Current Affairs-14th March 2016
1. India successfully test-fired Agni-I ballistic missile
i. India on 14 March 2016 successfully test-fired indigenously built nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-I ballistic missile. It was launched from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) on the Odisha coast.
ii. The trial was as part of training exercise by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army.
iii. The sophisticated missile covered 700 km distance within 9 minutes and 36 seconds. The latest trial of Agni-I followed the first successful test-fire that was conducted on 27 November 2015 from the same base.
iv. Agni-I was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory, the premier missile development laboratory of DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.
v. The missile is 15-metre-long and weighed 12 tonnes and equipped with sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. It is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload.
2. 13th meeting of Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development held in Dubai
i. The 13th meeting of Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development was held on 14 March 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The meeting was held to promote the power of broadband networks and services for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ii. It brought the leaders from the public, private and social sectors together to seek the solutions to achieving education, equity and employment for all. The Broadband Commission also discussed among other issues like how to innovate in education through technology.
iii. The full meeting of the Commission revisited the issue of new broadband targets to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting set the ground for new concrete, measurable broadband targets to be agreed for the next full meeting of the Commission in September 2016 at the New York meeting.
iv. The Dubai meeting of the Commission was held at the invitation of Broadband Commissioner Sunny Varkey, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, in the context of the Global Education and Skills Forum, and right after the joint ITU/UNESCO Policy Forum during UNESCO Mobile Learning Week.
v. The Broadband Commission works to ensure that no one is left behind by leaving no one off-line. In 2015, 44 percent world population remains offline, including 36 percent of LDC population while there are 200 million fewer girls and women online than boys and men.
3. Palestinian Hanan Al Hroub won 2016 Global Teacher Prize
i. A Palestinian primary school teacher from a refugee camp, Hanan Al Hroub, on 13 March 2016 won one million dollar Global Teacher Prize. She was awarded for her outstanding contribution to the profession.
ii. Hroub, who runs the Samiha Khalil High School in Al-Bireh, Palestine, defeated nine other finalists from around the world, including India’s Robin Chaurasiya to win the award. The 2016 Winner of the Global Teacher Prize was announced by Pope Francis in a ceremony held at the Atlantis Palm Hotel in Dubai.
iii. Hroub uses a specialist approach in her school, which she developed, detailed in her book 'We Play and Learn' to overcome tense environments of the region under the shadow of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Hroub's approach has led to a decline in violent behaviour in schools where it was a frequent occurrence. She has also inspired her colleagues to review the way they teach and their classroom management strategies.
iv. Robin Chaurasiya runs a not-for-profit school in Mumbai for girls from the city's red light district of Kamatipura.
v. The Global Teacher Prize is a 1 million US dollar award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.
4. Services won Santosh Trophy of Football 2-1
i. Services on 13 March 2016 won the Santosh Trophy National Football Championships title. In the summit clash at SEC Railway Stadium in Nagpur, Services defeated host Maharashtra 2-1.
ii. Arjun Tudu, a national camper for the SAFF Cup in 2015, scored twice in the space of 11 minutes (26th and 37th) to help Services clinch their fifth title overall. Services took away 5 lakh rupees for winning the tournament while Maharashtra got 3 lakh rupees for finishing runners-up.
iii. Santosh Trophy, started in 1941, is an annual Indian football tournament. It is contested by states and government institutions. It was the premier football competition in the country before the National Football League started in the year 1996. The first winners were Bengal, who also leads the all-time winners list with 31 titles to date.
iv. The trophy is named after the late Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh (now in Bangladesh) who had been the President of the Indian Football Association, the football organisation of Bengal and the donators of the trophy.
5. Maritime India Summit 2016 to be held in Mumbai
i. Maritime India Summit 2016 (MIS 2016), the maiden flagship initiative of the Union Ministry of Shipping, will be organised from 14 to 16 April 2016 at Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre, Mumbai. Republic of Korea is the partner country for MIS 2016.
ii. The summit will provide a unique global platform for investors to explore potential business opportunities in the Indian Maritime Sector. The conference aims to foster interaction between stakeholders through B2B and G2B meetings. It will have special sessions on factors and services related to Indian Maritime Sector.
iii. The conference will also highlight investment opportunities in the Indian Maritime States and Union Territories.
6. 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves inaugurated at Lima
i. 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves was inaugurated on 14 March 2016 at Lima in Peru. The event will be held from 14 March to 17 March 2016 to address different issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
ii. It is a world meeting of the Committees of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) and experts directly involved in the practical implementation of biosphere reserves including representatives of governments, biosphere reserves, local communities, UN agencies, NGOs, academic institutions, and organizations and institutions from all over the world working with the MAB Programme.
iii. The Congress will discuss on education for sustainable development, the economic viability of nature conservation systems, human migrations and protection of natural resources, among others.
7. Rock legend Keith Emerson died
i. British Keyboardist and progressive rock legend Keith Emerson died on 10 March 2016. He was 71.
ii. Emerson, the co-founder of British prog-rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, was widely considered one of the top keyboard players of the progressive rock era.
iii. Apart from ELP, founded in 1970, Keith Emerson is best remembered for his role in The Nice, formed in 1967. The British musician and composer was born in Yorkshire in 1944.
iv. ELP rose to become one of the most popular bands of the 1970s, and were voted in at number seven on Rolling Stone’s 2011 Reader Poll of the best prog-rock acts of all time.
8. ICICI Bank ties up with Ferrari for co-branded credit card
i. Country's largest private sector lender ICICI BankBSE 3.70 % today said it has tied up with marquee sports car maker Ferrari to launch co-branded credit card.
ii. "The 'Ferrari Credit Card' comes in two variants on the Visa platform and offers customers a host of offers including an all-expenses-paid trip for top spenders to Italy and also includes a Scuderia Ferrari watch as a joining gift," the bank said in a statement here.
iii. Details of the fees, if any, were not immediately shared by the bank. ICICI bank's General Manager Kusal Roy said this is the first-ever Ferrari range of credit cards in the country.
iv. The bank had over 34.69 lakh outstanding credit cards as of November, that saw transactions of over Rs 2,393 crore at ATMs and POS terminals.
9. Kerala Tourism’s Responsible Tourism Campaign Wins Golden City Gate Award At ITB Berlin
i. Kerala Tourism’s new campaign on responsible tourism has bagged the prestigious Golden City Gate Award at the world’s leading travel trade show , ITB in the German capital of Berlin.
ii. Titled ‘New Worlds’, the multimedia campaign containing three short films directed by reputed Malayalam filmmaker Anwar Rasheed won the silver prize of this year’s Das Golden Stadttor or Golden City Gate, dubbed as the Oscar of Tourism communication, at the ITB.
iii. The ‘New Worlds’ campaign was launched internationally by UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai at the World Travel Mart in London .
iv. It portrays the importance of responsible tourism initiatives under taken in Kerala which have led to several life-changing stories and have become the heart of it.
v. Golden Gate Award is entitled as Oscar in tourism communication. It is awarded every year for the ultimate recognition in global tourism communication at the ITB-Berlin which is the world’s leading travel trade show.
10. Record-breaking Astronaut Scott Kelly Retiring This April
i. Astronaut Scott Kelly will retire from NASA next month, after spending nearly a year in space and setting a record for the most cumulative days in space of any American.
ii. Kelly is a former Navy pilot who joined NASA in 1996, will leave the agency April 1. Kelly joined the astronaut corps in 1996 and currently holds the American record for most time spent in space. After retiring, Kelly will continue to participate in the ongoing research related to his one-year mission.
iii. Kelly flew in space four times, beginning with space shuttle Discovery’s trip to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on the STS-103 servicing mission in 1999.
iv. Kelly broke the American record for most cumulative time in space during his one-year mission, accruing 520 days.
v. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
vi. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Cornell University Astronomy Professor Steven W. Squyres, as chairman of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC).
11. Free Wi-Fi Service launched At Srinagar International Airport
i. State-run telecommunication company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched free Wifi services at the Srinagar international airport.
ii. Tourists visiting the Kashmir valley can now access hi-speed Internet services at the international airport here free of charge for the first 15 minutes as BSNL today launched its state-of-art WiFi HotSpot services. The 4G-based WiFi HotSpot services of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) at the Srinagar International Airport was inaugurated by Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Asgar H Samoon.
iii. Passengers will have to login after turning on WiFi services on their laptops or smartphones or any other wireless device. Then, a BSNL-WiFi prompt will pop-up on their device and the passengers will have to register and then they will be provided with a one-time password, he said. After verification, they will be able to browse.
12. Vijender Singh Registers Fourth Straight Win In Pro Boxing
i. Indian boxer and Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh notched up his fourth successive knockout win in the professional boxing circuit, beating Hungary’s Alexander Horvath in under three rounds in Liverpool.
ii. The Bhiwani boxer achieved the knockout victory in the third round after being the one with the upper hand in the first two rounds as well. With the win, Vijender’s record in Pro Boxing stands at four bouts, four wins and four knockouts.
iii. Vijender Singh Beniwal, also known as Vijender Singh or Vijender Beniwal, is an Indian professional boxer and former amateur boxer from Kaluwas, Bhiwani district in Haryana.