GK Update & Current Affairs: 27th September 2018
1. PM Modi Got UN’s Highest Environmental Honour
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded with the UN’s highest environmental honour, also given to five other individuals and organisations, for his leadership of the International Solar Alliance and pledge to eliminate single use plastic by 2022. Cochin International Airport was given the award for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy.
- Six of the world’s most outstanding environmental change makers have been recognised with the Champions of the Earth Award. French President Emmanuel Macron and Mr. Modi have been jointly recognised in the Policy Leadership category for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance.
2. Adultery No Longer A Criminal Offence, SC Strikes Down Section 497 of IPC
- A five-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra scrapped the pre-Independence provision of adultery in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which treats a married woman as a commodity owned by her husband.
- A similar right is not conferred on a wife to prosecute the woman with whom her husband has committed adultery. Secondly, the provision does not confer any right on the wife to prosecute her husband for adultery.
3. IAF Successfully Test Fires Air-To-Air Astra Missile
- The Indian Air Force successfully test fired the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile Astra from a Su-30 aircraft. The missile, tested at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station, “successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision.”
- In the series of trials held till date, Astra has been launched in the complete Su-30 flight envelope. The flight test assumes significance as it was part of the series of final pre-induction trials.
4. India And Morocco Signed MoU to Enhance Cooperation In MSME Sector
- India and Morocco signed an MoU for deepening cooperation between MSME sectors of the two countries in Rabat, Morocco.
- Ms. Alka Arora, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of MSME, held bilateral meetings with Mr. Othman El Ferdaous, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade and Digital Economy and with other related Departments for enhancing cooperation in MSME Sector.
5. India and Oman Agree to Enhance Bilateral Cooperation
- Sayyid Badr Saud Harib Al Busaidi, the Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, Sultanate of Oman, is on an official visit to India at the invitation of Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman. The Omani Minister met with Raksha Mantri in South Block.
- The three wings of the Armed Forces hold staff talks and advanced joint exercises with each other. Several enabling agreements and Memorandum of Understanding have been signed between the two countries pertaining to defence related issues.
6. Argentina Gets Biggest Loan in IMF’s History At $57 billion
- Argentina has received $57.1 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the biggest loan package ever from the global body aimed at boosting the country’s struggling economy.
- The loan, $15 billion of which has already been received by Argentina, will be disbursed over the next three years. Argentina had originally secured a $50-billion loan in June this year.
7. World Tourism Day: 27 September
- World Tourism Day is observed every year globally on 27th September. It is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the potential contribution of digital technologies to sustainable tourism development.
- “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” is the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD). Hungary is the host country for this year’s WTD.
8. IISc Bengaluru Tops India in Global List Of Best Institutes
- No Indian institution figures in the top 250 of the Times Higher Education’s (THE) world university rankings 2019, though the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, has retained its position as the highest-ranked centre in the country, while the Indian Institute of Technology-Indore has risen to the highest position behind it.
- The rankings show Oxford continues to hold the first place, Cambridge second, and Stanford third. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology rose one place to number four. In India, number of Indian institutions in the rankings increased from 42 last year to 49, making it the fifth best-represented nation.
9. RBI Eases Cash Reserve Rules To Ease Liquidity
- The Reserve Bank of India allowed banks to dip further into statutory cash reserves in a bid to ease a liquidity squeeze afflicting the nation’s money markets. The move by the central bank follows concerns over tight liquidity conditions and banks’ unwillingness to lend to NBFCs.
- As per the RBI, banks could ‘carve out’ up to 15% of holdings under the statutory liquidity reserves to meet their liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) requirements as compared to 13% now.
10. Government launches Agmark online system
- The government Wednesday launched an online platform for processing applications related to quality certification mark ‘Agmark’ for agricultural products. Agmark is certification mark that assures conformity to a set of standards approved by the government agency Directorate of Marketing and Inspection.
- In the new online application system, there are provisions for online receipt of fees from the applicants. Payment will be received in digital mode through the website bharatkosh.gov.in.
11. Cabinet approves 100% government stake in GSTN
- The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved increasing the government stake in Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) to 100 per cent.
- The government, which currently holds 49 per cent stake in the technological arm of the new indirect tax regime, will acquire the entire 51 per cent equity held by the non-government institutions.
- The stake will be acquired equally by the Central and state governments.
- The Cabinet also decided to allow change in the existing composition of the GSTN board, which will have a total of 11 directors including a Chairman and a Chief Executive (CEO). While three directors each will be nominated by the Central and state governments, three other independent directors would be nominated by the board of directors.