i. United Nations World Water Day is an international observance held every March 22 that provides an opportunity to learn more about water related issues and take action on a current or future challenge to make a difference.
ii. This year’s theme of Word Water Day is ‘Water and Jobs’ focuses on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods and even transform societies and economies.
iii. The day first marked in 1992 at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro.
iv. It aims to raise awareness about water related issues.
v. The occasion of World Water Day is also used to highlight required improvements for access to WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) facilities in developing countries.
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2. Current Account Deficit Narrows To 1.3 % of GDP In 3rd Quarter
i. India’s current account deficit narrowed to 1.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the fiscal third quarter.
ii. In the earlier year 1.5% traded as deficit contracted. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed in date that trade deficit during the October-December quarter narrowed to $34 billion from $38.6 billion during the same period in 2014-15.
iii. The Economic Survey released before the 29 February budget said India’s external sector outcome continues to be strong and sustainable because of strong macroeconomic fundamentals and low commodity prices.
iv. The survey said that while global concerns over China’s economic growth and normalization of the monetary policy in the US may affect global financial flows with policy reform initiatives and a strong macroeconomic outcome.
v. The deficit in the current account is likely to be more than fully financed through stable flows and the volatility in global financial markets may affect the exchange rate less than in other emerging economies.
3. PM Modi confers Himachal Pradesh with ‘Krishi Karman Award’
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred ‘Krishi Karman Award” to the government of Himachal Pradesh for its landmark achievement in showing highest production of food grains in year 2014-15, despite adverse weather conditions and rain-fed farming in the state.
ii. The award was received by Agriculture Minister Sujan Singh Pathania – who led a team of senior officers including Additional Chief Secretary (Agri) Upma Chawdhry at a ceremony held at New Delhi.
iii. The award consists a trophy, citation and cash amount of rupees one crore.
iv. The Union Ministry of Agriculture had selected Himachal Pradesh for the award under total food grains category-II of the Krishi Karman Award.
v. During last three years, total food grains production had increased to from 15.41 lakh in 2011-12 to 16.73 lakh tonnes in 2014-15. The department had also done commendable work in promoting poly-house cultivation, micro-irrigation, organic farming and soil health management.
4. IRDA Okay With LIC Investment In Public Sector Banks
i. The regulatory authority of Insurance sector has given its nod to the Biggest life insurance company of India- LIC to invest in the Public Sector Banks.
ii. IRDA after complete scrutiny of the investments of LIC in PSU’s have agreed to the proposal of increasing its investments in Public sector banks.
iii. RBI had expressed concern over LIC making huge investments in PSU banks, saying it can affect the financial stability.
iv. The RBI which has asked banks to clean up their balance sheets by March 2017 has given them a list of some 150 accounts which had either become NPAs or are on the verge of becoming NPAs.
5. India Distributed Scholarships To Over 800 Bangladeshi Students In Dhaka
i. India distributed scholarships to over 800 Bangladeshi students under the ‘Muktijodha Scholarship Scheme’.
ii. The scholarships were distributed at the hands of Minister for Liberation War Affairs in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Sringla.
iii. The Indian Government in 2006 initiated the scholarship scheme to strengthen the historic legacy that both countries share in fighting and winning the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan.
iv. Under the scheme, descendants of freedom fighters get selected on merit basis to pursue undergraduate studies. It is estimated that over 9500 students have been benefited from the scheme so far.
v. Over 9500 students have been benefited from the scheme so far. Under the scheme, more than 130 million takas have been distributed so far.
6. Nadda launches CBNAAT machines for quick diagnosis of TB
i. Union Health Minister JP Nadda launched Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) machines for the quick diagnosis of Tuberculosis within two hours.
ii. The CBNAAT is a revolutionary rapid molecular test which detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin drug resistance, simultaneously.
iii. This test is fully automated and provides results within two hours.
iv. At present 121 CBNAAT machine are functioning and five hundred more such machines were launched by the Minister.
v. Nadda also launched a new anti-TB drug Bedaquiline, which is a new anti-TB drug for treatment of Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. This drug is indicated for use in the treatment of drug-resistant TB. The drug will be made available in six public hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati and Ahmedabad.
7. Govt Withdraws Recognition of Delhi Stock Exchange
i. The government has formally withdrawn the recognition of Delhi Stock Exchange (DSE) after it was derecognised by markets regulator Sebi in November 2014 for “serious irregularities” in its functioning.
ii. The DSE board had overlooked the “due transfer of shares in demat accounts and receipt of funds by the appointed date”, the Sebi order had said.
iii. DSE was incorporated in 1947.
iv. Under certain provisions of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956, the recognition to a recognised stock exchange can be withdrawn if it “has not been corporatised and demutualised within the specified time.
8. Infibeam IPO Subscribed 0.21 times On Day 1
i. Infibeam Incorporation Ltd, the first Indian e-commerce firm to launch an initial public offering (IPO), saw its issue being subscribed 0.21 times on the opening day of the share sale.
ii. According to data from BSE, the qualified institutional buyers portion was subscribed 0.22 times, with all the bids coming in from foreign institutional investors, while the retail portion was subscribed 0.17 times.
iii. The Ahmedabad-based e-tailer, which aims to raise Rs.450 crore from the share sale, has already run into problems with two of the four domestic investment banks opting out on concerns over pricing and timing of the issue.
iv. Kotak Mahindra Capital and ICICI Securities withdrew as bankers to the issue. S
v. BI Capital Markets Ltd and Elara Capital (India) Pvt. Ltd are the two bankers managing the offer currently.
9. Paytm ties up with PVR to sell online movie tickets
i. Cinema exhibition chain PVR cinemas and mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm have announced a strategic relationship that will bring PVR’s movie tickets to Paytm’s e-commerce platform as a part of its nationwide foray in the online movie ticket segment.
ii. In the first year of this relationship, PVR targets to sell tickets worth Rs 250-300 crore on Paytm’s e-commerce platforms in addition to revenues from ticket sales at box offices and other channels.
iii. This is another initiative to augment the box office revenues by reaching out to more consumers and achieving better penetration into micro markets.
iv. Paytm is aggressively extending its presence in new verticals as a part of its strategy to be ubiquitous in daily life of its customers.
v. While the movie ticketing market in India is worth around $2 billion growing 10% annually, the online movie ticketing market is only 15% of the total domestic market. Paytm intends to double the share of online movie ticketing market in quick time.
10. SEBI For Doing Away Of Fresh KYC For Opening Of New Accounts In Securities Market
i. Indian capital market regulator SEBI is considering doing away with the requirement of a fresh KYC for opening of new accounts in securities market if the investor has got a bank account.
ii. Under the proposed move, the market intermediaries like mutual funds would rather be allowed to use the Know Your Customer or KYC checks conducted by banks themselves.
iii. According to SEBI Chairman U K Sinha, the common Know your Customer or KYC for the entire financial sector is also in works, but the regulator in the meantime is considering allowing banks’ KYC for the securities markets.
iv. Speaking after a board meeting of SEBI in New Delhi recently,Mr. Sinha also said SEBI has also put in place new relaxed norms for listing of startup companies. v. Coupled with the sops announced by government in Budget, it may result in many such ventures hitting the markets
11. Govt pays GMR’s ‘due’ in Chhattisgarh
i. Government of Chhattisgarh had deposited money that factually GMR Group was supposed to pay for disbursing compensation to project affected farmers.
ii. The GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited, a subsidiary of GMR Group, is setting up 1370 Mw (2×685 Mw) super critical coal based power plant located in Raikheda of Raipur district.
iii. The plant would require 40.3 cusec water and the supply would be met from the Samoda barrage on Mahanadi.
iv. The state government had acquired land in four villages straddling between Raipur and Mahasamund districts that were coming under submergence area.
v. The company was supposed to deposit Rs 30 crore with the Mahasamund district administration (the details of Raipur district could not be known) for paying compensation to the farmers who gave away their land for the construction of barrage. It however, deposited only Rs 3 crore while failed to respond for the remaining amount even after series of reminders sent by the water resources department.
12. IKEA donates Rs 92 crore for safe water projects in India, Indonesia
i. Swedish furniture retailing giant IKEA will contribute 12.4 million euro (Rs 92.84 crore) to provide safe water and sanitation to one million people in India and Indonesia through Water Org.
ii. IKEA Foundation has announced a new grant of 12.4 million euro to Water Org on the occasion of the World Water Day (March 22).
iii. IKEA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies.
iv. The World Bank estimates that 2% of communicable diseases in India are linked to unsafe water and the lack of hygiene practices, and 50% of India’s population continues to practice open defecation, the statement said.
v. In Indonesia, more than 33 million people lack access to safe water and 100 million lack access to improved sanitation facilities.
13. Attack in Brussels
i. On the morning of 22 March 2016, three explosions occurred in Belgium, two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem and one at Maalbeek metro station in Brussels.
ii. In the wake of the attack, 34 people were killed and 198 others were injured, resulting in three days of national mourning in Belgium.
iii. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The attacks are the deadliest act of terrorism on Beligan soil.
iv. There were two explosions in the Brussels Airport international departure hall shortly after 08:00 local time.
v. One near the American Airlines and Brussels Airlines check-in desks and the other next to a Starbucks coffee shop.
14. Former Danish Prime Minister Anker Jogensen Passed Away
i. Anker Henrik Jorgensen, who was a Danish politician and served at various times as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Denmark has passed away on Sunday.
ii. He led five cabinets as Prime Minister between 1972 and 1981. He was 93.
iii. Jorgensen’s time in power was characterized by a sluggish economy and rising unemployment and although popular. He was criticized for not doing enough to reform the economy.
iv. On 3 October 1974, the Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag resigned his post and appointed Jorgensen as his successor. Throughout his tenure he continued to live with his wife and four children in an apartment in a working class district of Copenhagen.
v. He first became prime minister in 1972 after Denmark in a referendum had voted yes to joining the European Economic Community of which it became a member the following year. He led or represented the Social Democratic Party for well over 30 years. He has been described as not having the image of a strong or visionary leader, but through his down-to-earth and earnest demeanor he managed to maintain a wide support for the Danish welfare state in the population.
15. HS Prannoy wins 2016 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton title
i. Ace Indian shuttler HS Prannoy (World no 13) has won the prestigious 2016 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in the men’s single category.
ii. In the final match played at Basel, Switzerland, he defeated Marc Zwiebler (World no 7) of Germany 21-18, 21-15 score.
iii. It was his second Grand Prix Gold title after the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold won in 2014.