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Current Affairs Today – September 27 2016

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CAT Sep 26 2016INDIAN AFFAIRS

Union Government decided to suspend talks on Indus Waters Treaty  
i. The government decided to suspend Indus water commission talks with Pakistan. This decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan amid a heightening tension between the two countries
ii. It is noted that since the Uri attack, the government had been under intense pressure to act in a forceful way that includes measures to stop water flows from three Western rivers into Pakistan.
iii. The suspension of talks was not straight away lead to the revocation of the Indus Water Treaty, but it is meant to signal to Pakistan that India is prepared for a comprehensive response to Pakistan’s undeterred support to terrorism as an instrument of state policy against India.
iv. PM stated that “blood and water can’t flow together.” Last week New Delhi made it clear that “mutual trust and cooperation” was important for such a treaty to work.
v. The meeting also decided to review the 1987 suspension of the Tulbul navigation project to accommodate Pakistan’s concerns. The Prime Minister was also briefed about the various dams under construction in Jammu and Kashmir and he wanted them to be expedited.
vi. Under the Indus Water Treaty, that was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, the water of six rivers — Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum — were to be shared between the two countries.

Special trees in Delhi to get ‘natural heritage’ tag
i. The 16 trees located in Aravali and NCR to be notified as “protected” natural heritage, on the lines of recognising special monuments in Delhi, announced by Delhi Cabinet Minister Kapil Mishra.
ii. Some of the tree in the list are  banyan, ailanthus, mango, arjuna, and ashok. 
iii. Aim: To highlight the issue of pollution.
iv. The trees will be adorned with descriptive and informative signboards, which
will tell people of the ecological and botanical value of these tree.
v. It will also tell about historical stories surrounding the tree and also warn people against damaging them.
New Delhi:
♦ Qutub Minar , Tughlaqabad, National Museum, Raj Ghat and Jantar Mantar

Gurgaon Is Now ‘Gurugram’ As Centre Approves New Name
i. Union governmnet approved the name change of Gurgaon. This city as well as the district of Gurgaon would be known as Gurugram, which is located in the state of Haryana.'Gurugram'
ii. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced this at first meeting of the ‘Swarna Jayanti Celebrations Committee’ at Panchkulaboth.
iii. Gurugram is the corporate hub of Haryana on the outskirts of Delhi.
iv. The village was given as ‘gurudakshina‘ to Guru Dronacharya by the Pandavas and hence it came to be known as Guru-gram, which in course of time got distorted to Gurgaon.

Punjab govt includes few castes in Backward Classes list
i. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal approved the inclusion of Gosai/Goswami, Yadav/Aahir and Rabari Communities in the list of Backward Classes of the state on the recommendations of the state Backward Classes Commission
ii. The Cabinet also approved the recommendations of Cabinet sub-committee regarding the settlement of legacy food credit account. The committee recommended that the terms as approved by State Bank of India in its meeting held on September 20 has agreed to reduce the rate of interest from 9.26 per cent to 8.25 per cent.
iii. The Cabinet also decided to extend the Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Beema Yojna to provide health insurance to 40 lakh blue card holders, farmers, traders and labourer families.Which was expiring on October 31,
iv. Henceforth the Cabinet gave its nod to extend this policy from November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017.
Punjab Tribal Group :
♦ Sikh Jats, Khatris, Aroras, Sainis, Kambojs and Sansis.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India, China hold 1st high-level dialogue to combat terror
India and China hold a high level dialogue, where they discussed ways to enhance security and cooperation to combat terror as officials from the two sides exchanged information on policies and legislation to deal with terrorism at the first high-level dialogue and they reached “important consensus”.
Venue: Beijing, China
i. The two sides had in-depth discussions on enhancing cooperation in counter-terrorism and security and on measures to jointly deal with security threats and reached important consensus in combating terrorism.
ii. The meeting was co-chaired by R N Ravi, Chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee and Wang Yongqing, Secretary General of Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of China.

Intra-SAARC group releases operation plans 2025   
i. SAARC have released an operation plan running through to 2025 on September 27, 2016
ii. SASEC OP (operational plan) is the program’s first comprehensive long-term plan to promote greater economic cooperation among members.
iii. Over 200 potential transport, trade facilitation and energy projects worth $120 billion in investments for the next five years have been identified under the plan. Out of these 74 projects are in India with an estimated project cost of over $60 billion.
SASEC :
♦ South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Members : Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives,Nepal, and Sri Lanka
♦ SASEC was established in 2001 to improve cross-border connectivity, boost trade among member countries, and strengthen regional economic cooperation.
♦ The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the secretariat and lead financier of the SASEC program.

Sushma Swaraj to address UN General Assembly 
i. India dubbed Pakistan as a country with terror as its “calling card” and urged the United Nations to isolate such countries which permit terrorists to carry on their activities unimpeded.
ii. At the United Nations General Assembly, Indian foreign minister Sushma Swarajdebated for a unified global strategy to defeat terrorism describing it as the “biggest violation of human rights”, urging the UN to pass the India-proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT)it provides a legal framework making it imperative for all signatories to deny funds and safe havens to terrorist groups.
Sushma Swarajiii. She added that the there were  nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it. To shelter terrorists has become their calling card.
iv. These nations, in which UN designated terrorists roam freely, led processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations
v. And if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate.In her speech that also contained references to UN Security Council reforms and India’s progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UK woman becomes world’s youngest commercial airline captain
i. A 26-year-old woman Kate McWilliams from UK become the world’s youngest ever commercial airline captain of easyjet. She first became interested in planes after attending an air show at age four.
ii. McWilliams began flying at the age of 13 in the air cadets before embarking on a training programme at CTC Aviation in Southampton on her 19th birthday.
iii. She  has become the world’s youngest commercial airline captain with 19-year-old co-pilot Elsworth also one of the country’s youngest co-pilots.
iv. She flies Airbus A319 and A320 planes to around 100 destinations, such as Reykjavik, Tel Aviv and Marrakesh.
United Kingdom:
♦ Capital: London
♦ Currency: Pound sterling
♦ Prime minister: Theresa May

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI approves Rs 26,000 crore CCL for paddy procurement in Punjab
i. The RBI has given approval toRs 26,000-crore cash credit limit (CCL) for purchasing paddy in poll-bound Punjab.
ii. The state government will seek approval of the Centre by sending the RBI’s approval letter for the release of funds for the purchase of paddy
iii. Paddy procurement in Punjab will commence from October 1 and the state is expecting procurement of 150 lakh tonne of crop from the state.
iv. Cash Credit Limit:Cash Credit is a running account facility extended on demand renewable on yearly basis.

Tax dept unveiled draft rules for registration under GST
i. The first meeting of the GST Council, the tax department today came out with three draft rules and their formats relating to registration, invoice and payments which would be finalised by week-end.
ii. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has invited comments on draft rules. The draft rules would provide for online registration by residents within three days of submission of application.
iii. For non-residents who would come under the purview of GST, they would  be required to electronically submit the application for registration at least 5 days prior to the commencement of business.
iv. The government aimed to implement the new indirect tax regime GST from 1st of April next year and the GST Council would hold its second meeting on 30th of this month to finalise rules for GST.
v. The applicant seeking registration would have to submit PAN, mobile number, email address on the common portal or through a facilitation centre.The tax authorities will use PAN, one time password and Aadhaar number to verify the details of the applicant.

Global trade growth to be just 1.7% in 2016: WTO
i.The World Trade Organization lowered its global trade forecast, warning that anti-globalisation rhetoric and Brexit were pushing trade growth to its slowest pace since the financial crisis.WTO
ii. The WTO announced that global trade was now estimated to expand by just 1.7 percent this year, compared to its April projection of 2.8 percent.The new figure is also a far cry from a projection a year ago that trade would swell by 3.9 percent this year.
iii. It is described as “wake-up call“, the Geneva-based global trade body declared that the growth had fallen to its slowest pace in around seven years, when the global financial crisis hit.
iv. The contraction was driven (not only) by slowing GDP and trade growth in developing economies such as China and Brazil but also in North America, which had the strongest import growthof any region in 2014-15, but has decelerated since then was reported by WTO.
v. With expected global GDP growth of 2.2 per cent in 2016, this year would mark the “slowest pace” of trade and output growth since the financial crisis of 2009.
WTO:
♦ Founded: January 1, 1995
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Leader: Roberto Azevêdo

BUSINESS

Microsoft Signed Adobe For Azure Cloud Computing Services
i. Tech giants Microsoft and Adobe announced a major partnership to promote the use of each other’s cloud-computing tools among their mutual customers.
ii. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, called the deal a “massive milestone,” in an appearance here with Shantanu Narayen, his Adobe counterpart. The deal linked some Adobe products to Microsoft’s customer relationship management tools.
iii. Cloud-computing, a growing business in which companies increasingly turn to rented, web-based infrastructure to run their software instead of their own back room servers, has a been a showcase of Microsoft’s newfound willingness to partner with erstwhile competitors.
iv. Microsoft announced that the Adobe would now make Azure its “preferred cloud platform”for its three main services: the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Creative Cloud and Document Cloud.
v. Adobe would use SQL Server and Azure’smachine learning services available in the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite.  Customers expect a well-designed, personalized and consistent experience every time they engage with a brand was declared by Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe at the keynote session.
Microsoft:
♦ CEO: Satya Nadella.
♦ Head Quarters: Washington, USA.
♦ Founded: April 4, 1975.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

IPS officer OP Singh taking over as the new Director General of CISF
OP Singhi. A 1983-batch officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre O P Singh took over as the new Director General of CISF on September 26, 2016.His tenure is till January 2020
ii. Prior to this serving as the Director General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)
iii. He had earlier served in the SPG, CRPF and CISF, and is an alumnus of the National Defence College in the national capital and holds an MBA in disaster management.
iv. R K Pachnanda took over as the new DG of NDRF. He is the successor of OP Singh
CISF:
♦ The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is a Central Armed Police Force in India.
♦ It was set up under an Act of the Parliament of India on 10 March 1969 with a strength of 2,800
♦ HQ – New Delhi

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

GSL Handed Over First Fast Patrol Vessel for Mauritius Government in Record Time
i. Indo-Mauritius defence co-operation got another fillip with the delivery of first fast patrol vessel, MCGS VICTORY, designed and built in-house by Goa Shipyard Ltd for Mauritius Coast Guard GSL.
ii. It included delay of over six months in supply of steel and being the first ship of the series, we have successfully delivered this ship as per contractual schedule of September, 2016.
iii. Within 20 months of keel laying which is a record in itself, and is in line with the track record of GSL in recent years of timely deliveries and shows the dedication and commitment of all the stakeholders involved.
iv. The vessel is primarily designed for coastal patrolling, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, anti-drug surveillance, anti-poaching operations, and search and rescue operations. Trials were undertaken in peak monsoon months and the vessel achieved all design parameters.
v. The ship was handed over by R Adm. ShekharMital, NM (Retd), CMD, Goa Shipyard Ltd, to K. Jhugroo, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mauritius Police Force, Government of Mauritius, in the distinguished presence of senior officials from Mauritius and India.
vi. The CMD thanked the Government of Mauritius, Ministry of Defence, State GSL Handed Over First Fast Patrol Vessel for Mauritius GovernmentGovernment and local authorities for providing all the necessary assistance, which has enabled Goa Shipyard to achieve new milestones in the performance.
Mauritius :
♦ Capital: Port Louis
♦ Currency: Mauritian Rupee.

ENVIRONMENT

9 out of 10 people in world breathing polluted air – WHO
i. It is pathetic to know that more than 9 out of 10 people worldwide live in areas with excessive air pollution, contributing to strokes, heart disease, lung cancer and other problems, says WHO Report on Ambient Air Pollution 2016.
ii. The new report says that 92 percent of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits, with southeast Asia, eastern Mediterranean and western Pacific regions hardest hit.
iii. Turkmenistan has the highest rate of deaths per capita due to ambient air pollution in the WHO’s classification, followed by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and China. India alone accounting for over 75 per cent of the casualties caused by cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer.
iv. The three Indian cities, New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, are in the list of 11 most-polluted mega cities, the most for any country. China has only 2 cities in the top 10 list.

India inks pact with International Seabed Authority(ISA) for exploration of polymetallic sulphides
i. Government of India signed a15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for exploration of polymetallic sulphides (PMS) in Indian Ocean.
ii. The contract was signed by Dr M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), and Dr Nii Allotey Odunton, secretary general, ISA.
iii. ISA earlier approved an application submitted by the Ministry of Earth Sciences for allotment of 10,000 sq km area along with 15-year plan of work for exploration of PMS along Central Indian Ridge (CIR) and Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) region of the Indian Ocean.
International Seabed Authority(ISA):
♦ The ISA is an institution set up under the Convention on Law of the Sea to which India is a party.
♦ It was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans.
♦ Headquarters: Kingston, Jamaica
♦ Membership: The Authority has 167 members and the European Union, composed of all parties to the Law of the Sea Convention

SPORTS

Gaurav Gill of Team MRF win the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship
i. Gaurav Gill of Team MRF won the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship fourth time in the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship held at Obihiro, Japan.
ii. 2013 APRC champion Gill with a new co-driver in Belgian Stephane Prevot win in one minute and 50.6 seconds over Germany’s Fabian Kreim (Christian Frank) who finished ahead of Cusco Racing’s Michael Young.
iii. Fabian Kreim, who is placed second in the championship behind Gill

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran won Belgium Open
i. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has become only the second Indian table tennis player to win an ITTF event as he clinched the men’s singles title of the Belgium Open.
ii. Sathiyan won his first pro title by defeating local player Nuytinck Cedric 4-0 in the final 15-13, 11-6, 11-2, 17-15 at De Haan in Belgium. Achanta Sharath Kamal is the first Indian to win an ITTF event in 2012.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran won Belgium Openiii. Sathiyan, made several upsets, starting in the second round when he beat world number 103 Jon Persson.
iv. In the quarterfinals, he defeated world number 75 Steffen Mengelbefore eventually winning against world number 113 Cedric in the final. (PTI).
v.Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is an Indian table tennis player, ranked 160 in the world as of February 2016. He was a member of the Indian team that took the bronze in the 2011 Junior World Championships.
vi .Sathiyan is from Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu. He was educated as an engineer

International challenge badminton: Rituparna Das won Polish Open
i. Young Indian shuttler Rituparna Das clinched the Polish Open after defeating fellow Indian Rasika Raje in the women’s singles final of the International challenge badminton event. Rituparna beat Rasika 11-21 21-7 21-17 in a 40-minute clash.
ii. Women’s doubles pair of Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil also clinched the title after defeating top seeds Natalya Voytsekh and Yelyzaveta Zharka19-21 21-19 21-14 in the final that lasted more than an hour.
iii. Sourabh Verna, however, lost his second final after the Belgium Open following some tough contest in the finals against Denmark’s Victor Svendsen.The Indian, who is making a comeback after a series of injuries, fought a gruelling battle before going down 27-29 13-21 in the final.
iv. Rasika had the most trying time at the court as she fought hard before notching up a 21-17 28-26 win over Malaysia’s Soniia Su yaCheah.
v. Rituparna, however, didn’t break a sweat as she dumped Julie Macpherson 21-11 21-9 in a lop-sided semifinal contest. Sourabh too outclassed ZiiJia Lee, a qualifier in the event, to set up the final with Victor.

Japan to host 2026 Asian Games: Olympic Council of Asia
i. Japan will host the Asian Games for the third time in 2026 after Aichi prefecture and its capital Nagoya were confirmed as the venue for the multi-sport event by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA)
ii. Japan, hosts of the 2017 Asian Winter Games, 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Summer Olympics.
iii. The Games would cost $842 million. 30 % of those costs are expected to be covered by sponsorship and other revenue, while Aichi prefecture and Nagoya will split the remaining costs on a 70:30 basis.
iv. 2018 Asian Games –Jakarta and Palembang, 2022 Asian Games – Hangzhou
Olympic Council of Asia:
♦ Headquarters: Kuwait City, Kuwait
♦ President: Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
♦ Membership: 45 National Olympic Committees

OBITUARY

Herschell Gordon Lewis, ‘Godfather Of Gore,’ Died At 87
i. Herschell Gordon Lewis, the horror filmmaker known as the “godfather of gore, “was died. He was 87.Lewis pioneered the horror genre in the 1960s known as the “splatter film.”
Herschell Gordonii. Gordon Lewis died in his sleep at his home in Pompano Beach, Florida, his spokesman James Saito confirmed.Blood, violence and nudity usually featured heavily in his films – many of which he financed himself.
iii. Other horror films directed by Gordon Lewis included A Taste of Blood, The Wizard of Gore, Colour Me Blood Redand Just for the Hell of It.
iv.John Waters, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and James Gunn are among the modern-day filmmakers who were inspired by his work.
v. Gordon Lewis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1929.He went on to study journalism in college and became a professor of English literature at Mississippi State University.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Tourism Day – September 27, 2016
i. The World Tourism Day 2016 is celebrated with the theme “Tourism for All – promoting universal accessibility”by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation on September 27 to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
ii. 4th TOF Tigers Wildlife Tourism Awards 2016 honoured men and women working to restore the green cover of India and Nepal in multiple ways.
iii. The ninth edition of the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the state, Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), organised by the Kerala Travel Mart Society in association with the Department of Tourism held in Kochi. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the event.
iv. India Tourism Development Corporation, a PSU under Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, on completion of its 50 Year of inception on 1st October 2016 launched a Logo marking the Golden Jubilee of ITDC.