National Current Affairs
September 4th Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) Union Cabinet approves MoU with Cambodia for cooperation in tourism.

  • The Union Cabinet 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 Vice President Hamid Ansari’s visit to Cambodia in order to promote bilateral tourism between the two countries.
  • It also seeks enhancing investment and promoting exchange of experience in management, marketing and destination development in this field.
Key Highlights of MoU:
  1. Expand bilateral cooperation in tourism sector along with exchange of data and information related this sector between both countries.
  2. Encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders of both countries including hotels and tour operators.
  3. Establish platform for exchange of programmes for cooperation in human resources development, investment and hospitality sectors for promotion of two way tourism.
2) Union Cabinet gives nod to amend MoU on Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education.
  • The Union Cabinet gave its approval for minor amendments in earlier MoU signed to facilitate implementation of Indo-German Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education Programme.
  • Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. In order to make changes, a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany will be signed for implementation of Indo-German Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education programme.
Following are the changes:
  1. The term strategic from MoU will be deleted from the title of the programme to make it Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education.
  2. Funding period of the programme will be changed from 2015-19 to 2016-20.
3) Rajasthan Assembly passes two bills on Reservation.
  • 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.
Two Bills are
Rajasthan Special Backward Classes Reservation Bill, 2015:
  1. Provides five per cent reservation to five communities in government services and educational institution.
  2. Five communities are: Banjara/ Labana/ Baldiya, Gujar/ Gurjar, Gadiya/ Gadoliya/ Lohar, Gadariya/ Gayari/ Gadri and Raika/ Rebari/ Debasi.
Rajasthan Economically Backward Classes Reservation Bill, 2015:
  1. Provides fourteen per cent reservation to unreserved category.
  2. The state assembly also passed a resolution to include both the reservation bills in 9th Schedule of the Constitution which protects any legislation (law) inserted within it from judicial review.
4) Union Cabinet gives nod to set up India Sign Language Research and Training Centre.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC).
  • 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 & Empowerment.
About Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre:
Structure and Composition:
  1. At the centre there will be General Council consisting of a President and 12 Members.
  2. There will be also an Executive Council consisting of a Chairperson and 9 Members. Some of these members will be ex-officio and others will be experts from National Level Organizations of the Deaf or Academic Institutions or Universities or and independent experts in Indian Sign Language (ISL).
  • It will seek to provide equal opportunities to hearing impaired persons to fully participate in every sphere of life. 
5) Union Health Ministry releases National Health Profile.
  • Ministry Health and Family Welfare has released National Health Profile (NHP) 2015, which provides comprehensive information related to health sector.
  • The 11th edition of the document has been prepared by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) and for first time was released in e-book (digital) version in lines with Digital India initiative.
  • It was released by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda in New Delhi.
Key facts:
  • NHP focuses on key health information under six major indicators viz. demographic, socio-economic, health finance and health status indicators, comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health in India.
Demographic indicators:
  • gives information about population statistics and vital statistics.
Socio-economic indicators:
  • gives the information on education; Economic indicators, Employment, Social Indicators, Drinking Water and Sanitation and Housing and Amenities.
  1. Health Status Indicators: gives information related to incidence and prevalence of common Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases.
  2. It also provides a short overview of National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio-vascular Disease and Stroke (NPCDCS) and vital information of Reproductive and Child Health of respective states and UTs
Health Finance:
  1. gives an overview of Public Expenditure on Health, Health Coverage and Insurance, Household Out of Pocket Expenditure (OOP) on Health, Public Expenditure on Health with International Comparison, External Assistance to Government for Health Sector Programmes along with Explanatory notes on Health Data.


6) Union Government gives nod to IAF’s Integrated Air Command & Control System.

  • Union Government has given its approval for implementation of Integrated Air Command & Control System (IACCS) project of Indian Air force (IAF) with allocation of 8,000 crore rupees.
  • Decision in this regard was taken by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the proposal forwarded by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
About Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS):
  1. IACCS system is an automated command and control system for Air Defence (AD) which integrates different air sensors and radars to protect Indian airspace.
  2. Presently, India has 5 IACCS nodes. The addition of four more nodes will help IAF to cover isolated islands thereby providing a security umbrella to the entire country.
  3. On completion of this project, the air headquarters will get a composite air situation picture as it is going to integrate Air Force, Army, Naval and civilian radars.
  4. IACCS will help IAF to connect all of its air, space and ground assets quickly for total awareness of a region and facilitate real-time transport of data, images and voice amongst aircraft, satellites and ground stations.
7) Kolkata start-up launches portal for preparing IT returns.
  • A Kolkata-based start-up has announced the launch of its portal that helps in preparing income-tax returns and their filing.
  1. Alok Patnia, one of the three co-founders of the partnership firm Make Your Tax Technologies, said the portal was driven by software developed in-house that processed individual income and tax liabilities for the purpose of filing the individual’s or family’s tax returns.
  2. Abhishek Rungta, another co-founder of the portal and CEO of Indus Net Technologies, claimed the new platform allowed tax consultants to join in, if allowed by the tax assesses, in a bulk service providing exercise.
  3. The portal targets to have subscriptions from one lakh return filers next year and hopes to rope in around 200 tax consultants.
  4. The portal would also use and Indus Technologies’s network of consultants and offices in other metros for marketing its services.
8) Union Home Minister released a Graphic booklet on Sardar Post
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh released a graphic depicting the valour and sacrifice of the CRPF personnel during the battle of Sardar Post, Rann of Kutch in the 1965 lndo-Pak War.
  • On 9 April 1965, at the Sardar Post in the Rann of Kutch, two companies of CRPF stood their ground and repulsed the attack of full-fledged Pakistani Infantry Brigade inflicting heavy casualties.
  • The retaliation by the CRPF men was such a profound shock to the Pakistani Army that they left behind 34 dead bodies including 2 officers. Four Pakistani soldiers were taken as prisoners. Six CRPF men made supreme sacrifice for the cause of the nation.

9) Union Government constitute expert committee to revive UPSC civil services exam .

  • Union Government has constituted an expert committee to examine various issues related to UPSC civil services examination to select IAS and IPS officers.
  • The committee panel would be headed by the former IAS officer from Chhattisgarh cadre B.S. Baswan and shall consist of leading academicians, technocrats and senior bureaucrats.
  • The committee will look into all aspects of civil services examination including age relaxation, eligibility, syllabus and pattern of examination.
  1. The committee has been confronted by Union Government following the demands from across the country for revisiting the pattern and syllabus of the civil services examination.
  2. It was being alleged that the current syllabus and pattern civil services examination tends to benefit students from mathematics and engineering backgrounds.
10) Kerala takes initiatives to become `senior citizen-friendly`
  • With the proportion of aged population in Kerala estimated to reach 20 per cent in the next ten years, the state government is getting ready to prepare its offices and employees to become more `senior citizen friendly.
  • As part of the initiative, a mass awareness programme related to dealing with old persons will be launched in all government, quasi and co-operative sector offices in the state on October 1, the International Day of Older Persons.
11) Suresh Prabhu Launches Indian Railway Knowledge Portal
  • Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched Indian Railway Knowledge Portal namely which has aggregated most of the available knowledge about Indian Railways at one location.
  • This portal is an initiative of the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR), Vadodara.
  • This Knowledge Portal features all subjects of Indian Railways, Railway Research and Development, use of ICT in Indian Railways, listing of major International Railway Journals, linking of existing Indian Railway Libraries and also World Railways in one web page.
12) Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari launches Green Highways Policy.
  • Nitin Gadkari launched the Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy, 2015 at a function organized in New Delhi.
  • Aim of the policy is to promote greening of Highway corridors with participation of the community, farmers, private sector, NGOs, and government institutions.
  • Contracts for greening highways will be given to NGOS, agencies, private companies and government organisations. These stakeholders will be responsible for the survival and health of trees. Planting of trees in any particular area will depend on the soil suitability and climatic conditions.
  1. To reduce the impact of air pollution and dust by planting trees and shrubs along the National Highways. They will act as natural sink for air pollutants and arrest soil erosion at the embankment slopes.

13) India to Chair G20 in 2018
  • India is going to chair Group of Twenty (G20) nations forum in year 2018 and New Delhi could be the host of the prestigious annual G20 summit.
  • This decision was taken by G20 forum earlier in September 2015 which was chaired by Turkey. Turkey will hand over the Chair for the next year i.e. 2016 to China and in 2017 Germany is going to chair it.
About Group of Twenty (G20):
  • G20 is the premier forum (It is not an organsation) for global economic and financial cooperation.
  • Being a forum it does not have any permanent secretariat or management and administrative structure.
  • Established: in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on member countries in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
  • The forum brings together 20 nations that represent world’s major advanced and emerging economies, representing around 85 per cent of global GDP.
  • Presidency of the G20:
  • Every year one nation holds the chair of G20 known as Presidency which rotates annually among its member groups. The presidency establishes a temporary secretariat for the duration till it holds the Chair.
  • Members: Brazil, China, Russia, India, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Canada, France, Indonesia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Korea, United Kingdom (UK), United States (US) and European Union (EU).
14) Union Government releases Commemorative Stamp on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
  • The Department of Posts has released a Commemorative postal stamp on father of Indian Constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as part of his 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations.
  • It was released jointly by the Union Minister Social Justice & Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Union Minister for Communication & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad.
  • 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
  • The yearlong celebrations aim to make the world aware about the life and the work of Dr. Babasaheb Ambekdar who is often considered as a champion of the underprivileged.