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Daily Current Affairs for 15th March 2018 ( English)

Important Days :
1.       March 15- World Disabled day.
Tamil Nadu:
1.     The Tamil Nadu government on March 14, 2018 said that it has set up a committee to probe into the death of 11 trekkers caught up in a forest fire in Kurangani Hills in Theni district. The probe team will be headed by Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, Atulya Misra. The committee would have to complete the enquiry and send its report to the state government within two months time The committee's terms of reference include a review of the procedure established in Forest Department for regulation/permission of trekking in Reserved Forest area; role and lapses, if any, on the part of trekking organisers; role and lapses on the part of forest officials, if any; and recommendations to avoid such incidents/tragedy in forest areas shall be given by the Enquiry Officer.
2.     TTV Dhinakaran launched a new political party on March 15, 2018 in Madurai.  The party has been named Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, after late J Jayalalithaa. Dhinakaran also unveiled party flag featuring bands of black, white and red with the image of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa embossed on it. Dhinakaran said that the party would contest in pressure cooker symbol in elections to cooperatives, local bodies, assembly and Parliament until he retrieved the two leaves symbol.
National:
1.       The agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between India and Iran has been approved by the Union Cabinet. The agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran & vice versa and prevent double taxation. It also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on equal footing.
2.       A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked between India and Sri Lanka for promoting cooperation in field of Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) was approved by the Union cabinet. The MoU intends to promote closer co-operation in areas of e-Governance, e-Public Services Delivery, m-Governance, cyber security, software technology parks, start-ups ecosystem etc.
3.       Delhi End Tuberculosis (TB) Summit have adopted ‘Delhi End TB Summit Statement of Action’. The Member Countries of World Health Organization-Regional Office for South-East Asia (WHO-SEARO), participating in Delhi End Tuberculosis (TB) Summit. The summit was co-hosted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, WHO-SEARO and Stop TB Partnership in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also launched TB Free India Campaign. This summit identifies roles, responsibilities and directions of member countries of WHO SEARO region to make their countries free from this disease
4.       The proposals for implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for disbursement of fertilizer subsidy and the continuation of Urea Subsidy Scheme from 2017 up to 2020  has approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Implementation of DBT in Fertilizer Sector will reduce diversion of fertilizers to non-agricultural use and plug leakages. The continuation of the urea subsidy scheme will ensure timely payment of subsidy to urea manufacturers resulting in timely availability of urea to farmers at statutory controlled price.
5.     The Haryana Government is planning to make drunk driving that leads to death a non-bailable offence in order to take a tougher stand against road accidents caused by inebriated drivers. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the government was considering making drunk driving, resulting into the death of the victim, a non-bailable offence to keep a check on the increasing number of road accidents. He was replying to a calling attention motion during the ongoing budget session of the assembly here.
6.     The Union Government has decided to discontinue the Haj subsidy from the year 2018-19. The amount of Haj subsidy provided by the Government of India reflects in the budget of Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), which is the nodal Ministry responsible for making air travel arrangements for Haj pilgrims identified by the Haj Committee of India (HCoI). Budgetary provision of Rs 200 crore for the Haj subsidy has been made in the Budget Estimates for 2017-18. It has been decided to allocate bulk of the additional funding for educational empowerment of Minority communities. 


International:
0in; margin-left: .5in; margin-right: 0in; margin-top: 0in; text-align: justify; text-indent: -.25in;"> 1.        Indian export subsidy schemes at World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been challenged by the US Trade Representative (USTR). They said that these programmes harm its manufacturing sector and workers by creating an uneven playing field. According to USTR, at least half a dozen Indian programmes provide financial benefits to Indian exporters, which allow them to sell their goods more cheaply to detriment of US workers and manufacturers.
2.     India and Madagascar have signed an umbrella agreement in the field of defence. Under the agreement, both the countries will explore various ways of co-operation in the field of defence. An amended air service agreement was also signed to support efforts towards improving connectivity between the two countries. The two countries will have co-sharing agreement with Air Seychelles through Air India and Air Madagascar.

Science & Technology/ defence:
1. AYUSH QOL-2C – the development of coded drug for improving quality of life in cancer patients has been  undertaken by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS). CCRAS is autonomous body under the Ministry of AYUSH. It had conducted clinical studies of the drug in breast cancer patients at St. John’s Medical College, Bengaluru and AIIMS, New Delhi and in lung canc er patients at Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur.
Appointments/Resignations:
1.     Nepal's controversial Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli was removed by the Judicial Council on March 14, 2018 amid a raging dispute over his multiple birth certificates. The Council removed him stated that as per the available certificates, he should have retired from the post on August 5, 2017. Parajuli completed 65 years on that day and as per Nepali law, civil servants should take retirement after reaching 65 years, the Council said.

Books and authors:
1.     'The King of the Dark Chamber' - the English translation of his famous Bengali play 'Raja' written by Rabindranath Tagore. The hard copy of the book was sold for USD 700 at an auction in the United States. It was signed by Tagore on the introductory page in fountain pen. The Bolpur edition of the book was published by the Macmillan Company in 1916.
Sports:

1.     The International Cricket Council (ICC) released the latest Test Player rankings on March 14, 2018. Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin climbed up two steps to be placed 4th after Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc slipped in rankings following Australia's defeat. The other Indian bowler Ravindra Jadeja remains static at third place In the batsmen's list, there was no change with Australian skipper Steve Smith remaining at the top while Indian captain Virat Kohli kept his second position. Another Indian batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara also maintained his sixth place in the rankings. South Africa's Kagiso Rabada regained his top spot among bowlers crossing the coveted 900-point mark in ratings. Rabada is the 23rd bowler to cross 900 points and only the fourth South African player to do so after Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn.

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