1. India Ranked 6th In Top 10 Largest Manufacturers List : UN Report
i. According to a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) report, India ranked sixth among the world's top 10 manufacturing countries. Previously, India held the ninth position.
ii. The Yearbook, published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), found that in India, the Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) grew by 7.6% in 2015 compared to the previous year.
iii. It also said that the quarterly index of industrial production (IIP) shows 1% growth of manufacturing output in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of the previous year.
iv. China topped the list as the world's top manufacturing country. The U.S., Japan, Germany and Korea followed China. Indonesia positioned 10th on the list.
v. The world's global growth rate of manufacturing production had reduced to 2.8 percent last year. As per PTI, this slowdown could be due to reduced manufacturing growth rates recorded by major developing and emerging economies.
2. PM Narendra Modi Conferred Saudi Arabia’s Highest Civilian Honour
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour- the king Abdulaziz Sash.
ii. The Prime Minister was conferred the prestigious award by King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Royal Court. The award is named after Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state.
iii. The award is bestowed upon citizens of Saudi Arabia and foreigners for meritorious service to the Saudi Kingdom. King himself makes awards to foreigners.
iv. Mr. Modi has been conferred with the honour where he held extensive talks on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
v. World leaders who have received the honour include Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
3. "Vidyut Pravah" App Launched By Piyush Goyal
i. The mobile application 'Vidyut Pravah' has been launched by Mr. Piyush Goyal, the minister of state (Independent Charge) for Power, coal, new and renewable energy, to empower Common People to Demand 24x7 Power from The States.
ii. The Web application can be accessed through vidyutpravah.in. and the mobile version will be freely available for download from the Playstore for both Android and iPhones.
iii. For adopting name of mobile application, Ministry of Power held a competition on https://mygov.in/.
iv. More than 1600 entries were received, out of which the best caption is selected as name of the application. Shri Piyush Goyal felicitated Ms. Ritu Bhatnagar from Bangalore for winning the competition and providing “Vidyut PRAVAH” name to the application.
v. The mobile application will provide the highlights of the electricity availability in the country on the real time basis. The Application will provides a wealth of information pertaining to the current demand met, shortages if any, surplus power available and the prices in the Power Exchange.
4. Green Delhi Initiative Phase 1 Has Launched By Arvind Kejriwal
i. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has launched the first phase of the Green Delhi initiative by planting trees at the Triangular Park near ITO Chowk.
ii. The initiative was launched in reference to action plan submitted by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to the Supreme Court after it demanded information on steps being taken to improve air quality and reduce air pollution in the Capital.
iii. The CM, who had decided that roads under the PWD would be vacuum cleaned in a phased manner beginning April 1, announced that the central verges of the 1,260 kms of road maintained by the PWD will be bedded with grass and greenery in order to clean up the environment and make it dust free.
iv. The Public Works Department (PWD) also said that the greening will be completed within three months at an estimated cost of Rs. 2 crores.
v. The exercise will involve the greening of around 120 acres which includes central verges, side verges and the kutcha portion under flyovers. Only treated water, being made available by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), will be utilised as part of the initiative.
5. IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore top the list of best Indian universities
i. IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore have topped the list of top educational institutes unveiled by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
ii. The HRD ministry released first-of-its-kind National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
iii. According to the list, IIT Madras is the top engineering college followed by IIT Mumbai and IIT Kharagpur. IIM Bangalore is the top management college followed by IIM Ahmedabad at rank no. 2 and IIM Calcutta at rank no. 3.
iv. The Indian Institute of Science Bangalore is the best university in India.
v. Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences is the top pharmacy institute in the country. All 122 centrally-funded institutions participated in the first round of ranking. The NIRF is divided into two categories. Category A – Institutions with academic autonomy with focus on research, Category B – Colleges and centres associated with a university with a focus on teaching. Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani released the list at Vigyan Bhawan.
6. World’s largest oil firm Aramco to invest in India
i. India and Saudi Arabia have vowed to substantially boost investments and their trade ties as Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited cash-rich Saudi firms to invest in infrastructure and form joint ventures for oil exploration.
ii. Saudi Oil giant Aramco, the world’s largest oil firm with crude reserves of about 265 billion barrels, plans to make major investment in India’s petroleum sector as it considers India the most preferred destination to invest at a time when the global economy is in a crisis.
iii. Modi invited Saudi firms such as Aramco and SABIC to invest in the India’s infrastructure sector. India is 79% dependent on imports to meet its oil needs and Saudi Arabia is its largest supplier.
iv. The two sides also agreed to focus on areas of training and human resources development and cooperation in research and development in the energy sector.
v. Both leaders also welcomed the signing of the framework agreement between the General Investment Authority in Saudi Arabia and Invest India aimed at facilitating investments by the private sectors in the two countries.
7. Germany To Give € 500 m Loan To Nagpur Metro
i. Germany's Development Bank KfW will provide a loan assistance of €500 m (Rs. 3,750 crore) for metro system in Nagpur city.
ii. The loan period is 20 years with a moratorium of five years and disbursal will be based on the progress of the project over three years.
iii. In this regard, a loan agreement was signed by Joint Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs S Selvaraj and Director General of KfW Roland Siller in New Delhi.
iv. With this Nagpur metro project becomes first metro to be financed under the Indo-German partnership for clean, socially inclusive and climate friendly mobility for people in cities.
v. Physical works commenced in May, 2015 and the whole Metro would be operational by March, 2019
8. Blackstone To Acquire HP's 60% Stake In Mphasis
i. Blackstone Group has announced that it is buying Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.’s majority stake in Indian outsourcing firm Mphasis Ltd.
ii. This deal represents the largest acquisition by Blackstone in India. Based on the open offer subscription, the purchase price consideration will vary between Rs 5,466 crore and Rs 7,071 crore (or approximately $825 million - $1.1 billion).
iii. HPE also signed a master services agreement (MSA) with Mphasis, committing business of $990 million over a period of five years. The duration of the MSA is five years with three automatic renewals of two years each.
iv. Mphasis will also be included in HPE’s Preferred Provider Program, opening up significant additional revenue opportunities. HPE currently owns 60.5% of Mphasis.
v. Blackstone will pay a purchase price of Rs 430 per share to HPE.
9. Vedanta sets Guinness World Record for mass plantation
i. Mining conglomerate Vedanta said its subsidiary Talwandi Sabo Power (TSPL) has set the Guinness World Record for planting 2,08,751 saplings at a single location in less than an hour.
ii. Guinness World Records acknowledged this achievement by TSPL on December 17, 2015, by presenting a certificate. The mass plantation drive was organised in Mansa (Punjab) on October 30, 2015.
iii. TSPL has set the benchmark for environmental compliance by developing 222 acres of green cover (as of March 2015) around the periphery of the plant and installing Zero Discharge Unit, Sewage Treatment Plant and High Concentration Slurry Disposal (HCSD) system.
iv. Sustainable development and community empowerment are the two core elements that guide the CSR strategy of Vedanta Limited.
v. The company undertakes high impact initiatives to ensure the health and safety of the workers and makes valuable contributions to communities and regions across the country; with environmental footprint gaining a special position among its host of activities.
10. Renowned Actor Larry Drake Has Passed Away
i. The famous American actor, voice artist and comedian Mr. Larry Drake has passed away due to cancer. He was 66 year old.
ii. The actor was best known for his role Benny Stulwicz in L.A. Law and the voice of Pops in Johnny Bravo.
iii. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He graduated from Tulsa Edison High School and the University of Oklahoma. The actor died last month after losing his battle with a string of health issues and now his official cause of death has been revealed. Drake's body was found in his Hollywood apartment by a friend.
iv. He appeared in numerous film and television roles, including Time Quest, Dark Asylum, Paranoid, Bean, Overnight Delivery, The Beast, The Journey of August King, Murder in New Hampshire, Dr. Giggles, Darkman II, American Pie 2.
v. The actor has won Prime time Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
11. ICC T 20 Cricket World Cup 2016 Won By West Indies
i. The ICC Cricket World Men’s T-20 Cup 2016 has won by West Indies team by defeating England by 4 wickets.
ii. The final of ICC T 20 Cricket World Cup 2016 was played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. This was the 6th edition of the ICC World Twenty20. It was held in India from 8 March to 3 April 2016 and was the first edition to be hosted by the country.
iii. There were sixteen participating teams, ten qualifying automatically through their status as full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and another six qualifying through the 2015 World Twenty20 Qualifier.
iv. In the final, England had scored 155 runs for 9 wickets. West Indies successfully chased the target by scoring 161 runs in 19.4 over at the loss of 4 wickets.
v. With this win, West Indies became the only team to win the ICC World Twenty20 title twice. Earlier it had won its first title in 2012 by defeating Sri Lanka. Awards Player of the match: Marlon Samuels (West Indies). Indian batsman Virat Kohli was named the player of the tournament, while Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal and Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi led the tournament in runs and wickets, respectively.
12. Miami Open Title 2016 Won By Novak Djokovic
i. World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic from Serbia has won the 2016 Miami Open Title in the men’s singles category. In the final he defeated Kei Nishikori (Japan) by 6-3, 6-3 score.
ii. The match played on outdoor hard courts at the Tennis Centre at Crandon Park Florida, US.
iii. It was his third consecutive and overall sixth ATP Miami Open title. With this winning he equals Andre Agassi’s Miami record total. It was also his record 28th career ATP Masters title. Nadal previously held the record with 27 titles with Roger Federer in third place with 24 titles to his credit.
iv. The 28 year old player has won this title in just 34 minutes and took 85 minutes to join the American Andre Agassi as a six-times Miami Open winner, for his 63rd career title.
v. He claimed $1,028,300, becoming the sport’s all-time leading money-winner.