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September 14, 2016

14th September 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani is on a Two day visit to India.
    • This is his 2nd visit to the country.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi received him and expressed concern over the continued use of terrorism in the region for achieving political gain. 
    • The two leaders called for an end to all sponsorship, support, safe havens, and sanctuaries to terrorists, including for those who target Afghanistan and India.
  • The monthly global temperature analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has shown that August 2016 was the hottest August in the last 136 years
    • Note : This year's August and July were reportedly the warmest months in the modern times. 
    • GISS Director : Gavin Schmidt
  • New Zealand PM John Key today announced a ban on forced marriages and introduced family member abuse as a separate offence in a crackdown on domestic violence. 
    • Note : New Zealand police investigated over 100,000 incidents of family violence last year, with one in every three New Zealand women reporting an experience of sexual or physical abuse in their lifetime.
  • The third edition of BRICS Urbanisation Forum Meet has started in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. 
    • The three days conference was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu in the presence of Union Minister of Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu.
MOUs & Agreements
  • India and Afghanistan signed 3 MoUs after talks between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
    • 1st MOU : Mutuala Legal Assistance Treaty 
    • 2nd MOU : Treaty on extradition.
    • 3rd MOU : Peaceful uses of outer space.

National Affairs
  • The ten-day celebrations of the harvest festival Onam have begun in Kerala and other parts of the country today. 
    • The festival, which falls during the Malayalam month of 'Chingam', commemorates the homecoming​ of King Mahabali
    • Traditional dance forms such as the 'Thiruvathirakali' are performed during the festival, while the 'Vallamkali' (snake boat race) event also takes place.
  • Today (14th September) is Hindi Diwas (Hindi Day).
    • Important Points to Note
    • This day serves to propagate the Hindi language and its cultural heritage and values.
    • Hindi Diwas is celebrated on 14 September because on this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India had adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the Republic of India.
    • Hindi got its name from the Persian word Hind, meaning 'Land of the Indus River'.
    • Hindi is spoken as a native language by 258 million people and is recognized as the 2nd largest language in the world.
    • At the state level, Hindi is the official language of the following Indian states : 
      • Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • Andhra Pradesh has reportedly become the Second state after Gujarat to achieve 100% electrification of households.
  • To improve the student-teacher ratio, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will now count their PhD students as a part of their faculty
    • HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has accepted the proposal to count five PhD scholars as one faculty for calculating the student-teacher ratio. 
  • In line with the Centre's 'Start Up India' initiative, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today launched the 'Start Up Chhattisgarh' programme to encourage entrepreneurs in the state. 
    • The government also announced the setting up of a dedicated startup centre. 
    • Further, the startups can avail free electricity for the first 10 years and 100% subsidy on land purchase or lease.

Awards & Honors
  • One Thousand Hockey Legs, an NGO which seeks to introduce the game of hockey to school kids in India, was awarded the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar by President Pranab Mukherjee. 
    • Operating in five Indian cities, the NGO trains students in 90 schools and provides free hockey kits, coaching and other facilities for the kids to excel in the sport.
  • Kunwar Bai (105), who was recognised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for building toilets by selling off her goats, has been chosen as the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' mascot
    • PM Modi will felicitate her at a function in Delhi to mark 'Swachhta Diwas' on September 17. 
    • Note : Kunwar Bai had sold-off 8-10 goats to build two toilets at her home.
  • Indian-origin scientist Ramesh Raskar wins $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for his groundbreaking inventions to create solutions to improve lives globally.

General Knowledge
  • Bihar replaced Urdu with Hindi as its sole official language in 1881, becoming the first state in India to adopt the language
    • Following this, Hindi also became the official language of other states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan.

Business & Economy
  • US-based Wells Fargo lost its status as the world’s most valuable bank to JPMorgan Chase after its shares slumped 3.3% today.
  • State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, IDFC Bank, and digital wallet Paytm will start issuing electronic tags to vehicles for toll collection, National Highways Authority Chairman Raghav Chandra announced today. 
    • This would help increase the number of automatic pass-throughs at toll plazas to 50% in two years.
    • Note : NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) had earlier tied up with ICICI Bank for the same.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today launched a web portal for pensioners, which will serve as a one-stop destination for providing information. 
    • The Web Responsive Pensioner's Service Portal will allow pensioners to access information about pension cases, and pension payments processed by central departments and banks. 
    • Further, the service will also help in speedy redressal of their grievances.

People in News
  • UK's former PM David Cameron today announced that he is resigning from the Parliament to end his political career, months after he lost a referendum to stay in the EU. 
    • He said this was to avoid becoming a "distraction" for his successor and allow someone else to represent his constituency in Oxfordshire.
New Appointments
  • Slovenian lawyer, Aleksander Čeferin was elected as the new President of the European football governing body, UEFA, at UEFA's Extraordinary Congress today. 
    • Čeferin, who replaces banned former chief Michel Platini, beat Holland's Michael Van Praag 42-13 in the presidential election. 
    • The 48-year-old Slovenian will take over the remaining two and half years of Platini’s four-year​ term.
  • Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav replaced Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav as the party's state President today.

  • Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia became the first Indian to win two Paralympic gold medals, winning his second with a world record throw in the F46 javelin event at the Rio Paralympics today. 
    • Devendra, who created a world record to win the gold at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, broke his own record to win India’s fourth medal in Rio.
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