- Trump signs revised travel ban
US President Donald Trump administration issued a new executive order on 6th March, temporarily banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries to the U.S, after an earlier order ran afoul of the country’s judiciary. The new order will not come into effect until March 16, in contrast to the earlier order that became effective immediately.
The new executive order bans travel from six countries — Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, leaving out Iraq among countries that was in the earlier order’s list. In an attempt to pass the judicial scrutiny, the order says that current visa and green card holders from these countries will not be affected.
There will be a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of these six countries, and the refugee programme will be suspended for 120 days. The number of refugees to be admitted this year has been reduced to 50,000 from the 1,10,000 cap set by the Obama administration.
- Republicans unveil Obama care replacement plan
In the United States, House of Republicans has unveiled a plan to replace, "The Affordable Care Act", known as Obama care. The proposed legislation would repeal penalties for those who do not buy health insurance. It would also replace income-based subsidies to help with the cost of premiums with age-based tax credits.
The plan would reduce the role of the federal government in helping Americans afford healthcare. The proposal unveiled on 6th March would preserve some popular elements of the existing law, including allowing young people to remain on their parents' insurance plans until the age of 26. The plan is expected to cover fewer people than those who gained insurance under Mr. Obama.
- US starts to deploy THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea
The United States has started to deploy the first elements of its advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea following North Korea's test of four ballistic missiles, U.S. Pacific Command said on 7th March.
The announcement came as North Korean state media said leader Kim Jong Un personally supervised missile launches, stepping up threats against Washington as U.S. troops conduct joint military exercises with South Korea.
- World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada
Scientists have claimed that they have discovered oldest fossils on Earth in rocks from Quebec, Canada. Carbon dating techniques suggest that these rocks are at least 3.8 billion years old and might even be 4.3 billion years old.
The fossils are tiny and consist of tubes and filaments up to half a millimetre in length and around half the width of a human hair. The fossils are thought to be the remains of bacteria that lived on iron and dwelt around hydrothermal vent systems i.e. mineral rich hot springs on the seafloor.
They’re made of haematite, a type of iron oxide (known as rust). Some of the filaments are branched, some resemble loose coils and others appear to be joined to knobs of haematite. These structures were found to contain graphite as well as the minerals apatite and carbonate which are basically associated with biological matter.
- Open to new ideas on U.N. reform: G4
In a bid to get the U.N. reform process moving India and other G4 nations have said they are open to innovative ideas and willing to not exercise veto as permanent members of a reformed Security Council until a decision on it has been taken.
In a joint statement delivered by India’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Syed Akbaruddin at an inter-governmental negotiations meeting on 7th March, the G4 nations — India, Brazil, Germany and Japan — emphasised that an overwhelming majority of the U.N. member-states supported the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership in a reformed Security Council.
- Iran successfully tests ballistic missile
Iran's Revolutionary Guard has successfully tested a ballistic missile, according to Iran's semi-official Fars news agency report. The missile destroyed a target from a distance of 250 kilometers (155 miles). The sea-launched ballistic missile dubbed Hormuz 2 was tested in the 1st week of March, 2017. The Hormuz 2 is capable of hitting floating targets with high accuracy within a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles).
- Commonwealth launches Peace in the Home programme to stamp out domestic violence
The Commonwealth of Nations has launched “Peace in the home” programme to help member states tackle domestic violence which still remains a “stubborn stain” on communities, disproportionately impacting women.
The programme was launched on Women’s Day (March 8) and will continue through till 2018 when there is expected to be an accord on ending domestic violence in the Commonwealth. It will build a coalition of governments, businesses, human rights institutions, civil society and individual citizens to choral our efforts to address domestic violence.
- South Korean Judges Uphold President Park Geun-hye's Impeachment
South Korean judges have upheld President Park Geun-hye's impeachment, removing her from office. She was impeached by parliament in December over her involvement in a corruption scandal involving her close friend Choi Soon-sil. Ms. Park's dismissal from office means South Korea must now elect a new president by early May.
She also loses her presidential immunity and can be prosecuted. She and Ms. Choi have denied wrongdoing. This dismissal means she is South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be forced out from office.
- Aishwarya's Bharatnatyam dance performance at UN on March 8
Classical danseuse and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, Aishwarya R Dhanush, will give a Bharatanatyam performance at the UN on International Women's Day. Aishwarya, also a filmmaker, said her hour long performance at the UN headquarters in New York was scheduled on March 8.
She said the event was being organised by India's Permanent Mission to UN, and co-sponsored by America Tamil Sangam, a US Tamils association.
- IISc becomes first Indian university to be ranked among top 10 in world
For the first time, an Indian educational institute has broken into the top 10 of global university rankings. The Times Higher Education (THE) revealed that India is home to one of the world's best small universities, as it made public the 2017 edition of the rankings.
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has been ranked eighth at the 'THE's Best Small Universities in the World 2017'. Small universities are those with fewer than 5,000 students.
IISc, a public university for scientific research and higher education, was established in 1909 with active support from Jamsetji Tata and Sir Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore. In 2015-16 it became the first Indian institute to be ranked among the top 100 in THE World University Rankings for engineering and technology at 99th position.
- Trade Mark Rules 2017 come into effect
The Trade Mark Rules, 2017 have come into effect from 6th March which will replace the erstwhile Trade Mark Rules 2002 and streamline and simplify the processing of Trade Mark applications. The Ministry said, based on stake holder’s feedback, the fees for Individuals, Start-ups and Small Enterprises have been reduced to 4,500 rupees for e-filing of trade mark applications.
In the revamped rules number of Trade Mark forms has been reduced from 74 to eight. Commerce and Industry Ministry said, the fee for online filing has been kept at 10 per cent lower than that for physical filing to promote e-filing of trade mark applications.
- Odisha for first time achieves highest decline in IMR
For the first time in 16 years, Odisha has achieved highest decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). This decline is far better than the national average. According to the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), Odisha’s IMR has come down by 29% between 2005 and 2015 which is highest trend in the country. It was 96 per 1000 births in 2000 has been reduced to 40 in 2015-16.
In 2000, Odisha was only above Chhattisgarh in the national ranking. Institutional delivery in Odisha was recorded at 85.4% in NFHS-4 as against the national average of 78.9%. Similarly, 78.6% children (aged 12 and 23 months) were fully immunized as against national average of 62%.
- Delhi University Professor & others given life imprisonment for abetment of Naxalite activities
The Gadchiroli Sessions Court has given life imprisonment to Delhi University Professor Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba along with other four convicts for abetment of Naxalite activities on 7th March. The other convicts in the case include Jawaharlal Nehru University student Hem Mishra, Journalist Prashant Rahi along with Mahesh Tirkey and Pandu Narote.
Another convict Vijay Tirkey was sentenced for rigorous imprisonment of ten years in the same case. Principal District and Sessions Judge Mr. Suryakant Shinde pronounced the quantum of the sentence after declaring them guilty earlier in the day.
The professor was arrested by the Gadchiroli police in May 2014 from his official quarter in the university premises following a warrant from Aheri court. He was subsequently slapped with relevant sections under the stringent Unlawful Activities prevention Act. The Supreme Court, on April 4 last year, granted bail to the alleged Naxal sympathizer.
- PM Modi inaugurates country’s longest Cable Bridge on River Narmada in Gujarat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7th March inaugurated country’s longest Cable Bridge on the River Narmada at Bharuch in Gujarat. This is the longest cable bridge in the country with a length of 1344 meter connecting Mumbai Delhi National Highway-8.
The central government has decided to convert 8 state highways of Gujarat into National Highways at the cost of 12, 000 crore rupees. Modi also laid the foundation stone of Bharauch Bus Port.
Earlier, the Prime Minister also dedicated the Petrochemical complex of ONGC to the nation at Dehej in Gujarat. The plant set up with 27,000 crore rupees investment will have world class facilities of Polymer production.
- Conservation Drones to be used to monitor Tigers
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun plan to use drones to monitor tiger population in the reserves. Apart from monitoring the tiger population, the drones would collect and transmit visual data on animal movements, poaching activities and forest fires from the inaccessible areas of the forest.
- 2 more tiger reserves soon in Uttarakhand
With the Uttarakhand forest department focusing on tiger conservation, the State is soon to get two new tiger reserves, work towards which is under way. The Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary, which falls under the Terai Arc Landscape spanning across India and Nepal, and the Surai Range in the Terai East division of the Uttarakhand forest department are the two proposed tiger reserves.
Uttarakhand now has two tiger reserves – the Corbett Tiger Reserve and the Rajaji Tiger Reserve. According to the tiger census data released in 2015, Uttarakhand has 340 tigers making it a State with the second highest tiger population in the country after Karnataka.
- Union Cabinet approves oil storage pact with UAE’s ADNOC
The Union Cabinet has approved signing of the Definitive Agreement on Oil Storage and Management between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Ltd (ISPRL) and UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
ADNOC will fill up 0.81 MMT or 5,860,000 million barrels of crude oil at ISPRL storage facility at Mangalore, Karnataka. Out of the crude stored, some part will be used for commercial purpose of ADNOC, while a major part will be purely for strategic purposes.
India being fastest growing economies and world’s third-biggest oil consumer, is building emergency storage in underground caverns to hold 36.87 million barrels of crude. It is equivalent to about 10 days of its average daily oil demand. This move aims to hedge against energy security risks as it imports most of its oil needs.
- Administrative nod to Mallanna sagar
The Telangana government has given administrative approval for several key components of Kaleshwaram irrigation project, including Mallannasagar reservoir
In the orders issued on 8th March, Special Chief Secretary (Irrigation) S.K. Joshi accorded administrative approval for the formation of Sri Komaravelli Mallanna Sagar Reservoir, package 12 of the project, with a storage capacity of 50 tmc ft along with structures with an estimated cost of Rs. 7,249.52 crore.
Orders were also issued for formation of a reservoir with 11.39 tmc ft storage capacity at Baswapur village of Bhongir mandal in Yadadri-Bhongir district with an amount of Rs. 1751.00 crore and, formation of Konda Pochamma Sagar Reservoir near Pamulaparthy village of Markook mandal of Siddipet district for a storage capacity of 7 tmc ft of water for an amount of Rs. 519.70 crore.
Further, formation of reservoir near Gandamalla village in M. Turkapally mandal of Yadadri-Bhongir district for a storage capacity of 9.86 tmc ft of water for an amount of Rs. 860.25 crore and formation of Sri Ranganayaka Sagar (Imamabad Reservoir) with a capacity of 3 tmc ft near Chandlapur village in Siddipet district with an amount of Rs. 496.50 crore were also given administrative approval.
In addition, orders were issued for investigation, designs and execution of water conveyor system consisting of lined gravity canal of Kureli anicut – Chityal Canal Reach-I with carrying capacity of 110.88 cumecs taking off from Kureli anicut to Kandukuru vagu crossing near Mulkalapally village in Nalgonda district, including distributary network for an ayacut of 63,300 acres.
- Parliament passes bill to raise maternity leave to 26 weeks
Parliament has passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 with Lok Sabha approving it on 9th March which was already cleared by Rajya Sabha. The bill seeks to enhance paid maternity leave for women engaged in organised sector from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children, violation of the provisions of the amendment bill would attract 3 to 6 months of imprisonment and a penalty of up to Rs 5000.
Minister of Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya has reiterated the government commitment to extend ESI coverage from existing 395 districts to 702 districts, and to upgrade 450 dispensaries to six bed hospitals. He also said that the Government has brought nearly 4.7 crore people involved in construction sector under the social security network.
- Supreme Court issues warrant against Calcutta HC judge C S Karnan in contempt case
The Supreme Court on 10th March issued an arrest warrant against serving Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan to ensure his presence before it on March 31 in a contempt case. A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said there is no other alternative to seek presence of Justice Karnan, therefore the court orders that he will have to furnish a personal bond of Rs 10,000 to secure bail.
The bench also directed the West Bengal Director General of Police to personally execute the arrest warrant on Justice Karnan to ensure his presence before it on March 31, the next date of hearing. Justice Karnan termed the apex court warrant against him as unconstitutional and alleged, he was being targeted for being a Dalit.
- BJP victory in UP, UK, Hung in Goa, Manipur
In the five state elections, Bharatiya Janata Party has got absolute Majority in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while Congress has won in Punjab. No party has emerged with clear majority in Goa and Manipur, however congress emerged as single largest party in these states.
Uttar Pradesh (403)
BJP and Alliances
SP and Congress
- Andhra Pradesh and WTO to promote sustainable tourism
The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority has partnered with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) to promote sustainable tourism across the state.
The U.N. has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The decision comes 50 years after the celebration of the International Tourist Year on Tourism – Passport to Peace (1967) and 15 years since the International Year of Ecotourism (2002).
AP is the first State in the country to forge a partnership with the global body. The WTO Secretary General Taleb D. Rifai will inaugurate the A.P. initiative in Berlin on March 8. The themes that the A.P. Tourism will focus are sustainable fishing culture in East Godavari district, beach tourism at Yerada in Visakhapatnam, at Pulicat Lake and in Kondapalli village.
The tourism drive will be guided by three main themes: protection of environment, protection of the livelihood of the local community and steps to ensure that the benefits of the tourism reaches the local community
- Google India inks MoU with Telangana government
Google India and Telangana government have signed a MoU aimed at supporting the digitization efforts of the state. Google India will provide Google Cloud credits and access to all cloud platform products to eligible startups engaged with Telangana government’s T-Hub initiative and through its Developer Relations team provides technical mentor-ship and advisory support to various startups.
- India seeks UAE investment for modernising its rail network
India will invest USD 140 billion to modernise its rail network over the next five years and is in talks with UAE-based sovereign wealth funds, according to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu. Of the USD 140 billion the majority will go towards India’s modernisation efforts, the introduction of new technologies, and increasing capacities.
According to a statement released by the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi, Prabhu visted the UAE from March 5-7, on the invitation of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs of the UAE.
- India, Belgium sign protocol
India and Belgium on 9th March signed in New Delhi a Protocol amending the existing agreement and protocol between the two countries for avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
The Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information. This in turn will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.
The Protocol was signed by Sushil Chandra, Chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on behalf of India and Mr. Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium to India, on behalf of Belgium.
- Govt. nod to sale of 3 SAIL special steel plants
The government has approved outright sale of state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited's (SAIL's) three special steel units, including Salem and Alloy Steel plants.
In pursuance of the decision, SAIL has now sought advisors, including legal and merchant bankers, to carry out the strategic sale along with transfer of management control in the three steel plants -- Alloy Steels Plant (ASP), Salem Steel Plant (SSP) and Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISP).
The strategic sale of these three units is likely to happen only in the next financial year beginning April. The government has budgeted to raise Rs 15,000 crore from strategic disinvestment in 2017-18.
ASP is located at Durgapur in West Bengal spread over around 467.22 hectares. It has a diverse product portfolio of over 400 grades catering to end-use by strategic sectors like defence, railways, automobiles, power plants, heavy engineering and manufacturing industries.
SSP in Tamil Nadu can produce stainless steel in the form of coils and sheets with an installed capacity of 70,000 tonnes a year in cold rolling mill and 3.64 lakh tonnes a year in hot rolling mill.
Located in Bhadravati, Karnataka, VISP produces high quality alloy and special steels and pig iron. The unit has an installed capacity of 2.16 lakh tonnes of hot metal and 98,280 tonnes of alloy and special steels.
- China's GDP growth target at 25 Year Low
Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang on 5th March slashed China's GDP growth target for this year to a 25-year low of 6.5 percent. The Chinese Premier set the target in a 42-page work report to the National People's Congress.
This closely-watched figure is down from last year's actual GDP growth of 6.7 per cent, indicating the continuation of an economic slowdown. The previous low was a 6 per cent target for gross national product growth in 1992, said a report by state-run news agency, Zinhua.
- Cabinet approves development of 50 un-served and under-served air strips
The CCEA has approved the proposal for revival of 50 un-served, under-served airports and airstrips of the State Governments, Airports Authority of India and Civil enclaves in three financial years starting from 2017-18. The total cost of the project is estimated to be 4500 crore rupees.
15 airports and airstrips each would be revived during 2017-18 and 2018-19 each while 20 airports and airstrips would be revived during 2019-20. As an outcome of the approval, small cities and towns will be connected on commencement of operation of flights to under-served and un-served airports.
The announcement for making adequate provisions for revival of unserved and under-served airports was made by the Finance Minister in Union Budget 2016-17.
- No one to be deprived of benefits for lack of Aadhaar: Govt of India
Government on 7th March said that no one will be deprived of the benefits for lack of Aadhaar number. In a statement, the Government reiterated that till Aadhaar number is assigned to any individual, the benefit will continue on alternate means of identification.
It also directed the departments to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to their beneficiaries. In view of usefulness of Aadhaar in curbing leakages and bringing transparency in delivery system, the government recently issued orders to use Aadhaar in several other welfare schemes funded from the Consolidated Fund of India.
So far Aadhaar has been issued to over 112 crore people and it has become an important tool of transformation, good governance and empowerment of people. The total savings because of plugging of leakages due to Aadhaar during the last two and half years has reached 49 thousand crore rupees.
- Indian economy to grow 7.1% this fiscal: Global rating agency Fitch
Global rating agency Fitch on 7th March said, Indian economy will grow by 7.1 per cent in the current fiscal before stepping up to 7.7 per cent in the next two financial years. The US-based agency has termed 7 per cent GDP growth for the October-December quarter as surprising and tad lower than 7.4 per cent in the previous quarter.
It said the December quarter GDP number suggests that economic activity was hardly hit by the cash crunch after the government's move to remove 86 per cent of currency in circulation overnight. Fitch said, gradual implementation of the structural reform agenda is expected to contribute to higher growth, as will higher real disposable income.
- 41 named in Panama Papers under ED lens
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has instituted formal investigations against 41 Indian nationals whose names cropped up in the Panama Papers leak for alleged undisclosed business interests in offshore companies. Notices have also been served on several entities to join the probe.
- Govt launches web portal for obtaining CRZ clearances
Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave on 8th March launched the web portal for obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone clearances in New Delhi.
The Minister termed the launch of the portal as a good example of ease of doing business. He said, the system will enable the project proponents and the concerned State and Union Territory bodies like the State Coastal Zone Management Authorities and Municipal Planning agencies in tracking the status of their proposals.
Mr. Dave said, the objectives of the portal include - enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability in the process of CRZ clearances. He said, the Portal is a very user-friendly initiative, which enables submission of applications for CRZ clearance in a single-window interface.
- NITI Aayog forms panel on model contract farming
NITI Aayog has formed a committee to prepare a model contract farming law to enable better price realisation and reduction of post-harvest losses for farmers by connecting them to the food processing industry. The committee on model contract farming law will submit its report in 3 months.
- Govt unveils draft security rules for e-wallet firms
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued the draft Information Technology (Security of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Rules 2017 for public consultation, and will take suggestions until March 20.
The draft rules underline security parameters that digital wallet companies will have to follow. They also stipulate standards for data protection and customer grievance redressal. Every prepaid payment instrument (PPI), or digital wallet, has been asked to develop a security policy based on the rules and standards set by the government.
Besides, the rules also mandate that digital wallets identify and authenticate every customer at the time of issuance, and adopt two-factor authentication for transactions. The government may by notification “exempt” digital wallets from requiring two-factor authentication in specific use cases.
Moreover, wallets will now have to disclose the kind of information they are collecting from customers and with whom they are sharing such information, and will be allowed to store it only for a period specified by the government. This data will also have to be encrypted end-to-end in order to safeguard customer data, especially financial data, such as bank balances.
- India tops in bribery rate among 16 Asia-Pacific nations
According to recent survey released by Transparency International (TI), India had highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia-Pacific countries surveyed between July 2015 and January 2017. The survey was conducted among more than 21,000 people in the region.
69% of the study group in India said that they have paid a bribe, done a favour or given a gift to receive services. Vietnam follows this suit with 65%, Thailand 41% and Pakistan 40%. China reported a much lower 26%. Japan had the lowest incidence of bribery at 0.2% followed by South Korea and Australia recorded 3% each, Hong Kong 2% and Taiwan 6%.
- AP inks pact with Singapore firm for fintech centre in Vizag
The Andhra Pradesh government and Singapore-based Fintech major Lattice 80, have signed a memorandum of understanding for establishment of a fintech incubation centre in Vizag. The MoU was signed at the two-day Fintech Startup Challenge which began on 9th March.
150 startups, several of them from abroad, were participating in the Fintech Startup Challenge. A 20-member Singapore team and two teams from Switzerland and Japan are participating in the event. 15 more MoUs were being signed by the AP government with different fintech companies to launch operations in the state.
- Rajya Sabha passes Enemy Property Bill amid opposition walkout
The Rajya Sabha on 10th March passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 with some amendments moved by the government amid the walkout by the opposition. The Bill, moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, will replace the ordinance promulgated by the government.
It guards against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars. After the Indo-Pak War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the Custodian's powers.
As per the amendments, once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it will continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death.
- Note ban impact was transient, says RBI staff paper
A research paper by the staff at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has found that the impact of demonetisation on the real economy has been transient, “given the information available so far.” The study quoted the Central Statistics Office (CSO), stating that the impact of demonetisation was felt mostly in real estate and construction.
The paper, Macroeconomic Impact of Demonetisation — A Preliminary Assessment, was prepared by the staff of the monetary policy department with contributions from other departments. The conclusion of the paper, the authors warned, was not necessarily the official view of the central bank.
However, the same view has been expressed by the Reserve Bank in its monetary policy document as well. Besides, RBI Governor Urjit Patel has also maintained the view that demonetisation impact has been transient.
- Factory output rises 2.7% in Jan
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) rose 2.7 per cent in January 2017, with mining, electricity and manufacturing — the three sectors that are tracked — registering positive growth.
In contrast, the IIP had contracted by 1.6 per cent in January 2016. It stood at 0.1 per cent in December last year. While mining grew 5.3 per cent in January, electricity production increased by 3.9 per cent and manufacturing rose by 2.3 per cent.
- Aadhaar made mandatory for a host of farm sector schemes
For better targeting of central subsidies, the government has made Aadhaar mandatory for a host of schemes under the agriculture ministry, from soil health card and horticulture development to the Prime Minister’s flagship crop insurance scheme launched in 2016.
According to the notification, farmers without an Aadhaar number have to apply for it by end of March and till that time they can avail services under by furnishing a proof of their application.
- Andhra Pradesh misses economic growth target
Andhra Pradesh has failed to achieve its targeted economic growth rate of 15 per cent during 2016-17 and may register an expansion of 11.61 per cent as per revised estimates. In 2015-16, the state registered an economic growth of 10.95 per cent, and not 10.99 per cent as previously announced by the government.
AP’s GSDP increased from Rs 6,09,934 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 6,99,307 crore during this fiscal, while per capita income rose from Rs 1,08,163 to Rs 1,22,376. Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu held a high-level review meeting in the Secretariat and called for making efforts to achieve 15 per cent economic growth in 2017-18.
Reeling out statistics, the Chief Minister said AP’s (estimated) economic growth (11.61 per cent) was way ahead of the national growth (7.11 per cent) in 2016-17. Growth of agriculture and allied sectors is 14.03 per cent as against the national average of 4.37 per cent. Industrial and services sectors grew at 10.05 per cent and 10.16 per cent respectively, compared to 5.77 per cent and 7.87 per cent nationally.
- 12th CII-Exim bank conclave inaugurated
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated the two day 12th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership on 9th March, 2017 in New Delhi. The first conclave has held in 2005. The main objective of summit is to discuss cooperation in Trade, Regional Integration & Infrastructure Development, Finance & Consultancy, Mining & Minerals and Agriculture & Agro-Processing.
The Conclave was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the EXIM Bank of India with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
The India-Africa partnership is a stellar example of multi-pronged South-South Cooperation, straddling the traditional and emerging areas of cooperation alike. India-Africa bilateral trade volumes grew from $28.9 billion in 2007-08 to $56.7 billion in 2015-16.
Science and Technology:
- Reason for Pandas black and white marks found
The giant panda's distinct black-and-white markings have two functions: camouflage and communication, a new study has found.
The study suggests that this dual colouration stems from its poor diet of bamboo and inability to digest a broader variety of plants. The scientists, who earlier uncovered why zebras have black and white stripes, took the colouration question to giant pandas in the latest study.
- Oldest serving aircraft carrier INS Viraat gets decommissioned
The longest serving warship of the world, INS Viraat was decommissioned by the Indian Navy 6th March at Mumbai's Naval Dockyard. According to Admiral Lanba a new aircraft carrier will be inducted anytime between 2018 and 2020.
The Guinness Record Holder for being the longest serving warship of the world, INS Viraat had served for 30 years in the Indian Navy and 27 years in the Royal Navy. Under the Indian Flag, the ship was instrumental during Operation Parakram between India and Pakistan; apart from Sri Lankan Peace Keeping operation.
- India's 1st lunar probe Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft still orbiting Moon: NASA
India's first lunar probe - the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft - which was considered lost is still orbiting the Moon. NASA scientists have found the satellite, using a new ground-based radar technique.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost contact with Chandrayaan-1 in August 2009, almost a year after it was launched in October, 2008. Now, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California have successfully located the spacecraft still circling some 200 kilometres above the lunar surface.
- INS Tillanchang commissioned at Karwar
INS Tillanchang, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) was commissioned into the Indian Navy, at Karwar on 9 March 2017. Tillanchang is the third ship of four follow-on WJFAC built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Kolkata. The ship has been indigenously designed and built and is an upgrade from the Chetlat class of Fast Attack Craft that the Indian Navy possesses.
The first two ships of the class, INS Tihayu and INS Tarmugli, were commissioned in 2016 and are based at Visakhapatnam. During the speed trail, INS Tillanchang was able to achieve the fastest speeds among all WJFACs.
- India successfully test-fires new BrahMos supersonic cruise missile
India on 11th March successfully test-fired an extended range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Chandipur Integrated Test Range, off the Odisha coast.
This is the first test of the missile after its strike range was extended following India’s entry in Missile Technology Control Regime. DRDO sources said the strike range of the new BrahMos missile has been enhanced from 290 to 450 km.
The test was aimed at gauging the efficiency of the weapon system’s superior version which is incorporated with advanced seeker software having target discriminating capabilities.
- First ever survey in Ganga to determine population of aquatic life
Centre has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic doplhin.
The study is crucial as the animal population in a river indicates the quality of its water. National Mission for Clean Ganga has said that the survey will create a baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures to improve quality of the river water.
The first leg of the census was launched on March 1 from Narora to Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. A study to figure out fish species composition in the 2525 km-long river has been also been kick started from Harshil in Uttarakhand.
- 45 % of country's bird species in Himachal Pradesh: Great Backyard Bird Count
In Himachal Pradesh, the state forest department participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) 2017. This is an event that engages bird watchers from the general public in counting birds. The event runs for four days in the month of February. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Wildlife, S. K. Sharma, headed the initiative.
As per data total 564 bird species are reported from Himachal Pradesh. It is nearly 45 per cent of the 1,263 species found in whole country. Till date, 2833 bird check lists have been uploaded to e-Bird from all districts of the state with highest number of 453 bird species reported from the Kangra district only.
- Environmental pollution kills 1.7 million children each year: WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 6 March 2017 announced that more than 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years of age are attributable to unhealthy environments.
The revelations were made by the agency in its two new reports, titled Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment and Do not pollute my future! the impact of the environment on children's health.
The WHO went on to state that indoor and outdoor air pollution, unsafe water, lack of sanitation, second-hand smoke and inadequate hygiene take the lives of 1.7 million children under 5 years.
- Climate change may drive more migration in future, Europeans say
Climate change is not a driving force behind migration at present - but it could be in the future, residents in four European countries believe.
A survey of 4,000 residents of Britain, Germany, France and Norway found that most believe climate change is not a major reason for mass migration at present- but about 40 percent think it will lead to an increase of migrants in the future, according to results released on 8th March.
The study, coordinated by Cardiff University in Britain, collaborated with institutions in Germany, France and Norway to examine perceptions of climate change in the four countries as they relate to science, public policy, renewable energy and migration.
- Early signs of El Nino this year, warn forecasters
International weather agencies have begun predicting an El Nino event in the second half of 2017. The latest update, from US state agency NOAA and its funded institutions, gives a 50-55% chance of an El Nino forming from July onwards.
The indication comes on the back of similar computer-model forecasts released by the India Meteorological Department as well as weather agencies of Australia, Europe and Japan over the past month or so.
El Nino is an abnormal warming of the ocean surface in central and eastern equatorial Pacific which alters weather patterns in many parts of the globe. In India, it's usually associated with weak monsoons. The last four El Nino events - in 2015, 2009, 2004 and 2002 - had led to poor monsoons and drought in the country.
- Asia Men's Rugby Sevens Trophy: Ind defeat Pak to secure 7th rank
The Indian men's Rugby team defeated Pakistan 14-12 to secure the 7th rank at the Asia Men's Rugby Sevens Trophy. The two-day championship was held on 3rd and 4th March, at Aspire Rugby Field in Doha, Qatar.
Philippines won the Asia Men's Rugby Sevens Trophy and secured a place in the Asia Rugby Sevens Series. It will feature three legs and will be played between 1st September and 14th October 2017. A total of 11 countries from across Asia vied for top honours in the championship.
- US doctor Thomas Starzl passed away
US doctor Thomas Starzl, the man who performed the world's first liver transplant died on 4th March. The American surgeon pioneered the procedure in 1963. After creating a new blend of anti-rejection drugs, he carried out the first successful transplant in 1967. Since then, thousands of lives have been saved by the procedure
- India wins second test against Australia
India has won second test against Australia on 7th march. In the match Ravichandran Ashwin became the fourth Indian bowler to complete 200 wickets in Tests at home. KL Rahul awarded as Man of the match. Pujara and Rahane were involved in a stand of 118 -India's highest fifth-wicket partnership vs Australia at Bangalore, obliterating the 93 between Gundappa Viswanath and Yashpal Sharma in September 1979.
- Ashwin, Jadeja jointly ranked number one in ICC Test rankings
The Indian duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on 8th March became the first set of spinners to be jointly ranked number one in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers. The last time two bowlers shared the top spot was in April 2008, when Dale Steyn and Muttiah Muralidaran were at the top.
Among batsmen, India captain Virat Kohli conceded the second rank to England's Joe Root after managing only 27 runs in the match and 40 in the series so far. Root is now one point ahead of Kohli at 848 points.
Cheteshwar Pujara's innings of 17 and 92 lifted him up five places to sixth rank, while Ajinkya Rahane has moved up two places to 15th rank. Player of the match Lokesh Rahul has gained 23 places to reach 23rd spot.
- Vijay Goel constitutes committee to look in to women players' grievance
Sports Minister Vijay Goel has constituted a high level committee to look in to the grievances of women players. According to Goel the five member committee will be headed by Joint Secretary of Sports Ministry. The panel will included two women player and one sports journalist.
He also announced that government will soon start a diploma course for women coaches. The Minister said it will help those women players who want to become coach.
He said 1st Gramin Khel Mahotsav will be held from 25th to 31st of this month in New Delhi. Mr Goel said this festival will help participation of rural youth in large numbers in popular sports and encourage them to achieve excellence and adopt healthy life style.
- Kohli remains 3rd in ICC ODI rankings
Indian captain Virat Kohli remained unchanged at third to be the best-placed Indian batsman in the latest ICC ODI rankings issued in Dubai on 10th March. Rohit Sharma (12th) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13th) follow Kohli. Both of them also remained static on their previous positions.
According to ICC South Africa's AB de Villiers has regained the top spot in the rankings for ODI batsmen after leading the list of run-scorers in the recent series against New Zealand which his side won 3-2. It is for the 10th time that de Villiers is at the top of the rankings since first taking the spot in May 2010. He has never been ranked outside the top five since September 2009.
- Kohli, Ashwin received BCCI awards
Indian captain Virat Kohli and spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin were honoured for their phenomenal run of form through the season in the BCCI Awards 2017 in Bengaluru on 8th March. Kohli won the Polly Umrigar award for best international player of 2015/16, becoming the first player to get the award three times.
Ashwin too has been on a record-breaking spree in the ongoing season, winning the CK Nayudu award for his performance in the West Indies in 2016. He picked up 17 wickets in four Tests, including a haul of 7/83 in North Sound.
- Mohan Bhagawat conferred honorary doctorate
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat was on 9th March conferred honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by the Nagpur city-based Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University.
Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao awarded the degree to Bhagwat, a veterinary doctor by training, at the convocation of the varsity. He was conferred the degree for his contribution in the field of veterinary sciences and social work.
Persons in News:
- Former Lok Sabha speaker Rabi Ray passed away
Noted socialist leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Rabi Ray passed away on 6th March. Born at Bhanragarh village in Khurda district of Odisha on November 26, 1926 Mr. Ray was the Union minister of health and family welfare in the Morarji Desai government from January 1979 to January 1980 and the speaker of ninth Lok Sabha from 1989-1991.
In 1991, he was re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha from Kendrapada in Odisha. He was also a former chairman of Common Wealth Speakers Forum.
- Vishwanath Mahadeshwar is Mumbai Mayor now
Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was elected Mayor of Mumbai.