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September 15, 2015

15th September 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • International Day of Democracy, an annual United Nations initiative, is being observed today
    • 2015 Theme : Space for Civil Society
  • The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a document for reform of the Security Council and India has welcomed the decision. 
  • Vice President Hamid Ansari is on a Four-day visit to Cambodia and Laos.
    • During this visit, he will hold extensive talks with the leadership of the two growing Asian economies to strengthen ties and boost economic engagement as part of India’s Act East policy.
  • The Pentagon (headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) has established a first-ever country special cell to speed up its defence ties with India and accelerate the process of co-development and co-production of hi-tech military equipment in the country.
    • Established soon after Defence Secretary Ashton Carter assumed Pentagon's leadership role in February, India Rapid Reaction Cell (IRRC) is headed by Keith Webster, Director, International Cooperation Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
    • India is the only country to have a specific cell of its kind inside the Pentagon. Currently, seven persons are working on this cell, representing various wings of the US Department of Defence.

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.
  • The Centre today decided to provide additional 50 days of work in drought-hit areas under the MGNREGA scheme to provide relief to farmers in view of deficit monsoon in various parts of the country.
    • At present, 100 days of work is provided to rural job card holders under the NGNREGA.
    • The move will enable states to provide additional wage employment to rural poor in drought affected areas.
    • Note : Already, Karnataka has declared drought in 27 out of 30 districts, while Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are also likely to declare drought-hit areas in their states.  
    • MGNREGA - Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act  
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurates 1965 War Exhibition ‘ Shauryanjali’ in New Delhi today.
    • The exhibition celebrates the victory of India over Pakistan and remembers the supreme sacrifice of Indian soldiers. 
    • The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled commemorative coin on the occasion.
  • India has made its debut in the top 200 of the Quacquarelli Symonds' (QS) World University rankings 2015/16
    • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has taken the top spot among Indian institutes, bagging the 147th rank while IIT Delhi has come in at 179th place.
    • This marks the first time that IISc has entered the rankings while IIT Delhi has moved up all the way from 235th spot last year
    • Note : Overall, there are 14 Indian institutes in the QS World University rankings. A total of 7 institutes including IISc Bangalore (147th), IIT Delhi (179th), IIT Bombay (202nd), IIT Madras (254th), IIT Kanpur (271st), IIT Kharagpur (286th), IIT Roorkee (391st) figure in the top 400.

Science & Technology
  • Indian government is all set to release a new and improved version of the Operating System (OS), named as BOSS this month.
    • The Indian government will launch the latest version of BOSS to replace Microsoft Windows and all other OSs in future.
    • The new OS, developed by C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), will be unveiled to all government stakeholders this week.
    • BOSS - Bharat Operating System Solutions

New Appointments
  • Malcolm Turnbull was today sworn-in as Australia's new Prime Minister, becoming the country's fifth premier in 8 years after an internal revolt in the ruling Liberal Party forced Tony Abbott to quit.
Business & Economy
  • The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the certificate of registration of Sahara India Financial Corporation, a non-banking finance company, with effect from September 3.
    • With this mandate, the Lucknow-headquartered Sahara India Financial Corporation cannot conduct the business of a non-banking financial institution.
    • The move came in wake of several alleged irregularities and violation of financial rules and regulations by Sahara. 
    • Sahara group chairman : Subrata Roy

  • Korea Super Series Badminton tournament 2015 began today in Seoul.
    • World No.1 Saina Nehwal is not taking part in the championship.
    • India is pinning its hope on PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth.
    • World No. 14 Sindhu will face former world champion Ratchanok Intanon in the opening round of Women’s singles competition.
    • In men’s singles, Srikanth will meet China’s Tian Houwei.
    • In women’s doubles, Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre will lead Indian challenge in the absence of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa when they face Japanese pair of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito.
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