Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 20 2017


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1. Bill Gates named world’s richest man for 18th time: Forbes

Bill Gates has once again topped Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of global billionaires. It’s the second time in a row that the Microsoft founder has been crowned the world’s richest person, and the 16th time in the past 21 years. Mr Gates’ net worth rose to $79.2bn (£51bn) from $76bn a year earlier, after he unloaded one third of his remaining stake in the tech firm he co-founded in the 1970s.

  1. Mukesh Ambani remains richest Indian with $23.2 bn net worth

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is once again India’s richest person with a net worth of US $22.7 billion, according to the latest Forbes list. India’s richest pharmaceutical magnate, Dilip Shanghvi, remains at number 2 with a net worth of $16.9 billion. His wealth fell by $1.1 billion along with a drop in the shares of his Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, the world’s fifth-largest generics maker. Earlier in 2016, Sun acquired 14 drugs from Novartis in Japan for $293 million, which will be distributed by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma.

  1. L’Oréal’s Liliane Bettencourt named world’s richest woman

France’s Liliane Bettencourt is the world’s wealthiest woman with a $39.5 billion net worth for the second year with a net worth of $39.5 billion, according to Forbes World’s Billionaires List 2017. The 94-year-old, who suffers from dementia, has been mired in a legal battle against former confidante and photographer Francois-Marie Banier.

  1. President of india presents gallantry awards

President Pranab Mukherjee presented gallantry awards and distinguished service decorations a second defence investiture ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Thirteen officers of the armed forces received the Param Vishist Seva Medal; four received the Kirti Chakra; two were awarded the Uttam Yuddh Seva Medal. Two officers received the Bar to the Ati Vishist Seva Medal; 25 received the Ati Vishist Seva Medal and seven received Shaurya Chakras.

  1. President of India presents KCK International Award for excellence in print Journalism

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the KCK International Award for Excellence in Print Journalism organized by Rajasthan Patrika in New Delhi. print journalism has its own impact because journalists through their columns/ stories/ comments etc. find a permanent place in the minds of readers. He stated that media has expanded with increasing use of technology and the influence of social media has also increased over the years.

  1. Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) to be merged with State Bank of India (SBI)

The Government of India has decided to merge the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with the State Bank of India (SBI) to ensure greater banking services outreach to a larger number of women, at a faster pace. The objectives of affordable credit to women as well as propagation of women-centric products need to be quickly achieved through a wider network and lower cost of funds.  The decision to merge BMB with SBI has been taken in view of the advantage of the large network of SBI among other things. In the three years since BMB was established,

  1. Kumar Mangalam Birla to be Chairman of Vodafone-Idea entity

British telecom major Vodafone and Aditya Birla group-run Idea Cellular have announced the merger of their operations, creating the largest mobile operator by customer and revenue market share. The merged entity, which will come into force over the next two years, will be headed by Kumar Mangalam Birla as Chairman. Vodafone will own 45.1 per cent in the new company after transferring 4.9 per cent to the Aditya Birla group for Rs. 3,874 crore in cash concurrent with completion of the merger. Idea will hold 26 per cent of the combined entity, while the rest will be owned by public shareholders.

  1. Snapdeal appoints Jason Kothari as CEO of FreeCharge

Snapdeal has appointed former online real estate portal executive Jason Kothari to the position of Chief Executive Officer of its digital payments subsidiary Freecharge, while also committing to invest a further $20 million into the firm. Kothari’s appointment to the role comes a month after former Freecharge CEO Govind Rajan quit the company and amid growing concerns of Freecharge losing out to larger rival Paytm in India’s fast growing digital payments space.

  1. Uttarakhand HC recognises Ganga as India’s 1st living entity

The Uttarakhand High Court has recognised river Ganga as the first living entity of India, a move that grants it the same legal rights as a human being. The new status means that if someone pollutes the Ganga — considered to be the holiest river in the country — the law will see it equal to harming a human being. The court also ruled that the government form a Ganga Administration Board for better maintenance and cleaning of the river.

  1. Five Indians in WEF’s 100 Young Global Leaders list

Five Indians, including Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Shruti Shibulal of The Tamara Hospitality, have made it to the World Economic Forum’s 100 Young Global Leaders list. The other individuals who represented India in the list include Ambarish Mitra Founder and CEO Blippar, a mobile phone app business valued at USD 1.5 billion; Hindol Sengupta Editor-at large Fortune India and Rwitwika Bhattacharya – Agarwal Founder and CEO Swaniti Initiative.

  1. Harsh Vardhan to inaugurate 5th foundation day function of BIRAC

Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan will inaugurate the 5th foundation day function of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in New Delhi. Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y.S Chowdary, will be the Guest of Honour. The discussion will focus on the impact the Biotech Ecosystem is making on the Indian economy and the opportunities which exist for the Indian Biotech Sector as a global player.

  1. Norway replaces Denmark as world’s happiest country

Norway displaced Denmark as the world’s happiest country in a new report released . Countries in Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked in the fifth annual report released at the United Nations. Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government.

  1. Italy named world’s healthiest country

Italy has been ranked the healthiest country on Earth in the Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries. According to the study, the average life expectancy in the country is 80-89 years. Iceland, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia are also among the top five most healthy countries in the index. Singapore was placed on the fourth spot. Also on the top ten are Spain, Japan, Sweden, Israel, and Luxembourg.

  1. Shahid Afridi appointed ambassador of Blind Cricket World Cup

as the ambassador for the fifth edition of the Blind Cricket World Cup.The announcement was made by the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC). Afridi is not only an icon in the arena of cricket across the globe but also a philanthropist and a role model in social works.

  1. India’s Vidya Pillai wins silver at Women’s World Snooker

India’s Vidya Pillai produced a spirited performance before settling for silver in the World Women Snooker Championship. Former World Champion, Ng On Yee, who won the next three frames in a row to take 5-4 lead.  With that Vidya settled for silver, securing the first international medal for India in 2017.

  1. Chanakya of Odisha Politics’ Mohapatra passes away at 77

Former Rajya Sabha MP and president of Odisha Janamorcha party Pyari Mohan Mohapatra passed away in Mumbai after a prolonged illness. He was 77. Mohapatra, who was also called ‘Chankya of Odisha politics’.Mohapatra was the Principal Secretary to the chief minister when Biju Patnaik occupied the top post.

  1. Meteorologist Dev Raj Sikka passes away
  • Dev Raj Sikka, former director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, who first proposed a link between the El Nino phenomenon and the Indian monsoon, died of a cardiac arrest. He was 85.
  • The El Nino Southern Oscillation phenomenon, a see-sawing of temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, is now among the most significant factors that meteorologists scan to forecast the performance of the Indian monsoon.
  • Six out of 10 El Nino-years have been associated with below-normal rainfall over India.


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