Current Affairs of 16 March 2016

1. Career Guidance Counselling Centres launched in Delhi to improve employment opportunities for women
1. Career Guidance Counselling Centres were launched in Delhi-NCR. The centres were set-up to provide dedicated career services to young women seeking employment in the region.
2. The career counselling centres are set up as part of a collaboration between United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the IKEA Foundation, Xyntéo, and the India Development Foundation.
3. The aim of these centres is to impact the lives of women in India through training, entrepreneurial skill development and employment.
4. The study had disclosed that almost 80 percent of young women in Delhi did not have access to accurate and timely information on educational and job opportunities.
5. The Centres will be managed by the Self Employed Womens Association- Bharat, the All-India Federation of SEWA within the Pankh Program of the SEWA Yuva Shakti Kendras in Delhi.

2. My Biosphere, My Future campaign launched in Lima
1.My Biosphere, My Future campaign of UNESCO was launched  at the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Lima,Peru. UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves aspires for sustainable development through different projects.
2. The biodiversity hotspot, Oxapampa- Ashaninka -Yanesha biosphere reserve in the Amazon is being disturbed by the human activities like deforestation and overfishing of endangering local species of tropical fish.
3. In order to address the threats to their ancestral home (Biosphere), Ashaninka people have developed projects to support sustainable consumption and resource management
4. The campaign will help them to address the problems of their biosphere and improve their income and quality of life through these projects.

3. India’s first education focused accelerator programme Edugild started at MIT, Pune
1. Pune-based Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) in the second week of March 2016 set up India's first education technology accelerator called Edugild.
2.The accelerator will be the first one in the country to focus only on the education sector.
3. The programme, in its first year, received applications from 300 entrepreneurs focused on the education sector from all over the country. Of these, four companies were selected by Edugild for its accelerator programme.

4. Priyanka Kakodkar and Raksha Kumar won Chameli Devi Jain Award
1. Priyanka Kakodkar and Raksha Kumar on 15 March 2016 were named as joint winners of the 2015-16 Chameli Devi Jain Award. They were awarded for their work that clubs social concern and compassion with pioneering reportage and analytical skills.
2. Kakodkar's reports, which targeted on the acute farming crisis in Maharashtra, were published on the front page of The Times of India in the year 2015. More than 50 of her reports were published in a year by the paper.
3. Independent journalist Raksha Kumar won the honour as her reports focused on the perilous features of the Union Government's proposal to amend the Land Acquisition Act, the Forest Rights Act and the Coal Act.
4. The award will be presented by former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on 17 March 2016 at the India International Centre, Delhi.

5. Gandhi: An Illustrated Biography authored by Pramod Kapoor 
1.Gandhi: An Illustrated Biography authored by Pramod Kapoor was in news in the second week of March 2016. It is a biography of Mahatma Gandhi who played a key role in Indian independence movement.
2. The book is an intimate study into the evolution of a mischievous, fun-loving boy, into the Mahatma. It also seeks to decode Gandhi for modern generation.
3. The chronological text and accompanying photographs in the book bring out Gandhi’s unique complexities – his failures and successes, the intimate relations he shared with his contemporaries, and the difficult one he shared with his own family.
4. The books covers all the important aspects of his life – schooling, early marriage in Kathiawar, his college days in London, employment in South Africa, train ride in Pietermaritzburg, etc.

6. ICICI Bank launched NFC-based mobile payment solution Touch & Pay
1. ICICI Bank on 15 March 2016 announced a new mobile payment solution Touch & Pay. This solution is based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and will enable the bank’s customers to make secure contactless payments at retail stores using smartphones.
Features of Touch & Pay
1The feature will be incorporated into the existing Pockets application of the bank.
2. Customers can make payment by tapping smart phone at a NFC enabled merchant terminal and make the payment through account linked ICICI Bank Debit/Credit Card.
3 To ensure security of the card details, for every payment done at a merchant store using this service, a one-use unique token is created by the Bank's server and will be sent via encryption to the merchant,

7. Reliance Industries, Tata Motors among top 10 sustainable firms: Sustainable Plus Survey
1.The Sustainable Plus survey on 14 March 2016 revealed that RIL, Vedanta, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Wipro are among the top 10 companies, which have received the tag of India's most sustainable firms. These companies were followed by ITC, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Hindustan 2. Zinc and ACC.
The survey conducted by CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development also revealed that the banking sector benefited from the high scores of HDFC and Axis banks. On the other hand, scores of Tech Mahindra and Wipro gave a boost to performance of software and services sector.

8. World Consumer Rights Day 2016 observed with theme Antibiotics off the Menu
1.The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2016 was observed on 15 March 2016. The day was celebrated by the Consumers International (CI) across the world with the theme Antibiotics off the Menu.
2. The theme was taken up to ensure that fast food companies make a global commitment to stop the sale of meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine.

9. 7th Governing Board meeting of Indo-German Science and Technology Centre held in New Delhi
1. 7th meeting of the Governing Board of the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) was held  in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by the Union Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
2. During the meeting, Dr. Vardhan highlighted the achievements and progress of IGSTC in accelerating the bilateral Science & Technology collaboration.
Main achievements under IGSTC
1. India is investing approximately 14 million euro for the construction of an India focussed beam line and access to the synchrotron facility at PETRA-III in DESY at Hamburg, which will be ready for inauguration later in 2016.
2. India is also an equity share holder with investment of 36 million euro in the construction of the international Facility for Antiproton-Ion Research (FAIR) at Darmstadt.
3. Innovative projects on affordable biomedical devices, lab-on-chip for water pathogen detection and nano-materials for adsorption of uremic toxins for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients have been initiated

10. World Kidney Day 2016 observed with theme Kidney Disease & Children. Act Early to Prevent It!
1. World Kidney Day (WKD) was observed globally  with the theme Kidney Disease & Children. Act Early to Prevent It!
2. The theme was taken up to inform parents, caregivers, young patients, policy makers and the general public of the importance of identifying and treating childhood kidney diseases.
3. The World Kidney Day is annually observed on the second Thursday in March. It is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).
4.The day is a global health awareness campaign that focuses on the importance of the kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.
World Kidney Day started in 2006.

11. India-based software engineer Abdulqadir Rashik won First Prize in UN ‪#‎LinksSDGs‬ Data Visualization Challenge
1. India-based software engineer Abdulqadir Rashik won the Unite Ideas #LinksSDGs Data Visualization Challenge.
2. Rashik, entrepreneur and founder of India-based Miavy Systems, was awarded the Challenge’s top prize for his submission Links to Sustainable Cities, an interactive visualization that identifies and maps the links between Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and the other 16 Goals.
3. The project was a collaboration between the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Division for Sustainable Development and the Office of Information and Communications Technology.
4. India Inc became first in world to formally adopt UN's sustainable goals
The global data science competition aimed to engage the public in sharing ideas about how to visualize the inter-linkages between the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 global goals and 169 targets that form the basis of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

12. UN suspended Maria Sharapova as goodwill ambassador after doping allegations
1. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) suspended Maria Sharapova as a goodwill ambassador.The five-time grand slam winner who became a goodwill ambassador in February 2007 was suspended after she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at 2016 Australian Open.
2. The statement said that the UNDP remains grateful to Maria Sharapova for her support of our work, especially around the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster recovery.

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