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Current Affairs Today – September 28 2016

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CAT Sep 2016INDIAN AFFAIRS

Union Cabinet Approvals – September 29, 2016
i. The union cabinet headed by Prime minister Narendra Modi, approved agreements, Mou between countries and expost facto approval to Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) on September 28, 2016
ii. The government approved signing of an MoU with Singapore in order to give boost to innovation, creativity and technological advancement in both countries
iii. Union Cabinet approves an Undertaking between India and Korea on Mutual Recognition of Certificates for Seafarers, 1978.
iv. The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY).
v. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved ‘Project SAKSHAM’ which cost Rs.2256 crore

Parliamentary panel led by Veerappa Moily to examine merger of budgets
i. The committee headed by the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance M. Veerappa Moily to review the all budgetary reforms.
ii. The panel will give its report on the ramifications of the Union Cabinet’s decision of merging the Railway Budget with the General Budget and submit its report before the commencement of next Parliament session
iii. The committee would be discussed with the Statistics and Planning Departments.Later it would be taken up with the Finance department and the Railway Board.
v. Besides the budget, the panel has also selected to review the disinvestment policy, banking sector in the country, Reserve Bank of India’s emerging role and its framework.
vi. The committee will also review the performance of Securities Board of India (SEBI), Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd (SHCIL), National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Central Statistical Office(CSO) .

IGI became Asia-Pacific’s first carbon neutral airport
i. The Indira Gandhi International Airport had become Asia-Pacific’s only and one of the world’s few airports to achieve a “carbon neutral” status.
ii. GMR consortium-AAI run Delhi Airport has become the first carbon neutral airport in Asia-Pacific following a series of measures taken by it to reduce carbon footprint, including setting up of a 7.84 MW solar power plant
iii. The announcement was made by the international body of aerodrome operators across the world, ACI during the Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate presentation ceremony in Montreal, Canada.Less than 25 airports in the world, with most of them located in Europe, have earned carbon neutral status.
iv. Carbon neutrality occurs when the net carbon emissions over an entire year are zero or when the airport absorbs or offsets the same amount of emission that was generated
v. Neutrality is the highest level of environmental achievement available to airports under the programme and it is recognition of the airport’s great effort in reducing and offsetting emissions.
vi. DIAL, which runs Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, is a joint venture company, in which GMR holds majority stake

BRICS Labour& Employment Ministerial Meeting Held in New Delhi
i. BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Meeting held in New Delhi.  Ministers would deliberate to adopt the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Declaration.The Two day Meeting dedicated sessions on key thematic areas, Employment GenerationSocial Security and Inclusive Development Including Formalization.BRICS Labour& Employment Ministerial Meeting Held in New Delhi
ii. India had assumed the Presidency of BRICS in February,2016 and hosting the 8th BRICS Summit 2016 under India’s Chairmanship scheduled to be held on 15th-16th October, 2016 at Goa.  The theme of India’s BRICS Chairmanship is “Building Responsive, Inclusive  and Collective Solutions”.
iii. Speaking at the inaugural session, Shri BandaruDattatreya, the Union Minister of State(IC) reported  that India was now in a position to ratify the ILO conventions 138 and 182 concerning Child Labour.
iv. India had put a complete ban on employment below 14 years of age and on employment in hazardous occupations below 18 years of age. In another significant step, the Government of India had presented the amendment to Maternity Benefit Act, raising the paid maternity benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. The Bill had been passed by Rajya Sabha and it would be introduced in Lok Sabha in the Winter Session, 2016.
v. BRICS is a home to about 45% of the world’s economically active population. BRICS (including South Africa), the largest emerging markets-, need to develop in rapid strides
Delegates:
Mr. Antonio Jose Barreto De Araujo Junior, Vice Minister, Ministry of Labour from Brazil; Ms. LubovEltsova, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection from Russia; QiuXiaoping, Vice Minister, Ministry of Human Resources & Social Security from China; Ms. Mildred Nelisiwe Oliphant, Ministry of Labour from South Affrica; Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General, from ILO.

Telangana inks MoU with ISRO to promote education
i. Department of Information Technology, Electronics & Communication of the Telangana government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ISRO’s Development & Educational Communication Unit (DECU) to improve services of its educational channel ‘Mana TV’.
ii. With the help of ISRO, 6,000 schools in the state will launch digital classes from October 14 announced by IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao
iii. The channel ‘Mana TV’ start coaching classes from October 1 for those appearing for Group II services examination of the Telangana Public Service Commission (TPSC)
iv. The channel will telecast daily a four-hour programme for candidates preparing for the examination.
v. The Channel will also launch similar coaching programmes for the students preparing for EAMCET, the common entrance test for admissions to engineering and medical courses, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and other competitive examinations.
Telangana:
♦ The first Children Court of South India was launched at the Nampally Criminal Courts Complex in Hyderabad, Telangana to fast disposal of cases related to children.
♦ Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Mission Bhagiratha with an objective to provide safe drinking water to all.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India ranks 39th in 2016-17 Global Competitiveness Index
♦ India has secured the 39th rank, climbing 16 places from last year, on the annual Global Competitiveness Index prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Every year, WEF releases its Global Competitiveness Report based on their analysis of the world’s 138 economies. India has a score of 4.52 on the Index, while that of Switzerland, ranked 1st, is 5.81.

Top 5 countries

1 Switzerland
2 Singapore
3 US
4 Netherlands
5 Gernmany

Cuba, Russia signed Agreement on Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation
iRussia and Cuba had signed an agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, an Interfax correspondent reported from the signing ceremony, which took place during the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 60th General Conference in Vienna.
ii. Nikolai Spassky, deputy head of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, and Cuban Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment Jose Fidel Santana Nunez signed the document.
iii. Rosatom announced that the  cooperation could extend to areas like the production and Cuba & Russiause of isotopes, handling of radioactive waste, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy and staff training.
International Atomic Energy Agency:
♦ Head Quarters:Veinna , Austria.
♦ Founded: July 29, 1957.
♦ Head : Yukiya Amano.

Americas region is world’s first to be free of measles
i. Measles has been eradicated from the Americas due to decades of vaccination efforts, making it the first region of the world to rid itself of the disease  was announced by global health authorities.
ii. Measles remained a top killer of children worldwide, and took nearly 115,000 lives in 2014 — or about 13 deaths every hour — according to the World Health Organization (WHO).Endemic transmission of measles has been eliminated from the region was declared by World Health Organisation director Margaret Chan.
iii. The Americas region had shown that with strong national immunization programs.Dedicated financing and strong political commitment and partner support, measles could be stopped.
iv. Measles is now the fifth vaccine-preventable disease to be eliminated in the Americas, after smallpox, polio, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, according to a statement from the Pan American Health Organisation. 
v. Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat of an infected person, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
vi
. Severe complications could occur, particularly in children, and lead to death by pneumonia or brain swelling. A vaccine became widely available in 1963, but the virus has proven difficult to eradicate.

BANKING & FINANCE

Mumbai Richest City In India With Total Wealth Of $820 Billion
♦ According to New World Wealth, India’s financial capital Mumbai, home to 45,000 millionaires and 28 billionaires, is the wealthiest city in the country with total wealth of $820 billion.
♦ Top 3 cities : Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore
Other wealthiest cities include,
1.Hyderabad (total wealth of USD 310 billion, has 8,200 millionaires, 7 billionaires);
2.Kolkata (USD 290 billion, has 8,600 millionaires and 10 billionaires);
3.Pune (USD 180 billion, has 3,900 millionaires and 5 billionaires);
4.Chennai (USD 150 billion and has 6,200 millionaires and 4 billionaires) and
5.Gurgaon (USD 110 billion and home to 3,600 millionaires and 2 billionaires).

BUSINESS

Cabinet okays Rs 4.7k crore package for Hindustan Cables Limited’s closure
i. Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for closure of Hindustan Cables Limited (HCL), Kolkata as per the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956/2013, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and other relevant Acts.
ii. Total cash infusion for closure of company will be Rs. 1309.90 crore and non-cash infusion of Rs. 3467.15 crore.
iii. There is no production activity in the company since January 2003. The employees of the Company will be offered attractive VRS/VSS. Retrenchment process will also be followed as per Industrial Disputes Act 1947.
About Hindustan Cables Limited(HCL)
♦ HCL was established in the year 1952. It had four manufacturing units at Rupnarainpur (West Bengal), Hyderabad (Telengana), Naini (U.P.) and Narendrapur (West Bengal). Registered office of HCL is located at Kolkata. 
♦ The company was set up to cater to the needs of Government-owned telecom companies BSNL and MTNL for manufacturing of telecom cables.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Music Director Uttam Singh honoured with ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement’
i. Veteran Music director Uttam Singh has been awarded the ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement’ instituted by the Maharashtra government.
ii. The award presented by the Maharashtra government, the Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement, consisted of cash reward of Rs.5,00,000, a citation, a trophy and a shawl.
iii. Uttam Singh is an Indian musician. He has worked as a violinist, music arranger and music director for many Bollywood  He worked as a music arranger for Ilaiyaraaja in numerous Tamil films before establishing himself as an independent composer.

Slum Soccer receives inaugural FIFA Diversity Award
i. Indian NGO Slum Soccer won the inaugural FIFA Diversity Award in Manchester on September 27, 2016 in Manchester, UK. It was received by Abhijeet Barse, CEO of Soccer.
Slum Soccerii. Soccer pipped International Gay & Lesbian Football Association and England’s ‘Kick It Out’ to win the prestigious award.
Slum Soccer :
♦ Slum Soccer is an organisation which uses football and cricket to bring about a change in the lives of street dwellers.
♦ It is backed by UNICEF and FIFA’s Football For Hope, which was  started 14 years ago by Barse’s father.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Centre sacks Bank of Maharashtra’s Chairman and Managing Director Sushil Muhnot
i. The Centre sacked Sushil Muhnot from the post of chairman and managing director of Bank of Maharashtra. He will be replaced by Ravindra Marathe .
ii. Muhnot was appointed as the chairman of the bank in November 2013, and was scheduled to retire on September 30.
iii. Marathae is currently working as the executive director of Bank of India.He has been given a term of a little more than two years at Bank of Maharashtra, with his appointment set to run till November 30, 2018.
Bank of Maharashtra :
♦ Headquarters: Pune
♦ Founded: 1935

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom   
i. Senior IFS officer Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha ha been appointed as India’s High Commissioner to the UK . He is the successor of Navtej Sarna.
ii. He is currently serving as India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
UK :
♦ Capital: London
♦ Currency: Pound sterling
♦ Prime minister: Theresa May

US appoints Jeffrey De Laurentis as first Cuban Ambassador in 55 years
i. United States have appointed its first Ambassador Jeffrey De Laurentis has been appointed as the first Ambassador of United States to Cuba in 55 years since 1960Jeffrey De Laurentis
ii .His name was nominated by President Barack Obam.
iii. He is a former deputy assistant secretary of state for of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
Cuba :
♦ Capital: Havana
♦ Currencies: Cuban peso, Cuban convertible peso
♦ President: Raúl Castro

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Cabinet clears IOC-OIL-BPCL’s Russian stake buy for $3.14 bn
i. The Cabinet  gave its nod to a consortium of IOC, Oil India and BPCL buying stakes in two Russian oilfields for a total of USD 3.14 billion.
ii. Indian Oil Corp, Oil India and a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) would buy 29.9 per cent stake in Taas-Yuryakh oilfield in East Siberia for USD 1.12 billion and another 23.9 per cent in Vankor oilfield for USD 2.02 billion.
iii. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the acquisition of 29.9 percent stake in Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha LLC, which holds and operates two licences for the Srednebotuobinskoye oil and gas condensate field, one of the largest in the East Siberia. The stake is being acquired from LLC RN-Razvedka I Dobycha (RN Upstream), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rosneft, Russian state firm.
iv. Taas currently produces about 21,000 barrels per day of oil, and a peak of 1,00,000 bpd is expected by 2021. Vankor, on the other hand, is past its peak, which was 161 million barrels (22 million tonnes) in 2014 and 2015. It currently produces 154 million barrels.
v.Rosneft had last year sold 20 percent stake in Taas to BP of UK for $750 million.The Russian firm would hold 50.1 percent stake in the project after the deal.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
♦ It is an Indian state-controlled oil and gas company
♦ Headquartered : Mumbai, Maharashtra.
♦ Chairman and MD: S.Varadarajan.

ENVIRONMENT

New lizard species named as Cyrtodactylus Varadgirii discovered in Mumbai  
i. A new species of a ground-dwelling lizard had been discovered in Goregaon’sAarey Colony and Thane’s Badlapur forested belts, 130 years after the last such gecko was discovered, and had been named after a Bengaluru-based scientist VaradGiri.
ii. The species of the genus Cyrtodactylus known in Southeast Asia, India and Sri Lanka, is a member of the subgenus Geckoella, which are small ground-dwelling geckos largely found in leaf litter in forests.New lizard
iii. This uncommon species is mostly seen moving among the leaf litter on the forest floor. They are active during night and take refuge under rocks and logs during the day. It grows the length of around 6 centimetres.
iv. In a rare international honour, this is the third time after a new snake species and a lizard species – both endemic and discovered from the biodiversity rich Western Ghats of Maharashtra-Karnataka region.
v. This is virtually like a stamp of immortality for the person/s after whom a new species is named, otherwise there are no other accompanying honours or rewards. It draws attention to the fact that besides tigers, there are many other things that need protection from the humans.

SPORTS

Official Emblem launched for FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017
i. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 unveiled the Official Emblem for the country’s first international football event.
ii. The ceremony at Goa’s Marriott Hotel was attended by FIFA PresidentGianni Infantino and Praful Patel, Chairman of the LOC and of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
iii. the emblem of the first-ever FIFA tournament in India was designed as a celebration of the country’s richness and diversity of cultures, with the main elements of the Indian Ocean, the banyan tree, the kite and the starburst, which is an interpretation of the Ashoka Chakra, an integral part of the national identity.
iv. The FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 will be held in six venues across the country during October 2017.

PV Sindhu bags massive 50 cr deal after historic Silver medal at Rio Olympics 2016
i. P.V. Sindhu,the first Indian woman athlete to grab a silver medal in the women’s singles badminton event at the Olympics, was showered with cash rewards as well as new endorsement deals ever since her arrival in India.
ii. Sindhu has now signed a three-year 50 cr deal with sports management com

OBITUARY

Freedom fighter K Madhavan passed away
i. Freedom fighter and communist leader K Madhavan passed away in Kanhangad, Kerala. He was 101.
ii. Madhavan was born on August 26, 1915. He was one of the youngest participants in the Salt Satyagraha at the age of 15.
iii. He had also actively participated in the Guruvayur temple entry agitation which resulted in the declaration of the right for people of all castes to enter the temple in 1936.
iv. Madhavan, who began his political career as a Congress worker, later parted ways with the party to join the communist movement.
v. He was with the CPI during the split of the movement in the country in 1964. After remaining in the CPI(M) for some years since 1987.

Shimon Peres, former Israeli president, died at the age of 93
i. Former Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres has died at a hospital near Tel Aviv at the age of 93, after his condition deteriorated following a stroke, local media report.Shimon Peres
ii. The former leader died with his family at his bedside.Mr Peres suffered a stroke two weeks ago. His condition had improved before a sudden deterioration.
iii. Peres was admitted to Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan, where he was intubated and sedated. Doctors expressed cautious optimism in the days immediately following his hospitalization.
iv. He suffered a serious setback incurring irreversible brain damage was reported by  The Times of Israel.
v. Shimonwas born 2 August,1923.He was a Polish-born Israeli statesman. He was the ninth President of Israel, serving from 2007 to 2014. Peres served twice as the Prime Minister of Israel and twice as Interim Prime Minister.

Eminent Bangla poet Syed Shamsul Haq died
i. Eminent litterateur Syed Shamsul Haq passed away in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 28, 2016. He was 81.
ii. He is an accomplished short-story writer, novelist, playwright and a very popular poet. His literary works were included in the curricula of school, secondary, higher secondary and graduation levels Bengali literature in Bangladesh.
iii. He was the youngest writer to be honored with the prestigious Bangla Academy Award, achieved it at the age of 29 in 1964. He also received Ekushey Padak in 1984 and Swadhinata Padal Award in 2000 for his contributions to Bangla literature.
About Syed Shamsul Haq literacy work :
♦ Syed has started writing at an early age and penned over 200 poems before completion of his matriculation. His first story titled Udayasta was published in 1951 in the literary magazine named Agatya, edited by Fazle Lohani.
♦ He wrote several books of poetry including Ekoda Ek Rajje (1961), Baishekhe Rachita Panktimala (1969), Biratihin Utsob (1969), Protidhonigon (1976), Apar Purush (1978), Kabita Samagra in three volumes (2007), Ek Ashcharja Sangamer Smriti and others.
He wrote 40 novels including Stabdhatar Anubad, Baro Diner Jiban, Tumi Sei Tarobari, Simana Chhariye, Neel Dangshan, Nishiddho Loban, Koyekti Manusher Sonali Jouban, Nirbasita, Khelaram Khele Ja, Megh O Machine, Anya Ek Alingan and others.
♦ He also translated some western classics including Shakespear’s Macbeth, The Tempest and Troilus and Cresida, and Ibsen’s Pyr Gynt.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Rabies Day 
i. World Rabies Day observed each year on September 28 to mark the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur who, with the collaboration of his colleagues, developed the first efficacious rabies vaccine.
ii. Aim: To raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans and animals, provide information and advice on how to prevent the disease, and how individuals and organizations can help eliminate the main global sources.
iii. 2016 Theme : Rabies: Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate.
iv. It is a United Nations Observance and has been endorsed by international human and veterinary health organizations such as the World Health Organization,etc.

Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s 109th birth anniversary observed across India
i.109th birth anniversary of revolutionary socialist Shaheed Bhagat Singh observed across India on 28th September 2016.Delhi Government decided to commemorate the day by organising Shaheed Utsav.
ii.Hindi play Sardar Bhagat Singh was performed by artistes of the Chandigarh Art Theatre Group at the Randhawa auditorium in Punjab Kala Bhawan.
iii.The district units of Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) organised a seminar on the role of students and youth in the present day context on occasion of 109th birth anniversary of revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in Kolar Karanataka.
Shaheed Bhagat Singh:
♦ Bhagat Singh had been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj.
♦ He worked with several revolutionary organisations and became prominent in the Shaheed Bhagat SinghHindustan Republican Association (HRA), which changed its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928
♦ He  undertaking an 116-day hunger strike demanding equal rights for Indian prisoners as of the European prisoners, who were imprisoned for what he believed were political reasons.
♦ He along with Shivaram Hari Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar was convicted and hanged in Lahore jail for his participation in the assassination, at the age of 23. They were hanged on 23 March 1931.