Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 21 2018

Latest Current Affairs One Liners – March 21 2018

1. Cheque books of six banks that merged with SBI to be invalid

India’s largest lender SBI has reminded its customers that cheque books of six banks that merged with it will become invalid after March 31. Customers of erstwhile associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank have been asked to apply for new cheque books to avoid inconvenience. Customers can apply through Internet banking, mobile banking, ATM or by visiting their home branch.

2. Billionaire Peter Peterson passes away at the age of 91

Billionaire Peter Peterson, who co-founded world’s largest private equity firm Blackstone Group, died of natural causes, aged 91. The son of Greek immigrants, Peterson served as the commerce secretary under US President Richard Nixon. Founded with an initial investment of $200,000 in 1985 by Peterson and Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone now manages more than $430 billion in assets.

3. Google launches app that lets users draw lines in air

Google has launched an augmented reality (AR) app called Just a Line that lets users draw white lines in the air. The app is based on the company’s previous app, Tilt Brush, which let users paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Google has termed it an AR experiment and works only on devices which support Google’s ARCore technology.

4. Myanmar’s first democratically elected President resigns

Htin Kyaw, who became Myanmar’s first democratically elected President in 2016, has resigned from the position with immediate effect to take rest from his current duties and responsibilities. Kyaw is believed to have been holding the post only for ceremonial purposes, with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi acting as the country’s de facto leader.

5. Hyderabad, Pune rated India’s most liveable cities

Hyderabad and Pune have been rated India’s most liveable cities as they have tied for the 142nd place in Mercer’s global Quality of Living survey. Bengaluru and Chennai were placed 149th and 151st respectively, while Mumbai was ranked 154th and Kolkata 160th. Delhi, at the 162nd place, was rated the least liveable among the seven Indian cities on the list.

6. India, Hong Kong sign double tax agreement

India and Hong Kong on Monday entered into a double taxation avoidance agreement, aiming to facilitate investment flow between both countries and prevent tax evasion.

The agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) and vice versa, prevent double taxation and provide for exchange of information between the two contracting parties. It will improve transparency in tax matters and help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.

7. Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik given additional charge as Governor of Odisha

After SC Jamir completed his five-year tenure, Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik was given the additional responsibility of Odisha. The five-time Nagaland chief minister had taken over as Odisha governor in March 2013 after serving as governor of Goa and Maharashtra.

  • Malik, 72, who now has the additional responsibility of Odisha, has served as Union minister of state for parliamentary affairs and tourism and other important positions in Central and state governments.
  • He was a Rajya Sabha MP for two terms and a Lok Sabha MP from 1989 to 1990. Malik was also a member of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly from 1974 to 1977.

8. Airbnb inks four MoUs for promotion of tourism in North-East

Online accommodation platform major Airbnb today said it has signed agreements with North Eastern Council (NEC) and NETDC to boost tourism in the hilly region. Under the MoU, NEC, North East Tourism Development Council (NETDC) and Airbnb have agreed to expand tourism in the North-East through Airbnb’s global platform and improve the quality of home-stay facilities and unique properties there.

As per the MoU, they will also provide and promote outstanding tourism resources in the North-East and cooperate to improve the regulatory environment for home sharing there

9. Varuna 2018: Indian Navy hosts bilateral naval exercise with French Navy

The Indian Navy and the French Navy have conducted bilateral maritime exercises since May 1993. Since 2001, the exercises have been named VARUNA and there have been fifteen editions of the same till date. The last edition of VARUNA was conducted off the French Coast in Apr 2017. In 2017, VARUNA was conducted in three sea areas in the European waters. This year too VARUNA-18 would be conducted in three sea areas, namely, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and South Western Indian Ocean.

10. India, EU ink space cooperation agreement

In a boost to cooperation between India and Europe in the area of space, India’s Department of Space and the European Commission have signed a cooperation agreement related to sharing of earth observation satellite data.

Under this arrangement, the European Commission intends to provide India with free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections from data hub to data hub.

Reciprocally the Indian Department of Space will provide the Copernicus programme and its participating states with a free, full and open access to the data from ISRO’s earth observation satellites including historical data sets.

11. Union Government to set up Plastic Park in Deoghar

Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Ananthkumar announced that the Government of India has approved the setting up of a Plastic Park in Deoghar District, Jharkhand. The project would be set up at a cost of Rs. 120 crores in an area of 150 acres and a range of polymer products including woven sacks, moulded furniture, water tanks, bottles, pipes mosquito nets, etc would be manufactured.

12. India Post releases special cover on Stephen Hawking

India Post has paid tribute to theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking by issuing a special cover on him. Chief Post Master General (CPMG) of Maharashtra and Goa Circle H C Agrawal and Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Dr Sandip Trivedi jointly issued the special cover.

13. French President launches drive to boost French, ‘language of liberty’

French president Emmanuel Macron unveiled his plan to boost French, the ‘language of liberty’ around the world. Macron aims to spend hundreds of millions of euros boosting the French language worldwide, in a push to overtake English in Africa, increase the use of French online and teach French to more European officials to loosen the grip of the English language on Brussels.

14. Li Keqiang re-elected as China’s Prime Minister for his second term

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang was re-elected for his second five-year term at the ongoing parliament session. Li is the second ranking leader in China after President Xi Jinping who has emerged as the most powerful leader after Mao Zedong. Li was nominated for the premiership by Xi. Li, who became premier in 2013, heads the State Council, China’s Cabinet.


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