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08 September 2017 - Current Affairs

International Literacy Day observed today

  • The International Literacy Day (ILD) is being observed on 8th September every year throughout the world to raise public awareness to eradicate illiteracy and create environment in favor of adult education programs.
  • Today, a special two-day event has been organized at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris and the theme of 2017 is ‘Literacy in a Digital World’.
  • The International Literacy Day (51st) is being celebrated at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi (India).
Note:
  • The UNESCO in its 14th Session in November 1966, declared 8th September as the International Literacy Day. 
  • In the last Census held in 2011, the country has achieved a literacy rate of around 73 percent.

India and Sri Lanka begin joint naval exercise ‘SLINEX 2017’

  • India and Sri Lankan seven days joint maritime naval exercise ‘SLINEX 2017’ (7th Edition) has begun at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The exercise will be concluded on 14th September this year.
  • Its mandate is to enable navies of both countries to rehearse and improve their own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the region.
  • The exercises were held in both Harbour Phase (professional, cultural, and social interactions) and Sea Phase (anti-piracy exercises, cross-deck helicopter operations, gun firings and anti-surface exercises).
Note: SLINEX series of biennial bilateral maritime exercises initiated in 2005.

Hurricane Irma pummels the Turks and Caicos Islands

  • Hurricane Irma has pummelled the Turks and Caicos Islands after leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean, killing at least 14 people.
  • Hurricane Irma is an extremely powerful tropical cyclone affecting the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico and threatening Cuba and the South-eastern United States.

New artificial leaf generates fuel from sunlight and water

  • Scientists have developed an artificial leaf that absorbs sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel from water, an advance that may provide clean energy for powering eco-friendly cars in the future.
  • The ultra-thin wireless device mimics plant leaves to produce energy using water and sunlight.
  • The device consists of semiconductors stacked in a manner to simulate the natural leaf system.
  • When visible light strikes the semiconductors, electrons move in one direction, producing electric current.
  • The current almost instantaneously splits water into hydrogen, which researchers believe is one of the cleanest forms of fuel as its main by-product is water.
Note: At present, hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels by steam reforming and in this process, emits a large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) - a greenhouse gas that promotes global warming.

PM Modi visits Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the 2,500-years-old Shwedagon Pagoda and performed 'puja' at the Kalibari Temple located at the west of the Royal Lake in Yangon.
  • Shwedagon Pagoda is considered to be the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the Myanmarese people.
  • Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4,531 diamonds, the largest of which is a 72-carat diamond.

Assam govt. signs MoU with Google to increase digital literacy

  • Assam govt. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ‘Google India’ to take Internet connectivity to the remotest part of the state.
  • Through the MoU with Google, Assam govt. would work to provide Internet connection to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas to increase digital literacy.
  • The MoU would be used as a launch pad to materialize the state government's vision of women empowerment, skill development, and universal education.

ICAR to undertake major research works on agriculture with World Bank fund

  • The Indian Council for Agricultural Research(ICAR) will be undertaking major research works on agriculture this year with the World Bank fund of 1100 crore rupees.
  • The funds will be allocated to ten each of the premier agricultural and veterinary universities in the country.
  • Two research centers would be established in Tamil Nadu for research on preserving and promoting domestic bull species.
Note:
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body responsible for coordinating agricultural education and research in India.
  • It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.

Rajnath to inaugurate new head quarter building of BPR&D

  • The union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the new head quarter building of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in New Delhi.
  • BPR&D was set up in 1970 to identify the needs and problems of the police in the country.
  • The Bureau undertake research projects and studies and suggest modalities to overcome problems and challenges and meet the needs and requirements of the police.
  • The Bureau promoting the use of appropriate technology in police work.

Govt. allows import raw sugar at concessional duty of 25%

  • The union govt. allowed import of 3 lakh metric tonnes of raw sugar through southern ports of the country at a concessional duty of 25% to augment domestic supplies ahead of the festive season.
  • The import shall be open to millers and refiners who have their own capacity to convert raw sugar into refined.
  • The imports will be allowed through the ports Tuticorin, Karaikal, Chennai, Mangalore, Kakinada, Gangavaram and Vishakapatnam in the South.
Note: Earlier, in July this year, the govt. had hiked import duty on sugar to 50% from 40% to curb dumping of the commodity in country as international prices fell.

21 thousand people disclose black money under PMGKY

  • Black money worth 4,900 crore rupees (final figure) was disclosed by 21 thousand people under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY) that closed on 31st March 2017.
  • The stash money declaration window announced by the govt. post demonetization.
  • The Income Tax Department has collected a tax of 2,451 crore rupees till now from these declarations.
  • The scheme was launched in December 2016 by the government to enable people with black money to come clean by paying tax and penalty of 50 per cent.
  • The government has collected over 12,700 crore rupees tax under the IDS till now.
Note:
  • The scheme was announced after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the demonetization of two high-value currency notes of 1,000 and 500 rupees on November 8 last year.
  • The PMGKY was preceded by the Income Declaration Scheme between June 1, 2016-September 30, 2016, where 71,726 declarations disclosing undisclosed income of 67,382 crore rupees were made by black money holders.

India to Host Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in 2019

  •  India will host the 2019 edition of the Commonwealth (Youth, Junior, and Senior) Weightlifting Championships.
  • The Executive Board of Commonwealth Weightlifting Federation met at Gold Coast, Australia and decided to allot the 2019 edition of the competitions to India.
  • The current edition of the tournament is being held at the Gold Coast, Australia.

Sathish Kumar & R V Rahul qualify for 2018 Commonwealth Games


  • Indian weightlifters ‘Sivalingam Sathish Kumar’ and ‘Ragala Venkat Rahul’ have qualified for next year's Commonwealth Games after winning a gold medal each in their respective weight divisions.
  • Rahul created new records en-route to his standout total lift of 351 kilogram (156kg in snatch and195 kilograms in clean & jerk).
  • Sathish Kumar (Games gold medallist -2014 Commonwealth) lifted 148 kilograms in snatch and 172 kilograms in clean & jerk for a total effort of 320 kilograms in senior men's 77 kilograms.
  • Two Indian women weightlifters ‘S.Nirupama Devi’ and ‘Nikeeta Kale’ also claimed gold medals in 69 kilogram weight division of junior section.
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