Current Affairs 22nd March 2017 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by commissioning the world’s third-largest hypersonic wind tunnel at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.  In this regard, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar commissioned two facilities – a 1-m Hypersonic Wind Tunnel and a 1-m Shock Tunnel. These facilities are the third largest in terms of size and simulation capability in the world next only to the ones in the United States (US) and Russia. They have been indigenously designed, developed and made in India with the support of Indian Industries. Few critical technologies of these tunnels which are under embargo were also indigenously developed. These facilities together are quite complex with 500 valves, 2 km of pipelines, 41 electric motors, 35 pumps, 320 instruments and 10 km of cables. These tunnels have wide spectrum of simulation capabilities in terms of Mach number, Reynolds number and re-entry velocities. Applications: These wind tunnels will be used to study the effects of air flowing past a solid object and in ISRO’s case, space vehicles. These new facilities will help aerodynamic characterisation of advanced space transportation systems in a hypersonic environment. Significance: Such facilities will provide adequate data for design and development of current and future space transportation systems in the country. Commissioning of these facilities also symbolises the country’s capability in establishing such world-class facilities wherein technology from outside is restricted or not available.  

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation on 22 March 2017 sanctioned 3128 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor in Puducherry, 924 for Telangana and 2655 for Himachal Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The Ministry, in all, approved 124521 affordable houses for urban poor with an overall approved investment of Rs 95671 crore for constructing such houses under PMAY(Urban). Central assistance of Rs 27766 crore was approved for construction of these houses. Highlights : Puducherry was sanctioned 3128 houses in four towns under Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) component of PMAY (Urban) at a total project cost of Rs 131 crore for which central assistance of Rs47 crore was approved. With this, total number of houses sanctioned for Puducherry increased to 3848. Till now, Puducherry city got 2093 houses followed by Karaikal-592, Yanam-358 and Mahe-85 houses. In Telanagana, Siddipet got enhancement of 924 houses under BLC component at a total cost of about Rs14 crore for which central assistance of Rs14 crore was approved.  With this, total number of houses sanctioned for the Telanagana under PMAY(Urban) come to around 81405. Himachal Pradesh (HP) was sanctioned 2655 houses for 12 towns at a total project cost of Rs 102 crore for which central assistance of Rs 40 crore was approved. With this, total number of houses sanctioned for the HP under PMAY(Urban) increased to 4569 so far. In Himachal Pradesh, Nalagarh was sanctioned 531 houses followed by Nahan-289, Dharamshala-227, Una-217, Mandi-174, Shimla-61, Chaba-57, Bilaspur-37, Solan-27, Baddi-25, Kullu-9 and Parwana-1. In addition, Karnataka was sanctioned 31424 houses, Madhya Pradesh -27475,  Bihar-25221, Jharkhand-20099, Kerala-11480 and Odisha-2115 houses under PMAY(Urban).    

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has made a key advance in future human space exploration by developing the world’s first next-generation atomic clock for deep space missions. The clock has been developed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. Called Deep Space Atomic Clock, it is expected to aid future manned deep space exploration missions by helping in the navigation of space crafts. Highlights : This clock will be smaller, lighter and its magnitudes are expected to be more precise than any atomic clock flown in space before.  The JPL engineers in February 2017 monitored the integration of the clock on to the Surrey Orbital Test Bed spacecraft, which will take it into the orbit later in 2017. Currently, most space crafts are tracked using the ‘two-way’ method where a ground-based antenna ‘pings’ the spacecraft and then waits for the signal to return.  The distance to the spacecraft is calculated on the basis of how long the signal takes to travel. The navigation team then uses the same data to determine the spacecraft’s flight path and see if any changes are required in the course.  With the development of the clock, however, the spacecraft will not need to send the signal back to earth. Scientists would be able to track the spaceships in real-time.  The clock would also help improve the precision and quantity of radio data used by scientists for determining a planet’s gravity field and probing its atmosphere. This development will help guide astronauts in the future as it will provide their position and velocity whenever they require it. It will also lighten the load on the antennas in NASA’s Deep Space Network, allowing more space crafts to be tracked with a single antenna.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in March 2017 proposed to shut down the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti by October 2017 and replace it with a much smaller UN presence. The proposal to close the 13-year-old UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti comes as the United States is planning major funding cuts to the United Nations. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti is known by its French acronym MINUSTAH. Highlights : The UN Chief stated in the report sent to the Security Council on 16 March 2017 that all 2370 soldiers serving in the peacekeeping mission should be gradually withdrawn. A new mission would be established that would retain 295 of the current 1001 police officers serving in MINUSTAH. The civilian staff would also be significantly reduced. The successor mission would be a smaller peacekeeping operation focused on the rule of law and police development.The new UN team would be based in Port-au-Prince. The team would "also monitor and exercise an early warning function for conflict prevention, human rights and rule of law issues at the local level through the use of mobile teams." The UN Chief also proposed that MINUSTAH's mandate be extended for six months during which it would wind down operations and pave the way for the smaller mission. With its annual budget of USD 346,000, MINUSTAH does not rank among the costliest peacekeeping operations run by the United Nations, but its closure could send a signal about the need to streamline UN peacekeeping. The mission in Haiti was deployed in 2004 after the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to help stem political violence but it has not endeared itself to Haitians.

The Union Government on 21 March 2017 proposed to make the Aadhaar card mandatory to file Income Tax Return (ITR) and for applying Permanent Account Number (PAN) with effect from 1 July 2017. With this, Aadhaar enrolment number while filing ITR could also be accepted. However, failing to declare Aadhaar may lead to PAN being deemed invalid. PAN cards will also be linked with the 12-digit unique identification number or the Aadhar number before the 1 July 2017 deadline. The amendment also proposes to lower the limit on cash transaction from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. The limit on cash transactions is in keeping with recommendations of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money. The proposal was made through an amendment to the Finance Bill, 2017. The Union Government introduced as many as 40 amendments to the Finance Bill in an 'unprecedented move'.  Until now, Aadhaar was mostly used for subsidy transfers. The Union Government also claimed that the subsidy transfers linked to Aadhaar has led the exchequer to save Rs 49000 crore during the last two-and-half years.

The Fifth Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) – 2017 will be organized in North Eastern Region of India from 23 March to 31 March 2017 by the Union Ministry of Culture. The festival will be inaugurated at Parade Ground, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on 23 March 2017 and will extend to other North Eastern states including Dimapur (Nagaland), Majuli (Assam), Imphal (Manipur), Aizawl (Mizoram), Gangtok (Sikkim), Shillong (Meghalaya and Khowai (Tripura).  The nine days cultural extravaganza will be inaugurated by Governor of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh PadmanabhaBalakrishna. Highlights of the Fifth Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav : About 5000 artists from North East India and 2000 artists from across the country will showcase India’s cultural heritage through performances, arts and cuisines.  The festival will be implemented through the seven Zonal Cultural Centres.  The North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), Dimapur will be the nodal agency to carry forward the execution of the National Cultural Festival. Each Zonal Cultural Centre will present their arts during the festival which would showcase an amalgamation of ‘Ek Bharat, Srestha Bharat’, ‘HamaariSanskriti, HamaariPanchaan’ and ‘Swachh India’. The inaugural ceremony will exhibit varied art forms like Buddhist Chant and Gung, Vedic Chanting, PuruliaChhou, Yoga, DholCholom and PungCholom, Ladakhi dance and Godambaza.

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented the Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations at a Defence Investiture Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 20 March 2017. The prestigious ceremony saw in attendance prominent dignitaries including Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Minister for Defence. The President conferred 1 Kirti Chakra and 12 Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying exemplary leadership, an extreme presence of mind, conspicuous gallantry and courage beyond the call of duty. From the total, Six Shaurya Chakras were given posthumously.  He also conferred 15 Param Vishisht Seva medals, 3 Uttam Yuddh Seva medals, 1 Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva medal and 22 Ati Vishisht Seva medals to senior officers of the Armed forces to acknowledge their exceptional service. Following are the names of some winners:  Kirti Chakra • Major Rohit Suri, the Parachute Regiment  Shaurya Chakra • Naik Bir Singh, 21st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) • Captain Gaurav Sharad Jadhav, Regiment of Artillery/ 36th Battalion, the Rashtriya Rifles • Major Rahul Dev Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles/ 3rd Battalion, the Rashtriya Rifles • Sepoy Hari Chettri, the Mechanized Infantry/ 9th Battalion, the Rashtriya Rifles • Corporal Gursevek Singh, Indian Air Force (Security) (Posthumous) • Nair Shinde Shankar Chandrabhan, the Maratha Light Infantry/ 41st Battalion, the Rashtriya Rifles (Posthumous) • Captain Tushar Mahajan, 9th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) (Posthumous) • Captain Pawan Kumar, 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (Special Forces)(Posthumous) • Lance Naik Om Parkash, 9th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) (Posthumous) • Ashu Singh, CHME (Posthumous) • Lieutenant Colonel Atul Gupta, the Mahar Regiment/ 30th Battalion, the Rashtriya Rifles • Captain Ashik M B, First Battalion of the Fifth Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Forces) • Naib Subedar Vijay Kumar, the Parachute Regiment 

India’s ace bowler Ravindra Jadeja in third week of March 2017 grabbed the top spot in the list of the Test bowlers. The top spot came after the left-handed spinner bagged a total of nine wickets in the recently concluded match between India and Australia in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Earlier in March 2017, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja were sharing the top spot in the list. However, Jadeja’s significant bowling dismantled Ashwin’s place in the ICC rankings. Ashwin, who had a highest rating of 904 points, has slipped 37 points behind Jadeja to 862 points. Top 5 players in Test Bowling Rankings : Ravindra Jadeja-899 Ravichandran Ashwin-862 Rangana Herath-854 Josh Hazlewood-842 James Anderson-810 Top 5 players in Test Batting Rankings :  Steve Smith-941 Cheteshwar Pujara-861 Joe Root-848 Virat Kohli-826 Kane Williamson-823 Top 5 players in Test All-Rounder Rankings Shakib Al Hasan-431 Ravichandran Ashwin-407 Ravindra Jadeja-387 Ben Stokes-327 Mitchell Starc0325 ICC Player Rankings : The ICC Player Rankings is a widely followed system of rankings for international cricketers based on their recent performances. The current sponsor is MRF Tyres, who signed a 4-year deal with the ICC. The deal will last until 2020.The ratings were developed at the suggestion of Ted Dexter in 1987. Initially, the rankings were for Test cricket only. However, separate One Day International rankings were introduced in 1998.

Ankur Khanna was on 20 March 2017 appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Khanna will join the ICC by the end of March 2017. He will relocate to the ICC headquarters in Dubai. Presently, he is serving Air Asia India as the CFO, the post he has held for the last twelve months. Prior to Air Asia India, Khanna worked in senior roles at Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and ITC, an associate company of British American Tobacco. International Cricket Council : ICC is the global governing body for cricket.  Representing 105 members, the ICC governs and administrates the game and is responsible for the staging of major international tournaments including the ICC World Cup and Women’s World Cup.  The ICC also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals.

The World Water Day (WWD) was observed globally on 22 March 2017 with theme Why Wastewater? The year’s theme for the world water day focuses on wastewater and ways to reduce and reuse as over 80 per cent of all the wastewater. The theme highlights that wastewater flows from homes, cities, industry and agriculture to nature. This free or untreated flow helps in polluting the environment leading to loss of valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. Motto behind the theme Why Wastewater?: The theme seeks to improve the collection and treatment of wastewater and safe usability of the same. At the same time, it wants to make us (people) learn the art of reducing the quantity and pollution load of wastewater that we produce. The effort will help us in protecting the environment and water resources that are available to us. Save water is also a goal enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goal. The Sustainable Development Goal 6 – ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 - includes a target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse. Water is the essential building block of life. Apart from being an essential source to quench thirst or protect health, water also acts as a source that supports economic, social and human development goals by creating jobs. Water should be protected from being wasted because, today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water. Globally, over 80 per cent of the wastewater is generated by society. This wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. (Sato et al, 2013) 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water that is contaminated with faeces. This contamination put them at risk of contracting cholera, typhoid, dysentery and polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842000 deaths each year. (WHO/UNICEF 2014/WHO 2014) The opportunities for exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials. The first World Water Day was observed on 232 March 1993. Earlier, an international day to celebrate a day of freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. The recommendation was responded by designation 22 March as a World Water Day by adopting a resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).  

Ghanshyam Singh on 21 March 2017 was appointed as new Member (Traction) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Government of India. Singh is an officer of Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineering (IRSEE) of 1979 batch. He is also a Gold Medalist in B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Allahabad University. Ghanshyam Singh : Prior to being appointed as Member (Traction) Railway Board, Ghanshyam Singh served as the General Manager of Eastern Railway in Kolkata. He also worked as Chief Electrical Engineer at Northern Railway. In addition, he worked in various other important posts at Railway Board level and all over Indian Railways.He  implemented several innovative projects including planning for Rail Infrastructure Development of Power Plant and Refineries, Rail Electrification, Multi Modal Transport Logistic Park, Development of Micro Processor based tokenless system for PRS, Installation of First Travelator of India on IR System at Habibganj Railway station, and so on. He also designed and commissioned batterycum-25 KV OHE operated shunting-cum-training car at Sealdah. He is credited to have designed the high voltage distribution system for rural electrification in Uttarakhand.While working as Chief Electrical Engineer in ER, he developed the methodology for power procurement from the private producers for the first time in IR.He was awarded twice by the Union Railway Minister for his outstanding service.  

Madhabi Puri Buch has been appointed as a Full­Time Member of Mumbai based Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for a period of three years by the Personnel Ministry on March 21, 2017.  Puri currently working at the New Development Bank, China. She is founder­ director of Agora Advisory Pvt Ltd iii.  She will get a consolidated salary of Rs 3.75 lakh per month. 

Major Rohit Suri, the leader of the army team that carried out surgical strike in PoK in 2016, was presented the Kirti Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee during the military investiture ceremony held in the Durbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 20, 2017.  Major Rohit Suri belongs to the Parachute Regiment. Besides, another member of the surgical strikes team Naib Subedar Vijay Kumar was conferred the Shaurya Chakra for his daredevilry in killing two terrorists in the operation despite coming under fire.  Corporal Gursevak Singh of Indian Air Force was posthumously conferred the Saurya Chakra for putting up a valiant fight against terrorists who had attacked the frontline Pathankot air base in January 2016. Mr. Mukherjee conferred a total of 13 Shaurya Chakras on military personnel, who were also involved in operations against terrorists in the Pathankot Air Force station and the government institute near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. Six of the 13 Shaurya Chakras were conferred posthumously. Mr. Mukherjee also conferred Distinguished Service Medals on senior military officers which included 15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, three Yudh Seva Medals (YSM) and 23 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM).

The second India­UAE conference on globalisation, organised by All India Management Association (AIMA)was held in Dubai to promote cooperation between the two countries.  Theme: “Resetting Globalisation: Collaborating in a Fast Changing World.”  Highlights : UAE’s Cabinet Member and Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and India’s ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri are participated in the conference  The conference held various sessions includes healthcare, technologies to encourage competitiveness, the banking and financial sector’s financial technologies transformation, and the growing role of technology and innovation in the retail sector  Top industry leaders from both countries have agreed to strengthen their bilateral trade and investment ties  UAE’s commitment to invest USD 75 billion in Indian infrastructure is of particular significance to the growing relationship between two countries.   

 According to the 2017 Worldwide Cost of Living Index released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on March 21, 2017, four Indian cities are among the cheapest cities to live in globally.  As per the report, Singapore was the most expensive city to live among 133 for the fourth consecutive year while Almaty in Kazakhstan was the cheapest city in the world, placed at the bottom of the list at 133 Almaty (Kazakhstan) -38 Lagos (Nigeria) -39  Bangaluru (India)-42 The new Worldwide Cost of Living site from the Economist Intelligence Unit, the world leader in country intelligence. Use the Worldwide Cost of Living survey to compare cost of living indices in different cities, from New York and London to Tokyo and Shanghai. The survey also provides a salary calculator city orientation information.

The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) has celebrated it’s fifth foundation day on March 20­21, 2017 with the theme “BIRAC@5: Impacting the Biotech Ecosystem”.  Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences was the Chief Guest of 2017 foundation day while Y S Chowdary Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences was the Guest of Honour.  The foundation day celebration was followed by Grand Challenges India Meeting 2017 which was organized by the BIRAC – PMU of DBT – BMGF and Wellcome Trust. BIRAC :  BIRAC was incorporated on 20 March, 2012 as a non­profit Public Sector Enterprise under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

China is going to participate in the five-day Brahmaputra river festival titled Namami Brahmaputra organised Assam Government.  The event is described as the “biggest river festival of India. Various other countries such as Vietnam and Singapore are also attending.  The Brahmaputra is 2,900 km long international river originating in southwestern Tibet, China.  Of its total length, 918 km flows in India, 1625 km in China and 337 km in Bangladesh.

Senior BJP legislator V. Hangkhalian was sworn-in as Protem Speaker of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly. He was administered oath of office by State Governor Najma Heptulla at the Raj Bhawan. Later Protem Speaker jointly administered oath to newly elected MLAs at the state assembly hall.  In recently concluded state assembly election, BJP had won 21 seats while Congress won 28 in the 60-member House.  BJP-led government was formed in the state with the support of four legislators each from National People’s Party (NPP) and Naga People’s Front (NPF), one legislator each from Lok Janshakti Party, Congress and Trinamool Congress.

The Assam government has approved the recommendation of the Seventh Pay Commission constituted for over 4 lakh employees. The state government cabinet on Friday approved to release the first six months arrears of revision pay scale to the state government employees before April 14 next. The implementation will make state exchequer bear an additional burden of over three thousand crore rupees in the next financial year. The Assam government has decided to release first six months arrears of revision pay scale recommended by the 7th Assam Pay & Productivity Pay Commission to the state employees before the Rongali Bihu. On the other hand,The Cabinet also decided to set a directorate of the Information Technology Department in Assam.

Chief Justice of India JS Khehar on 20 March 2017 said that the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointments to the higher judiciary has been cleared. The MoP was cleared by the Supreme Court Collegium. With this clearance, the process of filling the vacancies in High Courts is proceeding on a war footing. The chief justice gave the information about clearance of the MoP while heading a three-judge Bench which was disposing of a number of PILs seeking to fill with vacancies for reducing the huge pendency of cases. Highlights of the information provided by CJI JS Khehar : Number of posts of judges in high courts would be increased by 25 per cent, however, there is no move to increase the number of posts of the High Court’s till all the existing judicial vacancies were filled. Sectioned strength of judges in all 24 high courts of India is 1079, which came down to its half. It said that it had constituted a committee of senior apex court judges that will suggest the ways of reducing the pendency of cases up to three years. Earlier in March 2017, the MoP for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary was finalised by the Supreme Court collegium. This finalisation of MoP ended a year-long face-off with the executive by agreeing to include the contentious clause of national security in a selection of judges. It had agreed to the national security clause, which the government had been insisting be included as one of the necessary criteria for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. The collegium after deliberations had also agreed on setting up secretariats in the apex court and the high court’s to collate data about judges and assist in the selection procedure for their appointment to the higher judiciary.  

President Pranab Mukherjee on 20 March 2017 presented the KCK International Award for excellence in Print Journalism. The awards were organized by Rajasthan Patrika in New Delhi. The award for the year 2014 was conferred upon Wanjohi Kabukuru's team for the story How East Africa Lost Its Innocence that was published in New African magazine, London.  The award for the year 2015 was awarded to Rakesh Sharma and his team for an investigative news series Sexual Harassment in Nari Niketan, published in Amar Ujala. The award carries the cash prize of USD 11000. Journalism has had a long history in India. It has been closely associated with India's struggle for independence and social reforms.  The history of Indian journalism has been that of progressive reform, social renaissance and anti-colonialism.  The contribution of print journalism to an evolving Indian society and nationhood was immense beginning with the ‘Samvad Kaumudi’ brought out by Raja Rammohun Roy in 1819 to ‘Samachar Chandrika’ and ‘Mirat-Ul-Akhbar’, Harijan and Young India edited by the Mahatma. The print journalism has its own impact because journalists through their columns or stories find a permanent place in the minds of readers.

The International Day of Forests 2017 was observed globally with the theme ' Forests and energy'.  The Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees and celebrate the ways in which forests sustain and protect us. This year theme highlights the importance of wood energy in improving the lives of people, powering sustainable development and mitigating climate change. The Day was proclaimed through the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2012.  Wood Energy : Wood is a major renewable energy source, it provides the world with more energy than solar, hydroelectric or wind power. It accounts for roughly 45 per cent of current global renewable energy supply including 27 per cent of energy supply in Africa, 13 per cent in Latin America and Caribbean and 5 per cent in Asia and Oceania. Wood energy powers economic development as almost 900 million people, mostly in developing countries, are engaged in the wood-energy sector on a part or full-time basis.  Wood energy mitigates climate change and fosters sustainable development as forests hold an energy content approximately 10 times that of the world’s annual primary energy consumption.

The union government on 21 March 2017 announced that it would be taking an action against misleading advertisements endorsed by the celebrities.  The announcement was made by the Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public distribution minister Ram Vilas Paswan during the question hour of the Lok Sabha. He revealed that a new Consumer Protection Act was in the making and it had, in fact, been circulated to the cabinet. The new law would include strict provisions to deal with entities that put out misleading advertisements. Highlights  : The minister stated that a consumer can make a complaint against unfair trade practice in Consumer Forums established under Consumer Protection Act. He also informed the upper house about the formation of an inter-ministerial monitoring committee in 2014 to monitor the redressal of complaints received on the portal GAMA (Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements).  From March 2015 till date, a total of 3220 complaints have been registered on the portal, of which 1683 have been resolved and 715 have been rejected. The portal was launched to enable consumers to register their complaints against false and misleading advertisements. Besides this, the minister added that the Advertising Standards Council of India, which is a voluntary body of Advertisement Industry, also self-regulates advertising content to monitor and decide on complaints against objectionable advertisements. Further, the minister stated that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has set up an inter-ministerial committee to look into specific complaints against violations of the Programme and Advertising Codes with respect to private satellite TV channels.

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