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Current Affairs Quick Recap – August Week I & II

Current Affairs

AWARDS AND HONOURS

  • Translator and artist Anita Gopalanhas been awarded the 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for her English translation of Hindi novel “ Simsim ” .She is the second Indian translator to be selected for the grant.
  • Kerala Tourismbagged six National Tourism awards for 2014-15 in the marketing category for states. It received two more awards, including the one for its Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative in Wayanad.
  • Tata Consultancy Services, a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions firm, announced its ranking as the 58th most valuable US brand.
  • Forbes released the stats in its second annual Richest in Tech list. Amazon, meanwhile, saw its net income multiply nine times since last year to $857 million, fueled in part by strong demand for its free-shipping membership, Amazon Prime.
  • West Bengal has been selected for the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project Award 2015. This is the first time the state will be receiving this award.

APPOINTMENTS

  • Nita Ambani was elected as an individual member of International Olympic Committee as she becomes the first Indian woman to join the prestigious body which governs Olympic sports in the world.
  • Maoist Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal was elected Prime Minister of Nepal, the eighth in as many years, making a comeback to the post after a gap of over seven years.
  • Former Chief Minister S. Achuthanandan, who was in contention for the top political post in Kerala afterthe May 16 assembly elections, was appointed chairman of the Administrative Reforms Committee (ARC).
  • American ice hockey Olympic champion Angela Ruggiero was elected as the new Chair of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission, replacing Claudia Bokel.
  • Microsoft India labhas announced the appointment of SriramRajamani as the new managing director. He replaces ChanduThekkath, who was previously the managing director of the lab.
  • Akhil Joshipresently posted as Executive Director, Bharat Heavy Electricals limited (BHEL) has been appointed as the Director (Power).
  • Rajya Sabha named 10 of its members to the Joint Committee of Parliament that will go into the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
  • ITC’s leading health & hygiene brand, Savlon is proud to announce SainaNehwal, ace shuttler as its brand ambassador.
  • The Landmark Group has appointed Rajeev Krishnan as the managing director of Max Hypermarkets in India.
  • Dinesh Kumar Khara was appointed as Managing Director of State Bank of India (SBI). He is presently working as MD and Chief Executive Officer of SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd.

BANKING AND FINANCE

  • The government formally notified a consumer inflation target of 4%, putting a stamp of approval on the pact with the RBI reached last year. Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB), announced the availability of Flipkart’s mobile site inits mobile banking app, which gives the customer a secure in-app shopping environment.
  • The (RBI Central) Board approved the transfer of surplus of the Reserve Bank for the year 2015-16 amounting to Rs 658.76 billion to the Government of India.
  • RBI retained its FY17 GDP growth projection at 7.6 per cent, same as it sees both upside and downside risks. While cutting the policy lending rate by 25 bps to 6.5 per cent.
  • IDFC Bank, the newest lender in the country, has appointed former Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Anand Sinha to the bank’s board.

NATIONAL ROUND UP

  • The 2nd National handloom day is celebrated on 7th August 2016. On the occasion of National Handloom Day, the Ministry of Textiles Smriti Irani has organised a special programme and celebration at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi.
  • The Railway buildings and stationsare all set to function using solar power to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, announced the Ministry of Railways. Addressing the issue, PiyushGoyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal& New and Renewable Energy.
  • Minister of Urban Development ShriM.Venkaiah Naidu launched ‘Swachh Suvekshan-2017’ to assess and rank 500 cities and towns based on levels of sanitation and efforts made by respective urban local bodies and also to capture progress towards achieving ‘Open Defecation Free’ status.
  • Parliament approved establishment of six new IITs across the country by passing the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Under PradhanMantri Jan AushadhiYojana (PMJAY),the central government willopen 3,000 Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS) pan India by the end of this fiscal to make quality drugs available at affordable prices.
  • In an attempt todouble the income of farmers by 2022, the Rajasthan government plans to bring in latest technological innovation and introduce best farming practices by inviting experts to Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM) in Jaipur from Nov 9 to 11.
  • Vodafone M-Pesa,a unique and innovative Digital Wallet service from Vodafone that offers Money Transfer, Bill & Utility Pay, Merchant Payments and Business Solutions, has partnered with Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
  • Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu while inaugurating the Independence Day Film Festival’ at Siri Fort Auditorium.
  • The passengers of Indian railway will now get fresh and warm food on railway stations as Indian Railway as IRCTC signed a MoU with Defence Food Research Laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for Transfer of Technology of Retort Pouch Processed Foods.
  • The government has spent over Rs 6,500 crore to fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin.
  • The government will organize week-long ‘Bharat Parv’, the Festival of India, in the national capital as part of the Independence Day celebrations.
  • Encephalitis, which claims hundreds of lives every year in eastern India, will be made a notifiable disease, to check it despite years of efforts.
  • The Rajya Sabha passed Mental Health Care Bill seeking to provide better healthcare for people suffering from mental illness as members across the political spectrum sought urgent steps to address the lack of infrastructure and shortage of psychiatrists in the country.
  • The long-delayed GST Constitution bill passed by the Rajya Sabha last week was unanimously passed by the Lok Sabha.
  • The Government of Odisha launched a special assistance scheme ‘Baristha Bunakar Sahayata Yojana’ for elderly handloom weavers on the occasion of ‘National Handlooms Day’(7aug).

SNIPPETS FROM THE STATES

  • In its first expansion of the cabinet, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu expanded his cabinet by inducting 10 ministers including former Speaker Nabam Rebia.
  • Nine months after announcing its start-up policy, the Karnataka government has set up a dedicated Start-up Cell to fuel the implementation of the initiatives under the policy.
  • The chief minister of Gujarat and a long-time confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi resigned  as protests by the low-caste Dalit community threatened to hurt the standing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
  • The government has proposed to set up four new Major Ports Enayam in Tamil Nadu, Sagar in West Bengal, Dugarajpatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Vadhawan in Maharashtra. Minister of State for shipping PonRadhakrishnan informed Lok Sabha
  • Madhya Pradesh and the Union Territory of Puducherryhave signed the memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Power to join the UjwalDiscom Assurance Yojana for operational and financial turnaround of the DISCOMs.
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister DharmendraPradhan would launch Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in West Bengal on August 14, targeting 1.06 crore BPL households of the state.
  • The country’s first tiger cell will take shape at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) campus in Dehradun. A MOU regarding the setting up of the cell will be signed between the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and WII.
  • Union HRD Minister PrakashJavadekar called upon students to strive for excellence and innovate while inaugurating Chhattisgarh’s first IIT campus.
  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched Mission Bhagiratha at Komatibanda Village, Gajwel, in Medak District of Telangana.
  • Himachal Pradesh government has set a target of planting over one crore saplings this year to increase the depleting green cover in the state. Himachal Pradesh was the first state in country to earn carbon credit.
  • Union Minister for Human Resource and Development PrakashJavadekar had inaugurated the transit campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Jammu and the IIT Jammu’s transit campus.
  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) constituent Laboratory, CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CSIR-CFTRI) Mysuru, in association withM/s OleomeBiosolutions, Bengaluru and M/s Dairy Classic Ice Creams Pvt. Ltd., has developed Nutricecream.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  • The Yemeni government accepted a UN-proposedpeace agreement to end civil war in the country. However, it set a pre-condition that the Houthi rebels and ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh need to sign the deal by August 7.
  • China launched a new synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging satellite called Gaofen-3 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province.
  • Pizza lovers in the US can now relish their favourite cheesy delicacy by using the first-ever‘pizza ATM’ in the country installed at a university campus.
  • Archeologists have discovered over 1,000 cliff paintings dating back more than 1,000 years in North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
  • Jute Corporation of India has been entrusted with the task of launching the week-long “Colours of Independence” campaign. The campaign was being launched in 70 cities across the country to commemorate 70 years of Independence.

INDIA AND THE WORLD

  • IT services major Infosyshas invested $4 million in Cloudyn, an Israeli corporation, as it seeks to strengthen its cloud computing service offering, an area in which the majority of Indian export companies struggle.
  • Moving a step closer to set up a portal to host all the data related to energy sector in the country, Niti Aayog inked a pact with US energy information administration (EIA).
  • The government has slapped anti-dumping duty on the import of hot-rolled steel products from six nations, including China and South Korea.

CABINET APPROVALS

  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and South Africa for cooperation in the field of Tourism.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for amendments to Section 44 and consequential amendments of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 by introducing the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Parliament.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for amendment of Section 64 and section 65 and consequential amendment of section 115 of the Factories Act, 1948 by introducing the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Parliament.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratification of an Agreement between India and Croatia on Economic Cooperation. Signing of the new Agreement between India and Croatia would be a step in continuity as the existing Agreement expired in November, 2009.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to amend regulation for foreign investment in the Non- Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs).
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved a proposal of R&D project for development of Advanced Ultra Super Critical (AUSC) Technology for Thermal Power Plant.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

  • State-run Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) is planning to acquire Damodar Valley Corporation’s 1200 mw Raghunathpur Thermal Power Project (RTPP) through a joint venture company.
  • Uberis selling its China operations to bigger local rival Didi Chuxing in a deal that will give Uber a one-fifth stake in Didi.
  • Analjit Singh-led promoter group of Max Financial Services will get Rs850 crore as non-compete fee following merger of its life insurance business with HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd (HDFC Life).
  • Zydus Group has strengthens its derma portfolio with the acquisition of Melgain, used for the treatment of vitiligo, from Hyderabad-based Issar Pharma for an undisclosed amount.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • IBM in partnership with Apple  launched a global development hub called Garage for iOS apps in Bengaluru that will work with existing design locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Cupertino in the US and Toronto in Canada.
  • US space agency NASAwill launch a spacecraft in September to a near-Earth asteroid known as Bennu to harvest a sample of surface material.
  • The first round-the-world solar powered flight has been completed, after the Solar Impulse aircraft touched down in Abu Dhabi.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch two new meteorological satellites next month. ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said the launch would further improve weather forecast in the country.

SPORTS

  • The 31st Summer Olympic Games opened in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, with a low-tech but vibrant opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium.
  • PardeepNarwal produced a terrific performance as Patna Pirates beat Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final of season 4 in the Pro Kabaddi League.
  • Australia won the Quidditch World Cup– a sport inspired by the game played by Harry Potter – after defeating the US team in Frankfurt.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch two new meteorological satellites next month. ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said the launch would further improve weather forecast in the country.

OBITUARY

  • The former Formula One driver Chris Amon has died at the age of 73 after battling cancer.
  • Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed Zewail,
  • Pakistan’s legendary former captain and batsman Hanif Mohammad, who held the record for the longest innings in Test cricket, passed away.
  • Bernard “Midget” Farrelly, who won surfing’s first world championship and was a pioneering surfboard designer, has died aged 71.

IMPORTANT DAYS

DAY

OBSERVED

First Sunday in August  International Friendship Day
August 6  Hiroshima Day, Anti Nuclear Day
August 7 National handloom day
August 8 World Senior Citizen Day
August 9 Nagasaki Day,

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People,

Quit India Day

August 12 International Youth Day
August 13 International Left Handers’ Day
August 14 International Peace Day

Pakistan’s Independence Day

Current Affairs Quick Recap – August I and II PDF

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