Current Affairs March 2016

Current Affairs March 2016 with Latest Current Affairs for preparation of IAS, UPSC, Banking, IBPS, Railways and other exams. Current Events March 2016 news summary on current events of national and international importance.

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Outcomes of 13th India-EU Summit

The 13th edition of India-European Union Summit was held on in Brussels, capital of Belgium.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented Indian side in the summit. While the European Union (EU) was represented by President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The 13th summit laid out concrete priority actions for the strategic bilateral partnership in areas like trade and investment, climate, energy, water and migration in the next five years.

Key Outcomes

  • EU-India Agenda for Action 2020: Both sides endorsed the agenda to concrete the road-map for the EU-India Strategic Partnership for the next five years.
  • EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA): Both sides agreed to further the negotiations on early conclusion of the BTIA.
  • Terrorism: Both sides adopted a Joint Declaration on Counter-terrorism to step up cooperation to counter radicalisation and violent extremism.
  • It will also allow jointly countering the flow of sources of terrorist financing, Foreign Terrorist Fighters and arms supply.
  • Loan assistance to Lucknow Metro: The European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to lend loan of 450 million Euros for the construction of the first metro line in Lucknow.
  • G20 Skills Strategy: Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to implement the G20 Skills Strategy and also expressed their intention to organise a high level skills seminar.
  • India-EU Water Partnership: The Joint Declaration was adopted in this regard to enhance cooperation on environment issues, including on the ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Clean India’ flagship programmes.
  • India-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement: Both sides agreed to extend this agreement until 2020 to boost innovation and research in India and Europe.
  • Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility: Both sides agreed to establish this agenda in order to enhance involvement of citizens’ in the strategic partnership.
  • Arbitration procedure on the Italian Marines: Both sides expressed their confidence in solving the marine case currently underway in the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Note: The EU-India strategic partnership was launched in 2004. The last summit i.e. 12th edition was held in 2012 in New Delhi.

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Supreme Court approves Union Government’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans

Supreme Court has approved Union Government’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans, who help road accident victims, from being unnecessarily harassed by police or any other authority.

These guidelines based on the recommendations K S Radhakrishnan committee were approved by the SC bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra.

These guidelines will be binding on all states and Union Territories until the Union government enacts a law to this effect.

The bench also has asked the Union Government to give wide publicity to these guidelines so that people who help others in the time of distress are not victimised by any authority.

It should be noted that SC took on record these guidelines to protect Good Samaritans placed by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Ministry had approached the SC for issuing these guidelines on all states and Union Territories by its order as it was facing difficulty to enforce them in the absence of any statutory backing.

Background

  • The guidelines of the Transport Ministry were based on the recommendations of the three-member committee headed by former judge K S Radhakrishnan.
  • The committee was appointed by the SC in 2014 to monitor steps taken by the Centre and state governments to ensure road safety.
  • The committee had given 12 major recommendations including setting up of State Road Safety Councils, evolving a protocol for identification of black spots, their removal and monitoring to see the effectiveness of the action taken.
  • The committee had also suggested strengthening of enforcement relating to drunken driving, red light jumping, over-speeding and helmet or seat belt laws.

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PM Narendra Modi unveils Asia’s largest optical telescope ARIES at Nainital

Asia’s largest and first of its kind optical telescope Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) was unveiled at Devasthal in Nainital District, Uttrakahnd.

It was remotely activated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel from Belgium.

Key facts

  • Aries telescope was joint collaborative technological effort between Indian and Belgian scientists.
  • Location: It has been located at a height of 2,500 metres at Devasthal in Nainital district. The site was chosen for getting a clear view of the sky.
  • Features: The ARIES optical telescope has mirror of 3.6 m diameter.
  • The telescope facility has been incorporated with high end technology which enables it to be operated with the help of remote control from anywhere in the world.
  • Applications: It will help in the study and exploration of planets, starts, magnetic field and astronomical debris. It will also help research of star structures and magnetic field structures of stars.

Background

The ARIES telescope has been a joint international effort between Indian, Russian and Belgian scientist. In March 2007 ARIES and Belgian company Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (AMOS) had entered a contract for design, manufacture, integration, testing, supply and installation of the telescope. Belgium also had funded 7 per cent of the project whose total cost is estimated to be more than 120 crore rupees.

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