Current Affairs: 15 March 2017

Published on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Footwear Design And Development Institute Bill, 2017 Introduced In The Lok Sabha

  • Commerce & Industry Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Bill intends to declare the FDDI as an Institution of National Importance (INI).
  • It further seeks to facilitate and promote teaching, training and research in all disciplines relating to design and development of Footwear and leather products and to enable FDDI to emerge as Centre of Excellence meeting international standards

Purpose of the bill

  • It proposes to establish the FDDI as a body corporate, unlike the present structure wherein the institute is centrally-funded for meeting its capital expenditure.
  • The institute would consist of a Governing Council, with a Chairperson who shall be an .eminent academician, scientist or industrialist from the leather sector, to be nominated by the Central Government. 
  • The Central Government has further been vested with the power to remove the Chairperson or other members, and to reconstitute the Cou...

About FDDI 

  • The FDDI was established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India in the year 1986. 
  • It has pan-India presence with campuses at Noida, Kolkata, Chennai, Fursatganj (UP), Rohtak, Chhindwara and Jodhpur.

Arun Jaitley gets charge of defence ministry after Manohar Parrikar resigns

  • Finance minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of the defence ministry after Manohar Parrikar resigned to take on the new role of Goa chief minister.
  • the President has directed that Arun Jaitely, cabinet minister, shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence, in addition to his existing portfolios,
  • This is the second time that Jaitley is holding the additional portfolio of Defence Ministry during the present NDA government.
  • He was incharge of the ministry earlier from May 26 to November 9 in 2014.

Ministry of Defence

  • The Ministry of Defence is charged with co-ordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the Indian armed forces. 
  • The Ministry has the largest budget among the federal departments of India and currently maintains sixth in military expenditure among countries of the world.
  • The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country. 
  • The Ministry of Defence provides policy framework and resources to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibility in the context of the defence of the country. 
  • The Armed Forces (including Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy) and Indian Coast Guard under the Defence Ministry are primarily responsible for ensuring the territorial integrity of the nation.

Krishi Unnati Mela begins in New Delhi

  • National Agricultural Fair "Krishi Unnati Mela 2017" is being organised during March 15-17, 2017 at IARI, PUSA New Delhi by ICAR-DARE, IARI supported by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India. 
  • Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is the Project Management Partner for the fair.
  • Major attraction of the mela would be digitisation in agriculture, organic farming, agribusiness models, precision farming, skill building and entrepreneurship development 
  • Live demo of water use efficient technologies, recycling of waste water for agriculture and on-spot soil and water testing will also be held
  • The technical sessions on various themes are planned to educate farmers on various agricultural technologies and government schemes for agricultural development.

Commonwealth Day -March 13, 2017

  • Commonwealth Day is celebrated annually across the Commonwealth of Nations on the second Monday in March(March 13, 2017)
  • The objective of this day is to come together and celebrate its values and diversity.
  • The theme of 2017 is :A peace-building Commonwealth"
  • It is marked by a multi-faith service in Westminster Abbey, normally attended by Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth along with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Commonwealth High Commissioners in London.
  • Commonwealth Nation:
  • Headquarters: Marlborough House, London
  • Head: Queen Elizabeth II

Reliance Commercial Finance appoints Devang Mody as CEO

  • Reliance Commercial Finance, a subsidiary of Reliance Capital announced the appointment of Devang Mody as chief executive officer.
  • Prior to this, Mody served as president of consumer business at Bajaj Finance.
  • The consumer finance business of Bajaj Finance, under his leadership, witnessed a sharp growth to its current size spanning over 300 towns, with market leadership positions across various business lines.
  • The company, over the last eight years, has helped create success stories for over 1.3 lakh SMEs across the country covering various industries, and disbursed loans of over Rs 50,000 crore to them.

Who is Devang Mody?

  • Mody, aged 44, has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector. 
  • He started his career with Mahajan & Aibara, and then moved on to EY, followed by a stint at GE Money Financial Services where he was VP - Strategic Initiatives, before moving to Bajaj Finance.
  • Reliance Commercial Finance is amongst the leading small and medium enterprise (SMEs) lenders in the non-banking finance space with assets under management of Rs 16,191 crore as of December 31, 2016.

Union government launches Mission Fingerling to achieve Blue Revolution

  • Recognizing the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector, Government of India has envisaged a program named ‘’Blue Revolution’’ to unlock the country’s latent potential through an integrated approach. 
  • The Blue Revolution, in its scope and reach, focuses on creating an enabling environment for an integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio economic development of the fishers and fish farmers.
  • Thrust areas have been identified for enhancing fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt in 2020-21. 

Aim of the mission

  • Greater emphasis will be on infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer to increase in the income of the fishers and fish farmers. 
  • Productivity enhancement shall also be achieved through employing the best global innovations and integration of various production oriented activities such as: Production of quality fish seeds, Cost effective feed and adoption of technology etc. 

Key Highlights

  • The Department has identified 20 States based on their potential and other relevant factors to strengthen the Fish Seed infrastructure in the country. 
  • This program with a total expenditure of about Rs. 52000 lakh will facilitate the establishment of hatcheries and Fingerling rearing pond to ensure the fish production of 426 crores fish fingerling, 25.50 crores Post Larvae of shrimp and crab in the country.
  • This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually and will benefit about 4 million families. 
  • The implementation of this program will supplement the requirement of stocking materials in the country up to a large extent, which is a much-needed input to achieve the enhanced fish production. 

Hyderabad best Indian city in living standards: Mercer

  • Hyderabad for the third year in a row has emerged as the best city in terms of living standards among Indian cities, while Vienna has been ranked at the top globally in a list by consultancy firm Mercer.
  • The National Capital for the second straight year hit the lowest score among Indian cities for living standards, as per the Mercer's Quality of Living rankings 2017.
  • Both Hyderabad and Pune ranked higher for quality of living than the country's traditional business centres Mumbai and New Delhi, which have been ranked at 154 and 161, respectively, by the report.
  • New Delhi scored well on account of its airport facility, availability of international schools and low probability of natural disasters, these positives were offset by a variety of negatives including a 'notorious' crime rate, air pollution and water availability
  • Globally, Vienna remained at the top for overall quality of living for the eighth year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities.
  • European cities in the top ten list are: Zurich (2) Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9) and Basel -- a newcomer -- at 10th place.
  • The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5).
  • The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79), respectively
  • Singapore topped the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in 2nd place, while on the other hand Baghdad (230) and Port au Prince (231) ranked at the bottom for city infrastructure.

What is Mercer?

  • Mercer is the world's largest human resources consulting firm
  • Mercer is a subsidiary of global professional services firm Marsh & McLennan.
  • Founded: 1945
  • Headquarters: New York City, United States
  • Chairman and CEO: Julio Portalatin

Upcoming Rewa solar plant to receive loan from World Bank

  • The World Bank has agreed to provide loan to develop internal transmission arrangements of the upcoming Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (RUMS) project in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It will provide 25 per cent of the loan amount under its Clean Technology Fund (CTF), where the money will be provided at an interest rate of only 0.25 per cent.
  • This would be the first solar power project of the country to receive a loan under CTF (Clean Technology Fund)
  • The installation of this solar power project would save Rs 14,000 crore for the state. Besides, the project would also provide power to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

World Bank

  • The World Bank (WB) is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs.
  • It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). 
  • The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group, which is part of the United Nations system.
  • The World Bank's stated official goal is the reduction of poverty. 
  • Motto: Working for a World Free of Poverty
  • Formation: July 1944
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., U.S.
  • President: Jim Yong Kim, 

IndusInd Bank to buy IL&FS Securities Services

  • Private sector lender IndusInd Bank will buy IL&FS Securities Services Ltd (ISSL), a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd, in an all-cash deal.
  • IL&FS Securities Services, incorporated in July 2006, is a capital markets intermediary for professional clearing, depository and custodial services. 
  • ISSL services both retail and institutional clients including over 1,000 brokers, FPIs (foreign portfolio investors) and FIIs (foreign institutional investors).
  • The bank did not reveal the value of the acquisition.
  • This acquisition brings scale to this business, complements our current product offerings and fits nicely into our strategy of creating differentiated businesses with domain expertise

IndusInd Bank

  • IndusInd Bank Limited is a Mumbai based Indian new generation bank established in 1994. 
  • Indusind Bank is the first among the new-generation private banks in India.
  • Founder: Srichand P. Hinduja
  • CEO: Romesh Sobti 
  • Tagline: We Make You Feel Richer

World's first fluorescent frog discovered in South America

  • The world’s first fluorescent frog has been discovered near Santa Fe in Argentina.
  • Scientists at the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum in Buenos Aires made the discovery by accident while studying the pigment of polka-dot tree frogs, a species common across the continent.
  • Rare 'cave squeaker' frog seen in Zimbabwe for first time in 55 years
  • In normal light the frog appears to have a dull, mottled browny-green skin with red dots, but under UV light it glows a bright fluorescent green.
  • Fluorescence – the ability to absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths – is uncommon in creatures that live on land.
  • The translucent frog was found to use a combination of lymph and glandular emissions to fluoresce.
  • The discovery opens up the possibility that other amphibians may be able to fluoresce, particularly those with translucent skin similar to that of the tree frog.

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