Exam Oriented Current Affairs for all Exams 23rd September 2016
Indian-Americans launch White House petition to declare Pak sponsor of terror.
It requires at least 1,00,000 signatures to qualify for a response from the Obama Administration. The Indian-American community in the US has launched a White House petition to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, days after a bill in this regard was tabled in the US Congress by two powerful lawmakers. “This petition is important to the people of United States of America, India and many other countries which are continuously affected by Pakistan sponsored terrorism,” the petition started on 22nd September 2016. The move comes after Congressman Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, introduced H R 6069, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act in the House of Representatives.
From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it’s not America’s,” Poe claimed. If passed, the bill will require the US President to issue a report within 90 days of passage detailing whether or not Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism, he said. Calling it a untrustworthy ally of America, Poe said for years Pakistan has been aiding and abetting the enemies of the US.
Rafale on par with F-35, a generation ahead of F-16 jets
The Rafale deal has been long in the making, with the NDA govt scrapping the original 2007 project and going for direct purchase of 36 Rafales. The number one reason for the success (in the deal going through) is its capabilities. The aircraft's performance was evaluated by the skilled IAF in different conditions here (during the MMRCA project evaluation). It has the capability to do everything. It's a good air-to-air combat aircraft, a strike aircraft, a reconnaisance and intelligence aircraft. It is good for all types of missions designed for the French forces, including from aircraft carriers. This was totally in line with what IAF wanted.
The negotiations were really tough on the price. I will not say how much as that is part of the discussion between the two governments. This is an inter-government deal. As far as 50% offsets... they (India) have been able to get more from us. I feel this happened because of the confidence in the long partnership between India and France, between IAF and Dassault. India is proud about the first (Dassault) fighters it acquired in 1953 and later, the Mirage-2000s.
Russia joins Pakistan in ‘anti-terror drill’
Russia and Pakistan, two Cold War enemies when the former existed as the USSR, came together on Friday for their first-ever joint military exercise+ called 'Friendship 2016'. "A contingent of Russian ground forces arrived in Pakistan for the first Pak-Russian joint exercise scheduled from September 24 to October 10," said Lt General Asim Saleem Bajwa of the Pakistani army media wing. Russia-Pak anti-terror exercise is not being held in so-called Azad Kashmir or in any other sensitive or problematic areas like Gilgit-Baltistan. The only venue is Cherat.
Triple talaq not in conformity with Sharia, govt to tell SC
The Modi government has decided to tell the Supreme Court that the claim that the practice of triple talaq is in conformity with the Sharia is misplaced because about 20 Islamic countries, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, regulate matrimonial laws. Steering clear of any mention of a uniform civil code (UCC), the Centre is set to argue that the plea advanced by the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board -that divorce by triple talaq is sanctified by the Sharia -is incorrect, and that the practice is a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution in a secular state like India.
A group of ministers -comprising home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, defence minister Manohar Parikkar, women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi and law minister Ravishankar Prasad -has taken the view that the triple talaq issue should not be seen as the government's stand on a uniform civil code. The issue of triple talaq is to do with gender justice; it should be non-discriminatory to women and protect the dignity of individuals.
Afghanistan govt signs draft peace deal with designated ‘terrorist’, first since 2001
The deal marks a victory of sorts for Ghani, who has been unable to bring peace to Afghanistan despite election promises and early efforts to forge a close diplomatic relationship with neighboring Pakistan. Afghanistan’s government signed a draft peace deal on 22nd September with a designated “global terrorist” after lengthy negotiations that could pave the way for a similar accord with the Taliban, who have been waging war on Kabul for 15 years. The deal with warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is the country’s first peace agreement since the Taliban launched their insurgency in 2001, after being driven from power in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
It grants full political rights to his Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin party and obliges the Afghan authorities to work to have it removed from the United Nations’ list of foreign terrorist organizations. Hekmatyar himself was designated by the U.S. as a “global terrorist” in 2003. He was blacklisted at Washington’s request by the U.N. the same year, and has similar status with the British government. The agreement ends years of talks between Kabul and Hekmatyar, who is in his late 60s. It should enable him to return to Afghanistan after 20 years in exile – he is believed to live in Pakistan – as it includes provisions for his security at government expense.
Income Declaration Scheme disclosures cross Rs 1,100crore
Taxpayers in the Diamond City have filled the coffers of income tax (I-T) department as their disclosures under Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) touched Rs1,100-crore mark on 23rd September.
Until now, around 90 per cent of the disclosures under the IDS had come from real estate groups in the city, followed by textile traders and mill owners. The department has issued notices to many such individuals giving them time until September 30 to declare undisclosed income under the IDS for penny stock. After the IDS scheme will get over, the tax officials will go after those who failed to fall in line.
Acharya Balkrishna has entered the Forbes India rich list for 2016 and got into the top 50 with a ranking of 48
Acharya Balkrishna, low-profile managing director of Patanjali Ayurved is going places making his presence felt in India’s top rich lists across the globe. He has entered the Forbes India rich list for 2016 and got into the top 50 with a ranking of 48. Balkrishna made his entry first in the Hurun India Rich list as a billionaire worth a whopping Rs 25,600 crore. In dollar terms, that would work out to $3.8 billion. According to this Business Standard report, the Nepal-born Balkrishna is described as the ‘great scholar of Ayurveda, Sankrit language and Vedas’ and has 'rediscovered' the Sanjeevani buti on Patanjali Yogapeeth Ashram.
Balkrishna met with the yoga guru clad in orange robes, Baba Ramdev in a gurukul in Haryana, and both set out on this business venture which has since spanned across India and is sending shivers down the spine of foreign and domestic MNCs that enjoyed customer loyalty for generations. At first, the company had less visibility and sales, too. However, in the last four-five years, the company has seen its sales soar, which has fuelled the meteoric rise of the personal wealth of Balkrishna. He holds more than 90 percent stake in the company and runs the operations as its managing director, while Baba Ramdev is its brand ambassador.
Venkat elected ABC chairman
The Director of Eenadu I. Venkat was unanimously elected as chairman of Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) for the year 2016-17. He is also the chairman of Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). He is on the board of the Foundation, the International News Media Association (INMA), Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). Mr. Venkat has had a long innings at the Indian Newspaper Society as a board member and has been active in both print and TV industry bodies.
TIMES IMPACT - Promoter-PE pvt deals come under Sebi lens
Aiming to develop the corporate bond market to attract more foreign investments into the India, the markets regulator on Friday allowed select categories of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to directly trade in the debt segment of the market, bypassing brokers. Sebi also relaxed norms for real estate investment trusts (REITs), globally one of the popular vehicles to invest in the realty sector. It also relaxed rules for investing in the infra sector through Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), another popular investment option in the developed markets.
The Sebi board also approved foreign investors to hold up to 15% in stock exchanges in India. In July , the government had hiked this stake from the earlier ceiling of 5%. Foreign banks, insurance companies and depositories are now allowed to have higher stakes in Indian bourses.
DGCA may curb use of entire range of Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones on flights
India's aviation regulator is likely to put curbs on the use of the entire range of Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones on flights, a senior official said, after IndiGo reported an incident of "sparks and smoke" emitting from a Note 2 kept in the hand baggage of a passenger.
Friday's incident on a Singapore-Chennai flight operated by the no-frills airline is bad news for Samsung, which is hit by the worldwide recall of its newest model, Galaxy Note 7, following reports of the phone catching fire. Global aviation regulators, including India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as well as those in Canada and Australia, earlier this month announced restrictions on the use of the Note 7 in flights after the US Federal Aviation Administration warned about potential fire hazard.
Jio Effect: Bharati Airtel launches 4G at Rs 50 per GB
Bharti AirtelBSE 0.08 % has launched a special 4G data pack that matches Reliance Jio Infocomm's rates, effectively offering 1GB of high-speed data for Rs 50. The country's largest telecom operator on Friday announced a special 4G data pack for prepaid customers offering "free" data for 90 days. "While the pack is available for Rs 1,495 for existing users; new users can avail this offer via first recharge of Rs 1,494," it said in a statement.
The move comes in response to Jio's introductory offer of free voice and data till December 31 after which it will not charge its users for voice services and data will be priced as low as Rs 50.
Sindhu, Sakshi felicitated
It was a momentous occasion as Kerala sport celebrated the Olympic success of P. V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik in style at a felicitation function organised in the honour of the two sporting heroes here on 23rd September. Organised jointly by the Kerala State Sports Council (KSSC) and the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs (DSYA) at the Cotton Hill Girls High School, the function on the whole stood out for the presence of several sporting icons from the State and a large number of school children and sports lovers.
2 Indian-Americans win prestigious ‘genius grants’
It‘s called the “Genius Grant” and each award comes with $625,000, no strings attached. But no, you can’t apply for it, or have a well-connected uncle enter you for it. Those being considered have no inkling and when the call comes, they are always surprised. Manu Prakash, who was among the 23 winners announced on 22nd September, almost didn’t answer the phone. The India-born Stanford biologist was handling his four-month old twins then. “I was very sleep deprived when the phone rang,” he told Stanford, the university’s in-house magazine. But he did answer, eventually. Prakash was one of two India-born men among the MacArthur Fellowship awardees for 2016. Subhash Khot, a computer scientist from New York University, was the second.
Past winners with an India connection include writers Ved Mehta and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, poet and scholar AK Ramanujam, classical musician Ali Akbar Khan and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer. Thies, who went to MIT, is also a computer scientist. Since joining Microsoft Research India in 2008, he has developed a way to deliver and monitor tuberculosis medication, called 99DOTS, that is crucial to preventing the spread of the drug-resistant strain of the disease. And through CGNet Swara, he has collaborated with journalists, the foundation said, for citizen journalism among physically and socially isolated tribal communities.
NASA's Hubble Finds Planet Orbiting Two Stars
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered a planet orbiting two stars in a system located about 8,000 light-years away towards the centre of our galaxy. The planet orbits roughly 300 million miles from the stellar duo, about the distance from the asteroid belt to our Sun. It completes an orbit around both stars roughly every seven years. The two red dwarf stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349 are a mere 7 million miles apart, or 14 times the diameter of the Moon's orbit around Earth.