Current Affairs – August 2016

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US to create world’s largest protected marine area off Hawaii

United States is going to create world’s largest protected marine reserve area named as Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the Hawaiian coast.

It will be created by expansion of present national monument off Hawaii. US President Barck Obama will use his power to expand this national monument.

Key Facts

  • With this expansion, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument will now span to 582,578 square miles. Thus, it quadruples in the size from present size.
  • The expansion will further help to protect more than 7,000 species and improves an ecosystem dealing with ocean acidification and warming.
  • It will permanently protect coral reefs and underwater marine habitats which are home to marine species, including rare whales and sea turtles.
  • The monument was first designated by the US President George W. Bush in 2006 as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument.
  • It was renamed later in honour of Papahanaumoku and Wakea, the husband-and-wife Hawaiian gods of earth and sky.
  • In 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had designated the area a world heritage site.


Pakistan to host 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad

Pakistan is going to host the 19th SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit in Islamabad (capital city) and Murree on November 9 and 10, 2016.

It will be the meeting of the head of states or head of government of the eight SAARC countries. Besides, nine observers of SAARC have also been invited to attend the Summit.

The 18th SAARC Summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2014 with the theme Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity. It had focused on enhancing connectivity between the member states for easier transit-transport across the region

About the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

  • SAARC is regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia. It promotes development of economical and regional integration.
  • As of 2015, SAARC member countries compromise of 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 9.12% of the global economy.
  • Member Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan (joined in 2007).
  • Nine observer states: Australia, China, European Union, Japan, Iran, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea, and United States.
  • Formation History: The idea for the SAARC was proposed by Ziaur Rahman, the then President of Bangladesh on May 2, 1980.
  • The seven founding countries had met for first time in April 1981 and then in 1985, they created SAARC Charter.
  • The first SAARC summit was held in Dhaka (Bangladesh) in December 1985. The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu (Nepal) on 16 January 1987.


22nd edition of Delhi Book Fair begins

The 22nd edition of the Delhi Book Fair (DBF) began at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.  The nine day event will conclude on 4th of September 2016.

Focus of the this edition of DBF will be to highlight initiatives undertaken by Union Government for its Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan to inculcate better reading habits among the younger generation.

Key Facts

  • The Delhi Book Fair has been organised by Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) in association with Federation of Indian Publishers.
  • National campaigns launched in the past two years by Union Government will be highlighted in the Theme Pavillion.
  • Initiatives like Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India, Skill India, Startup India, Smart Cities and Startup India will dominate these pavillions.
  • It will also showcase a wide range of fictions and non-fictions, academic books besides plenty of children’s literature.
  • It will also showcase other varieties of publications including digital innovations, in order to promote literacy and higher education among children and the youth.
  • Exhibitors will include both Indian and foreign publishers, book sellers and distributors, educational institutions, periodicals and magazines and e-books
  • Special facilities will be offered for students and the teaching community, who will be provided free entry to the fair.