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Current Affairs Today – September 6 2016

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM Visit to Vietnam and China
India and Vietnam signed 12 agreements, signalling a strong upward push in their strategic ties in the field of defence, IT, space, double taxation and sharing white shipping information.
♦ PM Narendra Modi extended a USD 500 million line of credit to Vietnam to deepen their defence cooperation and signed 12 agreements including a deal to construct offshore patrol boats, in a bid of China’s muscle flexing in the disputed South China Sea and ’emerging regional challenges’.
♦ Prime Minister Narendra Modi  presented with a hand-painted oil-painting of himself by a Chinese painter and Chinese translations of ancient Indian texts including Bhagavad Gita and essays of Swami Vivekananda.
♦ Modi gifted a set of 10 Chinese translations of the ancient Indian texts by Indophile Professor Wang Zhicheng, who teaches Hindi at the prestigious Peking University and the translations include Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Narada’s Bhakti Sutras, Yoga Vasistha among others.
♦ The Prime Minister was also gifted a portrait of himself by Professor Shen Shu from Hangzhou’s Zhejiang Kaiming Art Gallery and the painting took nearly four months to get completed.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi Arrives in India for Three-Day Visit
♦ Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on a three-day visit to India and to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to step up engagement in areas of security, counter-terrorism and trade.
♦ India is the sixth largest trading partner of Egypt – the second largest export destination. India’s imports from Egypt were worth USD 1.74 billion during 2014-15. Indian businessmen have invested nearly $3 billion in about 50 companies in Egypt and have given employment opportunities to around 35,000 Egyptians.
♦ India and Egypt have signed an agreement in the area of Maritime Transport to step up co-operation on the seas.The agreement was signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in New Delhi.
♦ India and Egypt decided to step up their overall defence and security cooperation to tackle the twin challenges of terrorism and radicalisation besides enhancing economic and trade engagements thereby signalling a major shift in ties.

Centre launches biggest Leprosy Case Detection campaign 
i. The Central Government launched the biggest Leprosy case detection campaign in India. 32 crore people, across 19 states and union territories, will be screened under the campaign.
ii. The objective is to detect the disease early so that those affected can be saved from physical deformity.
iii. The programme, which has been launched across 149 districts of the country, would be the biggest Leprosy Case Detection Campaign in the country.
iv. The 15-day campaign will cover 1,656 blocks in urban areas of these districts and screen a total of 32 crore people for Leprosy.
v. Under this campaign, each and every member of the targeted population will be examined by the search team constituted of one male and one female volunteer at household level. 
vi. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves, but has a wide range of clinical manifestations. The disease is characterized by long incubation period generally 5-7 years.

Himachal cabinet opt to amend hydro policy 2006
i. Himachal Pradesh cabinet decided to amend the Hydropower Policy 2006 in respect to transfer of shares by Himachalis to non-Himachalis. So that now Himachalis can sell or transfer 49% equity shares to non-Himachalis at any stage after allotment of projects upto 2 MW capacity and full disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the projects.
ii. It is noted in  case of bonafide Himachalis to whom projects up to 2 MW to 5 MW capacity had been allotted, could sell or transfer 51 per cent share to non-Himachali people at any stage after allotment of projects and full disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the project.
iii. Cabinet approved amendments in section 3 of the Himachal Pradesh Tax on entry of goods into Local area Act, 2010. It also accorded approval to 100 units of free electricity per month to families affected by hydel projects as per subsidized tariff determined by Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) from time to time with respect to local area development committees of the districts and the balance amount equivalent to quantum of subsidy with state government.
iv. It is noted that it also approved openning up of Sub-Tehsils at Sarahan and Taklech in Rampur Sub-Division of Shimla district, a new Hydro Power Engineering College Bandla in Bilaspur district.
About HP:
♦ Capital – Shimla
♦ Governor – Acharya Dev Vrat
♦ CM – Virbhadra Singh.

Western Odisha celebrates Nuakhai – The Agricultural Festival
i. People across western Odisha are celebrating Nuakhai – the agrarian festival of the region – with religious fervor and devotion.
ii. The celebrations began with the ‘Nabanna’ or new rice out of newly harvested paddy crop was offered to Maa Samaleswari Devi in Sambalpur as per the ‘lagna’ or auspicious moment. Later, people offered ‘Nabanna’ to their presiding deities.
iii. Nuakhai or Nuankhai is an agricultural festival mainly observed by people of Western Odisha in India. Nuakhai is observed to welcome the new rice of the season.
iv. According to the Kosali calendar it is observed on panchami tithi of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada or Bhaadra, the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. This is the most important social festival of Western Odisha and adjoing areas of Simdega in Jharkhand.
v. Notably, ‘Nuakhai’ is celebrated by offering new paddy crop to the presiding deity to seek blessings for a bumper harvest. People offer this ‘Nabanna’ to the deity amidst ‘Hulahuli’, beating drums, cymbals and sounds of conch shells.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

2016 G20 Summit concludes in Hangzhou, China
♦ The 2016 G20 Hangzhou summit was the eleventh meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20). It was held on 4–5 September 2016 in the city of Hangzhou.
♦  It was the first ever G20 summit to be hosted in China and the second Asian country after 2010 G20 Seoul summit was hosted in South Korea.
♦ Stiftung Mercator and the World Bank Group, Climate Transparency, funded by Climate Works Foundation analyzed key indicators, including carbon intensity Secretary-General at the Opening Ceremony of the G-20.and share of coal in total electricity produced, to assess the performance of these countries and found that half of G20 countries are “inadequate” as regards actions taken to curb climate change.
The United States and China, the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, have announced they will formally ratify the Paris climate change agreement in a move campaigners immediately hailed as a significant advance in the battle against global warming.
♦ The G20 members agreed to complete their domestic legal formalities for the ratification of Paris climate deal as soon as their “national procedures allow”, a move which would provide more time to India to work out its own strategy keeping up with its developmental goals.

BUSINESS

TCS joins hands with SASTRA Varsity to train 2000 school teachers
i. TCS has partnered with Thanjavur-based SASTRA Deemed University to train over 2,000 teachers from Tamil Nadu on digital teaching methods.
ii. It also plans to set up a teacher’s training centre at the varsity campus.
iii. 2,000 teachers from various educational institutions across Tier-II and Tier-III cities from Tamil Nadu would be trained at the training centre.
iv. The training programme would be offered mostly to school teachers across primary, secondary, higher secondary and to professional college teachers.

TCS unveils New Unemployment Insurance System for the State of Mississippi
i. TCS unveils new unemployment insurance system to provide unemployment insurance by the Mississippi, Rhode Island and Maine Consortium to help unemployed individuals.
ii. Mississippi is the first state to launch this kind of Unemployment Insurance System.
iii. Mississippi’s unemployment insurance programme helps provides monetary benefits to those who have involuntarily lost their jobs, while they look for new employment opportunities.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Renowned film maker K.G. George won the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award 2016
♦ Renowned film maker and veteran award-winning film director K.G. George won the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for his overall contribution to the Malayalam film industry.
♦ This award is Kerala’s highest award in Malayalam cinema. It is presented annually by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, a non-profit institution under the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Kerala, India. Instituted in 1992, the award is given to honour the recipients for their “outstanding contributions to Malayalam cinema”.
♦ Recipients are selected by an independent jury established by the Academy and the Department of Cultural Affairs. As of 2016, the honourees receive a statuette, a citation, and a cash prize of Rs.100,000.

1st BRICS film festival – A five day filmy conference held in New Delhi.
i. 1st BRICS film festival – A five day filmy conference held in New Delhi. Many amazing films from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as part of the BRICS film festival in New Delhi from September 2-6.
ii. India’s theme in its BRICS chairmanship is building responsive, inclusive and collection solutions and India have adopted a five-pronged approach—institution building to further deepen, sustain and institutionalize BRICS cooperation; implementation of the decisions from previous Summits; integrating the existing cooperation mechanisms; innovation and continuity.
iii. Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor was felicitated at the opening ceremony of the 1st BRICS Film Festival by Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathod and Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh for his and the Kapoor family’s contribution to the field of cinema.
iv. Rishi Kapoor is an Indian film actor producer and director known for his works in Hindi cinema. He received the National Film Award for his debut role as a child artist in his father’s 1970 film Mera Naam Joker (1970).  Kapoor had his first lead role as an adult, opposite Dimple Kapadia in 1973 with the film Bobby and received the Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1974. 
v. Raam Reddy’s Kannada film Thithi was conferred the Best Film award by Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu at the closing ceremony of the 1st BRICS Film Festival.
vi. Produced by Pratap Reddy and Sunmin Park,Thithi has been screened in over 12 prestigious international and national film festivals.
vii. It is noted that Filmmaker Jianqi Huo from China won the best director award for his film Xuan Zang. Russia’s Yulia Peresild received the best actress honour for The Battle for Sevastopol. Thabo Rametsi of South Africa bagged the best actor’s trophy for his role in Kalushi, The story of Solomon Mahlangu.

APPOINTMENTS

Henkel elevates Shilip Kumar as president of its India business
i. Henkel, German based MNC elevates Shilip Kumar as president of its India business
ii. He will succeed Jeremy Hunter who has now moved to Shanghai as president – Henkel China.
iii. Kumar who joined Henkel in 2011 will continue as business director of the transportation and metal SBU (strategic business unit) in India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA) region.

UK appoints first ambassador to Iran in five years
i. UK has appointed an ambassador to Iran for the first time since 2011.
ii. Nicholas Hopton, a former British ambassador to Qatar and Yemen, will take up the role of ambassador.
iii. Mr. Hopton joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1989 and was the British ambassador to Qatar from 2013 to 2015.
iv. He also served as the British ambassador to Yemen and at the British Embassies in Paris, Rome and Rabat.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian scientists unlock preterm birth mystery
i. Indian researchers have made a major discovery by understanding the mechanisms by which preterm births (between 28 and 32 weeks of gestation) occur.
ii. The researchers team was led by Professor Anirban Banerjee from the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Bombay, and Dr. Deepak Modi from Mumbai’s National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health.
iii. They found for the first time that gram-positive Group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria produce small balloons called membrane vesicles, which contain toxins that kill both foetal and maternal cells and destroy the collagen that binds the cells together.

Toxic air pollution particles discovered in human brain
i. Scientists have for the first time discovered tiny magnetic particles from air pollution lodged in human brains – which could be a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease. 
ii. Researchers at Lancaster University found abundant magnetite nano particles in the brain tissue from 37 individuals aged three to 92-years-old who lived in Mexico City and Manchester and this strongly magnetic mineral is toxic and has been implicated in the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) in the human brain, which are associated with neuro degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.
iii. Particles smaller than 200nm are small enough to enter the brain directly through the olfactory nerve after breathing air pollution through the nose.
iv. The particles that found are strikingly similar to the magnetite nano spheres that are abundant in the airborne pollution found in urban settings, especially next to busy roads, and which are formed by combustion or frictional heating from vehicle engines or brakes.
v. These results indicate that magnetite nano particles in the atmosphere can enter the human brain, where they might pose a risk to human health, including conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

ENVIRONMENT

West Bengal records highest dengue deaths in country
i. West Bengal has reported the highest number of dengue deaths in the country.
ii. West Bengal has 23 dengue-related deaths with 5,639 people affected by it from January to August 31.
iii. West Bengal is followed by Odisha and Kerala, both recording nine deaths each. Karnataka has registered six deaths due to dengue, while two people died in Delhi.
iv. There have been 60 Dengue deaths with 27,879 dengue cases reported from different states and union territories in the country this year.

SPORTS

Virat Kohli holds on number two position in latest ICC ODI rankings for batsmen
i. India’s Test captain Virat Kohli retained his second spot while opener Rohit Sharma slipped a place to seventh in the latest One-day International (ODI) cricket batting rankings.
ii. Kohli has 813 points, a fair distance behind South African AB de Villiers (887) while compatriot Hashim Amla (778) is third.
iii. England batsman Joe Root surged into the top five for the first time.
iv. Rohit has 750 points just ahead of team-mate Shikhar Dhawan (737).

6th Asian Championship: Indian wushu team wins 4 silver, 5 bronze medals
i. The Indian wushu team won four silver and five bronze medals in the 6th Asian Championship held in Taoyuan, Taiwan
ii. Pars Cup gold-medallist L Budhachandra Singh lost the gold medal bout against Van Bau of Vietnam To in 56Kg category.
iii. Praveen Kumar lost the 48Kg finals to Minh Duc Vu.
The medals winners:
Silver: L Budha Chandra Singh (56Kg), Praveen Kumar (48Kg), Rajinder Singh (90Kg), K Arunpama Devi (60Kg).
Bronze: Y Santhoi Devi (52Kg), Pooja Kadian (65Kg), Vishakha Malik (70Kg), Rajani Deori (75Kg).

Minakshi of CISF creates new record in Hammer Throw
i. Minakshi of CISF
has created a new record in the Women’s Hammer Throw at the 65th All India Police Athletics Championship in Hyderabad.
ii. She has broken the earlier record of 54.66 meters and set a new record of 57.58 meters and won Gold medal.
iii. CISF tops the medal tally with a total 19 medals including 10 golds.
iv. CISF is followed by BSF with 5 Golds and Punjab Police.

OBITUARY

World’s oldest cricketer Lindsay Tuckett passes away
i. world’s oldest cricketer, Lindsay Tuckett passed away in Bloemfontein at the age of 97.
ii. Mr.Tuckett represented South Africa in nine Test matches against England between 1947 and 1949.
iii. The distinction of the oldest surviving cricketer in the world now passes to another South African player, all-rounder Johnny Watkins, who is 93.

Senior CPI(ML) leader Swapan Mukherjee passes away
i. Senior CPI-ML (Liberation) leader Swapan Mukherjee, who played a major role in organising the party and its major campaigns, died in Chandigarh.
ii. He played a keyrole in struggles on national and international issues in Delhi in the 1970s and 1980s – including the initiatives against the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984 and protests in support of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist resistance in Vietnam and Africa.





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