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Current Affairs Today – September 22 2016

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CAT Sep 22 2016INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM’s Race Course Road would now be known as Lok Kalyan Marg
i. Lutyens’ Delhi’s iconic Race Course Road, where the Prime Minister’s residence is located, would be known as Lok Kalyan Marg.
ii. A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), presided by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A notification would be issued to complete the process of renaming the road.
iii. The NDMC decided to rename the Gurdwara Rakabganj round-about adjacent to the Parliament complex as Guru Gobind Singh Chowk following representations from various Sikh organisations.
iv. BJP MP MeenakshiLekhi, who is a member of the NDMC Council, had proposed renaming Race Course Road as Ekatma Marg, based on the philosophy of the party’s ideologue DeendayalUpadhyay, but it was neglected.
v. The NDMC unanimously resolved to rename the ‘Race Course Road’ as ‘Lok Kalyan Marg.The construction of the road began in 1980. The  late Rajiv Gandhi was the first occupant of the 7 Race Course Road.

GST Council hold its first meeting in New Delhi 
i. Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council hold its first meeting in the national capital.
ii. The GST is a single indirect tax which will subsume most of the central and state taxes such as VAT, excise duty, service tax and central sales tax.
iii. The two-day meet of the GST Council is likely to iron out issues between the Centre and states for rolling out the new indirect tax regime from April 1, 2017.
iv. The Central Government has proposed that small traders, having annual turnover of up to 20 to 25 lakh rupees, could be exempted from the GST, but state Governments have demanded that the limit be kept at 10 lakh rupees.
v. The GST, which is considered as the biggest tax reform since Independence, will do away with the indirect taxes and usher in one tax for the entire country.

TN Govt allotted Rs 204 crore for ‘Thaaliku Thangam’ scheme
i. Tamil Nadu government had allotted Rs.204 crore towards the implementation of enhanced gold scheme under a marriage assistance programme.
ii. ‘Thaaliku Thangam’ (Gold for Mangalsutra) scheme for the year 2016-17  would benefit 12,500 women.This scheme involves providing marriage assistance and gold for daughters of poor parents and widows among others to make ‘thaali.AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
iii. Assistance of Rs 25,000 for beneficiaries who have passed Class X and Rs 50,000 to those with an undergraduate degree or diploma was also given as part of the scheme.
iv. The ruling AIADMK had announced to provide gold free of cost to beneficiaries during the 2011 elections where Jayalalithaa promised 4 gm of the precious metal and assured to enhance it to 8 gm during this year’s Assembly polls.
v. While 12,500 women who had applied for the scheme would be provided with 8 gm of gold this year, about 1.4 lakh others who had applied earlier will be provided with 4 gm.

Prabhu flags off two trains in Hisar
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off two passenger trains between Bhiwani and Hisar in Haryana on September 22, 2016.
The Two trains are
1.54634 Ludhiana-Hisar passenger train
2.54631 Dhuri-Hisar passenger train.
Some of the Projects launched by Railways in earlier days:
i. Janani Sewa for mothers, optional catering in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on a pilot basis
ii. Railways has rolled out its insurance scheme for passengers, under which they can buy a premium of 92 paise while booking a ticket to get an insurance cover of up to Rs 10 lakh.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

31 Indian institutes named in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17
i. For the first time in the history, 31 Indian institutes have found a place in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore is India’s top institution in the ‘Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2016-17’ list.
ii. IISc (201-250 group), up from last year’s 251-300 group, is accompanied by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay (351-400 group) in the top 400 table.

Rank Institution Country
1 University of Oxford United Kingdom
2 California Institute of Technology United States
3 Stanford University United States
4 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States

Safety Alert IT tool launched by European Union Agency for Railways
i. The European Union Agency for Railways launched a Safety Alert IT tool(SAIT) at the Inno Trans fair in Berlin in an effort to increase transparency in rail safety incident.
ii. The tool will facilitate timely sharing of information on significant risks relating to technical equipment, supporting other actors to take immediate action to avoid accidents.

BANKING & FINANCE

Govt appointed 3 members to interest-rate setting panel
i. Government appointed three members on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), who along with RBI nominees are likely to set the benchmark interest rate in the upcoming monetary policy review with a view to contain retail inflation at the targeted level of 4 per cent.
interest-rate setting panelii. The government had named three academics – Indian Statistical Institute professor Chetan Ghate, Delhi School of Economics director PamiDua and Ravindra H Dholakia of IIM-Ahmedabad – as members on interest-rate setting Monetary Policy Committee.
iii. MPC, which would take over the job of setting interest rate, would have six members, with the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointing three persons each.
iv. Setting up of the panel would bring about a landmark change to how central bank decisions were made.RBI nominees would include, governor, a deputy governor and one more person from the central bank.
v. The Monetary Policy Committee would take decision based on the majority vote. Each member would have one vote but RBI Governor would get a casting vote in case of equality of votes.

BUSINESS

Indian Oil Corp and GAIL signed MoU for taking equity stake in upcoming Dhamra LNG terminal
i. Indian Oil Corporation Limited and GAIL (India) Limited had signed an MoU with Dhamra LNG Terminal Private Limited (DLTPL) for taking equity in the 5 MMTPA capacity LNG Receiving, Storage and Regasification Terminal being set up at Dhamra Port, Odisha
ii.As per the MoU, DLTPL wouldl be an equal Joint Venture of Indian Oil and GAIL on one hand and Adani Group on the other. Indian Oil and GAIL would acquire 39% and 11% equity respectively in DLTPL with the balance 50% being held by Adani group.
iii. Indian Oil and Adani group would each divest 1% of their respective stake to a credible financial institution which will then have 2% stake in the terminal.Indian Oil and GAIL intend to book regasification capacity of 3.0 and 1.5 MMTPA respectively in the terminal.
iv .The 5 Million tonne  a year  liquefied natural gas (LNG)import terminal is targeted to be built by 2020.The LNG Terminal would also meet the gas requirements of three oil refineries of IndianOil situated in Barauni, Haldia and Paradip
v. The project would also see City Gas Distribution (CGD) networks being set up by GAIL in 7 important towns such as Varanasi, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack. The Dharnra LNG Terminal project and JHBDPL project, cumulatively, are expected to bring investments to the tune of Rs 51,000 Cr into the economy of eastern India.

IWAI Signed Contract with DST, Germany for Designing Special Vessels for NW-1
i. With its objective of providing safe, environment friendly and economical mode of transportation through National Waterway-1 (NW-1), the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI),Ministry of Shipping signed a contract with DST, Germany to design vessels, especially suited to navigate the 1620 km stretch of NW-1.
ii. The specially-designed vessels would navigate on low drafts and will be of high carrying capacity, and most importantly, would be environment friendly.
iii. Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had for long been emphasizing the need to modernize the existing waterways and create the new ones.
iv. IWAI’s collaboration with DST, Germany was expected to forge a combination of standardized vessels to meet the requirement of various types of cargo.
v. As part of the Jal Marg Vikas Project, the NW-1 is being developed with assistance from the World Bank at a cost of about Rs.4, 200 crore. This project would facilitate commercial navigation of vessels with 1500-2,000 tones of capacity.

Flipkart becomes 1st e-commerce in India to cross 100 million customers
i. India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart currently had 100 million registered users to becomes the first company to reach this milestone in a single country outside the US and China.Flipkart
ii. Flipkart Investors: Tiger Global, Accel Partners, Morgan Stanley and T Rowe
iii .The company has raised over $ 3 billion in funding so far and has acquired companies like Myntra, PhonePe and LetsBuy
Flipkart :
♦ Founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
♦ CEO : Binny Bansal

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

India’s 100 Richest People : Forbes
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani has topped Forbes’s annual list of India’s 100 richest tycoons with a net worth of $22.7 billion. The combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest is $381 billion, a rise of 10 percent from $345 billion in 2015.
2016 Rankings:-

Rank Name Net Worth Company
1 Mukesh Ambani $22.7B Petrochemicals
2 Dilip Shanghvi $16.9 B Pharmaceuticals
3 Hinduja family $15.2 B Hinduja Group


Women’s position:-

Rank Name Net Worth Company
19 Savithiri Jindal $5.3B Steel
46 Vinod & Anil Rai Gupta $2.52 B electrical equipment
65 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw $1.83 B biotechnology
79 Leena Tewari $1.63 B pharmaceuticals

Tamil film ‘Visaranai’ India’s official entry to Oscars 2017
i. The Tamil movie Visaranai written  by M. Chandrakumar was chosen as India’s official entry for Best Foreign Language film at the 89th Academy Awards to be held in 2017.
ii.Part of the film is based on true events recorded in the novel ‘Lock Up’.This film directed by Vetrimaran and produced by actor Dhanush’s Wunderbar Films.
iii.This film won three National Awards including best Tamil film and the film was earlier chosen in the competition section of 72nd Venice Film Festival.
iv.The last Tamil movie which made it to the list as official entry for the Oscars was ‘Hey Ram’ directed by Kamal Haasan.

Sajid Nadiadwala conferred with France’s prestigious Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
i. Bollywood filmmakerSajid Nadiadwala conferred with France’s prestigious Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) award.
ii. The honour is conferred on persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world.
iii. French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler conferred the honour in recognition of Nadiadwala’s contribution to boosting Indo-French partnership in cinema.

Shubha Mudgal to get ‘Lalit Arpan Samman
i. Hindustani classical singer Shubha Mudgal would be honoured with the annual ‘Lalit Arpan Samman’ this year. Mudgal, a Padma Shri recipient was known for her singing in genres of Khayal, Thumri and Dadra.
Lalit Arpan Sammanii. She had also given her voice to many popular Indie-pop numbers.The 15th edition of Lalit Arpan festival would also acknowledge artist couple Paramjit and Arpita Singh.
iii. The two-day festival, dedicated to the “Nayikas of Vidyapati“- a Maithili poet and a Sanskrit writer, would witness dance performances by esteemed dancers like Padma awardees Shovana Narayan, Madhavi Mudgal, Jaya Ram Rao and Vanashri Rao among others.
iv. This year’s festival is dedicated to dance. It would present six classical dance styles — Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam with performances by eight Padma awardees.
v. Last year, the Lalit Arpan Samman was conferred upon literary figure Namwar Singh, painter Krishen Khanna, photographer Raghu Rai and Bharatanatyam dancer Yamini Krishnamurthy.

Adi Godrej conferred Clinton Global Citizen Award
i. Chairman of Godrej Group Adi Godrej was conferred with the 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Award for leadership in business and philanthropy in New York.
ii. It was presented by Hikmet Ersek, CEO and President of Western Union, in the presence of former US President Bill Clinton.
iii. Some of the other awardees this year include Jon Bon Jovi for the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in the US, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Hawa Abdi of Somalia.
About Annual Clinton Global Citizen Award :
♦ Established in 2007
♦ To honouring outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

ISSDA names K K Pahuja as its new president
i. K K Pahuja was appointed as new president of Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA).It was announced at a meeting of its Managing Committee held at Gurgaon. He will be replaced by N C Mathur.
ii. He is a former Executive Director of Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL)
iii.He 40 years of experience in the steel industry and he has been associated with both the industry as well as the Government including Bhilai Steel Plant, SAIL Corporate office and the ministry of steel.
Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA):
♦ The Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) was founded in 1989 .
♦ It currently has a membership of over 145 companies engaged in the stainless steel business.

Navtej Sarna appointed new Indian Ambassador to US
India’s High Commissioner to Britain Navtej Sarna was appointed as the next Ambassador to the US as that country prepares for a presidential transition by External Affairs Ministry. He is the successor of Arun Kumar Singh.
About Navtej Sarna :
i. Sarna has had a previous posting in Washington when he was Minister for Press, Information and Culture between 1998 and 2002.
ii. He was among the longest-serving spokespersons of the ministry between 2002 and 2008. He has also had postings in Moscow, Warsaw, Tehran, Geneva and Thimphu.
Navtej Sarnaiii. He is also a prolific author of many fiction and non-fiction books. His recent book is ‘Second Thoughts: On Books, Authors and the Writerly Life‘ .
USA :
♦ Capital: Washington, D.C.
♦ Currency: US Dollar
♦ President: Barack Obama

Mohan M Shantanagoudar New CJ Of Kerala
i. Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar was sworn in as Chief Justice of Kerala High Court on September 22, 2016.
ii.Governor Justice (Retd) P Sathasivam administered oath of office to Justice Shantanagoudar  by the acting Chief justice.
Other Appointments :
♦ Girish Chandra Gupta J.  – Chief Justice of  Calcutta
♦ Satish Kumar Agnihotri J – Chief Justice of Sikkim
♦ Tinlianthang Vaiphei J – Chief Justice of Tripura
♦ Rakesh Ranjan Prasad J – Chief Justice of Manipur

Vijay Kelkar elected president of Indian Statistical Institute
i. Former petroleum secretary Vijay Kelkar has been elected president of the prestigious  Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).
ii. Kelkar will succeed former RBI governor C Rangarajan.
iii. He was elected at the general body meeting of the institute, which functions under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation:
♦ The Ministry has two wings, one relating to Statistics and the other Programme Implementation.
♦ The Statistics Wing called the National Statistical Office(NSO) consists of the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the Computer Centre and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
♦ The Programme Implementation Wing has three Divisions, namely, (i) Twenty Point Programme (ii) Infrastructure Monitoring and Project Monitoring and (iii) Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme
♦ Cabinet minister: D. V. Sadananda Gowda
♦ Minister of state independent charge: Vijay Kumar Singh

SPORTS

MSK Prasad – New chairman of India’s selection panel & MS Dhoni to lead the Team
i. ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar has congratulated the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the country’s 500th Test, which will be played against New Zealand in Kanpur from September 22, 2016.
ii. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named the captain of the all-time India Test XI chosen by cricket magazine Wisden
iii. Former wicketkeeper MSK Prasad has been selected to lead as the chairman of India’s selection panel. The decision was taken at the BCCI’s 87th annual general meeting in Mumbai, after the board had invited applicants for the selection job for the first time.
iv. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) joins hand with Janalakshmi Financial Services (Jana) as an Official Partner for a period of three years.

BPCL lifted title of Obaidullah Khan Heritage Cup Hockey Tournament
i.In an interesting match between BPCL and Railway, BPCL won the match with 3-0 bagging the Obaidullah Khan Heritage Hockey Cup 2016. Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare Yashodhra Raje Scindia awarded the winning team with the prize money of 51 lakh .
ii.Director of Hockey India Dr. Narendra DhruvBatra, Hockey India CEO Helena Norman, Secretary, sports and youth welfare Sachin Sinha, DRM Alok Kumar, Director sports Upendra Jain were present at closing ceremony of the tournament
iii.Among the 12 teams participating in the tournament, Railway stood the first runners up and Air India the second runners up beating ONGC.The runner up team was awarded with prizes of Rs 21 lakh and second runners up with Rs 11 lakh.
iv.Till the first half of the match no goals were made by either of the team. In the second half, both the teams scored 1-1 goals after which BPCL won the match in the penalty shootout. Manpreet Singh of BPCL was awarded as the best defender and Gurpreet Singh as the best Goal Keeper of Air India.
v.Man of the Match – Amit Rohidas.
♦ Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award – Gurpreet Singh of Air India.
♦  Best Defender of the Tournament – Manpreet Singh from BPCL.
♦  Best Midfielder of the Tournament – Chinglensana Singh from Railways.
♦  Best Forward of the Tournament – Affan Yousuf from Railways.
♦  Player of the Tournament – Tushar Khandker from BPCL.

OBITUARY

Curtis Hanson, Oscar-winning director of LA Confidential, died aged 71
i. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Curtis Hanson was  best known for his acclaimed neo-noir drama “L.A. Confidential,” had died. He was 71.Curtis Hanson, Oscar-winning director of LA Confidential, died aged 71
ii. Hanson was found unresponsive in his home, according to Officer Liliana Preciado, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. He died of natural causes.
iii. Hanson, who also helmed such box-office hit as the Rebecca De Mornay horror thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) and the Eminem hip-hop drama 8 Mile (2002), died afternoon in a home in the Hollywood Hills.
iv. But it was “L.A. Confidential” that really propelled him into Hollywood’s elite. The film, which starred Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger, skillfully juggled corruption, intrigue and murder among cops and Hollywood figures in 1950s Los Angeles.
v. It was nominated for nine Oscars, also winning best supporting actress for Basinger, and helped launch Crowe’s career.