12th March 2016

A.Lt Gen N P S Hira appointed Deputy Chief of Army

1.Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) N P S Hira has been appointed as Deputy Chief of Army Staff. 

2.He will be now moving to Army Headquarters in New Delhi. 

3.Presently he is posted as Chief of Staff of Northern command at Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir. 

4.He was commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry. 

5.He has a rich experience of counter insurgency operations in J&K and in the northeast region, as well as conventional operations in Western command.

6.He had commanded the Battalion in Assam (Op Rhino) during high violence period. 

Awards and Honours: 
He has earned an Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra and many more gallantry awards.

B.India, US launch Fulbright – Kalam Climate Fellowship
1.India and United States have launched the Fulbright – Kalam Climate Fellowship enabling Indian research scholars to work with American institutions in the field of climate change. 

2.It will sponsor up to 6 Indian PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to work with US institutions for a period up to one year. 

3.The fellowship has been named after late Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. 

4.It was launched as part of a commitment made by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build long-term capacity to address climate change-related issues in both the countries. 

5.It will be operated by the binational US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) under the umbrella of the prestigious Fulbright programme. It will be jointly funded by both the governments.

C.Arab League declares Lebanese movement Hezbollah a terrorist group

1.The Arab League has declared Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a Shia political organisation a terrorist group. 

2.The move comes after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had adopted the same stance. 

3.Decision in this regard was taken during the Arab League Foreign Ministers’ meeting at the organisation’s seat in Egypt’s capital Cairo. 

4.All-22 Arab League members supported the decision except Lebanon and Iraq expressed reservations. 

5.Hezbollah (Party of God) is a Shia political organisation created by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the 1980s. 

6.It was established with an armed wing during Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1990. 

7.Currently, it is fighting in Lebanon’s neighbouring Syria to support the Government of President Bashar al-Assad. The United States, Canada and Australia already have listed Hezbollah as a terrorist group and the European Union (EU) has also blacklisted its military wing.

D.IMF and India to set-up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center in Delhi

1.India and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have decided to set up South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTC) in New Delhi. 

2.In this regard, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

Key facts 
1.SARTTC will set up for enhancing capacity development and training officials in dealing with macro-economic and financial issues in the South Asia region. 

2.It will become the focal point for planning, coordinating, and implementing the IMF’s capacity development activities in the region on a wide range of areas. 

3.These wide range of areas are includes macroeconomic and fiscal management, financial sector regulation, monetary operations and supervision, and macroeconomic statistics. 

4.It will help to address existing training needs and respond to the demand for IMF training in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka. 

E.Anand Mahindra conferred with France’s Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur

1.Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman and Managing Director (MD) Anand Mahindra was conferred with Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by French Government. 

2.He was presented with this award by Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India in recognition of his outstanding national and international achievements. 

3.Anand Mahindra is one of the most prominent business leaders in India. Under his leadership Mahindra & Mahindra group has turned into a global company of outstanding repute. 

About Knight of the Legion of Honour 
1.Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur is the highest French civilian award which was started by first emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. 

2.It is bestowed upon person for his outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality. Its motto is Honour and Fatherland. 
Note: Anand Mahindra’s father Harish Mahindra and uncle Keshub Mahindra have also been recipients of this award in the past.

F.Union Power Ministry named LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme as UJALA

1.Union Power Ministry has announced name UJALA for the LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP). 

2.UJALA is acronym for Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All. 

3.The National LED based DELP programme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 2015 for energy conservation by reducing energy consumption. 

4.The target of programme is to replace 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is implementing it and is currently running successfully in over 120 cities across India. 

5.The initiative is part of the Union Government’s efforts to spread the message of energy efficiency in the country. 

6.LED bulbs have a very long life, almost 50 times more than ordinary bulbs, and 8-10 times that of CFLs, and therefore provide both energy and cost savings in the medium term. It will help in saving of energy around 24 crore units every year.

11th March 2016

A.Rest of India wins 2015-16 Irani Cup Cricket Title

1.Rest of India has won the Irani Cup Cricket Title 2015-16 by defeating Mumabi in the final match of the cup by four wickets. 

2.In the final match played at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, Rest of India overhauled the record victory target of 480 by making 482 for 6 on the fifth and final day. 

3.This successful chase was also the best-ever run-chase in the Irani Cup history. 

4.It has bettered Rest of India’s previous 424, chasing target set by Delhi at the Ferozshah Kotla in 1982-83.

About Irani Cup 

1.The Irani Cup tournament was started during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship. 

2.It is named after the late Zal R Irani, who was associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928 till his death in 1970. 

3.The tournament is always played between the previous year’s Ranji Trophy winners and the Rest of India Team. ZR Irani was the long time treasurer of the BCCI and a keen patron of the cricket.

B.Union Cabinet gives nod to MoU between India and UAE on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber-Crime

1.The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the MoU between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber-Crime. 

2.It was singed between both countries in February 2016 to cooperate in combating cybercrime in the wake of the serious security threat posed by it to safety of people. 

Key Facts 
1.The MoU would provide help in handling of the issues related to the cyber-crime between the two countries. 

2.Both the countries shall cooperate in cyber space and combating cyber-crime in all forms, particularly through coordination and exchange of information in relation with cyber crime 

3.The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be the nodal agency on the Indian side responsible for the implementation of this agreement. 

4.Similarly, from UAE side Directorate General of Criminal Security under aegis of Ministry of Interior and the State Security Department will be the nodal agency.

C.India, Bangladesh sign $2 billion Line of Credit

1.India has signed the second line of credit (LOC) agreement extending 2 billion dollars in development financing to Bangladesh for undertaking various development projects. 

2.This credit line will be provided through Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank), India’s external lending arm. 

3.It is Exim Bank’s biggest ever LOC facility given to another country. 

4.The development financing will be used in the infrastructural projects like power sector, road transportation, railways, shipping, information and communication technology (ICT) and social sector projects like health and technical education. 


1.The financing deal comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015 had announced new credit line to Bangladesh during his official visit to Dhaka. 

2.It follows India’s earlier 1 billion dollar in assistance provided to Bangladesh in 2011 for infrastructure development.

D.Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan appointed as Chairman of 21st Law Commission of India

1.The Union Government has appointed former Supreme Court (SC) judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan (66) as Chairman of the 21st Law Commission of India (LCI). 

2.Currently he is Chairman of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal. He was judge of the SC from May 2009 to July 2014. 

3.He also had served as Chief Justice of Orissa high court from July 2008 to May 2009. Apart from him, Union Government has appointed former judge of the Gujarat high court Justice Ravi R Tripathi as member of 21st LCI. 

Earlier in September 2015, Union Government had constituted 21st LCI for period of 3 years with effect from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2018. 

(i) Chairperson (full-time), 
(ii) Four Members (full-time). It will include a Member-Secretary. 
(iii) 3 Secretaries: Department of Legal Affairs, Legislative Department and Legislative Department as ex offcio Members. 
(iv) Up to 5 part-time Members. 

21st LCI will give its major recommendations on a review of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the criminal justice system and the bail law in order to ensure uniformity in the procedure of granting the relief.

E.Rajya Sabha passes Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015

1.The Rajya Sabha has passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015 to protect the interests of consumers and curb the malpractices in the real estate sector. 

2.The bill seeks to create a uniform regulatory mechanism across the country and enhance the growth of construction sector. 

3.It also ensures to bring transparency and accountability in the real estate sector to access capital and financial markets essential for its long term growth. 

Key Features 
1.Establishes state level regulatory authorities called Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs) and tribunals called Real Estate Appellate Tribunals (REAT) to settle disputes. 

2.Enforces the contract between the developer and buyer and fast track the mechanism to settle disputes. 

F.Lok Sabha passes Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016

1.Lok Sabha has passed the Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 by voice vote. 

2.It was introduced as Money Bill. The Bill is aimed at giving statutory backing for transferring government subsidies and benefits to targeted people by assigning them Aadhaar numbers i.e. unique identity numbers. 

3.With this, government plans to plug leakages in disbursal of subsidies and other services and in ensuring that these reach intended beneficiaries. 

Key features of Bill Eligibility: 
1.Every resident who has resided in India for 182 days in the one year preceding the date of enrolment application shall be entitled to obtain an Aadhaar number. 

2.Information to be submitted: Individual has to submit his 
(i) demographic (name, address, date of birth) information. 
(ii) biometric (finger print, iris scan, photograph). Other biometric and demographic information can be collected as per regulations of the Unique Identification Authority (UID) 

Use of Aadhaar number: 
(i) Verifying the identity of a person receiving a subsidy or a service. 
(ii) as a proof of identity of the Aadhaar number holder for any purpose asked by any public or private entity. 
(iii) It cannot be a proof of citizenship or domicile. 

Key functions of UID: 
(i) assigning Aadhaar numbers to individuals 
(ii) specifying demographic and biometric information to be collected during enrolment 
(iii) specifying the usage of Aadhaar numbers for delivery of subsidies and services and 
(iv) authenticating Aadhaar numbers.

G.Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit named as Secretary General of Arab League

1.Veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit (73) has been selected as Secretary General of the Arab League. 

2.The 22-member league voted unanimously in favour of Aboul Gheit who was only contender for the post at its ministerial meeting held in Cairo, Egypt. 

3.He will succeed Nabil El-Araby, Egyptian diplomat whose term ends in July 2016 after he had rejected second five-year term. 

4.Abul Gheit is a former ambassador of Egypt to the United Nations. He had served as Egypt’s foreign minister from 2004 to 2011 during the final seven years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule. 

About Arab League 
The Arab League is a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Arabia. 

1.Provide economic, political, cultural, scientific and social programmes designed to promote the interests of the Arab world. 
2.Draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them. Safeguard their independence and sovereignty and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries.