1. Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Abul Gheit named Secretary General of the Arab League
1. Egyptian diplomat and former Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit was named as Secretary General of the Arab League on 10 March 2016. The 22-member organization voted unanimously in favor of Aboul Gheit.
2. This appointment was announced by Bahraini Foreign Minister Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa at the end of 22-nation ministerial meeting in Cairo.
3. 73-year-old Aboul Gheit, a former ambassador to the United Nations, will succeed Nabil El-Araby. Gheit served as Egypt's foreign minister during the final seven years of Hosni Mubarak's rule, leaving his post in 2011, following the mass protests that toppled the Mubarak.
4. Gheit’s name was proposed for the post by Cairo after the incumbent, Nabil al-Arabi, another Egyptian, declined a second five-year term as Secretary General.
2. Tezpur University and JNU won the annual Visitor’s Awards for Central Universities
1. Tezpur University on 10 March 2016 won the annual Visitor’s Award for the Best University. Rakesh Bhatnagar and the Molecular Parasitology Group of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have also won the Visitor’s Awards for Research and Innovation respectively.
2. President Pranab Mukherjee will present Visitor’s Awards for 2016 to the winners at a function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 14 March 2016, as part of the Festival of Innovations.
The Visitor’s Award for Innovation will be given to Professor Rakesh Bhatnagar of Jawaharlal Nehru University for development of a genetically engineered vaccine and a therapeutic antibody against anthrax.
3. The Visitor’s Award for Research will be presented to the Molecular Parasitology Group of Jawaharlal Nehru University of pioneering work in the area of molecular parasitology, especially anti-malaria, leishmaniasis and amoebiasis.
3. Lok Sabha passed Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016
1. The Lok Sabha on 11 March 2016 passed the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016.
2. The bill seeks to provide for targeted delivery of subsidies and services to individuals residing in India by assigning them unique identity numbers, called Aadhaar numbers.Since it was introduced as a Money Bill, it requires only approval of the President to become an Act of the Parliament.
3. Features of the Aadhaar Bill, 2016
• Eligibility: Every resident shall be entitled to obtain an Aadhaar number. A resident is a person who has resided in India for 182 days, in the one year preceding the date of application for enrolment for Aadhaar.
• Information to be submitted: To obtain an Aadhaar number, an individual has to submit his (a) biometric (photograph, finger print, iris scan) and (b) demographic (name, date of birth, address) information. The Unique Identification Authority (UID) may specify other biometric and demographic information to be collected by regulations.
• Enrolment: At the time of enrolment, the individual will be informed of the manner in which the information will be used, the nature of recipients with whom the information will be shared and the right to access this information.
After verification of information provided by a person, an Aadhaar number will be issued to him.
4. Plastic degrading bacteria Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 isolated
1. Japanese researchers have successfully isolated a bacterium species Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 capable of breaking down plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyester. Their results were published in the journal Science.
2. Ideonella sakaiensis relies on PET film as a primary source of carbon for growth. It is capable of completely degrading a thin film of PET in a short span of six weeks at 30°C. The bacterium species uses two enzymes in sequence to break down the highly biodegradable-resistant polymer PET.
5. Project Mausam aims to explore Multi-Faceted Indian Ocean World
1. Project Mausam aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean world for collating archaeological and historical research and not to counter China’s Silk Route strategy. It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
2. Project Mausam was launched in June 2014 in the 38th Session of World Heritage Committee (WHC) meeting which was held at Doha, Qatar. It is the initiative of Union Ministry of Culture which is to be implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the nodal agency.
6. Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan appointed as Chairman of 21st Law Commission of India
1. The Union Government has appointed former Supreme Court (SC) judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan (66) as Chairman of the 21st Law Commission of India (LCI).
2. Currently he is Chairman of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal. He was judge of the SC from May 2009 to July 2014. He also had served as Chief Justice of Orissa high court from July 2008 to May 2009. Apart from him, Union Government has appointed former judge of the Gujarat high court Justice Ravi R Tripathi as member of 21st LCI.
7. Rest of India wins 2015-16 Irani Cup Cricket Title
1. Rest of India has won the Irani Cup Cricket Title 2015-16 by defeating Mumabi in the final match of the cup by four wickets.
2. In the final match played at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, Rest of India overhauled the record victory target of 480 by making 482 for 6 on the fifth and final day. This successful chase was also the best-ever run-chase in the Irani Cup history. It has bettered Rest of India’s previous 424, chasing target set by Delhi at the Ferozshah Kotla in 1982-83.