Today’s Current Affairs 26 August 2016


— Current Affairs 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:



Women’s Equality Day: August 26th

  • Women’s Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the United States President to commemorate the granting of the vote to women throughout the country.
  • Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law. The amendment was first introduced many years earlier in 1878.
  • Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1972, the year after legislation was first introduced in Congress by Bella Abzug. This resolution was passed in 1971 designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day.



– John Kerry to travel to India next week will attend 2nd India-US Strategic & Commercial Dialogue

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to New Delhi to attend the second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, according to the State Department.
  • On August 29-31, Secretary Kerry will travel to New Delhi, India, for meetings with senior Indian officials.
  • On August 30, Kerry and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will co-chair the second US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD)

– China expresses concern over India’s plan to deploy BrahMos on border

  • Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said maintaining peace and stability in the border region was an “important consensus” reached by both countries We hope that the Indian side can do more to benefit peace and stability along the border and in the region, rather than the opposite: Wu Qian.
  • Leaders of Asia’s two giants pledged last year to cool a festering border dispute, which dates back to a brief border war in 1962, though the disagreement remains unresolved.
  • China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) ruled by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 sq km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.

– Govt should bear additional cost of maternity leave: MSME body

  • Anticipating rising cost of women employees, the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) is set to ask the government to bear additional cost after the 12th week of paid maternity leaves.
  • The Rajya Sabha has already passed the maternity benefit Bill, which seeks to increase paid maternity leave from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks. The Bill is expected to be passed by the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session due in next three months.
  • About Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016
    • The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was passed by the Rajya Sabha earlier this month, in a step aimed at benefiting about 1.8 million women in the organised sector and increasing the strength of women workforce.
    • The new law will be applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more people.
    • The amendments include increasing maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for mothers with two surviving children, 12 weeks for more than two children, 12 weeks for a commissioning and adopting mother and a mandatory creche in respect of establishment with 50 or more employees.

– Talgo trial runs under scanner, conducted without safety clearance

  • The Indian Railways’ trial runs of the high-speed train Talgo have come under the scanner with the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) hauling up the national transporter for not seeking a safety clearance.
  • Talgo had trial runs in the high traffic routes of Delhi-Mumbai, Mathura-Palwal and Bareilly-Moradabad earlier this month, The fourth run was, however, abruptly postponed.
  • “The trial run was rushed without a clearance from CRS. Any trial run for trains above the speed of 130 km per hour needs clearance,” said an official privy to the matter. Besides rolling stock, reopening of new lines too require CRS clearance.
  • About Talgo : 
    • Coaches were shipped from Spain to Mumbai at the company’s expense.
    • Earlier this month, Talgo became the fastest train to run in India, clocking a speed of 180 km per hour, covering the 84-km stretch between Mathura to Palwal in 38 minutes, breaking the record set by the Gatimaan express in April.

– Centre plans to shut seven PSUs at one go

  • The government is set to seek formal Cabinet approval for shutting down seven state-owned companies, with their respective line ministries apparently agreed. This would be the first time that approvals for closing so many public sector undertakings (PSUs) is being sought in one go.
  • The NITI Aayog had earlier given a list of eight PSUs for closure to the government and the ministry of disinvestment, after deciding these were unfit for revival. However, top sources said that in one case, the line ministry did not agree to the procedure and hinted at possible revival, due to which it has left out for now.
  • The remaining seven have been incurring heavy losses for at least three years. The line ministries will now prepare a detailed plan for closure, Business Standard has learnt.

– Man walks with wife’s body on shoulder for 10km; Odisha government orders probe

  • A day after a tribal man had to walk 10km carrying his wife’s body on his shoulder in Odisha’s Kalahandi, the state government on Thursday ordered probe to ascertain the circumstances which led to the incident.
  • The 42-year-old woman had died of TB at the district headquarters hospital at Bhawanipatna.
  • The District Collector of Kalahandi has ordered an inquiry into the incident. Sub-Collector of Bhawanipatna has been directed to conduct the probe and submit a report at the earliest.
  • Majhi said despite all efforts, he failed to get any help from hospital authorities and had no other alternative than to wrap the body in a cloth and start walking to his village Melghara in Rampur block, about 60 km from Bhawanipatna.

Odisha govt holds investors’ meet in Bengaluru today

  • The Odisha government is holding an investors’ meet in Bengaluru today. It is part of the celebrations to mark 80 years of Odisha and birth centenary of its former Chief Minister BijuPatnaik.
  • At the meet, Chief Naveen Patnaik will have discussions with business captains of the industry.
  • The state government has organised the meet in an attempt to encourage investments in sectors like manufacturing, IT, electronics, petrochemicals, food processing and tourism.
  • MrPatnaik is expected to unveil its Odisha Start-up Policy, 2016 which aims to create 1,000 start-ups in the next five years in the state.
  • On the inaugural day of the event yesterday, State Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra and Energy Minister PranabPrakash Das along with senior State government officials met business captains.

Meghalya Dy CM & Health Minister resign from Council of Ministers

  • In Meghalaya, Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh and Health Minister AL Hek have resigned from the Council of Ministers.
  • After meeting Governor V Shanmuganathan, Chief Minister MukulSangma told reporters in Shillong on Thursday that he has submitted the names of former Assembly Speaker Martin Danggo and Government Chief Whip Ronnie V Lyngdoh for induction in the Cabinet.
  • Their swearing-in will be held at the Raj Bhavan today.
  • This is the first major reshuffle by MrSangma after the general elections two years ago.

Laptops worth Rs. 75 crore distributed to meritorious students in MP

  • In Madhya Pradesh, Laptops worth Rs. 75 crore have been distributed as a reward in the last six years to over 39,000 meritorious students for performing excellently in 12th class.
  • AIR Bhopal correspondent reports that the number of the students is increasing every year after introduction of Meritorious Student Promotion Scheme.
  • The number of meritorious students was 472 in the year 2009-10 which now has gone up to 18, 000. About 9200 students of government schools and 8500 students of private schools have got laptops under the scheme.
  • Their parents have appreciated this scheme and there is a great enthusiasm in students also.
  • The criteria of 85 percent marks to be scored in the examination has been reduced to 75 percent marks for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi launches POCSO e-box

  • Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi today launched Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses, POCSO e-box, in New Delhi.
  • POCSO e-box is a platform where a child victim of sexual abuse can report such cases online.
  • It is initiative of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, for Direct online Reporting of Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Raj and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

PM to chair meeting of his Council of Ministers today

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi will chair a meeting of his Council of Ministers today to review the implementation of budgetary and cabinet decisions by various ministries since his government came to power.
  • This is the first major review exercise since the Cabinet reshuffle last month.
  • Similar meetings are being held since January this year where detailed presentations made before the council of Ministers.
  • The meeting is also expected to discuss the government’s key priority schemes over the next three years.

Nagaland Assembly ratifies constitution amendment bill on GST

  • Nagaland Assembly on Friday ratified the landmark constitutional amendment bill for the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which was passed by the Parliament earlier this month.
  • Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang, who is also Minister-in-charge of finance, moved a resolution for ratification of the bill during the one day special session which began early Friday morning.
  • The sixty member house unanimously ratified the bill after which the house was adjourned sine die.

– Government Allows Cancellation Of 4 Special Economic Zones Projects

  • The government has given go-ahead for the cancellation of projects to four special economic zones (SEZ) developers including those of Broadway Integrated Park and Veritas Infrastructure Development.
  • The decision regarding this was taken in a meeting of the Board of Approval (BoA) on August 12, which was chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia. SEZs are exports hubs, which contribute about 16 per cent to the country’s total outbound shipments.

– One Liner Updates:


– ISIS, Syrian government blamed by UN team for usage of chemical weapons

  • An international team has concluded that the Syrian government and Islamic State militants carried out chemical attacks in the conflict-wracked nation during 2014 and 2015.
  • The team, which was mandated by the UN Security Council a year ago to identify those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria, blamed the government for using chlorine gas in two attacks and Islamic State fighters for using mustard gas in one attack.
  • The report to the council by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism, known as the JIM, said three other cases pointed toward government responsibility but weren’t conclusive. The three other cases it investigated were inconclusive.

– The first driverless taxi began work today in a limited public trial on the streets of Singapore.

  • Developer nuTonomy invited a select group of people to download their app and ride for free in its “robo-taxi” in a western Singapore hi-tech business district, hoping to get feedback ahead of a planned dull launch of the service in 2018.
  • The trial rides took place in a Mitsubishi i-MiEv electric vehicle, with an engineer sitting behind the steering wheel to monitor the system and take control if necessary.
  • Swedish automaker Volvo AB said last week it had agreed to a $300 million alliance with ride-hailing service Uber to develop a driverless vehicle.
  • Israeli driving assistant software maker Mobileye NV said its vehicle, developed with Delphi Automotive Plc, would be ready for production by 2019, while Ford Motor Co said its self-driving car was slated for 2021.

– Policies of President Barack Obama helped India: US official

  • Ashley Tellis, a senior advisor to the Ambassador at the US embassy, said the policies of President Obama has “definitely” helped India. “The trajectory of India-US relationship is set and has seen a steady progress irrespective of whichever President has come to power in Washington. It is also unlikley to change,” he said delivering a lecture on ‘America and the World: Obama’s Strategic Legacy’ organised by Carnegie India.
  • Tellis, who is believed to have played a crucial role during the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement, said New Delhi recognises that the US is important to aid India’s rise in power.

– American University Of Afghanistan Attack: 16, Including 8 Students, Killed; 53 Injured

  • Sixteen people were killed after militants stormed the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, officials said today, in a nearly 10-hour raid that prompted anguished pleas for help from trapped students.
  • No group has, so far, claimed responsibility for the assault, but it occurred as the Taliban ramp up their nationwide summer offensive against the Western-backed government.

– SIM Card-On-Arrival For Tourists On E-Visa Likely By September End

  • Foreign travellers to India arriving on e-tourist visa are likely to get a SIM card from September-end, with the Home Ministry giving its nod and roping in state-run BSNL for the purpose.
  • The e-tourist visa holders could get the welcome kit which would include a SIM card from BSNL counter as soon as they come out the airport. BSNL has agreed…the last level discussion is going on.
  • About e-Tourist Visa Facility: 
    • Launched on November 27, 2014, the facility was initially available for citizens of 113 countries arriving at 16 airports in India. From February 26, the scheme was extended for citizens of 37 more countries.
    • The e-tourist visa facility is gaining popularity among foreign travellers. It recorded over 200 per cent rise, with 68,400 people availing the facility in July compared to 21,476 during the corresponding month last year.
    • Last month, the UK occupied the top slot in availing the e-visa facility, followed by the US and France.

– Pakistan asks world community to play role to resolve Kashmir issue

  • Pakistan on Thursday asked the world community to play its role in the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, saying it wants to resolve it in a peaceful manner and through result-oriented and sustained dialogue.
  • Pakistan told that Shimla agreement does not prevent taking the issue to the UN as under the accord the two countries upheld supremacy of the UN charter in the conduct of their relations.
  • The spokesman said that in view of delicate situation in the Valley, Pakistan has already extended an invitation to India for dialogue.

– One Liner Updates:



– UPI will change the way we make payments online

  • The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the new payments method that is set to revolutionise the way consumers make payments, is set to go live on Thursday.
  • “We will launch UPI tomorrow evening and we have 21 banks on board,” said A P Hota, managing director and chief executive officer, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), on Wednesday.
  • About UPI :
    • WHAT IS UPI?
      An application that will make money transfer as easy as sending a text message by allowing real-time money transfer.
    • How will it work?
      By using this application, a customer can transfer money to another person through a unique virtual address (virtual addresses are aliases to a bank account allowing a customer’s account to be uniquely mapped), or mobile number, or Aadhaar number. Therefore, customers do not need to know the payee’s bank account details, etc, and this will make the process simpler.
    • How does it score over existing payment methods?
      Apart from doing away with the need to know someone’s bank account details, one can also raise payment requests and ask for money.

RBI asks banks to provide loans to women self-help groups in rural areas at 7% per annum

  • RBI has asked banks to provide loans to women self-help groups in rural areas at 7 per cent per annum, as per the government’s revised guidelines for the current financial year.
  • The Reserve Bank said in a notification that all women self-help groups (SHGs) will be eligible for interest subvention on credit up to three lakh rupees at 7 per cent per annum under the DeendayalAntyodayaYojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission in 250 districts.
  • It said, SHGs availing capital subsidy under the Swarnajayanti Gram SwarozgarYojana in their existing credit outstanding will not be eligible for benefit under this scheme.



– India’s GDP to expand by 7.9% this financial year: Goldman Sachs

  • Indian economy is expected to clock 7.9 per cent growth in the current fiscal driven by better monsoon, government pay hike, key reforms and FDI inflows, Goldman Sachs said on Thursday.
  • It further noted that a better monsoon, civil service wage hike following 7th Pay Commission, a favourable fiscal monetary policy mix, the recent passage of key reforms and continued FDI inflows should all support growth.
  • The global financial services major said the GDP is expected to improve gradually and for the April-June quarter it may slow a tad to 7.8 per cent, in part due to unfavourable base. It had grown at 7.9 per cent in the previous quarter.

– One Liner Updates :


– Navtej Sarna Likely To Be India’s Next Envoy To The US

  • India’s High Commissioner to UK Navtej Sarna is set to head for Washington as Ambassador to the US, considered a high-profile posting.
  • Arun Singh, India’s Ambassador to US, is due for retirement and it is understood that Mr Sarna’s name has been finalised to succeed him.
  • The 59-year-old diplomat was among the longest-serving spokespersons of the MEA. He had held the post between 2002 and 2008.

– Sakshi Malik Brand Ambassador For Girl Child Campaign In Haryana

  • Woman wrestler Sakshi Malik, who won a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics in Brazil, will be the new brand ambassador for the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao'(save daughters, teach daughters) campaign in Haryana.
  • Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar made this announcement on Wednesday at a function in Bahadurgarh town, 30 km from New Delhi, where he handed over a cheque for Rs. 2.5 crore as reward money to her and also offered her a Group ‘B’ government job.
  • Sakshi’s coach Mandeep Singh was also given Rs. 10 lakh on the occasion. On her request, the Chief Minister announced Rs. 10 lakh to her second coach Kuldeep. Under Haryana’s new sports policy, state sportspersons winning gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympics will get Rs. 6 crore, Rs. 4 crore and Rs. 2.5 crore respectively.
  • Out of 119 sportspersons who represented India at the Rio Olympics, 20 were from Haryana.



– French govt to honour Pune woman

  • Anuradha Wagle, who hails from the city and is currently the HoD of French and Francophone Studies, Goa University, will be awarded the Chevaliar de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government.
  • Wagle will be honoured in recognition of her contribution to the reinforcement of Indo-French ties.
  • The award is conferred by the Minister of Culture and Communication in France. The news was communicated through a letter from Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France in India.

– Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred with the Jharkhand Dungdung

  • Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred with the Jharkhand Dungdung Former Olympian Silvanus Dungdung Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award will be rewarded.
  • Many poor and remote village in Jharkhand’s Simdega living Silvanus Dungdung the hockey stick made of bamboo and dried fruit custard apple started off by making your game.
  • Dhyan Chand was an Indian field hockey player, who is considered as one the greatest field hockey player of all time.
  • He is known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning three Olympic gold medals (1928, 1932, and 1936) in field hockey, during an era where India was the most dominant team in Hockey.



– India Saw 350 Per Cent Rise In Cybercrime In 3 Years: Study

  • Blame it on systems that are built around technologies with weaker protocols which are inherently more vulnerable, India has witnessed a 350 per cent rise in cyber crime cases from 2011-2014, an Assocham-PwC joint study revealed on Thursday.
  • In the past, attacks have been mostly initiated from countries such as the US, Turkey, China, Brazil, Pakistan, Algeria, Turkey, Europe and the UAE. With the growing adoption of internet and smartphone, India has emerged as one of the most favourite countries among cyber criminals, said the study.
  • “The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has also reported a surge in the number of incidents handled by it, with close to 50,000 security incidents in 2015,” noted the study titled ‘Protecting interconnected systems in the cyber era’.

CTTC-Bhubaneswar signs agreement with ISRO

  • Central Tool Room and Training Centre (CTTC), Bhubaneswar, has signed an agreement with ISRO for technology transfer and a contract for supply of spacecraft component.
  • Under the agreement, Indian Space Research Organisation would transfer three types of temperature-sensor technology to CTTC to further strengthen its manufacturing capability, Managing Director of CTTC-Bhubaneswar, S Maity said in a statement today.

NASA’s Kepler discovers first Earth-size Planet in the ‘Habitable Zone’ of another star

  • Kepler-186f is the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone— the range of orbits around a star within which a planetary surface can support liquid water given sufficient atmospheric pressure.
  • The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that Earth-size planets exist in the habitable zones of other stars and signals a significant step closer to finding a world similar to Earth.
  • The size of Kepler-186f is known to be less than ten percent larger than Earth, but its mass, composition and density are not known.
  • Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus.

– One Liner Updates:



BCCI submits 1st Compliance Report to Lodha Panel panel

  • The BCCI has submitted the first Compliance Report to the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Panel in regards to the implementation of reforms as per the apex court verdict.
  • A source close to the panel told PTI that BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke submitted the report last evening. According to the source, BCCI said they are preparing a list of all ineligible office bearers and will circulate them to the members shortly.
  • The panel is expected to meet in the coming days and the Compliance Report is likely to come up for discussion.
  • The Lodha Panel wants 11 reforms to be implemented by the 15th of October.
  • BCCI has already filed a Review Petition with the Supreme Court seeking recusal of Chief Justice of India TS Thakur from the case. None of the state associations will carry out any reforms till the verdict of the Review Petition is out.

Sri Lanka’s TillakaratneDilshan retires from ODIs

  • Sri Lanka’s TillakaratneDilshan will quit international cricket after the ongoing limited overs series against Australia.
  • Dilshan on Thursday said that he has decided to retire from the One-Day Internationals after the third match in Dambulla on Sunday and will play the two Twenty20s and then retire completely.
  • Dilshan made his one day debut against Zimbabwe in 1999 and has, so far, played 329 ODIs. He has amassed 10,248 runs that include 22 hundreds. He has scored 1,884 runs in 78 Twenty20 Internationals, so far.

Abhinav Bindra to head NRAI review committee on Rio debacle

  • India’s first and only individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra has been named Chairman of a five-member review committee to probe the shooters’ Rio Games debacle.
  • However, he has rescued himself from questioning them as he was himself a part of the team.
  • The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) said the mandate of the committee is to “examine and identify in a cold and ruthless manner” the causes behind shooting not securing any medals at the Rio Olympics.
  • The committee is also mandated to recommend concrete steps that NRAI must immediately undertake to ensure that this is not repeated in future Olympics.

Badminton Rankings: SainaNehwal drops 4 places to be 9th; PV Sindhu remains at 10th position

  • Ace Indian shuttlerSainaNehwal has dropped four places in the latest world rankings to be at the number nine spot.
  • PV Sindhu, despite winning India’s first ever Silver medal in Badminton at the Rio Olympics, remained world number 10.
  • Sindhu had won the Silver after beating three higher-ranked players – world number four Yihan Wang of China, number three Japanese NozomiOkuhara and number seven Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
  • On the other hand, Saina, the London Olympics Bronze medalist, had failed to progress to the knock-out stage at Rio in a shock early exit. On her return home, Saina underwent a knee surgery and is likely to be out of action for as long as four months.
  • In the Men’s rankings, KidambiSrikanth, who lost to Lin Dan in the quarterfinals at Rio, gained a place to break into the top 10.

– One Liner Updates:

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