1. Modi Reaches Brussels for India-EU Summit i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Brussels on the first leg of his three-nation tour to Belgium, the US and Saudi Arabia.
ii. During the course of the visit Modi will attend the India-EU summit and the global nuclear security summit in the US. iii. On his daylong visit to Brussels, Modi will hold a bilateral summit with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and then attend the 13th India-European Union (EU) Summit. iv. On March 31, the prime minister will leave for Washington to attend the two-day Fourth Nuclear Security Summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama. v. On April 2 and 3, he will be visiting Saudi Arabia at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for a two-day visit with a focus on boosting energy and security cooperation. . Prime Minister Modi will also visit the Masmak Fortress, ‘L&T Workers’ Residential Complex and TCS All Women IT & ITES Center in Riyadh.
2. ISRO TO Launch 22 Satellites In Single Mission
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i. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to script history by launching a record number of 22 satellites in a single mission in May 2016.
ii. This will include a number of micro and nano ones from foreign countries. This mission will flag off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Srikarikota.
iii. In this mission 18 satellites are being launched for foreign agencies including those from the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Indonesia.
iv. Two of the nano-satellites have been developed by the Pune Engineering College and Sathyabhama University.
v. These satellites (micro and nano) will be launched using ISRO’s workhorse Polar rocket PSLV C34.
3. India ranks third globally in financial Trojan infections
i. India ranks third among countries with high number of financial Trojan infections, where cybercriminals defraud customers of online banking services, security solutions firm Symantec said.
ii. India has moved up from 5th position in 2014 to rank 3 in 2015, although global detections have dropped, Symantec said in a report.
iii. The report said India has consistently moved up the rankings for countries with the most number of financial Trojan infections over the last three years.
iv. Using financial Trojans to defraud customers of online banking services is still a popular method among cybercriminals looking to make a profit, it added.
v. The total number of financial Trojan detections continued to decrease in 2015, with a 73 per cent drop compared to the previous year, Symantec added. Globally, the financial sector was the highest targeted sector in January with 40.2 per cent of all spear-phishing attacks, it added.
4. Arun Jaitley Launches ‘Make In India’ Conference In Sydney
i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched Make in India conference in Sydney and asked Australian businesses to be the part of India’s growth story.
ii. He said this is the time when ‘Make in India’ campaign can translate into actual activities as India becomes the key focus of the world today and Make in India is one of the key focuses of the government.
iii. Mr. Jaitley, who is on 2 days visit of Sydney said that Indian government does feel that manufacturing sector does need to grow because people in agriculture sector moving out, there was a need to achieve the target of manufacturing sector to occupy the 25 per cent of India’s GDP.
iv. He also stated that India could manage to become a very low cost service provider but failed to transform into a low cost manufacturing, adding that now there was an opportunity to do so.
v. He said that for two consecutive years, we are the fastest growing economy in the world. When we measure ourselves by our own standards, we believe that 7.5 per cent does not reflect our true potential.
5. 112 Would Be The National Emergency Number in India
i. Since long, Indians had to memorize a plethora of emergency numbers, based on the situation.
ii. Thus, if 100 is the emergency number to contact police, then 101 is for fire emergency, 102 is for health emergency and 108 is for emergency situation related to disasters.
iii. Now all these different set of emergency numbers would be phased out, and replaced with 112, which would be the default emergency response number for any situation in India.
iv. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was, thus, established with effect from 20th February 1997 by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
v. Presently chairman of Trai is R.S Sharma.
6. 11 Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements Signed By CBDT
i. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed 11 unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).
ii. With the signing of these agreements, India has entered into 59 bilateral or unilateral APAs.
iii. 50 of these agreements have been signed in the current financial year.
iv. The Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) programme was introduced by the Finance Act, 2012 to provide a predictable and non-adversarial tax regime and to reduce litigation in the Indian transfer pricing regime.
v. The agreements cover a range of international transactions, including corporate guarantees, royalty, software development services, IT enabled services and trading.
7. Manohar Parrikar flags off India’s first indigenous Sonar Dome
i. India’s first indigenous composites sonar dome, a ship’s underwater eyes and ears, was today flagged off by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar from here to be delivered to Mazgaon docks in Mumbai.
ii. Designed and produced by a Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO) lab in Pune, the sonar dome is a first of its kind in the country and has been manufactured by a composites manufacturing company.
iii. This is a huge contribution by Indian Industry to the ‘Make in India’ movement as said by Defence Ministry.
iv. Only a couple of companies worldwide have the capability of realising such structures.
v. All anti-submarine warfare (ASW) ships have a sonar array fitted to the ship structure below the waterline. The sonar functions as the ship’s underwater eyes and ears. It has been designed by Research and Development Establishment (Engineers), a DRDO laboratory based in Pune and manufactured by Goa-based composites manufacturing company Kineco.
8. Government Permits 100% FDI in Online Marketplaces
i. The government permitted 100% FDI in the marketplace format of e-commerce retailing with a view to attract more foreign investors.
ii. As per the guidelines issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on FDI in e-commerce, foreign direct investment (FDI) has not been allowed in inventory-based model of e-commerce.
iii. Though the clarification comes in the absence of clear FDI guidelines on various online retail models, the online marketplaces in India have already seen large foreign investments by several global players.
iv. Presently, global online retailer giants like Amazon and ebay are operating online marketplaces in India.
v. while home-grown players like Flipkart and Snapdeal have foreign investments even as there were no clear FDI guidelines on various online retail models.
9. Registration Of 22 NBFCs Has Been Cancelled By RBI
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a statement that it has cancelled registration of 22 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) including Amazan Capital and Mascot Commerce.
ii. The cancellation of the these NBFCs is in exercise of the powers conferred on it under Section 45-IA (6) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
iii. According to the statement following the cancellation of registration certificate, these companies cannot transact the business of a non-banking financial institution.
iv. NBFCs whose registration have been canceled include Kundan Leasing and Finvest, Raseera Investments, Limtex Impex, Dignity Motors Finance, Akansha Consultancy Services, Bini Commercial Enterprises, Nirankar Investments, and Surin Investments.
v. Earlier this month, the RBI had canceled registration of six other NBFCs including the including Kundan Leasing and Finvest, Raseera Investments, Limtex Impex, Dignity Motors Finance, Akansha Consultancy Services, Bini Commercial Enterprises, Nirankar Investments, and Surin Investments.
10. UNICEF Launches “Unfairy Tales” Of Refugee And Migrant Children
i. UNICEF launched a series of animated films to help frame positive perceptions towards the tens of millions of children and young people on the move globally, Called Unfairy Tales.
ii. The three animations – true stories of the flight of children from conflict – explain the horror behind why they fled.
iii. They have been animated in the style of a fairy tale and will be supported by an interactive e-book experience also called Unfairy Tales.
iv. The Unfairy Tales are part of an initiative, actofhumanity, emphasising that children are children, no matter where they come from, and that every child has rights and deserves a fair chance.
v. One story – “Ivine and the Pillow” animates the true story of 14yr old Ivine and her pillow. After a perilous escape from Syria, Ivine settles at a refugee camp in Germany only to face new challenges. “Malak and the Boat”, tells the tale of a young girl’s voyage in a leaky boat. The third animation depicts the story of Mustafa, who after fleeing his home, wonders who is left to be his friend.
11. Islam as state religion of Bangladesh
i. Bangladesh’s top court has rejected a 28-year-old petition to remove Islam as official religion of the country.
ii. While the South Asian nation’s Islamists rejoice, analysts say the move is a setback for secular forces.
iii. Islam was introduced as state religion in the Bangladeshi constitution in 1988, almost two decades after the South Asian nation got independence from Pakistan following a liberation war.
iv. The inclusion of Islam was against the core principles of the country’s independence fighters.
v. The move prompted a group of 15 prominent citizens to file a petition in the courts.
12. NTT Data to Buy Dell’s IT-Services Arm
i. Japan’s major NTT Data has acquired Dell Services, the IT services arm of PC maker Dell. According to various media reports the deal is valued at over $3 billion.
ii. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
iii. The latest development from Dell comes as part of its strategy to reduce its debt arisen due to the acquisition of data storage provider for $67 billion.
iv. In October last year Dell had agreed to buy global storage major EMC in the largest M&A deal in tech space.
v. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation, a predecessor of NTT, started Data Communications business in 1967 which has now become the largest of the IT Services companies headquartered in Japan.
13. GVK sells stake in Bangalore International Airport to Fairfax
i. GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd has agreed to sell a 33% stake in Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) to India-born Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax India Holdings Corp.
ii. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd for Rs.2,149 crore, seeking to raise money to repay debt.
iii. On completion of the deal, GVK Power and Infrastructure’s debt will decline by Rs.2,000 crore and its interest costs will drop by some Rs.300 crore a year.
iv. The transaction, which will reduce GVK’s stake in the airport to 10%, is subject to customary closing conditions and third-party consent, including the agreement of creditors, and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2016.
v. BIAL owns and operates the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru under a 30+30 year concession agreement from the Indian government.
14. Reliance Defence, Israel’s Rafael to set up missile, air defence JV
i. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence has inked a pact with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence System.
ii. This is to set up a JV in India for specialised areas including air- to-air missiles that will oversee projects worth USD 10 billion (over Rs 65,000 crore) in ten years.
iii. Joint venture company will be located at Pithampur, Indore in Madhya Pradesh and will generate more than 3,000 highly skilled jobs.
iv. The project will have an initial capital outlay of more than Rs 1,300 crore, without including the cost of technology,
v. Reliance Defence has industrial licences for the full spectrum of military platforms and is the fastest emerging private sector enterprise in the development, manufacture and supply of defence aerospace, land and naval platforms and equipment.
15. P Susheela Mohan Enters Into Guinness World Records
i. Renowned playback singer P Susheela Mohan has been recognized by the Guinness World Records and Asia Book of Records for singing the most number of songs in Indian languages.
ii. While Guinness has officially credited her for singing 17,695 solo, duet and chorus-backed songs in 12 Indian languages, the Asia Book of Records has recognized her for singing close to 17,330 songs.
iii. The play back singer has won many awards and earned accolades in a career spanning five decades, has added two more to her awards cabinet.
iv. Susheela has also created a record of singing over 10,000 songs in Tamil and over 30,000 songs in other languages.
v. The Telugu singer, who has won awards from different states several times, has an enviable track record in the world of music.