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Daily Current Affairs for 29th March 2017 ( English)

1.     Gauri Singh (14) from Rajasthan became the first Indian girl swim from Sea Link near Worli Koliwada to the Gateway of India in the Arabia Sea. She took over 6 hours 30 minutes to complete the 36 km long distance route. Singh hails from Udaipur and is a class 8th student.

2.     Bhubaneswar, capital city of Odisha will host 2017 Men’s Hockey World League final and 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup. It was announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Odisha will be the title sponsor of both events. The Men’s Hockey World League will be involving eight of World’s best teams including hosts India, will be played from December 1 to 10, 2017. The Hockey World Cup is scheduled between November 28 to December 16, 2018 and will see participation of 15 teams.

3.     Arun Sharma(86)Well known playwright passed away in New Delhi after a brief illness.He was born in 1931 in Dibrugarh district. In his career, he had written more than 50 plays and books. He has won a number of awards, including Padma Shri, Sahitya Academi and Assam Valley Literary.

4.     Sitaram Swain was chosen as the Glenfiddich’s Emerging Artist of the Year 2017.Odisha-based installation artist .He will be the sixth recipient of the honour. He will represent India at the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence (AiR) programme at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland with seven artists from around the world.

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5.     South Africa’s revered Indian-origin anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada passed away. He was 87. He was one of Nelson Mandela’s closest aides in his struggle to end the white minority rule. He was frequently referred to Mandela as his ‘elder brother’.

6.     Indian-American Vanita Gupta was appointed as President and CEO of ‘The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’. With this she became first woman to head the prestigious organisation. She will succeed Wade Henderson who is stepping down after more than two decades. She will also lead its sister organisation ‘The Leadership Conference Education Fund’. Vanita Gupta is known for her fearless advocacy of all human beings. She had headed civil rights division in the Department of Justice in the Obama Administration.

7.     Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) and Coca Cola India have signed MOU to train 50,000 street food vendors. The MOU was signed as part of FSSAI’s ‘Clean Street Food’ initiative to train street food vendor in the next three years. Under, it Coca-Cola will be responsible for the execution through its trainer network, while FSSAI will ensure relevance of training content.

8.     Cyclone Debbie makes Landfall in Australia’s Northeast Coast.

9.     President Pranab Mukherjee presented Dr. B. C. Roy National Awards to 49 physicians for the year 2014, 2015 and 2016. Besides, he also presented Hari Om Ashram Alembic Research Awards to four physicians. Dr. B. C. Roy National Award is the highest recognition for medical practitioners in India. It was instituted by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in 1976 in memory of renowned physician and former West Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy.

10.  Union Government has imposed 10% import duty on wheat and tur dal with immediate effect to protect farmers’ interest amid projection of a record crop this year. Earlier in December 2016, government had reduced customs duty on wheat to 0 from 10% to boost domestic availability and check retail prices. There has been nil duty on tur dal. The estimated revenue implication of this decision is about Rs. 840 crore at the current levels of imports. The move will help curb sharp fall in the wholesale prices of these commodities and ensure support price to farmers.

11.  India for the first time has become a net exporter of electricity during the April-February period in fiscal 2016-17. During this period, India exported around 5,798 million units of electricity to Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. It is 213 million units more than the import of around 5,585 million units from Bhutan. according to Central Electricity Authority (CEA), under Union Power Ministry. India’s power export to Nepal: India is exporting around 190 MW power to Nepal over 12 cross border interconnections at 11kV, 33kV and 132 kV level. It has further increased by around 145 MW after commissioning of Muzaffarpur (India)–Dhalkhebar (Nepal) 400kV line (being operated at 132 kV) in 2016. It is further expected to increase by around 145 MW shortly over 132 kV Katiya (Bihar)– Kusaha (Nepal) and 132 kV Raxaul (Bihar)– Parwanipur (Nepal). India’s power export to Bangladesh: At present, India has exported around 600 MW power to Bangladesh. The export got further boost after commissioning of the first cross border interconnection between Baharampur (India) and Bheramara (Bangladesh) at 400kV in September 2013. It was further augmented by commissioning of second cross border Interconnection between Surjyamaninagar (Tripura) in India and South Comilla (Bangladesh). India’s power import from Bhutan: On an average, Bhutan has been supplying around 5,000-5,500 million units to India. A few more cross border links are in the pipeline with neighbouring countries which would further increase India’s power export. 

12.  Indian Navy has commissioned latest indigenously developed surveillance ship INLCU L51. It was commissioned at a ceremony held in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Command of Navy INLCU L51 is the first of the eight ships of the LCU Mk IV Class. It has been built and designed indigenously by Kolkata based M/s Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd. The ship is 62.8 metre in length and 11 metre in breadth. It has displacement capacity of 900 tons. It is fitted with state-of-the art Electronic Warfare suite for early detection of adversaries. It has 30 mm CRN -91 guns, 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Guns and 7.62 mm Medium Machine Guns. It will be part of the navy’s fleet deployed for maritime surveillance of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and to check poaching, illegal fishing, drug trafficking and other unlawful activities in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).The ship is commanded by Cdr Vishwesh S Nadkarni

13.  The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has launched MoPNG e-Seva, a grievance redressal platform for the customers regarding to petroleum and gas sector. The platform will handle queries received on the official handles of Petroleum Ministry, Petroleum Minister and MOPNG eSeva. The queries will be addressed on real-time basis 24/7 by a team of nodal officers from the Oil Companies and Allied Services. For quick intervention and resolution of complaints, the consumers can send their query or feedback with compulsory information either on any of the following Facebook page, Twitter handle of MoPNG e-Seva.

14.  Britain has formally launched the process for leaving the European Union (EU). Britain will become the first country ever to seek departure from the European Union since its formation 60 years ago. British Prime Minister Theresa May will now trigger Article 50 of the bloc’s Lisbon Treaty, nine months since UK’s referendum vote to leave the EU. This means that Britain is set to leave in 2019. British PM already has signed the Brexit letter to be delivered to European Union President Donald Tusk.

15.  US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to roll back his predecessor Barack Obama’s climate change measures. The order was issued in order to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations. The Executive Order directs all agencies to conduct a review of all regulations, rules, policies and guidance documents that put up roadblocks to US’s domestic energy production.

16.  The Karnataka Bank has launched MoneyPlant RuPay International Platinum Debit Card to provide more privileges to its premium & High net worth individual (HNI) customers. This card can be used for domestic as well as international cash withdrawal and purchase transactions. It has superior features and privileges such as enhanced withdrawal limits, Personal Accident Insurance Coverage of Rs. 2 lakh, Two Free lounge access per quarter across 300+ airports worldwide and 30+ airports in India, Fuel surcharge waiver, Utility bill cash back offers & various other merchant offers.

17.  SBI Card, subsidiary of India’s largest lender SBI has launched the Unnati Credit Card to spread credit inclusion among masses. The card targeted at all SBI customers, including the Jan Dhan Yojana account-holders across the country. It also aims to target new users of credit cards, those who do not have a credit history. Any SBI customer having balance of at least Rs 25,000 in the savings account is eligible for the Unnati credit card.   SBI Card is joint venture between the State Bank of India (SBI) and GE Capital, the financial services arm of the US-based General Electric (GE). It was incorporated as SBI Cards and Payment Services Private Limited, SBI Card in October 1998. It is headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana.

18.  The first-ever Houston India Conference was hosted by Asia Society Texas Centre in Houston, United States from March 24, 2017. The theme of 2-day conference was ‘Make in India -The Inside Story’. It was designed to bring together the various constituencies having common interest in India and discuss with them the latest developments and best practices of doing business in India. The prime focus of the conference was to provide a collaboration platform and share India present growth story with people in Texas who are interested to invest in India.

19.  Argentina forward Lionel Messi (29) was banned from their next four competitive internationals for swearing at a match official. The ban will start with the World Cup’s qualifier in Bolivia. Messi had directed insulting words at an assistant referee during the 1-0 win over Chile. Now, he will play in only one of Argentina’s remaining five World Cup qualifiers. He will also miss games away to Uruguay and home to Venezuela and Peru. He will be eligible again when Argentina in match against Ecuador to be held in October 2017.
20.   US based e commerce giant Amazon has made its entry in United Arab Emirates (UAE) by acquiring Souq.com. The deal’s specific value was not disclosed but according to analysts it is estimated anywhere between $650 million to $1billion. This acquisition brings Amazon into a fast-growing market as it expands into a wide range of services. Souq.com is based in Dubai and is the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab world offering more than 400,000 products such as consumer electronics, fashion products, and household goods.

 21. The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered a complete ban on all mining activities in the       state for four months. The court gave this order while hearing on Public Interest Litigation (PIL).   It comes after a forest guard was allegedly killed by illegal miners near Corbett National Park   when he had tried to stop them.



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