Current Affairs of March 2015

Delhi's first South-Asian festival held from 28.03.15 to 31.03.15 with participation from SAARC nations is namedSASSIAN Journey
The Indian state which has become the first in the country to launch an e-ration card service to cut down on corruption and delay in delivery of ration to the beneficiariesDelhi
The launch vehicle aboard which the Indian Space Research Organisation has launched IRNSS 1D, the fourth in the series of seven navigation satellites from SriharikotaPSLV C27
The Indian state which has become the first in the country to fix a minumum educational qualification for contesting elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions by passing a legislation (Class VIII pass for the post of Sarpanch except in tribal reserved areas where it is Class V. Class X for Zilla Parishad or Panchayat Samiti elections)Rajasthan
The Indian state which has enacted a law to ban the slaughter, trading and unauthorised transportation of camelsRajasthan
The scientific organisation which has been chosen for the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014 for its contribution to the country’s development through space technology and satellite-based servicesIndian Space Research Organisation
The author of Q & A, (the film Slumdog Millionaire is based on the novel) who has been chosen to be the spokesperson of Ministry of External AffairsVikas Swaroop
The state in the USA which has become the first U.S. State to reinstate execution of criminals sentenced to death by firing squad when no lethal injection drugs are availableUtah
The Indian novelist whose book The Family Life has been chosen for the 2015 Folio Prize sponsored by the Folio SocietyAkhil Sharma
The bank in collaboration with which IRCTC has launched the prepaid RuPay card to enable its users to book railway ticketsUnion Bank of India
The Germanwings Airbus A320 flight 4U 9525 which crashed in the French Alps killing 150 people on board was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf
The place in Chhattisgarh where India's first National Skill Development University will be opened as announced by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap RudyRaipur
The renowned Hindi poet who has been awarded the first Kavi Pradeep Samman by the Madhya Pradesh governmentGopaldas Neeeraj
The Chinese dissident artist and American folk singer, who have been jointly chosen for the Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2014Ai Weiwei and Joan Baez
The controversial section of Information Technology 2000, introduced in 2009, which has been quashed by the Supreme Court terming it "vague" and "unconstitutional" (in the Shreya Singhal v. Union of India case)Section 66A
The noted Hindi film producer and actor who has been chosen for the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award for 2014Shashi Kapoor
The renowned Indian ecologist who has been chosen for the prestigious 2015 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, (instituted in 1973) along with noted American marine ecologist Dr. Jane Lubchenco for their work in changing policy and specifically for their leadership and engagement in the development of conservation and sustainability policies in the United States, India and internationallyMadhav Gadgil
The three Africa nations which have signed an initial agreement on sharing water from the River Nile which runs through the countriesEgypt, Sudan and Ethiopia
The Indian environmental activist popularly known as Water Man who has been chosen for the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize this year for his innovative water restoration efforts and courage to empower communities in Indian villages by the Stockholm International Water Institute in Rajender Singh
The former Chief of the Sri Lankan Army who has been promoted to the rank of Field Marshall by Sri Lankan President Maithripala SirisenaSarath Fonseka
The Indian artist whose self-potrait has sold for $2.92 million in Sotheby’s New York auction, setting a new record for an Indian woman artistAmrita Sher-Gil
The Indian industrialist who has been chosen to head the Innovative Council of Indian Railways called Kaya KalpRatan Tata
The beyond visual range air-to-air missile which was successfully launched from Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft to hit a simulated target at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur in Odisha (the missile was tested to prove the manoeuvring capability against a simulated target)Astra
The Union HRD Minister who was named Young Global Leader from India by World Economic ForumSmriti Irani
The political party led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which has scored a resounding victory over rivals Zionist Union in the recent electionsLikud
The percentage to which the Indian government has decided to bring down its holding in public sector banks in a phased manner to ensure that capital needs of banks are taken care of52‰
The mobile application launched by HDFC bank in partnership with MobME to allow its customers to instantly transfer money to any contact in their phone book is namedChillr
The Indian badminton player who has won the Swiss Grand Prix Gold championship title defeating Viktor Axelson of Denmark in men’s singles final in Basel, Switzerland.K Shrikanth
The airport which has been awarded 'Best Regional Airport in Central Asia' by SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2015 held in ParisKempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru
The team Indian women's hockey team defeated to win the Hero women’s Hockey World League Round 2 at the Major Dhyan Chand National StadiumPoland
The team which has won the 69th Santosh Trophy football championship defeating Punjab in the finals at Guru Nanak Stadium in LudhianaServices
The nine-foot bronze statue Gandhi which was unveiled by Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley at the Parliament Square in London on 14 March was sculpted byPhillip Jackson
The Welsh professional snooker player who has won the second Indian Open Snooker World Ranking Tournament defeating Ricky Walden in the finals at MumbaiMichael White
The place from which NASA has launched Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft (four identical spacecraft) aboard Atlas rocket to study the explosive give-and-take of the magnetic fields of Earth and the sunCape Canaveral
The Oceanic island nation which has been severely affected by Cyclone Pam, which is being the considered the strongest cyclone historically in the regionVanuatu
Pakistan's first indigenously developed drone which successfully test-fired laser guided missile Burq is namedBurraq
The team which has won the Ranjhi Trophy cricket championship for the 8th time defeating Tamil Nadu in the finals at Wankhede Stadium in MumbaiKarnataka
The Indian built patrol vessel which was exported to Mauritius in 2014, which has been commissioned by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Port Louis during his visit to the countryBarracuda
The island in Seychelles which the country has agreed to lease to India for tourism and infrastructure developmentAssumption Island
The co-creator of animated television series along with Matt Groening and James L Brooks, who has died on 08.03.2015Sam Simon
The place at which the first Kisan Call Centre of the north-east India was launched by Chief Minister of Tripura, Mr. Manik SarkarAgartala
India's first indigenously developed rotavirus vaccine which was launched by the Prime Minister recently has been developed byBharat Biotech
The former Union Minister who has been awarded the KK Birla Foundation's Saraswati Samman for 2014 for his work Ramayan MahanveshanamVeerappa Moily
The state which has launched the Aapki Beti Humari Beti scheme under which a sum of Rs 21,000 would be deposited by the State in the account of every new born girl so that she may get Rs 1 lakh on turning 18Haryana
The middle-eastern country which has become the world's largest arms importer surpassing India in 2014 according to defence analysis by IHS Jane'sSaudi Arabia
The Chinese badminton player who has won the All England Badminton Championship men's title defeating Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen in the finalsCheng Long
The Spanish badminton player who has won the All England Badminton Championship women's title defeating Saina Nehwal of India in the finalsCarolina Marin
The theme of International Women's Day observed on March 8, 2015Make it Happen
The solar powered plane founded by André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, which took off on its first attempt to fly around the world from Al Bateen airport in Abu DhabiSolar Impulse
The para-military force in which the Government has decided recruit women officers for the first timeIndo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
The veteran journalist and edotrial chairman of the Outlook group who died on 08 March 2015 (He was awarded the Yash Bharati Samman by the Uttar Pradesh Govt in February 2015)Vinod Mehta
The NASA spacecraft which has become the first spacecraft to enter an orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres lying between the orbits of Mars and JupiterDawn
The UNESCO world Heritage Site near Baghdad in Iraq which has been reportedly destroyed by the militants of Islamic StateHatra
The Anil Ambani group company which has acquired management control in Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering company LimitedReliance Infrastructure Ltd.
The US state which has become the first in country to allow execution of death row inmates using nitrogen gasOklahoma
The Japanese World War II battleship (it sank in October 1944 in the Sibuyan Sea during the battle of Leyte) whose wreckage has been discovered by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his research teamMusashi
The two India public sector banks whose local and foreign currency deposit ratings have been reduced by Moody's to BA1 and BAA3, anticipating low level of support from the government to these banksCentral Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank
The place from which SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was launched with ABS 3A and EUTELSAT 115 West B all-electric satellites on 01 Mar 2015Cape Canaveral, Florida
The present Indian ambassador to France who has been appointed as the next Indian Ambassador to the United States succeeding Mr. S JaishankarArun Singh
The President of Namibia who has been chosen for the prestigious 2014 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Outstanding Achievement in African LeadershipMr. Hifikepunye Pohamba
The programme launched by the Election Commission of India to make the electoral roll totally error free and authenticated by linking with Aadhar data of UIDAINational Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme
The new chairman of Board of Control for Cricket in India who has been elected for the post for the third timeJagmohan Dalmiya
The Indian golfer who has won the inaugural Golconda Masters golf championship in Hyderabad defeating Shamin Khan in the finalsHarendra Gupta
The Lucknow Delhi bus service exclusively for women, introduced by the Uttar Pradesh government has been namedPink Express
The candidate of People's Democratic Party who has taken over as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

Yonex Sunrise India Open Badminton tournament

Held from - 24.03.2015 to 29.03.2015

Heldt at - New Delhi

Prize money - $ 2,75,000

Men singles - K. Srikanth (India) defeated Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)

Women Singles - Saina Nehwal (India) defeated Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand)

Mens Doubles - Chai Biao and Hong Wei (China) defeated Mads Conrad Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding (Denmark)

Womens Doubles - Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) defeated Luo Ying and Luo Yu (China)

Mixed Doubles - Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin (China) defeated Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christina Pedersen (Denmark)

World Cup 2015 - Points to Remember

1. Hosted by Australia and New Zealand

2. Held from 14 February to 29 March 2015.

3. Winners - Australia (5th win for the nation)

4. Final match between Australia and New Zealand played at Melbourne Cricket Ground

5. Man of the Final match - James Faulkner (Australia)

6. Man of the tournament - Mitchell Starc (Australia)

7. Most runs scored by - Martin Guptill (New Zealand) - 547 runs

8. Most wickets taken by - Mitchel Starc (Australia) and Trent Boult (New Zealand) - 22 each

World Cup Records created

9. Highest team score - Australia - 417 for 6 against Afghanistan

10. Highest individual score - Martin Guptill (New Zealand) - 237 runs

11. Fastest double century - Chris Gayle (West Indies) - 138 balls

12. Fastest 50 - Brendon McCullim (New Zealand) - 18 balls

13. Most centuries in one tournament - Kumar Sangakarra (Sri Lanka) - 4 centuries

14. Highest partnership - 372 by Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels (West Indies) against Zimbabwe (an ODI record)

Go India Smart Card - Points to Remember

1. The card has been launched on pilot basis on two sectors A. New Delhi - Mumbai and New Delhi - Howrah.

2. The smart card can be used at nominated Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)/Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and at Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) on these two sectors for issuing tickets.

3. Initially the card can be obtained by paying Rs. 70/- where the passenger will get Rs. 20/- balance.

4. The card can be recharged for Rs. 20/- or in multiples of Rs. 50/- upto Rs. 5000/-.

5. Maximum limit on Go-India smart card is Rs. 10,000/-.

6. The card has life time validity. The card is temporarily deactivated if it is not used for 6 months, but can be activated again by paying Rs. 50/- as activation fee.

7. The scheme is intended to reduce the transaction time at the booking counters for the convenience of passengers as it facilitates cashless transaction.

Lee Kuan Yew - First Prime Minister of Singapore

Born - 16 September 1923

Died - 23 March 2015

Also regarded as the the founding father of modern Singapore.

Prime Minister of Singapore - From 03 June 1959 to 28 November 1990

Books written - From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000, Keeping My Mandarin Alive and Singapore's Bilingual Journey

Founder of - People's Action Party (PAP)

Note: - Funeral attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National mourning was declared in India on 29 March 2015.

Narayan Desai - Noted Gandhian

Born - 24 December 1924

Died - 15 March 2015

Son of - Mahadev Desai, Mahatma Gandhi's personal secretary and biographer.

Awards - Sahitya Akademi Award for Gujarati in 1993, Jamnalal Bajaj Award in 1999, 18th Moortidevi Award for the year 2004, given by Bharatiya Jnanpith, for his famous work "Maroon Jeewan Aj Mari Vaani"

Founder of - Sampoorna Kranti Vidyalaya in Surat

Solar Impulse

What is it? - Swiss long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft

Mission - To achieve the first circumnavigation of the Earth using only solar power.

Project leaders - André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard

Flight to accomplish the mission began on - 09 March 2015

Mission starting point - Abu Dhabi, UAE

First stop - Muscat, Oman

Stops in India - Ahmedabad and Varanasi

Stop after leaving Varanasi - Mandalay, Myanmar

62nd National Film Awards for 2014

The following are awards in some important categories of National Film Awards.

S. No.Name of the AwardFilmAwardee
1.Best Feature FilmCourt (Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, English)Producer - Vivek Gomber
Director - Chaitanya Tamhane
2.Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a DirectorAsha Jaoar Majhe (Bengali)Producer: Sanjay Shah, Aditya Vikram Sengupta
Director - Aditya Vikram Sengupta
3.Best Popular Film providing wholesome entertainmentMary Kom (Hindi)Producer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Director - Omung Kumar
4.Special Jury AwardKhwada (Marathi)Director - Bhaurao Karhade
5.Best Film on Social IssuesChotoder Chobi (Marathi)Producer: Shree Venkatesh Films
Director - Kaushik Ganguly
6.Best Children's FilmKaakkaa Muttai (Tamil)
Elizabeth Ekadashi (Marathi)
Director - M. Manikandan
Director - Paresh Mokashi
7.Best DirectionChotushkone (Bengali)Srijit Mukherji
8.Best ActorNanu Avanalla Avalu (Kannada)Vijay
9.Best ActressQueen (Hindi)Kangana Ranaut
10.Best Supporting ActorJigarthanda (Tamil)Bobby Simhaa
11.Best Supporting ActressPagdi The Honour (Haryanavi)Baljinder Kaur
12.Best Child ArtistKaakkaa Muttai (Tamil)J Vignesh and Ramesh
13.Best Male Playback SingerHaider (Hindi)Sukhwinder Singh for the song "Bismil".
14.Best Female Playback SingerSaivam (Tamil)Uttara Unnikrishanan for her song 'Azhagu'.
Note: Hindi film Haider won the awards in 5 categories 1. Best male playback singer - Sukhwinder Singh, 2. Best Screenplay - Vishal Bhardwaj, 3. Best Costume Design - Dolly Ahluwalia, 4. Best Music Direction - Vishal Bhardwaj and 5. Best Choreography - Sudesh Adhana

Man Booker Prize 2015 Finalists

1. César Aira (Argentina)

2. Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)

3. Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)

4. Mia Couto (Mozambique)

5. Amitav Ghosh (India)

6. Fanny Howe (United States of America)

7. Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)

8. László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)

6. Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo)

7. Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)

Abbreviations in news

NERPAP - National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme

PMKVY - Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana

SFURTI - Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries