Current Affairs Updates - 15th March 2018
Achieversrule team has brought to you the important and latest news headlines in our Current Affairs Updates - 15th March 2018. Today we have news under different sections such as Schemes, Obituary, National Affairs, International Affairs and Appointments. Readers must go through them in details as each of the news have been provided with some extra points as bullet points. Along with that readers should go through the One Liner Static GK and Note Down Points along with the Daily Current Affairs Quiz for better performance in the examination.
New Appointments: International
Nepal’s first woman President Bidya Devi Bhandari was re-elected for a second term in office with an overwhelming majority.
- Incumbent President Bhandari, the Left alliance’s candidate, was elected with more than a two-thirds majority as she defeated her Nepali Congress (NC) rival Kumari Laxmi Rai in the presidential election.
Gina Haspel, the newly nominated first-ever female director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is a career intelligence officer with more than 30 years' experience.
- The so-called black sites - secret overseas locations where the CIA carried out what it termed "enhanced interrogation" techniques - were closed by former US President Barack Obama.
RBI in News
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced discontinuation of the issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LOUs) and Letters of Comfort (LOCs) for trade credit for imports with immediate effect.
- The apex bank in its notification said,"It has been decided to discontinue the practice of issuance of LoUs/ LoCs for Trade Credits for imports into India by AD Category -I banks with immediate effect."
Rankings & Indexes
Andhra Pradesh stands at equivalent to 51st rank globally in Multidimensional Poverty, Index according to a recent household survey conducted in the state.
- Andhra Pradesh becomes the first Indian state to conduct an exclusive household survey at state and district level to estimate the multidimensional poverty of the state.
Sierra Leone Front-runners to Contest Runoff After First-Round Stalemate
- Sierra Leone will hold a runoff presidential election in two weeks after the country's 16 candidates failed to clinch the 55 percent of votes necessary to win in the first round.
PM Modi to address farmers on March 17 at annual Krishi Unnati Mela
- The main theme pavilion of the Krishi Unnati Mela will be based on Doubling of farmers income by 2022.
- Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, the objective of the 3-day mela is to create awareness to farmers about the latest agriculture related technological developments.
Annual wholesale price inflation last month slowed to 2.48 per cent from a year earlier, from a provisional 2.84 per cent rise in January.
- The latest inflation was in line with a 2.50 per cent increase forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.
- Wholesale food prices in February rose 0.07 per cent year-on-year, compared with a 1.65 per cent rise a month earlier.
India Oil Corporation (IOC), the country’s largest fuel retailer, announced the successful demonstration trials of India’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered bus in collaboration with Tata Motors.
- The project is being executed under the partial financial support from Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), IOC said in a statement.
Renewable solution provider Suzlon Group today announced the installation and commissioning of its new product, S128, claiming it to be the largest wind turbine generator (WTG) in India.
- The first prototype of S128 has been commissioned at the Sanganeri site in Tamil Nadu, a company statement said, adding that testing is underway with certification expected in third quarter of calendar year 2018.
Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved the national policy of the atomic energy program
- The national policy includes limiting all nuclear activities to peaceful purposes, within the limits defined by international treaties, SPA said. It also stressed on the importance of optimal utilization of natural resources from nuclear materials and applying best practices for radioactive waste management.
Science & Technology
Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved the national policy of the atomic energy program.
- The national policy includes limiting all nuclear activities to peaceful purposes, within the limits defined by international treaties.
- It also stressed on the importance of optimal utilization of natural resources from nuclear materials and applying best practices for radioactive waste management.
An India-UK Joint Team has won the Newton-Bhabha Fund for a project on Groundwater Arsenic Research in Ganga River Basin
- The Department of Science and Technology has undertaken the project with the Natural Environment Research Council, UK, to find solutions to the water challenges faced in the pervasively arsenic-affected Ganga River Basin.
Books & Authors
A signed hardcover copy of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘The King of the Dark Chamber’--the English translation of his famous Bengali play ‘Raja’--has been sold for USD 700 at an auction in the US.
- Signed on a prefatory page in fountain pen by Tagore, the Bolpur edition of the book was published by The Macmillan Company in 1916.
- The play revolves around a mysterious, unseen, omniscient king, who is both benevolent and efficient.
Application / Portal
Amazon.com Inc launched its first-ever debit card in Mexico, part of a push to encourage shoppers without bank accounts to buy online.
- Part of the challenge is attracting consumers who are wary of online fraud and do not have access to credit and debit cards. Less than a third of adults in Mexico have credit cards, according to a 2017 government report.
Agreements/ MoUs Signed
The Telangana government signed a memorandum of understanding with Kay Ventures to set up a 100-crore Apparel Super Hub in Sircilla.
- The first phase will be taken up with an investment of ₹30 crore in a year.
- While the State government will infuse 90 per cent of the phase-1 funds, Kay Ventures and its associates will take care of the balance amount.
Summit /Conference / Events
President Ram Nath Kovind today inaugurated the World Hindi Secretariat building in Mauritius on the third day of his visit to the country.
- He also launched the World Hindi Secretariat’s logo, an Early Digital Learning Programme as well unveiled foundation stones of a social housing project and a large ENT hospital being built with Indian assistance.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of IACP. Theme: "Challenges to Policing in 2020 - How is Cyber Space shaping our approach to Cybercrime and Terrorism, how do we perform within it and take advantage of it".
- The Conference is mainly focused on holding discussions about the growing interest of various terrorist or organized groups and radical elements in exploiting the Cyberspace and its advanced technologies for their various heinous crimes and nefarious designs.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, will inaugurate the Delhi Energy Dialogue 2018, on March 14, organised by Ashden India Collective (AIC) in alliance with Climate Parliament.
- The first edition of the Delhi Energy Dialogue, will be spread over three sessions during the day.
- The objective is to ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of energy for all, achieveing 100% energy for all with sustained and quality power supply.
Awards & Honours: Miscellaneous
The 2017 Kochon Prize was awarded to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in New Delhi for building a tradition of excellence in TB research and development.
- The 65,000 dollar Prize is awarded annually by Stop TB Partnership to individuals and/or organizations that have made a significant contribution to combating TB.
- The ICMR emerged the winner from amongst 18 nominations.
Actor Narendra Jha Passes Away At 55 After Heart Attack
- Hindi film actor Narendra Jha, seen in films like Haider and Raees, died early morning today due to a heart attack. He was 55.
- World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.
- He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.