Current Affairs 21 September 2016


— Current Affairs 21 September 2016 —

Daily | Current Affair Updates | 7-Minute-Read | By-Raksha | PDF Version

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



International Day of Peace

  • International Day of Peace was observed across the world on 21 September 2016. The 2016 theme for the day is The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.
  • The day is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access.
  • To inaugurate the day, the United Nations Peace Bell was rung at UN Headquarters in New York City.




Amritsar Tops the List of 27 Smart Cities

  • The Golden Temple city of Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities announced by the Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu.
  • Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that made to the third list of smart cities are: Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi.
  • The new 27 smart cities have proposed an investment of Rs.66,883 cr under smart city plans including Rs.42,524 cr under Area Based Development and another Rs.11,379 cr for technology based Pan-city solutions that benefits all the citizens of respective cities. With this, the total investment proposed by the 60 cities selected so far has gone up to Rs.1,44,742 cr.
  • The 27 cities selected in the latest round of ‘Smart City Challenge’ competition in order of the marks scored by them are:
    • Amritsar -Punjab
    • Kalyan-Dombivili -Maharashtra
    • Ujjain -Madhya Pradesh

Central government nine highway projects at a cost of Rs 2,600.31 crore

  • The central government approved nine highway projects at a cost of Rs 2,600.31 crore.
  • The projects, cleared by the Standing Finance Committee (SFC), include Rehabilitation and Up-gradation of Allahabad-Mirzapur section NH-76 in Uttar Pradesh to two-lane at the total project cost of Rs 241.37 crores.
  • Construction of two-lane with paved shoulder of Pilibhit-Puranpur section NH-730 in Uttar Pradesh has been approved at a cost of Rs 176.94 crore,” said the statement.
  • The construction of capital road (Bypass road from Dimapur to Kohima )under Inter State Connectivity Scheme in Nagaland during 2016-17 has also been approved at a total cost of Rs 325.81 crore. The other highways approved are in the states of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the statement said.

3,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras to be opened by March 2017

  • i. Centre has decided to open 3,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras by March 2017 to provide quality medicines at affordable rates.
  • Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers Yesterday in an official release said that 437 such Kendras have become operational across the country so far. Of them, the maximum 122 Jan Aushadhi Kendras are in Chhattisgarh followed by Uttar Pradesh.
  • Department of Pharmaceuticals has initiated countrywide campaign to ensure availability of generic medicines at affordable prices for all, under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana (PMJAY).

Vadodara to host Power Ministers’ conference on October 7

  • A two-day conference of Power, Renewable Energy and Mines Ministers of 29 States and Union Territories will be held at Vadodara from 7th October. Union Minister of State for Power, Piyush Goyal, will inaugurate the conference.
  • The aim is to review the implementation of various ongoing schemes and programmes and host of issues pertaining to power, coal and renewable energy sectors.
  • Ministers and secretaries of the states and union territories and senior officials will discuss on issues like implementation of Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), 24×7 Power for All and Rural Electrification Programme.

Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to pension hike for freedom fighters

  • Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to enhancement of Pension for Freedom Fighters and their eligible dependents.
  • Cabinet has approved the proposal to increase freedom fighters’ pension by 20 per cent plus DA.
  • The revised scale of pension has taken effect from Independence Day this year.
  • Existing dearness relief system is being replaced by the Dearness Allowance system applicable to Central Government employees.
  • This will benefit all freedom fighters and spouses, dependent parents, pensioners of deceased freedom fighters drawing pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme.

Centre to set up committee to deal with complaints regarding Waqf properties

  • The Committee to be set up at Central level will be headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge or retired High Court Chief Justice.
  • Centre will soon set up a one-man Board of Adjudication to deal with complaints regarding Waqf properties.
  • The decision was taken in the meeting of Central Waqf Council chaired by Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in New Delhi yesterday.
  • Three-member Tribunals are being established in the States and about 16 states have already established these tribunals.

Rourkela selected as second Smart City in Odisha

  • The steel city Rourkela is set to become Odisha’s second smart city.
  • It figures among the list of 27 smart cities released yesterday in New Delhi by Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu.
  • Rourkela, which had missed the bus in the first round when the list of 20 smart cities with Bhubaneswar at the top was declared on January 28.

Nagaland gets Rs 340 crore for road projects

  • Centre has sanctioned 340 crore rupees for two road projects for Nagaland, Dimapur-Chumukedima and Kohima Check Gate to Lerie Highway. It assured the state government to set up a separate High Court for the state.
  • Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang called on Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday and apprised him of the need to have a separate High Court for the state.
  • It presently has a Bench of the Guwahati High Court. Mr Prasad assured the Chief Minister that he would take up the matter for consideration of a separate High Court for the state on a priority basis. Kohima has already been selected for the Smart City project.

North East Connectivity Summit kicks-off in Tripura

  • The summit is being organized against the backdrop of current surge of developments in the Northeast region, including development of roads, inland waterways, railways, emergence of democratic government in Myanmar and improved relations with Bangladesh.
  • In Tripura, a two-day North East Connectivity Summit begins in Agartala today.
  • The summit will focus deliberations on development of an economic corridor connecting North East with South East Asia, market linkages, energy and transport infrastructure requirements in the region etc. In the summit, delegations from different countries such as; Singapore, Bangladesh, Myanmar are participating. The summit will conclude on 23rd September.

One lakh students take part in Voice of Unity event in Rajasthan

  • The aim of programme held by Hindu Spiritual and service foundation was to create a sense of patriotism in new generation.
  • In Rajasthan, around one lakh students of various schools and colleges participated in chorus of National song Vande Mataram in the Voice of Unity programme in Jaipur this morning.
  • More than 500 musicians from all over country performed in the programme. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje along with cabinet colleagues participated in the programme.
  • To promote brotherhood between the society, a Hindu spiritual and service fair will start from 23 September in Jaipur in which forest, wild life, ecological conservations, patriotic, women empowerment, family and human values theme-based programme will be held.

5th BIRAC Innovators Meet

  • BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council), a non-profit Public Sector Enterprise under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, is organizing the 5th Innovators Meet on 22-23 September 2016 in  New Delhi.
  • The theme of the meet would be ‘Biotech Innovation Ecosystem – Strategizing the Next Leap’.
  • The Innovators Meet is being organized for marking BIRAC’s continuous efforts to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in all places of research.

Jharkhand government has  signed 40 MoUs in textile, health, IT and skill development.

  • The government signed MoUs with Siemens which will invest Rs 1,200 crore over the next 18 months for the establishment of three centres of excellence, while Tech Mahindra has evinced interest for the same in the IT sector.
  • These investments are expected to create 20,000 jobs in three years.
  • In addition, the government has already signed MoUs with Cisco, Oracle and PTC from the US for skill development exclusively for the physically handicapped.
  • MoUs were signed for setting up a 500-bed hospital, and medical and nursing colleges with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore.
  • The government proposes to train two million people under its ambitious skill development project in next five years.

MCX Sign MoU with Mozambique Exchange

  • Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) has signed an agreement with Mozambique Commodities Exchange also known as Bolsa De Mercadorias De Moçambique (BMM) has signed an Memorandum of undertaking (MOU) for strategic co-operation.
  • BMM plans to develop commodity market ecosystem consisting of energy, base metals and agricultural products to deliver better value for the stakeholders.
  • MCX intends to help the Mozambique exchange realise potential behind its resource-rich economy through sharing market and capacity development expertise.




India – Samoa Agreement on Taxes Information

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratification of Agreement between India and Samoa for the exchange of information with respect to Taxes.
  • The Agreement will stimulate the flow of exchange of information between India and Samoa for tax purposes which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.
  • There are no financial implications at present. Only in the event of extraordinary costs exceeding USD 500, the same will be borne by India. India has similar provisions in other such tax information exchange agreement.

193 countries sign declaration to stamp out drug-resistant infections

  • The 193 countries of the United Nations have signed a landmark declaration to rid the world of drug-resistant infections or superbugs.
  • Six years in the making, the international commitment could prevent 700,000 deaths a year.
  • It is the fourth time a UN declaration has been reached on a health issue, following HIV in 2001, non-communicable diseases in 2011 and Ebola in 2013.
  • The signatories now have two years to report back with an action plan. Experts say treatment-resistant infections pose one of the biggest known threats to humanity today.

Optical Fibre Connectivity to Andaman Nicobar

  • The project is likely to be completed by December 2018.
  • The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1102.38 crore including operational expenses for 5 years.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for provision of a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) between Mainland (Chennai) and Port Blair & five other islands viz. Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar.
  • The approval would equip Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ANI) with appropriate bandwidth and telecom connectivity for implementation of e-Governance initiatives, establishment of enterprises & e-commerce facilities.




ADB Loan for Vizag-Chennai Corridor

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $ 631 million loan to develop the proposed Vishakhapatnam – Chennai industrial corridor.
  • This project is a part of the larger East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) that will extend 2,500 km from Kolkata in West Bengal and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.
  • iii. The ADB loan includes $500 million for financing infrastructure like roads, power generation and drinking water, among others, and a $125 million component to help policy interventions by the government.
  • The first tranche of $245 million is expected to reach the government by the first quarter of 2017.

Global Fund Raises $12.9 bln to fight AIDS

  • A global fund has raised over $12.9 billion from international donors to eradicate AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis by 2030.
  • The three diseases targeted by the fund are believed to kill more than 8,000 people a day.
  • The Global Fund is the world’s largest aimed at fighting the three diseases, is credited with saving 20 million lives since it was established in 2002.
  • The United States, the fund’s largest donor, in August pledged up to $4.3 billion through 2019.




Capital Grant to GAIL Approved

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved viability gap funding / partial capital grant at 40 percent (Rs. 5,176 crore) of the estimated capital cost of Rs. 12,940 crore to GAIL for development of 2539 km long Jagdishpur-Haidia and Bokaro-Dhamra Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project.
  • Government of India has taken this historic decision to provide Capital Support for developing this gas pipeline.
  • JHBDPL project will connect Eastern part of the country with National Gas Grid.

USOF Support to BSNL Approved

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to extend subsidy support of Rs. 1,250 crore to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), as compensation for deficit incurred by BSNL in operating the Rural Wire-line connections installed prior to 1st April, 2002.
  • The Cabinet also approved that the above subsidy support would be the last and final payment and no further request from BSNL for financial/subsidy support from USOF on this count shall be considered.

Extra Support to Infrastructure Spending

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for raising a total of Rs. 31,300 crore in the financial year 2016-17 and to service the principal and interest against the Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) of Rs. 16,300 crore by Government of India to augment infrastructure spending.
  • Out of the EBR of Rs.31,300 crore, it is proposed to finance the funds to be raised by Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) by Government of India.
  • This implies that the principal and the interest in respect of the EBR of Rs.16,300 crore to be raised by PFC, IREDA, IWAI, and NABARD shall be financed by Government of India by making suitable budget provisions in the Demand of respective Ministries/Departments.
  • The move is intended to supplement the efforts of the Government to improve infrastructure spending and to improve the revenue-capital mix of the expenditure for a more sustainable growth.




Alibaba Head Appointed Adviser at UNCTAD

  • Chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, has been appointed adviser to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
  • Ma, one of the richest men in China, will be UNCTAD’s Special Adviser on Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business.
  • UNCTAD assists developing economies to promote small and medium enterprises, with special emphasis on young entrepreneurs, to enable them to compete in the global economy.




French Award to Sajid Nadiadwala

  • Sajid Nadiadwala was conferred France’s prestigious Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) award.
  • The honour is conferred on persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world.
  • French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler conferred the honour in recognition of Nadiadwala’s contribution to boosting Indo-French partnership in cinema.
  • Previous Indian recipients include: the late Sivaji Ganesan, melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, superstar Shah Rukh Khan and actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan among others.




BCCI appoints new selection panel with MSK Prasad as Chief Selector

  • BCCI today appointed a new selection panel. Ajay Shirke has been re-elected as the BCCI secretary. MSK Prasad, former wicket-keeper has been elected as the chief-selector.
  • Other members include Jatin Paranjpae, Devan Gandhi, Gagan Khoda and Sarandeep Singh. The decision was taken in the 87th Annual General Meeting of the BCCI in Mumbai.


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