Daily Current Affairs

Current Affairs Daily Digest: March 12-13, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for March 12-13, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

Central Railway unveils India’s first air-conditioned rail ambulance

Central Railway zone of Indian Railway has unveiled India’s first air-conditioned rail ambulance. The four-coach AC ambulance will be stationed at Kaylan (Maharashtra). It is modified version of AC coaches used for passenger services. This rail ambulance can carry and treat 50 patients at one time. It also has in house operation theatre to carry out minor surgeries and provide immediate relief. It will be mainly be used during train accidents as it can carry accident victims to hospital in a short time. However, in normal times, it will be used for providing medical facilities in large congregations.

States Current Affairs

Congress wins 2017 Punjab Legislative Assembly election

Indian National Congress (INC) won the 2017 Punjab Legislative Assembly election by winning 77 seats of the total 117 seats. Aam Admi Party (AAP) won 20 seats, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) won 15 seats, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) won 3 seats and Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) won 2 seats. The election was held on 4 February 2017 in single phase. It saw voter turnout of 77.36%.


BJP wins 2017 Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly election

Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) won the 2017 Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly election by winning 57 seats of the total 70 seats. Indian National Congress (INC) won 11 seats and Independents won 2 seats. The election was held on 15 February 2017 in a single phase for 69 seats except Karnaprayag. It saw voter turnout 65.64%. Chief Minister Harish Rawat of Congress lost from both seats Haridwar (Rural) and Kichcha contested by him.


BJP wins 2017 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election

Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) won the 17th Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election by winning 312 seats of the total 403 seats. BJP’s allies Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party won 9 and 4 seats respectively. Samajwadi Party won 47 seats, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won 19 seats and Congress won 7 seats. The election was held from 11 February to 8 March 2017 in 7 phases. It saw voter turnout of 60-61% voter turnout compared to 59.48% in 2012 elections.

Uttar Pradesh

Congress emerges largest party in 2017 Goa Legislative Assembly election

Indian National Congress (INC) emerged as the single largest party in the 2017 Goa Legislative Assembly election by winning 17 seats of the total 40 seats. Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) won 13 seats, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak, Goa Forward Party and Independents won 3 seats each, Nationalist Congress Party won 1 seat. Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar lost from the Mandrem constituency by nearly 4000 votes. The election was held on February 4, 2017 in the single phase. It saw voter turnout of 83%. In this election, Goa became the first state in the country to use Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the entire state.


Congress emerges largest party in 2017 Manipur Legislative Assembly election

Indian National Congress (INC) emerged as the single largest party in the 2017 Manipur Legislative Assembly election by winning 28 seats of the total 60 seats. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 21 seats, Naga People’s Front National People’s Party won 4 seats each, Lok Janshakti Party, All India Trinamool Congress and Independents won 1 seat each. The election was held on 4 March & 8 March 2017 in two phases. It saw record turnout of 86%.


Sports Current Affairs

British F1 legend John Surtees passes away

British Formula One (F1) legend John Surtees passed away. He was 83. He was the only racer to have won world championships on motorbikes and in Formula One. He had won the 500cc motorcycle world championship in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 with the MV Agusta factory team by scoring 22 wins at the top level. He had made his debut for Lotus and winning the Formula One title for Ferrari in 1964. He had suffered a life-threatening accident in Canada, in 1965, from which he recovered to continue racing.

SSP Chawrasia defends Indian Open Title

SSP Chawrasia (38) created history after defending his title at the Hero Indian Open with a remarkable seven-stroke win in New Delhi. He is only the second Indian golfer after Jyoti Randhawa to successfully defend the Hero Indian Open. It was his sixth win on the Asian Tour and overall sixth international victory. With this victory, he also became the first Indian to win back-to-back Indian Open titles at different venues (DGC & DLF Golf & Country Club). He also became first Indian to successfully defend a European Tour title and the first player to win their first four events in their home country.


9 March: World Kidney Day

The World Kidney Day was observed on 9 March to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys for good health. The theme for year 2017 wasKidney Disease and Obesity: Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys. It aimed to promote education about the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney diseases.The World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) and International Society of Nephrology (ISN). The day was launched as a global health awareness campaign to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

HSBC appoints Mark Tucker as its New Chairman

Europe’s biggest bank HSBC Holdings Plc has appointed Mark Tucker as its chairman. He will replace Douglas Flint and would take over as group chairman designate from September 2017 and as non-executive group chairman on October 2017. Tucker is an ICAEW chartered accountant. Currently, he is group chief executive and president of AIA Group Limited, the largest independent public listed pan-Asian life insurance group. He also has been an independent non-executive director of the Goldman Sachs group since November 2012.


Current Affairs Daily Digest: March 10-11, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for March 10-11, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.


NTPC commissions 45 MW of Bhadla solar plant

India’s largest power generator NTPC Ltd has commissioned another 45 Megwatt (MW) capacity solar power plant at Bhadla in Rajasthan. With this, the company’s total installed capacity has become 48,188 MW. Earlier in February, the company had commissioned 115 MW of the plant. State-owned NTPC contributes nearly 24% of the country’s total power generation. It has plans to set up 10,000 MW renewable projects by 2022. So far it has 19 coal based, seven gas based, 10 solar PV, one hydro power plants along with nine subsidiaries or joint venture power stations. Its first wind power project Rojmal wind energy project 50 MW is being set up in Gujarat.

RBI to issue new Rs 10 notes soon with high security features

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon issue new Rs 10 currency notes with enhanced security features. The new notes will be in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005 with inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels. It will bear the signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel and the year of printing ‘2017’. The numerals in both the number panels of these banknotes will be in the ascending size from left to right and the first three alpha-numeric characters (prefix) will remain constant in size. RBI also announced that, all the Banknotes in the denomination of Rs10 issued in the past will continue to be legal tender.

Germany’s KfW, EESL in energy efficiency pact

The German Development Bank (KfW) and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has signed a loan agreement for €200 million to enhance energy efficiency in India. EESL will invest these funds in energy efficiency in buildings, households, street lighting, agriculture, water supply and industry.  KfW also signed a funding deal of €500,000 with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) to maintain solar projects.

Himachal Pradesh Government launches mobile App Mera Hunar HP for job-seekers

Himachal Pradesh Government launched mobile App and website Mera Hunar HP for job-seekers. It is first of its kind app and website in the country. Mera Hunar is a web based platform where the skilled, semi-skilled persons can apply for various jobs as per their convenience. The platform is available both in English and Hindi. It will directly connect the prospective employers with the job seekers. This will benefit those looking for daily jobs within their area. It will create self-employment as well as huge data-base of all the job seekers skilled in different trades.


Iran successfully tests ballistic missile Hormuz 2

Iran successfully tested a ballistic missile Hormuz 2. During the test, the missile destroyed a floating target at a distance of approximately 250 kilometers. Hormuz-2 is a naval strike ballistic missile intended to hit moving targets at sea with high precision. It has a range of nearly 300 kilometers. It is similar in appearance to the anti-ship Khalij-e-Fars (Persian Gulf) ballistic missile. Earlier, Iran successfully tested the S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system purchased from Russia.

Pakistan National Assembly passes Hindu Marriage Bill

Pakistan National Assembly has passed the Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016 to regulate marriages of Hindus in Pakistan.  The bill was passed again by the lower house after amendments were made by the Senate (Upper House) while passing the bill. The law prohibits the marriage of minors and prescribes a minimum age of 18-years for contracting marriage. In addition, it protects the customs and customary rites of the Hindu community. The bill also provides a mechanism for registration of marriage, separation and remarriage. It will help Hindu women get documentary proof of their marriage. The law will be applicable in the provinces of Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Japan, US conduct Navy drills

The Japanese and United States navies conducted joint exercises in the East China Sea. The exercises involved Japanese destroyers and a US Navy carrier strike group. The drill was aimed at issuing a warning against nuclear-armed North Korea. Recently, the tensions in the Korean peninsula had intensified in the region following North Korea’s missile tests. The exercises were also meant to display the joint Japan-US military presence in the East China Sea, where Japan and China are locked in a long-running dispute over uninhabited islets known as the Senkakus, while China claims then as the Diaoyus.


Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan passes away

Veteran journalist and Executive Editor at IANS Arvind Padmanabhan passed away due to cardiac arrest in New Delhi. He was 49. He was widely admired in the journalistic community for the thoroughness he displayed in writing, reporting and editing. He had a long inning at IANS after joining as in-charge of its Business Section in the India Abroad newspaper that was then part of the wire service in 1999. He was the first Business Editor of IANS. Later was elevated as the Executive Editor and headed the business and economy team. Earlier, he had worked with the PTI, Times of India and TV18.

Gravitational waves Pioneer Ronald Drever passes away

Scottish physicist and gravitational waves pioneer Ronald Drever passed away. He was 85. He was one of the co-founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors that had detected the gravitational waves emitted by merger of a binary black hole pair.

Donald Tusk re-elected as European Council president

The European Council has re-elected Donald Tusk as its president for a second term. He will have tenure of two and a half years from June 2017 to November 2019. He was also re-appointed as President of the Euro Summit for the same period. He is the second full-time President of EC, following the creation of the post on 1 December 2009 under the Treaty of Lisbon. Earlier, for first time Donald Tusk was elected as President of EC in December 2014. Prior to that, he was Prime Minister of Poland for 7 years.

Manjeev Singh Puri is new envoy to Nepal

Senior diplomat Manjeev Singh Puri was appointed as India’s new ambassador to Nepal. Mr. Puri, a 1982-batch IFS officer. Currently he is India’s Ambassador to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg.  He will be succeeding Ranjit Rae who completed his three-and-a-half-year term as the Indian ambassador to Nepal.

Chemistry Nobel winner George Olah passes away

Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry George Olah has passed away. He was 89. He research work had paved the way for more effective oil refining and ways of producing less polluting forms of gasoline. He had won Nobel Prize in 1994 for his groundbreaking study of the unstable carbon molecules known as carbocations.

BP Kanungo appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has appointed BP Kanungo as Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for three years. He has been appointed in place of R. Gandhi. In March 2016, Mr. Kanungo was appointed as Executive Director in the central bank.

Viola Davis awarded Harvard’s Artist of the Year Award 2017

Popular actress Viola Davis was awarded the 2017 Artist of the Year Award by Harvard Foundation. She was presented the award during foundation’s 32nd annual Cultural Rhythms Festival.  Besides, this award she also has won Oscar for the best supporting actress, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Critics’ Choice, and British Academy of Films and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards for her role of Rose Maxson in Fences. Harvard’s Artist of the Year Award is given annually to honor America’s most acclaimed artists and scientists. Viola Davis is the only black woman to be nominated for three Academy Awards and the only black actress to win the Triple Crown of Acting. In 2012, Time had listed her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.


Sachin Tendulkar appointed as official ambassador of women’s World Cup 2017

International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar as the official ambassador of Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017. The women’s World Cup is scheduled to be held in June 2017 at England and Wales with eight top cricketing countries locking horns to grab the coveted trophy. The tournament will host 28 matches at five different venues with the final at Lord’s Stadium.