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    Important Current Affairs of 9th March

    INTERNATIONAL:

    Punjab Cabinet decision bring smiles on faces of teachers and nurses

    • Punjab government is in a fix over the job status of 2,200 master-cadre contractual school teachers who have not been paid salary since November last year when their three-year contract had expired.

    • They were supposed to get regular job at the expiry of the contract, but that hasn’t happened to date.

    • Finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal gave a royal ignore to the teachers, who were demanding a regular job as per the conditions notified during their appointment in November 2014.

    IRDAI, NHA form working group to curb fraud in Ayushman Bharat scheme

    • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the National Health Authority (NHA) have formed a working group on the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY).

    • In six months, it will submit a report on how to detect and deter fraud through a common repository and capacity-building.

    West Bengal Chief minister unveiled Yuvashree Arpan Scheme

    • Under Yuvashree Arpan, 50,000 youths will receive financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each for setting up an enterprise.

    • The Yuvashree I scheme is implemented by the state labour department.

    • Launched in 2013, the state provides unemployment allowance of Rs 1,500 per month to 1, 00,000 unemployed youth.

    • The state government's Khadya Sathi project was awarded the Skoch platinum award for providing service to the people under the governance category for bringing in socio-economic change.

    Government doubled income tax exemption limit for gratuity to Rs 20 Lakh

    • The government has doubled the income tax exemption limit for gratuity to Rs 20 lakh from the existing Rs 10 lakh.

    • Gratuity law applies to all employees who work in an organization where there are 10 or more employees in a year.

    • It will be implemented from March 29, 2018.

    • This will increase the burden of paperwork for those who retired on March 31, 2018.

    Kylie Jenner named youngest self-made billionaire of all time by Forbes magazine

    • Jenner, 21, made it onto the annual Forbes list of billionaires after debuting her Kylie Cosmetics online in 2015 with $29 lip kits containing matching lipstick and lip liner.

    • According to Forbes list, she was both the world's youngest billionaire and also the youngest self-made billionaire ever.

    • The richest person in the world remained Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, whose net worth increased to $131 billion from $112 billion in 2018, according to Forbes.

    CCEA approved new rules to provide greater coal availability

    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved new rules that will provide greater coal availability to stressed thermal power projects, based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers constituted to look into the issue. One of the reasons for the stress was the non-availability of coal and that thermal projects without a medium to long-term power purchase agreements would not get coal supply.

    Uttarakhand CM Rawat lays foundation stone for Doon-Mussoorie ropeway project

    • Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the Dehradun-Mussoorie ropeway project which is considered to be a tourist novelty.

    • The Rs 300-crore ropeway project is expected to be completed in three years, the Chief Minister said at a function here.

    • The ropeway will shorten the one-hour zigzag drive to just 15 minutes from Purkul village the base camp at Dehradun to Mussoorie.

    NGT ordered Volkswagen to deposit Rs.500 crore with CPCB

    • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered Volkswagen India to deposit a sum of Rs.500 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within two months for using cheat devices in its diesel vehicles.

    • A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel enhanced the compensation amount ofRs.171 crore, which was recommended by an NGT-appointed committee, as a means of creating deterrence.

    • In November last year, the green panel had directed Volkswagen to deposit a sum of Rs.100 crore as interim compensation. Coming down heavily on the company for not complying with the order, the NGT, in January, had directed Volkswagen to deposit the sum within one day.

    BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

    United Bank, HDFC Life sign bancassurance deal

    • United Bank of India, one of India’s premier Nationalized Banks signed a Bancassurance deal with HDFC Life Insurance Company. United Bank has a strong presence in rural and semi-urban areas with over 2,000 branches and offices while HDFC Life is India’s largest non-bank promoted private life insurer.

    • Through this partnership, United Bank of India’s customers will be able to take advantage of HDFC Life’s expertise in Life Insurance products, distribution and customer service.

    • The partnership promises to improve the overall business of both organizations.

    • For the Bank’s customers, the choice of Life Insurance products will be a valuable addition.

    • It will increase customer satisfaction and eventually lead to customer delight.

    POLICY:

    Cabinet approved for new hydroelectric policy

    • The Union Cabinet approved a new hydroelectric policy aimed at boosting the sector, including according large hydro projects the status of renewable energy projects.

    • According to the new policy, large hydro projects will also be designated as renewable energy projects. So far, only smaller projects of less than 25 MW in capacity were categorized as renewable energy. With the removal of this distinction, large hydro projects will be included as a separate category under the non-solar renewable purchase obligation policy.

    • Under this policy, power purchasers will have to source a portion of electricity from large hydro projects. The new policy will increase the debt repayment period for hydro projects to 18 years from the current 12 years with the provision to introduce an escalating tariff of 2%.

    SPORTS:

    Cabinet approved for the Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior

    • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for setting up of a Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. The Centre for Disability Sports, Gwalior will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 170.99 crore, spread over a period of 5 years. The Centre of Disability Sports would be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

    • The centre would create an improved sports infrastructure to ensure effective participation of persons with disabilities in sports activities and also enable them to compete at national and international levels. It would aid in developing a sense of belonging in Divyangjan to facilitate their integration in society. A governing body consisting of not exceeding 12 members would be set up for overall superintendence and supervision of the Centre with representation for experts from National Level Sports Federations apart from experts in para games.

    Tamil Nadu's 16-year-old, P Iniyan, becomes India's 61st chess Grandmaster

    • Iniyan Panneerselvam defeated Ukraine's 37-year-old Grandmaster Sergey Fedorchuk in Noisiel Open chess tournament in France to become India's 61st Grandmaster.

    • Viswanathan Anand is India’s first Chess Grandmaster and he achieved the norm way back in 1987. He is also a five-time World Chess champion.

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