Current Affairs - 30th & 31st August 2015
1. Union Government launches SAHAJ scheme for onlinerelease of new LPG connections
i. Union Government has launched SAHAJ scheme for online releaseof new LPG connections for the consumers as parts of its consumerfriendly initiative. It was launched by Union Petroleum and NaturalGas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at a function held in New Delhi.
ii. Under the scheme, people can apply online for new LPGconnection and they need not visit to the LPG distributors for it.SAHAJ facility will enable the customers to post online request for anew connection by filing Know Your Customer (KYC) form by uploadingbank account details and photographs.
iii. After submitting the details, customer will receive theregistration number to know the new connection status. Later,customer can opt for offline or online mode of payment for the newconnection.
iv. Once payment is done, electronic subscription voucher will bemailed to the new customer. Later distributor will do physicaldelivery of the Gas cylinder, regulator with hose pipe. Initially,the scheme has been launched in twelve cities across the country. Innear future, this scheme will be extended to other parts of thecountry.
v. Twelve cities are Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Bhopal,Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Patna, Mumbai andPune.
2. National Sports Day celebrated on 29 August
i. National Sports Day was celebrated on the 29 August 2015 acrossthe country. The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary ofhockey player Dhyan Chand.
ii. On this occasion, President Pranab Mukherjee conferredNational Sports and Adventure Awards in New Delhi.
Winners of National Sports and Adventure Awards 2015
Sania Mirza (Tennis) was conferred with RajivGandhi Khel Ratna. The prestigious award was won by shooter RonjanSodhi in 2014.
Naval Singh(athletics-para-sports),Anoop singh (wrestling),Harbans Singh(athletics-lifetime),Swatantar Raj Singh (Boxing-life time) andNihar Ameen (Swimming-lifetime) were the winners of DronacharayaAwards.
Seventeen people were conferred withArjuna Awards including Sandeep Kumar (archery),Rohit Sharma(cricket),Jitu Rai (Shooting) and Babita Kumari (wrestling).
Romeo James (hockey),Shiv Prakash Mishra (tennis) and TPPNair (volleyboll) were conferred with Dhyan Chand Awards.
Five sports persons were conferred with Tenzing NorgayNational Adventure Award.
Punjabi University,Patiala was conferred with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy.
Four organizations received Rashtriya Khel Protsahana Purushkar forencouraging sports and sports persons.
3. Pakistan bans Islamic State militant group
i. Pakistan has banned the Islamic State (IS) militant group whichhas undertaken vast stretches of Iraq and Syria in its control.
ii. This decision was taken Pakistan Government on therecommendation of the Foreign Office, which regularly updates itabout international militant groups banned by the United Nations(UN).
iii. Union Government already has banned brutal terror groupIslamic State under the provisions of Unlawful Activities(Prevention) Act, 1967 and following the provisions of section two ofthe United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1947.
iv. India took this decision in December 2014 after UN has bannedit under its sanctions regime of the Prevention and Suppression ofTerrorism (Implementation of Security Council Resolutions) Order,2007.
4. Mountaineer Jot Singh awarded Tenzing NorgayNational Adventure award
i. Mountaineer Jot Singh of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) hasbeen honoured with the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award2014-15. He was bestowed with the award by President Pranab Mukherjeeduring the national sports awards presentation ceremony held at theRashtrapati Bhavan on the eve of National Sports Day observed on 29August.
ii. With this, Inspector Jot Singh became 11th ITBP official toreceive this honour. He is one of the best mountaineers of ITBP andhas been undertaking expeditions. He also has scaled the MountEverest.
iii. ITBP is Indias mountain-trained armed force and also knownas special force for mountaineering skills. Since 1962, it has beendeployed primarily to guard high altitude Indo-China border.
iv. Ms. Arunima Sinha (Mountaineering),Wg. Cdr. Paramveer Singh(Aqua Sport),Lt. Col Satyendra Verma (Sky diving) and Col. SatishChander Sharma (Mountaineering).
v. Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award is named after Indianand Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay. It is an annual awardgiven by Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
5. OP Jaisha sets new marathon national record at WorldAthletics Championships, ensures 2016 Rio Olympic spot
i. Indians gave a good account of themselves in the women'smarathon at the World Athletics Championships as O.P. Jaisharegistered a time of two hours, 34 minutes and 43 seconds to set anew national record.
ii. O.P. Jaisha and Sudha Singh finished 18th and 19threspectively in the women's marathon at the World AthleticsChampionships in Beijing.
iii. Jaisha registered a time of two hours, 34 minutes and 43seconds to set a new national record and claim the 18th place on thefinal day of the biennial extravaganza.
iv. Sudha, who clocked 2:35:35, also did better than the previousnational mark of 2:37:29 set by Jaisha at the Mumbai marathon earlierthis year.
v. The result means that both Jaisha and Sudha are well within thequalifying standard for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
6. Eminent Kannada writer Dr. MM Kalburgi shot dead inDharwad
i. The veteran Kannada writer and former vice-chancellor ofKannada University Dr Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi was shot deadon 30 August 2015 at his residence in Dharwad. He was shot dead byunidentified persons.
ii. The 77 year old Kannada epigraphist and renowned scholar ofVachana literature, Kalburgi was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award(2006) for Marga, a collection of his research articles.
iii. A rationalist and a Communist ideologue, Kalburgi had run-inswith right wing Hindutva groups over the years.
iv. He came under criticism in the 1980s from the lingayatscommunity of Karnataka, after he was accused of making "derogatoryreferences" to Basava, a 12th-century philosopher who is reveredby the community.
v. In 2014, he had spoken openly against idolatry in Hinduism insupport of another Kannada writer UR Ananthamurthy.
7. Indias Anil wins gold medal in Cadet WrestlingWorld Championships
i. Indian wrestler Anil has clinched gold medal in Cadet WrestlingWorld Championships in the 50 kg freestyle competitions. In the finalmatch played at Sarajevo, Bosnia he defeated Erfan Aeini of Iran by10-6 score.
ii. Earlier, Anil had defeated Tumentsogt Bold of Mongolia in thesemi-final bout and Ertugrul Kahveci of Turkey in quarter-final bout.
iii. It was second medal for India in this championship. Earlierfemale grappler Ankus had won silver medal in the 38 kg womenfreestyle competitions. This is second time Anil has won gold medalat international level by defeating Erfan Aeini.
iv. Earlier in 2014, he had won gold medal in the 50 kg freestylecategory at the 2014 Asian Championship by defeating Efan Aeini.
Current Affairs - 28th & 29th August 2015
1. Scientist Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta to receiveinaugural Sunhak Peace Prize
i. Noted Indian agricultural scientist Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta hasbeen chosen for the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize. He will receive thefirst Sunhak Peace Prize in South Korean Capital city of Seoul alongwith President of Kiribati Islands Anote Tong.
ii. Dr. M. V. Gupta has been selected for this award for hispioneering work in the blue revolution. He has invested his entirelife to developing sustainable aquaculture as an alternative solutionto the future food crisis. Anote Tong has been chosen for this awardfor creating global awareness on the severity of climate change issueand sought for action by the international community for itssolution.
iii. Anote Tong has been chosen for this award for creating globalawareness on the severity of climate change issue and sought foraction by the international community for its solution.
iv. Dr. M. V. Gupta hails from Bapatla district of Andhra Pradeshand was born on 17 August 1939. He is recipient of the World FoodPrize in 2005 for development and dissemination of low-costtechniques for freshwater fish farming by using tilapia species forthe rural poor.
2. Rajendra Singh conferred with 2015 Stockholm WaterPrize
i. The Waterman of India Rajendra Singh on 26 August 2015 wasconferred with the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize.
ii. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm WaterPrize presented the prize at a Royal Award Ceremony during WorldWater Week in Swedish Capital Stockholm.
iii. Singh was named for the prestigious award for his innovativewater restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India,and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his questto improve the living conditions for those most in need.
3. AB de Villiers broke Sourav Ganguly's record offastest 8000 ODI runs
i. South African skipper AB de Villiers on 26 August 2015 becamethe fastest batsman to reach 8000 One Day International (ODI) runs.He achieved the fete during the third ODI against New Zealand inDurban which South Africa won by 62 runs to claim the series, 2-1.
ii. De Villiers, who went past 8000 runs in just his 182 innings,broke the previous record held by former Indian captain SouravGanguly.
iii. Ganguly achieved the fete in 200 innings and Sahin Tendulkar,the leading run-scorer in ODIs achieved it in 210 innings.
iv. De Villiers currently holds the record for the fastesthalf-century, fastest century and the fastest 150 in ODIs.
4. NTPC sets a record in single-day power generation
i. Indias largest power generator National Thermal PowerCorporation (NTPC) Limited has achieved a record of highestsingle-day electricity generation of over 733 million units.
ii. The record generation of electricity on August 27, 2015 wasachieved from NTPCs 18 coal-based power plants, and 8 solar andhydro power stations and 7 gas-based units. On the record day, theDeclared Cumulative Capability (DCC) of the stations was 91.10 percent and Plant Load Factor (PLF) was of 86.34 per cent.
iii. NTPC limited is a Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU),operational under the aegis of Union Ministry of Power.
iv. During financial year 2014-15, NTPC had contributed 25 percent of total electricity generated in the country and accounted for16 per cent share of countrys total installed capacity of 45,548MW (including 6,196 MW through its joint ventures).
5. Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins UEFA Best Player inEurope award
i. Lionel Messi added another individual trophy to his collectionThursday, being voted UEFA's Best Player in Europe for last season.
ii. The Barcelona star beat Luis Suarez, his teammate at theChampions League winner, and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in aEurope-wide poll of journalists.
iii. Messi, the four-time FIFA world player of the year, got theUEFA honor after a season-long duel with Ronaldo for the ChampionsLeague scoring record. Both resume this season on 77 goals.
iv. Suarez, who scored the decisive second goal in the 3-1 finalwin over Juventus in June, reached the shortlist despite starting hisseason in late-October. The Uruguay forward served a FIFA ban forbiting at the 2014 World Cup.
v. Launched in 2011, the UEFA award previously went to Messi,Andres Iniesta, Franck Ribery and Ronaldo. Celia Sasic, the Germanstar forward of Women's Champions League winner Frankfurt, receivedthe women's award from UEFA President Michel Platini.
6. NDMC decides to rename Aurangzeb road as APJ AbdulKalam road
i. Aurangzeb road one of the most important addresses in Lutyen'sDelhi will be renamed as Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam road.
ii. According to East Delhi MP Maheish Girri, who belongs to theBJP, the New Delhi Municipal Council or NDMC has decided to changethe name from Aurangzeb road to Abdul Kalam road.
iii. Aurangzeb road begins at the Taj Mansingh hotel near IndiaGate and joins Safdarjang Road near the official residence of thePrime Minister.
iv. One of the finest heritage hotels in Delhi, The Claridges isalso located on the same road.Maheish Girri had led the campaigndemanding name change.
7. Usain Bolt won 200 meter title at 2015 WorldChampionships in Athletics in Beijing
i. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt on 27 August 2015 won the 200meter title at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics held atBeijing in China.
ii. Bolt completed the race in 19.55 seconds surpassing hisAmerican rival Justin Gatlin who completed the race in 19.74 seconds.
iii. Earlier, on 23 August 2015, he also won the 100 metre goldagainst the same rival Justin Gatlin.
8. India womens hockey team books 2016 Rio Olympicsberth
i. Indian womens hockey team will return to the Olympics aftera long gap of 36 years as it has qualified on Saturday for nextyears Rio Games, courtesy England making it to the final of theongoing EuroHockey Championships in London.
ii. Englands semifinal victory over Spain, coming after theNetherlands win over Germany in the other semifinal in theEuropean Championships freed one quota place as both the finalistshave already qualified for the Olympic Games.
iii. India took the quota place on the basis of its fifth-placefinish in the womens Hockey World League Semifinals in Antwerp,Belgium last month. International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmedthat Indian womens team has qualified for the Rio Games.
iv. Indian womens team now join nine other teams, who havealready qualified for 2016 Rio Games Korea as Asian Gameschampions, Argentina as Pan Am Games champions and Great Britain,China, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the USAthrough the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.
Current Affairs - 26th & 27th August 2015
1. Union Government launched 'Sehat' to providehealthcare facilities in rural areas
i. The Union government on 25 August 2015 launched a telemedicineinitiative 'Sehat' in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals to providehealthcare facilities in rural areas.
ii. The initiative was launched by Union Communication and ITMinister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a function in New Delhi.
iii. Under the initiative people will be able to consult doctorsthrough video link and also order generic drugs. It will also help inproviding quality and affordable healthcare is one of the emergingneeds for citizens in rural areas.
iv. The Common Service Centres (CSCs) have been deliveringtele-consultation services with support from Apollo and MedantaHospitals in some areas. These CSCs will also provide diagnosticservices and promote sale of generic drugs through collaboration withHealth Ministry by setting up Jan Aushadhi Stores.
v. Now, with this initiative, the tele-consultation services arebeing extended to 60000 centres across the country.
2. India to implement Sendai framework for DisasterReduction 2015-2030
i. Union Government has announced it plans to implement the Sendaiframework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in letter and spirit.It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home KirenRijiju after inaugurating a workshop on Enhancing Private SectorPartnership for Disaster Risk Reduction in New Delhi.
ii. It was adopted during the third UN World Conference onDisaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015. Itsadaptation involves adopting integrated and inclusive institutionalmeasures in order to work towards preventing vulnerability todisaster.
iii. It also seeks to increase preparedness for response andrecovery and strengthen resilience in case of disaster. It opts forconsidering the experience gained through international and theregional strategies/institutions and plans for disaster riskreduction.
3. ISRO successfully launches GSLV-D6 carrying GSAT-6satellite
i. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D6) hassuccessfully blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre atIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Sriharikota, nearChennai.
ii. This is the third time the indigenously developed CryogenicUpper Stage (CUS) is being carried onboard during a GSLV flight.
iii. It may be noted the second mission of GSLV during the lastfive years after two such rockets failed in 2010. One of the GSLVrockets flew with Indian cryogenic engine and the other one with aRussian engine.
iv. GSAT-6 will join the group of India's other operationalgeostationary satellites and it will provide communication throughfive spot beams in S-band and a national beam in C-band for strategicusers.
v. The S-Band Unfurlable Antenna of six metre diameter is one ofthe advanced features of GSAT-6 satellite.
vi. This is the largest satellite antenna realised by ISRO and itis utilised for five spot beams over the Indian main land
vii. Spot beams exploit the frequency reuse scheme to increasefrequency spectrum utilisation efficiency.
4. Kazakhstan To Host First Nuclear Fuel Bank
i. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstanhave signed an agreement to create the world's firstinternationally-controlled bank of low-enriched uranium in theex-Soviet nation to ensure fuel supplies for power stations andprevent nuclear proliferation.
ii. The agreement on establishing the bank was signed by YukiyaAmano, director general of the UN nuclear watchdog, and KazakhForeign Minister Erlan Idrissov on August 27 in the Kazakh capital,Astana.
iii. The storage facility, set to become fully operational in2017, is intended to provide IAEA member states with a steady andpredictable supply of fuel even if other routes are disrupted.
iv. Backers also argue it will dissuade countries from buildingenrichment facilities that might be misused to purify uranium toweapons-grade levels - an issue that bedeviled relations between Iranand the West for more than a decade.
5. Novak Djokovic new UNICEF goodwill ambassador
i. Reigning world tennis champion Novak Djokovic became a newgoodwill ambassador for the UN Fund for Children, joining a roster ofathletes and celebrities to hold the post.
ii. The 28-year-old Serbian, who grew up during the Balkans war,has already worked to help vulnerable children through his role asUNICEF Serbia ambassador.
iii. Djokovic, who was born in Belgrade in 1987 shortly before theBalkans war broke out, spent much of his childhood in Serbia.
iv. Djokovic, who was born in Belgrade in 1987 shortly before theBalkans war broke out, spent much of his childhood in Serbia. He hassaid on past occasions that tennis was a blessing.
6. Girish Sahni assumed charge as Director General ofCSIR
i. Girish Sahni on 26 August 2015 assumed charge as the DirectorGeneral of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)with effect from the 24 August 2015. Additionally, Sahni will alsoserve as Secretary, Department of Scientific & IndustrialResearch, Union Ministry of Science & Technology.
ii. Previously, Sahni had been the Director of CSIR-Institute ofMicrobial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH),Chandigarh.
iii. Born on 2 March 1956, Sahni specializes in ProteinEngineering, Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology. He isinternationally recognized for his research contributions. He isFellow of Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; Indian Academyof Science, Bangalore, and NASI, Allahabad.
7. Rajasthan Government approved Arogya Rajasthancampaign
i. Rajasthan State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister VasundharaRaje on 25 August 2015 approved the launch of Arogya Rajasthancampaign. The campaign will be held from December 2015 to March 2016.
ii. The three-month campaign will help in collection andcompilation of health data of the rural population in the state.During the campaign, the rural residents would be issued health cardsbased on spot diagnoses. The cards would be used for furthertreatment and follow-up of patients.
iii. The cabinet also approved a drive to collect healthinformation of citizens to build an online datatbase, which will beheld between 15 September and 31 October 2015. The campaign Healthcamps will be organised at gram panchayat level and every citizenwill be issued a Health Card.
Current Affairs - 25th August 2015
1. Justice M L Tahaliyani sworn in as Lokayukta ofMaharashtra
i. Justice Madanlal Laxmandas Tahaliyani has sworn-in as the newLokayukta of Maharashtra. He was administered the oath of office bythe Governor Vidyasagar Rao at the oath taking ceremony held in RajBhavan in Mumbai.
ii. Justice Tahaliyani will succeed Justice PB Gaikwad whose termas Lokayukta had ended on July 2014. He is a retired judge ofthe Bombay High Court.
iii. Justice Tahaliyani was born on 23 December, 1953 at SardarShahar in Rajasthan. He was often called a green judge due tohis passion for nature. He had started his legal practising careerGondia and Chandrapur in Maharashtra after obtaining law degree fromNagpur in 1977.
iv. He was appointed as Assistant Public Prosecutor at Gadchiroliin 1979 and had worked in that capacity at Gadchiroli, Desaiganj,Sironcha and Warora. He also has served as Chief MetropolitanMagistrate of Mumbai in 1997. He was elevated as High Court Judge in2011.
2. Indian-American Vince Chhabria appointed as afull-time federal judge by Obama
i. Indian-American Vince Chhabria was on 24 August 2015 wasappointed as the full-time federal judge of California court byPresident Barack Obama. The 46-year-old Chhabria is the Bay Area'sfirst Indian-American federal judge.
ii. Along with Chhabria, Obama also elevated 10 other people asthe full-time judge in the third largest US state California. All 11Obama appointees sailed through Senate confirmation hearings, whichhelped in filling the 11 of 14 vacancies in the court for thenorthern district of California.
iii. Chhabria was confirmed in 2014 to a seat in San Francisco. Heonce clerked for US Supreme Court Judge Stephen Breyer, as well ashis brother, San Francisco federal judge Charles Breyer. He hasissued significant decisions allowing cases, including that of labourlaws, against transport companies Uber and Lyft's models to proceed.
iv. Earlier, Obama had nominated Chhabria, then 43, to serve as afederal judge in the US District Court for the Northern District ofCalifornia.
3. NITI Aayog decided to set up expert group to draftModel Land Leasing Law
i. NITI Aayog on 24 August 2015 decided to set up an expertscommittee to prepare a model land leasing law, which can be adoptedby states as per their local needs.
ii. The decision on the matter was taken at a meeting of ChiefSecretaries and Principal Secretaries of Revenue and Land, which waschaired by Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya.
iii. The representatives of the states generally agreed that landleasing, updating of land records and land titling would be win-winsteps for all affected parties and expressed keen interest in makingprogress on them in the months to come.
iv. It was agreed that the NITI Aayog Vice-Chairperson willappoint a committee of experts to prepare a model land leasing lawthat the states can adopt to suit their local needs.
v. The NITI Aayog in consultation with the Department of LandResources will assist the interested states in moving forward withupdating and digitising land records in accordance with the bestpractices. Land related issues such as land leasing, updating anddigitisation of land records and land titling are important stateissues in need of a fresh look and possible actions by the states.
4. India, Nepal signed of MoU for construction ofPetroleum Products Pipeline
i. India and Nepal on 24 August 2015 signed a Memorandum ofUnderstanding (MoU) for constructing a Petroleum Product Pipelinewhich will be built from Raxaul in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal.
ii. The MoU was signed by Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister forPetroleum & Natural Gas and Sunil Bahadur Thapa, Minister ofCommerce and Supplies of Nepal.
Highlights of the MoU
As per the MoU, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)will do reengineering of the Amlekhgunj petroleum depot to make itcompatible with receiving petroleum products by pipeline.
The 41 km pipeline (2 km in India and 39 km in Nepal) willinitially supply Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene.
Itwill be constructed by Indian Oil Corporation at a cost of 200 crorerupees from its own budget. While, Nepal Oil Corporation will invest75 crore to develop additional facilities in Amlekhgunj depot.
It will take IOC 30 months to complete the project afterreceipt of necessary statutory clearances from Government of Nepal.
5. Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser retained Womens 100meters gold at World Championships in Athletics
i. Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser on 24 August 2015 retainedWomens 100 meters gold at the 2015 World Championships inAthletics by finishing the race in 10.76 seconds.
ii. The silver medal was won by Dafne Schippers (10.81) ofNetherlands and the Bronze went to Tori Bowie (the USA) who completedthe race in 10.86 seconds.
iii. The biannual event was held at the Birds Nest Stadium inthe Chinese capital Beijing where she won the gold in the samecategory in 2008 Olympics. Her only other Olympic gold was during the2012 London Olympics.
iv. Fraser-Pryce continued the Jamaican sprint dominance at theevent as Usain Bolt won the title in the 100m event on 23 August2015.
6. Raipur to host 2015 FIH Hockey World League Final
i. Chhattisgarh capital Raipur will host the 2015 FIH Hockey WorldLeague (HWL) Final that is scheduled to be held between 27 Novemberand 6 December 2015. It is the second edition of the World LeagueFinal.
ii. The announcement in this regard was made by the InternationalHockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre in the third week ofAugust 2015.
iii. The competitions will be held at the 3000 capacity RaipurInternational Hockey Stadium that was opened as a dedicated hockeyfacility in August 2014.
iv. The tournament will feature eight teams, who qualified throughthe HWL semi-finals in Buenos Aires (Brazil) and Antwerp (Belgium).They include world number one ranking Australia, Netherlands (2),Germany (3),Belgium (4),Great Britain (5),Argentina (6),India (8)and Canada (13).
v. Incidentally, India was the host for the inaugural event thatwas held in January 2014 in New Delhi. It was won byNetherlands.
vi. Further, India is also poised to host the third edition of thebiannual event in 2017.
Current Affairs - 23rd & 24th August 2015
1. A P Shah Committee recommends MAT relief to FIIs
i. Union Finance Ministry appointed committee chaired by retiredSC judge A P Shah has recommended that Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT)should not be imposed on FIIs retrospectively for the periodpreceding 1st April 2015.
ii. This recommendation is considered as a big relief to FIIs asgovernment had exempted them from MAT starting April 1, 2015 in theUnion Budget for 2015-16 but had not made the clarificationretrospective imposition.
iii. In its report committee has mention that there is no legalbasis for levying 20 per cent MAT on past capital gains of FIIs.
a. Union Finance Ministry had appointed this 3 member Committee onthe issue of levying MAT on capital gains made by FIIsretrospectively.
b. Members of Committee:
* AP Shah (Chairman),
* Dr. Girish Ahuja
*Dr. Ashok Lahiri.
c. The committee was constituted afterthe tax department had sent legal notices to 68 FIIs demanding aroundsix hundred crore rupees as MAT dues of previous years. This hadraked up a MAT controversy within FIIs and they had moved to courtchallenging this tax imposition.
2. Golfer Aditi Ashok became first Indian to win theLadies British Amateur Golf championship
i. Ace Indian golfer Aditi Ashok won the prestigious LadiesBritish amateur stroke-play Championship 2015 at Leeds, UnitedKingdom.
ii. With this victory she became first woman and youngest playerfrom India to win this Championship.
iii. In her wining game, Aditi shot a four-day total of 11-under285 (comprising 71, 73, 70, 71) at the par 74 at the Moortown GolfClub, Leeds.
iv. The 17-year-old Bengaluru based golfer earlier had won theprestigious St. Rule Trophy in July 2015. She also had finishedsecond in the 2015 European Womens Amateur Championship. She alsohad claimed the overall title called The Nicholls Trophy andDinwiddy Trophy which are given for the under-18 golfer withlowest score.
3. Bandhan Financial Services started operations asScheduled Commercial Bank
i. Bandhan Financial Services, a Micro Financial Institution(MFI),on 23 August 2015 started operations as a Scheduled CommercialBank (SCB). Henceforth it will be called as Bandhan Bank. The bankingservices were inaugurated by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitleyin Kolkata.
ii. With this, Bandhan became the first micro finance company inthe country to start operations as a full-fledged commercial bank. Itis also the first commercial bank from Eastern India to get RBIclearance since independence.
iii. Bandhan along with IDFC (Infrastructure Development FinanceCompany) were granted banking licenses in 2014 by the Reserve Bank ofIndia (RBI). The move was aimed at deepening financial services reachin the country by utilizing the services of the existing players inthe market.
iv. Bandhan started as a Non Banking Finance Company in 2001 andfocused on the lower strata of the especially unorganized sectorworkers. On the inaugural day, the bank started operations with 501branches in 24 states across the country with 1.43 crore accounts.Chandra Sekhar Ghosh, the Managing Director and Founder of the Bank.
4. Syrian woman Journalist Zaina Erhaim wins 2015 PeterMackler Award
i. A Syria-based woman journalist Zaina Erhaim has won theprestigious 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and EthicalJournalism.
ii. She was bestowed with this award for her efforts to traincitizen reporters in her war-ravaged country. She has trained about100 citizen reporters (third of them are women) from inside Syriaover the last two years. She also has helped in establishing new,independent newspapers and magazines in the war-torn country.
iii. Presently, Erhaim lives and works in Aleppo, Syria and willbe presented with this award at a ceremony to be held at the NationalPress Club in Washington in late October 2015. It should be notedthat since 2011, the media rights group has listed Syria as thedeadliest country for journalists.
iv. The award has been named in the memory of late AgenceFrance-Presse (AFP) journalist Peter Mackler. It was instituted in2008 to honour the memory of Mackler, who had died of a heart attackin the same year at the age of 58.
5. Amol Palekar appointed as chairman of IndiasOscar jury
i. Veteran actor-director Amol Palekar has been appointed aschairman of Indias Oscar jury, which will select the countrysofficial entry in the best foreign film category of the 88th AcademyAwards.
ii. The Gol Maal star, 70, whose film Paheli wasIndias official entry for the Academy Awards in 2005, will beheading the 17-member jury.
iii. An elated Palekar said the process of selecting the film torepresent India at Oscars 2016 is yet to begin. I am happy that Ihave been appointed as the chairman of Indias Oscar jury. Wehavent decided on any criteria for selecting a film for Oscars.
iv. Last year, Liars Dice, a road drama starringGeetanjali Thapa and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles, was selectedas Indias official entry to the best foreign film category afterbeating Shahid, Queen, Mardaani, Marathi filmsYellow and Fandry and Bengali films Jatishwar andApur Panchali.
6. Usain Bolt won 100 meter title at 2015 WorldChampionships in Athletics in Beijing
i. Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt has won world 100 metre title inthe World Athletics Championships held in Beijing, China. With thisvictory he retained his 100 metre title which was won earlier in2009.
ii. In the blue riband event, Bolt ran a seasons best of 9.79seconds winning gold medal. While Justin Gatlin of United Statesfinished at the second spot in 9.80sec, taking silver medal.
iii. Usain Bolt is regarded as the fastest person in the world. Heis the first athlete to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres worldrecords. He is Olympic gold medallist and has won medal in 2008Beijing and 2012 London Olympic games in 100 metres.
iv. He is also the first to achieve a double double bywinning 100 m and 200 m titles at consecutive Olympics (2008 and2012).
7. Roger Federer wins seventh Cincinnati Masters titleof Tennis
i. World number two, Roger Federer from Switzerland has won theCincinnati Masters title for record seventh time in mens singlestitle category.
ii. In the final match played at Ohio near Cincinnati, US hedefeated world number one, Novak Djokovic by 76, 7-1 and 63score. Earlier, Roger Federer had won this title in 2005, 2007, 2009,2010, 2012 and 2014.
* Womens Singles Title: Serena Williams (US)won the womens Singles Title by defeating Simona Halep (Romania)by 63, 76 and 75 score. Mens
* Doubles champions Title: Daniel Nestor (Canada)and Édouard Roger-Vasselin (France) pair won by defeating MarcinMatkowski (Poland) and Nenad Zimonji? (Serbia) pair by 62, 62score.
* Womens Doubles champions Title: ChineseTaipei pair of Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan won by defeatingCasey Dellacqua (Australia) and Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) pairby 75, 64 score.
Cincinnati Masters titles: It is the oldesttennis tournament in the United States played in its original citystarted in September 1899.
Current Affairs - 22nd August 2015
1. Puducherry CM N Rangasamy launched Free LaptopScheme
i. Puducherry Chief Minister (CM) N Rangasamy on 21 August 2015launched the much awaited Free Laptop Scheme. The scheme envisages toprovide free laptops to all students who have passed Plus Two fromGovernment Higher Secondary Schools in the last two academic yearsthat is 2013-14 and 2014-15.
ii. The state will give free laptops to 11 thousand odd studentsby incurring an expense of 20 Crore rupees. While launching thescheme, Rangasamy gave away laptops to 180 students who topped inPlus Two Examinations in their respective schools.
iii. The scheme was launched on the occasion of Student's Day inPuducherry. During the launching ceremony, Rangasamy also distributed5000 rupees each to 10 students who excelled in the National TalentSearch Examination.
iv. The cash award was also given to government schools whichachieved 100 percent results in urban areas and 90 percent results inrural areas in plus-two board examinations.
2. Infosys launched three new services Aikido
i. Indias second largest IT services company Infosys on 20August 2015 launched Aikido, three enhanced service offerings indesign thinking, platforms and knowledge-based IT (KBIT).
ii. AIkido services are aimed at helping its clients address threekey aspects of their business. The three service offerings are Ki inKnowledge-Based IT, Do in Design Thinking, and Ai in Platforms.
iii. Two out of the three new services will be offered by InfosysConsulting, headed by Sanjay Purohit.
3. Uber Cabs tied-up with Bharti Airtel to set up WiFihotspots in each of its cabs
i. Bharti Airtel Limited on 21 August 2015 tied-up with the UberCabs, allowing Uber riders to pay using Airtels mobile walletservice Airtel Money. With this partnership, Uber will set up WiFihotspots in each of its cabs. Uber will pay Airtel for the bandwidthconsumed.
ii. As part of this partnership, Uber riders across India can nowpay for their trips using Airtel's mobile wallet service AirtelMoney. Mumbai will be the first city in India to enjoy freehigh-speed internet from Uber, powered by Airtel 4G. The service willsoon be rolled out for Uber riders pan-India.
iii. Under the terms, Bharti Airtel will offer its 4G MiFi (mobileWiFi) devices to Uber vehicles, while drivers will get subsidisedmobile devices and data plans. While, Uber will offer discounts toAirtel customers, including 500 rupees off on their first ride usingAirtel Money.
iv. Uber has its operations in more than 60 countries and about330 cities, of which 18 are in India. The company had launchedoperations in India less than two years ago and now has about 150000driver partners.
4. Government frames policy for e-marketing of handloomproducts
i. Government today said it has established a policy framework topromote e-marketing of handloom products through approved e-commerceentities, aiming to popularize the "India Handloom" brandand boost sales of handloom products.
ii. Under the policy framework, application of any e-commerceentity interested in online marketing of handloom products will beprocessed by a within three weeks time by a panel.
iii. Any e-commerce entity willing to work for promotion of onlinemarketing of handloom products in collaboration with the Office of DC(Handlooms) may apply for the same. The application will bescrutinized by a specially constituted Committee.
iv. An e-commerce entity approved by the Office would be requiredto make priority display of handloom products on its home page,leading to an exclusive section for certified/branded handloomproducts carrying either 'India Handloom' brand or Handloom mark.
5. Back as world No. 1, Saina Nehwal signs Rs 25 croredeal
i. It was double delight for Saina Nehwal on Thursday. The WorldChampionships silver medallist regained the No. 1 rank - surging2,180 points ahead of Carolina Marin and also struck a landmarkdeal with management company IOS Sports & Entertainment.
ii. Saina's deal is worth Rs 25 crore over two years. IOS alsomanages top sportspersons like Suresh Raina, MC Mary Kom, SushilKumar and Vijender Singh.
iii. The shuttler was also excited to be back on the top of theworld rankings. She secured the No. 1 rank for the first time onApril 2 but remained there only for five weeks. However, this timeround, the Indian will enjoy a longer reign. With 82,792 points,Saina is 2,180 points ahead of world champion Carolina Marin. Thirdplaced Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei is over 12,000 points behindthe Indian.
Current Affairs - 21st August 2015
1. YouTube announces partnership with Whistling Woodsto set up YouTube Space in Mumbai
i. Video sharing portal YouTube has announced to set up a newYouTube Space in Mumbai with Asias largest and most renownedfilm schools the Whistling Woods International (WWI). The YouTubeSpace at WWI will provide production facility for YouTube videocreators as well as the students of WWI where they can learn videoproduction.
ii. This facility at WWI will be set up at Filmcity which is amajor film and television production hub in Mumbai and is expected toopen at end of the year. You Tube had launched first You Tube Spacein 2012 the facility at Mumbai is the seventh other six are in Tokyo,Los Angeles, London, New York, Brazil, and recently launched inBerlin.
iii. At Mumbai facility the video creators can produce originaldigital video content right from the start of an idea through tofilming, editing, and uploading to YouTube with the help cutting edgeaudio, visual, and editing equipments at the WWI. Both WWI andYouTube at this facility will also develop original courses to trainthe next generation of Indian filmmakers to succeed in digital andonline media.
iv. To facilitate You Tube operations WWI has include contentcreation, audience development and monetisation in its degree anddiploma programs. This new facility at WWI is set up by You Tube withan idea to support the incredible wave of creative Indian YouTubecreator community.
2. Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as Prime Minister ofSri Lanka
i. Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Prime Minister of SriLanka. He was administered the oath of office by PresidentMaithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.
ii. Wickremesinghe, a lawmaker since 1977, had served the countryas its Prime Minister on three occasions. He held the post from1993-94, 2002-2004 and since January 2015.
iii. Apart from this, immediately after the swearing-in, theGeneral Secretaries of the two main parties in the country, the SriLanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP) signeda Memorandum of Understanding to work together in the parliament andform a National Government.
iv. Earlier on 18 August 2015, Wickremesinghes United NationalParty won 106 seats, seven short of a majority in the 225-memberparliament. This agreement between the UNP and Sirisenas SLFP willenable Wickremesighe to secure a majority in Parliament.
3. Ashwani Lohani appointed as CMD of Air India Limited
i. Ashwani Lohani was on 20 August 2015 appointed as the Chairmanand Managing Director (CMD) of state owned national carrier Air IndiaLimited. His appointment was approved by the Appointment CabinetCommittee (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
ii. He succeeded senior IAS officer Rohit Nandan whose tenureended on 21 August 2015. He will have a tenure of three years.Presently, he is working as Managing Director (MD) of Madhya PradeshTourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) in Bhopal.
iii. Lohani is a 1980 batch Indian Railway Service officer ofMechanical Engineers (IRSME). He is a qualified mechanical engineerand is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport(CILT).
iv. He is the founder member of the Indian Steam Railway Society(ISRS) and member of CII National Council on Tourism. He is also lifemember of Museums Associations of India and Institute of RollingStock Engineers.
v. He has written two books, these are Winning at work against allodds and a coffee table book Smoking Beauties.
4. NASA spacecraft LADEE found presence of neon gas inMoons atmosphere
i. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacecraftLADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) confirmed thepresence of Neon gas in Moons atmosphere.
ii. The research paper describing observations from LADEEsNeutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) instrument was published inGeophysical Research Letters. The lead author of the research paperis Mehdi Benna.
iii. This is the first time that the availability of the gas inthe atmosphere was confirmed. Since Apollo missions, it was always asubject of speculation that the gas is present in the exosphere ofthe Moon.
5. Himachal Pradesh Government launched RISHTA project
i. Himachal Pradesh Government on 20 August 2015 launched theRajiv Gandhi Illuminating Scheme for Hill Town Advancement (RISHTA)project, an efficient smart LED based street lighting project. Withthis, Himachal Pradesh became the first state in North India to doso.
ii. The scheme is also known as Centralized Control and MonitoringSystem (CCMS) Smart Street Lighting Scheme for Urban Local bodieswhich implements LED based street lighting project. This project isbeing implemented by collaboration of state Urban DevelopmentDepartment and EESL.
iii. EESL (Energy Efficient Services Limited) is a joint venturecompany formed by four power sectors i.e. National Thermal PowerCorporation (NTPC),Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL),PowerFinance Corporation Ltd. (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation(REC).
iv. For this project, EESL will invest all the capital upfront forimplementation of Project. Municipalities will pay back thisinvestment to EESL over a period of 7 years from energy and costsavings that will accrue as a result of installation of energyefficient LED lights.
v. In this project, a total of 63484 street lights will bereplaced with LEDs in all the Urban Local Bodies to achieve 45 to 55percent energy savings. The total savings within a year in terms ofoperation and maintenance will be 6.5 crore rupees.
6. Government launched education loan portal forstudents seeking loans
i. On 20 August 2015, Government launched a web-based portalwww.vidyalakshmi.co.infor the students seeking educational loans. In order toensure that no student misses out on higher education due to lack offunds, finance minister in the Union Budget for 2015-16 had proposedto set a fully IT-based Student Financial Aid Authority.
ii. In line with this proposal this portal was launched with anaim to administer and monitor scholarship as well as educational loanschemes under the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK). Thelaunch of this portal also aims to bring all banks providingeducational loans under one roof.
iii. The portal has been developed and maintained by NSDLe-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov) under the guidanceof Ministry of Finance, Department of Higher Education, Ministry ofHuman Resource Development and Indian Banks Association (IBA).
iv.It is a first of its kind portal that provides access to informationand makes application for educational loans provided by banks andalso government scholarships under a single window.
v. The portal also has a provision to apply to multiple banks foreducational loans and facility for banks to download students loanapplications among others.
Current Affairs - 20th August 2015
1. Historian Babasaheb Purandare conferred withMaharashtra Bhushan Award 2015
i. Eminent Historian writer Babasaheb Purandare has been conferredwith Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2015. He was bestowed this award inliterature category by Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in presence ofChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at a function held in Raj Bhava,Mumbai.
ii. Babasaheb Purandare was born as Balwant Moreshwar Purandare on29 July, 1922. He is famously entitled as Shiv Shahir i.e. Shivajispoet. He is being credited with writing the first historical workon 16th century Great Maratha king Chattrapati Shivaji. He is bestknown for his book Raja Shiv Chhatrapati and popular play JanataRaja.
iii. His book Raja Shiv Chhatrapati has more than 16 editions andwidely read across the state. It is estimated that over 5 lakh copiesof this book have been sold. Janata Raja play has been performed morethan 850 times in last three decades after it was first staged in1985. It has been staged in all over Maharashtra, Delhi, Bhopal, Agraand United States.
iv. Maharashtra Bhushan Award is a highest civilian award ofMaharashtra state presented annually by the state government.
2. Bangladesh became first country to receive fundsfrom UN for Solar Home Systems
i. Bangladesh on 20 August 2015 became the first country toreceive funds from the United Nations (UN) for its fast growing solarhome systems. The UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC)issued 395286 carbon credits worth 3.56 million US Dollar to twoBangladeshi organisations.
ii. Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL) and GrameenShakti are the two organisations that won the carbon credits. TheUNFCCC has issued 212482 carbon credits to the IDCOL and 182804credits to Grameen Shakti.
iii. The IDCOL is a state-owned development financial institutiondedicated to promote and finance infrastructure and renewable energyprojects, while Grameen Shakti, set up by Nobel Laureate ProfMuhammad Yunus, aims to take clean solar power systems andcommunication technology to villages.
3. Anupam Kher Unlocks Another Achievement, NamedAdvocate For UN's Gender Equality Campaign
i. Critically acclaimed Bollywood actor Anupam Kher has anotherachievement to his credit now. Kher has been named an advocate forthe United Nations campaign on gender equality, and iscollaboration with the UN will call on men and boys to stand upagainst inequalities against women and girls, further helping inending the discrimination and violence against them.
ii. N Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri declared andhonored Anupam Kher as an advocate for the HeForShe Champion ata ceremony that was held last evening. Kher was honored to be namedthe HeForShe advocate and he has promised full support for the UN'seffort.
iii. Lakhsmi Puri revealed that UN Women were highly keen onworking with Kher because of his past records and achievements. Apartfrom being a renowned actor, filmmaker, motivational speaker andphilanthropist, there wouldn't have been any person more apt to playa role challenging gender stereotypes, harmful practices,discriminatory social norms and traditions that further enhancegender inequality and violence against women.
iv. Kher has worked in over 100 plays and nearly 450 films,clearly proving how huge his contribution has been. Apart from beingan actor, Kher was also involved in philanthropy and established TheAnupam Kher Foundation to spread education among less privilegedchildren and to provide palliative care to people with life-limitingdiseases. He was also awarded the Dalai Lama Award for his work withunderprivileged children.
4. World Humanitarian Day observed with theme Inspiringthe World's Humanity
i. World Humanitarian Day was observed on 19 August 2015 with thetheme Inspiring the World's Humanity. The theme calls on people tojoin any of the worlds humanitarian organizations and become anactive messenger of Humanity.
ii. The day is dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel andthose who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. Itis also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspireshumanitarian work around the globe.
iii. World Humanitarian Day was designated by the United NationsGeneral Assembly (UNGA) as part of a Swedish-sponsored resolution onthe Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of theUnited Nations, and set as 19 August.
iv. The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincidewith the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nationsheadquarters in Baghdad, Iraq in which the then SpecialRepresentative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira deMello and 21 of his colleagues were killed.
5. Olympic champion Sebastian Coe elected as Presidentof IAAF
i. The former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe on 19 August 2015 waselected as the sixth President of the International Association ofAthletics Federations (IAAF). The British Olympian was elected as thePresident at the 50th IAAF Congress in Beijing, China.
ii. Coe will take office on 31 August 2015 after the end of the2015 IAAF World Championships of Beijing. He succeeds SenegaleseLamine Diack, 82, who has led the IAAF for 16 years.
iii. The 58-year-old Briton defeated his rival Sergey Bubka, aformer Olympic pole vault champion, by 115 votes to 92.
6. Kerala Government inaugurated a 12 MW solar powerproject at Cochin International Airport
i. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on 18 August 2015inaugurated a 12 MW solar power project at the Cochin InternationalAirport. Spread over 50 acres, the project is reportedly the singlelargest solar project which has been constructed in an airport inIndia.
ii. With this project, Cochin airport became the first airport inIndia to run on solar power. This project is estimated to generateapproximately 50000 units of electricity daily. Through this project,the airport will technically become grid power neutral.
iii. The project comprises 46150 solar panels laid across 45 acresnear the cargo complex. The project is executed by Bosch Energy andBuilding Solutions (BEBS) team in India.
Current Affairs - 19th August 2015
1. Indias First Lady Suvra Mukherjee passed away
i. Indias First Lady Suvra Mukherjee, wife of President PranabMukherjee, passed away on 18 August 2015 following a cardiac arrestin New Delhi. She was 74.
ii. Suvra Mukherjee was born on 17 September 1940 in Jessore,Bangladesh. She was married to Pranab Mukherjee in 1957. Suvra was avocalist of Rabindra Sangeet and was an ardent fan of Indiasnational poet Rabindranath Tagore.
iii. She was the founder of the Geetanjali Troupe to propagateRabindranath Tagores philosophy as expressed through his songs anddance-dramas. For many years, she performed in the poeticdance-dramas in different parts of India and across Europe, Asia andAfrica.
iv. She had also written two books Chokher Aloey (personal accountof her close interaction with former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi)and Chena Achenai Chin (a travelogue recounting her visit to China).
2. The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacityauthored by Tarun Khanna released by Akhilesh yadav
i. Book titled The Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacityauthored by Tarun Khanna was released by Uttar Pradesh Chief MinisterAkhilesh Yadav on 17 August 2015. The book, a product of HarvardUniversity, is edited by Rahul Mehrotra, Felipe Vera and Diana Eck.
ii. The book which is a kind of research work of the Universitytells the story of the Kumbh Mela, the largest celebration on earththat depends on the positions of Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon. Italso narrates that people mostly Hindus travel certain places alongholy rivers, like Ganga, to take bath and cleanse themselves fromsin.
iii. In 2013, a team from Harvard University monitored thelarge-scale event from its preparation through to the actualcelebration, investigating and documenting the prototypes forflexible urban planning and offering organizers advice on issuesaround environmental protection.
iv. This substantial hardcover presents their comprehensiveresearch findings along with city maps, aerial images and photographsof this most fascinating feat of urban planning.
3. Bangladesh lifted South Asian FootballFederation U-16 title
i. Bangladesh Under-16 team on 18 August 2015 won their first-everSouth Asian Football Federation (SAFF) under-16 title. In the titleclash at the Sylhet District Stadium of Bangladesh, the hostsdefeated defending champions India 4-2 in penalties.
ii. Bangladesh got the lead through Fahim Murshed when he foundthe net in the 46th minute. India equalised the score after the hourmark through Amay Morajkar's left-footer. The match went intopenalties after both sides failed to score the second goal.
iii. In the shoot out, Bangladesh did not miss any of theirpenalties, while India failed to score its second and fourth helpingthe home side clinch the title for the first time. Earlier,Bangladesh had beaten India in the group stage as well.
iv. Besides India and Bangladesh, the tournament was participatedby Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the Maldives.
4. AFI chief Sumariwalla elected IAAF Councilmember
i. Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla wastoday elected as one of the members of the prestigious Council of theIAAF, the global governing body of the sport, in its polls held here.
ii. Sumariwalla, an Olympian 100m runner, was elected as one ofthe nine individual members of the all-powerful IAAF Council at the50th Congress of the world athletics body held a day ahead of thestart of the World Athletics Championships.
iii. Sumariwalla is the first Indian to be elected in the IAAFCouncil. He got 61 votes in the second round to get elected. FormerAFI and Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi was alsoearlier a member of the IAAF Council from 2001 to 2013 but by virtueof his being the chief of the Asian Athletics Association and notthrough an election.
iv. The Commonwealth Games scam-tainted Kalmadi lost his seat asan ordinary member after he was defeated in the AAA presidentialelections to Dahlan Al-Hamad of Qatar in Pune in 2013.
5. Aditi Chauhan became India's first woman to play inEnglish league football
i. Aditi Chauhan, Indias international football goalkeeper, on16 August 2015 became the countrys first woman to play Englishleague football.
ii. She made her debut for the womens team of the West HamUnited in the opening game of the season against Coventry City.
iii. West Ham United Ladies Football Club is an English women'sfootball club (FC) affiliated with West Ham United FC. They wereformed in 1991 and play at Hornchurch Stadium, Upminster the home ofHornchurch FC. They are currently in the FA Women's Premier LeagueSouthern Division.
Current Affairs - 18th August 2015
1. Kerala Government signed MoU with Adani Group fordevelopment of Vizhinjam Port
i. Kerala government on 17 August 2015 signed a MoU with AdaniGroup led Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd for developing 7525 crorerupees Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport nearKovalam beach.
ii. The MoU was signed by Kerala Principal Secretary (Ports) JamesVarghese and Santosh Kumar Mahopatra, CEO of Adani Vizhinjam PortPrivate Ltd.
iii. The proposal for the project was first initiated 25 years agoin 1991 by late Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran but heproject failed to take off for various reasons.
Highlights of the MoU
It includes proposal for usage of foreignships for the carriage of goods between two ports in one country andrelaxation of Centres Cabotage law that allows use of registeredIndian ships only.
The project is expected tostart from November 2015 and promises to be operational in a recordtime of less than 1000 days.
Out of the totalcost, 4089 crore rupees would be the PPP component and 1463 crorerupees will be the funded work expenditure to be borne by the stategovernment.
The MoU is for granting oflicence for construction and operation of the port for a 40-yearperiod, including the construction period of four years.
2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited United ArabEmirates
i. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited United ArabEmirates (UAE) between 16 August and 17 August 2015. He is the firstPrime Minister of India to visit UAE after 34 years. The last IndianPrime Minister to visit the UAE was Indira Gandhi in 1981.
ii. He visited the country on invitation of His Highness GeneralSheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi andDeputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
iii. During the visit, the Prime Minister held talks with CrownPrince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and VicePresident and Prime Minister of UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum.
iv. The two nations had fruitful discussion on lateral issues andresolved to maintain regular summits, high level ministerial dialogueand meetings of bilateral mechanisms to realize their vision of astrong comprehensive strategic partnership.
3. ICICI Bank launched locker facility named SmartVault
i. ICICI Bank on 18 August 2015 launched Smart Vault, afirst-of-its-kind locker facility by a bank in India with latestrobotic technology. The facility was launched by Chanda Kochhar, MD &CEO of ICICI Bank at the Defence Colony branch of Delhi.
ii. The Smart Vault uses robotic technology to access the lockersfrom the safe vault and enables customers to conveniently accesstheir lockers at any time of their preference, in the comfort of asecure lounge where the locker automatically comes up to thecustomer.
iii. Smart Vault locker is equipped with multi-layer securitysystem, including biometric and PIN authentication and debit cards,among others. Customers can access it without any intervention by thebranch staff.
iv. The lockers are of two-three different sizes and the chargesof availing this facility would depend on their size. Also, thelocker charges in a city would vary depending on the real estatecost.
4. Telangana Government launched Grama Jyothi Schemeacross the state
i. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on 17 August 2015launched a flagship programme Grama Jyothi across the state. Thescheme is aimed at comprehensive development of rural areas allowingplanning and execution of works by villages themselves.
ii. For the successful implementation of the scheme, the stategovernment has decided to invest 25000 crore rupees to empowervillages.
iii. The scheme will focus on improving the Human DevelopmentIndex (HDI) by addressing core issues such as drinking water andsanitation, health and nutrition, education, infrastructure, naturalresources management, agriculture, social security and povertyreduction.
iv. The Grama Jyothi programme aims to empower gram panchayats.The programme introduces a participatory approach in preparingvillage development plans involving the panchayats, self help groups,people and all interested in the holistic development of the village.
v. Grama Jyothi programme will be a game-changer to inclusive andholistic development of backward villages of Telangana. Thegovernment will also incentivise villages that achieve 100 percenttargets in the areas of sanitation, immunisation, nutrition, literacyand green cover.
5. Delhi government announced City Taxi Scheme
i. Delhi government on 17 August 2015 announced a new City TaxiScheme 2015 under which permits will be issued to 600 CC vehicles.
ii. Small size taxis between 600 cc and 749 cc operational underthe scheme will have minimum flag down rate of 25 rupees for firsttwo kilometres, which is same in the auto rickshaws. After twokilometres passengers will have to pay 10 rupees per kilometer, whichis higher than the present 8.5 rupees per kilometre fare that autorickshaws charge.
Current Affairs - 17th August 2015
1. Mustansir Barma won 2015 Gujar Mal Modi award forinnovative science and technology
i. Prof. Mustansir Barma on 14 August 2015 won the prestigiousGujar Mal Modi Award for Innovative Science and Technology for theyear 2015. He was awarded for his commendable contribution in thefield of Science and Technology.
ii. He received the award from Vice President of India HamidAnsari at a ceremony in New Delhi.
iii. Barma, a distinguished Professor and former Director of TataInstitute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, has made immensecontribution in the field of Statistical Physics in India.
iv. He has published numerous papers on the topic and is one ofthe best recognized names in the discipline internationally. Hispersonal initiative helped in expanding the TIFR campus in Hyderabad.
2. India, Bangladesh ink MoU to fight fake currency
i. India and Bangladesh have inked a memorandum of understanding(MoU) for full cooperation to tackle the menace of fake Indiancurrency notes (FICN) smuggling. The MoU was signed at a maidenmeeting of the Joint Task Force on Fake Currency Notes (JTFFC) inDhaka held on 12 and 13 August, 2015.
ii. Both countries have agreed to share intelligence inputs onoperatives engaged in circulating FICN on real time basis in order tocurb.
iii. India will provide Advance note sorting machines toBangladesh to detect FICN circulation at international airports,immigration points, integrated crossing points, banks and financialinstitutions in Bangladesh.
iv. India will establish State-of-the-art facilities forexamination of fake currency notes in Bangladesh. It will facilitatemaintaining a digital record of analysis and seizures of fake noteswhich will include creation of a database on smugglers for use byboth countries.
v. India will help Bangladesh to set up Forensic ScienceLaboratory for examination of fake notes and maintaining a digitaldepository of forensic reports. As part of the MoU, both countries infuture will organise capacity building training programmes in futureand the next Joint Task Force meeting will be held again in November2015.
3. World Badminton Championship: Saina became 1stIndian shuttler to win silver medal
i. Defending champion Carolina Marin Martin of Spain has won theprestigious World Badminton Championship 2015 in womens singlecategory.
ii. In the final match she defeated Indias Saina Nehwal by twoset score of 16-21 and 19-21. This second time Carolina Marin had wonthis championship. Earlier she had won it in 2014 becoming firstSpanish women player to win this prestigious title.
iii. It should be noted that Saina Nehwal is first Indian womenbadminton player to reach finals of Badminton World Championship. Inthe semifinal match she had defeated Indonesians LindaweniFanetria in straight-game by two set score of 21-17 and 21-17.
iv. Indias PV Sindhu had won the bronze medal twice in WorldBadminton Championship in 2013 and 2014. Jwala Gutta and AshwiniPonnappa won the bronze in womens doubles in 2011. PrakashPadukone was the first Indian to win a bronze in 1983.
4. Taj Mahal becomes first monument in world to haveTwitter account
i. The iconic Mughal monument Taj Mahal became the firsthistorical monuments in the world to have a Twitter account of itsown.
ii. The monuments official Twitter handle @TajMahal waslaunched by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on eve of69th Independence Day in Lucknow.
iii. Taj Mahal is a 17th century white marble mausoleum located onthe southern bank of Yamuna River in the present city of Agra. ThenMughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 16281658) had commissioned themonument in 1632 to house the tomb of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
iv. It is based on Mughal architectural style and was constructedunder guidance of chief architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
v. In 1983, UNESCO had accorded World Heritage Site status on it.It is one of the worlds most celebrated structures and a symbol ofIndias rich history. Presently it plays important role in Indiastourism industry and attracts around 3 million visitors every year.
5. Ajit Seth to head Public Enterprises Selection Board
i. Former Cabinet Secretary, Ajit Seth, will take charge as theChairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board. Seth, an IASofficer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre of the 1974 batch, will be incharge of the post till the age of 65 or for three years, whicheveris earlier.
ii. Seth will replace Atul Chaturvedi, who was also an IAS officerfrom the Uttar Pradesh cadre of the 1974 batch.
iii. The decision was announced in a statement from theAppointments Committee of the Cabinet on Monday.
6. Union Government announced awardees for Rajiv GandhiKhel Ratna 2015 and Arjuna Awards 2015
i. The Union Government on 14 August 2015 announced the awardeesfor the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and Arjuna Award for the year2015.
ii. selection of awardees was based on the recommendationsof the Selection Committee headed by Justice VK Bali, former ChiefJustice of Kerala High Court and consisting of eminent sportspersonsand sports administrators.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ranta 2015
* Ms. Sania Mirza - Tennis
Arjuna Awards 2015
* Naib Subedar Sandeep Kumar - Archery
* MR Poovamma - Athletics
* Kidambi Srikanth Nammalwar - Badminton
* Mandeep Jangra - Boxing
* Rohit Sharma - Cricket
* Dipa Karmakar - Gymnastic
* Sreejesh PR - Hockey
* Manjeet Chhillar - Kabaddi
* Abhilasha Shashikant Mhatre - Kabaddi
* Sawarn Singh - Rowing
* Anup Kumar Yama - Roller Skating
* Jitu Rai - Shooting
* S Sathish Kumar - Weightlifting
* Bajrang - Wrestling
* Babita Kumari - Wrestling
* Yumnam Sanathoi Devi - Wushu
* Sharath M Gayakwad - Para-Swimming
Current Affairs - 15th & 16th 2015
1. Kerala Govt declares state as "DigitalState"
i. Kerala Government has declared state totally digital, thusbecoming first state in the country to achieve it. It was announcedby Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy during his Independence Dayspeech held in the capital Thiruvananthapuram.
ii. This declaration was made considering the rapid digitalstrides of the state which has achieved 100 percent mobileconnectivity, maximum digital banking, 75 percent e-literacy,broadband connectivity upto the Panchayat level, linking bankaccounts with Aadhar cards and e-district plan in all districts.
2. Union Government to form Bank Board Bureau
i. Union Government has decided to set up a Bank Board Bureau(BBB) to monitor key performance indicators of two dozen publicsector banks (PSBs). It was announced by Union Finance Minister ArunJailtley as part of a seven-pronged revamp plan for PSBs dubbed asIndradhanush (rainbow) plan.
Facts about Bank Board Bureau
i. Bank Board Bureau (BBB) will start the functioning from nextfinancial year i.e. from 1st April 2015 and the selection of itsmember will start in the next six months.
ii. It will replaceexisting system Appointments Board in which appointments for toplevel jobs at PSBs are made by an appointments committee led by theReserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor.
iii. Composition: The BBBwill be a body of eminent professionals and shall consist ofonly one government official. It will be six members body with atleast 3 former bankers, 2 professionals and secretary, department offinancial services representing government.
iv. Functions: Giverecommendations for appointment of full-time Directors as well asnon-Executive Chairman of PSBs.
v. Give advice to PSBs indeveloping differentiated strategies for raising funds throughinnovative financial methods and instruments and to deal with issuesof stressed assets.
vi. Guide banks on mergers and consolidations.
3. PM Narendra Modi announced a new campaign "Start-up India; Stand up India"
i. On the eve of celebration of 69th Independence Day at Red FortPrime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new campaign Start-upIndia; Stand up India an initiative to promote bank finance forStart-ups (an entrepreneurial venture).
ii. The campaign was announced with an aim to boostentrepreneurship among the youth and to create employment in India.As per the initiative PM urged 1.25 lakh bank branches to providefinance to at least one Dalit or Adivasi and at least one womanentrepreneur.
iii. The initiative is expected to open a new dimension toentrepreneurship and to set up a network of start-ups in the country.It also aims to make India a number one country in Start-ups.
i. Government will rename the present Agriculture Ministry asAgriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry.
ii. Heannounced to replace the current practice of interview-basedselections with online merit based recruiting for low-skilledgovernment jobs.
iii. Under the Skill India and Digital Indiainitiative government to provide package of incentives tomanufacturing units.
iv. To provide houses and access to basicservices to all and to make India a developed nation by 2022.
v.Set deadline of 1000 days to connect 18,500 villages withelectricity.
4. Indian Men's Hockey team won European series againstSpain 2-1
i. Indian Men's Hockey Team on 13 August 2015 won three matchseries of their European Tour 2-1 after registering second win in thethird and final match of the series. Indian team defeated Spain 4-2at Teresa in Spain.
ii. For India, Rupinder Pal scored the first goal in 24th minutefollowed by Akashdeep Singh in 45th minute and the third and fourthgoals by Ramandeep Singh.
iii. The first match of the series was won by Spain 4-1. Thesecond match was won by India 2-0.
5. Union Government unveils Indradhanush Mission forPSBs
i. Union Government has launched a seven pronged plan calledIndradhanush Mission to revamp functioning of public sector banks(PSBs). It was launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in NewDelhi.
Facts about Indradhanush Mission
i. The seven shades of Indradhanush mission include appointments,de-stressing PSBs, capitalisation, empowerment, framework ofaccountability and governance reforms.
ii. It seeks to achieve theobjective of economic growth revival through improving credit andminimising the political interference in the functioning ofPSBs.
iii. Appointments: Selection of non-executive chairman inremaining 6 state owned PSBs till November 2015. Appointing MD &CEO of two PSBs as early as possible.
iv. Bank Board Bureau (BBB):It will be a body of eminent professionals to be selectedwithin 6 months i.e. February 2015. It will become functional fromFinancial year 2016-17 i.e. form 1st April 2016.
v.Capitalisation: Infuse 25,000 crore rupees of capital into debt-ladenbanks in this fiscal in phased manner. Out of this 20,000 crorerupees would be injected in August 2015. Rest 5,000 crore rupees willbe performance based allocation to be allocated in the last quarterof 2016.
vi. De-stressing PSBs: To develop vibrant debt market forPSBs in order to reduce lending pressure on banks. Strengthen assetreconstruction of companies.
vii. Empowerment: Provide greaterflexibility in hiring of manpower in PSBs.
viii. Framework ofaccountability: It will seek to streamline vigilance process forquick action in case major frauds and also include connivance ofstaff.
ix. Governance reforms in PSBs: Next Gyan Sangam (alsoknown as the Bankers Retreat) will be held from 14 to 16 January2016. Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) will be initiated for topmanagement.
6. Abhishek Verma wins gold medal in Archery World Cup
i. Ace Indian Archer Abhishek Verma has won gold medal in ArcheryWorld Cup in the stage 3 in the compound mens individual section.
ii. In the individual final held in Wroclaw in Poland he defeatedEsmaeil Ebadi of Iran by 148-145 score in the five round match. Inthe summit clash, Verma had shot 13 perfect 10s pointers, includingfive arrows closest to the centre from the total 15 arrows.
iii. It should be noted that Verma is currently ranked 18 in theworld in the mens individual Archery. He hails from Delhi andearlier had won silver medal in the Asian Games.
7. Gujarat Govt declares ban on use of Plastic
i. Gujarat Government has declared ban on the use of plastic inthe State for the first time. It was announced by Gujarats firstwomen Chief Minister Anandiben Patel after unfurling the NationalFlag at the Independence Day ceremony in Mahisagar district ofGujarat.
ii. This decision was taken keeping in viewprotection of environment, cleanliness and cattle health. It shouldbe several municipal bodies in the state already have banned use ofplastic bags thinner than 40 microns.
iii. Apart from plastic ban decision, she also announced that 159towns and 8 cities in the state now have 100 per cent in-housetoilets and nearly 8 lakh toilets have been built in rural areas.
Current Affairs - 14th August 2015
1. Pahal Scheme acknowledged by Guinness Book of WorldRecords as largest cash transfer program
i. Union Governments ambitious Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh(PAHAL) scheme has been acknowledged as the worlds largest cashtransfer program (households) by the Guinness Book of World Records.
ii. The scheme was formally launched as Direct Benefit TransferScheme for LPG subsidy in 2013 in 291 districts under the aegis ofUnion Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
iii. It was modified and christened as PaHal in November 2014 andwas launched in 54 districts. Later it was extended nationwide on 1January 2015.
iv. Under the scheme, subsidized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)cylinders are sold at market rates and consumers are entitled toreceive LPG subsidy directly into their bank accounts.
v. It is done either through bank account or Aadhaar linkage.Currently it covers more than 9.75 crore LPG consumers across thecountry. The scheme aims at eliminating duplication or bogus LPGconnections and its diversion. It also seeks to meet substantivesavings in LPG subsidy.
2. OP Rawat appointed as Election Commissioner of India
i. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed former IAS officer OmPrakash Rawat as an Election Commissioner (EC) in the ElectionCommission of India (ECI). He will have tenure of more than threeyears which will end in December, 2018 i.e. till he attains the ageof 65 years.
ii. Rawat was born on 2 December 1953 and is a 1977 batch IASofficer from Madhya Pradesh cadre. During his long bureaucraticcareer, he had served at various important portfolios at Centre andstate level.
iii. In 1993, he had served as a Director in the Defence Ministry.He has also served as Principal Secretary to then Chief Minister ofMadhya Pradesh to Babu Lal Gaur from 2004 and 2006.
iv. He also had served as Secretary at Department of PublicEnterprises in the Ministry of Heavy Industries from 2012 tillDecember 2014 when he retired. With Rawats appointment, the solevacancy in the three-member ECI has been filled. Other two membersare Nasim Zaidi (Chief Election Commissioner) and A K Joti (EC).
3. The founder of Hero Cycle Om Prakash Munjal passesaway
i. The founder of Hero Cycle and a leading industrialist OmPrakash Munjal breathed his last in the DMC Hero Heart Centre,Ludhiana on 13 August. He was 87.
ii. On Prakash was born on 26 August 1928 in Kamalia, Punjab (thenBritish India). He moved with his family to Amritsar in 1944 to starta bicycle spare parts business with his three brothers.
iii. The complete manufacturing of bicycle was started in 1956under brand name Hero. This unit became the first bicyclemanufacturing unit in India which produced 639 bicycles in that firstyear.
iv. Yesterday the Hero Cycles Limited is the worlds largestintegrated bicycle manufacturing company that manufacture 7.5 millioncycles per year.
v. Om Prakash has received the Udyog Rattan Award from PunjabGovernment, Punjab Rattna award, The Samman Patra award towards forthe contribution to exchequer of the Punjab state government and TheIndira Gandhi National Unity award to recognize his socialcontribution.
4. Axis Bank launched the First Multi-CurrencyContactless Card service in India
i. Indias third largest private sector lender, Axis Bank haslaunched the first Contactless Debit, Credit and Multi-Currency ForexCard in association with VISA payWave in the country.
ii. Axis Bank will offer a contactless debit/credit cards to its1.7 million premium customers which also enables withdrawal of 15currencies via Multi-Currency Forex facility.
iii. To facilitate contactless cards operations bank will upgrade50,000, of its point of sale (PoS) machines across the country.
iv.Axis Bank Contactless cards contain a chip and an antenna (based onradio frequency) that facilitates seamless, faster and hassle freepayments.
v. The customer has to enter the purchase amount in thecontactless PoS terminal and then simply has to tap the card on theterminal to complete his/her payment wirelessly and in a securemanner.
5. 2015 United States-India Cyber Dialogue held inWashington, DC
i. 2015 US - India Cyber Dialogue was held on 11 and 12 August2015 at the US Department of State in Washington, DC. The dialoguewas held with an aim to increase global cyber security and promotethe digital economy.
ii. The whole-of-government Cyber Dialogue, fourth in the series,was led by the US Cyber security Coordinator and Special Assistant tothe President Michael Daniel and by India's Deputy National SecurityAdvisor Arvind Gupta.
Outcomes of the dialogue
The United States and India have committed torobust cooperation on cyber issues
Thedelegations discussed a range of cyber issues including cyberthreats, enhanced cyber security information sharing, cyber incidentmanagement, cyber security cooperation in the context of 'Make inIndia', efforts to combat cyber crime, Internet governance issues,and norms of state behavior in cyberspace.
Thetwo delegations identified a variety of opportunities for increasedcollaboration on cyber security capacity-building, cyber securityresearch and development, combatting cyber crime, internationalsecurity, and Internet governance, and intend to pursue an array offollow-on activities to bolster their cyber security partnership andachieve concrete outcomes.
6. Government approves MoU between India and America toestablish PACEsetter Fund
i. The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post-facto approval for theMemorandum of Understanding (MoU) between American and India toestablish the PACEsetter Fund.
ii. The PACEsetter Fund is a fund that supports the PromotingEnergy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) an initiative between USand India through Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE).
iii. Accordingly both the countries has raised corpus of about 8million US dollars (Rs. 50 crore) on a 50:50 sharing basis.
iv. PACE is a flagship initiative initiated between the U.S. andIndia in 2009, to work jointly on energy security and clean energy,which primly focuses on accelerating the transition tohigh-performing, low emissions, and energy-secure economies.
v. It endeavours to boost joint efforts to demonstrate theviability of existing clean energy technologies as well as identifynew technologies that can increase energy access and security.
Current Affairs - 13th August 2015
1. Acharya Dev Vrat sworn-in as Governor of HimachalPradesh
i. Acharya Dev Vrat was sworn in as the Governor of HimachalPradesh at oath taking ceremony held in Raj Bhawan, Shimla.
ii. He is 27th Governor and 18th regular Governor of the HimachalPradesh, since it was granted full statehood in 1971.
iii. Vrat took his oath of office in Sanskrit and it wasadministered by Chief Justice of the Himachal High Court, JusticeMansoor Ahmad Mir as per provisions of Article 159 of Constitution.
iv. Acharya Dev Vrat is an eminent educationist and hails fromHaryana. He was born on 18 January 1959. He holds doublepost-graduate in History and Hindi from the Punjab and KurukshetraUniversity, respectively. He also has studied Naturopathy and YogicScience.
v. He has also authored several books including GurukulKurukshetra ka Gauravshali Itihaas, Swasthya ka Anmol Marg Prakritik Chikitsa (Hindi and English editions) besides, editingvarious magazines and translation works.
2. Uninor signed worth Rs 1,200 cr contract with Huaweifor modernising its network
i. Uninor a subsidiary of Norways telecom major Telenor hasinked an agreement worth 1,200 crore rupees with Chinese firm Huaweifor modernising and managing its network across six circles in thecountry.
ii. The advancement of payment will be done in phase manner forthree years. As per the partnership Huawei will modernise and manageUninors network by making it future ready for 4G network andinternet service.
iii. Accordingly Huawei India will modernise its entire telecomnetwork across all six operating telecom circles in Gujarat,Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, UP (East),UP (West),Bihar (includingJharkhand),which as of now has 24,000 base stations.
iv. Huawei has announced that the network modernisation will bedone in environment-friendly green solutions that would lower powerconsumption by almost 30 per cent and increase spectral efficiency.
3. China, Pakistan signed deals worth 1.6 billion USdollars to implement CPEC
i. China and Pakistan on 12 August 2015 signed 20 agreements worth1.6 billion US dollars to implement the ambitious China-PakistanEconomic Corridor (CPEC) project. These agreements were signed duringthe CPEC Forum that was held at Karamay city in Xinjiang province ofChina bordering.
ii. Both the countries together also issued the Karamay Manifestoon the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),a major project underChina's Belt and Road Initiative.
iii. About China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
CPEC project is brainchild of China and waslaunched by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Pakistanin April 2015. Around 51 agreements were signed of which 30 werelinked to this strategic corridor.
It is partof its ambitious six economic corridors conceived under Silk RoadEconomic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
It connects Xinjiang Province of China with Pakistans strategicGwadar Port and passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
CPEC project seeks to boost economic cooperation, politicaltrust and cultural exchanges between China and Pakistan. It isregarded as the biggest connectivity project between the twocountries with total investments around 46 billion US dollars.
4. Coca-cola India signs Sourav Ganguly for 3-years associal ambassador
i. Beverage maker Coca-Cola India has roped incricketerturned-commentator Sourav Ganguly as its social ambassadorfor a three-year deal ending in 2017, replacing Sachin Tendulkar, thecountry's most famous cricketer, whose contract ended last year.
ii. Besides the cricket association, Ganguly will lead Coca-Cola'sfootball programmes and run various grassroots football activities.Ganguly has also volunteered to be a part of the Coca-Cola Support MySchool movement - a programme that promotes the cause of healthyschools.
iii. Establishing an association with sports resonates well forcola companies, which often face flak for promoting sugary drinks.Rival Pepsi-Co, too, has cricketers MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli as thefaces of its brands.
5. Union Cabinet approves Spectrum Sharing Guidelines
i. The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the spectrum sharingguidelines based on the recommendations of the Telecom RegulatoryAuthority of India (TRAI).
ii. The decision is part of Union Governments commitment toimprove spectral efficiency and quality of telecom service across thecountry.
iii. Spectrum sharing will be allowed only for the access serviceproviders in the first instance in a Licensed Service Area (LSA). Inthis case both spectrum license holders should have spectrum in thesame band and have paid market price for it.
iv. Access of all spectrums including traded spectrums will besharable provided that both license holders having spectrum in thesame band.
Current Affairs - 12th August 2015
1. India & World Bank signed agreement of US$308.40 Million for NCRMP-II
i. Union Government and World Bank on 11 August 2015 signed 308.40million US dollar credit agreement in support of the second phase ofthe National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Program (NCRMP-II). Theagreement was also signed by the state Governments of Goa, Gujarat,Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and West Bengal.
ii. The agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary,Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the Union Government andJohn Blomquist, Program Leader and Acting Country Director in India,on behalf of the World Bank.
iii. The Project Agreements in respect of the States of Goa,Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal were signedby the representatives of the respective State Governments.
iv. Objective of the National Cyclone Risk MitigationProject-II (NCRMP-II)
To reduce vulnerability to cyclone and otherhydro-meteorological hazards of coastal communities in the states ofGoa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal
It aims at increasing the capacity of the State entities toeffectively plan for and respond to disasters.
The project will also finance technical assistance for strengtheningof multi-hazard risk management at the national level and improvingthe quality of available information on multi-hazard risks fordecision making across the country.
NCRMP-IIhas four components and they are
a) Early Warning DisseminationSystems
b) Cyclone Risk Mitigation Infrastructure
c) TechnicalAssistance for Multi-Hazard Risk Management
d) Project Managementand Implementation Support
2. Pankaj Advani bags 13th World Snooker Championship
i. Indias poster boy of cue sports Pankaj Advani on Wednesdayclinched his 13th world title after winning the World 6-Red SnookerChampionship in a convincing manner.
ii. Defending champion Advani outplayed Chinese Yan Bingtao 6-2,stamping his authority on the green baize in the final. The finalstarted off with a bang with the Bangalore cueist racing to a rapid3-0 lead in the best-of-11 final. But the Chinese found his form andran away with the next two frames with the aid of a 66 break.
iii. In no mood to give anything away, Advani did not allow hisopponent to score a single point in the next two. He fired in amassive 71 break in the seventh frame to be one frame away fromdefending his title which he won in Egypt last year.
3. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announcedmarketing of Bio Fuel Blended HSD
i. The Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG)on 10 August 2015 announced Marketing of High Speed Diesel (HSD)blended with Bio-diesel in selected retail outlets of OMCs in NewDelhi & Vishakhapatnam (by HPCL),Haldia (by BPCL) and Vijayawada(by IOCL).
ii. It is a path breaking step in Indias retailsector for launching Bio-diesel B 5 blend to diesel consumers.
iii. Sale of fuel was announced on the occasion of World Bio FuelDay by Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas,Dharmendra Pradhan at HPCLs retail outlet in New Delhi. He alsolaunched the sale of Bio-Diesel blended HSD in other cities throughlive streaming from New Delhi.
iv. Earlier, the ministry had permitted direct sale of Bio-Diesel(B100) to bulk consumers like Railways, shipping and State RoadTransport Corporations etc. This was permitted as part of promotionof Ethanol Blended Petrol program (EBP) in the country, whereinethanol blending in petrol is planned to increase from 5 to 10 %based on the availability of ethanol.
4. Sanjay Jalona appointed as MD and CEO for L&TInfotech
i. Larsen and Toubro has appointed former Infosys executive SanjayJalona as the Managing Director and CEO of its subsidiary L&TInfotech, IT arm of L&T.
ii. The new CEO Sanjay Jalona will run L&T Infotech from itsNew Jersey office in order to add thrust to its profitable growth.Company aims to boost growth and strengthen its presence in theUnited States, Europe, Gulf Cooperation Council countries and theEast countries.
iii. Before joining the L&T Infotech countrys sixth largestIT services firm he was working as an executive vice-president andglobal head of High-Tech Manufacturing and Engineering Services forInfosys.
iv. He was with Infosys for fifteen years and had held seniorleadership positions across the Europe, India and US.
5. Facebook awarded $21 million to Indian appdevelopers under FbStart initiative
i. On 11 August the social network giant Facebook doled out 21million US dollar to Indian app developers under its FbStartinitiative.
ii. With an aim to attract next billion Internet users towardssocial networking, last year Facebook launched FbStart an initiativeto promote and help new mobile app developers around the world. Thetwo Indian entrants Hyderabad-based Samosa and Delhis Cardbackreceived the 21 billion US dollars under this initiative.
iii. The Hyderabad-based Samosa had developed an app that offers acurated collection of clips from popular movies that people can sharewith friends. The Delhi- based Cardback developed an app that helpscardholders and wallet users identify the best ways to pay andmaximise their rewards and savings for every transaction they make.
6. NABARD accredited by UNs Green Climate Fund asNational Implementing Entity
i. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)got accredited by the Green Climate Fund as a national implementingentity for undertaking climate change related projects in India.
ii. In 2010 the United Nations Framework Convention on ClimateChange (UNFCCC) had set Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help developingcountries to finance clean energy projects other mitigation effortsand adaptation to climate change.
iii. Accordingly NABARD is the only national implementing entityin the country for undertaking climate change projects. NABARD willget funds in the form of concessional loan or in form of grant orthrough other modalities approved by the GCF Board.
iv. In line of this NABARD has submitted a proposal to GCF forfinancial support on Mitigating climate change and enhancingadaption for farmers through agro-forestry project set by HaryanaGovernment.
7. Libya chaos deepens as PM resigns
i. The future of Libya's internationally recognised government wasuncertain Wednesday after Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani said hewould resign, as fraught peace talks were set to enter a second day.
ii. It was unclear whether Thani planned to follow through on hisresignation vow, made during an emotional live television appearancewhere he faced a barrage of angry questions from citizens.
iii. The move added to the political chaos in Libya, as thecountry's rival factions were to meet for a second day ofUN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva.
iv. The prime minister, who escaped an assassination attempt inMay when gunmen opened fire on his car after a parliament meeting,was also hit with accusations of corruption against his government inthe television interview.
Current Affairs - 11th August 2015
1. International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoplesobserved
i. 9 August: International Day of the World's Indigenous People
ii. International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples wasobserved on 9 August 2015 with the theme Post 2015 Agenda: Ensuringindigenous peoples' health and well-being.
iii. This year's theme puts a spotlight on the issue of indigenouspeoples' access to health care services, as improving indigenouspeoples health remains a critical challenge for indigenouspeoples, Member States and the United Nations.
iv. The State of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples, Volume II waslaunched at the UN
2. Google launched its parent company Alphabet Inc
i. Search engine giant Google Inc on 10 August 2015 launched a newparent company called Alphabet Inc that separates its highlyprofitable search and advertising business.
ii. The new parent company was formed as part of Googles neworganisational structure which will help the company to keeptremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities and products.
iii. With this, Google will be replaced by Alphabet Inc as thepublicly-traded entity and all its shares will automaticallyconverted into the of shares of new parent entity with same rights.Alphabet Inc will comprise of the search engine unit and all othersubsidiaries.
Highlights of the Restructuring of Google
Under the new structural arrangement, allsubsidiaries of Google will be brought under the control of AlphabetInc which will come into effect by 2015 itself.
Alphabet Inc will be led by Co-founder and current CEO ofGoogle Larry Page while Sergey Brin, the other co-founder, will serveas the President of Alphabet Inc and Eric Schmidt will be executiveChairman.
Googles Chief Financial Officer(CFO) Ruth Porat will become CFO of Alphabet and current directors ofthe company will become directors of Alphabet Inc.
Chennai born Sundar Pichai will be the CEO of new Google that is nowthe subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.
3. Kochi became first Indian city to join World TourismCities Federation Council
i. Kochi becomes first Indian city to be a member of Beijingheadquartered, World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Council andjoin its league of leading tourism cities across the world. Theinvitation to be the member of the council was sent to Kerala TourismDepartment by WTCF which was formally accepted the state TourismDepartment on 10 August 2015.
ii. The membership acceptance document was handed over to ChineseAmbassador to India Le Yucheng by the Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany inthe presence of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the function held inKochi.
iii. Kochi was invited to be the member of the council on groundof its partnerships in culture, sports and tourism. In case of Kochiits cuisine, martial arts and snake and dragon boat races fulfils theset ground for membership.
iv. The WTCF, headquartered at Beijing is a non-profit,non-governmental international organisation voluntarily formed bytourism cities like Los Angeles, Berlin, Barcelona and many otherworld famous tourism cities and tourism-related institutions.
4. ISRO commissions Titanium Sponge Plant in Kerala
i. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 10 August hasfully commissioned and started commercial production at the firstindigenous Titanium Sponge Plant at Chavara in Kerala.
ii. The initiative was taken by ISROs Vikram Sarabhai SpaceCentre to establish Titanium Sponge Plant (TSP) a dedicated 500 MTper annum plant at M/s Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML),Chavarain Kollam district, Kerala.
iii. It is the only integrated plant in the world that undertakesall activities right from mining of Ti minerals to manufacturing ofaerospace grade Ti sponge under one roof.
iv. It is a Titanium (Ti) alloy products produced by conversion ofraw titanium through Kroll process which is subjected to leaching orheated vacuum distillation to remove impurities and gaining thepurest form (99.7 per cent) of Titanium Sponge. India has become theseventh country in the world producing Titanium sponge commercially.
5. President Pranab Mukherjee presented SaraswatiSammaan to Dr. M Veerappa Moily
i. President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 10 August 2015presented the 24th Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. MVeerappa Moily, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) in New Delhi. Hereceived the award for his epic Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam written inKannada.
ii. Divided into five volumes, Ramayana Mahanveshanam was firstpublished in 2007 in Kannada. Later the poem was translated intoEnglish, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.
iii. Moilys work was selected for the award in March 2015 by a13-member panel of scholars and writers headed by former ChiefJustice of India RC Lahoti.
6. Sania Mirza to be conferred Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
i. Sania Mirza on Tuesday became only the second tennis player tobe recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, whilestar cricketer Rohit Sharma and ace shooter Jitu Rai were among the17 sportspersons picked for this year's Arjuna awards.
ii. Sania, currently ranked world number one in women's doubles,scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch a women'sdoubles Grand Slam when she partnered Swiss great Martina Hingis forthe Wimbledon trophy earlier this year.
iii. Sania is only the second tennis player after Leander Paes tobe named for the top award. Paes had been bestowed the honour wayback in 1996 after his bronze medal in the Atlanta Olympics.
iv. The 28-year-old, who has won three mixed doubles Grand Slamsin her career, beat competition from squash player Deepika Pallikal,discus thrower Vikas Gowda, track and field star Tintu Luka, risingshuttler P V Sindhu, and hockey captain Sardar Singh for the covetedhonour.
7. Indias social security pact with Canada comesinto force
i. The social security pact between India and Canada which wasapproved by Union Cabinet in 2013 comes into force after two years oflong waiting. According to the pact the employees posted by Indianentities in Canada are not required to contribute towards Canadassocial security schemes for period of 60 months and similarly theCanadian employees posted in India would enjoy the same benefit.
ii. The employees on both the countries will be able to enjoy thisbenefit only when they produce a certificate of coverage thatspecifies that they are contributing towards social security schemessuch as PF and pension in their home country.
iii. This pact was sign to enable Indian as well as Canadianemployees to avoid double social security contribution and to enhancecompetitiveness of their services and products.
iv. Government has authorised Employment Provident FundOrganisation (EPFO) to implement social security agreements in Indiaand to issue certificate of coverage to the employees posted byIndian entities to Canada.
Current Affairs - 9th & 10th August 2015
1. Param Tyag Chakra Initiative launched to honourfamilies of martyrs
i. The Param Tyag Chakra initiative was launched on 9 August 2015by the Alumni Association of Rajagiri School of Engineering andTechnology to honour family members of brave military men, whosacrificed their lives for the nation.
ii. For this initiative, the Alumni Association of Rajagiri Schoolof Engineering and Technology in association with the management andstudents launched a web platform aimed at collecting the details ofthese family members.
iii. Everyone including the general public, the government,corporates, the media can join this initiative in multiple ways likeby identifying and referring such families or by channeling thesupport required for them etc.
iv. The initiative is planned in multiple phases. The first phasewill be launched as part of the Independence Day.
2. 10th August: World Bio-Fuel Day
i. Every year 10th August is observed as World Bio-Fuel Day in abid to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green Fuels).
ii. On this day in 1893, Sir Rudalph Diesel (inventor of thediesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical enginewith Peanut Oil. His research experiment had predicted that vegetableoil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fueldifferent mechanical engines. Thus to mark this extraordinaryachievement, World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August.
3. Xiaomi ties up with Foxconn to set up facilityin Andhra Pradesh through " Make in India" Initiative
i. China-based Smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc has tied up withTaiwan-based Foxconn to set first Assembly line in Andhra Pradeshunder Make in India initiative.
ii. These two Smartphone manufacturer giants has forayed togetherinto Indian electronics market to roll out Xiaomis first locallymade Smartphone, the Redmi2 Prime as it seeks to expand its marketshare in India.
iii. The size of the investment made in setting up the assemblyline was not disclosed.
4. BHEL commissioned 500 MW Thermal Unit at VindhyachalSTPS
i. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) on 8 August 2015commissioned a 500 MW coal-based power plant unit at VindhyachalSuper Thermal Power Station (STPS) in Vindhyanagar, Singraulidistrict of Madhya Pradesh.
ii. With the commissioning of this unit, BHEL has now commissionedseven sets of 500 MW each aggregating to 3500 MW, the highest by BHELin a power project.
iii. BHELs scope of work in this project envisaged design,engineering, manufacture, supply and erection and commissioning ofsteam generator and steam turbine generator along with the associatedauxiliaries and state of the art controls and instrumentation.
iv. The equipment for the project was manufactured at BHELsTiruchi, Ranipet, Haridwar, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Bhopal plants,while the companys Power Sector- Western Region undertook the workof erection and commissioning of the equipment.
5. Global satellite to be named after Abdul Kalam
i. A global satellite for earth observation and disaster riskreduction GlobalSat for DRR proposed under the UN frameworkis to be dedicated to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as a tribute to the visionof the celebrated rocket scientist and former Indian president whodied July 27.
ii. This has been stated by Milind Pimprikar, Chairman of CANEUS(CANada-Europe-US-ASia) Organization on Space Technologies forSocietal Applications headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
iii. Founded in 1999, CANEUS serves to develop a common platformfor space technology solutions for natural and man-made disastermanagement. The GlobalSat for DRR is a UN-driven globalinitiative on sharing space technology for disaster risk reduction,Mr. Pimprikar told IANS.
6. Telecom Minister launches mobile app "Disha"to aid digital literacy in Bihar
i. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched a new mobileapp Disha to aid digital literacy in Bihar. The app waslaunched in Bihar that aims to help people learn about computers andInternet through self learning modules.
ii. The app envisages offering digital literacy to tribal andDalit women in the State which is free and available on Google appstore. This initiative was taken by Ministry to spread out digitalliteracy in women from tribal and Dalit background in Bihar.
iii. To promote digital literacy government has initiated trainingprogram under Digital Saksharta Abhiyan in all states.
Current Affairs - 8th August 2015
1. ESIC extends health insurance scheme to ArunachalPradesh, Mizoram, Manipur
i. Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has decided toimplement its health insurance scheme to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoramand Manipur in a bid to cover all states in the country.
ii. It has decided to extend the benefit of its health insurancescheme to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, a union territory, accordingto an official release.
iii. ESIC already covers union territories of Chandigarh, Dadraand Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, National Capital Territory of Delhiand Puducherry under the ambit of its health insurance scheme.
iv. ESIC, an arm of Labour Ministry, has a direct subscriber baseof 1.95 crore, covering a population of around eight crore peopleunder its cover.The ESIC board, headed by Labour Minister BandaruDattatreya, has also decided to extend the reach of ESI Scheme to 393districts in the country by 1st April, 2016.
2. Boost for 'Make in India': Foxconn to invest $5billion in Maharashtra
i. Global electronic manufacturing giant Foxconn has announced itwill invest $5 billion over the next five years in Maharashtra, whichhas given the Taiwan-based company 1,500 acres of land for its plant.
ii. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said the facility in Maharashtrawill focus on research and development as well as manufacturing, andthe company has chosen the state for being a financial centre,availability of quality talent and software-hardware integrationfacilities.
iii. Foxconn will look for tie-ups with local partners for itspresence in this state, he said, while adding that this MoU with theMaharashtra government was different from the already announced JVwith the Adani group.
iv. At an event organised to announce the investment and aMemorandum of Understanding in this regard between the company andthe state government, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavissaid Foxconn will be given 1,500 acres of land.
3. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated first National HandloomDay
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7 August 2015 inaugurated firstNational Handloom Day at the Centenary Hall of Madras University inChennai, Tamil Nadu, where he also unveiled 'India Handloom' brand.
ii. Modi, while addressing the function, sought greater use ofhandloom in people's daily lives and also emphasised on innovativeinitiatives for making handloom as fashionable choice amongconsumers.
iii. This was his first visit to the Tamil Nadu capital since heassumed office. On his arrival to the city, he was received byGovernor K Rosaiah and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
iv. Besides, the Prime Minster visited the exhibition of handloomproducts from various states kept for display at the UniversityAuditorium. He also gave away the Sant Kabir Awards and NationalAwards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 to distinguished handloompersonalities.
v. Each Sant Kabir award consists of one mounted gold coin,tamrapatra, one shawl and a citation and a financial assistance of upto 6 lakh rupees.
4. Global satellite named 'GlobalSat for DRR' proposedto be named after Abdul Kalam
i. Global satellite called GlobalSat for DRR was in news in thefirst week of August 2015 as it was proposed to be named after formerIndian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who died on 27 July 2015.
ii. The satellite to be used for earth observation and disasterrisk reduction will be renamed as UN Kalam GlobalSat.
iii. The proposal to name the satellite after Dr. Kalam was madeby Milind Pimprikar, Chairman of CANEUS (CANada-Europe-US-Asia)headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
iv. The renaming of GlobalSat after Kalam will be a tribute to hisvision, who in his World Space Vision-2050 had envisaged space faringnations joining hands to find solutions to mankinds major problemssuch as natural disasters, energy and water scarcity, health-careeducation issues and weather prediction.
v. The proposed GlobalSat will be formally adopted by more than150 world leaders at the UN Session in New York in September 2015.
5. Maharashtra government declares Thane creek area asFlamingo Sanctuary
i. Maharashtra government has declared the area along Thane Creekas Flamingo Sanctuary.
ii. In this regard State Revenue and Forest Department has issuednotification to declare northern part of the creek as a wildlifesanctuary as per provisions of Section 18 of the Wildlife (ProtectionAct),1972.
iii. It should be noted that this Sanctuary is Maharashtrassecond Marine sanctuary after Malvan (marine) Wildlife Sanctuarywhich was declared in 1987.
6. Accenture India appoints Rekha Menon as chairman,Anindya Basu as MD
i. Global technology and consultancy giant Accenture on Fridaysaid it will elevate Rekha M Menon as chairman of its Indiaoperations.
ii. It has also roped in Anindya Basu as the country managingdirector (MD) in India.
iii. Menon is currently MD, human resources, for company's growthmarkets and has been leading HR strategy for Asia Pacific, MiddleEast, Africa, Russia, Turkey and Latin America.
iv. Basu will be responsible for driving Accenture's domesticbusiness in India and building relationships with key clients byleveraging the company's capabilities in strategy, consulting,digital, technology and operations, it said.
Current Affairs - 7th August 2015
1. Egypt launches Suez Canal expansion
i. Egypt has launched a major expansion of the Suez Canal. It wasinaugurated by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a lavishceremony held at port city of Ismailiya ( located on west bank ofcanal).
ii. The project was started in August 2014 for the expansion ofthe Ballah Bypass from 61 metres to 312 metres. The project wasdubbed as the New Suez Canal.
iii. Expansion aims to increase the traffic handled by the canalin order to boost Egypts economy and global standing by turningthe Suez Canal zone into a global logistics and trade center.
iv. Completed in one year span with an estimated cost of US 8billion dollars. It comprises 72km of new channel and bypasses whichhas deepened the main waterway.
2. India, Mozambique signed MoU to boost ties inRenewable Energy Sector
i. India and Mozambique on 5 August 2015 signed Memorandum ofunderstanding (MoU) to deepen cooperation in New and Renewable EnergySector. The agreement was signed during the official visit of FilipeNyusi, President of Mozambique to India.
ii. Moreover, both nations also agreed to intensify cooperation inmaritime security and ocean economy as both the countries have largecoastlines and are linked by Indian Ocean.
iii. Indias strong relation with this south eastern Africannation will play important larger role in its foreign policy inAfrica and the Indian Ocean region. Mozambique will also playprominent role to meet Indias energy security as it is a proximatesource of natural gas, coal and other minerals.
3. Indian-American Atul Keshap confirmed Ambassador toSri Lanka
i. Indian-American Atul Keshap has been confirmed as the U.S.Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, becoming the secondIndian-origin diplomat to be posted to the region after Richard RahulVerma.
ii. Mr. Keshap (44),a former official at the US Embassy in India,was on Wednesday confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the countrysenvoy which would be his first Ambassadorial posting.
iii. He is currently working as Deputy Assistant Secretary ofState in South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau of State Department.He joined the Foreign Service in 1994.
iv. Mr. Keshap also served as special assistant for the MiddleEast, North Africa, and South Asia for the under secretary of statefor political affairs.
4. PM Modi declares August 7 as National Handloom Dayto mark Swadeshi movement
i. To commemorate the 1905 Swadeshi movement the Prime MinisterNarendra Modi announced August 7 as National Handloom Day atthe function held in Chennai.
ii. At the event PM Modi also launched the India Handloombrand to help weavers with brand for global markets.
iii. The day 7 August was selected to commemorate the 110 year oldSwadeshi Movement, which promoted use of domestic products overBritish products.
iv. The motto behind observing National Handloom Day is to honourthe handloom weavers and to carter an impetus to Indias handloomindustry. Whereas launching of India Handloom brand aims topromote handloom of India in the global markets as a genuine goodquality international product.
5. Rajasthan signs MoUs for Rs 2,452-cr investments atthe investment meet in New Delhi
i. Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje signed memorandumsof understanding (MoUs) worth 2,452 crore rupees at an investor eventorganised in New Delhi.
ii. The event was organised in association with the Confederationof Indian Industry (CII) by the Bureau of Industry Promotion inRajasthan.
iii. Investment pacts were signed between the state government andseveral private companies that plan to set up industrial units inRajasthan.
iv. These investments are expected to generate over 7000 directand more than thousand indirect jobs.
6. World War-II hero Colonel Harwant Singh passed away
i. Colonel Harwant Singh (retd),a World War-II hero, died on 4August 2015 at Patiala. He was 95. He was officer-in-charge of theflag hoisting ceremony on the first Independence Day of India in1947.
ii. Commissioned in 2nd battalion of the Sikh Regiment inSeptember 1941, Singh served in Iraq, Palestine, North Africa, Cyprusand Italy during World War-II for the British Army. On the outbreakof hostilities with Pakistan in October 1947, colonel Harwant Singhwas one of the leading company commanders who was airlifted toSrinagar.
iii. Later in 1951, he was transferred to the Rajputana Rifleswhen the state forces began to be merged with the Indian army. Hecommanded 18 Rajputana Rifles, 6 Rajputana Rifles and the RajputanaRegimental Centre.
iv. He was awarded with the Military Cross in 1944 for gallantryduring an offensive against the German forces in Italy. The MilitaryCross is the highest award of the British Army.
7. 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers meet held in KualaLumpur, Malaysia
i. The 48th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ForeignMinisters meet was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between 4 Augustand 6 August 2015. The meet was chaired by Anifah Aman, Minister ofForeign Affairs of Malaysia.
ii. The meet was held under the theme "Our People, OurCommunity, Our Vision", to create an ASEAN Community which istruly people-oriented, people-centred comprising all areas ofcooperation.
iii. The foreign ministers of ASEAN had a productive discussionrevolving round the theme of the meet.
iv. They also discussed regional and international issues as wellas their ongoing efforts to maintain peace, stability and prosperityin the region.
Current Affairs - 6th August 2015
1. Bharti Airtel launched first 4G services in 296towns across India
i. On 6 August 2015 Indias telecom giant Airtel hascommercially launched the high-speed 4G services across 296 townsacross India .
ii. In April 2012 Bharti Airtel had first launched its 4G servicein Kolkata and from then conducted trials in 51 cities.
iii. For the 4G devices Airtel has join hands with mobile handsetmaker Samsung to develop and provide 4G-enabled handsets inaffordable price.
iv. It should be noted that it is Airtel who has built firstcommercial 4G network in India that has brought high speed mobilebroadband into reality.
2. Lok Sabha passed Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill,2015
i. The Lok Sabha on 5 August 2015 passed the Delhi High Court(Amendment) Bill, 2015. The Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha on 17February 2014 and was passed by Rajya Sabha on 6 May 2015. TheBill amends the Delhi High Court Act, 1966.
ii. With the passage of the bill in Parliament, the protestingdistrict court lawyers called off their two-week-long strike. TheBill will affect 12211 cases pending in the High Court, according todata cited by the Departmental Standing Committee on Law and Justice.
iii. Provisions of the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2015
It increases the pecuniary jurisdiction ofdistrict courts from 20 lakh rupees to 2 crore rupees.
It proposes that civil suits up to 2 crore rupees will beheard by the 11 district courts in the city instead of the Delhi HighCourt. Litigants will no longer have to travel to the High Courtonly.
It empowers the Chief Justice of theDelhi High Court to transfer any pending suit to a relevantsubordinate court.
3. Zhanna Nemtsova awarded with Poland's SolidarityPrize 2015
i. Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of slain Russian politician BorisNemtsov, was on 5 August 2015 awarded with Poland's Solidarity Prize2015. Nemtsova received the award for championing democracy and humanrights.
ii. She received 1.1 million US dollars human rights prize as arecognition. Presently, Nemtsova works for German broadcasterDeutsche Welle in Berlin.
iii. Nemtsova, a former journalist at Russian business newschannel RBK, left Russia in June 2014 after her father wasassassinated by unknown assailants on 27 February 2014.
About Solidarity Prize
The Solidarity Prize was named after thetrade union launched by anti-communist icon and former PolishPresident Lech Walesa.
The award was set upin 2014 to mark the 25th anniversary of Poland's semi-free electionsin 1989, signaling the end of communism across the Soviet bloc.
4. Union Cabinet gives nod to Direct Release of Wagesinto bank accounts of MNREGA workers
i. Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of direct release ofwages in to the accounts of the workers engaged under the MahatmaGandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Directrelease of wages system under the MNREGA aims to streamline the flowof funds and to empower state governments to deliver entitlements asper the objectives of the Act.
ii. The wage component of MGNREGA will be directly released to theworkers accounts based on a fund transfer order to be generated bystates implementing agencies of government.
iii. The fund transfer order in case of wages of workers fromimplementing agencies will be based in accordance with proceduresprescribed by Union Rural Development Ministry and the wage componentwill be given to the State Employment Guarantee Fund window forfurther transferring it to beneficiaries.
iv. In the implementation of this scheme, the gram panchayats willbe empowered to take up work according to the agreed labour budgetand without struggling for release of funds.
5. India, Mozambique ink MoU to boost ties in New andRenewable Energy sector
i. India and Mozambique agreed to deepen cooperation in New andRenewable Energy. In this regard both sides inked Memorandum ofunderstanding (MoU) on expanding cooperation in energy sector.
ii. It was signed after delegation level talks between IndianPrime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Filipe Nyusi,President of Mozambique who is on official 5 day visit to India.
iii. Apart from this, both nations also agreed ways to intensifycooperation in maritime security and ocean economy as both have largecoastlines and are linked by Indian Ocean.
iv. India and Mozambique share a history of profitable traderelations and there bilateral trade in 2014-15 valued at US 2.4billion dollars. In last 5 years trade between the two countries hasmultiplied five times.
6. Union Cabinet approves proposal to sign agreementwith UNESCO
i. Union Cabinet gave its nod to a proposal to sign an agreementwith UNESCO for establishment of a Centre for World Natural HeritageManagement and Training for Asia-Pacific region.
ii. This centre will be established as a category-2 centre (C2C)of the UN body at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun,Uttarakhand.
iii. By signing this agreement WII Dehradun will be first existinginstitute to be accorded recognition by UNESCO. It will be also thefirst institute to get natural heritage recognition by UNESCO ascurrently there are 9 C2C institutes related to culturalheritage.This agreement has been mooted by the Union EnvironmentMinistry. While, Union Government will provide capacity building forestablishing this centre in order to support countries in the regionfor up keeping of heritage and natural sites.
Current Affairs - 5th August 2014
1. Ministry of Rural Development launches SAMANVAYportal for Gram Panchayats
i. Union Ministry of Rural Development has launched SAMANVAYweb portal to monitor progress and implementation of the SansadAdarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) for development of Gram Panchayats. It waslaunched by Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary BirenderSingh.
ii. SAMANVAY web portal consist a compilation of all Governmentschemes of both Centra and State governments for Gram Panchayats.
iii. The purpose of this portal is to help Member of Parliaments(MPs) to utilise relevant schemes in the planning and implementationof SAGY. It will act as a database for compiled and mappedinformation on various gram panchayat related activities throughvarious schemes undertaken by the Centre and State Governments. InSAMANVAY, around 1800 state schemes from across all states have beendocumented.
iv. Apart from this, minister also launched a magazine PanchayatDarpan to monitor the progress of the SAGY. The magazine will act asa mirror of all the development activities by identifying 35indicators undertaken in the village panchayats under SAGY.
2. Delhi Government decided to have tram network in OldDelhi
i. Delhi government on 4 August 2015 decided to run trams inseveral walled city areas including Lal Quila, Jama Masjid and OldDelhi Railway Station. The decision was taken to augment transportinfrastructure of the city.
ii. The tram network in Old Delhi will comprise Jama Masjid,Chandni Chowk, Sheeshganj Gurudwara, Old Delhi Railway Station andFatehpuri Masjid. It will also link New Delhi Railway Station andseveral other localities.
iii. The government also decided to make Shahjahanad RedevelopmentCorporation, set up to carry out infrastructure projects in OldDelhi, on the lines of New Delhi Municipal Council.
iv. As of 2014, the Kolkata tram in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) isthe only public tram system in the country.
3. Mathematician Amalendu Krishna won 2015 RamanujanPrize
i. Mathematician Dr. Amalendu Krishna has won the Ramanujan Prizefor year 2015. He has been bestowed with this award for hisoutstanding contributions in the area of algebraic cycles, algebraicK-theory and the theory of motives.
ii. Presently, Dr. Krishna is mathematician professor at the TataInstitute of Fundamental Research (TIFR),Mumbai. He hails from Biharand had completed his early college and schooling education there.
iii. Ramanujan Prize was established in 2005. It is named afterthe noted Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. It recognizes aresearcher from a developing country who has conducted outstandingresearch in a developing country and is less than 45 years of age.
iv. Dr. Krishna is the second Indian to win this award. First wasSujatha Ramadorai who had won it in 2006.
4. NDDB wins award for geographical info system
i. The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) on Tuesday said ithas won the Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award 2015 for exemplarywork in Dairy Geographical Information System.
ii. The award ceremony was held recently at the annual EsriInternational User Conference in San Diego and presided over by JackDangermond, President and Founder of Esri.
iii. With the advancement of Internet-based GIS technology, it isnow possible to integrate and quickly disseminate the tremendousamount of attribute and graphical data of villages into usableinformation for decision-making by all stakeholders of the dairysector.
iv. NDDBs Internet-based Dairy Geographical Information System(i-DGIS) application is the first of its kind in India, wherevillage-level integration of data has been done, at such a largescale, for the dairy sector.
5. Uttar Pradesh government decided to rename UPTU asAPJ Abdul Kalam Technical University
i. The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Cabinet on 4 August 2015 approved UPTechnical University (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The amendment wasapproved during a state cabinet meet chaired by chief ministerAkhilesh Yadav.
ii. The Bill amends the UP Technical University Act, 2000 torename the Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) as Dr. APJ AbdulKalam Technical University (APJAKTU),Uttar Pradesh in the honour of11th President of India.
iii. Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, 83, passed away inShillong on 27 July 2015 after suffering a massive cardiac arrestwhile delivering a lecture to students at the Indian Institute ofManagement (IIM).
iv. The cabinet also decided to create a memorial and centrallibrary in memory of Kalam and other famous scientists at the newcampus of the University.
v. Earlier during the Mayawati-led government in 2010, theUniversity was bifurcated into Gautam Budha Technical University(GBTU) and Mahamaya Technical University (MTU) to be restored by itsoriginal name in 2013 by Akhilesh Yadav-led government.
6. Asias biggest telescope MAST inaugurated atUdaipur Solar Observatory in Rajasthan
i. Multi-Application Solar Telescope (MAST),Asias biggesttelescope was inaugurated at the Udaipur Solar Observatory inRajasthan. It was inaugurated by Professor U.R Rao, Chairman ofPhysical Research Laboratory, inaugurated.
ii. The telescope was installed under the project undertaken byUnion Ministry of Science and Technology and was funded by Departmentof Space (DoS). The project will be monitored by Ahmedabad basedPhysical Research Laboratory.
iii. MAST has a lens of 50 cm in diameter. These lenses weredeveloped on the basis of optical and mechanical system of Belgium.The rear part of MAS has been developed by the observatory while itsfront part was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO).
iv. It will provide 3 Dimensional (3D) images of solar activitiessuch as solar blast and solar flares. It will also in vital studiesabout other planetary movements even in the day time.
v. MAST has been designed in 2004 and its optical elements wereadded to it in 2008. In 2013, it was installed at the Udaipur SolarObservatory.
7. SHEFROL: An Eco-friendly way of treating water
i. Scientific technology named SHEFROL (SHEet Flow ROot Level) wasin news in the first week of August 2015. It was in news as theSHEFROL-based waste water treatment plant built at Chinna Kalapetfishing hamlet in Puducherry, was found to be successful.
ii. The waste water treatment plant was set up in November 2014 byPhD student Ashraf Bhat as part of his thesis work with the guidanceof Assistant Professor Tasneem Bhat. Both are from the Centre forPollution Control and Environmental Engineering, School ofEngineering and Technology, Pondicherry University.
iii. The plant uses clean, green and inexpensive technology calledSHEFROL method to treat wastewater using two aquatic plants, fourleaf clover and water hyacinth.
iv. Highlights of waste water treatment plant
The plant was designed by Professor SA Abbasifrom Pondicherry University. The plant measures around 9 metres andhas a capacity of 10000 litres.
Thisbio-reactor uses the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) to absorbnutrients, pathogens and micro organisms from water.
The plant consists of sand bags placed in pits and channels,a sedimentation tank and a non-permeable sheet which ensureswastewater does not seep into the ground.
Thetreated water is used to irrigate a patch of Casuarina saplings.
This plant takes only six hours to treat wastewater. It alsorids it of its turbidity and smell.
Current Affairs - 4th August 2015
1. HSBC India plans to launch green bonds
i. HSBC Indias chairman Naina Lal Kidwai announced to launchgreen bonds in India for raising funds for investments inenvironmental projects. Announcement was done by the HSBC chairman ina Ficci event held on 3 August 2015.
ii. The total investment attracted by Green Bonds in last twoyears is 37 million dollars. HSBC is the fourth largest issuer in theworld.
iii. Green Bonds in India was initially launched by Axis Bank andYes Bank in February 2015 that attracted investment of 1,000 crorerupees against the target of 500 crore rupees.
iv. Green bond is a debt instrument with which a bond issuer getscapital while the investors receive fixed income in the form ofinterest. The issuer of green bond gets capital from the investorsonly if the investment is being raised to fund green projectsrelating to renewable energy or emission reductions etc.
2. Bharti Airtel acquired YTS Solutions for mobilepayment solutions
i. Indias largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on 4 August2015 acquired financial solutions firm YTS Solutions for anundisclosed amount. With this acquisition, YTS Solutions will beintegrated with the operations of Airtel Money Services Ltd, asubsidiary of Airtel.
ii. This acquisition will help Airtel to expand its footprint inthe payments sector by integrating business capabilities and uniqueservice delivery model of the YTS.
iii. Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd (AMSL) offers wallet serviceunder the brand name Airtel Money.
3. Union Government extends term of Rajan S Katoch asDirector of ED for 3rd time
i. Union Government has extended term of senior IAS officer RajanS Katoch as the Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
ii. In this regard, Apppointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued an order. Thus, Mr.Katoch will have three months additional tenure till October 31,2015.
iii. Mr. Katoch is an IAS officer of 1979-batch of Madhya Pradeshcadre. He was appointed to top most post of Enforcement Directorate(ED) in March 2012 for three year term which was to end in January2015.
iv. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is a law enforcement agencyand economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economiclaws and fighting economic crime in India. It is part of and operatesunder the aegis of Department of Revenue of Union Ministry ofFinance.
4. Reserve Bank of India leaves door open for moreeasing
i. Reserve Bank of India policy kept its policy rate on hold at7.25 percent on Tuesday, as widely expected, while leaving the dooropen to ease further depending on the inflation outlook and howswiftly banks lower their lending rates.
ii. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also said governmenteconomic reforms and the timing of any increase in U.S. interestrates would be key factors that will determine whether the centralbank cuts rates for a fourth time this year.
iii. The RBI has reduced its policy rate by three-quarters of apercentage point since embarking on an easing cycle in January. Thelast cut lowered the repo rate to 7.25 percent on June 2.
iv. The RBIs next policy review is set for Sept. 29. That wouldbe after the Feds September meeting, and any increase in U.S.rates is expected to suck money out of emerging markets.
5. Operation Muskaan helped Gurgaon Police to traceover 1000 kids
i. Operation Muskaan, an initiative launched by railway police totrace missing and destitute children and reunite them with parents,was in news in first week of August 2015.
ii. It came into news after Gurgaon Police traced 1094 children inHaryana during the month-long operation.
iii. Of the 1094 children traced under the operation, 263 wereliving in shelter homes, while 831 children were traced fromdifferent places. Out of the 831 children, 809 have been reunitedwith their parents, while the remaining 22 have been lodged inshelter homes.
iv. The Operation Muskaan was launched by the railway police on 1July 2015 from Dindigul railway station of Tamil Nadu. The operationwas launched with an aim to prevent child trafficking and rescuechildren from persons who tried to engage them in begging, sexualtrade and other antisocial activities.
6. Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singh chosen for BharatBharti literary award 2014
i. Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singh was on 3 August 2015 chosenfor the Uttar Pradesh's highest literary award Bharat Bharti for theyear 2014. The award is given by UP Hindi Sansthan every year. Itcarries a cash prize of 5 lakh rupees.
ii. Singh has penned many novels and short stories. One of hismost famous novel is Kashi ka Assi, which captures the vibrant huesof Banaras.
iii. Besides Singh, several other writers were also selected invarious categories by a committee set up by Hindi Sansthaan. Some ofthese prominent awardees were:
Mridula Garg for Lohia Sahitya category
Vinod Kumar Shukla for Hindi Gaurav category
Krishna Bihari Mishra for Mahatama Gandhi Sahitya Samman
Abhiraj Rajendra Mishra for Deendayal Upadhaya SahityaSamman
Ramkrishna Rajput for AvantibaiSahitya Samman
7. IOC gives Olympic Sport recognition to Frisbee
i. International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially recognisedFrisbee as an Olympic sport.
ii. Decision in this regard was taken at the 128th IOC Sessionheld in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia by giving official recognition toWorld Flying Disc Federation (WFDF).
iii. It was included as Olympic sport after WFDF had meet all thecriteria including having 62 national federations members and genderequality.
iv. Olympic recognition to this sport now opens the door to thesome financial support from the IOC and participation in the OlympicGames. Frisbee is the sport of flying disc which became popular inthe 1960s and 70s. Presently, WFDF governs several Frisbee eventsincluding Beach Ultimate, Ultimate Frisbee and field events.
Current Affairs - 2nd &3rd August 2015
1. Tamil Nadu government instituted youth award in nameof Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
i. The state government of Tamil Nadu on 31 July 2015 instituted ayouth award in the name of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
ii. In a statement issued in Chennai, Chief Minister JJayalalithaa said that the annual Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award consisting8 gram gold, 5 laks rupees in cash and a citation.
iii. The award would be given from 2015 onwards on everyIndependence Day (15 August) to a person from the state who workswith exceptional merit in science, humanities and students welfare.
iv. She also announced that Dr Kalams birthday on October 15thwould be celebrated as the Youth Revival Day.
v. Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam widely called PeoplesPresident died on 27 July 2015. He was the 11th President of Indiaand was awarded with Indias highest civilian honour Bharat Ratnain 1997.
2. HDFC Bank ties up with Snapdeal for co-brandedcredit card
i. India's second largest private sector lender, HDFC Bank andonline marketplace Snapdeal jointly launched co branded e-commercecredit card today.
ii. The card is aimed at getting Snapdeal's customers, 70 per centof whom are from smaller cities and towns, to make online paymentsinstead of availing the cash on delivery option.
iii. A customer can apply for the card from Snapdeal's website,mobile site or mobile application. The applicant's credit eligibilitywill be checked instantly.
iv. The move is aimed at tapping the rise in ecommercetransactions with payments companies like Paytm which gives discountsto attract customers.
3. MCA lifted 3-year old Wankhede Stadium entry ban onShah Rukh Khan
i. Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on 2 August 2015 lifted the5-year ban on Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on entering theWankhede Stadium. The decision on removal of ban imposed on Khan wastaken during the Associations meet in Mumbai.
ii. Khan was banned from entering MCA premises, including theWankhede Stadium, for five years for engaging in a scuffle with theofficials of the cricketing body and the security staff on 16 May2012 following Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR's) victory over MumbaiIndians.
iii. The ban order was issued two days later by the MCA's ManagingCommittee then headed by Vilasrao Deshmukh, former Maharashtra chiefminister. The actor had rejected the charge of misbehaviour andclaimed he had reacted only after children who had accompanied himfor the match, including his own kinds, were "manhandled"by the security staff.
iv. Besides, the MCA Managing Committee also decided not tocontest the life ban imposed by the BCCI on Mumbai cricketer AnkeetChavan in connection with IPL 6 spot fixing scandal despite a Delhicourt dropping criminal charges against him.
4. Copenhagen Archery Championships: Indian women'srecurve team clinched silver medal
i. Indian women's recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhiand Rimil Buriuly on 2 August 2015 won a silver medal at the WorldArchery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
ii. In the Summit clash, the Indian trio lost the WorldChampionship final to top seeded Russians 4-5 to settle for thesilver at the Christiansborg Palace.
iii. The Russian team that defeated the Indian trio was comprisedof Inna Stepanova, Ksenia Perova and Tuyana Dashidorzhieva.
iv. It is India's second silver in the ongoing World ArcheryChampionships where compound archer Rajat Chauhan opened the accountwith a historic individual medal on 1 August 2015.
v. Copenhagen Archery Championships was held from 26 July to 2August 2015.
5. Folger appointed MD, CEO of Mercedes-Benz India
i. Mercedes-Benz on Monday said it has appointed Roland S Folgeras the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of its Indiaoperations, replacing Eberhard Kern who will assume a new role forthe European market.
ii. Under the leadership of Eberhard Kern during the past threeyears, the growth strategy of Mercedes-Benz India has been enhancedincluding the expansion of production capacity, as well as extensionof network and product portfolio, the company said in a statement.
iii. After holding several positions in sales department forMercedes-Benz passenger cars and commercial vehicles withresponsibility for the Southeast region, he was appointedVice-President for Sales, Marketing and After Sales in Tuscaloosa(US)
6. Victorian Open WSA: Joshna Chinappa won squash title
i. Indian champion Joshna Chinappa won the womens squash titlein the 15000 US Dollar Victorian Open WSA Event in Melbourne,Australia on 2 August 2015. In the final clash, Chinappa defeatedsecond seed Line Hansen of Denmark 11-5, 11-4, 11-9.
ii. This was tenth WSA title for 28-year-old Joshna, the lastbeing the Richmond Open title win in April 2014.
iii. The title in the men's section went to Ryan Cuskelly ofAustralia who defeated Greg Lobban of Scotland 12-10, 13-11, 11-9.
Current Affairs - 1st August 2015
1. First National Handloom Day to be observed on 7August 2015
i. Union Government on 31 July 2015 decided declared 7th August asNational Handloom Day every year beginning from year 2015 throughoutthe country.
ii. The first National Handloom Day will be launched by PrimeMinister Narendra Modi in Chennai on 7 August 2015.
iii. On this occasion, Sant Kabir Awards and National Awards forthe years 2012, 2013 and 2014 will be awarded and a new IndiaHandloom brand for better market positioning of quality handloomproducts would be launched.
iv. The day will be observed to generate awareness about theimportance of handloom industry as a part of our rich heritage andculture, promote handloom products and lead to increase in income ofweavers as well as enhance their confidence and pride.
v. As per Handloom Census of 2009-10, over 43 lakh persons areengaged in handloom weaving and allied activities in India.
2. Indias first Harbour Defence System commissionedin Kochi
i. Indias first Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence andSurveillance System (IUHDSS) was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala.
ii. First of its kind system in the country is part of initiativesto strengthen and beef up coastal security in the western coastline.
iii. Designed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Consists ofadvance sensors, coastal surveillance radars and sound navigation andranging systems (SONAR).
iv. Capable of detecting, tracking, identifying and generatingwarning for all types of underwater and surface threats to harboursecurity. The integrated system can detect presence of divers andunder water threats with the help of this automatic system.
3. Sri Lankan government decided to renovate templesdestroyed in Nepal quake
i. Sri Lanka government on 31 July 2015 announced its decision torepair and renovate one Hindu and one Buddhist temple in Nepal thatwas destroyed in the recent earthquake.
ii. According to government spokesman, Sri Lankan cabinet in fifthweek of July 2015 decided to undertake the repair of Buddhist templein Swayambhunath and Hindu temple of Rato Machindranath in Lalitpurat a cost of 34 crore Sri Lankan rupees.
iii. Sri Lankan Army will handle the repair work which will becoordinated by Ministry of Buddha Sasana. Accordingly, a group ofofficers and technical craftsmen will be sent to Nepal to plan theabove task shortly.
4. Beijing chosen to host 2022 Winter Olympics andParalympics
i. Thomas Bach, the President of International Olympic Committee(IOC) on 31 July 2015 announced that Beijing will host the 2022Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Chinese capital was chosen ahead ofAlmaty, Kazakshtan at the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.
ii. With this, Beijing became the first city to host both theSummer Olympics and Winter Olympics. It hosted Summer Olympics in2008.
iii. Beijing was confirmed to host the Winter Olympics 2022 afterChinese bid beat Almaty by 44 votes to 40 with one abstention.
iv. The IOC said that Beijing was awarded the Games because itfitted its new agenda for a stronger focus on sustainability, legacy,and transparency.
v. The 2014 Winter Olympics was held in Sochi, Russia and at 51billion US dollars was the most expensive Olympics in history.
vi. In 2018, the Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang,South Korea.
5. 14-year-old Lucknow boy Prabhroop Sekhon won 2 Goldat Special Olympics World Games
i. Fourteen year old Master Prabhroop Sekhon on 31 July 2015 wontwo gold medals in 300 metre and 500 metre Roller Skating at theSpecial Olympics World Summer Games. The event is being held at LosAngeles, USA.
ii. Sekhon is a student of ASHA School in Lucknow Cantt where hewas coached and selected for various camps at State and Nationallevel as one amongst the 241 participants representing India. He hasbeen a student of ASHA School since Sep 2013.
iii. An Autistic student, Prabhroop Sekhon is the son of a servingAir Force Officer, Group Captain BS Sekhon.
6. Thomas Cook (India) Ltd buys Sri Lankan firm LuxeAsia Pvt. Ltd
i. Major tour operator Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has acquired SriLanka based destination management company Luxe Asia Pvt. Ltd.
ii. The acquisition was done in undisclosed deal was made throughThomas Cook (India) Ltds wholly owned subsidiary Thomas Cook Lanka(Pvt) Ltd. After this deal, Luxe Asia will be operated as anindependent entity.
iii. This acquisition will help Thomas Cook (India) Ltd toincrease its significant presence in Sri Lanka along with destinationmanagement capabilities.
iv. Luxe Asia is primarily focussed on inbound tourism from keyglobal market. It services both traveller segments and tour operatoracross its 10 destinations in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) and Asia.
7. Cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin presented with ArjunaAward
i. Union Government has conferred Arjuna Award on Indian cricketteam off-spinner bowler Ravichandran Ashwin. With this Ashwin became48th cricketer to receive the prestigious award.
ii. He was presented with award by Union Sports MinisterSarbananda Sonowal at a special function organised in New Delhi.
iii. The award was bestowed upon R Ashwin in 2014, but he was notpresent during the Award Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhawan inAugust 2014. During that time he was a part of the India One DayInternational (ODI) team, which was touring England.
iv. R Ashwin hails from southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tilldate in his international cricket career he has taken 139 wickets in99 ODIs, 124 wickets in 25 Tests and 26 wickets in 25 T20internationals. He is the fastest Indian bowler to reach the 100 and50 wicket mark in International Test cricket and 5th fastest bowlerin Test history to bag 100 wickets.
v. Arjuna Awards was instituted in 1961. Given by Union Ministryof Youth Affairs and Sports to sportsperson in recognition of theiroutstanding achievement in National sports.