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Current Affairs (September 18th - 24th, 2017)

  • Russia, Iraq restore commercial airlines services after 13-years
    Current Affairs Russia and Iraq restored scheduled commercial airline services on 17th September for the first time after thirteen years. It is a sign of stability returning to the war-torn country. Russia suspended regular flights to Iraq in 2004 after the US-led invasion in 2003 plunged the Arab country into war.

  • US resume premium processing of H-1B visas after five months
    The US has resumed fast processing of H-1B work visas in all categories subject to Congress-mandated limit, five months after it was suspended temporarily to handle the huge rush of applications for the work visas popular among Indian IT professionals.

    The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. Premium processing of H-1B visa was suspended in April to handle huge rush of new petitions.

    The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing on 18th September for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2018 cap. The Fiscal Year 2018 cap has been set at 65,000. Premium processing has also been resumed for the annual 20,000 additional petitions that are set aside to hire workers with a US higher educational degree.

  • UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons, nations signed
    About fifty countries signed the United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Brazil was the first country to sign onto the ban, followed by nations from Algeria to Venezuela. More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July.

  • India seeks probe into nuke proliferation links between Pakistan, North Korea
    India has 21st September asked for investigations into North Korea's nuclear proliferation linkages and said those responsible for it must be held responsible, in a veiled reference to Pakistan.

    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made the assertion during her trilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

    Her remarks came days after North Korea fired another mid-range ballistic missile over Japan. On September 3, North Korea had conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in direct defiance of United Nations sanctions and other international pressure.

    The leaders of the three countries - India, Japan and the US - also emphasised on the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, respect for international law and peaceful resolution of disputes, as they held a trilateral meeting in the backdrop of Doklam crisis and assertive Chinese behaviour.

    India and China last month ended a 73-day standoff in Doklam area of the Sikkim sector that was triggered by China's move to build a road in the border area. The road would have been a serious security issue because it would give Beijing access to the so-called Chicken's Neck, a narrow piece of land linking mainland India with its seven north-eastern states.

    China is also engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. China claims sovereignty over all of South China Sea. However, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

  • China launches fastest bullet train in the World, running between Beijing and Shanghai
    China launches the world's fastest bullet train ‘Fuxing’ between Beijing and Shanghai at 350 kms per hour, covering the 1,250-km-long distance in just 4 hours and 30 minutes. China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network of over 22,000 kilometres, about 60% per cent of the world’s total.

  • China, Russia begin naval drills near North Korea
    China and Russia began naval drills near North Korea on 18th September amid continuing tensions over the isolated state’s nuclear ambitions and ahead of a United Nations General Assembly meeting this week. The joint exercises will take place between Peter the Great Bay, just outside of the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok, near Russia-North Korea border, and into the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan. The drills are the second part of China-Russian naval exercises this year, the first part of which took place in the Baltic in July.

  • Bhutan backs G-4 countries bid for permanent UN Security Council membership
    Bhutan on 22nd September said countries like India,Japan, Brazil and Germany must be given permanent seats in the UN Security Council, as it backed reforms in the world body to revitalise and strengthen it.

    Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said the UN reforms would be incomplete without reforming the Security Council to reflect the changing realities of the world.

    In his address to the UN General Assembly Tobgay said countries like India and Japan, Brazil and Germany must be called upon to serve as permanent members in the Security Council. He also said Africa must be appropriately represented.

    Portuguese support to India: Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Luis Da Costa has supported India’s bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council, asserting that efforts must continue to ensure greater representation in the most powerful wing of the world body.

  • WHO to monitor health issues of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
    The World Health Organization has set up a control room to monitor health issues affecting the over 4,22,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, who are living in camps and settlements in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar. The control room will help strengthen disease surveillance system and daily reporting of morbidity and mortality, a World Health Organisation (WHO) statement said.

    WHO Representative to Bangladesh Dr N Paranietharan, after inaugurating the control room, said the system will help in the management of the health situation, as the population is very mobile, dispersed in 68 camps, and is undocumented. In general, there is limited reliable data on the health profile of the newly arrived population

  • Qatar Airways becomes the Worlds First Airline to launch Double beds in Business Class
    Qatar Airways has launched the first-ever double bed within business class. The Qsuite allows passengers to recline two middle seats into a fully flat bed and features partition panels to create a private bedroom with two entertainment screens inside. The suite features a fully reclinable double bed enclosed with partition panels which ensure guests unrivalled privacy. Qatar’s Boeing 777 is the first to fly the luxurious new business class feature, on a daily service from London Heathrow.

  • 3.4 magnitude earthquake hits North Korea
    In North Korea, a 3 point 4 magnitude earthquake reported to have occurred near a nuclear test site where previous quakes have occurred during weapons' tests. Chinese seismologists said it was a suspected explosion. But South Korea says that it could be a natural quake not caused by a nuclear test.

    North Korea carried out a massive nuclear test on the 3rd of this month which has been widely condemned at the UN. The size of tremor is smaller than that usually detected when North Korea has tested weapons.

  • China and Australia joint military training exercise called Panda Kangaroo 2017 held in Kunming
    China and Australia joint military training exercise called "Panda-Kangaroo 2017" concluded in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, on September 20. This exercise kicked off on September 10, China and Australia each sent 10 soldiers to participate in the joint training.

  • PM Modi dedicates Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation
    Current Affairs Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia in Narmada district of Gujarat on 17th September. This project the Narmada water will not only benefit the farmers Gujarat but also those from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajashan.

    Over 18 lakh hectares of land in the state will come under irrigation through the dam as Narmada water will start flowing to more than 9,000 villages of Gujarat through a network of canals.

    The project will also help in supplying drinking water to about 4 crore people. The power generated from the dam will be shared among three states - Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

    The dam will irrigate 2.46 lakh hectares of land in Barmer and Jalore districts of Rajasthan. Sardar Sarovar project is the biggest dam in terms of volume of concrete used in it. It is also the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States.

  • Incentives for dairy sector in Telangana
    Telangana State Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao showered incentives and subsidies for the diary sector. Accordingly, farmers will get Rs. 4 a litre of milk as incentive and 50 per cent subsidy for buying a buffalo.

    The financial incentive to be launched from September 24 will be applicable to all dairy development societies and in line with those being enjoyed by the Vijaya Dairy Development Society. The other major societies are the Mulkanur Dairy, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy and Karimnagar district’s Development Societies.

    Through these societies, the 50 per cent subsidy for farmers buying a buffalo will be implemented. The subsidy will be 75 per cent if the farmer is from the SC/ST community.

    In return, the Chief Minister has asked every farmer to plant six saplings in household and name them after family members. The scheme will commence after two months. As was done in the case of distribution of sheep a few months ago, the beneficiaries themselves will identify and buy the buffaloes. The subsidy will be routed through the dairy development societies. The total milk production in the State from the three main societies is around 7 lakh litres.

  • Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana launched
    Jharkhand Government has launched the Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana which aims at developing villages of freedom fighters. BJP President Amit Shah along with Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das launched the initiative from Ulihatu Village, the birth place of freedom fighter and Jharkhand's tribal icon, Birsa Munda.

  • International Yoga Festival Starts in Kashmir
    Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra inaugurated the second International Yoga Festival and International Yoga Sports Championship 2017 in which about 300 people from across the world are participating.

    The festival is being organized by the Yoga Society of Kashmir at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre that about 300 participants from various parts of India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, Bulgaria, USA, and Nepal are participating in the festival.

    The Yoga is enormously beneficial for the growth of a healthy mind and body and Vohra emphasized that learning to practice yoga, especially from a young age helps in developing the required mental and physical discipline which enables the practitioner to lead a wholesome, stress-free and balanced life.

  • NIA court grants bail to two 2008 Malegaon bomb blast accused
    A special NIA court in Mumbai on 18th September granted bail to two accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.

    Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Shankaracharya, facing conspiracy charges, were granted bail by the Court.

    Both are accused of attending conspiracy meetings, where the terror attack was planned, along with others.

    All the accused were booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), besides under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

    The court while granting bail observed that since the NIA has dropped MCOCA from the case the confessions of the accused are inadmissible.

    Six people were killed and nearly 100 others injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle exploded in Malegaon town in Nashik district on 29th of September in 2008.

  • Govt inaugurates first Pension Adalat for Central govt employees
    • Union Minister for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated the first Pension Adalat and a pension app for Central Government employees in New Delhi on 20th September.
    • The Adalat aims to quick resolve long pending pension cases.
    • The initiative will inspire state governments to take such measures for their employees.

  • Tripura to set up family welfare committees
    Tripura becomes the first state in the country to set up family welfare district committees to examine the complaints of women against their husbands and in-laws and find an amicable solution. Tripura High Court is the first high court among 24 high courts of the country that has constituted the family welfare district committees. The new system would be valid for the next six months and after that National Legal Services Authority (NLSA) would submit a report of its performance to the apex court, on the basis of which a new course of action would be decided.

  • First of six Scorpene-class submarines handed over to Navy
    The state owned Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai delivered the first of six Scorpene-class submarines to the Indian Navy on 21st September. The submarine will be commissioned soon. The development marks a major milestone in Indian Navy's submarine programme as the vessel is expected to bolster India's maritime prowess.

    The six submarines designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, will replace the Indian Navy's aging Sindhughosh and Shishumar class of submarines.

    A Mazagon Dock Ltd statement said, the second of the Scorpenes, Khanderi is currently undergoing the rigorous phase of sea trials. The third Scorpene, Karanj is being readied for launchlater this year. The rest are in various stages of outfitting.

    The construction of the submarine INS Kalvari which was named after a deep sea tiger shark began in 2009. The submarine was undocked from pontoon on 6 April 2015 and completed the Basin trials and Harbor acceptance trials in April 2016. On 2 March 2017, INS Kalvari test fired Exocet anti-ship missile in the Arabian Sea.

  • Ashok Gajapathi Raju Inaugurates new campus of Indian Aviation Academy
    The Union Minister of Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju on 21st September inaugurated the new state of the art campus of Indian Aviation Academy (IAA) in New Delhi.

    With the inauguration of this new world class campus, the IAA academy aims to enhance and augment its training and hostel capabilities to more than double.

    The Indian Aviation Academy was constituted under the aegis of NIAMAR (National Institute of Aviation Management and research Society) on 22nd July, 2010 as a joint training academy of Airports Authority of India, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

    The aim of the academy is to provide training and conduct research and consultancy services in various areas of the aviation sector, like Airports and Aviation Management, Safety Regulations, Security and other related areas, said a statement from Aviation ministry.

    IAA runs training programmes in Airports Operations & Aviation Safety, Airport Engineering & Planning, Air Cargo Management, Environment concerns in Aviation, besides regulatory training through DGCA and Security training through BCAS.

    AAI also offers internationally recognised aviation accredited programmes to participant across the globe in cooperation with ICAO, IATA and ACI. AAI has also acquired full membership of ICAO Train air Plus programme.

    The New IAA campus has been equipped to meet the skilling and training needs of the future as a large number of professionally skilled and trained manpower are required to operate, manage and maintain the future international air transport system.

    The new IAA campus is spread over 8 acres and has 12 training halls of different capacities, two computer based training facilities and auditorium of sitting capacity of 200 apart from meeting rooms, library and video conferencing facility.

  • TN Assembly Speaker disqualifies 18 AIADMK MLAs loyal to TTV Dhinakaran
    In Tamil Nadu, the Assembly Speaker has disqualified 18 dissident AIADMK MLAs loyal to its sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran on 18th September.

    A statement by the Assembly Secretary K.Boopathy in Chennai has said the action has been taken against them under the anti-defection law. The disqualification comes just a day after the O.Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palaniswamy factions of the party announced their merger.

    19 dissident AIADMK MLAs had submitted letters to the state interim Governor Vidyasagar Rao on 22nd of last month withdrawing their support to chief minister Palaniswamy. Later, one among the 19 rebel members switched over to the ruling camp, who has been spared from the axe

    Meanwhile, the disqualified MLAs have decided to file a petition before the Madras High Court seeking to nullify the Speaker’s action.

  • Rajnath Singh launches intelligence wing of SSB, WARB App
    Home Minister Rajnath Singh has launched intelligence wing of Sashastra Seema Bal, SSB, and Welfare and Rehabilitation Board App, WARB in New Delhi on 18th September. The paramilitary force guards India's borders with Bhutan and Nepal. The intelligence wing will gather actionable information.

    The app WARB which was also launched on the occasion contains features to facilitate retire CAPFs and Assam Riffles personnel to get their grievances redressed, seek skill development and other relevant and important information.

  • Newton is India's official entry to Oscars 2018
    Eros International's Newton, directed by Amit V Masurkar's, starring Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi and Raghubir Yadav is India's official entry in the Best Foreign Film language category at the Oscars 2018 as stated by Film Federation of India (FFI). The film received positive response at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year and released in cinemas in India on 22nd September to positive critic reviews.

  • PM Modi flags off Varanasi-Vadodara Mahamana Express
    Country's two large cities, Varanasi and Vadodra, one known for spirituality and other known for trade facilitation, were connected after Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off Mahamana Express on 22nd September. The Mahamana Express will also reduce the travel time by 7 hours as the 1,531-km journey between the two cities will now take 27 hours 30 minutes.

  • Ramayan Stamp launched: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a postage stamp based on 'Ramayana' in Varanasi and said that stamps are a wonderful way to preserve history.

  • Indias first electric bus service launched
    Himachal Pradeshbecame the first state in India to introduce electric buses. The Transport Minister GS Bali flagged off India's first electric bus on the 51 kms long Manali-Rohtang Pass. With this initiative Himachal becomes first in the world to ply electric buses at an altitude of 13 thousand feet.

  • India third in nuclear power installations: study
    India is third in the world in the number of nuclear reactors being installed, at six, while China is leading at 20, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017, released this month, shows. The number of nuclear reactor units under construction is, however, declining globally for the fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 53 by mid-2017, the report says.

    The latest report further reveals that most nuclear reactor constructions are behind schedule, with delays resulting in increase in project costs and delay in power generation.

    There are 37 reactor constructions behind schedule, of which 19 reported further delays over the past year. In India itself, five out of the six reactors under construction are behind schedule. Eight nuclear power projects have been under construction globally for a decade or more, of which three have been so for over 30 years.

    Data gathered by the authors shows that global nuclear power generation increased by 1.4% in 2016 due to a 23% increase in China, though the share of nuclear energy in electricity generation stagnated at 10.5%. By comparison, globally, wind power output grew by 16% and solar power by 30%. Wind power increased generation by 132 TWh (terawatt hours) or 3.8 times, and solar power by 77 TWh or 2.2 times more than nuclear power’s 35 TWh respectively. Renewables represented 62% of global power generating capacity additions.

    Russia and the U.S. shut down reactors in 2016, while Sweden and South Korea both closed their oldest units in the first half of 2017, the report notes.

  • India, Sri Lanka sign MoU to upgrade Thondaman Vocational Training Centre
    Current Affairs India and Sri Lanka on 20th September signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to upgrade Thondaman Vocational Training Centre at Hatton located in Nuwara Eliya district of the Island nation. The up gradation of the center will be done using a grant of around 9 crore rupees from the Government of India. The project includes construction of new infrastructure facilities as well as renovation of existing building.

    The project also includes supply of machinery, equipment & tools for the new courses, furniture and vehicles. A total of 500 youth of Sri Lanka are expected to be trained as skilled workers with suitable skills catering to the job market annually with the completion of the project.

    The MoU was signed by High commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Mr Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Mrs. R. Nadarasapillai, Secretary, Ministry of Hill Country and Community Development at an event in Colombo. This project is in line with Government of India’s efforts to assist and cooperate with government of Sri Lanka in the field of vocational training and skill development.

  • Central govt exempts import duty on sports items
    Current Affairs Central government has exempted import duty on sports items and a wide range of goods for the upcoming Under-17 football World Cup to be held in India from October 6 to 28.

    The first FIFA event to be held in India will have have 52 matches spread over six cities. The final will be played at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium match on October 28.

    A Central Board of Excise and Customs notification said that all sports goods, sports equipment and sports requisites, fitness equipments, team uniform/clothing, spares, accessories and consumables will be exempted from the customs duty.

    However, the importers will have to furnish undertakings that all the goods, excluding gift items, souvenirs and mementos, will be re-exported within three months of conclusion of the World Cup.

    Doping control equipment, first aid kits, satellite phones/GPS, dining/kitchen items and office consumables are also among the goods that have been exempted from import duty.

    Broadcast equipment and supplies used in organising and during the event imported by FIFA Host Broadcasters have also been exempted. These goods will also be exempted from the integrated tax levied under GST.

    A total of 24 countries, including hosts India, will compete in the tournament which will be played in six cities--New Delhi, Margao, Kochi, Guwahati, Kolkata and Navi Mumbai.

  • Centre releases new Metro policy to expand Metro network
    Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has released the new Metro Policy for expanding the metro network across various cities in the country.

    The policy was approved by the Union Cabinet in August. Mr Puri unveiled this new policy at a workshop on New Metro Rail Policy in New Delhi on 16th September.

    The States to set up Unified Metropolitan Transport Authorities in all the 53 cities with over 10 lakh population each to ensure integration among all modes of transport on a regional basis.

    The new Metro Policy empowers States to make rules and regulations and set up permanent Fare Fixation Authority for timely revision of fares. It also makes Public Private Partnership component mandatory for availing central assistance for new metro projects.

    Currently 370 kilometer metro network is under operation in seven cities while 537 kilometer network is under construction in 12 cities.

  • Income Tax Dept proposes voluntary reporting of estimated current Income, advance tax liability
    Income Tax Department has proposed a mechanism for self-reporting of estimates of current income, tax payments and advance tax liability by certain taxpayers on voluntary compliance basis.

    It is being done to address the concerns of income tax payers who have to bear additional burden of interest for default of advance tax, in case total advance tax paid for the year falls short of the assessed tax by ten percent or more.

    According to an official release, the proposed reporting mechanism is sought to be created by way of inserting a new Rule 39A and Form No. 28AA in the Income-tax Rules, 1962.

    The proposed draft notification has been posted on the website of Income Tax Department for comments from stakeholders and general public.

  • World trade likely to grow at 3.6% in 2017
    World trade in goods is estimated to grow 3.6 per cent in 2017 compared with the 1.6 per cent increase in 2016, according to the revised estimates circulated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 21st September.

    Growth in global trade for 2017 was earlier projected at 2.4 per cent by WTO, which has now attributed the improved outlook to a resurgence of Asian trade flows. This was mainly due to intra-regional shipments picking up and a recovery in import demand in North America.

    However, the rapid pace of trade growth in 2017 is unlikely to be sustained next year for a number of reasons and the increase could be at a more moderate 3.2 per cent, the forecast cautioned.

    The improved outlook for trade is welcome news, but substantial risks that threaten the world economy remain in place and could easily undermine any trade recovery.

    These risks include the possibility that protectionist rhetoric translates into trade restrictive actions, a worrying rise in global geopolitical tensions and a rising economic toll from natural disasters.

    The reasons for a likely moderation of growth in trade in 2018 are manifold. First, trade growth in 2018 will not be measured against a weak base year, as is the case this year. Second, monetary policy is expected to tighten in developed countries as the Federal Reserve gradually raises interest rates in the US and the European Central Bank looks to phase out quantitative easing in the Euro area, the forecast report pointed out.

    Another reason for a likely slowing down of growth next year is that the fiscal expansion and easy credit in China are likely to be reined in to prevent the economy from overheating.

    The new estimate for world trade growth in 2017 is at the high end of the range of estimates provided in WTO economists’ most recent trade forecast of April 12, 2017 (1.8 per cent - 3.6 per cent). The strength of the revision is partly due to a modest improvement in the consensus forecast for world GDP growth (2.8 per cent in 2017 at market exchange rates, up from 2.3 per cent in 2016) and partly due to the composition of that growth.

  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan meeting targets: Govt
    The government has cited a UNICEF survey carried out in 10,000 households across the country to claim that the Swachh Bharat Mission is meeting its targets, three years after its launch. The survey, conducted across 12 states, says that 85 per cent members of the households studied were using toilets, a government release said.

    Nicolas Osbert, who heads the UNICEF's drinking water and sanitation section, said, "India has been able to catalyse and mobilise the efforts of millions of citizens and the Swachh Bharat Mission is a once-in-a generation opportunity".

    Quoting a World Bank report published in 2008, he said the total economic impact of inadequate sanitation in India amounted to $53.8 billion per year, equivalent of 6.4 per cent of the country's then GDP. In a fully open defecation-free community, considering medical costs averted, the value of time savings, and the value of mortality averted, the financial saving for each household is Rs 50,000 per year, Osbert said. He also appreciated the move of the government in creating sanitation volunteers with the support of UNICEF for doing a commendable service.

  • SBI launches Indian bond index series in London
    State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the FTSE SBI Bond Index series in partnership with global index provider FTSE 100, which it is hoped will give tools to investors from India, the UK and globally to analyse India’s government bond market, and drive growth in this market.

  • India replaces China as top retail destination in 2017: Study
    India has replaced China as the numero uno retail destination in 2017 as part of the global retail development index, according to industry experts. The change in ranking was an outcome of four factors including increased consumer spending, beyond essentials, rising mobile and internet penetration, favourable foreign investment climate and bold action on cashless transaction and GST

    According to India Retail Report 2017, over the past 12-15 months, 100 per cent cash and carry operations are gaining significance in India with Thailand’s Siam Makro being the latest entrant in this space following Metro, Walmart and Booker.

    Food as well as retail Brands such as Korres, Migato, Evisu, Wallstreet English, Pasta Mania, Lush Addiction, Melting Pot, Yogurt Lab and Monnalisa and many others from across the world, are expected to invest about USD 300-500 million cumulatively to open roughly 2,500-3,000 stores, the study said.

  • Govt launches Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat in Gujarat
    Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on 23rd September launched Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat at Mota Ishanpur village in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat.

    According to Dharmendra Pradhan….
    In total one lakh Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayats would be organized across the country in next one and half year to provide an interactive platform to the rural LPG users

    Participants of this Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat are the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY)

    They have been educated on service related grievances, removing fears and misgivings about the use of LPG and quality of food prepared through it in the rural areas and tribal areas

    About 100 such beneficiaries- most of them women have been participated in this LPG Panchayat.

  • PV Sindhu wins Korea Open title
    Current Affairs India's P V Sindhu has lifted the women's singles title at the Korea Open Super Series badminton tournament. In the final at Seoul on 17th September, Sindhu defeated Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in three sets. World no. 4 Sindhu had also clinched the 2016 China Super Series Premier and India Super Series.

  • One gold, four silver, and three bronze medals for Indian women boxers in Ahmet Comert youth boxing Championships
    India have signed off with a rich haul of one gold, four silver, and three bronze medals at the Ahmet Comert Boxing Championships for youth women boxers. In the competitions held in Istanbul, Turkey, India's lone Gold came through Soniya in the 48kg category. She defeated Kazakhstan's Zhazira Urakabeva in her summit clash.

    The silver medal winners for India were Niharika Gonella (75kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg),Parveen (54kg), and Ankushita Boro (64kg). All the four lost in their respective final bouts. Tilotama Chanu (60kg), Jyoti Gulia (48kg), Lalita (64kg) and Manisha (69kg) had to be content with bronze medals after losing their respective semifinal bouts.

  • Virat Kohli maintains top spot in latest ICC rankings of T20 batsmen
    India skipper Virat Kohli has maintained his top spot in the latest ICC rankings of T20 batsmen. Kohli leads number-two ranked Aaron Finch of Australia by 39 points, while Evin Lewis of West Indies has grabbed a career-best third position after jumping up a place.

    In the bowlers' table, Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah has climbed up a place to be at second position, overtaking South Africa's Imran Tahir. The table is headed by Imad Wasim of Pakistan. India's star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin remains static at 10th position.

    In the team rankings, India hold on to the fifth position. The West Indies have toppled England after a 21-run win at Chester-le-Street. The Windies team who were in fourth position with 117 points before the match on 18th September, are now third with 120 points. On the other hand, England have lost four points to slip from second to fourth with 119 points.

    In the batsmen's chart, Pakistan's Babar Azam has risen 21 spots to be at career-best sixth position after his player of the series performance helped complete a 2-1 win over the World XI in the recent Independence Cup series at Lahore.

  • Indian shuttler PV Sindhu is World No 2 in BWF women's singles rankings
    Indian shuttler PV Sindhu jumped two places to World No 2 in the latest Badminton World Federation women's singles rankings. Sindhu's climb came on the back of her title triumph at the Korea Open Super Series on 17th September.

    This is the second time in her career that Olympics silver medallist has occupied the second spot. She last reached her best ranking following her win at the India Open Super Series back in April, this year. London Olympics bronze winner Saina Nehwal was static at the 12th spot.

    Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying retained her top spot. The reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain also remained at fifth while world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan moved up one place to eighth.

    In the men's singles rankings, K Srikanth remained unchanged at eighth while B Sai Praneeth and H S Prannoy dropped one place each to be at 17th and 19th positions. Ajay Jayaram also lost three places to be at 20th spot.

  • FIFA Women World Cup France 2019 official slogan, emblem launched
    Official emblem and slogan for FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 were unveiled at the Musee de l'Homme, Paris, France. Emblem is - To symbolise the eighth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, competition trophy wrapped in blue and white, with eight shards of light around football at the top of the trophy. Slogan is - "Dare to Shine".

  • Lewis Hamilton won Singapore Grand Prix
    Mercedes' British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton registered his 60th career won at the Singapore Grand Prix. He defeated Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel score and reached the top of the table with 28 points. Daniel Ricciardo won the second place in the race.

  • Mary Kom to be AIBA representative at IOC athletes' forum
    Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom has become the first Indian to be picked as the International Boxing Association's (AIBA) representative for the IOC Athletes' Forum scheduled in November.

    She has been invited to attend the 8th International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Forum in Lausanne from November 11th to 13th

    AIBA has sent an invitation letter to the Boxing Federation of India , in this regard. The event, however, overlaps with the Asian Championship in Vietnam, which is scheduled from November 2 to 12.

    If Mary Kom is selected for the tournament after trials later this month, her participation at the IOC event would become uncertain.

  • India wins 4 medals in 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games
    In the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, India bagged four medals on 22nd September. Sajan Prakash of India finished second with silver medal in the Men's 100 metre butterfly event.

    Divya Gurling Shilwant and Pratiksha Chandrakant Parhar bagged a bronze each in women's Alysh classic in 70 kg and 75 kg categories in the Belt Wrestling Discipline

    Wrestler Keduovilie Zumu from Nagaland won bronze medal in the 90 kg category of Kazakh Kuresh style belt wrestling.

    Meanwhile, Sourav Kothari assured himself of a medal after winning his semifinal contest in men's billiards singles against Thailand's Thawat Sujaritthurakaran 3-0. India are at 11th spot in the medals tally with 5 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze.

  • Current AffairsD Roopa: In Karantaka, former DIG D Roopa, who highlighted in a report alleged irregularities at the Central jail in Bengaluru, including preferential treatment to AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, was on 17th September conferred the President's Medal. The award was presented to Roopa for her meritorious service by Governor Vajubhai Vala.

  • Zannah Mustapha: For educating Boko Haram Victims, a Nigerian, Mr Zannah Mustapha, the Director, Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School, has won the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) 2017 Nansen Refugees Award. Mr Mustapha will be presented with his award at ceremony in the Swiss city of Geneva on 2 October.

    Persons in News
  • Current AffairsL.K.Advani: L K Advani has been renominated as Chairman of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

    Advani and all other 14 members have been given another term. The Ethics Committee examines every complaint relating to unethical conduct of a member referred to it.

    It can also take up suo motu investigation into matters relating to ethics, including those linked to unethical conduct by a member wherever necessary and make recommendations. Chairpersons of other Parliament panels have also been renominated.

    They include P Karunakaran (CPM) for the Committee on Absence of Members from Sittings of the House and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (BJP) for the Committee on Government Assurances, according to a Lok Sabha bulletin.

    Chandrakant B Khaire (Shiv Sena) for the Committee on Papers Laid on the Table and Dilipkumar Mansukhlal Gandhi (BJP) for the Committee on Subordinate Legislation have also been renominated as chairmen of the respective panels.

    Deputy Speaker in Lok Sabha M Thambidurai has been nominated as chairman of the Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions in place of Dilipkumar Mansukhlal Gandhi. Thambidurai was also renominated as chairman of the panel on Local Area Development Scheme, which reviews implementation of the MPLAD scheme.

  • YC Modi: Senior IPS officer Y C Modi, who was part of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that probed the 2002 Gujarat riot cases, was 18th September named chief of the National Investigation Agency.

    The federal probe agency is tasked with probing terrorism and terror-financing related cases. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved Modi’s appointment as Director General of the NIA. ACC has also approved the appointment of Modi as officer on special duty (OSD) in NIA with immediate effect to ensure a smooth takeover.

    Modi, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Assam–Meghalaya cadre, is at present the special director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He will take over from Sharad Kumar after he completes his tenure on October 30, the order said. Kumar, who was appointed DG NIA in July 2013, has been given two extensions.

    In October last year, Kumar was given a one-year extension, apparently to help the agency complete some important probes, including the Pathankot terror case, terror strikes in Kashmir, Burdwan blast case and the Samjhauta blast cases.
Published on 9/29/2017 1:02:00 PM

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