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Daily GK update --101 to 150 september 2015 bankers adda

101. Narsingh Pancham Yadav books an Olympic berth for 2016 Rio games
i. Indian Wrestler Narsingh Pancham Yadav has secured quota for India in the 2016 Olympic Games.
ii. He qualified for Olympic Games after winning a bronze medal in the Men’s 74 kg Freestyle category at the World Wrestling Championship held at Las Vegas, United States. In the semifinal bout, Narsingh lost the match to Unurbat Purevjav of Mongolia, thus settling to the bronze medal.
iii. With this third-place finish, Narsingh also became the lone Indian to win a medal at the prestigious tournament as well as book a berth for the 2016 Rio Games.
iv. This is also the the first time that an Indian wrestler has earned an Olympic berth by winning medal at the World Championship.

102. Gujarat tops in ease of doing business in India: World Bank Report
i. Gujarat has been placed to top position in World Bank’s first ever ranking of States on the ease of doing business in India.
ii. The World Bank report titled Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms was released in New Delhi under the aegis of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

iii. The inaugural edition of report reflected the ease of doing business in all Indian States at sub-regional level.
iv. All States were assessed over a six-month period from January to June 2015 on the basis of percentage scores in a 98-point reforms agenda. The Union Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, CII, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI and KPMG were involved in the exercise.
v. The largest recipients of foreign investments Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were placed at eighth and twelfth position with less than 50 per cent scores.

103. SBI Card launches credit card for online shopping
i. SBI Card, a leading credit card issuer, on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership with 7 of India's biggest e-commerce players for its newest offering, the SimplyCLICK SBI Card.
ii. This is billed as the first-ever credit card that is focused on online shopping across diverse categories.
iii. For this new credit card, SBI Card has partnered Amazon India, BookMyShow, Cleartrip, FabFurnish, Food Panda, Lens Kart and Ola Cabs -- all frontrunners in their respective categories.
iv. Launching the SimplyCLICK SBI Card in the presence of the strategic partners, Vijay Jasuja, CEO, SBI Card, said that SimplyCLICK has been inspired by the needs and aspirations of the generation that is always online.

104. RBI, Nepal Rastra Bank ink MoU for supervisory information exchange
i. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information.
ii. The MoU was signed by RBI’s Executive Director Meena Hemchandra and Nepal Rastra Bank’s Executive Director Narayan Prasad Paudel in New Delhi.
iii. By signing the MoU, RBI is seeking to promote greater co-operation and share supervisory information among the authorities.
iv. So far RBI has signed 27 such MoUs, one Letter for Supervisory Co-operation (LSC) and one Statement of Co-operation (SoC) in this regard.

105. Malcolm Turnbull Is Sworn In as Australia’s New Prime Minister
i. The party coup to install Malcolm Turnbull as Australia’s fourth prime minister in just over two years has exposed deep unease about the resource-dependent country’s sharply slowing economy and a political system that lets small groups of politicians oust elected leaders.
ii. The 60-year-old former investment banker unseated Tony Abbott as leader of the ruling Liberal-National coalition government late Monday in a party rebellion, as voter surveys pointed to defeat for the ruling Liberal-National coalition at federal elections due next year. Mr. Turnbull was sworn in on Tuesday and became the country’s 29th prime minister.
iii. Australia’s economy expanded just 0.2% in the second quarter from the first, the slowest pace in four years, as China’s slowing economy translates into less construction of skyscrapers, bridges and railways—hurting demand for raw materials like iron ore.
iv. The latest ouster caps nearly a decade of instability in Australian politics that has splintered both major political parties.
v. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a lobby group, said with business and investment confidence already fragile, lawmakers needed to put the tumult behind them and get on with providing the stable government that voters were looking for.

106. FreeCharge Partners Yes Bank, Fino PayTech to Launch Wallet Solution
i. Snapdeal-owned mobile transactions platform FreeCharge announced its foray into the wallets space in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
ii. FreeCharge has partnered with Yes Bank and payment bank licensee Fino PayTech to launch the service, which will go live in a few weeks. The company claims that its wallet is able to reduce checkout times to under 10 seconds.
iii. Kunal Shah, CEO and co-founder, FreeCharge, said that the wallet was equipped with state of the art technology and a robust partner network, "making it a truly game-changing service that will bring value to consumers and our partners in the ecosystem."
iv. "At Snapdeal we are building an ecosystem that powers billions of digital commerce transactions. With the launch of the FreeCharge Digital Wallet, we will now play an even more intrinsic role in our customers' lives," Kunal Bahl, CEO and co-founder, Snapdeal said.
v. While FreeCharge already has a credit-based wallet-like feature in its app called 'FreeCharge Credits', that gets credited when a transaction is unsuccessful. By partnering with a payment bank licensee, FreeCharge can integrate the wallet with savings bank accounts via IMPS and NEFT transfers and issue ATM and debit cards.

107. Kerala: 200 people in Sastamnada village pledge organs for donation
i. Organ donation is the need of the hour and the Kerala government has been on a drive to boost it in the state. Now 200 people from Sastamnada village have come forward to pledge their organs for donation.
ii. The Kerala Network of Organ Sharing was launched by the Department of Health as registry. Now, 200 people from the Sastamnada village will give letters stating their intent to donate their organs to the KNOS nodal officer Dr. Noble Gracious on September 20.
iii. The KNOS website shows that the waitlist for kidneys is 1083 at this point. More people coming forward to donate organs will help those in need is the KNOS opinion. Last year there were only 58 cadaver donors in the state.

108. IFC’s ‘Suryoday’ in rural Rajasthan
i. IFC’s Lighting India program that aims to provide safe, affordable, and quality solar lights to people with limited or no access to electricity, is increasing the availability of solar lighting products in rural parts of Rajasthan through a consumer awareness campaign, Suryoday.
ii. The campaign, delivered in partnership with solar products’ rural distributor Frontier Markets, has reached over 250 villages and about 15,000 people in Sawai Madhopur, Jhunjhunu, Jaipur, and Dhaulpur districts of Rajasthan, IFC said in a statement.
iii. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is a global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

109. Paytm introduces cashless payments in educational institutions
i. Paytm has introduced cashless payments in educational institutions, which will enable users to pay school fees and dues, cafeteria bill, buy uniforms, books and merchandise.
ii. Paytm, the country’s India’s largest mobile commerce platform, has tied up with several premium educational institutions from pre-schools to colleges such as IIT Mandi, Universal Education Trust, KN Modi University, Vidyamandir Classes, Made Easy, Career Launcher, Jamboree, Primus Public School, Bengaluru and Swaminarayan Gurukul Vidyalaya, among others.
iii. Paytm is in advanced stage discussions with all leading IITs, IIMs, central and state universities.
iv. As per a Fitch report, the Indian education sector’s market size is estimated at $109.84 billion in FY15, which makes India the world’s third largest market for education by size.

110. Brian Close: Former England and Yorkshire captain dies, aged 84
i. The Yorkshireman is the youngest player to have won a Test cap for England, making his debut as an 18-year-old against New Zealand in 1949.
ii. Close, who was known for his brave batting, captained his country seven times in 22 Tests, and led Yorkshire to four County Championship titles.
iii. Former England captain Michael Vaughan, who was coached by Close at Yorkshire, called him "a true inspiration".
iv. Close, who lived in Baildon, West Yorkshire, died on Sunday. He leaves a widow, a son and a daughter.
v. Left-handed batsman Close, who bowled as an off-spinner, made nearly 35,000 runs during a first-class career that spanned 37 years, ending at the age of 55 in 1986.

111. Ashok-Alexander Sridharan from Kerala wins Bonn mayoral election
i. Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, who won a recent mayoral election in German city of Bonn, has his roots in the South Indian state of Kerala.
ii. Sridharan, who will be appointed as the country's first Indian origin mayor, also brought the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to power in Bonn after over two decades by defeating the ruling Social Democratic Party.

iii. Sridharan's father, who was an Indian diplomat, immigrated to Germany in the 1950s and married his German mother.
iv. The 50-year-old had earlier served as treasurer and assistant mayor in the nearby Koenigswinter town.

112. Anupam Kher honoured with certificate of recognition in US
i. Anupam Kher received the ‘Certificate of Recognition’ from the California legislature for his dedication to helping Kashmiri Hindu community.
ii. Kher, 60, a Kashmiri Hindu himself, said the recognition also adds to his sense of responsibility.
iii. "I feel honoured to get these recognitions in the US. But they also add to my sense of responsibility towards humankind," he added.
iv. The certificate added to the list of honours Kher has received in the US. He was presented with the ‘Honoured Guest’ award by the US state of Texas and September 10 was announced as 'Anupam Kher Day' in Las Vegas.

113. UN marks International Day by stressing vital role of civil society for true democracy
i. A strong and freely operating civil society is crucial for successful and stable democracies and must be given the space to carry out their vital functions, the United Nations emphasized today, as it marked the International Day of Democracy.
ii. “Civil society is the oxygen of democracy,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 15 September.
iii. “Civil society acts as a catalyst for social progress and economic growth. It plays a critical role in keeping Government accountable, and helps represent the diverse interests of the population, including its most vulnerable groups.”
iv. Yet, Mr. Ban pointed out, freedom to operate for civil society is diminishing – or even disappearing. An alarming number of governments have adopted restrictions that limit the ability of non-governmental organizations to work, or to receive funding, or both. That is why, he added, the theme of this year’s Day is space for civil society.

114. Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina wins UN award for climate change
i. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in recognition of her country’s initiatives to address climate change.
ii. “Serving as Prime Minister of Bangladesh – one of the world’s least-developed countries – Sheikh Hasina has proven that investing in climate change is conducive to achieving social and economic development,” said the announcement issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which confers the awards.
iii. UNEP noted that Bangladesh is one of the world’s most populated countries, with over 159 million people. It is also one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
iv. The award cites, among other initiatives, the progressive Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan of 2009, which made the South Asian nation the first developing country to frame such a coordinated action plan.
v. Bangladesh is also the first country to set up its own Climate Change Trust Fund, supported by nearly USD 300 million of domestic resources from 2009-2012.
vi. The awards will be handed out at a special ceremony on September 27 here at the close of the Sustainable Development Summit.

115. Indian-American Swetha Prabakaran selected for Champions of Change award in US
i. A 15-year-old Indian-American girl Swetha Prabakaran has been selected by the White House for the prestigious Champions of Change award.
ii. She was chosen for the award in recognition of her efforts for empowering the community by imparting education of Internet coding through her non-profit Organisation. She is among eleven young women selected by the White House as Champions of Change.
iii. Swetha was born in Indianapolis to Indian parents who had immigrated from Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli in 1998. She is the founder and CEO of Everybody Code Now, a non-profit body working to empower the next generation of youth to become scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.
iv. The award is given by White House to those who support working families and help make change in their companies or communities. In this regard, White House had created the ‘Champions of Change’ programme in order to feature these individuals and to empower and inspire members of their communities.

116. IIT- Delhi, IISc figured in the top 200 World University Rankings
i. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi are two India institutes to figure in the top 200 in QS World University Rankings of 2015-16.
ii. In this edition of annual global university ranking list, IISc Bangalore ranked 147th and IIT- Delhi ranked 179th respectively.
iii. It was the 12th edition QS World University Rankings and has been topped by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) of United States (US) for record fourth time.
iv. Harvard University (second), University of Cambridge (third), Stanford University (fourth), California Institute of Technology-Caltech (fifth). In the top 10 universities, 5 are from US, 4 from United Kingdom (UK) and 1 from Switzerland.
v. National University of Singapore (11th rank) has topped among the Asian universities.

117. Godavari, Krishna rivers to be formally linked today
i. In a good news to farmers, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will release water of river Godavari into Krishna on Wednesday to mark the formal linking of the two rivers.

ii. The programme will be held at Ibrahimpatnam village near Vijayawada. State Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao told reporters that the State has created history by completing the Krishna-Godavari linking project to divert about 80 TMC of water from river Godavari river to Krishna.
iii. Parakala Prabhakar, Advisor (Communications) to Andhra Pradesh government, had told PTI, “The inter-linking of rivers has been on the cards and on the drawing board for a long time, from the days when (eminent engineer) KL Rao was Irrigation Minister in the Union Cabinet (in 1950s).
iv. The linkage of Godavari water with Krishna basin is being made possible by the ‘Pattiseema’ lift irrigation scheme on Godavari river at Pattisam village in West Godavari district, he had said.

118. Pentagon sets up India Rapid Reaction Cell
i. The Pentagon has established a first-ever country special cell to speed up its defence ties with India and accelerate the process of co-development and co-production of hi-tech military equipment in the country.
ii. Established soon after Defence Secretary Ashton Carter assumed Pentagon’s leadership role in February, India Rapid Reaction Cell (IRRC) is headed by Keith Webster, Director, International Cooperation Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
iii. India is the only country to have a specific cell of its kind inside the Pentagon. Currently, this cell has a staff of seven, representing various wings of the US Department of Defence.
iv. Given the new thrust on India-US defence relationship under Carter, officials say there are quite a few on the waiting list who have shown keen interest in working at the Pentagon’s India Rapid Reaction Cell.

119. Hangzhou to host 2022 Asian Games
i. The Chinese city of Hangzhou was confirmed on Wednesday as the host of the 2022 Asian Games, the Olympic Council of Asia announced at its General Assembly in Ashgabat.
ii. The capital of China’s Zhejiang province, Hangzhou, was the sole bidder to stage the 19th edition of Asia’s biggest multi-sports event.
iii. China has hosted the Asian Games twice before, at Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010, and has already been awarded the Winter Olympics in 2022.
iv. Held every four years, the next Asian Games will take place in Jakarta in 2018. The OCA had wanted to switch the Asian Games to an odd-number year to avoid clashing with the Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup but reverted back to the same time slot after Hanoi, Vietnam withdrew as the 2019 host.
v. Jakarta stepped in as the replacement but asked for the Games to be moved forward to 2018 because the Indonesian presidential elections are slated for 2019.

120. RBI approves 10 entities to set up Small Finance Banks
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted in principle approval to 10 entities to set up small finance banks to provide basic banking services to small farmers and micro industries.
ii. The in-principle approval will enable these entities comply with the guidelines on Small Finance Banks and will be valid for 18 months.

iii. The 10 entities are
Au Financiers (India) Ltd
Capital Local Area Bank
Disha Microfin Private Ltd
Equitas Holdings P Limited
ESAF Microfinance and Investments Private Ltd
Janalakshmi Financial Services Private Limited
RGVN (North East) Microfinance Limited
Suryoday Micro Finance Private Ltd
Ujjivan Financial Services Private Ltd
Utkarsh Micro Finance Private Ltd.
iv. As per RBI guidelines, the small finance banks can provide basic banking services in order to promote financial inclusion.
v. It will include services like accepting deposits and lending to the unbanked sections such as micro business enterprises, small farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities.

121. Nepal approves new constitution
i. Nepal's parliament has overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, which is due to come into effect on Sunday. As it was passed by 507 votes to 25, cheers broke out in the assembly.
ii. It comes after years of political wrangling, while Nepal was governed by an interim constitution after the monarchy was abolished in 2008. It will see Nepal divided into seven provinces but it angered minority ethnic groups who fear discrimination and sparked protests in which 40 died.
iii. Hindu groups have also been demonstrating, demanding that Nepal be declared a Hindu state - it became a secular republic after the monarchy was scrapped. Members of the Constituent Assembly broke out in cheers on Wednesday night after the vote was passed.
iv. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala later tweeted that it was "an issue of pride for all Nepalis that the people's constitution has been passed". Some small opposition parties boycotted the vote.

122. Union Cabinet approves additional employment of 50 days over and above 100 days under MGNREGA
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval to provide an additional 50 days of unskilled manual work in the financial year over and above the 100 days assured to job card holders, in such rural areas where drought or natural calamities have been notified.
ii. This will enable States to provide additional wage employment to the rural poor in drought affected areas. The poorest rural households will benefit from this, as it will help in immediate absorption of rural seasonal unemployment, and reduce rural distress.
iii. To provide immediate relief to farmers, in view of the deficit monsoon during Kharif 2015, the Government of India has already taken a number of decisions. Orders on these measures have already been issued to all State Governments, which will implement them on the basis of assessed need.
iv. The various decisions are:
  • Diesel Subsidy Scheme for farmers in affected areas
  • Enhancement of ceiling on Seed subsidy
  • Interventions for saving perennial horticulture crops
  • Implementation of additional fodder development programme
  • Flexible allocation under RKVY and other centrally sponsored schemes
  • Crop contingency plan
123. Union Cabinet approves Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban mission for rural development
i. The Union Cabinet has approved Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban mission (SPMRM) for its ambitious bid to spur social, economic and infrastructure development in rural areas. In this regard, Union Government has earmarked over 5,000 crore rupees for the mission to develop 300 clusters over next three years across the country.
ii. SPMRM through development of rurban growth clusters aims at catalyzing overall regional growth.
iii. It seeks to achieve of strengthening rural areas and de burdening the urban areas. Thus it seeks for balanced regional development and growth of the country by simultaneously benefiting the rural as well as urban areas of the country.
iv. The State Governments would identify the clusters which have latent potential for growth in accordance with the Framework for Implementation. This framework will be prepared by the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
v. States government will prepare Integrated Cluster Action Plans for Rurban Clusters. It will be comprehensive plan documents detailing out the strategy for the cluster development.

124. India, Cambodia ink 2 MoUs for bilateral cooperation in Tourism, Mekong Ganga Project
i. India and Cambodia have signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to boost bilateral cooperation in the field of Tourism and another related to umbrella projects under Mekong Ganga Cooperation initiative.
ii. These MoUs were signed in the presence of Indian Vice President M.Hamid Ansari and his Cambodian counterpart Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh.
iii. The second MoU for umbrella projects under Mekong Ganga Cooperation initiative covers five Quick Impact Projects.
iv. It also included 50,000 US dollars grant for the Cambodia-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre (CIEDC) which was launched in February 2006.

125. South Indian Fertilisers to set up Kissan Kendra, agri super markets in Kerala
i. The Kochi based South Indian Fertilisers, an organic fertiliser manufacturing company, has plans to set up Kissan Kendra’s and agri super markets across Kerala.
ii. The Kissan Kendra will provide all information on agriculture and make available organic fertilisers, different varieties of seeds, organic pesticides, grow bags etc under one roof.
iii. Besides promoting organic farming, the company will extend information on the usage of latest farming technologies at Kissan Kendras. Kendras will be started under the guidance and supervision of agricultural experts, says Sunil Kumar, Managing Director, South Indian Fertilisers.

126. Manpreet Kaur breaks national shot put record on road to Rio Olympics
i. Railways shot putter Manpreet Kaur today became the latest Indian athlete to qualify for next year's Olympics when she shattered an 18-year-old national record en route to a sixth title at the 55th National Open Athletics Championship today.
ii. The Patiala-based shot putter threw 17.96 metres in her second attempt to claim the gold medal, a hat-trick of titles at the National Open after she returned to field in 2013 following a three year hiatus because of the birth of her daughter Jasnoor.
iii. The 25-year-old, who had the previous best of 16.39 at last year's Delhi National Open, said she was confident of breaking the 19m-mark before next year's Olympics so as to give herself some chance at the quadrennial extravaganza.
iv. The IAAF entry standard for 2016 Rio Olympics in women's shot put is 17.80m, while the top three in London 2012 threw 20m plus. It was also an emotional moment for Manpreet as the previous record holder too worked in the same department of Railways where she's currently posted.

127. Chanderpaul receives Icon Award
i. Veteran Test cricket left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul has been honoured with the Icon Award by the Indo-Caribbean Alliance. In a ceremony held in New York recently, the 41-year-old was given the New York City-based organisation’s highest award and was one of four persons honoured in a five-hour-long ceremony in Flushing, reports CMC.
ii. The others receiving awards were television personality Lakshmee Singh, New York City council member Eric Ulrich and businessman Dave Kadernauth.
iii. Chanderpaul has been one of the most prolific run-scorers in West Indies cricket, amassing 11,867 runs from 164 Tests at an average of 51. He is only second to Brian Lara in aggregate. However, he was sacked in May for poor form ahead of the Australia series and was also recently overlooked for the tour of Sri Lanka beginning next month.

128. Union Government launches PMKKKY for mining affected people
i. Union Government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) for the welfare of people affected by mining related operations.
ii. The new scheme is meant to provide for the welfare of people and areas affected by mining related operations by using the funds collected by District Mineral Foundations (DMFs).

iii. The aim is to mitigate the adverse impacts due to mining operation on the health and environment. It also seeks to ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas.
iv. It is to to ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods to people in areas affected by mining.

129. Perumanna Grama Panchayat becomes first Panchayat in Kerala to declare a Water Policy
i. Perumanna Grama Panchayat in Kozhikode district of Kerala has become the first Panchayat in the State, to declare its own water policy. The water policy has been framed in the lines of the State government’s water policy declared in 2008.
ii. The policy was drafted with the help of the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) Kunnamangalam.
iii. The policy notifies a 13-point action plan to ensure proper utilisation and conservation of water in the 18 wards of Panchayat. The first of the policy to increase water literacy in the panchayat through extensive water conservation and awareness programmes.
iv. The policy also seeks to make panchayat garbage free by 2020, thus eliminating water pollution completely. Under the policy, Water conservation committees will be formed at ward level as well as panchayat level.

130. Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi named for 2015 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award
i. Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi has won the 2015 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award.
ii. As a teacher, she has been recognised for her tireless and brave dedication to educate Afghan refugee girls in the Kot Chandana refugee village in Mianwali, Pakistan by overcoming the struggles of life in exile.
iii. Asifi is a former teacher who fled from Kabul, Afghanistan with her family in 1992 for finding safety in the remote refugee settlement of Kot Chandana in Pakistan.
iv. In the refugee camp she started teaching Afghan refugee girls by overcoming strict conservative cultural traditions which does not allow Afghan women to learn.
v. The award recognizes extraordinary humanitarian work and service of an individual, group or organization towards refugees, internally displaced or stateless people.

131. NASA may launch its Mars sample-return mission by 2022
i. A mission that could bring chunks of rock samples collected by NASA’s 2020 Mars rover back to Earth for analysis could launch as early as 2022, scientists say.
ii. NASA’s Ames Research Center has developed a draft proposal for the “Red Dragon” project which would see NASA team up with Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.
iii. The mission, which remains a concept at the moment and not an approved mission, would send Mars rock samples back toward Earth, where researchers could examine the material for possible signs of past life on the red planet.
iv. Mars is a cold and dry place today, but evidence gathered by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity and other spacecraft suggests that the planet was warmer and wetter, with lots of surface water, billions of years ago.
v. NASA aims to grab and cache samples from a potentially habitable environment with its next Mars rover, which is scheduled to launch in 2020. But the space agency does not yet have a firm plan or timeline for bringing this material back to Earth.

132. Krishnan Balakrishnan new CFO of GoAir
i. Wadia Group-promoted no-frills airline GoAir has appointed Krishnan Balakrishnan as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
ii. Balakrishnan has replaced Siddhartha Datta who quit the airline some time back to pursue other “interests,” GoAir said.
iii. Prior to moving to GoAir, Balkrishnan was holding the position of Vice President for fleet management at Naresh Goyal-owned full service carrier Jet Airways. He is the second senior executives to have parted ways with Jet Airways in the recent past as earlier its Chief Commercial Officer Raj Sivakumar also quit the carrier last month.
iv. Significantly, GoAir Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Prock-Shauer is also formerly from Jet Airways. Prock-Shauer had quit the airline in October 2009 after serving as its CEO for around six-and-a-half year.

133. Madhya Pradesh Government launched M-Shiksha-Mitra mobile app for teachers
i. To provide various services and teaching-related work to teacher in a simple and easy way, Madhya Pradesh Government in September 2015 launched M-Shiksha-Mitra mobile app. With this, Madhya Pradesh became the first state to develop such mobile app for teachers.
ii. The app developed by NIC that carries several facilities can be downloaded from Google Play Store in android mobile phone.
iii. Teachers can use Shiksha-Mitra mobile app to browse salary slip, funds sent to school under various heads, scholarships, different circulars and GPF statement easily. Through it, they can send SMS about their problem and know status of its redressal. The app will also be used for applying for leave and also e-attendance. Facility of free 200 SMSs has been given in the app. 
iv. The app can be logged onto by using user name and password issued for Education Portal. All principals, head masters, school in-charge persons and teachers have been directed to register their mobile number on education portal.

134. Union Finance Ministry launched NXT DIGITAL-Headend In The Sky platform
i. The Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley on 15 September 2015 launched the Headend In The Sky (HITS) digital platform initiative, under the brand name NXT DIGITAL promoted by Hinduja Group.

ii. The platform will provide viewers access to over 500 television channels of their choice be it international, national, regional and local; besides a host of other services like e-applications and TV everywhere. 
iii. Customers in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka will now have greater access to channels of their choice with other states soon joining in. The customers will now pay for what they want to see and it will also enable increase in revenues to the government due to full transparency.
iv. The Hinduja-Hits Network will serve Multi System Operators (MSOs) as well as Local Cable Operators (LCOs) and aims to tap the transition from analogue to digital mode of cable TV services under the government's Digital India initiative and Make In India mission. 
v. The NXT DIGITAL Broadcast Centre is a state-of-the-art next-generation MPEG-4 facility that has been designed and purpose-built to provide a variety of services to the cable distribution fraternity and their customers all across India.

135. EPFO increased maximum insurance cover to 6 lakh rupees
i. The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on 16 September 2015 increased the life insurance cover of its subscribers from 3.6 lakh to 6 lakh rupees.
ii. The central board of trustees (CBT), the highest decision-making body of the EPFO, also decided that the subscriber will not be required to serve continuous employment of one year in a company before being eligible for insurance benefit.
iii. About 40 million contributing members of the EPFO will be benefitted from the decision taken at the 208th CBT meeting in Hyderabad.
iv. The life cover, called Employees Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI), is paid to the family of the EPF subscriber in case of his/her demise.

136. Skeet shooter Mairaj Khan books Olympics quota
i. Veteran skeet shooter Mairaj Ahmad Khan celebrated the biggest day of his 12-year career when he clinched a Rio Olympics quota place for India at the ongoing ISSF Shotgun World Championship here on Thursday.
ii. Mairaj started the second day of the men's skeet competition in ninth position with a score of 74 after the first three rounds of qualification. After two more qualifications on Thursday, he entered the final in sixth position with a total score of 122 out of a maximum possible 125.
iii. Given that all the first five shooters in qualification had already booked their Rio berths, Mairaj secured one of the two available quota places. The other seat went to Germany's Ralf Buchheim who ended his qualification round in eighth position with an identical score of 122.
iv. This is India's first quota place for the 2016 Olympics in the shotgun disciplines.
v. The 40-year-old Noida based Mairaj, who hails from Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh, had previously won gold in the men's Team Skeet event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

137. PM Narendra Modi launches IPDS in Varanasi to ensure 24×7 power supply to every house
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched National Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to provide 24×7 power supply to every house.
ii. To start the scheme in Varanasi, PM laid foundation stone of two power substations and Union Government will provide 572 crore rupees to implement it.
iii. Apart from launching IPDS, PM also laid the foundation stone of seven other developmental projects in Varanasi. He also formally inaugurated the biggest Trauma centre of the country in Banaras Hindu University.
iv. IDPS is to strengthen the transmission and distribution (T&D) networks, 100 per cent metering urban areas and smarten it with information technology. It was announced in Union Budget 2014-15 and is one of the flagship schemes of the Union Ministry of Power core attempt to ensure 24×7 power for all.

138. Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare bans sale of Diclofenac in multidose vial
i. Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has banned the sale of Diclofenac in multidose vial. Henceforth, it will be sold only in single-dose vial packaging for human use.
ii. This ban was imposed on recommendation of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in order to save and protect vultures from brink of extinction.
iii. In this regard, MoEFCC has published an official Gazette notification no G.S.R 558 (E) dated 17th July, 2015, banning packaging of multi-dose vial of Diclofenac.
iv. Diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is administered to cattle, is the chief cause of mass extinction of vultures.
v. Vultures feeding on cattle having traces of diclofenac either die from acute kidney failure within a few days or lose their ability to reproduce.

139. Metro Man E Sreedharan to serve UN High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport
i. Metro Man Elattuvalapil Sreedharan has been invited to the United Nations’ High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST).
ii. He has been invited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to serve on his HLAG-ST for a period of three years. Mr. E Sreedharan has accepted this offer.
iii. Mr. E Sreedharan was born on 12 June 1932 in Palakkad district of Kerala. He is a retired Indian Engineering Service (IES) officer.
iv. He is credited for changing the face of public transport in India. Under his leadership, Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro projects were completed on time. He was given the sobriquet of Metro Man by the Indian media for his grand success in executing the completion of the Delhi Metro on time and with stipulated budget.

140. Veteran Marathi cricket commentator Bal Pandit passes away
i. Veteran cricket Marathi commentator Bal Pandit passed away in Pune, Maharashtra. He was 89. He is considered as pioneer of cricket commentary in Marathi who had made the game more popular in Maharashtrian households.
ii. Bal Pandit was born on 24 July 1929 in Pune. Prior to starting his commentator career, Pandit was cricketer and had played for Maharashtra. His cricketing debut was in the Rohinton Baria Trophy and played for two seasons between 1951 and 1953.
iii. He is often described as an encyclopedia of Marathi synonyms for original cricketing parlance in English. Pandit had endeared himself with fans of the cricket with his lucid live commentary of both domestic and international matches on All India Radio (AIR) for over4 decades, before the advent of 24X7 television channels.
iv. He was also a prolific cricket writer and had written about 30 books. He also had penned newspaper and magazine articles on cricket and enhanced knowledge of the game among readers.

141. India, Laos ink two MoUs to strengthen bilateral ties
i. India and Laos have inked two key Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on Air services and Quick Impact Projects under the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) programme to strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations.
ii. These MoU’s were signed in presence of Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari and his counterpart President of Lao Choummaly Sayasone in Vientiane.
iii. Vice President Hamid Ansari is on four-day official state visit to Cambodia and Laos. It is also first visit of an Indian Vice President to Laos.

142. Ajinkya Rahane honoured with life membership by CCI
i. Ajinkya Rahane, India's most consistent batsman in the last couple of years, has been conferred with the honorary life membership by the Cricket Club of India (CCI) here on Friday.
ii. Honouring the top-order batsman was CCI president Kekoo Nicholson in the presence of past president Sevanti Parikh and other members.
iii. Rahane joins an illustrious list of sportspersons, not just cricketers, to be conferred with the CCI membership and these include Sunil Gavaskar, Viv Richards, Geet Sethi, Michael Ferreira, Muttiah Muralitharan and MS Dhoni, to name a few.
iv. The 27-year-old right-handed batsman who has risen from humble background, who has come a long way from his early life in Dombivli to making centuries at the Home of Cricket, Lord's, has been looked upon by the club as the flag-bearer of Mumbai cricket at the world stage.

143. Election Commission releases NOTA symbol for all polls
i. The Election Commission (EC) has introduced a symbol for "None of the Above (NOTA)" option to facilitate voters in exercising their NOTA option in elections, it was announced on Friday.
ii. The NOTA option was made available to the voters with effect from 11 October, 2013, pursuant to the Supreme Court order of 27 September, 2013.

iii. The symbol for NOTA option was designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
iv. The main objective of the NOTA option is to enable electors, who do not wish to vote for any of the candidates, to exercise their right without violation of the secrecy of their decision

144. International Day of Peace observed globally
i. The International Day of Peace was observed on 21 September 2015 across the world to recognise the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire.
ii. The theme of International Day of Peace for the year 2015 is Partnerships for Peace- Dignity for All.
iii. The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September every year. The United Nations General Assembly has devoted this day to strengthen the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
iv. On this day, the United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities and commemorates the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

145. Nepal adopts new Constitution
i. Nepal has adopted new Constitution marking the country’s transition to a secular and democratic republic. The new Constitution was unveiled by Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav at a special ceremony held in Parliament at Kathmandu.
ii. Earlier the Parliament had unanimously adopted the new Constitution by a 507-25 votes in the 601 seat Constituent Assembly (CA) after seven years of painstaking deliberations.
iii. The lawmakers of CA from Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) and UCPN- Maoist supported the new constitution. The new constitution defines the Nepal, a majority Hindu nation as a secular republic divided into seven federal provinces.
iv. The new Constitution has been drafted by second Constituent Assembly (CA) which was elected in 2013. Chairman of CA was Subash Nemwang.

146. Egypt's president swears in new government
i. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has sworn in a new government
ii. The new government, headed by former Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail, came after state-friendly media slammed the performance of his predecessor Ibrahim Mehleb and prosecutors began investigating several officials for allegedly receiving over $1 million in bribes.
iii. The accusations stood in contrast to coverage of El-Sissi, the former general and defence minister who led the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. He has cultivated an image as a leader who is above the political fray and is routinely praised by Egyptian media.
iv. Prime Minister Ismail was among the most celebrated ministers in the former Cabinet, especially after Italy's Eni SpA revealed late last month their discovery of the "largest-ever" oil field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt.

147. China launches newly-developed smaller version Long March-6 carrier rocket
i. China has successfully launched a newly-developed smaller version of carrier rocket Long March-6 as part of the country’s space program. It was launched from the base in the Northern Province of Shanxi and was carrying 20 micro satellites into the space.
ii. It uses liquid propellant fuel composed of liquid oxygen and kerosene, which is purportedly pollution and toxicity free.
iii. These smaller rocket carries will help to make China more competitive in the lucrative market for commercial satellite launches. Presently, China launches its own satellites along with satellites of other countries and commercial companies.
iv. China’s Long March rocket family has been named after an epic journey by Communist forces led by Mao Zedong escaping the then ruling Kuomintang in the 1930s.

148. Malayalam playback singer Radhika Thilak died
i. Renowned Malayalam playback singer Radhika Thilak passed away in Kochi on 20 September 2015 due to cancer. She was 45 years old. She sung around 70 songs for Malayalam movies including Guru, Ottayal Pattalam and Deepasthambham Mahashcharyam.
ii. Thilak was a known face on Doordarshan in the 1990s. She was one of the top-rated singers on All India Radio and was also one of the most popular stage singers of the time.
iii. Her noted songs in Malayalam film industry are Arunakirana deepam, Deva sangeetham, Maya manchalil, Kaithapoo manam, Thiruvathira thira nokkiya, Ente ulludukkum kotti and Ninte kannil.

149. Novelist Jackie Collins passes away
i. British-American romance novelist Jackie Collins passed away on 19 September 2015 in California, United States. She was 77 and died due to stage 4 breast cancer.
ii. Jacqueline Jill “Jackie” Collins was born on October 4, 1937 in London, England. She was the younger sister of actress Joan Collins.
iii. In her four decades of writing career, she had written more than 32 novels, all of them had appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list.
iv. Her books have sold over 500 million copies in 40 countries and have been translated into 40 languages. Her debut novel, The World Is Full of Married Men was published in 1968.

150. BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya passes away
i. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Jagmohan Dalmiya passed away in in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was 75.
ii. As a cricket administrator, he is hailed as the architect for the rise of Cricket in India and its financial superpower.
iii. Dalmiya was involved with the BCCI for more than three decades and had started his journey as its treasurer in 1983 before becoming its secretary. For the first time, he became BCCI president in 2001 and continued till 2004. For second time, he became President of BCCI in March 2015.

iv. Dalmiya also had served as President of the International Cricket Council (ICC) from 1997 to 2000. He was first Indian and first Asian to head the ICC. He was also instrumental in organising cricket World Cups to the Indian sub-continent in 1987 and 1996.

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