Current Affairs 2016 September - Current Affairs Today Banking, SSC, UPSC
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September 2016 – Current Affairs and Quiz
30 September 2016 Current AffairsQUIZ
In a major boost to artificial intelligence (AI) research, five top-notch tech companies Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft have joined hands to announce a historic partnership on AI and machine learning. It means that these companies will discuss advancements and conduct research in AI and how to develop best products and services powered by machine learning, Tech Crunch reported on Thursday. Initial financial help will come from these companies and as other stakeholders join the group, the finances are expected to increase. According to the report, the organisational structure has been designed to allow non-corporate groups to have equal leadership side-by-side with large tech companies.The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared proposals worth 1,900 crore rupees (close to $3 billion). All these approved proposals will be executed under ‘Buy India’ by Indian contractors. Decision in this regard was taken by DAC meeting chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi. Weapons repair facility at Port Blair at a cost of Rs 450 crore. Anti-tank guided missiles for training purpose of the army. It is worth of 405 crore rupees. Electronic warfare system for low intensity conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. It is worth of 330 crore rupees. Mumbai based Defence shipyard Mazagon Dock will get a repair facility for Scorpene submarines at cost of Rs 725 crore. The dock is constructing six Scorpene submarines for Indian Navy. It is an apex body of Union Defence Ministry for clearing defence procurement proposals forwarded by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.Patna High Court has quashed Bihar government notification completely banning liquor in the state on 30 September 2016. The court said that the notification is ultra vires to the Constitution . 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. The court in its verdict said that the notification is ultra vires to the Constitution, hence not enforceable. 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. 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. The Nitish Kumar-led Grand Secular Alliance government had first banned the manufacture, trade, sale, consumption of country-made liquor since 1 April 2016, but later imposed a blanket ban on all types of liquor including foreign liquor in the state. In August 2016, the liquor law was made more stringent after the Assembly passed the Bihar Excise and Prohibition Bill with voice vote. Under this law, all adult members of the family could be arrested if liquor was found stored in any household. It also called for collective fines on villages and localities which are found repeatedly breaking prohibition law.Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has launched various Railways Services and dedicated them to the nation on 29 September 2016. These Railways services are: Liberalised station to station special freight rates policy. Policy providing sub quota of 33% to women within reserved categories for the allotment in catering units. Policy giving preference to local domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations. New system of allocating vacant berths after final charting to wayside stations. Launch of the new tag Train at a Glance 2016 and new Time Table effective from 1 October 2016. Liberalised station to station special freight rates policy : Existing as well as new traffic shall be eligible.Concession shall be granted up to a maximum of 30 percent on the incremental traffic over and above the benchmark NTKM. Policy providing sub quota of 33% to women for the allotment in catering units : A Sub Quota of 33 percent for women in allotment of the reserved catering units was introduced in order to extend economic empowerment for women. Policy giving preference to local domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations : In compliance of Budget Announcement 2016-17, a process of giving weightage to district Domicile Holders for commercial licenses at stations is being proliferated at all stations over Indian Railways. Transfer of vacant berths for optimal utilisation of berths : This facility of transfer of berths remaining vacant after second charting at the train originating station to the next and subsequent stations will clear the way for the waitlisted passengers at such stations.The Union Government has launched Progress Panchayat on 29 September 2016. This Panchayat is aimed at reach out the minority community and publicize the various welfare measures taken by the NDA government for their betterment. The programme was kick started by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (independent charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi from Mewat region of Haryana. The programme will be organized in 100 places across the country in the coming days where Union Ministers will interact with people about the several schemes. During the programme, the government will also seek feedback and suggestions from the people for better implementation of the welfare schemes.West Bengal government has decided to install monorail from Budge Budge in South 24-Parganas to Ruby Connector in Kolkata. This was informed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 29 September 2016. The 14-kilometre-long monorail route will connect Budge Budge to Ruby via Taratala, New Alipore and Prince Anwar Shah Road and will come up at a cost of 4216 crore rupees. This new service will also connect commuters to the proposed metro rail network between New Garia to Kolkata airport. For execution of the monorail project, the state transport department will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Burn Standard Company Limited. Burn Standard Company Limited will be funding the project and the state government will provide land for the purpose. The Chief Minister said 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.Airports Authority of India’s Tirupati Airport was awarded the Best Tourist Friendly Airport under the category for State Annual Excellence Awards for the year 2015-16 by Andhra Pradesh Tourism. The award was presented on the eve of World Tourism Day by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nara Chandra Babu Naidu at Bhawani Islands, Vijayawada. State Annual Tourism Excellence Awards : The State Annual Tourism Excellence Awards under various segments of Travel and Tourism Industry are awarded by Department of Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh. They are awarded for maintaining excellent Customer friendly relations with tourists and passengers, coinciding with World Tourism Day Celebrations. Tirupati Airport : Tirupati Airport was established in the year 1976.It is a public airport located at Renigunta, a suburb of Tirupati in the state of Andhra Pradesh.The airport is located 14 km away from Tirupati and 39 km from Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala.The 2016 BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Meet was held in New Delhi from September 27- 28, 2016 to deliberate on issues including job creation and social security for workers. The two day meeting saw the participation of the five major emerging BRICS economies viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The meeting had dedicated sessions on employment generation, social security, inclusive development and formalization. Fruitful discussions on areas of common labour and employment issues among the BRICS countries were held. The BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial Declaration was also adopted at the end of these discussions. Member countries proposed strong interventions and actions in areas concerning social security, employment generation and formalization of labour markets leading to inclusive and sustainable development. They also agreed to pursue bi-lateral social security agreements amongst the BRICS member states. They also acknowledged the need to develop a network of lead labour research and training institutions in BRICS member states.The International Translation Day is being observed today on 30 September across The world with the theme"Translation and Interpreting: Connecting Worlds". This is the annual event for the translation community and event is marked with a series of dedicated events, seminars and symposiums across the world. Established by the International Federation of Translators (FIT), the annual celebration of the International Translation Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of translators who endeavor to make the world a slightly smaller place by breaking down language barriers.The Union Government has notified the constitution of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on 29 September 2016. The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (RBI Act) has been amended by the Finance Act, 2016, to provide for a statutory and institutionalised framework for a Monetary Policy Committee, for maintaining price stability. As per the provisions of the RBI Act, out of the six Members of Monetary Policy Committee, three Members will be from the RBI. The other three Members of MPC will be appointed by the Central Government. n exercise of the powers conferred by section 45ZB of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, the Union Government has accordingly constituted the Monetary Policy Committee of RBI, with the following composition: The Governor of the Bank: Chairperson, ex officio Deputy Governor of the Bank, in charge of Monetary Policy: Member, ex officio One officer of the Bank to be nominated by the Central Board: Member, ex officio Chetan Ghate, Professor, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI): Member Pami Dua, Director, Delhi School of Economics (DSE): Member Ravindra H. Dholakia, Professor, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad: Member The Members of the Monetary Policy Committee appointed by the Union Government will hold office for a period of four years, with immediate effect or until further orders, whichever is earlier.Retired IAS officer Shakti Sinha was appointed as the Director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) on 29 September 2016. His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Sinha, who served in the Prime Minister's Office during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, was also Director in India Foundation, a think tank aligned to the RSS. The post of Director of NMML was vacant since the resignation of its previous Director Mahesh Rangarajan in the year 2015.Online fashion portal Myntra has announced the appointment of Dipanjan Basu as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on 29 September 2016. Basu’s appointment will be effective from 17 October 2016. Dipanjan Basu : Previously, Dipanjan Basu served as the Chief Finance & Operating Officer for Wipro’s Digital & Consulting Business where he was responsible in building and setting up new businesses, M&A and investments in startups.He also oversaw the finance function for the Manufacturing & Healthcare business at Wipro. He has been instrumental in driving billion dollar deals and leading business process re-engineering at Wipro. He started his career at Wipro as a young professional and built his way up to being one of the youngest Vice Presidents at Wipro. He also had a two year stint with Quatrro Risk Management Services where he was the CFO of the company.He is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and was ranked 7th in India in the CA final exams.World Heart Day is being observed annually on 29 September across the world. World Heart Day was founded in 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death. Theme for the World Heart Day 2016 is 'Light Your Heart, Empower Your Life'. This World Heart Day we’ve joined forces with Bupa and Philips to make World Heart Day more powerful than ever. With their support, we are raising awareness and encouraging individuals, families, communities and governments to take action and help us to achieve our goal of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from CVD by 2025.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has inaugurated the 35th Coast Guard Commanders Conference at Coast Guard Headquarters. Parrikar appreciated the efforts of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in augmenting maritime and coastal security not only by deployment of assets but also by efficient exploitation of Coastal Security Network Phase I and expressed hope that CSN Phase II would also be implemented on time. He also congratulated the ICG on their protracted efforts with Pakistan and Sri Lankan security agencies which resulted in reduced apprehension of Indian fishing boats. He was also glad to know that no Indian fishermen is under detention at Sri Lanka and requested ICG to also negotiate release of detained Indian fishing boats. The conference was attended by senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) which included the Director General Rajendra Singh, Additional Director Generals and Coast Guard Regional Commanders. The conference is held annually, where all regional commanders put forth the roadmap for future; discuss various policy and strategic issues. The three-day conference aims to carve out a futuristic vision for the service and to determine the modalities to overcome the challenges efficiently.The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) 2003 and Varistha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) 2014. The Cabinet also granted approval for expenditure incurred on subsidy amount released to LIC for the both schemes. VPBY was launched on 14th July, 2003 and was open till 14th August, 2015 and VPBY was launched on 14th August, 2014. Both the schemes are closed for future subscriptions. These schemes were implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). Both are pension schemes intended to give an assured minimum pension to Senior Citizens based on an assured minimum return on the subscription amount. The pension is envisaged until death from the date of subscription, with payback of the subscription amount on death of the subscriber to the nominee. The difference between the actual yield earned by LIC on the funds invested under the schemes and the assured return committed by Union Government is paid as subsidy to LIC. The policies sold during currency of policy are being serviced as per the guaranteed 9% return assured by the Government. As of March 2016, a total number of 3,17,991 annuitants are being benefited under VPBY 2014. Similarly, 2,84,699 annuitants are being benefited under VPBY- 2003.The Union Cabinet gave its approval for closure of Hindustan Cables Limited (HCL), Kolkata on 28 September 2016. The approval was given as per the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956/2013, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and other relevant Acts. The employees of the company will be offered attractive VRS/ VSS Package at notional 2007 pay scales and other employees’ related liabilities including payment of salary and wages from April 2015 till they are separated from the Company on VRS/VSS will be settled as well. The disposal of assets of company will be in terms of the guidelines of Department of Public Enterprises on time bound closure of sick/loss making Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and disposal of movable and immovable assets. Total cash infusion for closure of company will be 1309.90 crore rupees and non-cash infusion of 3467.15 crore rupees in the form of conversion into equity of Government of India's loan (including interest) outstanding as on 30 September 2016. Hindustan Cables Limited : Hindustan Cables Limited (HCL) is a government-owned company that makes telecom cables in India. It is under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.It was founded at Rupnarainpur in Asansol, West Bengal in 1952. The company’s objective was to make India self-reliant in manufacturing communications cables.It had four manufacturing units at Rupnarainpur (West Bengal), Hyderabad (Telengana), Naini (U.P.) and Narendrapur (West Bengal).HCL was profitable until 1994, but began incurring losses in 1995.The company was referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, which was unable to revive it.Indian women’s Kabbadi team has bagged gold medal at the 5th Asian Beach Games on 28 September 2016. In the summit clash played at Bien Dong Park in Danang, Vietnam, the team defeated Thailand 41-31.This was fifth gold in succession for the Indian team. The Indian women's kabaddi team had been winning the gold since the inception of the biennial Games in 2008. For Thailand, it was the fifth time in a row they had lost to India in a final. Besides, the Indian men's beach kabaddi team settled for the Silver medal. The Indian team lost the game to arch-rivals Pakistan 28-30. India had won gold in men's beach kabaddi the 2008 and 2010 editions. In Kurash, a form of wrestling originated in Uzbekistan, Amisha Tokas won silver in women’s 70kg category after losing to Nguyen Thi Lan of Vietnam in the final. In beach bodybuilding, Manoj Kumar Majumdar won a bronze in up to 158cm category. India has so far won six medals including one gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze, in the Games. India is now at 15th spot in the medal table headed by hosts Vietnam (25 gold, 22 silver, 27 bronze).The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Region of the Americas as Measles free on 27 September 2016. The declaration came during the 55th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). With this, the Americas became the first in the world to have eliminated measles, a viral disease that can cause severe health problems, including pneumonia, blindness, brain swelling and even death.This achievement marked culmination of a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas. Measles is the fifth vaccine-preventable disease to be eliminated from the Americas, after eradication of smallpox in 1971, poliomyelitis in 1994, and rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in 2015. Before mass vaccination was initiated in 1980, measles caused nearly 2.6 million annual deaths worldwide.In the Americas, 101800 deaths were attributable to measles between 1971 and 1979. However, a cost-effectiveness study on measles elimination estimated that with vaccination 3.2 million measles cases and 16000 deaths can prevented between 2000 and 2020.In the 1990s, a decline in measles cases was recorded, but the most notable decrease was observed after the Americas launched its initiative to eliminate measles in 1994. The countries of the Americas established the goal to eliminate indigenous transmission of measles by the year 2000, through the implementation of surveillance and vaccination strategies.The last indigenous measles outbreak was registered in Venezuela in 2002. However, some countries in the Region still notified imported cases. Between 2003 and 2014, 5077 imported measles cases were registered in the Americas. Brazil also witnessed the measles outbreak in 2013. However, after a year of targeted actions, the last case of measles in Brazil was registered in July 2015.Considering that the Region has sustained elimination for more than 12 years, the International Expert Committee accepted the evidence presented by the countries and declared the elimination of measles in the Americas.Noted Telugu writer Prof. Kalakaluri Enoch was conferred with Moortidevi Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith for the year 2015 at function in New Delh on 29 September 2016. The award was given for his novel Ananta Jeevanam. The novel was thought-provoking and contemplative as it depicted the struggle of the weak, the downtrodden and the common man of Rayalaseema. This is the first time a Telugu writer was selected for the award. Veteran art historian Dr Kapila Vatsyayana presented the award to Prof. Kalakaluri Enoch. Prof. Kalakaluri Enoch : Born on 1 July 1939, Prof. Enoch is a former vice-chancellor of SV University. He has been awarded the Padma Shri. The noted Dalit voice, poet and academician was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2014 for his contributions to the field of literature. He has credited over 180 poems, 180 stories, 9 novels and 30 plays. Moorti Devi Award : Moorti Devi award was founded by Bharatiya Jnanpith and is given away to the authors who have contributed in the field of contemporary creative writing in modern Indian languages.It is presented annually for a contemplative and perceptive work which expresses, underlines and illumines human values rooted in the broad vision of Indian philosophy and cultural heritage.Books written in English and all Indian languages are considered for the Prize, which comprises a cash award of four lakhs rupees, a Saraswati statue and a citation plaque.The Union Government has decided to raise the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) investment in Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) from existing 5 per cent to 10 per cent on 30 September 2016. The decision has been taken considering the good returns in ETF investment. An official release said, in the last one year, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has invested 6577 crore rupees. The investment has yielded a good return of 13.24 per cent. The past performance of the last six months from April, 2016 to August, 2016 also showed gradual appreciation in the returns from 0.37 per cent in March 2016 to 13.24 per cent in August 2016. Five per cent EPF has been invested in NIFTY 50 and SENSEX. The pattern of investment prescribed by the Ministry of Finance has given guidelines for investment in equity from 5 per cent to 15 per cent.The Union Government has appointed R Subramania Kumar as Executive Director (ED) of state-owned Indian Overseas Bank on 29 September 2016. Kumar is currently serving as the Executive Director of Indian Bank. Indian Overseas Bank : Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) is a major public sector bank based in Chennai. It has about 3700 domestic branches, including 1150 branches in Tamil Nadu, 3 extension counters, and eight branches and offices overseas as of 30 September 2014. Indian Overseas Bank has an ISO certified in-house Information Technology department, which has developed the software that its branches use to provide online banking to customers.The bank has achieved 100% networking status as well as 100% CBS status for its branches. IOB also has a network of about 3300 ATMs all over India. IOB has branches in Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombo, Seoul, and Bangkok. It has representative offices in Guangzhou, Vietnam, and Dubai. IOB also is part-owner of a joint-venture bank in Malaysia.India is going to invest 2 billion dollars in Sri Lanka in the next three-four years. It was announced by Union Minister for State (MoS) Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman during her visit to Sri Lanka. She had visited Sri Lanka for talks on the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) to discuss the terms of the agreement. Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) : ETCA agreement seeks to boost cooperation in scientific expertise, technical areas and research amongst institutions between India and Sri Lanka. It also seeks to boost standards of goods and services to compete on global market and improve opportunities for manpower training and human resource development. The ETCA initiative follows unfruitful negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between two countries. Objectives of ETCA: (i) Strengthen and advance the economic, trade, investment and technology cooperation. (ii) Promote further liberalization of trade in goods, trade in services and gradually establish transparent, fair and facilitative trading, investment and investment protection mechanisms (iii) Establish a cooperation mechanism and expand areas of economic cooperation.Indian Army has successfully conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) i.e. along India’s de-facto border with Pakistan. The surgical strikes were India’s first direct military response to attack on Uri army base by Pakistan-based militants that had killed 18 Indian soldiers. The motive of the operation was to hit out at the terrorists who were planning to infiltrate into the Indian territory. During the operation, significant casualty was caused to terrorists . The cross-border action comes India reviewed Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan and pulled out of the regional SAARC Summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan as part of a wider diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan. 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.
29 September 2016 Current AffairsQUIZ
The Union Government has approved assistance of 1269 crore rupees for drought affected Maharashtra on 28 September 2016. Out of the total amount, around 589 crore rupees will be supplementary assistance for damage to Kharif crops and over 679 crore rupees for Rabi crops. The meeting for the Central Assistance to drought affected Maharashtra was chaired by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. The Committee examined the proposal based on the report of the Central Team which visited the state in May 2016. Maharashtra Government : As per reports, Maharashtra had a demand of 3200 crore rupees. It sought 2000 crore rupees as supplementary relief aid for losses in the Kharif crops and 1200 crore rupees for rabi crops in 2015. The demand was raised under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore in the field of Industrial Property Cooperation on 28 September 2016. The MoU will be signed between India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) during the visit of Singapore’s Prime Minister to India from 4-7 October 2016. Highlights : It will enhance bilateral cooperation activities in the arena of Industrial Property Rights of Patents, Trademarks and Industrial Designs. It is intended to give a boost to innovation, creativity and technological advancement in both regions. It includes exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on Intellectual Property awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of both countries. It includes exchange of experts specialized in the field of intellectual property.It includes exchange and dissemination of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP with the industry, universities, R & D organizations and Small and Medium Enterprises.It also involves cooperation in the development of automation and implementation of modernization projects.It calls for partnership in IP-related training for local IP and business communities.Infosys has launched Skava Commerce, a modern, mobile-first and modular e-commerce platform that delivers engaging omni-channel experiences on 28 September 2016. Skava is a Silicon Valley based e-commerce startup which was acquired by Infosys. Skava Commerce Platform : The platform can help brick-and-mortar retailers to quickly launch new offerings, improve conversion rates of traffic coming from digital channels without making large investments upfront. It can integrate with existing technologies while providing a future-ready architecture that will enable next generation shopping experiences leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.It also includes a responsive web store and native mobile shopping applications that can be managed by non-technical business users through SkavaSTUDIO- a web-based experience management tool. For retailers who are building their own platform, Skava is offering a source code license of its platform with an aim to accelerate retailers' journey and yet have full ownership through the source code license.The world’s first baby was born from a new procedure that combines the DNA of three people. The baby was born in Mexico. The baby was born on 6 April 2016 after his Jordanian parents travelled to Mexico where they were cared for by US fertility specialists. The baby was born using the new and controversial technology, called mitochondrial donation, which incorporates DNA from three persons. The five-month-old boy has the usual DNA from his parents, and a small amount of genetic code from a donor. The baby’s mother carried genes for the fatal Leigh Syndrome, which harms the developing nervous system.The faults affect the DNA in mitochondria, the tiny battery-like structures that provide cells with energy, and are passed down from mother to child. A team of doctors, led by John Zhang, decided to attempt the controversial procedure of mitochondrial transfer in the hope that it would give the couple a healthy child. The doctors took the nucleus from one of the woman’s eggs and inserted it into a healthy donor’s egg that had had its own nucleus removed. Then, the egg was fertilised with the husband’s sperm.The team created five embryos but only one developed normally. This was implanted into the mother and the baby was born nine months later. Mitochondrial Donation : Mitochondrial donation is a special form of in vitro fertilization in which the future baby's mitochondrial DNA comes from a third party.The two most common techniques in mitochondrial donation are pronuclear transfer andmaternal spindle transfer. Due to the uncharted nature of producing a child with 3 sources of DNA, this subject is currently quite contentious in the field of bioethics, as is the case with many other gene therapies.The treatment was legalised in the UK in 2015 but so far no other country has introduced laws to permit the technique. In February 2016, a report was issued by the U.S. Food and Drug administration declaring that further research into mitochondrial donation is ethically permissible.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved ‘Project SAKSHAM’ n 28 September 2016. It is a New Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration) of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). It will help in integrating system of Central Board of Excise and Customs with the GST network before the roll out in April 2017. The total project cost involved is 2256 crore rupees which will be incurred over a period of seven years. SAKSHAM : Implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Extension of the Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) Other taxpayer-friendly initiatives under Digital India and Ease of Doing Business of Central Board of Excise and Customs The implementation strategy for the project will be to ensure readiness of CBEC's IT systems by 1 April 2017, when GST is to be introduced. The upgrade of the IT systems will be carried out while keeping the existing Tax-payer services running. As predicted, all taxpayers/importers/exporters/dealers under various indirect tax laws administered by CBEC, presently about 36 lakhs, are likely to go up to over 65 lakhs after introduction of GST. CBEC's IT systems need to integrate with the Goods & Services Tax Network (GSTN) for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent by GSTN systems to CBEC, as well as act as a front-end for other modules like Audit, Appeal, Investigation. There is no overlap in the GST-related systems of CBEC and GSTN. This IT infrastructure is also urgently required for continuation of CBEC's e-Services in Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax, implementation of tax¬payer services such as scanned document upload facility, extension of Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) initiative and integration with Government initiatives such as E-Nivesh, E-Taal, e-Sign.In a recognition of the country's Muslim community, the second-largest in the world, an Indian has been invited to attend a prestigious conference of the Organisation of Islamic Countries' Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC). Haji Syed Salman Chishty of Dargah Ajmer Sharif has been invited to address the ICYF-DC's Third Islamic Conference of Youth and Sports Ministers opening in Istanbul on October 4. This is a great honour for India and Indian Muslims. I shall speak on 'Empowering Youth for Peace, Solidarity and Development', which is the main theme of this global conference to be attended by representatives from 52 countries . The recommendations of the conference will be included in "The OIC 2025 Action Plan", encompassing the adoption of the OIC Youth Strategy . This is the first time India which is home to the world's second largest Muslim population after Indonesia has been invited to the OIC forum. In fact, since nearly a decade, India's application for an OIC membership or getting observer status has been denied due to Pakistan's objections . Besides, there are other youth-related issues like early marriages, with 27.3 per cent being performed before the age of 18, with prevalence maximum in Bangladesh (29.1 per cent) and Chad (29 per cent). This needs to be regulated in terms of age and consent for a better future for the youth and their children .Senior IPS officers Sudhir Pratap Singh has appointed as Directors General of counter-terrorism force National Security Guard (NSG) Sudhir Pratap Singh, a 1983 batch IPS officer of Rajasthan cadre, is ADG, Central Reserve Police Force.The CISF is entrusted with responsibility of providing security to national installations including airports.The Union Cabinet has given its approval to ratify the Paris Agreement (on Climate Change) on 2nd October 2016. The Paris Agreement was adopted by 185 nations in December 2015. India had signed the agreement in New York in April 2016. So far, 191 countries have signed the agreement. The Paris treaty on Climate Change will come into force when 55 countries contributing to 55 % of total global emission ratify the agreement. So far, 61 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification, approval or acceptance accounting in total for 47.79% of the total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With the gathering momentum and willingness expressed by several other countries it is expected that the Agreement will enter into force soon. Significance of India’s Ratification : India’s decision to ratify the agreement will take the number of cumulative level of emission of countries that have ratified the agreement so far to 51.89%. With its decision, India will be one of the key countries that will be instrumental in bringing the Paris Agreement into force. Underlines the important role played by India’s responsive leadership in the community of nations committed to global cause of climate justice and environmental protection. Paris Agreement gives thrust to the global actions to address climate change and pertains to post-2020 climate actions. In the pre-2020 period, developed countries are to act as per Kyoto Protocol and some developing countries have taken voluntary pledges.IPS officer O P Singh has appointed as the new Director General of CISF, a paramilitary force tasked to secure vital civil airports, and nuclear and aerospace installations in the country. Singh, a 1983-batch officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, who was serving as the Director General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), was appointed to head the 1.48 lakh-strong force after an order by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister on September 23. His tenure is till January 2020. On his arrival at the CISFheadquarters here, he was accorded a guard of honour after which senior officers briefed him. The government has carried out a comprehensive high-level security audit of civil airports in the country and has underlined that all these facilities need to be secured by the Central Industrial Security Force. Singh, the only DG-rank officer in the present lot to have been decorated with the President's Police Medal for Gallantry, has been credited with initiating some of the best standard operating procedures in the NDRF and having led his men on the ground during the massive Nepal earthquake rescue and relief operations last year. Apart from securing airports and other important installations, the CISF also secures a host of VVIPs along with providing armed security to the Delhi Metro network, seaports, power plants and sensitive government buildings.Tech giants Microsoft and Adobe has announced a major partnership to promote the use of each other's cloud-computing tools among their mutual customers. The deal follows a pact last year that linked some Adobe products to Microsoft's customer relationship management tools. Cloud-computing, a growing business in which companies increasingly turn to rented, web-based infrastructure to run their software instead of their own back room servers, has a been a showcase of Microsoft's newfound willingness to partner with erstwhile competitors. Under the new deal, the maker of Photoshop will use Microsoft's network of on-demand data storage and processing power to run its web-based digital media and marketing software. Adobe and Microsoft will bring together the cloud horsepower and end-to-end capabilities brands need to design and deliver great digital experiences. Microsoft itself will now make the Adobe Marketing Cloud its preferred marketing service for Dynamics Enterprise 365 and the two companies will collaborate on data integrations that will make it easier for their users to work across the two services. Adobe and Microsoft will bring together the cloud horsepower and end-to-end capabilities brands need to design and deliver great digital experiences.A British woman Kate McWilliams become the world's youngest ever commercial airline captain at just 26 years old. Kate McWilliams, with budget carrier easyJet, is based at London's Gatwick Airport. She began flying at the age of 13 in the air cadets before embarking on a training programme at CTC Aviation in Southampton on her 19th birthday. She first became interested in planes after attending an air show at age four. She flies Airbus A319 and A320 planes to around 100 destinations, such as Reykjavik, Tel Aviv and Marrakesh.The Punjab Government has approved the inclusion of Gosai/Goswami, Yadav/Aahir and Rabari Communities in the list of Backward Classes of the state. The Cabinet also approved the recommendations of Cabinet sub-committee regarding the settlement of legacy food credit account. The committee recommended that the terms as approved by State Bank of India in its meeting held on September 20 has agreed to reduce the rate of interest from 9.26 per cent to 8.25 per cent. The Cabinet also decided to extend the Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Beema Yojna to provide health insurance to 40 lakh blue card holders, farmers, traders and labourer families.Which was expiring on October 31, Henceforth the Cabinet gave its nod to extend this policy from November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017.Sixteen trees native to Aravali and NCR, will soon be notified as "protected" natural heritage, on the lines of recognising special monuments in Delhi. Monuments are recognised as 'historical heritage' of the city, but now Delhi government will, officially, recognise trees as 'natural heritage' in the city. Mishra, who is holding interim charge of the Environment Department, says the government has taken the step to highlight the issue of pollution. The trees will be adorned with descriptive and informative signboards - which will tell people of the ecological and botanical value of these tree. It will also tell about historical stories surrounding the tree and also warn people against damaging them. The city has seen continuous habitation since the 6th century BC. It has been ruled by Lodhis, Khiljis, Tughlaks, British, who built several temples and mosques. Also, the native trees of Delhi like jamun, pilkhan, shahtoot, kadamb are getting lost. The ones which survived, and have served an increasingly urbanising Delhi for 100-200 years, deserve protection.World Health Organization (WHO) has released its report on pollution, which is extremely worrying on 27 September 2016. The report claims that 92 percent of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits. This mean, 9 out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air. Maria Neira, head of the WHO's department of public health and environment, termed the report as a 'public health emergency'. She also urged governments to take up measures like cutting the number of vehicles on the road, improving waste management and promotion of clean cooking fuel. The WHO report is based on data collected from more than 3000 sites across the globe. According to the report, poorer countries have much dirtier air than the developed world. The report is based on WHO’s new air quality model that is based on data derived from satellite measurements, air transport models and ground station monitors. The model was developed by WHO in collaboration with the University of Bath, United Kingdom. Some 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6% of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together. Nearly 90 percent of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, with nearly 2 out of 3 occurring in WHO’s South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions. WHO says that 94 percent are due to non-communicable diseases – notably cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Air pollution also increases the risks for acute respiratory infections.Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Telangana government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide digital classes across the state through its state channel Mana TV on 28 September 2016. As per the MoU, the ISRO’s Development & Educational Communication Unit (DECU) will work with the state government to disseminate educational content using satellite technology. IT Minister KT Rama Rao said that this arrangement would help the channel start coaching classes from 1 October 2016. The channel will telecast a four-hour programme daily. Besides, about 6000 schools of the state will launch digital classes from 14 October 2016. The digital classes will provide a platform for lakhs of students and job aspirants to get quality education. Earlier in August 2016, the states Irrigation Department signed MoU with ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) to use space technology for real-time monitoring of all water resources in the state.World Maritime Day was observed across the world on 29 September 2016. Theme for the day is shipping: indispensable to the world. The theme was chosen to focus on the critical link between shipping and global society and to raise awareness of the relevance of the role of International Maritime Organization (IMO) as the global regulatory body for international shipping. The importance of shipping to support and sustain today's global society gives IMO's work a significance that reaches far beyond the industry itself. Besides, to mark the 2016 World Maritime Day, a parallel event will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 4 to 6 November 2016.Former Australian cricketer Max Walker passed away on 28 September 2016 at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He was 68. Walker was famous for his unconventional bowling action that earned him the nickname Tangles. Max Walker : Maxwell Henry Norman Walker was an Australian cricketer and Australian rules football player.He earned a place in the Australian cricket team in 1973 and represented his country in the sport until injury ended his career in 1981. Following his retirement, he worked as an architect and also commenced a career in radio and television media.He wrote 14 books over a period of thirty years and became a successful public speaker.
28 September 2016 Current AffairsQUIZ
India and China have hold the first High Level Dialogue on Counter-terrorism and Security held in Beijing, capital city of China. The meeting was co-chaired by R N Ravi, Chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and Wang Yongqing, Secretary General of Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of China. In the high level dialogue both countries discussed on ways to enhance security and cooperation to combat terror. They exchanged information on respective policies to deal with terrorism, and further enhance their understanding on issues of major concern. They also exchanged views on the international and regional security situation. It also deliberated on measures to jointly deal with security threats and reached important consensus in this regard.India will not take part in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad (Pakistan) to be held in November 2016. This decision was taken in view of the continuous cross border terrorism by Pakistan which has created environment which is not conducive to successful holding of Summit. In this regard, the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has conveyed to current SAARC Chair Nepal. Besides, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also have conveyed their reservation about attending the Summit. Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and Growing interference in internal affairs of member states by one country (not naming Pakistan). However, India has clearly mentioned that it remains steadfast in commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror. India’s decision came in the wake of recent Uri terror attack in which 18 jawans were martyred. It was reported as the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades. Pakistan based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has been blamed for the cowardly attack.The latest finding has given scientists fresh hope that a robotic spacecraft could one day fly past these potential plumes and learn about their contents without having to drill miles deep into the moon's icy shell. Using ultraviolet images taken by Hubble, a space telescope that was launched in 1990, the potential plumes were seen around the southern edge of Europa and appear as dark fingers or patches of possible absorption. They were spotted over the course of 15 months in 2014 when scientists observed Europa passing in front of Jupiter. This was observed by a team of astronomers led by William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore. They observed these finger-like projections while viewing Europa's limb as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. If confirmed, Europa would be the second moon in the solar system known to have water vapor plumes. In 2005, NASA's Cassini orbiter detected jets of water vapor and dust spewing off the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Plumes on Europa : The plumes are estimated to rise about 125 miles (200 kilometers) before, presumably, raining material back down onto Europa's surface. Europa has a huge global ocean that contains twice water than Earth’s oceans, which is protected by a layer of extremely cold and hard ice of unknown thickness. The plumes provide a tantalizing opportunity to gather samples originating from under the surface without having to land or drill through the ice.Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres passed away on 28 September 2016 at Ramat Gan, Israel. He was 93. Peres served twice as Israel's Prime Minister and once as President. Shimon Peres : Shimon Peres was born on 2 August 1923 at Wiszniew, Poland. He served as the ninth President of Israel from 2007 to 2014.He served twice as the Prime Minister of Israel and twice as Interim Prime Minister.His first high-level government position was as Deputy Director-General of Defence in 1952, and Director-General from 1953 until 1959. He was the first former Prime Minister to be elected President of Israel.At the time of his retirement in 2014, he was the world's oldest head of state.In 1994, he won Nobel Peace Prize together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the peace talks that he participated in as Israeli Foreign Minister, producing the Oslo Accords.Veteran music director and violinist Uttam Singh was named for the 2016 Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement of the Maharashtra Government on 27 September 2016. The award carries a citation, a trophy and 500000 rupees in cash. Uttam Singh : Born on 25 May 1948, Uttam Singh has worked as a violinist, music arranger and music director for many Bollywood films.He worked as a music arranger for Ilaiyaraaja in numerous Tamil films before establishing himself as an independent composer. His big break came in 1963, when he worked as a violinist for a documentary being made by Mohammad Safi. After this, Uttam Singh played violin for major composers including Naushad, Roshan, Madan Mohan, C. Ramchandra, Sachin Dev Burman. Later, he became the main violinist for Rahul Dev Burman.His songs and score for the movie Pinjar won him much critical acclaim. It is considered to be his finest work as composer. Lata Mangeshkar Award : The Lata Mangeshkar Award is a national-level award instituted to honour works in the field of music.Various state governments of India present awards with this name.The state Government of Madhya Pradesh started this award in 1984. The Lata Mangeshkar Award issued by the Maharashtra Government started from 1992. This is also officially known as Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement.Krishna Kalle was the winner of the 2014 Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement.Kerala tourism and UNESCO's cooking competition, a contest of chefs as unique as that at the Spice Route Culinary Festival required judging parameters just as creative, the competition's jury said. With such a novel festival and a very specific theme, the standard rules had to be tweaked to help create a relatively level playing field for the cuisines of the 15 different countries that took part,said Chef Vijay Nagpal, who chaired the jury. Kerala tourism and UNESCO must be commended for organising such a unique event. One hopes it will be a regular fixture on the tourist calendar," Chef Bhaumik said. If the crowds and questions raised during the four-day festival are anything to go by, the benefits to the tourism sector and hospitality industry of follow-up editions are undeniable.The Tripura Legislative Assembly has unanimously ratified the Constitutional Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST). With this, Tripura becomes the 22nd state after Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to pass the crucial legislation. Tripura Finance Minister Bhanulal Saha moved a resolution to ratify the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill. The 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill was passed by the Parliament on August 8, marking a historic step towards tax reforms in India. As many as 20 states in the country have already ratified the Bill and more state assemblies are in the process of taking up the Bill.Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has inaugurated six major Railway projects in Kerala including the dedication of the newly-built 9.6-km long Tiruvalla-Chengannur double line which would ease the heavy rail traffic congestion in the Ernakulam-Kottayam-Kayamkulam section. Prabhu said that the Ministry of Railways has chalked out comprehensive plan for the development of Railway through PPP and joint venture with state governments. Prabhu also inaugurated infrastructure facilities at Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram railways stations through video conferencing from Kozhikode. While a new platform was launched at Palakkad station, high-speed public WiFi service was made available at Thrissur station. The minister also launched an escalator each in Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram stations besides laying foundation stone for the extension of Foot Overbridge at Kozhikode railway station. Now the number of free wi-Fi enabled railway stations in the state has increased to five. The service was launched earlier in Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kozhikode stations.Executive Directors of the World Bank has agreed unanimously to reappoint Jim Yong Kim to a second five-year term as President of the World Bank Group on 27 September 2016, beginning 1 July 2017. The Board noted that in the first year of Kim’s leadership, which began in July 2012, shareholders endorsed two ambitious new goals for the institution. They were: Elimination of extreme poverty by 2030, and Promotion of shared prosperity. These new initiatives boosted the income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population in every developing country. Jim Yong Kim : Jim Yong Kim is a South Korean-American physician and anthropologist.He has been serving as the 12th President of the World Bank since 1 July 2012. He was formerly the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.He also holds the honour to become the first Asian American president of an Ivy League institution. He was named the world's 50th most powerful person by Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People in 2013.World Rabies Day was observed on 28 September 2016. The theme for World Rabies Day is Rabies: Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate. The day is annually celebrated to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating the disease. The theme of the day emphasises on the two crucial actions that communities can do to prevent rabies. It also reflects the global target to eliminate all human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030. In addition, 28 September also marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur's death, the French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine. Today, safe and efficacious animal and human vaccines are among the important tools that exist to eliminate human deaths from rabies while awareness is the key driver for success of communities to engage in effective rabies prevention. Human rabies is present in 150 countries and territories and on all continents, except for Antarctica. Globally, estimates indicate that human mortality (due to endemic canine-mediated rabies) is highest in Asia, with the highest incidence and deaths reported in India. This is closely followed by Africa. However estimates of burden have always been uncertain due to the absence of reliable data.