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Current Affairs Today – September 24 2016

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CAT Sep 24 2016INDIAN AFFAIRS

India International Seafood Show Held In Vizag
i. The three day International Seafood Show held to discuss the challenges and strategies for the Indian fishing industry which is on the road to achieving USD 10 billion exports by 2020 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
ii. Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitaraman inaugurated the show in the presence of Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on September 23, 2016
iii. The three-day provided a platform for manufacturers and suppliers of seafood processing machinery, packaging system, certifications, processing ingredients, cold chain system and logistics.
iv. Technical sessions also conducted by US Food and Drug Administration, Norwegian Embassy, European Commission and Indian experts.
Around 117 Indian companies, including 27 foreign, will participate at the events which were attended by over 1,000 Indian delegates and 200 overseas visitors.
Points to remember :
♦ Seafood Exporters Association of India Chairman – V Padmanabhan
♦ India exported marine products worth USD 4.7 billion in terms of value and 9,45,892 tonnes in quantity during the last fiscal.

2016 North East Connectivity Summit Held In Tripura
♦ The third Northeast Connectivity Summit held at the Pragya Bhavan at Agartala, Tripura to discuss connectivity of the landlocked Northeast region that is surrounded by several foreign nations.
Objective: To highlighting the opportunities in infrastructure and other potential areas like Tourism, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Food Processing, etc.
Organiser:  Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) with support of government of Tripura, Ministry of DoNER and the Northeast Council
Highlights:North East Summit 2016
i. The investment opportunities in international trade and commerce connectivity with neighbouring countries.
ii. This summit have a major focus on development of international trade and commerce of North Eastern states including Assam.
iii. Improving connectivity with Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries with a special emphasis on developing connectivity in border areas.
Focus Areas of 2016 :
♦ Tourism, Food Processing, Textiles & Apparels, Information Technology, Energy, Roads, Inland water transport, Airport development and Trade and Commerce
India’s Neighbouring countries:  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka 

Gujarat Govt. quashed its all notifications regarding 10 percent quota for EBC Economically Backward Classes
i. The Gujarat High Court rejected the government’s notification granting 10 percent quota for EBCs (economically backward classes) in educational institutions. The Anandiben Patel government had approved the reservation to placate the Patidar community.
ii. The ordinance, a temporary law, was held unconstitutional and illegal by a division bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and justice VM Pancholi. The Gujarat government had asked for two weeks to appeal against the high court decree in the Supreme Court of India.
iii. The high court gave its judgment after several petitions were filed against the Ordinance that was issued as it was over and above 50 percent reservation already effective in the state.
 iv. The judgment comes on a set of petitions challenging the ordinance saying the ten percent provision is against the limit of 50% reservation.  At least three petitions were filed against the quota provided through an ordinance for people from the general category, whose annual income was below Rs 6 lakh.
 v. The petitioners, including social activists, students and parents, had challenged the ordinance, claiming that it was contrary to the precedents established by the Supreme Court long back on the issue of quota for other backward classes on the recommendation of the Mandal Commission in 1990

Chandigarh Administration, French Development Agency sign MoUs
i. Chandigarh Administration Secretary K K Jindal and Director of French Development Agency (AFD), Nicolas Fornage are signed a memorandum of understanding (MoUs) on Chandigarh Smart City Project and ‘Technical Cooperation’ in the field of Sustainable Urban Mobility during an Indo-French workshop.
ii. Indo-French partnership will help to achieve the vision of making Chandigarh a healthy, happy and happening city
France:
♦ Capital: Paris
♦ President: François Hollande
♦ Currencies: Euro, CFP franc

TN govt to launch 50 ‘Amma Free Wi-Fi’ zones
i. Jayalalitha lead government issued orders to set up ‘Amma Free Wi-Fi’ zones in 50 places across the Tamil Nadu on September 23, 2016.
ii.I n the first phase, 50 schools will be covered at a cost of Rs 10 crore. 
iii.Upcoming Wifi spots includes  larger bus terminuses, commercial complexes and parks, higher secondary school and college students.
Other schemes launched by TN government :
♦ Amma Water, Amma Cement, Amma Medicine  and Amma Canteen
Tamil Nadu:
♦ Thirumalapuram Rock-Cut Cave Temples
♦ Padmanabhapuram Palace
♦ Brihadeeswarar Temple

PM approved constitution of two committees for commemoration of birth centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay
i. For the 100th birthday of Deendayal Upadhyay, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  constituted two committees for Commemoration of the centenary of BJP’s ideologue.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Committeeii. Modi headed the 149 member National Committee while Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the 23 member Executive Committee.
iii. Former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and H.D. Deve Gowda, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Manohar Parrikar, former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and BJP President Amit Shah are the members of National Committee.
iv. This committee also included Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, NCP leader and former Minister Sharad Pawar, JD (U) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadav,Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, Lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Film Director ChandraprakashDwivedi, former Hockey player Dhanraj Pillai, former Badminton player Pullela Gopichand and founder of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak.
v.Union Minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma was the Convenor of the committee. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, who was born on 25 September 1916 in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, was the ideologue of Jan Sangh, the parent organisation of BJP.
vi. BJP was planning year-long celebrations which was  inaugurated by the party chief at its National Council at Kozhikode.

6th BRICS Agriculture Meeting held in New Delhi
i. India hosted the sixth Brics meeting on Agriculture and Agrarian Development and deliberate on priority areas of cooperation between the five countries of the bloc. The two-day conference started with an official-level meeting to be followed by ministerial meeting the next day.
ii. The discussion centered around five priority areas of cooperation in the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa)
iii. The areas of cooperation included creating basic agricultural information exchange system, strategy for ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable population, reducing negative impact of climate change on food security and adaptation of agriculture to climatic changes, enhancing agricultural technology cooperation and innovation, trade and investment promotion.
iv. The agenda of the Brics meetings had considerably widened over the years encompassing global issues such as climate change, food and energy security, Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) and International Economic and Financial Situation among others.
v. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of Brics being the major producers, consumers and exporters of agricultural, horticultural and meat products.
vi. Brics countries enjoyed strength in the form of knowledge, expertise and research facilities and capabilities in agriculture.These strengths needed to be converged and galvanized for ensuring global food security.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Five Indian cities in the top 100 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index
i. The City of Kolkata has entered into the top 100 in the sixth annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index. Five Indian cities have made it to the top 100 destination cities for 2016. Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Pune are the four other cities in the list. Kolkata ranks 62nd in the index.
ii. Mumbai and Chennai, that stand out as the fastest growing destination cities globally with at least 1 million overnight visitors in 2016 so far, ranked at number 14 and 19 respectively.
iii. Mumbai further consolidated its position as the only Indian city to enter Asia Pacific’s top 10 destination cities in terms of international overnight visitors in 2016. Ranked at number 10, right after Shanghai, the city has received 4.86 million visitors along with a visitor spend of $3.6 billion in 2016 so far.
International overnight visitors to the rest of the top 5cities include:

Name of the city No of Visitors
Bangkok 21.47 million visitors
London 19.88 million visitors
Paris 18.03 million visitors
Dubai 15.27 million visitors
New York 12.75 million visitors

India business, culture festival held in Chinese city Yangzhou 
i. China’s Yangzhou city was set to host India Week celebrations with a business and investment meeting to be attended by chief executives officers (CEOs) of top Indian firms.It was regarded as a key partner in promoting investments in India
ii. The city in coastal Jiangsu province had been an important business partner for India in the Eastern China Region (ECR) and Yangzhou companies had shown keen interest in investing in India as part of the projects available under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
iii. Xie Zhengyi, secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China’s Yangzhou unit, would soon lead an investors’ delegation to India to explore opportunities for investment was reported.
iv. As part of Yangzhou’s International Cuisine Festival, an ‘Incredible India Pavilion’ would be inaugurated showcasing select Indian food delicacies and promote tourism-related travel options for Yangzhou visitors to India.
v. A week-long Indian Film Festival featuring dubbed versions of five Indian movies – ‘PK’, ‘Three Idiots’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, ‘Taare Zameen Par’, ‘Queen’.

UNSC adopts a resolution to reinforce the objectives of a major treaty banning nuclear test
i. The UN Security Council adopted a resolution to reinforce the objectives of a major treaty banning nuclear test, amid growing nuclear threat posed by the Democratic People’ s Republic of Korea (DPRK).UNSC
ii. The 15-member body adopted the U.S.-drafted resolution with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by Egypt. It called on all states to refrain from conducting any nuclear weapon test explosion and pushes for early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), 20 years after the pact was open for signature.
iii. The legally binding CTBT was a multi-lateral treaty by which states agree to ban all nuclear explosions. It had been ratified by more than 160 countries and would enter into force 180 days after the ratification of all 44 states listed.
iv .U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the resolution was  a strong and necessary statement of our principles and promises as a global community.
v. It reinforced the core purposes and objectives of the CTBT itself to diminish our reliance on nuclear devices, to reduce competition among nuclear powers, and to promote responsible disarmament.
vi. This resolution came after North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test this month. The UN Security Council has called the test a flagrant disregard of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

BANKING & FINANCE

HDFC, Airtel and State Bank of India named in the Top 50 valued brands
HDFC, Airtel and State Bank of India named in the Top 50 valued brands by the The third annual BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands report released by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. The top 5 rankings as follows

Position Brand Name
1 HDFC
2 Airtel
3 SBI
4 Asian Paints
5 ICICI Bank

ftcash team-ups with ICICI Bank to launch UPI for merchants
i. Mobile payments and loans start-up ftcash in association with ICICI Bank is the first fintech start-up to launch Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to provide flexibility to our 5,000-plus merchants to accept electronic payments at a lower cost and better convenience.
ii. ftcash is a virtual POS for micro-merchants to accept payments through credit cards, debit cards, and wallets such as Freecharge, Mobikwik, and PayPal etc.
iii. ICICI Bank is an Indian multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra
Keys:
♦ CEO of ftcash : Sanjeev Chandak
♦ CEO of ICICI Bank : Chanda Kochhar

BUSINESS

India and France signed the €7.87 billion deal for Rafale fighter jets
i. India and France signed the €7.87 billion deal for Rafale fighter jets, equipped with latest missiles and weapon system besides multiple India-specific modifications that will give the IAF cutting edge capability over arch rival Pakistan.
ii. France and India signed the contract for the acquisition of 36 Rafale by India, The deal comes with a saving of nearly €750 million, gained through hard negotiations by the Indian side, over the one struck during the previous UPA government, which was scrapped by the Narendra Modi government, besides a 50 per cent offset clause.
iii. These combat aircraft, delivery of which will start in 36 months and will be completed in 66 months from the date the contract is inked, comes equipped with state-of-the-art missiles like ‘Meteor’ and ‘Scalp’ that will give IAF a capability that had been sorely missing in its arsenal.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

The Hindu wins reader engagement awards
Newspaper The Hindui. The leading newspaper ‘The Hindu‘ has been awarded the Silver and Bronze awards in the ‘Best Reader Engagement’ category of the South Asian Digital Media Awards at the WAN-IFRA (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers) India 2016 conference in Kolkata.
ii. The Silver award bagged by the Ask Ashwin Contest from The Hindu Group’s sportstarlive.com. The Hindu’s online coverage of the Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Campaign 2016 has bagged the Bronze award in the Best Reader Engagement category.
iii. The awards presented by WAN-IFRA and Google to recognise publishers who have adopted digital media and mobile strategies as part of their total product offering to meet the major changes in how people consume news .

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Anurag Srivastava concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Djibouti
i. Anurag Srivastava 1999-batch IFS officer, presently Ambassador of India to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Djibouti.
ii. Srivastava is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
About Republic of Djibouti:
♦ Djibouti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa
♦ Capital: Djibouti
♦ Currency: Djiboutian franc

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Apple acquires Hyderabad based startup Tuplejump
i. Apple has bought Hyderabad-based machine learning and big data start-up Tuplejump.
ii. Tuplejump specialises in faster storage, processing and analysis of big sets of data.
iii. This is the Apple’s first acquisition in India and fourth machine learning acquisition in a year.
iv. The tech giant is also in talks to buy the supercar company McLaren.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

IAF successfully fires long-range air-to-air missile
i. The Indian Air Force had successfully fired recently acquired long range air-to-air MICA missile on a maneuvering target from Mirage-2000 Upgrade combat aircraft.
MICA missileii. A Defence Ministry release announced that the missile achieved a direct hit on a target which was much smaller than an actual aircraft and flying at a low altitude.
iii. The target was destroyed on missile impact validating the launch envelope of the missile.With the success of this mission, the IAF has become one of the few Air Forces in the world with the capability of such long range Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air missile.
iv.The operational success of this mission confirmed a critical capability of Indian Air Force.
Mirage-2000:
♦ It is a single-engine fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by France’s Dassault Aviation.
♦ The upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter jets were fitted with the Thales RDY 2 radar, new avionics, helmet-mounted display. They have ability to fire new weapons including BVR MICA, Meteor missiles.

Alibaba planned to launch world’s first e-commerce satellite
i. China’s online marketing giant Alibaba planned to launch the world’s first e-commerce satellite next year to provide people with the best vegetables after analyzing agricultural cultivation and harvesting data.
ii .The company made the above announcements during its Beijing launch ceremony for the new space marketing plan.
iii. The satellite was scheduled to be launched in 2017. Juhuasuan.com announced plans to launch the satellite in cooperation with the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and the China Space Museum.
iv. The three partners aimed to further develop space exploration with the help of both space technology and e-commerce data.
v. One example of benefit to consumers would be that the best and freshest vegetables would be available to consumers after cultivation and harvesting data was analyzed by the satellite.

SPORTS

India 3rd in ICC ODI standings, Kohli 2nd in batting chart
i. India were placed third while mainstay ViratKohli held the second position in the batting chart due to away from the 50-over format for a while, in the latest ICC ODI rankings released.India were positioned third with 110 points behind Australia (124) and New Zealand (113).
ii. Kohli,With 813 points, was only behind South African talisman AB de Villiers and a place ahead of another experienced Protea Hashim Amla in the batting list.
iii. Besides Kohli, Rohit Sharma (7th) and ShikharDhawan (8th) were the other Indians in the batting list dominated by the South Africans and the Asian giants
iv. As far as future team movement was concerned, fourth-ranked South Africa have a chance to climb up to second position in the ICC ODI rankings when they host number-one ranked world champions Australia in a five-match series from September 30 to October 12.
v. While Australia and South Africa would aim to consolidate their current positions, Bangladesh, the West Indies and Pakistan will target to improve their rankings.

Velavan Senthilkumar wins U-19 Asian title
U 19 Squash Championshipi. India’s Squash player Velavan Senthilkumar defeat Jordan’s Mohammad Al-Sarraj to won the U-19 Asian Junior Individual squash championship title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on September 24, 2016
ii. He is the second Indian to win the title after Ravi Dixit in 2010.
iii. From among 31 Indian players, Tushar Shahani won the silver medal in boys U-17 and Yash Fadte won the bronze medal in boys’ U-15 section

NITI Aayog chalked up plan to secure 50 medals in 2024 Olympics  
i. Government’s think-tank Niti Aayog had devised to invent a plan, system, object, etc., using your intelligence or imagination,a short-term and medium-to-long term action plan to help India achieve 50 medals in 2024 summer Olympics.
ii. The short-term vision (4-8 years) envisaged to imagine or expect something in the future, especially something good
iii .It envisaged targeting a group of priority sports, organising sports persons into three groups for each priority sport. It seeks to harness the potential of regional and indigenous sports, selecting world-class coaches as well as a grading system for coaches.
iv .It would also focus on a strengthening and scaling up of existing SAI training centers, sports injury insurance scheme, facilitating creation of sports academies for individual sports. Under it, a digital database for sports will be created
Medium to long term vision (8-15 years)
♦ It would focus on identifying talent at a young age, a dedicated training programmer for coaches, having sports curriculum in schools. It would encourage development of sports infrastructure through PPP or private mode and developing a psychological and health support division.
♦ It would stress on the consistent funding of contracts, promoting a culture of sports in the country and hosting international events in priority sports. After each Olympics, a fixed 4-year contract will be signed between SAI and Group A sports persons, keeping in mind their funding requirement for the next Olympics and other international events.

OBITUARY

FCAT chairman Mahajan dies
i. The chairman of Film Certification Appllate Tribunal (FCAT), Justice (retd) S K Mahajan has passed away.
ii. He was the Former Delhi High Court judge.
iii. He was cremated at the at Lodhi road crematorium where many legal luminaries including judges and dignitaries including Minister of State of Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore were present