Today’s Current Affairs 27 August 2016

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— Current Affairs 27 Aug 2016 —


Daily | Current Affair Updates | 10-Minute-Read | By-Raksha | PDF Version

A complete dose of current affairs for the whole day. Categories listed are given as below:

— NATIONAL —

– PM announces task force for next three Olympics

  • With India getting only two medals in the Rio Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the decision to set up a task force to prepare a comprehensive action plan for effective participation in the next three Olympics.
  • “The Task Force will be set up to prepare a comprehensive action plan for effective participation of Indian sports persons in the next three Olympic games 2020, 2024 and 2028,” PMO stated.
  • The decision to set up the task force comes against the backdrop of India’s dismal performance in Rio, as the country won only one silver and one bronze even after sending its biggest contingent of 118 athletes. India finished 67th in the medal tally.

– Haji Ali Shrine Give Full Access To Women, Says Court. Not Ok, Says Trust

  • Women have the right to enter the core or inner sanctum of Mumbai’s famous Haji Ali shrine, the Bombay High Court has ruled. However, women cannot avail of the order just yet – the trust that runs the shrine wants to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court, so today’s verdict is suspended or put on hold for six weeks.
  • The trustees of the 15th century shrine say it would be “a grievous sin” for women to be allowed near the tomb of the Sufi saint housed within the mosque; they imposed the ban five years ago and were taken to court by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) – a Muslim women’s rights group. They have been backed by the state government.

– Govt to import additional 90,000 tonnes pulses

  • The government on Friday decided to further import 90,000 tonnes of pulses, like masoor and tur, to boost domestic supply and control prices. At present, prices of different dals are in a range of Rs 115-175 per kg due to shortfall, following two consecutive years of drought
  • The decision was taken in a meeting of price stabilisation fund chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande. The meeting reviewed the procurement and distribution of pulses from buffer stock.
  • “The Government today ordered further import of 40,000 tonnes of masoor, 20,000 tonnes of tur, 20,000 desi chana and 10,000 tonnes of urad for the buffer stock,” an official statement said.
  • The Centre plans to create two million tonnes of buffer stocks, through domestic procurement and imports, for making intervention in the market to control prices. It is supplying pulses to states from buffer stock and has asked them to sell in retail at prices not exceeding Rs 120 per kg.

– Bengaluru to host the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017

  • IT-BT capital of the country, Bengaluru, will host the 2017 Bharatiya Pravasi Divas scheduled on February 7, 8 and 9 of 2017.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas(English:Non-Resident Indian Day), is celebrated in India on 9 January each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.
  • The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on 9 January 1915. Established in 2003, it is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs of the government of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India.
  • A celebratory event is held on 7–9 January each year in an Indian city: a forum for issues concerning the Indian Diasporais organized and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards are given.
  • In 2014, Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was held in New Delhi and was attended by 1,500 delegates from 51 countries. President Pranab Mukherjee gave the Pravasi Bharatiya Samma Awards. Media India Group (MIG) is one of the media partners of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2014.
  • The Bharatiya Pravasi Divas hoped to will see close to 3000 Non-Residential Indians (NRI) and PIO delegates from across the world and the government is yet to finalize on the venue, dependent on the infrastructure availability in and around the place.

– Kashmir Protests Hurt Business, Rs 6400 Crore Lost In 49 Days

  • The ongoing unrest in Jammu and Kashmir has led to a whopping Rs. 6,400 crore loss to the state, with businesses being badly hit due to curfew and separatist sponsored strikes.
  • Kashmir is suffering losses of about Rs. 135 crore daily. We estimate the losses at over Rs. 6,400 crore so far
  • While traders and businessmen continue to suffer in the Valley, the state government has also suffered losses in foregone revenue to the tune of Rs. 300 crore since the protests began.

– Digital Locker Authority soon to push paperless governance

  • The Centre will soon appoint an authority to administer and manage its Digital Locker initiative, one of the key projects under Digital India programme, as it looks to push paperless governance.
  • The Government will appoint a Digital Locker Authority to establish, administer, and manage Digital Locker system to preserve and retain information for efficient delivery of services to the users
  • The Digital Locker Authority will be responsible for granting licenses and to authorise a private entity to offer these services. Besides, it will need to prepare standards and guidelines, while also ensuring compliance by service providers. These guidelines include those for data retention and migration, audit and security and privacy.
  • Currently, the services would be offered for free but may be chargeable in future.

22nd edition of Delhi Book Fair begins

  • The 22nd edition of the Delhi Book Fair began at PragatiMaidan in New Delhi on Saturday. The 9-day event lays focus on the initiatives taken by the government for its Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan to inculcate better reading habits among the younger generation.
  • National campaigns launched in the past two years – including Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India, Skill India and Startup India – have found a place in the Theme Pavilion which has been transformed into a selfie station.
  • Inaugurating the event, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said, books should be made available to readers at a reduced cost. He said the good practice of reading books should not be hampered due to advent of technology. The Minister urged everyone to keep alive the tradition of gifting books.

Odisha attracts Rs 90,490 Cr investment at Bangalore investors’ meet

  • The Odisha government has claimed that it received investment announcement of Rs. 90,490 crore with employment potential of more than 70,000 during the two-day Odisha Investors’ Meet concluded in Bengalulu on Friday.
  • A release issued by the chief minister’s office said while the delegation from Odisha met 66 top companies in 13 divers sectors, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik personally met heads of 24 companies on the concluding day on Friday.
  • The JSW Steel topped the proposers’ list expressing interest to invest 50,000 crore rupees to set up a steel plant in the State.
  • The Odisha Government is organising the meet in an attempt to encourage investments in sectors like manufacturing, IT, electronics, petrochemicals, food processing and tourism.

Nagaland Assembly ratifies GST bill

  • The Nagaland Legislative Assembly ratified the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill.
  • The bill was endorsed by the House by a voice vote following a brief discussion.
  • Introducing the bill, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs KiyaniliePeseyie said the revenue of the state would go up as tax evasion would be checked due to transparency and broadening of tax base.
  • “A purely consuming state like Nagaland will benefit even more since GST is based on the destination principle,” he said, adding, tax administration would improve since most of the activity would be online.

Life-size statue of Mother Teresa unveiled

  • Nine days before her canonisation, and on her 106th birth anniversary, a life-size bronze statue of Mother Teresa was unveiled on the lawns of the Archbishop House here on Friday.
  • Standing next to the statue of Pope John Paul, now Saint John Paul, the 5 feet 2 inches tall statue of Mother Teresa shows her bowing slightly with clasped palms, in the traditional gesture of greeting people.
  • The statue has been donated by industrialist & philanthropist, MrNamitBajoria who is the Designate Honorary Consul of Republic of Macedonia in Kolkata.

Maharashtra Government unveils Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway project

  • Maharashtra Government has unveiled ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway project in Mumbai.
  • The 46,000-crore rupee ambitious project will create state-of-the art road connectivity within a period of three years and give a fillip to investment in the state.
  • Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway project will be implemented by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
  • The project aims to create state-of-the art road connectivity within a period of three years and give a fillip to investment in the state.
  • It will be a six-lane super communication highway covering a distance of 750 km through 10 districts.
  • It will connect entire breadth of Maharashtra It will require 9000 hectares of land and will be carried out in the Land Pooling model with farmers being made partners and some percentage of developed land given back to them.

Maharashtra to tie up with corporates to transform 1,000 villages

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister DevendraFadnavis today said the State government plans to transform 1,000 villages with the help of corporate sector, and the civil society over the next few years.
  • He said corporate sector is already working with the government in various sectors through the CSR and “we thought of using their resources, knowledge, technology and planning and implementation skills”.
  • He said the corporate sectors’ expertise would be used to set up an institutional mechanism to amalgamate work done by different companies in different areas to transform 1,000 villages in collaboration with the State government.
  • He was addressing reporters here after his meeting with industrialists Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

Bombay High Court allows entry of women inside Hazi Ali Dargah.

  • Bombay High Court today said that the ban on entry of women inside Haji Ali Dargah violates their fundamental right to practice any religion.
  • Rebuking the Dargah Trust, the court said it has no right to discriminate entry of women into a public place of worship under the guise of ‘managing the affairs of religion’.
  • In its 56-page judgement, the court refused to accept the claims that allowing women in close proximity to the grave of male Muslim saint was a sin in Islam. The court also refused to accept that the ban was imposed to prevent sexual harassment of women.
  • The bench asked the Dargah Trust to take effective steps like having separate queues for men and women as was done before; adding that the state government is also dutibound to ensure safety of women at such places. Both the petitioners in the case have welcomed today’s decision.
  • While NoorjehanSafiaNiaz said this decision was a big victory for women’s movement, ZakiaSoman said it is a great step towards justice for Muslim women.  Nisha Raney, AIR News, Mumbai.

– Centre to set up fodder farms in districts

  • To tide over India’s perennial fodder shortage that in turn affect milk output, the Centre is planning to identify at least two hectares of grazing land in each district to be developed into ‘fodder farms’, where high-quality fodder would be grown.
  • The Centre will provide high-quality seeds and technical expertise to farmers to grow fodder. If successful, the experiment will pave the way for long-term solution to India’s fodder shortage.
  • Irrigation for such farms would be provided by the government while labour from MNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) would be used to develop the land.

– One Liner Updates:

 

— INTERNATIONAL —

– Holland to raise free speech concerns in India’s 2017 UPR

  • India’s recent track record in protecting freedom of expression is expected to come under close scrutiny in the next Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2017, and leading the charge could be Holland. The UPR is a mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council that periodically reviews the compliance of member states with international human rights law.
  • A recent Human Rights Watch Report (HRW) report titled Stifling Dissent: The Criminalisation of Peaceful Expression in India, as well as the adverse remarks on India’s law governing foreign donations to NGOs (the FCRA), by the United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai, prompted a Dutch MP to raise India’s human rights record in the Dutch Parliament.
  • The Parliamentary query, addressed to the Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, reads, “Are you willing, partly in view of one of the recommendations in the HRW report, to address the strong lack of freedom of expression in India during India’s Universal Periodic Review in 2017 and encourage India to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of expression for a fact-finding mission?”

– Obama Plans To Create World’s Largest Marine Protected Area

  • The White House says that President Barack Obama will expand a national monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating the world’s largest marine protected area.
  • Obama’s proclamation will quadruple in size a monument originally created by President George W Bush in 2006. The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument will contain some 582,578 square miles, more than twice the size of Texas.
  • The designation bans commercial fishing and any new mining, as is the case within the existing monument. Recreational fishing will be allowed through a permit, as will be scientific research and the removal of fish and other resources for Native Hawaiian cultural practices. Some fishing groups have voiced concerns about what an expansion of the marine national monument would mean for their industry.

World Risk Index – 2016, India at 77th, Pakistan at 72nd and Bangladesh at 5th

  • The World Risk Report 2016, published by the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and BundnisEntwicklungHilft, analyses the role that infrastructure plays in shaping a country’s disaster risk. India has been ranked 77th on the World Risk Index, topped by Island state of Vanuatu.
  • The Index, calculated by the University of Stuttgart, ranks 171 countries according to their risk of becoming a victim of a disaster as a result of natural hazards such as floods, cyclones, or earthquakes.
  • The Island state of Vanuatu has been ranked no 1 on the index. Pakistan ranks 72th while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at 63rd and 5th position respectively. China and Nepal are in a better position than India on 85th and 108th position.

Pakistan to host 19th SAARC Summit on Nov. 9 & 10 this year

  • Pakistan will host the 19th SAARC Summit on November 9 and 10 this year. A Pak Foreign Office spokesperson said in Islamabad that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited the leaders of SAARC Member States and nine observerscountries to attend the Summit.
  • The spokesperson said preparations are going on full swing to hold the Summit successfully in Islamabad and for the purpose, a SAARC Summit Cell was constituted.
  • The Cell will closely work with all stakeholders and concerned authorities in Pakistan.

6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development begins in Nairobi

  • The 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) begins in Kenyan capital Nairobi today.
  • African heads of State and VIPs from around the world will participate in the two-day summit.
  • Japan Government, along with the World Bank, the United Nations and the African Union, will host the summit. For the first time since its inception in 1993, the summit is being held in Africa.
  • At a joint news conference in Nairobi with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, Japan would work hand in hand with Africa to realise the goals set out by the continent’s people.
  • He said Japan can make major contributions with its advanced technology and high-quality human resources training.

– One Liner Updates:

 

— BANKING —

– Banks to issue Masala bonds, RBI opens currency markets

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a raft of measures to boost investor participation and market liquidity in both the corporate bond and currency markets.
  • The central bank will allow commercial banks to issue rupee bonds in overseas markets — known as Masala bonds, both for their capital requirement and for financing infrastructure and affordable housing, according to an RBI statement.
  • What is Masala Bonds ?
    • The term is used to refer to rupee-denominated borrowings by Indian entities in overseas markets. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, last November, issued a ?1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure projects in India. These bonds were listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). IFC then named them Masala bonds to give a local flavour by calling to mind Indian culture and cuisine. While it may seem odd to name a staid debt instrument after food stuffs, it has been done in the past. Chinese bonds, named Dim-sum bonds after a popular dish in Hong Kong, have been around for while. So have Japanese bonds named Samurai after the country’s warrior class
  • Why is it important ?
    • It was not due to a whim or loyalty to one’s country that led to such a colourful christening for the local currency bonds. Masala bonds, if they take off, can be quite a significant plus for the Indian economy. They are issued to foreign investors and settled in US dollars. Hence the currency risk lies with the investor and not the issuer, unlike external commercial borrowings (ECBs), where Indian companies raise money in foreign currency loans. While ECBs help companies take advantage of the lower interest rates in international markets, the cost of hedging the currency risk can be significant. If unhedged, adverse exchange rate movements can come back to bite the borrower. But in the case of Masala bonds, the cost of borrowing can work out much lower. The RBI in its April policy said that it would issue guidelines for allowing corporates to issue rupee bonds in overseas markets.

 

– World Bank sanctions Rs 980 cr for Brahmaputra dredging: Min

  • The World Bank has announced a funding of Rs 980 crore to dredge the Brahmaputra as an initiative to develop waterways to Bangladesh and to other South East Asian countries which is give fillip to trade and industry in the Area.
  • Upon this Brahmaputra waterways will pave the way for trade that will lead to a reduction in the cost of transportation of goods and will finally the state of Assam will become export hub for the South East Asian countries.worldbank
  • This Sanction also boost the Centre’s Act East Policy that also in line to boost trade with South East Asian countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and other countries.
  • About World Bank
    • Headquarters: Washington, D.C
    • Founded: December 27, 1945
    • President: Jim Yong Kim

HDFC to issue NCDs worth Rs 500 cr on Friday

  • HDFC Ltd will issue bonds worth Rs. 500 crore tomorrow to meet its long-term capital requirements.
  • HDFC will issue secured redeemable non-convertible debentures on a private placement basis for a tenor of one-and-a-half years to raise the amount, it said in a regulatory filing.
  • The object of the issue is to augment the long-term resources of the corporation. The proceeds of the present issue would be utilised for financing/refinancing the housing finance business requirements of the corporation.

Karnataka Bank launches UPI app

  • Karnataka Bank has launched ‘KBL-SMARTz’, a mobile application (app) built on the unified payments interface (UPI) platform of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • Launching the app in Mangaluru on Thursday, P JayaramaBhat, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said users can perform the transactions on-the-go through this app, which can be downloaded from Google PlayStore.
  • UPI is a new initiative from NPCI in the digital payments ecosystem. The interface is designed to enable customers across UPI member banks to pay and collect money from their smartphones without entering any bank account information.
  • A press release by the bank said that fund transfer can be done through this app without revealing personal details such as mobile number, account information and Aadhaar number.

– One Liner Updates:

 

— BUSINESS AND ECONOMY —

– Govt rejects Infosys proposal to set up IT SEZ in West Bengal

  • The Centre has rejected a proposal of software major Infosys to set up an IT special economic zone (SEZ) in West Bengal due to no recommendation from the state.
  • Infosys had proposed to set up IT-ITeS SEZ over an area of 20.14 hectares in South 24 Parganas.
  • The state government’s recommendation is important to get an approval from the BoA. On the other hand, the BoA approved four new proposals to set up SEZs. The developers who got the formal approval includes Devbhumi Realtors, Phoenix Living Spaces and Phoenix Embassy Tech Zone. All these three plans to set up IT/ITeS zones in Telangana.While Chhindwara Plus Developers got approval to set up a multi-product SEZ in Madhya Pradesh that will be spread over an area of 1,320.06 hectares.
  • SEZs are exports hubs, which contribute about 16 per cent to the country’s total outbound shipments.

– BSNL launches unlimited 3G plan for Rs 1,099, cuts rate by 50%

  • To counter competitors, state-run BSNL has announced a national unlimited 3G mobile data plan for Rs 1,099 and doubled the data usage limit in some existing plans.
  • “Due to improvement in network, BSNL has been gaining customers. We are now first in the industry to offer unlimited 3G plan for Rs 1,099 without reduction in speed. This will rejoice our customers and help them experience improved BSNL networks,” BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said.
  • Growth in mobile segment in April was led by BSNL which added 11.39 lakh subscribers followed by Bharti Airtel (9.78 lakh), Aircel (5.72 lakh), Reliance Communications (1.1 lakh), Vodafone (46,600), Quadrant (Videocon group firm- 25,012) and MTNL (11,591).

– Cabinet nod for Rs.27,000 cr. roads and railways projects

  • The Centre gave its green signal for investments worth more than Rs.27,000 crore in new highways and railway lines across the country to boost economic growth.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved infrastructure projects worth Rs.27,328 crore for expansion of railway lines in 11 states and development of 1,120 km national highways in five states.
  • The Cabinet decisions are a continuation of the government’s commitment to support infrastructure development particularly expanding the national highways beyond the existing ones. This will augur well for passenger and freight movement and is very positive for the infrastructure sector.

Centre sets up panel to suggest steps to promote card payments

  • With an aim to discourage cash transactions, the Finance Ministry has set up a high-level committee to suggest steps to promote card payments through incentives like tax rebates and cash back schemes.
  • The 11-member committee, headed by former Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal, will recommend various measures to “incentivise transactions through cards and digital means, e.g., through tax rebates/incentives, introduction of cash back/lottery,” the ministry said.
  • The panel, which will review the payments system in the country and recommend measures for encouraging digital payments, has been set up following a decision taken by the Cabinet in February.

– One Liner Updates:

 

— APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGN—

New ED at Corporation Bank

  • The Central government has appointed GopalMurliBhagat as Executive Director of Corporation Bank for a period of three years. Prior to his elevation, Bhagat was General Manager with Bank of India.
  • Corporation Bank is a public sector banking company headquartered in Mangalore, India. The bank has pan-India presence with 8,000 functional units comprising 2200 branches, 1800+ ATMs and 3,000 branchless banking units as of 30 January 2015.

— AWARDS AND HONOURS —

– Cristiano Ronaldo crowned UEFA Best Player in Europe

  • Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award after winning both, last season’s Champions League and Euro 2016 with Portugal.
  • Ronaldo received the accolade for the second time in his career after finishing ahead of Real team-mate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.
  • Ronaldo struck the winning spot-kick as Real claimed a record 11th European Cup title, beating city rivals Atletico on penalties in May, before leading his country to Euro 2016 glory. The award was voted for by journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations. Norway striker Ada Hegerberg won the women’s award.

 

— SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY —

– NASA Probe Set To Make Closest Approach Yet To Jupiter

  • NASA’s Juno space probe on Saturday was set to pass the closest it will get to the planet Jupiter during the main phase of its planned mission to the gas giant, the US space agency’s officials said.
  • Juno was to swing within some 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) of the solar system’s largest planet, the closest any spacecraft has passed, traveling at 130,000 miles per hour (208,000 kilometers per hour) at around 5:51 am (12:51 GMT).
  • “This is our first opportunity to really take a close-up look at the king of our solar system and begin to figure out how he works,” said Scott Bolton, Juno’s principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Juno first swept close to Jupiter when it entered orbit around the planet early last month after a nearly five-year voyage to help study the solar system’s origins.

Rare Deep-Earth Tremor Detected for First Time by Japanese Scientists

  • Scientists who study earthquakes in Japan said that they have detected a rare deep-Earth tremor for the first time and traced its location to a distant and powerful storm.
  • The findings, published in the US journal Science, could help experts learn more about the Earth´s inner structure and improve detection of earthquakes and oceanic storms.
  • The storm in the North Atlantic was known as a “weather bomb,” a small but potent storm that gains punch as pressure quickly mounts.
  • Groups of waves sloshed and pounded the ocean floor during the storm, which struck between Greenland and Iceland.
  • Using seismic equipment on land and on the seafloor that usually detects the Earth´s crust crumbling duringearthquakes, researchers found something they had not detected before — a tremor known as an S wave microseism.

– Traditional Indian Diet Significantly Cuts Alzheimer’s Risk: Study

  • Consuming traditional diets of countries such as India, Japan and Nigeria – which have lower meat content than the Western diet – may significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study has found.
  • Globally, about 42 million people now have dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease as the most common type of dementia. Rates of Alzheimer’s disease are rising worldwide.
  • The most important risk factors seem to be linked to diet, especially the consumption of meat, sweets, and high-fat dairy products that characterise a Western Diet.

– One Liner Updates:

 

— SPORTS —

Indian Super League season 3 to begin from October 1

  • Season-3 of the Indian Super League (ISL) football would be held from October 1 to December 18, with the opening game scheduled in Guwahati and the venues of the two-legged semi finals to be decided later.
  • League’s promoters, Football Sports Development Ltd, today announced the ISL fixtures featuring 61 games spread across 79 days played in a home-away league format, to be followed by the semi-finals and the final.
  • For the third year running John Abraham-owned club North East United FC would take on Sachin Tendulkar owned Kerala Blasters FC in the season opener, to be held at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.
  • The first leg of the semi finals are scheduled on December 10 and 11 followed by the second leg on December 13 and 14 leading up to the final on December 18.

– One Liner Updates:

 


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