Current Affairs India - 16 August 2016

1. India-s ranking jumped by 15 positions to become the 66th most innovative nation in the world, as per Global Innovation Index ranking published by the Paris-based business school Insead, Cornell University and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations agency. It is based on 82 variables across seven areas, grouped into two divisions inputs and outputs for innovation. Switzerland secured the first position in the index followed by Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Finland and Singapore.

2. The Central Government has constituted a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) to develop the Pan-India road map for trade facilitation which will be headed by Pradeep Kumar Sinha, who is the Cabinet Secretary of India.

3. India-s overall inflation, measured by the wholesale price index, jumped to a 23-month high of 3.55% in July due to higher price increase of vegetables, pulses and sugar etc. The wholesale inflation in vegetables surged to 28.05% and overall food inflation stood a 11.82% in July. With higher retail and overall inflation, RBI may not cut rates to boost growth during its next monetary policy meet in October.

4. Central Leather Research Institute's (CLRI) Principal Scientist P Shanmugam won the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award for meritorious services in the Higher Education Department of Tamil Nadu (TN).

5. Dipa Karmakar, who had created history by becoming the first Indian to qualify for a Gymnastics Final at the Games, missed a medal by securing fourth position in the Olympics with an average score of 15.066. The Bronze medal went to Swiss Giuila Steingruber who had an average score of 15.216.

6. World famous Punjabi writer, novelist and short story writer and Jnanpith awardee Gurdial Singh passed away at Bathinda today. He was 83. The award-winning Punjabi film, -Anne Ghore Da Daan- (Alms of the Blind Horse), was also based on his Punjabi novel with the same title. He was the recipient of various prestigious awards and honours such as Padma Shri, Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Akademi Award.

7. Famous Tamil Lyricist Na Muthukumar passed away. He was 41. He has written songs for more than 1000 films and won two national awards for the songs Ananda Yazhai Meetukiral in Thanga Meengal and Azhage Azhage in Saivam.

8. Pramukh Swami, founder of Akshardham temples and a saint of the Swaminarayan sect, passed away after prolonged illness at the Sarangpur temple. He was 95. He was the president of the Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS), a sub-sect of the Swaminarayan sect, which during his tenure expanded globally, with over 3000 temples built in five decades worldwide.

9. India's leading squash player Dipika Pallikal won the Australian Open Squash women-s singles title in Melbourne last week after defeating eighth seed Mayar Hany of Egypt 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 in the final match.