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September 20, 2016

20th September 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • According to reports, India will diplomatically isolate Pakistan at global events after the recent Uri attack that claimed the lives of 18 soldiers. 
    • India, along with Bangladesh and Afghanistan, is likely to boycott the SAARC summit to be held in November in Pakistan. 
    • Note : The three countries will work towards creating global awareness about Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.
  • Canada is going to impose a minimum price on carbon emissions in provinces that do not adequately regulate emissions by themselves, in a bid to combat climate change.
    • The new emissions regime will be incorporated sometime in October.
    • Note : Four largest Canadian provinces currently have either a carbon tax or emissions-limiting system.
  • The United Nations held its first-ever summit on 'Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants' today to discuss the issue of around 65.3 million refugees displaced around the world. 
    • The assembly is expected to approve a document to coordinate the protection of refugees' human rights between its 193 member countries.

National Affairs
  • A 2-day National Labour Conference kicked off in Odisha today. 
    • Issues pertaining to labourers’ social security, welfare measures and skill development would be discussed at the conference, to be attended by Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya. 
    • This comes after trade unions recently staged a nationwide strike on issues like minimum wage fixation and proper implementation of labour laws.
  • Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today announced the 3rd list of Smart cities, that also included Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi among the 27 cities from 12 states. 
    • Note : The Urban Development Ministry has so far selected 60 cities from 27 states and Union Territories for the Smart City Mission, leaving nine states and UTs to join the project.

Awards & Honors
  • Two Indians, Trisha Shetty and Ankit Kawatra are among the 17 people selected for the inaugural class of UN Young Leaders for Sustainable Development Goals
    • While Shetty is the founder of online platform 'SheSays' which was launched last year, Kawatra founded 'Feeding India' in 2014. 
    • The inaugural class has been selected from over 18,000 nominations from 186 different countries.

Science & Technology
  • India has successfully test-fired a long-range surface-to-air missile, ‘Barak-8' from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) base at Chandipur in Odisha. 
    • The missile can hit the target within a range of 70 km and can carry a payload of 60kg. 
    • Note : It has been jointly developed by India and Israel.
  • US-based flash memory products maker SanDisk today unveiled a prototype of the world's first 1 TB SD memory card
    • Note : The card's storage space is more than the storage space offered by the base configuration of most home computers. 
  • The Indian government recently gave its nod for the installation of a Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the country. 
    • The observatory is designed to measure gravitational waves and distortions in space-time. 
    • This will be the third such laboratory to ever be installed and the first one outside the US
    • The project is expected to be operational by 2024.
  • Twitter today announced that it is rolling out changes to its 140-character limit, which were first announced in May this year. 
    • @Usernames in replies and media attachments like photos, GIFs, videos and polls will no longer count as characters. 
    • The micro-blogging platform will also let users Quote Tweet tweets without counting them as characters.

General Knowledge
  • With an altitude of up to 6,700 m (22,000 ft), Siachen Glacier at the India-Pakistan LoC, is the world's highest battlefield
    • Indian forces established their control on the glacier through 'Operation Meghdoot' in 1984 and gained strategic high ground. 

  • Odisha's first ever football referee, centenarian Narottam Mohanty passed away.
    • The 100-year-old earned the distinction of becoming the first qualified football referee of Odisha in the pre-independence era. 
    • Note : Mohanty was also considered as the oldest citizen of his home town (Baripada).

New Appointments
  • Public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) today announced that it has appointed Anandi Ramalingam, its head of marketing as its first woman Director.
  • UK's biggest drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline today announced that it has appointed its head of consumer healthcare, Emma Walmsley, as its new CEO, making her the first woman to lead a major global pharmaceutical company.
    • Note : With this, Walmsley would also become the most powerful woman in London Stock Exchange's FTSE 100 and the seventh female CEO among companies on the stock index.
  • The World Bank has appointed Junaid Ahmad as its Country Director for India, replacing Onno Ruhl. 

  • Indian Olympic Association has sent a 208-member contingent, its largest ever, to the 5th Asian Beach Games starting on September 24 in Danang, Vietnam.
    • Athletes will participate in 13 disciplines including swimming, kabaddi, handball and Ju-Jitsu, among others. 
    • Important Note : India won 10 medals at the last Asian Beach Games in Phuket in 2014, including two golds, one silver and seven bronze.
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