Daily Current Affairs 21st March, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 21st March, 2017


World Bank announces 57 billion US dollar for sub-Saharan Africa

  • World Bank has announced 57 billion US dollar financing for sub-Saharan Africa over the next three fiscal years (2017-2019).
  • Of that total, 45 billion dollars will come from the International Development Association (IDA), 8 billion dollars from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and USD 4 billion dollars will come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).


India ranks 122 in 2017 World Happiness Report

  • India ranked at 122 out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Report 2017 published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Networkon the eve of International Day of Happiness (20 March).
  • The rankings are based factors such as  inequality, life expectancy, GDP per capita, public trust (i.e. a lack of corruption in government and business), and social support. Together they are used to generate a happiness score of country on a scale from 1 to 10.
  • This year it is fifth such report since the first was published in 2012.
  • 10 Happiest Countries: Norway (1), Denmark (2), Iceland (3), Switzerland (4), Finland (5), Netherlands (6), Canada (7), New Zealand (8), Australia (9) and Sweden (10).
  • 5 Saddest Countries: Rwanda (151), Syria (152), Tanzania (153), Burundi (154) and Central African Republic (155).


Vodafone, Idea merge to create India’s largest, world’s 2nd largest telecom company

  • Kumar Mangalam Birla-led telecommunications major Idea Cellular has agreed to merge with the Vodafone India, Indian unit of the UK headquartered Vodafone Plc.
  • The blockbuster merger will create world’s second largest (after China Mobile) and India’s largest telecom company by overtaking Bharti Airtel Ltd.
  • Kumarmanglam Birla to be the Chairman of Vodafone-Idea merged entity.

Union Cabinet approves four GST Bills

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the four Goods and Services Tax (GST) related bills. These Bills were earlier approved by the GST Council after clause by clause, discussion over 12 meetings in past 6 months. The passage of these four GST related bills will pave the way for the biggest reform in the area of Indirect Taxes in the history of the country.
  • The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (CGST Bill): It makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods or services for both by the Union Government.
  • The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (IGST Bill): It makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods or services or both by the Union Government.
  • The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (UTGST Bill): It makes provisions for levy on collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services in the UTs without legislature. It is akin to States Goods and Services Tax (SGST) that will enacted by state legislatures for levy and collection of tax by the States/UTs on intra-state supply of goods or services or both.
  • The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017 (The Compensation Bill): It provides for compensation to states for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the GST for a period of five years as per section 18 of the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016.

SBI-Mahila bank merger okayed

  • The three-year-old Bharatiya Mahila Bank will be merged with the State Bank of India (SBI) to expedite the outreach of banking services to women.
  • The SBI is already in the process of amalgamating its five associate banks.


Mines to Market

  • The International Diamond Conference started at Hotel Grand Hyatt, Mumbai from Match 19, 2017 to bring together miners, diamond companies, experts, retailers, bankers and analysts from across the globe on a platform to discuss the supply and demand issues faced by the Global Diamond Industry.
  • The theme of the conference is “Mines to Market 2017” and is organized by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC). The conference is sponsored by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India (GoI).
  • India is the largest cut and polished diamond manufacturer in the world. 93 {be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} of its production is exported.


Scientists discover five new sub-atomic particles at CERN

  • Scientists using Large Hadron Collider accelerator (LHC) at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) have discovered a new system of five particles all in a single analysis.
  • This discovery is unique as observing five new states all at once is very rare. According to the standard convention, these particle states were named Oc(3000)0, Oc(3050)0, Oc(3066)0, Oc(3090)0 b Oc(3119)0.
  • The numbers indicate their masses in megaelectronvolts (MeV), measured by LHCb experiment, one of seven particle physics detector experiments collecting data at LHC, world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

Green nod for Neutrino project suspended

  • The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has suspended the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) that was to come up in Theni and asked the project proponent to make a fresh application.
  • The Tribunal found that the Mathikettan Shola National Park in Idukki district of Kerala was just about 4.9 km from the proposed project site and the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border was just a kilometre away, making it a Category ‘A’ project.
  • Under the guidelines laid down by the Environment Ministry, any project that falls within 5 km from an inter-State boundary or within a notified national park or a sanctuary has to be considered a Category ‘A’ project that involves a number of processes before an EC is granted.
  • In this case, the MoEF had called it a Category ‘B’ project, for which an Environmental Impact Assessment is not necessary, but the department processed it as an additional measure.
  • Since the proposed project is near a national park, the INO has also been asked to get clearance from the National Board for Wildlife.

About INO

  • India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is a particle physics research project under construction to primarily study atmospheric neutrinos in a 1,300 meters (4,300 ft) deep cave under Ino Peak near Theni, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • This project is notable in that it is anticipated to provide a precise measurement of neutrino mixing parameters.
  • The project is a multi-institute collaboration and one of the biggest experimental particle physics projects undertaken in India.
  • When completed, the main magnetised iron calorimieter (ICAL) experiment include the world’s most massive magnet, four times larger than the 12,500-tonne magnet in the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.








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