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National – Across the India
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has selected Nagepur village in his Varanasi Constituency of Lok Sabha in Uttar Pradesh under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
Key objectives of SAGY are: –
The development of model villages, called Adarsh Grams, through the implementation of existing schemes, and certain new initiatives to be designed for the local context, which may vary from village to village.
Creating models of local development which can be replicated in other villages.
Earlier in the first phase of SAGY, PM had adopted Jayapur village in Sevapuri Assembly segment of Varanasi in 2014.
2. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released a new Four-colour Classification Scheme for industries based on their pollution potential.
The four-colour classification scheme of industrial sectors based on the Pollution Index (PI) which is a function of the Emissions (air pollutants), Effluents (water pollutants), hazardous wastes generated and Consumption of resources.
The Pollution Index (PI) of any industrial sector is a number ranging from 0 to 100. Increasing value of PI denotes the increasing degree of pollution load from the industrial sector.
3. As per recently released report of International Labour Organization (ILO) titled-Women at Work: Trends 2016, gender equality still remains elusive in the workplace.
The report highlights trends in 2016 in 178 countries and it has been found that millions of women worldwide are not getting the same kind of quality, well-paying jobs as men.
In past 20 years, the gender gap in employment, wages and social protection has changed little. They continue to work longer hours per day than men in both paid and unpaid work.
Globally, women represent nearly 65% of people who have reached retirement age without any regular pension. They lose out in terms of social and retirement benefits since they earn less money.
4. Germany has decided to partner with India’s smart city program and will help developing Kochi (Kerala), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) as smart cities.
It was announced by State Secretary in Germany’s Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Gunther Adler in New Delhi at the second meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Urban Development.
These three cities are among the top 20 cities selected by Urban Development Ministry which are to be developed as smart cities.
5. National carrier Air India successfully flew the World’s longest all-woman operated and supported flight from the national capital New Delhi to San Francisco (United States).
The flight was operated as part of International Women’s Day celebrations and travelled a distance of around 14,500 kilometres in close to 17 hours.
The non-stop flight to San Francisco took off on 6th March 2016 from New Delhi.
The flight was under the command of Kshamta Bajpayee and Shubhangi Singh. They were supported by First Officers Ramya Kirti Gupta and Amrit Namdhari.
6. India is going to host BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave in Mumbai (Maharashtra), financial capital of India from April 14 to 16, 2016.
It will be attended by the top Urban Policy makers and Planners from BRICS Nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference which will be attended by representatives of at least two cities from each of the BRICS nations.
The three-day conclave will be organized by Mumbai First, a think-tank working to find solutions for city’s development.
7. Karnataka government has launched Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish Yojana to provide free medical treatment to road accident victims for the first 48 hours (2 days) in the nearest government or private hospital.
The scheme has been named after Harish Nanjappa who had donated his eyes moments before his death. He had died as no help was provided to him after he was severely injured in mishap in February 2016.
Under the scheme immediate medical relief would be provided to the victim during the Golden Hour with financial aid up to Rs 25,000 during the first 48 hours of treatment.
8. The first ever all girls National Cadet Corps (NCC) Mount Everest expedition was flagged off by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Rao Inderjeet Singh in New Delhi.
The aim of mountaineering expeditions in NCC is to strengthen the character and instill qualities of courage, discipline, comradeship and leadership in the cadets.
The team consisting of ten girl cadets is led by Colonel Gaurav Karki, along with fifteen service personnel. They will reach Nepal on 31st March 2016 and likely to summit the peak between 15 and 25th May, 2016.
9. 57 countries are going to take part in the first Maritime India Summit 2016 scheduled to be held in April 2016 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The maiden Maritime India Summit is scheduled to be held in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It will be organised by Union Ministry of Shipping.
It was announced by the Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on the sidelines of media launch of the Maritime India Summit 2016.
10. The fourth edition of the India-Indonesia Joint Training Exercise Garuda Shakti has begun at Magelang in Indonesia.
The exercise will continue till 23rd March, 2016.
The aim of the exercise is to build and promote positive relations between the Armies of India and Indonesia and enhance their abilities to undertake joint tactical level operations in a counter insurgency environment under United Nations Charter.
11. The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) for providing free of cost LPG (cooking gas) connections to women from BPL Households.
This scheme will be implemented by Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. It will be for the ministry will be implementing a welfare scheme.
The PMUY seeks to empowering women and protecting their health by shifting them from traditional cooking based on unclean cooking fuels or on fossil fuels that have serious health hazards to clean cooking gas.
12. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratification of the Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is the sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia.
The BIMSTEC Convention aims to extend widest measures of assistance among 7 member countries through mutual cooperation.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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 Program.
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 program.
It will be jointly funded by both the governments.
2. The Arab League has declared Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a Shia political organization 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 organization’s seat in Egypt’s capital Cairo.
All-22 Arab League members supported the decision except Lebanon and Iraq expressed reservations.
1. Patna Pirates has won the third season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) by defeating U Mumbai.
Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is a professional Kabaddi (indigenous sport) league based on the format of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket tournament.
Rohit Kumar (Patna Pirates) was awarded Best Raider and Mohit Chillar (U Mumba) was awarded Best Defender of the Match.
2. India has won the 2016 Asia Cup T20 trophy for a record sixth time after beating Bangladesh by 8 wickets in the final.
2016 Asia Cup was held in Bangladesh from 24 February to 6 March 2016. It was the 13th edition of the Asia Cup.
Man of the Match: Shikhar Dhawan.
Man of the series: Sabbir Rahman (Bangladesh).
Most runs in the series: Sabbir Rahman (176) of Bangladesh.
Most wickets in the series: Al-Amin Hossain (11) of Bangladesh.
3. Maria Sharapova, former world number one female tennis player has revealed that she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open.
Due to this failure the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has provisionally suspended her till further action from Tennis for violating Anti-Doping Rule.
She has been tested positive for meldonium, a substance that has been added in the forbidden list by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 1 January 2016.
4. Rest of India has won the Irani Cup Cricket Title 2015-16 by defeating Mumabi in the final match of the cup by four wickets.
The Irani Cup tournament was started during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship.
In the final match played at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, Rest of India overhauled the record victory target of 480 by making 482 for 6 on the fifth and final day.
This successful chase was also the best-ever run-chase in the Irani Cup history. It has bettered Rest of India’s previous 424, chasing target set by Delhi at the Ferozshah Kotla in 1982-83.
Awards & Recognition
1. Padma Sachdev, renowned Dogri poetess and write has been awarded prestigious Krutitava Smagra Samman for the year 2015.
Dogri is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in India and Pakistan. In India, it is chiefly spoken in states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and northern Punjab. Dogri speakers are called Dogras and the Dogri-speaking region is called Duggar.
Padma Sachdev is first modern woman poet of Dogri language. She also writes in Hindi.
She was bestowed with this award for her outstanding contribution in literature and great service to Dogri Language. It was presented to her by West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.
2. Dr. Amrita Patel was conferred prestigious 2016 Mahindra Samriddhi India Agri Lifetime Achievement Award also known as the Krishi Shiromani Samman.
She was bestowned with this award for her contribution in the field of agriculture and to increase productivity and rural prosperity by Union Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh.
Currently she is Chairman of Charutar Arogya Mandal.
She had served as Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) from 1998 to 2014.
She had played a pivotal role in the implementation of NDDB’s Operation Flood which was the world’s biggest dairy development program that had transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the world’s largest milk producer by surpassing the USA in 1998.
3. 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.
4. 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. The Union Government has appointed former Supreme Court (SC) judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan (66) as Chairman of the 21st Law Commission of India (LCI).
The LCI is a non-statutory and non-constitutional body constituted by the Union Government from time to time.
At present Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan is the Chairman of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal.
He served as the judge of the SC from May 2009 to July 2014, Chief Justice of Orissa high court from July 2008 to May 2009.
2. Ahmed Abul Gheit, veteran Egyptian diplomat has been selected as Secretary General of the Arab League.
The Arab League is a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Arabia.
Ahmed Abul Gheit will succeed Nabil El-Araby, Egyptian diplomat whose term ends in July 2016 after he had rejected second five-year term.
He also served as ambassador of Egypt to the United Nations and Egypt’s foreign minister from 2004 to 2011 during the final seven years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Economics & Banking GK
1. India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has been granted preliminary approval to operate Myanmar.
SBI was granted operating license by Myanmar Government along with three other Asian banks.
Under the earlier junta rule, Myanmar’s banking system was closed for decades to outside competition.
2. Jalandhar based Capital Local Area Bank (CLAB) Limited became the first financial entity in India to get Small Financial Bank License by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The small finance bank will undertake basic banking activities of acceptance of deposits and lending to unserved and underserved to further financial inclusion in the country.
CLAB ltd claims to be largest local bank in the country with total 44 branches in five districts of Punjab.
It will begin its operations as a small finance bank from April 13, 2016 and it will focus on the northern region for first five years of operations.
3. The Union Finance Ministry has announced to withdraw its proposal to tax Employee Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in the Lok Sabha clarifying NDA government’s stand on the issue. However, government has not changed its plan to tax National Pension Scheme (NPS) withdrawals.
The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement benefit applicable only to salaried employees. It is a fund to which both the employee and employer contribute fixed amount (percent) of the former’s basic salary amount each month. This percentage is pre-set by the government. At present, the entire EPF amount is tax free at the time of withdrawal if the employee has completed five years of continuous service.
4. India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has rolled out iWork@Home program for its women employees for up to a year.
It was launched by Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8th March).
iWork@Home program is an information and communication technology (ICT) initiative that seeks to prevent women employees from dropping out of its workforce
It is based on face recognition technology that will facilitate women employee to work from home and provide access to the bank’s core banking servers under.
The technology has been developed by ICICI Bank in partnership with students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.
Bills – New & Amendments
1. Parliament has passed Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 to establish Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The Bill replaces the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
It was first passed in Lok Sabha during winter session in December 2015 and later in Rajya Sabha in February 2016. Now the bill will go Presidential assent as per provisions of Article 111 of the Constitution.
The bill establishes BIS as a national standard body for development of standardization and assessment and quality assurance of goods, articles, services, processes and systems.
At present, BIS is not formally recognized as a national standards body of the country, though it is representing India in various international bodies.
2. Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 has been passed by Lok Sabha by voice vote to make amendments to the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
The bill replaces the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2016 declared by President Pranab Mukherjee in January 2016.
The Enemy Property Act, 1968 provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the custodian.
The possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country vest with the Union Government through the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
3. The Parliament has passed National Waterways Bill, 2015 to clear decks for the conversion of 106 rivers and creeks across India into transport waterways.
The National Waterways Bill, 2015 aims at declaring 106 additional inland waterways as National Waterways in addition to the five existing National Waterways.
It was first passed in Lok Sabha in December 2015 i.e. in the winter session and later was passed by Rajya Sabha in March 2016 i.e. in the budget session.
4. The Rajya Sabha has passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015 to protect the interests of consumers and curb the malpractices in the real estate sector.
The bill seeks to create a uniform regulatory mechanism across the country and enhance the growth of construction sector.
It also ensures to bring transparency and accountability in the real estate sector to access capital and financial markets essential for its long term growth.
5. 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. Haryana Government has signed 11 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) involving a total investment of INR 18,159 crores with different companies.
These MoUs were signed in the presence of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on the first day of the two-day ‘Happening Haryana Global Investors’ Summit-2016’ held in Gurgaon.
The companies are ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel for Electronics, Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS), Star Wire (India) Limited, Minda Kosei Aluminium Wheel Private Limited, Plasser India Private Limited, Honda, Minda Industries Limited, Mindarika Private Limited for automobile parts switches, and T.G. Minda Private Limited.
2. Telangana and Maharashtra Governments have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to set up an inter-state water board construct 5 barrages across Godavari and Pen Ganga rivers.
The MoU was signed at a high level meeting held in Mumbai in which Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took part.
Setting up of an inter-state water board on Godavari projects will end decades of discord between the two States on utilization of water in the river Godavari and its tributaries.
3. India and Saudi Arabia have expressed keenness to elevate ties between the two countries to strategic level by boosting cooperation in key areas of trade, security and counter terrorism.
It was decided after Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held extensive talks with her Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir in New Delhi who was on a two day-official visit to India.
Saudi Arabia is India’s largest crude oil supplier accounting for about one-fifth of the country’s total imports. Thus it is key player in the India’s energy security.
4. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with Bank of Israel (BOI) for exchange of information pertaining to banking supervision.
It was signed by Parvathy V Sundaram, Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Banking Supervision on behalf of RBI and Hedva Ber, Supervisor of banks on behalf of BOI.
With this RBI has signed 32 such MoUs, 1 Letter for Supervisory Co-operation and 1 Statement of Co-operation (SoC).
5. A Memorandum of Understanding has signed by India on conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia.
With this India becomes 56th county to sign the Raptor MoU under the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS).
The MoU was singed Ambassador of India to the UAE Shri T.P Seetharam the Convention on Migratory Species Office in Abu Dhabi.
6. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the MoU between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber-Crime.
It was singed between both countries in February 2016 to cooperate in combating cybercrime in the wake of the serious security threat posed by it to safety of people.
The MoU would provide help in handling of the issues related to the cyber-crime between the two countries.
7. India has signed the second line of credit (LOC) agreement extending 2 billion dollars in development financing to Bangladesh for undertaking various development projects.
This credit line will be provided through Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank), India’s external lending arm. It is Exim Bank’s biggest ever LOC facility given to another country.
The development financing will be used in the infrastructural projects like power sector, road transportation, railways, shipping, information and communication technology (ICT) and social sector projects like health and technical education.
8. 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.
Science & Technology
1. Researchers have discovered new species of burrowing snake named Melanophidium Khairei or Khaire’s Black Shieldtail in Northwestern Ghats.
This new snake species was correctly identified after a gap of 144 years as it was earlier wrongly identified as identified as Melanophidium Punctatum or Pied-bellied Shieldtail.
The snake belongs to family Uropeltidae, which comprises all species which are burrowers and live mostly underground.
It is burrowing snake of the genus melanophidium. It is found in evergreen forests and rarely above ground in southern Maharashtra, Goa and northern Karnataka.
2. Indian Railways has formed a new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train project.
The entity has been named the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) Limited.
The high speed bullet rain project aims to introduce trains running at operating speeds over 320 kilometers per hour and maximum speed of 350kmph.
The project will take about seven years to complete after the awarding of the contract at an estimated to cost 97,636 crore rupees.
3. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has successfully test-fired several ballistic missiles from silos across the country.
These tests were conducted by IRGC to demonstrate the country’s deterrent power and its ability to confront any threat against the state and the sovereignty of the country.
Ballistic Missile is a missile with a high, arching trajectory which is initially powered and guided but falls under gravity on to its target. Most of its trajectory is unpowered and governed by gravity and air resistance if it is in the atmosphere. In contrasts, cruise missiles are aerodynamically guided in powered flight.
4. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched India’s sixth navigation Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) 1F satellite.
It was launched by ISRO’s workhorse satellite launch vehicle, PSLV-C32 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It was PLSV’s 34th mission.
IRNSS System consists of constellation of seven satellites of which three are geostationary and four are non-geostationary.
4 Geosynchronous satellites: They will be orbiting in pairs in two inclined geosynchronous orbits. When observed from the ground, these 2 pairs of satellites will appear to travel in figures of ‘8’.
3 geostationary satellites: They will be placed in the geostationary orbit over the equator. They match the Earth’s rotation and shall remain at a fixed position in the sky.
5. Japanese researchers have successfully isolated a bacterium species Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 capable of breaking down plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyester. Their results were published in the journal Science.
Ideonella sakaiensis relies on PET film as a primary source of carbon for growth. It is capable of completely degrading a thin film of PET in a short span of six weeks at 30°C.
The bacteria could potentially be used in industrial recycling processes with having any adverse impact on the environment. It can replace or augment the current mechanical recycling plastic process.
6. Project Mausam aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean world for collating archaeological and historical research and not to counter China’s Silk Route strategy.
It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
It was launched in June 2014 in the 38th Session of World Heritage Committee (WHC) meeting which was held at Doha, Qatar.
It examines key processes and monsoon phenomena that link different countries along the Indian Ocean littoral as well as the coastal centres that connect hinterlands.
1. Every year International Women’s Day is being observed on 8th March across the globe to highlight the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.
2016 theme declared by United Nations was “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
It reflects acceleration of the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has proclaimed to observe March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace.
1. Kalabhavan Mani, renowned Malayalam actor passed away at Kochi, Kerala due to liver and kidney failure. He was 45.
He had entered Malayalam film industry as a comedian, later became an active artiste in South Indian films. He is best known for essaying character of villain roles.
He had had acted in over 200 films in Malayalam and other South Indian languages including Tamil, and Telugu films.
He was also a singer and his first album was Kannimanga Prayathil. Folk songs rendered by him are extremely popular.
He had won the National Film Award and Kerala State Film Award in Special Jury Award in 1999 for his performance as Ramu in Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum.
In 2002, he was also awarded Filmfare Awards in Best Villan (Tamil) category for the film Gemini.
2. Raymond Tomlinson, the Internet pioneer and e-mail inventor passed away in Washington, United States. He was 74 years old.
Tomlinson invented direct electronic messages between users on different machines on a certain network in 1971.
His inventions incuded the ARPANET system which is considered as the precursor to the Internet.
He was the receipent of the IEEE Internet Award (2004) and George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award (2000).
3. Naná Vasconcelos, an acclaimed Brazil musician passed away due to lung cancer in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife. He was 71.
He was 8 time Grammy Award-winning Brazilian percussionist known for his wide instrumental range and major role in free spirited jazz and world music of the 1970s and 1980s.
He was master of a single-string, multi-toned Afro-Brazilian instrument the berimbau (in Portuguese).