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Current Affairs: 22nd March 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Mar 23rd, 2015

1- Sri Lankan President awards Field Marshal title to former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS  Sri Lankan President awards Field Marshal title to former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka

Sarath Fonseka

Former Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka was conferred the highest military rank of Field Marshal by the Government. He was awarded this title by President Maithripala Sirisena at a state ceremony held in the Colombo. With this Fonseka became the first Sri Lankan to receive this highest military title which is honorary in nature.

Background

Fonseka is credited for being the force behind ending the 26-year Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009 by defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels. After retiring from Army, Fonseka had entered politics and had contested 2010 Presidential election against then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Following the controversial defeat in this election he was court martialled and was jailed for alleged corruption and treason charges by then Rajapaksa led government. But the new government led President Maithripala Sirisena after coming to power in January 2015 had dropped all the charges against Fonsek and had reinstated his court martialled army rank using the executive powers.

Sarath Fonseka’s military career

He had joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1970 as a cadet officer. Since then during his 40-year career he had served various posts in Army. He was 18th Commander i.e. Chief of the Sri Lanka Army and was in office from 2005 to 2009. Fonseka also has served as Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lanka. He was in office from July 2009 to November 2009.

2- Mithivirdi nuclear plant gets CRZ nod from Union Government

Mithivirdi nuclear plant gets CRZ nod from Union GovernmentUnion Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) has given coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) nod to the 6,000-MW Mithivirdi Nuclear Power Plant of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat.

The clearance was granted by MoEFCC for constructing an intake and outfall facility in the plant. This intake channel will be 100 metre wide and 10 metre deep and a discharge facility comprising of Condenser Cooling Water Discharge tunnels will be 8 metre diameter and 6 kms in length for each two units and a total of 18 kms each for units.

MoEFCC also has proposed to construct a small barge handling marine facility having a draft of 3-4 metres. It will help for receiving and handling over dimensional consignments (ODCs) during the construction stage of the plant and will be in the form of a shore-based wharf type or an open-piled jetty system.

MoEFCC also asked NPCIL to examine possibilities of deploying ultrasonic devices with the help of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) to divert the aquatic life from entering into the sea water intake in connection. The ministry also has asked filters to be provided at intake to prevent entry of marine life along with the sea water.

It should be noted that this environmental clearance for the plant is seen as a big boost for NPCIL that has been facing severe opposition from local farmers and social activists

3- Katherine Viner appointed as Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian newspaper

Katherine Viner appointed as Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian newspaper

Katherine Viner

Katherine Viner has been appointed as editor-in-chief of The Guardian newspaper. She will be 12th editor-in-chief and the first woman to run the newspaper in its 194-year history.

Viner will succeed Alan Rusbridger who is stepping down after 20 years and taking over as Chair of the Scott Trust which owns the Guardian.

Prior to this appointment Viner was serving as deputy editor of the Guardian and editor-in-chief of Guardian US.

She had joined the Guardian in 1997. Since then she had served at various posts in the newspaper including editor of G2, Guardian’s daily supplement, deputy women’s editor and editor of the Guardian Weekend magazine.

She was also a deputy editor of the title as well as editing the Saturday edition of the newspaper from 2008 until 2012. She also was responsible for launching the Guardian’s Australian operations.

About The Guardian newspaper

  • It is a British national daily founded in 1821. Till 1959 it was called as The Manchester Guardian.
  • Its sister newspaper are The Observer and The Guardian Weekly.
  • The newspaper has won Pulitzer Prize 2014 and is respected for its independent voice and investigative strengths.

4- President Pranab Mukherjee gives away Chakra Awards to Defence Personnel

President Pranab Mukherjee gives away Chakra Awards to Defence Personnel

Chakra Awards

Pranab Mukherjee on 21 March 2015 conferred one Kirti Chakra awards and 11 Shaurya Chakra awards on armed forces personnel. Among these 11 awardees three of them were conferred posthumously for gallantry.

The awards were given to defence personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty at a Defence Investiture Ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

  • Kirti Chakra Captain Jaidev of Parachute Regiment.
  • Shaurya Chakra (Posthumously)Subedar Prakash Chand, Lieutenant Commander Manoranjan Kumar, Major Abhijai of Corps of Engineers.
  • Shaurya Chakra-Major Mukul Sharma, Commander Gosavi Kaustubh Vijaykumar, Major R Vamshi Krishnan, Rifleman Manga Ram, Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya, Major Abhishek Kumar, Major Satnam Singh, Naik Ansaigra Basumatary.

Kirti Chakra- It is the second highest peace time gallantry award i.e. awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle.

Shaurya Chakra- It is the third highest peacetime gallantry award i.e. awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy.

5- World Water Day observed on March 22

World Water Day observed on March 22

World Water Day observed on March 22

Every year World Water Day is marked on 22 March. It is observed to preserve and ration consumption of water.

The theme for this year is ‘Water and Sustainable Development’. Under this theme the year 2015 provides an important opportunity to consolidate and build upon the previous World Water Days and highlight water’s role in the sustainable development agenda.

Background

  • In 1992, this day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Later, the UN General Assembly accepted the recommendation of UNCED and celebrated first World Water Day on 22 March 1993.
  • Since then this day is observed annually to draw attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of fresh water resources.

6- India becomes 3rd biggest steel producer overtakes US

India has become the third-largest steel producer in the world by overtaking United States (US) in first two months of year 2015. It was revealed in the Data compiled by World Steel Association (WSA).

As per WSA data

  • India’s production in first two months i.e. January- February of 2015 was 14.56 million tonnes (MT). This production growth was the highest during this two month period at 7.6% as compared to the global average of just 0.6% at 127.6 MT.
  • While the US, which was the third-largest steel producer since 2010 has produced 13.52 MT during this two month period, giving away its position to India. Now, the production in US is heading for stagnation with no signs of growth.
  • China tops in steel production and accounts for nearly half of the global steel production. During this period China has produced 65 MT steel.
  • Japan is the second-largest steel producer and has reported a total production of 17.4 MT.

In the past five years, India was the fourth-largest steel producer behind China, Japan and the US. In 2009, US had snatched the third position from India.

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