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Current Affairs Today – September 19 2016

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CAT Sep 19 2016

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Nepal PM Prachanda On a three day visit to India
i. Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’arrived in New Delhi for a three-day state visit to India and External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj received him at the airport on September 15, 2016
ii. India and Nepal signed three agreements including improvement of road network to cement ties between the two neighbors.
iii. The two countries signed MoU for project management consultancy services for up gradation and improvement of road infrastructure in Terai area of Nepal.
iv. India also gave 750 million dollar line of credit for post earthquake reconstruction of the Himalayan nation.

Plea to declared Hindi as national language withdrawn from Delhi High Court
i. A petition asked Centre to take steps to declare Hindi as India’s national language.
ii. This was withdrawn from Delhi High Court after it declared that the constitution did  not provide for a national language.
iii. There was no dispute that the Constitution of India had not provided for a national language was observed by a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.
iv. Petitioner advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay  withdrew his petition. The plea also sought a direction to the government to make Hindi a compulsory subject for all children aged 6-14 years across the country.
v. Maintaining that Hindi could be common means of communication in the country, the plea had claimed that Hindi is the language spoken by majority of Indians and it has the potential of being used as an economic, religious and political communication link among all the citizens.
vi. Under Article 351 (of the Constitution), Union Government is duty bound to promote and propagate Hindi language so that it might serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment.

Telangana signs MoU to help Goa in IT development
i. Chief Minister of Goa Laxmikant Parsekar and Telangana IT minister K T Rama Rao signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together in IT development. ii. It is mutual cooperation between both this two States
iii .Acoording to the agreement the T-Hub (Telangana Hub) will be set up in Goa.T-Hub is India’s largest incubator for startups, located in Hyderabad.
Goa :
♦ It is the smallest state by Area
♦ The state of Goa is described as ancient Goparashtra and it takes its present name from earlier used terms like- Gomant, Gomantaka, Govarashtra or Goparashtra
♦ Fort Aguada is located in Goa

Haryana CM announces district status for Dadri
i. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced a district status for Dadri, the biggest sub-division in the state.Now number of districts in the State rised to 22 from 21.It is the biggest sub-division in the state
ii. It has originally 7 states when it is separated from Punjab in 1960.
Other announcements:Haryna -Dadri
♦ He announced various developmental projects for Dadri including Rs 1.90 crore for water supply pipeline in Dadri town and Rs 3.5 crore for construction of pedestrian over bridge between Gandhinagar and Grain Market.
♦ He also announced state government would procure Bajra on last year’s pattern.

‘e-VMS’ inagurated by Jitendra Singh at the Krishnapatnam port
i. Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh inaugurated the ‘e-VMS’ (e-Visitor Management System) at the Krishnapatnam port in Nellore as part of the Ease of Doing Business initiatives.
ii. He also took part in the ‘Vanam Manam’ greenery development programme on the port premises.
‘e-VMS’ (e-Visitor Management System) :
♦ This will ensure a safe, quick and hassle-free entry for visitors and delegates.
♦ This system stores information like identity proofs and the purpose of the visit and makes the port easily accessible and user-friendly.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

China, Russia conducted joint naval exercises Joint Sea-2016 in South China Sea 
i. Chinese and Russian naval forces began joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, This added a new twist to ongoing tensions over Chinese island-building in the region.
ii. The 8 day exercises would highlight marine corps units in “live-fire drills, sea crossing and island landing operations and island defense and offense exercises was  reported from China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
iii. The 8 day naval exercises (from September 13 to 19) were held in a non
disputed area in SCS off China’s southern Guangdong province
iv. The vessels were divided into two fleets and confrontations were staged off the eastern waters of Zhanjiang in Guangdong which is close to Chinese coast.
v. The China-Russia naval exercises were an annual event, with previous versions taking place in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea, among other locations.

President Vladimir Putin′s United Russia party won parliamentary election
i. Vladimir Putin cemented his supremacy over Russia’s political system when his ruling United Russia party took three quarters of the seats in parliament in a weekend election, paving the way for him to run for a fourth term as president.
Russia President Vladimir PutiniiOpposition activists and European observers asked how free and fair the vote had been, however, although there were no immediate signs the result might spark street protests of the kind which erupted after the last such election in 2011.
iii. Presiding over a government meeting at the Kremlin, Putin hailed the election result, declaring it showed voters still trusted the country’s leadership despite an economic slowdown made worse by Western sanctions over Ukraine.
iv. Although the United Russia Party’s popularity had declined from its peak of 64.4% in the 2007 Duma elections to 49.32% in the 2011 elections, United Russia remains the most popular party in the country, ahead of the second-placed Communist Party at 19.19%.
v. The United Russia Party formed in December 2001 through a merger of the Unity Party and the Fatherland – All Russia Party. As of 2016 the United Russia Party supports the policies of the presidential administration

First Indian music & dance festival starts in Sydney
♦ 
The 10-week long festival “Confluence: Festival of India” was inaugurated by Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma in Sydney on September 18, 2016
Aim:  To showcase the country’s rich and diverse culture was kicked off in iconic Sydney Opera House .
i.It is organised by NSW government and it is the first of its kind festival
ii.This two nations enjoyed strong relationship which has strengthened and diversified over the years.
Sydney:
♦ It is the capital of New South Wales and Australia’s largest city
♦ It  is best known for its harbour front Sydney Opera House

BANKING & FINANCE

Federal Bank launches Federal Skill Academy at Coimbatore
i. Federal Bank, Kochi-based Private Sector Bank has launched its second Federal Skill Academy at Coimbatore, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) initiatives.
ii. The first one being inaugurated last year at Ernakulam.Federal Bank Skill Academy
iii. The academy at Coimbatore will be initially providing an in-demand CNC Machine Operator Certificate Course in Milling & Turning, which will be certified by COINDIA.
iv. The initiative will facilitate underprivileged students to successfully complete the courses, and get employment opportunities both in India as well as in foreign countries.
v. Students of 18-25 years age, who have passed Plus 2/ITI/Polytechnic/Degree or Engineering dropout students and whose annual family income does not exceed Rs.2 lakh per annum, are eligible to apply for the course.

IDFC issues commercial papers of Rs 700 crore.
i. Infrastructure Development Finance Company(IDFC) Limited has issued commercial Papers of Rs.700 crore.
ii. The company issued Commercial Papers for an aggregate amount of Rs 700 crore on September 12, 2016 having maturity date ofSeptember 29, 2016.
iii. CPs are unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories and meeting short-term liabilities.

BSE ties up with Twitter to feed investors with better updates
i. BSE Sensex collaborate with Twitter to provide live updates of S&P to its investors
ii. It is the first collaboration in Asia between a stock exchange and a social networking site.
iii. For this Twitter has activated four new features. They are
1.Hourly tweets,
2.Autoresponder tweets for Sensex 30 stock prices,
3.Auto direct messages for opening and closing figures of Sensex 30,
4.Live display photo that will change every two minutes to project the Sensex figure.
Twitter :
♦ Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets
♦ UP becomes first state to roll out ‘Twitter Seva’.It is launched by MoC
♦ CEO: Jack Dorsey

BUSINESS

HAL gets membership of APAQG with voting rights
i. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been conferred the prestigious membership of the Asia-Pacific Aerospace Quality Group (APAQG) under the category ‘Full Member with voting rights’.
ii. India, the seventh nation to join the APAQG under TRHE International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG).
iii. Other Members of APAQG : China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan.
iv. This membership enables HAL to have access to various Quality System Standards and other guidelines developed by IAQG.
About IAQG:
♦ IAQG is an international non-profit cooperative global organisation that brings aviation, space and defence companies together to deliver more value at all levels of the supply chain.
♦ The IAQG comprises Americas (AAQG), Europe (EAQG) and Asia-Pacific (APAQG) sectors.

Union Government notified new import policy for marble & travertine blocks
i. Union Government had notified new import policy for marble & travertine blocks with effect from October 1, 2016.
ii. The policy aimed to balance the interests of domestic consumers, producers and processors, and ease the system for import of marble & travertine blocks.
iii. The new policy ended the quantitative restriction on the import of marble and travertine blocks and also restrictive import licensing system.
iv. The Minimum Import Price (MIP) for marble blocks had been reduced to 200 US dollar per metric ton. The basic customs duty on import of marble and travertine blocks had been increased from 10% to 40% to address the interest of domestic producers.
v. The MIP on the import of marble slabs was being reduced to 40 US dollar per square metre and the basic customs duty on the import of marble slabs was doubled to 20%.
vi. The MIP on the import of granite slabs had been reduced to 50 US Dollars per square metre and the basic customs duty on import of granite slabs had been doubled to 20 percent.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

68th EMMY AWARDS 2016
i. The 68th Annual Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony was held over two nights on September, 2016. The nominations were announced on July 14, 2016. The ceremony is in conjunction with the annual Primetime Emmy Awards and is presented in recognition of technical and other similar achievements in American television programming, including guest acting roles.
ii. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.With five awards, The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story took the most wins.
iii. In the acting categories, there were debut dramatic wins for Rami Malek in Mr. Robot and Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black. The main comedic acting awards went for a second time to Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep for a fifth consecutive year.

WB to conferred Banga Bibhushan award to Lata Mangeshkar
i. To honour legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar’s contributions to Bengali songs, the West Bengal government would confer this year’s ‘Banga Bibhushan’.
ii. Lata Mangeshkar had sung a large number of memorable Bengali songs. In order to honour her contribution West Bengal government  decided to bestow the Bangabibhushan award to her this year. Lata Mangeshkar
iii. The chief minister Mamta Bannerjee declared that  she would personally go to Mumbai and present the award to the singer at her residence after the Durga Puja festival. Banerjee would be accompanied by music company Saregama chairman Sanjiv Goenka.
iv. Lata Mangeshkar was born on  28 September 1929.She is an Indian playback singer, and occasional music-composer. She is one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India.
v. Lata Mangeshkar had won several awards and honours, including Bharat Ratna (India’s Highest Civilian Award), Padma Bhushan (1969),Padma  Vibhushan (1999) Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1989), Maharashtra Bhushan Award (1997),NTR National Award (1999), Bharat Ratna (2001), ANR National Award (2009), three National Film Awards, and 12 Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

An Indian-origin South African Ravi Reddy to head the International Society of Blood Transfusion – ISBT
i. An Indian-origin South African has become the first person from the African continent to head a global organization of medicine professionals working for the safety of blood transfusion worldwide. Ravi Reddy, currently the Chief Operations Officer of the South African National Blood Service(SANBS), will head the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT).
ii. Reddy has been credited with transforming the safety of blood donation and transfer in South Africa with its very high incidence of HIV/AIDS, he has insisted that this was a team effort by the staff of SANBS.
iii. Mr Reddy has played a key role in South Africas high level of blood safety.

PV Bharathi is now Canara Bank ED
i. Canara Bank appointed P V Bharathi as Executive Director with effect from September 15.
ii. Currently she was working as the General Manager of Canara Bank.
iii. She began her banking career in December 1982 as a probationary officer in Canara Bank and has risen to the post of General Manager in August 2012
Canara Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Karnataka
♦ CEO: Rakesh Sharma
♦ Slogan: Together we Can

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Shri Praksh Javadekar launched PARAM-ISHAN supercomputer at IIT, Guwahati
i. IIT Guwahati unveiled one of India´s fastest and most powerful computer, PARAM-ISHAN. Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the Param-Ishan supercomputing facility at IIT, Guwahati.
ii. PARAM-ISHAN has power of 250 Teraflops and three hundred tera bites capacity.
iii. It is a one of the fastest and most powerful computer in northeastern, eastern and southern regions. C-DAC and IIT Guwahati is a strategic move that will provide a boost to both the HPC users and the community through the deployed PARAM-ISHAN and several technology areas will be positively affected through the introduction of the new Supercomputer.
iv. Param Ishaan will have a speed of around 250 trillion floating point operations per second (tflops)and 300 TB storage.

US: Scientists successfully grew 3D lungs using stem cells
i. Merican Scientists including those of Indian origin had successfully grown three-dimensional (3D) lungs in the lab, using stem cells. The 3D lungs or organoids was created by coating tiny gel beads with lung-derived stem cells and then allowing them to self-assemble into the shapes of the air sacs found in human lungs.
ii. To show that these tiny organoids mimicked the structure of actual human lungs, researchers compared it with real sections of human lung.
Mini 3D lungsiii. The laboratory-grown 3D lungs could be used to study diseases including Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) which had been difficult to study using conventional methods and also tested possible treatments for the lung diseases.
iv. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) :  IPF is a chronic lung disease characterised by scarring of the lungs. The scarring makes the lungs thick and stiff. It resulted in progressively worsening shortness of breath and thus resulted in lack of oxygen to the brain and vital organs.
v. Though researchers did not know what causes IPF in all cases but cigarette smoking and exposure to certain types of dust.

Government developed scientific tool to measure loss due to disasters
i. The government had developed a scientific tool based on a UN model which would use satellite imagery and on-ground assessments to measure direct and indirect damages besides the ‘opportunity cost’ lost due to disasters.
ii. This would help the Centre make a more accurate and scientific assessment of relief and reconstruction packages for disaster-hit regions, and not be dependent on the arbitrary claims made by states.
iii. India’s estimated economic losses are pegged at around $10 billion annually on account of disasters — almost equal to what the country spends on education and twice the amount it spends on health care every year.
iv. Globally, climate change resulted in economic losses of around $300 billion annually, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNISDR) global assessment report-2015.The scientific tool, called the Post-Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA), had been developed by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), a part of the home ministry.
v. The tool had been designed to meet Indian conditions, though modelled on the lines of a similar tool used by the UNISDR for Latin American countries.
vi. The UNISDR tool was developed by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and is known as ECLAC tool for disaster risk reduction and loss assessments.
vii. The government is also likely to engage the ministry of statistics and programme implementation to collect and publish pre-disaster assessment data as part of the national sample survey and project predictable economic losses in disaster prone areas. This is intended to nudge states to invest more in disaster resilient infrastructure and implement disaster risk reduction policies.

SPORTS

Deaf shooter Priyesha Deshmukh wins bronze in World Championship
Deaf shooter Priyesha Deshmukhi. Priyesha Deshmukh, 23-year old hearing-impaired shooter from Pune won bronze in the 10m air rifle category at the 1st World Deaf Shooting Championships held in Kazan, Russia.
ii. She scored 180.4 in the final to secure the third spot.
iii. All India Sports Council of the Deaf(AISCD) body does not have shooting sport and also the National Rifle Association of India take care of the para-shooters, but deaf don’t come under para-shooter’s category.
About All India Sports Council of the Deaf(AISCD):
♦ The All India Sports Council of the Deaf, New Delhi which is the National Apex Body for Deaf Sports is one of the 55 Sports Associations, recognized by the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.
♦ International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD, USA)
♦ International Committee of Silent Chess (ICSC, UK),
♦ Asia Pacific Deaf Sports Confederation (APDSC, Taipei).

India beated Chinese Taipei to finish 7th in FIBA Asia Challenge
i. The Indian men’s basketball team upstaged Chinese Taipei 80-68 in the final classification match to finish seventh in the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 in Tehran.
iiVishesh Bhriguvanshi stole the limelight, scoring 22 points, while Amritpal Singh scored 20 with 13 rebounds and Rikin Pethani scored 17 points with 9 rebounds. Yu-An Chiang was the top scorer for Chinese Taipei with 16 points.
iii. The margin of the 80-68 victory is especially significant considering that Taipei had beaten India by 24 points (90-66) earlier on in the preliminary group B. Prior to that, India had lost to Taipei by six points during the 38th William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament in July.
iv. Chinese Taipei took the lead in the first quarter but India crawled their way into the contest in the other quarters and then went on to win the match.
v. India recorded a 46.77% two-pointer goal shooting accuracy as compared to the Chinese Taipei’s inferior 43.48%.  The Indians had a 21.43% three-pointer shooting accuracy whereas their opponents had 17.65%. India had earlier lost to the Chinese Taipei team in a Group A fixture but had their revenge in the 7th place deciding-match.

Nico Rosberg wins the Singapore Grand Prix
i. German Formula One driver Nico Rosberg won the 2016 Singapore Grand Prix on September 18,2016 and re-take the lead of the Formula One Drivers’ World Championship from Lewis Hamilton in Singapore.
ii. He also won the Italian Gran prix which was held on September 4, 2016
iii. The Singapore Grand Prix is a motor race on the calendar of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The event takes place on the Marina Bay Street Circuit

First  Nico Rosberg
Second  Daniel Ricciardo
Third  Lewis Hamilton

Ankita Raina wins ITF women’s doubles title
i. Ankita Raina with Emily Webley Smith of Britain won the $50,000 ITF women’s doubles title in Egypt by defeating Hanyu Guo and Xinyu Jiang of China .
ii. It was the second doubles title for Ankita in partnership with Emily
iii. Ankita is ranked 292 with 5 singles title in singles and 294 in doubles with 8 doubles title