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September 26, 2016

26th September 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • India-US joint military exercise 'Yudh Abhyas 2016' held at Ranikhet, Uttarakhand.
    • The bilateral military exercise was the 12th edition in the YudhAbhyas series which started in the year 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Program. 
    • This was the third time the exercise is being conducted at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand.
  • Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman is on a 3-day visit to Sri Lanka.
    • The aim of this visit is to expand bilateral trade relations between the two nations. 
    • The proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement between the two countries will be prominently discussed during the visit. 
  • Bangladesh has decided to erect a barbed wire fence along its border with India and Myanmar.
    • Earlier, Bangladesh had approved a project for a 282-kilometre road along Bangladesh's border with Myanmar and India. 
    • Note : India has already raised barbed wire fence along 79% of the Indo-Bangladesh border, which indirectly helps Bangladesh in monitoring cross-border crimes.
  • PM Narendra Modi today announced that India, which accounts for about 4.1% of the global emissions, will ratify the Paris Climate Change agreement on October 2. 
    • Note
      • The Paris agreement will take effect when at least 55 countries accounting for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions ratify the pact. 
      • Currently, 60 countries accounting for 47.76% emissions have ratified the pact.
  • The 1st military exercise between Russia and Pakistan named Druzhba-2016 (Friendship-2016) has kicked off in Pakistan. 
    • With this, Pakistani Army and Russian Ground Forces (RGF) have come together for the first time in military exercises reflecting growing military ties between two former Cold War rivals.

National Affairs
  • The 2nd meeting of the High Level Group of Eminent Experts to strengthen the SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism was held in New Delhi
    • Delegations from all eight SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) member countries participated in the conference. 
    • SAARC  members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. 
    • About CSIR :
      • CSIR is an autonomous body and the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India.
      • CSIR - Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
      • Established on - 26th September 1942
      • Director General - Dr. Girish Sahni
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated CSIR’s Platinum Jubilee Function on the occasion of its 75th Foundation Day.
    • Modi dedicated 7 new indigenously developed varieties of plants to the nation in this programme. 
    • The new varieties of the plants that have ornamental and medicinal qualities are developed by the CSIR laboratories. 
    • These plants include new varieties of lemongrass, citronella, vetiver and canna lily plant.
  • UP and Bihar have the youngest population in India while Kerala and Tamil Nadu have the oldest population, stated Census 2011 data, compiled by Bengaluru-based Takshashila Institution. 
    • The median age in India rose from 22.51 years to 24 years between 2001-2011.
    • Note : Median age is the age that divides a population into two numerically equal groups.
Awards & Honors
  • Leh's Hall of Fame museum has topped the list of five Indian museums featured in the '25 best museums of Asia' in a TripAdvisor survey. 
    • Voted as a 'must visit' place, it showcases achievements of the Indian Army.
    • The other listed Indian museums are Udaipur's Bagore Ki Haveli, Kolkata's Victoria Memorial Hall, Hyderabad's Salar Jung Museum, and Jaisalmer War Museum.

General Knowledge
  • Venezuela is the most successful country in terms of wins at the Miss World beauty pageant
    • Six women from the country have been crowned as Miss World since the pageant's inception in 1951. 
    • India and the United Kingdom stand second with five winners each. 
    • Note : Eric Morley, Founder of the pageant, was born 98 years ago on this day (26th September) 1918.
  • Manmohan Singh was the first Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to get re-elected for the post after completing his full term of five years. 
    • Manmohan Singh, who was born 84 years ago on this day (26th September 26) 1932, got elected to the post in 2004 and 2009, while Nehru served the office for nearly 17 years from 1947 till 1964.
Science & Technology
  • ISRO today successfully launched 8 satellites into two different orbits for the first time.
    • This is the longest mission undertaken by ISRO so far. 
    • India's single-use rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) used 'multiple burn technology' to achieve multi-orbit satellite launch in the mission. 
    • The satellites included SCATSAT-1 for ocean and weather-related studies.
  • Within hours after launching its SCATSAT-1 through PSLV C-35, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that its next launch will be a communication satellite GSAT-18 on October 4th. 
    • Furthermore, ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar has said that the organisation is also working on its GSLV Mark-3 which it intends to launch by year-end.
  • Iran's Defence Ministry has launched the production of a home-grown ballistic missile named 'Zolfaqar', which will come into service by March 2017. 
    • According to reports, the missile is capable of evading jamming signals in electronic warfare and runs on solid fuel. 
    • It can also hit targets with a "pin-point" accuracy in a range of 750 km.
  • China today began operating the world's largest radio telescope, the FAST (Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope)
    • Measuring 500 metres across, the telescope took five years and $180 million to complete, and will be used to search for gravitational waves and signs of extraterrestrial life. 
    • It will reportedly take three years for its calibration before becoming fully operational.

New Appointments
  • The government has appointed OP Singh, SP Singh and RK Pachnanda as the new chiefs of Central Industrial Security Force, National Security Guard and National Disaster Response Force, respectively. 
    • Note : All the three officers are from the Indian Police Service's 1983 batch. 
  • Senior IAS officer Arun Goyal has been appointed Additional Secretary in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council
    • He will be the first Additional Secretary of GST Council Secretariat
    • Note : The GST Council is headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. 
  • SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh was elected as the President of the Boxing Federation of India today. 
    • Singh is also among the Vice Presidents of the Uttarakhand Boxing Association.
MOUs & Agreements
  • Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the Cuban President Raul Castro oversaw the signing of around 30 agreements on economic cooperation in various sectors in Cuba today. 
    • Keqiang is the first Chinese PM to visit Cuba since the countries established diplomatic ties 56 years ago. 
    • Note : China is Cuba's second-largest trading partner after Venezuela.
  • India’s largest pharmaceutical company Sun Pharma has signed deal with International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) for clinical development Cissampelos pariera (Cipa), India’s first vaccine (drug) for the treatment of dengue
    • The partnership between Sun Pharma and ICGEB aims to develop safe, effective and affordable botanical drug Cipa.

Business & Economy
  • India's second biggest stock exchange BSE is planning to launch its initial public offer (IPO), which will make it India's first listed stock exchange, by the fourth quarter of this fiscal.
    • BSE, which filed draft papers with regulator SEBI earlier this month, does not anticipate "any major hurdle" and expects approval over the next 60-70 days.
  • The first meeting of Goods & Services Tax (GST) Council has decided to exempt businesses with annual turnover below Rs.20 lakh out of the GST net. 
    • The meeting was presided by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi and was attended by Finance ministers of states.
  • Thailand is planning to toughen tax collection rules for internet and technology firms including search giant Google, amid growing scrutiny of the tax affairs of such firms in South-east Asia. 
    • This would also cover mobile transfers and the internet payment sector.
    • Note : Indonesia is currently pursuing Google for five years of back taxes.
  • Iran has introduced credit cards for the first time amid attempts to encourage public spending.
    • The cards will be offered with limits of around $3,000, $10,000, and $15,000 and can be used for purchases in shops or online. 
    • Note : Two banks, Bank Melli Iran and Ayandeh Bank, have started issuing credit cards.

  • Japan is going to host the Asian Games for the 3rd time in 2026 after the Aichi Prefecture and its capital Nagoya were confirmed as the venue by the Olympic Council of Asia today. 
    • The 2018 Asian Games have been awarded to Jakarta and Palembang while the 2022 edition will be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
  • Indian shuttler Rituparna Das won the Polish Open after defeating compatriot Rasika Raje 11-21, 21-7, 21-17, in the women's singles final of the International challenge badminton event. 
    • Note : The women's doubles pair of Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil also clinched the doubles title after defeating top seeds Natalya Voytsekh and Yelyzaveta Zharka 19-21, 21-19, 21-14, in the event's final.
  • Tennis player Serena Williams holds the all-time record for most number of victories in Grand Slam matches in tennis history. 
    • Serena has won 309 Grand Slam matches and surpassed Roger Federer's 307-win record earlier this month in the US Open. 
    • The American, who turns 35 today, has lost only 43 Grand Slam matches and has an 88% winning rate.
  • India’s squash player Velavan Senthilkumar has won the Under-19 Asian Junior Individual squash championship title. 
    • With this he becomes, second Indian to win this title after Ravi Dixit in 2010.
  • India defeated New Zealand by 197 runs in the first Test of the three-Test series  while playing their 500th Test match
    • This is India's 88th Test win at home, while their seventh win in Kanpur. 
    • The win was also India's 14th Test win at home against New Zealand, while their 19th win overall against the Kiwis. 
    • Note : India registered victories in its 300th and 400th Tests also.
  • India’s Pinky Balhara has won bronze medal in the sporting event of kurash at the 5th Asian Beach Games held at Da Nang, Vietnam. 
    • Note : Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy won the gold medal in this event while another Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Quynh won the silver medal.
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