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August 03, 2016

3rd August 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh today arrived in Islamabad (Pakistan) to attend the SAARC Interior Ministers' conference on Thursday during which he is expected to raise the issue of most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim and cross border terrorism.
    • Note : Tomorrow's meeting is preceded by the 7th Meeting of the Saarc Interior/Home Secretaries which is being held today. 
  • The 7th meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Immigration Authorities was held today in Islamabad, Pakistan. 
    • Important Note : Pakistan’s Director General Immigration and Passports Usman A. Bajwa was unanimously elected as Chairman had chaired the meeting.

National Affairs
  • The 'Amazing North-East… Paradise Unexplored' festival showcasing the various music and dances of Northeast India will be held at the India International Centre in New Delhi tomorrow. 
    • The festival will also serve as a medium to discuss the reported challenges and hardships faced by the people living in the region.
  • Ministry of Communications (MoC) today adopted e-governance tool 'Twitter Seva' to address public grievances regarding telecommunication and postal services. 
    • People can tweet to the Minister of Communications, using #BSNLSeva, #MTNLSeva and #PostalSeva to reach the respective departments for their requests for assistance. 
    • Note : MoC has become the fourth ministry to adopt Twitter Seva.
  • Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to approve sewage and waste water policy
    • The first of its kind policy was approved by the State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in Jaipur.
  • The Bihar Assembly has passed the Bihar Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016, besides seven other legislations in taxation, education and other areas. 
    • The bill proposes a hike in VAT rate on various goods to 6% from the earlier 5%, in addition to an increase from 14.5% to 15% on goods not covered under the Bihar VAT Act, 2005.
  • The Rajya Sabha today passed the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill 2016
    • The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.
    • The legislation is aimed at seizing benami property and prosecuting those involved. 
    • Benami properties refer to deals where the owner denies knowledge of ownership, or the person paying for the property is fictitious or untraceable.
  • The Union Cabinet today approved amendments to the Motor Vehicle Bill 2016.
    • The Bill propose to improve the transport scenario in the country by permitting the States to grant exemptions in Stage carriage and contract carriage permits for promoting rural transport, public transport, last mile connectivity and for passenger convenience and road safety.

New Appointments
  • Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda today elected by lawmakers as Nepal’s Prime Minister for a second time.
  • Technocrat Anant Maheshwari was today appointed as the President of Microsoft India, a subsidiary of US based software giant Microsoft Inc.
    • He is going to replace Bhaskar Pramanik who retires in March 2017.

Science & Technology
  • Space-exploration startup Moon Express today became the first ever private company to receive permission by the US government to travel to the moon
    • The company plans to fly a suitcase-sized lander to the moon for a two-week mission in 2017. 
    • The spacecraft will carry some science experiments on its one-way trip.

Awards & Honors
  • Translator and artist Anita Gopalan was awarded the 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants for her English translation of Hindi novel Simsim written by Geet Chaturvedi. 
    • Note : Gopalan is the second Indian translator to be selected for the grant. 

Business & Economy
  • Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's cabinet today approved fiscal stimulus worth around $277 billion, which is about 6% of their GDP
    • Note : About $144 billion from the stimulus will be from public-private partnerships and not directly from the government. 
  • Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal today announced that the government has no proposal to replace Mahatma Gandhi's photograph on currency notes
    • Stating that a high-level committee formed during the UPA regime had already decided not to do so, Meghwal added the circulation of ₹10 denomination coins bearing BR Ambedkar's picture will be increased as per demands.
  • South Korea has banned the sale of 80 Volkswagen car models and fined the German automobile company $16.06 million. 
    • The ban, which includes cars by Volkswagen, Audi, and Bentley, comes after reports that Volkswagen had forged documents on emissions and noise-level tests. 
  • Indian state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is going to launch its 4G service during the next financial year.
  • Egyptian Nobel Prize-winning chemist Ahmed Zewail passed away.
    • Important Note : He won Nobel Prize in 1999 for work in Femtochemistry.

  • Indian boxer Vijender Singh broke into the World Boxing Organisation's top-10 rankings for the first time, after being ranked 10th following his Asia Pacific super middleweight title win last month over Australian Kerry Hope in New Delhi. 
    • Important Note : Vijender has remained unbeaten since he turned professional in October last year, winning all his seven bouts, including six knockout victories.
  • Swimmer Michael Phelps will be the flag bearer of the USA contingent at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony on 5th August 2016
    • Phelps, the first American male swimmer to qualify for his fifth Olympics, was chosen by a vote of fellow Team USA members. 
    • Note : Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, having won 22 medals, including 18 gold medals.
  • The Bangladesh cricket team is set to tour India to play its first ever Test match on Indian soil, in Hyderabad, in February 2017. 
    • Note : India, who have faced Bangladesh in eight away Test matches in the past, are the last nation of the ICC Full Members to host Bangladesh for a Test match.
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