Current Affairs – March 2014
1) Union Government of India raised the number of workdays under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005) from 100 days to 150 days. This hike in the workdays will benefit 14 lakh families in India and the decision Union Cabinet will come into effect from April 2014.
2) The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee signed the proclamation to impose President Rule in Andhra Pradesh. He also signed the Telangana bill on 1 March 2014.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned on 19 February 2014 over Telangana issue. Governor E S L Narasimhan recommended President Rule in the Andhra Pradesh State after the resignation of Chief Minister.
3) Jaswant Singh, former minister in the NDA government released a book entitled India at Risk – Mistakes, Misconceptions and Misadventures of security policy.In his book, he had discussed the issues, the conflicts and the consequences of the security related policy of India.
4) Bill Gates, Microsoft Co-founder is the World’s top richest Billionaire with worth of 76 billion dollars according to Forbes magazine’s 28th Annual World billionaires list. Gates is back on the top rank after four years, reclaiming the title from the telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico (2nd), who ranked 1 for the past four years.
5) Assam on 4 March 2014 became the first state in India to observe State Child Protection Day. A central function was organized with the support of Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) in collaboration with United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF).
6) Sheila Dikshit, the former chief minister of Delhi on 4 March 2014 was appointed as the 22nd Governor of Kerala. She will succeed Nikhil Kumar, a former Delhi Police Commissioner who took over as the governor of Kerala in March 2013.
7) International Women Day was observed across the world on 8 March 2014. United Nation celebrated the 2014 Women day with the theme Equality for Women is Progress for all. International women’s day is also called Working women’s day.
8) Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 operating a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft on 8 March 2014 vanished from the radar screens over the South China Sea with 239 people on board. The plane when disappeared was heading towards Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. After massive search operations, the Malaysian Government stated that the flight ended in remote area of south Indian ocean with no survivals.
9) Nokia launched its first Android phone named Nokia X in India on 10 March 2014. Nokia X is a unique combination of Nokia quality and experiences, Microsoft services and Android apps.
10) Nagaland and Assam became the first two states to be issued with Plastic Photo Identity Card for elections in India. The voters of Nagaland and Assam will be using the cards for the first time in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Election commission decided to provide plastic Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) instead of laminated paper card to voters in India to avoid duplication and forgery.
11) Michelle Bachelet was sworn-in as the President of Chile in Valparaiso.
12) Sachin Tendulkar was voted as the Cricketer of the Generation by a 50-member jury that comprised current and former cricketers and journalists. To win the award, Sachin defeated his competitors spin legend Shane Warne and all-rounder Jacques Kallis.
13) Khushwant Singh, the renowned author and journalist died on 20 March 2014 at the age of 99 at his home in Sujan Singh Park in Delhi. He also was a lawyer, who turned to be a diplomat followed by being a writer.
14) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued notice to banks to take measures to counter the threat expected to arise from discontinuation of Windows XP from 8 April 2014. The withdrawal of Windows XP means that no updates and patches for bugs will be issued by the Microsoft. As a result, the banking system of India largely running on Windows XP may become vulnerable to viruses and other cyber attacks.
15) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the timeline for full implementation of the Basel III capital regulations by a year. Now the banks are required to comply with the Basel III norms by 31 March 2019 instead of 31 March 2018.
Some extended time was necessitated for banks to raise capital within the internationally agreed timeline for full implementation of the Basel III capital regulations.
16) The World Health Organisation (WHO) certified India as a Polio Free country. This action of WHO made India one of the 11 countries of South-East Region to be free from polio virus.
17) SEBI announced to release the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) compliance norms in the fiscal year 2014-15. The FATCA compliance norms will help combat possible tax evasion by Americans through Indian entities.
FATCA is a law that aims to check and impose withholding tax on illicit activities of some wealthy individuals who use offshore accounts to evade millions of dollars in taxes.
18) Jammu and Kashmir became the first state in the country to declare all election booths as No Smoking Areas in Lok Sabha elections 2014
19) Japanese architect Shigeru Ban won the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2014. He won the award for his creative and inexpensive designs for disaster relief shelters.
20) Ambar Srivastava of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi on 29 March 2014 developed the TrueHb Hemometer to test haemoglobin. The device of the size of a mobile phone is the first case of an innovation from biomedical engineering department of IIT-Delhi actually getting productized.
It will help identify and tackle anaemia effectively in India which has a very high prevalence of anaemia and the related maternal deaths from it.
21) Astronomers in fourth week of March 2014 discovered a miniature planet named Charkilo with two rings of ice and pebbles between Saturn and Uranus in theKuiper Belt. This is the first ever discovery of a celestial body with rings like giant planets Saturn and Jupiter
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