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September 22, 2015

22nd September 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • World Car Free Day is being observed today.
    • This day encourages motorists to give up their cars for a day.
  • Cow, which is sacred to Hindus, has been declared the National Animal of Nepal in the country's newly-unveiled secular constitution.
    • Note : Nepal had adopted a new constitution on this Sunday after years of political wrangling.
    • List of national symbols of Nepal
    • National Bird - Himalayan monal (Lophophorus impejanus)
    • National Emblem - Coat of Arms
    • National Dress - Daura-Suruwal
    • National Anthem - Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka
    • National Animal - Cow
    • National Flower - Rhododendron / Lali gurans
    • Note : National Flag of Nepal is the world's only Non-Quadrilateral National Flag.
  • The annual Haj pilgrimage began today with millions of Muslims assembling in Mina.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to begin his 7day Ireland-US tour from tomorrow.
    • In the first leg of his seven-day trip, he will visit Ireland, marking first Prime Ministerial visit from India in almost 60 years. 
  • India and the US today kicked off the First strategic and commercial dialogue with a focus on boosting trade ties and enhancing regional security ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with President Barack Obama.
    • US Secretary of state John Kerry and External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj highlighted the priority areas in bilateral ties as they inaugurated the Indo-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

National Affairs
  • Shortly after a controversy erupted over government's proposal to investigate on every message that an individual will send via WhatsApp, SMS, or Google Hangouts, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology clarified in a draft that social media websites and applications will be exempted from the purview of the Encryption Policy.
    • Encryption products used in Internet banking and payment gateways, and those used for e-commerce and password-based transactions will also be exempted.
    • The proposed policy, issued by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, would apply on everyone including government departments, academic institutions, citizens and for all kind of communications -- be it official or personal.
    • Communication and IT Minister : Ravi Shakar Prasad
  • The Government is going to set up Medical Tourism and Wellness Board on the occasion of World Tourism Day on 27th of this month.
    • Minister of State for Tourism and Culture : Mahesh Sharma

Science & Technology
  • China has launched Long March-6, a new, smaller type of rocket from its "Long March" family which will be primarily used for carrying satellites aloft.
    • The Long March-6 is a newly developed carrier rocket which uses liquid propellant, took off from a launch base in the northern province of Shanxi carrying 20 "micro" satellites.

New Appointments
  • Former Egyptian oil minister Sherif Ismail took oath as the new Prime Minister, just a week after the previous cabinet resigned following a corruption scandal.

Business & Economy
  • The Jammu and Kashmir government has banned sale of Ambuja Cements in the state after a probe found underweight bags and irrational product prices.
    • Government today extended by one year the control order under the Essential Commodities Act to allow the states to take steps to curb unscrupulous trading and hoarding of pulses, edible oils and oilseeds.
  • Asian Development Bank lowers its GDP growth forecast for India to 7.4% for the current fiscal, from the earlier 7.8%.
    • The ADB cited a weak monsoon, poor external demand, and concerns over economic reforms for the revised projections.
  • Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) clears  a multi-billion dollar deal for 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers with American aviation giant Boeing ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to United States tomorrow.
  • Market regulator SEBI imposes penalty of over Seven thousand crore rupees (7,269) on PACL ltd and its four directors for illegal and fraudulent mobilisation of funds from the public.
    • Important Point to Note : This is the biggest ever fine by SEBI till date.
  • To improve 'ease of doing business' and boost Defence manufacturing, government today decided to increase the validity of industrial licence to 15 years with a provision to further extend by up to 18 years.
    • Currently, the initial validity of industrial licence for defence sector is seven years, further extendable up to 10 years.
    • Important Note : Last year, the government raised the foreign direct investment policy in the defence sector to 49 per cent, from the earlier 26 per cent.

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