March 2016 Current General Knowledge : OLD IS GOLD

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ABBREVIATION:  UJALA—Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (scheme).
AWARDS: Veteran Bollywood actor Manoj Kumar has been given the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2015—the highest honour in Indian cinema given annually by the government for lifetime contribution to the industry. Manoj Kumar is popularly known as ‘Bharat Kumar’ for playing patriotic roles in films, including Upkaar, Purab Aur Pashchim, Shaheed, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan and Kranti.  The award consists of a golden lotus, a cash prize of ₹10 lakh and a shawl.
AWARDS: Hanan al-Hroub, a Palestinian primary school teacher, has won the $1-million Global Teacher Prize. She said she will use the money to create scholarships aimed at encouraging students to become teachers.
AWARDS:  The 63rd National Film Awards—Amitabh Bachchan got the best actor award for the Shoojit Sircar-directed Piku and Kangana Ranaut got the best actress award for Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Sanjay Leela Bhansali won the best director award for Bajirao Mastani, while S.S. Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali bagged the best picture award.  Dum Laga Ke Haisha was named Best Hindi film. Gujarat was named the Most Film-Friendly State. This was the first time that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting bestowed this award in order to promote film tourism in States. Bajrangi Bhaijaan was named Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Tanvi Azmi was named Best Supporting Actress while Kalki Koechlin won the Best Jury Award for Margarita, with a Straw. Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Director goes to Neeraj Ghaywan for Masaan.  Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration: Nanak Shah Fakir. For complete list CLICK HERE.
CYBER SPACE: Andhra Pradesh has launched India’s first State-wide broadband project called AP FiberNet. Aiming to provide cheap broadband connectivity, the project will offer 15 Mbps internet to households at ₹149 per month and 100 Mbps internet to offices at ₹999 per month.
DAYS & YEARS: World Birth Defects Day is observed on March 3 every year. In 2015, a network of 12 leading global health organizations had announced the first annual World Birth Defects Day to raise awareness about the occurrence of birth defects, develop and implement primary prevention programs, and expand referral and care services for all persons with birth defects.
DAYS & YEARS: As per the data released by the Inter Parliamentary Union, an international organisation of Parliaments, on 8 March 2016—World Women’s Day—India stands at the 103rd place out of 140 countries in the representation of women in its Parliament, with a 12% representation against a global average of 22.4%. The African nation of Rwanda leads the rankings with a 63.8% representation of women in its Parliament. The United Nations first began celebrating the day on 8 March in 1975, and each year has given focus to women’s status around the globe. The 2016 theme—Planet 50-50 by 2030—fits in with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
DAYS & YEARS:  Pi Day was observed on March 14, 2016, which coincided with Mathematical constant Pi’s value. The month, day and year were Pi’s value to four decimal places rounded up to the nearest decimal place (3.1416), which happens once in a century. Pi denotes the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle in Mathematics.
DAYS & YEARS:  UN World Happiness Day is observed on March 20.  The General Assembly of the United Nations, in its resolution of 12 July 2012, had proclaimed the International Day of Happiness recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world, and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.
DAYS & YEARS:  The ninth World Sleep Day was observed on 18 March 2016, to celebrate healthy sleep and draw attention towards its related issues including medicine, education and social aspects. Celebrated annually on Friday of the second full week of March, it was introduced in 2008 by the World Association of Sleep Medicine.
DAYS & YEARS: World Sparrow Day is celebrated on 20 March, to use it as a platform to underscore the need to conserve sparrows, as well as the urban biodiversity. The sparrow, especially the common house sparrow, is one of the most ubiquitous birds on earth and is also one of the oldest companions of human beings. For the past few years, this bird has been on the decline, both in the urban and rural habitats—an indicator of the continuous degradation the environment around us is facing.
DAYS & YEARS:  World Water Day (March 22) dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. The theme of year 2016 is “water and jobs”—focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods, and even transform societies and economies.
DAYS & YEARS:  The fourth International Day of Forests was marked by the United Nations on 21 March 2016, to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees. “Forests and water” was announced as the 2016 theme.
DAYS & YEARS: World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on March 24 every year in order to create public awareness about the disease and the need for regular screening and prevention. The theme for 2016 World TB Day was “Unite to end TB”.
DAYS & YEARS: World Meteorological Day is held annually on 23 March. The year 2016 theme was “Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the Future”.
DEFENCE:  With the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) allowing women to join its supervisory combat roles, women can now be inducted as officers in combat roles in all five Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
DEFENCE: In March 2016, Indian Air Force (IAF) displayed its capabilities in an exercise named ‘Iron Fist’, which was held in Jaisalmer’s Pokhran range.
ENVIRONMENT:  Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve has been added to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserve. Located in the Western Ghats, the site was established in 2001. It includes peaks reaching 1,868 metre above sea level and is home to 2,254 species of higher plants. Of the 18 biosphere reserves in India, nine are included in UNESCO’s network. Spain has the largest number of registered reserves.
EXPEDITION:  A team of 14 pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has set a new national record for completing a 10,000-km-long paramotor adventure expedition. The Skyriders team of the 14 Air Warriors flew in powered paragliders during the Pradakshina expedition, wherein they circumnavigated India along the periphery. They began the journey on 1 February 2016 and completed it on 26 March 2016.
PLACES:  Memorial of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, the principal architect of the Indian Constitution and a leader who championed for the rights of Dalits, is located at 26, Alipur Road, Delhi—his last home. Close to Delhi University, the house belonged to the rajah of Sirohi (Rajasthan) and was later purchased by an industrialist who demolished the building to make a new bungalow. It was acquired by the government in 2003 and declared a national property.
PROJECTS: The Setu Bharatam project aims to make all national highways free from railway level crossing by 2019. Under the project, 208 rail-over bridges and rail-under bridges will be built at the cost of ₹20,800 crore, and 1,500 decade-old bridges will be reconstructed and revamped at cost of ₹30,000 crore.
PROJECTS:  Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has commissioned its first 700-MW, indigenously developed supercritical thermal unit at Bellary Thermal Power Project in Karnataka.
PROJECTS: The Union government has approved $1.5 billion (approximately ₹9,000 crore) World Bank support for the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) in rural areas. Under the project, ₹8850 crore is to provide incentives to the State, and ₹150 crore is for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is aimed at improving cleanliness and eliminating open defecation.
PROJECT:  India’s first indigenously built composites sonar dome, a ship’s underwater eyes and ears, has been designed and produced by a DRDO lab in Pune and manufactured by Goa-based Kineco. The sonar dome is fitted over the sonar array so that its electronics and sensors are not exposed to surrounding hostile environment.
SPACE RESEARCH:  India’s workhorse satellite launch vehicle PSLV-C32 successfully launched the sixth navigation satellite IRNSS-1F. The satellite carries two types of payloads—navigation payload and ranging payload. The navigation payload will transmit navigation service signals to users while the other consists of a C-band transponder that facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. The IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) has come to be known as the country’s own GPS. Its nerve centre, the ISRO Navigation Centre, is at Byalalu on the outskirts of Bengaluru and is part of the 21 ground locations.
SPACE RESEARCH:  European and Russian space agencies have successfully launched ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to find evidence of alien life that exists or may have existed on Mars. The spacecraft, which is expected to complete the 500-million km journey to Mars in seven months, also includes a Mars lander named Schiaparelli.
SPACE RESEARCH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel remotely launched Asia’s biggest telescope, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), built with Belgian assistance. Located at Devasthal near Nainital in Uttarakhand, it has a 3.6-metre-wide primary mirror. The telescope will be used to study structures and magnetic field of stars.
MISCELLANEOUS: Air India operated the world’s longest all-women crew flight, from Delhi to San Francisco, on 7 March 2016. The flight returned on 8 March to commemorate the International Women’s Day. Notably, Air India was the first carrier to operate an all-women crew flight in 1985.
MISCELLANEOUS:  A 108-feet tall idol of Rishabhdeva, the first Teerthankar of Jains, has entered the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest Jain statue. The statue is located atop Mangi-Tungi mountain in Baglan tehsil of Maharashtra and is carved out of a single rock. Till now, the 57-feet idol of Lord Bahubali in Shravanabelagola was considered the world’s tallest Jain statue.
MISCELLANEOUS: The Dibrugarh-Kanyakumari Vivek Express covers the longest railway route in India, connecting the north-eastern State of Assam to Kanyakumari, the southern-most city in the country.  It is now the eighth longest train route in the world. Covering a distance of 4,286 km, it goes through seven States – Assam, Nagaland, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
MISCELLANEOUS:  According to the World Happiness Report 2016 published by the United Nations, India has ranked 118th out of 156 nations in a global list of happiest nations. Denmark topped the list as the happiest country in the world.
MISCELLANEOUS:  According to a survey conducted by the Indian Railways, Surat railway station has been named the cleanest railway station in India in the A1 category. Beas was named the cleanest in A category. Other top-10 A1 stations are:  Rajkot (2), Bilaspur Junction (3), Solapur (4), Mumbai Central (5), Chandigarh (6), Bhubaneswar (7), Vadodara (8), Madurai (9) and New Jalpaiguri (10).
MISCELLANEOUS: Hardcore Henry is the world’s first movie to be shot almost entirely on GoPro cameras. It is shot from a first-person point of view of the film’s titular character Henry.
MISCELLANEOUS:  The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendation to make 112 the number for all emergency services such as police, ambulances, and the fire brigade in India has been accepted by the Telecom Commission. An SMS facility will also be available on this number.
MISCELLANEOUS:  The world’s first cyborg Olympics will be held in October 2016 in Switzerland. Named Cybathlon, it aims to bring together technology developers and people with disabilities and make available robotic tools to a broad public.

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