Current Affairs in Short: 15 March 2018
India and Madagascar have signed an umbrella agreement in the field of defence. Under the agreement, both the countries will explore various ways of co-operation in the field of defence.
1. Haryana to make drunk driving causing death non-bailable offence
• The Haryana Government is planning to make drunk driving that leads to death a non-bailable offence in order to take a tougher stand against road accidents caused by inebriated drivers.
• Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the government was considering making drunk driving, resulting into the death of the victim, a non-bailable offence to keep a check on the increasing number of road accidents.
• He was replying to a calling attention motion during the ongoing budget session of the assembly here.
• In 2017, around 14,668 criminal cases were registered in the state against people indulging in illicit liquor trade.
• Further, around 2,247 criminal cases were registered against narcotic drug criminals during this period.
2. India, Madagascar sign umbrella agreement in defence sector
• India and Madagascar have signed an umbrella agreement in the field of defence.
• Under the agreement, both the countries will explore various ways of co-operation in the field of defence.
• An amended air service agreement was also signed to support efforts towards improving connectivity between the two countries.
• The two countries will have co-sharing agreement with Air Seychelles through Air India and Air Madagascar.
3. TTV Dhinakaran launches party Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam
• Sidelined AIADMK leader and MLA from R.K. Nagar constituency of Tamil Nadu, TTV Dhinakaran launched a new political party on March 15, 2018.
• The party has been named Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, after late J Jayalalithaa.
• Dhinakaran also unveiled party flag featuring bands of black, white and red with the image of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa embossed on it.
• Dhinakaran said that the party would contest in pressure cooker symbol in elections to cooperatives, local bodies, assembly and Parliament until he retrieved the two leaves symbol.
• 18 expelled MLAs along with Dhinakaran, were present at the launch of the new party in Madurai.
4. Haj Subsidy to be discontinue from Financial Year 2018-19
• The Union Government has decided to discontinue the Haj subsidy from the year 2018-19.
• The amount of Haj subsidy provided by the Government of India reflects in the budget of Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), which is the nodal Ministry responsible for making air travel arrangements for Haj pilgrims identified by the Haj Committee of India (HCoI).
• Budgetary provision of Rs 200 crore for the Haj subsidy has been made in the Budget Estimates for 2017-18.
• It has been decided to allocate bulk of the additional funding for educational empowerment of Minority communities.
5. ICC Test rankings: Kagiso Rabada top-ranked bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin gains two places
• The International Cricket Council (ICC) released the latest Test Player rankings on March 14, 2018
• South Africa's Kagiso Rabada regained his top spot among bowlers crossing the coveted 900-point mark in ratings.
• Rabada is the 23rd bowler to cross 900 points and only the fourth South African player to do so after Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn.
• Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin climbed up two steps to be placed 4th after Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc slipped in rankings following Australia's defeat.
• The other Indian bowler Ravindra Jadeja remains static at third place.
• In the batsmen's list, there was no change with Australian skipper Steve Smith remaining at the top while Indian captain Virat Kohli kept his second position.
• Another Indian batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara also maintained his sixth place in the rankings.
6. Nepal's Chief Justice removed
• Nepal's controversial Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli was removed by the Judicial Council on March 14, 2018 amid a raging dispute over his multiple birth certificates.
• Parajuli was sacked minutes before he was preparing to administer oath to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, a day after she was re-elected to the post.
• The Council removed him stated that as per the available certificates, he should have retired from the post on August 5, 2017.
• Parajuli completed 65 years on that day and as per Nepali law, civil servants should take retirement after reaching 65 years, the Council said.
7. Panel to probe TN forest fire set up
• The Tamil Nadu government on March 14, 2018 said that it has set up a committee to probe into the death of 11 trekkers caught up in a forest fire in Kurangani Hills in Theni district.
• The probe team will be headed by Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, Atulya Misra.
• The committee's terms of reference include a review of the procedure established in Forest Department for regulation/permission of trekking in Reserved Forest area; role and lapses, if any, on the part of trekking organisers; role and lapses on the part of forest officials, if any; and recommendations to avoid such incidents/tragedy in forest areas shall be given by the Enquiry Officer.
• The committee would have to complete the enquiry and send its report to the state government within two months time.
8. Book signed by Tagore auctioned for USD 700
• The hardcover copy of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's 'The King of the Dark Chamber' - the English translation of his famous Bengali play 'Raja' - has been sold for USD 700 at an auction in the United States.
• Signed on the introductory page in fountain pen by Tagore, the Bolpur edition of the book was published by the Macmillan Company in 1916.
• The play revolves around a mysterious, unseen, omniscient king, who is both benevolent and efficient.
• His reluctance towards being seen causes most of the drama in the story, rattling his beautiful wife and the kings of nearby kingdoms.
• Tagore became the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize (Literature) in 1913.He wrote successfully in all literary genres, but was first and foremost a poet, publishing more than 50 volumes of poetry.