1. President greets people on Onam
i. "On the festive occasion of Onam, I convey my heartiest greetings and best wishes to fellow countrymen, especially to my brothers and sisters from Kerala," the President said.
ii. Mukherjee said that coinciding with the harvest season, Onam marks a joyful completion of human efforts, with prayerful optimism for the future. "People of all religions, castes and communities celebrate the festival with equal joy, underlining the secular fabric of our society."
iii. This unique festival brings out the rich cultural heritage of Kerala in its best form and spirit. On this day, may the joy of Kerala extend to the whole of India, bringing peace and harmony to all," the President said. Onam is celebrated over a period of 10 days.
2. China to meet 7.5% growth target: World Bank chief
i. China is likely to achieve its growth target of 7.5 per cent this year despite planned structural reforms to re balance the world’s second largest economy, the World Bank president said.
ii. Jim Yong Kim is making a four-day visit focusing on issues relating to carbon emission reductions and China’s urbanisation push.
iii. China’s economy expanded 7.7 per cent last year, its slowest growth since 1999.
iv. China is preparing an “experimental” free trade zone (FTZ) in its commercial hub Shanghai as it tries to promote economic reforms.
v. Growth eased to 7.5 per cent in April-June, from 7.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year and 7.9 per cent in the final three months of 2012.
3. UN accepts Syria chemical arms treaty application
i. The United Nations has formally accepted Syria's application to join the chemical weapons convention, a spokesperson said.
ii. The UN welcomed Syria joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, after it received the formal instrument of accession to it by the Assad regime.
iii. Syria applied Thursday to join the convention, which bans the production and stockpiling of chemical weapons and orders the destruction of existing stocks.
iv. The Secretary-General, in his capacity as the depositary of the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, on Saturday received the formal instrument of accession to the Convention by Syria, the UN spokesperson said.
v. Under the Convention, any State may accede to it at any time. The Convention will enter into force for the Syrian Arab Republic on the 30th day following the date of deposit of this instrument of accession, on 14th October 2013.
4. Ahmad Toameh appointed as a New Interim Prime Minister of Syria
i. Syria's opposition National Coalition on 14 September 2013 elected Ahmad Toameh as its interim Prime Minister to run the regions in the country under rebel control.
ii. A moderate Islamist and a dentist by profession, 48 year old Toameh replaces Ghassan Hitto who resigned in July 2013 since he was not able to form a cabinet due to the division among rebel factions.
iii. Ahmad Toameh received 75 votes, with 10 voting against him and 12 representatives filing blank ballots.
iv. Ahmad Al-Jarba is the new chief of the Syrian Opposition National Coalition. He took over in July 2013. He led the National Council since early July 2013 by Ahmad al-Jarba, a tribal chief and veteran dissident who fled abroad in August 2012 after being released from a second stint in the regime's jails.
5. Nuclear-capable 'Agni-V' tested for second time
i. India on Sunday conducted a second test flight of its indigenously developed nuclear- capable 'Agni-V' long-range ballistic missile, which has a strike range of more than 5000 km, from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.
ii. The three stage, solid propellant missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 8:50 AM, defence sources said on Sunday.
iii. The surface-to-surface missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne, witnessed an 'auto launch' and detail results of the trial will be known after thorough analyses of all data retrieved from different radars and network systems, they said.
iv. The indigenously developed missile Agni-V is capable of striking a range of more than 5000 km. It is about 17 meter long and 2 metres wide with launch weight of around 50 tonnes.
Note: In the Agni (Surface to Surface missile) series, India at present has Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to more than 3500 range. Agni – V more than 5000 km
6. JAPAN to be nuclear free as last reactor switched off
i. Japan is to start the process of switching off its last working nuclear reactor on Sunday for a scheduled inspection with no restart in sight due to public hostility towards atomic power.
ii. The move will leave the world's third largest economy without atomic energy for the second time since the Fukushima crisis erupted in March 2011.
iii. Kansai Electric Power will gradually take offline the No 4 reactor at its Oi nuclear plant in Fukui prefecture in western Japan.
iv. It was the first time in more than four decades that Japan was without nuclear power. Japan previously was without any nuclear energy in May 2012, when all of the country's 50 commercial reactors had stopped for scheduled checkups, with utilities unable to restart them due to public opposition.
7. Mass anti-government protest gears up in Poland
i. Tens of thousands of Polish trade unionists kicked off a march through the capital on Saturday in the finale of a four-day protest against the unpopular and increasingly fragile centre-right government.
ii. The protest reflects widespread public gloom over this year's sharp economic slowdown in Poland, which has been dragged down by the eurozone crisis.
iii. The disillusionment has plunged the coalition government's popularity to its lowest level since Prime Minister Donald Tusk took office in 2007.
iv. Tusk argued Friday that his success in pushing through a revised 2013 budget -widening the deficit by an extra 3.8 billion euros ($5 billion)bodes well for the future.
v. However the economy slowed to just 0.1 percent growth in the first quarter of this year as Poland's main trade partner the eurozone struggled with recession.
8. Sri Lankan President inaugurated the Train Service to the Northern Province
i. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 14 September 2013 inaugurated the train service, built by the Indian Railways, to the Northern Province.
ii. The rail line is crucial for rebuilding the economy of the war devastated Jaffna peninsula, as it will provide a fast link to the economic hub of Colombo.
iii. With this inauguration, President Mahinda Rajapaksa became the first commuter since 1990 to travel on this inter-city express train when he boarded it at the northern city of Killinochchi.
iv. Indian High Commissioner Y K Sinha congratulated the engineers of Indian Railways for completing the work on schedule by overcoming a number of formidable challenges. The line will be extended to Jaffna by April next year.
Note: The crucial rail line to the war-torn Northern Sri Lanka was destroyed 23 years ago. It has been rebuilt by IRCON, a subsidiary of Indian Railways, with full grant assistance from the Indian government.
9. Jayalalithaa launches low-cost mineral water scheme
i. After low-cost tiffin centres, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday launched a scheme to provide 1 litre mineral water at Rs. 10 a bottle, to ensure quality and affordable drinking water to the poor and middle class.\
ii. She inaugurated the state-run ‘Amma Drinking Water’ plant with a daily capacity of three lakh litres at Gummidipoondy, about 50 km from Chennai, through video conferencing from the Secretariat and launched the sale of the water bottles.
iii. For the first time in India, drinking water plants are being set up by government transport corporations to provide safe drinking water at low cost to the people,” an official release said.
iv. The water will be available in a plastic bottle with the word ‘Amma’ (mother in Tamil), as Ms. Jayalalithaa is addressed by her partymen.
Note: Recently, it had launched ‘Amma Canteens’ that offer breakfast, lunch and dinner at highly subsidised rates.
10. Japan beats Colombia 3-2 in Davis Cup playoff
i. Japan earned a berth in the Davis Cup World Group with a 3-2 win over Colombia.
ii. The victory booked Japan’s return to the top flight after a one-year absence. Colombia was trying to earn a spot in the World Group for the first time.
11. India retains third position in ICC Test ranking
i. India has retained its third position in the latest ICC Test rankings after South Africa and England
ii. Proteans have 135 points followed by England and India with 116 points each but England has decimal rating point advantage bringing it at number two.
iii. Only two Indians, opener Cheteshwar Pujara along with the off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin figure among the top ten. South Africa’s Hashim Amla is number one batsman followed by Caribbean Shiv Narain Chanderpaul and South Africa’s A.B.Devilliers.
iv. Ravichandran Ashwin is at number eight. Among the Allrounders, South Africa’s Jacques Kallis is number one and India’s Ravichandran Ashwin figures at number three.
12. Now dress code for Karnataka Govt staff
i. Taking note of some of its staffers wearing clothes “that did not bring any repute”, the Karnataka Government has prescribed a “decent” dress code for them — pant and shirt or ‘pyjama/kurta’ for men and saree or ’churidar’ for women.
ii. The state government has announced enforcement of the dress code for its officials and staff after some were found to wear clothes “that did not bring any repute” to the offices.
iii. The secretariat employees’ union general secretary had requested the government to implement a dress code so that the staff comes to offices with “respectful clothes”, the circular said.
iv. Government drivers and “D” group staff already have uniforms and they have been asked wear them without fail while coming to office.