1. Union Cabinet approved Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana — Gramin
1. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the implementation of rural housing scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G). This will help achieve the goal of Housing for All by 2022.
2. The total expenditure that will be incurred on implementing the project in a span of 3 years from 2016-17 to 2018-19 stands at 81975 crore rupees.
3. Details of implementing the Scheme
• Providing financial assistance for construction of 1 crore pucca houses to all houseless and households living in dilapidated houses in rural areas from 2016-17 to 2018-19
• The scheme would be implemented in rural areas throughout India except Delhi and Chandigarh.
• The cost of houses would be shared between Centre and States in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and hilly states.
• Enhancing the unit assistance to 120000 rupees in plain areas and to 130000 rupees in hilly states/difficult areas /IAP districts
• Using Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011 data for identification of beneficiaries.
• Setting up of National Technical Support Agency at national level to provide technical support in achieving the target set under the project.
• The beneficiary is entitled to 90 days of unskilled labour from MGNREGA. This will be ensured through a server linkage between PMAY and MGNREGA.
2. Union Cabinet approved World Bank’s $1500 million support to Swachh Bharat Mission - Gramin
1. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the 1500 million US dollar project of World Bank to support Swachh Bharat Mission - Gramin (SBM-G).
2. The approval seeks to provide for the mechanism of incentivisation of States under the SBM-G through World Bank credit. The incentivisation of the States on the basis of their performance under the SBM-G was approved by the Union Cabinet on 24 September 2014.
3. It will accelerate efforts to achieve sustained outcomes in sanitation by 2019.The incentive framework will reorient efforts of States towards the SBM-G 'outcomes'. It will also put in place a robust and credible independent verification system for annual measurement of improvement in rural sanitation.
4. It will support the SBM-G programme in achievement of its objectives of attaining open defecation- free and clean environment.It will ensure a better quality of life for the rural population.
3. Australia’s Shane Watson announced retirement from international cricket
1. Australia’s Shane Watson announced that he will retire from international cricket at the end of the 2016 World Twenty20 Tournament.Watson retired from test cricket in September 2015 and since then he didn’t play any One Day Internationals also.
2. He also holds the record of highest ODI batting average of all Australian opening batsmen who have scored over 1000 runs.
4. Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff died
1. The Netherland's soccer legend Johan Cruyff died of lung cancer in Barcelona, Spain. He was 68.
Cruyff’s talent was such that he is comfortably placed alongside Pele, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer and Lionel Messi as the best footballers of all time.
5. Hollywood Comedian Garry Shandling died
1. Renowned Comedian, actor, writer and producer Garry Shandling was died on 24 March 2016 in Santa Monica. He was 66.
2. He was best known for the shows, It's Garry Shandling's Show and The Larry Sanders Show.
6. March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
1. Every year 25th March is being observed as International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
2. It honours and remembers those who suffered and died as a consequence of the transatlantic slave trade. It also aims at raising awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice Transatlantic slave trade which had taken place over the span 400 years is considered as the worst violation of human rights in history in which more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims.
7. Kerala’s popular Kadhaprasangam artistes and comedian V D Rajappan passes away
1. Kerala’s popular Kadhaprasangam (story telling) artiste and Malayalam film actor V D Rajappan passed away in Kottayam. He was 70.
2. He was best known for his comic roles and for his unique style of stand-up comedy. He was known for his unique style of presenting Kadhaprasangam in a satirical manner.
8. DIPP notifies 49% FDI under automatic route in Insurance and Pension sector
1. The Union Commerce and Industry Ministry has notified foreign direct investment (FDI) upto 49% in insurance and pension sector will be under automatic route. In this regard, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has issued official notification to liberalise its FDI policy in insurance and pension sector.
2. However, FDI above 49% will be subject to approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). Prior to this, only up to 26% FDI was permitted through the automatic approval route in insurance and pension sector. Union Government in 2015 had increased the FDI cap in insurance and pension sector to 49% from 26%, respectively. But it was subject to the condition that ownership and control remains with the Indian promoter at all times.