Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 16th September 2017
1. International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer observed today:
- The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is observed every year on 16th September for the preservation of the Ozone Layer. This year, the theme for the Day is ‘Caring for all life under the sun’.
- The Ozone layer is a fragile shield of gas which protects the Earth from the harmful ultraviolet radiation of the sun and thus helping preserve life on the planet.
- The day marks the commemoration of the date of signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 on substances that deplete the Ozone layer.
2. India’s First Centre for Animal Law Set up at NALSAR:
- India’s first Centre for Animal Law has been established at the city-based NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad, Telangana. Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi inaugurated the centre.
- HSI-India Managing Director N G Jayasimha has been appointed as the honorary director of the Centre. The Centre will create curriculum on animal welfare laws, including developing topics for research.
3. India Signs Loan Deal with Japan:
- The Government of India signed a loan deal worth $76 million with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a project to upgrade the environment management plan at Alang-Sosiya ship recycling yards.
- The total cost of the project will be $ 111 million, out of which $76 million will be provided as a soft loan from JICA. The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and is likely to be completed by 2022.
4. Devendra Fadnavis launches ‘Maharashtra Mission 1 Million’ initiative:
- Chief Minister of Maharashtra ‘Devendra Fadnavis’ has launched the ‘Maharashtra Mission 1 Million’ initiative to support the FIFA U17 World Cup (first-ever in India).
- Under the initiative, the state govt. aims to ensure that children come out in open spaces and play football. The state govt. also distributed 1 lakh footballs in more than 30000 schools.
- The under-17 football world cup kick off in October 2017. (Total 52 matches).
The mission will not only create football players and lovers of the game but will also help in overall development of the state.
5. India’s First Lithium-Ion Battery Unit in Gujarat:
- Suzuki Motor will invest more than Rs 1,150 crore along with Japanese partners Toshiba and Denso to set up India’s first lithium-ion battery facility in Gujarat.
- The announcement by the parent of the country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki is a major boost to the government’s ambitious vehicle electrification and Make in India initiatives. In the battery venture, Suzuki will hold half the stake, while Toshiba will own 40% and Denso the remaining 10%.
6. Jaipur’s National Institute of Ayurveda enters Guinness Book:
- On the second day of National Ayurveda Yuva Mahotsav, National Institute of Ayurveda of Jaipur has entered the Guinness Book for ‘Most people receiving Nasya Panch Kararma simultaneously’.
- 733 Ayurvedic practitioners performed Nasya Karma, which has been registered in the Guinness Book of records.
- Total of 1466 people attended this Karma, completed in eight minutes. Observer of the Guinness Records was also present on this occasion. The Nasya Karma is beneficial in all diseases related to the brain.
- Three thousand youth Ayurveda students and doctors from across the country are participating in the three-day National Ayurveda Youth Festival.
7. IAF Completes Development Trials of Astra air-to-air Missile:
- Final development trials of indigenous beyond visual range air-to-air missile Astra were successfully concluded into the Indian Air Force.
- The trials were conducted over the Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast at Chandipur, with the missile being test-fired from a Su-30 fighter aircraft.
- The missile has been designed to be capable of engaging high-speed targets at short range, up to 20 km in tail-chase mode and long range, up to 80 km in head-on chase mode.
8. Andhra Pradesh Govt. fixes target of constructing more than 5 lakh houses for urban poor:
- Andhra Pradesh Govt. has fixed a target of constructing 5 lakhs 39 thousand houses in the next 15 months for the urban poor in the state under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
- Construction of one lakh and 30 thousand houses is underway and the remaining houses will be grounded soon.
- AP Township and Infrastructure Development Corporation have been chosen as the nodal agency for construction of these houses.
- The government has chosen “sheer wall technology” to ensure high quality in the construction.
Both central and state governments will provide a loan of one and a half lakhs to the beneficiaries of the houses.
9. Assam passes PRANAM (Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring), Bill:
- The Assam assembly (126-member) passed a bill seeking to deduct a fraction of the salary of state govt. employees for the benefit of their parents or differently abled siblings (If they do not want to support them).
- The Assam Employees’ Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring Bill-2017 – better known as the Assam Employees PRANAM Bill – is aimed at ensuring that employees do not neglect their loved ones in times of need.
- The bill has provisions for deducting 10% of an employee’s pay and transferring it to the account of the relative concerned. Another 5% would be deductible if the employee has a differently abled sibling.
10. India’s Forex Reserves Top $400 billion for the First Time:
- According to the RBI Data, India’s foreign-exchange reserves rose past $400 billion for the first time ever, strengthening policymakers’ buffers ahead of an expected reduction in US stimulus.
- The stockpile stood at $400.7 billion. With the Federal Reserve set to shrink its balance sheet—details of which could be announced recently, the holdings may help the rupee withstand any volatility even if global funds turn away from India’s slowing economy.
11. HDFC Bank is India’s Top Brand: BrandZ Top 50 Report:
- India’s second largest private sector bank HDFC Bank topped the list of the country’s top 50 brands according to a report released by marketing and advertising conglomerate WPP Plc and Kantar Millward Brown. The bank has retained the top slot for the fourth year in a row. Banks and telcos dominate the listing, WPP’s BrandZ Top 50.
- Airtel is at 2nd spot and State Bank of India is at 3rd. According to the report, consumption of packaged consumer goods fell 4.2% and 2.4% year on year in November and December 2016 respectively but recovered 0.6% in March this year and 3.9% in April.
12. HSBC Ties-up With Sa-Dhan:
- Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) has entered into an agreement with microfinance industry association Sa-Dhan to develop digital ecosystem for India’s unbanked segment.
- The bank will provide technical expertise to train and educate microfinance consumers at the grassroots level and introduce digital banking to promote easier and time-efficient financial transaction among the so-called bottom-of-the-pyramid customer.
13. Salman Khan Honored with Global Diversity Award:
- Bollywood star Salman Khan received a Global Diversity Award at Britain’s House of Commons.
- Salman received the award from Keith Vaz, British Parliament’s longest-serving Asian MP.
- The Global Diversity Award is given to people of immense stature in terms of what they have done for diversity in the world.
14. Swami Bhaskar Das passes away:
- The major litigant in Ayodhya’s disputed structure case ‘Swami Bhaskar Das’ (89-years) passed away due to cardiac arrest in Uttar Pradesh.
He was the Chief of Nirmohi Akhara and main priest of Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya.
- Swami Jee has challenged the Allahabad High Court verdict of 2010 in the Supreme Court claiming ownership of Akhara over entire campus of the disputed structure.
He will be given Jal Samadhi this afternoon in the river Sarayu at Ayodhya as per tradition.
15. World’s Oldest Person Dies at 117:
- The world’s oldest person Violet Mosse-Brown from Jamaica has died at the age of 117. She was born on March 10, 1900, in Jamaica.
- The prime minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, informed about Mosse-Brown’s death. Brown had been given the honor in April 2017 when Italy’s Emma Morano died, also at the age of 117.
- With the death of Brown, Japanese 117-year-old Nabi Tajima is now the known oldest human on the planet.