29 September 2016 - Current Affairs

29 September: World Maritime Day

  • The World Maritime Day is observed across the world on 29 Sept.
  • The 2016 theme is “Shipping: indispensable to the world”.
  • The theme focuses on the critical link between shipping & global society & to raise awareness of the relevance of the role of International Maritime Organization (IMO).
  • The day was first held on March 17, 1978 to mark the date of the IMO Convention’s entry into force in 1958.

China to Build Deepest Rail Station

  • China will build the world’s deepest & largest high-speed railway station at a popular section of the country’s Great Wall.
  • The station will be at Badaling, the most visited section of the Great Wall.
  • The Badaling station will be located 102m (335ft) below the surface, with an underground construction area of 36,000 sq m.
  • The Badaling station will run through mountains under the Great Wall.

US, Vietnam Navy Kick-Off

  • The US and Vietnamese navies have begun the 7th annual Naval Engagement Activity NEA, Vietnam 2016 at Tien Sa Port in Da Nang.
  • The exercise will focus on non-combatant events & include seminars in military medicine and maritime law.
  • The exercise will also include Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea and search and rescue scenarios.

Congress Rejects Obama Veto of 9/11 Bill

  • The US Congress has voted to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabian officials.
  • In the first veto override of his presidency, the Senate voted 97-1 & the House of Representatives 348-77, meaning the bill becomes law.
  • The House & Senate unanimously passed the legislation, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism (JASTA).

Ujjwala Yojana Launched in J&k

  • J&K CM,Mehbooba Mufti & Union Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in the State.
  • PMUY was launched by the Prime Minister in May 2016.
  • Under PMUY, 5 crore LPG connections will be provided to BPL families across the country during the next three years.
  • For J&K , a target of 35 lakh connections has been set under PMUY.

Govt Approves India-Singapore MoU

  • The government has approved the signing a MoU with Singapore to boost innovation, creativity and technological advancement in both countries.
  • The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation activities in the arena of industrial property rights of patents, trademarks and industrial designs.
  • The MoU will be signed at the upcoming visit of Singapore’s Prime Minister to India.


Conference on Prison Reforms Begins

  • The two-day national conference on Prison Reforms begins in New Delhi.
  • The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir inaugurated the 5th National Conference.
  • Heads of Prisons of States and Union Territories will take part in the conference.
  • The conference will provide a platform to the stakeholders to exchange ideas and learn from each other’s experiences.


Telangana Inks MoU with ISRO

  • The Telangana government has signed a MoU with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to improve services of its educational channel ‘Mana TV’.
  • The MoU was inked by officials of the Dept of IT, Electronics & Comm of the state govt, & ISRO’s Development & Educational Communication Unit (DECU).
  • The state govt & DECU will work together to create & disseminate educational content.


Mumbai Richest City in India

  • India’s financial capital Mumbai, home to 45,000 millionaires & 28 billionaires, is the wealthiest city in the country with total wealth of $820 billion.
  • According to New World Wealth, Mumbai is followed by Delhi & Bengaluru.
  • Delhi is home to 22,000 millionaires and 18 billionaires and has total wealth of $450 billion.
  • The report defines ‘wealth’ as the net assets of a person.


Cabinet Decides to Ratify Paris Agmt

  • The Union Cabinet has decided to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting here presided over by PM Narendra Modi.
  • PM Modi had announced during the BJP National Council meeting that India would ratify the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP) protocol.
  • The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Indian Women’s Kabaddi Team Wins Gold

  • India bagged their first gold medal at the 5th Asian Beach Games with the women’s beach kabaddi team.
  • Women’s team won the title for the record fifth time in succession in Danang,Vietnam.
  • Indian beat Thailand 41-31 in a hard-fought summit clash.
  • The Indian women’s kabaddi team had been winning the gold since the inception of the biennial Games in 2008.


Official Emblem of FIFA U-17 WC Unveiled

  • The Organising Committee of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 has unveiled the official emblem.
  • The ceremony held in Goa was attended by Fifa President Gianni Infantino.
  • It is shaped like the World Cup trophy, the emblem combines the global look of the beautiful game with a quintessentially Indian feel.
  • The FIFA U-17 WC India 2017 will happen in six venues across the country.


Ashwin at No. 2 in ICC Test Rankings

  • India off-spinner R Ashwin gained a place to be second in the latest ICC Test Rankings.
  • He overtook England’s James Anderson by one point.
  • Ashwin’s match haul of 10 for 225, that helped India notch a 197-run victory in the first Test.
  • He is now within seven points of number-one ranked Dale Steyn.
  • Ravindra Jadeja too gained a spot in the rankings and is now placed 7th.


Rosneft Deal Gets the Govt All-Clear

  • The Union Cabinet has given its nod to a consortium of Indian Oil Corporation, Oil India & Bharat Petro Resources for acquiring stakes in two Russian oilfields for around $3.24 billion.
  • The consortium will acquire 23.9% stake in Vankorneft & 29.9% stake in Taas-Yuryakh fields from Rosneft.
  • Rosneft operates Vankor & Taas-Yuryakh oilfields.


Cabinet Panel Approves Project Saksham

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Modi approved ‘Project SAKSHAM’.
  • It is a new Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration) of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
  • Under the project, the CBEC’s existing IT systems will be integrated with the GST Network.
  • The total project cost involved is Rs.2256 crore which will be incurred over a period of seven years.


OPEC Reaches Deal to Cut Oil Output

  • OPEC has agreed to cut its oil output for the first time since 2008.
  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said the group would reduce output to 32.5 million barrels per day from current production of 33.24 million bpd.
  • OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of 14 nations & headquartered in Vienna.
  • OPEC member countries produce 40% of the world’s crude oil.


Bank of India Cuts Base Rate to 9.65%

  • Bank of India has cut the base or the minimum lending rate by 0.05% to 9.65% with effect from 30 Sept.
  • The base rate means all those elements of the lending rate that are common across all categories of borrowers.
  • All categories of loans are required to be priced only with reference to the base rate.
  • The banks are not permitted to resort to any lending below the base rate.


Sebi Allows Options Trading

  • Markets regulator Sebi has allowed options trading on commodity bourses.
  • This has been a long pending demand from the exchanges, investors and market participants.
  • So far, only future trading was permitted on commodity bourses.
  • The moves aim at increasing liquidity and attracting more investors to the commodities market.
  • Option trading can be speculative in nature & carry substantial risk of loss.


Cabinet Gives Approval for VPBY

  • The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) 2003 & VPBY 2014.
  • Approval has also been granted for the expenditure incurred on subsidy amount released to LIC during the period 2003-04 to 2014-15 for VPBY 2003.
  • Both are pension schemes intended to give an assured minimum pension to the senior citizens.


Centre to Wind up Hindustan Cables

  • The Cabinet has given its nod for a strategic sale of sick public sector firm Bharat Pumps and Compressors.
  • The cabinet also approved the closure of Hindustan Cables by offering a golden handshake to its employees.
  • There is no production activity in the company since Jan 2003.
  • With the present time bound closure, the valuable assets of the company will be available for other optimum utilization.

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