Current Affairs-13th March 2016

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Current Affairs-13th March 2016

1. IMF and India to set-up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center in Delhi 

i. India and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have decided to set up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTC) in New Delhi. 

ii. In this regard, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

Key facts >. SARTTC will set up for enhancing capacity development and training officials in dealing with macro-economic and financial issues in the South Asia region. 
>. It will become the focal point for planning, coordinating, and implementing the IMF’s capacity development activities in the region on a wide range of areas.
>. These wide range of areas are includes macroeconomic and fiscal management, financial sector regulation, monetary operations and supervision, and macroeconomic statistics. 
>. It will help to address existing training needs and respond to the demand for IMF training in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
>. SARTTAC will build upon the IMF’s in-depth experience with capacity development on the experiences of the IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Centres (RTACs) and Regional Training Centres (RTCs). 
>. Funding for the centre will come from contributions by Regional Member countries and Development Partners. 
>. Australian Agency for International Development, South Korea and India also have pledged financial support for the Centre. 

2. Anand Mahindra conferred with France's Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur

i. 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 anand Government. 

ii. He was presented with this award by Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India in recognition of his outstanding national and international achievements. 

iii. 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. 

About Knight of the Legion of Honour 

>. Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur is the highest French civilian award which was started by first emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. 
>. It is bestowed upon person for his outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality. Its motto is Honour and Fatherland. 
>. Note: Anand Mahindra’s father Harish Mahindra and uncle Keshub Mahindra have also been recipients of this award in the past. 

3. Union Power Ministry named LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme as UJALA i. 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. 

ii. The National LED based DELP programme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 2015 for energy conservation by reducing energy consumption. 

iii. 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.

iv. The initiative is part of the Union Government’s efforts to spread the message of energy efficiency in the country. LED bulbs have a very long life, almost 50 times more than ordinary bulbs, and 8-10 times that of CFLs, and therefore provide both energy and cost savings in the medium term. It will help in saving of energy around 24 crore units every year.

4. Lt Gen N P S Hira appointed Deputy Chief of Army

i. 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

ii. Presently he is posted as Chief of Staff of Northern command at Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir. He was commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry. 

iii. He has a rich experience of counter insurgency operations in J&K and in the northeast region, as well as conventional operations in Western command.

iv. He had commanded the Battalion in Assam (Op Rhino) during high violence period. The unit under his command has bagged 32 gallantry awards and COAS citation. 

v. He had commanded 12 Infantry Brigade deployed on the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector. He also had commanded the 10 Infantry Division in J&K on the LoC with distinction for which he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal. 

vi. Awards and Honours: He has earned an Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra and many more gallantry awards. 

5. India, US launch Fullbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship

i. 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. 

ii. 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. 

iii. The fellowship has been named after late Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. It was launched as part of a commitment made by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build long-term capacity to address climate change-related issues in both the countries. 

iv. 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.

6. Arab League declares Lebanese movement Hezbollah a terrorist group

arab i. 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. 

ii. 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.

iii. Hezbollah (Party of God) is a Shia political organisation created by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the 1980s. It was established with an armed wing during Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1990. Currently, it is fighting in Lebanon’s neighbouring Syria to support the Government of President Bashar al-Assad. 

iv. The United States, Canada and Australia already have listed Hezbollah as a terrorist group and the European Union (EU) has also blacklisted its military wing.