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September 18, 2016

18th September 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The meeting of BRICS Representatives in charge of security was recently held in New Delhi, India. 
    • This meeting was hosted by Ajit Doval (National Security Adviser).  
    • The meeting was attended by representatives in charge of security of BRICS nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • The United States has agreed to partner with India for the 2017 Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, the biennial investors’ summit to create a business-friendly environment in Gujarat.
    • Note : Last year, US Secretary of State John Kerry attended the investors' summit.
    • Gujarat CM : Vijay Rupani
  • The United States is the third-most depressed nation in the world, after India and China, according to a WHO report on mental illness
    • Reportedly, 15 million US citizens are depressed, with 60% of them actually taking antidepressants. 
    • Important Note : India, US, and China are also the nations most affected by anxiety, and drug and alcohol use.
National Affairs
  • At least 17 Jawans were martyred in the terror attack at the battalion headquarters of the Army at Uri, Jammu and Kashmir today. 
    • To take stock of the situation, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief General Dalbir Singh will visit the state today. 
    • Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called an emergency meeting over the attack.
    • The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a high alert across all the airports in the country following this terrorist attack.
  • To promote the Swachh Bharat Mission and encourage people to use clean toilets, Ludhiana administration has started the “Selfie with my Shauchalya” campaign. 
    • Under this, beneficiaries of toilets provided by the Punjab government have been urged to click a selfie with their toilets. 
    • The owner of the cleanest toilet, having all facilities, would be specially honoured on October 2nd.

New Appointments
  • Alka Sirohi appointed Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman who was sold as a sex slave by the Islamic State before she managed to escape, was today appointed as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador on human trafficking
    • Murad, who was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, spoke about the plight of Yazidi sex slaves under ISIS at the UN last year.
  • Lt Gen DR Soni,VSM, takes over as the 19th General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command.
Science & Technology
  • NASA’s Cassini spacecraft after studying Saturn, its rings and moons for more than 12 years, has entered in the final year of its epic voyage. 
    • In its epic voyage, the Cassini spacecraft will make the closest-ever observations of the planet. 
    • Beginning November 30, 2016 Cassini will make the closest-ever observations of Saturn.

Business & Economy
  • The government is planning to double the number of schemes under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to 147 by March, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa announced today. 
    • For this, the government has launched pilots for paying subsidy on food, kerosene, and fertilisers directly via bank accounts of beneficiaries. 
    • At present, benefits and subsidies in 74 schemes are paid directly to beneficiaries under DBT.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is going to attend the 3-day annual meeting of IMF and World Bank in Washington, US which begins on October 7. 
    • Newly appointed RBI Governor Urjit Patel may also attend the meeting.
    • In addition to discussing the global economic situation, the meetings will also discuss IMF quota reforms, infrastructure financing, and Brexit's impact, among others.
  • China-based Alibaba has become the most valuable Asian listed company, after its market valuation rose to $266 billion. 
  • Note : Alibaba, the world's largest e-commerce platform, posted a 59% rise in revenue in the June quarter, the strongest since its IPO in 2014.
  • India has extended a new $750 million line of credit for post-earthquake reconstruction projects​ in Nepal
    • India had already announced $1 billion in aid after the earthquake that claimed over 8,000 lives in Nepal last year. 
    • This comes amidst delegation-level talks between PM Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

Awards & Honors
  • To honour legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar's contributions to Bengali songs, the West Bengal government is going to confer this year's 'Banga Bibhushan' on her.

  • Indian shooters Akhil Sheoran and Vinita Bhardwaj won Gold medals at the 6th World University Championships at Bydgoszcz, Poland. 
  • Deepak Punia, the son of a former milkman Subhash Punia, won the 85kg wrestling gold at the Cadet World Championships held in Georgia. 
    • Deepak is only the third cadet world champion from India after the tournament was restarted in 2011.
  • Deaf Indian shooter Priyesha Deshmukh won the bronze medal in her first-ever international competition at the 1st World Deaf Shooting Championships held in Kazan. 
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