Daily Update On Current Affairs – March 20, 2017

Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.

2017 International Buddhist Conference Held In Bihar

i. The three days International Buddhist Conference was held at the Rajgir International Convention Center (RICC) of Nav Nalanda Mahavira Deemed University, Rajgir, Bihar from March 17-19, 2017.
ii. The conference was inaugurated by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama jointly with the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dr. Mahesh Sharma by lighting a ceremonial lamp.
iii. The event was organized by Ministry of Culture and Nava Nalanda Mahaviahra Deemed University.
iv. Theme: The main theme of the conference was: Buddhism in the 21st Century – Perspectives and Responses to Global Challenges and Crises.
v. One of the main highlights of the conference was the release 41-volume of the Pali Tripitaka by His Holiness the Dalai lama, reprinted by the Nava Nalanda University in Devanagri script.
vi. Besides, he also inaugurated the Nava Nalanda University’s new department of the Buddhist Science, first of its kind in Asia.

First Made-In-India Train, Medha, Flagged Off At Dadar Station

India’s first home made train for Western Railway Fleet, Medha was flagged off for its maiden run by the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, via video conferencing from Dadar to Borivali at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on March 18, 2017.
i. The 12-coach, made-in-India train, halted at Bandra and Andheri stations during the transit. Currently, there are two rakes of Medha which will run on the Western Railway network.
ii. Medha has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. The train has been installed with LED lighting to reduce energy consumption.
iii. Led lights will save approximately 30-35% energy and has in-built systems to minimise breakdowns during the travel.

Punjab Approves 33 Percent Reservation For Women In State Govt Jobs

i. The Punjab government led by new Chief Minister Amarinder Singh chaired his maiden Cabinet Meeting on March 18, 2017, and announced a series of decision for the welfare of the entire citizen of the state.
ii. The state government has decided to provide 33 percent reservation for women in all government jobs. The reservation would apply even in the contractual appointments of women in the state government jobs.
iii. The representation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and urban local bodies would go up from 33 percent to 50 percent.
iv. Besides, the government has also decided to provide a house to every freedom fighter along with allocating 300 units of free electricity every month. One out-of-turn tube well connection will also be given to them and exemption from toll tax.
v. In addition, Singh also announced to remove red, amber and blue beacons from official vehicles of all state ministers. The beacons would be allowed only on official vehicles of the chief minister, judges of The Punjab and Haryana High Court, and ambulances and fire tenders.
vi. Chief Minister has also imposed restrictions on all ministers and legislators from laying the foundation stones of public projects and also on inaugurating them.
vii. A Special Task Force in the CM’s Office would be set up to address the issue of drug menace in the state while a sub-committee would be set up to assess the quantum of agriculture debt on farmers and suggest ways and means to waive off the loan.

Chenani-Nashiri: India’s Longest Road Tunnel Completes Trial Run

India’s longest surface tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district is complete. It will be open to traffic soon, following successful completion of trial runs for peak and off-peak hours. The 9-km-long tunnel at Chenani passes through the lower Himalayan mountain range on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

Key Facts: Cheneni-Nashiri Road Tunnel was started in May 2011. It took nearly six years for completion of the project at a cost of over Rs. 3,720 crores. It is a 9-km-long twin-tube tunnel located at an elevation of 1,200 meters. It is an important part of a 286-km-long four-lane project on the highway. It is India’s first tunnel equipped with the world-class integrated tunnel control system through which ventilation, signals, fire control, communication and electrical systems are automatically actuated. It reduces travel distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 30 kilometers and saves time by three to four hours. The road distance from Chenani and Nashri will now be 10.9 kms, instead of present 41 kms. The tunnel will provide an all-weather road connectivity to the valley and avoid landslide-prone stretch. It will help to boost the trade, commerce and tourism in the valley.

Indian-American Sandeep Matharani Ranks 4th Among 25 Overpaid CEOs In The US

i. An Indian-American CEO, Sandeep Matharani, has been ranked 4th on a list of top 25 overpaid CEOs in the United States, as per the report by US-based NGO ‘As You Sow’.

ii. Sandeep Matharani, CEO of General Growth Properties, Chicago was paid a total compensation of USD 39.2 million in 2016. According to the report, he was overpaid by USD 26 million.
iii. The list was topped by Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS. Moonves earned compensation worth USD 56.7 million in 2016.
iv. Marc Benioff of Salesforce ranked second on the list with a total compensation of USD 33.4 million.
v. Discovery Communications David Zaslav was placed third with a compensation of USD 32.4 million.
vi. Among the top 25 overpaid CEOs on the list, 15 were appearing on it for a second time and 10 of them were listed for the third time.
vii. As You Sow is a nonprofit organisation that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility and takes a close look at CEO’s pay.

NTPC Commissions 2nd Unit Of Mouda Super Thermal Power Station

i. A Maharatna Company, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) commissioned the second unit of 660 MW of Mouda Super Thermal Power Station Stage-II on March 19, 2017.
ii. With this commissioning, the total capacity of Mouda Super Thermal Power Station, NTPC, and NTPC group has become 2,320 MW, 41,907 MW and 48,873 MW, respectively.

Indian-American Computer Scientist Anshumali Wins NSF’s CAREER Award

i. An Indian-American computer scientist, Anshumali Shrivastava, was honored with the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award for his research on redesigning current machine-learning processes.
ii. Each year about 400 scholars receives the CAREER Award across all disciplines to support the research and educational development of young scholars likely to become leaders in their fields.
iii. Shrivastava, who is currently working an assistant professor of computer science at Rice University, hopes to come up with clever algorithmic strategies to enable faster, more scalable computations required by big data and machine-learning technologies.
iv. He has done his MS and BS in mathematics and computing from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2008 and a Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University in 2015 and then in the same year, he joined the Rice faculty.

Yogi Adityanath Takes Oath As Chief Minister Of Uttar Pradesh

i. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, Yogi Adityanath took oath as the 32nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on March 19, 2017, at Kanshiram Smriti Upvan in Lucknow in the presence of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
ii. Uttar Pradesh Governor, Ram Naik administered the oath of office and secrecy to Adityanath.
iii. Yogi Aditya Nath (44), a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur, was unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader at a meeting of the MLAs in Lucknow on March 18, 2017.
iv. Besides, two deputy Chief Minister, nine MoS (independent charge), 24 cabinet ministers and 13 ministers of state also took the oath.
v. It is for the first time that Uttar Pradesh has got 2 Deputy Chief Ministers. The cabinet has also given place to 5 female ministers and 1 Muslim Minster, Mohsin Raza.

Shahid Afridi Appointed Ambassador Of Blind Cricket World Cup

i. Former captain of the Pakistan national cricket team ‘Boom Boom’, Shahid Afridi has roped as the ambassador for the 5th Blind Cricket World Cup by the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC).
ii. Blind Cricket World Cup will be hosted by PBCC in the United Arab Emirates(UAE) and Pakistan in January 2018.
iii. This tournament to be played in ODI format.

BCCI Formulates New Constitution For Full Member Association

The Committee of Administrators, constituted by the Supreme Court to manage the affairs of the cricket board, finalized and uploaded a new constitution for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on March 18, 2017. However, the constitution prepared is not permanent.
i. The new constitution has removed the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai as its Full Member and has given all north-eastern states the Full Membership status.
ii. The Mumbai Cricket Association and the Saurashtra Cricket Association which were Full Members earlier were downgraded to Associate membership.
iii. In addition to all North Eastern States, Bihar, Telangana, and Uttarakhand have also got the Full Member status.

Pioneer Of Rock N Roll, Chuck Berry Dies At 90

i. American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Chuck Berry who is recognized as one of the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll music died on March 18, 2017, at the age of 90 in Missouri.
ii. Some of the well-known collections of Berry during his 7-decade career includes songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) among others.
iii. He received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
iv. Berry was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most influential guitarists who performed his signature duck walk move, bending his knees and bobbing his head at every concert.
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