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Current Affairs Today – August 17 2016

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UP Cabinet approves a Metro Rail project for Allahabad
i. Akhilesh Yadav led cabinet meeting of Uttar Pradesh government approved a Metro Rail project for Allahabad on August 17.
ii. This metro trainWork is already underway on the Metro Rail in Lucknow and the Detailed Project Report for Varanasi and Kanpur have already been approved Akhilesh Yadav.
iii. Uttar Pradesh was the lone state in which Metro Rail projects were underway in four major cities, and Ghaziabad as well as Noida were already linked to the Delhi Metro.
iv. Allahabad is a city in theIndianstate of Uttar Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Allahabad District, the most populous district in the state. As of 2011, Allahabad is the seventh most populous city in the state, fifteenth in the Northern India and thirty-sixth in India, with an estimated population of 1.11 million in the city and 1.21 million in its metropolitan region.
v. In 2011 it was ranked the world’s 130th fastest-growing city. Allahabad, in 2013, was ranked the third most livable city in the state and twenty-ninth in the country.
About UP :
♦ Capital – Lucknow,
♦ CM – Akhilesh Yadav,
♦  Governor – Ram Naik

Jharkhand ratifies GST bill following the states of Assam and Bihar
i.The Jharkhand Assembly passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and became  the third state to ratify the bill after Assam and Bihar on august 17.
ii. The Bill was ratified unanimously during the one-day extension of the Monsoon Session convened to discuss and ratify it.
iii. It is noted that the GST Bill, described as India’s biggest tax reform, needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before the President can notify the GST Council which will decide the tax rate.
iv. It is noted that Assam was the first state to ratify the bill and Bihar became the first non-NDA state to ratify the Constitution Amendment Bill on GST after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar counted virtues of the tax reform.
v. Apart from this, Telangana government has also decided to call an Assembly session this month to pass the GST bill.
About Jharkhand :
♦ Capital – Ranchi,
♦ CM – Raghubar Das
♦  Governor – Droupadi Murmu

India, B’desh to jointly make films on 1971 war, Sheikh Mujibur
i. India and Bangladesh jointly set to produce a documentary on the 1971 War of Independence of Bangladesh to mark the 100th birth anniversary of its Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020.
ii. Indian archival material available with Films Division, DD and other media units of will be used for the purpose the movie direction, the movie also comes as commemoration of the 50th year of Bangladesh Independence in 2021.
iii. This comes after Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu met Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi. After discussions both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of information and broadcasting.
AIR- Radio Service (Akashvani Maitree):
♦ It is decided after the meeting that All India Radio would be launch service for Bangladesh and Bengali diaspora on the name of Akashvani Maitree on August 23.
♦ This radio service will be launched by President Pranab Mukheejee to showcase culture and heritage of Bangladesh.

Gujarat HC partly quashes ordinance abolishing all NRI quota in medical courses
i. The Quota bound Gujarat comes with another news that its High Court partly quashed a government ordinance abolishing all NRI quota in colleges offering medical courses offered in the state.
ii. The High court bench comprising Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi said it is unconstitutional move by the government to cancel quota for genuine NRIs seeking admission in colleges, However the bench upholding its decision to abolish quota for dependent  NRIs.
iii. Earlier this year Gujarat had issued an ordinance, called the Gujarat Professional Medical Educational Colleges or Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fees) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 which abolishes the entire quota for NRIs in medical colleges.
♦ Capital: Gandhi Nagar
♦ Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
♦ Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani

Government allowed Online Authentication of the New mobile connections using Aadhar Card
Aadhar Card billi. The central government has allowed online authentication using Aadhar for new mobile connections. The guidelines for Aadhaar Electronic-Know Your Customer e-KYC, were issued to make the online process of application and authentication faster and simpler for subscribers.
ii. Customers can now walk in with their Aadhar card to get new mobile connections with instant activation, with the government clearing electronic-Know Your Customer (e-KYC) rules for using the biometric identification.
iii. The government issued e-KYC guidelines to make the online process of application and authentication faster and simpler for subscribers.
iv. In e-KYC, a customer through her Aadhaar number and biometrics will online authorize UIDAI to provide demographic details such as name, address, date of birth and gender, along with the digitally-signed photograph, to the mobile operator.
v. Customers will soon be able to walk in with their Aadhaar card in any of the mobile stores and walk out connected within minutes.
vi. E-KYC provides near instant verification of customers identity and their address. Also, substantial cost reduction can be achieved through elimination of paper-based verification. For the consumer, instant activation means a better experience and security of confidential personal information.
vii. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea are ready to issue new mobile connections using Aadhaar e – KYC

India offered an aid of $1 million to Zimbabwe to cope up with the El Nino Effects
i. In response to an appeal by the African nation for help to deal with severe drought caused by El Nino phenomenon, India has provided an aid of USD one million to Zimbabwe.
ii. Zimbabwe is facing worst drought in two decades induced by the El Nino phenomenon, a warming of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean that devastated its agricultural sector.
iii. The Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe R Masakui had handed over the grant to Dr Misheck Sibanda, Chief Secretary to President Robert Mugabe.
iv. It is noted that Zimbabwe was happy with the sound relationship that exists between Zimbabwe
and India in critical sectors of the economy such as SME, ICT, energy, education and pharmaceuticals.
v. It is noted that an estimated 2.4 million people are now facing food crisis in Zimbabwe.
About Zimbabwe :
♦ Capital – Harare
♦ Currency – US dollar, Rand
♦ President – Robert Mugabe.


World’s longest, highest glass bridge to open in China
i. The 430-metre long and six metre wide Glass Bridge set to be the world’s longest and highest glass bridge will open to visitors in Hunan province of China. Besides it set 10 world records spanning its design and construction.
ii. The bridge concreted with 99 panes of three-layer transparent glasses, hangs between two steep cliffs 300 metres altitude is maintained from the ground.
iii. The bridge constructed last December that will pave the way for 8,000 visitors to cross the bridge which is the permissible limit of the bridge.World's longest, highest glass bridge to open in China
iv. Earlier the bridge was tested with 2 tons load carrying truck this year before it is set to open for show.
♦ Capital: Beijing
♦ Currency: Renminbi
♦ President: Xi Jinping

UK approves for the establishment of the Second Phase of the World’s biggest offshore Wind Farm
i. United Kingdom Ministers approved the second phase of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. Hornsea Project Two will include 300 turbines spread across 300 square miles, 55 miles off the cost of England in the North Sea. With an estimated energy capacity of 1.8 gigawatts, the project could provide enough power for 1.6 million homes.
ii. The Hornsea Project Two farm should have up to 300 turbines and a capacity of up to 1.8 gigawatts. It could produce enough energy to power 1.6 million homes. It is an extension of the 1.2GW Hornsea Project One which was in itself being trumpeted as the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.
iii. The development would represent a large boost to the UK’s wind energy industry, with Dong Energy pledging to invest £6bn in the UK and create more than 2,500 jobs. However, the company has yet to make a final investment decision on Hornsea Project Two and a spokesman said it could be two years before it is signed off.
iv. It is noted that this decision was stalled for two months as regulators reviewed concerns about turbine noise intruding on porpoise habitats.
v. The second phase is also expected to cost $7.8 billion if built to full capacity. A project of this size will help in our efforts to continue reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind and shows our commitment to investing in the U.K.


Federal Bank joins hand with MMTC for the distribution of IGC – Indian Gold Coins
i. Federal Bank ties up with MMTC for distribution of Indian Gold Coins (IGC), the first-Ever National Gold offering by the Government, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
ii. Kerala based private sector lender, Federal Bank has tied up with MMTC for distribution of Indian Gold Coins (IGC), the first-Ever national gold offering by the government.
iii. It is noted that Federal Bank has become the first private sector bank to start distributing gold coins made by government-controlled Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India.
iv. These coins were launched by the government of India last year. The first-ever national gold offering by the Government was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi In November 2015.
v. This is a government promoted coin and the only BIS hallmarked coin in India. The coin carries advance counterfeit features and tamper proof packaging.
About Federal Bank :
♦ HQ – Kochi,
♦ CEO – Shyam Srinivasan
♦ Establishment – 1945


Reliance Brands ties up with Scotch & Soda
i. Reliance Brands, a part of Reliance Industries Group declared a long-term master franchise agreement with Amsterdam-based fashion brand Scotch & Soda.
ii. The company stated the newly formed partnership will leverage Reliance Brands’ in-depth expertise of the premium retail market in India coupled with Scotch & Soda’s global expansion drive.
iii. Through this partnership, Reliance Brands will offer Scotch & Soda products across menswear, women wear and children wear categories through all channels of sale.
iv. It is noted that Scotch & Soda has over 160 stores, and can be found in over 8000 doors including the best global department-stores and independents worldwide and in the brand’s web store.


Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma to be honored with lifetime achievement award
i. Sursagar Society of Dilli Gharana has announced that Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma will be conferred upon with the annual Sangeet Martand Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award 2016.
ii. Shivkumar Sharma is the master instrumentalist of the Santoor, after some years as a vocalist. He is credited with making the Santoor a popular Classical Instrument.
iii. He composed the background music for one of the scenes in Shantaram’s Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje in 1956. He recorded his first solo album in 1960.
iv. In 1967, he teamed up with flautist Hariprasad Chaurasiaand Brij Bhushan Kabra to produceconcept albumCall of the Valley(1967) which turned out to be one of the greatest hits in Indian Classical Music.
v. Shivkumar is the recipient of national and international awards, including an honorary citizenship of the city of Baltimore, USA, in 1985, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardin 1986 the Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.

America Tamil Sangam awarded A.R. Rahman with Tamil Ratna Award
A.R.Rahmani. Oscar-winning music maestro A.R. Rahman has been honoured by the America Tamil Sangam with its Tamil Ratna Award.
ii. Allah-Rakha Rahman is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician and philanthropist. A. R. Rahman’s works are noted for integratingEastern classical music with electronic music,world music and traditional orchestral arrangements.
iii. Among his awards are two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South. Rahman’s body of work for film and stage has given him the nickname of “the Mozart of Madras”, and Tamil commentators and fans call him Isai Puyal.
iv. In 2009,Timeincluded Rahman on its list of the world’s most influential people. The UK-based world-music magazine Songlines named him one of “Tomorrow’s World Music Icons” in August 2011.
v. Previous recipients of its Ratna award include Tamil movie director Bharathi Raja; Bharatha Natyam exponent Kamala Lakshman; Srinivasa Varadhan, the winner of the Abel Prize for mathematics.
vi. It is noted that Rahman hosted a concert at the United Nations General Assembly chamber to honour M.S. Subbulakhsmi.


Four new governors appointed for the state of Punjab, Assam, Manipur and UT Andaman Islands
President Pranab Mukherjee appointed four new governors on 17th August . The appointment includes
i. State of Manipur – Najma Heptulla
ii. State of Punjab – V.P. Singh Badnore, and
iii. State of Assam – Banwarilal Purohit.
iv. Lieutenant- Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands –Jagdish Mukhi.


Over 10000-Year-Old Camping Site Discovered in Ladakh
i. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered an ancient camping site dating 8500 BC in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, indicating humans were camping in the area 10,500 years ago.
ii. The site was found at an altitude of 14,000 feet on the way from Saser La to Ladakh in Nubra valley the ASI team had a section work over there.
iii. Where it is found showing consecutive layers consist of burning residue from the site, which was sent to Beta Lab, Florida for radiocarbon which is 8500 BC years old.
iv. Recently charcoal samples from lower and upper deposits were collected and sent for dating have provided radiocarbon dates of 8500 BC and 7300 BC respectively.
v. The study making clear that repeated human activity at this camping site for about eight hundred years.


ICC Rankings: India become No.1 Test team
i. After Indian team has victorious campaign against West Indies which is underway, Virat Kohli led side  have become the number-one ranked side on the ICC MRF Tyres Test Team Rankings, while Pakistan have moved into the second position.
ii. The Ranking gain for India comes after Australian team was swiped by the Sri Lanka in its soil in the three match series.
iii. The Second ranked Pakistan, this progress as they clichéd test series against England also this is the second time in less than a year that they have peaked to number-two position.
The Team Rankings:

Team              RankPoints
New Zealand599


Prominent Punjabi writer and Jnanpith awardee Gurdial Singh passed away
i.Prominent Punjabi writer and Jnanpith awardee Gurdial Singh passed away in Bathinda on August 16, when he was under treatment in a private hospital in Bathinda for the last about 10 days.
ii. Gurdial Singh Rahi was a Punjabi language writer and novelist from Punjab, India. He started his literary career in 1957 with a short-story, Bhaganwale.
iii. He became known as a novelist when he published the novel Marhi Da Deevain 1964. The novel was later adapted into Punjabi films Marhi Da Deeva in 1989 which was directed by Surinder Singh. His novel Anhe Ghore Da Daan was also made into a film of same name in 2011 by director Gurvinder Singh. Singh was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1998 and Jnanpith Award in 1999.
Singh’s other notable works include novels like 
2.Addh Chanani Raat(1972),
3.Anhe Ghore Da Daan(1976) and

Joao Havelange, Former President of FIFA, Dies at Age 100
i. Former FIFA President João Havelange has passed away at Samartino Hospital, Rio de Janeiro. He was 100 years old. He was 7th head of international football’s governing body FIFA from 1974 to 1998.
Joao Havelangeii. The Brazil hailed man had served as the FIFA head nearly two and half decades who was a predecessor of Sepp Blatter. His tenure as head is the second longest in FIFA’s history, behind only that of Jules Rimet.
iii. He headed the body when Brazil when they won first three World Cups also the World Cup’s expansion from 16 to 32 teams, with six competitions held under his tenure.
iv. Havelange also served as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1963 to 2011. Besides this man represented Brazil in swimming at the 1936 Olympics.