Current Affairs India - 11-12 March 2016

1. Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched the 'clean my coach' service this week which will allow passengers to make request for a dirty coach to be swept and cleaned by sending an SMS on mobile number 58888 or by using an app or a designated website. Earlier he had announced about the scheme during his railway budget speech.


This -Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat' scheme was launched through Video Conferencing from Rail Bhawan in New Delhi/Northern Railway, Mumbai Central/Western Railway and Lucknow Jn/North Eastern Railway. A passenger can also use the android app 'Cleanmycoach Indian Railways' or webpage 'cleanmycoach.com' for logging the request which will be immediately acknowledged via SMS on mobile phone along with a code.


2. The Union Cabinet, Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the new Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) in order to ensure transparency and attract global investment in the energy sector. HELP will require companies to acquire just one licence to manage all kinds of hydrocarbon reserves compared to many restrictions were placed earlier. Also this policy will use the revenue-sharing model to replace the previously followed practice of contractors sharing the profit with the government after recovering costs.


3. The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha passed the landmark Real Estate Bill which aims to secure the interests of homebuyers and developers in equal measure and remove corruption and inefficiency from the real estate sector. As per the bill, a regulator will be established in each state to regulate all the housing projects to protect both the buyers and sellers. Also all the new housing schemes need to be registered with the regulator.


4. The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have passed the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 in order to provide necessary requirement to transfer government subsidies and benefits to targeted people. The bill does not make Aadhaar card compulsory in line with Supreme Court judgement.


5. The Union government has appointed ex-Supreme Court judge Balbir Singh Chauhan as the chairperson of the 21st Law Commission. The position was lying vacant since its constitution in September 2015. The Law Commission of India is an executive body which works to effect legal reforms. The Union Ministry of Law & Justice has urged the commission to specifically study the usage of provisions under Section 124A (Sedition) of the IPC.


6. Tezpur Universitywon the annual Visitor-s Award for the Best University. Rakesh Bhatnagar and the Molecular Parasitology Group of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)won the Visitor-s Awards for Research and Innovation respectively. President Pranab Mukherjee will present Visitor-s Awards for 2016 to the winners at a function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 14th March 2016 as part of the Festival of Innovations.


7. Former TCS Chairman S Ramadorai has retired from the position of chairman and public interest directorship of BSE. He was appointed as public interest director and chairman of the board on in March 2010 and retired in March 2016 after serving BSE for six years.


8. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman U K Sinha announced that all willful loan defaulters will be disqualified from board positions at listed companies as per new rules. Also willful loan defaulters will be barred from fund raising, taking positions at listed firms, from setting up market entities like mutual funds.


9. Domestic rating agency Crisil has projected India-s GDP growth at 7.9% for the current financial year 2016-17 due to hope of proper monsoon and implementation of revival measures by the Indian government. As per Crisil, a normal monsoon season this year can lead to a 4% growth in agriculture on lower base effect after lower than average Monsoon in previous two financial years.


10. Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Reebok India along with a new campaign of the brand titled -Be More Human- which was released on the -International Women-s Day-.