Current Affairs 2nd and 3rd week of March

Former President Barack Obama will be awarded with the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

Nutan Guha Biswas, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development has been appointed as the new Chairperson of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).

Senior IAS officer T Jacob has been appointed as Secretary, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has acquired 100 per cent stake in Imperial Credit Private Ltd, a Kolkata-based non-banking finance company.

India’s Angad Veer Singh Bajwa teamed up with Haley Dunn of the USA won the bronze medal in mixed team skeet event of the ISSF World Cup.

Finnish company Nokia Technologies announced its partnership with HMD Global to sell its smart health devices under the Withings brand.

Singer Robyn Rihanna Fenty has been conferred with the 2017 Peter J Gomes Humanitarian of the Year Award of the Harvard University.

According to a report by US-based Pew Research Center, India will have the world’s largest Muslim population by 2050.

Former IFS and MP Syed Shahabuddin died. He was 82.

President of India and Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces, Pranab Mukherjee awarded the Prestigious President’s ‘Standard’ and ‘Colours’ to 125 Helicopter Squadron and Mechanical Training Institute (MTI) respectively, during a grand ceremonial parade held at Air Force Station Tambaram.

India’s tallest national flag, measuring 360 feet, was hoisted at the Attari-Wagah joint check post in Punjab.

American Sam Querrey defeated Rafael Nadal to win the ATP Mexico Open tennis tournament title.

Filmmaker Onir’s documentary “Raising the Bar” has been selected by the annual Maryland International Film Festival.

A book ‘Digital Madhya Pradesh’, penned by Bhopal-based journalist and author Sarman Nagele, was released in Tokyo, Japan by Asian Productivity Organisation Secretary General Santhi Kanoktanaporn.

Ravichandran Ashwin overtook Anil Kumble to become the bowler with most balls bowled in a Test cricket season.

Australia Women captain Meg Lanning became the first women cricketer to register 10 ODI centuries.

DATRI, the largest unrelated blood stem cell donors’ registry in India, has won the Global NGO Excellence Award under the Best Healthcare NGO category.

Finance Ministry has agreed in-principle to allow public sector banks to offer stock options to their employees (ESOPs).

Famous singer-songwriter Tommy Page, died. He was 46.

The Swedish passport has been rated the World’s most valuable passport by the consulting firm Nomad Capitalist. The Indian passport was ranked 160th, while Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s passports were among the least valuable.

Indian Navy’s oldest warship, INS Viraat which has spent 30 years in the Indian Navy and 27 years in the Royal Navy, was decommissioned in Mumbai.

India’s largest lender SBI tied-up with global cyber security services provider Trend Micro Incorporated for the cyber security of its technology infrastructure.

According to Fitch, India’s economic growth rate is estimated to be 7.1 percent in the current fiscal and 7.7 percent in 2017-18.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan honoured the director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, P Kunhikrishnan with Vigyan Pratibha Samman.

Rajasthan will be awarded with the Nari Shakti Puraskar for the year 2016. This award will be given for the increase in child sex ratio in the state.

Union Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on renewable energy with Portugal.

Noted socialist leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Rabi Ray died. He was 90.

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has roped in Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan as its new brand ambassador for India.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar unveiled a statue of veteran leader and former Bihar CM Ram Sundar Das in Patna.

National Skill Development Corporation has signed an agreement with Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir Trust, the educational wing of Art of Living, for promoting skill development and entrepreneurship among youth.

Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc) has been ranked eighth in the ‘Best Small Universities’ category in the Times Higher Education or THE Rankings, 2017. With this it has become the first Indian university to be featured in the list of top 10 universities of the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated ONGC Petro additions Ltd (OpaL) Rs 30,000-crore plant to the nation at the Dahej Special Economic Zone.

Country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) launched a new facility for its employees. Through this facility, its employees can work from home.

IDFC Bank officially launched its Aadhaar pay infrastructure meant for those without any mobile phone to carry out cashless transactions.

Reliance Capital sold its nearly 1 per cent stake in digital payments firm Paytm for Rs 275 crore to China’s Alibaba Group.

Popular Bengali folk music singer Kalikaprasad Bhattacharya died. He was 56.

Mobile manufacturing company OPPO became the new sponsor of the Indian cricket team, replacing broadcasting giants Star India.

BJP MP Kirron Kher launched the Central government’s UJALA scheme in Chandigarh.

Indo-Nepal joint military exercise ‘Surya Kiran’ began at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand.

According to Hurun Global Rich List 2017, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani remains the richest Indian with a net worth of $26 billion (Rs 175,400 crore).

The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed Sachin Tendulkar as the Ambassador for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. Women’s World Cup will be played in England from June 24 to July 23 2017.

US President Donald Trump has nominated Indian-American Ajit Pai to serve another term at the Federal Communications Commission.

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja became the first pair of spinners to be jointly top-ranked in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers.

President Pranab Mukherjee presented Nari Shakti Puraskars 2016 at a special function held in New Delhi on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari inaugurated a spiritual learning centre in Nepal and said it would play a vital role in promoting religious harmony and tourism in the country.

Ford Foundation named Pradeep Nair as the regional director for its recently registered branch office in New Delhi.

The two-day International Yoga festival began in New Delhi on 8 March 2017.

Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan passed away. He was 49.

Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan won Best Actress Award at the International Film Festival and Awards of Australia (IFFAA).

Technology giant Google has announced the acquisition of Kaggle, a start-up that hosts a number of data scientists.

B P Kanungo has appointed Deputy Governor in Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for three years. He will take the charge from 3 April 2017 onwards.

India and Belgium have signed a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries. The Protocol was signed by Sushil Chandra, Chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium to India.

Iceland became the first country in the world to force companies to prove they pay all employees the same, regardless of gender, sexuality or nationality.

Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona will become the ambassador of the Chinese Super League.

Virat Kohli has been replaced from the top spot in the latest ICC ODI batsmen rankings by South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

The Indian women’s ice hockey team registered its first ever win in an international ice hockey match by beating Philippines at the Challenge Cup of Asia in Bangkok.

Afghanistan registered the longest winning streak in T20Is, recording their tenth consecutive win in a T20 internationals over Ireland at Greater Noida.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye removed from office, by the country’s Constitutional Court for her role in a corruption and influence-peddling scandal.

Senior diplomat Manjeev Singh Puri has been appointed as India’s new envoy to Nepal.

India’s first air-conditioned rail ambulance was unveiled in Mumbai. The rail ambulance is capable of providing medical facilities to 50 patients at a time.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assumed the additional charge of the Ministry of Defence.

Senior BJP leader Manohar Parrikar sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Goa.

Two Indian-American authors- Siddhartha Mukherjee and Paul Kalanithi have been shortlisted for the 30,000 pound Wellcome Book Prize.

The US Senate has confirmed Indian-American Seema Verma for a top health care position in the Trump administration.

IndusInd Bank has entered into an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) to acquire 100 per cent stake of the latter’s securities services subsidiary.

Double Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand announced her retirement from international cycling.

Malayalam film director Deepan passed away. He was 47.

Bangladesh has become the quickest nation to complete a century of Tests.

ICC chairman, Shashank Manohar resigned from his post.

The land-attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with an extended range increased from 290 km to 450 km was successfully test fired.

Captain Amarinder Singh of Congress was sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister of Punjab.

N. Biren Singh was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Manipur. Governor Najma Heptulla administered the oath of office and secrecy to Singh at Raj Bhavan in state capital, Imphal.

The 105th session of Indian Science Congress will be held at the city-based Osmania University from January 3 to 7 next year.

According to the Mercer Quality of Living rankings 2017, Hyderabad has been ranked as the city with the highest quality of living among Indian cities.

Union Cabinet approved an agreement between India-Namibia on capacity building.

Shreya Ghoshal has become the first Indian singer to make it to Madame Tussauds.

The Changi Airport in Singapore has been rated the world’s best airport for the fifth consecutive year in a survey by research firm Skytrax.

Reliance Communications said it has received approvals from market regulator SEBI and the stock exchanges for proposed demerger of its wireless business into Aircel Ltd.

The government approved signing of an agreement with Bangladesh for greater cooperation with regard to marine aids to navigation.

The government approved the National Health Policy which proposes to provide assured health services to all in the country.

Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, has been elected as the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans.

According to the ‘Women in Politics 2017 Map’ launched by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, India ranked 88th out of 186 countries in terms of appointment of women on ministerial posts. While, in terms of percentage of women in Parliament, India has been placed at 148th rank among 193 countries.

Indian-American teenager, Indrani Das, won the top, $250,000 prize in the prestigious and oldest US science competition, Regeneron Science Talent Search competition for her research on treating brain injuries and diseases.

E-commerce Company Snapdeal has partnered with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), to showcase popular Japanese SME products on the online marketplace.

China and Saudi Arabia signed 14 agreements on cooperation in the fields of investments, energy and space.

India’s most successful doubles specialist Jwala Gutta has been appointed a member of the governing body of Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Japan has successfully launched a new spy satellite ‘IGS Radar-5’ aboard an H-2A rocket.

Monash University Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) and Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) run by the Ministry of Railways have entered into an agreement with the Indian Railways to support future research and technology development related to critical infrastructure in India.

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has partnered with Amazon India to drive digital literacy among women entrepreneurs in Nagaland.

European aviation major Airbus inked a pact with Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) for setting up a training facility, including the country’s first full flight simulator.

BJP leader Yogi Aditya Nath sworn-in as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an international conference on the theme of “Universities of the Future: Knowledge, Innovation and Responsibility” at O. P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Sonipat, Haryana.

North Korea has tested a new high-performance rocket engine. Rocket engines are easily re-purposed for use in missiles.

The legendary architect of rock n roll music Chuck Berry has passed away. He was 90.

The Punjab government has decided to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in all government jobs.

The troops of Indian and Oman armies concluded their exercise ‘Al-Nagah-II 2017’ in Bakloh belt of Himachal Pradesh.

Home-share booking site Airbnb launched a new platform ‘Trips’ in India to help users experience unique features about destinations across the country.

Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat will arrive here on a four-day official visit to Nepal on March 28 during which he is scheduled to call on the country’s top leadership and hold talks on stepping up bilateral defence cooperation.

Quiz of the Day