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Daily Current Affairs for the month of March 30th & 31st ( English )

Prepared by D.Sarala, Viluppuram
1.  Parliament has passed Finance Bill 2017 after Lok Sabha negating all the five amendments made by the Rajya Sabha. The bill gives effect to the financial proposals of the central government announced in the budget for the financial year 2017-18. Earlier, the Rajya Sabha had returned the Finance Bill 2017 to the Lok Sabha with five amendments moved by the opposition.
2. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated high speed rail wire Wi-Fi facility in National Rail museum, New Delhi. It is free Wi-Fi service built over the fiber network of Rail Tel to offer High- Speed Broadband like experience to users. He also launched a book ” Indian Railways- The Weaving of a National Tapestry” authored by Bibek Debroy, Sanjay and Vidya Krishnamurthi.
3.     Turkey has announced end of its military campaign inside northern Syria without specifying whether it will pull its troops out from the neighbouring country. With this, Turkey’s half-year long offensive in Syria has been concluded successfully. In August 2016, Turkey had launched Operation Euphrates Shield inside Syria targeting Islamic State (IS) terrorists and Syrian Kurdish militia fighters (declared as terrorists by Turkey). Since the onset of the unprecedented operation, Turkey-backed Syrian rebels had captured everal towns including Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Dabiq and finally Al-Bab from militants. The strategic town of Al-Bab was the terrorists’ last stronghold in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.
4.     The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed four types of lithium ion batteries for satellite and launch vehicle applications. These four types of batteries are 1.5Ah, 5Ah, 50Ah and 100Ah.  Out of these, 1.5Ah & 50Ah have been used for space applications and 5Ah & 100Ah batteries have qualified and are ready for induction in space applications. ISRO has supplied 50 Ah lithium-ion cells to Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
5.     The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed public sector oil companies to immediately stop plying Bharat Stage-I (BS-I) and Bharat Stage-II (BS-II) vehicles for transporting petrol or petroleum products in the national capital Delhi. The order was issued against Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum. The NGT direction came during the hearing of batch of petitions filed by various contractors seeking registration of new BS-IV compliant diesel vehicles purchased for transport of petrol from company depots to identified petrol pumps in Delhi-NCR.

6.     Sima Kamil became the first woman in Pakistan to head a major commercial bank after she was appointed as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) of United Bank Limited (UBL). Prior to this appointment, she was deputy CEO of UBL. UBL is Pakistan’s third-largest lender, headquartered in the financial hub Karachi. It employs 15,000 people and has branches in 15 other countries, including Qatar, US and United Arab Emirates.
7.     Carrie Lam is set to become the first woman Chief Executive (CE) of the Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China. She will succeed Leung Chun-ying on July 1, 2017. In the elections, she had won 777 votes compared with 365 for her closest rival and was backed by China. Prior to getting electing as CE, she was the Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong SAR Government (from 2012 to 2017), the senior most rank of principal officials of Hong Kong. The CE of Hong Kong is the head and representative of the Hong Kong and also head of the Government of Hong Kong.
8.     Srinath Narayanan (23) is set to become India’s 46th Grandmaster after he defeated GM David Anton Guijarro of Spain at the ongoing Sharjah Masters 2017 chess tournament.  He became an International Master at the age of 14 and crossed the 2500 Elo rating recently. He had already secured five GM norms. He was India’s youngest FIDE-rated player in 2002 when he was just eight. He also had finished as joint winner in the Under-12 World Championship in 2005 held in France.
9.     Ethiopian-born Turkish middle and long-distance runner Elvan Abeylegesse (34) was stripped of two Olympic silver medals and one world silver after a re-analysis of an in-competition doping test dating back to 2007. She had tested positive for stanozolol, a banned steroid on August 25, 2007, after winning silver at the 2007 World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan. She was also retrospectively banned from September 2015 to September 2017. This ban has stripped her world silver and also the 5000 metre and 10,000 metre silver medals won at 2008 Beijing Olympics.
10.  Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin was awarded Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016 as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016. With this, he became the third Indian to win this award after Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. She is also the second cricketer after Rahul Dravid to win the two awards in the same year. The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy is awarded annually by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to its chosen world player of the year. It was first awarded in 2004 to Rahul Dravid.
11.  The Govardhan Eco Village of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Wada taluka in Maharashtra has received an award in the “Best Water NGO-Water Education” category instituted by Water Digest. The village is a farm community and retreat centre spread over a scenic landscape of 100 acres. Since its inception in 2003, it has made steady progress in Organic farming, Cow protection, Rural Education, Rural development, Alternative energy, Eco friendly constructions and Sustainable living etc. The Water Digest Water Awards are given annually to organisations, industry members and NGOs to honour and appreciate their outstanding and exceptional environmental initiatives and achievements.
12.  Truecaller partners with ICICI Bank to launch its new Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based mobile payment service “Truecaller Pay”. It will allow users of the app to instantly create a unique UPI Virtual Payment Address (VPA), send money to any UPI id or a mobile number registered with the BHIM app. It can be used to transfer money, recharge phone, pay postpaid phone bills etc. The non-ICICI bank users can use it by registering on to Truecaller Pay app.
13.  The Indian Navy has unveiled the Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS) at Rajali Air Station in Tamil Nadu. The aim of IAAMS is to modernise the meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations (NAS). It is expected to bring accuracy in weather monitoring mechanism in the Indian Navy.
14.  The Supreme Court has banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage (BS)-III emission norm-compliant vehicles from April 1, 2017, when environmentally friendly BS-IV emission norms will come into force across the country. The order came after all vehicle manufacturers including their association -Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) approached SC to stop the ban till existing stock is sold. All the vehicle registering authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 are prohibited from registering such vehicles on and from April 1, 2017 that do not meet BS-IV emission standards. Vehicles that have already been sold on or before March 31, 2017 will be not included in this ban. From 1 April 2017, BS-IV fuel emission standards will kick in and all new vehicles have to comply it. 
15.  Scientists have developed a tiny, ingestible 3D-printed snake-like robot called SAW (single actuator wave-like robot), that can navigate through the small intestines. The snake-like tiny robot was made from a set of interlocking 3D-printed “plastic” pieces that look like vertebrae. It can be used to visualise the digestive system in real time, especially for colonoscopies.
16.  Kanha in Madhya Pradesh became first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot named Bhoorsingh the Barasingha, to create a better connect with its visitors, especially the younger generation. The mascot Bhoorsingh will soon feature in more artwork, posters and merchandise for the park management at Kanha.
17.  The third edition of G20 Framework Working Group (FWG) meeting was held in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The two-day meeting took place under the G20 German presidency, and was co-hosted by the Union Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It was inaugurated by Shaktikanta Das, Economic Affairs Secretary and Dinesh Sharma, special secretary in the Finance ministry was head the programme.
18.  Gujarat Assembly has passed the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to amend Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954. The amendment bill makes the existing law stricter and provides for harsher punishment and higher penalties to prevent cow slaughter in the state.
19.  India has signed its first loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB)/BRICS Bank for $350 million to be used in the development and up gradation of district roads in Madhya Pradesh. The objective of the project is the upgrade major district roads in Madhya Pradesh to improve road connectivity of the interior areas of the state with the national and state highway networks. The project will include upgradation, reconstruction and rehabilitation of approximately 1,500 km of district roads to intermediate lane, all-weather standards. It will also have road safety features and improved road maintenance and management.
20.  The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) and Indian Army have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to identify the critical technological areas that can be enhanced in the armed forces. The MoU was signed by IITM Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S) Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
21.  Central America’s smallest nation El Salvador became first country in the world to ban metal mining nationwide. In this regard, it has passed a law that bans all mining for gold and other metals. The law imposes broad prohibition on the extraction of minerals to protect the nation’s allegedly quite fragile environment, water reservoirs and reduce social tensions.
22.  The Union Government has launched the Online Vigilance Clearance System and e-Service Book in New Delhi. It was launched by Union Minister Jitendra Singh in New Delhi. The online system aims to fast track process of cases of vigilance clearance for senior-level appointments in central government.
23.The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has announced regional aviation routes and airlines after the first    round of bidding under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) Scheme. In the first round, as many as   128 routes connecting 70 big and small airports across the country were selected and all flights will  become active within 4-6 months.

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