Daily GK Updates 5th March 2016, Important Current Affairs

1. Raisina Dialogue 2016 kicks off at New Delhi

i. The first Raisina-Dialogue 2016, a flagship conference on Geopolitics and Geo-economics began in New Delhi. The three day conference is joint initiative of Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Observer Research Foundation (ORF), an independent think tank based in India.
Raisina Dialogue 2016 kicks off at New Delhi 1
ii. The theme of Raisina-Dialogue 2016 is “Asia: Regional and Global Connectivity”. It will enable the MEA to reach out to a wider international multi-disciplinary audience.
iii.  It will focus on Asia’s economic, physical, human and digital connectivity and shall attempt to discover challenges and opportunities for the region to manage its common spaces.
iv.  It will be attended by speakers from 40 countries including Former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Bangladeshi foreign Minister Mahmood Ali.
v.  It will provide platform to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s Integration with the whole world.

2. India moves to WTO against US on temporary working visa issue

i. India has filed a complaint against the United States decision to impose high fees L-1 and H-1B categories of temporary working visas in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). US had imposed fees on certain applicants for L-1 and H-1B categories of non-immigrant temporary working visas into the country. 
ii. US measure is inconsistent with the global norms and it would impact Indian IT professionals as it makes Indian IT companies less competitive in that market. These measures appear to be “inconsistent” with the terms, limitations and conditions agreed under the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services).
iii. Earlier in 2015, US President Barack Obama had signed into law of spending package which had introduced a hefty $4,000 fee for certain categories of H-1B visa and $4,500 for L1 visa. Under this law, companies having more than 50 employees and having more than 50 per cent of their US employees on H-1B and L1 visas were forced pay the new fee from April 1, 2016. H-1B and L1 visas are temporary work visas for skilled IT professionals to work in US and India is the largest user of both H1B and L1 visas.

3. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates National Conference on Women Legislation

i. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a National conference on ‘Women Legislators: Building Resurgent India’ in New Delhi The conference intends to hone the skills of legislators to perform their legislative and non-legislative roles with greater effectiveness.
ii. The two-day conference will provide women legislators a platform to interact with their counterparts from across the country.
iii.  It will also bring together women union ministers, chief ministers, MPs and eminent women from the judiciary and the bureaucracy. 
iv. It will equip women legislators with latest knowledge in relevant areas and motivate, guide them in their twin roles as agents of socio-economic progress and as legislators.

4. Uttar Pradesh Assembly passes UP Revenue Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

i. Uttar Pradesh Assembly passed the UP Revenue Code (Amendment) Bill 2016 replacing an ordinance issued by the Governor Ram Naik. The Bill allows Dalits of the state to sell their land to non-Dalits in the state without approval of the administration even if their remaining holding is less than 3.5 acres.
ii. The bill seeks to bring changes existing revenue laws dating to the British era by further speeding up disposal of litigations over land ownership in rural areas. 
iii. It also provision that allows land owners lease out their land for share-cropping purpose without the fear of losing it after 12 years. Ensures that wife gets equal rights on the gram samaj land given out on a lease signifying step towards empowerment of rural women. 
iv. The bill has provisions for setting up of a new judicial cadre that will look after land revenue disputes in order to end disputes especially in cases of partnership.

5. Traditional Chapchar Kut festival celebrated across Mizoram

i. The traditional festival of Chapchar Kut of the Mizos was celebrated across the north-eastern state of Mizoram and also in the Mizo-inhabited areas in the neighbouring states.
ii.  It is a spring festival celebrated every year in month of March with great fervour and gaiety by Mizos after completion of their Jhum operation (shifting agriculture by clearing jungle by burning and cultivating in remnants of burning). 
 Traditional Chapchar Kut festival celebrated across Mizoram
iii. Mizos celebrate this festival by dressing in their traditional attire and dancers danced to the tune of typical music and songs. Popular Mizo dances including Cheraw, Chheihlam, Sarlamkai and Khuallam are performed by various cultural groups. 
iv. Chapchar Kut Festival is estimated to have started in 1450-1700 A.D. in a village called Suaipui.

6. Film scholar P K Nair passes away

i. India’s pioneering film archivist and film scholar Paramesh Krishnan Nair passed away in Pune, Maharashtra. He was 82. 
ii. He had won the epithet of ‘celluloid man’ for his lifelong dedication towards the acquisition and preservation of cinematic heritage of the country. He was founder and director of Pune based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) in 1964.

7. FIH promotes Napoleon Singh as international Umpire

i. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has promoted Hockey India national-level umpire Nepoleon Singh (30) as the International Outdoor Umpire. Decision to this effect was taken by FIH after seeing his performance in the recently-concluded 12th South Asian Games 2016 held at Guwahati, Assam. Ii. Nepoleon started his career as an umpire from Manipur in the 3rd Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2013 held at Ranchi, Jharkhand.
iii.  His first major breakthrough as umpire was in the eighth Junior Men Asia Cup, held at Kuantan, Malaysia in 2015. With this promotion he becomes one of the young umpires from India who have recently been upgraded to international-level outdoor umpire. 
iv. Including him there are total of 14 Indian umpires (10 men, 4 women) in the category of international-level umpires.

8. P.A. Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker, passes away

i. Purno Agitok Sangma, a politician from the Northeast, died of a heart attack here on Friday at the age of 68.
ii. The Lok Sabha, of which he was Speaker two decades ago, was adjourned for the day. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan made the announcement of his death and said she learnt from the leader, who used to run the House with a smile as its presiding officer from 1996 to 1998. 
iii. He was elected to the Lower House nine times. Mr. Sangma, who was born in 1947 at Chapahati in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, earned an MA in International Relations from Dibrugarh University in Assam and studied law.


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