Prepared by D.Sarala, Viluppuram
1. 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. Its first wind power project Rojmal wind energy project 50 MW is being set up in Gujarat.
2. For the first time in India, four states Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have decided to conduct a synchronised Elephant census in May 2017. These four together have the maximum number of human-elephant conflict-prone regions in India. As per the 2015 census, Odisha has 1,954 elephants while Jharkhand has 700, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal had approximately 275 and 130 elephants, respectively. These states will conduct the census based on an identical set of rules using the direct and indirect counting methods The direct counting method is based on sighting of elephants while the indirect method uses the elephant ‘dung decay’ formula, in which the analysis of dung is used to estimate the population. The indirect method has already been used by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Direct method can be used alone because it is not possible to cover entire area during the census
3. 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.
4. Great Barrier Reef in Australia’s eastern coast is experiencing an unprecedented second straight year of mass coral bleaching. This is for the first time Great Barrier Reef has bleached two years in sequence. Coral Bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions, such as warmer sea temperatures, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, draining them of their colour. It is the biggest coral reef system in the world composed of over 2,900 individual reefs. It was recorded as a World Heritage site in 1981
5. 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.
6. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras has won the 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award for its solar-direct current (DC) inverter system. The system was developed by Centre for Decentralised Power Systems at IIT-M using micro grid technology.
7. 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.
8. Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have found India’s first lunar probe,Chandrayaan-1 which was considered lost, is still orbiting the moon. They also have found NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The ISRO lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 on August 29, 2009, almost a year after it was launched on October 22, 2008. The unmanned spacecraft is still circling some 200 km in the polar orbit around the moon.
9. Iran successfully tested a ballistic missile Hormuz 2. 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.
10. Pakistan National Assembly has passed the Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016 to regulate marriages of Hindus in Pakistan.
11. The National Skill Development Corporation ( NSDC) and the National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) signed a MOU with Sashtra Seema Bal ( Central Armed Police Force) for execution of skill development programmes.
12. India successfully test fired “Brahmos” Supersonic cruise missile recently.
13. The Japanese and United States navies conducted joint exercises in the East China Sea.
14. The United Kingdom is hosting the inaugural Common Wealth Summit 2017, which is largely focused on stimulating trade within the group.
15. Veteran journalist and Executive Editor at IANS( India abroad Newspaper) Arvind Padmanabhan passed away due to cardiac arrest in New Delhi.
16. The World Kidney Day was observed on 9th March. This year theme is Kidney disease and Obesity :Healthy Life Style for Healthy Kidneys.
17. 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.
18. The European Council has re-elected Donald Tusk as its president for a second term.
19. Senior diplomat Manjeev Singh Puri was appointed as India’s new ambassador to Nepal.
20. Mr. Puri, a 1982-batch IFS officer. He will be succeeding Ranjit Rae.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.