Today's top news

   

1. *Asia's largest tulip garden, situated on the banks of the Dal Lake, Jammu and Kashmir is all set to be thrown open on Thursday (March 25) for the visitors.* 

2. *Power and new and renewable energy minister, Raj Kumar Singh, launched “Gram Ujala scheme” on March 24, 2021 in Varanasi* . Gram Ujala scheme offers world’s cheapest LED bulbs across rural areas at rupees 10. This scheme is financed on the basis of carbon credits. It will claim carbon credits under “United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)”.

3. *The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday (March 24) appealed to the citizens to ‘honour their Annadata’ and make the Bharat Bandh on March 26 a 'complete success'.* 

4. *Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment aims to launch ‘Poshan Abhiyan’ for the Elderly to provide them ‘nutrition support’.*

5. BJP lined up several promises, including a legislation to protect traditions of the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and a law against "love jihad", while assuring employment for at least one person from each family and free laptops to high school students, in its manifesto for the assembly polls unveiled in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

6. *Former Union minister M J Akbar has moved the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court order acquitting journalist Priya Ramani in the criminal defamation case filed against her over the allegations of sexual harassment* .

7. *Justice Ramana to be next Chief Justice of India; to take over on April 24* : CJI Bobde recommends Justice NV Ramana as his successor

8. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has initiated cabinet approved National Biopharma Mission with the objective of strengthening emerging biotechnology enterprise across India.

9. *In another blow to Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, his close associate Riyazuddin Kazi has agreed to turn approver for the NIA in the Antilia bomb scare case.* 

10. *The CBI has booked the DHFL and its directors for allegedly creating over 2.60 lakh fictitious home-loan accounts, some of which were used to claim interest subsidies in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)* . Promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, both booked along with the company, allegedly opened a fictitious branch of the DHFL in Bandra and fake accounts worth Rs 14,046 crore of home-loan borrowers, who had already repaid their loans.

11. *The district sessions court in Faridabad on Wednesday (March 24) pronounced the accused, Tausif and Rehan, guilty in Nikita Tomar murder case.* The quantum of punishment will be decided on March 26. Tausif shot 20-year-old Tomar in broad daylight on October 26, 2020. The trial for this murder case began on December 1, 2020.

 12. *A Delhi court  issued summons to former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in the INX Media money-laundering case.*  Special Judge M K Nagpal has summoned the duo on April 7, taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against them.

13. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday opposed the Centre's scheme to make a direct online payment of the MSP to farmers' bank accounts, bypassing arhtiyas, for the crops to be procured by the government from the next Rabi season.

14. *Members from various political parties on Wednesday asked the government to reduce central taxes on petrol and diesel and give relief to the common man* .

15. *Bollywood actor Salman Khan is the latest actor to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The actor confirmed the news on Wednesday evening* 

16.  *Thirteen candidates scored perfect 100 in the March edition of the engineering entrance exam JEE-Mains,* results of which were announced on Wednesday, The exam was conducted from March 16 to 18 and a total of 6,19,368 candidates had registered for it.

17.  *The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has allowed retired Short Service Commission (SSC) officers of the Army to use military ranks as applicable* . The SSC officers, after completion of their mandated terms and conditions of service, were not authorised to use the military ranks so far.

18. *The Indian Air Force has a shortage of 405 pilots against the authorised strength, the government told Lok Sabha on Wednesday.* 
Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said the number of pilots in the Indian Air Force at present is 3,834 as against the sanctioned strength of 4,239.

*✈INTERNATIONAL NEWS*
  
1 *. India and Pakistan held the annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), where the two sides discussed the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydropower projects, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said.* 

2. *The annual Permanent Indus Commission meeting was recently held after a gap of over two years. Before the meeting, Pakistan had raised objections to the designs of Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydropower plants which are under construction in Jammu and Kashmir. In response, India has justified its stand* .

3. Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday ordered a detailed probe into popular messaging platform WhatsApp's updated privacy policy and terms of service after finding that the 'exploitative and exclusionary conduct' in the garb of the policy update prima facie violated competition norms.

4. *Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and will hold restricted and delegation-level talks with Sheikh Hasina during his visit to Bangladesh this week.* 

5. India and Bangladesh will sign several agreements and unveil new measures to boost people-to-people contacts during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit this week, foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said on Wednesday.

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