International Current Affairs
March 3rd week 2015 current affairs
Category : International Current Affairs
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1) Tata-funded automotive research center to come up in UK

  • Tata Group unveiled the foundation stone of a £150-million center, targeting pioneering automotive research, in central England on 17th March, as part of efforts to enable the UK plug its development skills gap. Funding for the National Automotive Innovation Center has come from Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors and the University of Warwick, on whose campus the centre will be built, as well as from the British Government.
  • Once built, it will provide 33,000-meter square space for 1,000 engineers, designers and academics. Facilities will include a design and simulation space, a laboratory focused on advanced propulsion systems, and a highly advanced drive-in car simulator. The center will also be used as part of Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors’ research into driver less cars.
2) Pakistan Hangs 12 Men in Largest Execution since Moratorium lifted
  • Pakistan hanged 12 male convicts on 17th March, the largest number of people executed on the same day since an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in December.
  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a de facto moratorium on capital punishment on Dec. 17, a day after Pakistani Taliban gunmen attacked a school and killed 132 students and nine teachers. The slaughter put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the Islamist insurgency. Twenty-seven people have been hanged since then, most of them militants. The moratorium on executions had been in place since a democratic government took power from a military ruler in 2008. There are more than 8,000 Pakistanis on death row.

3) Netanyahu`s Likud party storms to victory in Israel election

  • In a dramatic victory against all odds, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 18th March secured a stunning win in Israel`s closely-fought general election, as he appeared set to become the country`s longest-serving premier
  • Benjamin Netanyahu secured a third straight term. Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud party confounded the polls to win 30 of the 120 seats in Parliament against 24 for the centre-left Zionist Union.
4) Global conference on ‘Defending Dalit Rights’
  • The first global conference on Dalit rights is being conducted to increase awareness about injustices faced by nearly 260 million people across the globe including people in India due to caste-based discrimination.
  • The three-day conference on ‘Defending Dalit Rights’ entitled ‘Establishing Justice, Dignity, Equality and Humanity’ is being organized by the International Commission for Dalit Rights (ICDR) and Global Conference Organizing Committee (GCOC) from 19th March at Trinity Washington University.
  • At the conclusion of the conference, GCOC will announce its strategy and the Declaration of Dalit Rights during a human chain demonstration in front of the White House.
  • The demonstration will implore US President Barack Obama and Congress members to support Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s House Resolution that calls for Congress to condemn discrimination against Dalit people.
  • While caste-based discrimination is widely practiced in South Asian nations like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it can also be found in other parts of the world including Japan, Yemen, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia.

5) World will have only 60 pc of water it needs by 2030: UN

  • the world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, according to a U.N. report
  • Many underground water reserves are already running low, while rainfall patterns are predicted to become more erratic with climate change. As the world’s population grows to an expected 9 billion by 2050, more groundwater will be needed for farming, industry and personal consumption. 
  • The report predicts global water demand will increase by 55 percent by 2050, while reserves dwindle. If current usage trends don’t change, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030, it said. Currently, about 748 million people worldwide have poor access to clean drinking water, the report said.
6) China’s high priority to Russia
  • China will set high priority to implement its Silk Road projects this year, with Russia as its core partner. According to National People’s Congress (NPC), Foreign Minister Wang Yi China’s diplomacy in 2015 will focus on making all around progress in the “Belt and Road” initiatives. China is aiming twin initiatives, they are the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road 
  • It would also be nourished by Indian Ocean ports, which would be linked to the Eurasian land route by designated economic corridors. China-Russia strategic cooperation will focus on the development of Russia’s Far Eastern region, the Foreign Minister observed. 
  • China and Russia will continue to intensify their cooperation in the financial, as well as nuclear power sectors as well. Both countries will hold a series of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II with a view to reinforce the sentiment against war.
7) Pakistan test fired missile test
  • Pakistan on 9th March test-fired a ballistic missile that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to every part of India. According to Pakistani military leaders the Shaheen-III missile had a range of up 1,700 miles, which could enable it to reach deep into the Middle East, including Israel. The medium-range Shaheen-III is an updated version of the indigenously produced Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II
  • In recent years, India has moved toward the creation of a missile defense system and is upgrading its air force and submarine fleet. In 2012, India test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which it said has a range of more than 3,100 miles.
  • Shaheen-III has a range greater than that of any other Pakistani missile. The maximum range of the earlier versions of the Shaheen missile was of about 1,500 miles, which meant it could not reach parts of India’s eastern frontier.