Current Affairs: 7 March 2017

Centre launches survey on Gangetic dolphins

  • The Centre has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in the Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic doplhin.
  • The survey will create a baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures to improve quality of the river water, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has said.
  • The first leg of the census was launched on March 1 from Narora in Uttar Pradesh to Bijnor (covering distance of nearly 165 km) to establish the number of the national aquatic animal.
  • Counting in the Allahabad to Varanasi stretch (close to 250 km in length) is expected to be launched this week.
  • The authority is conducting the survey through Wildlife Institute of India (WII),, under the Namami Gange programme.

Sri Lanka wins 'Most Popular Tourism Destination Award'

  • Sri Lanka won the "Most Popular Tourism Destination Award" at the Guangzhou International Travel Fair (GITF) in China
  • The island nation won the prestigious award for the second consecutive year which is a testament to its growing popularity among Chinese travel enthusiasts, Xinhua news agency cited the statement as saying.
  • China has been Sri Lanka's second largest source market for tourism since 2014.
  • The volume of visitors to this event has been increasing annually and this has enabled Sri Lanka to gain greater exposure and visibility for its unique destination brand

Sri Lanka

  • Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
  • President: Maithripala Sirisena
  • Prime minister: Ranil Wickremesinghe
  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
  • Official languages: Sinhala, Tamil, English

Rihanna named Humanitarian of Year

  • The popular singer Rihanna has been named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year, and will come to campus to accept the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony
  • Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados
  • The Harvard Foundation recognizes prominent public-spirited leaders each year in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes.

Harvard Humanitarian Award

  • Each year, the Harvard Foundation of Harvard University presents the Humanitarian Award to an individual whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of our lives and have inspired us to greater heights. 
  • This award is given in the name of the Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor and Minister in Harvard's Memorial Church, and is authorized by the Dean of Harvard College and the President of Harvard University.

SBI to impose penalty for not maintaining minimum account balance from April 1

  • State Bank of India, India’s largest bank, has decided to resume the charge on savings account holders for failing to maintain the monthly average balance in their accounts.
  • The bank had done away with the minimum balance criteria for savings bank accounts a few years back in a bid to lure new customers. Sources said the service charges for non-maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) will be revised with effect from April 1, 2017.
  • Monthly average balance that customers will have to maintain in their savings bank accounts in SBI branches in metropolitan areas is Rs 5,000. 
  • In case the shortfall in the monthly average balance is below 50 per cent, then a charge of Rs 50 plus service tax will be levied. 
  • Similarly, in urban areas SBI customers will be required to maintain a monthly average balance of Rs 3000. 
  • If the shortfall in MAB is less than 50 per cent, then a charge of Rs 40 plus service tax will be levied.
  • In semi-urban areas, customers will have to maintain a monthly average balance of Rs 2000, while in rural areas, maintaining an MAB of Rs 1000 will be a must.

SBI 

  • Chairperson: Arundhati Bhattacharya
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founded: 1 July 1955
  • Motto: The Banker to Every Indian
  • Subsidiaries: SBI Cards, State Bank of Hyderabad, more
  • Managing directors: Shri B.Sriram
  • Tagline: With you all the way ,Pure banking nothing else,The nation's bank on us

Dharamshala is second capital of Himachal Pradesh

  • Himachal Pradesh state cabinet on Thursday approved Dharamsala, situated in the snow-capped Dhauladhar range, as the second capital of the hill state
  • HP state cabinet has approved Dharamsala as 2nd capital of state.
  • On January 19, HP CM Virbhadra Singh had proposed Dharamsala as state's winter capital.
  • Dharamsala lies in Kangra district, some 250km from the state capital Shimla.

Himachal Pradesh

  • Capital: Shimla
  • Chief minister: Virbhadra Singh
  • Language: Hindi

SERB Fellowship Award To Lalji Singh

  • Lalji Singh, former Director,the center for cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has been selected for the award of SERB Fellowship.
  •  It is given by the science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) which is a statutory body of the Government of India. 
  • The Award supports research of scientists who are active and performing even after superannuation.

Andy Murray beats Fernando Verdasco to win first Dubai Championships title

  • Britain's Andy Murray saw off Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in straight sets to win the Dubai Championships for the first time.
  • The world number one dropped his first two service games but recovered to win 6-3 6-2 in one hour and 14 minutes.
  • It is Murray's first tournament win of 2017 and the 45th of his career, which will see him extend his lead over Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings.

Dubai Championships title

  • Founded1993; 24 years ago
  • Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Champions of 2017
  • Men's singles : Andy Murray
  • Women's singles: Elina Svitolina
  • Men's doubles : Jean-Julien Rojer Horia Tecău
  • Women's doubles: Ekaterina Makarova Elena Vesnina

Pak diplomat Sial assumed office as new Sec Gen of SAARC

  • Pakistan's seasoned diplomat Amjad Hussain B Sial today assumed office as the new Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
  • He has succeeded Nepal's Arjun Bahadur Thapa, who was appointed the Secretary-General in 2014.
  • Sial's nomination was made by Pakistan at the SAARC Council of Ministers in Pokhara, Nepal, in March 2016 and was endorsed by all member states.
  • He is a seasoned diplomat from Pakistan Foreign Service with over 33 years of career in the diplomatic field.

SAARC

  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
  • Establishment: 8 December 1985
  • Headquarters: Kathmandu
  • Member states: Afghanistan Bangladesh  Bhutan  India Maldives Nepal Pakistan
  • Directors: Mr. Maihan Saeedi 
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