Top 15 Current Affairs 9th March 2017

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9 March 2017

Harm Ohlmeyer was on 7 March 2017 appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Adidas with effect from May 2017. He will succeed Robin Stalker, who served the post for 16 years. Presently, Ohlmeyer is serving as the Head of the global eCommerce business of Adidas. This appointment is the second executive change at Adidas since activist shareholders bought stakes in the company in 2015 after its shares tumbled following a series of profit warnings as it failed to keep pace with US rival Nike.  Earlier, Herbert Hainer was replaced as Chief Executive Officer in October 2016 by Kaspar Rorsted, the Danish former Chief of consumer goods group Henkel.  Harm Ohlmeyer :  Harm Ohlmeyer, a German, joined Adidas in 1998 and gained extensive experience in the areas of Finance and Sales.  He served various roles in Adidas including Head of finance for the core Adidas brand. He held the position of SVP Finance of TaylorMade-Adidas Golf from 2004 to 2006 in Carlsbad, California. He took over as the Head of eCommerce business of Adidas in 2011.From 2014 to 2016, he held additional responsibility as SVP Sales Strategy and Excellence.  He also played a key role in efforts to make Adidas more digital, increasing ecommerce sales to USD 1.1 billion.He is a passionate triathlete and football fan.  

9 March 2017

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave on 8 March 2017 launched the web portal for obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances by the project proponents. The portal was launched as a part of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ module of the Union Government.  Highlights of the portal : The system will enable the project proponents and the concerned State and Union Territory bodies like the State Coastal Zone Management Authorities (SCZMAs) and Municipal and Town Planning agencies in tracking the status of their proposals.   The system is based on web architecture similar to the existing systems in place for according environmental and forest clearances. It is a very user-friendly initiative which will enable submission of applications for CRZ clearance in a single-window interface and facilitates quick flow of information related to CRZ clearances.  It allocates a unique identity for each proposal for all future references.  It is accessible from any computer having the internet facility.  It aims to boost efficiency, transparency and accountability in the process of CRZ clearances.It will also enhance responsiveness through workflows and availability of real-time information on the status of CRZ clearance proposals. It will ensure ease of business and convenience of citizens in accessing information and services.It has common and standardised procedures and processes across all the Central and State levels. Apart from this, the Environment Ministry is also planning to launch few other initiatives like the notification of High Tide Line/Low Tide Line (HTL/LTL), ecologically sensitive areas falling under CRZ-1, hazard line etc.   All these initiatives will be aimed at minimising the discretions and enhancing accountability at all the levels.

9 March 2017

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation, the retirement fund body of India, in March 2017 extended the last date for submission of digital life certificate through Jeevan Pramaan Patra (JPP) up to 31 March 2017 under Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS). Earlier the last date was 28th February 2017. An official release said, members and pensioners of the EPS are required to furnish Aadhaar number by the end of March 2017. The date of submission of the Aadhaar–authenticated Jeevan Pramaan as life certificate was extended as several pensioners failed to submit their life certificates for the continuation of drawal of their pension. An official release said, members and pensioners of the EPS are required to furnish Aadhaar number by the end of this month. Highlights of the notification : It said, in case a member has not been allotted Aadhaar number, a copy of Aadhaar enrolment ID slip is sufficient for settlement of the claim under EPS.  It said Aadhaar number is not required in case a member of pension scheme having less than 10 years of service chooses to withdraw by making an application.  

9 March 2017

Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan passed away on 8 March 2017 of cardiac arrest.  He was 49. Arvind worked as an Executive Editor at IANS.  Arvind Padmanabhan :  Arvind Padmanabhan was born in 1967 at Tirunelveli, Tamul Nadu. His father was G. Padmanabhan, who worked for many years with the Press Institute of India and the Indian & Eastern Newspapers Society (IENS, now INS). Arvind was widely admired in the journalistic community for the thoroughness he displayed in reporting, writing and editing. Before joining the IANS, he worked with the PTI, The Times of India and TV18. He joined the India Abroad Newspaper as in-charge of its Business Section in 1999. With the news agency, he first assumed charge of the Business Bureau of the wire service and subsequently became the Business Editor of IANS and then the Bureau Chief. Soon, he was elevated as the Executive Editor. He headed the business and economy team. IANS :  Indo-Asian News Service is a private Indian news agency. It was founded by Indian-American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. Later, the agency was renamed as the Indo-Asian News Service.

9 March 2017

Software services firm Tech Mahindra Ltd has signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based healthcare information technology consulting company CJS Solutions Group that does business as The HCI Group.  The deal values CJS Solutions at an enterprise value of $110 million.  The HCI Group works with global tier-I healthcare service providers, primarily in US and UK and also has a presence in Europe, West Asia and Asia-Pacific. It provides end-to-end implementation of electronic health record (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR) software, training and support services.

9 March 2017

The Central Board of Secondary Education has come up with a mobile application named Exam Locator, which will help students locate their examination centre on the basis of their roll number. Using this App student can easily find the address, images and geolocation of the designated exam centre on the map and get to know how to reach there. This development comes amid exams are round the corner for class X or XII examinees who can access information by selecting the option class and entering their roll number.

9 March 2017

IFS officer, D. Bala Venkatesh Varma has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of lndia to the Principality of Andorra, with residence in Madrid (Spain). Venkatesh was presently working as the ambassador of lndia to the Kingdom of Spain. Andorra : Andorra is a tiny, independent principality situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains. It’s known for its ski resorts and a tax-haven status that encourages duty-free shopping. Capital Andorra la Vella has boutiques and jewelers on Meritxell Avenue and several shopping centers. The old quarter, Barri Antic, houses Romanesque Santa Coloma Church, with a circular bell tower.  

9 March 2017

IDFC Bank has launched India’s first biometric-based payment system “Aadhaar Pay” on March 7, 2017 in New Delhi. The Aadhaar Pay app has been developed by IDFC Bank under the guidance of the Ministry of IT, NITI Aayog, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The android app will use the fingerprint of the customer as digital identity. Customers simply need to select their bank’s name and enter their Aadhaar number in the merchant’s phone. The customer’s fingerprint is then used to authenticate the transaction. Customers themselves do not need a Smartphone to complete the transaction. The bank has targeted to cover about 50,000-75,000 merchant to the Aadhaar pay module by 2019 and touching 1,00,000 merchants over the next 36 months. Initially, the biometric reader is available for Rs 2,000.

9 March 2017

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched a comprehensive web-based platform Pratibimba to showcasing the government’s performance and achievements to the citizens on March 7, 2017. This dash board will serve as a tool to improve efficiency in governance and allow citizens to track government’s progress.It is available both in English and Kannada. After Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka has such dash board  which will help to report, track and measure departmental performance on programmes, projects and promises made

9 March 2017

Country's largest lender State Bank of India launched a new facility to enable its employees to 'work from home'. The Board of the bank has recently approved the 'Work from Home' policy to enable its employees to work while at home using mobile devices to address any urgent requirement they may have, that prevents their traveling to work.  The lender will be using mobile computing technologies and shall have continuous control over all the enabled devices. The use of technology and services shall be monitored through carefully designed Management Information System (MIS) and dashboard to enable improvements and refinements.  Bank also stated that going forward cross-sell, marketing, Customer relationship management (CRM), social media management, settlement & reconciliation, complaints management applications will also be enabled to make the work from home services comprehensive and increase the employee productivity multifold. 

9 March 2017

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. It revealed that more than one in four people, when accessing basic services like medicine, education or water. Countries having highest incidence of bribery: 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%. Countries having lowest incidence of bribery: 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%. India related facts: Nearly seven in 10 people who had accessed public services in the country have payed bribe. 46% to 60% of Indians said they have paid bribes for various public services, including in public schools and hospitals, getting IDs, voter cards and permits and accessing utilities and police and court services as well. Institution wise facts: Police, a key law and order institution suffer most from corruption. Nearly two in five people in the region mentioned the police were mostly or entirely corrupt (39%). They also perceived political decision-makers at both the national and local level to be highly corrupt. Legislative representatives, officials and local councillors were also highly corrupt (from 35 to 37%). Religious leaders were seen as far cleaner, with fewer than one in five were highly corrupt (18%).

9 March 2017

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. Features : It will build a coalition of governments, businesses, human rights institutions, civil society and individual citizens to choral our efforts to address domestic violence.  It will include toolkits to help governments across Commonwealth involve multiple agencies such as schools, hospitals and doctors as well as government and law enforcement agencies to work together effectively  It will help countries highlight and share details of initiatives that had been particularly successful at dealing with domestic violence. It will also be a mentoring programme for women and an initiative to address the issue of violence around elections and politics.  Commonwealth of Nations :  It is an international intergovernmental organisation of countries that were mostly former territories of the British Empire and dependencies.  It was established by the London Declaration in 1949. Many countries from Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and the Pacific have joined the Commonwealth. Current membership includes 52 counties (including India). Membership is based on free and equal voluntary co-operation. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth. She is also the monarch of 16 members of the Commonwealth, known as Commonwealth realms.L

9 March 2017

The Union Government on 8 March 2017 decided to constitute a high level committee to resolve the grievances and complaints of women sports persons. An announcement in this regard was made by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel at a conference on ‘Women and Sports in India’ in New Delhi. The conference was organised by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to mark the International Women’s Day to deliberate upon various issues for encouraging more and more women to take up sports. The day long conference  focused on – i. Creation of safe spaces for girls athletes and women coaches ii. Inclusion of gender sensitization modules in coach training modules iii. Gender parity in terms of support to women athletes iv. Zero tolerance towards sexual harassment in sports complex v. Women representation in sports institutions, federations and other sports bodies Facts related to the committee :  The committee will be constituted under the chairmanship of Joint secretary Sports. The committee will comprise athletes, advocates and senior officers of the ministry and sports journalists.In order to ensure effectiveness of the committee, all of its members will be women. Women athletes, who have any complaint, can approach the committee for their grievance redressal.

9 March 2017

Family members of the Australians on board the fatal Malaysian Airlines’ flight MH370 gathered at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane to mark the third anniversary of the tragedy on 8 March 2017. The private ceremony was attended by around 100 people including Darren Chester, Australian Minister for infrastructure and transport and Angus Houston, former Australian defence chief who coordinated the initial search efforts for the missing flight and diplomats from Malaysia, China and New Zealand. Speaking at the ceremony, Darren Chester stated that while the searchers have been unsuccessful in solving the mystery surrounding the missing plane, they tried their best and still hope remains for a possible breakthrough in the future that would result in the plane being found.  Several relatives of the 239 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 777 live in or near Brisbane. Chester announced the government’s decision of erecting a permanent memorial in remembrance of the lost passengers and crew in the west coast city of Perth, which had been a base for the Indian Ocean air and sea search parties.Chester noted right before the service that he could understand the frustration many family members of the victims felt about the fact that there was no longer any search mission for the plane. The active search for the crash site of the plane was officially called off by Australia, Malaysia and China in January 2017, after the search crew failed to find any further lead or trace.  The advanced search mission was suspended after sweeping almost 120000 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia. The airliner is suspected to have flown very far off course for some unknown reason during its journey from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing in China on 8 March 2017.  There are suggestions by some relatives of raising funds to continue the search of the ocean floor privately. Mystery surrounding MH370 : The plane was carrying 239 people including 12 crew members It had completed 53460 flight hours and 7525 take-offs and landings. The pilot had a record of more than 18000 flying hours and had been employed with the airlines since 1981. The air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane almost an hour after its take off.The flight was last detected on the military radar near the island of Pulau Perak at the northern end of the Strait of Malacca. Though no distress signal or message was sent from the plane, reports suggest that it attempted to turn back from its scheduled path. The weather conditions were also reported to be good. The plane’s disappearance launched one of the largest-ever international search efforts in the area over the South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean. Around 120000 sq km area of the seabed has been searched using advanced underwater drones and sonar equipment. A flaperon from the plane was discovered on Reunion Island more than 3700 km away from the main search site in July 2015.  

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