i. World Forestry Day or International Day of Forests is celebrated worldwide every year on 21st of March.
ii. The World Forestry Day was established in the year 1971 at the 23rd General Assembly of European Confederation of Agriculture and later it was established by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012.
iii. The International Day of Forests was observed for the first time on March 21, 2013.
iv. The World Forestry Day is celebrated at the international level in order to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth.
v. The theme of the 2016 International Day of Forests is “forests and water”. To mark the Day a joint celebration of the International Day of Forests (21st of March) and World Water Day, which is celebrated on 22nd of March every year will be held on Monday, 21 March 2016 in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.
2. Govt Allows 49% FDI In Insurance Under Automatic Route
i. The government has relaxed FDI norms for the insurance sector by permitting overseas companies to buy 49 percent stake in domestic insurers without prior approval, which is another effort to bring more foreign players into India’s vast insurance market.
ii. Earlier, an overseas company was allowed to buy up to 26% stake in an India-based insurance company. But, for up to 49 percent the investor had to take prior approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
iii. However in its latest notification the government said, the foreign investment proposals up to 49% of the total paid up equity of the Indian insurance company shall be allowed on the automatic route subject to verification by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
iv. There are 52 insurance companies operating in India, of which 24 are in the life insurance business and 28 in the general insurance.
v. In order to deepen the re-insurance market, IRDAI permitted UK-based Lloyds to set up business in India.
3. BHEL Commissions its 2nd 270 MW Thermal Unit In Punjab
i. Within a month of successful commissioning of a 270 MW thermal generating unit in the state, the state run BHEL ( Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited ) has commissioned another 270 MW unit at Goindwal Sahib coal-fired power project in Punjab.
ii. The unit has been commissioned at the GVK Power and Infra Ltd in Tarn Taran District near Amritsar.
iii. The first unit of the project was earlier commissioned by the company in February, 2016.
iv. Thermal sets of 270 MW rating are an in-house improvisation of 210/250 MW sets supplied earlier by BHEL which today form the backbone of the Indian power sector and have been performing much above the national average as well as international benchmarks.
v. BHEL has so far contracted 35 sets of 270 MW rating, out of which 13 sets have now been commissioned. Notably, all the operational sets of 210-270 MW class in the state of Punjab have been supplied, erected and commissioned by BHEL. In addition to thermal projects, BHEL has a significant presence in the state’s hydro sector also, with 95% share in the hydro generating capacity of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
4. Hinduja brothers top Britain’s ‘Asian Rich List’
i. India-born brothers G P Hinduja and S P Hinduja topped the ‘Asian Rich List 2016’ released here last night and the annual rankings showed that they had added one billion pounds to their personal fortune in a year to be worth an estimated 16.5 billion pounds.
ii. The ‘Asian Rich List’ assesses the total wealth of Britain’s top 101 richest Asians and is compiled by UK-based publishing house Asian Media and Market.
iii. The Asian Rich List assesses the total wealth of Britain’s top 101 richest Asians and is compiled by UK-based publishing house Asian Media and Market.
iv. Steel tycoon Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was ranked second in the list, released by the Indian high commissioner to the UK Navtej Sarna. The fortune of Mittal, however, has plummeted by 3.3 billion pounds to finish with 6.4 billion pounds. Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul is listed as 15th richest with fortune worth 500 million pounds.
v. Sri Prakash Lohia, chairman of the Indorama Corporation, is listed 3rd richest with fortune worth 3 billion pounds. The Arora brothers — Simon, Bobby and Robin — owners of discount retail chain are 4th richest with a fortune worth 2.1 billion pounds.
5. UN Appoints Red From “Angry Birds” As Honorary Ambassador For Climate Change
i. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has appointed Red, the leader of the “Angry Birds” mobile game characters as an envoy to inspire climate action toward a sustainable and happier future for all.
ii. Red’s appointment as Honorary Ambassador for Green is the part of a UN campaign launched in partnership with the globally renowned characters to make a direct link between tackling climate change and people’s happiness and well-being on the occasion of the International Day of Happiness to be observed on Sunday, 20 March.
iii. The U.N. chief told that the Angry Birds have entertained millions of people around the world and now they are part of making the world a better place.
iv. He also said that there was no better way to mark the International Day of Happiness than to have our animated ambassador raise awareness about the importance of addressing climate change to create a safer more sustainable and happier future for all.
v. The campaign was in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the U.N. Development Program and U.N. Foundation, asks people around the world to make the Angry Birds happy by taking actions to combat climate change such as recycling, taking public transportation and conserving water.
6. Cairn India Bags Five Awards At ‘FICCI Excellence Awards’
i. Cairn India Ltd. has remained in the top deciles of safety performance amongst peer group companies for the FICCI Safety Systems Excellence Award in Manufacturing.
ii. The awards, which are dedicated for best safety and occupation health systems act as a motivation and a catalyst for adopting best safety practices and systems in the manufacturing sector.
iii. Cairn India considers safe transportation of its people and its products as an integral part of responsible care.
iv. Cairn India considers safe transportation of its people and its products as an integral part of responsible care.
v. Continuous efforts to improve road and transport safety are therefore part of the company’s overall objective to improve safety performance throughout its business.
7. Cisco to invest $100 millions in India; to train over 250,000 students
i. American multinational technology company Cisco Systems Inc will invest over $100 million over the next 18 to 24 months to support the country’s ambitious plan to connect thousands of its villages to the internet and create jobs.
ii. The series of investments will include $40 million that will be used to fund early-stage and growth-stage companies in the country, and train around 250,000 students by 2020.
iii. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a series of initiatives under the ‘Digital India’, ‘Skill India,’ and ‘Startup India’ schemes to connect millions of Indians to the Internet, create more tech jobs and move more services online.
iv. According to Dinesh Malkani, president at Cisco India and SAARC company has expertise in areas such as security, cloud, and the Internet of Things which it can lend to emerging companies. “There is a lot of scope for development in IP driven technology software companies in India,” he said.
v. The $143-billion firm has over 10,000 people in India. It is also setting up a manufacturing base in Pune to locally make products to “support the Digital India vision” and aims to eventually make it an
8. Mumbai’s Wilson College adopts railway station for cleanliness
i. One of Mumbai oldest colleges, the Wilson College has adopted the Charni Road station here for cleanliness and upkeep as part of the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.
ii. Governor and Chancellor of the University CH Vidyasagar Rao congratulated the college for its excellent initiative, which he said will help the cause of cleanliness.
iii. A group of Wilson College students led by executive co-ordinator Dr Kamal Jadhav met the Governor at Raj Bhavan and briefed him about the decision and the various initiatives taken by the students during the past few months to keep the Charni Road station neat and clean.
iv. Dr Jadhav told the Governor that the college took the decision in response to the appeal made by the Governor to colleges and universities to adopt a railway stations or any other public place nearest to the institution and to take care of its cleanliness and upkeep.
9. Obama Embarks On Historic Cuba Visit
i. US President Barack Obama embarked on a historic trip to Cuba more than a year after Washington reset its foreign policy towards the island following decades of Cold War animosity that almost led to a nuclear war.
ii. The three-day trip – the first by a US president in 88 years – was unthinkable until Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in December 2014 to re-establish diplomatic ties.
iii. The US broke off ties with the communist nation of 11 million when Cuban revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro ousted a pro-American government in 1959.
10. Prince Harry Begins 5-day Trip To Nepal
i. Britain’s Prince Harry reached Kathmandu on a five-day visit to Nepal to mark the 200th anniversary of the bilateral ties.
ii. Prince Harry, who is leading a 30-member delegation, called on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and discussed Nepal-Britain bilateral co-operation.
iii. During the meeting, he praised the role played by Gorkha soldiers in the British Army and inquired about the conservation efforts made by Nepal in protecting endangered wild animals including tiger and one-horned rhino.
iv. Harry is scheduled to call on Nepal’s first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at the Presidential Office at Sheetal Niwas.
v. Harry will also visit the British Gorkha Camp in Pokhara.
11. General Lori Robinson Nominated As 1st US Female Combatant Chief
i. The US President Barack Obama has named the General Lori Robinson to head the U.S. combatant command.
ii. The position is one of the most senior in the US Military and Robinson becomes the first woman to head this position.
iii. President Barack Obama has approved the choice and now her nomination depends on Senate approval. If approved by the Senate, US Air Force General Lori Robinson will be the new North com chief and will be responsible for any missile threats against the homeland.
iv. Presently she leads US air forces in the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) and Executive Director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff since 2014. According to Pentagon PACAF is responsible for Air Force activities spread over half the globe in a command that supports more than 46,000 airmen mainly in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam.
v. Robinson had enrolled in the US Air Force in 1982. And Earlier in September 2007 Lori had made history after she became the first Air Battle Manager and first woman 552nd ACW commander to be frocked to brigadier general. Her appointment comes after US Government had announced to open all combat roles in the US military to women in December 2015. The move had opened up about 220,000 positions to women.
12. Lionel Messi Named As Huawei Global Ambassador
i. FC Barcelona’s player Lionel Messi has been named as Huawei global ambassador.
ii. The partnership with Lionel Messi showcases the brand’s alignment with people and brands that demonstrate and strive towards its shared value of connecting greatness.
iii. The football player is the company’s Global Brand Ambassador because Huawei believed the striker and the company make “a perfect fit” as both “are always pursuing not success but challenges to be better”.
iv. Huawei believes that sports are a great way in which people enrich their lives and that is why our commitment towards sports in general is so strong. According to Huawei, “Lionel’s history, philosophy and values, the greatest football player in the world are in line with Huawei’s mission and values”.
v. Huawei is one of the top 3 Smartphone manufactures in the world and their products are available in more than 170 countries. Huawei shipped 108 million smartphones in 2015 and became the third-largest player after Apple and Samsung. The company has set a target of growing its smartphone sales by 300 per cent this year.
13. Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt Bags Olympics Berth
i. India star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt secured an Olympic quota place for India with a gold-medal finish in the men’s 65kg freestyle category on an otherwise disappointing day for the country’s grapplers in the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament in Astana, Kazakhastan.
ii. In the road to the final at the Asian Qualifying tournament, Yogeshwar defeated Ju Song Kim 8-1 and then in the quarter-finals the Indian wrestler defeated Xuan Dinh Nguyen of Vietnam by fall.
iii. This is the second quota place that Indian wrestlers have bagged for the Rio Olympics to be held later this year.
iv. Narsingh Pancham Yadav had bagged a quota place in the men’s 74kg freestyle division in Las Vegas last year.
14. Indian-origin student wins first Noor Inayat Khan Prize In London
i. An Indian student is the winner of the first Noor Inayat Khan Prize for 2016, the London-based Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust announced.
ii. Geetakshi Arora of SOAS South Asia Institute has won the first Noor Inayat Khan Prize, the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust announced in London on.
iii. The Trust is awarding the annual prize to the post-graduate student from SOAS, University of London, working in the area of gender studies and South Asian history.
iv. The prize which consists of 1,000 pounds and a certificate is for a dissertation which is in keeping with the spirit of Noor Inayat Khan, a descendant of Tipu Sultan.
v. Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan GC was an Allied Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent during the Second World War who was posthumously awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian decoration in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth nations.
15. Bangladesh Bowlers Taskin And Sunny Suspended By ICC
i. Bangladesh left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny and pacer Taskin Ahmed have been suspended from bowling in international cricket council with immediate effect after an independent assessment found their bowling actions to be illegal, dealing a massive blow to the team’s campaign in the ongoing World Twenty20.
ii. Both bowlers underwent assessments in Chennai last week, after being reported for suspect actions during the World T20 round-one match against Netherlands in Dharamsala on 9th March.
iii. They can apply for a re-assessment at any stage after modifying their bowling actions.
iv. Arafat’s analysis revealed that the elbow extension for majority of his deliveries had exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the ICC Regulations while not all of Taskin’s deliveries were legal.
v. Now the left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib will replace Sunny in Bangladesh’s World T20 squad and Taskin will be replaced by offspin-bowling all rounder Shuvagata Hom.
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