1. Puri Jagannath temple Ratna Bhandar to be opened after 34 years for inspection
- The Odisha government has granted permission to the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) of Puri to open the Ratna Bhandar after 34 years for inspection by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI).
- Earlier, The Orissa High Court (monitoring the repair work undertaken by the ASI) had ordered the ASI to inspect the structural condition of the Ratna Bhandar and submit a status report.
- Precious jewelry and ornaments of the deities are kept in the Ratna Bhandar which was last inspected in 1984.
- The condition of the inside of the Ratna Bhandar would be inspected by the ASI.
2. Niti Aayog releases Baseline Ranking of 115 Aspirational Districts
- The NITI Aayog has launched the baseline ranking for 115 aspirational districts based on 49 indicators across five sectors that include health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, and basic infrastructure.
- This would be followed by delta ranking of these districts from May 2018 based on their incremental progress.
3. EPFO launches new portal for pensioners
- The Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has launched the pensioner’s portal through which all EPFO pensioners may get the details of pension-related information.
- The enhanced “Track eKYC” has also been launched to check the status of Aadhaar seeded against their UAN.
- The facility has been made available at EPFO’s website epfindia.gov.in.
- EPFO assists the Central Board in administering a compulsory contributory Provident Fund Scheme, a Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India.
- In EPFO, CEO is known as Central Provident Fund Commissioner.
- Dr. VP Joy is present Central Provident Fund Commissioner.
- The Head Office of EPFO is in New Delhi.
4. Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur inaugurates the first mega food park in Rajasthan
- The Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has inaugurated the first mega food park at Roopangarh Village near Ajmer (Rajasthan).
- The food park is being set up at a cost of over Rs. 113.57 crores and will benefit around 25 thousand farmers in Ajmer as well as neighboring districts.
- The objective of the food park is establishing a “direct linkage from farm to processing and then to consumer markets” through network of collection centres.
- Mega Food Park is an inclusive concept and a scheme of the Ministry of Food Processing of the Government of India.
- Harsimrat Kaur Badal is MP from Bathinda, Punjab.
- Kalyan Singh is the Governor of Rajasthan.
5. Delhi’s power regulator DERC announces new tariff schedule for 2018-19
- Delhi’s power regulator, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has announced a new tariff schedule for from 1st of April this year.
- The new tariff will have an overall lowering effect on electricity bills for various categories of consumers in Delhi.
- The DERC has also hiked the fixed charges but reduced the per unit rates of electricity consumed.
- Now, the consumers using up to 150 units of electricity, may have to pay marginally higher. The Delhi government gives 50% subsidy to consumers using up to 400 units of electricity per month.
- The consumers using more than 400 units per month will be benefited more according to the new tariff schedule.
6. Mahavir Jayanti being celebrated across the country : 29th March
- The birth anniversary of 24th and last Jain Tirthankar ‘Bhagwan Mahavir’ is being celebrated across the country.
- Mahaveer Janma Kalyana is one of the most important religious festivals for Jains.
- Mahaveer was born in Ikshvaku dynasty as the son of King Siddhartha of Kundagrama and Queen Trishala.
Banking & Finance
7. Govt. allows export of Two Million Tonnes of Sugar to clear surplus stocks
- The government has allowed export of two million tonnes of sugar until the end of the 2017-18 marketing year, in order to clear surplus stocks and improve cash flow to millers for making payment to sugarcane farmers.
- The government has also allowed export of white sugar till September 2018 under the Duty-Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) scheme, under which exporters are allowed to import sugar at zero duty within three years.
8. SEBI allows physical settlement of Stock Derivatives
- The stock market regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed physical settlement of both stock options and stock futures. At present only cash settlement of derivatives is allowed.
- SEBI stated stock exchanges will also have the flexibility to offer a combination of cash settlement for stock options and physical settlement for stock or physical settlement for stock options and the cash settlement for stock futures.
- SEBI was established on 12th April 1992.
- The Head office of SEBI is in Mumbai.
- Ajay Tyagi is Chairman of SEBI.
Science & Defense
9. ISRO successfully launches communication satellite GSAT-6A from Sriharikota
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) GSLV-F08 (carrying the GSAT6A communication satellite) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota. The mission life of the spacecraft is about 10 years.
- GSAT-6A (similar to GSAT-6) is a high-power S-band communication satellite based on the I-2K satellite bus.
- The satellite will provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of the 6-meter S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, hand-held ground terminals and network management techniques, useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications.
- This will be the 12th flight of GSLV and the sixth one with the Indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage.
- Dr. K Sivan is Chairman of ISRO.
- ISRO stands for Indian Space Research Organization.
- Headquarters of ISRO- Bengaluru.
10. Indu Bhushan appointed CEO Of Ayushman Bharat Mission for two years
- Indu Bhushan has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Union Government’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission (ABNHPM) for two years.
- The scheme has the benefits cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
- This will be the world’s largest government-funded health care programme.
- Bhushan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Master of Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
- Under Health and Wellness Centre, 1.5 lakh centers will bring health care system closer to the homes of people.
- National Health Protection Scheme will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
11. Shekhar Kapur appointed as chairman of the central panel of 65th National Film Awards
- Veteran director Shekhar Kapur has been appointed as the chairman of the central panel of the 65th National Film Awards (NFA).
- The central panel comprises a chairperson and 10 other members, including 5 regional chairpersons who head the respective regional panels.
- Mr. Kapur is known for his work in Hindi cinema and International cinema.
12. Lt. Gen Harpal Singh appointed as Director General Border Roads
- Lt. Gen Harpal Singh has been appointed as the Director General Border Roads (DGBR).
- Earlier, he was holding the appointment of Director General Military Training at IHQ of MoD (Army).
- Mr. Singh is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command and National Defence College courses.
- Lt. Gen Harpal M.Tech from the Virginia State University (USA) Masters in Management Studies from Osmania University and M.Phil ( Defence Studies) from Madras University.
- The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas & friendly neighboring countries.
- The BRO operates and maintains over 32,885 kilometers of roads and about 12,200 meters of permanent bridges in the country.
13. 17th Sub-junior National Wushu Championship begins in Jammu
- The four-day national level 17th Sub-junior National Wushu Championship has begun in Jammu (winter capital city of Jammu).
- The sports event is being organized by the ‘Wushu Association of India’ in collaboration with J&K State Sports Council.
- Around 37 teams across the country and 12 boys from Army are participating in the national championship.