1- Government appoints Baldev Sharma as chairman of National Book Trust
National Book Trust
Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has appointed Baldev Sharma as chairman of National Book Trust (NBT).
He will succeed veteran Malayalam writer A. Sethumadhavan who had resigned six months earlier before completion his term.
Baldev Sharma is former editor of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mouthpiece Panchajanya. It should be noted that Panchajanya was launched in 1948 and its first editor was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
About National Book Trust (NBT)
- NBT is an Indian publishing house. It is as an autonomous body established in 1957 under Union Ministry of HRD (then Union Ministry of Education).
- The main activities of the NBT include promotion of books and reading assistance, Indian books abroad, authors and publishers, children’s literature.
- It also publishes reading material in several Indian languages for all age-groups.
2- Forbes’s 2015 billionaires list: Bill Gates retains title as world’s richest person
Microsoft Co-founder, Bill Gates retained the title of the world’s richest person in the Forbes 2015 billionaire list. Mr. Gates has topped the list for 16 of the last 21 years, with a net worth of $79 billion and Mexico’s telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu is at second place.
As per the Forbes’ 29th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires 2015
Total number of billionaires in the world: 1826 with combined net worth of $$7.05 trillion.
The US leads the list of billionaires in the world with 536 billionaires, followed by China (213), Germany (103), India (90) and Russia (88).
- Top 5 billionaires:Bill Gates ($79 billion), Mr. Carlos Slim Helu ($77.1 billion), Mr. Warren Buffett ($72.7 billion), Mr. Amancio Ortega ($64.5 billion) and Mr. Larry Ellison ($54.3 billion).
- Highest ranked women on the list:Christy Walton (8), with a net worth of $41.7 billion.
- World’s youngest billionaire:Evan Spiegel (1250) founder of Snapchat from United States.
- From Internet field:com Inc’s founder Jeff Bezos (15), Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg (16), and Google Inc founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin ranked 19th and 20th.
- Business Tycoon, Mr. Mukesh Amabani:India’s richest person for the 8th year in a row. Mr. Ambani is ranked 29th globally with net worth of $21 billion.
- It should be noted that India has 90 billionaires in this edition of list.
About Forbes’s list of billionaires
The Forbes list of billionaires is an annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest people, compiled and published by the American business magazine Forbes. The list only represents each person’s valuation on a single day, due to daily fluctuations among exchange rates and stock valuations
3- Union Government and RBI sign agreement to keep inflation below 6%
Union Government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have signed an agreement on Monetary Policy Framework in order to move towards the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s view of inflation targeting.
Presently, Union Government and RBI give inflation estimates and do not set targets. But as per this agreement government has set a target for RBI to bring down inflation below
- 6 per cent by January 2016.
- 4 per cent for financial year and all subsequent years with band of +/- 2 percent.
This agreement mentions that if RBI fails to meet the target, it will
- Report to the government with the reasons for the failure to achieve the target.
- Propose remedial actions to be taken.
- Further estimate the time period within which the failed target would be achieved.
As per the agreement, this Monetary Policy Framework will be monitored by the RBI and it is binding on Union Government to take proactive measures for price control.
This agreement will put in place a framework of a modern monetary policy to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex economy.
The agreement comes in line with the recommendations of the RBI’s Urjit Patel committee on inflation targeting aiming to smoothen the monetary policy.
During the budget 2015-16 speech Finance minister Arun Jaitley also had mentioned that government will amend the RBI Act to provide for a Monetary Policy Committee and have a memorandum of understanding with the Reserve Bank.
4- Election Commission launches NERPAP throughout the country
Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP).
Objective: To bring out a totally error-free and authenticated electoral roll throughout the country.
Key facts about NERPAP
- For the authentication purpose, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) data of electors will be linked with Aadhar data.
- It also focuses to improve the image quality of electors along with sorting issues like corrections of errors.
- Facility to link Aadhar number will be provided to electors through sms, email, mobile application and National Voters Service Portal using web services through ECI website.
- Electors also can link their Aadhar number by making a call at 1950 to state call centres.
- Under NERPAP, collection and feeding of Aadhar will also be done by Electoral Registration Officer. In this regard special Camps will be organized, Voter Facilitation Centres, e-Seva centres and Citizen Service Centres. While Booth Level Officers will conduct door-to-door surveys to collect the details.
5- Lok Sabha passes Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2015
The Lok Sabha on 3 March 2015 passed the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2015 by voice vote. The Bill seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and replace the ordinance promulgated in this regard.
Earlier, bill was not able to pass in the winter session of Parliament 2014, so the ordinance was promulgated in January 2015.
Key provisions of Amendment Bill
- It brings e-carts and e-rickshaws under ambit of the parent Act, so they can ply on roads across the country.
- The Bill defines E-carts and e-rickshaws as special purpose battery powered vehicles with power up to 4000 watts and having 3 wheels. Bill mentions that these vehicles can be used for carrying goods or passengers.
- It also mentions that these vehicles should be manufactured, equipped and maintained in accordance with specifications as prescribed by Union government.
- The Bill exempts drivers of e-rickshaw and e-cart from the requirement of learner’s licence to drive.
- The Bill gives powers to Union government to make Rules on the specifications for e-carts and e-rickshaws, and the conditions and manner for issuing driving licenses.
6- Lok Sabha passes Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015
Lok Sabha on 3 March 2015 passed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 to replace ordinance promulgated in this regard.
The bill amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 in order to regulate the mining sector in the country.
Key provisions of the bill
- Addition of a new 4th Schedule in to parent Act in order to include bauxite, iron ore, limestone and manganese ore as notified minerals.
- Creation of prospecting license-cum-mining lease as a new category of mining license. It is defined as a two stage-concession for the purpose of undertaking prospecting operations followed by mining operations.
- Maximum area for mining-increase the area limits for mining, instead of providing additional leases as per parent Act’s area limitation.
- Lease period-Mining leases will be granted for a lease period of 50 years for all minerals other than coal, lignite and atomic minerals. Lease period for coal and lignite remains unchanged.
- All mining leases granted for such minerals prior to this bill, will be valid for 50 years. While, incase of expiry of the lease it will be put up for auction instead of being renewed.
- Auction of notified and other minerals:State governments will grant mining leases and prospecting license-cum-mining leases for both notified and other minerals.
- While in case of prospecting license-cum-mining lease for notified minerals will be granted by state with the approval of Union government.
- Mining leases will be granted through auction by competitive bidding process, including e-auction.
- The Union government will prescribe the terms and conditions, and auction procedure including parameters for the selection of bidders.
- In case of mining leases, the Union government may reserve particular mines for a specific end use and allow only eligible end users to participate in the auction.
- Transfer of mineral concessions:The Bill states with the approval of the state government, the mining lease holder may transfer the lease to any eligible person and as specified by the Union government.
- Transfer shall be considered as approved if state government does not its approval within 90 days of receiving the notice. However, transfer will be not take place if the state government communicates, in writing, that it is not eligible.
- While, only mineral concessions granted through auction will be allowed for transfer.
- Institutions:Creation of a District Mineral Foundation (DMF) by the state government for the benefit of persons in districts affected by mining related operations.
- Creation of a National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) by the Union government for regional and detailed mine exploration.
- Licensees and lease holders will pay the DMF an amount one-third of the royalty prescribed by the Union government, and the NMET two percent of royalty.
7- MC Mary Kom to retire from boxing after Rio Olympics Games 2016
MC Mary Kom
MC Mary Kom has announced that she will retire from boxing after the Rio Olympic Games 2016.
She made this announcement citing the reason that her body will not be able to cope the rigours of boxing in future.
About MC Mary Kom
- Her full name is Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom and was born on 1 March 1983 in Churachandpur district of Manipur.
- Mary Kom is nicknamed Magnificent Mary and is 5 time World Amateur Boxing champion. She is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.
- Mary Kom had won a bronze medal in 2012 London Olympics in the flyweight (51 kg) category and was only Indian woman boxer to qualify for this category.
- She is also first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the 2014 Asian Games held at Incheon, South Korea.
- Awards-For her precious contribution to the sport of boxing (sports), she has been conferred with Padma Bhushan (2013), Padma Shree (2010) and Arjuna Award for Boxing (2003).
8- World’s largest and tallest Indian flag unfurled in Faridabad, Haryana
World’s largest and tallest Indian flag
World’s largest and tallest Indian national flag was unfurled on 3 March 2015 at Town Park in Faridabad, Haryana.
Features of Flag-
- It has dimension of 96 feet by 64 feet and weighs 48 kilograms.
- Flag was hoisted at a height of 250 feet (75 meters). Thus, making it the world’s largest and the highest hoisted Indian flag in the world.
It was unfurled by Bhartiya Janta Party President Amit Shah. On this occasion Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar and Bollywood Actor Ranbir Kapoor were also present.
The unfurling event was organised by Nav Chetna Trust which is formed to work on social issues like beti bachao and swachh bharat. Several Ministers of the Haryana state cabinet were also present.
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