Current Affairs, News & Facts of 18 Mar 2016

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  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurates World Sufi Forum in New Delhi

     

    PM Narendra Modi inaugurates World Sufi Forum in New DelhiPrime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated World Sufi Forum on 17th March 2016 in New Delhi . The 4 day conference organized by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India started with a message of peace and brotherhood that has been the eternal touch stone of all sufi saints.

    More than 200 Indian and international delegates, including Sufi Shuyukh, spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of Sufism will participate in the event to discuss ways to spread the message of peace advocated by Islam.

    The event will include a debate on the role of women in Islam. The conference is expected to come out with a declaration against extremism and Wahabism.

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  • India inks $35 million loan agreement with WB for MP project

     

    Union Government launches FCI’s Depot Online SystemUnion government, Madhya Pradesh government and the World Bank have signed loan agreement of 35 million dollars credit agreement for the 'MP higher education quality improvement project'. The loan would be sanctioned by the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm International Development Association (IDA).

    The loan agreement was signed between Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank.

    MP higher education quality improvement project

    The project size is 50 million dollars,of which USD 35 million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded out of State Budget. The duration for the project is 5 years.

    Project objective : The objective of the project is to improve access and quality of public services in the state through implementation of the Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act, 2010. 

    The project is expected to deliver key results in terms of improving access to services and citizen outreach, simplification of Government services, performance management and strengthening the capacity of implementing agencies.

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  • Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan dies at 71

     

    Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan dies at 71Meir Dagan, the former longtime chief of Israel's intelligence service, Mossad, passed away due to liver cancer. He had served as Director General of the Mossad from 2002 until his retirement in 2011.

    Under his leadership, Mossad carried out covert attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists and unleashed cyber-attacks, including the Stuxnet virus that delayed the Iranian nuclear programme.

    At a glance: Meir Dagan 

    Dagan was bron on 30th Jan 1945 on a train between the Soviet Union and Poland during World War II to Polish Jewish parents who were Holocaust survivors. He joined  Israeli army in 1963 as a paratrooper and commanded a company in the Sinai desert during the war in 1967.

    In the 1970s, under command of then-army leader Ariel Sharon, he pioneered  "Mistaravim" unit,  a unit of soldiers disguised as Palestinians to capture militant suspects. He also played important role at various high-level positions in the Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War and 1982 Lebanon War. 

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  • IMD develops Drishti for providing real time visibility information to pilots

     

    IMD develops Drishti for providing real time visibility information to pilotsCSIR and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) have indigenously developed Drishti system, a visibility measuring system that provides information to pilots on visibility for safe landing and take-off operations, particularly  during foggy or rainy days. 

    Key facts Drishti system :

     (1) The need for "Drishti system" was felt as flights were usually delayed due to fog and especially during the winter months and finally the plan to develop Drishti took it's shape on CSIR Foundation Day in 2007, and went on to field trials at NAL in January 2008 and airport trials at Cochin Airport in 2008 June.

    (2) Drishti is a transmissometer that takes in account the real time weather parameters like humidity, wind speed, temperature conditions, etc., along the runway in order to calculate the visibility distance offered at that particular runway. The system transfer the crucial visibility updates to the pilots in real time who can now use this information that will be updated every minute. 

    (3) Drishti has many features like electronic modulation of lamp intensity, real time embedded data acquisition with web-enabled software for remote health monitoring of the system.

    (4) The system was  introduced for the first time at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in New Delhi in 2015 on a trial basis, and later in phased it was installed at locations that often experience fog. Currently, there are 10 instruments at Delhi, three each at Jaipur, Varanasi, Lucknow; one each at Amritsar and Kolkata.

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  • Union Government launches FCI’s Depot Online System

     

    Union Government launches FCI’s Depot Online SystemRam Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution launched Depot Online System of state run Food Corporation of India (FCI) which is said to be a historic step towards bringing total transparency in the working of FCI and minimise storage losses of foodgrains.

    The system would data online on a real time basis and bring total transparency in the working of FCI. It would also help in better monitoring and supervision to reduce leakages and losses.

    Initiatives by the Union Government

    (1) Nearly 100% cards have been digitized and about 80,000 Fair Price Shop (FPS) have been provided with bio-metric “Point of Sale Device” for distributing subsidized foodgrains.

    (2) 45% ration cards have been seeded with Aadhar cards and in next 2 years remaining cards will also be seeded with the Aadhars wherever available.

    (3) “Point of Sale Device” will be installed at 3 lakh FPS by March 2017 and by March 2019 all the ration shops in the country will have these devices to make Public Distribution System totally leak proof.

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  • Pfizer appoints S.Sridhar as MD 

     

    Pfizer appoints S.Sridhar as MD Pharmaceutical major Pfizer Ltd has appointed S Sridhar as its new Managing Director (MD) with immediate effect from March 18, 2016  for a period of five years.

    Sridhar has worked as the Chief Financial Officer of the company for seven years and was appointed the Executive Director on the Board in May 2013. Prior to joining Pfizer, Mr. Sridhar worked as the Finance Director of Diageo India Pvt Ltd.

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  • AirAsia names Abrol as India CEO

     

    AirAsia names Abrol as India CEOIndo-Malaysian low cost carrier, AirAsia has appointed Amar Abrol as the CEO of AirAsia India, with effect from April 1, 2016. He will succeed Mittu Chandilya whose contract with the airline ends on March 31.

    About Amar Abrol

    (1) Abrol who is born born and raised in India, graduated from Delhi University and is a qualified chartered accountant.

    (2) He has over 20 years of experience, was most recently the CEO of Tune Money, a start-up that aims to deliver low-cost financial products in South East Asia.

    (3) Before joining Tune Money in 2013, he spent 19 years with American Express, leading diverse teams across multiple markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, India and Malaysia.

    About AirAsia

    (1) Air Asia India  is an Indo-Malaysian low cost carrier headquartered in Chennai, India. It is a  joint venture with AirAsia Berhad holding 49% of the airline, Tata Sons holding 40.06% and Telestra Tradeplace having the remaining 10% in the airline.

    (2) The company marked Tata's return to aviation industry after 60 years, having ceded Air India in 1946. AirAsia is the first foreign airline to set up a subsidiary in India. It commenced operations on 12 June 2014 with Bangalore as its primary hub.

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  • Carol named best LGBT film of all time

     

    Carol named best LGBT film of all timeLesbian love story "Carol" based on Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt, has been named as the best LGBT film of all time by the British Film Institute (BFI). 

    Carol, which was released in the year 2015 is a British-American romantic drama film directed by Todd Haynes. It tells the story of a forbidden love affair between a young aspiring photographer and an older woman going through a difficult divorce.

    Carol came top of a the poll of more than 100 film experts that included past and present festival programmers which was compiled to mark the 30th anniversary of the London lesbian and gay film festival, BFI Flare. Carol got six Oscar nominations and nine Bafta nominations, although it came home empty-handed from both award ceremonies.

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  • Four Indians in WEF Global Leaders List of 2016

     

    Four Indians in WEF Global Leaders List of 2016Four Indians namely Kanika Dewan, Dhivya Suryadevara, Shaurya Veer Himatsingka and Sheetal Amte-Karajgi have made it to the list of over 121 young global leaders recognised by the World Economic Forum. Among these four leaders three are women.

    WEF recognised 121 scientists, government leaders, future business leaders, social activists and artists, aged under-40, as the Young Global Leaders Class of 2016.

    These 121 people are shaking up policy, society and the world around them. Over half of the Young Global Leaders Class of 2016 are women and the majority are from emerging economies.

    About the four leaders

     (1) Kanika Dewan : President of Bramco Group.

     (2) Dhivya Suryadevara : CEO of GM Asset Management, one of the largest pensions in the US, where she manages $80 billion in assets.

     (3) Shaurya Veer Himatsingka :  CEO of Maharogi Sewa Samiti. She is aking a significant impact on the lives of the marginalised.

     (4) Sheetal Amte-Karajgi : Deputy managing director, India Carbon.

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  • SC allows photos of CMs, Governors, ministers in government advertisements

     

    SC allows photos of CMs, Governors, ministers in government advertisementsThe Supreme Court has reversed its 2015 order and allowed publication of photographs of governors, chief ministers and ministers in government advertisements. Ruling in this regard was given by a SC bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi on pleas by Centre and states including poll-bound West Bengal and Tamil Nadu hich had sought a review of the Supreme Court judgment barring publication of leaders’ photos in advertisements except those of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India (CJI), saying it infringed fundamental rights and federal structure.

    Supreme Court in its May 13, 2015 order had issued guidelines which had  barred publication of photos of leaders in government advertisements except those of the President, PM and the CJI. It also mandated that official advertisements should not carry the name of any political party, political symbol, logo or flag.

    The main motive behind these strict guidelines was to keep politicians and government policy and achievements seperate so that politician can not find any space for publicity stunt and waste huge money on advertisement.

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2nd Aug

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