Current Affairs Daily Digest: March 17, 2017
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for March 17, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS
Environment Ministry provides 6-months window to get environmental Clearance
The Union Ministry of Environment has provided a six months window and one-time opportunity to the industrial projects functioning without environmental clearance (EC) to apply for a back-dated EC. The reprieve is for projects that started the work on site, changed the product mix without obtaining prior EC or expanded the production beyond the limit of EC.
Parliamentary panel suggests BSNL-MTNL merger for long-term survival
The Parliamentary Committee on Petitions has suggested merger of state-run telecom firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for their long-term survival. It was chaired by BJP MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari. The committee held that their merger will give both the entities a chance for competing against private sector players.
20 Projects approved under Namami Gange Programme
The Executive Committee (EC) of National Mission for Clean Ganga approved has approved 20 projects worth Rs 1,900 Crore for implementation of Namami Gange Programme in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi. Out of 20 projects, 13 are in Uttarakhand hat includes creating new sewage treatment plants, upgrading existing STPs and laying of sewage networks in Haridwar. About Namami Gange Programme
Mallikarjun Kharge set to become next PAC Chairman
The Congress’s floor leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge will become next chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). He will succeed his party colleague KV Thomas, who will complete his third term as Chairman of PAC on April 30, 2017. The chair of the PAC by convention is given to an MP of the main Opposition party with Cabinet rank. Read more
INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS
Pakistan successfully test-fires land based anti-ship missile
Pakistan Navy successful tested new land-based anti-ship missile from the coastal region. During the test, missile secured a hit on a target placed at sea. The missile is equipped with advanced technology and avionics, which enable engagement of targets at sea with a high degree of accuracy. This successful test bolsters Pakistan’s operational reach to launch long-range, anti-ship missiles from land.
ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CURRENT AFFAIRS
UK grants doctors first licence to create 3-parent babies
Britain’s fertility regulator has granted first licence to doctors in Newcastle, northern England to create babies using a three-parent IVF technique designed to prevent inherited genetic diseases. The technique involves intervening in the fertilisation process to remove faulty mitochondria (tiny energy-generating batteries inside cells) which can cause fatal genetic diseases. The treatment is also known as “three-parent” IVF, as the babies, born from genetically modified embryos, would have DNA from a mother, a father and from a woman donor. Britain’s was the first country to pass law to allow three-parent IVF. The world’s first and so-far only known three-parent IVF baby was born in 2016 in Mexico to a Jordanian couple.
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launches EchoStar 23 Satellite
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched EchoStar 23 communications satellite into a high-altitude orbit. It was the 29th successful Falcon 9 flight out of 31 attempted missions since the rocket’s debut in June 2010. The EchoStar 23 satellite has been manufactured by SSL. It will provide broadcast satellite services alongside EchoStar’s 25 other satellites.
New Zealand river granted legal status as a person
New Zealand Parliament by passing legislation has recognised Whanganui River revered by the Maori Tribe as a “legal person” status. It is believed to be first of its kind move in the world. In practical terms, this recognition means the river now has its own legal identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person. The river is known as Te Awa Tupua by Maori tribe. It is the third longest in New Zealand. Maori tribe was fighting to assert their rights over the river since the 1870s. It was New Zealand’s longest-running legal dispute.
BANKING, BUSINESS & ECONOMY CURRENT AFFAIRS
HDFC Bank launches first Digital Loans against Securities
HDFC Bank launched digital Loan against Securities (LAS) allowing customers to avail loans in less than 3 minutes. It is first of its king initiative in Indian baking industry. The facility will offer 10.5% interest rate on the product. The service will also be available to customers with no credit history. Under this facility, customers can avail a minimum loan of Rs 1 lakh and maximum loan up to Rs 20 lakh. To seamlessly deliver this product, bank has collaborated with National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
Tata Steel, Wipro named in world’s most ethical companies’ list
Two Indian companies Tata Steel Limited and Wipro Limited were named in the list of World’s Most Ethical Companies 2017 by US think tank Ethisphere Institute. The 2017 list includes 124 honourees spanning five continents, 19 countries and 52 industry sectors. It was dominated by US-based companies as around 98 from that country featured in the list.Ford Motor Company from US was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the 8th straight year. Wipro was among the two IT category firm named in the list along with US based Xerox Corporation. Tata Steel was one of the two companies named in the metals, minerals and mining category along with US’s Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.
US Fed raises benchmark interest rate by 0.25%
US Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% for only the third time in a decade. The central bank Chaired by Janet Yellen voted to raise its key rate target to a range of 0.75% to 1%. The rate was increasedin light of the economy’s solid progress such as increase in jobs, solid pay gains, rising inflation and a dip in the unemployment rate to 4.7%.
SPORTS CURRENT AFFAIRS
Jwala Gutta appointed as member of SAI governing body member
India’s most successful Badminton Doubles specialist Jwala Gutta was appointed as a member of the governing body of Sports Authority of India (SAI). Jwala Gutta is 14-time national champion. She had won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships. She is also a 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games champion and had won silver medal at the 2014 Glasgow Games in women’s doubles.
OBSERVANCES, CONFERENCES & EVENTS
International Buddhist conference held in Bihar
Three day International Buddhist conference was held at Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Rajgir in Nalanda district of Bihar. Over one thousand delegates from 35 countries including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore and Indonesia participated in it.