Daily Current Affairs 31st March, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 31st March, 2017


El Salvador becomes first country in the world to ban metals mining

  • El Salvador, Central America’s smallest nation, has become the first country in the world to ban metals mining nationwide.
  • The new law, supported by 70 lawmakers, bans all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals both in open pits and mines.
  • The law imposes broad prohibition on the extraction of minerals to protect the nation’s allegedly quite fragile environment, water reservoirs and reduce social tensions.
  • The new law bans all exploration, extraction and processing of metals both in open pits and mines It bans the use of cyanide and mercury for mining.


Mental Healthcare Bill passed in Parliament

  • Parliament passed the Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016, which provides healthcare and services to the people with mental illness and also decriminalizes suicide.
  • The bill was passed by Rajya Sabha in August 2016. The Mental Healthcare Bill secured approval in Lok Sabha too, recently. On the clauses decriminalizing suicide, the bill states that a person who attempts suicide should be presumed to have severe stress, and shall not be punished.
  • Under the Mental Healthcare Bill, the punishment for flouting of provisions will attract up to six months in prison or Rs 10,000 fine or both.


India signs First Loan Agreement with New Development Bank

  • The Loan Agreement for New Development Bank (NDB) financing of US$ 350 Million for Development and Upgradation of Major District Roads Project in Madhya Pradesh was signed between Government of India and the New Development Bank (NDB).
  • This is the First Loan Agreement for NDB assisted project in India.
  • The objective of the Project is upgradation of major district roads (Approx. 1,500 km) in Madhya Pradesh to improve connectivity of the interior areas of the state with the national and state highway networks.
  • The project implementation is 5 years.

Karnataka Bank, SBI Card launch co-branded credit card

  • Karnataka Bank and SBI Card have launched co-branded credit cards for the customers of Karnataka Bank.
  • Through this alliance, Karnataka Bank and SBI Card will launch two variants of the co-branded credit card named ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’ and ‘Karnataka Bank SimplySAVE SBI Card’.

Government lowers interest rates on Small saving schemes by 0.1{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}

  • The Union Finance Ministry has lowered interest rates on all nine small saving schemes by 0.1{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} for the April-June quarter as compared to January-March quarter.
  • These schemes includes Public provident fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), Kisan Vikas Patra, Sukanya Samriddhi Account, Senior Citizens Savings Scheme.
  • It does not include Post Office Savings Account.


IIT Madras, Indian Army ink MoU to strengthen critical technological areas

  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) and Indian Army have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to identify the critical technological areas that can be enhanced in the armed forces.
  • The MoU was signed by IITM Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S) Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.


President inaugurated ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ festival in Assam

  • The biggest river festival of India, Namami Brahmaputra, begins in 21 districts of Assam.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the festival on the banks of the river Brahmaputra, which is considered country’s only male river.
  • The main purpose of the 5-day festival (31st March to 4th April) is to give a boost to the investment and tourism prospect in the state.


Significant incidences’ of gold found in Uttarakhand

  • Scientists at the Geological Survey of India (GSI) have discovered, for the first time, “significant incidences” of gold associated with copper mineralisation in parts of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.
  • This is the first record of in-situ gold incidence from the Rudraprayag area.
  • Occurrence of Gold: Gold occurs as coarse, liberated particles and fine particles locked in pyrite and copper sulphide.

Regions where the gold has been found:

  • According to the report, the regions bearing gold are best exposed around Rudraprayag town in the Mandakini river valley. Panning of stream sediments of Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers in Sumerpur-Ratura, Sari and Jugtoli areas also revealed a few visible gold flakes.
  • This part of Uttarakhand where significant incidences of gold has been discovered is in what is known as the “Lesser Himalaya” that is sandwiched, in the north, by the Main Central Thrust — the major geological fault where the Indian Plate has been pushed under the Eurasian Plate along the Himalaya — and in the south by North Almora Thrust.


Hills sizzle at 8°C above normal

  • So far, this summer, the maximum temperature surges were recorded in hill-station favourites Kullu in Himachal Pradesh and Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand according to IMD.
  • According to figures on the India Meteorological Department (IMD) website, these towns recorded 32°C and 27.2°C — a searing eight degrees above normal for the last week of March.
  • Other summer getaways in north India, such as Shimla also in Himachal Pradesh, Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir and Dehradun in Uttarakhand have all registered temperatures seven degrees above their historical normals.


Sachin Tendulkar launches own mobile app

  • Former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar launched his Android and iOS app called ‘100MB’. The app has been developed by Pune-based technology firm JetSynthesys.
  • The app allows users access to their personal social media account within the app and access to exclusive information and interaction with Tendulkar.


Sunaina Singh appointed as new Vice-Chancellor of Nalanda University

  • Sunaina Singh has been appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor of Nalanda University. She was Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad-based EFL University. She has replaced George Yeo.


India’s S V Sunil named player of the year for 2016 in Asian Hockey Awards

  • Indian forward player S V Sunil was named the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Player of the Year for 2016.
  • Drag-flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh was chosen as the Promising Player of the Year in the continental body’s annual awards.









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