1. March 1-Zero Discrimination Day was observed all over the world to stress the right of everyone to be free from discrimination. Zero Discrimination Day 2018 campaign says people to ask themselves: “What if …” and assess their own actions.
2. March 3-World Wild Life Day was celebrated all over the world with the theme of 2018 “Big cats: predators under threat” to create awareness about the world’s wild animals and plants and safeguard them.
1. Tamil Nadu Government announced the launch of a 24-hour helpline up at a cost of Rs two crore, claiming to be the first in India, to offer information and guidance on education to students. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami launched the toll free number 14417 through the 24-hour Education Guidance Centre that has been set up at the Secretariat. It will provide information and guidance regarding school education.
1. The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Commerce and Industry to give focused attention to 12 identified Champion Services Sectors (CSS). The identified 12 CSS are Information Technology & Information Technology enabled Services (IT & ITeS), Medical Value Travel, Transport and Logistics Services, Tourism and Hospitality Services, Accounting and Finance Services, Audio Visual Services, Communication Services, Legal Services, Construction and Related Engineering Services, Environmental Services, Financial Services and Education Services. It aimed at promoting their development and realizing their potential. Government will set up dedicated fund of Rs. 5000 crores to support initiatives for sectoral Action Plans of the Champion Sectors. These Action Plans will develop vision for each of these identified Champion Sectors by year 2022.
2. Satara Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd- Maharashtra’s first Mega Food Park was inaugurated by Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Degaon Village in Satara district The scheme aims to create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through cluster based approach. Projects under it are merged under comphrehensive flagship scheme of ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana’. The park will provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers in Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) and Collection Centers (CCs) catchment areas. This is overall 12th Mega Food Park operationalized in country so far and 10th operationalized during tenure of present government.
3. The Maharashtra government has partnered with Wikipedia, to spread the Marathi language and enhance its online usage and also aimed to spread the Marathi language across the world. This announcement was made on Marathi language day (27th February 2018).
4. Central Government approved projects worth Rs 2919.55 crore under the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for eight major cities of India, in order to make them safer for women. Nirbhaya Fund was set up after the brutal gangrape and murder of a paramedical student in Delhi in 2012. It was announced in Union Budget 2013.The projects have been approved for Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad Ahmedabad and Lucknow. In Delhi, the projects include, deploying latest technologies, such as video monitoring, facial recognition analytics and tracking of people. One of the projects which will be implemented in Mumbai is strengthening the “Police Didi” programme, under which women police personnel interact with women living in slums.
6. The Union Ministry of Textiles is going to conduct National Sizing Survey dubbed as Size India to develop comprehensive size chart for ready-to-wear industry based on body measurements of Indian population with the help of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi. Size India project is scientific exercise where anthropometric data will be collected from 25,000 sample (with men and women in equal numbers) population in age group 15 to 65 years across six major cities. The six cities are Kolkata (east), Mumbai (west), New Delhi (north), Bengaluru (south),
Hyderabad (centre), and Shillong (northeast).
7. The World’s largest solar park-Sthala solar park having total capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW) was inaugurated in drought-prone Pavagada region of Tumkur district, Karanataka. The first phase of the Rs. 16,500 crore park will generate 600MW power, while the balance 1,400MW will be commissioned in second phase by end year 2018. The park ties in with the Central Government’s scheme to generate 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power by 2020 It is a joint venture between Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
8. 27th Technological Conference of Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA) on Shaping the Future of Jute, in Kolkata, West Bengal was attended by Union Textile Minister Smriti Zubin Irani. She praised (IJIRA) for developing low-cost jute-based sanitary napkins. She also added that potential entrepreneurs who wish to start manufacturing of these jute-based sanitary napkins can benefit from the Mudra loan scheme of the government.
9. The Union Cabinet has approved introduction of Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 in Parliament. It aims to curb practice of evading criminal prosecution by economic offenders (wilful defaulters) who flee from country to evade clutches Indian law by remaining outside jurisdiction of Indian courts. It is applicable in cases where total value involved in such economic offences is Rs.100 crore or more. It defines fugitive economic offender (FEO) as any individual against whom warrant for arrest in relation to scheduled offence (enlisted in the this l aw) has been issued by any court in India, but he leaves or has left India to avoid criminal prosecution or refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution or refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution. It debars fugitive economic offender from defending any civil claim at the discretion of any court including High Court. If prior to the declaration, the alleged FEO returns to India and submits to the appropriate jurisdictional court, proceedings under this Act will cease by law.
10. A new train between Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh and Anand Vihar Terminal in the national capital named Arunachal Express was flagged off. This is the second direct train for Arunachal Pradesh and overall 14th for North East to connect with the national capital. The train will cover 2013 kilometre distance between Naharlagun (Arunachal Pradesh) and Anand Vihar Terminal (New Delhi) in over 38 hours and will have 14 stoppages en-route. It has all air-conditioned LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches. It will offer all comfort and facilities to the passengers. Naharlagun-New Delhi AC Express was rechristened as Arunachal Express.
11. Odisha government launched ‘Khushi’, a scheme inaugurated by CM Naveen Patnaik that offers free sanitary pads to 17 lakh girl students covering from Class 6 to 12 studying in all government and government-aided schools of Odisha. in Odisha. This scheme will help in improving health and hygiene of adolescent girls and in higher retention of girl students in school. The Health Minister Pratap Jena of Odisha said that the government will also provide sanitary pads at a subsidised price to rural women through ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers.
12. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr. Jitendra Singh said that, a food processing centre in collaboration with Israel will be launched in Aizwal, Mizoram on 7th March 2018. The centre has been established at a cost of Rs 8-10 crore. This centre has been established through tripartite collaboration of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Government of Israel and State Government of Mizoram. This centre has been set up exclusively for processing of citrus fruits. This is the first such centre with Israeli collaboration in the North East region.
1. India and Jordan have signed 12 agreements during the Jordanian King’s three days visit to India after the high-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jordanian King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein in New Delhi. The covering areas as diverse as defence, mass media, health, culture and tourism. India is Jordan’s fourth largest trading partner.
2. Armenian Parliament elected Armen Sarkisian as country’s next president. In the Presidential vote by Armenia’s National Assembly, 90 members voted in favour of Armen Sarkisian, 10 voted against and one abstained. This is the first time in Armenia’s history, that a president has been elected by the National Assembly instead of popular vote. Armen Sarkisian will succeed the incumbent President Serge Sarkisian, whose term will end on April 9, 2018.
Science & Technology/Defence :
1. Tri-service maritime exercise Paschim Lehar conducted by Indian Navy concluded off western coast in Arabian Sea. The three-week long exercise tested operational readiness of Indian Navy’s Western Command and execution of its operational plans, logistics and admi istrative plans. Over 40 naval assets including aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, frontline ships of Western Fleet and Eastern Fleet, including newly -inducted Kolkata class ones, submarines, potent missile vessels of 22nd Killer Squadron, patrol vessels and craft of local flotilla and Coast Guard participated in the exercise. The objective of the exercise was to build interoperability between Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard.
2. NASA launched GOES-S, another of world’s most advanced weather satellites. GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites. GOES-S has been launched to safeguard Western US, by monitoring, forecasting and providing crisp images of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, mudslides and other natural calamities.
1. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has crossed an important milestone of having signed 200 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). It was achieved after it entered into seven more APAs in February 2018. The scheme aims to strengthen Government’s resolve of fostering non-adversarial tax regime. It has significantly contributed towards improving ease of doing business in India. All the seven were Unilateral APAs. With this, CBDT till has entered into 203 APAS (185 Unilateral and 18 Bilateral APAs).
2. In a bid to support Indian farmers, Central Government has raised import tax on crude and refined palm oil to the highest level in more than a decade. Import tax on crude palm oil has been raised to 44 percent from 30 percent while for refined palm oil ,it has been raised to 54 percent from 40 percent. India is the world’s biggest importer of edible oils. India relies on imports for 70 percent of its edible oil consumption.
3. The establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) as an independent regulator for the auditing profession was approved by the Union Cabinet. It aims to tighten regulatory oversight over auditors and plug loopholes. It will be independent from those it regulates for enforcement of auditing standards and ensuring quality of audits. NFRA will be 15 members body, consisting of Chairperson, three full-time Members and one Secretary. It will overarching watchdog for auditing profession. It can debar an erring auditor or auditing firm for up to 10 years besides it can also slap heavy penalties. Establishment of NFRA will improve foreign/domestic investments, enhance of economic growth, support globalization of business by meeting international practices and assist in further development of audit profession.
4. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed a limit of Rs. 5000 crore for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to go long in Interest Rate Futures (IRFs). The decision to increase the position limit has been taken to further market development and to ensure that FPIs can access IRFs in an uninterrupted way.
5. As per Hurun Global Rich List 2018, India has the third highest number of billionaires in the world after China and US. Hurun Global Rich List 2018 identified 131 billionaires in India. With 31 new billionaires emerging during last year, India has reclaimed its third spot, which it had lost to Germany a year ago. Among Indian billionaires, although Mukesh Ambani topped the list with USD 45 billion wealth and 19th rank, Gautam Adani (USD 14 billion wealth, Rank – 98th) witnessed fastest growth in his wealth (109 per cent in the last 12 months). 32 years old Shradha Agarwal, of Outcome Wealth is the youngest Indian billionaire.In India, highest numbers of billionaires (19 billionaires) are from the pharmaceuticals sector. Jeff Bezos with USD 123 billion wealth, topped the list, followed by Warren Buffet (USD 102 billion wealth).
6. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to remove the per borrower loan limits for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) involved in services, for classification under priority sector lending in a bid to increase the importance of services sector and to encourage banks to lend more to this sector, As per the current norms, loans to Micro/ Small enterprises up to Rs. 5 crore and loans to Medium Enterprises up to Rs. 10 crore were classified as priority sector lending (PSL).
1. Rangarajan Raghavan was appointed as the director & managing director of HCL Infosystems . He will took this charge from 1st April 2018.
Awards & Honours :
1. Indian-American scientist Navin Vardarajan along with his fellow guy Sanghyuk Chung of University of Houston, were granted funds by Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) awarded grant for cancer research. Navin Vardarajan is an associate professor of chemical and bimolecular engineering. He was granted USD 1,173,420 to improve effectiveness of T-cell immunotherapy. Sanghyuk Chung is an associate professor of biology and biochemistry. He was provided with USD 811,617 to define molecular targets for cervical cancer treatment.
2. Indian Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the fields of arts and politics at the annual ‘Political and Public Life Awards’ presented by Britain’s Asian Voice weekly newspaper. The award ceremony was held on March 1, 2018 at the Members’ Dining Room in the House of Commons building in UK’s Parliament complex.
Books& Authors :
1. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, launched the social media of “Namaste Shalom”, a magazine on India-Israel relations.
1. Vinesh Phogat won silver medal in the women’s 50kg freestyle event, at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan by losing to by China’s Chun Lei .India’s Sangeeta wdn a bronze medal in the women’s 59kg freestyle event by defeating Korea’s Jieun Um. India’s Harpreet Singh defeated Uzbekistan’s Khashimbekov 11-3 and won a bronze medal in the 82kg Greco-Roman event. India’s Rajendra Kumar defeated Uzbekistan’s Mirakhmedov and won bronze medal in the 55kg Greco-Roman event.
2. India won the inaugural IBSF Snooker Team World Cup in Doha, Qatar. In the finals, Indian duo of Pankaj Advani and Manan Chandra staged a remarkable recovery after being 0-2 down.
3. Navjot Kaur became the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in the Senior Asian Championships by winning gold medal in the 65kg freestyle category in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan by defeating Japan’s Miya Imai. India’s Sakshi Malik defeated Kazakhstan’s Ayaulym Kassymova and won bronze medal in the 62kg freestyle category.
4. Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma secured tied second position after the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Mexico City.
1. Khagendra Jamatia, Tripura Fisheries and Cooperation minister, passed away after being diagnosed with blood cancer recently, at a hospital in New Delhi.
Prepared BySarala Dhavamanoharan