Today Current Affairs 15th March 2017

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15 March 2017

Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar was on 14 March 2017 appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) High Court.  Sudhakar was appointed by President Pranab Mukherjee in his exercise of the powers conferred by section 100 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Sudhakar is the senior-most Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Sudhakar succeeds Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar who attained superannuation on 14 March 2017. Paul Vasanthakumar joined the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in February 2015. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the name of Justice Badr Durrez Ahmed for the post of Chief Justice of J &K High Court. The State Government also gave its consent for his appointment as CJ of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.  Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar : Justice Sudhakar was enrolled as an Advocate in 1983 and started his practice as an associate of the Legal Luminary and Senior Advocate Habibullah Badsha, former Advocate General of Tamil Nadu.  Justice R. Sudhakar, practised in all branches of law and specialized in the field of Customs, Central Excise and Sales Tax Law. He was elevated to the Bench as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Madras in 2005 and as a Permanent Judge in 2007. He became the Judge of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in April 2016.  

15 March 2017

Hockey India on 14 March 2017 announced the appointment of four new Scientific Advisors for men and women, both senior and junior teams. Scott Conway of Australia took charge as the new Scientific Advisor for the Senior men’s team at the national camp starting in SAI Bengaluru. South Africa’s Robin Anthony Webster Arkell will soon assume duties as the Scientific Advisor for the junior men’s team. Before joining Hockey India, he worked as the lead strength and conditioning coach for the Pumas Rugby, Senior Currie Cup Squad. He has also worked with the Western Province U21 Currie Cup as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. In his capacity as Strength and Conditioning Coach, he also worked with the Western Province Cricket Club, UCT Rugby U20 as well as the South African U16 rugby training camp. South African Wayne Patrick Lombard will take charge as Scientific Advisor at the senior women’s camp in Bhopal. Earlier, he worked as Head of Athletic Performance, Liaoning Province, China Hockey. He was the Senior Biokineticist, Discovery High performance Centre (HPC), Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) and was also the Medical Manager and Head Strength and Conditioning Specialist, University of Cape Town Cricket Club. On the other hand, Daniel Barry from Australia was roped in as Scientific Advisor for the junior women’s team. Previously, he worked as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach with Western Australian Cricket Association at Perth, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Shanghai Women Basketball – Shanghai Sports Institute, China and Strength and Conditioning Consultant at Indonesian Olympic Committee.

15 March 2017

Shashank Manohar resigned as the Chairman of the International Cricket Council on 15 March 2017 stating personal reasons. His resignation would be effective immediately. Manohar had been elected to the position unopposed in May 2016. He had signed a two-year term with the international body that began with immediate effect after he stepped down as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). With the move, he had become ICC’s first independent chairman (one not affiliated to any of its member boards). He broke the news of his resignation through an email addressed to the CEO of ICC, David Richardson in which he wrote that he had tried to do his best in being fair and impartial in deciding matters in the functioning of the Board as well as in matters related to Member Boards with the able support of all Directors. He further stated that due to personal reasons it would not be possible for him to hold the august office of ICC Chairman and hence he was putting forth his resignation from the position with immediate effect. In response, the ICC released an official statement confirming his resignation and stated that the board will assess the situation and its next step before making any further announcement. Shashank Manohar :  He is a prominent Indian lawyer who has served as the President of BCCI twice, first from 2008 to 2011 and then from November 2015 to May 2016. During his Presidency India became the No 1 Test side and won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final. In June 2010, he took the much-praised decision of suspending Lalit Modi, the then chairman of Indian Premier League and Vice-President of BCCI, after giving him a fair hearing on his misdemeanours. He was nominated to be the Chairman of the International Cricket Council in November 2015. Since his appointment, Manohar had become a driving force behind decentralising the power held by ‘The Big Three’ - Cricket Australia (CA), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and BCCI in the decision making processes of the ICC. In fact, in February 2017, the ICC had passed in principle a new constitution that undid most of the imbalance in power and finances that the BCCI, CA and ECB had wished to create in 2014. However, a final decision on the same was supposed to be taken at the ICC Board’s next round of meetings, which are scheduled to be held in April. Now since Manohar would not be heading the meetings, the future of the proposals remains uncertain.

15 March 2017

The State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a one-time farm loan settlement scheme worth Rs 6000 crore primarily for tractors. In a tweet, the State Bank of India said, One Time Settlement (OTS) is announced for Agriculture Loans and the Scheme is valid until 31 March 2017. Apart from this, the largest lender of India also urged to farmers to contact their branch for details and benefits. Loans that will be considered under the scheme are the loans, which were disbursed before 2011 and at present, falls under the doubtful or loss category accounts as of September 2016. The scheme will also cover other agricultural loans like Kisan credit cards and other term loans for tractors and farm loans Besides, Rajnish Kumar, the Managing director of the bank, told a news channel that the scheme will help the bank in taking 40 per cent haircut on outstanding tractor loans as of September 2016. He also informed that a circular in this regard was sent to branches on 2 February 2017. At present, SBI's total farm loan portfolio is Rs 1.25 Lakh Crore and tractor loan book is about Rs 6000 crore.

15 March 2017

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Radha Mohan Singh on 15 March 2017 inaugurated the Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 in New Delhi. The mela is jointly organised by the Indian Council of Agriculutral Research (ICAR) and the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. Highlights of Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 : For the Krishi Unnati Mela 2017, thousand invitations are being sent to ICAR Institutes, SAUs, KVKs, ATARIs, Public Sector Undertakings, NGOs, private organisations and farmers. During the mela, technical sessions on various themes are planned to educate farmers on various agricultural technologies and government schemes for agricultural development. Besides, a women empowerment workshop will be organised to sensitise farm women on latest agricultural technologies and their rights. Some of the themes that will be taken up in the Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 are - Digitization in agriculture Organic farming Agribusiness models  Precision farming Skill building and entrepreneurship development  Water use efficiency Micro irrigation and sensor based irrigation system Some of the other attractions of the mela are - Live demonstrations on production technologies of crops, horticulture, integrated farming system and protected cultivation Farmers’ visits to experimental fields of IARI Recycling of waste water for agriculture Display and sale of various products including farm equipments, quality planting materials, bio-fertilisers, agro-chemicals, innovative farmers' products On-spot soil and water testing Kisan Gosthi  Recognition of innovative farmers Krishi Unnati Mela : Since 1972, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has been organising Krishi Vigyan Mela (Agriculture Science Fair) to display and popularise latest advancements in agricultural research and technology development among farmers and end users. It continues to be a highly important annual event for receiving feedback from the farming community, which helps in deciding the institute’s future research strategy. Thousands of farmers and visitors from across the country are participating in the mela every year.

15 March 2017

Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act of 2017 (HR 1449) was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congressman Ted Poe. The bill pushes the US government to declare Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. It also asks the government to provide a reasonable justification for not doing so in a limited time. Poe who introduced the bill in the house on 9 March 2017 is the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism. Highlights of the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act 2017 :  It requires Donald Trump, the US President, to issue a report detailing whether Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism. The report should be issued within 90 days. After issuance of the report, the Secretary of State will be required to submit a follow-up report that contains either a determination that Pakistan is a “state sponsor of terrorism” or a detailed justification why it does not meet the legal criteria for such a designation. This follow-up report should be presented in next 30 days. Poe who presented the Bill in the House says that Islamabad is an untrustworthy ally and has aided and abetted enemies of America for years. To defend his claim, he provided certain examples like Osama bin Laden and its relationship with Haqqani network. Providing certain examples, he claims that these examples are more than enough to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. The lawmaker of US says “it’s time when we should stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism”.  

15 March 2017

The Committee, constituted under the Chairmanship of former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, submitted its report to the Union Government. Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, announced the submission of the report on 14 March 2017. The Madhukar Gupta Committee was constituted to strengthen border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border. The Committee has given its recommendations broadly on the issues of Threats and Border Protection, assessment of force level, deployment on the border, infrastructure and technology issues for protection of border and administrative issues. The Government decided to initiate action in light of the recommendations of the Committee in consultation with the stakeholders. The Committee was appointed on 5 April 2016. It was constituted three months after terrorists belonging to Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed had breached the Indo-Pak border in Punjab and attacked the Pathankot airbase killing seven security personnel. Recently in the first week of March 2017, the Supreme Court directed the committee to oversee and monitor the progress of Indo-Bangladesh border fencing carried out by the Union Government. The top court also asked the panel to submit its report in four months.  

15 March 2017

The Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharti introduced the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Lok Sabha on 14 March 2017. The minister called the bill as a revolutionary step towards the resolution of Inter- State River Water Disputes. The bill proposes the creation of a Single Standing Tribunal with multiple benches instead of the existing multiple tribunals. The proposed single tribunal would comprise a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and a maximum of 6 other members. While the term of office of the Chairperson will be five years or till the time he reaches the age of 70, the term of office of the Vice-Chairperson and other members of the tribunal will be linked to the adjudication of the water dispute. Besides this, the bill proposes the appointment of Assessors to provide technical support to the tribunal. The assessors would be appointed from among the experts already serving in the Central Water engineering Service, above the rank of Chief Engineer. It also proposes the introduction of a mechanism - Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to resolve disputes cordially through negotiations before it is referred to the tribunal. The proposed committee is to be established by the Union Government, consisting of relevant experts.  The bill also proposes the setting up of a transparent data collection system at the national level for each river basin and the establishment of a centre authorised agency for the same, which will be expected to maintain the databank and information system. The bill also fixed the total time period for adjudication of the dispute to a maximum of four and half years. It also determined that the decision of the tribunal would be final and binding with no requirement of publication in the official Gazette. The increase in water demands by states has led to a rise in inter-state river water disputes and the Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956 that provides the legal framework to address the disputes has many drawbacks.

15 March 2017

Tata Motors on 10 March 2017 announced the signing of a MoU for a long-term partnership with Volkswagen Group and Skoda to explore strategic alliance opportunities for joint development of products. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD of Tata Motors, Matthias Mueller, CEO of Volkswagen AG and Bernhard Maier, CEO of Skoda Auto. Features of the MoU : The MoU lays down the scope and objectives in order to reach agreement on the modalities and terms of a long-term cooperation in identified areas of partnership. As part of the MoU, the Skoda Auto will take the lead on behalf of the Volkswagen Group to drive forward work towards development of vehicle concepts in the economy segment. In the next few months, Tata Motors and SKODA Auto, representing the Volkswagen Group, will detail out the guiding principles and terms of cooperation under the agreement. After the successful completion of definitive agreements, the two parties will start joint development work and joint value-chain activities.  Based on this joint work, Tata Motors will launch products in the Indian market in 2019.

15 March 2017

The three-day international conference on Vision Zero and its relevance to Occupational Safety and Health is scheduled to begin at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on 15 March 2017. The conference is being jointly organised by Directorate General Factory Advice and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India and the Germany-based German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) in association with International Social Security Association (ISSA). Highlights : The conference will be inaugurated by Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (Independent) for Labour and Employment in the presence of M. Sathiyavathy, Secretary, Labour and Employment, Government of India. Its main objective is to focus on the occupational safety and health issues and challenges in the manufacturing, construction and mining sector.It will provide a platform for promoting safety and health at work through the exchange of knowledge, practice and experience. It is also expected to introduce the internationally accepted concept of ‘Vision Zero’ in India and in the process it will help give a push to the Indian government’s efforts in raising the occupational safety and health standards in the country. The event would also host three plenary sessions spread across the three days, which will be dedicated exclusively to the manufacturing, construction and mining sector. Besides this, the event would also host an exhibition on occupational safety and health that will provide an efficient platform to support technological communication and business trade. The event would be attended by experts and professionals from different sectors including safety engineers, managers, employers, occupational physicians and health professionals, supervisors, workers and members of the safety committees.

15 March 2017

Google on 15 March 2017 dedicated a doodle to the first officially recognised Test Match in order to celebrate the 140th anniversary of official Test cricket. Explaining the doodle, an official statement from Google read that today’s Doodle hits the deck with a light-hearted rendering that captures the spirit of sportsmanship and the inaugural Test match. The artwork portrayed muscle-bound moustachioed men-batsmen, bowlers and fielders- dressed in age-old cricketing uniforms springing into action, never losing sight of the red ball. According to history textbooks, the first official cricket test match began on 15 March 1877. It was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket ground (MCG). Australia won the match by 45 runs after four days of play. It was followed by another test at the same venue, which was won by England leading to a series draw. More about the First test match Australia batted first after winning the toss. Charles Bannerman who was making his debut opened the match. Alfred Shaw bowled the first Test delivery to Bannerman. Bannerman went on to become the first centurion in Test by scoring 165 runs, after which he retired hurt following an injury on his right hand’s index finger. Bannerman also scored 69.6% of his side's runs from the bat, which is still a record in Test matches.A Hill picked up the first Test wicket as well as the first catch. WE Midwinter picked up the first 5 wicket haul. Australia made 245 runs in 169.3 overs in its first innings while England was all out at 196 in 136.1 overs. The second innings saw Australia all out at 104 in 68 overs and England all out at 108 in 66.1 overs.The doodle is available only to those living in India and Australia.

15 March 2017

World Consumer Rights Day is being observed on 15 March 2017. The theme of the day for the year 2017 is 'Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust’. The day is observed with an aim to raise awareness about the basic rights of consumers. The participants of the occasion demand that basic rights of the consumers should be respected and protected. They also protest against the market abuses and social injustices which undermine the rights of the consumer. On this occasion of the Consumer Rights Day, several functions are being organised across India. Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will also preside over a function in New Delhi. In India, besides the World Consumer Rights Day, we observe the National Consumer Day on 24 December. World Consumer Rights Day : On this day in 1962, President John F Kennedy formally addressed the issue of consumer rights in US congress. He was the first world leader to do so, and the consumer movement now marks that date every year as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights. The first World Consumer Rights Day was observed on 1983 and since then it became an important occasion for mobilising citizen action.  

15 March 2017

Double Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand on 14 March 2017 announced her retirement from international cycling. Shand had won the women's team pursuit at four editions of the World Championships (2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014). She grabbed the gold medal in the same discipline at the Olympic Games in London and Rio in 2012 and 2016. The cyclist also won the individual pursuit at the 2014 World Championship. Joanna Rowsell Shand : Born on 5 December 1988, Joanna Katie Rowsell Shand is a retired English cyclist on the Great Britain Cycling Team.She competed on track and road. In 2004, she was picked up by British Cycling's Talent Team programme. As a junior, she won the British National Track Championships pursuit in 2005 and 2006.In senior competition on the road, she won the 2006 British National Women's Series competition. She represented the United Kingdom at the European and World Junior Track and Road Championships in mid-2000s. Her greatest successes to date are the gold medals won in the women's team pursuit at four editions of the World Championships (2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014).She won the gold medal in the same discipline at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 games in Rio. She won the individual pursuit at the 2014 World Championship.She is a reigning Olympic and European champion in the team pursuit.She is reigning Commonwealth Games champion in the individual pursuit.  

15 March 2017

A team of scientists have discovered the world’s first fluorescent frog in Argentina that emits soft green, yellow and red light under normal light, but gives off a bright blue and green glow in the dark. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on March 13, 2017. Fluorescence is a physical-chemical phenomenon in which short-wavelength electromagnetic radiation (light) is absorbed and then reemitted at longer wavelengths. Foran organism to be fluorescent, it must have fluorophores, the chemical compounds that can reemit light. As per the scientist, this phenomena is rare in terrestrial animals and was unheard in amphibians until now. Many ocean creatures exhibit fluorescence, including corals, fish, sharks and one species of sea turtle (the hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata). On land, fluorescence was previously known in only parrots and some scorpions. vii. The Researchers expected that the South American polka dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus) displays red fluorescence because they contain a pigment called biliverdin. Normally, biliverdin turns the amphibian’s tissues and bones green. However, in some insects, proteins bound to biliverdin emit a faint red fluorescence. Besides, three molecules namely hyloin-L1, hyloin-L2 and hyloin-G1 in the animals’ lymph tissue, skin and glandular secretions were responsible for the green fluorescence. The amount of light emitted by the newly described fluorescent molecules is about 18 percent as much visible light as a full Moon which is enough for a related species of frog to see by. The findings arises many questions as to how the tiny frog survives in its environment of fluorescence and also sets up more research into fluorescence on land.

15 March 2017

Devang Mody was appointed as CEO of Reliance Commercial Finance Ltd (RCFL),a subsidiary of Reliance Capital on March 14, 2017. Prior to this, Mody served as president of consumer business at Bajaj Finance  He has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector. He has worked at Mahajan & Aibara and GE Money Financial Services.

15 March 2017

The incumbent Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh resigned from the post on March 13, 2017 giving way for formation of a new ministry under the BJP. The Congress leader Okram Ibobi announced to resign after BJP named Nongthombam Biren Singh as the party’s leader to form the government with majority win. In 60-member assembly of Manipur, BJP won 21 seats that was 10 seats shorts to prove majority, while Congress won 28 seats. However, BJP received a big boost in the number of seats after 4 MLAs from NPP, lone LJP MLA and another four MLAs of the NPF, lone Trinamool Congress MLA, TongbramRobindro and one Congress legislator lent their support to the BJP taking BJP to have support of more than 31 legislators. The BJP’s Nongthombam Biren Singh will take oath as Manipur’s next chief minister on March 15, 2017 along with his council of ministers in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minister Jitendra Singh. Governor Najma Heptullah has asked Biren Singh to prove majority on the floor of the house as soon as possible, maybe May 22 or 23.

15 March 2017

An international financial institution, World Bank has agreed to provide loan to develop internal transmission arrangements of the upcoming Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (RUMS) project in Madhya Pradesh. This was officially announced by  Public Relations Department official in New Delhi on March 14, 2017 RUMS become India’s first solar power project of the country to receive a loan under CTF It will provide 75% of the loan amount with an interest rate of only 0.25% and remaining 25 % of the loan amount under its Clean Technology Fund (CTF), money will be provided at an interest rate of only 0.25 per cent,” a state Public Relations Department official said Rewa Ultra Mega Solar is a proposed solar power plant in the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh, with a total installed capacity of 750 MW. Project is anticipated to start power production in 2018, it is one of the largest single-site solar power plant in India The installation of this solar power project would save Rs 14,000 crore for the state.

15 March 2017

According to the Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living survey released on March 14, 2017, Vienna, the capital of Austria has topped the list of cities offering the highest quality of life for the eighth year in a row. Baghdad was ranked the worst place at 230 to live due to continuous violence in the city. In India, Hyderabad emerged as the best city in terms of living standards among Indian cities for the third year in a row. Top 5 Global Cities in the List 1 Vienna-Austria 2 Zurich-Switzerland 3 Auckland-New Zealand  

15 March 2017

Karnataka Govt has announced an Idea2POC (Proof of Concept) fund of ₹10 crore for women entrepreneurs. Under this (Idea2POC) scheme, the Karnataka Department of IT, BT and S&T will fund up to ₹50 lakh for any woman innovator looking for funds for Proof of Concept validation, certification, and cover costs in manufacturing of pilot devices.  The IT/BT Department, under the Multi-Sector Startup Policy of Karnataka, created the Idea2PoC Fund.  

15 March 2017

Shiv Sena's Vishwanath Mahadeshwar elected as the Mayor of Mumbai with the support of the BJP, marking a coming together of the two parties after contesting the civic polls separately. Mahadeshwar defeated Congress nominee Vitthal Lokare by 171-31 margin. He is the 76th mayor of the city.

15 March 2017

The AIADMK IT Wing has launched the first-of-its-kind women safety application in Tamil Nadu. The app is called 'Ammavin Aran' meaning 'mother's fortress'. The app will give the user details about the nearest police station and hospital along with map details and phone number.  There is an in-built whistle, which can manipulate the phone speaker to create a loud noise when pressed by anyone in distress. Also the app carries an in-built call recorder and and 'Tips' icon to provide life saving information.

15 March 2017

UK’s House of Lords gave its final approval on the Brexit bill on 13 March 2017, thereby paving way for the Theresa May government to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, the legal method to initiate UK’s exit from the European Union. The bill had faced opposition in the UK’s House of Commons over its inability to protect rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit. Highlights : The upper house in its final reading that voted in favour of a meaningful parliamentary vote on the final terms of Brexit. The objections of the Peers were completely overturned by the MPs in the House of Lords, who voted 274 to 118 in favour of the bill being passed unaltered. The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become a law on 14 March 2017.The bill’s passing enables Theresa May to formally initiate the Brexit process this week itself. The process would involve almost two years of talks, which will end with Britain becoming the first country to leave the European Union bloc. This decision comes in the wake of protests from Scotland, whose First Minister has demanded for a new independence reference between the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019.

15 March 2017

Scotland’s First Minister and leader of Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on 13 March 2017 that she will be seeking the Parliament’s permission to hold a new referendum on Scotland's independence from the UK. Explaining her decision, the First minister stated that she would take all the steps necessary to make sure Scotland gets a choice at the end of the process, whether it is to follow the UK in leaving the European Union or to become an independent country with a partnership of equals with the rest of the UK as well as with Europe. Highlights : Nicola Sturgeon stressed that the vote should be held between the second half of 2018 and first half of 2019 after the Brexit terms are known and before it was too late. The surprise announcement came hours before the House of Commons gave its final approval to the passing of the Brexit pill, thereby allowing Theresa May to trigger Article 50 in coming few weeks. Sturgeon feels that Scotland is being dragged out of EU against its will, as in last June’s Brexit referendum England and Wales had voted to leave the EU but Scotland and Northern Ireland had voted to stay, with an overall 55 percent in favour of leaving. The final decision for the independence referendum lies in the hands of the UK parliament in Westminster, where Theresa May commands a majority. If the minister’s plea gets parliamentary approval, then it would make the vote Scotland’s second independence referendum after 2014, when the Scottish citizens had voted to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Though in 2014, the Scottish people had rejected the independence vote by 55 to 45, recent opinion polls show support for independence going up to almost 50 per cent.

15 March 2017

Lok Sabha on 14 March 2017 passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016. The bill was earlier passed with some amendments by the Rajya Sabha on 10 March 2017. The amendments to the bill were moved in the Lok Sabha by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Bill will replace the ordinance promulgated by the government. With this passage in both the houses of Parliament, the Bill will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his approval. Mukherjee's nod on the bill will turn it into an Act. Highlights of the Enemy Property Bill 2016 :  It guards against the claims of succession or transfer of the properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars. The Bill seeks to amend the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests in enemy property in the Custodian. It also declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy, conducted under the Act, to be void. This applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968. As per the amendments, once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall 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. After the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the Custodian's powers. The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian remain so and do not revert to the enemy subject or enemy firm. Before passage in the two houses, Rajnath Singh clarified that the legislation does not violate the principles of natural justice and human rights. In the case of mistakes, where any property is declared as the enemy property, the affected party has the right to move to the grievance redressal mechanism, which is provided in the bill. Besides, he also clarified that no enemy property has been disposed of so far by the custodian.

15 March 2017

Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia became the only second Indian golfer to successfully defend the Hero Indian Open golf title. He achieved this feat on 12 March 2017 by clinching a seven-stroke win at the redesigned DLF golf and country club in Gurugram, Haryana. With this win, Chawrasia pocketed a winner's cheque of USD 2,91,660. For Chawrasia, this was his sixth win on the Asian Tour and overall sixth international victory. Chawrasia is also the third player to win back-to-back Indian Open titles. The other two golfers who did so earlier are Jyoti Randhawa of India and Japan's Kenji Hosoishi. While Randhawa won the titles in 2006 and 2007, Hosoishi won the titles in 1967 and 1968. SSP Chawrasia : Claimed his first victory outside of India when he clinched the Resorts World Manila Masters in 2016 Defeated Rahil Gangjee and Mithun Perera with a birdie on the first play-off hole to win the 2014 Panasonic Open IndiaWon the Avantha Masters on home soil, an event co-sanctioned with Europe in 2011 Came close to winning his second Asian Tour title at the SAIL Open in Delhi when he finished fourth in 2010 Produced a memorable triumph with his breakthrough at the Indian Masters at Delhi Golf Club in 2008 Was denied victory at the Hero Indian Open when he lost on the first play-off hole to Anirban Lahiri in 2015 but thanks to three other top-10 results, he finished fourth on the Order of Merit and qualified for the 2016 EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM Challenged compatriot Jyoti Randhawa for the Hero Honda Indian Open title before losing in a play-off that included Vijay Kumar in 2006Emerged runner-up to Arjun Atwal at the 1999 Indian Open

15 March 2017

An exhibition entitled “Revolutionary Patriots (1905-1947)” was inaugurated on 11 March 2017 on the occasion of 127th Foundation Day of National Archives of India (NAI). The exhibition was inaugurated by N.K. Sinha, Secretary, Union Ministry of Culture. Highlights of the exhibition : The focus of the exhibition is on the tactics and political aim of the revolutionary patriots.The spectacular acts of the revolutionary patriots are on display at the exhibition. The exhibition is based on original documents and proscribed literature. It is organized with a two-fold objective: to sensitize the younger generation to the sacrifices made by the revolutionaries in their fight for independence from the imperial rule, and to inculcate a sense of archival awareness among the public. The exhibition will remain open for public till 10 April 2017 from 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM during working days only. National Archives of India : The National Archives of India is a repository of the non-current records of the Government of India. The NAI holds the records in trust for the use of administrators and scholars. It was originally established as the Imperial Record Department on 11 March 1891 in Calcutta. At present, it is situated at the intersection of Janpath and Rajpath in New Delhi. Professor G.W. Forrest was the first officer in charge of the department. It functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Union Ministry of Culture.