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National – Across the India:
1. Union Power Ministry has announced name UJALA for the LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP).
- UJALA is acronym for Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All.
- The National LED based DELP programme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 2015 for energy conservation by reducing energy consumption.
- The target of programme is to replace 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is implementing it and is currently running successfully in over 120 cities across India.
2. India will supply 18 metre-gauge 1350 HP Diesel Electric Locomotives to Myanmar to help the country bolster its railway transportation system.
- In this regard, RITES (Public Sector Enterprise under Union Ministry of Railways) has signed a contract with Myanmar Railways.
- The supply contract is a vital project being funded under an existing line of credit (LOC) extended by India to Myanmar.
3. Union Government’s premier think-tank NITI Aayog has launched the ‘Women Transforming India’ initiative.
- The initiative was launched on the eve of International Women’s Day (8th March) in partnership with the United Nations and MyGov.
- This initiative is also considered as an important step forward in furthering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes Gender as a one of the stand-alone goal.
4. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched an online Clean My Coach service in line with Indian Railways cleanliness drive Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat and Union Government’s flagship Digital India Programme.
- The online service allows travellers to get their compartments cleaned by sending an SMS or by a designated website or by using an application.
- The service was announced by the Railway Minister in his 2016-17 Rail Budget speech.
International – Across the Globe:
1. India and United States have launched the Fulbright – Kalam Climate Fellowship enabling Indian research scholars to work with American institutions in the field of climate change.
- It will sponsor up to 6 Indian PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to work with US institutions for a period up to one year.
- It will be operated by the binational US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) under the umbrella of the prestigious Fulbright programme.
- It will be jointly funded by both the governments.
2. The Arab League has declared Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a Shia political organisation a terrorist group.
- The move comes after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had adopted the same stance.
- Decision in this regard was taken during the Arab League Foreign Ministers’ meeting at the organisation’s seat in Egypt’s capital Cairo.
- All-22 Arab League members supported the decision except Lebanon and Iraq expressed reservations.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman and Managing Director (MD) Anand Mahindra was conferred with Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by French Government.
- Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur is the highest French civilian award which was started by first emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.
- He was presented with this award by Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India in recognition of his outstanding national and international achievements.
- Anand Mahindra is one of the most prominent business leaders in India. Under his leadership Mahindra & Mahindra group has turned into a global company of outstanding repute.
2. Kerala Tourism’s campaign titled ‘New Worlds’ has won the prestigious ‘Golden City Gate Award’ at the at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB-Berlin) 2016.
- The New Worlds campaign was launched internationally by UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai at the World Travel Mart in London.
- The campaign contains three short films directed by reputed Malayalam filmmaker Anwar Rasheed.
- It has won the silver prize in 2016 Das Golden Stadttor or Golden City Gate, which is dubbed as the Oscar of tourism communication.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) N P S Hira has been appointed as Deputy Chief of Army Staff.
- He will be now moving to Army Headquarters in New Delhi. Presently he is posted as Chief of Staff of Northern command at Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir.
- He was commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry.
- He has earned an Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra and many more gallantry awards.
2. Justice Ajit Singh appointed as Chief Justice (CJ) of the Gauhati High Court.
- The Gauhati High Court includes the High Courts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
- In 2002, he was appointed as an Additional Judge of High Court of Madhya Pradesh and later in 2003 as a permanent Judge. He was transferred to the Rajasthan High Court in March 2014.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. Lok Sabha has passed the Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 by voice vote. It was introduced as Money Bill.
- The Bill is aimed at giving statutory backing for transferring government subsidies and benefits to targeted people by assigning them Aadhaar numbers i.e. unique identity numbers.
- With this, government plans to plug leakages in disbursal of subsidies and other services and in ensuring that these reach intended beneficiaries.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between India and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to set up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTC) in New Delhi.
- It was signed in the presence of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- SARTTC will set up for enhancing capacity development and training officials in dealing with macro-economic and financial issues in the South Asia region.