Current Affairs, News & Facts of 09 Mar 2016

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  • Mumbai to host BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave


    Mumbai to host BRICS Friendship Cities ConclaveMumbai the financial capital of India will host three days long "BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave" from April 14 to 16, 2016.

    The Conclave will be attended by the top Urban Policy makers and Planners from BRICS Nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This is the second major international summit hosted by Mumbai in 2016 after the 'Make In India Week' last month.   

    The three-day conclave will be organised by Mumbai First, a think-tank working to find solutions for city’s development. "BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave" is a joint initiative of Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Government of Maharashtra. Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the conference, which will be attended by representatives of at least two cities from each of the BRICS nations. 

  • Union Government announces to withdraw tax proposal on EPF


    Union Government announces to withdraw tax proposal on EPFFacing mounting criticism, the Narendra Modi government has decided to roll back the Budget proposal to tax Employees' Provident Fund or EPF withdrawal.

    The decision regarding roll back was nnounced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha clarifying NDA government’s stand on the issue. 

    The government has also withdrawn the proposal to limit tax-free contributions by the employer to the provident fund account of an employee to Rs.1.5 lakh a year. However, government has not changed its plan to tax National Pension Scheme (NPS) withdrawals.

    Background : Presenting the Union Budget for 2016-17, the finance minister had proposed to tax withdrawal of 60 per cent of accumulations in the EPF after April 1, 2016 while remaining 40 percent would be tax free . The move was hugely criticised by Opposition parties as well as by employee unions.

    However, the budget had proposed that employees would be exempted from the tax if they re-invests 60 percent of the EPF in a pension or annuity fund. The main objective behind this proposal was to create a pensioned society, especially among employees in the private sector who have no provision for pension.

    Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

    It is a retirement benefit scheme for salaried employees under which employee and employer contribute fixed amount of the employee towards EPF. This amonut or percentage to be contributed is pre-set by the government. Any company with over 20 employees is required by law to register with the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

  • Karnataka launched Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish Yojana


    Karnataka launched Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish YojanaThe Karnataka Government has  launched Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish Yojana to provide free treatment to road accident victims for the first 48 hours in the nearest government or private hospital.

    The scheme has been named after Harish Nanjappa who donated his eyes moments before his death. He was severely injured and begged for help but got no help from anyone but even than he donated his eyes moments before his death.

    Under the scheme

    1. Immediate medical relief would be provided to the victim during the "Golden Hour" with financial aid up to Rs 25,000 during the first 48 hours of treatment. 

    2. A software covering hospital registration, patient registration, claims submission and packages will be installed for the proper implementation of the scheme.

  • Amrita Patel gets Mahindra Samriddi India Agri Lifetime Achievement award


    Amrita Patel gets Mahindra Samriddi India Agri Lifetime Achievement awardPadma Bhushan award winner and former chairperson of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Dr Amrita Patel has been conferred upon the prestigious 2016 Mahindra Samriddhi India Agri Lifetime Achievement Award also known as the Krishi Shiromani Samman for her purposeful contribution that made a difference in the field of agriculture to increase productivity and rural prosperity. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh conferred the prestigious award on her at a function held in New Delhi.

    Amrita Patel is currently serving as Chairperson of  Charutar Arogya Mandal. Earlier she had served as Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) from 1998 to 2014. 

    Dr Patel had played a pivotal role in the implementation of Operation Flood, the largest developmental programme in the world that transformed the lives of millions of marginalised and small farmers and milk producers. The programme helped to promote, finance and deliver a variety of supporting services to a national cooperative dairy structure.

  • Maria Sharapova provisionally banned after failing drugs test at Australian Open


    Maria Sharapova provisionally banned after failing drugs test at Australian OpenRussian professional tennis player and former world number one female tennis player, Maria Sharapova (28) has been provisionally banned from tennis after she revealed that she tested positive at the Australian Open for a recently banned drug that she has been taking for 10 years for health reasons.

    The drug is called meldonium, a substance that has been added in the forbidden list by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 1 January 2016.

    She had been using it under the name of mildronate and was unaware of both the different name and the fact it is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list.

    Sharapova has won total 35 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles, two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. She is currently ranked world No. 7 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

    About Meldonium :

    Meldonium also known as Mildronate, was developed years ago in Latvia to treat patients with heart conditions brought on by a lack of oxygen in their blood. It has become popular with athletes who use the oxygen-enhancers to improve endurance, especially when working out. Since January 2016, it has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of banned substances from use by athletes.

  • Telangana, Maharashtra ink MoU for five irrigation projects


    Telangana, Maharashtra ink MoU for five irrigation projectsMemoranda of Understanding (MoU) between Telangana and Maharashtra has been signed on setting up an inter-state water board on Godavari projects, ending decades of discord between the two States on utilisation of water in the river Godavari and its tributaries. 

    Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis signed five MoUs, which will cover both the ongoing and new projects.

    Facts about the MoU :

    1. The MoU will facilitate construction of five barrages on Godavari river and its tributaries Penganga and Pranahita as these projects have been pending for four decades due to inter-state river disputes.

    2. Under another agreement, Telangana will build Pranahita barrage as part of Pranahita-Chevella project near Tummidihatti in Adilabad district to irrigate about 2.5 lakh acres of uplands.

    3. The MoU allows Telangana to construct Thammidihatti barrage up to the height of 148 meters  in Adilabad district across Pranahita a tributary of Godavari  and Medigadda barrage up to the height of 102 meters in Karimnagar district across Godavari. 

    4. Both the states have signed a pact for the construction of Medigadda barrage as part of Kaleshwaram project, a component of the redesigned Pranahita-Chevella. This project will tap about 160 TMC ft water from Godavari.

    5. The barrage would allow irrigation of 16.4 lakh acres in Telangana and over 50,000 acres in some tribal areas of Maharashtra with the help of four small lift irrigation schemes.

  • Germany to develop Kochi, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar as Smart Cities


    Germany to develop Kochi, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar as Smart CitiesGermany has announced that it will partner with India to develop Kochi (Kerala), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) as smart cities. These three cities are among the top 20 cities selected by Urban Development Ministry which are to be developed as smart cities. 

    Announcement in this regard was made by State Secretary in Germany’s Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Gunther Adler in New Delhi at the second meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Urban Development. 

    Germany had earlier set up a six-member joint committee with India to identify the cities which it could develop as smart cities. The committee had two representatives of Urban Development Ministry, one from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, and three from Germany. 

    Germany is India's second largest bilateral donor after Japan with a record commitment of 1.5 billion Euros (Rs 11,0000 crore) agreed last year.

  • Railways forms SPV to execute bullet train project


    Railways forms SPV to execute bullet train projectIndian Railways have formed a new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train project. The entity has been named the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited. Maharashtra and Gujarat are expected to participate in the equity for the SPV, while the Railways will have 50 per cent. 

    Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train project

    The bullet train is expected to cover the 508km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in about two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350kmph and operating speed of 320kmph. Currently, Duronto takes about seven hours to cover the distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

    Estimated budget of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train project is about Rs 97,636 crore in which 81 per cent of the funding will come by way of a loan from Japan. It is a soft loan for 50 years at 0.1 per cent annual interest with 15 years' moratorium period.

  • Haryana signs MoUs for over Rs 18,000 crore investment


    Haryana signs MoUs for over Rs 18,000 crore investmentThe Haryana government has signed 11 MOUs involving a total investment of Rs 18,159 crore with different companies on the first day of the two-day ‘Happening Haryana Global Investors’ Summit-2016’ held in Gurgaon. These MoUs were signed in the presence of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

    These agreements includes

    1. MoU of Rs 15,000 crore for financial services signed with ICICI Bank.

    2. MoU of Rs 2,000 crore MoU for electronics, IT and IT enabled services (ITeS) with Bharti Airtel.

    3. MoU involving an investment of Rs 283 crore was signed with Star Wire (India) Limited  for manufacturing special and critical steel adopting high-tech technologies.

    4. MoU of Rs 200 crore was signed with Minda Kosei Aluminium Wheel Private Limited for automobile parts, and alloy wheels.

    5. MoU of Rs 150 crore with Plasser India Private Limited for manufacturing unit for track maintenance machines.

    6. MoUs of Rs 100 crores each were signed with Minda Industries Limited and Mindarika Private Limited for automobile parts switches. 

    7. MoU of Rs 80 crore was signed with TG Minda Private Limited for automobile parts rubber hoses and an MoU was also signed with Snapdeal for e-commerce.



  • Iran conducts several ballistic missile tests


    Iran conducts several ballistic missile testsIran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) test-fired several ballistic missiles test from silos across the country. The test was intended "to show Iran's deterrent power and also the Islamic Republic's ability to confront any threat against the (Islamic) Revolution, the state and the sovereignty of the country.

    With this Iran has breached United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that compel it to refrain from any work on ballistic missiles for 8 years.

    However it was terminated after a nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 nations but a new resolution then came into force under which Iran is "called upon" not to undertake any work on missiles "designed to" deliver nuclear weapons.

    Theoretically missile of a certain size could in theory be used to carry a nuclear warhead but Iran says its missiles are for use solely as a conventional deterrent. Iran claims to have ballistic missiles with a range of 2,000km (1,250 miles) that can target Israel and US military bases in the Middle East.


2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

Exam Time : 07:15:00

Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Exam Date : 01-08-2016

Exam Time : 06:00:00

Ques/Time : 8/5 min

Todays test

Exam Date : 22-07-2016

Exam Time : 05:10:00

Ques/Time : 3/5 min