TNPSC - Current Affairs in English Medium on 16.08.2016 and 18.08.2016

Over 50% of TN citizens obese, diabetic: Survey Report
  • Doctors and healthcare experts are pinning down hard evidence from a massive screening programme done by the Tamil Nadu government under the `Amma Arogya Thittam' to show how more than half the number of people in the state are obese, diabetic or hypertensive
Karnataka plans new dam at Mekedatu
  • Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah's assertion on Monday that his government planned to build a reservoir at a cost of `5,912 crore in Mekedatu across the Cauvery is set to churn the political scene in Tamil Nadu. The farmers community in the Cauvery delta region will intensify the agitation against Karnataka during a proposed state-wide bandh on August 25, 2016 protesting the lack of water release from reservoirs across the border.
The 17th edition of NAM Summit will be held on September 17-18, 2016.
  • The 17th edition of NAM meet will be held on September 17-18 at Margarita Island. Bang in the middle of speculation that India's foreign policy is undergoing a makeover, government sources said PM Narendra Modi was unlikely to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Venezuela next month. NAM was founded in 1961 in Belgrade and was intended to be a grouping of countries not aligned with the two major powers -the US and the erstwhile USSR -whose rivalry divided the world into two combating blocs. 
  • While the government is likely to send foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, if not VicePresident Hamid Ansari, Modi's absence will not just be felt at NAM but it will also be subjected to intense scrutiny by those closely following India's foreign policy under him.
Centre to launch e-box for student complaints soon
  • Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday announced that the ministry on August 26 will inaugurate the `e-box' for students to register complaints of harassment or abuse. “A child who may be touched inappropriately or molested by others can put forth a complaint into the e-box and it will be addressed,“ she said
Tata Steel, IIT-M to set up research centre in city
  • Tata Steel on Tuesday tied up with Indian Institute of Technology Madras to establish Tata Steel Advanced Materials Research Center (TSAMRC), to conduct research on graphene, a new-generation carbon material. The centre, which will work at developing cost effective products with graphene, will function out of IIT Research Park.
No Bonded Labourers in Tamil Nadu
  • The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday (17.08.2016) insisted that there were no bonded labourers in the state.Speaking in the assembly , textile minister O.S Manian said even in Rajya Sabha when members raised the issue, AIADMK MPs replied that the state had no bonded labourers, a statement which went into Parliament records.When DMK MLA T M Anbarasan raised concerns about freeing individuals and families who were in bondage, Manian replied, “There is no space for the word bonded in Tamil Nadu.“
  • Data released by Union minister of state for labour and employment Bandaru Dattatreya in Rajya Sabha recently , however, shows that Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of 65,573 labourers released from bondage until June 30. Most of the labourers, who were released were from Tamil Nadu, hailed from Villupuram, Ariyalur and Perambalur. More than half of 2.82 lakh bonded labourers released were from the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
India builds China wall with tanks in Ladakh, jets in North East
  • India is slowly cranking up its conventional military deterrence against China along the land border as well as the strategically located Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with the deployment of additional Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, spy drones and missiles in the northeast as well as tank regiments and troops in eastern Ladakh.Under the overall plan to progressively boost both military force-levels and infrastructure to address the stark military asymmetry with the People's Liberation Army , the IAF will activate its Pasighat advanced landing ground (ALG) in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Friday (12.08.2016).
SAARC Finance ministers' meeting in Islamabad - Jaitley's cancelled visit
  • Signalling a deepening chill in India-Pakistan relations, finance minister Arun Jaitley will skip the Saarc finance ministers' meeting in Islamabad next week with the decision being revealed a day after PM Narendra Modi fired a salvo at Islamabad over alleged human rights abuses in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Bihar first non-NDA state to ratify GST
  • Bihar became the first non-NDA state to ratify the Constitution amendment bill on GST(Goods and Services Tax) on Tuesday (16.08.2016) as the state assembly approved the major tax reform that seeks to transform the country into one common market.Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar highlighted GST's advantages. “I have been supporting GST since 2006 as it is beneficial for a consumer state like Bihar,“ Kumar said. GST, he said, will bring transparency in tax collection and distribution among the Centre and states.The central government has set a deadline of April, 2017 for GST's rollout.
Jnanpith awardee Gurdial dies
  • Acclaimed Punjabi writer Gurdial Singh, whose novels `Marhi Da Deeva' (The Last Flicker) and Anhe ` Ghode Da Dan' (Alms For A Blind Horse) ex plored the lives of the marginal and the impoverished, died in a hospital here on Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 83.`Marhi Da Deeva' was recently translated into Manipuri. He was conferred the Jnanpith Award in 1999, the Padma Shri in 1998 and the Sahitya Akademi award in 1975.
Earth's Hottest Month on Record was July 2016: NASA
  • Even after the fading of a strong El Nino, which spikes global temperatures on top of man-made climate change, Earth was broiled to its hottest month in recorded history in July , according to NASA. The space agency calculated that July 2016 was 0.84 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1950-1980 global average. That's about 0.18 degrees warmer than the previous record of July 2011 and July 2015, which were so close they were said to be in a tie for the hottest month on record, said Nasa chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt.
Discovered: Closest ever `Second Earth'
  • Scientists might have found the closest ever candidate for another Earth that could support life, according to reports. But nobody will say whether it's true. The new-found planet orbits around a now well-investigated star in Proxima Centauri, near us, according to reports. It is similar to Earth and could support life, it is claimed.The researchers that found the planet are expected to show it off at the end of this month. But until then they are saying nothing about the revolutionary find.
Google's Duo to take on other video-calling apps
  • On Tuesday, Google unveiled the Duo app, the technology giant's response to other videocalling options, including Apple's FaceTime, Microsoft's Skype and Facebook's Messenger app. Duo isn't much different from the other video-chatting services, except that it gives a glimpse at who is making the call. Google calls this feature “Knock, knock“. The app was released as free service for phones running on Google's Android operating system as well as Apple's iPhones. Like FaceTime for iPhones, Duo only requires a person's phone number to connect. Many other services require both participants to have logins to use video calling.
Pakistan turns largest buyer of Indian cotton
  • The relationship between India and Pakistan may not be in the best of shape these days but this has not prevented the neighbour from turning the biggest buyer of home-grown cotton.Pakistan has emerged as the largest buyer of Indian cotton purchasing about 25 lakh bales (a bale is 170 kgs) which is about 40% of the shipments of the fibre from the country so far in the 2015-16 season, (October-September), trade and industry officials said. China, the largest buyer of cotton from India in the past, reduced its imports significantly after it accumulated huge stocks as reserves. China imported around 80 lakh bales of cotton from India in 2013-14 season. But cotton exports to China plunged by over 50% in 2014-15.India exported about 58 lakh bales of cotton in 2014-15.India is the largest producer of cotton in the world.
India notches up innovation ranking
  • India's ranking in the Global Innovation Index (2016) has climbed 15 spots to 66 among 128 countries. Notably, India ranks first in the world when it comes to Information Communications and Technology (ICT) exports.China, with a rank of 25, joined the list of the top 25 most innovative countries.Last year, China was ranked at 29. Switzerland continues to the top performer for the sixth consecutive year, in the global innovation index (GII), followed by Sweden and UK. This index, which was released on Monday in Geneva by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Cornell University and INSEAD, ranks countries according to their innovation capabilities and results
New Appointments of Governors
  1. Najma Heptulla as governors of poll-bound states of Punjab and Manipur.
  2. Banwarilal Purohit (Former MP and managing editor of daily `The Hitavada')was named governor of Assam
  3. veteran Jagdish Mukhi was made lieutenant governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  4. Fa rooq Khan was appointed the administrator of Lakshadweep.
  5. Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganathan was holding additional charge as Manipur governor
Courtesy: The Times of India

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