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August 23, 2016

13th August 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (13th August) is International Lefthanders Day.
    • This day was first observed on the 13th of August, in the year 1976.
    • People observe this day to promote awareness of the inconveniences faced by left-handers in a predominantly right-handed world.
  • The US government today declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico as a result of a Zika epidemic.
    • The declaration allows the US Department of Health and Human Services to award grants, access emergency funds and temporarily appoint personnel where needed, among other things.
National Affairs
  • Assam became first state in India to ratify The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014
    • In this regard, the Assam Assembly passed a resolution ratifying The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014 with simple majority. 
    • The Bill was passed by the Parliament in August 2016 and was forwarded to states for approval as per Article 368 of Constitution. 
    • Note : The approval of half of the states (15 out of 29) is mandated as per Article 368 of Constitution as it deals with changes in the features of fiscal federalism.
  • The Assam Government has launched Rhino horn verification process for verifying rhino horns stored in various treasuries of Assam since 1980. 
    • The process will be responsible for verifying the genuineness of the rhino horns, which were recovered since 1980s and stored in various treasuries. 
    • The process of verification will be conducted by 12-member Rhino Horn Verification Committee which was recently instituted by state government.
  • Parliament has passed the Central Agricultural University (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to help the north-eastern state achieve higher growth in animal husbandry sector. 
    • The Bill proposes to amend the Central Agricultural University Act, 1992 to include Nagaland under the jurisdiction of Imphal Central Agriculture University (CAU).

MOUs & Agreements
  • Sri Lanka and China today signed a tripartite agreement to proceed with the construction of a mega multi-billion dollar port city project in capital Colombo.
    • The agreement was signed between Sri Lanka's Urban Development Authority, the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and the China Harbour Engineering Company, Xinhua news agency reported.
  • Rajasthan government today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India Trade And Exhibition Centre (ITEC), Dubai for promotion of skill development, investment and tourism sectors.
    • As per the agreement, ITEC would work as a service providing agency for promotion of skill development, investment and tourism sectors in Rajasthan.
  • Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram (an institute of national importance under DST) have agreed to join hands to develop ‘Deep Brain Stimulator’ (DBS).
    • DBS involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of brain and the regular electrical pulses generated by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in upper chest regulates the abnormal impulses of the brain. 
    • DBS is used in typical neurological conditions of Essential tremor, Parkinson's disease and Dystonia.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed MOU with IIT-Kharagpur for research project to develop technology to construct long lasting maintenance free highways. 
    • Under this MoU, IIT-Kharagpur will develop ‘Paneled Cement Concrete Pavements’ for highways. The duration of the research project is 3 years.

Science & Technology
  • Chinese scientists are going to perform the world’s first genetic editing trial on humans in an attempt to find a cure for lung cancer. 
    • It will be performed as the trial phase by injecting cells that have been modified using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique into the patients.

New Appointments
  • Cipla Ltd has appointed Umang Vohra as the Managing Director & Global Chief Executive Officer of the company effective September 1, 2016.
    • He is going to replace Subhanu Saxena.

Sports
    • India’s top squash player Dipika Pallikal has won the prestigious PSA Australian Open held in Melbourne. 
    Read more Daily Current Affairs updates from here
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