Current Affairs, News & Facts of 23 Sep 2015

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  • Government clears Military helicopters deal with US aviation giant Boeing


    Government clears Military helicopters deal with US aviation giant Boeing


    • Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has cleared a multi-billion dollar deal for 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers with American aviation giant Boeing. 
    • Experts in the defence sector had expected the deal, valued to be over USD 2.5 billion and pending since 2013 following finalisation of cost negotiations, to be signed during the visit of US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter in June this year.
    • The deal for Apache is "a hybrid one", with one contract to be signed with Boeing for the helicopter and the other with the US government for its weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.
    • Over the last decade US defence companies have bagged defence contracts from India worth around 10 billion USD, including for aircraft like P-8I maritime surveillance planes, and the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster-III in the transport category.

    Apache Attack helicopters:- 

    • The Apache is considered by experts to be the world’s premier anti-tank attack helicopter. They are potent as fighter helicopters and are capable of destroying enemy helicopter and tank forces. In its flight evaluation trials, the IAF had picked the Apache ahead of the Russian Mi-28N Night Hunter.
    • The 22 Apache AH 64D Longbow helicopters are one of the most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, featuring all-weather and night fighting features, ability to track upto 128 targets in less than a minute and engage with 16, besides stealth characteristics, advanced sensors and beyond visual range missiles.
    • There addition in Indian Air Force (IAF) will help to replace the ageing fleet of 15 Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters which already have undergone life extension upgrades.

    Chinook heavy-lift choppers :-

    • The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. Its primary roles are troop movement, artillery placement and battlefield resupply. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name is from the Native American Chinook people.
    • It has a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external ventral cargo hooks. With a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h) the helicopter was faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters, and is still one of the fastest helicopter in the US inventory.
  • Rajasthan passes bills on quotas for economically, special backward classes


    Rajasthan passes bills on quotas for economically, special backward classes


    Rajasthan Legislative Assembly has passed two bills to provide reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to economically backward classes (EBC) and special backward classes (SBC) including Gujjars.

    The two Bills are :-

    • Rajasthan Special Backward Classes Bill 2015 (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutes in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) 
    • Rajasthan Economically Backward Classes Bill 2015 (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutes in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State 

    The bills provide 5 Per cent quota to special backward classes including Gujjars and 14 per cent quota to economically backward classes. With these legislations, the total reservation in the state has risen up to 68 Per cent.

    Rajasthan Special Backward Classes Reservation Bill, 2015:-

    • The bills provide 5 Per cent quota to special backward classes including Gujjars the five communities that have been granted reservation in government services and educational institution are Banjara/Labana/Baldiya, Gujar/Gurjar, Gadiya/Gadoliya/Lohar, Gadariya/ Gayari /Gadri and Raika/Rebari/Debasi

    Rajasthan Economically Backward Classes Reservation Bill, 2015:-

    • Rajasthan Economically Backward Classes Reservation Bill, 2015 Provides fourteen per cent reservation to unreserved category. The criterion for reservation in the EBC category will be purely economic and not caste-based, enabling the poor among upper castes to be eligible for quotas in government jobs and educational institutions.

    Current status of Reservation in Rajasthan

    • Rajasthan already has quotas amounting to 49. 5 per cent (15 per cent for scheduled castes (SC), 7.5 per cent for scheduled tribes and 27 per cent for other backward castes). The Rajasthan  state government plans to ask Parliament to include the Rajasthan quota formula in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution for it to pass judicial scrutiny. States such as Tamil Nadu already have quotas beyond 50 per cent, but are included in the Ninth Schedule. The Supreme Court has from time to time asked such states to review their reservation policy.
  • Cabinet approves setting up sign language research centre


    Cabinet approves setting up sign language research centre


    • The Union cabinet today gave the go-ahead to set up a national sign language institute, for research and training on sign language to provide increased accessibility in education, workplace and other activities of life to five million hearing-impaired people.
    • The proposal to set up Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) was endorsed at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    • ISLRTC will be set up as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and initially will be located at the Institute for Physically Handicapped, New Delhi.
    • It will be established under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities which comes under Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

    About Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre :-

    Structure and Composition :-

    • The centre will be a Society consisting of a President and 12 Members in the General Council.There will be an Executive Council consisting of a Chairperson and nine Members, some ex-officio and others as experts from national-level organizations of the deaf/universities/academic institutions and independent experts in ISL.


    • It will provide equal opportunities to hearing impaired persons to fully participate in every sphere of life.
    • Development of sign language interpreters, research and development and new technology will be the focus area of the centre
    • The centre will lead the way in academic development, training and propagation of the Indian Sign Language


  • Union Health Ministry releases National Health Profile 2015  


    Union Health Ministry releases National Health Profile 2015


    • Ministry Health and Family Welfare has released National Health Profile (NHP) 2015 published by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) 
    • The 11th edition of the document prepared by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) has been for first time released in e-book (digital) version in lines with Digital India initiative.
    • The National Health Profile covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health sector.

    Facts as per National Health Profile (NHP) 2015 :-

    Dengue :-

    Only three people had died of dengue in Delhi last year as against 17 this year. On a countrywide basis, the data showed that 40,425 dengue cases were registered in 2014. As many as 27,668 dengue cases have been registered till September 20 this year. In Delhi, 995 cases were reported in 2014 while three persons had died. Based on available record, officials have said that the situation in the current year till September is the worst in the past six years.

    Malaria :-

    The cases of  Maleria were brought down from 2,031,790 cases in 2000 to 1,816,569 cases in 2005 and further brought down to 1,067,824 cases in 2012. The report said that the malaria death rate in the country was 0.09 deaths per one lakh population in 2000 which has come down to 0.04 deaths per one lakh population in 2012. 

    Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI):-

    • Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) cases have shown an "increasing" trend in the country.  As per the 'National Health Profile 2015 nearly 3,000 people have died due to ARI in 2014. 
    • 3,48,14,636 ARI cases were reported in 2014, out of which 1,67,90,438 were females while the total number of deaths were 2,932. The number of ARI deaths in 2013 was much higher as it stood at 3,513.
    • In 2013, 753 deaths were reported in West Bengal - the highest from ARI, while in 2014, 625 and 619 deaths were reported from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh respectively.
  • Cabinet gives nod to amend MoU on Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education


    Cabinet gives nod to amend MoU on Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education


    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given his approval for the signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany for minor amendments in the earlier memorandum of understanding (MoU) for facilitating implementation of the programme.

    After signing the JDI, the changes are as follows :-

    • By signing the JDI, the term "Strategic" will be deleted from the title of the programme to make it "Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education"
    • The funding period for the programme will be changed from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020.

    The strengthened education relationship through this Joint Declaration of Intent will enable the higher education institutions in both the countries to benefit mutually to enhance innovative partnerships in the field of education, research and skill development. It will be beneficial for faculty development and to foster advanced research in the identified priority areas of challenges for India.

  • Cabinet approves MoU with Cambodia for cooperation in tourism


    Cabinet approves MoU with Cambodia for cooperation in tourism


    The union cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Cambodia for bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism. The MoU was signed during the visit of Vice President Hamid Ansari to Cambodia on September 16.

    Key objectives of the MoU

    (1) Expansion of bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector; 
    (2) Exchange of information and data related to tourism; 
    (3) Encouraging cooperation between tourism stakeholders, including hotels and tour operators; 
    (4) Establishing exchange of programmes for cooperation in HRD; 
    (5) Investment in the tourism and hospitality sectors; 
    (6) Exchange of visits of tour operators/media/opinion makers for promotion of two way tourism 
    (7) Exchange of experience in areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management; 
    (8) Participation in travel fairs/exhibitions in each other's country  
    (9) Promoting safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.

    The Government of India has extended the Electronic Tourist Visa (eTV) facility for citizens of Cambodia. This has elicited good response from the travel trade of both countries. Signing this MoU with Cambodia will help India to further increase tourist arrivals and elicite good response from the travel trade of both countries.

  •  Two Indian Coast Guard ships Apoorva & C-421 commissioned


     Two Indian Coast Guard ships Apoorva & C-421 commissioned


    The Indian Coast Guard has commissioned  two of its ships, Apoorva and C-421, off the Mumbai coast. The ships were commissioned by Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command, Mumbai, Vice Admiral SPS Cheema, off the naval dockyard in Mumbai.

    ICGS Apoorva

    • ICGS Apoorva, 14th in the series of 20, is a 50 meter long Fast Patrol Vessel that displaces 317 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots. 
    • It is equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, advanced communication and navigational equipment that make it fit for undertaking multifarious close-coast surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and medical evacuation missions. It will be based at Goa.

    ICGS C-421

    • ICGS C-421 is an interceptor boat with 27.8 meter length and displaces 106 tonnes. The ship is commanded by Deputy Commandant Rohit Kulkarni with a complement of one officer and 13 ranks. It is a water jet propelled vessel, 27th in the series of IBs constructed by L & T Limited and can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots.
    • The ship is being commissioned nearly two years ahead of schedule. Fitted with medium range armaments, the ship is designed for close coast and shallow water operations. The vessel is based at Androth (L&M Islands). 
  • UIDAI shifted to IT Ministry from NITI Aayog


    UIDAI shifted to IT Ministry from NITI Aayog


    The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar cards, has been shifted to the administrative control of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology from Niti Aayog. Earlier, UIDAI was the part of Planning Commission. NITI Aayog is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chairperson.

    • The decision to shift UIDAI from NITI Aayog was taken keeping in mind the government's ambitious ‘Digital India’ programme as the Aadhaar numbers are being linked with several services
    • The issuance of Aadhaar cards has come under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court which recently held that the card would not be mandatory for availing benefits of government's welfare schemes
    • The Cabinet Secretariat has amended Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 and put it under Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITy), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.
  • Indra Nooyi, Shobhana Bhartia presented with USIBC global leadership award


    Indra Nooyi, Shobhana Bhartia presented with USIBC global leadership award


    • PepsiCo Chairman Indra Nooyi and Hindustan Times Group chairperson Shobhana Bhartia have been presented with the 2015 Global Leadership Award of the US India Business Council, for their commitment to driving a more inclusive global economy and their roles as women leaders. 
    • Apart from them, renowned Indian-American artist Natvar Bhavsar was awarded the Artistic Achievement Award. He is well-known for his abstract expressionism and colour-field painting.
    • Nooyi and Bhartia were honoured with this prestigious annual award last evening during the annual gala of the USIBC, the apex advocacy group for India and American companies in the US. The occasion was addressed by US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and others dignitaris
  • Cow becomes national animal of Nepal


    Cow becomes national animal of Nepal


    • Cow, which is sacred to Hindus, has been declared the national animal of Nepal in the country's newly-unveiled secular constitution. 
    • Since cow has been made the national animal it has got constitutional protection and now slaughter of cow has also been banned.
    • Many people suggested the one-horned Rhino as the national animal, but the government concluded with the Cow as their choice

    Flag of Nepal :-

    • Nepal is the only country in the world whose flag is not rectangular in shape. The Constitution of Nepal has defined geometrical instructions for designing and shaping the flag. The flag of Nepal has the colour blue, colour red, curved moon and the sun as its elements. The colour red symbolises war and victory; the colour blue symbolises peace; the moon symbolises peace and calmness; the sun represents aggresiveness.

    Key Facts :-

    • The national flower of Nepal is  Rhododendron
    • The national bird of Nepal is Himalayan Monal
    • The national instrument of Nepal is Madal
    • The staple food of Nepal is Dal Bhat



2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

Exam Time : 07:15:00

Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Exam Date : 01-08-2016

Exam Time : 06:00:00

Ques/Time : 8/5 min

Todays test

Exam Date : 22-07-2016

Exam Time : 05:10:00

Ques/Time : 3/5 min