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September 24, 2016

24th September 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (24th September) is World Maritime Day.
    • Theme of the year 2016 "Shipping: indispensable to the world"
  • The Global Burden of Disease study has ranked India 143th in a list of 188 countries, citing mortality rates, malaria hygiene and air pollution as major challenges. 
    • The US was ranked 28, while the UK was listed in the top five spots. 
    • Important Points to Note :
      • Iceland topped the index.
      • Central African Republic was ranked the lowest.
  • The 8th edition of joint military exercise ‘Indra-2016’ between India and Russia has begun in Russian city of Vladivostok. 
    • Indra, a portmanteau of the names of both the countries (INDia RussiA) , is a biannual exercise which has been carried out between the two allies since 2003. 
    • This year, the focus is on Counterterrorism Operations in Semi Mountainous and Jungle Terrain under United Nations Mandate.  
    • Note : Russian troops arrived in Pakistan the same day for the first-ever Pakistan-Russia joint military exercise.

National Affairs
  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is going to launch Mission Parivar Vikas for improved family planning services in 145 High Focus districts in seven states
    • The objective of mission is to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies within a rights-based framework.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation a newly constructed war memorial in Bhopal on October 14. 
    • The memorial has been erected as a tribute to soldiers and carries the names of all the martyrs from Madhya Pradesh. 
  • Guinness World Records has recognised three records set in Navsari, Gujarat on September 17, 2016, marking PM Narendra Modi's 66th birthday.  
    • The records included 'highest number of oil lamps lit simultaneously at single location' with 1,000 lamps, 'biggest wheelchair logo formation' by 1,000 people, and 'most hearing aids distributed in 8 hours at single location', distributing 600 hearing aids.

People in News
  • In what is being considered a first, three women from the Northeast are set to represent India at various international beauty pageants this year. 
    • Rewati Chetri (Assam) is set to represent the nation at the Miss International 2016
    • Priyadarshini Chatterjee (Assam) is set to represent the nation at the Miss World 2016.
    • Imlibenla Wati (Nagaland) is representing India at the Miss Asia Pacific World 2016.

Science & Technology
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) today successfully fired the recently acquired long-range air-to-air MICA missile on a manoeuvring target from Mirage-2000 Upgrade combat aircraft. 
    • With this, the IAF has become one of the few air forces in the world with the capability of such beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile, said the Defence Ministry.
  • The world’s largest Solar Power Plant with an installed capacity of 648MW was commissioned at Kamudhi in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu
    • The plant was set up on an area of around 5,000 acres by Adani Group at a total cost of Rs 4,550 crore. It was connected to the grid through a sub-station.
  • World's first CO2-emission-free train, which will be powered by hydrogen, was unveiled at a trade show in Germany today. 
    • The train 'Coradia iLint' was developed by French company Alstom and will start operating in Germany next year. 
    • The train will run using electricity stored in batteries, which are powered by a hydrogen tank on the train's roof.

  • Renowned Hindi and Urdu writer, playwright and television personality Reoti Saran Sharma (92) passed away.
    • He was pioneer in radio plays in All India Radio (AIR). 
    • For his contribution to theatre (dramatic literature and performance) he was conferred with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007.

Business & Economy
  • State-owned Canara Bank today announced that its board has permitted raising up to $500 million as a part of its $2-billion medium-term note programme, for funding its overseas branches. 
    • This would be done by issuing senior unsecured foreign currency bonds in international markets. 
    • The board has also approved raising up to ₹1,128 crore via a rights issue to existing shareholders.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today approved amendments to facilitate the growth of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts
    • With this, the REITs can now invest up to 20% in under-construction real estate projects, up from the earlier 10% cap. 
    • Further, the REITs will become more flexible in choosing lucrative projects, analysts said.
  • The Centre today cut the import duty on wheat, crude and refined palm oils, and potato to keep prices in check ahead of the festival season. 
    • The duty on wheat and potato was reduced to 10% from the prevailing levels of 25% and 30%, respectively. 
    • The duty on both the palm oils was slashed by 5%.
  • The US House of Representatives has approved a bill authorising the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine
    • Under the bill, US will not recognise Crimea's takeover by Russia. 
    • The bill also specifies that US sanctions against Russia will be in place until Russia stops its war in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Awards & Honros
  • Actress Priyanka Chopra is set to be honoured by the American fashion magazine 'InStyle' as the 'Breakthrough Style Star'. 
    • Actresses Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley and designer Tom Ford are among other honourees.
  • Singapore has been named the best destination for expats for the second year in a row by the annual HSBC Expat Explorer Survey
    • Top 5 in the List :
      • Singapore
      • New Zealand 
      • Canada
      • Czech Republic 
      • Switzerland 
    • Note : India has ranked 26th on the list.
General Knowledge
  • American Don Budge was the first tennis player to complete the Grand Slam by winning all four majors namely Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open, in a calendar year. 
    • On September 24, 1938, Budge won the US Open, his fourth major of the year. 
    • Note : Only Rod Laver apart from Budge has achieved the feat in men's singles.
  • The first ever international cricket match began on this day (24th September) in the year 1844 .
    • This match was played between Canada and the USA.
    • Canada won the match that was played in the current Test format.
  • India won the inaugural ICC World T20 tournament in South Africa on this day (24th September) in the year 2007.

  • Indian tennis star Sania Mirza won her 40th WTA doubles title after winning the Pan Pacific Open title in Tokyo today. 
    • Sania and her Czech partner Barbora Strýcová, playing together in their third tournament, defeated China's Zhaoxuan Yang and Chen Liang 6-1, 6-1 in the 52-minute long tournament final.
  • The Sports Ministry is going to recommend India's Paralympic medalists for the Padma awards.
    • Important Points to Note :
      • India's 19-member contingent won four medals, including two golds, one silver and one bronze, at the Rio Paralympics. 
      • India's Rio Olympic medalists, Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu were awarded the Khel Ratna, along with Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai.
  • India ranked 3rd in the latest ODI rankings, which were topped by Australia
    • Among individual rankings, Virat Kohli was the top-ranked Indian, staying at second spot behind South Africa captain AB de Villiers
    • Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were at seventh and eighth place respectively among batsmen, while no Indian bowler or all-rounder featured in the ODI top 10.
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