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Important Current Affairs 23rd September 2021

INTERNATIONAL

107-Year-Old Japanese Sisters Are the World’s Oldest Identical Twins

• Japanese Sisters, 107, are Officially World’s Oldest Identical Twins Umeno and Koume Guinness World Records.

• Guinness World Records has certified two Japanese sisters as the world’s oldest living identical twins at 107. Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama were born the third and fourth of 11 siblings on Shodoshima island in western Japan on Nov. 5, 1913.

• Sumiyama and Kodama were 107 years and 300 days old as of Sept 1, breaking the previous record set by famous Japanese sisters Kin Narita and Gin Kanie at 107 years and 175 days.

NATIONAL

Assam govt to set up a tea Park at Chayygaon of Kamrup district

• Assam is setting up a tea Park at Chayygaon in Kamrup District. This tea garden will have rail and port connectivity, cargo and warehouse amenities, processing facilities like tea grinding, blending, packaging and other utility services under one roof.

• Tea garden companies using garden lands for plantation of Segun and agar or selling off the tea estates, the Minister stated that tea garden owners cannot sell off their estates as the leased land still belongs to Assam Government and instead asked them to focus on innovation and branding of Assam Tea.

The first edition of THFF will begin from 24 to 28 September at Leh

• The first edition of ‘The Himalayan Film Festival-2021’ (THFF) will begin from 24 to 28 September at Leh, Ladakh. The film festival is being organised by the Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh in collaboration with the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

• The film festival is being hosted in collaboration with the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh. The five-day film festival is a part of the celebration of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ commemorating 75 years of India’s Independence.

• The film festival will have active participation from the local filmmakers and showcase talent from across the 12 Himalayan states and UTs. Popular films from the Himalayan states viz Assam, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh besides Indian Panorama selected films will be showcased during the festival.

Tamil Nadu’s Kovalam beach, Puducherry’s Eden get Blue Flag certification

• Two more beaches in India have been awarded “Blue Flag” certification, an international eco-level tag, taking the total number of such beaches in the country to 10. The two beaches to receive the certification this year are Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry.

• The Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Denmark, which accords the Blue Flag certification, has also given re-certification for eight nominated beaches – Shivrajpur-Gujarat, Ghoghla-Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha and Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, which were awarded the Blue Flag certificate last year. These eight beaches got the Blue Flag certification on October 6, 2020.

SPORTS

India’s  D. Gukesh wins Norway Chess Open 2021

• India’s D Gukesh won his second consecutive tournament of this month, the Norway Chess Open 2021 Masters section.

• Gukesh scored an unbeaten 8.5/10 and finished a full point ahead of the competition to win the tournament. Iniyan secured sole second position with 8.5/10 points, finishing a half point ahead of top seed Dmitrij Kollars (Germany) and Valentin Dragnev (Austria).

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics unveiled its official motto, "Together for a Shared Future"

• The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics unveiled its official motto, “Together for a Shared Future”, during a ceremony at the city’s Capital Museum. The motto was chosen after a lengthy process that included a total of 79 different proposals. This motto embodies the Olympic spirit, the Chinese way of revealing the Olympic spirit.

• That’s because ‘together’ embodies a type of unity, cohesion and a way of overcoming difficulties. The Games will be held from February 4-20, with Beijing set to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Facebook India appoints former IAS Officer Rajiv Aggarwal as Head of Public Policy

• Facebook India has appointed former IAS officer Rajiv Aggarwal as the Director of Public Policy. He succeeds Ankhi Das, who quit the company in October last year. She was embroiled in a controversy for opposing the enforcement of hate-speech rules against right-wing leaders in the country. In his new role, Aggarwal will define and lead important policy development initiatives for Facebook in India on an agenda that covers user safety, data protection and privacy, inclusion and internet governance.

• Aggarwal has over 26 years of experience as an Indian Administrative Officer (IAS) and worked as a District Magistrate in nine districts across Uttar Pradesh.

UN General Assembly 2021: Kailash Satyarthi appointed as Sustainable Development Goals advocate

• Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate in the 76th UN General Assembly. Guterres appointed Satyarthi, STEM activist Valentina Munoz Rabanal, Microsoft President Brad Smith and K-pop superstars BLACKPINK as new SDG Advocates. With this, the UN now has total of 16 SDG Advocates.

• The SDG Advocates use their considerable spheres of influence to reach new constituencies to act now and keep the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals for people and for the planet.

• The UN said climate action, bridging the digital divide, gender equality and the promotion of the rights of children are key issues to be championed by the new SDG Advocates.

• The SDG Advocates are prominent leaders in the world who work to mobilise action to deliver the 17 SDGs by 2030, using their considerable spheres of influence.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Zee to merge with Sony; Punit Goenka will be CEO & MD of combined entity

• The Board of Directors of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) has unanimously approved the merger of the company with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI). As a part of the merger, shareholders of SPNI will also infuse growth capital into SPNI, which will make them the majority stakeholder in the merged entity. The merged entity will be listed on the Indian stock exchanges.

• Zee Entertainment will hold 47.07 per cent stake, while Sony India will hold a 52.93 per cent stake in the combined company.

• Following the merger, Sony India will have the right to appoint the majority of directors to the merged company.

• Puneet Goenka, the CEO of Zee Entertainment, will be the MD and CEO of the merged entity for a period of 5 years.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Sign Languages 2021: 23rd September

• The International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) is celebrated annually across the world on 23 September. This day is celebrated to raise awareness of sign languages and strengthen the status of sign languages. The theme for the 2021 International Day of Sign Languages is “We Sign For Human Rights” highlighting how each of us – deaf and hearing people around the world – can work together hand in hand to promote the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life.

• The proposal for the Day came from the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), a federation of 135 national associations of deaf people, representing approximately 70 million deaf people’s human rights worldwide. The choice of 23 September commemorates the date that the WFD was established in 1951. The International Day of Sign Languages was first celebrated in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf.

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Important Current Affairs 5th August 2020

National

Government forms draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020

• The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formulated a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020), with the objective to make India self-reliance in defence manufacturing and to position the country amongst the leading countries of the world in defence and aerospace sectors.

• The new policy is a part of the announcements made under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Package’ to provide impetus to self-reliance in defence manufacturing. The policy framework aims to position India among the leading countries of the world in defence and aerospace sectors.

• The Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 has laid out the following goals and objectives:

I. To achieve a turnover of Rs 1,75,000Crores (USD 25 Billion) including export of Rs 35,000 Crore (USD 5 Billion) in Aerospace and Defence goods and services by 2025.

II. To develop a dynamic, robust and competitive Defence industry, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of Armed forces with quality products.

III. To reduce dependence on imports and take forward “Make in India” initiatives through domestic design and development.

IV. To promote export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.

V. To create an environment that encourages R&D, rewards innovation, creates Indian IP ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry.

National Programme ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan 2020-21’ launched

• Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan, 2020-21’. It is a national programme which has been launched to popularize science among school students of Class 6th to 11th.

• The programme has been designed to identify the talent in the field of science and to promote the scientfic acumen among the students.

Andhra Pradesh government launches ‘E-RakshaBandhan’

• Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has launched a one month-long innovative virtual cybercrime awareness programme ‘E-Rakshabandhan’ on 3 August 2020

• The campaign organised by the Andhra Pradesh CID and the police, aims to bring awareness among the public in cyberspace, especially women, youth and children.

• The slogan for the campaign is “Let us make August a month of e freedom and e-safety.”Cybercrime experts will speak on different types of cyber crimes and create awareness among the public.

Obituary

Theatre maestro Ebrahim Alkazi passes away

• Indian theatre director and drama teacher, Ebrahim Alkazi, has passed  away. He was 94. He was the first and longest serving Director of the National School of Drama (NSD), and held the position from 1962-77.

• Ebrahim was considered as the father of modern Indian theatre and has mentored generations of actors, including Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Rohini Hattangadi, Surekha Sikri and Pankaj Kapoor.

• The thespian has a lot of accolades to his name and has won many of India’s most prestigious awards, such as Padma Shri (1966), the Padma Bhushan (1991), and India’s second highest civilian award the Padma Vibhushan in 2010.SangeetNatakAkademi Award in Direction in 1962, and the Akademi’s highest award the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to theatre.

Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume passes away

• The prominent Northern Ireland politician and former Nobel Peace Prize winner, John Hume passed away. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998, along with David Trimble, for his role in ending the conflict in Northern Ireland.

• He was a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1970 and led the party from 1979 until 2001.

Sports

World Cup winner Benedikt Howedes retires from soccer

• The professional German footballer, Benedikt Howedes, who helped Germany win the World Cup title in 2014, has announced his retirement from soccer, citing family reasons.

• The 32-year-old defender, represented the Germany national football team from 2011 to 2017 during which he played 44 matches.

Appointments and Resignations

RBI approves Sashidhar Jagdishan as HDFC Bank CEO and MD

• The Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Sashidhar Jagdishan as the Managing Director (MD) and CEO of HDFC Bank. Mr. Jagdishan will take charge of the outgoing MD Aditya Puri on October 27, 2020 and will remain on the position for three years.

• HDFC Bank mentioned that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank will be held in due course to approve the appointment of Sashidhar Jagdishan as the new MD and CEO of the bank.

• Along with Sashidhar Jagdishan, HDFC Bank had also submitted the names of Sunil Garg, Global CEO of Citi Commercial Bank, and Kaizad Bharucha (ED at HDFC Bank) for the RBI’s consideration.

• Sashidhar Jagdishan had joined HDFC Bank in 1996 as a manager in the finance function and later became a business head-finance in 1999.

Mark Phillips sworn in as Prime Minister of Guyana

• Former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force Brigadier (retired), Mark Anthony Phillips has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Guyana. Additionally, former President Bharrat Jagdeo was named Vice President.

• Mohamed Irfaan Ali, a former member of parliament and housing minister, has been sworn in as the President of Guyana on 2 August 2020.

• The 40-year-old People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate has taken over as the 10th President of the country. He succeeds David A. Granger.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Vishesh: Code To Win” authored by Nirupama Yadav

• The book, titled “Vishesh: Code To Win”, has been written by sportswoman-turned-author Nirupama Yadav and published by the publishing house Bluerose.

• The inspirational story on the life of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, India’s youngest basketball team captain, is set to be released on August 29, the National Sports Day.

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