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September 27, 2016

27th September 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs

  • Today (27th September) is World Tourism Day.
    • The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
    • The World Tourism Day celebration was started by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in the year 1980.
    • This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism.
    • Theme of the year 2016 :  “Tourism for All - Promoting universal accessibility
  • Around 92% of the world's population is breathing bad air or living in places where air quality is below safe levels, a World Health Organisation report stated today. 
    • Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region— including China, Malaysia, and Vietnam— are the most affected, the data showed.
National Affairs
  • The government has ordered the prohibition of photography and shooting of videos in the Parliament House complex by visitors, officers and staff of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariat, and allied agencies. 
    • The order is part of the "strategic security arrangements".
  • The Kerala government today introduced the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund (Amendment) Bill in the State Assembly.
    • This bill envisages raising funds from outside the state Budget's ambit, to boost investment and take up infrastructure projects. 
  • President Pranab Mukherjee is embarking on a three-day visit to Dehradun, Uttarakhand today. 
    • During this visit, he will lay the foundation stone of the 12 residential units of the President Secretariat in Dehradun. 
    • Mukherjee will also visit the holy Kedarnath shrine and participate in the Ganga Arti at Haridwar.
  • The Indian Army today apprised the Delhi High Court that married women are barred from applying for the Judge Advocate General (JAG) post because they may seek maternity leave which will result in discontinuation of their training. 
  • India's longest bridge connecting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is expected to be operational by mid-2017. 
    • The construction of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge on Brahmaputra had begun in 2010. 
    • The 9.15-kilometre bridge will be 3.55 kilometres longer than India's current second longest Bandra-Worli​ Sea Link in Mumbai and the project will cost nearly ₹938 crore.

Awards & Honors
  • Indian NGO Slum Soccer has been awarded the inaugural FIFA Diversity Award, which recognises outstanding organisations, group initiatives, and personalities who stand up for diversity and inspire unity, solidarity and equality among people. 

Science & Technology
  • Technology giant Google, which turns 18 today, has announced a fast public Wi-Fi initiative for India called 'Google Station'. 
    • Under the initiative, Google will partner with cafes, malls and bus stops to roll-out safe Wi-Fi hotspots in public places and organisations. 
    • Last year, Google partnered with the Indian Railways and RailTel to provide Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations.

  • Former Director General of Corporate Affairs BK Bansal, who was arrested in a graft case, has committed suicide at his residence.
    • Note : Bansal was caught red-handed in a hotel while allegedly accepting a bribe of ₹9 lakh for favouring a pharmaceutical company.

MOUs & Agreements
  • India today signed a 15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority.
    • This contract will give New Delhi the exclusive exploration rights of polymetallic sulphides (PMS) in the Indian Ocean. 
    • This will enhance India’s presence in the region where countries like China, Korea, and Germany are active.

Business & Economy
  • Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank's (DB) shares fell to the lowest level since mid-1980s today.
    • This comes amid reports that the government has refused any state-aid to the bank before elections next year. 
    • Earlier, the IMF had said that DB was the biggest risk to the financial system due to its intertwined relations with international lenders. 
    Four Indian banks have surpassed Germany-based Deutsche Bank in market capitalisation this year. 
    • With a 50% drop in its shares this year, Germany's biggest lender is valued at $18 billion, whereas SBI, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Axis Bank are all valued at over $20 billion. 
    • Note : India's most valuable bank, HDFC Bank, is thrice as big as Deutsche Bank.
  • Saudi Arabia's central bank has said it would give commercial banks about $5.3 billion and introduce two new money market instruments, as part of its “supportive monetary policy”. 
    • This aims to ease a cash crunch amid low global oil prices cutting the government's revenue. 
    • The announcement comes as the world’s biggest oil exporter prepares to sell its first international bonds.
  • A governmental panel has given its in-principle approval for three new airports in Andhra Pradesh, to be built at a cost of ₹2,376 crore. 
    • These airports would be built at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district, Dagadarthi in Nellore district, and Orvakallu in Kurnool district
    • Note : The Bhogapuram airport would be an international one while the other two would be no-frills domestic airports.
  • The government today released draft rules for registration, payment, and invoices under the Goods and Services Tax regime which will be finalised by the GST Council on September 30. 
    • These guidelines provide for online registration by residents within three days of applying and aim to minimise the physical interface between taxpayers and the authorities to check corruption and harassment.

  • Former Indian captain Kapil Dev will ring the bell at Kolkata's Eden Gardens, to mark the beginning of the team's 250th Test match on home soil, against New Zealand. 
    • This will be the first time when a bell will be rung to signal the start of each day's play in a Test match at an Indian stadium.
  • India's Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu has signed a three-year-long endorsement deal worth ₹50 crore with sports management company, Baseline
    • The deal, reportedly of the highest value offered to any non-cricketer​, will include nine companies, including women-centric brands. 
  • France's Melanie Astles became the first ever female pilot to participate in Red Bull Air Race, an extreme-sport air racing competition.
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