Current Affairs-15th March 2016
1. India Inc first in the world to formally adopt UN’s SDG
i. India Inc. is set to formally adopt the United Nations’ (UN) agenda for the world’s sustainable development and the 17 goals identified for its implementation.
ii. SDG- Sustainable Development Growth;
iii. MDG- Millenium Development Growth
iv. SDG- 17 goals; MDG- 8 goals
v. SDG will be a evaluated, monitored and reported in a time-bound manner
vi. MDG was in implementation from 2001-2015
2. SAARC Programming Committee meet begins in Pokhara
i. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will leave for Nepal to attend SAARC ministerial meet. Before the Ministerial meeting, a session of Programming Committee of SAARC will be held in Pokhara (Nepal). Standing Committee of the SAARC, which is a Foreign Secretaries-level Forum, will be held on 16th of this month.
ii. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the meetings are part of regular interactions within the SAARC framework.
iii. India's focus would be not only to take stock of the decisions but also to work out the way forward on priority issues.
3. Anil Wadhwa concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of San Marino
i. Anil Wadhwa, Ambassador of India to Italy, has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of San Marino with residence in Rome. He is an Indian Foreign Service Officer of the 1979 batch was also posted as Secretary (East) in 2014.
ii. He has also served as the Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand (Nov 2011 to Jan 2014) and previously as the Ambassador to Poland and to the Sultanate of Oman.
4. Myanmar Parliament elected Htin Kyaw as first civilian President
i. Myanmar's Parliament on 15 March 2016 elected Htin Kyaw as the first civilian president to lead the country after 53 years of military rule. Army took power in a 1962 coup. He is a close aide and adviser of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
ii. He was elected with 360 of the total 652 votes casted while, military-nominated Myint Swe received 213 votes and stood second followed by the other NLD candidate, Henry Van Thio, who got 79 votes.
iii. They will serve as first vice-president and second vice-president respectively. Kyaw will replace Thein Sein who will step down at the end of March 2016 after five years of army-backed rule.
iv. Htin Kyaw was elected under a complex system in which the two chambers of parliament nominated two presidential candidates and military MPs nominated a third, assuring the army continued influence.
v. The army also retains 25 percent of seats in parliament under a 2008 constitution that it drafted, giving it an effective veto on constitutional change. It also keeps key ministerial portfolios related to security.
5. Parytak Mitra Programme to enable Students to act as Tourist Facilitators
i. Parytak Mitra Programme was in news on 14 March 2016. It came in news after the information on the same was provided in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (I/C) Dr. Mahesh Sharma.
ii. The programme was launched by Union Ministry of Tourism on 12 January 2016 (National Youth Day) to inculcate appropriate tourism traits and knowledge amongst the trainees to enable them to act/work as Tourist Facilitators (Prayatak Mitra).
iii. The programme seeks to improve the sectoral service standards, which is one of the pre-requisites for attracting tourists in larger numbers.
iv. College going student including those enrolled with the NCC & NSS in the age group of 18 – 28 years. The age will be reckoned on the last date prescribed for application for admission. The applicant will also furnish a no-objection / sponsorship letter issued by the Principal concerned as to his/her joining the programme.
6. Venezuela president extended economic emergency to protect citizens from economic warfare
i. Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on 14 March 2016 declared a two-month extension on emergency powers meant to help shore up the country's crippled economy.
ii. The declaration will bestow more time on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to intervene in the market, boost productivity and redress a flagging financial sector.
iii. It will also allow the government to take more anti-crisis measures to reduce fiscal moratorium and to tap up funds from the 2015 budget to address short-term social needs.
iv. The extension will bring in measures to enhance positive impacts on the national economy. These include actions on healthcare, nutrition, education, employment.
v. Venezuela has the biggest known oil reserves in the world but has suffered from the plunge in world oil prices since mid-2014. The official inflation rate topped 180 percent in 2015 which is one of the highest in the world. Non-government economists estimate the real rate is several times higher.
7. YES Bank inked MoU with India Brazil Chamber for strategic cooperation
i. India's fifth largest private sector Bank, YES Bank on 11 March 2016 signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India Brazil Chamber of Commerce (IBCC) to enable significant cooperation in terms of knowledge partnerships, project consultancy, B2B opportunities, skill and technology initiatives.
ii. As per the announcement of YES Bank, the MoU signing comes in the run up to the 8th Annual BRICS Summit to be held in New Delhi in 2016. The core sectors covered in the MoU will be Sports, Media and Entertainment with special focus on IT, Infrastructure, Broadcast and Innovative solutions driven business opportunities.
iii. YES BANK and IBCC will jointly endeavour to explore exchange of best practices in Sports goods Manufacturing, CSR in sports, SM&E talent management.
iv. Moreover, IBCC will also recommend YES BANK as the Preferred Bank to Brazilian companies looking to do business in India.
8. Altico Capital names Naina Lal Kidwai as Non-Executive Director
i. Mumbai based Non-banking financial company Altico Capital India has appointed former HSBC India chairperson Naina Lal Kidwai as an independent non-executive director.
ii. Altico, focused on real estate, is looking to invest about Rs 2,500 crore every year for five years in the Indian real estate market. Naina lal Kidwai retired as executive director on the board of HSBC Asia Pacific and chairperson of HSBC India last year, after a 13-year stint.
iii. She is on the boards of Larsen & Toubro Limited, Advent Private Equity, Nestle SA, Cipla Ltd and Max Financial Services Ltd besides being chairperson of South Asia Harvard Business School. iv. She is currently involved with several industry associations and has previously been president of FICCI.
9. India Post Selects Deloitte As Consultant For Payments Bank
i. India Post has selected Deloitte to advise it on setting up a payments bank and an agreement between the two will be signed on March 14. The Public Investment Board has already approved the Rs 800-crore proposal of India Post and in 15 days, it will go to the Cabinet for final approval.
ii. Trail run project for the payments bank is set to start from January and the full-fledged operations will start by March As many as 40 international financial firms including World Bank and Barclays have shown interest to partner the postal department for setting up the bank. India Post has 55 lakh branches across the country.
iii. The Department of Posts, trading as India Post, is a government-operated postal system in India; it is generally referred to within India as "the post office". As of 31 March 2011, the Indian Postal Service had 154,866 post offices, of which 139,040 (89.78 percent) were in rural areas and 15,826 (10.22 percent) in urban areas.
iv. It had 25,464 departmental Post Offices and 129,402 Extra-Departmental Branch Post Offices. At the time of independence, there were 23,344 post offices, primarily in urban areas.
v. The postal service is under the Department of Posts, which is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Government of India.
10. 253 Indian Villages Lit Up In Just One Week Under The Scheme Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna
i. 323 villages have been electrified across the country during last week (from 6th to 13th March 2016) under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY).
ii. Out of these electrified villages, 86 in Odisha, 73 in Jharkhand , 61 villages in Uttar Pradesh, 42 in Arunachal Pradesh , 33 in Bihar, 16 in Assam, 6 in Chhattisgarh, 3 in Madhya Pradesh and 3 in Rajasthan.
iii. In view of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s address to nation, on Independence Day, Government of India has decided to electrify remaining 18,452 un-electrified villages within 1000 days i.e. by 01st May, 2018.
iv. The project has been taken on mission mode and strategy for electrification consists of squeezing the implementation schedule to 12 months and also dividing village electrification process in 12 Stage milestones with defined timelines for monitoring.
11. Lin Dan Earns His Sixth All England Badminton Title
i. Lin Dan from China has won the prestigious 2016 All England Badminton title in the men’s singles category.In the final match played at Birmingham, England he defeated Chinese teammate Tian Houwei by 21-9, 21-10 score.
ii. It was his overall sixth All England badminton title and earlier he had won it in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012. Nozomi Okuhara of Japan marked her 21st birthday with her first All England title after beating two-time champion Wang Shixian of China 21-11, 16-21, 21-19 in their thrilling final.
iii. Lin Dan is a professional badminton player from China. He is a two-time Olympic champion, five-time world champion, and six-time All England champion.