Current Affairs Daily Digest: March 3, 2017
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for March 3, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
National Current Affairs
Aadhaar mandatory for online booking of rail tickets: Government
The Indian Railways has made Aadhaar number mandatory for senior citizens to avail concessions in train tickets from April 1, 2017. With this, it is planning to move towards Aadhaar-based online ticketing system to prevent touts from blocking a bulk of tickets, end fraudulent bookings and curb cases of impersonation. It also unveiled new business plan for 2017-18, to aid Railways to move towards a cashless ticketing system by installing 6,000 point-of-sale (PoS) machines and 1,000 automatic ticket vending machines across the country. Indian Railways will also launch an integrated ticketing app by May 2017 to promote cashless transaction.
First Regional conference on enhancing steel consumption held in Gangtok
First Regional Conference of Eastern States on enhancing steel consumption in India was held in Gangtok, Sikkim. The theme of the conference was ‘Enhancing steel consumption in India’. It was the first of the four such regional conferences planned across India. It provided a unique platform for exchange of user perspective and producers response. The delegates in the conference deliberated on measures to increase steel demand, advantages of steel intensive construction & steel in high-rises, rural sector, bridges and other fields.
India, Oman agree to enhance defence ties
India and Oman agreed to enhance cooperation between their navies during the talks of Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba with top defence brass of Oman. Decision in this regard was taken after Navy Chief Admiral visited Oman on the second leg of his two-nation tour. Both countries agreed on ramping up cooperation between their navies in the backdrop of the fast evolving security scenario in the region. On the first leg of his trip, Navy chief had visited UAE where he met top echelons of the country’s defence establishment.
JNU wins award for Best University 2017
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has won the annual visitor’s award for the Best University 2017. Dr Deepak Pant from Central University of Himachal Pradesh won the visitor’s award for innovation. The visitor’s award for research was jointly won by Prof Niranjan Karak from Tezpur University and Dr. Shyam Sunder from Banaras Hindu University. President Pranab Mukherjee had announced institution of these awards in 2014 with the aim of promoting healthy competition amongst Central Universities and motivating them to adopt best practices from around the world in the pursuit of excellence. The best university receives a citation and trophy while visitor’s award for innovation and research winners receive a citation and cash award of one lakh rupees.
Government approves 4,000 PG seats in medical colleges
The Union Government has approved over 4,000 Post Graduate seats in medical colleges and hospitals across the country for the academic session 2017-18. With this, the total number of PG seats available in the country will go up to over 35 thousand. This will further boost nations resolve to strengthen tertiary care and improve the medical education in the country. Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his 2017-18 budget speech had announced adding five thousand PG medical seats in the country is likely to be achieved soon.
International Current Affairs
Pakistan Government approves merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Pakistan Government has approved merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Decision in this regard was taken by the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which approved in principle the recommendations of the FATA Reforms Committee. The purpose is to bring the impoverished and politically deprived tribal region at par with the rest of the country. The FATA is a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan. It consists of seven tribal agencies (districts) and six frontier regions that are directly governed by Pakistan’s federal government.
Syrian Army recaptures Palmyra
The Syrian Army has recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from Islamic State (IS) for the second time in a year, with help from allied forces and Russian air support. IS had taken control Palmyra for second in a surprise advance in December 2016, after it was driven out in March 2016. The Syrian Army is also fighting IS in the area east of Aleppo and in the city of Deir al-Zor. Read more
US launches classified satellite from California
US has successfully launched classified satellite dubbed NROL-79 of National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in the space. It was launched on board of the Atlas 5 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch was conducted by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, and US Air Force’s 30th Space Wing. The NROL-79 satellite is described only as a national security payload for the NRO, which operates an array of intelligence-gathering satellites. NRO is a member of the US Intelligence Community and an agency of the US Department of Defence. It is one of the big five US intelligence agencies.
Persons in News
Maria Sharapova handed wildcard for Italian Open
Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova was given a wildcard to play in the Italian Open to be held in May 2017. The wild card will give former world number one chance to return to the tournaments after completing a 15-month ban for doping. She hasn’t played since testing positive for meldonium at the January 2016 Australian Open. Initially she was banned for two-year ban by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), but later it was reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Amjad Hussain B Sial assumes charge of new Secretary-General of SAARC
Senior Pakistani diplomat Amjad Hussain B Sial assumed charge as new Secretary-General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He succeeded Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa of Nepal who ompleted his term. Sial has 33 years of rich experience in Pakistan’s foreign service. Earlier he had served at SAARC Secretariat as director in Kathmandu. SAARC Secretary-General is head of the SAARC Secretariat, headquartered in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. He has tenure is of 3 years.