Current Affairs Today – March 31 2018
1. Oyo launches its own cryptocurrency ‘Oyo Smart Coin’
Gurugram-based hotel aggregator Oyo has launched its own cryptocurrency called ‘Oyo Smart Coin’. Using the cryptocurrency, customers will be able to transact with reduced prices. It will also enable Oyo’s travel partners to directly offer benefits to the consumers and market to them.
2. Optical glasses 3D-printed successfully for the first time
For the first time, researchers have successfully 3D-printed optical-quality glasses, as good as commercially available glass products. Instead of using molten glass that shows texture from the 3D-printing process, reducing the desired optical performance, they used custom paste as ink and heated the entire print to form glass. This ensured a uniform refractive index, eliminating distortion.
3. Kaziranga Park’s rhino population rises by 12 in 3yrs
The population of one-horned rhinoceroses in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park has increased by 12 in the last three years, reaching a total of 2,413 rhinos, a census has revealed. While the previous census held in 2015 had recorded an increase of 111 rhinos as compared to 2012 count, this year’s disparity was attributed to the “incomplete” execution of the census.
4. Tamil Nadu govt moves SC against Centre over Cauvery issue
Tamil Nadu government has filed a contempt plea against the NDA-led Centre in Supreme Court for not setting up a Cauvery Water Management Board (CMB) before the given deadline. This comes after the Centre approached the apex court seeking 3 months’ time, stating that the board’s formation might have law and order implications in Karnataka ahead of assembly elections.
5. Ashok Gehlot appointed as Congress General Secretary
Congress President Rahul Gandhi appointed Ashok Gehlot as the General Secretary In-Charge, Organisation, Training of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), replacing Janardan Dwivedi from the post. He also appointed former Union Minister Jitendra Singh as the AICC in-charge of Odisha, replacing BK Hariprasad. Further, MP Rajeev Satav was appointed as the AICC in-charge of Gujarat.
6. SpaceX launches 10 satellites aboard used Falcon 9 rocket
Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX has launched a used Falcon 9 rocket loaded with 10 satellites for American communications company Iridium. The launch was carried out from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States. SpaceX did not attempt to recover the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage after launch.
7. Railways opens luxury saloon coach to public for first time
In a first, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited operated its Railway Saloon Coach for common people. The coach departed from Old Delhi Railway station for its maiden tour to Katra in Jammu and Kashmir. The coach has two bedrooms with attached bath, a large living cum dining room, kitchenette, and a rear window.
8. Trump declares April 2018 ‘Sexual Assault Awareness’ month
US President Donald Trump issued a declaration designating April 2018 as ‘National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month’. The declaration read, “Sexual assault crimes remain tragically common in society. My Administration is committed to raising awareness about it and to empowering victims.” This move was first started by former President Barack Obama in 2010.
9. Banks to remain open till 8 pm on March 31: RBI
The RBI has said all banks that conduct government banking will remain open till 8 pm on March 31 for greater convenience of taxpayers. The central bank allowed that electronic transactions can be done till midnight on that day beyond the routine business hours. However, the centralised payments services such as RTGS and NEFT will remain closed on April 2.
10. India announces $10 billion development aid for Africa
PM Narendra Modi has announced a $10-billion aid for the development of Africa. Addressing an Indian diaspora in Kenya via video conferencing, PM Modi said Indians living abroad are true “national ambassadors” as they play a vital role in strengthening India’s ties with other nations. As many as 18 new embassies and High Commissions will be opened in Africa.
11. China launches twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into space
China successfully sent pair of twin Beidou-3MEO satellites – Beidou-30 and Beidou-31 –into space as part of its third and final stage of launching its domestic Beidou (Compass) satellite navigation system. They were launched on board Long March-3B carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in south-west China’s Sichuan Province. It was a 269th mission for the Long March rocket family.
12. First National Conclave On Psychological Trauma, Child Protection, And Mental Illnesses In New Delhi
With an aim to provide a comprehensive synthesis of research, service provision, and clinical practice in addressing psychological trauma and subsequent mental illnesses in Indian children and adolescents, First, ever National conclave was held in New Delhi by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, in collaboration with the Dept. of Psychiatry. The Conclave was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Dr. Virendra Kumar.
13. Shekhar Kapur To Head The Jury For 65th National Film Awards
Veteran director Shekhar Kapur appointed the chairman of the central panel of the 65th National Film Awards. The central panel comprises a chairperson and 10 other members, including five regional chairpersons who head the respective regional panels.
Film writer Imtiaz Hussain, known for his works in films like Astitva (2000) and Parinda (1989) will be the regional chairperson of South I panel. Mehboob, who penned the lyrics for the Hindi (dubbed) version of 1995 Tamil romantic drama Bombay appointed as the regional chairperson of South II panel.
14. Finmin asks RBI to help ease industry troubles post LoU ban
The finance ministry has asked RBI to look into the problems being faced by industry and banks by the abrupt ban on LoUs, and provide some breathing space to them. Reserve Bank of India this month banned issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Letters of Comfort (LoC), used extensively for trade finance, following the unearthing of Nirav Modi fraud case.
Nirav Modi and associates in connivance with some officials of Punjab National Bank (PNB) used LoUs to defrauded the lender of over Rs 13,000 crore.