Daily GK Updates 8th March 2016, Important Current Affairs

1. 8 March: International Women’s Day

i. Every year International Women’s Day is being observed on 8th March across the globe to highlight the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. 2016 theme declared by United Nations: “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. It reflects acceleration of the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. 
8 March: International Women’s Day
ii. The theme also equally focuses on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
iii. Governments, NGOs and other organisations across the globe observe this day by organising numerous events to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has proclaimed to observe March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace.

2. Air India operates world’s longest all-women flight

i. National carrier Air India successfully flew the World’s longest all-woman operated and supported flight from the national capital New Delhi to San Francisco (United States). 
ii. The flight was operated as part of International Women’s Day celebrations and travelled a distance of around 14,500 kilometres in close to 17 hours. The non-stop flight to San Francisco took off on 6th March 2016 from New Delhi. 
iii. The flight was under the command of Kshamta Bajpayee and Shubhangi Singh. They were supported by First Officers Ramya Kirti Gupta and Amrit Namdhari. 
iv. Entire operations in this historic flight on one of the world’s longest route were handled by women. They handled all operations including cockpit crew to cabin crew, check-in staff, doctor, customer care staff, ATC (air traffic control) and the entire ground-handling.

3. Indian Railways forms SPV to execute Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project

i. Indian Railways has formed a new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Bullet Train project. 
ii. The entity has been named the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) Limited. The high speed bullet rain project aims to introduce trains running at operating speeds over 320 kilometers per hour and maximum speed of 350kmph. 
ii. The bullet train project is expected to cover the 508 kilometers between Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
iv.  It will cover the journey distance in about two hours from current seven hours to cover the same distance. Indian Railways will have 50 per cent equity in the SPV. Maharashtra and Gujarat governments are also expected to participate in the equity for the SPV. 
v. The project will take about seven years to complete after the awarding of the contract at an estimated to cost 97,636 crore rupees. 81 per cent of the funding for this project will come by way of a loan from Japan. It is a soft loan with maturity of 50 years at 0.1 per cent annual interest with 15 years’ moratorium period.

4. Germany to develop Bhubaneswar, Kochi, Coimbatore as Smart Cities

i. ermany has decided to partner with India’s smart city programme and will help developing Kochi (Kerala), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) as smart cities. It was announced by State Secretary in Germany’s Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Gunther Adler in New Delhi at the second meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Urban Development.
ii.  These three cities are among the top 20 cities selected by Urban Development Ministry which are to be developed as smart cities. This decision was taken after Union Government had invited Germany to be a partner in its Smart Cities programme in 2015.
iii.  Earlier Germany had set up a six-member joint committee with India to identify the cities which it could develop as smart cities. The joint committee had 2 representatives of Union Urban Development Ministry, 1 from the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, and 3 from Germany.
iv.  It should be noted that Germany is India’s second largest bilateral donor after Japan with a record commitment of 1.5 billion Euros agreed in the year 2015.

5. Telangana, Maharashtra ink MoU for five irrigation projects

i. Telangana and Maharashtra Governments have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to set up an inter-state water board construct 5 barrages across Godavari and Pen Ganga rivers. The MoU was signed at a high level meeting held in Mumbai in which Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took part.
ii. Setting up of an inter-state water board on Godavari projects will end decades of discord between the two States on utilisation of water in the river Godavari and its tributaries. Both states already have expressed mutual consent to construct barrages at various points on these rivers to benefit farmers in both states. 
Telangana, Maharashtra ink MoU for five irrigation projects
iii. Of the five barrages, Maharashtra Government will take up construction of Penpahad and Rajapet barrages while Telangana will take up Chanak-Korata across Penganga River.
iv.  Telangana will also construct Thammidihatti barrage (148 meters height) in Adilabad district across Pranahita a tributary to Godavari and Medigadda barrage (102 meters) in Karimnagar district across Godavari. 
v. On completion of all these projects, over 18 lakh acres will get irrigation facility in the two states and play key role in resolving the inter-state dispute over irrigation projects.

6. Gender gap in jobs, wages remain unchanged in 20 years: ILO report

i. As per recently released report of International Labour Organization (ILO) titled-Women at Work: Trends 2016, gender equality still remains elusive in the workplace. The report highlights trends in 2016 in 178 countries and it has been found that millions of women worldwide are not getting the same kind of quality, well-paying jobs as men.
ii. In past 20 years, the gender gap in employment, wages and social protection has changed little. They continue to work longer hours per day than men in both paid and unpaid work. Women are overrepresented in clerical service and sales work, which are among the lowest paying jobs. 
iii. Significant progress has been made by women in education during the past two decades, but this has not translated into improvements at work. It shows that women are less likely to participate in the labour market compared to their counterpart men. 
iv. Women are more likely to be unemployed than men and young women are at a disadvantage. Globally, women represent nearly 65% of people who have reached retirement age without any regular pension. They lose out in terms of social and retirement benefits since they earn less money.

7. Maria Sharapova provisionally suspended after failing drugs test at Australian Open

i. Former world number one female tennis player Maria Sharapova (28) from Russia has revealed that she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open. Due to this failure the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has provisionally suspended her till further action from Tennis for violating Anti-Doping Rule. 
ii. She has been tested positive for meldonium, a substance that has been added in the forbidden list by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 1 January 2016. 
iii. The Russian star tested positive for meldonium, a substance, she has been taking since 2006 for health issues. She had provided the anti-doping sample day after she had lost to Serena Williams (United States) in the Australian Open quarter finals.
iv.  Currently she is ranked world No. 7 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).  She has won total 35 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles, two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.

8. Haryana signs 11 MoUs on opening day of Global Investors’ Summit

i. Haryana Government has signed 11 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) involving a total investment of Rs 18,159 crores with different companies. These MoUs were signed in the presence of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on the first day of the two-day ‘Happening Haryana Global Investors’ Summit-2016’ held in Gurgaon.
ii. MoU of Rs 15,000 crores investment with ICICI Bank for financial services. MoU of Rs 2,000 crore investment with Bharti Airtel for Electronics, Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS). 
iii. MoU of Rs 283 crores investment with Star Wire (India) Limited for manufacturing special and critical steel adopting high-tech technologies. Rs 200 crores investment MoU with Minda Kosei Aluminium Wheel Private Limited for automobile parts, alloy wheels. 
iv. Rs 150 crores investment MoU with Plasser India Private Limited for manufacturing unit for track maintenance machines. Rs 190 crore investment MoU with Honda for worker housing. MoUs of Rs 100 crores each were signed with Minda Industries Limited and Mindarika Private Limited for automobile parts switches. Rs 80 crores investment MoU was signed with T.G. Minda Private Limited for automobile parts rubber hoses.

9. Former NDDB chief Amrita Patel gets Mahindra lifetime achievement award

i. Dr Amrita Patel was conferred prestigious 2016 Mahindra Samriddhi India Agri Lifetime Achievement Award also known as the Krishi Shiromani Samman. The award was bestowed upon her by Union Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh for her contribution in the field of agriculture and to increase productivity and rural prosperity. 
ii. Currently she is Chairman of Charutar Arogya Mandal. Earlier she had served as Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) from 1998 to 2014. 
iii. Dr Patel had played a pivotal role in the implementation of NDDB’s Operation Flood which was the world’s biggest dairy development program that had transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the world’s largest milk producer by surpassing the USA in 1998. 
iv. The Operation Flood has helped to promote, finance and deliver variety of supporting services to a national cooperative dairy structure.  It has directly and indirectly transformed the lives of millions of marginalised and small farmers and milk producers.

10. Indian scientists develop Herbal Medicine for Dengue

i. Indian scientists for first time have claimed to have developed herbal medicine against mosquito borne dengue fever using traditional Indian medicine system Ayurveda. 
ii. The herbal dengue medicine was developed using alcoholic extract of Cissampelos pariera Linn (Cipa extract) derived from velvetleaf, a species of flowering plant. The drug has proved to be potent inhibitor to all four types (strains) of dengue virus.

11. Sri Lanka Cricket Board constituted Arvinda de Silva-led National Cricket Selection Panel

i. Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SLCB) constituted a new National Cricket Selection Panel headed by former cricketer Arvinda de Silva. Other members of the panel are Kumar Sangakkara (retired from international cricket recently), Romesh Kaluwitharana, Lalith Kaluperuma and Ranjith Madurasinghe.
ii. The panel will succeed the Kapila Wijegunawardena-headed selection committee which was appointed in April 2015. Wijegunawardena selection panel was sacked by Sri Lankan board ahead of the 2016 ICC World T20, which will begin with the qualifiers on 8 March 2016 in India.
iii. They were sacked in the wake of the national team’s poor performances in the just-concluded Asia Cup in Bangladesh and the preceding bilateral series in India. In January 2016, Sri Lanka had also lost its No 1 ICC Twenty20 ranking after they lost to New Zealand.
iv. Besides, the Board also announced that Angelo Mathews will be the captain and Dinesh Chandimal the Vice Captain of the team for the T-20 Cricket World Cup.

12. Angelo Mathews to lead Sri Lanka in World T20

Angelo Mathews to lead Sri Lanka in World T20
i. Sri Lanka has made 11 changes to its squad for the World T20 naming Angelo Mathews captain in place of injured Lasith Malinga and replacing two more players in the original 15-member squad.
ii. Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala said Malinga has stepped down as captain because of a knee injury which prevented him from playing in some Asia Cup matches. He said the fast bowler is still part of the squad and will play if required after March 15 when his injury is fully assessed.
iii. Also authorities have sacked the selection committee and named a new panel headed by former batting great Aravinda de Silva.
iv. The WorldT20 will be played in India from Tuesday with the final set for April 3.

Daily GK Updates 8th March 2016, Important Current Affairs Daily GK Updates 8th March 2016, Important Current Affairs Reviewed by Job today on 19:17 Rating: 5

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