Daily Current Affairs Short Updates: March 24-25, 2017

Daily Current Affairs Short Updates for March 24-25, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

States Current Affairs

Assam Government inks MoU with SBI to provide loan to employees

Assam Government has signed MoU with State Bank of India (SBI) to provide Housing and Educational Loan at subsidised interest rates to the employees of the state government. As per the MoU, state government will provide interest subsidy at the rate of 3.50% for housing loan and education loan at 4%. It will benefit state government employees in terms of interest rates and reduced EMI. It also has provisions for collateral free loan, Zero Margin, Zero Processing Fee with longer repayment tenure.

Bihar Government launches free WiFi programme for students

Bihar government has launched an ambitious programme to provide free WiFi facilities in colleges and universities on the occasion of Bihar Diwas. The program aims to provide free Wi-Fi facility to help youths to move ahead in life and to become digital smart. The foundation day of Bihar (also known as Bihar Diwas) is celebrated every year on March 22. On this day in 1912, then British India Government had carved out the state from Bengal Presidency in 1912.

Bengaluru gets India’s first vertical garden

India’s first vertical garden was set up at the Hosur Road Electronics City Flyover in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The garden is an initiative of SayTrees, NGO determined to protect nature. The vertical garden will help to control the pollution level of the city and also act as a sound proofing barrier. It covers pillar of the flyover by flaunting lovely organic and refreshing saplings. It also has an automatic drip irrigation system allowing the plants to get water on a daily basis.

Banking, Business & Economy Current Affairs

ICICI Bank launches Mera iMobile app for rural customers

India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has launched the Mera iMobile app, India’s first one stop banking app for a range of digital services for rural customers. The multi-lingual app allows electronic transfer of funds through multiple payment mechanisms. It also provides weather updates, up to date prices of vegetables in mandis. It helps customers to manage bank accounts, track cards and loans, manage fund transfers, make payments for utility services, and find out information relevant to farmers.

Airtel acquires 4G business of Tikona Networks

Airtel has acquired 4G business of Tikona Networks including the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) business for Rs 1600 crore. With this acquisition, Airtel will be second company after Reliance Jio to have pan-India presence in 2300 Mhz band. The 2300 Mhz band has second largest ecosystem of 4G devices. Currently, Tikona has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (West), Uttar Pradesh (East), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles.

CCI imposes penalty on Coal India

Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs. 591.01 crore upon Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries for violating the Competition Act.  CCI found that CIL was engaged in imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions in Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) with power producers for supply of non-coking coal. CCI has directed CIL and its subsidiaries to “cease and desist” from anti-competitive practices and also modify the FSAs.

Persons in News

Ankur Khanna appointed as CFO of ICC

Ankur Khanna has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of International Cricket Council (ICC). Prior to this appointment he was the CFO of the Air Asia India. Prior to that, he had worked in senior roles at Air France/KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and ITC, an associate company of British American Tobacco.

Upendra Tripathy appointed as IDG of ISA

Senior IAS officer Upendra Tripathy was appointed as the full-time Interim Director General (IDG) of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). He is former secretary, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. ISA is a coalition of the solar resource rich countries. Its mandate is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries along with bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and stakeholders to achieve common goals of increasing use of the solar energy in meeting energy needs in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner. ISA’s headquarters is located at National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram in Haryana.

Madhabi Puri Buch appointed as Whole-Time Member of SEBI

Madhabi Puri Buch was appointed as the new Whole-Time Member (WTM) of the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). This is the first time that a women and a person from private sector has been chosen for a key post of SEBU. She will have tenure of 3 years. Madhabi Puri Buch is founder-director of Agora Advisory Pvt Ltd. Currently she is working at the New Development Bank (NDB) or BRICS Bank in Shanghai, China.

Ravish Kumar awarded first Kuldip Nayar journalism award

Senior executive editor of NDTV India Ravish Kumar was awarded inaugural Kuldip Nayar journalism award at in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the world of Journalism. The award was set up to honour those working in vernacular media. It will be awarded every year from now on and carries a plaque along with a cash amount of Rs 1 lakh.

Veteran photojournalist Raghu Rai awarded Life Time Achievement award

The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has bestowed Life Time Achievement (LTA) award upon veteran photojournalist Raghu Rai for his remarkable contribution to the field. He was presented award at 6th National Photography Awards (NPA) 2017. Rai is known for his books, Raghu Rai’s India: Reflections in Colour and Reflections in Black and White. The NPA is an annual event organized by Ministry of I&B to promote art, technique of photography and encourage professional and amateur photographers across the country.

Tamil writer Ashokamitran passes away

Prominent Tamil writer Ashokamitran, passed away. He was 86. He was known for powerfully portraying the lives and struggles of the urban middle-class life in his literary works.He was born as Tyagarajan, but later assumed the pen name, Ashokamitran. In a career spanning over six decades, he had written 8 novels, 20 novellas, hundreds of short stories, commentaries on a wide range of issues, and profiles of personalities. He was awarded Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996 for his work Appavin Snegidhar, a collection of short stories.

Days, Events and Observances

5th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) held in Arunachal Pradesh

The 5th edition of ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) – 2017’ was held in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. It was organized by the Union Ministry of Culture to preserve, promote and popularize the heritage and cultural diversity of Indian culture and reconnect the new generation with Indian culture. Approx 5,000 artists from North East India and 2,000 artists from across the country showcased India’s cultural heritage through their performances, arts and cuisines. Later it was extend to other North Eastern states including, Dimapur (Nagaland), Majuli (Assam), Aizawl (Mizoram), Imphal (Manipur), Gangtok (Sikkim), Shillong (Meghalaya).

Conference of Auditors General of Commonwealth Countries and British Overseas Territories held in India

The 23rd edition of Conference of Auditors General of Commonwealth Countries and British Overseas Territories was held in New Delhi, India. The theme of the conference was “Fostering Partnerships for Capacity Development in Public Audit”. The conference was attended by 52 commonwealth countries and 9 British overseas territories.This was the first time India had hosted this prestigious conference i.e. by Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG). The last edition of such conference was held in Malta in 2014.

International Conference on Alternate Fuels and Raw Materials in Cement Industry held in New Delhi

The third edition of International Conference on Alternate Fuels and Raw Materials in Cement Industry -Towards Realising Swachh Bharat Dream” was held New Delhi. It was organized by the Cement Manufacturer’s Association India (CMA). The 2-day conference aimed to facilitate technical, financial and regulatory solutions for increasing alternate fuels and raw materials usage in the cement industry.

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