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TNPSC Current Affairs and GK Today - March 04-07, 2017

Indian Navy’s oldest flagship aircraft carrier INS VIRAT as ‘Grand Old Lady’ Decommissioned 

Indian Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier, INS Viraat was decommissioned on March 6, 2017 at a solemn ceremony in Mumbai after nearly 30 years of service for Indian Navy. The ship which is famously known as the ‘Grand Old Lady’, was with the British Royal Navy since 1959 before the Indian government bought it for Rs 6.5 crore in 1987. The ship has a full load displacement of 28,700 tonnes, length of 226.5 metres and width of 48.78 metres. It manned 150 officers and 1,500 sailors. At present, INS Vikramaditya is the only serving aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy.The second warship named Vikrant is under construction at Cochin Shipyard Ltd and will commence trials by end-2018 or early 2019.

India’s Tallest National Flag (360 feet) Hoisted at Attari-Wagah

India’s tallest Tricolor hoisted at Attari border in Punjab India’s tallest national flag measuring 360 feet was hoisted at Attari-Wagah joint checkpost in Punjab. It broke earlier record of national flag hoisted in Ranchi which is 293 feet high. The flag at Attari-Wagah is 120 feet in length, 80 feet in breadth. It is hosted on a pole which is 360 feet high, having concrete base is 30 feet in length and another 30 feet in breadth. The foundation of the flag can withstand high velocity winds up to 180 km an hour. It is all-weather flag based on motorized mechanism and will be lowered only in case of wear and tear. The flag will be an attraction for the tourists who visit the Attari border to watch the Beating the Retreat ceremony.

13th Economic Co-operation Organisation (ECO) Summit held in Islamabad, Pakistan

The 13th edition of Economic Co-operation Organisation (ECO) summit was held in Islamabad, Pakistan on March 1, 2017. The purpose of the summit is to increase cooperation in areas such as trade, energy, tourism, economic growth and productivity. Ambassador Halil Ibrahim Akca from Turkey is the current Secretary General of ECO. The ECO was formed in 1985 by Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. It now also includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Union Government Approved Strategic Sale of State-owned SAIL’s 03 Special Steel Plants

Union Government approves strategic sale of state-owned SAIL’s 3 special steel plants The Union Government has approved strategic sale of state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited’s (SAIL) three special steel plants. These are Alloy Steels Plant located at Durgapur (West Bengal), Salem Steel Plant (Tamil Nadu) and Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (Bhadravati, Karnataka). Government is expecting to raise 15,000 crore rupees from strategic disinvestment in 2017-18.

The “Destination North East-2017” festival has started in Chandigarh

The ‘Destination North East-2017’ festival has started in Chandigarh from March 6, 2017 to showcase North East as a potential destination for investment. The main theme of this festival is to highlight the use of appropriate technologies in all sectors of development for North East Region (NER). 

Thiruvananthapuram Topped the list of Indian cities Rankings in ASICS 2016

Thiruvananthapuram has topped the list of Indian cities in the urban governance ranking of the 4th edition of Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS)-2016. The survey conducted by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, which evaluated 21 cities across 18 states. Pune stood at 2nd position followed by Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad. The ASICS highlighted inadequacies in urban governance that could affect public service delivery and quality of life. Janaagraha recommends changes in planning laws to address the issues challenging the efficient planning of the cities.

West Bengal government gave the Official Language status to Tribal Language “Kurukh”

West Bengal government has granted official language status to endangered tribal language “Kurukh” of the Dravidian family. The language is spoken by Oraon and Kisan tribes. Apart from this, the state government has granted official status to Rajbanshi-Kamtapuri language spoken by the Koch Rajbanshi community.

Union Cabinet Approves MoU between India and UAE in the field of providing Energy Efficiency Services

Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi (6.3.2017) has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Productivity Council, an autonomous body under the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, and Al Etihad Energy Services UAE, to provide various services in the field of energy management and conservation.

Union Cabinet Approves MoU between India and UN for Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). 

Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). The proposal seeks to provide technical support to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj in strengthening capacities of governance institutions including Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRIs) to better leverage opportunities created for gender equality through legislation, policies and programmes.

Union Cabinet Approves MoU on Renewable Energy between India and Portugal

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Renewable Energy between India and Portugal. The MoU was signed on 6th January, 2017 in New Delhi.

Kerala’s playback singer Vaikom Vijayalakshmi created a new world record by playing Gayathri veena

Kerala’s playback singer Vaikom Vijayalakshmi created a new world record on March 5, 2017 by playing the maximum number of songs in the shortest time on Gayathri veena during a programme in Kochi. She played a total of 69 songs including various classical and filmy songs on the Gayathri veena continuously for over five hours and became the first person to achieve the feat. Vijayalakshmi beat her own earlier record of 51 songs but still she went on till the 69th song. Besides singing for the Malayalam movies, Vijayalakshmi has also sung in Tamil and Telugu films.

United States Sam Querrey 2017 Mexican Open in the Men’s Single Title

Sam Querrey (United States) beat Rafael Nadal (Spain) to clinch the Mexican Open in men’s single category. The 24nd edition -2017 Mexicano Telcel tennis tournament was played on outdoor hard courts. It was 17th edition for the women and part of the 2017 ATP World Tour and the 2017 WTA Tour held in Acapulco, Mexico. The tournament took place featuring five of the world’s Top 10 players, Sam Querrey is the last man standing at it.

Bhagoria Festival Celebrated in Jhabua District Madhya Pradesh 

Bhagoria Festival, also known as Bhagoria Haat Festival, celebrated by the tribal people of the Indian state Madhya Pradesh began on March 6, 2017 in Jhabua district. The festival which has been organized at 34 places in the state is celebrated in the month of March before the Holi Festival by the local tribes called Bhils and Bhilalas. The week-long festival is organised at different Bhagoria haats (local markets) in the form of Svayamvara or Marriage Ceremony located in Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Khargone and Barwani districts in western Madhya Pradesh.