Daily Current Affairs 29th March, 2017
Sima Kamil becomes first woman to lead a major Pakistani bank
- United Bank Limited (UBL) has appointed Sima Kamil as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the bank.
- She will take charge on June 1, 2017 by replacing outgoing CEO Wajahat Hussain. She is the first woman to head a major commercial bank in Pakistan.
US Senate votes to approve Montenegro as NATO’s 29th member
- US Senate has voted overwhelmingly to approve Montenegro as 29th member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) by 97-2 vote.
- So far, 25 other NATO members have ratified Montenegro’s accession, a country of 620,000 people seen as a geostrategic ally. The Spain and Netherlands have yet to do so.
New secure pound coin goes into circulation in UK:
- A new 12-sided one-pound coin described by the UK’s Royal Mint as the “most secure coin in the world” has been put into circulation across the UK.
- There is material inside the coin itself which can be detected when electronically scanned by coin-counting or payment machines, making it impossible to counterfeit.
- Other security features of the coin include an image that works like a hologram and micro-sized lettering inside both rims.
Mining banned for four months in Uttarakhand:
- The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered ‘complete’ ban on mining activities in the State for four months.
- The court has ordered that a high-power committee be constituted to assess the expanse of river bed mining in the State and submit a report. The committee has been directed to submit a report within four months.
NTPC commissions 55 MW solar project at Bhadla
- State-run power producer NTPC has commissioned 55 Mega Watt (MW) of Bhadla Solar Power Project in Rajasthan.
- With this, the installed capacity of Bhadla Solar Power project has become 260 MW and that of NTPC’s solar power projects has become 620 MW.
1st time India becomes Net Exporter of Electricity
- As per Central Electricity Authority, the Designated Authority of Government of India for Cross Border Trade of Electricity, 1st time India has turned around from a net importer of electricity to Net Exporter of electricity.
- During the current year 2016-17 (April 2016 to February 2017), India has exported around 5,798 Million Units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar which is 213 Million units more than the import of around 5,585 Million units from Bhutan.
Karnataka Bank’s PoS installations reach 10,000-mark
- The total tally of PoS (point-of-sale) installations of Karnataka Bank Ltd has reached 10,000. The bank has been offering PoS services since 2011.
- This service enabled the merchant establishments to accept card payments and boost their business. The bank is also providing ‘PoS Manager’, an android mobile app to help merchants.
Paytm, The first e-commerce company to become ASCI member
- The country’s fast-growing e-commerce industry Paytm is all set to become a member of the self-regulatory voluntary organization Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) from April, 2017.
- The move is significant because advertising violations by e-commerce companies, which are big spenders on television, print and digital media, have been on the rise in recent years.
- The Alibaba-backed Paytm has also set up a new company named Paytm Financial Services, which will sell financial products like insurance and mutual funds to its planned payments bank account holders.
SBI launches ‘Unnati’ credit card
- SBI Card launched a unique credit card ‘SBI Card Unnati’ targeted at all SBI customers, including Jan Dhan account-holders across the country.
- As per the statement of SBI Card CEO, Vijay Jasuja, any SBI customer with a balance of at least Rs 25,000 in his/her savings account with the bank would be eligible for the Unnati credit card without the need for any credit score or credit history.
INLCU L51 commissioned into India Navy
- Indian Navy inducts surveillance ship INLCU L51, the first of the eight ships of the Landing Craft Utility MK IV Class, was commissioned into the India Navy in Port Blair.
- It has been built by M/s Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd, Kolkata.
- The ship has been built to assist in amphibious operations by carrying out beaching operations and has an endurance of 1500 nm.
- The ship will also play a key role in carrying out maritime surveillance of Andaman & Nicobar Islands for preventing anti-poaching, illegal fishing, drug trafficking, human trafficking, poaching and other illegal activities.
- It will also enhance the capabilities of the Andaman and Nicobar Command in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
- The commissioning of the ship adds a feather to the glorious chapter in the nation’s ‘Make in India’ initiatives and indigenisation efforts in the field of warship design and construction.
Hindu New Year
- Hindu New Year was welcomed in different parts of the country with traditional festivities and celebrations.
- The Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Navareh, Navroz and Chetti Chand are the same festivals in different names, marking the occasion.
- Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: Ugadi.
- Karnataka: Yugadi /Ugadi.
- Maharashtra: Gudi Padwa.
- Sindhis: Cheti Chand.
- Manipuris: Sajibu Cheiraoba.
- Hindus of Bali and Indonesia also celebrate their new year on the same day as Nyepi.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
Sands of Saturn’s moon Titan are electrically charged
- The particles that cover the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, are “electrically charged”, show results of an experiment.
- This discovery may help explain an odd phenomenon — prevailing winds on Titan blow from east to west across the moon’s surface, but sandy dunes nearly 300 feet tall seem to form in the opposite direction.
- Experiments suggest the particles that cover the surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan, are ‘electrically charged.’ When the wind blows hard enough, Titan’s non-silicate granules get kicked up and start to hop in a motion. As they collide, they become frictionally charged, like a balloon rubbing against your hair, and clump together in a way not observed for sand dune grains on Earth — they become resistant to further motion.
- They maintain that charge for days or months at a time and attach to other hydrocarbon substances, much like packing peanuts used in shipping boxes here on Earth.
‘India’s temperature rose by 0.60 degree over last 110 years’
- According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), in line with rising temperatures across the globe, all India mean temperatures have risen nearly 0.60 degree Celsius over the last 110 years. Further IMD studies have highlighted that extreme events like heat waves have risen in the last 30 years.
- As per the fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in 2014, globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature has risen by 0.85 degree Celsius over the period 1880 to 2012.
- Many extreme weather and climate events like heat waves, heavy precipitation and tropical cyclones have been observed since about 1950.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Anil Ambani inducted into the Atlantic Council
- Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani has been inducted into the international advisory board of global think-tank the Atlantic Council.
- The Atlantic Council headquartered in Washington, DC. The Atlantic Council chaired by Jon Huntsman Jr.
UN appoints David Beasley to head World Food Programme
- United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres has appointed David Beasley as head of the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP).
- Beasley will replace Etharin Cousin, who has been the WFP executive director since 2012. He is former governor of US state of South Carolina.
About World Food Programme
- Formation -1961
- Type -UN Humanitarian Programme
- Headquarters -Rome, Italy
- It is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
Goals and strategies
- The WFP strives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, with the ultimate goal in mind of eliminating the need for food aid itself.
The objectives that the WFP hopes to achieve are to:
- “Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies”
- “Support food security and nutrition and (re)build livelihoods in fragile settings and following emergencies”
- “Reduce risk and enable people, communities and countries to meet their own food and nutrition needs”
- “Reduce undernutrition and break the intergenerational cycle of hunger”
- WFP food aid is also directed to fight micronutrient deficiencies, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat disease, including HIV and AIDS. Food-for-work programmes help promote environmental and economic stability and agricultural production.
Bhubaneswar to host men’s hockey World League Final 2017
- The International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed Bhubaneswar as the venue for two of its major events the Men’s Hockey World League Final in December 2017 and the men’s World Cup in 2018.
- The Kalinga Stadium in the Odisha capital was confirmed as host after the state government signed a deal with FIH to sponsor the two events.
R Ashwin receives Sir Garfield Sobers trophy
- India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin received Garfield Sobers Trophy for being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh.
- With this Ashwin has become the third Indian and the 12th player overall to win the award after Rahul Dravid in 2004 and Sachin Tendulkar in 2010.