Daily GK Updates 17th March 2016, Important Current Affairs

1. India ranks 118th on UN’s World Happiness Index 2016

i. India ranked 118th out of 157 countries on the United Nations’ World Happiness Index (WHI) 2016. It was revealed by the fourth World Happiness Report 2016 published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the UN.
ii. Top 10 countries: Denmark (1st), Switzerland (2nd), Iceland (3rd), Norway (4th) and Finland (5th), Canada (6th), Netherlands (7th), New Zealand (8th), Australia (9th) and Sweden (10th). 
India ranks 118th on UN’s World Happiness Index 2016
iii. 5 Least happiest countries: Rwanda (152nd), Benin (153rd), Afghanistan (154th), Togo (155th), Syria (156th) and Burundi (157th).
iv. Among BRICS: Brazil (17th), Russia (56th), China (83rd), South Africa (116th) and India (118th). 
v. India’s Neighbours: Nepal (78th), China (83rd), Bhutan (84th), Pakistan (104th), Bangladesh (110th), Sri Lanka (117th) and Afghanistan (154th). 
vi. For the first time, the report has given a special role to the measurement and consequences of inequality in the distribution of well-being among countries and regions. Countries where there was less inequality were happier overall. Top five countries have strong social security systems

2. Shehnai exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan passes away

i. Eminent Shehnai exponent Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan passed away following prolonged illness in Kolkatta, West Bengal. He was 77. 
ii. He was one of the best-known players of the instrument after the legendary Bismillah Khan. He hailed from a family of renowned Shehnai exponents from Benaras.

3. US President Barack Obama nominates Merrick Garland for US Supreme Court

i. President Barack Obama has nominated veteran appeals court judge Merrick Garland (63) to be the next US Supreme Court Justice. His nomination comes to vacancy in the US Supreme Court which was created after the death of SC Justice Antonin Scalia. 
ii. The Supreme Court vacancy follows the death of Antonin Scalia last month. This appointment now has to be ratified by the Senate. Judge Garland is viewed as a centrist and moderate.
iii.  He is highly regarded by the legal fraternity and lawmakers. India-born Srikanth Srinivasan was also one of the contenders for the nomination. Currently he is serving as US Circuit Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

4. Fazle Kabir appointed as Governor of Bangladesh’s Central Bank

i. Bangladesh Government has appointed Former Secretary of Finance Division Fazle Kabir as the new Governor of Bangladesh Bank, country’s central bank. 
Fazle Kabir appointed as Governor of Bangladesh’s Central Bank
ii. He will succeeds Atiur Rahman who had resigned after taking moral responsibility over the cyber theft from the central bank’s official account with New York Federal Reserve Bank.
iii. Fazle Kabir is an economics graduate from the Chittagong University. He had started his career in 1980 with Bangladesh Railway as an assistant traffic superintendent. 
iv. In 1983, he had joined the administration. He was appointed finance secretary in 2012. He had also served on the board of state-owned Janata Bank.

5. India aviation show 2016 begins in Hyderabad

i. The India Aviation 2016, an international exhibition and conference on civil aviation kicked off in Hyderabad, Telangana. 
ii. It is the fifth edition in the biennial series of this international exhibition and was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Begumpet Airport (also known as Hyderabad Old Airport).

6. AAHAR 2016 kicked off at New Delhi

i. The largest fair on Food and Hospitality Sector in India, AAHAR 2016 has kicked off at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. 
ii. It is the 31st edition in this series of the fair and was inaugurated by Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

7. Punjab State Budget 2016-17 presented

i. Punjab Finance Minister, Parminder Singh Dhindsa presented the Annual State Budget 2016-17 in the legislative assembly. The size of budget is 86 thousand 387 crore rupees.
ii. The tax free budget focuses on social farmers with agriculture, welfare sector, youth and women as the priority areas. 
iii. The revenue deficit in the financial year 2015-16 (RE) stood at 1.85 percent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), whereas for the year 2016-17 (BE) it has been estimated at 1.76 percent of GSDP.

8. British mathematician Sir Andrew Wiles won 2016 Abel Prize

i. British mathematician Sir Andrew Wiles was named as the winner of the 2016 Abel Prize by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters in Oslo.
ii. Wiles won the award for solving a centuries-old hypothesis, Fermat's Last Theorem.
iii. Crown Prince Haakon will present the award to Wiles in May 2016 for an achievement that the academy described as an epochal moment for mathematics.

9. Kingfisher House auction ends without a single bid

i. Auction of Kingfisher House, once the headquarters of Vijay Mallya’s defunct airline, proved to be a flop show with no bids coming in, presumably due to litigation fears and a high reserve price of Rs. 150 crore — dealing a blow to lenders’ efforts to recover their loans.
 Kingfisher House auction ends without a single bid
ii. The auction of the property, with a built-up area of over 17,000 sq ft in Vile Parle area near domestic airport here, started at 1130 hrs and ended in about an hour with no success.
iii. “There were no bidders. I think the higher reserve price was the reason for it,” said an official involved with the auction conducted by SBI Caps for a consortium of banks led by public sector lender State Bank of India.
iv. The reserve price for Kingfisher House was set at Rs. 150 crore, which bidders found to be very high, he added. 
v. The 17-member consortium, which had given loans to Kingfisher Airlines, will soon have a review meeting and may discuss the reserve price as well, sources said. 
vi. The online auction was held by SBICAPS Trustee, a subsidiary of SBI Caps.

10. Modi on TIME’s most influential people on Internet for second year

i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the most influential people on the Internet, TIME magazine said, describing the Indian leader as an “Internet star” who often uses social media to “conduct diplomacy”.
ii. The magazine cited Modi’s unconventional announcement on Twitter of his visit to Pakistan last year while naming him among ‘The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet’ for the second year in a row in this year’s unranked list.
Modi on TIME’s most influential people on Internet for second year
iii. The list includes US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, reality TV star Kim Kardashian and her husband Kayne West, author J K Rowling, former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.
iv. For its second annual roundup of the most influential people on the Internet, TIME said it looked at the contenders’ global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news.

11. First e-pension Adalat in Kochi

i. The first e-pension Adalat of the country and the 138th Defence Pension Adalat was inaugurated at the naval base here on Tuesday by the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) Shobhana Joshi, IDAS.
ii. The Adalat was organised by the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Navy and Coast Guard), Mumbai, for the redressal of grievances of defence pensioners, including defence civilians residing in Kerala.

12. Now, tomato waste can generate electricity

i. Scientists, including one of Indian-origins, are developing a biological-based fuel cell that uses damaged or waste tomatoes to produce electricity.
ii. “We have found that spoiled and damaged tomatoes left over from harvest can be a particularly powerful source of energy when used in a biological or microbial electrochemical cell,” said Namita Shrestha, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
iii. “The process also helps purify the tomato-contaminated solid waste and associated waste water,” Shrestha said.
iv. Tomatoes are a key crop in Florida, said Venkataramana Gadhamshetty, professor at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

13. Chris Gayle smashed a sensational unbeaten century worldT20 Cup 2016

i. Swashbuckling opening batsman Chris Gayle smashed a sensational unbeaten century, laden with 11 towering sixes, to single-handedly take West Indies to a comprehensive six-wicket victory over England in their opening World T20 cricket match.
Chris Gayle smashed a sensational unbeaten century worldT20 Cup 2016
ii. Chasing a challenging target of 183, the West Indies romped home in 18.1 overs on the back of Gayle’s bludgeoning innings during which he brought up the fastest century of the World T20 cricket in just 47 balls, to better his own 2007 record of completing a ton in 50 balls.
iii. Gayle also became the only second batsman in history to score two centuries in T20 Internationals after the recently retired former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
iv. The Jamaican left-hander struck 11 sixes and five fours as he carried his bat through the innings. He also became the highest number of six hitter in T20 Internationals with 92 in his name now.


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