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September 15, 2016

15th September 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • International Day of Democracy, an annual United Nations initiative, is being observed today.
    • Theme of the year 2016 : Democracy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal began his 4-day state visit to India.
    • This is his first bilateral visit abroad after assuming office for the second time as Nepal’s Prime Minister on 4th August 2016.
    • Dahal will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow and is also expected to call on other Cabinet ministers.
  • Zurich in Switzerland has been named the most sustainable city in the world by global design and consultancy firm Arcadis. 
    • Top 5 in the List :
      • Zurich (Switzerland)
      • Singapore 
      • Stockholm (Sweden)
      • Vienna
      • London
  • 51 countries at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) summit in Hawaii voted in favour of an international ban on the dumping of mining waste at sea. 
    • Only Norway and Turkey voted against the proposal put forward by countries like Iran and the Philippines. 
    • Note : IUCN is an advisory body that decides global conservation agenda.
  • The Canadian government has approved a new law which allows doctors to prescribe pharmaceutical-grade heroin to treat severe heroin addicts
    • Note : Supervised heroin use was legal in Canada till 2013 and is still allowed in countries like Germany and Switzerland.
  • The joint military training exercise between India and United States dubbed as “Yudh Abhyas 2016” has begun in Chaubattia in Uttarakhand. 
    • It is the 12th edition of the joint military exercise hosted alternately by the two countries. 
    • The two week (from September 14 to 27) exercise will witness participation of about 225 personnel of Congo Brigade of the Indian Army and similar strength of the US Army. 
  • The US has agreed to provide military assistance worth around $38 billion to Israel.
    • This is the largest military aid to any country in US history
    • The new 10-year deal which starts from 2019, binds Israel to buy products from the US defence industry. 
    • Note : Israel already gets $3.1 billion annually from the US in military assistance.

National Affairs

  • Today is Engineer's Day.
    • This Day is observed in India on September 15 in honour of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya who was born on the day in 1860.
    • He was the chief designer of the flood protection system designed and built for the city of Hyderabad, as well as the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mysore which created the largest reservoir in Asia at that time.
    • A recipient of India's highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955, he was knighted as a Commander of the British Indian Empire by King George V before Independence.
  • India has declared itself free from the highly contagious bird flu and has notified the same to the World Organisation for Animal Health. 
    • This comes after no further outbreak was reported since the outbreak in Karnataka's Bidar district in May. 
  • The Union Rural Development Ministry has allowed cash payment to job card holders under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • This arrangement came after the state government's request, which cited inadequate bank and postal service in some areas. 
  • The 5th Dharamshala International Film Festival is scheduled to begin on 3rd November 2016 in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala. 
    • The first few films at the four-day festival will include the South Korean drama 'A Korean in Paris' and the Thai film 'The Island Funeral'.
General Knowledge
  • Indian public service broadcaster Doordarshan has began transmission 57 years ago on this day (15th September) in the year 1959.
    • Important Points to Note
      • The montage tune of Doordarshan was composed by renowned Indian classical musician Pandit Ravi Shankar.
      • The tune is a rendition of his song 'Saare Jahan Se Achha'. 
      • The montage, which shows the Doordarshan logo at the end, was designed at the National Institute of Design (NID).

People in News
  • Bishesh Huirem (27) from Manipur is slated to represent India at the Miss International Queen contest for transgender women to be held in Thailand on November 11. 
    • She is one of the 30 transgenders selected from 155 countries. 
    • Huirem, who is a Bangalore University fashion graduate, has worked in 'mobile theatre' and films.

Awards & Honors
  • India-born innovator and scientist Ramesh Raskar has won the prestigious 2016 Lemelson-MIT Prize.

Business & Economy
  • Sofia Vergara, known for her appearance in 'Modern Family', has been named the highest paid television actress in the world by Forbes, earning $43 million in the last 12 months up to June. 
    • With earnings of $24.5 million, 'The Big Bang Theory' actress Kaley Cuoco stood second. 
    • Indian-origin Mindy Kaling of 'The Mindy Project' ranked third, having earned $15 million.
  • India today announced an additional $1 billion assistance towards reconstruction projects in war-torn Afghanistan
    • This comes after talks were held between Indian PM Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Delhi. 
    • Further, India has also agreed to supply 1.75 lakh tonne wheat to Afghanistan, which is facing food shortage.
  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ordered telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and BSNL to submit their call traffic details to examine traffic pattern on their networks. 
    • This comes after Reliance Jio Infocomm accused other operators of not providing sufficient interconnection points, which had led to call failures during its test trials.
  • Reliance Communications board today approved a merger with Aircel, making it the largest-ever consolidation deal in India's telecom sector
    • The Reliance Communications and Aircel joint venture will have a net worth of ₹35,000 crore, with a combined subscriber base of 19 crore. 
    • The merger will be reportedly completed in six months with a new name for the merged entity.

Books & Authors
  • Former 'One Direction' singer Zayn Malik is publishing an autobiography titled 'Zayn', which will be released on 1st November 2016. 
    • The autobiography will feature his thoughts, drawings, photographs as well as explore his 'normal' childhood.
New Appointments
  • Former Indian cricketer Jacob Martin, who has a criminal history, has been appointed as the Baroda Ranji team's head coach.

  • Gautam Gambhir-led India Blue has won the inaugural day/night 2016-17 Duleep Trophy Cricket tournament played with a pink ball. 
    • Note : The 2016–17 was 55th season of Duleep Trophy.
  • The ongoing Rio Paralympics have become India’s best show till date after winning 4 medals, including two golds, one silver and one bronze. 
    • India first participated in the Paralympics in 1968, and has won 12 medals in 11 appearances up till now. India's previous best show in terms of medals was in 1984, winning two silver and two bronze medals.
  • The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) has decided to appoint a permanent manager for the Indian cricket team and scrap the current system of a new manager for every tour. 
    • The new manager will reportedly be appointed through a selection process comprising an interview.
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