Current Affairs 27th September 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Reserve Bank has given approval to Rs 26,000-crore cash credit limit (CCL) for purchasing paddy in poll-bound Punjab, which came as a relief for SAD-BJP combine that struggled hard in the past for release of funds to buy foodgrain. RBI has given its approval for the Rs 26,000 crore of CCL for procuring paddy from Punjab. Paddy procurement in Punjab will commence from October 1 and the state is expecting procurement of 150 lakh tonne of crop from the state. RBI's approval for CCL assumes significance as SAD-BJP combine would not have liked any delay in release of CCL in the wake of high-stake assembly polls ahead. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had come to Jalandhar on September 18, had described dispute over CCL as "a historical problem", saying both the state and Centre were making efforts to resolve this issue. There is a historical problem and it exists for decades, which requires certain amount of reconciliation and sorting out. Both Punjab government and central government are in the process of finding a solution to that.  

Japan’s Aichi prefecture and its capital city Nagoya were confirmed as co-hosts of the 2026 Asian Games , adding yet another major event to the country’s bulging international sports calendar. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) formally endorsed the bid after Aichi Prefecture governor Hideaki Ohumra and Nagoya city mayor Takashi Kawamura presented their joint offering to the OCA General Assembly in Danang, which is currently hosting the fifth Asian Beach Games. The OCA had originally planned to choose the 2026 Asian Games host in 2018 but brought the vote forward to provide some stability to the region’s crammed sporting calendar which includes three Olympic events over the next eight years. South Korea is already hosting the Winter Olympics at Pyeonchang in 2018, while Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics before the winter games go to Beijing in 2022. Tokyo is also hosting the next Olympic games in 2020 while Japan will stage the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Asian Winter Games in 2017 and the world swimming championships in 2021. Japan has hosted the Asian Games twice before, at Tokyo in 1958 and Hiroshima in 1994, and the awarding of the 20th edition in 2026 is the latest in a series of major sporting events heading to the country over the next decade.

The Union Government has decided to suspend all talks on India-Pakistan Indus Waters Treaty in the wake of the Uri attack.  Decision in this regard was taken by meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was attended by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Water Resources Secretary and senior PMO officials. Highlights  : No review or abrogation of the Indus Waters Treaty. Decision to utilise water under India’s share to fullest. Suspend talks on the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), the dispute redressal mechanism until terrorism stops.  Review the 1987 suspension of the Tulbbul navigation project that Pakistan had objected. Build more run-of-the-river hydropower projects on western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, Chenab) to exploit full potential. Expedite construction of Pakal Dul, Sawalkot, Bursar dams in Jammu and Kashmir. Use 20% of river water allocated under treaty for Jammu and Kashmir farmers. Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) : IWT is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan. It brokered by the World Bank (then the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development). The treaty deals with sharing of water of six rivers  :  Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum between the two countries. It was signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan in Karachi on September 19, 1960. As per treaty, control over three eastern rivers —Ravi, Beas and Sutlej was given to India. While control over three western rivers  :  Indus, Jhelum and Chenab was given to Pakistan.

A new species of a ground-dwelling lizard has been discovered in Goregaon's Aarey Colony and Thane's Badlapur forested belts. The species has been named after a Bengaluru-based scientist Varad Giri. The species is discovered 130 years after the last such gecko was discovered. The findings on the new species were published in the third week of September 2016 in the international scientific journal Zootaxa. New lizard species : The new species is named as Cyrtodactylus Varadgirii or Giri's Geckoella.The species, of the genus Cyrtodactylus known in Southeast Asia, India and Sri Lanka, is a member of the subgenus Geckoella. Earlier, this new species was considered as Geckoella Collegalensis. However, based on morphological characters and DNA data, it has been described as a new species.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 centimeters.They are found in localities like Sanjay Gandhi National Park in north Mumbai, the Aarey Colony, a few localities in Nanded, Chandrapur and Amaravati districts and a few localities in Gujarat.The new species is also known to live around human-dominated landscapes and is a widely distributed species in this genus in India.

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh laid the foundation stone of a Gokul Gram at Mathura in Uttar Pradesh for the conservation and development of native cattle breeds. On the occasion, he also announced setting up of 14 such Grams across the country as part of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission. Gokul Gram will work as a centre for development of native breed cattle and will also supplement resources of cattle farmers in breeding areas. Besides, the agriculture minister also inaugurated a waste sewage-water treatment plant and four days Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Krishi Unnati Mela - 2016, in Mathura. This plant has developed a unique indigenous technique facility for treatment & recycle of sewage water into irrigation water by Indian Council of Agricultural Research. He also conferred Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Krishi Antyodaya Krishi Awards on 12 poor farmers identified across the country for their outstanding achievement in agriculture despite not having access to education and money.

World Tourism Day 2016 was observed across the world on 27 September 2016. The theme of the World Tourism Day 2016 is Tourism for All - promoting universal accessibility. The theme for the year promotes accessible tourism for all to create environments that can cater for the needs of all of us, whether we are travelling or staying at home. The official World Tourism Day 2016 celebrations will be held in Bangkok, Thailand. World Tourism Day is held annually on 27 September with purpose to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The first World Tourism Day was celebrated in 1980 after decision made by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in 1979. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to highlight the contribution that the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.

Google has launched its latest mobile chat application, Allo, along with Google Assistant that can be used in online conversations with friends . The messaging app, which is available for Android and the iPhone, has similar features to most other messaging applications. In Allo, messages are not encrypted end-to-end by default. However, the messages can be switched to an incognito mode to do so and set how long they exist before they are deleted. Highlights of Google Allo :  Allo's ‘Smart reply’ function uses Google's machine learning technology to suggest a reply to the last message, which can be selected from a few options.The feature also analyses images sent to the user in order to suggest responses. Similar to the smart reply feature seen in Google's Inbox app, it learns from the user's behaviour to adapt its suggestions over time. It supports Google Assistant, a conversational virtual assistant. A feature ‘Whisper Shout’ allows the user to increase or decrease the size of a message to represent volume.Allo also lets users draw on photos before sending them.Incognito mode is an optional mode that includes expiring chats, private notifications, and end-to-end encryption.For encryption, the app uses the Signal Protocol.  

Puducherry Government has decided to write off all farm loans taken from co-operative Banks in the Union Territory on 26 September 2016. As per the decision, the principal loan amount, interest and penal interest of all farmers will be waived off. The measure will cost the state Exchequer 20 crore rupees and benefit about 7000 farmers of the Union Territory.  The decision was taken during the cabinet meet. It is based on the poll promises of the Congress-DMK government. The cabinet also approved to write off penal interest on Housing loans availed from Co-operative Banks. Those who had availed loan from the cooperative housing federation are prepared to repay the principal amount as well as the interest, if the penal interest is waived.  

Indian paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has won the Belgium Open title of the table tennis in the men’s singles category.  This was his first his first pro title. In the final match played at De Haan in Belgium, he defeated defeating local player Nuytinck Cedric 4-0 score in the final with 15-13, 11-6, 11-2, 17-15. With this victory, he becomes only the second Indian table tennis player to win an ITTF event.  Achanta Sharath Kamal was the first Indian table tennis player to win an ITTF event in 2012. In the quarterfinals match of the event he had defeated Steffen Mengel (world number 75).

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh gave away Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Antyodaya Krishi Puruskars to 12 farmers for their contribution in the agriculture sector on 25 September 2016. They were felicitated during a function at the birth place of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay in Mathura. Winners of the award National Award for the year 2016 : Krishna Yadav, an enterprising lady farmer from, Dinpur, Najafgarh, New Delhi for her outstanding achievements in the processing and value addition of food especially fruits and vegetables. Zonal awardees includes Award from Zone I: Jinder Singh, a small farmer from Roopnagar, Punjab won the award for starting a nursery of vegetable crops under the brand name ‘Chamkaur Sahib Paniri Farm’. Zone I comprises of the states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. Award from Zone II: Pooja Sharma, a small Haryana farmer won the award for her innovative ways of farming. Zone II comprises of the states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi Award from Zone III: Moti, a small farmer from Saidasaunkh village in Mathura won the award for his outstanding skills in innovative ways of farming which includes production of seeds of new varieties and planting material and distributing it among the fellow farmers at reasonable rates. Zone III covers entire Uttar Pradesh. Award from Zone IV: Deepak Kumar Singh from Bishanpur Banka, Bihar won the award for cultivation and sale of mushroom which has enabled him to earn a sizeable income from this activity. Zone IV comprises of the states of Bihar and Jharkhand. Award from Zone V: Ashok Kumar Sarkar, Nimbudera, a small farmer from, Andaman and Nicobar Island was awarded for his outstanding entrepreneurial skill in agriculture production. Zone V comprises of the states of West Bengal, Orissa and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Award from Zone VI: Anuradha Chhetri of Pakyong, East Sikkim was awarded for diversification of agricultural activities with orchids can be a boon for the farmers having small landholding in the hilly regions of the country. Zone VI comprises of the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Award from Zone VII: Biswajit Majumder from Sabroom, Tripura has been awarded for establishment of a farmer’s club in his village. Zone VII comprises of the eastern states of Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya. Award from Zone VIII: Hasam Bhai Jumabhai Musangara, an enterprising fish farmer from Gir, Somnath, Gujarat was awarded for his outstanding achievements in Agriculture especially fisheries. Zone VIII comprises of the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Daman & Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli. Award from Zone IX: Balaram Patidar a progressive and innovative farmer from Sarangi, in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh was awarded for cultivating horticultural and cash crops using scientific technologies. Zone IX comprises of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Award from Zone X: Alluri Suryanarayana Murthy, a small farmer from East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh was awarded for adopting an integrated farming system which has enabled the farmers in his surrounding areas to reap huge benefits. Zone X comprises of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Award from Zone XI: A traditional fisherman A Baburaj from Kozhikode, Kerala won the award for successfully adopting sustainable brackish water aquaculture practices as a livelihood option. Zone XI comprises of the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Antyodaya Krishi Puruskar As part of the Centenary Celebrations of Deendayal Upadhaya, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has instituted Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Antyodaya Krishi Puruskar at national and zonal levels in 2016. The awards include one award at national level comprising one lakh rupees and 11 zonal awards comprising of 50 thousand rupees each along with a citation and certificate.  Purpose of setting the award : This award was instituted for recognizing the contributions of marginal, small and landless farmers for developing integrated and sustainable models of agricultural farming.

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed on 26 September 2016. The Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority. It also provides an opportunity to educate the public and their leaders about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them. As per a report of United Nations, some 15000 nuclear weapons are available in the world. Countries possessing such weapons have well-funded, long-term plans to modernize their nuclear arsenals. More than half of the world’s population still lives in countries that either have such weapons or are members of nuclear alliances. As of 2016, while there have been major reductions in deployed nuclear weapons since the height of the Cold War, not one nuclear warhead has been physically destroyed pursuant to a treaty, bilateral or multilateral, and no nuclear disarmament negotiations are underway.  Meanwhile, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence persists as an element in the security policies of all possessor states and their nuclear allies. This is so despite growing concerns worldwide over the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of even a single nuclear weapon, let alone a regional or global nuclear war.

India has defeated New Zealand by 197-run to win its historic 500th cricket test match in Kanpur on 26 September 2016. On the fifth and final day of the match at Green Park, India bowled out the visitors for 236 in their second innings, shortly after Lunch, after setting them an improbable target of 434. The victory, which is India's 88th on home turf, gave them a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. With this win, India has taken their unbeaten tally on home soil to 11 matches. On the other hand, New Zealand remained without a win on the Indian soil since 1998. Man of the Match  :  Ravinder Jadeja. He was awarded for his fine all-round performance in which he captured six wickets and scored 92 runs. Besides, the match also saw that India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest Indian and second overall to take 200 wickets in test matches. He reached the milestone in his 37th Test. Only leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett got to the double century of wickets faster than Ashwin. The Australian reached there in 36 Tests.

World Pharmacists Day was  Celebrated on 25 Sept 2016. World Pharmacists Day was the brainchild of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), with the council of this organization voting to establish the event in the late 2000s during a conference they staged in Istanbul, Turkey.  The 2016 World Pharmacists Day theme is for 2016 it is ‘Pharmacists: Caring for you’. The aim of the day is to bring attention to pharmacies and the positive benefits they offer when it comes to health and FIP encourages all its members to get involved to make the event a success. Each year the organization announces a different theme so that associations and individuals in the pharmaceutical industry can put together national campaigns or local projects to showcase the good work they do in helping to improve the health of people around the world.  This can include giving lectures, holding exhibitions, or organizing an activity day for adults and kids to demonstrate the many ways that a pharmacy can help them.

World Rivers Day takes place on September 25, 2016. World Rivers Day is a global celebration of the world's waterways, observed every last Sunday in September.  Rivers may make up only about 0.2 percent of all the fresh water worldwide but their importance is priceless.  This day encourages citizens to get actively involved to ensure the future health of our rivers. World Rivers Day : Rivers everywhere are being impacted by a multitude of threats.  It is up to all of us to help protect our precious freshwater resources. We get so many benefits and enjoyment from our rivers.

Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and Chairperson of Samruddhi Cooperative Bank Kanchan Gadkari has launched the lender's first-ever RuPay Card in central India.  The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in a short span facilitated the launch of RuPay Card and it has reached to small co-operative bank like Samruddhi. Kanchan, wife of Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, said the bank has fixed deposits worth Rs 43 crore and has disbursed loan to the tune of Rs 24 crore.  Kanchan, who took over the reins of the Bank on December 15, 2015, said initially 2,000 cards will be given to the bank customers now and it has open an ATM in one of its branch.  The bank had FDs worth Rs 35 crore last year and it has gone up in a short span.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that a team of Airports Authority of India has given final approval to a proposed site for the Pune International Airport in Purandar tehsil of the district. The team of AAI, which had conducted feasibility survey of proposed land in Purandar tehsil, has given its approval and AAI has agreed that the land is suitable. Since the approval has come, we will now start the further process and we are happy that the local people too are positive about the airport. The government will now hold a meeting with Maharashtra Airport Development Authority. Initially, the state government was considering Khed teshil for the airport and AAI had carried out survey of two sites there. However, later the focus shifted to Purandar tehsil.

The seventh edition of India International Tea Convention (IITC 2016) will be held at Ooty from September 22 to 24.  Hosted by United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI), Tea Board and the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations in association with the Indian Tea Exporters' Association (ITEA), the South India Tea Exporters Association (SITEA) and Federation of All India Tea Traders Association (FAITTA).  UPASI President N.Dharmaraj said the convention, which is to be held for the first time ever in a plantation area, will be attended by about 600 delegates including 100 overseas delegates and will also be a venue for an industrial exhibition.  The convention, whose theme is " let's team up for sustainability ", will have sessions dealing with sustainability issues and product safety issues. There will also be sessions on export and domestic markets and climate change on future tea production . The event will host a guided tea tasting session wherein participants will be introduced to teas from various growing regions in India and from the various agro climatic zones of South India as well as the award winning teas of the golden leaf India awards ( TGLIA ) competition. 

Kohima police has  recovered two bombs of the World War II era from PR Hill Colony, Nagaland. The bombs were found from an ongoing construction site by the labourers after which the police were informed. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad reached the spot and the bombs were safely removed 

Shri Anurag Srivastava IFS (1999) presently Ambassador of India to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Djibouti, with residence in Addis Ababa.  He is expected to take up the assignment shortly. Ethiopia officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a sovereign state located in the Horn of Africa. It shares a border with Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With nearly 100 million inhabitants,[2] Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second-most populous nation on the African continent after Nigeria. 

Regulator Irdai has imposed a penalty of Rs 10 lakh onSBI Life Insurance Company for violations of various norms, including guidelines on accepting business from a corporate agent after the expiry of licence.  The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority ofIndia (Irdai) said that the inspection report of the corporate agent Bonanza Assurance Advisors indicated that it had done 621 policies after expiry of licence. Authority renewed the expired licence of the corporate agent from a retrospective date . It is the duty of the insurer and corporate agent to get the licensed renewed well before the due date with submission of all required documents.  Though commission is not released by insurer on the business accepted after the licence expiry until the licence renewal by Authority, insurer act on accepting business is "not justified" while the renewal application is under process and when a decision can be on either side. Another penalty of Rs 5 lakh has been imposed on SBI Life Insurance for violation of the provisions of the regulation on accepting the business from unauthorised persons.  After examining submission of the insurer, the Irdai did not press other charges. 

Uttarakhand’s Ajay Singh was elected president of the Boxing Federation of India, and the Mumbai-based Jay Kowli won the post of secretary-general as the election process for the office-bearers of the new National federation was completed. Ajay Singh, who polled 49 out of the 64 votes cast, defeated Rohit Jain (15 votes) in the contest for the president’s post. Kowli polled 48 votes, ahead of Lenny D’Gama (12) and Rakesh Thakran (4). Hemanta Kumar Kalita was elected unopposed as treasurer. Eight Zonal vice-presidents and secretaries were also elected to office. Sixty-six votes were to be cast by 33 units (two votes per unit). It is learnt that one voter each from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra were absent. The Indian Olympic Association did not send any representative to oversee the elections despite a written request from the AIBA (the world amateur boxing association), and the International Olympic Committee.

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