and Saudi Arabia have signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and letters of intent (LoIs) potentially worth about $65 billion. These agreements signed during Saudi King Salman’s visit to China involve deals in investment, energy, space and other areas. Saudi Arabia also has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world’s second-largest oil market as it lost its market share to Russia in 2016. The Saudi King visited China as part of his month-long Asian tour to 7 seven countries as part of his ambitious economic reform plan.

States Current Affairs

Amarinder Singh sworn-in as CM of Punjab

Senior Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh was sworn in as 26th Chief Minister of Punjab. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor VP Singh Badnore at Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.  Besides him, 7 ministers including Navjot Singh Sidhu also sworn in as cabinet ministers. Two women MLAs Aruna Chaudhary and Razia Sultana were sworn in as Ministers of State (Independent Charge). In recent state election, Congress under the leadership of Amarinder Singh had won 77 seats in the 117 member Assembly elections.

Manohar Parrikar wins floor test in Goa Assembly

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has won the vote of confidence during specially convened Goa Assembly by 22-16 votes. It was announced by pro tem speaker Siddharth Kunkolienkar after the vote of confidence on the floor. In the newly elected Goa Assembly, BJP had strength of 13 MLAs and Congress has 17 members. In the trust vote, three members each of Goa Forward Party and MGP and three independents along with 1 NCP member supported the BJP coalition government led by Manohar Parrikar.

Justice Rajendra Menon sworn in as Patna High Court Chief Justice

Justice Rajendra Menon was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court. He was administered oath to office by Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind at a function in Raj Bhawan. Recently, President had appointed and transferred Patna HC Acting Chief Justice Hemant Gupta as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Government establishes Banana Research Centre in Vaishali

The Union government has established banana research centre at Goraul in Vaishali district of Bihar. It will function under Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University (RPCAU) at Pusa in Samastipur. It is second such in the country after the National Research Centre for Banana at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. It will focus on the reasons for less production of banana and will work on expansion of its cultivation, plant protection, suitable utilisation of various parts of it such as pulp and fibre, marketing, processing, and value addition etc. Maharashtra is the largest banana producing state in the country with productivity of 65.7 tonnes per hectare. Overall the banana production in India stands at 142 lakh tonnes per year.

Banking, Business & Economy

TDSAT refuses to stay Reliance Jio’s free offer

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has refused to stay Reliance Jio’s free promotional offer. It has further asked telecom regulator Earlier, TDSAT had reserved the order on an appeal seeking a stay on Reliance Jio’s free offer after hearing all the parties concerned, including TRAI, telecom operators Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel, and newcomer Jio. Reliance Jio had launched the inaugural free voice and data plan in September 2016 and in December 2016, extended the freebies till 31 March 2017. TDSAT was established in 2000 to adjudicate disputes and dispose of appeals in the telecom sector to protect the interests of service providers and consumers and ensure orderly growth of the telecom sector.

CCEA approves sale of IOC’s 24% equity holding in Lubrizol India Private Limited

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has allowed Indian Oil Corporation Limited (Indian Oil) to sell its 24% equity in one of its Joint Venture Companies, Lubrizol India Private Limited (LIPL) to its other Joint Venture Partner Lubrizol Corporation, USA (LC). The sale will enable IOC to have long term association with its joint venture partner and thus LIPL to have access to the latest global additive technologies developed by Lubrizol Corporation, US.

SEBI allows celebrities to endorse mutual fund products at industry level

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed celebrities to endorse mutual fund products at the industry level purpose of increasing awareness of mutual funds as a financial product category. However, such endorsements will be not used as a branding exercise of an asset management company or promoting scheme of a particular mutual fund. Prior approval of SEBI will be required for issuance of such advertisements which feature celebrities. SEBI also issued new advertising code that will require fund houses to communicate in a simple manner with the public.

SBI announces Rs 6,000-crore tractor loan settlement scheme

India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a one-time farm loan settlement scheme worth Rs. 6,000 crore primarily for tractors. Under this scheme, loans disbursed before 2011 and falling under doubtful or loss category accounts as of September 2016, will be considered. Moreover, other agriculture loans like kisan credit cards and other term-loans for tractors and farm loans may also be covered under the scheme. Currently, SBI’s total farm loan portfolio is Rs. 1.25 Lakh Crore and tractor loan book is about Rs. 6,000 crore.

Persons in News

Two Indian-American authors shortlisted for Wellcome Book Prize

Two Indian-American authors Siddhartha Mukherjee and Paul Kalanithi have been shortlisted for the £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize. Siddhartha Mukherjee was shortlisted for his study of genetics and mental health in his book ‘The Gene’. Besides Paul Kalanithi is the first posthumous author shortlisted for his life-affirming reflection on facing mortality ‘When Breath Becomes Air’. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Wellcome Collection in April 2017. The Wellcome Book Prize celebrates fiction and non-fiction works engaged with the topics of health and medicine.

Sports Current Affairs

Shashank Manohar resigns as ICC chairman

Shashank Manohar has resigned as Chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC). He stepped down from the post reportedly due to personal reasons. He was elected unopposed for the top job of the international cricket governing body in May 2016. He was the first independent Chairman of ICC. He had signed a two-year term after stepping down as BCCI President. He was re-elected as BCCI President in October 2015, following the demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya.

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