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  • Current Affairs 30th September 2015

    Updated : 30-Sep-2015
    Current Affairs 30th September 2015

    Current Affairs 30th September 2015 - Important Points

    Current Affairs 30th September 2015 - Details

    Who is appointed as Director General of Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses - Jayant Prasad

    On 29th September 2015, Former Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad was appointed as the Director General of Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), the prestigious New Delhi-based think tank on strategic affairs.

    He took charge at IDSA at a special moment as 2015 marks the fiftieth year of existence of the think tank.

    He started his career by specialising on the South Asian neighbourhood, he most importantly served in Afghanistan as the Indian Ambassador during 2008-2010 and as Ambassador to Nepal during 2011-2013.

    He has also served as India’s permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Ambassador to Algeria, and also as a counsellor for trade access and development cooperation at the Indian Mission to the European Union in Brussels.

    About Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA)

    On 11th November 1965, it was established as an autonomous body to promote national and international security through generation and dissemination of knowledge on defence and security-related issues in New Delhi.

    It is governed by an Executive Council, whose members are distinguished personalities from various walks of life. The Council is headed by a President.

    Union Government appointed four Brand Ambassadors for - Digital India Programme

    On 29th September 2015, Union Government appointed four brand ambassadors for Digital India programme.

    The appointments were took place in the first week of July 2015 as part of the Digital India Week campaign.

    List of Brand Ambassadors

    • Ankit Fadia, Author & Ethical Hacker
    • Satwat Jagwani, All India IIT-JEE —Advanced Topper -2015 (Student)
    • Pranav Mistry, Samsung USA (Computer Scientist & Author of 6th Sense)
    • Krati Tiwari, All India IIT-JEE —Advanced Girl Topper -2015 (Student)

    Where did the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping held - UN headquarters in New York

    On 28th September 2015, Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping was held at the UN headquarters in New York, the USA.

    Leaders of more than 50 countries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the president of USA Barack Obama along with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the summmit.

    The summit analyzed the ongoing operations of 125000 strong UN Peacekeeping force and announced commitments to modernize the force.

    The leaders further called for stringent punishments to those personnel who are indulging in sexual offences during their assignment period.

    About United Nations Peacekeeping

    • It is comprised of 125000 civilian, police and military personnel with contributions coming from over 120 countries.
    • At present, it is involved in 12 peacekeeping missions across four continents.
    • It helps countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace.
    • It was founded in 1948 and operates under the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
    • Its largest unit is in Democratic Republic of the Congo with an authorized strength of 26211 personnel.
    • By August 2015, India was the largest contributor to the mission with 7794 military and police personnel on the ground next only to Bangladesh (9432) and Ethiopia (8309).
    • It has an average annual budget to the tune of 8.2 billion US dollars.

    Fourth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2015-16 announced - Repo rate cut by 0.50 percent

    On 29th September 2015, Raghuram Rajan, the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the Fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement 2015-16.

    The monetary policy cut the repo rate, the rate at which RBI lends to commercial bank, by 0.50% from 7.25% to 6.75% with immediate effect.

    As a result of this, the reverse repo rate, the rate at which RBI borrows from commercial banks, stands adjusted to 5.75%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 7.75%.

    Although, the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks was kept unchanged at 4% of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).

    Who has launched Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity Survey of States Report - Piyush Goyal

    On 29th September 2015, Piyush Goyal Union Minister of State (IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy, launched ‘Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity - Survey of States Report’.

    Council on Energy, Environment & Water (CEEW) in collaboration with Columbia University with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation conduccted the study.

    The inspection in the report provides a first of a kind multi-dimensional evaluation of the state of energy access in India.

    Highlights of the Report

    • It highlights that about 300 million Indians rely on kerosene for lighting, and more than 800 million relying on traditional biomass.
    • It suggests that there is a need to focus beyond aggregate figures on electrification and LPG connections, and be sensitive to the numerous drivers which will determine how India will ensure true energy access for all.
    • It says that the access to modern forms of energy is still a significant barrier to our development.

    Some of the key questions explored in the ACCESS study include:

    • Have existing energy access programs been effective?
    • What policies to improve energy access are preferred by the rural population?
    • Is energy access just a binary measure?
    • What are the right metrics for measuring energy access?

    The ACCESS report is a result of India's largest energy access survey; covering over 8500 households across 714 villages and 51 districts in six of the most energy poor states (Bihar, Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal).

    Name the indigenously built largest warship, dedicated to the nation - INS Kochi

    On 30th September 2015, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar dedicated the INS Kochi at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. It is the largest warship built so far in India weighing over 7500 tonnes.

    Features of INS Kochi

    • It has 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) and AK 630 Close in Weapon System (CIWS) designed to take on air and surface targets.
    • It was designed by Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Ship builders Ltd. in Mumbai.
    • It includes an array of state-of-the-art weapons and sensors including long-range surface-to-surface BrahMos missile.
    • It weighs 7500 tonnes spanning 164 metres in length and 17 metres at the beam.
    • It is the second in the Indian Navy, next to INS Kolkata, to have Multi-Function Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar(MF-STAR) to provide target data to Long Range Surface to Air Missile system (LR-SAM).
    • It is equipped to operate two Sea King or Chetak helicaptors.
    • It is propelled by four gas turbines and can achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots.
    • It is the second ship of the Kolkata-class (Project 15A) Guided Missile Destroyers.

    Who has developed nano-particle-based drug delivery method to fight fungal keratitis - CCMB scientists

    On 26th September 2015, Scientists of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB)-Hyderabad developed a nano-particle-based drug delivery method to fight fungal keratitis.

    Although, the method was tested only on animal model systems so far and clinical trials are awaited. CCMB-Director Ch Mohan Rao led the research team.

    What is Fungal Keratitis?

    • It means inflammation of cornea due to fungal infection.
    • Under this condition, the fungi (Fusarium) reach the cornea and then release enzymes to breakdown and use its components as nutrients.
    • It is a major eye disease that could lead to loss of vision if not treated in time.
    • It is mostly prevalent in rural areas and the farming community is worst affected. For the fungi, sugar cane and paddy leaves are the most conducive habitat.

    How the method works?

    Under the method, specific enzymes were identified by scientists that are released by the pathogen and the host.

    To counter those enzymes, smart polymer-based biocompatible nano particles were developed that carry the formulation and kill the fungus thus saving the destruction of cornea.

    The success of the method will be of importance, as it could be replicated to treat other diseases like cancer.

    NOC Online Application Portal and Processing System for the National Monument Authority launched

    On 29th September 2015, the NOC Online Application Portal and Processing System (NOAPS) for the National Monument Authority (NMA), Ministry of Culture in New Delhi was launched by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.

    An initiative of the National Monument Authority, NOAPS will make the approval procedure more efficient for construction related activities in regulated/restricted areas in the vicinity of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments in different cities of India.

    National Informatics Centre (NIC) designed the NOAPS. The portal runs on the state of the art technology and expertise provide by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which is in the process of mapping all 3886 ASI protected monuments.

    It will also help the citizens to apply for NOC online. The portal will provide them with a unique registration ID with which they can check the status of their applications from time to time.

    International Translation Day observed on - 30th September

    On 30th September 2015, The International Translation Day was observed across the world with the theme The Changing Face of Translation and Interpreting.

    The day was established by the International Federation of Translators (FIT), the annual celebration of the International Translation Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of translators who endeavour to make the world a slightly smaller place by breaking down language barriers.

    The work of translators is seen as being of growing importance due to growing opportunities for international travel and globalisation of trade markets. The event is marked with a series of dedicated events, seminars and symposiums across the world.

    Hungry Bengal: War, Famine, Riots and the End of Empire is authored by - Janam Mukherjee

    In September 2015, Janam Mukherjee released the book authored by him titled Hungry Bengal. War, Famine, Riots and the End of Empire.

    The book highlights the turbulent period in the history of Bengal before the independence and after partition of India. It says that Bengal represented both as a major front in the Indian struggle against colonial rule, as well as a crucial front in the British/American conflict with Japan during World War II.

    It highlights that for the British the priority was to save the empire from imminent collapse, for the majority of the Indian population the 1940s were years of acute scarcity, violent dislocation and enduring calamity.

    It tells that there are three major crises that shaped the social, economic and political context of pre-partition Bengal and they were

    • The Calcutta riots of 1946
    • The Bengal famine of 1943
    • The Second World War

    The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment launched - Accessible India campaign

    On 24th September 2015, Social justice and empowerment minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot launched the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) that focuses on building accessible government buildings for persons with disabilities (PwDs).

    The purpose of the campaign is to increase the accessibility of the physical environment in the country. Apart from this, the campaign focuses on enhancing the accessibility and usability of Public Transport, and information & communication.

    Highlights

    • Motorized tricycles costing about 45000 rupees each for which the centre will give 30000 rupees subsidy each will be provided to people with 70-90% disability.
    • The department has planned to make public buildings in 50 cities of the country including four cities of Maharashtra namely Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur accessible to PwDs.
    • The states will pick at least 50-100 public buildings that will be made accessible to PwDs via retrofitting of ramps, lifts, toilets and signage.

    Where did the 17th All-India Govt Whips Conference held - Visakhapatnam

    From 29th September 2015 to 30th September 2015, 17th All-India Government Whips Conference was held in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The conference was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, while the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu presided over it.

    179 Whips from various state assemblies, legislative councils and the two houses of Parliament attended the two-day conference.

    Highlights of the Whips Conference

    • It was decided to form an All Party Coordination Committee to ensure smoother functioning of the Parliament, legislative councils and state assemblies.
    • It was decided to adopt measures that will help in ensuring that MLAs, MLCs and MPs behave in a more refined manner in their respective houses.
    • Deliberation on releasing of more funds to Members of Parliament (MPs) if the funds allocated to them for the local area development are utilized properly to meet the demands of people at the lower rung in the society.
    • The conference highlighted the need for MPs to assess the needs of the people in their respective constituencies especially at the village level in the areas of education, medical aid and cleanliness and sanitation.
    • Discussion on MP Local Area Development Scheme to ensure proper utilization and implementation of the scheme was held.

    Three-member Emoluments Commission

    During the conference it was decided that in every five years the salaries and allowances of MPs will be reviewed and for this purpose a three-member independent Emoluments Commission will be appointed.

    The commission will consist of a Chief Commissioner who shall be a person of eminence in the field of public affairs with knowledge of functioning of Parliament and two more commissioners.

    About Whips Conference

    The Conference is aimed at providing a suitable forum for periodical meetings and exchange of views amongst all the Whips in Parliament and the State Legislatures on matters of common concerns. It also looks forward to evolve standards to strengthen the working of institution of Parliamentary democracy.

    Who is appointed as official marketing partner for 2nd Indian Badminton League 2016 - Sportzlive

    On 30th September 2015, for 2nd Indian Badminton League that is scheduled to be held from 2nd January to 17th January 2016, Sportzlive was appointed as the official marketing partner. Badminton Association of India (BAI) approved the appointment of Sportzlive.

    About Sportzlive

    • It is a company based in Delhi NCR region, primarily focussed on investing and creating Sports IPR in the Indian Sub Continent Market.
    • Its key promoters are Gaurav and Atul, who bring with them more than 25 years of collective sports and media experience to the company.

    Who has beeen named as MacArthur Fellow - Indian-American environmental engineer Kartik Chandran

    On 29th September 2015, Kartik Chandran, an Indian-American associate professor of earth and environmental engineering at Columbia Engineering, was named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow and a genius grant of 625000 US dollars for working on a novel solution to the world's need for food, clean water and energy.

    He has won the prestigious honour for his work in transforming wastewater from a pollutant requiring disposal to a resource for useful products, such as commodity chemicals, energy sources and fertilisers.

    He is an IIT Roorkee graduate who uses microbes to turn wastewater into fertilizer, energy and potable water. His work on the global nitrogen cycle and engineered wastewater treatment has been recognized globally.

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011 presented Chandran a 1.5 million US dollar grant to create a new model in water and sanitation in Africa.

    Various other awards are also won by him including : Water Environment Research Foundation Paul L. Busch Award (2010), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2009) and a National Academies of Science Fellowship (2007).

    Who is appointed as Maharashtra DGP - Praveen Dixit

    On 29th September 2015, Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau chief Praveen Dixit was appointed as the state's Director General of Police (DGP). He has replaced Sanjeev Dayal.

    Some other appointments were also announced by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis :

    • Satish Mathur, 1981-batch IPS officer, was appointed as Director General and Managing Director of State Police Housing and Welfare Corporation (MSPHWC). Till this appointment, he was DG of Legal and Technical Department and succeeded Arup Patnaik, who also retired on 30 September 2015.
    • Senior officer Vijay Kamble, who headed the State Security Corporation till now, replaced Dixit as the new Director General of ACB.
    • Meera Borwankar, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), has been promoted and posted as Director General of Legal and Technical Department.

    Financial Times released data on FDI in H1 2015; India emerged most-favoured destination

    On 29th September 2015, London-based business daily Financial Times (FT) released Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) data for the period January – June (H1) of 2015. According to the data, India in the first half of 2015 surpassed China to emerge as the most-favoured destination for FDI.

    Main Points with respect to India

    • India has more than doubled its mid-year investment levels, attracting 30 billion dollars by the end of June 2015 compared to 12 billion dollars in the first half of 2014.
    • In 2014 India ranked fifth in terms of capital investment, after China, the US, the UK and Mexico.
    • FDI inflow into India grew 47% to 24 billion dollar in 2014, a year when many other major FDI destinations posted declined.
    • Ranking of top destinations for greenfield investment (measured by estimated capital expenditure) in the first half of 2015 shows India at number one having attracted roughly 3 billion dollar more than China and 4 billion dollar more than the US.

    Other highlights of the FDI data

    • Indonesia sits at number six is moving up the charts. It recorded an increase of 62 percent in investment to nearly 14 billion dollars in the first half of 2015. Indonesia entered the list of top 10 FDI destinations in 2014 and was ranked at 10th position.
    • Apart from India, Vietnam as a country that is also on track to continue from a successful FDI showing in 2014 and is holding firm at number seven.
    • Brazil is plummeting down the FDI charts and, if current trends hold, will fall out of the top 10 list by the end of 2015 after holding on at number nine 2014. In line with a drastic tailing off of economic growth, FDI into Brazil has been in decline since a peak year of 2011.

    Top 10 destinations – H1 2015

    • (31 billion dollars)
    • China (28billion dollars)
    • US (27 billion dollars)
    • UK (16 billion dollars)
    • Mexico (14 billion dollars)
    • Indonesia (14 billion dollars)
    • Vietnam (8 billion dollars)
    • Spain (7 billion dollars)
    • Malaysia (7 billion dollars)
    • Australia (7 billion dollars)

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