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Current Affairs Today – August 22 2016

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Indian and Germany joins hand to deepen the collaboration in Skill Development
i. India and Germany signed an agreement that aims to foster conditions that will help create and improve workplace-based vocational training in India’s industrial clusters in order to deepen the collaboration on skill development.
ii. This provides a competitive edge to German industry and businesses and need to adapt elements of the German VET system to the Indian context to ensure that skill training in India is closely aligned with the requirements of industry.
iii. The agreement was signed between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and German International Cooperation (GIZ) and will initiate a new project focused on adapting elements of the German dual system in select industrial clusters in India.
iv. The aim of the programme is to involve private sector and entrepreneurs in defining the qualification that is required in creating practical training at the workplace.
v. This project will run for three years starting August 2016 with a budget of EUR 3,000,000 (22.6 crore) – made available by the German Government and aims to foster conditions which will help create and improve cooperative workplace-based vocational training in India’s industrial clusters.
vi. It is noted that It will be implemented in three selected clusters, which include the Automobile cluster in Maharashtra and Electronics cluster in Bangalore.
Germany :
♦ Capital: Berlin
♦ Currency: Euro

Child Sex Ratio drops to a whooping 800 of 1000 in Uttarakhand
i. A study conducted by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India has found that child sex ratio i.e number of girls per 1,000 boys is all set to fall drastically to a little over 800 by 2021 census.
ii. In India, the Child Sex Ratio is defined as the number of females per thousand males in the age group 0–6 years in a human population.
iii. Thus it is equal to 1000 x the reciprocal of the sex ratio in the same age group, i.e. under age seven. Obviously an imbalance in this age group will extend to older age groups in future years. Currently the ratio of males to females is generally significantly greater than 1, i.e. there are more boys than girls.
iv. According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 108.8 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana.
v. The sex ratio at birth (SRB) as per the Asian Centre for Human Right swas 861 in 2011-2012 and 867 during 2012-2013 respectively in Uttarakhand.
vi. If under-five mortality rate of 48 deaths per 1,000 births in India is taken into account in the context of Uttarakhand, the child sex ratio in the state would have reduced to 813 in 2011-2012 and 819 in 2012-2013.
vii. It is noted that Uttarakhand has the seventh lowest child sex ratio (CSR) in the age group of 0-6 years among 35 States/UTs of India as per the 2011 census with CSR of 890 girls per thousand boys.

OIC expresses concern over Kashmir violence   
i. The world’s largest bloc of Muslim countries Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have expressed concern over alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. The valley has seen month long clashes between Protesters and police.
ii. The IOC’s secretary-general Iyad Madani, said at a news conference in Islamabad that the situation in Kashmir was worsening and prevailing on the international community to act.
iii. The secretary General also went onto say that we should not be afraid of referendum adding that it was up to the Kashmiri people to decide their future.
iv.The valley wrapped up with violence since July after Police forces killed militant, OICBurhanWani during gunfight. Since then in J& K as many as 67 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in clashes.
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation:
♦ Inception: 1969.
♦ Members: 57 member’s bloc.
♦ Headquarters(Administrative centre): Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Myanmar extends support to China’s One Belt and One Road project
i. Myanmar announced its support for China’s ambitious One Belt and One Road (OBOR) connectivity initiative along the ancient Silk Road and this was announced in the joint statement released by both countries during official state visit of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to China.
ii. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as The Belt and Road,One Belt, One Road or the Belt and Road Initiative is a development strategy and framework, proposed by Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of Eurasia, which consists of two main components, the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and oceangoing “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR).
iii. The strategy underlines China’s push to take a bigger role in global affairs, and its need to export China’s production capacity in areas of overproduction such as steel manufacturing.
iv. It was unveiled in September and October 2013 in announcements revealing the SREB and MSR, respectively. It was also promoted byPremierLi Keqiang during the State visit in Asia and Europe.
v. Myanmar also Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor meant to industrialize a stretch spanning more than 2,000-km. BCIM corridor links Kunming in China with Mandalay in Myanmar and passes through Bangladesh and ends at Kolkata in India. Myanmar also asked for China’s support to realize peace and national reconciliation through political dialogue in case of militancy.
About Myammar,
♦ Capital – Naypyidaw,
♦ Currency – Kyat
♦ State Counselor – Aung San Suu Kyi

93 years old WWII veteran Ernie Andrus become the oldest person to run across America
i. A 93-year-old World War II Ernie Andrus veteran completed his coast-to-coast trek,becoming the oldest person in America to run across the country.
ii. After two years and 10 months, 93-year-old Ernie Andrus has made it across America. The World War II veteran dipped his toes in the Atlantic Ocean, there by ending a cross-country run that started in San Diego.
 Ernie Andrusiii. More than 200 island residents and visitors, equipped with encouraging signs, flags, and patriotic attire, cheered on Andrus as he reached his goal at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
iv. The World War II veteran isn’t just running to make history, he wants to honor it. He is raising money and awareness to bring the landing ship tank LST 325 vessel across the Atlantic. It’s the only one left that’s restored and fully operational.
v. Andrus was 93 and he was running to raise money to return a WWII-era ship in Indiana to Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing. He was a medic on a similar ship during the war.


Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to sign agreement with bankers for External Commercial Borrowing
i. Mumbai based container port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port has signed an agreement with State Bank of India and Development Bank of Singapore for External Commercial Borrowing to the tune of USD 400 Million under External Commercial Borrowings. It the first Major Port to finalize the terms of ECB.
ii. The Credit seeks at a very competitive interest rate to improve the infrastructure required for doubling its existing capacity to 9.85 Million TEUs annually which is for Door-to-Door tenor of 7.5 years.
iii. This ECB would substantially eliminate the requirement of hedging the forex risk and further reduce the cost of borrowing.
iv. The agreement with the SBI & DBS was signed after the Reserve bank of India granted approval to JNPT for raising USD400 Million with an end use of on-lending to Mumbai JNPT Port Road Company Limited (MJPRCL) for implementation of road project.

Cabinet liberalises FDI norms for NBFC sector
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has permitted foreign investment through automatic route in other financial services, that are comes under regulators like Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and State bank of India (SBI) and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) or government agencies.
ii. At present regulations on Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) stipulate that 100 per cent FDI through automatic route permitted for only 18 specified NBFC activities such as merchant banking, under writing, portfolio management services.
iii. The amendment in the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by the Person Resident outside India) regulations on NBFCs will allow inflow of FDI in “Other Financial Services” on automatic.
iv. The cabinet also eliminated minimum capitalisation norms as mandated under FDI policy as most of the regulators have already fixed minimum capitalisation norms which will induce FDI and spurt economic activities throughout India.
v. It also kept aside the need for prior center’snod for up to 74 per cent FDI brownfield investment in pharmaceuticals and eliminated the condition of access to ‘state-of-the-art technology’ for defence sector in the FDI.

Central Government to ban cash transactions over 3 lakhs to curb black money
i. In the next move to clamp down on black money in the economy, the government is set to ban cash transactions over Rs 3 lakh.
ii. The Rs 3 lakh-limit is aimed to ensure that transactions are made using credit or debit cards, cheques or drafts which can be easily tracked.
iii. The government has already initiated several steps, including banning cash advance of more than Rs 20,000 for property transactions.
iv. Despite the crackdown on use of unaccounted money, authorities continue to unearth several transactions involving purchase of jewellery or even cars in all-cash deals.
v. It is noted that The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money had recommended the move. The government, however, is yet to decide on the SIT’s other recommendation to bar cash holdings over Rs 15 lakh due to opposition from trade and industry.


BSNL, Microsoft India sign MoU for big businesses
i. State run PSU Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Tech giant Microsoft India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide telecom & IT solutions for big businesses to leverage the domain capability and strategic position in the Industry to garner more business.BSNL, Microsoft India sign MoU for big businesses
ii. The MoU will pave the way to meet the demand challenges in IT and cloud services, and audio, video needs of the BSNL’s enterprise customers including government organizations.
iii. A request for proposal put in place by the BSNL from companies that have expertise in this area and for strategic business alliances with world renowned companies which was won by Microsoft.
iv. Upon this tie up both the sides will jointly serve government to government, government to consumer, government to business, and business to business segments.

GAIL signs MoU with Bloom Energy for fuel cell power generation
i. India’s largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company GAIL Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with California-based Bloom Energy for developing natural gas-based fuel cell power generation.
ii.The MoU was inked between GAIL chairman and managing director B C Tripathi and Bloom Energy chief executive K R Sridhar.
iii. The Fuel cell power generation is a method comes with less pollution or negligible which can be put in places like even our Parliament and also in areas like Andaman and Nicobar, where people are hugely dependent on diesel for power generation.
iv. The fuel-cell converts fuel into electricity through an electro-chemical process of positively charged hydrogen ions with oxygen with minimal usage of water to generate the power.The cost range of Rs 13 per unit.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ CEO: Sh B. C. Tripathi


Indian Actor Kamal Haasan awarded with Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres
i. Actor Kamal Haasan has been chosen for the famous French honor of Chevalier Award. Kamal Haasan has been appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight in the National Order Arts and Letters) by the Minister of Culture and Communication, France.
ii. Kamal Haasan is an Indian film actor, screenwriter, director, producer,playback singer, choreographer, lyricist, philanthropist and dancer. His birth name is Parthasarathy.
iii. Haasan has won several Indian film awards including four National Film Awards and 19 Filmfare
Awards. With seven submissions,Kamal Haasan has starred in the highest number of films submitted by India for the Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film. Haasan’s production company,Rajkamal International, has produced several of his films.

IOA President N. Ramachandran was awarded with the Olympic Order
i. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President N. Ramachandran was awarded the Olympic Order for his outstanding services to the Olympic movement.
ii. Narayana Ramachandran is an Indian squash administrator who serves as current President of WSF (World Squash Federation). He was elected on 2008, succeeding Jahangir Khan.
iii. He is also, since the 9th of February 2014, the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
iv. He is the brother of the former Chairman of BCCI and ICC, N Srinivasan.

Steve Jobs to Be Inducted Into the International Photography Hall of Fame
Steve Jobsi. Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs have been inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame, in recognition of Jobs’ invaluable contributions to the world of photography.
ii. Steve Jobs will be one of eight inductees to enter into the International Photography’s Hall of Fame, alongside photographers Annie Leibovitz, Ernst Haas and Sebastião Salgado, Photoshop’s John Knoll and Thomas Knoll, filmmaker Ken Burns, and singer-songwriter Graham Nash.
iii. Steve Jobs was an American inventor and entrepreneur who cofounded Apple and led it to become the world’s most innovative company. Steve helped create products that revolutionized the creative world and became essential tools for designers, filmmakers, music producers and photographers.
iv. Passionate about photography both in his work and personal life, his most profound contribution to the artistic community and the world is the iPhone which, in less than a decade, has changed both the art of photography and the industry around it.
v. Apple’s iPhone is, of course, set to become even more of a photographer’s dream device with the “iPhone 7”. This handset, as we’ve said before, is set to include a dual-lens rear-facing camera, allowing for a plethora of interesting possibilities.


Ashok Chawla to take over as YES Bank non-executive chairman
i. Former head of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) Ashok Chawla has been named as the non-executive part-time chairman of Mumbai based YES Bank.
ii. Presently he is the Chairman of NSE and chairs the governing council of The Energy and Research Institute (TERI). He worked as the chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) post retirement.
iii. The lender has given approval of the appointment for a period of three years from the Reserve Bank of India.
iv. Chawla is set to take over from October 30 from the incumbent Chairperson, Radha Singh as he demits office upon the term ends
YES Bank
♦ Founded: 2004
♦ CEO: Rana Kapoor
♦ Headquarters: Maharashtra
♦ Slogan: Experience our expertise


New Kind of laser created from jellyfish proteins
i. For the first time scientists have developed laser from fluorescent jellyfish proteins that were grown in bacteria. These lasers have the potential to be far more efficient and compact than conventional ones and could open up research avenues in quantum physics and optical computing, researchers said. The breakthrough represents a major advance in so-called polariton lasers
ii. Barrel-shaped fluorescent proteins engineered from jellyfish DNA. Each protein’s cylindrical shell encloses a component that emits light, and keeps those molecules from getting too cozy and interfering with one another.
iii. To build their laser, Gather and his colleagues sandwiched a thin film of the fluorescent protein between two mirrors. Activating the light-emitting molecules with a pulse of blue light from an external laser successfully coaxed laser light from the proteins.
iv. The researchers filled optical microcavities with this protein before subjecting them to “optical pumping,” where nanosecond flashes of light are used to bring the system up to the required energy to create laser light.


16th-century shipwrecks found with treasures worth millions
i. US Scientists have discovered three 16th ­century Spanish shipwrecks off the coast which contains looted French arte facts. These findings are the only one of its kind worth millions of dollars.
ii. The finding stake account of three ornate bronze cannons which measures two that are three meters long and one that is two metres long ­ and a marble monument, inscribed with the coat of arms of the king of France.
iii. These were been identified from the manifest of a 1562 expedition to Florida by the French navigator Jean Ribault.
iv. On the other hand cannons and the monument, were found with 19 iron cannons, 12 anchors, a stone grinding wheel, and scattered ballast and ammunition. 


Vikash Anand wins premier title in National Racing
i. Chennai hailed Vikash Anand won a double to clinch the title in the MRF Formula 1600 category and a ticket for the Mazda Road to Indy shootout as the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship concluded in Chennai.
ii. This f1600 category was led by triple-header, Vikashwho clocked 16mins, Vikash Anand wins premier title in National Racing54.111secs and Karthik Tharani were locked on 138 points clocking 16:58.677.
The MRF F1600 (Race 2, 10 laps)results:
1.Vikash Anand (Chennai)
2.Raghul Rangasamy (Chennai)
3.Karthik Tharani (Chennai)

Gujarat to host the 2016 – Kabaddi World Cup
i. The International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) announced that the 2016 World Cup will be held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
ii. The tournament is set to take place from 7 to 22 October. Gujarat will play host to 12 teams from around the world including India, USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Iran, Poland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan and Kenya.
iii. Kabaddi is a contact sport that originated in Ancient India. Kabaddi World Cup is an event since 2004. India always dominated the event by winning all the gold medals in both men’s and women’s category.
iv. Kabaddi World Cup was first played in 2004, then in 2007 and then annually from 2010 onwards. 2004 and 2007 were played in Standard Style and other years in Circle Style.
v. It is noted that World Cup 2015 was cancelled because of 2015 Guru Granth Sahib Desecration controversy.

Sania Mirza moves alone to the top of WTA Doubles Ranking
i. India’s Sania Mirza took sole possession of the WTA doubles number one ranking after teaming up with Barbora Strycova to beat former partner Martina Hingis and Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday’s Cincinnati final.
ii. Hingis and American Vandeweghe saw a 5-1 lead in the opening set evaporate, before Mirza and the Czech Republic’s Strycova hung in during the second to close out a straight-sets victory.
iii. Sania will move alone to the top of the rankings, after Sania and Hingis ended their highly successful partnership last month as joint number ones.
iv. It is noted that though Hingis and Mirza are no longer permanently together, they will still play in October’s year-end WTA Tour Championships in Singapore


Prominent Black Journalist, Publisher George Curry Has Died
i. Prominent African-American journalist and publisher George Curry has passed away of heart failure at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Maryland. He was 69 years old.
ii. He maintained a syndicated column was passed in more than 200 African American-owned newspapers, and he had sometime as editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a news service for black papers also worked as editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine in the 1990s.
iii. Curry became the first African-American to be elected president of the American Society of Magazine Editors.
iv. He received Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Kentucky State University Honorary Doctorate from Lane College and won Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2003 also.