1. The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) on March 14, 2018 set a deadline for owners of disused vehicles including cars left on city roads, saying that they will be auctioned by police, if not removed within the next 15 days. The GCC Commissioner D Karthikeyan said parking vehicles on the road sides and street corners posed hindrance to the public, hit traffic flow and also led to health hazards as these become a breeding spot for mosquitoes. He said people should come forward to voluntarily remove vehicles in disuse from roadsides.
1. Field Inspection and Scientific Evaluation Committee (FISEC) have been constituted by the Department of Biotechnology in Ministry of Science and Technology to investigate matter of illegal cultivation of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) or BG-III cotton in four states. The cultivation of HT cotton (BG-III) is not approved by country’s biotech regulator, Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of Ministry of Environment. The committee was constituted after there were several media reports and complaints regarding illegal or unauthorized cultivation of HT cotton in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
2. The Supreme Court held that foreign law firms cannot set up offices and their lawyers cannot practise in India but they can give legal advice on foreign laws. The ruling was given by apex court on appeal by Bar Council of India (BCI), challenging judgements by Bombay and Madras High Courts. It allowed casual visits by foreign lawyers on fly in and fly out (FIFO) basis for rendering legal advice to clients in India.
3. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and National Aviation University (NAU) to enhance human resource availability in India’s aviation industry. Under the agreement, signatory institutions will leverage existing infrastructure for training in India to expand reach of vocational training in aviation disciplines. India is expected to be third largest aviation market in the world behind China and US by 2024.
4. The Indian Air Force (IAF) for first time flawlessly landed its largest transport US-manufactured aircraft, C-17 Globemaster at strategic Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh, which is close to Chinese border. After the trial landing, C17 carried out operations mission and airlifted 18 tons of load
5. Tuberculosis (TB) Free India Campaign was launched by PM Modi after he inaugurated Delhi End-TB Summit in New Delhi. The campaign aims to take activities of National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB elimination forward in Mission mode. It will have funding of over Rs. 12,000 crore over next three years. It sets deadline to eradicate TB from the country by 2025, five years ahead of global target of 2030 mentioned in the Sustainable Development Goals.
6. No flight will operate from the Chandigarh International Airport between May 12 and 31 as second phase of the runway repairs will be undertaken then. The first phase of the runway repair was carried out from February 12 to 26 during which the airport had remained shut for all flights. Post completion of the second phase of runway re-carpeting/repair work in May, the runway length will increase to 10,400 feet from earlier 7,200 feet. This up gradation of the runway would facilitate long haul flights from Chandigarh to destinations like United States, Canada, Europe, UK and other places.
7. The 20-km-long stretch of Delhi Metro's Pink Line, connecting the north and south campuses of the Delhi University, was opened for the public on March 14, 2018. Passenger services on the stretch will begin from 6 pm onwards from both Majlis Park and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus stations simultaneously. The Pink Line has three interchange stations, Azadpur with Yellow Line, Netaji Subhash Place, with Red Line and Rajouri Garden with Blue Line.
8. The Haryana government announced that it would be setting up a committee led by State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Om Parkash Dhankhar to find a solution to polluted water flowing in the Yamuna river, which is affecting four districts of the state. The Chief Minister was responding in the Haryana Assembly during Zero hour to the issue of quality of water in Okhla Barrage and effulents entering Yamuna from 37 polluted channels in Delhi.
1. Bidya Devi Bhandari (56), Nepal’s first woman President was relected for second term in office. Ms.Bhandari was elected with more than a two-thirds majority after she secured 39,275 votes while the Nepali Congress’s Ms. Rai garnered 11,730 votes.
2. World Hindi Secretariat building was inaugurated by the President Ram Nath Kovind in Port Louis, Mauritius. He also launched secretariat’s logo, an Early Digital Learning Programme as well unveiled foundation stones of social housing project and large ENT hospital being built with Indian assistance.
3. Newton-Bhabha Fund for project on Groundwater Arsenic Research in Ganga River Basin was won by India-United Kingdom (UK) Joint Team. The project was undertaken by Department of Science and Technology (DST) in collaboration with Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK to find solutions to water challenges faced in pervasively arsenic-affected Ganga River Basin.
4. At least 1,000 troops were dispatched on March 13, 2018 to help evacuate part of the seaside town of Fano in Italy after a World War II bomb was spotted at a construction site. The bomb was found to have been manufactured in the UK. In case of detonation, it could cause damage within a radius of 1,800 metres. To be on the safe side, a hospital and railway station falling within the bomb’s 1800 metre radius were also evacuated and train services were halted.
Awards & Honours:
1. 2017 Kochon Prize was awarded to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for building tradition of excellence in Tuberculosis (TB) research and development. It had emerged winner from among 18 nominations. The ICMR is India’s apex scientific body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research which was established in 1911.
1. Noted film and television actor Narendra Jha (55) passed away on March 14, 2018 following a heart attack.