Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 31 - AUGUST - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 31 - AUGUST - 2016
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Monday, 12 September 2016 05:29

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

31- AUGUST - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

PM STRESSED ON NEED FOR ANTI-POVERTY PROGRAMS

  • A meeting of chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, called by party president Amit Shah, has set up a committee to devise an agenda for poverty alleviation that could be replicated in all States ruled by the party.
  • The committee would comprise Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the meeting that in BJP-ruled states at least, the Centre’s schemes for poverty alleviation and other schemes related to social security should be implemented in an ‘ideal way’ .
  • There are some schemes that are only applicable to one State, others that are replicable. This committee will go through all that and come up with a Poverty Alleviation Agenda, that will be implemented in BJP-ruled states.

BRICS NATIONS SHOULD DEVELOP ARBITRATION MECHANISM SAYS FINANCE MINISTER

  • It is extremely important that the BRICS nations develop an arbitration mechanism among themselves at a time when certain centres in the world have monopolised the bulk of the cases, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
  • “It is extremely important that we develop a [dispute resolution] mechanism as far as the BRICS nations are concerned,” Mr. Jaitley said while speaking at a conference on international arbitration in BRICS.
  • The experience over the years, Mr. Jaitley said, was that some centres did monopolise the bulk of the international arbitrations, and that many countries fear.
  • Theyhave periodically voiced concerns about — the fact that a lot of the awards emerging from these arbitration centres are loaded against the emerging economies.
  • Speaking about the role of BRICS in the world, Mr. Jaitley highlighted how, in a troubled global economy, the five BRICS nations have shouldered the global burden of growth.

PRESIDENT SAYS THERE SHOULD BE NO ROOM FOR HATRED IN UNIVERSITIES

  • President Pranab Mukherjee said universities must be bastions of free speech and expression where there should be no room for intolerance and hatred.
  • Addressing the first convocation ceremony of Nalanda University, Mr. Mukherjee said a university “must be the arena where diverse and conflicting schools of thought contend.
  • There should be no room for intolerance, prejudice and hatred within the spaces of this institution.”
  • Mr. Mukherjee said Nalanda University “is a symbol of Asian resurgence” that “stands not merely for quality education but also for global cooperation.”
  • At a time when the world is facing complex challenges and the destinies of the people across continents are interlinked, institutions of knowledge such as Nalanda University are of critical importance,” he said.
  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recalled how the concept of Nalanda University came into being.
  • Mr. Kumar hoped that all ancient universities of the country would be “revived” like Nalanda University and, “India once again will become the seat of learning and intellectuals.”

THALASSAEMIA

  • Thalassaemia is an inherited genetic blood disorder where patients cannot produce adequate healthy haemoglobin, thereby needing continual blood transfusion.
  • The transfused blood, which saves their lives, creates an iron overload in the system.
  • The excess iron must be chelated out of their system and the drug Desferal 500 mg is used to treat the iron overload.
  • There are over 1 lakh thalassaemia major patients in India, according to WHO.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

PM’S MENTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN BALOCH PRAISED BY BALOCH EXILE LEADERS

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent comments on Balochistan that sought to bring international attention to human rights violations in the Pakistani province were praised by Baloch nationalists in exile
  • Mr. Mustikhan thanked Mr. Modi and “mother India” for the support to Baloch people.
  • Switzerland-based Nawab Brahumdagh Bugti, leader of the Baloch Republican Party, said: “It is for the first time that an Indian Prime Minister has spoken about the human rights situation and Pakistani atrocities in Balochistan.
  • We believe India should have taken this stand long time ago. We see it as a very positive development and hope India would soon announce its policy to raise Balochistan human rights violations internationally and support the Baloch cause.”

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

MANY BACK-END ISSUES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED FOR EARLY ROLLOUT OF GST

  • Many back-end accounting issues need to be addressed for early rollout of Goods and Services Tax Regime, according to senior government officials and private sector experts.
  • While the Constitutional Amendment Bill to enable GST finally secured Parliament’s nod this month, several more steps remain to be taken on the political and legislative side to complete the transition from the current indirect tax regime.
  • To start with, at least 15 states have to ratify the Constitutional changes in their legislative assemblies, followed by the President’s approval of the amendments.
  • A GST Council has to be formed to determine the actual tax rates and modalities and then the Cabinet has to approve the state, central and integrated GST laws.
  • Following this, the CGST and IGST laws have to be passed in Parliament. Each state has to pass the SGST law followed by the notification of the GST Rules.
  • There is still no clarity in the GST Bill about who the tax collection authority will be for GST, whether it will be the banks or some other body authorised by the government.

GOVT SAID INDIA IS KEEN TO BECOME A GLOBAL HUB FOR INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION

  • The international arbitration system is ad hoc and unpredictable, Minister for Law and Justice and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said, adding that India is keen to become a global hub for international arbitration.
  • Mr. Prasad said that only a small fraction of them was represented internationally.
  • Cairn Energy has initiated international arbitration seeking $5.6 billion in compensation from the Indian government against a retrospective tax demand of Rs.29,047 crore made by tax authorities.
  • In May, Vodafone said the International Court of Justice was set to name a presiding judge for an arbitration panel to resolve a dispute with the Indian government over a retrospective tax demand.
  • “The international arbitration system is ad hoc and quite frequently unpredictable,” he said.
  • “That concern is indeed very important. If BRICS countries have 42 per cent of the world’s population and 30 per cent of the land area and are contributing so much for the economic ecosystem of the world.
  • Mr. Prasad also referred to the system of bilateral investment treaties and how the current system seemed problematic.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

ISRO SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRES SCRAMJET ROCKET ENGINE

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully test launched the Supersonic Combustion Ramjet engine, called Scramjet, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta in Andhra Pradesh.

The experimental mission aimed at realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System (ABPS) uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere air as the oxidiser.

Two scramjet engines were mounted alongside of a two-stage, solid fueled rocket called Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), which is an advanced sounding rocket. The national space agency said that its first ever experimental mission met all the specified goals. The rocket carrying Scramjet engines weighed 3277 kg at lift-off.

After a flight of about 300 seconds, the vehicle touched down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 320 km from Sriharikota. The vehicle was successfully tracked during its flight from the ground stations at Sriharikota.

With this success, India joined the select league of four space faring nations that have demonstrated flight testing of Scramjet engines.

Scramjet engine

• A scramjet (supersonic combusting ramjet) is a variant of a ramjet air breathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonic airflow.

• The scramjet engine is used only during the atmospheric phase of the rocket’s flight.

• It uses hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidizer.

Benefits of the engine

Once the new technology is adopted, the cost of satellite launches would come down significantly and heavier satellites can also be launched using smaller vehicles. The Air Breathing Propulsion System (ABPS) uses oxygen from the atmosphere for burning the fuel in rockets, whereas, at present oxidizing agents are being used along with the fuels in the rockets, making the vehicles heavy and expensive.

Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV)

ATV is a two stage spin stabilised launcher with identical solid motors (based on Rohini RH560 sounding rocket) as the first as well as the second stage (booster and sustainer).

SANIA MIRZA, MONICA NICULESCU WON CONNECTICUT OPEN DOUBLES TITLE

Saina Mirza and Monica Niculescu won Doubles title at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, the US. In the final clash, the Indo-Romanian team defeated the Ukrainian-Taiwanese pair of Kateryna Bondarenko and Chuang Chia-Jung, 7-5, 6-4.

This is their first title together.

The last time Sania and Niculescu partnered up was in 2010. They had played one tournament together before calling time. Sania had recently parted ways with Swiss Martina Hingis after a hugely successful partnership.

UNIFIED PAYMENTS INTERFACE INTRODUCED BY BANKS

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) was introduced by four banks, namely Axis Bank, Union Bank of India, Federal Bank and Bank of Maharashtra. The app will allow customers to make payments via digital means.

The app went live for these banks after National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) issued letters to them asking them to make the apps available on Google Play Store. Apart from this, the UPI-enabled apps will be available for other 19-banks in next 2-3 working days.

Initially, the facility, which is available on Google Play Store, will be available for bank customers with Android smartphones. Versions for Apple’s iOS operating system will be launched in next six months.

UPI, a product of NPCI, will help move India towards a cashless economy. It will allow account holders across banks to send and receive money from their smartphones using virtual payments address without entering bank account details.

The interface is a brainchild of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. The pilot launch was on 11 April 2016 by Dr. Raghuram G Rajan, RBI Governor.

Unified Payments Interface

• It will allow customer to have multiple virtual address for accounts in various banks.

• UPI is a set of standard Application Programming Interface (APIs).

• The new payments interface will also provide an option for scheduling push and pull transactions, such as sharing bills among peers.

• It is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India.

US PRESIDENT OBAMA EXPANDS WORLD'S LARGEST PROTECTED MARINE AREA OFF HAWAII

US President Barack Obama expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off Hawaii, creating the world's largest marine reserve.

The announcement quadruples in size of the existing monument originally created by President George W Bush in 2006. Now, the existing Marine National Monument will expand by 442781 square miles, bringing the total protected area of the expanded monument to 582578 square miles.

The White House says the expansion is helping to protect more than 7000 species including whales, sea turtles, pristine coral reefs, deep sea marine habitats, and more. It will also improve the ecological resources in the waters of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands by dealing with ocean acidification and warming.

The expansion will improve ocean resilience, help the region’s distinct physical and biological resources adapt, and create a natural laboratory that will allow scientists to monitor and explore the impacts of climate change on these fragile ecosystems.

The expansion will prohibit all commercial resource extraction activities, including commercial fishing and any future mineral extraction. Noncommercial fishing, such as recreational fishing and the removal of fish and other resources for Native Hawaiian cultural practices, is allowed in the expansion area by permit, as is scientific research.

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

The monument was originally created in 2006 by President George W. Bush and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.  Since that time, new scientific exploration and research has revealed new species and deep sea habitats as well as important ecological connections between the existing monument and the adjacent waters.

 

 

 

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