1. PM Modi And Belgian PM Charles Michel Launch Asia’s Biggest Telescope
i. Asia’s biggest telescope has been launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
ii. This is built by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) with the assistance of Belgian.
iii. The telescope has been located at a height of 2,500 metres at Devasthal in Nainital district. The site was chosen for getting a clear view of the sky. The telescope has mirror of 3.6 m diameter.
iv. The telescope facility has been incorporated with high end technology which enables it to be operated with the help of remote control from anywhere in the world.
v. ARIES, the largest optical telescope of its kind in Asia. It will be used to study star structures and magnetic field structures of stars and astronomical debris.
2. India-US to sign MoU for building LIGO project
i. India will sign an MoU with the United States for building a state-of-the-art Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) project in the country.
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ii. The MoU will be signed between the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the US and India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet scientists from the LIGO project.
iv. The MoU also states of forming a Joint Oversight Group (JOG) with the scientists from NSF, DAE and DST for better coordination of the project.
v. The project will bring unprecedented opportunities for scientists and engineers to dig deeper into the realm of gravitational wave and take global leadership in this new astronomical frontier. A meeting to decide the site for setting up the laboratory in India will take place by April 10.
3. Dr. Najma Heptulla Launchs Innovative Entrepreneurship & Skill Development Programme Of MANAS
i. Dr. Najma Heptulla, the Union Minister for Minority Affairs launched innovative entrepreneurship and skill development programme of Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills (MANAS)– through leading national/ international experts in different skill sets in New Delhi.
ii. She also inaugurated online two training centres of Beauty & Wellness Sector, one in Okhla and another in Daryaganj area.
iii. In Okhla Centre Sh. Jawed Habib known for impetus to revolutionize the art of Hair Styling in India will provide scientific and systematic training to the aspirants wishing to pursue a career in cosmetology.
iv. NSDC provides funding to build scalable, for-profit vocational training initiatives.
v. Its mandate is also to enable support systems such as quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships.
4. Nadda launches GIS-enabled HMIS application, self-printing of e-CGHS Card
i. J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare launched two major Digital initiatives to provide easy access to health services to the public: GIS-enabled HMIS application and the self-printing of e-CGHS cards, in New Delhi.
ii. Launching these initiatives of the Health Ministry, the Union Minister stated that the Health Ministry remains committed to strengthening public health systems and providing user-friendly health services in the country.
iii. He further stated that that this will provide a tremendous opportunity to further strengthen and enhance the reach of key interventions.
5. LIC Increases Stake In Andhra Bank And Dena Bank
i. The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has announced that the Public sector lender Dena Bank has raised Rs. 65 crore by issuing over 2 crore shares and Andhra Bank 4.23 per cent stake to LIC on a preferential allotment, without disclosing the amount.
ii. Dena Bank has stated in the regulatory filing that Life Insurance Corporation stake in the lender has gone up to 14.5 per cent from 11.63 per cent earlier. These are the post-acquisition of additional shares in Dena Bank.
iii. And Andhra Bank said that it has sold over 4.23 per cent stake equivalent to 28,853,210 shares to LIC on a preferential allotment.
iv. The price per unit at which Andhra Bank sold shares to LIC was not provided.
v. After buying these additional stake buy in Andhra Bank, LIC holds more than 14.39 per cent in the lender, from over 10.15 per cent earlier.
6. Vijaya Bank to get Rs 220 crore capital infusion from government
i. State-run Vijaya Bank said the government has approved a capital infusion of Rs 220 crore in lieu of preferential allotment of shares.
ii. In the first tranche, as many as 13 public sectors banks were given fund support of Rs 19,950 crore. Of this, SBI got the highest amount of Rs 5,393 crore.
iii. Besides, the government infused Rs 2,229 crore in IDBI Bank Rs 2,009 crore in Indian Overseas BankBSE 2.90 % and Rs 1,732 crore in Punjab National Bank.
iv. Last year, the government had announced a revamp plan ‘Indradhanush’ to infuse Rs 70,000 crore in state-owned banks over four years.
v. while they will have to raise a further Rs 1.1 lakh crore from markets to meet their capital requirements in line with global risk norms Basel-III.
7. European Investment Bank to loan €450 million for Lucknow Metro
i. European Union, through the European Investment Bank (EIB), will lend India €450 million (approximately Rs. 3,300 crore) towards constructing a 23-km long Lucknow Metro rail line and a purchasing a fleet of new trains.
ii. EIB is the EU’s official bank and the world’s largest international public bank, and its loan will cover half of the total project costs for the Lucknow Metro.
iii. The first tranche of €200 million will be signed on Wednesday, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels, as part of the 13th India E.U. Summit.
iv. The remaining tranches will be disbursed over the course of the project.
v. Lucknow’s Metro is expected to increase the public transport mode share from 10% to 27% in the city of 3 million.
8. Adani Ties Up With Elbit, Alpha for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
i. Marking its formal entry into defence, Adani Group’s unit Aero Defence Systems & Technologies Ltd has signed a so-called statement of intent with Elbit-ISTAR of Israel and Indian company Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd to work together in the field of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
ii. Adani Aero Defence Systems & Technologies Ltd is a fully owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd, with interests in design, technology development, technical collaboration and system integration services for aerospace and defence equipment and systems.
iii. Under the agreement, the companies plan to set up a final assembly and integration line, including MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facilities by incorporating true transfer of technology for supporting the product range during its lifecycle.
9. Star India to launch Hotstar service overseas
i. Star India plans to launch its over-the-top platform Hotstar in other countries over the next few months.
ii. Hotstar is a digital and mobile entertainment platform owned by Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited (formerly known as Indya Interactive Services Private Limited).
iii. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of STAR India.
iv. The numerous and affluent South Asian diaspora, which for the longest time had been frustrated by the lack of access to its favourite content, will be able to watch cricket, movies and other shows through Hotstar.
10. Kachhabali Becomes 1st Liquor-free village in Rajasthan
i. Kachhabali village in Bhim tehsil of Rajsamand district has become the 1st in the state to vote to close down its lone liquor shop.
ii. The referendum saw 67.11% of voters saying they wanted no alcohol sale in the village.
iii. Polling was conducted by the excise department Of the 2,886 voters in the 9 wards of the panchayat, 2,039 voted.
iv. While 1,937 voted in favour of the ban on liquor, only 33 voted to keep the local liquor shop open Sixty-nine votes were rejected.
v. So in a way, around 95% of those who turned up to vote favoured the ban on liquor.
11. Patrick Dupuis appointed to Wipro’s Board of Directors
i. Wipro Limited on 30 March 2016 announced the appointment of Patrick Dupuis to its Board of Directors, effective 1 April 2016.
Dupuis will serve as an Independent Director on the Board.
ii. Dupuis, who holds an experience of over 30 years, currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Simplicity, Quality and Productivity at Global technology platform and payments leader, PayPal Holdings, Inc.
iii. He was instrumental in PayPal’s separation from eBay Inc. and listing on the Nasdaq in 2015.
iv. He was previously the CFO of Sitel, a leader in customer service and BJC Healthcare, one of the largest non-profit health care organizations in the US. He previously spent 20 years at GE, where he was made an officer at 34.
v. His last two roles at GE were CFO of BJC Healthcare and GM of GE Capital International Services (now Genpact). He graduated from the Ecole de Management de Lyon in France.
12. Jitendra Jagota Has Appointed As The Chairman of IDSA
i. Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) has announced Jitendra Jagota as the new Chairman in its new Executive Committee at the General Body Meeting held in New Delhi.
ii. Currently He is the Director Legal and Government Affairs, Avon Beauty Products India Pvt. Ltd has been has become the Chairman of the Association.
iii. Mr. Jagota will succeed Mr. Rajat Banerji. He is the National Head Corporate Affairs of Amway India Enterprises. He congratulated the new chairman.
iv. The new executive committee has also welcomed Amit Chadha, who has been recently appointed as the Secretary General of the Association. He is a Non-elected member of the IDSA board.
v. The elected members of the Indian Direct Selling Association will each serve one-year term for financial year 2016-17.
13. Faustin Archange Touadera is Central African Republic’s new President
i. Central African Republic‘s newly elected president Faustin Archange Touadera took the oath of office, ushering in the first elected leader since Muslim rebels overthrew the government more than three years ago.
ii. The inauguration came as former coloniser France said its troops plan to leave the country by the end of the year.
iii. The French forces worked to stabilize the long volatile country until a United Nations peacekeeping force was in place, though both missions have been tarnished by allegations of child sexual abuse.
iv. Touadera, a former math professor and prime minister, emerged from a crowded field of candidates and won the February 14 runoff with nearly 63 percent of the vote.
v. Touadera’s presidency puts an end to a two-year transitional government that came into force in early 2014.
14. Oscar Winning Actress Patty Duke Has Passed Away
i. The Oscar winning US actress Patty Duke has passed away recently. She was 69 year old. She won Oscar for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker in 1963. Her cause of death was sepsis from a ruptured intestine.
ii. The US actress also won an Emmy in 1980 for playing Helen Keller’s teacher in a TV movie version.
iii. Duke also started in The Patty Duke Show in the 1960s in which she took the roles of “identical” teenage cousins. She was the mother of actor Sean Astin, who played the hobbit Sam in the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films.
iv. Duke was a child star, making her first TV appearance at the age of 12. The 16-year-old Duke played blind and deaf girl Helen Keller whose tutor played by Anne Bancroft breaks through her isolation and helps her to communicate in the Miracle Worker, .
v. Among Duke’s other awards included Emmys for My Sweet Charlie in 1970 and Captains and the Kings in 1976. She also appeared in the Broadway musical Oklahoma.
15. Virat Kohli rises to top in ICC T20I rankings
i. Indian Test Captain Virat Kohli kept his Performance at the top helped his side into the semifinals of the World Twenty20 after defeating Australia.
ii. He has replaced Aaron Finch as the number one batsman in the latest ICC T20 rankings. Number-one ranked India will go head to head with third- ranked West Indies in Mumbai , while in the first semi-final in Delhi while second-ranked New Zealand will square-off against fifth-ranked England.
iii. The second semi-final in Mumbai will witness the battle of top players. Spinner Samuel Badree is the current world number one bowler in T20Is.
iv. Chris Gayle is at 6th position among batsmen.
v. In the bowlers rankings, India’s Ravinchandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja feature in the Top-10. Ashwin has slipped 2 places to be at 3rd while Jadeja moved up 3 spots to be at 7th.