Current Events September 2016 – India

• Gowda Inaugurated 8th Meet of SAARCSTAT
Union Minister Shri. D.V. Sadananda Gowda inaugurated the 8th Meeting of Heads of SAARC Statistical Organizations (SAARCSTAT) in New Delhi. The theme of this Meeting is “Trade Statistics – Merchandise & Services”. Reducing Asymmetry in Trade data amongst SAARC countries is one of the topics for discussion in this meeting. India has taken up the issues of data reconciliation with a few countries.
• MoU between MoUD & Amar Chitra Katha
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) signed a MoU with Amar Chitra Katha to publish & distribute a special edition of the comic book, focusing on Swachh Bharat Mission. The 32-page comic book will carry messages pertaining to sanitation & solid waste components of Swachh Bharat Mission. The book would comprise a series of inspirational stories from the mission.
• BRICS Convention on Tourism Begins
The two day “BRICS Convention on Tourism” has began at World heritage site, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. The BRICS countries India, Brazil, Russia, China & South Africa will participate in the convention. The event will comprise of inter- governmental exchange of views & ideas on different subjects. The convention is being organised as a precursor to The BRICS Summit to be held in Goa in Oct.
• India at 35th Rank in WB Logistics Index
India has ranked 35 among 160 countries on World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) for 2016.India’s position on the global list has improved by 19 places compared to the previous list. The World Bank LPI is released every two years.The logistics’ list was topped by Germany.The LPI measures performance at key international gateways in countries such as India and China.
• Cabinet Approve Permanent Residency Plan
The govt has approved the scheme for granting Permanent Residency Status (PRS) to foreign investors.The govt will grant PRS if they will invest at least ` 10 crore in over 18 months or ` 25 crore in 36 months.The foreign investment should result in generating employment to at least 20 resident Indians.The PRS will serve as a multiple entry visa without any stay stipulation.
• India, Egypt To Step Up Security Coop
India & Egypt has decided to step up their overall defence & security cooperation to tackle the twin challenges of terrorism & radicalization.A series of decisions to combat terrorism were taken in wide-ranging talks between PM Modi & President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. For India, Egypt is a strategically located country which is a crucial link between northeast Africa & the Middle East.
• Punit Goenka is New IBF Chief
Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, Zee Entertain-ment Enterprises has been elected as the Indian Broadcasting Foundation’s President.Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) is the representative body of television broadcasters.He replaces Uday Shankar at the helm of the IBF.He is also the chairman of the television ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India.
• India Extends $500 million to Vietnam
India has extended a USD 500 million line of credit to Vietnam to deepen their defence cooperation. The line of credit is just one of a dozen agreements India & Vietnam signed in Hanoi during Modi’s state visit. The 12 agreements were signed in a wide range of areas covering defence, IT, space, cyber security. Indian Navy and Vietnam Navy will cooperate in sharing of white shipping information.
• Indian Embassy Sets Up Solar Plant
The Indian Embassy in Hanoi has set up a grid connected solar energy generation plant in its office building. The plant was set up as per the wishes of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to make Indian Missions abroad green. The Indian embassy in Hanoi is the first to start this mission green, in abroad. The energy not used would be automatically added in the power grid.
• Unit-2 of Kudankulam to Start in Dec
The second unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is scheduled to begin commercial operation in December this year. The unit with the Russian-designed VVER-1000 reactor was synchronised with the southern grid on August 29. The connection of the second unit brings India’s installed nuclear generating capacity to 6,780 MWe. The units 3 and 4 will begin power production by 2022-2023.
• Sikki & Pranaav Clinch Brazil Open Title
India’s mixed doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra clinched their maiden Grand Prix title in the Brazil Open Grand Prix.The top seeded Indian pair defeated Canadian combo of Toby Ng and Rachel Honderich 21-15, 21-16 in straight games at Costa Cavalcante.Sikki has won as many as five international challenger titles in 2015.
• Minakshi Creates Record in Hammer Throw
Minakshi of CISF has created a new record in the Women’s Hammer Throw at the 65th All India Police Athletics Championship in Hyderabad.She broke the earlier record of 54.66 meters and set a new record of 57.58 meters and won Gold medal.The CISF tops the medal tally with a total 19 medals including 10 golds.While BSF with 5 Golds is at second position and Punjab Police is at third position.
• India Eliminates Yaws & MNT
India received certificate from World Health Organisation, recognizing the elimination of Yaws, Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) from the country.The health minister received the certificate from WHO Director General Margaret Chan.India is the first country under the 2012 WHO neglected tropical diseases (NTD) roadmap to eliminate yaws.It is a disease affect the most underserved population.
• 7 Indian Institutes Listed in Top 400
Seven Indian institutes have been listed in the top 400 educational institutions in the world.According to ‘QS World University Rankings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hold on to the top spot. Indian Institute of Science ranked at 152 in the list.Other Indian universities are the IITs — Delhi (185), Bombay (219), Madras (249), Kanpur (302), Kharagpur (313) & Roorkee (399).
• Ujala Scheme Launched in Kashmir
The CM Mehbooba Mufti has formally launched Government of India’s power saving Scheme, UJALA in Kashmir.The scheme is aimed at benefiting consumers by reducing electricity bill and help state in energy conservation.UJALA is an acronym for Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All.Under the scheme LED bulbs will now be available in J&K at a subsidised rate ` 20.
• India, Kazakhstan Joint Exercise Begins
India, Kazakhstan joint bilateral military exercise PRABAL DOSTYK-16 began in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan.The primary aim of exercise will be to enhance interoperability while undertaking Counter Terrorism & Counter Insurgency Operations.Combat battle drills and physical fitness will be the focal point of the exercise.It will be a significant step towards fostering military ties.
• India Signs Open-Air Pact with Greece
India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Greece to allow unlimited number of flights into each other’s countries.As per the agreement, India will allow unlimited flights to and from Greece.Greece has become the first country to have an open sky agreement with India under the new policy.Under the open sky pact, there is no restriction on flights or seats.
• Sidhu Launches New Political Forum
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has formally launched a new political front, Awaaz-e-Punjab. Mr. Sidhu said Awaaz-e-Punjab was not a party but a forum for all like-minded people to come together to serve Punjab’s interests. He had resigned as Rajya Sabha MP in July this year following differences with the BJP. Elections to 117 assembly seats are likely to be held in Jan or Feb.
• Supreme Court refuses to stay HC verdict
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Delhi High Court judgment declaring Delhi a Union Territory and the LG its administrative captain. The decision was taken by a bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and N.V. Ramana. The Bench said it would give a preliminary hearing of the appeals on the next date and decide whether they should be referred to a Constitution Bench.
• IAF MiG-21 aircraft crashes in Barmer
An Indian Air Force MiG-21 fighter aircraft crashed in Barmer area of Rajasthan. The pilot and the co-pilot managed to eject safely. Debris of plane has been scattered in 2-3 kms area on sand dunes in Magni ki dhani. The crashed plane was a MIG 21 T 69 Trainer aircraft.
• Talgo train to have final trial today
The final trial of the Spanish-made train, the Talgo will be conducted. Nine super light-weight coaches manufactured by Spanish firm Talgo, which can hit 200 km per hour, will be tested between Delhi and Mumbai. The nine-coach Talgo train consists of two Executive Class cars, four Chair Cars, a cafeteria, a power car and a tail-end coach for staff and equipment.
• India to boost self-sufficiency in coal
India is on its way to boost self-sufficiency in coal with a 5.1 per cent year-on-year output growth in the first half of 2016. The higher prices of seaborne coal prompted power plants to increase the use of domestic coal. The doubling of the volume-based clean-energy tax in February 2016 increased demand for high-caloric-value coal, as evident from increased Imports from South Africa & Australia
• Talgo completes Delhi-Mumbai trial run
The Spanish-made Talgo train completed its final trial between Delhi and Mumbai in 11 hours and 42 minutes at a maximum speed of 150 kmph. The lightweight train with nine coaches left New Delhi at 2.45 p.m. on Saturday and reached Mumbai at 2.33 a.m. early this morning, covering 1,384 km. Talgo aims to reduce travel time between the two cities by four hours.
• Nepal for positive change in ties
Nepal will tie with India to overcome the impact of the 2015 earthquake. Mr. Mahat said the difficulties that had marked bilateral ties during the previous government of K.P. Sharma Oli will not be allowed to recur. Mr. Mahat talked about the Pancheshwar dam hydroelectricity power project and Hulaki road project, construction of cross-border railways and building skill development centres.
• All bases under drone surveillance
The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) premier Western Air Command (WAC) declared that it was putting all of its bases under a ‘continuous’ surveillance by drones. This has been done to enhance the security cover in and around the 200 bases which come under the WAC. This is a move made in the wake of the terrorist strike on the Pathankot air force station, earlier this year.
• India takes U.S. energy dispute to WTO
India has complained to the WTO about support given to the renewable energy industry in eight U.S. states. The complaint alleges the states of Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota prop up their renewables sector with illegal subsidies and domestic content requirements. This creates an obligation to buy local goods rather than imports.
• India to lead coalition for epidemics
India will lead the global fight against epidemics as it is a key member of the newly formed Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. The coalition will focus on eleven illnesses including Chikungunya, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever. Dr K Vijay Raghavan, secretary, Department of Biotechnology, India has been chosen as the chairman.
• GM mustard is tolerant of herbicides
Geneticist Deepak Kumar Pental, confirmed that one of the DMH-11 genes, called the bar gene, made the plant resistant to a herbicide. If cleared by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, it will be the first time a herbicide tolerant crop would be cleared for commercial use in India. Activist organisations from Greenpeace have protested using herbicide tolerant genes.
• Rafale deal with 50% offset clause added
A final agreement seems to be a week or two away for procuring 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. The deal, expected to cost just under $8 billion, was announced by Mr. Modi in Paris last year. The deal now includes a 50 per cent offset clause as per India’s procurement procedure under which French companies would have to invest that value in India for goods and services.
• Hotline to curb child pornography
The country’s first-ever hotline to curb sexual abuse of children through the Internet is set to be unveiled soon. ‘Aarambh Initiative’ a network of organisations on child protection in the country, has collaborated with the U.K.-based IWF, which is the most successful hotline in the world at removing child pornography. The hotline in India will be hosted on
• IIM-B example of gender diversity
IIM Bangalore has emerged as a leading example of gender diversity in the country in the Financial Times Global Masters in Management 2016 rankings. IIM-B is the only management school in India to have 28 per cent women in their 2 year PG Programme. The institute’s s two-year Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) was also ranked 19, a big climb from the number 26 ranking achieved in 2015.
• IB chief to address SAARC counterparts
The chief of India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) will address the representatives of anti-terror forces of other member-countries of the SAARC on September 22. Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Dineshwar Sharma will be leading the Indian delegation and would discuss terror issues prevalent in the region. India would push to make the SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk (STOMD) operational.
• Dial 1924 to register postal complaints
The Union government rolled out a helpline for users of India Post to register complaints about postal services. The toll-free number is ‘1924’. Communi-cations Minister Manoj Sinha said the complaints would be addressed within 24 hours of registration and The service has been started in Hindi, English and Malayalam and gradually, we will start it in all regional languages.
• Sarovar dam project brings migrants back
An ambitious ` 12,000 crore project to bring the water of the Narmada River to Gujarat’s parched Saurashtra region is helping reunite families. Thousands of men are returning home. SAUNI, abbreviated in Gujarati from Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojna, plans to fill up 115 dams of the region with excess run-off water of the Sardar Sarovar Dam across the Narmada River.
• India: 3rd largest construction market
India is set to become the third largest construction market in the world by 2025 with a size of $1 trillion. India’s construction market was around $400 billion in 2015. India is the 4th largest construction market in the world now behind the US, China and Japan. It is the fastest growing market now clocking around 7-8% annual growth.
• BRICS meet in New Delhi
China has signalled that it wants the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping to acquire a larger security dimension. State Councillor, Yang Jiechi has started for Delhi for a meeting of the national security advisers of the five emerging countries. The National Security Adviser Ajit Doval would be hosting the meeting that starts on Sept. 15.
• Hindi diwas celebrations
Every year Hindi diwas is celebrated on 14 September. Hindi Diwas commemorates the day when the Constituent Assembly of India accepted Hindi as the official language of the country along with English. The listing of Hindi as official language took place on September 14, 1949.
• Pakistani girl resumes classes in Delhi
Madhu Kumari, the Pakistani teenage refugee finally managed to get admission in the government school near her house. Madhu’s struggle started when she arrived in Delhi from Pakistan’s Punjab some two years ago with her family. When her case was highlighted, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj intervened and asked Mr. Kejriwal to help Madhu.
• IAF’s Jaguar aircraft catches fire
The Indian Air Force’s Jaguar aircraft on Tuesday caught fire minutes before take off at the Ambala airbase but the pilot got out safely. Defence sources said the pilot spotted the fire during the take-off roll, aborted the take off and carried out safe exit. A court of inquiry has been ordered into the accident.
• GSAT-11 to be launched in early 2017
GSAT-11, India’s advanced and heaviest communication spacecraft to date at 5,700 kg, is to be launched early next year on the European Ariane launch vehicle. The high-throughput satellite with its multi-spot beam coverage of the country will be far superior to the older generation three-tonne INSAT/GSAT spacecraft. GSAT-11 is designed to generate a bandwidth of more than 12 gbps.
• India raises Balochistan at U.N
Raising Balochistan issue for the first time in UN, India accused Pakistan of widespread human rights violations. Ajit Kumar, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the U.N. in Geneva said the main reason for disturbances in Kashmir is the cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan. Mr. Kumar said this during the 33rd Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
• India’s online population to touch 500 m
With the advent of affordable smartphones and growing reach of internet across the country, India’s online population will reach 500 million by 2020, Google’s Asia Pacific Language Head, Richa Singh Chitranshi said. Majority of the Users are local language users said ‘Chitranshi’ while addressing IT students at Rajiv Gandhi Proayogiki (Technology) Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV) here.
• Task force for innovation ecosystem
The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has decided to set up a Task Force on Innovation. Task Force will assess India’s position as an innovative country, suggest measures to enhance the innovation eco-system and thus improve the country’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII). India’s ranking in GII-2016 rose 15 places to 66th position.
• BRICS MoU on climate cooperation signed
India signed an agreement with fellow BRICS countries to deepen cooperation in abatement and control of air and water pollution. They also inked for efficient management of liquid and solid waste, climate change and conservation of biodiversity. Anil Dave, said in a statement that technology transfer and finance were two issues that need to be addressed to limit global warming.
• Five Indian museums in top 25 report
5 Indian museums are in the best 25 in Asia while Leh’s ‘Hall of Fame’ has topped the India list. The other 4 most rated museums of India are-Bagore Ki Haveli, Udaipur, Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata, Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad & Jaisalmer War Museum. The Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horse in China topped the Asia list and world list is topped by Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
• India a top importer of Scotch whisky
India has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing Scotch whisky import markets with value up 28 per cent to £43 million. The Scotch Whisky Association said India registered a massive jump in shipment value. India has established itself as the third-biggest export market for Scotch at 41 million bottles, marking a 41 per cent increase in sales volumes after France and the US.
• Indian-Origin Peer Wins Award
A Indian-origin British member of the UK Parliament has been honoured by a leading publishing group for his work in the medical profession. Lord Narendra Babubhai Patel was given the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Asian Achievers Awards for his work in the medical profession and public life in Britain. The Asian Achievers Awards are organised by Asian Business Publications every year.
• Union Water Resources Ministry Signs MoU
The Union Water Resources Ministry has signed an MoU with the Agriculture Ministry to encourage farmers along the Ganga to take up organic farming. It will help curb pollution caused by chemical fertiliser-laden runoff in the river. As per the MoU, the Agriculture Ministry will develop organic farming in over 5,000 villages along the Ganga under Paramaparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.
• India Loses WTO Appeal in Solar Dispute
India has lost the appeal it had filed against a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel ruling that the country’s power purchase agreements with solar firms were “inconsistent” with international norms. The WTO’s appeals judges upheld an earlier ruling that found India had broken WTO rules. The appeal ruling is final and India will be expected to bring its laws into compliance with the WTO rules.
• VK Sharma Replaces Roy as LIC chairman
VK Sharma was appointed as chairman of state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India. Sharma is currently working as the Managing director of LIC. He will be replaced SK Roy as the finance ministry initiated a departmental inquiry against Roy. Roy became LIC chairman in June 2013. IC is an Indian state-owned insurance group and investment company headquartered in Mumbai.
• Indian-Origin to Head Global Blood Ser
An Indian-origin South African has become the first person from the African continent to head a global organisation of medicine professionals working for the safety of blood transfusion worldwide. Ravi Reddy will head the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT), headquartered in Amsterdam. He has been credited with transforming the safety of blood donation and transfer in South Africa.
• Karnataka Asked to Give Cauvery Water to TN
The Cauvery Supervisory Committee has ordered Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs water per day to Tamil Nadu between Sept 21& Sept 30. Karnataka & TN failed to reach an agreement on the quantum of water to be released. Union water resources secretary & chairman of the committee Shashi Shekhar asked Karnataka to release 3000 cusecs. The states are free to challenge this order in the Supreme Court.
• India External Debt Rises to $486 bn
India’s external debt at the end of March 2016 stood at $485.6 billion, up 2.2 per cent from over its level at over end-March 2015. At end-March 2016, long-term external debt was $402.2 billion. In contrast, short-term external debt declined by 2.5 per cent to $83.4 billion at end-March 2016. Of total external debt, the govt’s share stood at 18.9 per cent or $93.4 billion at end-March 2016.
• India Successfully Test-Fires Missile
India has successfully test-fired the most advanced surface-to-air missile ‘Barak-8’ off the Odisha coast. The long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, developed jointly with Israel. It was launched from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in Balasore district. The 4.5-meter missile weighs around 3 tonnes and can carry a payload of 70 kg.
• Tourism Investors Summit Begins
Shri Arun Jaitley has inaugurated the Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit (IITIS)-2016 in New Delhi. The three-day summit is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism in association with Tourism Finance Corp & Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The tourism Summit will focus on issues like ‘Invest in India’, MSME in tourism sector, infrastructure for tourism, start-ups, ‘Digital India’, etc.
• India Ranked 143 in Health Study
A global study on a range of health indicators has ranked India 143rd among 188 countries. India’s poor performance on hygiene, air pollution & mortality are among factors that place it lower. It was the first annual assessment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) health performance published in the Lancet. India was placed just ahead of Pakistan and Bangladesh.
• India to Host NZ in Next Davis Cup Tie
India will host New Zealand in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group-1 first round tie from Feb 3-5. India are back in the Asia Oceania zone after being whitewashed by Spain in the World Group play-off tie. India have not lost to NZ in the last five ties played between the two teams. If India win the first round, they will clash with the winner of the other first round between Uzbekistan & Korea.
• India & Russia Kick off Military Exercise
India & Russia kicked off a joint military exercise Indra in Vladivostok,Russia. This is the eighth edition of Exercise Indra,which has been held since 2003. The main focus of this edition of the joint drills is on Counter-Terrorism Operations in semi-mountainous & jungle terrain. Each side has fielded 250 soldiers for the 11-day wargame,aimed at achieving interoperability in joint operations.
• India, France Ink Deal for Rafale Jets
India & France signed an around` 59,000 crore deal for 36 Rafale fighter. The Agreement was signed by Manohar Parrikar & French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian. Under the deal, there is a 50% offset clause under which French industry will invest half of the contract value back in the country. The features that make the Rafale a strategic weapon is its Beyond Visual Range Meteor missile.
• India 3rd in ICC ODI Standings
India were placed third in the latest ICC ODI rankings released in Dubai. With 110 points, they were behind Australia and New Zealand. In the batting list, India’s mainstay Virat Kohli holds the second position with 813 points. He is behind South African talisman AB de Villiers. No Indian bowler features in the ODI chart & there is no one from the country in the all rounder list as well.
• Apple Joins Global Initiative RE 100
Apple Inc has joined global renewable energy initiative RE100. Apple is already powering its operations with 100% renewable energy. RE100 is a collaborative, global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. Companies joining RE100 are encouraged to set a public goal to procure 100% of their electricity from renewable sources of energy by a specified year.
• Centre to Launch Mission Parivar Vikas
The Centre will soon launch Mission Parivar Vikas in 145 High Focus districts in 7 states for improved family planning services. Its main objective is to accelerate access to high-quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services & supplies. These districts having the highest total fertility rates are in the states of U.P,Bihar, Rajasthan, M.P, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand & Assam.
• FPI to Directly Trade in Corporate Bonds
The Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi) allowed foreign portfolio investors (FPI) to trade directly in corporate bonds without needing any broker. Currently, FPIs can trade in Indian markets only through brokers. This move was first recommended in August by the H R Khan committee on development of corporate bond.The aim is to deepen corporate bonds market by attracting more overseas funds.
• Swiss Endorse New Surveillance Powers
Swiss voters have given a strong approval to a law on new surveillance powers for the intelligence agencies. The new law will allow the authorities to tap phones, snoop on email & deploy hidden cameras. Some 65.5% of voters agreed to accept the proposal.It will allow the Federal Intelligence Service and other agencies to put suspects under electronic surveillance if authorised by a court.
• GDP Growth to Top 8 pc on Rains, Reforms
Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya has said, a good monsoon, reforms & timely decision making at the Centre will definitely push India’s growth beyond the 8 per cent. India’s growth rate slipped to a 6-quarter low of 7.1 per cent in April-June. The figure was 7.9 per cent in January-March. Last year, Indian economy expanded by 7.5 per cent in the April-June quarter.
• S4A Scheme Takes Off with HCC
Lenders to Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) have decided to recast the company’s debt obligations of ` 4,904 crore via the sustainable structuring of stressed assets (S4A) scheme. Bankers also plan to restructure loans to Adhunik Alloys & Power (AAPL) and Adhunik Power and Natural Resources (APNRL). This is the first lot of companies for which the S4A scheme is likely to be implemented.
• Bangladesh Writer Shamsul Haq Dies
Syed Shamsul Haq, one of Bangladesh’s best-known writers has passed away.He had started his journey with a poem titled ‘Ekoda Ek Rajyae’ in 1953 & has written over 100 books.He received the prestigious Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1966, Ekushey Padak in 1984 & the highest civilian award, the Swadhinata Padak, in 2000 for his outstanding contributions to Bengali literature.
• Trade Union Leader Sharad Rao Dies
Veteran trade union leader Sharad Rao passed away. He was associated with the Nationalist Congress Party & headed several unions including the Hind Mazdoor Sabha & the Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply Trust Workers’ Union. Several times he had brought the city to a halt through his agitations. He also served as the leader of Mumbai Autorickshawsmen’s union, the largest rickshaw union in the city.
• Voonik Acquires Styling App Dekkoh
Voonik Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates the fashion app Voonik had acquired styling app Dekkoh for an undisclosed amount. Dekkoh connects over 200 stylists to consumers seeking fashion advice. It allows users to chat with a stylist and buy clothing and accessories that suit them. Voonik also announced the acquisition of three other start-ups —Zohraa, Styl & Picksilk
• Mobikwik & Samagra Launch ‘M-Gullak’
Digital payments platform MobiKwik & Samagra, an NGO has launched “M-Gullak” to promote the habit of savings.“M-Gullak” will provide ICT-enabled mobile wallet platform that enables users save in very small amounts at various locations.The initiative has first been launched in Pune and is expected to benefit urban poor.M-Gullak will help urban poor become a part of India’s digital revolution
• Manohar Kamath to Head Myntra
Flipkart Group company Myntra has announced the appointment of Manohar Kamath as head of ‘Myntra Fashion Brands’ (MFB).He will take over from the current head of MFB, Abhishek Verma.Manohar moves into his new role at Myntra from Shoppers Stop.Myntra was acquired by Flipkart in 2014 & has partnered with over 2000 leading fashion and lifestyle brands in the country.
• Maha Tops in Ease of Doing Business
Maharashtra ranked highest according to a broad measure of Ease of Doing Business (EDB) in Indian states.This was announced by the Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI) of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. Maharashtra topped the ACI’s list followed by Gujarat and Delhi. This is the first time that the institute has undertaken the survey.
• Gumthala Garhu Become First Wifi Hotspot
Gumthala Garhu near Pehowa became the first Wifi hotspot village in Haryana circle. The service was inaugurated by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar from Chandigarh. The Wifi hotspot facility at the village uses bandwidth of 10 mbps through BSNL’s state-of-the-art network. In this Wifi hotspot, data can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously.
• Mukund Assumes Charge as MOIL CMD
Mukund Chaudhari has taken over as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of MOIL Ltd, a miniratna company. MOIL was formerly known as Manganese Ore India Limited. The MOIL is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel & is the largest producer of Manganese Ore in the country. He brings a long experience of over two and half decades in private and public sectors undertakings.
• Services Growth Hits 3½ yr High
Services sector growth touched the highest level in over three-and-a-half years.Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks changes in activity at services sector companies on a monthly basis, stood at 54.7 in August, up from 51.9 in July. A reading above 50 means the sector is expanding, while a reading below that level means contraction.
• Vedanta Resources Approves Merger
The shareholders of London-based Vedanta Resources – the holding company for mining major Vedanta Ltd & oil explorer Cairn India Ltd have approved a merger between the two subsidiary companies.The resolution proposing the merger was passed with almost all votes cast in favour of the motion.Last year, Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources had proposed a merger between the two subsidiary companies.
• Pradhan Launches ‘Gas4India’ Campaign
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has launched the ‘Gas4India’ campaign. It is aimed at promoting the use of natural gas in the country. #Gas4India is a multi-event campaign to communicate the national, social, economic and ecological benefits of using natural gas.The govt is working to increase the share of gas in the country’s energy basket from the present 6.5%.
• Fortune’s ‘51 Most Powerful Women’ List
PepsiCo CEO & Chairman Indra Nooyi is the only Indian origin woman in Fortune’s ‘51 Most Powerful Women’ list. The list is topped by Mary Barra, CEO & chairman, General Motors. Ms Nooyi was ranked second on the list. The top 5 most powerful women in the list also included Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin(3rd), Ginni Rometty of IBM (4th) & Abigail Johnson of Fidelity Investments (5th).
• Asnani Takes Charge as UCIL Chairman
C.K. Asnani, a chemical engineer from Osmania University, has taken charge as Chairman and Managing Director of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL). He was earlier associated with Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad. UCIL plays a significant role in nuclear power generation of the country. UCIL is a centrally owned Public Sector Undertaking under the Department of Atomic Energy.
• Two protesters killed in Kashmir clashes
Two men died in separate parts of Kashmir as protesters clashed with security forces, taking the death toll to 77. Though considered non-lethal, pellet guns have been under scrutiny with reports of many of its victims losing sight and deaths. Kashmir has been on the boil since security forces killed militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
• Gorkhas demand indigenous status
The GACDC has demanded that Gorkhas be recognised as an indigenous community of Assam. GACDC chairman Gorkhafa Harka Bahadur Chetry speaking at ‘Raithaney Gorkha Bhela’ meeting made the demand. They said the Assam Accord cut off date March 24, 1971 for identification of illegal migrants was not be applicable to Gorkhas as they were the “sons of the soil” and indigenous of the state.
• CBI to probe Embraer deal
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said he might recommend a CBI probe into the Embraer aircraft deal if it displayed “criminal nature”. He has directed the DRDO to send a complete report on the deal by Monday. India had signed a $208-million deal in 2008 for procuring three Emb-145 aircraft.
• Reliance owes ` 1,577 crore to MMRDA
Reliance Industries Ltd, which recently launched its telecom service Jio, owes ` 1,576.90 crore in additional premium charges to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority as a lease-holder of two plots in Bandra Kurla Complex. Mr. Galgali has written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding recovery of the amount within 30 days with interest.
• Indian scientists recycle fish scales
A team of researchers at Jadavpur University has developed a biodegradable energy harvester – from raw fish scales. This could be tapped as a sustainable green energy source for next generation self-powered implantable medical devices. Fish scales, a by-product that is usually thrown away, contain collagen fibres that possess a piezoelectric property.
• RCom-Aircel merger
Reliance Communications (RCom) signed definitive agreements with Maxis Communications Berhad (MCB). The merger of wireless businesses of Aircel Limited with reliance will make it the largest-ever consolidation in the Indian telecom sector. The combined entity will enjoy substantial benefits of scale driving significant revenue growth, and capex and opex synergies with an NPV of ` 20,000 crore.
• BRICS MoU on Climate Cooperation Signed
India signed an agreement with BRICS countries to deepen cooperation in abatement & control of air & water pollution. Minister of State for Environment Anil Dave, said that technology transfer & finance were two issues that need to be addressed to limit global warming. He announced a collaborative R&D programme to develop next generation refrigerant tech as alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons.
• Navy Launches Missile Destroyer Mormugao
The Indian Navy has launched country’s latest destroyer, the Mormugao, at Mumbai’s Mazagon Docks. It is the second ship of Project- 15B. It is indigenously designed and highly successful guided Missile Destroyers. The vessel with a displacement of 7,300 tonne belongs to Visakhapatnam class of ships. The vessel will undergo certain testings and would be subsequently known as INS Mormugao.
• Foodgrain Output Set to Touch Record
Foodgrain production in the on-going kharif season is expected to be at a record high of 135.03 million tonnes (mt). Last year, total production of kharif was at 124.01 mt. Record kharif production at the moment stands at 131.27 mt achieved in 2011-12. According to the data, rice production is estimated at an all-time high 93.88 MT in the kharif season as against 91.31 MT in the last kharif.
• EESL Raises ` 500 cr via Domestic Bonds
Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has raised ` 500 crore in its maiden issuance of bonds in the domestic market. The issuance has been fully subscribed showcasing the faith investors have in the energy efficiency business. It will be a key milestone for EESL to channelise more investments in the energy efficiency market. For FY 2016-17, the capex requirement of EESL is ` 3,500 crore.
• Delhi Govt Orders Reg of Diesel Vehicles
The Delhi govt has ordered restarting registration of diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2000 cc & above.The vehicles will be registered on payment of one per cent of the price of such vehicles as green cess.The dealers who will be required to deposit this amount with Central Pollution Control Board, CPCB for pollution mitigation efforts.
• Wing flap of MH370 found in Tanzania
A wing flap washed ashore on an island off Tanzania has been identified as belonging to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The flap was found in June by residents on Pemba Island. Several pieces of wreckage from the plane have washed ashore on coastlines around the Indian Ocean since the aircraft vanished with 239 people during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
• IAF Successfully Test Fires MICA Missile
Indian Air Force has successfully fired recently acquired long-range air-to-air MICA missile from Mirage-2000 Upgrade combat aircraft. The missile achieved a direct hit on a target. IAF has become one of the few air forces in the world with the capability of such beyond visual range air-to-air missile. The MICA is an anti-air multi-target,fire-and-forget short and medium-range missile system.
• BHEL Commission Unit-4 of Teesta Project
BHEL has commissioned the fourth & last unit of the 4×40 MW Teesta Low Dam Hydro Electric Project Stage-IV in West Bengal. A run-of-the-river greenfield project located in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.BHEL was entrusted with the Electrical & Mechanical works for four units of 40 MW each by NHPC.Power generation from the Teesta project will result in reduction of green-house gas emissions
• Army starts operation Calm Down
As turbulence continues unabated in the Valley, the army has quietly moved an entire brigade into South Kashmir as part of operation ‘Calm Down’ to clear it of militants and protesters. Militants and their sympathisers are calling the shots, holding protests and blocking arterial roads. Nearly 4000 additional troops have been pressed into service to restore normalcy.
• India, Mauritius agree to expand ties
India and Mauritius extended their collaboration to the areas of defence and security. Discussions on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership Agreement (CECPA) between the two countries restarted. Ms. Swaraj thanked Mr. Jugnauth for the decision that had made the protocol on amendment of the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) possible.
• India Approves Connectivity Project
India has approved an ambitious $1.04-billion project for constructing and upgrading 558 km of roads to link it with Bangladesh, Bhutan & Nepal. It will ease the movement of passengers and cargo, as part of the larger effort to increase inter-regional trade. The new project has been given an official nod by India’s Department of Economic Affairs with 50% funding from the Asian Development Bank.
• India to Clock 8% Growth: S&P
S&P Global Ratings projected India to clock a growth of 8% over the next few years. In its APAC Economic Snapshots–Sept 2016 report,S&P said India’s structural reform agenda has maintained strong momentum. Inflation remains a risk, given the large weights on food, fuel, and other volatile items. The latest GDP figures showed that India’s growth slowed to 7.1% in the April-June quarter.
• 86 MoUs Worth ` 15k crore Signed
A three day Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit was organised by the Union Tourism ministry for the first time. The first witnessed signing of 86 pacts worth around ` 15,000 crore for the development of tourism and hospitality projects. Gujarat leads the tally with signed pacts worth nearly ` 9,000 crore. The summit was aimed at inviting investments to fund tourism-related projects.
• Uber Signs Pact with T-Hub
Taxi-hailing company Uber has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with T-Hub. T-Hub is the start-up incubator promoted by Telangana government to help mentor start-ups. The MoU is part of Uber’s start-up initiative in India called UberExchange. T-Hub will invite start-ups to apply for the UberExchange programme & encourage participation from start-ups across the country.
• Sanjiv Singh is New Chairman of IOC
Sanjiv Singh will be the new Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. He has been Director of Refineries at IOC since July 1, 2014. He will replace B Ashok on his superannuation at end of May 2017. He will have three-year tenure at the helms of India’s largest oil refining and marketing company. IOC is also the nation’s biggest company by revenue.
• India-US Joint Military Exercise Begins
The Indo-US Joint Military Training Exercise, Yudh Abhyas – 2016 is being conducted in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand. During the exercise,soldiers upgraded themselves with strategies of fighting through Rock craft, Cliff assault & rock climbing. This joint military exercise will help the soldiers of both countries in fighting in adverse situations.The exercise is the twelfth in the Yudh-Abhyas series.
• India to Boycott SAARC Summit
India will not take part in 19th SAARC summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in Nov.Afghanistan, Bangladesh & Bhutan – have also signalled that they will not attend the meeting.The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is regional intergovernmental organization. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan & Sri Lanka.

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