Latest Current Affairs – September 26 & 27 2018
1. Germany to host a major football championship after 18 years
UEFA has announced that Germany will host the 2024 European Championship, the nation’s first major football championship since the World Cup 2006. Germany beat Turkey for the right to host the 2024 edition of the tournament. A total of 24 national teams will play in 10 German cities. The last edition of the tournament was hosted in France.
2. Argentina gets biggest loan in IMF’s history at $57 billion
Argentina has received $57.1 billion from the International Monetary Fund, 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.
3. IISc Bangalore named India’s best university, IIT Indore 2nd
Indian Institute of Science Bangalore has been named the top Indian institute for the fifth straight year in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and was placed in the 251-300 bracket. IIT Indore (351-400) was placed second, ahead of IIT Bombay and IIT Roorkee. Globally, Oxford University continues to hold the first place, followed by Cambridge, Stanford, and MIT.
4. Adultery not a crime: Supreme Court scraps 150-year-old law
The Supreme Court struck down the 150-year-old law which penalises adultery, ruling the law is unconstitutional. “There cannot be a shadow of doubt that it’s a ground for divorce but it can’t be a crime,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said while reading out the verdict. “Adultery’s arbitrary and it offends the dignity of a woman,” he added.
5. PM Narendra Modi wins UN’s ‘Champions of the Earth’ award
PM Narendra Modi is among the six winners of the UN’s highest environmental honour, the ‘Champions of the Earth’ award. He has been recognised for his leadership of the International Solar Alliance and pledge to eliminate single-use plastic in India by 2022. Further, Cochin International Airport was given the award for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy.
6. Brendon McCullum hit Test cricket’s fastest ton in his last match
Ex-New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum scored Test cricket’s fastest century off 54 balls in his career’s last match against Australia in February 2016. McCullum, who turned 37 on Thursday, broke the record jointly held by Viv Richards and Misbah-ul-Haq, who scored a century each off 56 balls. McCullum also holds the record for hitting most sixes in Tests, at 107.
7. Cabinet clears proposal to convert GSTN into govt company
The Cabinet has cleared a proposal to convert GST Network (GSTN) into a 100% government-owned company, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. He added that 50% stake will be owned by the Centre and the remaining by the states. Currently, the Centre and states together hold 49% stake in GSTN, which provides IT infrastructure to the new indirect tax regime.
8. Cabinet approves ₹5,500 crore package for sugar industry
The Union Cabinet cleared a ₹5,500-crore incentive package for the sugar industry. Under the package, the government will give transport subsidies of ₹1,000-3,000 per tonne to sugar mills, depending on their distance from ports. The Cabinet approved raising the price the government directly pays to cane growers to ₹13.88 a quintal in the new season beginning October 2018.
9. Cabinet approves telecom policy to attract $100bn investment
The Cabinet has approved the new telecom policy which aims to attract $100 billion in investments and create 4 million jobs in the sector by 2022. Under the National Digital Communications Policy-2018, the government aims to provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen. The policy also aims to expand IoT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices.
10. India to overtake Japan as 3rd largest economy by 2030: HSBC
India is forecast to overtake Japan as the world’s third-largest economy by 2030, according to a report by UK’s HSBC Holdings. The country’s GDP has been projected to stand at $5.9 trillion in 2030, compared to $2.59 trillion at the end of 2017. Notably, India recently surpassed France to become the sixth-largest economy.
11. Aadhaar linking must for PAN, filing income tax returns: SC
The Supreme Court ruled that linking the Aadhaar card to PAN card is mandatory and is needed for filing income tax returns. The apex court, however, said Aadhaar is not mandatory for opening bank accounts and linking with existing accounts. Aadhaar-issuing body UIDAI had earlier told the court that Aadhaar linking would help prevent duplication of PAN cards.
The Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that allowed private companies to avail Aadhaar data. Calling the section unconstitutional, the court asserted that private companies cannot insist on having Aadhaar number of customers.
The Supreme Court also ruled that the linking of a person’s Aadhaar to his/her bank accounts is not mandatory. The Supreme Court said that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for mobile connections.
12. Saudi opens high-speed rail line connecting Mecca and Medina
Saudi Arabia inaugurated a high-speed rail line connecting the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The distance between the two cities would be covered in less than two hours, reportedly less than half the time it takes to cover the same distance by road. The 450-kilometre Haramain Railway line is a part of the ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ programme.
13. Jasdev Singh, an eminent commentator, passed away
Jasdev Singh, the renowned Hindi commentator, passed away due to prolonged illness. He was 87 and is survived by a son and daughter. Jasdev grew up in Jaipur. He started his career with All India Radio’s (AIR) Jaipur station in 1959. He was impressed by the renowned Melville de Mello’s non-stop seven-hour English commentary during Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral. He decided to be a Hindi commentator.
His career spanned five decades. Jasdev covered nine Olympics, eight hockey World Cups and more than 45 Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations for All India Radio and Doordarshan.
Jasdev received the Padma Shri in 1985 and the Olympic Order in 1988 for his contribution to the Olympic movement. He was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2008 and was bestowed with the honour of Rajasthan Ratna in 2014.
14. ICICI Prudential Life and Saraswat Bank partnered up for bancassurance
ICICI Prudential Life inked a pact with Saraswat Bank to offer insurance products. This includes 280 branches of Saraswat Bank in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
15. India ranked 158th among 195 countries for investment in health care and education : The Lancet
The Survey was done in 195 countries. According to the survey, Finland tops the list in the two key sectors. India ranked 158th in the world, below countries like Sudan (157th), Azerbaijan, China and Bosnia Herzegovina. It is followed by Namibia at 159th. The United States ranked 27th, while China placed at 44th and Pakistan 164th.
16. Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Air Pollution Control Device WAYU in New Delhi
WAYU (Wind Augmentation PurifYing Unit) is developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) as a part of Technology Development Project being funded by Department of Science and Technology. 54 more such devices will be installed by 15th October in Delhi.
17. Manatec won the Innovation award
Manatec, the Pondicherry-based garage equipment manufacturer, won the Innovation Award at Automechanika, a leading trade fair, held in Germany. The company was chosen for the award for its innovation of JUMBO 3D – World’s 1st 3D Wheel Aligner for Multi-Axle Trucks, Buses & Trailers. The award was received Manatec Chairman Mr.R. Mananathan.
18. U.N. declared 2019-2028 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace
This incident took place at the Nelson Mandela peace summit honouring the South African leader at the UN. He also unveiled a statue of Nelson Mandela at the UN marking the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth.
19. IAF successfully test fired BVRAAM Astra
The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test fired the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) Astra from a Su-30 aircraft. It was tested at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station. The test missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles in a salvo to engage multiple targets.
20. Japan becomes world’s first to land rovers MINERVA-II1 on asteroid Ryugu
Japan became the world’s first country to successfully land two robotic rovers on an asteroid. This is the first time that the world will observe the surface of an asteroid via moving robots.
MINERVA-II1 separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, is a 3.3 kg compact rover consisting of two cookie-tin shaped rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B, which are now operating on the asteroid surface.
21. India to organise ‘Gandhi March’ in Netherlands
India will organise ‘Gandhi March’ from the iconic Peace Palace at the Hague to Grote Kerk on September 30, to launch the two-year long celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, marked as International Day of Non-Violence, five other events will be held in The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Zoetermeer.