Current Affairs: 29 March 2017

Published on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Oil Ministry brings Shazia Ilmi on EIL’s board

  • State-run Engineers India Ltd on said that Shazia Ilmi Malik has been appointed as additional director (non-official part-time independent).
  • Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has approved the appointment of Ilmi from March 27, 2017 to January 30, 2020 or till further order
  • Her inter-se relationship between the directors of Engineers India Ltd is NIL.
  • Earlier, Ilmi was appointed as a brand ambassador for the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission programme. She is also a member of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal

Engineers India Limited (EIL)

  • Engineers India Limited (EIL) is a Navratna public-sector undertaking of the Government of India under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 
  • It was set up in 1965 to provide engineering and related technical services for petroleum refineries and other industrial projects. 
  • The current Chairman and Managing Director of the company is Sanjay Gupta.

Siddhartha Upadhyay appointed on governing body of Sports Authority of India

  • Society for Transformation, Inclusion, and Recognition through Sports (STAIRS) announced that Mr. Siddhartha Upadhyay, its founder and secretary general has been appointed to the governing body of Sports Authority of India. 
  • Sports entrepreneur and philanthropist Siddhartha Upadhyay is leading the change in sports at grassroots levels through STAIRS, a not-for-profit organization working towards sports, education, health and skill development of children across India.
  • Mr.Siddhartha Upadhyay is a recipient of prestigious Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar, from the President of India. 
  • As the founder and secretary general of STAIRS, he also represents the organization in Steering Committee for FIFA U-17 World Cup, BRICS U-17 Tournament, Mission XI Million Programme and a programme of Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society, formed by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (Govt of India).


  • STAIRS is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation (NGO) which aims to empower the underprivileged youth of India through sports. It was started in 2000 by Siddhartha Upadhyay, a national-level sportsman, brand consultant, philanthropist and social entrepreneur, with Reebok as a partner.
  • STAIRS is currently the largest organization that ensures youth development through sports. 

The Sports Authority of India (SAI)

  • The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is an apex National Sports body set up in 1984 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India for broad-basing and bringing excellence in sports across India

After BHIM, government to launch Aadhaar Pay 

  • The government is gearing up to roll out Aadhaar Pay , a digital payment platform for merchants, with 20 banks expected to go live at the launch on April 14. 
  • While the government launched BHIM as a payment application for peer-to-peer transactions post demonetisation, Aadhaar Pay is meant for merchants to receive digital payments from customers over the counter through Aadhaar authentication. 
  • Following the popularity of BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), the government plans to name the merchant payment scheme BHIM-Aadhaar Pay and has requested banks to rename their applications accordingly 
  • The government has requested all public sector banks to go live with Aadhaar Pay and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the implementing agency for Aadhaar Enabled Payments Systems, has extended help to the banks to ensure smooth onboarding. 

AAI wins India Pride Award for infrastructure development

  • Airports Authority of India won Dainik Bhaskar's India Pride Awards - 2016 -17 for "Excellence in Infrastructure Development" in the category of Public Sector Undertaking - Central.
  • The award was given to AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra by Union Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha at a ceremony in New Delhi. 
  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari was also present on the occasion.
  • The Airports Authority of India is working tirelessly towards India's sustainable growth and renowned for providing state-of-the-art infrastructure, passenger facilities and air navigation services at all the airports across the nation

Justice Mukul Mudgal to head BARC India’s disciplinary council

  • Television viewership ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Tuesday appointed Mukul Mudgal, former chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court, as head of its independent disciplinary committee—BARC India Disciplinary Council (BDC).
  • The six-member council has been set up by BARC to investigate and address complaints pertaining to viewership malpractices and tampering of BARC India’s measurement system.
  • Sujeet Jain, group general counsel and company secretary at Viacom18; C.V.L. Srinivas, chief executive officer, South Asia, at media agency GroupM, and Pankaj Phadnis, associate vice president, corporate legal at Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) as members who will represent broadcast stakeholder bodies Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA),
  • Other members of the committee include D. Shivanandan, former Mumbai police commissioner and Maharashtra DGP, and Paritosh Joshi, independent technical expert.
  • Additionally, BARC India has set up a vigilance team to probe viewership malpractices’ complaints and investigate irregular viewership data recorded from BARC India panel households (houses where BARC has installed metres to map viewership).

Vikram Kirloskar appointed CII SR, Chairman

  • Trade body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today said the Vice-Chairman of auto-major Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Vikram Kirloskar,has been appointed as its Chairman, Southern Region, for the period 2017-18.
  • Similarly, the Joint Managing Director of T V Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Pvt Ltd., Madurai, R Dinesh, was elected as Deputy Chairman
  • Prior to taking up the new role, Kirloskar served CII in various capacities, including Member, National Council and also Chairman, Global Innovation and Technology Alliance.
  • In 2016-17, he was appointed as Deputy Chairman, CII, Southern Region.
  • Dinesh has been an active member of CII and currently is Chairman of the CII Institute of Logistics Advisory Council.
  • He was also Chairman, CII Tamil Nadu Council in 2012-13,

Suresh Prabhu to launch new Indian Railways VIKALP scheme for wait-listed passenger

  • Indian Railways is all set to launch an alternative train accommodation scheme ‘Vikalp’ from April 1. Under this scheme, the wait-listed passengers will get an option of selecting alternative train on the same route.
  • Part from providing an alternative accommodation, Railways is also looking to ensure optimum utilisation of available accommodation through this scheme. 
  • Last year, in November, it was launched as the pilot project for six months on the Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi- Jammu sectors. 
  • Vikalp aims to beat the festive rush when availability of berths does not match the surging demand.

Features of Vikalp

  • Flexibility to cancel tickets
  • No refund is allowed after the chart is prepared. 
  • Heavy cuts will be levied as cancellation fee from fully confirmed tickets.
  • If one opts for Vikalp, while getting a waitlisted ticket in an ordinary/express train, chances are that one might get accommodation on Rajdhani or Shatabadi Express with no extra charges.
  • 50 per cent will be levied as cancellation charge on the cancellation of tickets between 12 and four hours prior to departure.
  • Chances of cancelling an alternative option will be less,
  • Nation-wide the availability of the berths in trains is just 12 per cent and around 46 crore berths are in circulations collectively from every sector.
  • Fully Waiting list passengers, who opted for Vikalp should check their PNR after charting.
  • No extra charges shall be levied from passengers nor any refund will be provided for the difference of fare.

Cheil bagged a record 14 awards at ADFEST 2017

  • Advertising agency network Cheil bagged a record 14 awards at ADFEST 2017 that concluded in Pattaya, Thailand
  • Cheil India’s ‘Spread the Joy’ campaign for Samsung won a Gold in the Media category. The campaign converted Samsung showrooms into on-the-spot adoption centers by utilizing Samsung Joy Plus televisions to help increase adoption rates of homeless dogs.
  • In the Film Craft and Film category, Cheil India bagged a Silver and Bronze for the Samsung Service film. 
  • Samsung India launched a nationwide television and digital campaign showcasing its initiative to take customer service to the doorstep in the hinterland. 
  • The campaign film, conceptualized by Cheil India, was unveiled across 50 television channels, supported by print and digital. 
  • The campaign film went viral and touched 100 million views in just seven weeks.

Vijaya Bank inks MoU with Piaggio Vehicles

  • Vijaya Bank on Monday entered into an MoU with Piaggio Vehicles for providing financial support for the purchase of vehicles under Small Road Transport Operators (SRTO) scheme in Bengaluru.
  • Vijaya Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr Kishore Sansi flagged off the first batch of vehicles under the MoU in the presence of Executive Directors B S Rama Rao, Y Nageswara Rao, and Piaggio Vehicles Vice-President Praveen Nagpal and others.

Government approves Shekatkar Committee recommendations to reform military

  • The Union Defence Ministry has approved most of the proposals of a committee of experts, headed by Lt. Gen. D.B. Shekatkar (Retd) to bring host of reforms in the military and improve financial management. 
  • Around 90 recommendations have been of the committee were approved. Most of these recommendations are measures to increase coordination among the three Services and cut down flab in Army to make it lean and agile. 

Some recommendations of Committee

  • Roll-on defence budget must have enough capital expenditure available for modernisation. It must be against the present practice of surrendering unspent capital budget at the end of each financial year. 
  • It must be conducted of non-combat organisations under the Defence Ministry. It must include those dealing with defence estates and accounts, Director- General of Quality Assurance, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and National Cadet Corps (NCC). Downsizing or rationalisation of manpower: It will lead to significant savings. 
  • It must be established for training middle-level officers. Reduce deployment of active-duty soldiers in avoidable postings: They will be replaced by retired officers and jawans in the running of NCC. 
  • Transfer of NCC out of the Defence Ministry to the HRD Ministry: NCC can be run by re-employed or on-contract ex-service personnel.

Home of the Brave' chronicles Rashtriya Rifles saga

  • Home of the Brave", which traces the early history of the Rashtriya Rifles counter-insurgency force in Jammu and Kashmir has been released has been released here by the Indian Army chief, General Bipin Rawat.
  • Authored by defence and security analyst Nitin A. Gokhale and Brig S.K. Chatterji (retd), "Home of the Brave" also reflects upon the role of the Rashtriya Rifles in strengthening the professionalism of the Indian Army and military ethics and values throughout its rank and file.
  • Home of the Brave will serve as an authentic record of achievements of the RR for all the Army units and Army training institutions. For defence policy planners, research scholars and military historians, this book provides factual and well chronicled information
  • The Rashtriya Rifles has won many laurels in the operations. In addition to fulfilling its primary mandate of securing the Nation, the Force has also conducted several softer measures to win hearts and minds of the people -- a critical and valuable practice that the Indian Army has embraced.

Anupam Kher to receive Kala Ratan Award

  • Veteran actor Anupam Kher will be honoured with the Kala Ratan Award by Vice President Hamid Ansari. 
  • Anupam Kher was honoured him the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts.
  • The actor who has worked mainly in Hindi films has also appeared in acclaimed international films like Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice, The Mistress Of Spices, Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, and David O. Russell’s 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook.

Parliament Passes Mental Health Bill Decriminalising Suicide

  • The Mental Healthcare Bill 2016, that provides for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness, and also decriminalises suicide, secured parliamentary approval on Monday with the Lok Sabha's assent to the legislation.
  • The bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha in August 2016, ensures every person shall have a right to access mental health care and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the appropriate government. It also assures free treatment for such persons if they are homeless or poor, even if they do not possess a Below Poverty Line card.
  • One of the clauses in the bill decriminalises suicide, stating that a person who attempts suicide should be presumed to have severe stress, and shall not be punished.
  • As per the bill, it will be government's duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to a person, having severe stress and who attempted to commit suicide, to reduce the risk of recurrence of any attempt.
  • The bill also provides that a person with mental illness will have the right to make an advance directive that states how he/she wants to be treated for the illness and nominate a representative

Syndicate Bank opens 40 ‘Ananya’ branches

  • Syndicate Bank on Monday digitally inaugurated 40 ‘Ananya’ transformed branches.
  • Project Ananya is a two-year large-scale transformation project undertaken by the bank to provide customers with ‘best in class’ services while improving and modernising the whole bank
  • The bank also launched its first micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) hub in Bengaluru.
  • The hub is expected to cater to more than 150 branches across the Bengaluru region, and aims to reduce the turnaround time of the loan-sanctioning process.
  • The bank embarked upon project Ananya in February 2016, and is operating under four pillars of transformation — business process re-engineering, digital channels, sales and customer relationship management, and HR transformation.
  • Business process re-engineering initiatives include branch transformation aimed at customer service and modernisation.

KVB bags ‘best small bank’ award

  • Karur Vysya Bank has been adjudged the ‘Best Small Bank for 2016’ (balance sheet size of less than Rs.1-lakh crore).
  • K Venkataraman, Managing Director, KVB, received the award from Sudhir Munguntivar, Minister of Finance and Planning, Government of Maharashtra, at a function in Mumbai. 
  • This is the eighth award won by KVB in the current fiscal.

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