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August 05, 2016

5th August 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • 41st 'Twins Days Festival', the largest gathering of twins in the world, began today in United States' Ohio
    • The 3-day festival regularly attracts about 2,000 pairs of twins, and is also open to triplets and quadruplets. 
  • The United States declared Pakistan based Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (JuA) as a ‘terror group’ by adding it to its list of global terrorists. 
    • This declaration triggers sanctions against the terrorist faction that has staged multiple attacks on civilians, religious minorities and soldiers. 
    • Besides anyone who supports Jamaat-ur-Ahrar could have his assets frozen by the US Government.
National Affairs
  • The Gujarat high court has quashed 10 percent reservation quota for the Economically Backward Classes (EBCs)
    • In this regard, the Court has declared The Gujarat Unreserved Economically Weaker Sections (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Ordinance, 2016 unconstitutional.
  • The government today decided to table the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the Lok Sabha on August 8. 
    • The BJP has issued a 'three-line whip' to all MPs to be present. 
    • The Rajya Sabha passed the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill on Wednesday and the subsequent central and inter-state GST Bills will now be introduced in the Lower House.
  • Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today announced that the Seventh Pay Commission's recommendations will be implemented in the state from November 1.  
    • A provision of ₹2,553 crore has been made in the state budget towards this implementation.
  • The Maharashtra government will open 51 cyber laboratories on August 15 this year.
    • These new laboratories will cover 34 districts across the state. 
    • Note : Maharashtra has seen a rise of 142.1% from 2013 to 2015 in the registration of cyber crime cases, according to the Crime in India Report 2015.
  • The Hyderabad Bicycling Club, the Hyderabad Metro Rail and the UN Habitat today entered into a Tripartite agreement to set up about 300 bike stations across the city
    • About 10,000 bicycles, including e-bikes, will be made available at these stations. 
    • Further, 63 of the bike stations will be situated at metro stations to provide passengers with last-mile connectivity.

Awards & Honors
  • Singer Shubha Mudgal has been selected for the prestigious the 23rd Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award 2016
    • She will be bestowed with this award for her outstanding contribution towards the promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill.
  • 26 year-old Syrian Ninorta Bahno has become the first refugee to be crowned the 'Wine Queen' of Trier town, Germany
    • The Syrian Christian, who fled Syria over three years ago, will represent Trier's winemakers at events. 
    • The 'German Wine Queen' tradition began in the 1930s, and 'Wine Queens' from German regions compete to become the 'German Wine Queen' every year.

Science & Technology
  • The US Air Force declared the first squadron of fifth-generation F-35A fighter aircraft as 'Combat Capable'
    • The aircraft, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, will reportedly​ be brought by 10 countries including Japan, Israel, and Britain. 
    • Note : The project initiated in 2001 cost $379 billion and is reportedly the most expensive weapons program in the world.

Business & Economy
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tody launched a website 'Sachet' to identify instances of illegal acceptances of deposits, and provide timely information to the public. 
    • Through this, people can file complaints and obtain information about entities allowed to accept deposits.
  • Online retail giant Amazon today launched its own dedicated cargo plane service for deliveries to its Prime members. 
    • Amazon also debuted its first ever branded air cargo plane 'Amazon One', a Boeing 767-300. 
    • The company announced that it will lease 40 such planes in the next two years for its deliveries across the United States.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today imposed penalty on two cooperative banks in Chhattisgarh under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
    • Zila Sahakari Kendriya Bank Maryadit was penalised for violation of the directives/guidelines of the Central Bank on 'Know Your Customer' norms.
    • Raipur Urban Mercantile Cooperative Bank Ltd faced action for violation of the directives on prohibition of grant of loans and advances to own directors or their relatives or concerns in which they are interested.
  • The government today extended the Minimum Import Price (MIP) on 66 steel products for a period of two months as against 173 items earlier.
    • This comes following the steel industry's demands for the extension of MIP. 
    • Note : MIP was imposed in February amid attempts to guard domestic steel producers against cheap in-bound shipments.
  • The Bank of England today cut its benchmark interest rate to the lowest in its 322-year history at 0.25%, its first cut since 2009. 
    • This was accompanied by stimulus packages worth nearly £170 billion amid attempts to cushion the UK economy following the 'Brexit' vote. 
    • Further, BoE downgraded its 2017 growth forecast for the economy from 2.3% to 0.8%.
Recent Committees in News
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a committee to look at the various facets of household finance in India and to benchmark the country’s position vis-à-vis both peer countries and advanced countries.
    • The committee will be headed by : Tarun Ramadorai (professor of Financial Economics, University of Oxford)
New Appointments
  • Reliance Foundation chairman Nita Ambani became the first Indian woman member of the International Olympic Committee, after getting elected at the 129th IOC Session in Rio. 
    • The 52-year-old is the third Indian member of the IOC after Dorabji Tata and Raja Randhir Singh. 
    • According to membership rules, Nita will remain an IOC member till the age of 70.
  • Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi has named Youssef Chahed as Prime Minister after parliament ousted Habib Essid in a vote of no-confidence because of his handling of economic reforms and security.
General Knowledge
  • Built on the side of a cliff in China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Bailong Elevator is the world’s tallest outdoor glass lift with a height of 1,070 feet (approx 325 metres)
    • Recognised by the Guinness World Records, it is also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator and consists of three lifts which take around a minute to reach the top.
  • US President Barack Obama has won two Grammy Awards so far, both in the 'Best Spoken Word Album' category. 
    • Born on August 4, 1961, he won the awards for his memoirs 'Dreams from My Father' in 2006, and 'The Audacity of Hope' in 2008. 
    • Note : Both the Grammys were won by Obama before being elected as the President in 2009.

  • The Rio Olympics, which begin today, are the first Summer Olympics to be held during the host country's winter season
    • In the 120-year-long history of the modern Olympics, the Summer Olympics have never been held in the host region's winter season. 
    • Moreover, Rio Olympics is also the first time the Summer Olympics have been hosted in a South American nation.
  • Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath (38) became the oldest player to take a Test hat-trick, when he achieved the feat against Australia in Colombo today. 
    • Herath is the second Sri Lankan to take a Test hat-trick, after Nuwan Zoysa in 1999. 
    • England’s Johnny Briggs is the only other left-arm orthodox bowler to take a Test hat-trick, back in 1892.
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