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August 09, 2016

9th August 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (9th August) is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
    • This day is observed every year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population.
    • 2016 Theme : Indigenous Peoples' Right to Education
  • Bhutan is the world's first carbon negative country, meaning that the country's forests absorb more carbon dioxide each year than it produces. 
    • Around 72% of its land is under forest cover due to Bhutan's strong environment protection policies. 
    • Important Note : Bhutan is also the world's only country to use gross national happiness to measure its growth.

National Affairs
  • Today is Kranti Diwas (Quit India Day). 
    • This day observes the 74th anniversary of the Quit India movement. 
    • On this occasion, the Maharashtra government has launched a fortnight-long movement called ‘Quit India 2 - from Swaraaj to Suraaj’. 
      • The movement aims at freedom from illiteracy, farmer suicides, water wastage, addiction, and corruption. 
  • 'Motorcycle ambulance' is an initiative currently functional in Chhattisgarh, which helps save lives in remote regions in India where four-wheelers can't reach. 
    • The concept is known to be effective in saving lives where people die due to lack of medical attention on time. 
    • The initiative by NGO Saathi is supported by UNICEF and the Chhattisgarh Health Department.
  • Human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila (44) today ended her 16-year-long fast against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 and was granted bail by an Imphal court on ₹10,000 personal bond. 
    • Popularly known as the “Iron Lady of Manipur,” Sharmila demanded the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Manipur.  
    • Important Note : Her 16-year long fast, which had started in 2000, is the longest hunger strike in the world
  • The Mental Health Care Bill, 2013, seeking to provide better health care for people suffering from mental illnesses was unanimously passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha today. 
    • The Bill, providing for protection and promotion of rights of persons with such illnesses, had 134 official amendments. 
    • This bill decriminalises suicide bid. 
    • As per the bill, a person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to be suffering from mental illness at the time of attempting suicide. 
    • Note : As of now, suicide bid is considered an offence under IPC section 309.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released a theme song for Tiranga Yatra.
    •  The theme song 70 Saal Azadi Yaad Karo Kurbani has been composed by Dr. Ghazal Srinivas 
    • About Tiranga Yatra :
      • This yatra is going to be organised from 16 to 23 August 2016 across the country to mark 70 years of Independence Day.

Business & Economy
  • Amsterdam-based human resource consulting firm Randstad Holdings today announced that it is going acquire job portal Monster Worldwide for $429 million in cash. 
    • Note : After this acquisition, Monster will keep its brand name and will operate as a separate entity.

Awards & Honors
  • Nita Ambani, India’s first female member of the International Olympic Committee, became the country’s first woman to award medals at an Olympic prize distribution ceremony
    • Ambani gave away medals to winners of the women’s 400-metre freestyle swimming event today. 
    • Note : Ambani was elected to the IOC on August 4, and will remain a member till she turns 70.

Business & Economy
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today announced bi-monthly monetary policy review.
    • In this review, the RBI kept the rates unchanged. 
    • Important Note : This is outgoing Governor Raghuram Rajan's last monetary policy review meeting.
  • Mumbai-born Chetna Gala Sinha, an economist-turned-farmer, had founded India’s first rural financial institution for women, called the ‘Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank’ in 1997
    • The bank offers financial assistance to women, invests in developing rural infrastructure and asset-building, floats projects to rejuvenate local traditional skills, and offers training for skill upgradation.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government today increased the House Rent Allowances (HRA) of government employees by 20%
    • The move will reportedly benefit over 14.5 lakh employees and create an additional annual burden of ₹500 crore on the state exchequer. 
    • The state government also made it compulsory for all government departments and institutions to purchase khadi fabric from Gandhi Ashram.
  • The board of HDFC today approved the merger of Max Life and Max Financial Services with its insurance arm HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company.
    • This move will create the largest private sector life insurer in India
    • With assets under management of over ₹1 lakh crore, the merged entity's relative valuation is expected to be over ₹65,000 crore, as per reports.

Places in News
  • Mumbai has been named the most expensive city in India for travellers but the second least expensive city in the world after Hanoi in Vietnam by TripAdvisor. 
    • Mumbai costs ₹38,444 for a three-night stay between June and September while New York City, ranked the most expensive city in the world, costs ₹1,24,201.
  • India's first tiger cell will be set up in Dehradun to aid the tiger conservation efforts. 
    • A collaboration between the Wildlife Institute of India and the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the cell will have a database of tigers with DNA samples from 50 Indian tiger reserves. 
    • It will also keep track of poaching incidents and regularly update tiger numbers.

  • Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul (47) was found dead at his residence today.
    • He allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself. 
    • The Congress leader had become the acting CM of the state in February this year. 
    • Later in July, Pul had been removed from the CM's post after the Supreme Court reinstated the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The 82-year-old Irish Catholic cleric Edward Daly, who became a symbol of world peace after the 'Bloody Sunday' massacre in Ireland, died battling cancer today. 
    • Note : Images of Daly waving a bloodied white handkerchief as protesters tried to carry a wounded man to safety were circulated around the world in 1972 when 14 protestors were shot dead by British soldiers​.

General Knowledge
  • The youngest confirmed Olympic medalist was Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras, who won a bronze medal in the inaugural modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. 
    • The gymnast was 10 years 218 days old at that time. 
  • The novel 'Gadsby' does not contain the letter 'e' in over 50,000 words that make up the book. 
    • The author Ernest Vincent Wright is known to have tied down the letter on his typewriter to avoid using it. 

  • Indian archer Atanu Das qualified for the Round of 32 in the men’s individual archery recurve event in Rio de Janeiro today. 
  • India wins the Men’s Hockey match against Argentina in the men's hockey at Rio Olympics by 2-1.
  • Australian women became the first ever Olympic champions in the women's rugby sevens after they defeated New Zealand 24-17 in the gold medal match today. 
  • Brazilian judoka Rafaela Silva won gold in women's judo at the 2016 Rio Games, claiming the first Olympic gold medal for the host country at the ongoing Games. 
  • French midfielder Paul Pogba became the most expensive footballer after Manchester United agreed to sign him from Juventus for a world record fee of around $116 million (approximately ₹777 crore). 
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