Current Affairs Update : March 26, 2010

Awards & Honours:
Bhartendu Harishchandra Awards 2007 & 2008
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India gives Bharatendu Harishchandra Awards since 1983 to promote original writings in Hindi mass communication. Read Here

Appointments & Elections:
Chairman of the IPDC : Raghu Menon
Raghu Menon, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India has been elected as Chairman of the Inter-Governmental Council of the International Programme for Development of Communication (IPDC). Read Here

National Updates:
Fifteenth Census of India
Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, C Chandramouli announces that census for 2011 is going to kick off from April. Read Here

Orissa: School Health Programme:
Orissa govt. has launched the School Health Programme in order to provide health cover to school students in kandhamal District recently. Read Here

Punjab: Punjab Labour Welfare Fund (Amendment) Bill
On March 26, 2010 the Punjab Assembly passed the Punjab Labour Welfare Fund (Amendment) Bill Read Here

Haryana: Biometric cards for Pensioners
A pilot project had been launched in Haryana a few days ago. This scheme involves the distribution of Biometric cards to pensions who are beneficiary of Old Age Allowance Scheme, Widow Pension Scheme, Handicapped Pension Scheme, Ladli Social Security Pension Scheme, Destitute Children Assistance Scheme, National Family Benefit Scheme, Eunuch and Dwarf Pension Schemes, etc. from the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. In this scheme the amount has to be directly be credited to the bank accounts of the beneficiary pensioners. The biometric cards make the collection of payments a hasslefree process.

Chhattisgarh : Jait Khamb:
Jait Khamb is the name of India’s tallest brick tower being erected in the famous Girodpuri temple, about 130 km from the state capital raipur. It is a 77 meter tower and state government is erecting it with an estimated cost of 51.43 Crore in honour of Satnami community founder Guru Ghasidas who was born in Girodpuri.

Gujarat : e-Vishwagram scheme & E-ration cards
E-Gram Vishwa Gram was launched by the government of Gujarat in February 2009. Read Here

Meghalaya – Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order (Amendment) Bill, 2010
Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order (Amendment) Bill, 2010 has been passed by the Meghalaya assembly amid opposition walk out. This bill declares bandhs ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. Under the new Bill, any disruption to ‘normal life’ caused by individual or organisations would now be considered as ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ and punishable with imprisonment. The bill provides a maximum period of seven years and a minimum of three years punishment for disruptors and those committing subversive law and order acts.

Arunachal Pradesh: 24th state to implement RSBY
Arunachal Pradesh has become the 24th state to implement the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) Scheme. Read Here

Madhya Pradesh: anti-terrorist Bill
Madhya Pradesh assembly passes the anti-terrorist Bill amid uproar from the opposition. This bill is on the lines of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (Macoca). The bill is subject to Center’s accent. If gets Center’s accent, Bill defines Capital Punishment and fine of Rs 5 lakh for an unlawful activity and organised crime.

Business & Economy:
Videocon: Entry into Solar Energy
Videocon group announces its foray into the solar energy sector. The group is going to enter this srgment through an equal joint venture with the Belgium-based global renewable energy developer Enfinity. The Joint venture sets aggressive target of generating 2,000 mw in twoyears. 2000 MW target would require a total investment of around Rs 50,000 crore (Rs 500 billion). (The estimated cost of setting up the infrastructure to produce 1mw of solar power is around Rs 25 crore)

Indian Oil Ruchi Biofuels LLP
Indian Oil Ruchi Biofuels LLP is a joint venture between Indore-based Ruchi Soya Industries and Indian Oil Corporation. This new JV project is worth Rs 437 crore, part of which will be funded by the Uttar Pradesh Government under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. IOC and Ruchi will share the equity component of Rs 127 crore equally. Indian Oil Ruchi Biofuels LLP will undertake Jatropha Plantations across 50,000 hectares in Jhansi and Lalitpur, under the Joint venture.

State Bank of India: Platinum Debit Card
State Bank of India has launched SBI Platinum Debit Card. The Platinum Debit Card has a higher daily withdrawal limit of Rs 1 lakh from ATMs and spending limit of Rs 2 lakh at point-of-sales.
on March 26, 2010, Mr O.P. Bhatt, Chairman, SBI, hands over the first Platinum Debit Cards to Mr Ashok Chawla, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, and Ms Shyamala Gopinath, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
Platinum Debit Card also enables the holders to have access to premium lounges, golf courses and various lifestyle outlets in India and abroad. It also provides insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh for accidental death and Rs 50,000 from liabilities arising out of card loss as supplementary benefits.

Global Updates:
New START Treaty
The new 2010 START treaty is a bilateral nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia. Read Here

United States: Latest GDP estimates
US economy has expanded at the fastest rate in six years. The latest growth estimate is 5.6 per cent in the last three months of 2009. As per the latest data released by US Bureau of Economic Analysis the Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labour and property located in the US — increased at an annual rate of 5.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009. In the 3rd quarter the economy has grown by 2.2%.

Sports:
First Indian to join MLS – Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri from Delhi is Indian footballer who currently plays for Kansas City Wizards in Major League Soccer.

At international level, Chhetri has represented India in the Nehru Cup, the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup. He came into the lime light after scoring a hat-trick in the final of the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup which led to an unsuccessful trial at English club Coventry City and speculation linking him with many European and North American clubs. In addition, Chhetri has received awards such as the 2007 All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player of the Year.

He has become the first Indian footballer to join the United States Major League Soccer after he signed a formal contract with MLS side Kansas City Wizards at the club headquarters. This contract is is subject to his obtaining P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate,

25th All India Postal Tournament 2009-10
25th all India Postal Weight Lifting, Power Lifting and Best Physique Tournament 2009-10 was a 4 day event concluded at New Delhi (Shubham Community Centre, Sarojini Nagar)
In this tournament maximum number of medals were won by Andhra Pradesh team (16 medals) followed by Maharashtra 14 and Tamil Nadu 12 out of total 84 medals at stake in 28 different categories of the three competitions.

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