PM Modi inaugurates first phase of SAUNI project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 30 Aug inaugurated the first phase of SAUNI (Saurashtra Narmada Avataran for Irrigation) project in which nearly 10 dams and reservoirs of Rajkot, Jamnagar and Morbi would be filled up with the water of Narmada river.
  • The Rs 12,000 crore project is considered to be an ambitious one for Modi, who had announced the project in 2012 when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, to fill up nearly 115 dams of Saurashtra region which faces shortage of water for irrigation and drinking.
  • Nearly ten dams of three districts would be filled up with water from Narmada under the project.

Telangana ratifies GST

A special session of the Telangana Legislature (Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council) has ratified the Constitutional amendment Bill for the Goods and Services Tax on Aug 30.
  • While the Legislative Council passed the Bill unanimously, The Legislative Assembly debated on the Bill.
  • The GST Bill was introduced by Deputy CM Kadiyam Srihari in the Council.

Maharashtra Assembly ratifies GST Bill

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly ratified the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitutional Amendment Bill passed by the Parliament, at a special one-day session of the state legislature on 29 Aug.
  • The proposal was passed unanimously by the Lower House, making Maharashtra the tenth state to ratify the GST bill, billed as the biggest tax reform since Independence.

Haryana Assembly Ratifies GST Bill

On the second day of the Monsoon session, the Haryana Assembly on 29 Aug unanimously ratified the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST). The bill was introduced by state Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu and passed after a brief debate.
  • The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 on GST was passed by Parliament recently and it needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before the President can notify the GST Council which will decide the new tax rate and other issues.
  • The government has set April 1, 2017 as target for rolling out GST, considered as the country’s biggest tax reform.

29 August: National Sports Day

The National Sports Day is observed every year across India on 29 August to mark the birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand who was born on 29 August 1905.
  • On this occasion, President Pranab Mukherjee conferred National Sports Awards on sports person at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • National Sports Awards are Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: PV Sindhu (Badminton), Sakshi Malik (Wrestling), Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics) and Jitu Rai (Shooting).
  • For National Sports Awards 2016: CLICK HERE

29 August: International Day Against Nuclear Tests
The International Day Against Nuclear Tests is observed on 29 August across the world to raise awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions.

  • Observance of the day calls for the urgent need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, the environment and the planet.
  • It also highlights urgent need for cessation of nuclear weapons as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
  • On this day various events are organised across the world such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, instruction in academic institutions, media broadcasts etc.

India, US sign LEMOA
India and the United States have signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) that will enable both countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of defence supplies.

  • The agreement was signed after Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar met his US counterpart, Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter in Washington, D.C.
  • The logistics agreement signed was based on the memorandum in principle reached between two leaders in April 2016.
  • LEMOA is another name for Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), an agreement that US has signed with many of its allies.
  • It allows defence forces countries to avail defence logistics support facilities such as fuel, spare parts, mechanics, etc. during joint training, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), and port calls.
  • Under LEMOA Indian logistics support will be available to the US military and Indian armed forces will also benefit from access to a large number of US military bases globally.

India, Myanmar ink four agreements to boost bilateral cooperation
India and Myanmar have signed four Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation and bilateral relations between the two countries. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting counterpart President of Myanmar U Htin Kyaw in New Delhi.
President Kyaw was on a four day visit to India from 27 August to 30 August 2016. He is the first democratically elected President of Myanmar to visit India.
Signed Agreements are:

  • MoU on cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy.
  • MoU on cooperation in the construction of 69 Bridges.
  • MoU on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine.
  • MoU on cooperation in the construction and upgradation of the Kalewa – Yagyi Road Section.

Cyient launches digital centres in Telangana
As it celebrates the Silver Jubilee of its formation, engineering services firm Cyient has launched 54 Cyient Digital Centres (CDC) in Ranga Reddy district. Being set up as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility plan, the CDCs will support schools in the Serilingampally mandal.

  • Each of these centres will have a computer laboratory and digital library.
  • It will act as a National Digital Literacy Mission centre, too.
  • The centres will have about 1,000 computers, allowing the students to learn the basics in digital education.
  • Telangana IT and Industry Minister KT Rama Raoformally launched the programme at the Shilpa Kala Vedika, in Hyderabad.

Velankanni festival begins
The 11-day annual feast of Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health, popularly called Annai Velankanni Matha, began in Velankanni on 29 Aug with a huge procession and hoisting of the holy flag by Most Rev. M. Devadass Ambrose, Bishop of Thanjavur.

  • Pilgrims from various parts of the country witnessed the flag hoisting ceremony. Rev.Fr.A.M.Prabakar, Rector, and other priests of the shrine were present.
  • The illuminated and colourful car procession carrying the idol of Our Lady of Health would be held on September 7 and the lowering of Our Lady’s flag on September 8. Holy mass would be held in various languages during the festival.

CRPF to appoint PV Sindhu as Commandant and brand ambassador
Country’s largest paramilitary force CRPF has decided to appoint Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu as it’s brand ambassador and bestow the honorary rank of Commandant on the ace badminton player.

  • Official sources said the force has moved a formal proposal in this regard to the Union Home Ministry and after getting required sanctions, Sindhu will be honoured and presented the rank badges and camouflage combat fatigues of the CRPF at a ceremonial event.
  • A Commandant rank in the CRPF is equivalent to the position of a Superintendent of Police (SP) and such an officer commands a battalion of about 1,000 personnel, when posted in field operations.

Padma Sachdev awarded 2015 Saraswati Samman
Eminent Dogri language Poetess and novelist Padma Sachdev was awarded the prestigious Saraswati Samman for the year 2015.

  • She was bestowed with this prestigious award for her autobiography ‘Chitt-Chete’ (published in 2007) written in Dogri language.
  • She was felicitated by Delhi’s Lt Governor Najeeb Jung in New Delhi.
  • Padma Sachdev is first modern woman poet of Dogri language. She also writes in Hindi.
  • She has published her several poetry collection and has 60 books to her credit.
  • Her poetry collection Meri Kavita Mere Geet (My Poems, My Songs) has won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1971.

Yogeshwar’s London Games bronze medal upgraded to silver
Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt’s bronze medal from the London Olympics has been upgraded to silver after second-place finisher late Besik Kudukhov of Russia was stripped off his medal for failing a dope test.

  • With Russia’s Besik Kudukhov being found guilty of using banned substances, Yogeshwar has been stripped of his silver medal in the 60kg freestyle category at the 2012 Games, clearing the way for Yogeshwar’s bronze medal to now be upgraded to silver.
  • The Russian, who beat Yogeshwar and went on to finish runner-up, died in an accident in 2013.
  • As a result, Yogeshwar, who had bagged a bronze medal in men’s 60kg freestyle category in the London Games, has now joined Sushil Kumar as the other silver medallist wrestler from the 2012 Olympics.

Noted painter, art historian Dinanath Pathy passes away

Eminent painter, writer and art historian Dinanath Pathy passed away following a cardiac arrest at a hospital in Bhubaneshar, family sources said. He was 74. Known for his versatility, he was a former secretary of Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and Bhubaneswar and is regarded as the pioneer of the art movement in Odisha.
  • Founder Principal of the prestigious B K College of Art and Crafts at Bhubaneswar, the distinguished painter dedicated his life to the promotion of Odia art across the globe through his art work, poetry and teaching
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