Current Affairs: 25 March 2017

Home ministry issues directive for compliance with Flag Code of India 

  • After e-commerce site Amazon was barred from selling products with the Indian Flag on them in January, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued a fresh directive “to ensure strict compliance of the provisions contained in the Flag Code of India, 2002.” 
  • The home ministry also directed that mass awareness programmes be carried out in order to propagate the importance of the national flag. 
  • The ministry had recorded several cases where norms pertaining to the flag and the safety of the environment had been flouted. 
  • Any show of disrespect to the flag would invite a jail term of “up to three years, a fine, or both” under Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 

Flag Code of India

  • The Flag Code of India is a set of laws, practices and conventions that apply to the display of the national flag.Flag Code of India, 2002, has been divided into three parts.
  • Part I of the code contains a general description of the national flag.
  • Part II of the code is devoted to the display of the national flag by members of public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc.
  • Part III of the code relates to display of the national flag by Central and state governments and their organizations and agencies.
  • The Flag Code of India, 2002, took effect from January 26, 2002 and superseded the “Flag Code-India” as it existed earlier.

The World’s Largest “Artificial Sun” Is Powering up in Germany

  • Synlight is the largest collection of film projector spotlights ever assembled in one room, and scientists in Germany are turning them all on at once in the pursuit of efficient and renewable energy.
  • This experiment involving the world’s “largest artificial sun” is taking place in Jülich, a town located 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Cologne, and it was designed by scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
  • The device features 149 industrial-grade film projector spotlights, and each one boasts roughly 4,000 times the wattage of the average light bulb.
  • When this artificial sun is turned on, it generates light that’s 10,000 times as intense as natural sunlight on Earth. 
  • Swiveling the lamps and concentrating them on one spot can produce temperatures of around 3,500 degrees Celsius (6,332 degrees Fahrenheit), which is three times as hot as the heat generated by a blast furnace.
  • In the future, the facility may be used to test the durability of space travel parts when blasted by solar radiation, so not only could Synlight help us deal with our energy crisis here on Earth, it could help us explore worlds far beyond our own, too.

AP tops in Aadhaar seeding of Jan Dhan Accounts

  • Post demonetisation of specified bank notes on November 8, 2016, more accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) have been seeded with Aadhaar numbers.
  • Of the 25.51 crore PMJDY accounts on November 9, around 53.65 per cent were seeded with Aadhaar numbers. Four months hence, the number of PMJDY accounts has gone up to 28.01 crore, and the share of Aadhaar-seeded accounts has risen to 63.61 per cent.
  • As on March 15, Andhra Pradesh had linked 87.73 per cent of its Jan-Dhan accounts with Aadhaar numbers. This was followed by Tripura at 87.08 per cent and Telangana 83.56 per cent.
  • The share of Aadhaar-seeded accounts remained above 53 per cent in States with more than one crore PMJDY accounts. 
  • Maharashtra had linked 80 per cent of its 1.86 crore PMJDY accounts with Aadhaar numbers by March 15. Odisha was able to seed 53.90 per cent of its 1.11 crore accounts.
  • The seeding remained below the 10 per cent range in Assam (1.3 per cent) and Meghalaya (2.08 per cent). 
  • Of the 1.1 crore PMJDY accounts in Assam, around 1.49 lakh were seeded by March 15.
  • Aadhaar seeding remained below 50 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh (34.12 per cent), Jammu and Kashmir (25.16 per cent), Manipur (47.38 per cent) and Nagaland (40.94 per cent).
  • Uttar Pradesh, which saw the number of PMJDY accounts grow from 3.76 crore (as on November 9) to 4.35 crore (by March 15), also saw the seeding of the accounts rise from 43.20 per cent to 57.50 per cent

RBI  appoints T S Anantharaman as part-time chairman of Catholic Syr­ian Bank

  • The Re­serve Bank of In­dia has ac­corded its ap­proval for ap­point­ment of TS Anan­thara­man as part-time chair­man of Catholic Syr­ian Bank. 
  • Anan­thara­man has been hold­ing the po­si­tion of Non-Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the bank since Au­gust 28, 2009. Anan­thara­man is a char­tered ac­coun­tant with wide and var­ied ex­pe­ri­ence in prac­tice, in­dus­try, teach­ing, con­sult­ing and ser­vice. 
  • His ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes seven years with the United Na­tions in a num­ber of coun­tries. 
  • At present, he is in­vest­ment con­sul­tant and di­rec­tor in a num­ber of com­pa­nies and in­sti­tu­tions.

Catholic Syrian Bank 

  • The Catholic Syrian Bank Limited (CSB) is an Indian private sector bank with its headquarters at Thrissur, Kerala, India. It is one of the oldest banks in India. 
  • CSB was founded on 26 November 1920
  • It opened for business on January 1st, 1921 with an authorised capital of Rs.5 lakhs and a paid up capital of Rs. 45270/-
  • Managing Director & CEO: CVR Rajendran
  • Chief Financial Officer: PV Antony

Tata Capital launches app for personal loans

  • In a bid to woo the mobile-savvy youth, financial services company Tata Capital launched a mobile app to offer personal loans up to Rs 15 lakh.
  • The app, called myLoan, is a social profile-based personal loan mobile application. It will make a real-time assessment of the borrower’s loan application through an algorithm, using a mix of digital, social and financial data.

Salient Features of App

  • In a bid to woo the mobile-savvy youth, financial services company Tata Capital on Thursday launched a mobile app to offer personal loans up to Rs 15 lakh.
  • The app, called myLoan, is a social profile-based personal loan mobile application. 
  • It will make a real-time assessment of the borrower’s loan application through an algorithm, using a mix of digital, social and financial data.

Tata Capital Limited 

  • Tata Capital Limited was established in 2007 with the sole aim of providing focused and transparent financial solutions to help people realize their dreams.

Shri Singh launch Coffee Table Book titled “50 Years – The Great Indian Milk Revolution”

  • Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, on 23 March 2017, launched a Coffee Table Book titled “50 Years – The Great Indian Milk Revolution.”
  • The book was launched to commemorated National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) Golden Jubilee year.
  • The book summarizes NDDB’s remarkable 50-year journey and the value it has created for millions of dairy farmers in India.
  • The book also underlines the NDDB’s belief that cooperative principles are as relevant in the present time as they were in the past. It also highlights the Board’s efforts towards bringing about socio-economic change in rural India.

National Dairy Development Board

  • The National Dairy Development Board was set up by an Act of Parliament of India.
  • It is an institution of national importance.
  • It was founded by Dr. Verghese Kurien.
  • The NDDB was created in 1965.
  • Its main office is located in Anand, Gujarat.
  • It subsidiaries include IDMC Limited-Anand, Mother Dairy, Delhi, NDDB Dairy Services, Delhi and Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Hyderabad.

Six Indian-Americans among Ellis Island Medal of Honour


  • PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, author Fareed Zakaria are amongst six Indian-Americans nominated for the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honour 2017 - the highest civilian award in the US for immigrants.
  • Among 88 named recipients, the four other Indian-Americans are Harman International Industries chairman CEO Dinesh Paliwal, Dr Annapoorna S Kini, Yashvant Patel, Mohan H Patel, as well as Pakistani-American Dr Adil Haider.
  • Nooyi has been the CEO at PepsiCo since 2006 and chairman since 2007.
  • Zakaria is the host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" as well as a columnist for The Washington Post.

Ellis Island Medal of Honour

  • The Ellis Island Medal of Honour founded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organisations (NECO) are given annually to individuals whose accomplishments in their field and service to the country are cause for celebration
  • Since its inception in 1986, the medal has been officially recognised by both Houses of Congress as one of the nation's most prestigious awards.

Petroleum Minister launches MoPNG e Seva 

  • Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched MoP&NG e-Seva, a dedicated grievances redressal platform on Social Media for all queries and grievances relating to Oil and Gas Sector.
  • The MOPNG e-Seva is an integrated grievances redressal platform across social media for all Oil & Gas related service issues. 
  • This portal will be a single point interface for all customers to reach out to the government for addressing their feedback or grievances related to Oil & Gas Sector on social media. 
  • MOPNG e-Seva will also deliver 24 x 7 support for consumers.
  • The e-Seva portal will serve as a single point for queries on Twitter and Facebook to begin with; and other social media platforms in due course. A team of Nodal Officers from Oil Companies and Allied Services have been formed to address issues on real-time basis.

India ranks 87th on energy architecture performance: WEF

  • India has marginally improved its position to 87th place on a global energy architecture performance index, but ranks among the worst for pollution
  • Switzerland topped the annual list released by Geneva- based World Economic Forum (WEF) and was followed by Norway, Sweden, Denmark and France in the top five. Indias rank improved three places from 90th last year.
  • According to the findings, the worlds biggest energy consumers struggle to take leading positions on the index as they grapple with inherent challenges of their large, complex energy systems and are outperformed by more nimble economies.
  • Bahrain is ranked the lowest at 127th.
  • The report, developed in collaboration with Accenture Strategy and launched today at the European Commission, ranked 127 countries based on their ability to provide energy across three dimensions of the energy triangle.
  • It has 18 indicators defined across the three sides of the energy triangle -- economic growth and development, environmental sustainability, and energy access and security.

World Economic Forum

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva
  • its mission is cited as "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas
  • The forum was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German-born business professor at the University of Geneva
  • First named the "European Management Forum", it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987

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