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Daily Current Affairs – 16 Sep 2020 : GKToday Updates
1. India beats China to become member of UN’s Commission on Status of Women
- India has been elected as the member of the UN’s Commission on Status of Women (CSW), a body of the Economic and Social Council.
- India will remain member of the prestigious body for four years from 2021 to 2025.
- India, Afghanistan and China had contested the elections to the Commission on Status of Women. While India and Afghanistan won the ballot among the 54 members, China failed to cross the half-way mark.
- The CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
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The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and achieve international cooperation.
Headquarters: New York, United States; Secretary General: António Guterres
2. Lok Sabha passes Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
- Lok Sabha passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 yesterday.
- The Bill seeks to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and empowers the central government to designate certain commodities including food items, fertilizers, and petroleum products as essential commodities.
- It empowers the central government to regulate the stock of an essential commodity that a person can hold.
- The bill aims to liberalise the regulatory system while protecting the interests of consumers.
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The Bill will replace the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance which was introduced on 5th June this year.
3. S Jaishankar holds discussions with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation
- The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad visited India.
- He called on External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in the presence of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
- Mr Khalilzad appreciated India’s participation in the Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN) held in Doha on 12th Sept. He briefed about the US assessment and perspective on the Afghan peace process.
- The two sides discussed future steps and possible cooperation between India and the US in furthering the Afghan peace process.
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This was Zalmay Khalilzad 5th visit to India since January last year.
4. Scientists detect potential signs of extraterrestrial life on Venus
- Scientists revealed that they have detected potential signs of life on the Venus planet.
- They have detected a gas called phosphine in the acidic clouds of Venus that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth’s neighbour.
- Phosphine was detected in the temperate zone of Venus’ atmosphere at an altitude of about 50 km at 20 parts-per-billion
- Though the researchers did not discover actual life forms, this discovery raises hopes of potential life beyond Earth. The researchers noted that phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments on the Earth.
- The study was published in the scientific journal- Nature Astronomy.
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Phosphine is a flammable, colorless and explosive gas at ambient temperature that has the odour of garlic or decaying fish.
5. International Day of Democracy: 15 September
- International Day of Democracy is observed globally on 15th September every year.
- The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly through a resolution in 2007 to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy.
- The day was observed for the first time in 2008.
- The day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.
6. Domnic Theim beats Alexander Zverev to win US Open men’s singles title
- Dominic Thiem beats Alexander Zverev in a nervy five-setter to win the US Open men’s singles title.
- The second seeded Austrian beat the fifth seed 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. It marked the first time in the US Open’s Open era history that a player had recovered from losing the opening two sets to win the title.
- The title marks Thiem’s maiden Grand Slam trophy after three previous defeats in finals of tennis majors.
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Thiem was runner-up at the Australian Open earlier this year and also lost in the last-two showdowns at the French Open in 2018 and 2019.