Today Current Affairs 3rd March 2016

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Tezpur University in Assam has been adjudged as the best Central University in the country this year by the Ministry of Human Resources Development. According to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, this will provide a big push to the university, as well as to the state's education sector.It had been Gogoi who had persuaded Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, to set up two Central universities in the state, at Tezpur, and at Silchar. This made him even more glad of the university's win of the prestigious award, he said in a February 27 statement, according to PTI.The Chief MInister congratulated the students of Tezpur University, along with its teaching and non-teaching staff, from both past and present and the current Vice Chancellor, Mihir Kanti Chaudhuri, for bagging the award.President Pranab Mukherjee will be presenting the award to the university on March 14.

Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), the country's largest commodity exchange, on 29 February 2016 appointed Mrugank Paranjape as its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Office (CEO).The appointment of Paranjape is valid for a period of three years, subject to prior approval from SEBI. Since May 2014, the exchange was functioning without an MD. P K Singhal was handling the affairs of the exchange as joint.At present, he is the India Head of Deutsche Bank. He has also served as the Asia Pacific Head of Trust & Securities Services/Cash Management for Financial Institutions and Regional Head of Securities for The Global Network Banking Division, Deutsche Bank (Malaysia) .Berhad.MCX is an independent commodity exchange based in India.It was established in 2003 and is based in Mumbai.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of the following Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) : 1.The MoC signed between Ministry of Railways (MoR) and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan on technological cooperation in Rail Sector .2.The MoU signed between Ministry of Railways and Joint Stock Company “Russian Railways” on technical cooperation in railway sector on 24th December 2015.3.The MoU signed between Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO) and Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI), Japan on technological cooperation in railway sector on 11th December 2015.

The first woman officer to lead an Indian Army training contingent in a large multinational exercise. Qureshi, from the Corps of Signals, is leading the Indian Army contingent of 40 soldiers at the ASEAN Plus Multinational Field Training Exercise, ‘Ex Force 18.This is the second time in the recent past that a woman officer has taken upon a greater role in the forces, the first being Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, who led the Guard of Honour for US President Barack Obama during his visit to India last year.Contingents from 17 ASEAN Plus countries have participated in this exercise in Pune, which will focus on Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) and Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA). Qureshi is also the only woman among all participating countries to lead a contingent. 

Emirates Airline, which was scheduled to launch what it called the world’s longest non- stop flight this month between Dubai and Panama City, has said it was postponing those plans for around a year.The launch, which had been slated for March 31, will now occur in late 2016 or early 2017 due to “operational factors,” the Dubai airline said in a statement released.The company had said it would offer a daily flight to Panama’s capital aboard a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, which can also carry up to 15 tonnes of cargo.The company said that upon extensive review, it would now postpone the flight after “considering all operational factors, including fleet utilization and commercial demand.”Among the world’s other longest flights are one connecting Dallas to Sydney (almost 17 hours), Johannesburg to Atlanta (16 hours, 40 minutes), and Dubai to Los Angeles (16 hours 35 minutes).the longest flight, lasting almost 19 hours, linked Singapore and New York and was operated by Singapore Airlines. But it was suspended in 2013 to cut costs.

Five Indian women have made it to the Forbes list of world’s richest people in the world, which saw 190 women billionaires . a little over 10 per cent of the total count. Globally the number of women in the coveted rich list declined from last year. Of the total 1,810 billionaires this year, 190 are women, down from 197 in 2015.The list Savitri Jindal and family was ranked at the 453rd place on the list with a net worth of USD 3.5 billion.Indu Jain who chairs media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman & Co, was placed at the 549 rank globally. Her net worth stood at USD 3.1 billion.Smita Crishna-Godrej ranked 810 on the list with a net worth of USD 2.2 billion Leena Tiwari was placed at 1067 position with a net wealth of USD 1.7 billion .Vinod Gupta ranked 1577 with assets of USD 1.1 billion, is the wife of Qimat Rai Gupta, who died in November 2014.

World Wildlife Day was observed on 3 March 2016 across the world. 2016 theme is “The future of wildlife is in our hands”, with African and Asian elephants being the main focus of global campaigns.World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. The Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.he United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 68th session held on 20 December 2013 decided to proclaim 3 March as World Wildlife Day. The date is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.

Veteran playwright and director Ratan Thiyam was on 1 March 2016 named for Lifetime Achievement Award of the 11th edition of the Mahindra Excellence Theatre Awards (META). He was selected for the award for creating a new language in theatre and enriching the art form in various roles as writer, director, designer, composer and choreographer. He is the current chairman of the National School of Drama.The Mahindra Group, through META, aims to increase awareness and appreciation of Indian theatre, making it the only national platform for recognising and rewarding theatre.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday gave its approval to wind up the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) with immediate effect. An official release said the CCEA gave its approval to winding up of the NMCC as the council “has fulfilled the mandate for which it was constituted”.The NMCC was established in 2004 to provide a continuing forum for policy dialogue to energise and sustain the growth of manufacturing industry. It was set up as an autonomous organisation with its chairman in the rank of a cabinet minister and members drawn from government and industry. The release said NMCC chairman V. Krishnamurthy resigned from his post in May 2014 and Ajay Shankar demitted office as member-secretary of the council upon expiry of his tenure in November 2014.

NASA is celebrating a very big homecoming as American astronaut Scott Kelly returns to earth.He has spent almost a full year on the International Space Station floating 250 miles above the earth  setting a record for an American astronaut.After 340 days he has seen 5,400 earth orbits and nearly 11,000 sunsets.His trek back to earth started Tuesday afternoon and landed in Kazakhstan at at about 11:30 p.m. ET.Scientists are hoping for more one-year subjects as NASA gears up for human expeditions to Mars in the 2030s. Radiation will be a top challenge, along with the body and mind's durability on what will be a 2½-year journey round trip. With his one-year mission, Kelly has "helped us take one giant leap toward putting boots on Mars," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

Parliament has passed the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to empower Union government to revise the limits of liability for airlines and compensation as per the Montreal Convention which India accepted in 2009. The bill was first passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2015 and later it was passed by the Rajya in March 2016. Now it will go for the Presidential assent as per Article 111 of Constitution.The Bill introduced by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju would enable the Government to revise the liability limits of air carriers in line with the Montreal Convention, which India acceded to in 2009. Under the revised compensation package, the Bill intends to review the liability limit for damage in case of death or bodily injury for each person

Mumbai leads the country with 1,094 ultra high networth individuals, followed by Delhi with 545, said a latest Knight Frank Wealth Report. The next decade will see Mumbai increase to 2243 and Delhi to 1128 UHNWIs, the report released.In the last 10 years, billionaire count (with $1 billion networth or more) in India jumped by 333% to 78 persons from 18 in 2006. The global growth in the number of billionaires during the last 10 years has been much lower at 68%. There are an estimated 1,919 billionaires in the world at present."Among Indian cities, Mumbai leads the pack followed by New Delhi. Going forward, Mumbai will continue to maintain its number one position but the rate of growth in UHNWI population will be marginally higher in New Delhi than in Mumbai,” said Samantak Das, chief economist at Knight Frank.Out of 97 cities globally, Mumbai and Delhi currently ranked at 21 and 33 respectively

Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, the two men who created the famous Diffie-Helman public-key exchange protocol, are this year's winners of the Turing Award, the so-called Oscars of computer science and technology.Started in 1966, the Turing Award is an annual prize given out by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), an international learned society for computing, and the world's largest scientific and educational computing society.Similar to the Nobel Prize, the Turing Award is given out each year to scientists who contributed to the field of computer science, regardless of whether it was a hardware, software, or theoretical innovation

Tony Warren, the beloved “father” of British drama Coronation Street, who created a show that became the world’s longest-running TV soap, has died. He was 79.Born Anthony McVay Simpson near Manchester in 1936, Warren first adopted his stage name as a child actor, becoming a regular on BBC radio.At the age of 23 in 1959, he conceived the idea for the famous creation. Reportedly, he was on a sleeper train when he conceived the idea of becoming a producer.He had said he had a "wonderful idea" about a "little back street with a pub at one end and a shop at the other, and all the lives of the people there, just ordinary things" -- the concept of "Coronation Street", which eventually became the most watched show in Britain and changed the face of British TV. In 2010, it became the world's longest running TV soap opera in production.

The GOI plans to set up nuclear power plants in in Bihar, Haryana and Punjab. The GOI aims to increase nuclear power generation capacity by three times in ten years.  With regard to nuclear power programme, Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said the government is considering setting up new plants in areas not covered before. A site has been identified for a nuclear plant in Razauli in Bihar’s Nawada district in the last 18-19 months of the current government.There has been a delay there due to water shortage since the current level of water available is not sufficient for the project. The Minister has also listed out places such as Patiala (Punjab), Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and Bulandshahr (Uttar Pradesh)

Eminent poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas has been chosen for the 2015 Bihari Puraskar for his anthology of Rajasthani poems 'Katha Sun Aawe Hai Sabad'.A recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award, Dr Vyas has highlighted the increasing tendencies of commercialization and degradation of human values through his poetry. Dr Vyas's works reflect the unpleasant changes in human relations, social disparity and loss of human values although positivity and his faith in human life also shine through the vast collection of his poetry. Among the best known works of Dr Vyas, who has also authored several short stories and an eminent translator, are compendium of poems titled 'Shatabdi Niruttar' (1977), 'Footpath Par Chiriya Nachti Hai' (1984) and a collection of short stories 'Suraj Leelti Ghatiyan' stand out. Bihari Puraskar was instituted by KK Birla Foundation in 1991 and is named after the famous Hindi poet Bihari

RBI announced relaxation of certain norms in the balance sheet which will unlock 40,000 crores to support the capital requirement of Indian banks. Indian banks are facing a huge loss due to the increase in Non Performing assets which have eroded the Capital of these banks .The revised RBI norms will give public sector banks (PSB) access to additional capital of INR 35,000 crore It could be about INR 5,000 crore for private sector banks RBI have aligned the definition of regulatory capital .

India's GDP growth is likely to pick up to 7.8 per cent in fiscal 2016-17 from 7.6 per cent this year, largely driven by higher discretionary demand, a Nomura report we expect GDP growth (at market prices) to pick up to 7.8 per cent in FY17 from 7.6 per cent in FY16," Nomura said in a research note The Reserve Bank of India to deliver a 25 bps rate cut in April to support growth, as the government has stuck to its fiscal consolidation targets," Nomura .RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on February 2 had left the key interest rate unchanged citing inflation risks and growth concerns, while pegging further easing of monetary policy to the government's Budget proposals.

Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe died due to cancer on 3 March 2016 in Auckland. He was 53.The ex-Black Caps batsman had been suffering from lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.Auckland-born Crowe is widely regarded as one of New Zealand's best ever batsman, having scored 17 centuries and 5444 runs in 77 tests at an average of 45.36.

India has been ranked at the 90th place in a list of 126 countries compiled by WEF on the basis of their ability to deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy, which was topped by Switzerland. The latest Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report, explored the energy architecture of 126 countries based on their ability to provide energy access across three dimensions of the “energy triangle” ? affordability, environmental sustainability, security and access.The list was topped by Switzerland followed by Norway and Sweden in the second and third place, respectively. Others in the top 10 include France (4th), Denmark (5th), Austria (6th), Spain (7th), Colombia (8th), New Zealand (9th) and Uruguay (10th). Among the BRIC nations, Brazil was the top performer as it was ranked at the 25th place, followed by Russia (52nd), India (90th), China (94)