The government on 12 March 2018 introduced the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 in the Lok Sabha seeking to tighten the noose around individuals who are wanted by local courts for offences under various Acts

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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is set to peer into reservoirs of interstellar water to understand the origin and evolution of key building blocks for habitable planets. A molecular cloud is an interstellar cloud of dust, gas, and a variety of molecules ranging from molecular hydrogen (H2) to complex, carbon-containing organics.

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As many as 62 member nations of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 11 March 2018 committed that they will increase share of solar power in their energy mix to deal with climate change and provide energy to underprivileged in the society. The Delhi Solar Agenda was launched in new Delhi at founding summit of ISA. Under the ISA framework as many as 32 countries have ratified the agreement, while 30 have joined the group of nations, which aim to promote solar energy as means of development particularly in developing nations.

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Nearly a decade after threats to coastal security was magnified during the 26/11 terror attacks, the country's first national academy to train police forces in effectively safeguarding the Indian shoreline will start functioning from the next month along the Gujarat seafront. The Union home ministry recently sanctioned the launch of the National Academy of Coastal Policing (NACP) from a campus of Gujarat's Fisheries Research Centre located in coastal Okha in the newly created Devbhoomi Dwarka district.

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To bring back focus on growing constraints on movement of professionals across the globe, India has pressed the World Trade Organisation’s Services Council to organise a seminar on the issue. Several developing countries such as Turkey, Brazil, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina and Peru supported India’s proposal. However, developed country members including the US, Canada, Norway and the European Union said they need to consider the proposed programme in detail, but were open for constructive engagement.

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A signed vintage photo of Mahatma Gandhi walking alongside Madan Mohan Malaviya was sold at a US auction for $41,806 – more than four times the expected amount. Signed in fountain pen, “M K Gandhi,” the rare photo was taken after the second session of India’s Round Table Conference in London in September 1931. Reverse of photo bears two Associated Press of Great Britain copyright stamps, as well as collector’s ink notations identifying Malaviya and the date. The photo dates to a period in which Gandhi, suffering from pain in his right thumb, opted to write with his left hand, a temporary inconvenience that lasted from August 8 to December 19, 1931. The photo was initially expected to fetch $10,000.

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Nearly 24 per cent of the solid waste generated in the country was being processed as on January 31. Out of over 1.43 lakh tonnes per day (tpd) of solid waste generated across the country, only about 33,800 tpd (or 23.73 per cent) was being processed as on the last day of January, the housing and urban affairs ministry data showed.
Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), the government aims to attain 100 per cent scientific management of solid waste, and also make the country Open-Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2, 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. At 22,570 tpd, Maharashtra produced the highest quantity of solid waste as on January 31, out of which 7,900 tpd or 35 per cent was processed.

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In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech at London's Wembley Stadium proposed the idea of an inter-governmental organisation comprising of 121 countries, which lie either completely or partly between the two Tropics, with an aim to promote solar energy. Heads of 23 nations and 10 ministerial representatives gathered in New Delhi for alliance's first summit, which is scheduled to start from 11 March 2018. The summit will be co-hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind and his French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron.

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India and France on 2018 inked key pacts in the strategic areas of security, nuclear energy as well as protection of classified information after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. Agreements in the field of education, environment, urban development and railways were also signed in the presence of the two leaders. Addressing a joint media event with Macron, Modi said the two countries have robust cooperation in the fields of defence and security.

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The existing system of filing GST returns has been extended by another three months, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on 10 March 2018 after the 26th GST council meeting held in Delhi. The council could not decide on a simplified GST return form and entrusted the Group of Ministers (GoM) under Sushil Modi to chalk out a single-page form which is simpler and evasion-proof. The council felt that there should be single return every month, it should be simple, not prone to evasion and there was a need to discuss how to simplify it further.

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The Centre has shortlisted four cities -- Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Mysore -- for holding the main function of International Yoga Day this year. These four names will now be sent to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) which will select one city and then finalise the venue of the main function of IDY to be held on June 21. The main function of International Yoga Day (IYD) will be held outside Delhi.

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Upholding the right to die with dignity, the Supreme Court on 9 March 2018 gave legal sanction to passive euthanasia and execution of a living will of persons suffering from chronic terminal diseases and likely to go into a permanent vegetative state. In a unanimous judgment by a constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, the Supreme Court accorded primacy to the constitutional values of liberty, dignity, autonomy and privacy as it laid down procedural guidelines governing the advance directive of a living will. The guidelines will operate till a legislation is put in place.

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In a first for both countries, the director generals of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) declared an 8.3 km stretch of the Indo-Bangladesh border as a 'crime-free zone' on 9 March 2018. Both border guarding forces with the help of the civil administrations of the two countries, NGOs and the local populance will help in ensuring that no crime takes place along the stretch that covers the Gunarmath and Kalyani Border Out Posts (BOPs) in India and the Puthkhali and Daulatpur BOPs across the border.

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There is no precedent of any state in India having a separate flag, barring Jammu and Kashmir which enjoys a special status, but the Constitution does not provide for or against it, a government official said. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had unveiled the proposed official flag of the state and said his government would send the proposal for Centre’s approval.

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The first of two mid-size commercial missions to the Moon for NASA could come as early as 2022, said the US space agency which is focused on increasing science activities near and on the Earth’s natural satellite and ultimately returning humans to its surface. As part of US President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposals, NASA is planning a new Moon-focused exploration campaign that starts with a series of progressive commercial robotic missions. The Moon will play an important role in expanding human presence deeper into the solar system. Coupled with the capabilities enabled by the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, these missions will usher in a new era of exploration of the Moon and its resources, and provide a training ground for human missions to Mars.

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As many as two dozen countries have agreed to send their political representatives to participate in the informal Ministerial meeting of select World Trade Organisation (WTO) countries in New Delhi this month. While many of the political representatives are not Trade Ministers, Commerce Ministry officials said it would not hamper the talks as the participants were all dealing with WTO affairs. The members that have confirmed participation include China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, Uruguay, Uganda, the EU, Canada, the US and Turkey, said JS Deepak, India’s permanent representative to the WTO.

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Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi, a pioneer of low-cost housing design, won the prestigious Pritzker Prize, considered architecture’s Nobel equivalent. The 90-year-old Doshi—one of the last living architects to have apprenticed with the Franco-Swiss trailblazer Le Corbusier—distinguished his work by committing to sustainable architecture and inexpensive housing, bringing modernist design to an India rooted in traditionalism. He is the 45th Pritzker laureate and the first from India.

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On the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME) launched a portal for women entrepreneurs of India: www.udyamsakhi.org. The portal was unveiled by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of MSME, Giriraj Singh, in a program at the Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi. The Minister said that India has around 8 million women who have started and are running their own businesses and the Ministry of MSME believes that the women in India can play a vital role in the growth of the Indian economy.

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NITI Aayog launched the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018. The initiative is aimed at building an ecosystem for women across India to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations, scale-up innovative initiatives and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies for their businesses. CEO, NITI Aayog,Amitabh Kant, launched the WEP platform at NITI Aayog premises in the capital in presence of UN Resident Coordinator in IndiaYuri Afanasiev, Kailash Kher, industry leaders and supporting partners.

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On the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March 2018, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched the National Nutrition Mission, and expansion of the coverage of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme, at Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. The Prime Minister interacted with District Magistrates of aspirational districts. He also interacted with beneficiary mothers and girl children of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme.

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