1. India Ranks 78th, Sweden Tops in WEF Energy Transition Index 2018
- India has been ranked at 78th among 114 countries on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) energy transition index. The list was topped by Sweden.
- The report titled ‘Fostering Effective Energy Transition’ ranks countries on how well they are able to balance energy security and access to environmental sustainability and affordability.
- The Top 3 Countries in the List are-
2. Four nations recommended for graduation from UN’s least developed country
- According to the United Nations Committee for Development Policy, four countries (Bhutan, Kiribati, Sao Tome & Principe and the Solomon Islands) will be recommended for graduation from the least developed country (LDC) category.
- They are set to move up from the ranks of poorest nations due to their increasing national earning power as well as access to better health care and education.
- Two more countries, Vanuatu and Angola, are scheduled for graduation in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
3. China’s parliament re-elects Xi Jinping as president, Wang Vice President
- Xi Jinping (64-year) has been re-elected as President of China for a second five-year tenure by country’s parliament.
- He has been also elected as the head of the powerful Central Military Commission (high command of the Chinese military).
- On 11th March, over 2900 deputies of the NPC have voted for the constitutional amendment for removing the two-term limit for President and Vice President proposed by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
- Wang Qishan (69-year) has been elected as vice president, with 2969, one vote less in the carefully choreographed poll.
- The President is elected by the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s highest state body which also has the power to remove the President and other state officers from office.
- Prior to March 2018, the President and Vice President were limited to two consecutive terms. Now, these limits were removed at the 2018 National People’s Congress.
- China Capital- Beijing, Currency- Renminbi.
4. NITI Aayog releases SATH-E project
- NITI Aayog has released comprehensive roadmaps and detailed timelines for its initiative Wang Vice President project in New Delhi.
- It will introduce system-wide governance transformation in School Education.
- The roadmaps will operate between 2018 to 2020.
- It will lay out detailed interventions which will be taken by the three participating States (Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha) aiming to become ‘Role Model States’ in school education.
- NITI- National Institution for Transforming India.
- NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman- Rajiv Kumar, CEO- Amitabh Kant.
5. Lok Sabha Passes Gratuity Amendment Bill
- Lok Sabha has passed gratuity amendment bill. The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 aims at increasing the upper ceiling of the gratuity from the present 10 lakh rupees to 20 lakh rupees for employees in the private sector and in Public Sector Undertakings at par with Central Government employees.
- The House also passed the Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which seeks to grant a party the right to seek damages from the other side in case of a breach of a business contract and to reduce the discretion of courts in such matters.
6. Singer Daler Mehndi convicted in the human trafficking case
- The Patiala court of Punjab has awarded a two-year prison sentence to Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi for 2003 human trafficking.
- The court found him & his brother Shamsher Mehndi (died last year) guilty of taking ten people to the United States 20 years ago as part of their singing troupe, in return for money.
7. CISF launches a mobile app for lost items at airports
- The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has launched a mobile application ‘Lost and Found’,
- The objective of this mobile app is that the passengers can directly register complaints and get status of their complaint immediately from the airports under CISF security cover.
- The mobile phone application can also be used to place a request for obtaining technical consultancy provided by the force.
- The CISF guards 59 civil airports across the country.
8. ADB commits USD 120 Million loan to improve rail Infrastructure
- India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $120 million loan agreement for completion of works for double-tracking and electrification of railways tracks along high-density corridors to improve the operational efficiency of Indian railways.
- The tranche 3 loan is part of the 500 million USD multi-tranche financing facility for Railway Sector Investment Programme approved by the ADB Board in 2011.
- ADB loan has a 20-year term, including a grace period of 5 years, an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s London interbank offered rate (LIBOR)-based lending facility.
- The project will help to develop an energy-efficient, safe, and reliable railway system that will result in reduced travel time along project rail routes and improved operational and financial efficiency.
- President of ADB- Takehiko Nakao, ADB Headquarters- Manila, Philippines, Opened on- 19th December 1966.
Banking & Finance
9. RBI issues PCA framework to maintain sound financial health of banks
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework to maintain the sound financial health of banks.
- According to the Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, it facilitates banks in breach of risk thresholds for identified areas of monitoring including capital, and profitability to take corrective measures in a timely manner.
- The framework is not intended to constrain the performance of normal operations of the banks for the general public.
- RBI has placed eleven Public Sector Banks including Bank of India, Dena Bank, Central Bank of India, UCO Bank, IDBI Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Corporation Bank and Allahabad Bank under the PCA framework.
Honors & Awards
10. Indian film ‘Halkaa’ bags top honor at Montreal fest
- Indian filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda’s ‘Halkaa’ has bagged the Grand Prix de Montreal at the gala.
- Halkaa was selected among seven international children’s films from different countries in the official competition of the festival.
- The film is a take on a slum child’s heroism, aspirations, and dreams.
- The film stars child actor Tathastu, Ranvir Shorey, and Paoli Dam.
11. Malayalam writer M Sukumaran passes away
- Noted Malayalam writer ‘M Sukumaran’ (76-year) passed away at a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
- Sukumaran was the recipient of the Kendra Sahitya Akademi (in 20016) and Kerala Sahitya awards (in 1976).
- His short stories ‘Sangaganam‘ and ‘Unarthupattu‘ have been made into films.
12. Sri Lanka Cricket Pays Tribute to J Dalmiya With Book ‘A Tribute to Jagu’
- Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) paid tribute to former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya with a book titled, ‘A Tribute to Jagu’.
- The cricket association felicitated Dalmiya posthumously as the greatest non-Sri Lankan contributor to Sri Lankan cricket.
- Sri Lanka’s present Prime Minister- Ranil Wickremesinghe.
- Sri Lanka’s capital – Colombo.
- Sri Lanka’s currency – Sri Lankan rupee.
13. Nepal earn ODI status for the first time
- Nepal has gained ODI status for the first time in their history after defeating Papua New Guinea (PNG) by six wickets in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier play-off in Harare.
- A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket, played between two teams with international status, in which each team faces a fixed number of overs (usually 50 overs).
- The first ODI was played on 5th January 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
- Prime Minister of Nepal- Khadga Prasad Oli. Currency of Nepal- Nepalese rupee.
- The following four teams currently have this status-
- Scotland (from 27 June 2006).
- United Arab Emirates (from 1 February 2014).
- Netherlands (after 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier).
- Nepal (after 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier).