Current Affairs – March 27, 2018

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India ranks 109th globally in mobile download speeds: Report

1cc 26 - Current Affairs – March 27, 2018
India, the largest consumer of mobile data in the world, ranks 109th when it comes to mobile Internet download speeds, a report said. The average download speed over the mobile increased to 9.01 mbps in February from the 8.80 mbps in November last year, but the country’s rank continued to stay at 109th, Ookla’s Speed test index said. Norway is positioned at the top with an average download speed of 62.07 mbps.
The findings of the report come amid a massive increase in data connections by the over one billion mobile phone customers in the country and an increased thrust on connectivity by policymakers. Niti Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant had in December claimed that the country is the highest data consumer in the world at 150 crore gigabytes, which is more than the US and China’s put together. The country, however, fared better on the fixed broadband front, according to Ookla, with its rank improving to 67 at the end of February, against 76 last year.

Government to borrow Rs 2.88 lakh crore in April-September

2cc 26 - Current Affairs – March 27, 2018
The government will borrow Rs 2.88 lakh crore in the April-September period of next fiscal, which is 47.56 percent of the budgeted gross borrowing. In April-September of current fiscal, the gross borrowing was Rs 3.72 lakh crore. Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the government will come out with inflation-indexed bonds linked to CPI or retail inflation.
Also, government securities of 1-4 years duration will be introduced. He further said that the budgeted gross borrowing through G-Secs for fiscal 2018-19 was Rs 6.05 lakh crore which would be used to fund the fiscal deficit of 3.3 percent of GDP.

Microsoft opens ‘Garage’ in Hyderabad

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Microsoft on Monday announced the formal opening of the ‘Garage’ in Hyderabad. The Garage is a platform for Microsoft employees that supports and encourages a culture of experimentation, working together across organizations and technology to explore ideas and build prototypes, adding value to existing products, the company said.
The facility at the Microsoft India Development Centre was inaugurated by Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao. The 8,000 sq ft facility in the city is the second largest such unit globally for Microsoft after the one at its headquarters in Redmond, US. The Garage programme has been in India since 2014 but a dedicated space has been provided now, Microsoft Garage India Director Reena Dayal said.

Famous Madhavpur Mela begins in Gujarat

4cc 26 - Current Affairs – March 27, 2018
The famous Madhavpur Mela begins at Madhavpur Ghed of Porbandar district in Gujarat. In a unique initiative, the four-day-long Mela will see its first-ever cultural integration with the North-East of which it is said to share its roots. Briefing media in New Delhi, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said, Madhavpur in Gujarat has its historical identity as a place where Lord Krisha married Rukmini. He said the Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat shares its connection to the Mishmi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Mishmi Tribe traces its ancestry to the legendary King Bhishmak and through him to his daughter Rukmini. The Minister said the festival will unite the North Eastern States with Gujarat depicting Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat. Sharma said the festival will see a vibrant cultural trail of art, dance, music, poetry, story-telling and folk drama from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and the other North-Eastern States with the aim to integrate the rich cultures of the two regions.

Surat becomes the first district to have 100% solar powered health centers

5cc 26 - Current Affairs – March 27, 2018
Surat has become the first district in the country to have 100 percent solar powered Primary Health Centers (PHC). There are a total of 52 PHCs in the district and all of them are now powered by the solar system. This initiative will not only bring down the electricity bill by 40 percent but also help fight global warming.
“Other than PHCs, there are 572-gram panchayats in the Surat District, out of which 150 are solar powered gram panchayats and soon the other 422 panchayats will too be solar powered. 25 percent of the total expense of making the gram panchayat solar powered has been borne by the district panchayat,” District Development Officer K. Rajesh told.

India pips Germany ranks 4th largest auto market now

6cc 26 - Current Affairs – March 27, 2018
India has overtaken Germany to become the fourth largest automobile market in the world, latest global data show. Automobile sales, including passenger and commercial vehicles, in Asia’s third-largest economy, grew 9.5%, the fastest among major global markets, last year to more than 4 million units, outpacing Germany’s 3.8-million vehicle sales, which rose by a modest 2.8% in the same period.
India’s passenger vehicle demand is led by utility vehicles. Sales volumes for Maruti Suzuki, Vitara Brezza, and Hyundai Creta remain strong, new launches in the segment include Tata’s Nexon, Jeep Compass, VW’s Tiguan & Skoda’s Kodiaq. The government’s thrust on infrastructure, stricter tabs overloading ban, macroeconomic environment buoyancy expected to keep the momentum strong in 2018.

Rhino census begins in India’s Kaziranga National Park

7cc 26 - Current Affairs – March 27, 2018
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, in north-east Assam state, is home to two-thirds of the world’s population of the species. In the last survey in 2015, authorities counted 2,401 rhinos, up from the 2012 results. Authorities in India’s Kaziranga National Park of Assam are using elephants and sports vehicles to conduct a census of its one-horned rhinoceros population.
The census is carried out every three years and is due to last two days. In the last survey in 2015, authorities counted 2,401 rhinos, up from the 2012 results. “We expect [the] rhino population will be increased in Kaziranga,” Assam environment minister Pramila Rani Brahma said.

‘Smoking’ elephant from Karnataka’s Nagarahole National Park baffles experts worldwide

8cc 12 - Current Affairs – March 27, 2018
A video of a female elephant in Nagarahole National Park in Karnataka, wherein the jumbo is seen seemingly ‘smoking’ as it appears to be ingesting charcoal and blowing out the ashes, has taken the social media by storm and the behavior of the animal has baffled the animal experts worldwide. The video was shot by a member of Wildlife Conservation Society(WCS), India Program an NGO, in April 2016 and released recently.
In a statement issued on Monday, WCS, India Programme, based in Bengaluru, described the development as the first-ever video of “smoking wild elephant” captured in Karnataka forests as it supposedly ingests charcoal and blows out ashes. Dr Varun R Goswami, elephant biologist and senior scientist with WCS India Programme, believes that, most probably, the elephant was trying to ingest wood charcoal, as she appeared to be picking up something from the burnt forest floor, blowing away the ash that came along with it in her trunk, and consuming the rest.

Indian Travel Congress 2018 to be held in Srinagar

9cc 3 - Current Affairs – March 27, 2018
Persian poet Amir Khusro described Kashmir as the heaven on earth, which none can deny. One of the most scenic tourist spots in North India, Srinagar attracts nature lovers from across the globe. An epitome of beauty and sublime nature, Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir and is situated in the heart of the Kashmir Valley. In order to explore the tourism potential of this scenic city, the 64th Convention & Exhibition of TAAI, popularly known as India Travel Congres will be held from March 27 to 30, 2018.
The convention is organized in association with the Ministry of Tourism, J&K. TAAI takes its convention to Srinagar, after 30 years. The convention’s key focus is on tourism. A major tourist attraction, Dachigam National Park, 22-km from Srinagar, is best known as the home of the Hangul, or Kashmir Stag. The park harbors the last viable population of the endangered Hangul or Kashmir Stag. Himalayan black bear, long-tailed marmots can also be spotted in the park.

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