Daily Current Affairs 30th March, 2017

Swiss Re puts India at No. 2 in worst catastrophe list

In reinsurer Swiss Re’s 20 worst catastrophes worldwide, India has come second, next only to hurricane Matthew in the US, which killed 734 people and caused $4,000 billion in insured losses.

  • India’s ranking, ahead of China floods and the Ecuador earthquake, was due to a string of incidents, including the deaths due to heatwaves in April (300), monsoon floods in August (151), a string of train derailements (150) and the Kerala temple festivities that resulted in a fireworks explosion (112).
  • What was significant about India’s ranking was that all the top four incidentscatastrophes were uninsured.
  • The report also mentions that smaller disasters like the drought in Tamil Nadu and cyclone “Vardah“ reported insured losses

World’s largest corporate Masala bond starts trading on London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange welcomed the world’s largest corporate Masala bond. The landmark bond issuance from Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC), one of India’s leading banking and financial services companies comes less than 12 months after HDFC’s INR 30 billion (USD 450 million) debt issuance in London, the first ever Indian corporate to list a Masala bond.

SC bans sale, registration of BS-III vehicles from April 1

A Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta ordered that from April 1, such vehicles that are not BS-IV compliant shall not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer, that is to say that such vehicles, whether two-wheeler, three-wheeler, four-wheeler or commercial vehicles will not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer on and from April 1.

  • The Court further prohibited all the vehicle registering authorities from registering BS-III vehicles on and from April 1 under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

India, Nepal renew fuel supply pact

India and Nepal have renewed the fuel supply agreement between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) for another five years.

  • Supplies to Nepal from India have been meeting the petroleum product requirements since 1974. Both countries are working together for the construction of petroleum product Motihari-Amlekhgunj Pipeline.

Govt signs deal for Hydrocarbon project in Neduvasal

The Government of India signed a contract for the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) Bid 2016 with GEM Laboratories for extracting Hydrocarbons at Neduvasal, in Tamil Nadu, even as protests from local villagers against the proposed plan intensified, following the development.

Foreign Ministry turns down ‘Bangla’ name for West Bengal

Foreign Affairs Ministry has turned down the proposal to rename West Bengal to ‘Bangla’, citing diplomatic confusion over similarities with the neighbouring country Bangladesh, according to reports. The West Bengal Assembly had passed a resolution last year stating that the name of the state would be changed to ‘Bangla’ in Bengali, ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi.

Sanction of 101 New Integrated Cold Chain Projects

Ministry of Food Processing Industries had announced sanction of 30 Cold Chain Projects in May, 2015. Now Ministry announces sanction of 101 new integrated Cold Chain Projects spread across the country. These projects are for fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, marine, poultry, ready to eat/ready to cook sectors.

Karnataka announces special Golden Chariot summer trip from April-June

Karnataka Department of Tourism has announced a special summer trip package between April to June 2017 to attract families aboard to its luxury train ‘The Golden Chariot’.

  • These are for two destinations – Mysuru and Hampi. It is aimed to offer the luxury and experience of Golden Chariot to the Indian Tourists, who want to experience luxury as well as visit the heritage sights at Mysuru and Hampi, at a very affordable price.

ISKCON’S Govardhan Eco Village gets ‘WATER’ AWARD

The Govardhan Eco Village of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Wada taluka, has received an award instituted by Water Digest, a news portal on water management.

  • The Goverdhan eco village received the award last week in the “Best Water NGO-Water Education” category.

Sunaina Singh new Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University

Sunaina Singh, the choice of the BJP’s ideological fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad-based EFL University, has been appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University after a long drawn process.

Indian-origin UK minister Priti Patel receives Pravasi Bharatiya Samman

Priti Patel, Britain’s senior-most Indian-origin minister, has vowed to champion the interests of the Indian Diaspora and work for strengthening the Indo-UK ties as she received her ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’

  • The award is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians and Patel has been awarded for her “exceptional contribution to national and international politics, her role in strengthening UK-India relations, and for supporting the Indian Diaspora in the UK

ALTBalaji ties up with MobiKwik

ALTBalaji, the digital platform of Balalji Telefilms Ltd, has announced a partnership with mobile wallet major MobiKwik.

  • The OTT entertainment platform ALTBalaji will offer 250 hours of original content and subscribers can now avail themselves of 25 per cent cashback while paying for the service using MobiKwik wallet.

NPCI ties up with Reliance Retail

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has tied up with Reliance Retail to launch its digital payments solutions such as UPI and BHIM across all retail stores in Mumbai.

  • “Reliance Retail is the first organised retail chain in the country to offer its customers the option of mobile-based UPI app payments at its stores

Coca-Cola ties up with FSSAI to train street food vendors

Food regulator FSSAI has tied up with Coca-Cola India to train 50,000 street food vendors over the next three years and plans to rope in other players like ITC and Mondelez under its ‘Clean Street Food’ campaign.

Ericsson collaborates with IIT Delhi to launch ‘5G for India’ program

Ericsson and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly roll out a ‘5G for India’ program.

  • To this regard, Ericsson will set up a Center of Excellence with a 5G test bed and incubation center at IIT Delhi and use this facility to drive the development of the country’s 5G ecosystem.

Microsoft Philanthropies contributed $10 mn in India in 2016

Microsoft Philanthropies, created a year ago, has announced it has contributed a total of over $10 million towards community development in India last year.

  • Microsoft Philanthropies was created to bring the benefits of technology to people in need.

Amazon buys Souq.com, marking its move into the Middle East

Amazon confirmed that it has acquired Souq.com, an e-commerce marketplace serving the Middle East based out of Dubai, which was already commonly described as “the Amazon of the Middle East.”


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