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Current Affairs Today – August 30 2016

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CAT August 30 2016


PM Narendra Modi unveiled the first phase of SUANI project
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of SAUNI – Saurashtra Narmada Avataran for Irrigation Project at Sanosara village near Dhroll in Gujarat’s Jamnagar district.   Under the project, nearly 10 dams and reservoirs of Rajkot, Jamnagar and Morbi, would be filled up with the water of Narmada River.
About SAUNI Project :
i. Saurashtra-Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana (Sauni Yojana) has been launched to divert one MAFT excess over flowing flood water of Narmada allocated to SaurashtraRegion.
ii. The excess over flowing flood water of Narmada will be distributed to 115 reservoirs of eleven districts of Saurashtra through total 1126 km long four link pipelines benefitting 10,22,589 acre land. These links are
Link: 1 From Machhu-II dam of Morbi district to Sani Dam of Jamanagar District
Link: 2 Limbdi Bhogavo-II Dam of Surendranagar District to Raidi Dam of Amreli District
Link: 3 From Dholidhaja Dam of Surendranagar District to Venu-I Dam of Rajkot District
Link: 4 From Limbdi Bhogavo-II Dam of Surendranagar District to Hiran-II Irrigation scheme of Junagadh

Myanmar President Htin Kyaw made his state visit to India
i. Following the invitation of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw and his wife Daw Su Su Lwin made a State Visit made to India.
Myanmar President Htin Kyaw participated in bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modiin New Delhi.
ii. During the bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi a host of issues, including border management and ways to contain militant activities along the Indo-Myanmar border were discussed.
Four pacts signed :-
♦ India and Myanmar signed four pacts in the field of infrastructure development and for the cooperation in renewable energy. They are as follows,
Agreement I – Construction of 69 bridges on the Tamu-Kalewa section of the trilateral highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand.
Agreement II – Upgrading the Kalewa-Yargi section of the trilateral highway.
Agreement III – Cooperation in the field of renewable energy,
Agreement IV – cooperation in the field of traditional medicines.

Union Minister JP Nadda unveiled Mera Aspatal – My Hospital initiative
i. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda launched the ‘Mera Aspataal’ (my hospital) initiative. This move seeks to empower the patients by seeking their views on quality of experience in a public healthcare facility.
ii. The ICT-based Patient Satisfaction System (PSS) Mera Aspataal / My Hospital” for implementation in public and empanelled private hospitals, is envisaged to empower the patient by seeking his / her views on quality of experience in a public healthcare facility.
iii. It is a multi-channel approach will be used to collect patients feedback i.e. web portal, mobile application, Short Message Service (SMS), Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) and Mera Aspataal, together with the Kayakalp awards, as part of Swacchata Abhiyaan” will spur the States in a spirit of friendly competition to get highest ratings for all their facilities.JP Nadda unveiled Mera Aspatal – My Hospital initiative
iv. The Union Health Minister also released operational framework on management of common cancers,  Guidance Note for Out sourced Call Centre for tele-consultation, grievance redressal and providing information about schemes.
v. It is noted that the Free Drugs Services Initiative, the Free Diagnostics Services Initiative, the District Hospital Strengthening support, roll out of comprehensive primary health care, Quality Assurance Programme and the Kayakalp awards – all represent initiatives intended to reduce fragmentation of care, improve quality of care and reduce out of pocket expenses.

Haryana Assembly passes Sports Council Bill
i. The Haryana Vidhan Shabha has unanimously passed the Haryana Sports Council Bill, 2016 to constitute statutory sports councils at state, district, block and municipal levels.
ii. The Bill was tabled by the state Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Vij. The bill was passed after a long debate that also seen adjournment of house.
iii. The Council upon would be constituted under the Haryana Sports and Physical Fitness Policy, 2015  will neither select sports persons nor send teams for competitions.
iv. The Council is meant for promotion of sports, games, yoga, physical fitness, the ‘Sports for All concept and to augment athletic efficiency, adding that they would also be responsible for coaching, competitions and other sports-related activities. Besides a sports injury centre would be set up in Haryana.
v. The Sports Council would be headed by the Chief Minister and would have the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister as its Vice President and it will also have some other members in the body.
♦ Capital: Chandigarh
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki
♦ Chief Minister:  Manohar Lal Khattar

Telangana & Mizoram ratifies GST Bill
i. The Telangana and Mizoram State Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution of Constitutional Amendment Bill on 30 August 2016.
ii. With this Telangana becoming 12th state to ratify the legislation and Mizoram ratifies as the 13 th state to do so, The move will pave the way for roll-out of a single and unified tax system in the country.
iii. The State CM Chandrasekhara Rao has pointed out that there won’t be any financial loss to the State as the GST is about only with the Commercial Taxes component of VAT, However the taxes on petrol and Excise will remain with the state.
iv. In the Mizoram Assembly the bill was tabled by finance and taxation Minister Lalsawta after deliberations it was passed on the first day of the Assembly.
v. The Constitution 122nd Amendment GST-Bill, passed by the Parliament and it needs approval by simple majority to follow the roll out, So far 13 states ratified.


India and US signed LEMOA agreement for the revival of defense sector renovation
The United States and India signed LEMOA(Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) governing the use of each other’s land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply. This is considered as a step toward building defense ties in order to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China.
About LEMOA Agreement :
i. Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in Washington signed this agreement.
ii. This agreement facilitates the provision of logistical support, supplies, and services between the US and Indian militaries on a reimbursable basis, and provides a framework to govern them.
iii. Logistic Support, Supplies, and Services include food, water, billeting, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, communication services, medical services, storage services, training services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance services, calibration services, and port services.

Turkey launches Operation Euphrates Shield
Operation Euphrates Shieldi. Turkey has launched a major military intervention in Syria as a part of Operation Euphrates, sending tanks and warplanes across the border in a coordinated campaign with Syrian opposition fighters, who seized an Islamic State-held village in the area in the first hours of fighting.
ii. The Turkish military announced it had killed 25 Kurdish militants of the PYD in northern Syria during airstrikes, as part of its Operation Euphrates Shield. The military campaign, going on for at least five days, has targeted Islamic State (Isis) fighters as well as Kurdish militias.
iii. Turkey has been preparing for the Jarabulus operation for days. Last weekend, an Islamic State-linked suicide bomber attacked a Kurdish wedding in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, killing 54 – many of them children.
iv. This move was a message: a reminder of Ankara’s determination to limit US cooperation with the Kurds, Washington’s most effective partner against the Islamic State in Syria.
v. It is noted that the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is a key US ally in the fight against the Islamic State, often acting as the effective ground force for the US-led coalition’s operations in Syria.


PFS ties up with banks for clean energy project loans
i. Indian non-banking financial institution PTC India Financial Services (PFS) has tied up with banks to provide loans to companies working on renewable energy (RE) Generation.
ii. Upon this collaboration these banks set to letter of credit (LC) based on the issue letter of comfort (LOC) issued by PFS, to project companies in the renewable space with diligence on certain parameters.
iii. The Banks will issue credit upon the request made by the companies involved in Clean Energy projects on various associated costs for issuance of letter of credit, which generally takes 3-5 months.
iv. Following this agreement LC can be opened in a much shorter time on a case-to-case basis and project companies shall not be required to individually track with each bank.

Canara Bank launches UPI app ’empower’
i. Bangalore based Canara Bank has launched Unified Payment Interface [UPI] App named ‘empower’, at its board of directors’ meet held at Bengaluru.
ii. This move is in line with the digital initiative which enables any Bank customers to link and operate their various Bank accounts using a single app. This app is available for download from Google play store.
iii. The app launched by T N Manoharan, Chairman, and Rakesh Sharma, MD & CEO, in the presence of board of directors of the Bank.
iv. The app simplifies customers to create a virtual payment address to Pay and Collect Money. This App transactions safe that anyone able to use the service without disclosing their account related information, link their bank accounts across banks in a single app, UPI App - Empowertransfer funds using mobile number, account number and IFSC and Adhaar number, know their account balance.
Canara Bank
♦ Founded: 1906
♦ Headquarters: Bangalore
♦ CEO: Rakesh Sharma
♦ Slogan: Together we can


China unveiled a state-owned aircraft engine maker
i. China has set up a state-owned aircraft engine maker with registered capital of 50 billion yuan ($7.5 billion). It is considered as the next step in the latest effort to develop home-grown, high-tech businesses to compete in international markets.
ii. This is part of Beijing’s push to ramp up home turf tech. The government’s overhaul of state-owned enterprises to push Chinese products and services up the value chain has prioritised aircraft engines, high-speed rail and nuclear power as areas in which it wants China to excel.
iii. State-owned AVIC will finalize a 129 billion yuan merger of its aircraft engine businesses in a move to create a giant that could eventually compete with the likes of United Technologies Corp’s aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney.
iv. It is noted that China already makes its own planes, but has struggled for decades to develop engines that meet global requirements.
v. The Chinese government, as well as the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (Comac) are investors in the new firm.
vi. AVIC makes military jets and helicopters while Comac produces China’s biggest domestically-produced passenger plane, the C919.


Padma Sachdev gets Saraswati Samman for year 2015
i. Jammu-based Novelist Padma Sachdev was awarded the prestigious Saraswati Samman 2015 for her autobiography ‘Chitt-Chete’ written in Dogri language.
Jammu-born poet Padma Sachdev gets Saraswati Sammanii. The Delhi’s Lt Governor Najeeb Jung presented the Award to the Novelist at the function held in New Delhi.
iii. The autobiography Chitt-Chete published in 2007, was shortlisted from 22 works written in as many languages published between 2005 and 2014.
iv. Padma Sachdev is a Jammu based first modern woman poet of Dogri language. She has penned 60 books and published her several poetry collection including Meri Kavita Mere Geet that has won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1971. She has been honored with Padma Shri, the Indian fourth highest civilian award in 2001.
Saraswati Samman Award:
♦ This award is considered to be among the highest literary awards in India is presented annually for the outstanding literary work published during the last 10 years written by an Indian in any of the 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India,
♦ The award was instituted in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation carries a sum of 15 lakh rupees besides a citation and a plaque. The Inaugral holder was Harivanshrai ‘Bachchan.


Ashok Kumar Pradhan took charge as the Chief General Manager of State Bank of Travancore
i. Ashok Kumar Pradhan has taken over as its Chief General Manager of State Bank Of Travancore.
ii. Pradhan is fromCuttackin Orissa, started hisBankingcareer in 1985 as a Probationary Officer in State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.
iii. Prior to this, he served in various key assignments as Controller and Zonal Head and has functioned Zonal Head and also Deputy General Manager (Credit) at State Bank of Hyderabad.
iv. State Bank of Travancore(SBT), is a subsidiary of the State Bank Group, but also has private share-holders. It is the premier bank of Kerala, where it handles the majority of its business.
v. As of March 31, 2015, SBT has a total business of Rs.1.61 lakh crore (US$25.23 billion), comprising total deposits of Rs.91,077 crore (US$14.29 billion) and gross advances of Rs.69,907 crore (US$10.96 billion).
vi. The bank has reported a net profit of nearly Rs.192 crore(US$30.12 million) in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2014-15, compared with Rs.48.6 crore(US$7.62 million) a year ago, registering a growth of 295%.

CRPF appoints PV Sindhu as irs Brand Ambassador and Commandant
i. Country’s largest paramilitary force CRPF has decided to appoint Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu as its brand ambassador and bestow the honorary rank of Commandant on the ace badminton player
ii. A Commandant rank in the CRPF is equivalent to the position of a Superintendent of Police (SP) and such an officer commands a battalion of about 1,000 personnel, when posted in field operations
iii. Being the brand ambassador of the force, Sindhu would be asked to hold motivational sessions with troops when she is not playing or practising and her messages would be sent to all the personnel deployed across the country.
iv. The Central Reserve Police Force also has the credit of raising the first all-women battalion in a central paramilitary or a police force way back in 1987 and at present has four such contingents, with three in active duties.
v. It is noted that indhu won a historic silver in the women’s singles badminton at the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games and was today conferred India’s highest sporting honour — the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna — along with other Olympic stars wrestler Sakshi Malik (bronze medallist), gymnast Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Digicel Appoints Usain Bolt as Chief Speed Officer
i. Jamica based Digicel Caribbean Ltd named the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, as its Chief Speed Officer (CSO) following this appointment he as Digicel CSO will interact with customers in a number of ways from both a commercial and community point of view in the years to come.
ii. The Digicel has been sponsoring the speedster Usain Bolt since 2004. Bolt, produced history at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 when he attained three gold medals at three Usain Bolt beats Justin Gatlin for gold in 100 at worlds championshipconsecutive Olympic Games
♦ Founded: 2001
♦ Headquarters: Hamilton, Bermuda
♦ CEO: Colm Delves

Shri R. Ravindra – Ambassador of India to Republic of Liberia
i. Shri R. Ravindra Indian Foreign Service – 1999 batch, presently Ambassador of India to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to Republic of Liberia, with residence in Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire).
ii. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
iii. Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. Liberia means “Land of the Free” in Latin. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its west, Guinea to its north and Ivory Coast to its east.
iv. It covers an area of 111,369 square kilometres (43,000 sq mi) and has a population of 4,503,000 people.Englishis the official language and over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous tribes who make up more than 95% of the population.
v. Forests on the coastline are composed mostly of salt-tolerant mangrove trees, while the more sparsely populated inland has forests opening onto a plateau of drier grasslands.
vi. The climate is equatorial, with significant rainfall during the May–October rainy season and harsh harmattan winds the remainder of the year. Liberia possesses about forty percent of the remaining Upper Guinean rainforest. It was an important producer of rubber in the early 20th century.
vii. The Republic of Liberia, beginning as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The United States did not recognize Liberia’s independence until during the American Civil War on February 5, 1862.


India’s first military heritage website launched
i. India’s first military heritage website, colours of was launched by Glory Foundation at Chennai
ii. A veteran of the 1971 Indo Pak war, city based Captain D.P.Ramachandran who is also the executive trustee of the foundation declared the war heroes of South India held great significance to the history of India.
iii. The Foundation will conduct various awareness programs across the country, commencing with major metros, to educate the people about our military history and heritage.
iv. The programs will be in the nature of exhibitions, seminars and talks, film shows, sound-and-like shows and the like.
v. The Foundation is also planning battle re-enactments or military tattoos, which used to take place in Madras (Chennai) before Independence. The British, for instance, arranged a military tattoo of the Siege of Madras in 1946.


Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt confirms upgrade to silver for London Olympics
Yogeshwar Dutt  Qualifies for Rio Olympicsi. Indian Olympic medallist and wrestler Yogeshwar bronze medal, which he clinched the podium by finishing third against Russia’s Besik Kudukhov’s, who finished second in the 60-kg freestyle event in the 2012 Olympics is set to be upgraded to silver.
ii. The Silver Medalist Besik Kudukhov’s who died in a car crash in 2013 in southern Russia, is a four time world champion who has been tested positive. The medal will be given to Dutt.
iii. According to the norms of International Olympic Committee (IOC) the samples stored for up to 10 years for re-testing to allow the use of advanced testing methods to weed out dope cheats, conducted by the.
iv. The freestyle wrestler Dutt will join the likes of wrestler Sushil Kumar and shooter Vijay Kumar as silver-medallists for India.

Bhutan set to host Asian Tennis Tour event next month
i. Land of the thunder dragon’s nation Bhutan is set to become the fourth Asian country to host a tournament on the Asian Tennis Tour (ATT). The first ever international tennis tournament is scheduled to host next month.
ii. Earlier India, Thailand and Iran hosted a series of tournaments, both men and women titles on ATT and ATT Bhutan is set to be hosted from September 16 to 18.
iii. This year between September and December more than 30 ATT tournaments set to be held at various cities in Asia.
♦ Capital: Thimphu
♦ Currencies: Bhutanese ngultrum, Indian rupee
♦ Prime minister: Tshering Tobgay


Gene Wilder, the star of comedy classics passed away
i. Gene Wilder, the star of comedy classics such as The Producers and Blazing Saddles, has died at the age 83 from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
ii. Jerome Silberman(June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016), known professionally as Gene Wilder, was an American comic actor in film and theater, screenwriter, film director, and author.
iii. Wilder began his career on stage, and made his screen debut in an episode of the TV series The Play of the Week in 1961. Although his first film role was portraying a hostage in the 1967 motion picture Bonnie and Clyde.
iv. Wilder’s first major role was as Leopold Bloom in the 1968 film The Producers for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Wilder directed and wrote several of his own films, includingThe Woman in Red (1984).
v. His third wife was actress Gilda Radner, with whom he starred in three films, the last two of which he also directed. Her 1989 death from ovarian cancer led to his active involvement in promoting cancer awareness and treatment, helping found the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles and co-founding Gilda’s Club.
vi. After his last contribution to acting in 2003 – a guest role on Will & Grace for which he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor – Wilder turned his attention to writing. He produced a memoir in 2005, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art; a collection of stories, What Is This Thing Called Love? (2010); and the novels My French Whore (2007), The Woman Who Wouldn’t (2008) and Something to Remember You By (2013).


August 30 – International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
i. The United Nations – UN observes the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30 each year.
ii. On August 30 each year, organizations such as the UN and Amnesty International International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearancesplay an active role in raising awareness that enforced disappearance is a crime and should not be used as a tool to deal with situations of conflict. Many activists openly share personal stories, via the media or public event, about victims of enforced disappearances and the impact that these disappearances have on their families and communities.
iii. Day of the Disappeared on August 30 is a day created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives. The impulse for the day came from the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of Detained-Disappeared (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, or FEDEFAM), a non-governmental organization founded in 1981 inCosta Rica as an association of local and regional groups actively working against secret imprisonment, forced disappearances and abduction in a number ofLatin-American countries.
iv. Enforced disappearance is used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. It occurs when people are arrested, detained or abducted against their will and when governments refuse to disclose the whereabouts of these people. Enforced disappearance is a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world.
v. In December 2010, the UN officially declared that it would annually observe the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30 each year, starting from 2011.

Small Industry Day – August 30 2016
i. Small industry day is observed on 30 August every year
ii. Purpose: To support and promote the small Industries.
iii. Industry day is celebrated as a part of its effort to provide balanced growth to existing small, medium and large scale enterprises and render assistance for setting up new industries to boost the state’s financial health.