- Today (8th September) is International Literacy Day.
- This day was started by UNESCO on November 17, 1965.
- Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.
- On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.
- This event will also mark the 50th anniversary of the World Congress of Ministers of
- Theme of the year 2016 : Reading the Past, Writing the Future
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Laos.
- This was their 8th meeting in the last two years.
- Modi also met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, among others.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held bilateral talks with his Laotian counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith and discussed regional developments including the South China Sea issue.
- Sisoulith said his country supported India as a permanent member of a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council.
- India, Kazakhstan joint bilateral military exercise PRABAL DOSTYK-16 began in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan.
- The fourteen day (till 17 September 2016) will be a significant step towards fostering military as well as diplomatic ties between both countries.
- Important Note : ‘Prabal Dostyk’ means ‘Robust Friendship’
- President Pranab Mukherjee today signed the Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST), making the bill a law.
- The Constitutional Amendment bill proposing the indirect tax regime was already approved by the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and over 16 State Assemblies.
- Under GST, taxes previously imposed by the Centre and States will be replaced with a common nation-wide taxation system.
- In the run-up to the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu today launched a new party, Aawaaz-E-Punjab.
- Sidhu announced the party's formation last week along with former hockey player Pargat Singh and independent MLAs Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains.
- The first edition of ‘IoT (Internet of Things) India Congress, 2016’ began in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- The three-day event was inaugurated by Union Information Technology (IT) and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and JS Deepak, Secretary, Ministry of Telecommunications.
Science & Technology
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today successfully launched GSLV-F05 rocket carrying an advanced weather satellite 'INSAT-3DR' from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
- This is the first time ISRO has used an indigenous cryogenic engine on an 'operational flight'.
- Further, the launch of the GSLV-F05 rocket is the 10th flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle.
Awards & Honors
- On the occasion of International Literacy Day, Jan Shikshan Sansthan, a Kerala-based NGO is being awarded the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy for its literacy-linked skill development activities.
- Jan Shikshan Sansthan bagged the award for activities in the field of education and skill development in rural areas.
- Note : 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of UNESCO's literacy programmes.
- French woman Isabelle Dinoire (49), who underwent the world's first face transplant in 2005 has passed away.
- Dinoire, who received a new nose, chin and lips after being disfigured by her dog, had reportedly developed cancer due to the heavy usage of immunosuppressant drugs.
- Note : Over 30 people worldwide have undergone facial transplants since 2005.
MOUs & Agreements
- India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greece to allow unlimited number of flights into each other’s countries and also has initiated the air service agreement for open skies.
- With this, Greece becomes first country with which India has inked an open sky arrangement under its new civil aviation policy.
Business & Economy
- ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has received the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) approval to file its initial public offering (IPO), which will be the first life insurance sector IPO in India.
- Note : This will also be the biggest local IPO to hit the market in nearly six years and will raise around ₹5,000 crore.
- The Railways Ministry will introduce a flexi-fare system for premium trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi starting September 9, to decide ticket prices based on the availability of seats.
- Former captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, Anjum Chopra has become the country’s first female cricketer to be awarded life membership of the Lord’s-based Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
- Anjum, who was the first Indian woman to score an ODI hundred, is the 26th Indian and third this year, after Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag, to be given the membership.
- US President Barack Obama today nominated Pakistan-born Abid Riaz Qureshi to serve as a federal judge, making him the first Muslim to be nominated.
- The 15th edition of the Paralympic Games was officially declared open by Brazil's President Michel Temer in the Brazilian capital of Rio de Janeiro today.
- The event's symbolic fire cauldron was lit by Brazilian swimmer and wheelchair user Clodoaldo Silva.
- The Games will run up to September 18 and will feature over 4,300 athletes across 22 different sports.
- Middle-distance runner Ankur Dhama is India's first blind athlete in 30 years to participate at 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
- Note : Dhama took part at the Asian Para Games in 2014 and won a silver medal and two bronze medals.
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