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Current Affairs Today – September 26 2015

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Current Affairs sep 26 2015

Indian Affairs 

INS Viraat World’s oldest operational aircraft carrier

  • INS Viraat, the oldest operational aircraft carrier in the world, expected to be decommissioned by next year.
  • INS Viraat started its journey in 1958. The ship has been periodically upgraded with all its weapons and sensors for the last 28 years. It could make one more Visit to Kochi before the decommission.

Government decided to bring down its holding in IDBI Bank to 49%

  • The government has decided to bring down its holding in IDBI Bank to 49 per cent, in line with its commitment to reform state-run banks all over the country.
  • This is mainly because IDBI Bank is saddled with Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) like most other state-run banks. At a gross level, the bank’s NPAs stood at 9 per cent of advances at the end of June 2015.
  • The government will follow the model of Axis Bank, India’s third-largest by market capitalisation, where the government owns and indirectly controls 19 per cent stake through 100 per cent owned Specified Undertaking of UTI but has no role in day-to-day operations.
  • Point to be noted that unlike other state-run banks, IDBI Bank is governed by a separate law, the IDBI Act. While in the case of other state-run banks, the government has said it will not bring its stake to below 52 per cent, in the case of IDBI Bank there is no such restriction. So in this case the government can bring down its stake to 49 per cent without having to approach the Parliament.

International Affairs 

First Bhagavad Gita Conference held in London

  • The UK hosted the first Bhagavad Gita Conference in London. At this conference, Indian and British experts came together with an aim to seek answers to the “innumerable questions that exercise and confound all of us today.”
  • The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the High Commission of India organized the Bhagavad Gita conference in collaboration with the Department of the Study of Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. 
  • Experts and historians from India and UK got together for the two-day sessions which included aspects such as ‘Bhagvad Gita and Yoga’, ‘Impact of Bhagvad Gita on Modern Sanskrit Writings’ and ‘The Bhagvad Gita – Timeless Values for Today.’ 

‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ film wins first runner-up at TIFF

  • Indian film “Angry Indian Goddesses” was voted as the first runner-up at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
  • The film directed by Pan Nalin was voted as the first runner-up for the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at this year’s festival.
  • Of the seven girls in the film, Sandhya Mridul and Rajshri Deshpande were present at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Toronto film festival CEO: Piers Handling

WHO removes Nigeria from Polio-Endemic Countries List

  • Nigeria has been removed from the list of polio endemic countries. The announcement was made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) at a meeting of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in New York.
  • Nigeria has not reported a case of wild polio virus since 2014. However, three years without cases are required before it can be declared polio free.
  • Jean Gough, UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, said “This is an important milestone, but it is too early to celebrate. We need to continue the efforts at every level if polio is to be eradicated.”

Banking & Finance 

Awards

Dr Uma Rajan wins tabla! Community Champion Award

  • Dr Uma Rajan, 75 year-old Indian-Singaporean doctor became the first woman to win the tabla! Community Champion Award.
  • She has been honoured for contributing 38 years in the healthcare and community services by building nursing homes and child health care.
  • She was conferred with the fifth table! Award by Indranee Rajah, the Minister of State for Law and Education, Singapore.
  • She won10, 000 USD as cash prize and donated it to the voluntary welfare organizations, Singapore Children’s Society and Asian Women’s Welfare Association in Singapore.

Leonardo Dicaprio to receive SAG’s Actor Inspiration Award

  • Hollywood star, 40 year-old Leonardo DiCaprio will receive the Screen Actors Guild’s Actors Inspiration Award.
  • The Screen Actors Guild’s (SAG) Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Celebration will be held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on November 5.
  • He will be recognized for his achievements in films including eight SAG nominations, five Oscar nominations and also his charity work through the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was started in 1998, and it has donated over $30 million for environmental causes.

Appointments & Resigns

Network18 Group CEO shifted as Advisor to Chairman

  • AP Parigi, Group CEO of Network18, will move to a new role as Advisor to company Chairman Adil Zainulbhai. Earlier in this week, Rahul Joshi was appointed as CEO of News and group editor-in-chief, Network18.
  • Prior to joining Reliance Industries owned Network18, AP Parigi was MD & CEO of a Subsidiary of Times Infotainment Media Ltd (TIML) Radio Mirchi/ Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL).

Shivinder resigned as Executive Vice-Chairman of Fortis Healthcare Limited

  • Shivinder Mohan Singh resigned as the executive vice-chairman of Fortis Healthcare Limited and he decided to take up full-time spiritual service at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB).
  • RSSB was established in 1891. It is a philosophical organization based on the spiritual teachings of all religions and dedicated to a process of inner development under the guidance of a spiritual teacher.
  • He will be designated as non-executive vice-chairman of Fortis with effect from 1st January 2016.
  • Shivinder, along with his elder brother Malvinder Mohan Singh, runs 55 hospitals under the brand namely Fortis across the country. At present, Malvinder elder brother of Shivinder is the executive chairman of the company.

David Haggerty elected as ITF President

David Haggerty elected as ITF President

  • David Haggerty, 58-year old Former USTA head was elected as ITF President for a four year term from 2015-2019 at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Annual General Meeting in Santiago, Chile.
  • He will succeed Francesco Ricci Bitti. David Haggerty had secured 200 votes in the second ballot while Anil Khanna from India had secured 192 votes. Rene Stammbach and Juan Margets were eliminated on the first ballot.
  • Some other appointments based upon the election results are as follows
  • Vice Presidents: Katrina Adams (USA), Anil Khanna (IND), Rene Stammbach (SUI)
  • Board members: Martin Corrie, Sergio Elias, Ismail El Shafei, Bernard Giudicelli, Jack Graham, Thomas Koenigsfeldt, Celia Patrick, Aleksei Selivanenko, Stefan Tzvetkov, Bulat Utemuratov.

Environment

Nine new species of wild mushrooms discovered in Sikkim

  • Botanical Survey of India (BSI) scientist, Dr Kanad Das and his team have discovered nine species of wild mushrooms from Sikkim Himalayas. Out of nine, Canthrellus sikkimensis is edible and consumed by the local people.
  • These nine species were found in the subalpine region, the Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary and adjoining areas of North Sikkim.
  • Dr Kanad Das mentioned that four among the discovered species belong to the genus Lactarius , two of  Suillus and one each from three genera namely,  Cantharellus, Bondarzewia and Austroboletus. These new species of fungi are mushrooms, seasonal in nature growing in different times particularly during the rainy season.

Fossils of dinosaur found in Australia

  • 100 million year old dinosaur fossils have been found at an Australian archaeological site first explored in the 1930s.
  • The dinosaur fossils were found in northwest Queensland. The bones are believed to be from the Austrosaurus mckillopi.
  • Queensland dinosaur museum curator Timothy Holland said, “The bones were then sent to the Queensland Museum and experts realized they were quite different from all other fossils that had come from the site before”.

9,000-year-old ritualised decapitation found in Brazil

  • Researchers have unearthed a 9,000-year-old case of human decapitation in an archaeological site in Brazil which may be the oldest case of ritual decapitation in the New World.
  • It is a skull of a man found in a rock shelter in Lapa Do Santo, located in east-central Brazil where amputated hands laid over the face of the skull arranged opposite to each other and v-shaped cut marks on the jaw and sixth cervical vertebra.
  • According to researchers, the decapitation was not the result of a murder but probably a burial practice during the culture’s early Archaic period.
  • The skull is more than 3,000 years older than previous known evidence of decapitation in South America. The remains were found in 2007, but recently the testing results appeared in the journal – PLOS ONE.
  • Andre Strauss from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany and colleagues have dated the remains, named Burial 26, back to approximately 9,000 years ago using accelerator mass spectrometry.

Sports

Important Days 

September 26 : International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

The United Nations General Assembly has designated September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. It is being celebrated this year for the second time to “enhance public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination in order to mobilize international efforts toward achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon free world.”