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Current Affairs Today – September 4 2016

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Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress declared as a National Political Party by Election commission
i. Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress has been granted national party status by the Election Commission of India. The party becomes the seventh national political party in India.
ii. The All India Trinamool Congress is an Indian national political party based in West Bengal, Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. Founded on 1 January 1998 as a breakaway faction of the Indian National Congress, the party is led by its founder and current Chief Minister of West BengalMamata Banerjee.
iii. Ma Mati Manush was primarily a slogan, coined by All India Trinamool Congress chief and current chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The term is literally translated as “Mother, Motherland and People”.

Narendra Modi unveils a special package worth Rs. 200 crore for sporting activities in J&K
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a special package of Rs. 200 crore for J&K youths,with a view to engage youth of Jammu & Kashmir in constructive sporting activities.
ii. This package can be utilized for the construction of indoor sporting halls in all districts of the State with a view to provide playing facilities to youth during long winter in J&K.
iii. Two stadiums in the State capitals of Srinagar and Jammu will be upgraded to the international standards under the package while existing stadia at Poonch and Rajouri and Udhampur will be upgraded and also water sport facilities will be provided at an estimated cost of Rs. 6 crore.
iv. A special programme ‘Sports for AII’ is being implemented through J&K State Sports Council for immediate engagement of youth in the state in sporting activities. This program provides for village-level competitions and development of popular sports, such as, football etc.
v. It is noted that an amount of Rs 5 crore has already been provided to J&K State Sports Council for organizing these village level sporting activities.

Goa to host three-day bird festival from Nov 11
i. Goa is all set to host three-day bird festival from November 11 to 13, in the view of attracting audiences from both national and international.
ii. The Goa government represents a distinctive confluence of two diverse eco-systems, one inclined by marine environment and the other by terrestrial forest ensuing in an amazing variety of species with high endemism, habitats and diversity.
iii. The three-day long festival would give fillip to the bird tourism in this coastal State, and it has been decided that Bulbul to be the logo for the festival. The Bulbul bird in fact the state bird.
iv. The registration process for the festival would allow 200 delegates. The Western Ghats constitute one of the 25 mega bio-diversity hot spots in the world.

India Post to launch commemorative stamp on Mother Teresa
Annai Theresa Stampi. The Postal Department released a commemorative stamp to honor the Mother Teresa’s canonization in Mumbai. Union Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha released the stamp at a function organised at Divine Child High School in Mumbai
ii. The commemorative’s Vaswani’s design represents the classic pose of Saint Terasa.

Solung festival celebrated in Arunachal pradesh
i. The Adi community dwelling in the Arunachal Pradesh has celebrated their annual socio-religious festival Solung with traditional gaiety. Many cultural performances featuring traditional and modern way of tribal life marked the festive occasion.
ii. The CM Pema Khandu took part in the celebration and also announced the sanction of Rs 600 crore which would be equally spread to all the 60 Assembly constituencies of the state to carry out development works.
iii. People dressed in their best traditional attires and performed modern and folk dances, a mega Ponung dance performed largely by female artistes,  the Adis swamped the Solung-Mopin ground at Zero Point Tinali in Itanagar.
Folk Dances of Arunachal Pradesh:
Ponung Dance, The Buiya Dance, Khampti Dance and Wancho Dance


Canadian Province British Columbia issued a Masala Bond listed in London Stock Exchange
i. The Canadian Province of British Columbia becomes the first foreign government entity to issue a Masala bond, choosing London, the global home for Masala bonds, for its listing.
ii. The Canadian province of British Columbia is book building for its debut issue of offshore rupee bonds.Initial price guidance for the benchmark-sized offering with a tenor of three years and four months is 6.68-6.73 percent.
iii. British Columbia’s bond with a three year tenor was priced to yield 6.62 per cent semi-annually. The Masala bonds will be issued in 144A/Reg S format and will be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
iv.The province successfully raising Rs.5 billion through a rupee-denominated bond on the London Stock Exchange.
v. The masala bond issuance offers British Columbia a means to become well-positioned to profile our confidence in the outlook for India, and to participate in the internationalization of the rupee and India’s economy.
vi. Generally, Masala bond is a term used to refer to a financial instrument through which Indian entities can raise money from overseas markets in the rupee, not foreign currency. These are Indian rupee denominated bonds issued in offshore capital markets.

DCB bank unveiled mVisa for making payments through mobiles
i. DCB Bank, an emerging new-generation private sector bank, announced the launch of mVisa, a mobile based payment solution that will make payments at retail outlets much easier.
ii. Now Customers can pay now through their smartphones by scanning the unique Quick Response (QR) code at the retail outlet.mvISA
iii. mVisa is a card-less solution that offers customers the convenience of making digital payments at retail outlets. Customers of any mVisa issuing bank can make digital payments at an mVisa enabled retail outlets.
iv. DCB Bank has partnered with Chennai-based digital payment companies, M2P Solutions and GI Technology, to implement mVisa.
v. India is undergoing a digital revolution with a clear shift in customer preference to move away from cash payments and mobile phones are a key enabler in this transition.
vi. It is noted that DCB Bank has equipped over 1,000 Smart Shop retail outlets with the mVisa solution and plans to expand it to over 25,000 shops across India in the coming months. Through mVisa, customers can also avail of Cash@POS service and pay for goods and services directly using their smart phones.


Maharashtra tops in ease of doing business, a new report says
The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of Singapore declared Maharashtra as ranked highest according to a broad measure of Ease of Doing Business (EDB) in Indian states. It is noted that the new index has given 21 major states entirely different ranks when compared with the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.
Top 5 states :

Top 5StateWorld Bank rank
5Andhra Pradesh2


Indian Ecologist Bibhuti Lakhar has been awarded with Heritage Heroes Award’ by IUCN
i. Assam-based ecologist and conservation activist Bibhuti Lahkar has become the first Asian to be awarded the prestigious ‘Heritage Heroes Award’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
ii. Bibhuti started working in Manas sanctuary in 1999 as part of his PhD, focusing on the management of grasslands of Manas with particular reference to the Critically Endangered pygmy hog, which is found nowhere else in the world.
iii. This work meant he had to stay near the park and traverse a landscape that was greatly ravaged by activities of militant groups operating in the area.
iv. The then young student had to build ties not just with forest personnel in Manas, but also with local residents who were wary of strangers.

With Sainthood For Mother Teresa, Vatican Honours India’s Messiah Of Poor
i. Mother Teresa St. Teresa was formally canonized thus by Pope Francis at Vatican City. She was canonized 19 years after her death.
ii. The Nobel laureate who cared for the world’s most unwanted and became the icon of a Catholic Church.Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint, making her the model of his Jubilee Year of Mercy and in some ways his entire papacy.
iii. The formal canonization is a 4 step process, which involves the person being named a saint in the Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church has more than 10,000 saints
Mother Teresa:
♦ Mother Teresa also known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta was born Agnese Gonxha Bojaxhiu of Albanian parents in 1910.
♦ Terasa was revered for her work with the poor in India is one of the most influential women in Church’s 2,000-year history.
♦ She is the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who brought dignity to the thousands dying on the streets of Calcutta was active in 133 countries.
♦ Teresa was the recipient of plentiful honours, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

World’s largest LEGO ship sets Guinness record
LEGO ship i. The World’s largest LEGO ship named Jubilee Seaways has created Guinness world record for set in Denmark, where employees of a shipping company successfully constructed the incredible 2,860 kg boat using over one million interlocking plastic bricks.
ii. The blue and white boat sized 12.035 metres in length. The Records title was granted at an event organised to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the shipping and transport services company DFDS A/S in Copenhagen.
iii. The boat was constructed by the LEGO building professionals and took 900 person hours to build. The massive ship was named Jubilee Seaways at the traditional naming ceremony, a LEGO bottle of champagne was smashed against the side of the plastic boat.


Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Director R S Sundar was elevated to the post of Distinguished Scientist
i. Noted Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Director R S Sundar was elevated to the post of Distinguished Scientist, in honour for his meritorious service.
ii. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project 1 and 2 Station Director H N Sahu and Chief Superintendent S V Jinna were also elevated as ‘Outstanding Scientists’.
♦ Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant – KKNPP, is a nuclear power station in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Construction on the plant began on 31 March 2002,but faced several delays due to the fishermen’s objection.

Mukund Chaudhari elevated as Chairman and Managing Director of MOIL
i. Mukund Chaudhari has taken over as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of MOIL , a Mumbai miniratna company.
ii. MOIL Limited formerly Manganese Ore India Limited, is a miniratna state-owned manganese-ore mining company headquartered in Nagpur, India. With a market share of 50%, it was the largest producer of manganese ore in India in the fiscal year 2008.
iii. MOIL Limited has been ranked 486 among the 500 top companies in India and 9th in the Mines and Metals Sector of the Fortune India 500 list for 2011.
iv. MOIL operates 10 mines, six located in Nagpur and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra and four in the Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh. Of the 10, seven are underground mines (Kandri, Munsar, Beldongri, Gumgaon, Chikla, Balaghat and Ukwa mines) and three are opencast mines (Dongri Buzurg, Sitapatore, and Tirodi).
v. Prior to taking over as CMD, Chaudhari was holding the post of Director (Finance), MOIL. A chartered accountant by profession, Chaudhari brings a long experience of over two and half decades in private and public sectors undertakings.
vi.After joining MOIL in 1997, he held various positions in the company. He was inducted in the Board of Directors of MOIL in August 2012 as Director (Finance) and later elevated to the position of CMD with effect from September 1

Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting has been appointed brand ambassador of Tasmania
i. Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed brand ambassador of his home state Tasmania and will join a government-led trade mission to the subcontinent that will explore export opportunities.
ii. Tasmania is an island state of the Commonwealth of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Australian mainland, separated by Bass Strait.Ricky Ponting
iii. The state encompasses the main island of Tasmania, the 26th-largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands. The state has a population of over 517,000, almost half of which resides in the Greater Hobart precinct, which forms the metropolitan area of the state capital and largest city, Hobart.
iv. Tasmania’s area is 68,401 km2, of which the main island covers 64,519 km2. Tasmania is promoted as a natural state; almost 45% of Tasmania lies in reserves, national parks, and World Heritage Sites and the state was the founding place of the first environmental party in the world.
v. Ricky Thomas Ponting, AO (born 19 December 1974), nicknamed Punter, is an Australian former cricketer who was captain of the Australia national cricket team during its ‘golden era’; between 2004 and 2011 in Test cricket and 2002 and 2011 in One Day International cricket.
vi. He is a specialist right-handed batsman, slips and close catching fielder, as well as a very occasional bowler. Ponting holds the incredible record of being the only cricketer in the history of Test cricket to be a part of 100 Test match wins.


A tiny fish species endemic to Hawaii has been named after US President Obama
i. A tiny fish species discovered near Hawaii has been named after President Obama. This maroon and gold animal was found 300 feet deep in the coral reef off Kure Atoll in June.
ii. It’s a very special fish because as far as we know, it is the only fish species, so far, that is endemic to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
iii. The male Obama fish has a red and blue colored dorsal fin that reminded scientists of Obama’s campaign logo.
iv. It is noted that Last week, Obama established the largest protected marine sanctuary in the world when he more than quadrupled the size of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to protect reefs, marine life habitats and other resources.
v. The expansion will add 442,781 square miles to the monument, making it now a total of 582,578 square miles.


Lewis Hamilton battles to second as Nico Rosberg wins Italian Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg wins an incident packed Australian Grand Prixi. German Formula One racing driver Nico Rosberg won the Italian Grand Prix after close battle with his teammate Lawis Hamilton who also drive for the Mercedes AMG.
ii. The German star leads the championship lead to just two points, while Hamilton had a poor start that conceded his defeat in the contest.
iii. However Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, finished third in the contest. It is also to be noted that Rosberg’s first victory at the historic circuit outside Milan was his seventh of the season.

Sriram Balaji and Sasi Kumar win titles in ITF events
i. Tamilnadu based tennis player Sriram Balaji who ranked 546 restrained top seed Seong Chan Hong of Korea by 6-4, 7-6(3) for the title in the $10,000 ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament held in Hua Hin Thailand.
ii. This title adding his total singles titles to seven in the professional circuit and first in two years. It was a double crown for i.Balaji as he had won the doubles title, his 34th in the professional circuit, with Vijay Sundar Prashanth.
iii. On the other hand similar tournament held in Jakarta, Indian seed Sasi Kumar Mukund won the title outplaying eighth seed Masato Shiga of Japan by 6-2, 6-2.


Actor Jon Polito passes away
i. American actor and voice artist Jon Raymond Polito has died at the age of 65 due to complications from cancer at the City of Hope National Medical Center in California.
ii. The prolific actor was best known for his roles in Coen brother films like The Big Lebowski and several other films. He was in the Coen brothers movies appearing in five of their films.
iii. In his three decades career he amassed over 220 credits that includes film and television.

Jerry Heller, Former N.W.A Manager, Dead at 75
i. Jerry Heller, the longtime music manager that helped launch the career of N.W.A and the gangsta-rap movement has passed away.
ii. Gerald E. “Jerry” Heller was an American music manager and businessman. He was best known for managing west coast rap supergroup and gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A and Eazy-E.
iii. He rose to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s, importing Elton John and Pink Floyd for their first major American tours, and representing Journey, Marvin GayeVan MorrisonWar Eric BurdonCrosby Stills and NashIke & Tina Turner, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Otis ReddingThe WhoBlack SabbathHumble PieStyxThe Grass Roots and The Standells, among many others.Jerry Heller
iv .In the mid-1980s he worked with R&B and hip hop acts like Michel’le, World Class Wreckin’ CruJ.J. FadThe D.O.C.Egyptian Lover and L.A. Dream Team.
v. Heller played a role in the emergence of West Coast rap music when he cofounded Ruthless Records with Eazy-E and discovered, signed or managed the likes of N.W.A, The Black Eyed Peas, Above the Law, The D.O.C. and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.