Current Affairs March 21, 2010

Events, Happenings & Observances:
World Forest Day 2010
World Forestry Day is celebrated on 21 March every year.
Origin of the concept of World Forestry Day originated at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971.
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National Updates:
Successful launch of BrahMos
On March 21, 2010, India successfully test fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a vertical launcher fitted on board moving warship INS Ranvir off the east coast.
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Orissa: Vrindaban Gurukul
Amitabh Bachchan inaugurates Vrindaban Gurkul, a classical music institution, jointly set up by flute virtuoso Hari Prasad Chaurasia and santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma in the outskirts of Bhubneshwar. The institute would impart training in classical music to the students in true Guru Shisya Parampara style.

Haryana: State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority
State Government of Haryana sets State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority for protection and management of natural forests and wildlife sanctuaries, compensatory afforestation, environmental services and research and development on the ocassion of World Forestry Day, 2010.

Bharti-Zain Telecom Deal:
Bharti Airtel announces its tieing up the whole financing requirement of $8.3 billion debt for its planned acquisition of Kuwait-based Zain Telecom’s African unit. As per the deal Bharti would pay $9 billion to acquire Zain’s assets spread across 15 African countries. It will adopt $1.7 billion of Zain’s debt. This was Bharti’s third and first successful attempt to acquire an African business after having failed in its bid twice for South Africa’s telecom giant MTN.

Tripura: Green City project of Tripura Natural Gas Co Ltd
Tripura Natural Gas Co Ltd (TNGCL), a joint venture of the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and the Tripura and Assam governments, has undertaken a project to supply CNG to all private and government vehicles by 2013,thus making the capital “India’s first green city”.

Separate Department for Wildlife & Forests:
With an objective to ensure sharper focus on wildlife-related issues and the Forest Conservation Act, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approves setting up of a separate department for wildlife and forests. This decision has been taken in the meeting of the National Board for Wildlife chaired by the prime minister. The department will not be a New Delhi-based set-up of bureaucrats. Rather, the objective is to strengthen field formation at the state level. So, three field officers will soon be posted in Nagpur, Kolkata and Bangalore
Department for Wildlife & Forests will be separate from the department of Environment, as Department of Environment will be science-oriented, while that of forests will focus on field formation and hiring more front-end staff at the forest-guard level for a five-year period. This will cost almost Rs 500 crore.

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