1. World Happiness Index : India Ranks 118 out of 156 Countries
i. India ranked 118th out of 156 countries on the United Nations World Happiness Index (WHI) 2016.
ii. It was revealed by the fourth World Happiness Report 2016 and published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the UN.
iii. In 2015 India was at 117 th in the happiness list.
iv. According to the report 2016, Denmark takes the top spot as the happiest country in the world. It has replaced Switzerland.
v. Rwanda, Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi were the least happy countries this year. India comes below nations like Somalia (76), China (83), Pakistan (92), Iran (105), Palestinian Territories (108) and Bangladesh (110). The US is ranked 13th, coming behind Australia (9) and Israel (11).
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2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the most influential people on the Internet and Modi to Join World Leaders in Wax at Madame Tussauds
i. The TIMEs magazine cited Modi’s unconventional announcement on Twitter of his visit to Pakistan last year while naming him among ‘The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet’ for the second year in a row in this year’s unranked list.
ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the most influential people on the Internet, According to TIME magazine describing the Indian leader as an “Internet star” who often uses social media to “conduct diplomacy”.
iii. In other news Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join the ranks of prominent global leaders at Madame Tussauds in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok to In april 2016, the world famous wax museum announced.
iv. Describing him as a “hugely important figure in world politics”, according to museum the Indian Prime Minister had given the museum’s team of artists and experts a sitting at his residence in New Delhi earlier this year.
3. Indian Software Engineer Wins UN Data Visualization Challenge
i. The UN honoured the founder of India-based Miavy Systems Abdulqadir Rashik for the Unite Ideas LinksSDGs Data Visualization Challenge.
ii. It will be used to identify further research opportunities and guide policy decisions around the implementation of global sustainability initiatives.
iii. He was bestowed with the Challenge’s top prize for his submission Links to Sustainable Cities an interactive visualization that identifies and maps the links between Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and the other 16 Goals.
4. RBI Likely To Pay Rs 57,000 Cr. In Dividends To Government in 2016-17
i. The Reserve Bank of India is likely to pay the government Rs 57,000 crore in dividends in 2016-17, slightly less than the amount it paid in the current fiscal but much higher than that in earlier years.
ii. The amount paid is slightly lesser than the previous fiscal year but much higher than the previous years Last year, the government received Rs.73,905 crores as dividends from various state owned banks and the RBI.
iii. This fiscal year it has estimated to receive Rs.69,897 crores.
5. 14 Indian Investors Among World’s Top 100 Venture Capitalists
i. A total of fourteen Indian investors have been featured in a list of top 100 venture capitalists in the world.
ii. The list has been compiled by CB Insights, a research firm that tracks angel and venture capital investments across the globe.
iii. The list has been prepared based on evaluations of the basis of the investments made by the investors since 2008.
iv. The investors were evaluated based on factors such as investor exits and consistency of investments among others.
6. RUSA Scheme to be implemented to improve Equity, Quality of Higher Education
i. Central government is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) for providing financial support to proposals contained in State Higher Education Plan (SHEP) approved by the State Higher Education Councils (SHECs) in order to achieve the objectives of equity, access and quality.
ii. A total of 115 Universities and 1218 colleges have been approved by RUSA PAB for infrastructure grants.
iii. These approvals were accorded to the proposals included in the respective State Higher Education Plans (SHEPs).
iv. objectives of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)- Ensure adequate availability of quality faculty in all higher educational institutions and ensure capacity building at all levels. To achieve the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) target of 25.2% by the end of 12th Plan and 32% by the end of 13th Plan.
v. Only seven proposals from the states under the component of creation of universities through upgradation of autonomous colleges and eight proposals of states under the component of creation of universities through clustering of colleges have been approved by the PAB of RUSA as other proposals could not meet the prescribed norms.
7. Over Rs 1 lakh crore disbursed under MUDRA Yojana
i. Under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Loans worth Rs1.09 lakh crore have been sanctioned to small entrepreneurs, loans worth over Rs.1.09 lakh crore were given to over 2.96 crore beneficiaries.
ii. According to Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha loans worth over Rs 1.09 lakh crore were given to over 2.96 crore beneficiaries.
iii. Under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, which was launched in April last year, loans between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh are provided to small entrepreneurs.
iv. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana under the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank is a new institution being set up by Government of India for development and refinancing activities relating to micro units.
v. It was announced by the Finance Minister while presenting the Union Budget for FY 2016. The purpose of MUDRA is to provide funding to the non corporate small business sector. MUDRA Yojana, which was launched in April last year, loans between Rs.50, 000 and Rs.10 lakh are provided to small entrepreneurs. The Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA) focuses on the 5.75 crore self-employed who have deployed funds totalling Rs.11 lakh crore and provide jobs to 12 crore people.
8. Jammu & Kashmir 9th State To Join UDAY Scheme, To Save Rs 9,800 Cr.
i. Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) became the 9th state to sign the memorandum of understanding(MoU) for power distribution reforms, the Ujwal Discoms Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
ii. It’s a tripartite agreement between the Union Ministry of Power, state governments and the discoms.
iii. The other eight states are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab.
iv. An overall net benefit of approximately Rs 9,800 crore would accrue to J&K by opting to participate in UDAY, by way of savings in interest cost, reduction in aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, and coal reforms, said the officials.
v. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced scheme moved by the Ministry of Power – Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna or UDAY. UDAY provides for the financial turnaround and revival of Power Distribution companies (DISCOMs), and importantly also ensures a sustainable permanent solution to the problem. UDAY is a path breaking reform for realizing the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of affordable and accessible 24×7 Power for All.
9. Bharti Airtel buys Videocon Telecom for Rs 4,428 cr.
i. India’s largest telecom operator by subcriber base, Bharti Airtel, said on Thursday that it has acquired Videocon Telecom for Rs 4,428 crore.
ii. With this, Bharti Airtel will get the rights to use 2X5 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 band allocated to Videocon by the government on April 5, 2013.
iii. On March 16, Idea Cellular had terminated its spectrum deal with Videocon under which it was supposed to buy two circles – Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West) – for Rs 3,310 crore. After this deal, Bharti’s 4G coverage is likely to go up to 19 circles from the current 15.
10. India aviation show 2016 begins in Hyderabad
i. The India Aviation 2016, an international exhibition and conference on civil aviation kicked off in Hyderabad, Telangana.
ii. It is the fifth edition in the biennial series of this international exhibition and was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Begumpet Airport (also known as Hyderabad Old Airport).
iii. India Aviation 2016 has been jointly organised by Ministry of Civil Aviation and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on the lines of Make in India.
iv. More than 200 major participants across the globe are going to part and will be displaying latest aircrafts. Delegations led by Ministers and Senior Government Officials from more than 25 are going to participate in the event. It will also see the participation of leading Aircraft Manufacturers, helicopter manufacturers and engine manufacturers.
v. Global CEO’s at CEO Forum will be also held in the four day event. Major global aviation infrastructure companies are also participating in this event.
11. Actress Michelle Yeoh Appointed As UNDP Goodwill Ambassador
i. Michelle Yeoh, the award winning action heroine has been appointed as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador.
ii. The UNDP works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality.
iii. The Malaysian born actress will focus on raising awareness and mobilising support for the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
iv. The actress is internationally acclaimed for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. she was chosen by People as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” in 1997. She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in 2000 for her movie Hidden Dragon.
v. Prior to this, Her engagements concern development issues which included appointments as Global Ambassador for the Live to Love and Make Roads Safe campaign in 2012 and advocacy during the Zero Discrimination Campaign in 2013.
12. Shehnai Exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan Has Passed Away
i. Famous Shehnai exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan has passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was 77. He was suffering from kidney related problem and hospitalized from the past few days.
ii. He was one of the best players of the instrument after the legendary Bismillah Khan.
iii. He was born in 1939 and represented the Benaras gharana (school) in shehnai music. He was famously known for his innovative style and mastery over the classical and semi-classical and folk. He also used to teach in the Kolkata based ITC Sangeet Research Academy.
iv. He had played Shehnai at the inauguration ceremony of Doordarshan television channel in 1973 with Pandit Ravi Shankar and also had rendered its signature tune. He was a top graded artiste of All India Radio (AIR). He had performed globally.
v. He was awarded with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009 and Bangabhushan award in 2012 of West Bengal government etc.
13. Paul Daniels, TV Magician, Dies Aged 77
i. Television magician Paul Daniels has died aged 77 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
ii. The entertainer was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor in February and last week returned from hospital to spend his “final days” at home.
iii. Daniels is famed for his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994. He was born in 1938 in South Bank, Middlesbrough, where he began his career as a magician and entertainer.
iv. Newton Edward Daniels, known by his stage name Paul Daniels, was an English magician and television performer.
v. He achieved international fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994.
14. FIFA admits taking bribe for hosting World Cup
i. FIFA is seeking to claim “tens of millions of dollars” in bribe money seized by U.S. federal prosecutors.
ii. FIFA submitted a 22-page claim to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York that seeks a big share in restitution from more than $190 million already forfeited by soccer and marketing officials who pleaded guilty in the sprawling corruption case.
iii. Tens of millions of dollars more is likely to be collected by U.S. authorities when sentences are handed down, and from dozens of officials currently indicted but who have denied bribery charges or are fighting extradition.
iv. FIFA claims it is the victim of corrupt individuals, despite widespread criticism that bribe-taking was embedded in its culture in the presidencies of Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter, who was forced from office after 17 years by the current scandal.
15. UN suspends Maria Sharapova as Goodwill Ambassador after doping allegations
i. The United Nations (UN) has suspended Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova as Goodwill Ambassador of the organisation after she was tested positive on doping allegations.
ii. She was suspended by New York based UN Development Programme (UNDP) until the outcome of the investigation into her case is known.
iii. However, UNDP has mentioned that they are grateful to Maria Sharapova for her support to their work, especially around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster recovery.
iv. Earlier in March 2016, the five times Grand Slam champion and the highest-paid female athlete Maria Sharapova had announced that she tested positive for a drug called meldonium, at the Australian Open earlier in January 2016.