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National – Across the India
1. Gauri Singh, a 14-year-old girl became the first girl to explore the route from Sea Link near Worli Koliwada to the Gateway of India.
She has completed the 36-km long distance route in 6 hours and 30 minutes.
2. The 3rd G-20 Framework Working Group (FWG) Meeting under the G-20 German Presidency was hosted in Varanasi on 28th and 29th of March 2017.
3. Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory by the government for extending the benefits of its welfare schemes to the people.
The Supreme Court allowed government to use Aadhaar in other schemes like the opening of bank accounts.
4. Odisha became the first state in the country to carry financial inclusion and extend banking services to remote rural areas through Self Help Groups (SHGs).
The state government signed an agreement with State Bank of India in this regard.
5. The number of internet users is expected to be increased to 730 million by 2020.
The reason being the fast adoption of digital technology under Central Government’s Digital India program.
6. The Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has sanctioned 101 new Integrated Cold Chain Projects.
These new projects will attract Rs. 3100 crore investment for the creation of modern infrastructure in the food processing sector.
7. National Tribal and North East Conclave-2017 was organized by Lalit Kala Akademi under Ministry of Culture in New Delhi.
The conclave platform features more than a dozen forms of tribal art.
8. India and Bavaria will set up a joint group to identify areas for cooperation in the water sector.
Bavaria has a rich experience of successfully cleaning the river Danube in Germany and India may benefit from their experience.
9. The government will launch Aadhaar Pay, a digital payment platform for merchants on 14th April 2017.
Aadhaar Pay is meant for merchants to receive digital payments from customers over the counter through Aadhaar authentication.
10. India for the first time has become a net exporter of electricity during the April-February period in fiscal 2016-17.
During this period, India exported around 5,798 million units of electricity to Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.
11. The Ministry of Road transport and Highways hosted the Grand Finale of the Smart India Hackathon 2017 at Nagpur on 1st and 2nd April 2017.
The aim was to harnesses the creativity and expertise of students, build funnel for Startup India, Standup India campaigns.
12. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has inaugurated high-speed rail wire Wi-Fi facility in National Rail museum, New Delhi.
13. Kerala, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh have joined Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna. With this, 26 states have joined the scheme.
Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura will gain net benefits of approximately Rs. 4,178 crore, Rs.309 crore, and Rs.810 crore respectively.
14. President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated Namami Brahmaputra festival on 31st March 2017 in Guwahati, Assam.
The five-day festival has included cultural programmes, traditional shows and film shows among other events.
15. The Government has approved the construction of 1 crore houses for the period of 2016-17 to 2018-19 under Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna-Gramin.
The financial implication of the construction is Rs. 81,975 crore.
16. The NGT has directed public sector oil companies to immediately stop plying Bharat Stage (BS-I & II) vehicles for transporting petrol or petroleum products in Delhi.
The order was issued against Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and Hindustan Petroleum.
17. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has launched a mobile phone app 100 MB (Master Blaster) Cricket in Mumbai.
100MB Cricket is now available for Android via Google Play, and for iOS via the App Store.
18. All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), Sarita Vihar, New Delhi has been established as an Autonomous Body under the aegis of Ministry of AYUSH at a cost of Rs. 157 crore.
AIIA is a 200 bedded referral hospital and shall impart PG & Ph.D. degree courses in Ayurveda.
19. ACT Fibernet announced the launch of 1Gbps (gigabits per second) wired broadband internet services in Hyderabad.
This makes the `City of Pearls’ India’s first Giga City.
The 1 Gb plan will be offered at Rs 5,999 per month in Hyderabad.
20. The North-Western Railway has declared the Barmer-Munawab and Pipad Road-Bilara rail routes in Rajasthan as Green Corridors, increasing the total number of green corridors to three.
The 114-km-long Manamadurai– Rameswaram stretch of Southern Railway was India’s first Green corridor.
21. The Union Cabinet has approved ratification of 2 fundamental conventions of International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning with Child Labour.
They are: Minimum Age Convention (No. 138) and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182).
22. The CCEA has approved amendments in the Mega Power Policy, 2009 to push 31 GW stranded projects entailing an investment of Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
CCEA has also approved the removal of all quantitative ceilings on individual organic products and allowed unrestricted exports of all organic and organic processed products.
CCEA has approved the amendment in Para 5 of New Urea Policy (NUP), 2015 related to the production beyond Re-Assessed Capacity (RAC) and the inclusion of Para 8 in NUP 2015.
23. National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has crossed the milestone of 50 Gigawatts power generation
It achieved this after commissioning of 500 Megawatts unit at Unchahar in Uttar Pradesh, increasing the total installed capacity of NTPC to 50,498.
24. Apple has announced the opening of new App Accelerator in the IT capital of the country – Bengaluru.
The App aims to deliver specialized support to the Indian developers, including tools and best practices to hone their skills.
International – Across the Globe
1. India has become the third largest aviation market in terms of domestic passenger traffic, beating Japan, an industry report has said.
India’s domestic air passenger traffic stood at 100 million in 2016 and was behind only the US and China.
2. U.S. Senate has voted for the approval of Montenegro as the newest member of NATO.
Senators voted 97-2 in favor of ending debate and allowing a vote on the ratification of its NATO membership.
3. Canada will host 9th edition of World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) in Vancouver from 9th-15th September 2017.
The theme of the congress will be Culture/Environment: Weaving New Connections.
4. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has become the world’s second-richest person, with the net worth of $75.6 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
Bezos’ fortune spiked a day after Amazon announced plans to purchase Dubai-based e-commerce platform Souq.com.
5. India has joined the International Energy Agency as an associate member.
With India as a member, International Energy Agency now formally covers 70% of the world’s energy consumption.
Sports & Athletics
1. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beat Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in a straight fight as Formula 1’s new era started at the Australian Grand Prix.
Briton’s Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas finished third.
2. West Bengal has won the Santosh Trophy for the 32nd time by defeating Goa in the final football tournament.
Manvir Singh struck in the 119th minute for a 1-0 win over Goa.
3. Rafael Nadal celebrated his 1000th tour-level match victory to reach the fourth round of Miami Open.
He defeated German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.
4. Indian shuttlers Purva Barve and Varun Kapoor have won in the Li Ning-Israel Open 2017 badminton tournament held in Israel.
Purva won the tournament in the Under-19 Women’s Singles by defeating Lela Minadze of Russia by 21-6, 21-4 scoreline in 18 minutes.
Varun defeated England’s Toby Dillingham by 21-10, 21-2 scoreline to win his second International title.
5. Cheteshwar Pujara sets a record by scoring the highest runs in a test season by an Indian.
He surpassed the mark of 1269 runs by Gautam Gambhir.
He has scored 1316 runs at an average of 65.8 in the season
6. Australian Cricketer and world’s fastest bowler Shaun Tait announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
In his 15-year career, he had played 35 ODIs, 12 T20 Internationals and only three Tests.
7. The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata has been named as the venue for the final of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be held in India from 6th-28th October 2017.
The semi-finals will be held in Guwahati and Navi Mumbai, while the opening games will be held in New Delhi and Navi Mumbai.
8. India has won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by eight-wicket over Australia in the 4th and final Test in Dharamsala.
With this, India won the series by 2-1.
9. India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin received the Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016 as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016.
Ashwin is the third Indian, and the 12th player overall to win the award.
10. Argentina footballer Lionel Messi was banned from next four competitive internationals for swearing at a match official.
The ban will start with the World Cup’s qualifier in Bolivia.
Messi had directed insulting words at an assistant referee during the 1-0 win over Chile.
11. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has suspended Mohammad Irfan for a year and also fined one million rupees ($9,500).
He was banned for violating the sport’s anti-corruption code during the Pakistan Super League T20.
12. Tamil Nadu defeated India B by 42 runs in the final to clinch the Deodhar Trophy at the ACA-VDCA stadium in Visakhapatnam.
Tamil Nadu has scored 303/9 in 50 overs and India B was bowled out for 261 in 46.1 overs.
13. Chennai’s Srinath Narayanan is set to become India’s 46th Grandmaster at the Sharjah Masters 2017 chess tournament.
He defeated Spanish GM David Anton Guijarro.
14. Turkish middle and long-distance runner Elvan Abeylegesse was stripped of two Olympic silver medals and one world silver after a re-analysis of an in-competition doping test dating back to 2007.
15. Bhubaneswar will host the Asian Athletics Championships from 6th- 9th July 2017 as per the announcements made by council meeting in Bangkok.
Kalinga Stadium of the Odisha capital will host the continent’s flagship event.
16. India forward SV Sunil was named the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Player of the Year for 2016.
Harmanpreet Singh was chosen as the Promising Player of the Year in the continental body’s annual awards.
17. International Cricket Council is set to bid for the inclusion of cricket, in its Twenty20 format, in the 2024 Olympic Games.
The committee will choose between 2024 bid cities Paris and Los Angeles at a meeting in Lima in September.
Awards & Recognition
1. The Business Standard Annual Awards for Corporate Excellence was held in Mumbai.
Eicher Motors Managing Director (MD) Siddhartha Lal won the CEO of the Year award.
The ISRO received the Innovative Organisation of the Year award.
Madhav Chavan, co-founder, Pratham Foundation, winner of the Social Enterprise of the Year award.
Sanjit Bunker Roy of Barefoot College won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award.
2. HDFC Bank’s Aditya Puri has been named among 3 Indians in World’s 30 Best CEOs List by securing 23rd position.
The top position has been secured by Mary Barra of General Motors.
3. Karur Vysya Bank has been adjudged the Best Small Bank for 2016 (balance sheet size of less than Rs.1-lakh crore).
This is the eighth award won by KVB in the current fiscal.
4. President Pranab Mukherjee presented B. C. Roy National Awards to 49 Physicians for the year 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Besides, he also presented Hari Om Ashram Alembic Research Awards to four physicians.
5. President Pranab Mukherjee conferred Padma Awards 2017 to the recipients at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Cricketer Virat Kohli, veteran politicians Murli Manohar Joshi and Sharad Pawar and Paralympics medallist Deepa Malik were among the 39 people who were conferred the Padma awards.
6. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was selected for the US-India Business Council Award of Transformative Chief Minister.
He will receive the award at the second annual West Coast Summit to be held in Menlo Park, California in May 2017.
Books & Authors
1. Babar Afzal’s book 6 Time Thinner was inaugurated at Pashmina Art Exhibition by J & K Governor N.N. Vohra.
The title indicates the thickness of the pashmina strand being 6 times thinner than the human hair.
2. Chief of the Army Staff has released the book Home of the Brave on the history of Indian Army’s Counter Insurgency Force, the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), authored by Nitin A Gokhale.
It traces the early history of the RR, including its raising and subsequent deployment in Punjab, North East and in J & K.
3. A book titled Zakir Hussain: A Life for Music is to be released by Harper Collings Publishers India, written by Nasreen Munni Kabir.
The book will offer readers a personalized view into Indian classical music and Hussain’s life and career.
4. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched a book Indian Railways- The Weaving of a National Tapestry.
The book is authored by Bibek Debroy, Sanjay and Vidya Krishnamurthi.
Mergers & Acquisitions
1. Repco Home Finance Ltd (RHFL) has tied up with National Housing Bank.
The merger is for implementation of the credit-linked subsidy scheme for the middle- income group from 1st January 2017 for one year.
The scheme divides the middle-income group into two categories — with annual household income up to ₹12 lakhs and ₹18 lakhs.
2. Truecaller has tied up with Google to integrate the tech giant’s video calling app Duo within the Truecaller app.
The integration will be available for Android and iOS as a permission-based service, where users will be able to opt-in and out at any time.
3. ICICI Bank announced a partnership with mobile app firm Truecaller for a new UPI-based mobile payment service, called as Truecaller Pay.
It will allow users to instantly create a UPI id, send money to any UPI id or a mobile number registered with the BHIM app.
It will also enable users to recharge their mobile number from within the Truecaller app itself.
4. Axis Bank has tied up with Wells Fargo to transfer money from the Indian diaspora with an account with the Wells Fargo, to their relatives back home.
Under the arrangement will be no transaction fee applicable to the money transfers from the USA.
Appointments & Resignations
1. State-run Engineers India Ltd appointed Shazia Ilmi Malik as additional director (non-official part-time independent).
Earlier, Ilmi was appointed as a brand ambassador for the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission program.
2. Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani has been inducted into the international advisory board of global think-tank The Atlantic Council.
Other global business leaders include Thomas Enders, CEO, Airbus Group, Rupert Murdoch, CEO, 21 Century Fox etc.
3. Sunaina Singh has been appointed as the new vice-chancellor of Nalanda University by the president.
She will replace Vijay P Bhatkar as the university’s chancellor.
4. Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal as head of its independent disciplinary committee.
The committee will investigate and address complaints related to viewership malpractices and tampering of the measurement system.
5. Global investment bank Nomura has appointed Prabhat Awasthi as its new India head.
Awasthi, who is currently Head of Equities, India, will replace Vikas Sharma as the country head from 1st April 2017.
6. United Nations has appointed former South Carolina Governor David Beasley to run the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP).
He will replace another American, Ertharin Cousin, who has been the WFP executive director since 2012.
7. Senior bureaucrat Vanaja N Sarna was appointed as chairperson of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
She will take over charge from incumbent Najib Shah.
8. Sergeant Ali Javed becomes the first Muslim to join the Emergency Service Unit of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
He also becomes the first Pakistani American to join the elite services.
9. Iqbal Surve has been appointed as chairperson of the country’s BRICS Business Council.
He highlighted the importance to strengthening ties with China and India.
10. State-owned Coal India has announced the termination of the services of one of its director’s R Mohan Das.
His services were terminated as per the directions received by the PSU from the Coal Ministry.
11. Maninder Singh Juneja has been appointed as MD & CEO of National Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC).
He will replace Anil Chaudhary, who will continue to associate with NBHC as an executive vice-chairman.
12. Navrang Saini took charge as Whole Time Member, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India in New Delhi.
He will also look after Legal Affairs and Establishment.
He served as a member of the Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS).
Economics & Banking GK
1. Paytm is set to become a member of the self-regulatory voluntary organization Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
It will be the first e-commerce major to take advertising regulatory body’s membership.
2. Syndicate Bank has digitally inaugurated 40 Ananya transformed branches.
The bank also launched its first micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) hub in Bengaluru.
The hub is expected to cater to more than 150 branches across the Bengaluru region.
3. Chinese technology major Xiaomi aims to create 20,000 jobs in India in the next three years.
The company is set to launch a new artificial intelligence product in the next six months.
4. State Bank of India will offer zero annual fee credit cards to every account holder who has a balance of Rs 20,000-25,000.
The Bank will not go into customers’ credit history and the card, which will be issued in the name of Unnati, will remain free for four years.
5. Union Government has imposed 10% import duty on wheat and tur dal to protect farmers’ interest amid projection of a record crop this year.
Earlier in December 2016, the government had reduced customs duty on wheat to 0 from 10% to boost domestic availability and check retail prices.
6. Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched a new zero balance digital banking account called 811, free of cost which is linked to Aadhaar system.
The 811 account can be opened through the mobile phone using the Aadhaar one-time password authentication and an income tax pan number.
It will offer 6% interest per annum.
7. The government has lowered interest rates by 0.1% on small savings instruments from 1st April 2017.
Public Provident Fund at of 7.9%.
Five-Year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme at 8.4%.
Five-Year National Savings Certificate at 7.9%.
Kisan Vikas Patra will come down to 7.6%.
8. Karnataka Bank and SBI Card have launched co-branded credit cards for the customers of Karnataka Bank.
The two banks will launch two variants of the co-branded credit card – Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card and Karnataka Bank Simply SAVE SBI Card.
9. Export-Import Bank of India plans to work with African Development Bank on co-financing of projects in Africa over the next 2-3 years.
They also discussed the aspect of getting the recently formed Kukuza Project Development Company (KPDC).
10. The Reserve Bank of India has decided to set up a separate enforcement department.
The purpose is to oversee possible breaches of rules and take punitive actions against those who violate them.
11. The growth of the country’s eight core sectors slipped to an over one-year low of 1% in February 2017.
This was mainly due to a fall in output of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizer and cement.
Bills – New & Amendments
1. The Parliament has passed the Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016 that decriminalizes suicide attempt by mentally ill people.
It guarantees the right to better healthcare for people with mental illness.
2. The Lok Sabha has passed four Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills.
The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017.
The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017.
The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017.
The Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (The Compensation Bill).
2. Gujarat Assembly has passed the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to amend Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954.
It raises the minimum jail term for illegal ferrying of cows for slaughter from 7 to 10 years against the current provision of 3 to 7 years.
3. Parliament has passed Finance Bill 2017 after Lok Sabha negating all the five amendments made by the Rajya Sabha.
The bill gives effect to the financial proposals of the central government announced in the budget for the financial year 2017-18.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
1. Vijaya Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with Piaggio Vehicles.
The MoU was signed for providing financial support for the purchase of vehicles under Small Road Transport Operators (SRTO) scheme in Bengaluru.
2. India and Nepal have signed an agreement to renew the supply of petroleum to Nepal for five years.
The renewed MoU was signed between IOCL and NOC.
With this renewal, IOCL will supply about 1.3 million tonnes of fuel annually to Nepal with a promise to double the volume by 2020.
3. Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with L & T.
The MoU was signed to export Torpedoes (LWT-XP) designed and developed by NSTL.
4. India signed the loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) of USD 350 million.
The project is aimed at upgradations of major district roads in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
The time allotted for the project implementation is 5 years.
Science & Technology
1. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has launched a startup called
The purpose will be to build devices that could be implanted in the human brain to keep pace with the growing use of artificial intelligence in the electronic systems.
2. The Indian Navy has de-inducted TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft.
The aircraft was formally de-inducted at a ceremony held at INS Rajali naval air station in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu.
3. American astronaut Peggy Whitson made history by making her eighth career spacewalk outside the International Space Station.
She broke the record of seven previously held by American Sunita Williams.
4. INLCU L51 was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command at Port Blair.
It is First of the Eight ships of the LCU Mk IV Class and has been built by M/s Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd, Kolkata.
5. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has increased the price of stents by around 2% after taking into account wholesale price index.
It will increase the price of bare metal stents to Rs. 7,400 from Rs. 7,260 and of the drug-eluting stent to Rs. 30,180 from Rs. 29,600.
1. World Theatre Day is celebrated every year on 27th March every year to celebrate performing arts.
It is organized by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) and the International theatre community.
Recent Notable Deaths
1. Renowned playwright and Sahitya Akademi Award winner Arun Sharma has died after a brief illness.
He has written more than 50 plays and books in his career.
He also won a number of awards, including Padma Shri, Sahitya Academy and Assam Valley Literary.
2. South Africa’s revered Indian-origin anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada passed away.
He was one of Nelson Mandela’s closest aides in his struggle to end the white minority rule.
3. Eminent jurist and senior advocate T R Andhyarujina passed away in Mumbai.
He also served as Solicitor General during 1996-98 as a part of the team of constitutional law expert H M Seervai in his initial days.
4. Former Punjab minister and senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Gurdev Singh Badal passed away after the prolonged illness.
He had represented Panjgrain and Jaito assembly seats in the past.
5. Gilbert Baker, best known for creating the rainbow flag representing gay rights has died.
He came up with the eight-colored banner for San Francisco’s 1978 Gay Freedom Day, which later became the Pride festival.
It would later be reduced to six stripes, removing pink and indigo, and swapping blue for turquoise.
Important Abbreviations used in this Article
|MoFPI||Ministry of Food Processing Industries|
|AIIA||All India Institute of Ayurveda|
|ILO||International Labour Organization|
|CCEA||Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs|
|NTPC||National Thermal Power Corporation Limited|
|BARC||Broadcast Audience Research Council|
|CBEC||Central Board of Excise and Customs|
|NGT||National Green Tribunal|
|NHBC||National Bulk Handling Corporation|
|ASCI||Advertising Standards Council of India|
|IOCL||Indian Oil Corporation Ltd|
|NOC||Nepal Oil Corporation|
|NPPA||National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority|
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