Current Affairs, News & Facts of 09 Sep 2015

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  • India and Belarus set trade target of USD one billion by 2018

     

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    • India and Belarus have set a trade target of USD 1 billion by 2018 and they have also agreed to enhance cooperation in sectors including pharmaceuticals and energy. 
    • The decision was taken during the Seventh Session of the India-Belarus Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation held in Minsk, Belarus.
    • Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her counterpart Vitali Mikhailovich Vovk, Minister for Industry, co-chaired the meeting from Indian and Belarusian side, respectively

    Key Points :- 

    • During the meeting  it was agreed by both the sides that the present level of trade at USD 400 million did not reflect the true depth of engagement between the two countries. It was agreed to set a target of USD 1 billion by the year 2018.
    • Both sides noted the potential to step up cooperation in pharmaceuticals and Mining machinery, energy, fertilizer, and tourism between the two countries
    • Both sides agreed to form a Joint Working Group to discuss co-operation in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. It was also decided to form a Joint Working Group to promote tourism between the countries
    • Both the sides expressed satisfaction in successful supply of equipment by BHEL for the reconstruction of Grodno Power Plant-2 in Belarus 
    • They hoped for further participation of Indian companies in projects for the reconstruction of power facilities in Belarus.The Belarus government has also agreed to facilitate participation of Indian companies for similar bids in Belarus in this sector

    Note :-  During the visit of Indian President in June, India had offered Lines of Credit worth USD 100 million to Belarus and also accorded it the status of a free market economy

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  • Anirban Lahiri becomes 1st Indian to qualify for President’s Cup team

     

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    • Ace Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri has become the first Indian to qualify for the prestigious President’s Cup of Golf. World No.40, Lahiri qualified to this prestigious cup through automatic qualifications as team member of the International Team.
    • In season 2015, he has won 2 European Tour, 7 Asian Tour including the Hero Indian Open in 2015 and Malaysian Open. So far, he has won 11 National titles in India including Ahmedabad Masters and Haryana Open. Union Government has bestowed Arjuna Award on him in 2014.

    The President’s Cup :-

    • The President’s Cup is a series of men’s golf matches, which is played between the best golfers of United States of America and an international dream team representing the rest of the world excluding Europe. In case of European competes against US, it is  the Ryder Cup which older than President’s Cup. Along with Lahiri,Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee is the other Asian in the dream team. 
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  • Haryana Government bans gutka, pan masala

     

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    • Haryana government has banned completely  the manufacturing, storage, distribution and sale of tobacco products including gutka, pan masala,flavored or scented tobacco and kharra would continue to be completely banned in the state.
    • The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has issued a notification in this regard, under which, sale and purchase of tobacco products have been prohibited for one year from September 3, 2015 in the interest of public health.
    • The ban also covers a mix of other ingredients such as heavy metals, anti-caking agents, except to the extent of specifically permitted as ingredients, silver leaf, binders, flavours, scents, fragrances, prohibited chemicals or any one of these ingredients.

    Strict laws for Nicotine :-

    • Nicotine has been added in the list of 19 types of poisons notified under Haryana Poison Possession and Sales Rules, 1966. After addition of nicotine poison in the list, their number has increased to 20. Now those selling Nicotine would have to follow the same rules which were applicable on those indulged in possession and sales of already notified poisons. Nicotine means Nicotine in extracted form; Nicotine in any form as an additive and/or its derivatives
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  • Agriculture Expert Ramesh Chand appointed as new full time member of NITI Aayog   

     


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    • The Prime Minister has approved the appointment of agriculture expert Prof Ramesh Chand as one of the full-time members in the NITI Aayog. 
    •  Prof Ramesh Chand has been a member of a task force on agriculture development under NITI Aayog which is formulating strategies to give a boost to the agriculture  sector
    • Ramesh Chand has also headed a government panel on Minimum Support Price and has been working as Director of National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NIAP) in New Delhi since 2010. 

    NITI Aayog :-

    • The National Institute of Transforming India, NITI Aayog under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been set up in place of Planning Commission.
    • It has noted economist Aravind Panagariya as its Vice Chairman while economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO Chief VKSaraswat along with agriculture expert Ramesh Chand now as full time members. 
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  • Seven Indians figure in Forbes Asia’s new list of Philanthropists

     

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    Seven Indians have featured in the Forbes Asia's ninth Heroes of  Philanthropy list. The list has featured top philanthropists from 13 Asia-Pacific region countries for their individual noteworthy contributions to health and education sectors.

    Seven Indians Featured in the Forbes Asia's Heroes of Philanthropy list are :-

    • Among the Seven Indians featured in the Forbes Asia's Philanthropy list four are Infosys co-founders Nandan Nilekani, Senapathy Gopalakrishnan and SD Shibulal 
    • Rohan Murthy, represented his father, Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy as a philanthropist in the list. He had donated US 5.2 million dollars to Harvard University Press for promoting ancient Indian literary classics.
    • Sunny Varkey who has pledge to donate half his fortune worth US 2.25 billion dollars as charity as a follow-up to the Giving Pledge Initiative, led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Varkey is the founder of GEMS Education which is based in Dubai. It has a chain of 70 private schools in 14 countries
    • London-based India-born brother entrepreneurs Suresh Ramakrishnan and Mahesh Ramakrishnan also have featured in the list. They are founders of Whitcomb & Shaftesbury Tailors on London’s Saville Row.
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  • Weightlifter Deepak Lather wins gold in Commonwealth Youth Games

     

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    • Indian weightlifter Deepak Lather  (boys 62kg category) won a gold medal in fifth Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) held in Apia, Samoa
    • This was India's second gold in weightlifting after Jamjang Deru stood atop the podium in the 56 kg category on the opening day of the event.
    • India is being represented by 25 athletes in eight disciplines out of the nine being competed in the fifth edition of Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG)
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  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch RuPay credit card in one year

     

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    • The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), which is an umbrella institution for retail payments, will roll out three cards, including a credit card, within next one year 
    • NPCI is also in the final stage of discussion with China UnionPay and Japan-based JCB Co., Ltd, which would allow RuPay card holders to use their cards in other parts of the world for this NPCI will allow their cards to be used in India, through National Payment Corporation network, and similarly through their network the RuPay cards can be accessed in any part of the World.
    • Currently NPCI has a capacity to handle 20 million transactions a day, will expand it to 40 million in the next two months and further to 100 million transactions in order to facilitate all the government subsidy transactions. DBT transactions alone are estimated to be around Rs 1,159 crore through 44 schemes in 94 districts across the country.
    • As per reports in August over Rs 2.10 lakh crore ATM transactions and 555 million transactions were reported of which 80 per cent was done through ATMs, of which 15 per cent were done through RuPay cards.
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  • Arun Jaitley launched digital version of Mahatma Gandhi's collected work

     

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    • Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley has  launched the electronic version of 100 volumes of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. The 100 volumes of Mahatma Gandhi's complete works are contained in two DVDs 
    • The digital version is a collector's item and can also be accessed on the Internet for people around the world to use as a resource for reference.
    • Authentic documentation of Mahatma Gandhi's available writings was carried out under the CWMG project. The project commenced on September 1956 and concluded on 2 October 1994, with the publication of the 100th volume.
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  • MCX and IamSMEofIndia signs MoU

     

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    • Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) and Integrated Association of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises of India (IamSMEofIndia) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at creating awareness among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on the benefits of commodity price risk management.
    • The MoU would encourage them to hedge on exchanges and face competition adroitly. It will also disseminate in-depth knowledge about the derivatives market and its benefits among MSMEs will lead to their growth and development.
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  • Ben Kuroki Dies at 98

     

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    Ben Kuroki, who overcame the U.S. military’s discriminatory policies to become the only Japanese American to fly over Japan during World War II, died Sept. 1 at his home in Camarillo, Calif. He was 98.

    Ben Kuroki was a man of exceptional patriotism :-

    • Mr. Kuroki, was the son of Japanese immigrants, he grew up on a farm in Hershey, Neb. He and a brother, Fred, volunteered for service after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.
    • They were initially rejected by recruiters who questioned the loyalty of the children of Japanese immigrants. Undeterred, the brothers drove 150 miles to another recruiter, who allowed them to join.
    • At the time, the Army Air Forces banned soldiers of Japanese ancestry from flying, but Mr. Kuroki earned his way onto a bomber crew and flew 58 missions over Europe, North Africa and Japan during the war. He took part in the August 1943 raid over Nazi oil fields in Ploesti, Romania, that killed 310 fliers in his group
    • Because of his Japanese ancestry, Mr. Kuroki was initially rejected when he asked to serve on a B-29 bomber in the Pacific. But after repeated requests and a review of his stellar service record, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson granted an exception.

    Awards and honours :-

    Mr. Kuroki was nicknamed “Most Honorable Son,” and the War Department gave him a Distinguished Flying Cross.

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