- Gangotri portals to open on April 18
- The portals of the Gangotri shrine will open to the public on April 18 (1.15 pm) on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. “Although the portals of the Yamunotri shrine will also open on April 18, the timing will be decided on Yamuna Jayanti on March 23
- On the day of the opening of the portals of both temples, the idols of goddesses Yamunotri and Gangotri will be brought in palanquins by villagers, where they are worshipped during their winter sojourn.
- The idol of Goddess Gangotri is shifted to a temple in nearby Mukhwa village where she is worshipped during winter months. The idol of Goddess Yamunotri is placed at a shrine in Kharsali village during the period.
- Both the shrines remain closed for six months during the winter
- Philippines to withdraw from International Criminal Court
- The Philippines says it will withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), a month after the judicial body started an inquiry into President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs.
- The country had given notice that it would withdraw from the treaty that established the court.
- Duterte has been accused of encouraging extrajudicial killings and other rights abuses in his bid to rid the country of drugs since his election in 2016.
- Xi Jinping re-elected as China’s president
- China’s parliament, on March 17, unanimously re-elected Xi Jinping as the country’s president.
- On March 11, parliament voted to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits, meaning Xi can stay indefinitely.
- Former top graft-buster Wang Qishan, a key ally of President Xi Jinping, was also chosen as vice president.
- Putin Elected for fourth term as Russian President
- Vladimir Putin will lead Russia for another six years, after securing an expected victory in presidential election.
- With almost all the ballots counted, he had received more than 76% of the vote, the central election commission said.
- The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.
· Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim Resigns Over A Financial Scandal
- Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakimresigned after being embroiled in a scandal over the use of a credit card to buy luxury personal items.
- She will leave office on 23rd of this month.
- It has been alleged that Gurib-Fakim made personal purchases, buying jewelry and clothing using a credit card provided by London-based Planet Earth Institute.
- Africa’s only female head of the state, Gurib-Fakim is an internationally renowned scientist and biologist.
- Nitin Gadkari inaugurates 5th ‘Nadi Mahotsava’ in Hoshangabad
- Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated the 5th ‘Nadi Mahotsava’ in Hoshangabad District of Madhya Pradesh.
- Addressing the gathering, the minister said that the pioneering event like ‘Nadi Mahotsava’ will not only revive rivers, but also improve the condition of people living on their banks.
- The ‘Nadi Mahotsava’ event was also addressed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.
- President of India to Inaugurate Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will inaugurate a Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) and present Gandhian Young Technological Innovation awards instituted by Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions [SRISTI] at Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 19, 2018.
- FINE, an initiative to recognise, respect, showcase, reward innovations and to foster a supportive ecosystem for innovators, is being organised by Rashtrapati Bhavan in association with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and the National Innovation Foundation-India from March 19 to 23, 2018.
- FINE will provide a platform for innovators for building linkages with potential stakeholders whose support can improve their prospects in coming years to develop their ideas into implementable projects for the larger social good.
- Anandiben Patel launches her biography named ‘Karma Yatri’ .
- Former Gujarat Chief minister Anandiben Patel has launched her biography “Karma Yatri”, written by Ameya Latkar in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
- Patel had replaced Modi as the Gujarat Chief Minister after the latter became the prime minister in May 2014.
- She stepped down as Gujarat Chief Minister in August 2016.
- She is presently serving as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh.
- Children’s Science Congress concludes
- Emphasising the need to provide more opportunities to children, Vice Chancellor of Manipur University, Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey has said that young students are the future of the country.
- Delivering the keynote address at the Valedictory session of the Children’s Science Congress at the 105th Indian Science Congress in Imphal, Shri Pandey said that with more opportunities, children will contribute more towards a better India.
- Manduadih to be renamed Banaras railway station
- The holy city of Varanasi is soon likely to get a railway station named “Banaras”.
- The Railway Ministry is considering renaming the Manduadih railway station as Banaras railway station.
- Manduadih is among one of the four railway stations in the city besides Varanasi Junction, popularly known as Varanasi Cantt Railway Station, Varanasi City and Kashi.
- Manduadih is a place in Varanasi situated about four kilometers from Varanasi Cant Station.
- Varanasi, also called Banaras and Kashi, was chosen in 2014 by Narendra Modi to contest the Lok Sabha polls from city of Uttar Pradesh.
- The name Varanasi is said to be derived from combination of ‘Varuna’ and ‘Asi’ — the names of rivers.
- Kashi is the ancient name of Varanasi.
· Lok Sabha Passes Gratuity Amendment Bill
- Lok Sabha passed Gratuity Amendment bill.
- The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 aims at increasing the upper ceiling of the gratuity from the present 10 lakh rupees to 20 lakh rupees for employees in the private sector and in Public Sector Undertakings at par with Central Government employees.
- The House also passed the Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which seeks to grant a party the right to seek damages from the other side in case of a breach of a business contract and to reduce the discretion of courts in such matters.
· Nepal Cricket Team Gains ODI Status
- After Afghanistan’s rapid rise to prominence in limited-overs cricket, Nepal took a massive step forward after achieving One-day International status, after their victory over Papua New Guinea.
- Nepal defeated the Pacific nation by six wickets in a playoff game in the ICC World Cup Qualifier being held in Zimbabwe, achieving the distinction for the first time.
· Sri Lanka Pays Tribute To J Dalmiya With Book ‘A Tribute To Jagu’
- Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) paid tribute to former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya with a book titled, ‘A Tribute to Jagu’.
- The cricket association felicitated Dalmiya posthumously as the greatest non-Sri Lankan contributor to Sri Lankan cricket.
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