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Current Affairs Today – September 30 2016

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM inaugurated India Sanitation Conference – INDOSAN
i. Narendra Modi inaugurated the day long INDOSAN – India Sanitation Conference, which is meant for taking stock of the progress made under the Swachh Bharat mission.   
ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed chief ministers, ministers, elected representatives of people, district collectors, municipal commissioners of 500 AMRUT cities and other stakeholders in New Delhi, Ahead of the second anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission.
iii. 19 States and the Union Territory of Chandigarh were rewarded with performance incentive for promoting urban reforms under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) during 2015-16.
iv. The Union Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation and Panchayati Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar addressed that by 2nd October, 2016, one lakh villages will become Open Defecation Free, ODF and 40 Districts will achieve the status of ODF Districts in this financial Year.

Conference on empowering handloom and Khadi held in Vadodara.
i. A two-day international conference on empowering handloom and Khadi held in Vadodara.
ii. This two day conference is organised by Consortium of Green Fashion (CGF) in association with the department of clothing, textiles of Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) of Baroda.
iii. CGF is an initiative by MKSSS’s school of Fashion Technology Pune.
iv. The true purest definition of Khadi & Handloom is suggested as the mission of the conference. The aim is to increase the acceptability of Khadi among the youth and to sensitize the young fashion talent for innovation in Handloom.
v. Right direction and encouragement to follow these green footsteps by giving them experience and guidance, is the new approach taken this year.
This conference will promote :
♦ Creative surfaces in Khadi and Handloom (Individual Contribution,    Student- Artisan).
♦ Quality enhancement in Khadi and Handloom (Group of Two Students, One Teacher & Artisans / NGO).
♦ Innovations in Design in Khadi and Handloom (Group of Students min.6- maximum 8, Artisan/ NGO, Educationalist.
♦ Promotion and Branding of Khadi and Handloom Artisans and Consumer Awareness for Khadi and Handloom.

India to host 18th World Congress of Criminology
i. The 18th edition of World Congress of Criminology would be held in India  from December 15-19 in Sonipat, Haryana.
ii. Theme : ‘Urbanization, Globalization, Development and Crime: Opportunities and Challenges of the XXI Century’.
iii. Organisers: O P Jindal Global University (JGU)  and International Society of Criminology (ISC).
iv.The 3 days Congress will feature some of the most important voices on the challenges faced by the criminal justice systems in developing economies and will seek to
♦ Address critical issues surrounding criminological research in great detail.
Discuss some of the most serious challenges relating to the rule of law in our societies
♦ Create meaningful platforms and enable deliberations that can reflect upon such issues in an intellectually rigorous manner.

Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across LoC
i. Indian Army had successfully conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control () in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
ii. The strikes were India’s first direct military response to the attack on the Uri army base earlier this month that killed 18 Indian soldiers and was blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
iii. The cross-border action came days after New Delhi reviewed its 56-year-old Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan and pulled out of the regional Saarc Summit in Islamabad as part of a wider diplomatic offensive to isolate its nettlesome neighbor.
iv. Surgical strike is a military attack which is intended to only damage to the intended legitimate military target and no or minimal collateral damage to surrounding structures, general public infrastructure, vehicles, buildings and utilities.
v. The news of the strikes deprived the Indian stock market, which shed more than 550 points before recovering to close at lower level.

West Bengal govt decided to install monorail
i. The West Bengal Chief Minister Ms.Mamata Banerjee has decided to install monorail from Budge in South 24-Parganas to Ruby Connector in Kolkata at a cost of 4,216 crore rupees.
ii. The 14-kilometre-long monorail route would connect Budge Budge to Ruby via Taratala, New Alipore and Prince Anwar Shah Road and would come up at a cost of 4216 crore rupees.
iii. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between Burn Standard Company Limited and the state transport department for execution of the project to install the monorail.
iv. The Chief Minister announced   that there would not be any problem over land acquisition as minimum land would be required to construct pillars and elevated tracks would be laid connecting them.

Centre launched Progress Panchayat for all round development & empowerment of minorities
i. The Centre would  launch ‘Progress Panchayat’, an outreach campaign to create awareness about its programmes for the welfare of religious minorities and remove their “fear and misconceptions” about the NDAgovernment.
ii. Minister of State for Minority Affairs (independent charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi would kick-start the programme from Mewat region of Haryana.
iii. The programme would  be organised in 100 places across the country in the coming days where union ministers would  interact with people about the several schemes.
iv. The launch of the outreach programme came   a few days after Prime MinisterNarendra Modi pitched for empowerment of Muslims.
v. This is the first, unique and different kind of outreach programme launched by us, during which we would inform people about developmental activities in social, educational, health and infrastructural sectors and their employment.

Patna High Court quashed Bihar Prohibition of Liquor Act
i. The Patna high court quashed the government notification completing banning liquor in the state by  saying it was ultra vires to the Constitution.
ii. A division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari and Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh quashed the 5 April 2016 notification of the state government to stop consumption and sale of alcohol in the state.
iii. The same bench had on 20 May 2016 reserved its order on a batch of writ petitions filed by Liquor Trade Association and many individuals challenging the liquor law which has stringent penal provisions.
iv. Ultra vires means beyond one’s legal power or authority. If an act requires legal authority and it is done with such authority, it is characterised in law as intra vires.
v. Nitish Kumar-led Grand Secular Alliance government had first banned the manufacture, trade,
sale, consumption of country-made liquor since 1 April, but later imposed a blanket ban on all types of liquor including foreign liquor in the state.

BANKING & FINANCE

Govt Notifies Constitution Of Monetary Policy Committee Under RBI Act
i. Towards the next step in Setting the stage for next monetary policy review by the newly constituted monetary policy committee (MPC), the government on formally notified the constitution of the MPC under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
ii. The appointments committee of the cabinet approved the names of Chetan Ghate, a professor at Indian Statistical Institute, Pami Dua, director at Delhi School of Economics (DSE); and Ravindra Dholakia, professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad,
iii. As MPC members for a period of four years. The six-member MPC—the other three members are from RBI—will conduct its first monetary policy review on 4 October, Urjit Patel’s first as RBI governor.
iv. The members of the committee from RBI are governor Patel, deputy governor R. Gandhi, who is also in charge of monetary policy, and executive director Michael Patra. The RBI governor will have a casting vote in case of a tie.
v. The MPC framework replaces the current system where the RBI governor and his internal team have complete control over monetary policy. While a panel advises RBI on monetary policy decisions, the central bank is under no obligation to accept them.

Government decided to raise EPFO Investment in ETF from 5 to 10 per cent
i. The Government has decided to raise the Employees Provident Fund ( EPF) investment in Exchange Traded Funds from present 5 per cent to 10 per cent.
iiShri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State(IC) for Labour and Employment announced that the decision has been taken considering the good returns in ETF investment.The move was set to see nearly Rs 13,000 crore flow into the stock markets from the EPFO during the current fiscal year.
iii. EPFO is currently investing 5% of the total accretion in ETFs. Accordingly, for the last one year, the EPFO has invested Rs. 6,577 crore in ETFs for the financial year 2015-16. This investment has yielded a good return of 13.24 per cent.
iv. This has resulted into a good return of 13.24 per cent. Five per cent EPF has been invested in NIFTY 50 and SENSEX. EPFO has already invested Rs.1,500 crore in ETFs in the first half of the current fiscal and would invest about Rs.11,500 crore in the remaining six months.

Interest rates on small savings schemes cut by 0.1%
i. Interest rates on small savings schemes have been reduced marginally by0.1 percent for the October-December quarter of 2016-17, leading to lower returns on Public Provident Fund, Kisan Vikas Patra, Sukanya Samriddhi Account, among others. 
ii. Public Provident Fund will fetch interest rate of 8 percent in the third quarter of the current fiscal as against 8.1 percent in the previous three-months period.
iii. Interest rate on Kisan Vikas Patra has been brought down to 7.7 percent from 7.8 percent. As a result the KVP will now mature in 112 months instead of 110 months.
iv. The rate of interest for the third quarter for5-Year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme and 5-Year National Savings Certificate has been reduced to 8.5 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
v. The Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, for girl child, will now fetch 8.5 percent interest rate. It was 8.6 percent in July-September quarter.
vi. Interest rate on 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 year time deposits too have been reduced by 0.1 percent.
vii. Depositors will get an interest rate of 7.3% on five-year recurring deposit.
viii. The interest rate on savings deposit has, however, been kept unchanged at 4 percent.

BUSINESS

Infosys launched e-commerce platform Skava Commerce
i. Infosys , a global leader in consulting, technology and next-generation services, announced the launch of Skava Commerce, a modern, mobile-first and modular e-commerce platform that delivers engaging omni-channel experiences.
ii. Skava, is a Silicon Valley based e-commerce startup which was acquired by Infosys. The platform could help brick-and-mortar retailers to quickly launch new offerings, improve conversion rates of traffic coming from digital channels, amongst other things, without making large investments.
iii. It also includes a responsive web store and native mobile shopping applications could be managed by non-technical business users through Skava STUDIO- a web-based experience management.
iv. The platform could and easily integrate into existing technologies, while also providing a future‐ready architecture that would enable next generation shopping experiences leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, natural language processing and virtual reality (VR).
v. Infosys is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions. The company enables clients, in more than 30 countries, to stay a step ahead of emerging business trends and outperform the competition.

HCL and IBM enter 15-year partnership 
i. HCL and IBM have entered a 15-year partnership for automation and development and operations.
ii. This partnership will enable the both companies to focus their technical teams on native cloud and cognitive solutions, as well as industry-specific opportunities.
iii. HCL will build features and functions on top of existing IBM platforms and products such as Tivoli Workload Scheduler, Rational Testing, and Rational Modeling & Construct.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Prof. Kalakaluri Enoch Bags Moorti Devi Award For Anantajivanam
Renowned Dalit personality, poet and Telugu writer Prof.Kalakaluri Enoch was conferred with the prestigious Moortidevi Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith for the year 2015.
About Kalakurichi Enoch :
i. Dr Enoch was born on July 1, 1939 in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. He is a former vice-chancellor of SV University. He has been awarded the Padma Shri, fourth highest civilian award of the country for his contributions to the field of literature.
ii. The prestigious literary award was bestowed upon him for his novel “ Anantajivanam ” by veteran art historian Dr Kapila Vatsyayana function in New Delhi.
iii. The novel ‘Anantajivanam’ depicts the struggle of a weak, downtrodden and common man from Rayalseema in the face of a cyclone.

Tirupati Airport awarded Best Tourist Friendly Airport
i. Tirupati Airport was awarded with “Best Tourist Friendly Airport” under the category for “State Annual Excellence Awards (2015-16)” by Andhra Pradesh Tourism.
ii. The award was presented by Andhra Pradesh CM Nara Chandra Babu Naidu in the world tourism day event.
Tirupati Airport :
♦ Tirupati Airport is a public airport located at Renigunta, a suburb of Tirupati in the state of Andhra Pradesh
Airports located in AP:
♦ Cuddapah Airport, Rajahmundry Airport, Visakhapatnam Airport, Vijayawada Airport  and Tirupati Airport

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Riyadh Mathew is new PTI Chairman
i.Riyadh Mathew, Director of Malayala Manorama is elected as the Chairman of PTI. He succeeds Hormusji N. Cama
ii.Viveck Goenka, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Express is appointed as the Vice-Chairman of PTI . He succeeds Mr. Mathew as Vice-Chairman.
iii.The election took place at a meeting of the Board of Directors following the Company’s 68th
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Members of the PTI Board  :
Mathew, Mr. Goenka and Mr. Cama, K.N. Shanth Kumar (Deccan Herald ), Vineet Jain ( Times of India ), Mahendra Mohan Gupta ( Dainik Jagran ), Aveek Kumar Sarkar ( Anand Bazar Patrika ), N. Ravi ( The Hindu ) M.P. Veerandra Kumar ( Mathrubhumi ), Vijay Kumar Chopra (The Hind Samachar Ltd), R. Lakshmipathy ( Dinamalar ), Rajiv Verma (Hindustan Times ) and Independent Directors Justice R.C. Lahoti, Prof. Deepak Nayyar and Jimmy F Pochkhanawalla and Shyam Saran.

Shakti Sinha to head Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
Putting an end to the controversy following the inclusion of Shakti Sinha to the post, The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the  appointment of retired IAS officer Shakti Sinha to the post of director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.
About Shakti Sinha :
i. A civil servant, Shri Shakti Sinha is presently with the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi as Principal  Secretary (Power & Industry), CMD Delhi Transco, Chairman Pragati Power/ Indraprastha  Power, CMD Delhi State Industries & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd and CEO Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board.
ii. Earlier was with the Andaman & Nicobar Administration as Chief Secretary.  Earlier with the UN Mission in Afghanistan for three years coordinating international support to the Government on National Development Strategy, and on governance issues.
iii. He Have served in the Andamans (twice), Goa and Delhi (Government of Delhi and Government of India) as well as at the World Bank Board (Indian ED’s office).
iv. He Spent about two years with think tanks in Delhi (Observer Research Foundation) and Singapore (Institute of South Asian Studies) working on development issues and Afghanistan
About Nehru Museum,
♦ It is also one of the best library in Delhi for Social Sciences as it has a huge collection on labour related issues in the form of PhD dissertations, reports, books,journals and news papers.
♦  On 26th April 2016 A dagger gifted to former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru by Saudi Arabia has been stolen from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. The Incident came into light when one visitor noticed a broken glass frame in the museum.

R Subramania Kumar Appointed ED Of Indian Overseas Bank
i. R Subramania Kumar was appointed as the Executive Director of Indian Overseas Bank till  January 21, 2019 by the Finance Ministry
ii. Currently he was working as the Executive Director of Indian Bank.
Indian Overseas Bank :
♦ Headquarters: Chennai
♦ CEO: R. Koteeswaran

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Manohar Parrikar cleared proposals worth Rs 1,900 cr
i. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared proposals worth 1,900 crore rupees(close to $3 billion). All these approved proposals would be executed under ‘Buy India’ by Indian contractors.
ii. Decision in this regard was taken by DAC meeting chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi.The electronic warfare system is worth Rs.330 crore.
iii.The council has also cleared a proposal to buy Rs.405 crore worth of anti-tank guided missiles for training purpose of the army.
iv. The naval dockyard at Mumbai would get a repair facility for Scorpene submarines at the cost of Rs 725 crore. Defence shipyard Mazagon Dock is constructing six Scorpene submarines for Indian Navy.

SPORTS

International Thailand Open: ChavviKohli defeated Thai fencer and won gold medal
i. Patiala fencer ChavviKohli  won her second gold medal at the international level when she won the title in the U-17 Epee category with a win over Thailand fencer in the International Thailand Open held at Bangkok. Earlier, the youngster had won the gold medal in U-15 category in the Jordan International Open last year.
ii. A Class X standard student of Yadavindra Public School, Kohli took up fencing six years ago and became the national U-14 champion in EPEE event in the nationals held at Cuttak in 2013 before claiming the U-14 and U-17 EPEE gold medals in the Cadet Nationals held at Bhilai.
iii. Last year saw Kohli winning the team bronze medal in National Games held in Kerala before she defended her title in U-17 c.ategory in the Cadet Nationals. The youngster was also part of the Indian junior fencing team which claimed the team silver medal in the Junior Commonwealth Championship held at Capetown, South Africa.
iv. She defeated fencers from Korea and Singapore earlier in Bahrain and it was a confident display from her. The same goes for the Thai event. She needs to play in Europe and her aim is to qualify for more world events. She is trying to qualify for 2020 Olympics.

Srikanth backed in Top 10 in BWF ranking
i. India No. 1 men’s singles shuttlerKidambi Srikanth claiming his place back in the top 10 of the latest BWF World Rankings released.
ii. The 23-year-old reached the quarter-finals of the Japan Open Superseries last week which helped him make a jump of five places from 14th to shoot up to the ninth spot.
iii. In women’s singles, both Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu climbed up the ladder despite not playing in any recent tournaments.
iv. Former No. 1 Saina, who is recovering from a knee injury since undergoing a surgery after the Rio Games, surged three places to reach the World No. 5 spot, while Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu also improved two places to earn number 8th position.
v. AjayJayaram slipped nine places to be at the 27th spot in men’s singles, while H S Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth were static at the 31st and 35th spots respectively. National champion rose one spot to World No 40.

OBITUARY

Spiritual leader Indirabetiji passes away
i. Vaishnavacharya Goswami Indirabetiji passed away after suffering a heart attack. She was 78.
ii. She founded Shrimad Vallabh Acharya Research Academyto spread her guru Vallabhacharyaji’s philosophy and theology and authored several books on religion and philosophy.
iii. Her trust helps poor by providing health care facilities and mobile eye-care, dental care, physiotherapy, and blood donation camps.

Socialist Leader Yuvraj Singh Passes Away
i. Veteran socialist leader and former MP Yuvraj Singh passed away in Katihar, Bihar. He was 103.
ii.Yuvraj represented Katihar in Lok Sabha twice in 1977 from Biju Lok Dal and in 1989 on Janata Dal ticket.
iii.He had a valuable contribution in the field of socialism and politics

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Translation Day – September 30 2016
i. International Translation Day is observed every year on 30 September since 1953. translators.
ii. 2016 Theme : Translation and Interpreting: Connecting Worlds.
iii. International Federation of Translators(FTI) launched the idea of an officially recognised International Translation Day in 1991 to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries.





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