1. NITI Aayog Launches ‘Women Transforming India’ Campaign
i. The NITI Aayog (GOIs premier think tank) has launched the Women Transforming India initiative on 8th March the International Women’s Day in partnership with the UN in India and MyGov.
ii. Through this initiative the NITI Aayog seeks entries in the form of written essays or stories, preferably accompanied by photographs that set a context to the narrative.
iii. These stories should reflect new ground broken by women in empowering themselves or others. It will also seeks to encourage and recognize women who have made a difference particularly by demonstrating leadership in the economic, socio-cultural and environmental front.
iv. Entries must be filled online (https://mygov.in/task/women-transforming-india womentransform/) on or before March 31st, 2016. A shortlist of 8-10 best entries by a jury will be put to poll on MyGov.in to determine the top three entries. The final winning entry will be determined by a jury constituted by NITI Aayog. Spread across a period of over one month, the initiative will also sensitize citizens to gender issues and seek to promote gender equity and equality through a variety of media.
v. Apart from that, Winner will receive a certificate of appreciation from NITI Aayog and the UN in India. Change makers may also have a chance to interact directly with policy makers in the Government of India to enable affect positive policy action.
2. India To Launch 25 Foreign Satellites This Year
i. India will launch 25 foreign satellites belonging to seven countries. The list is topped by the USA in 2016-17.
ii. In written response to a question, Jitendra Singh, minister of state in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) which looks after the department of space, said till date 57 foreign satellites from 21 countries have been launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
iii. Mr. Singh said that Antrix the commercial arm of ISRO has signed the agreements with Algeria and Canada for launching three satellites each, four for Germany, one each for Japan and Malaysia and 12 for the USA in 2016-17.
iv. In the last three years, from January 2013 till December 2015, ISRO launched 28 foreign satellites belonging to 13 countries, with Singapore, the United Kingdom and the USA topping the list.
v. ISRO earned 80 million euros for the launch.
3. Rajya Sabha Passes Long Awaited Bill To Protect Home Buyers
i. The Rajya Sabha passed a landmark Real Estate Bill with a promise to secure the interests of homebuyers and developers in equal measure and remove corruption and inefficiency from the sector.
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ii. This bill, passed with all the new recommendations that were cleared by the Union cabinet in December, will regulate both commercial and residential projects and set up state-level regulatory authorities to monitor real estate activity.
iii. According Urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told the upper house that real estate is the second largest employer in the country, after agriculture, and contributes 9% to the gross domestic product (GDP).
iv. Yet, the sector has been marked by a lack of trust and confidence between consumers and developers, which has had an adverse impact on investments in the sector.
4. Ex SC Judge Balbir Singh Chauhan Appointed As Chairman Of 21st Law Commission Of India
i. The Union Government has appointed the former Supreme Court Judge justice Balbir Singh Chauhan as the Chairman of 21st Law Commission of India (LCI).
ii. The announcement has made after six month of delay because The post has been lying vacant since last September when the commission was constituted.
iii. Currently he is Chairman of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal.
iv. He was judge of the SC from May 2009 to July 2014. Apart from him, Union Government has appointed former judge of the Gujarat high court Justice Ravi R Tripathi as member of 21st Law Commission of India. He retired as judge last May.
v. The 21st LCI will give its major recommendations on a review of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the criminal justice system and the bail law in order to ensure uniformity in the procedure of granting the relief. While LCI is a non-statutory and non-constitutional body constituted by the Union Government from time to time.
5. Project Mausam Of M/O Culture Aims To Explore Multi-Faceted Indian Ocean World
i. Project Mausam is the initiative of Ministry of Culture which is to be implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the nodal agency with research support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Museum as associate bodies.
ii. This project aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean world collating archaeological and historical research in order to document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean extending from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago.
iii. Project mausam also aims to promote research on themes related to the study of Maritime Routes through international scientific seminars and meeting and by adopting a multidisciplinary approach.
iv. It aims to encourage the production of specialized works, as well as publications for the general public with an attempt at promoting a broader understanding of the concept of a common heritage and multiple identities.
6. Rajya Sabha Passes National Waterways Bill
i. The Upper House of the Parliament passed The National Waterways Bill, 2015, which was tabled in Lok Sabha on May 5, 2015 by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Mr. NitinGadkari.
ii. Having been passed in the Rajya Sabha, It would be kept before The President for his assent in the bill.
iii. The bill comes under Entry 24 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
iv. Once it is a law, it can potentially provide an alternative form of transporting goods, which at present is dominated by road and rail, and open up economic opportunities to new regions.
7. India Signs Raptor MoU To Save Birds Of Prey
i. To conserve several species of birds Government has signed ‘Raptor MoU’ – a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia.
ii. The ‘Raptor MoU’ extends its coverage to 76 species of birds of prey, out of which 46 species, including vultures, falcons, eagles, owls, hawks, kites, harriers, etc. also occur in India.
iii. India is 56th signatory State to sign the ‘Raptor MoU’ that was concluded on October 22, 2008 and came into effect on November 1, 2008.
iv. The Union Cabinet, in its meeting, held on December 30, 2015 had approved the proposal of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to sign the MoU, also called ‘Raptor MoU’, on Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, with the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), or Bonn Convention, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
v. The Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species(CMS) aims to conserve migratory species throughout their range.
8. Country’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank today launched a credit-linked subsidy scheme for home loans under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
i. Under the scheme, an eligible customer will get a subsidy at 6.5 per cent per annum on a maximum amount of Rs 6 lakh or the loan amount, whichever is lower, for a maximum tenure of 15 years.
ii. An individual including women borrowers from the economically weaker section and the low-income group will be able to acquire and construct the first brick-and-mortar house of the family by paying significantly lower equated monthly installments (EMIs).
iii. ICICI Bank has signed a MoU with National Housing Bank (NHB) to facilitate the credit-linked subsidy to eligible borrowers.
iv. From the scheme, ICICI Bank is committed to supporting Government’s vision to provide housing for all by 2022.
9. Tapan Chand Elected As AAI Chief
i. In the aftermath of National Governing Council meeting of Aluminium Association of India Tapan Chad elected as AAI chiefTapan Kumar Chand has been unanimously elected as the President of the metal governing body.
ii. Prior to his appointment he was serving chairman and Managing Director of National Aluminium Company.
iii. Aluminium Association of India, was founded in 1981 to cater the needs of Indian Aluminium Industry and to interface with various aluminium industries world over. iv. It is the head representing the entire spectrum of Indian Aluminium Industries
10. Egyptian Diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit Named As Secretary General Of Arab League
i. Veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit (73) has been selected as Secretary General of the Arab League.
ii. The 22-member league voted unanimously in favour of Aboul Gheit who was only contender for the post at its ministerial meeting held in Cairo, Egypt.
iii. He will succeed Nabil El-Araby, Egyptian diplomat whose term ends in July 2016 after he had rejected second five-year term.
iv. Abul Gheit is a former ambassador of Egypt to the United Nations. He had served as Egypt’s foreign minister from 2004 to 2011 during the final seven years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule. About Arab League The Arab League is a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Arabia.
11. Kangana Ranaut Has Become The Brand Ambassador Of Reebok India
i. The renowned Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has announced as the brand ambassador of Reebok India. On the occasion the actress has also launched the new campaign of the brand titled “Be More Human”.
ii. The new campaign featuring Kangana has been released on the “International Women’s Day”.
iii. This announcement aims to inspire women to become better versions of themselves not just physically but also mentally and socially.
iv. It is a tribute to the modern Indian woman, telling her that she is fit to rise above stereotypes and carve out her own destiny.
v. In the new campaign of Reebok India, Kangana will be seen challenging herself with various fitness activities including functional training, dance, yoga, kick-boxing and others. Thereby Reebok India communicating the overarching brand message ‘how fit you are defines how far you go’.
i. Renowned Brazil musician Nana Vasconcelos has passed away in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife. He was suffering from lung cancer. He was 71.
ii. He was 8 time Grammy Award winning Brazilian percussionist known for his wide instrumental range and major role in free spirited jazz and world music of the 1970s and 1980s.
iii. He was a master of the single string percussion instrument known in Portuguese as the berimbao and worked over the decades with well known musicians such as Milton Nascimento.
iv. The American jazz magazine DownBeat named Vasconcelos percussionist of the year for seven consecutive year from 1983 to 1990.
v. He started learning music with his musician father and by the time he was 12 he was playing a drum kit, performing at bars with local groups.
13. Hyundai Is Now The Official Partner Of BCCI
i. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has entered into a 4 year partnership with Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) as an associate sponsor for all international matches at home. Hyundai is a Korean car maker.
ii. As per the agreement, HMIL would be the official partner of BCCI for all formats like Test, One day & T20.
iii. Hyundai fleet of premium cars would be used for transporting various stakeholders of the game throughout the event and also promotional activities during tournaments, in-stadia car display and branding are some other key pointers of the deal.
iv. Besides title sponsor, BCCI has made 3 official associate sponsors and with the help of them the cricket body would get Rs 150 crore in the next 4 years.
v. Recently, BCCI announced its association with beverage major PepsiCo as its first official associate sponsor for around 80 matches which would be played in four years. Mobile commerce platform Paytm is the official title sponsor of BCCI.