March, 2017

Turkish athletes lose Olympic medals

Turkish female distance runners Elvan Abeylegesse and Gamze Bulut are set to be stripped of silver medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games after being handed bans. The sanctions will also mean the reallocation of medals awarded a decade ago at the 2007 Osaka athletics world championships. Bulut was handed a four-year ban for a violation of the athletes’ biological passport rules.

Messi banned from next four matches

Argentina forward Lionel Messi has been banned from their next 4 competitive internationals starting with the World Cup’s qualifier in Bolivia for swearing at a match official. Five- times world player of the year will play in only one of Argentina’s remaining five World Cup qualifiers. FIFA said Messi had directed insulting words at an assistant referee during the 1-0 win over Chile.

Anupam Kher to receive Kala Ratan Award

Anupam Kher will be honoured with the Kala Ratan Award by Vice President Hamid Ansari. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts. The actor who has worked mainly in Hindi films has also appeared in acclaimed international films like Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice.

10 percent import duty on wheat

Since Dec 8, there was “zero percent import duty’ on wheat and big corporate houses imported huge amount of wheat from Australia, Ukraine and other countries. Ahead of wheat harvesting season and expected bumper crop, the central govt has imposed a 10% import duty on wheat after a gap of nearly four months. Farmers said reinstatement of a 10% import duty, against their expectations of 25%.

‘Namami Brahmaputra’ festival

‘Namami Brahmaputra`, the biggest ever river festival in India, will be held in Assam on March 31. The festival will take place across 21 districts of Assam from March 31 to April 4. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the festival on the banks of the river, which is considered country’s only male river.

SpaceX launches first recycled rocket

SpaceX has launched its first recycled rocket, the biggest leap yet in its bid to drive down costs and speed up flights. The Falcon 9 blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center hoisting a broadcasting satellite into the early evening clear sky on the historic rocket reflight. It was the first time SpaceX founder tried to fly a booster that soared before on an orbital mission.

NASA-ISRO to work on NISAR

ISRO & NASA are jointly working on the development of Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar. The data obtained from this satellite will be useful for a variety of application, which include natural resources mapping and monitoring etc. The data obtained is not meant for building climate resilience.

Indian Neutrino Observatory

The Government intends to set up the India-based Neutrino Observatory in West Bodi Hills, Theni District of Tamil Nadu. The project is awaiting a clearance from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The project is held up because of the long overdue Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board clearance. Presently the TNPCB has formed a committee of experts to advise it for further course of action.

Sitaram Swain wins award

Odisha-based Sitaram Swain was awarded the sixth Glenfiddichs Emerging Artist of the Year 2017. The award is a part of Glenfiddich’s 16-year-old Artists in Residence programme, where winners from different countries get to spend three months at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland. In addition to this he was awarded ` 10 lakh will also be awarded a solo show in New Delhi.

FSSAI comes under CAG scanner

In a first, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is doing a comprehensive performance audit of the FSSAI. The audit comes against the backdrop of the food regulator’s controversial decision to ban manufacturing and sales of Maggi noodles. CAG’s audit is looking at issues such as how FSSAI fixes standards, finalizes regulations etc.

President confers Padma awards

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Padma awards at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma (Posthumous), BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar and former ISRO chairman Professor UR Rao were awarded. Cricketer Virat Kohli, Bollywood singer Anuradha Paudwal and many others were conferred with the award.

Online Film Certification System

Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu launched the Online Film Certification System of the Central Board of Film Certification. He said the initiative was on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ease-of-doing business and digital India, making the entire process transparent and efficient. The new system uses email, QR code and text messages for any updates.

Kanha tiger reserve gets official mascot

Kanha has become the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot — Bhoorsingh the Barasingha, a swamp deer. The Kanha tiger reserve, spread over Mandla and Balaghat districts, is the only place in the world where the species exists. The mascot aims to present the hard ground swamp deer as the spirit of the reserve and spread awareness to save it from possible extinction.

SV Sunil named 2016 Player of the Year

India forward SV Sunil was named the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Player of the Year for 2016 with Harmanpreet Singh chosen as the Promising Player of the Year in the continental body’s annual awards. Sunil, regarded highly for his pace, played a vital role in India’s memorable run in last year’s Champions Trophy in London, where they claimed a silver for the first time.

Scientist builds typhoon turbine

31 : Scientists from Japan have created a bladeless wind turbine that can stand up to raw force of storms better than three-blade wind turbines common in many countries. The turbine has three cylinders and a central rod – responds to wind coming from any direction and doesn’t use a propeller to spin. The turbine can be used to generate power and can withstand powerful winds.

Arun Sarma passes away

Renowned playwright and Sahitya Akademi Award-winning novelist Arun Sarma has passed away. Sarma, who was born in 1931 in Dibrugarh district, has written more than 50 plays and books in his career. He also won a number of awards, including Padma Shri, Sahitya Academi award and Assam Valley Literary award.

Girl swims from Sea Link to Gateway

Gauri Singhvi, 14-year-old girl became the first girl to explore the route from Sea Link near Worli Koliwada to the Gateway of India. She completed the 36 km long distance route in 6 hours and 30 minutes. Singh is a resident of Udaipur and a class 8th student. From her childhood, she started swimming and wanted to swim in the international channel, and therefore eyed the Arabian Sea.

‘Snake robot’ can crawl into your gut

Scientists have developed a tiny, ingestible 3D-printed snake-like robot that can navigate through the small intestines, and could one day be used to visualise the digestive system in real time. The robot, called SAW, moves in a wave-like motion and can travel through the extremely squishy environment of the small intestine. It was developed at Ben-Gurion University, Israel.

Vanaja N Sarna appointed CBEC chief

Senior bureaucrat Vanaja N Sarna was appointed as chairperson of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). Sarna, a 1980 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), is at present member in the CBEC, an apex policy making body for indirect taxes. She will take over charge from incumbent Najib Shah who completes his term this month-end.

Sands of Titan are electrically charged

The particles that cover the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, are “electrically charged”, show results of an experiment. The findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience. To test particle flow under Titan-like conditions, the researchers built a small experiment in a modified pressure vessel in their Georgia Tech lab.

J&K govt approves smart city proposals

A committee of the Jammu and Kashmir government has approved the Smart City Proposals for the twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar for submission to the Centre. Considering the vulnerability of the cities to multiple hazards, the calamities like floods and earthquakes, risk preparedness and risk response have received special focus in the SCPs’ proposal.

Srinath- India’s 46th Grandmaster

Chennai’s Srinath Narayanan is set to become India’s 46th Grandmaster after he defeated Spanish GM David Anton Guijarro at the ongoing Sharjah Masters 2017 chess tournament. He became India’s youngest FIDE-rated player in 2002 when he was just eight. He finished as joint winner in the U-12 World Championship in 2005 in France. Srinath became an International Master at the age of 14.

Mining banned in Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand High Court ordered a complete ban on mining activities in the State for four months. The move comes 4 days after a forest worker was allegedly killed in Ramnagar while he was chasing the mining mafia. The court directed the State government to refrain from granting any fresh licence, mining lease, reconnaissance or prospecting licence till the committee submitted its report.

FM clears military reforms proposal

Union FM Arun Jaitley, who got the additional charge of the defence ministry, has given the green light to widespread military reforms. The reforms are based on a report by the Lt General (ret) DB Shekatkar committee, which made recommendations on enhancing the combat potential of India’s all 3 armed forces. A major recommendation is that the defence budget should be 2.5% to 3% of the GDP.

Amazon acquires Souq.com

Amazon has made its entry in UAE by acquiring Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest online retailer. Souq.com, based in Dubai is the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab world offering more than 400,000 products such as consumer electronics, fashion products, and household goods.

Montenegro welcomes US NATO approval

Montenegro officials welcomed the US Senate’s decision to ratify its entry into NATO, calling it a great step for the tiny Balkan nation. Montenegro is set to become NATO’s 29th member following the Senate’s overwhelming ratification. Russia has been accused by Montenegro of trying to stage an election day coup in October to try to keep the country out of the alliance.

Isro sends 4 teams to Antarctica

ISRO on March 29 joined the 36th scientific mission to Antarctica, organised by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research. This year, four teams from ISRO—one team from Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad and one team each from the National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun and the Space Physics Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram — are participating

Paytm to become member of ASCI

Paytm is set to be member of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). 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. ASCI members include key advertisers from various sectors, such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), media, auto and telecom.

Bhubaneswar to host men’s hockey final

Bhubaneswar will host the men’s hockey World League Final, 2018 World Cup. It will host the Men’s Hockey World League Final in December this year and the men’s World Cup in 2018. The Kalinga Stadium in the Orissa capital was confirmed as host after the state government signed a deal with FIH to sponsor the two events.

R Ashwin receives Garfield Sobers Trophy

R Ashwin received Garfield Sobers Trophy for being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year. He is the third Indian, and the 12th player overall to win the award. He was presented the honour by Kapil Dev. During the voting period, which ran from Sept 14,2015 to Sept 20,2016 he took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs & also claimed 27 wickets in 19 T20Is.

ESIC launches mobile clinics

ESIC (Employees State Insurance Corporation) has launched mobile clinics in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, becoming the first ones in the country to do so. Each clinic will have a vehicle with a doctor, pharmacist, attendant, driver and the necessary equipment and medicines. The vehicle will visit two locations in a day for three hours each and conduct basic investigations.

Kolkata to host FIFA U-17 WC finals

The iconic Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata will host the final match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup match. The final of the 24-team event, the first big FIFA tournament to be held in the country, will be on October 28. The two semifinals will be hosted by Guwahati and Navi Mumbai. The FIFA U-17 World Cup is the world championship of association football for male players under the age of 17.

Syndicate Bank opens 40 Ananya branches

Syndicate Bank has digitally inaugurated 40 Ananya transformed branches. Project Ananya is a two-year large-scale transformation project undertaken by the bank to provide customers with ‘best in class’ services while improving and modernising the whole bank. The bank also launched its first micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) hub in Bengaluru.

KVB bags best small bank award

Karur Vysya Bank has been adjudged the ‘Best Small Bank for 2016’ (balance sheet size of less than ` 1-lakh crore). This is the eighth award won by KVB in the current fiscal. Karur Vysya Bank is an Indian private-sector bank, headquartered in Karur in Tamil Nadu.

SBI launches ‘Unnati’ credit card

With aim to achieve the government’s vision of Cashless India, State Bank of India’s credit card venture SBI Card launched its new credit card ‘SBI Card Unnati’ which will have 0 annual fee for the first 4 years of its subscription. The SBI Card Unnati will be offered to all SBI customers including Jan Dhan account holders, through 20,000 plus SBI branches across India

India’s second tallest flag post

Kolhapur will soon get a 300-feet flag post to fly the tricolour, which would the “second tallest” flag pole in the country. A 360-foot high flag post, said to be the country’s tallest, was inaugurated on March 6 at the Indo-Pak Attari Border. Chief Minister of Maharashtra is likely to attend the flag hoisting ceremony on May 1, the foundation day of Maharashtra state.

First Landing Craft Utility commissioned

The first ship of a new class of Landing Craft Utility (LCU) vessels has been commissioned. The LCU Mark IV ship, named L 51, has been built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited in Kolkata. The craft is designed for amphibious operations jointly carried out by the Navy and the Army to ensure maritime security.

Bob Dylan to receive Nobel prize

Music icon Bob Dylan will finally receive his Nobel Literature Prize this weekend at a meeting with the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. The 75-year-old kept silent for weeks after he was announced as the Nobel literature laureate in October, and snubbed a ceremony in December to receive the prize.

Robots in government services

30 : Dubai will soon be introducing Artificial Intelligence in its government sectors. A new Artificial Intelligence smart lab will soon begin training government officials to implement AI in a wide variety of tasks that will make lives easier. The lab was launched during a workshop by the Smart Dubai Office and Smart Dubai Government Establishment.

Beasley to head UN World Food Program

Former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley has been appointed to head the U.N. World Food Program. Beasley is a supporter of President Donald Trump who was recommended for the job by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley. He will replace another American, Etharin Cousin, who has been the WFP executive director since 2012

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

UN appoints David Beasley to head World Food Programme

United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres has appointed former South Carolina Governor David Beasley to head the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP). Beasley will run the affairs of the world’s largest humanitarian organization, serving more than 90 million beneficiaries in 80 countries. He has replaced Etharin Cousin, who has been the WFP executive director since 2012.

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.

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.
ii. 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.

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.

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. 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.

IRDAI imposed penalty on ICICI Pru Life

The Insurance Regulatory and Development authority of India (IRDAI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company on various charges. The charges include free look cancellations not being in line with regulations and delay in processing surrenders/partial withdrawals.

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 ` 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.

AI, DRDO and Govt. of Jharkhand Signed a Tripartite MoU

29 : The Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Government of Jharkhand signed an MoU for the development of the Deoghar Airport in Deoghar district of Jharkhand. The existing Deoghar Airport will be developed for operations of A-320 and C-130 Aircraft. The time frame given to develop and operationalize the Deoghar Airport is two years.

Satwik-Chirag pair wins Vietnam Challenger

Promising Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinched the $20,000 Vietnam Open International challenger badminton doubles title after defeating Thai pair of Trawut Potieng and Nanthakam Yordphaisong in a final in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Eminent Jurist TR Andhyarujina Passes Away

Senior Advocate and eminent jurist Tehmtan R. Andhyarujina passed away. He was the Solicitor General of India from 1996 to 1998.

Union Petroleum Ministry launches MoPNG e Seva

28 : Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched MoP&NG e-Seva. It is a dedicated grievances redressal platform on Social Media for all queries and grievances relating to Oil and Gas Sector.

ICICI Bank partners with Truecaller

ICICI Bank announced a partnership with mobile app firm Truecaller for a new UPI-based mobile payment service.The new feature called as Truecaller Pay, and it will allow users of the app to instantly create a UPI ID, send money to any UPI ID or a mobile number registered with the BHIM app. It will also enable users to recharge their mobile number from within the Truecaller app itself.

Minoru Kato appointed as new HMSI CEO

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has appointed Minoru Kato as a new President and Chief Executive Office of the company effective from April 1, 2017. He will be replacing Keita Muramatsu, the current President & CEO who spear-headed Honda’s Indian two-wheeler operations for the last six years.

Vijaya Bank inks MoU with Piaggio Vehicles

Vijaya Bank entered into an MoU with Piaggio Vehicles for providing financial support for the purchase of vehicles under Small Road Transport Operators (SRTO) scheme in Bengaluru. Vijaya Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kishore Sansi flagged off the first batch of vehicles under the MoU in the presence of Piaggio Vehicles Vice-President Praveen Nagpal.

ESIC launched Mobile Clinic Services in AP and Telangana

The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) launched Mobile Clinic Services for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Union minister of state for labour and employment Bandaru Dattatreya, launched the ESIC Mobile Clinic Services by flagging off ‘Jan Suraksha Ambulances’. It is for the first time in the country that the ESIC Mobile Clinic Services are launched in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Filmmaker Gurinder Chadha gets Sikh Jewel Award

Indian-origin British Director Gurinder Chadha has been honored with the Sikh Jewel Award for 2017 for her immense contribution to British cinema. Chadha, whose films include Bhaji on the Beach, Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice, received the award from UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. The event was organized by the British Sikh Association.

CCI imposes reduced penalty of Rs591 crore on Coal India for fuel supply pacts

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a reduced penalty of ` 591 crore on Coal India Ltd for fuel supply pacts. CCI asked Coal India to modify the Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) and also ensure that uniformity between old and new power producers as well as between private and state power producers.

Indian-American Vanita Gupta appointed president of ‘Leadership Conference’

Indian-American Vanita Gupta has been appointed as president and CEO of ‘The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’, becoming the first woman to head the prestigious organization. She will replace Wade Henderson who is stepping down after more than two decades. She will begin her new role on June 1, 2017.

Truecaller partners with Google

Leading communication app Truecaller has tied up with Google to integrate the tech giant’s video calling app Duo within the Truecaller app. According to the agreement, Truecaller integration with Google Duo will be available in the Android and iOS as a permission-based service, where users will be able to opt-in and out at any time.

Odisha becomes first state to bring banking to remote rural areas through SHG

Odisha became the first state in the country to carry financial inclusion and extend banking services to unbanked areas through Self Help Groups (SHGs). The state government signed an agreement with State Bank of India in this regard. The system would be of great help to people in rural areas under social security schemes.

Bharat Dynamics, L&T sign up for torpedo export

Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), a defence public sector undertaking, signed an MoU with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for export of torpedoes. The torpedoes are designed and developed at Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhaptnam and manufactured by BDL.

Syndicate Bank opens 40 ‘Ananya’ branches

Syndicate Bank digitally inaugurated 40 ‘Ananya’ transformed branches. Project Ananya is a two-year large-scale transformation project undertaken by the bank to provide customers with ‘best in class’ services while improving and modernizing the whole bank. The aim is to enhance customer experience, improve sales focus, and improve digital transactions through a dedicated digit zone. The bank also launched its first MSME hub in Bengaluru.

KVB bags ‘best small bank’ award

Karur Vysya Bank (KVB) has been adjudged the ‘Best Small Bank for 2016’. This is the eighth award won by KVB in the current fiscal.

Shuttlers Purva, Varun bag Int. titles

Shuttlers Purva Barve and Varun Kapur handed India double delight by winning their respective age group sections in the Li Ning-Israel Open 2017 badminton tournament held in Israel. 16 year old Purva ranked No. 70 in the world. Varun in the final, steamrolled England’s Toby Dillingham 21-10, 21-2 to bag his second International title.

Indian Navy to de-induct TU142M aircraft

The Indian Navy is preparing for deinduction of TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft after 29 years of dedicated service to the nation. The aircraft saw action during operation ‘Cactus’ in Maldives. The aircraft with its 4 powerful engines and swept wings is the fastest turboprop aircraft in the world and reportedly has been difficult to intercept by fighters. It is made by Russia.

Indian Science Congress

Osmania University will host the 105th edition of the Indian Science Congress during January 3-7, 2018. The conference will be on the theme ‘Science and Technology – Reaching the Unreached’. This will be the sixth time the university will be hosing the conference. The congress will be meeting in Hyderabad for the seventh time.

World Theatre Day

World Theatre Day (WTD) is celebrated on March 27. World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). It is celebrated annually on the 27th March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie

Residents of Australia’s northeast coast begin evacuating low-lying areas ahead of powerful cyclone. Aus Bureau of Meteorology said that the cyclone Debbie was expected to cross the Queensland state coast along a sparsely populated 100-km stretch early Tuesday. cyclone was expected to intensify from a category 2 storm on Mond to a category 4 storm with wind gusts of up to 260 km/hour

Repco ties up with National Housing Bank

Repco Home Finance Ltd (RHFL) has signed an agreement with National Housing Bank for implementation of credit-linked subsidy scheme for the middle income group. The scheme will be implemented for one year with effect from January 1, 2017. The scheme divides middle income group into two categories- with annual household income up to ` 12 lakh and ` 18 lakh.

GE Healthcare to spend $300 mn

GE Healthcare will invest $300 mn over 5 years to deliver affordable healthcare solutions across India, other South Asian countries and Africa. US-based GE Healthcare delivers healthcare equipment and tech services that are aimed at reducing cost of care using digital technologies. Such equipment and technologies will be designed and manufactured in India.

Fire at Jabalpur ordnance factory

A series of loud explosions and a massive fire in the Ordnance Factory at Khamaria in Jabalpur caused scare among people on March 25. Ordnance Factories Board consisting of the Indian Ordnance Factories is an industrial organisation, functioning under the Department of Defence Production of Ministry of Defence, GOI. OFB is the world’s largest government-operated production organisation.

Ugadi Festival

Ugadi is the New Year’s Day for the people of the Telugu and Kannada communities in India. It falls on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. This holiday is one of the most auspicious days for Telugus and Kannadigas. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March–April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year.

Target for blocking cancer metastasis

Researchers from IIT Bombay have found a novel pathway that is responsible for the progress of cancer metastasis — spread of cancer cells from its primary site of origin to new areas of the body. The finding holds potential in controlling metastasis to reduce cancer deaths. The study was published in the journal Oncotarget.

Aditya features in world’s 30 best CEOs

HDFC Bank managing director Aditya Puri’s name has featured in the list of world’s 30 best CEOs, published by American financial magazine Barron’s. Puri, 66, has transformed HDFC Bank from a start-up into one of the world s highest-quality banks. According to the magazine, a 2014 trip to Silicon Valley made Puri a digital evangelist.

Wi-Fi kiosks at 500 remote rail stations

Railways will set up Wi-Fi hotspot kiosks at about 500 stations and help people access an array of online services. Railwire Saathi, the Wi-Fi kiosks will function like a PCO for Digital India and enable people to use online services. The Railwire Saathi aims to provide connectivity to the unconnected and at the same time offer jobs opportunities in rural areas.

National Conference on Down Syndrome

Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment inaugurated a “National Conference on Down Syndrome” in New Delhi. Down Syndrome is a chromosomal condition associated with intellectual and learning disabilities. Delayed development and behavioural problems are often reported in children with Down Syndrome. Persons with Down Syndrome have 47 chromosomes as compared to 46 in majority of people.

World Environment Conference

The government on argued for a plan for sustainable development balancing the need to protect the environment and continued growth at the third World Conference on Environment organized by the NGT in New Delhi. The Government of India has recently set a target for renewable energy generation of 175 Gigawatt by 2022. By 2030, 40% of our installed capacity will be based on non-fossil fuel.

First Body for complaints against cops

Maharashtra became the first state to set up the State Police Complaints Authority (SPCA). People can approach the SPCA office to lodge complaints against police personnel for any alleged abuse of power. The authority is headed by a retired high court judge and comprises retired IPS and IAS officers.

Kandi road project

The Uttarakhand government will ensure that the wildlife at Corbett National Park is not harmed with the construction of the Kandi road which passes through it. The Kandi road project will reduce the distance between Garhwal and Kumaon by around 70 km. The Supreme Court had ordered the Public Works Department of the Uttarakhand government to prepare a new alignment of the project.

First PSU general insurer to launch IPO

General Insurance Corp. likely to be the 1st PSU insurer to tap the capital market as the finance ministry has started scouting for merchant bankers to manage its IPO. Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has set the ball rolling for listing of GIC Re. The govt holds 100% stake in GIC Re, which provides reinsurance support to 54 general and life insurance companies.

Shortest, widest Highway in the world

27 : Haryana would soon have the widest and shortest National Highway (NH) in the world with 16 lanes in a 3-km stretch. Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the proposed elevated National Highway, costing around ` 700 crore. The three kilometre road with 16 lanes will be built on the Sohna Road in Gurgaon. It will be the shortest and widest National Highway in the world

Inclusion of Cities in World Heritage

Five Indian cities have been included in the Tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely, Historic City of Ahmadabad, Delhi-A Heritage City, Jaipur City, Rajasthan, Ekamra Kshetra- The Temple City, Bhubaneswar and The Victorian & Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai. All the required information for Tentative list proposals has already been submitted to UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

BSF’s first woman combat officer

Tanushree Pareek, a resident of Rajasthan’s Bikaner who became the first woman combat officer to be commissioned by the Border Security Force. The Border Security Force is the primary Border guarding force of India. It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of the Union of India. BSF is a Union Government Agency under the administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs.

Juno probe set for flyby of Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its fifth flyby over Jupiter’s mysterious cloud on Monday. At the time of closest approach, Juno will be about 4,400 km above the planet’s cloud tops, moving at a speed of about 57.8 km per second relative to the gas-giant planet. Launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Juno arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

Vettel wins season-opening Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel won the season-opening Melbourne Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton. This is Vettel’s first win in Melbourne since 2011, and he went on to win the title in a landslide that year. Vettel has got 19 races to go to win the title and the next step will be the Chinese Grand Prix in a fortnight.

Carrie first female leader of Hong Kong

Carrie Lam is set to become the first female leader for Hong Kong and its fourth since British colonial control ended. China’s communist leadership had lobbied for her so Lam’s victory came as no surprise. After the votes were counted, Lam bowed to the crowd and shook hands with second-place finisher, former finance secretary John Tsang, who received 365 votes.

DEL CM on trial for criminal defamation

Arvind Kejriwal will stand trial in a criminal defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley making him the first CM in Delhi’s history to face criminal defamation charges. Jaitley has said that Kejriwal had defamed him in a controversy regarding DDCA when he headed it for over a decade. Jaitley has also filed a civil defamation suit before the court seeking ` 10 crore in damages.

Campaign to restore Pluto to planet club

A team of scientists seeking to restore Pluto to planethood launched a campaign for the same. The definition for a planet is based on characteristics that include clearing other objects from its orbital path. Pluto and its newfound kin in the solar system’s distant Kuiper Belt region were reclassified as dwarf planets, along with Ceres.

WB tops the list of human trafficking

West Bengal topped the list of states with the maximum number of human trafficking cases in 2016. It was followed by Rajasthan at number two. The 2 states accounted for around 61 per cent of such cases in the country. Of the 8,132 such cases registered across the country last year, 3,576 were from West Bengal and 1,422 from Rajasthan.

India to seal borders with Pak, B’desh

India is planning to seal the international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh soon. This could be India’s major step against terrorism and the problem of refugees according to the home minister. The border with Pakistan would be sealed by 2018, as per a decision which has been taken in the wake of the increase in infiltration attempts.

Sharif to command Saudi-led alliance

Pakistan has agreed to allow former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif to head a Saudi Arabia-led 39-nation Islamic military coalition formed to combat terrorism. Saudi Arabia had announced in 2015 that Islamabad was also part of the new alliance. According to Saudi Arabia, the alliance is formed to fight ISIS and other militant outfits.

US confirms its warplanes hit Mosul

US has confirmed that the US-led coalition strike which had hit an Islamic State-held area of Iraq’s killed 200 civilians is confirmed to have been a result of an air raid. The incident had taken place on March 17. The United Nations also expressed its profound concern, saying it was “stunned by this terrible loss of life”.

Shooting in Cincinnati nightclub in US

1 person was killed and 15 people were reported wounded after two shooters opened fire in a nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio. Assistant Police Commissioner Neudigate said this shooting was one of the largest shooting cases that he has worked in his 20 plus years with the department. This incident has occurred a little under a year after a deadly shooting in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Death Of Al-Qaeda Terrorist Qari Yasin

A senior Al-Qaeda commander responsible for bombing of a luxury HOTEL and an assault on Sri Lankan cricket team has been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan. Qari Yasin, a member of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan group (Pakistani Taliban), was killed on March 19. He was also said to have been behind a 2009 attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore

EU to suspend 300 generic drugs

EU has recommended the suspension of more than 300 generic drug approvals conducted by Indian contract research firm Micro Therapeutic Research Labs. The suspension is owing to “unreliable” tests conducted by the firm. The decision is the latest blow for India’s drug-testing industry, which has run into a series of problems with international regulators in recent years.