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August 04, 2016

4th August 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Israeli Parliament today passed the 'Youth Bill' amid a surge in attacks by young Palestinians. 
    • This bill allows imprisoning children under the age of 14 convicted of "terrorist offences".
  • The US has blocked $300 million in military aid that was promised to Pakistan under a program to reimburse countries for supporting counter-terrorist operations. 
    • This comes after US Defense Secretary Ash Carter declined to certify that Pakistan was taking adequate action against Haqqani network.
    • Note : Pakistan is the largest recipient of such funds and has received around $14 billion since 2002
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). 
National Affairs
  • According to an Assocham study, Delhi has the highest percentage (42.5%) of people with diabetes among Indian cities, followed by Mumbai (38.5%), Ahmedabad (36%). 
    • The study found that diabetes in men increased 25%, while it increased 42% in women. 
    • Note : If lifestyle changes are not made, over 125 million Indians are likely to suffer from diabetes by 2035, the study concluded.
  • The Enforcement Directorate today booked former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela in a money laundering case. 
    • Vaghela, along with four others, was charged with causing a loss of ₹709 crore to the exchequer as the Union Textile Minister. 
  • The government has sanctioned the deployment of the fourth regiment of the BrahMos supersonic missile along the Indo-China border. 
    • The regiment consists of around 100 missiles with a cost of over ₹4,300 crore. 
    • Note : BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia, features a steep dive capability that can hit enemy targets hidden in mountain shadows.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for making suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs (Other Backward Classes) applicable to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
    • Note : This decision has been taken as per the recommendations of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
Science & Technology
  • The tallest moving observation tower in the world, the 'British Airways i360' opened in Brighton city, United Kingdom today. 
    • The 531-feet tower will send up to 200 viewers skyward in a curved glass pod which will stop at 450 feet. 
    • The tower, which took about 12 years and £46 million to build, offers panoramic views of up to 42 kilometres.
Business & Economy
  • The Rajya Sabha has passed the Goods and Services Tax (Amendments) Bill with most of the political parties, except the AIADMK, voting in its favour. 
    • The Bill which was passed in the Lok Sabha in May 2015 aims to replace multiple rates of taxation in different states with a uniform country-wide rate.
    • The target date for the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill has been set as April 1, 2017.
  • India’s Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) today recommended a 10% provisional tax on imports of flat sheets and plates of hot-rolled steel to protect local mills hit by cheaper imports. 
    • The DGS recommended the 10% duty for a year and a gradual reduction after that. 
    • The taxes will be applied on imported steel costing less than $504 a tonne.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Telecom Commission’s proposal to fix a minimum Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) at 3% of operators’ adjusted gross revenue for future spectrum auctions. 
    • The new SUC calculations will take a weighted average of the charges for spectrums held by operators. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will reportedly begin spectrum auctions by September end.
  • The government has authorised the National Highways Authority of India to monetise around 75 public-funded highways projects, that can generate up to ₹1 lakh crore.
Awards & Honors
  • Actress Deepika Padukone has been featured under the list 'Hollywood's Next Generation' by fashion magazine Vanity Fair.
General Knowledge
  • Barack Obama earlier this year became the first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima, the Japanese city where the US dropped the first ever atomic bomb. 
    • Note : The nuclear attack had resulted in nearly 140,000 deaths.
  • The oldest-ever person to win an Olympic medal was Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn, who won a silver medal in the 'running dear double-shot team event' in 1920 Olympics at the age of 72 years and 280 days. 
    • He had won his first gold medal at the 1908 Olympic Games held in London at the age of 60.
  • The flag-hoisting ceremony of the Indian tricolour was held at Rio’s Olympic Villag. 
    • The event was attended by shooter Jitu Rai, the women’s hockey team, Indian Olympic Association chief Narayana Ramachandran and other members and officials of the Indian contingent. The event is set to begin on August 5.
  • Current Olympic and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will become the first tennis player to carry Team Great Britain’s flag at the Olympics
    • Murray, who won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, will lead Great Britain’s contingent at the opening ceremony on Friday. 
    • The flag bearer is chosen by the British Olympic Association, with each sport nominating one athlete.
  • The International Olympic Committee has unanimously agreed to add karate, skateboarding, surfing, sports climbing and baseball/softball to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
    • The decision will add 18 events and 474 athletes to the Tokyo Olympics, without affecting the current athlete and event quotas. 
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