Daily GK Updates 19th March 2016, Important Current Affairs

1. Union Government bans repeat animal testing of drugs

i. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has scrapped repeat tests on animals for drugs which already have been approved by other countries. In this regard, the ministry has as amended Schedule Y of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
ii. There is no need for repeat tests on animals for new drug registrations if complete data from similar toxicity experiments already exists for drugs approved abroad. However, no permission will be required to conduct clinical trial intended for academic purposes in respect of approved drug formulation

2.  General Lori Robinson nominated as first US female combatant Chief

i. United States (US) Air Force General Lori Robinson has been selected as the next head of the US military’s Northern Command. With this she becomes the first woman to head a US combatant command as the position is one of the most senior in the US military. 
ii. Currently, she leads US air forces in the Pacific and Executive Director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. 
iii. She had enrolled in the US Air Force in 1982. Earlier in September 2007, Robinson had made history after she became the first Air Battle Manager and first woman 552nd ACW commander to be frocked to brigadier general.
iv.  Her appointment comes after US Government had announced to open all combat roles in the US military to women in December 2015. The move had opened up about 220,000 positions to women.

3. Venkaiah Naidu conferred with Skoch Lifetime Achievement Award

i. Union urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has been conferred with the Skoch Lifetime Achievement Award. 
ii. He was bestowed with this award at 43rd SKOCH summit held in New Delhi for his contributions to inclusive growth and towards poverty alleviation in India. 
iii. Besides, Information Technology (IT) Minister of Telangana State KT Rama Rao was also awarded the Skoch Award in the Startup India category. He was bestowed with this for his initiative in establishing the path breaking tech incubator T-Hub.

4. Ashley Judd appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of UN Population Fund appointed

i. Acclaimed humanitarian, actor, writer and political activist Ashley Judd from US has been appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). 
ii. As a Goodwill Ambassador, she will support the UNFPA’s efforts to empower women to choose when and how often to become pregnant and to stop women dying giving life. 
iii. She will also play important role at generating awareness about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It should be noted that Goals 3 and 5 in the 2030 Agenda for SDGs seek to end discrimination against women in all forms and promote their well-being.

5. Union Government unveils Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016

i. The Union Government has unveiled a Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016 for granting permission for construction of buildings. It was released by the Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi. It seeks to provide an online single window framework for approval process.
ii. Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016 intends to improve ease of doing business regarding issuance of construction permits. 
iii. The time limit for all kinds of single window approvals is 30 days and if it is not done by the concerned agencies within this time-frame then it will be deemed as approved.
iv.  Different set of environmental conditions are provided for each category of building ranging from 5000 square meters to 1.5 lakh square meters.
v.  Urban local bodies (ULBs) will have the power the monitor the environmental concerns in their region. The provision of rain water harvesting for various types of buildings has been mandatory.

6. Indian Overseas Bank Has Become The 1st Bank To Sell Indian Gold Coins

i. i. Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has become the first bank to commence the sale of Indian Gold Coin (IGC) in the domestic market. 
ii. It has tied up with Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) for the sale of IGC of 24 carat purity. 
iii. The Indian Gold Coin has the national emblem "the Ashok Chakra" engraved on one side and the face of Mahatma Gandhi on the other side.
iv. The coin also carries advanced anti-counterfeit features and comes in tamper proof packaging. It's very safe and easily recyclable. 
v. The current denominations available in the coins are 5, 10 and 20 gm. The Indian Gold Coin is the first ever national gold offering by the Center. This was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5, 2015. The IGC in Delhi was launched in the presence of Alok Pande, Director in the Department of Financial Services, Finance Ministry, and Anand Trivedi, Director (PMS), MMTC, besides other senior officials.

7. Indian Professor Appointed 56th President Of International Studies Association

i. An Indian Professor has become the president of a scholarly group in the US dedicated to international studies.
ii. Professor TV Paul took over as the 56th president of International Studies Association (ISA), at its annual convention at Atlanta, Georgia this week.
iii. In his address, which among others was attended by former Canadian Prime Minister, Joe Clarke, Mr Paul called on international relations scholars to explicitly deal with grand strategies of peaceful change more effectively, especially in the context of the rise of new powers such as China and India.
iv. Born in Kerala, Mr Paul in his speech encouraged scholars with historical understanding to offer ideas for policy makers about which strategy produced conflict and which strategy generated unnecessary violence.

v. The James McGill Professor of International Relations at McGill University, Montreal, Canada he is a leading scholar of international security, nuclear proliferation, and South Asia.

8. Tikka Shatrujit Singh knighted with top French award

i. Tikka Shatrujit Singh, chief representative in Asia for French multinational LVMH (Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton) and advisor to the chairman of Louis Vuitton, has spearheaded the development of Louis Vuitton’s business in India.
ii. Tikka Shatrujit Singh, the royal scion of Kapurthala’s Ahluwalia dynasty, has been conferred with the prestigious Knight of the Legion of Honour for his “extraordinary work in the exchanging the French lifestyle and Indian culture with each other.” 
iii. Singh is also known for his endeavours to preserve the tangible and intangible heritage of Kapurthala, which is a blend of Indo-French architectural styles.

9. Tenth Asian Film Awards : Complete List of Winners

i. The 10th edition of Asian Film Awards (AFA), which was held at the Venetian Theatre in Macau, China, honoured diverse talents across Asian cinema. 
ii. The prestigious awards ceremony was graced by a spectacular gathering of celebrities and industry professionals from different cities of Asia.
iii. Awards won by Assassin- Assassin wins more than half of the 15 awards presented in the Asian film awards :- Best Film: The Assassin, Best Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien for The Assassin, Best Actress: Shu Qi for The Assassin, Best Supporting Actress: Zhou Yun for The Assassin, Best Cinematography: Mark Lee Ping-bing for The Assassin, Best Production Design: Hwarng Wern-ying for The Assassin, Best Original Music: Lim Giong for The Assassin, Best Sound: Chu Shih-yi, Tu Duu-chih and Wu Shu-yao for The Assassin.
iv. Others Awards presented- Best Actor: Lee Byung-hun for The Inside Men, Best Newcomer: Jessie Li for Port of Call, Best Supporting Actor: Tadanobu Asano for Journey to the Shore, Best Screenplay: Jia Zhangke for Mountains May Depart, Best Editing: William Chang Suk-ping, Chu Ka-yat, Liao Ching-sung, Wong Hoi, Philip Yung for Port of Call, Best Visual Effects: Prasad Sutar for Bajirao Mastani, Best Costume Design: Lee Ji-yeon and Shim Hyun-seob for The Throne.


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