Today’s Current Affairs 21 August 2016


— Current Affairs 21 Aug 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:



– India pledges Rs 3.9 crore for upgrading Sanskrit school in Nepal

  • India has pledged financial assistance worth Nepali Rs 3.9 crore for the construction of a new building and a hostel facility at a Sanskrit school in eastern Nepal.
  • A tripartite agreement between the Indian Embassy, the Local Development Officer, Ilam District, and Principal of Shree Saptmai Gurukul Sanskrit Vidhyashram Secondary School was signed in this regard on Wednesday.
  • The project is being implemented through the Indian government’s grant assistance under the small development programme scheme as part of India-Nepal Economic Cooperation Programme, the Indian Embassy said in a statement.

– India ranks 39th in Asia Pacific on fixed broadband

  • India ranks a low 39th in terms of fixed broadband adoption among Asia Pacific countries, with just 1.3 per cent of its citizens subscribing to such a service in 2015, according to a study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  • India ranks lower than countries such as Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in ESCAP countries in 2015, according to the report ‘State of ICT in Asia and the Pacific 2016: Uncovering the Widening Broadband Divide’ released on Friday.
  • Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, Macao, Australia and Singapore topped the list of 53 countries covered in the report. According to the latest ITU data for 2015, more than half of the global fixed broadband subscriptions are from Asia and the Pacific (52.3 per cent).

– BRICS conference of women MPs ends in Jaipur today

  • A two-day meeting of BRICS women parliamentarians will conclude today in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Earlier yesterday, several issues related to climate change, gender equality, education and health were discussed at the meeting.
  • Parliamentarians of BRICS countries shared their experiences on these issues. Total 43 parliamentarians from BRICS countries including 28 MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, are participating in the meeting.

– OIC expresses concern over Kashmir violence

  • The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has voiced its concern over alleged excesses of the Indian military and the paramilitary forces in Kashmir.
  • This issued had surfaced after former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai had “appreciated” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on human rights situation in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
  • OCI Secretary General of OIC Iyad Amin Madani had quoted that the organisation will continue to expose human rights excesses in the Kashmir Valley.
  • It will support to Pakistan till the issue is resolved in accordance with the United Nations resolutions and wishes of the people of Kashmir.
  • OIC’s these comments and support to Pakistan is bound to rile India as it is not for the first that the OIC has spoken about the Kashmir issue against India.

– Uma Bharti launches various projects under Namami Gange in Varanasi

  • Union Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Uma Bharti launched various projects worth 229 crore rupees under the Namami Gange programme in Varanasi.
  • While launching the projects yesterday in Varanasi, she said 16 crore rupees will be spent for rejuvenation of the Assi River and 63 crore rupees for renovation of 84 ghats of the city.
  • She said a Ddetailed Project Report for establishing 12 crematoriums in the city has also been prepared. She also laid the foundation of Ramna sewage treatment plant to be set up at a cost of 150 crore rupees.
  • The Minister laid emphasis on shifting to organic farming on the lands on the banks of river as fertilizers were polluting the river water.



– Myanmar to support China’s OBOR, BCIM initiatives

  • Myanmar has officially announced to support for China’s ambitious One Belt and One Road (OBOR) connectivity initiative along the ancient Silk Road.
  • It was announced in the joint statement released by both countries during official state visit of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to China.
  • Key highlights of Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to China
  • Myanmar also Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor meant to industrialise a stretch spanning more than 2,000-km.
  • BCIM corridor links Kunming in China with Mandalay in Myanmar and passes through Bangladesh and ends at Kolkata in India.
  • Myanmar also asked for China’s support to realise peace and national reconciliation through political dialogue in case of militancy.
  • Myanmar has been a victim of militancy which for decades is fuelled by clandestine sale of drugs, jade and timber, mostly channelled through China.

– World’s highest glass skywalk opens in China

  • Said to be the world’s longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge, a 430-metre-long and 300-metre-high skywalk opened in China on Saturday.
  • The skywalk, made of 99 glass panels connecting two mountain cliffs, is located in Zhangjiajie Park. The mountain cliffs in the area are said to have inspired the ‘floating peaks’ in the movie ‘Avatar’.

– UN calls for international support to address humanitarian crises

  • The United Nations has called for international support to address humanitarian crises. The UN held a ceremony at its headquarters in New York Friday to mark World Humanitarian Day. About 200 people attended, including UN employees and ambassadors from member-countries.
  • The UN designated August 19th World Humanitarian Day in 2008 in order to raise awareness of the worldwide need for humanitarian assistance. The date marks the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 UN staffers, including a special representative.
  • UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson attended the ceremony on behalf of UN Chief Ban Ki-moon, who was abroad.
  • He said the UN meets the challenge all over the world, including Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia, where humanitarian workers and peacekeepers have lost their lives or are risking them.



– Uber launches two new features to make ride-hailing easier

  • Ride-hailing service Uber has rolled out two new features for its apps – ‘Dial an Uber’ and ‘Request a Ride for Others’. Both features are aimed to make it easier for riders and their friends to get around, even if they don’t have the Uber app.
  • The ‘Dial an Uber’ feature allows users in India to access the company’s ride-hailing services in selected cities without requiring the app.
  • They can just use the mobile website for this. ‘Dial an Uber’ is available in Nagpur, Kochi, Guwahati, and Jodhpur, making it possible for everyone to have access to reliable and low-cost uberGO rides.

– BSNL, Microsoft sign MoU to offer IT solutions

  • BSNL and Microsoft India have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to offer telecom and IT solutions for big businesses to meet the demand for IT and cloud services.
  • This will help audio and video needs of BSNL’s enterprise customers, including government organisations. Notably, BSNL has large shares in landline network, including leased line connectivity to various enterprises.



– Shri Yogeshwar Sangwan appointed as India’s new Ambassador to Georgia

  • Shri Yogeshwar Sangwan, presently Ambassador of India to the Republic of Armenia, has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to Georgia, with residence in Yerevan (Armenia).
  • Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan.

– Najma Heptulla sworn in as Governor of Manipur

  • Dr. Najma A. Heptulla was sworn-in as Governor of Manipur this morning at the Raj Bhavan in state capital Imphal. Dr. Heptulla was administered oath of office by Acting Chief Justice of Manipur High Court Rakesh Ranjan Prasad.
  • State Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, his ministerial colleagues, MPs and MLAs of the state, senior civil and police officials of the state administration, BJP Manipur Pradesh President KSH Bhabananda were present at the swearing-in ceremony.
  • Interacting with media persons after the swearing-in ceremony, the new Governor of the state said that her first priority is work with the people of Manipur.



– Steve Jobs enters Int’l Photography Hall of Fame

  • Apple’s late Co-founder Steve Jobs has entered the International Photography Hall of Fame (IPHF), a US museum and foundation that honours inventors and photographers. “Steve helped create products that revolutionised the creative world and became essential tools for designers, filmmakers, music producers and photographers,” said the museum.



– Chinese scientists discover molecule to repair organs

  • Chinese scientists have discovered a small molecule that can regenerate tissue, which in the future could potentially eliminate transplants of some organs.
  • The research was led by professor Zhou Dawang and Deng Xianming of the School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, and professor Yun Caihong of Peking University, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
  • The findings were published in the latest edition of Science Translational Medicine.
  • Zhou said the researchers discovered a drug, XMU-MP-1, which can promote repair and regeneration in the liver, intestines and skin. In the future, he added, the drug may well do away the need for organ transplant or complex biomaterial and cell therapies.
  • Zhou and his colleagues specifically targeted a critical signalling molecule in the Hippo pathway, which controls organ size.



– Medal brings Sindhu a windfall

  • Badminton player P.V. Sindhu’s medal-winning performance in the Rio Olympics won for her big money of Rs.3 crore, a 1,000-square yard residential plot and a Group-I officer job of her choice from the Andhra Pradesh government and Rs.50 lakh for her coach Pullela Gopi Chand.
  • An announcement to that effect was made by A.P. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in a briefing by him on the decisions taken at the Cabinet meeting on Saturday.
  • Showering praises on Ms. Sindhu, Mr. Naidu attributed the achievements of star players like Gopi Chand, Saina Nehwal, Karanam Malleswari and Sindhu to the world-class sporting infrastructure he had created in Hyderabad.

– Brazil defeats Germany, wins first Olympic soccer gold

  • In Men’s Football, Hosts Brazil have beaten Germany to bag their Olympic Football gold for the first time in its history. The pulsating Final ended 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
  • In the shoot out, Brazil defeated Germany 5-4. Neymar Jr. led Brazilian team to its glory as they took the semi final revenge from 2014 FIFA World Cup, where the hosts were beaten by Germany 7-1.
  • In Athletics on the penultimate day of Rio Olympics, Briton Mo Farah defended the double gold he earned at London 2012 to remain the Olympic champion in the men’s 5000 and 10,000 meters.
  • The middle-distance runner won the 5000 meters in 13 minutes, 3.03 seconds by pushing a blistering pace on the final lap to hold off Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet and American Bernard Lagat, who took silver and bronze.

– India’s hope for another medal pinned on Yogeshwar Dutt

  • On the final day of Rio Olympics, India’s hope are pinned on Yogeshwar Dutt in freestyle wrestling for a medal.
  • After two weeks of sporting action it comes to the Final day of Rio Olympics where India has high hopes for another medal.
  • The London Games Bronze medalist, Yogeshwar Dutt will be vying for top honours in the 65 kg weight class. He will take on Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran of Mongolia in the Qualifications.
  • After Beijing Olymipcs India has been bagging at least a medal from the freestyle Wrestling segement.



– Former umpire Subrata Banerjee passes away at the age of 71

  • Subrata Banerjee, the former international umpire who officiated in 13 One Day Internationals (ODIs), passed away at the age of 71 in Kolkata.
  • Banerjee’s maiden first-class umpiring assignment was during a Ranji Trophy game in December 1967 and he officiated in his first international match in November 1983, when India faced West Indies in Baroda.
  • His international career lasted for 15 years, with the match between India and Kenya in Gwalior in May 1998 marking his final international appearance


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