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August 08, 2016

8th August 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (8th August) is International Cat Day.
  • Misery Index 2016
    • South American nation Venezuela, with a score of 188.2%, has been ranked 'most miserable' in the world by the Misery Index (computed by adding inflation to the unemployment rate), out of 74 economies surveyed by Bloomberg. 
    • Most  Miserable Countries in the List
      • Venezuela
      • Bisnia
      • South Africa 
    • Least Miserable Countries in the List
      • Thailand
      • Singapore
      • Japan
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is going to address the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 26 in New York. 
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, would not attend the UNGA session for the first time in three years. 
    • Note : Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 21.
National Affairs
  • The Lok Sabha today unanimously passed amendments cleared by the Rajya Sabha last week in the Goods and Services Tax Bill
    • The GST Bill aims to replace multiple rates of taxation in different states with a uniform country-wide rate. 
    • Note : Now it will be sent to the President, following which it needs approval from at least half of the state assemblies.
  • Marking the National Handloom Day yesterday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched ‘Baristha Bunakar Sahayata Yojana’,  a pension scheme for the weavers in the state. 
    • Under this scheme, the government will provide a pension of ₹500 per month to weavers. 
    • The beneficiaries must have worked at least 20 years in the profession and have attained an age of 60 years.
  • The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to plant one crore saplings this year to increase the state's green cover. 
    • Further, the new plantation will be raised over an area of 15,000 hectares at a cost of ₹150 crore.
    • The maintenance period of the new plantation has also been increased from three to five years to ensure survival.
  • The youth wing of the Congress, called Indian Youth Congress (IYC), has launched ‘Adhikar’, a free legal aid centre for the poor
    • The centre comprises a team of around 100 advocates who will provide legal advice to those who can’t afford it. 
    • Note : The IYC has also launched a helpline number (011-23329636) for providing legal assistance over the phone.
Business & Economy
  • The MD & CEO of Syndicate Bank Arun Shrivastava, has today launched new products to ease customer transactions. 
    • They are,
      • Fund transfer based on ‘Aadhaar Number through NUUP’, using an ordinary mobile phone without internet connection.
      • ‘Fund Transfer through IMPS’ at any branch for instantaneous credit to any bank account.
  • India has witnessed its highest-ever tea production during 2015-16, at 1233.14 million kilograms. 
    • Note : India's tea production has increased by 3% during the same period as compared to that of the last year. 
    • Commerce and Industry Minister : Nirmala Sitharaman
MOUs & Agreements
  • The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the Ministry of Textiles have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in a bid to "bring a paradigm shift in the handloom industry". 
    • The move aims to promote production and marketing of high-value​ quality handloom products and enhance earnings of handloom weavers.
General Knowledge
  • The Kohinoor was discovered near Guntur in present day Andhra Pradesh in the 13th century
    • Weighing 793 carats, it was owned by the Kakatiya dynasty before being stolen by Alauddin Khilji.
    • Later, it travelled from Persian ruler Nadir Shah to the Kingdom of Punjab before reaching Queen Victoria
    • Currently, it is set in the crown of the Queen of England.
Science & Technology
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to launch two new meteorological satellites next month, Chairman AS Kiran Kumar announced today. 
    • The satellites will improve weather forecast in the country, and observe weather changes every 15 minutes, instead of the current 30 minutes. 
    • The launch will provide good quality atmospheric profiles over the Indian landmass and adjoining areas.
New Appointments
  • KK Khurana has taken over as Head of BHEL Corporate R&D.
  • Surfing's first world champion Australia's Bernard Farrelly (71) passed away.
    • Farrelly won surfing’s first world championship in 1964, before helping in the creation of the International Surfing Federation. 
  • Gymnast Dipa Karmakar has become the first Indian to qualify for the individual vault finals.
    • She finished eighth with a score of 14.850 to qualify for the Vault finals, which will take place on August 14. 
    • USA's Simone Biles grabbed the first spot with a score of 16.050.
  • Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the silver medal in the women’s 53 kg weightlifting event at the Rio Olympics tody, to become the country’s first Olympic medal winner in 20 years
    • Diaz, a three-time Olympian, also became the first woman from the country to win an Olympic medal, and Philippines’ first non-boxing medallist since 1936.
  • Kosovo judoka (judo practitioner), Majlinda Kelmendi, became the country's first athlete to win an Olympic medal, after clinching the Gold in the women’s judo 52 kg event. 
    • Important Points to Note :
      • The Rio Games are the first in which athletes are competing under the Kosovo flag, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. 
      • The country has an estimated population of 18,84,981 as of 2015.
  • Adam Peaty smashed his own world record for the second time in two days in the men's 100m breaststroke to win Great Britain's first Gold medal at the Rio Olympics. 
    • The 21-year-old had broken his own world record in the heats a day earlier. 
  • Chinese diver Wu Minxia won a record fifth Olympic gold medal in women's synchronised 3-metre springboard diving at Rio, setting five records
  • Michael Phelps won the 19th gold medal of his Olympic swimming career today.
  • With a total of 302 weeks as World No 1 in ATP World Rankings, Tennis player Roger Federer holds the record for most number of weeks at the top spot. 
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