National Current Affairs
September 2nd Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1)India ranks low on inclusive growth, development ranking: World Economic Forum.

  • A new study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked India very low globally on most of the parameters for inclusive growth and development.
  • WEF said that the new study, which was conducted over the past two years, seeks to identify the various ways policymakers can drive economic growth and equity. India has mostly been ranked in the bottom half of the 38 countries that make up lower middle income bracket.
India’s various Rankings:
  1. Fiscal Transfers – 37th out of 38.
  2. Tax Code – 32nd Rank
  3. Social protection – 36th Rank
  4. Small business ownership – 38th Rank.
  5. Corruption and Rents – 8th Rank.
  6. Business and Political ethics – 12th Rank
  7. Financial intermediation of real economy investment pillar – 11th Rank.
About World Economic Forum:
  1. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva.
  2. The Forum is best known for its annual winter meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alpsregion of Switzerland.
2)Electronic version of Mahatma Gandhi’s work launched.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the electronic version of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG). It documents the Father of Nation’s life from 1884 till his demise on January 30, 1948.
  • The minister also announced that the Hindi version of CWMG would be digitised soon. The 100 volumes of Mahatma Gandhi’s complete works are contained in two DVDs.
  • The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi took about 38 years in the making (1956-1994). They are a series of 100 volumes, running into over 55,000 pages, intricately connected across the series, as an integrated whole. It took 38 years for Prof. K. Swaminathan to compile it.
Facts about Mahatma Gandhi:
  1. Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize 5 times.
  2. M.K. Gandhi was responsible for the Civil Rights movement in 4 continents and 12 countries.
  3. Great Britain, the country against whom he fought for independence, released a stamp honouring him, 21 years after his death.
  4. Most relics of Gandhiji including the clothes he wore when he was shot are still preserved in Gandhi Museum, Madurai
3)Government has decided to implement the One Rank One Pension scheme.
  • Government of India has announced the acceptance of the long-pending demand for ‘One Rank One Pension’. The ex-servicemen who have been on agitation rejected the key details of the decision and said their 84-day long stir will continue.
  • OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement. The issue of “One Rank One Pension” (OROP) has been pending for nearly four decades.
About One Rank One Pension:
  1. As per the announcement there would be revision of pension every five years as against two years demanded by the ex-servicemen.
  2. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners retiring in the same rank and with the same length of service as the average of minimum and maximum pension in 2013.
  3. The Ex-servicemen who have taken voluntary retirement would not be eligible for the scheme.
  4. The government is also setting up a one-member judicial committee to work out details of implementation of the OROP which will file a report in six months.
  5. Arrears will be paid in four half-yearly installments. All widows, including war widows, will be paid arrears in one installment.
4)Haryana Government sets minimum qualification for candidates in Panchayati Raj polls.
  • Haryana Assembly has passed Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015 that seeks to fix matriculation as minimum educational qualification for elections to Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs).
  • With this Haryana became second state in India after Rajasthan to fix educational and other qualifications for the candidates contesting Panchayat elections.
Key provisions of bill:
  1. General candidates contesting the Panchayat elections should have class X certificates i.e. matriculation as essential qualification.
  2. For Women (general) and Scheduled Caste candidates’, class VIII mark-sheet is mandatory. The educational qualification for SC candidates for the post of ‘panch’ is class V. Mandatory for the candidates contesting PRI elections to have functional toilets and payment of power bills. Candidates should not have been charge-sheeted by any court of law and must not be loan defaulters.

5)Union Cabinet approves National Offshore Wind Energy Policy.

  • The Union Cabinet approved National Offshore Wind Energy Policy which will provide a way to the development of this renewable source of energy, including setting up of projects and research in the area.
  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will be the nodal ministry for use of offshore areas within EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of the country. National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) will be the nodal agency for development of offshore wind energy in the country
  • The policy will provide a level playing field to all investors/beneficiaries, domestic and international. All the processes would be carried out in a transparent manner by NIWE. The policy will help the country move forward towards attaining energy security.
Points to Remember:
  1. Applicability: Throughout the India.
  2. Target: 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, which includes 100 GW of solar, 60 GW of wind power, 10 GW of biomass-fired power and 5 GW of small hydro power.
About National Institute of Wind Energy:
Abbreviation: NIWE
About: It is an autonomous R&D institution of Government of India.
Located: In Chennai
Established: by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
6)Cabinet increases DA by 6% for central govt employees.
  • Cabinet increased dearness allowance (DA) by 6% i.e from 113% to 119 per cent. The DA hike will take effect from July 1.
  • As per the agreed formula, the DA rate increase is an average of 12 month consumer price index-industrial workers from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. DA is paid as proportion of the basic pay.
  • It is based on the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission. This move will benefit 48 lakh government employees and 55 lakh pensioners.
What is Dearness allowance?
  1. Dearness allowance (D.A.) is part of a person’s salary. D.A. is calculated as a percent of the basic salary. This amount is then added to the basic salary along with house rent allowance to get the total salary.
7)Center to give 33 % reservation to women in all para-military forces.
  • Para-military forces, Union home minister Rajnath Singh announced 33 per cent reservations would be provided for women in all paramilitary forces, including Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
  1. In all paramilitary forces, women will be recruited by providing 33 per cent reservations, he said at the passing-out parade here at National Industrial Security Academy (NISA), a premier training centre of the CISF.
  2. Noting that women share in the force stood at just 5.04 per cent, he stressed on the need to increase the number of women personnel up to one-third of the overall strength of the force.
  3. Rajnath Singh asked the CISF, which is actively involved in the developmental activities at the areas affected by left-wing extremism, to also improve its core competence in newer areas of crime such as dealing with cyber crimes.
  4. CISF director general Surender Singh wanted the officers to be geared up and ever-ready to combat different types of challenges. He said there were constant efforts to make NISA a world-class training provider.
8)PM Modi inaugurates 10th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the three-day 10th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan (World Hindi Conference) in Bhopal.
  • The conference is being organised by the ministry of external affairs in cooperation with the Madhya Pradesh government.
  • The World Hindi Conference that is being held in India after a gap of 32 years. The conference promise to expand the scope of the language which the Constitution and courts recognise as the official but not national language.
  • The external affairs minister praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using Hindi during his speeches at international forums.
Hindi - Interesting Facts:
  1. Hindi got its name from the Persian word Hind, meaning `land of the Indus River`. Hindi has been written in Devangari script and has been greatly influenced by Sanskrit.
  2. Hindi is spoken by large number of people in the world and is spoken by the largest number of people in India.
  3. Hindi is one of the seven languages of India that can be used to make web addresses (URLs).
  4. Hindi language includes 11 vowels and 33 consonants.
9)Union Cabinet gives nod to Constitution of 21st Law Commission of India.
  • Law Commission of India: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval on the Constitution of the 21st Law Commission of India, for a period of three years w.e.f. 1st September. 2015 to 31st August, 2018.
  1. The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of lndia from time to time.
  2. The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years.
  3. The tenure of the 20th Law Commission was upto 31st August, 2015.
The 21st Law Commission will consist of:
  1. A full-time Chairperson;
  2. Four full-time Members (including a Member-Secretary);
  3. Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex off do Member;
  4. Secretary, Legislative Department as ex offcio Member; and
  5. Not more than five part-time Members.
10)Ahmedabad air judged among most dusty in the country.
  • Ahmedabad air judged as the most dusty among 13 cities in the country. These cities air quality index (AQI) is measured daily by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • According to the recorded AQI, particulate matter levels in Hyderabad and Kanpur were almost that of Ahmedabad.
  • The AQI index is available for all days and is released by the CPCB at 5 pm. The pollution levels are marked ‘moderate’ in the AQI - this means that the air can cause breathing discomfort to people and also asthma.
  • There are 5 cities who is facing danger of particulate matter rising in the air. The problem is the increasing prevalence of particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in the city air.
The five cities are as follows:
  1. Ahmedabad
  2. Hyderabad
  3. Kanpur
  4. Pune
  5. Varanasi
What is Air Quality Index:
  • An air quality index (AQI) is a number used by government agencies to give a to the an Idea to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become.

11)Modi inaugurates new terminal at Chandigarh airport.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a new terminal at Chandigarh airport which will handle both domestic as well as international flights.
  • Modi dedicated to the nation the modern facility which is expected to boost the economic and industrial development in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
  • The ambitious Rs. 939 crore project, which is being seen as a “harbinger” of regional development for the northern part of the country, will be operated and maintained by Chandigarh International Airport Ltd (CHIAL), a joint venture between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the governments of Punjab and Haryana.
  • Before inaugurating the civil air terminal, Modi was shown the model of the new building and taken around an exhibition of photographs of the facility. He was also presented a memento by Civil Aviation Minister Raju.
12)Rajasthan gets $500 million loans from ADB for urban services.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed two agreements for $500 million loans with the government for the management of urban services in the state of Rajasthan.
  • ADB said $250 million policy loan will be used to help Rajasthan to finance creation of a corporate-style state body to promote urban services development and an independent utility in Jaipur to oversee water and wastewater operations in the state capital.
About ADB:
  1. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 which is headquartered in Metro Manila, Philippines, to facilitate economic development in Asia.
  2. From 31 members at its establishment, ADB has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
  3. Takehiko Nakao elected the ninth president of the Asian Development Bank in 2013.
13)Brand Ambassadors of Swachh Bharat Mission call on the President.
  • Brand Ambassadors of Swachh Bharat Mission called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated Union Minister of Urban Development for involving distinguished public figures as Swachh Bharat Mission’s Brand Ambassadors.
  • Hence, the strategy is to engage the country’s icons as Swachh Bharat Ambassadors to make it a `Jan Andolan`.
  • Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation & Parliamentary Affairs released a Coffee Table Book on ``Swachh Bharat Mission`` and presented its first copy to the President.
  • A curtain raiser of the Swachh Bharat Anthem was also presented by Shri Babul Supriyo, MoS for Urban Development, Shri Prasoon Joshi, Shri Shankar Mahadevan, Shri Ehsaan Noorani and Shri Loy Mendosa on the occasion.
  • Shankar Mahadevan sang a song related to Swach Bharath named as ``Dum damak damdam damkega India``.
14)Union Government extends e-Tourist Visa Scheme to 37 more countries.
  • Union Government has announced to extend e-Tourist Visa Scheme to 37 more countries in order to attract maximum foreign tourists in the country.
  • It was announced by Secretary of Union Tourism Ministry Vinod Zuthsi while addressing a function of Indian Association of Tour Operators in New Delhi.
  • With this extension, the total 150 countries will come under the ambit of e-Tourist Visa Scheme from present 113 countries. By August 2015, more than 22,000 tourists have used this scheme to visit India, compared to 2700 tourists in August, 2014.
  1. Union Government had launched e-Tourist Visa Scheme (as Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme) in November 2014.
  2. The scheme seeks to tap the vast tourism potential of India which still remains untapped and explored. Initially during the launch only 45 countries were brought under ambit of the scheme.
  3. But later in the phased manner, the scheme was extended to 113 countries.
15)Arun Jaitley launches NXT DIGITAL – Headend-In-The-Sky platform.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the Headend In The Sky (HITS) digital platform initiative, under the brand name NXT DIGITAL promoted by Hinduja Group.
  • The launch would provide consumers with wider choice. Now the viewers can have access to over 500 television channels of their choice – international, national, regional and local; besides a host of other services like e-applications and TV everywhere.
  • Customers in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka will now have greater access to channels of their choice with other states soon joining in.
  1. The NXT DIGITAL Broadcast Centre is a state-of-the-art next-generation MPEG-4 facility.
  2. It has been designed and purpose-built to provide a variety of services to the cable distribution fraternity and their customers all across India.
  3. The back-end technology systems are based on sophisticated and complex architectures.
  4. The initiative will enable thousands of entrepreneurial cable operators to make a transition from analog to digital across an estimated 120 million homes in India.
16)Union Government notifies 20% provisional safeguard duty on certain categories of steel products.
  • Union Government has notified a 20 per cent provisional safeguard duty on certain categories of the steel products in order to protect the domestic steel sector with an immediate effect.
  • The domestic steel industry is grappling with problems of low demand and facing competition from sudden surge in cheap imports. The notification on provisional safeguard duty was issued by Union Finance Ministry and it will continue for 200 days.
  • This decision was taken based on earlier recommendation of the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) to impose the duty to protect interests of the domestic industry.
  • DGS has recommended that the market share of domestic steel producers has been declining since 2014 and is likely to fall from 45 per cent to 37 per cent in 2015-16.