Current Affairs: 30 March 2017

Published on Thursday, March 30, 2017

ICICI Bank partners Truecaller for UPI-based payment

  • ICICI Bank has announced a partnership with mobile app firm Truecaller for a new UPI-based mobile payment service.
  • Called Truecaller Pay, it will allow users of the app to instantly create a UPI id, send money to any UPI id or a mobile number registered with the BHIM app.
  • The partnership makes the Truecaller-ICICI Bank platform among India’s largest mobile payment platform with 150 million customers of the app gaining access to UPI-based payments.

Features of Trucaller Pay

  • It will enable users to recharge their mobile number from within the Truecaller app itself.
  • Any user of Truecaller app, including non-ICICI Bank customers, can link their account of any bank to create a UPI id and instantly make payments in a safe and secure manner
  • All transactions of Truecaller Pay, powered by ICICI Bank, follow two-factor authentication as per RBI guidelines for secure transfer of money. 
  • All sensitive data relating to account details, card details information of users as well as transfer of monies will be securely handled and stored in the state-of-the-art servers of ICICI Bank in line with NPCI and RBI guidelines.
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C Palanivelu received the prestigious Dr. B. C. Roy Award

  • Gastroenterology and laparoscopic surgeon Dr C Palanivelu received the prestigious Dr. B. C. Roy Award from the Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee, under the 'Eminent Medical Person' category
  • The chairman of GEM Hospital, he is the fourth doctor from South India to win the award for the second time. He had received the award in 2005 under specialty development category for laparoscopic surgery.
  • He was the first to introduce laparoscopic surgery in South India in 2001 and instrumental for developing it into a specialty including minimal access surgery. The award is also a recognition to keyhole surgery and it's benefits to society.
  • Keyhole surgery has benefited farm labourers and factory workers in Coimbatore, who want fast recovery so as they can return to work
  • The surgical method has been adopted as standard in Korea and Japan too.

Iskon's Govardhan Eco Village gets Water Award

  • The Govardhan Eco Village of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Wada taluka has received an award instituted by Water Digest, a news portal on water management. 
  • The Goverdhan eco village received the award last week in the "Best Water NGO-Water Education" category.
  • To commemorate the 'World Water Day 2017', Water Digest, in association with UNESCO, Ministry of Water Resources & ASSOCHAM, had recently announced the 11th Water Digest Water Awards which are given annually to organisations, industry members and NGOs. 
  • The award was presented to Vrajendra Nandan Prachu, ISKCON India Communications Head.

Water Digest Awards

  • Water Digest Awards are India s most illustrious platforms to honor and appreciate outstanding and exceptional environmental initiatives and achievements. The awards were conceived with a vision to awaken the Eco-consciousness in Indian industries and the society. 
  • The village illustrates 'Simple Living and High Thinking' a principle which is so succinct, yet profound, and formed the basis of life in the bygone age of wisdom

Sunaina Singh Appointed Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University

  • President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Sunaina Singh, currently head of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad, as the new vice chancellor of Nalanda University.
  • As per rules, the president has to choose the vice-chancellor from a group of at least three names forwarded by the university’s governing board. 
  • 135 names were screened, while six applicants were called for interviews. Out of the three names forwarded to the president, her name was at the top.
  • Earlier on January 27, President Mukherjee appointed computer scientist and former IIT Delhi board chairman, Vijay Bhatkar – who is also the president of the RSS-affiliated Vijnana Bharati – as the university’s chancellor.

Nalanda University

  • Nalanda University is a flagship initiative formed under India’s Act East policy, which was first proposed at the East Asia Summit in 2007. 
  • It was envisioned as a project to evoke India’s historical and cultural linkages with South East Asia and beyond.
  • Nalanda University (also known as Nalanda International University) is located in Rajgir, near Nalanda, Bihar, India. 
  • The University began its first academic session on September 1, 2014 with 15 students including five women. Initially set up with temporary facilities in Rajgir, a modern campus is expected to be finished by 2020.

OPPO wins Indian cricket team sponsorship rights for five years

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that mobile manufacturing company Oppo Mobiles India Private Limited will be the new team sponsor of the Indian cricket team from April 1, 2017 for a period of five years.
  • The team sponsorship rights include the the title of official team sponsor and the right to display a commercial logo in the kits of the India men's, women's, A and Under-19 teams.
  • Six companies, Star India included, had picked up the tender document, but only two appeared at the bidding table - Oppo and VIVO, both of which are Chinese companies.

Bhubaneswar to host men's Hockey World Cup 2018

  • The International Hockey Federation and Government of Odisha on Monday officially confirmed that the Men's Hockey World League Final 2017 and Men's Hockey World Cup 2018 will be held in 
  • Bhubaneswar 
  • The Kalinga Stadium will host the two of hockey's biggest events, where World League and World Cup champions will be crowned. The venue successfully hosted the 2014 Men's Hockey Champions Trophy. It is also home to the current Hockey India League champions, the Kalinga Lancers.
  • It was also confirmed that the state of Odisha will be title sponsor of both events.

India take million-dollar prize for finishing No. 1

  • India have finished at the top of the ICC Test rankings for the second successive year after beating Australia 2-1 in the four-Test series. As a result of being No. 1 by the cut-off date of April 1, India will be presented with a cash award of $1 million by the ICC.
  • The ICC also announced that India offspinner R Ashwin will be awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being the ICC Cricketer of the Year for 2016. 
  • Ashwin, who was also named ICC Test Cricketer of the Year for 2016, took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs in the eight Tests he played during the period under consideration - September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016.
  • The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy is a cricket trophy awarded annually by the International Cricket Council to its chosen world player of the year. It was first awarded in 2004 to Rahul Dravid.

India becomes net exporter of power for the first time: Government

  • India has become a net exporter of electricity for the first time
  • Upcoming cross-border transmission lines with neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar will increase sales.
  • New transmission lines with Bangladesh and Myanmar helped India sell more
  • Known for its crippling power cuts, India has been investing heavily on generation infrastructure over the past few years. A massive surge in the local supply of raw materials like coal in the past two years has also helped power companies boost output.

Sima Kamil becomes first woman to lead a major Pakistani bank

  • United Bank Limited (UBL), one of the Pakistan's largest banks, announced Monday that it had appointed Sima Kamil as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the bank, to replace outgoing CEO Wajahat Hussain.
  • Kamil, who will initially serve as deputy CEO at UBL, is slated to take over the top slot after May 31, when Hussain departs from the company.
  • Kamil had previously been leading Habib Bank Ltd's (HBL) Branch Banking since 2011 and oversaw a large expansion of HBL's branch network.
  • She dealt with HBL's retail, consumer, small and medium enterprises, and rural banking initiatives, as well as the bank's wealth management division as head of the HBL Asset Management Company Ltd.

Vanita Gupta appointed president of Leadership Conference

  • Indian-American Vanita Gupta, who headed civil rights division in the Department of Justice in the Obama Administration, has been appointed as president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, becoming the first woman to head the prestigious organisation.
  • Known for her fearless advocacy of all human beings, 41-year-old Gupta will replace Wade Henderson who is stepping down after more than two decades.
  • Gupta, who will also lead its sister organisation The Leadership Conference Education Fund, will begin her new role on June 1
  • Gupta served as Deputy Legal Director and the Director of the Center for Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
  • She joined the ACLU in 2006 as a staff attorney, where she subsequently secured a landmark settlement on behalf of immigrant children from around the world detained in a privately-run prison in Texas that ultimately led to the end of "family detention" at the facility.

Indian-origin UK minister to be awarded Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award

  • Priti Patel, the UK Government's Secretary of State for International Development and first ever UK-India diaspora Champion, has been awarded India's highest honour for members of the Indian diaspora. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award was granted to Patel by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, for her exceptional contribution to national and international politics, her role in strengthening UK-India relations, and for supporting the Indian diaspora in the UK.
  • The award was presented to Patel by the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Y K Sinha, at a special ceremony at India House in London
  • Patel was elected to represent the Witham parliamentary constituency in 2010 and re-elected with an increased majority in 2015. 
  • In 2013, the then Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her as the first ever UK-India diaspora champion and she has accompanied him on official visits to India and helped facilitate the visit from Prime Minister Modi to the UK. 
  • Patel has also served in Government as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury 2014-15), Minter of State for Employment (2015-16), and as Secretary of State for International Development (2016 to present).
  • In January 2017 it was announced by the Indian Government that Patel would be awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.
  • She is the first female Indian origin MP to hold a Cabinet position in the UK government.

SBI to offer 'zero annual fee' credit cards to accounts with Rs 20,000

  • State Bank of India has said that it will offer credit cards to every account holder who has a balance of Rs 20,000-25,000, without going into credit history. 
  • This is the first major joint collaboration between Arundhati Bhattacharya-led SBIand SBI Card after the bank hiked its stake in the joint venture to 74% by buying out part of its partner GE Capital's stake for Rs 1,168 crore. 
  • GE Capital will sell its remaining stake to a private equity investor in coming days.
  • In an attempt to encourage adoption of credit cards and facilitate expansion in the reach of digital payments, SBI Card "Unnati" will be offered free, at zero annual fee, for four years.

I&B Minister M Venkaiah Naidu launches Online Film Certification System of CBFC

  • Minister for Information and Broadcasting, M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Online Film Certification System of CBFC would facilitate the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Ease of Doing Business and Digital India. 
  • The new online certification system would be an important step in making the CBFC Office paper less and would enable effective monitoring & real time progress tracking for both CBFC Officials and the applicant (Producers). 

The Salient features of the online film certification system

  • Status of each application would be visible online in the dashboard of the producer/concerned CBFC official.
  • In case of short films/promos/trailers less than 10 minutes the producer need not visit the Office/Theatre. They can merely submit their creations online.
  • For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will only have to show the film at the Examining theatre and will not have to visit the CBFC Offices at all except to collect their certificates.
  • The producer/applicant would be informed by SMS/e-mail of the status of their application and any action needed, beginning from the receipt of application to the certificate collection.
  • Elimination of middle men would mitigate chances of any corruption and would also avoid allegations of jumping the queue or rigging up of Examination committees.
  • The implementation of QR code would eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates.
  • The system envisages a robust MIS system for performance tracking and efficient reporting.
  • The system has inbuilt alerts depending on the pendency of the application to ensure that time limits prescribed by the Rules are not violated.

Ex-South Carolina Governor to Head UN Food Agency

  • Former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley was appointed Wednesday to head the U.N. World Food Program, the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide as it assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries every year.
  • Beasley is a supporter of President Donald Trump who was recommended for the job by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley. The ambassador left her own job as South Carolina governor to take her U.N. post.
  • Beasley will succeed Ertharin Cousin, an American lawyer and former U.S. ambassador

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