1. 15 States have Joined UDAY Scheme
i. The Finance Ministry Arun jaitley has given permission to Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to issue the bonds as part of the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
ii. The Ministry of Finance and the RBI are working out the mode of these bond issues.
iii. According to Union Power Under the UDAY scheme, State governments take over 75 per cent of the debt of the distribution utilities. This is then issued as non-SLR (statutory liquidity ratio) bonds. The remaining 25 per cent of debt with electricity distribution utilities is also refinanced through State government-backed DISCOM bonds.
iv. Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh account for around Rs. 1.5 lakh crore or about 35 per cent of the outstanding loans of State electricity distribution utilities in the country.
v. Six States have already signed agreements to finalise their participation in the UDAY scheme including Bihar.
2. MoU between Indian Army and Induslnd Bank
i. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Indian Army and Hinduja Grouped Induslnd Bank on the Defence Salary package.
ii. The signing ceremony of MoU was headed by Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma and the Dignitaries from Induslnd bank headed by Anil M Rao Head-General Banking Operations.
iii. The first MoU was signed earlier in 2011 was valid for a period of three years, this MoU revised to suit the requirements of serving soldiers also provide them opportunity to access modern banking facilities.
iv. The specially designed salary will hold additional features free/ concessional services including free drafts, Cheques books, and free fund transfer to any bank in India through NEFT/ RTGS and free ATM cards.
v. In the latest MoU Personal Accident Insurance cover has been Included an amount of Rs. 2 lacs for Junior Commissioned Officer and up to 5 lacs for officers and NOC issuing time is reduced to 3 days from the date of application.
3. Sunil Sabharwal Re Appointed As Alternate Executive Director At IMF
i. Independent investor Sunil Sabharwal has become the first Indian American to occupy a key administration post as Alternate Executive Director at the IMF.
ii. Mr. Sabharwal is re nominated by US President Barack Obama. He was 1st nominated in April 2014 and then renominated to the position of Alternate Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
iii. The post of Alternate Executive Director is one of the most powerful position in the IMF considering more than the 16.81 % voting share (highest) of US in the total IMF voting share.
iv. Prior to this appointment Mr. Sabharwal has served as board chairman of Ogone, a European e-commerce payment services firm, from 2011-13.
v. Mr. Sabharwal also had served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Investments at First Data Corporation/Western Union from 2003 to 2006. Since 2006, he has been an independent investor in the payments sector.
4. Award for Srinivasan K. Swamy
i. The Advertising Club Madras conferred its 1st Distinguished Service Award on Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman and Managing Director, R K Swamy BBDO for his outstanding contribution to the advertising industry.
ii. The award was presented to the ad lander who is also president of the IAA India chapter, at a ceremony in Chennai on 3 March 2016.
iii. N Murali, co-chairman of The Hindu group of publications ( Kasturi and Sons Ltd ), and second recipient of the title, was the chief guest for the evening.
iv. Mr. Murali was conferred with this award in 1995.
v. Other recipients of this award were Narayanan in 1998, S.R. (Mani) Aiyer in 2001 and C K Ranganathan in 2004.
5. River Information System Like ATC To Be Launched For Inland Waterways Traffic
i. The Government has launched a River Information System (RIS) between Haldia and Farakka stretch of the National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on 06.01.2016.
ii. The system enhances swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (Base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information.
iii. RIS aims to streamline the exchange of information between waterway operators, regulators and users.
iv. This would facilitate: Inland navigation safety, Improvement in efficiency of inland navigation, Dissemination of information to vessels on the status of fairways, Provision of virtual aids to navigation and guidance to the vessels and Planning of voyages.
6. PepsiCo Named As New Associate Sponsor Of BCCI
i. Beverage giants PepsiCo has named as the new associate sponsor of BCCI , which was earlier pulled out as title sponsors of the Indian Premier League in October.
ii. BCCI has named it as BCCI’s official associate sponsor for all international matches in India.
iii. The both entered into a 4 year partnership for refreshment, snacks and drinks besides grounds where the firm will try to garner maximum visibility for their brands.
iv. Besides, Pepsico, there would be two other official associate sponsors of BCCI, from which the cricket body would get Rs 150 crore for the next four years.
v. Names of the other two sponsors will be announced in the next 7-10 days. Apart from them Mobile commerce platform Paytm is the official title sponsor of the BCCI.
7. Chapchar Kut Festival Celebrated Across Mizoram
i. The traditional festival of Chapchar Kut of the Mizos was celebrated across the north-eastern state of Mizoram and also in the Mizo-inhabited areas in the neighbouring states.
ii. It is a spring festival celebrated every year in month of March.
iii. The festival is celebrated with great fervor and gaiety by Mizos after completion of their Jhum operation (shifting agriculture by clearing jungle by burning and cultivating in remnants of burning).
iv. The citizen belongs to the region dressed in traditional attire, exuberant dancers danced to the tune of typical music and songs. While popular Mizo dances including Cheraw, Sarlamkai, Chheihlam and Khuallam were performed by different cultural troupes.
v. Chapchar Kut Festival is estimated to have started in 1450-1700 A.D. in a village called Suaipui. In Aizawl, state state home minister R Lalzirliana was the ‘Kut pa’ or father of the festival, while state Art and Culture minister R Romawia was the ‘Kut thlengtu’ or host of the festival.
8. TCS chief N Chandrasekaran appointed to board of Reserve Bank
i. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO and managing director Natarajan Chandrasekaran and two others were on Friday appointed as non-official directors to the board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
ii. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved appointment of former Chief Secretary of Gujarat Sudhir Mankad as part-time non-official director on the central board of the RBI for a period of four years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
iii. Mr Mankad was Chief Secretary of Gujarat from April 2005 to August 2007 when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of the state. Besides Mr Mankad, Mr Chandrasekaran of TCS has also been appointed as part-time non-official director on the RBI board, it said.
iv. Bharat Narotam Doshi, non-executive chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra, is the third part-time non-official director on the central board of the bank, the department said. Both Mr Chandrasekaran and Mr Doshi will have a tenure of four years.
v. The Reserve Bank’s affairs are governed by a central board of directors. The board is appointed by the government of India. Besides the RBI Governor, there cannot be more than four deputy governors as full-time official directors of the central bank.
There can be ten non-official directors from various fields and two government officials.
9. Election Commission Announces Assembly Election In 4 States & 1 Union Territory
i. The Election Commission today announced the schedule for Assembly polls in four states — West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and for Union Territory Puducherry. The Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi has announced the election date today in New Delhi.
ii. In Assam, elections will be held in two phases – April 4 and 11. In West Bengal, it will be held on April 4, 11, 17, 21, 25, 30 April, and May 5. In Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala, the elections will be held on May 16. Counting of votes for all five states will be done on May 19.
iii. The elections will also see for the first time a symbol, which has been created by the National School of Design, allotted to NOTA (None of the above) that will be placed at the bottom of the list of candidates. And If possible polling centers will be set up in blind schools, leprosy centers to ensure inclusiveness.
iv. This time all the polls will have Mobile squads with GPS-fitted vehicles and will be accompanied by central forces to ensure that they quickly attend to complaints.
v. There will be exclusive polling stations for differently-abled voters.
10. Pat Conroy, Prince of Tides And Great Santini Author, Dies At 70
i. Donald Patrick “Pat” Conroy was a New York Times bestselling author who has written several acclaimed novels and memoirs.
ii. Two of his novels, The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, were made into Oscar-nominated films.
iii. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, he was the eldest of seven children (five boys and two girls) born to Marine Colonel Donald Conroy, of Chicago, and the former Frances “Peggy” Peek of Alabama.
iv. Conroy grew up in a military family, moving many times during his childhood and adolescence and never having a hometown, as his family followed his father, a fighter pilot, who was transferred from military base to military base.
v. Conroy moved 23 times before he was 18 years old.
11. Cngress MLA R. Venkat Reddy Passes Away
i. Telangana Congress Former Minister Ramreddy Venkat Reddy passed away yesterday. He was undergoing with the treatment for cancer He was 72.
ii. Mr. Reddy was a 5 time MLA from Khammam District. The veteran leader, who was also Chairman of Public Accounts Committee of Telangana Assembly, was a Minister in Congress Governments led by Y S Rajasekhar Reddy and Kiran Kumar Reddy in undivided Andhra Pardesh.
iii. After the constituency was demerged, he shifted to Palair and won with comfortable majority in the 2014 elections.
iv. A soft spoken low-profile politician, Venkat Reddy served as Horticulture Minister in Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Kiran Kumar Reddy Governments. Venkat Reddy’s brother R. Damodar Reddy is also a former Minister.
v. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President N Uttam Kumar Reddy, its working President Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Congress Legislature Party leader K Jana Reddy, among others, condoled his death.
12. Legendary Film Archivist P.K.Nair Passed Away
i. P.K.Nair, the founder director of the Nationl Film Archive of India has passed away. He was 86. Nair, who was in critical condition since the last 10 days, passed away at a hospital in Pune due to cardiac arrest.
ii. He was instrumental in archiving several landmark Indian Films such as Dadasahe Phalke’s ” Raja Harishchndra ” and ” Kaliya Mardan”.
iii. Paramesh Krishnan Nair, who had dedicated his life to preservation of films and building the collection of films at the NFAI.
iv. Nair joined the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune as a research assistant in 1961 and went on to play a key role in setting up the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) in 1964.
v. He was appointed assistant curator in 1965 and continued with the NFAI till 1991.By the time when Mr. Nair retired as NFAI director, he had acquired a whopping 12,000 films for the archive out Of these, 8,000 were Indian and the rest foreign films. His life and work has been immortalized in the documentary Celluloid Man, made by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur.
13. Anirban Lahiri Jumps To 9th Spot At World Golf Championships
i. Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri turned in a second successive two-under 70 and jumped into the top-10 at tied ninth at the midway stage of the $9.5 million WGC Cadillac Championships.
ii. Lahiri, who had three birdies — two of them in last three holes and one bogey, is still six shots behind the leader, Adam Scott, who is looking to make it two wins in two weeks Lahiri broke into the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in March 2014 following a consistent season which included two victories on the Asian Tour.
iii. Lahiri learned to play golf at the age of eight from his father, Dr. Tushar Lahiri, a physician with the armed forces who was also a recreational golfer.
14. Indian Shooter Jitu Rai Clinches Gold 50m Pistol Gold
i. Jitu Rai (Nepali) (born 25 August 1987) is an Indian shooter of Nepalese origin, clinch the 50m pistol gold at the ISSF World Cup Bangkok.
ii. Jitu Rai beat China’s former World and Olympic Champion Wei to second place shooting 191.3 to Pang’s 186.5. Wang Zhiwei, also of China and an Olympic Bronze medallist, finished third with a final round score of 165.8.
iii. Jitu Rai reached the final by finishing third at the end of the 60 shot qualifying series with a score of 562.
iv. He led the field of eight top qualifiers with a score of 564, while Zheiwei followed him in second place scoring 563.
v. Former World Champion Tomoyuki Matsuda of Japan was also going to be a threat in the final given his recent form in the Asian Shooting qualifiers in Delhi.