Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs from 7th to 9th September, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO VI Mains, Bank of Baroda and Bank of Maharashtra PO Exams.
HP, Singapore sign MoU for smart integrated township
- Himachal Pradesh government today signed a preliminary Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore government for developing a smart integrated township in Jathiadevi near Shimla airport.
- The MoU was signed between Himachal PradeshHousing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) and Asian Pacific Singapore Enterprise in the presence of Urban Development and Town and Country Planning and Housing minister Sudhir Sharma during a meeting here.
- Presiding over the meeting of delegates of the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE), government of Singaporeand senior officers of the HIMUDA, Sharma said development of a smart integrated township near the state capital was an ambitious project of the government which would go a long way in decongesting the highly populated city.
GST Bill gets nod by President Pranab Mukherjee
- President Pranab Mukherjee on 8 September 2016 gave his assent to the Constitution 122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014 as per Article 111 of Constitution of India. With this assent, the bill becomes law and allows rolling out a new indirect tax regime.
- After the Presidential assent, the bill will be notified to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council that will decide the tax rate, cess and surcharges. The council to be headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will comprise of state Finance Ministers.
- Now, the union and state governments will have to draft the Central GST, State GST and integrated GST laws for being passed in the winter session of the Parliament. The CGST and IGST will be drafted on the basis of the model GST law.
Tata, ICICI Venture partner to launch power platform
- Tata Power’s wholly-owned subsidiary Tata Power International Pte Ltd and ICICI Venture on Friday announced the creation of a platform company to facilitate investment in power projects in India in two-three years, which are in advanced stages and near-operational or operating.
- The platform is co-sponsored by Tata Power and ICICI Bank and has commitments from partner investors, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) of Canada, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Oman.
- The platform will raise an initial capital of up to $850 million, to be contributed by the sponsors and partner investors either directly or through their affiliates. This can be raised. The platform targets acquisition of controlling stakes in power-generating companies, including thermal, hydroelectric and transmission assets in India.
Union Government launches NIDHI for nurturing ideas and innovation into start ups
- Union Government on 6 September 2016 launched a new program called National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI). The initiative aims at nurturing ideas and innovation into successful start ups.
- NIDHI, an umbrella programme of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), will focus on helping startups to meet their funding, infrastructure and other mentorship needs. NIDHI will allow youths of the country to give a concrete shape to their ideas.
National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations
- The programme focuses on building a seamless and innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem especially by channelizing youth towards it and thereby bringing in the positive impact on the socio-economic development of the country.
- It aims at providing technological solutions not only to the pressing needs of the society but also targets to create new avenues for wealth and job creation.
- By design it connects and strengthens all the links of the innovation chain from scouting to sustaining to securing to scaling to showcasing, because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
- There are eight component of NIDHI that support each stage of a budding startup from idea to market. The first component is PRAYAS (Promoting and accelerating young and aspiring innovators and startups) which aims to support innovators to grant up to 10 lakh rupees.
- The final component is the Seed Support System which provides up to One Crore rupees per start-up and is implemented through Technology Business Incubators.
- During the financial year 2016-17, Department of Science has allocated 180 crore rupees, with a view to drive the innovation and startup centric new initiative.
- The key stakeholders of NIDHI includes various departments and ministries of the Union government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists, industry champions and private sectors.
First edition of IoT India Congress begins in Bengaluru
- The first edition of IoT India Congress 2016 kick started on 7 September 2016 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- The three-day event was inaugurated by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Information Technology (IT) and Electronics Minister, and JS Deepak, Secretary, Ministry of Telecommunications.
Key highlights of the event
- The IoT India Congress 2016 is one of the largest events of its kind in India.
- It will bring together stakeholders from various facets of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.
- It aims to bring together key stakeholders across the value chain and verticals to collaborate, ideate and share a common roadmap for IoT implementation.
- The event will also host the IoT Thought Leadership Awards 2016 and the IoT Start-Up Awards 2016.
India, Greece sign Air Services Agreement under Open Sky Policy
- India on 7 September 2016 signed the bilateral Air Services Agreement with Greece to allow unlimited points of call for domestic airlines in Greece.
- Both the countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard under the Open Sky Policy. It will be the first such ASA with Greece, a country known for its tourist spots and scenic beauty.
- Indian Government Signed the MoU with Greece under the provisions of the new Civil Aviation Policy with an aim to improve international air connectivity for Indian carriers.
- As per the policy, the government will enter into an Open Sky Air Services Agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.
Dharmendra Pradhan launches Gas4India campaign to promote use of natural gas
- Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, on 6 September 2016 launched #Gas4India campaign.
- The campaign is aimed at promoting the use of gas in the country.
- Public and private sector companies working in the sector have joined hands to promote the natural gas sector.
- Pradhan also launched the website, Twitter handle, Facebook page and theme song of the campaign.
Key highlights of the campaign
- Gas4India is a unified cross-country, multimedia, multi-event campaign.
- It promotes the national, social, economic and ecological benefits of using natural gas as the fuel of choice.
ISRO launches advanced weather satellite INSAT-3DR
- Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched advanced weather satellite, INSAT-3DR on 8 September 2016.
- The advanced weather satellite was launched with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F05), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
- GSLV-F05, the tenth flight of India's GSLV, carried 2211 kg INSAT-3DR into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). GSLV is designed to inject 2 - 2.5 ton class of satellites into GTO.
- After reaching GTO, INSAT-3DR will use its own propulsion system to reach its final geosynchronous orbital home and will be stationed at 74 deg East longitude.
Gujarat CM dedicated 2 mbps connectivity to 6000 villages
- Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on 8 September 2016 dedicated 2 mbps download and 512 kbps upload digital connectivity to 6000 villages.
- Under the E-gram program launched in 2006-07, total 14000 villages had been connected to internet through V-SAT technology which offers hardly 19-20 kbps speed. Many E-gram villages did not get enough speed when some centers login at the same time.
- Now, 6000 villages out of 14000 are given 2 mbps connectivity through BSNL network. As these villages are out of the V-SAT platform, the rest of the villages served by V-SAT will also get faster connectivity.
- Villagers are getting various services like PDS, health, data entry, power and gas bills through e-gram project. Gujarat Government has set the target to achieve 100 percent village connectivity through optical fiber network 2nd October 2017.
Union Government launches Integration of DigiLocker with Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registration Certificates
- Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law and Justice, on 7 September 2016 jointly launched Integration of DigiLocker with Driving Licenses (DL) & Vehicle Registration Certificates (RC) in New Delhi.
- The new service will end the need of people carrying around physical copies of their RCs and DLs. They can instead access digital copies of the same on their mobile phones via the DigiLocker mobile app.
Key highlights of DigiLocker with DLs and RCs
- Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registration documents can now be issued directly to the DigiLockers of individuals in digital formats.
- These digital copies can be shared with other departments as identity and address proof.
- They will also be used for on the spot verification through the citizen’s mobile, by various law enforcement authorities like the Traffic Police.
Assam’s Majuli becomes first island district of India
- Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on 8 September 2016 inaugurated Majuli as the 35th district of Assam. With this, Majuli became India's first island district.
- The inauguration of Majuli as a district coincides with the 90th birth anniversary of music maestro Bhupen Hazarika.
- Recently on 1 September 2016, Majuli replaced Brazil's Marajo to become the world's largest river island in the Guinness Book of World Records.
India, Kazakhstan Joint Exercise PRABAL DOSTYK-16 begins
- Troops of Indian and Kazakhstan Army on 7 September 2016 began the joint exercise 'PRABAL DOSTYK – 16'. The exercise being conducted in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan will conclude on 17 September 2016.
- Prabal Dostyk meaning Robust Friendship is a significant step towards fostering military as well as diplomatic ties between both countries.
- The primary aim of the fourteen day exercise will be to enhance interoperability while undertaking Counter Terrorism & Counter Insurgency Operations in rural and semi-urban environment under the umbrella of United Nations.
- The Indian Army is being represented by platoon strength.
- The Kazakhstan Army contingent comprise of platoon from Special Operating Force’s Unit.
Union Government launches dedicated pan-India helpline for power outages
- The Union Government on 6 September 2016 launched the Urja Mitra Helpline number 14401, a dedicated pan-India helpline for power outages.
- With this, consumers can now get an update from power distribution companies about outages in their area by dialling 14401.
- The Department of Telecom (DoT) created the helpline for pan-India usage to send information through voice calls and SMSes to apprise customers about power situation in their area.
- It is a mandatory service, which will be provided by all the telecom operators.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited successfully tests Light Utility Helicopter
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on 6 September 2016 successfully completed test flight of indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Bengaluru.
- During the test, the helicopter remained in the air for 15 minutes inside the HAL complex.
- The LUH will replace the military’s obsolescent fleet of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters that have flown for over three decades.
Key highlights of Light Utility Helicopter
- The HAL LUH is a 3-tonne helicopter exclusively built for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force to replace the aging fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
- It is a light, single-engine helicopter that is powered by the Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine.
- In addition to two pilots, the helicopter can fly six passengers at sea level, with load capacity reducing with altitude.
GRSE hands over fast attack craft TIHAYU to Indian Navy
- The Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) of Kolkata on 30 August 2016 handed over TIHAYU, the Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) to the Indian Navy. The warship was handed over by Rear Admiral (Retd) AK Verma, CMD of GRSE to the Commanding Officer Cdr Ajay Kashov.
- GRSE had earlier built and delivered 10 WJFACs to the Indian Navy during 2009 to 2011, which are proving well in service.
About TIHAYU, the Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC)
- Named after an island in the Andaman, Tihayu is fitted with three water jet propulsion systems powered by marine diesel engines generating 2720 KW of power.
- This Follow-on WJFAC ship is a further improved version of Fast Attack Crafts earlier built by GRSE for Indian Navy.
- The ship has an efficient hull form developed by the in-house Design Centre of GRSE and proved by extensive model testing to achieve speeds in excess of 35 knots.
WHO certifies India free from Yaws, Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus
- India on 6 September 2016 received certificates from World Health Organisation (WHO) recognising the elimination of Yaws and Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) from the country.
- The certificates were presented to Union Health Minister JP Nadda at the 69th Session of the WHO regional committee for south-east Asia region held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- With this, India became the first country to be officially acknowledged as being yaws-free.
- The elimination of tetanus as a public health problem means that the annual rate of maternal and neonatal tetanus in India is now less than 1 per 1000 live births.
Union Government launches Leprosy Case Detection campaign
- Health Ministry on 5 September 2016 launched the Leprosy Case Detection campaign (LCDC) in the country. Objective of the campaign is to detect the disease early so that those affected can be saved from physical deformity.
- As per the Health Ministry release about 32 crore people across 149 districts of 19 States and Union Territories will be screened under the fortnight-long campaign.
Key highlights of the campaign
- It includes, the districts having a prevalence rate of more than one case per 10000 people in the last three years.
- Around three lakh teams will visit every house in their allotted area and screen all the family members for leprosy.
West Odisha celebrates Nuakhai Festival
- Western Odisha on 6 September 2016 celebrated the festival of Nuakhai, the agrarian festival of the region, with religious fervour.
- The celebrations began with the Nabanna in which the newly harvested rice was offered to Goddess Samaleswari as per the stipulated Lagna, the auspicious moment. The deity was adorned with new saree and ornaments on the occasion.
- Later, people offered Nabanna to their presiding deities.
Awards & Honors –
Novel on Apatani tribe of Arunachal, Into the Hidden Valley, wins MM Bennetts Award
- Novel, Into the Hidden Valley authored by Stuart Blackburn on 4 September 2016 won the 2016 MM Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction in the UK. The author was presented the award at the HNS Conference in Oxford.
- The book published by Speaking Tiger narrates the story of the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh during British India. It also looks into a little-known episode in the colonial history of British India.
- Into the Hidden Valley explores and portrays the impacts of the forces of colonialism on both sides when this settled civilisation forcibly collides with British Empire.
- Into the Hidden Valley was chosen for the award ahead of Helena Page Schrader's Defender of Jerusalem and Allegiance by Kermit Roosevelt.
Anjum Chopra becomes first Indian woman to be honoured with MCC life membership
- Former Indian women’s cricket team captain Anjum Chopra in the first week of September 2016 was awarded an honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
- Chopra is presented with the honour along with former men’s team stalwarts Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag.
- With this, Chopra became the first Indian woman cricketer to get the prestigious life membership of MCC.
Thithi wins Best Film Award at first BRICS Film Festival
- Acclaimed Kannada movie Thithi on 6 September 2016 won the Best Film Award at the first BRICS Film Festival, which concluded in New Delhi.
- The BRICS Film Festival was organized as a part of the special events planned in run-up to the BRICS summit to be held in India.
- The five-day-long festival screened movies from India, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.
- China's Chengdu city will host the next edition of the BRICS Film Festival.
K G George wins 2015 J C Daniel Award
- Veteran award-winning film director K.G. George on 6 September 2016 won the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for his overall contribution to the Malayalam film industry.
- The award will be given away along with the State Film Awards at a function to be held at Palakkad in October 2016.
- Kulakkatil Geevarghese George is an Indian film director and screenwriter.
- He is considered to be among one of the directors who revolutionized Malayalam cinema in the 1970s.
- He is noted for his deep psychological analysis and character study of the human mind in his films.
- He made his debut with 1975 movie Swapnadanam, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam.
- His well known films include Ulkadal, Mela, Yavanika among others.
International Literacy Day 2016 celebrated across the world
- The International Literacy Day was celebrated on 8 September 2016 across the world. The theme of International Literacy Day 2016 is Reading the Past, Writing the Future.
- The theme was chosen to honour the past five decades of national and international engagement, efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world.
- Further, the theme also addresses current challenges and looks to innovative solutions to further boost literacy in the future.
- Besides, literacy is also a part of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The target is that by 2030 all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.
Literacy in India
- According to the Census 2011 report, the illiteracy rate in India is 22%.
- Kerala is the most literate state with 93.91 per cent, Lakshadweep at 92.28 per cent, Mizoram at 91.58 per cent, Tripura at 87.75 per cent and Goa at 87.40 per cent.
- Bihar and Telangana have the lowest literacy with only 63.82 per cent and 66.50 per cent literate people respectively.
- In 2014, the literacy rate of India increased by 10 per cent.
- India has the world’s largest population of illiterates.
CK Asnani assumes charge as CMD of Uranium Corporation of India Limited
- CK Asnani on 7 September 2016 assumed charge as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), an undertaking of the Department of Atomic Energy.
- Asnani is a Chemical Engineer from Osmania University. He was the Director (Technical) of Indian Rare Earths Limited, Mumbai before the present assignment.
- Asnani was earlier associated with Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad.
ASEAN Summit 2016 concludes in Vientiane, Laos
- The 28th and the 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit concluded on 8 September 2016 at Vientiane, Laos. The theme for the 2016 summit was Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community.
- H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, was the Chairperson of the summit that was held from 6 September 2016 to 8 September 2016.
- The Summit was attended by the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. They are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Highlights of the Summit
- ASEAN leaders discussed the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and enhancing cooperation with ASEAN’s external partners.
- The leaders adopted the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, which form an integral part of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
- They also signed the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region.
NASA launches OSIRIS-REx to collect samples from asteroid
- The US space agency, NASA, on 8 September 2016 launched OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) spacecraft. The unmanned spacecraft, OSIRIS-REx, blasted off onboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
- OSIRIS-REx is United States’ first mission to collect samples from an asteroid and return to Earth. The 800 million dollar mission will travel for two years on a journey to Bennu, a near-Earth asteroid about the size of a small mountain.
- NASA feels that the asteroid may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the source of water and organic molecules found on Earth.
UN Charter translated into Sanskrit Language
- The UN Charter, the seminal treaty of the United Nations (UN), was on 7 September 2016 translated into Sanskrit Language for the first time.
- This came following the pioneering efforts of Jitendra Kumar Tripathi, the Secretary of the Lucknow-based Akhila Bharatiya Sanskrit Parishad.
UK and Iran appoint ambassadors for first time since 2011
- The United Kingdom (UK) and Iran in September 2016 appointed ambassador in each-other's country for the first time since 2011. This appointment marks the restoration of the diplomatic relations between the two nations.
- Nicholas Hopton, a Middle East specialist and former British ambassador to Qatar and Yemen, was appointed as UK ambassador to Iran. On the other hand, Hamid Baeidinejad, a key figure in the Iranian nuclear negotiating team, was appointed as the Iranian ambassador to the UK.
- The Foreign Office announcement comes one year after the reopening of the British Embassy in Tehran. The embassy was reopened in August 2015 by then-British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and the two countries resumed ties on Charge d'Affaires level.
World’s oldest cricketer Lindsay Tuckett passes away
- South African Lindsay Tuckett, who was the oldest surviving former Test cricketer, passed away on 5 September 2016 in Bloemfontein. He was 97.
- With the death of Tuckett, the distinction of the oldest surviving cricketer in the world now passes to all-rounder Johnny Watkins, who is 93.