GK Eduwrap – Monthly – August 2015 | Click to download in PDF Format

National:

1. India foiled a British Company’s bid to patent use of turmeric, pine bark and tea for treating hair loss and succeeded in protecting its traditional knowledge.

2. Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India released the Census 2011 data on Highest Education Level Attained.

The data relates to population of 7 years and above by age and sex for total, Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) up to district levels.

3. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced construction of 800 kilometers of Nagpur-Mumbai expressway.

The Nagpur-Amravati-Aurangabad-Ghoti-Mumbai expressway, also called Communication Super-expressway, would be built at the cost of 30000 crore rupees.

4. The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways formulated a Draft Notification for Mass Emission Standards for Bio-diesel (B100) fueled vehicles also called flex-fuel bio-diesel vehicle.

The Draft rules further seek to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and these Rules may be called Central Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Rules, 2015.

5. India hosted the second edition meeting of Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC). The meeting was scheduled for 21stAugust 2015 in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The meeting will be attended by the heads of 14 island nations from Indo-Pacific oceanic region.

It is seen as India’s first step towards greater engagement with the region, which is important from geostrategic and economic standpoint.

6. Spices Board of India has launched subsidy scheme in a bit to promote spice cultivation in India by offering subsidies and sensitize to farmers.

7. Tripura legislative assembly passed a resolution against the death penalty.

8. Lok Sabha passed the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

The Bill provides for filing of cheque bounce cases at the place where a cheque is presented for clearance and not the place of issue.

9. Forest Ministers of southern states of India decided to set up a Southern Forest Ministers’ Inter-state Coordination Council.

10. Kerala Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will be the President of the council for the first year.

11. Delhi Government reconstituted the Urdu Academy which will comprise of renowned academicians, performers and poets and announced a threefold increase in artistes’ pay.

12. Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar launched scheme named Thari Pension Thare Pass in Chandigarh.

13. The International Labour Organisation (ILO)and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) signed the Phase II of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation for establishing a National Coordination Centre for Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) Training Services in India.

14. Multi-Application Solar Telescope (MAST), a telescope for the detailed study of the solar activity including its magnetic field, was operationalized at the Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO) of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL).

15. The Union Cabinet approved release of wages directly to the accounts of the workers engaged under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

16. Bihar legislative Assembly passed the Bihar Public Grievance Redressal Bill, 2015.

17. Uttar Pradesh Government announced that two films namely Masaan and Jaanisaar will be free from the entertainment tax in the state. They were made tax free as they were entirely shot in Uttar Pradesh.

18. Maharashtra government increased the retirement age for group ‘A’ category medical officers from 58 to 60 years.

19. Delhi government decided to run trams in several walled city areas including Lal Quila, Jama Masjid and Old Delhi Railway Station.

20. Jharkhand Government empowered Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to arrest Minister, MLA and senior civil servants without taking permission from the concerned authorities in cases of being caught on taking bribes.

21. eCommerce firm Snapdeal launched its new service named Snapdeal Instant to enable delivery of packages to customers as early as within an hour of placing the order.

22. Biggest harvest festival of Thiru Onam was celebrated by Keralites across the globe.

23. Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh launched SAMANVAY, a compilation of all schemes of both Union and State governments for Gram Panchayats.

24. The Haryana government has decided to honor those who were oppressed or went to jail during the Emergency between 15thJune 1975 and 21st March 1977.

25. Delhi’s central district police in first week of August 2015 launched ‘Operation Shishtachar’ to teach lesson to eve-teasers. The operation aims at nabbing offender and teach lesson of manner to them.

26. The new simplified “Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children 2015” are intended to provide for more effective regulation for adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children and would bring more transparency and efficiency in the adoption system.

27. ASSOCHAM (Associated Chamber of Commerce Industries) Study on Start-Ups released, pointed out that India is expected to produce at least a score of billionaires and many times millionaires among the start-ups in the next five years.

28. Union Government has decided to allow Aadhaar enrollment of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), Overseas Citizen of India (OCIs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).

29. Maharashtra government has declared the area along Thane Creek as Flamingo Sanctuary.

30. Indian Multinational conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T) to be the first to receive license for technology of full-scale system to make Lakshya from Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

31. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) commissioned a 500 MW coal-based power plant unit at Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station (STPS) in Vindhyanagar, Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh.

32. Union Government launched the School Nursery Yojana, an initiative to bring students closer to nature.

The Yojana seeks to engage class VI to IX in raising of saplings in nurseries created in schools.

33. At least 11 people including one woman were killed in a stampede near Durga temple in Jharkhand’s Deoghar. More than 20 people were injured in the incident.

34. The Param Tyag Chakra initiative was launched by the Alumni Association of Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology to honor family members of brave military men, who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

35. Union Government and Delhi Government agreed to set-up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the cleaning-up and rejuvenation of the Yamuna River.

36. Union Government launched Suraksha Bandhan drive in a Mission Mode through participating banks and insurance companies to facilitate enrollment under social security schemes.

37. Global satellite called GlobalSat for DRR was in news in the first week of August 2015 as it was proposed to be named after former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who died on 27 July 2015.

38. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has amended income tax rules to provide reporting of information with regards to financial assets and accounts to comply with Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) pact signed between India and US.

39. As per recently released data by US Department of Agriculture (DoA), India has emerged as world’s largest exporter of beef.

40. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government to ensure that no unauthorized construction activities are permitted and no trees cut in the eco-sensitive zone near the Taj Mahal.

41. Kochi became the first Indian city to be a member of Beijing headquartered World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Council and join its league of leading tourism cities across the world.

42. The Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla launched a new Central Sector Scheme Nai Manzil in Patna.

The scheme will address educational and livelihood needs of minority communities in general and muslims in particular as it lags behind other minority communities in terms of educational attainments.

43. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched new train services in the Northeast after the completion of North Lakhimpur-Murkongselek and Balipara- Bhalukpong sections into broad-gauge.

He launched the service through video-conferencing from New Delhi.

44. Rajasthan High Court banned the ‘Santhara’ ritual prevailing in the Jain Community.

Pronouncing its judgment, the court considered the act as a criminal act amounting to suicide and directed to register cases under section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

45. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has fully commissioned and started commercial production at the first indigenous Titanium Sponge Plant at Chavara in Kerala.

46. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has allowed banks to tie up with insurers.

47. The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the spectrum sharing guidelines based on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

48. Union Railway Ministry has signed 4 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Ministry for energy conservation, transmission and solarisation.

49. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) got accredited by the Green Climate Fund as a national implementing entity for undertaking climate change related projects in India.

50. Haryana Government has decided to constitute the Haryana Saraswati Heritage Development Board (HSHDB) in a bid to promote and preserve the various archeo-cultural facets of the Saraswati Heritage Area (SHA).

51. Union government has given nod to set up of All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) for imparting Doctor of Medicine (MD) and PhD level education in the field of traditional medicine.

52. State Assembly of Assam passed Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015.

The bill seeks to eliminate rising cases of superstition leading to murder of so-called “witches”.

53. The Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) announced Marketing of High Speed Diesel (HSD) blended with Bio-diesel in selected retail outlets of OMC’s in New Delhi & Vishakhapatnam (by HPCL), Haldia (by BPCL) and Vijayawada (by IOCL).

54. Delhi Government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal decided to constitute an independent Commission of Inquiry to probe the multi-crore CNG fitness scam of Delhi.

55. India has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty for period of five years on Potassium Carbonate imports from Taiwan and South Korea.

What is Anti-Dumping Duty?

It is a trade duty imposed by any government on imported products which have prices less than their normal values in their domestic market.

Usually countries initiate anti-dumping probes to check if domestic industry has been hurt because of a surge in below-cost imports.

Anti-Dumping Duty is imposed under the multilateral WTO regime and varies from product to product and from country to country.

In India, anti-dumping duty is recommended by the Union Ministry of Commerce (i.e. Directorate General of Anti-Dumping Duty-DGAD), while the Union Finance Ministry imposes it.

56. Union Government has launched a seven pronged plan called Indradhanush Mission to revamp functioning of public sector banks (PSBs). It was launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

57. Union Government has decided to set up a Bank Board Bureau (BBB) to monitor key performance indicators of two dozen public sector banks (PSBs).

58. Gujarat Government has declared ban on the use of plastic in the State for the first time.

59. On the eve of celebration of 69th Independence Day at Red Fort Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new campaign ‘Start-up India; Stand up India’ an initiative to promote bank finance for Start-ups (an entrepreneurial venture).

60. Odisha government has approved a new policy for ‘Housing for All’ in urban areas of state.

61. The policy aims to work towards strategies for creating a steady supply of affordable housing stock in order to cater to the growing demands.

62. Odisha cabinet approved the much awaited Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) 2015 after several rounds of consultation with different administrative departments and industry associations.

The IPR 2015 lays focus on various sectors for the next five years which includes infrastructure development, auto & auto components, agro and food processing, IT and ESDM (electronic system design & manufacturing), tourism, civil aviation, manufacturing, pharma sector, handicrafts and textiles and petroleum & petro chemicals.

63. 2015 US – India Cyber Dialogue was held on 11 and 12 August 2015 at the US Department of State in Washington, DC.

The dialogue was held with an aim to increase global cyber security and promote the digital economy.

64. In order to reduce air pollution due to vehicles the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways issued a notification to introduce Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) compliant four wheeler vehicles though out the country from 1st April 2017.

As per the notification, all newly manufactured four-wheeled vehicle that are complaint with the BS-IV standards will be allowed to registered and move on roads.

65. Union Government has constituted a three member panel to assess the situation over the student protest in Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune.

66. State run insurer, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has launched its maiden unit linked insurance plan (ULIP) product across the country.

The ULIP which is also called as ‘New Endowment Plus’ offers investment-cum-insurance provision during the term policy providing dual benefit for the policy holder.

67. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched two funds the India Aspiration Fund (IAF) and SIDBI Make in India Loan for Enterprises (SMILE) under Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in line to carter funding for start-ups and to aid small enterprises in India.

68. Union Government has completed the demarcation of eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary in the national capital region (NCR) of Delhi.

69. Bombay Stock Exchange has instituted new system Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs)for reporting suspicious trades in order to check money laundering through stock markets.

70. Union Government has announced 1.25 lakh crore rupees special package for poll bound Bihar as part of Prime Minister’s Bihar Package.

71. Tata Trust to develop 264 villages in Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency of Andhra Pradesh under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) initiative.

72. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandyinaugurated a 12 MW solar power project at the Cochin International Airport. Spread over 50 acres, the project is reportedly the single largest solar project which has been constructed in an airport in India.

73. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh announced that Sanskrit will be introduced as a mandatory subject in all Government schools of the state.

74. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao launched a flagship program Grama Jyothi across the state. The scheme is aimed at comprehensive development of rural areas allowing planning and execution of works by villages themselves.

75. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited United Arab Emirates (UAE) between 16 August and 17 August 2015.

He is the first Prime Minister of India to visit UAE after 34 years. The last Indian Prime Minister to visit the UAE was Indira Gandhi in 1981.

76. Delhi government announced a new City Taxi Scheme 2015 under which permits will be issued to 600 CC vehicles.

77. Odisha government approved a 1500 crore rupees State Capital Region Improvement of Power System (SCRIPS) scheme.

The scheme will be implemented in five years that is from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

78. Gujarat High Court has stayed implementation of the compulsory voting in the panchayat and municipal polls under the provision of Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2009.

79. Manipur Government has reached an agreement with the Joint Committee on the Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) over the issue of implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system.

80. After the irk raised due to appointment of two private sector bankers to head Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank the government has issued norms for selection of MDs and CEOs in Mid and Small Public Sector Banks (PSBs).

81. Himachal Pradesh Government has launched Rajiv Gandhi Illuminating Scheme for Hill Town Advancement (RISHTA) project, which is an efficient smart LED based street lighting project.

82. The book titled Making India Awesome authored by Chetan Bhagat was released by Rupa Publications.

83. Gujarat High Court has stayed implementation of the compulsory voting in the panchayat and municipal polls under the provision of Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2009.

Ruling in this regard was given by High Court Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice J.B. Pardiwala on public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutional validity of the Act.

84. Gujarat is set to become the first state in India to launch ‘Agro-Solar Policy’ to encourage the farmers to tap the solar energy. The new policy seeks to encourage the farmers in the state to tap free solar energy from sun, which will in turn help them to earn additional income from power generation companies.

Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) will be nodal implementing agency for projects under this policy.

85. Delhi Jal Board (DJB) commissioned the first ever Hydro-power plant in the city.

The power plant set up at Chilla area of East Delhi will be run through the Hydraulic Turbine propelled by treated effluents coming out of a Sewerage Treatment Plant.

86. Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has released a commemorative postal stamp on emperor Ashoka.

The postal stamp of 5 rupees will be available for sale in the post offices.

87. Urdu copy of 105-year-old Shri Ramcharitmanas was found from a scrap market at Hauz Khas in New Delhi.

The book written by Shiv Brat Lal, a native of Bhadohi district, in 1904 and was later printed at Lahore’s Half-Tone press in 1910 was found in a pile of torn books three years ago.

88. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Chennai based M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) have agreed to work together for the conservation and adaptation initiative of coastal resources in Andhra Pradesh. The main focus will be to restore the Sorlagondi mangrove forest cover in Krishna district.

UNFCCC will release this adaptation fund of 3.8 crores through the state owned National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

89. NITI Aayog decided to set up an experts committee to prepare a model land leasing law, which can be adopted by states as per their local needs.

The decision on the matter was taken at a meeting of Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of Revenue and Land, which was chaired by Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya.

The NITI Aayog in consultation with the Department of Land Resources will assist the interested states in moving forward with updating and digitizing land records in accordance with the best practices.

90. The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee will be holding a joint class for class XI and XII students of Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodhya Vidhalaya, New Delhi at the school itself. He will taking a knowledge session for the students on September 4th on eve of Teachers’ Day.

91. India and Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of education, training and research. The MoU was signed by Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development and Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education and Training, Australia.

92. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa announced new medical schemes, under the Amma brand.

The new schemes include Amma Master Health Check Up, Amma Woman Special Master Health Check-up, Amma Arogya Scheme and Amma Pregnancy Sanjeevi. The state government has earlier launched series of social welfare schemes including Amma Unnavagam (low cost canteen), Amma Water, Amma Medical shops, Amma Fruits & Vegetables, Amma Cements and others.

93. Maharashtra government has bought the house in London where social reformer and architect of the Indian Constitution Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar had stayed in the 1920s.

State government has acquired this house in 3.1 million pound deal owing to its cultural and national importance and pride of millions of people of India.

The property is three-storey house located on 10, King Henry Road, NW3 of London. B R Ambedkar had stayed in this house during his days as a student at the London School of Economics in 1920-21.

94. Union Government has declared the names of 98 cities for its ambitious Smart Cities Project. These cities were selected by the respective States and Union Territories on the parameters set by the Union Government.

Of the total 98 cities, 13 were selected from Uttar Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu, 10 from Maharashtra, 7 from Madhya Pradesh, 3 each from Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

95. India has inked an information exchange agreement on tax matters with Seychelles in order to curb tax evasion and boost its efforts to fight against black money.

The agreement was signed after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Seychelles President James Alix Michel who is on three days visit to India.

Other 5 MoUs/Agreements signed are-

Presentation of Navigational chart related to Aldabra Island

Air Services Agreement

MoU to provide one Dornier Maritime Aircraft

MoU for Cooperation in agricultural research and education

Protocol on framework of cooperation in the field of Blue Economy.

96. Union Cabinet gave its nod to amend the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for Gujarat and Uttarakhand for inclusion of Sipai and Patni Jamat or Turk Jamat (all Muslims) from Gujarat and Kahar, Tanwar Singhariya from Uttarakhand in the list.

The decision to make suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs was taken Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Ministeri Narendra Modi based on advice from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

97. Union Government has launched a telemedicine initiative dubbed as Sehat to provide healthcare facilities in rural areas in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals. This telemedicine initiative was launched by Union Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a function held in New Delhi.

98. Union Government has launched an e-payment module to make the payment of compensatory levies into the Compensatory Afforestation Management Planning Authority (CAMPA) Funds.

It was launched by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi in order to make these payments for diversion of forest land quicker and more transparent.

99. Union Government launched a scheme named SAHAJ for online release of new LPG connections for the consumers.

The scheme launched by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan can be availed through the portal mylpg.in.

100. Manipur Legislative Assembly unanimously passed the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015.

The House also unanimously passed two amendment bills, namely the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015.

101. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released digital recordings of epic Ramcharitmanas, as a set of digital CDs produced by All India Radio (AIR).

102. The United States International Trade Commission (USITC)extended the anti-dumping duty on Indian preserved mushrooms for another five years. The decision to extend the ban was taken on 29 July 2015 but it became public on 30 August 2015.

103. The Supreme Court of India (SC) stayed the Rajasthan High Court (HC) judgment that banned Santhara ritual of Jainism.

Santhara is a voluntary religious practice of facing death at the end of one’s life.

104. The 21st edition of the Delhi Book Fair has been launched at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

International:

1. Sri Lankan government announced its decision to repair and renovate one Hindu and one Buddhist temple in Nepal that was destroyed in the recent earthquake.

2. Pakistan was formally conferred Associate Membership status by European Organization for Nuclear Research (also known as CERN).

The membership was granted after Pakistan formally completed the required internal ratification process.

3. India and Bangladesh physically transferred 162 enclaves/chitmahals located on Indo-Bangladesh.

Under the historic exchange, 51 Bangladeshi enclaves merged with India, while 111 Indian enclaves from West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram merged with Bangladesh.

4. Tendong Lho Rum Faat(Prayer of the Tendong Mountain), an ancient and natural festival of the ethnic Lepcha tribe of Sikkim was celebrated with traditional devotion and fanfare on 9 August 2015.

It is an annual festival celebrated in the month of July-August.

5. The 48th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)Foreign Ministers’ meet was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between 4 August and 6 August 2015.

The meet was chaired by Anifah Aman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.

The meet was held under the theme “Our People, Our Community, Our Vision”, to create an ASEAN Community which is truly people-oriented, people-centred comprising all areas of cooperation.

6. India and Myanmar inked an agreement to set up Centre of Excellence in Software Development and Training (CESDT) in Myanmar.

7. The 193 member states of the United Nations reached agreement on a new Sustainable Development Agenda for the next 15 years.

It calls for eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, improving living standards and taking urgent action to combat climate change.

8. National Directorate of Security, the intelligence agency of the government of Afghanistan banned all mourning ceremonies for deceased Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

9. China has started the construction of an academy for Tibetan Buddhism at Chengdu in southwest China at a cost of $18.9 million.

10. India and SlovakRepublic have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation in railway sector.

The MoU was signed between Union Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic.

11. China and Pakistanhave signed 20 more agreements worth 1.6 billion dollars to implement the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

12. The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Nepalfor construction of petroleum products pipeline from Raxaul (Bihar) in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal.

13. Greece has agreed a new in principle multi-billion euro bailout deal with its creditors.

It was announced by the European Commission (EC) after series of marathon talks between Greece and its lenders in Athens.

14. Australian government has announced to cut country’s greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions by 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 as part of negotiations on a global climate deal.

15. Japan for the first time has switched on a nuclear reactor nearly two years after all nuclear power stations were closed aftermath of the Fukushima disaster of 2011.

16. The US military has launched the largest NATO airborne drills dubbed as Swift Response 15 since the end of the Cold War to enhance security and stability in the European region.

Swift Response 15 will be month long simultaneous multinational airborne operations drill in which around 5,000 soldiers from 11 NATO member states will participate.

17. United National Party (UNP) led United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) has emerged as largest group by winning 106 seats out of total 225 seats in Sri Lankan Parliamentary election 2015.

18. Bangladesh became the first country to receive funds from the United Nations (UN) for its fast growing solar home systems.

19. Pakistan and Russiasigned a landmark defense agreement that includes the sale of four Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopters to Pakistan.

20. Ranil Wickremesinghehas sworn-in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for fourth time.

21. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsiprashas announced his resignation in a televised address to the debt ridden nation which is centre of Eurozone crisis.

22. Pakistan and Russiahave signed a landmark defense deal including the sale of 4 advance Mi-35 ‘Hind E’ combat helicopters to Pakistan.

23. Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants destroyed Palmyra’s ancient temple of Baalshamin in Syria. As per the reports, the militant group placed a large quantity of explosives in the temple of Baalshamin and then blew it up. The explosion caused much damage to the temple.

Palmyra’s temple of Baalshamin: Baalshamin was one of the two supreme gods of pre-Islamic Palmyra in ancient Syria

24. South and North Korea have reached an agreement to defuse a crisis that had pushed the two rivals to the brink of armed conflict recently. In this regard both nations have issued a joint statement which includes series of measures.

North Korea has expressed regret and publicly apologized over mine blasts which had occurred earlier in August 2015 in demilitarized zone between both countries.

25. A powerful typhoon damaged buildings, tossed around cars and flooded streets in south-western Japan on Tuesday before heading out to the Sea of Japan.

26. Kosovo and Serbia agreed to implement the 2013 Brussels Agreement paving the way for normalizing the relations between both the countries.

The First agreement of principles governing the normalization of relations or more famously known as the Brussels Agreement was reached between both the countries under the mediation of the European Union on 19 April 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.

Sports:

1. Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA)lifted the 5-year ban on Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khanon entering the Wankhede Stadium.

The decision on removal of ban imposed on Khan was taken during the Association’s meet in Mumbai.

2. Indian women’s recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Rimil Buriuly won a silver medal at the World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

3. Indian champion Joshna Chinappa won the women’s squash title in the 15000 US Dollar Victorian Open WSA Eventin Melbourne, Australia on 2 August 2015.

4. Fourteen year old Master Prabhroop Sekhon won two gold medals in 300 metre and 500 metre Roller Skating at the Special Olympics World Summer Games. The event is being held at Los Angeles, USA.

5. India’s Ranveer Singh Saini has won a Gold medal at the Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles. The 14 year old golfer suffering from autistic achieved this feat in GF Golf-Level 2 Alternate Shot Team Play.

6. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the formation of Ad-Hoc Committee for cricket administration of Bihar and Uttarakhand.

7. India decided to boycott 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held in Islamabad.

8. The August edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankingswas released on 6 August 2015. The rankings show change in top three places with Argentina remaining at No 1 position.

9. Ace Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakarclinched the women’s vault bronze medal at the 6th Senior ART Gymnastics Asian Championships at Hiroshima, Japan.

10. China will host the men’s Basketball World Cup in 2019for the first time.

11. England defeated Australia by an innings and 78 runs on the third day of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge to take an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series and so regain the Ashes.

Australia captain Michael Clarke also announced that he will retire at the end of the current Ashes series.

12. Senior India hockey player Gurbaj Singhwas suspended for 9 months for indulging in groupism and creating disharmony within the team.

This suspension means that Gurbaj will be unable to play for India till 9 May 2016.

13. Maharashtra’s famous Dahi Handi (Govinda) was accorded with the status of Adventure Sport through a Government Resolution (GR) 201508131458581621.

From now on, Dahihandi will be played as per the rules and regulations which will be framed by a State-level association.

14. Sania Mirza, currently ranked world number one in women’s doubles, on 11 August 2015 became only the second tennis player to be recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.

15. Ace Indian Archer Abhishek Vermahas won gold medal in Archery World Cup in the stage 3 in the compound men’s individual section.

16. Indian Men’s Hockey Teamwon three match series of their European Tour 2-1 after registering second win in the third and final match of the series.

17. Bangladesh has won maiden Under-16 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship title 2015.

18. Former Olympic champion Sebastian Coefrom United Kingdom has been elected as President of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

19. Aditi Chauhan, India’s international football goalkeeper became the country’s first woman to play English league football.

20. World number two, Roger Federer from Switzerland has won the Cincinnati Masters title for record seventh time in men’s singles title category.

In the final match he defeated world number one, Novak Djokovic by 7–6, 7-1 and 6–3 score.

Roger Federer has won the same Title earlier in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Other Results

Women’s Singles Title:Serena Williams (US) won the women’s Singles Title by defeating Simona Halep (Romania) by 6–3, 7–6 and 7–5 score.

Men’s Doubles champions Title:Daniel Nestor (Canada) and Édouard Roger-Vasselin (France) pair won by defeating Marcin Matkowski (Poland) and Nenad Zimonjić (Serbia) pair by 6–2, 6–2 score.

Women’s Doubles champions Title:Chinese Taipei pair of Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan won by defeating Casey Dellacqua (Australia) and Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) pair by 7–5, 6–4 score.

21. Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt has won world 100 meter title in the World Athletics Championships held in Beijing, China. With this victory he retained his 100 meter title which was won earlier in 2009.

22. The Union Government announced the awardees for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and Arjuna Award for the year 2015.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ranta 2015

No. Name of the sportsperson Discipline
1 Ms. Sania Mirza Tennis

Arjuna Awards 2015

No. Name of the sportsperson Discipline
1 Naib Subedar Sandeep Kumar Archery
2 MR Poovamma Athletics
3 Kidambi Srikanth Nammalwar Badminton
4 Mandeep Jangra Boxing
5 Rohit Sharma Cricket
6 Dipa Karmakar Gymnastic
7 Sreejesh PR Hockey
8 Manjeet Chhillar Kabaddi
9 Abhilasha Shashikant Mhatre Kabaddi
10 Sawarn Singh Rowing
11 Anup Kumar Yama Roller Skating
12 Jitu Rai Shooting
13 S Sathish Kumar Weightlifting
14 Bajrang Wrestling
15 Babita Kumari Wrestling
16 Yumnam Sanathoi Devi Wushu
17 Sharath M Gayakwad Para-Swimming

These awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 29 August 2015.

23. England cricket team won 2015 Ashes Test series, 3-2 against Australia at England. In the fifth and final match of the series, Australia defeated England by an innings and 46 runs at Ovals.

24. Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser retained Women’s 100 meters gold at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics by finishing the race in 10.76 seconds.

25. Wrestling Coach Anoop Singh and Paralympics coach Naval Singh were among the five names officially approved by the Sports Ministry for the prestigious Dronacharya Award this year.

Based on the recommendations of the Committee and after due scrutiny, Anoop and Naval’s names were approved on the basis of current performance (2011-2014), while Nihar Amin (swimming), S. R. Singh (boxing) and Harbans Singh (athletics) were selected in the ‘Lifetime Achievement Category’ in which achievements over a period of 20 years is taken into account.

Romeo James (hockey), Shiv Prakash Mishra (tennis) and TPP Nair’s (volleyball) names were approved for the Dhyan Chand Award.

Dronacharya awardees and Dhyan Chand awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and award money of Rs. 5 lakh each. Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar awardees will receive certificates and trophies.

The awards are to be given away by President Pranab Mukherjee on August 29, National Sports Day.

26. Lalita Babar rewrote the 3000m steeplechase National record at the World athletics championships in Beijing on Monday to become the first Indian woman to qualify for a track event final in the elite competition, she reaffirmed that she was a cut above the rest.

27. South African skipper AB de Villiers became the fastest batsman to reach 8000 One Day International (ODI) runs. He achieved the fete during the third ODI against New Zealand in Durban which South Africa won by 62 runs to claim the series, 2-1.

De Villiers, who went past 8000 runs in just his 182 innings, broke the previous record held by former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.

28. Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar in the third week of August 2015 elected as the president of the Association of Indian Statisticians and scorers of India (ACSSI).

At present, Vengsarkar is the vice president of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

He was elected unopposed during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ACSSI.

Also, Dara Pochkhanawalla and Ganesh Iyer were elected as the two vice presidents of the organisation.

29. Indian women’s hockey team has qualified for 2016 Rio Olympics and now joining nine other teams.

30. Fifteenth IAAF World Championships in Athletics was held between 22nd August and 30th August 2015 at the Beijing’s National Stadium in China.

31. Indian wrestler Anil won gold medal in the 50 kg freestyle category in the Cadet Wrestling World Championships at SARAJEVO, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He defeated Erfan Aeini of Iran 10-6.

It was second medal for India at SARAJEVO as Ankush won silver in the 38 kg women freestyle on 28thAugust 2015.

32. Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia won the women’s marathon title at the 2015 World Athletics Championships at the Beijing National Stadium, China.

She is the first Ethiopian female to win the event at the world championships.

33. U Mumba won the Pro Kabaddi League 2015 title by defeating Bengaluru Bulls 36-30 in the final match held in Mumbai. U Mumba was headed by Anup Kumar.

Awards & Recognition:

1. An Indian diplomat with the Indian consulate in Dubai Tiju Thomas was in news in first week of August 2015.

He came in news after spearheading an initiative to make blood from rare groups accessible to those in need through a website blooddonors.ae.

2. The state government of Tamil Nadu instituted a youth award in the name of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

3. Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recommended name of Indian Tennis legend Sania Mirza for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2015.

4. Union Government has conferred Arjuna Award on Indian cricket team off-spinner bowler Ravichandran Ashwin.

With this Ashwin became 48th cricketer to receive the prestigious award.

5. Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of slain Russian politician Boris Nemtsov awarded with Poland’s Solidarity Prize 2015.

6. Forbes released the list of 2015 World’s Highest-Paid Actors.

Top ten in the list are 

Robert Downey Jr. stood at top position in the list with earnings of 80 Million US dollars

Jackie Chan stood at second position with earnings of 50 Million US dollars

Vin Diesel stood at third position with earnings of 47 Million US dollars

Bradley Cooper stood at fourth position with earnings of 41.5 Million US dollarsAdam Sandler with stood at fifth position with earnings of 41 Million US dollars

Tom Cruise stood at sixth position with earnings of 40 Million US dollars

Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan stood at seventh position with earnings of 33.5 Million US dollar.

Akshay Kumar stood at ninth position with earnings of 32.5 Million US dollars

Mark Wahlberg stood at tenth position with earnings of 32 Million US dollars.

7. Mathematician Doctor Amalendu Krishnawon the Ramanujan Prizefor year 2015.

8. Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singhwas chosen for the Uttar Pradesh’s highest literary award Bharat Bharti for the year 2014.

The award is given by UP Hindi Sansthan every year.

9. The World’s Largest Radio Telescope, Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), is being constructed in Guizhou province of south west China, whose dish size will be equivalent to 30 football fields.

10. Manigandan Manjunathanenters Guinness World Records for the longest journey on a motorcycle in a single country.

11. Indian sociobiologist Raghavendra Gadagkarwas awarded with the Germany’s highest civilian honourCross of Order of the Merit at the German Consulate in Bengaluru.

12. Ajeet Kumar Saroj, a 23-year-old culpable homicide convict lodged in Varanasi central jail was awarded with gold medal by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) at Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

He was awarded for topping in Diploma in Tourism Studies.

13. Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar received the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) – Safari India South Asia Travel Award 2015.

Parulekar is the first tourism minister of Goa to receive this prestigious award.

14. President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented the 24th Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. M Veerappa Moily, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) in New Delhi.

He received the award for his epic Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam written in Kannada.

15. Kerala government announced State film awards 2014 in various categories which are as follows-

Best actor award: Nivin Pauly (Bangalore Days and 1983) and Sudev Nair (My Life Partner).

Best actress: Nasriya Naseem for her performance in the films ‘Om Shanthi Hosana’ and ‘Bangalore Days’.

Best child actor: Master Adwaith.

Best child actress: Anna Fathima.

Best male playback singer: Yesudas.

Best female playback singer: Shreya Ghoshaal.

Best Director: Sanalkumar Sasidharan for his film OraalPokkam.

16. Union Government’s ambitious Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh (PAHAL) scheme has been acknowledged as the world’s largest cash transfer program (households) by the Guinness Book of World Records.

What is PAHAL?

The scheme was formally launched as Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG subsidy in 2013 in 291 districts under the aegis of Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

17. The social network giant Facebook doled out 21 million US dollar to Indian app developers under its FbStart initiative.

18. Forbes released the first-ever list of 100 Richest People in Technology.

Top Billionaires in the list

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ranked number one among tech tycoons with a net worth of 79.6 billion US dollars.

Oracle CEO Ellison ceded second spot with a net worth estimated at 50 billion US dollars.

com founder Jeff Bezos ranked at third place with net worth of 47.8 billion US dollars.

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg came at fourth with net worth of 41.2 billion US dollars.

Google co-founder Larry Page was ranked at fifth place.

Another Google co-founder Sergey Brin ranked sixth.

Alibaba chief Jack Ma was spotted at seventh place.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stood at eighth position with value of 22.7 billion US dollars.

Laurene Powell Jobs & family, Founder and Chair of Emerson Collective, stood at ninth spot with net worth of 19.5 billion US dollars.

Dell CEO and Chairman Michael Dell got the tenth spot with worth of 19.4 billion US dollars.

Indians in the list of 100 Richest People In Technology

Two Indian technology tycoons Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro and Shiv Nadar, Founder of HCL, bagged place in Top 20 on the Forbes list.

19. Uttar Pradesh Government approved the amended guidelines for Begum Akhtar Award.

The award will be annually awarded on singers of ghazal, dadra, and thumri who have achieved a milestone in these forms of music.

It will be conferred on a singer who is a local resident of the state and should not be less than 40 years of age.

The award will carry a cash award of 5 lakh rupees, an ‘angvastram’ and a citation.

Begum Akhtar Award is named after Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, also known as Begum Akhtar who was a well-known Indian singer of Ghazal, and Dadra, and Thumri genres of Hindustani classical music.

20. The iconic Mughal monument Taj Mahal became the first historical monuments in the world to have a Twitter account of its own.

21. Kerala Government has declared state totally digital, thus becoming first state in the country to achieve it.

22. Boxing Coach Swatantra Raj Singhhas been recommended for the prestigious life time achievement Dronacharya award 2015.

Along with Singh, Nihar Amin (Swimming) and Harbans Singh (Athletics) also have been chosen for this year’s Dronacharya award.

23. Three Indian companies Hindustan Unilever Sun Pharma Industries and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have been named among the world’s 100 most innovative companies by Forbes.

Hindustan Unilever the FMCG has been ranked 41 on the list whereas TCS stood at number 64 and Sun Pharma at 71 in the Forbes list of ‘The World’s Most Innovative Companies’.

24. Eminent Historian writer Babasaheb Purandarehas been conferred with Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2015.

What is Maharashtra Bhushan Award?

It is a highest civilian award of Maharashtra state presented annually by the state government.

25. Bangladesh novelist Zia Haider Rahmanhas won James Tait Black award 2015, UK’s oldest literary prize for his first novel, In the Light of What We Know.

His debut novel’s story is based on an investment banker in a lead role who receives a visit from an old friend and addresses a whole range of issues including Afghanistan war, the rise of Muslim fundamentalism and global banking crisis.

26. Union Tourism Ministry will soon confer the title of ‘Twin National Heritage Cities’ on the temple towns of Rishikesh and Haridwar.

27. India’s historic Mughal mausoleum Taj Mahalhas ranked fifth position in the prestigious list of most attractive travel hotspot in the world.

28. TPP Nair, Romeo James and SP Misrahave been recommended for prestigious Dhyan Chand award 2015.

29. A Syria-based woman journalist Zaina Erhaim has won the prestigious 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.
She was bestowed with this award for her efforts to train citizen reporters in her war-ravaged country.

She has trained about 100 citizen reporters (third of them are women) from inside Syria over the last two years

About Peter Macker Award (PMA)

The Peter Mackler Award honors reporters and editors who have demonstrated a commitment to fairness, accuracy and speaking truth to power, and a matching commitment to asserting the right to publish or air that story in countries where independent media is under threat.

30. Punjabi University of Patiala has clinched the prestigious sports award Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) trophy for year 2014. The Trophy will be awarded to University on 29 August 2015 on the occasion of National Sports Day.

About Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy

The Trophy is given annually to the university/institutions for their all-round performance in Inter-University Tournaments. Established: in 1956-57 as a Running Trophy by Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the memory of scholar and a senior political leader Maulana Azad.

Award carries: Replica of the Trophy and a monetary award of ten lakh rupees which shall be utilized for development of games and sports.

31. Noted Indian agricultural scientist Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta has been chosen for the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize. He will receive the first Sunhak Peace Prize in South Korean Capital city of Seoul along with President of Kiribati Islands Anote Tong.

About Sunhak Peace Prize

Sunhak Peace Prize was founded earlier in 2015 by South Korean religious leader Dr Hak Ja Han Moon. It is an annual award that recognises eminent individuals from around the world for their contribution to peace and development of the world.

32. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated birth centenary celebrations of freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu.

On this occasion he launched commemorative coin of 100 rupees and circulation coin of 5 rupees of Rani Gaidinliu to mark her birth centenary celebrations.

About Rani Gaidinliu

Rani Gaidinliu was a Naga political and spiritual leader who had led a revolt against British colonial rule in India.

Her political struggle in present North east India was based on Gandhian principles of Satyagraha, non-violence, self-reliance.

She was born on 26 January 1915 in Nungkao (a Rongmei village) in northeastern state of Manipur. She died on 17 February 1993 in Longkao, Manipur.

33. Mountaineer Jot Singh of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has been honored with the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award 2014-15.

Mergers & Acquisition:

1. French global financial services group Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) Paribasto acquire retail brokerage firm Sharekhan at about 2,000 crore rupees.

2. Major tour operatorThomas Cook (India) Ltd has acquired Sri Lanka based destination management company Luxe Asia Pvt. Ltd.

3. Leading e-commerce player Snapdeal tied-up with retailer Shoppers Stop Ltd to launch a digital marketplace through a flagship Shoppers Stop store on Snapdeal.

4. India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtelacquired financial solutions firm YTS Solutions for an undisclosed amount.

5. Fairfax-owned Thomas Cook has acquired Swiss tour operator Kuoni Group’s business in India and Hong Kong for about INR 535 crore as a part of its strategy to scale up the inbound tour business and expand in foreign markets.

6. China-based Smartphone maker Xiaomi Inchas tied up with Taiwan-based Foxconnto set first Assembly line in Andhra Pradesh under ‘Make in India’ initiative.

These two Smartphone manufacturer giants has forayed together into Indian electronics market to roll out Xiaomi’s first locally made Smartphone, the Redmi2 Prime as it seeks to expand its market share in India.

7. Lyondell Basell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, has entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of SJS Plastiblends Pvt. Ltd. (SJS), a polypropylene compounds (PPC) manufacturer, located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.

8. World’s sixth largest South Korean steelmaker Poscohas signed an agreement to form a Joint venture with Uttam Steeland Power to set up a 3 million tons per year integrated steel plant in Maharashtra.

9. The billionaire Warren E Buffett led Berkshire Hathawayhas agreed to acquire the metal parts manufacturer Precision Castparts Corporation (PCC) for 37.2 billion US dollars.

10. Mallinckrodt, a leader in biopharmaceutical has signed an agreement to buy a leading immunotherapy company Therakos Inc, from the global investment firm, Gores Group for approximately 1.325 billion US dollars.

11. Chinese personal computer and smartphone giant Lenovo has roped with electronics contract manufacturer Flextronics to start manufacturing facility in Sriperambudur, near Chennai.

12. Google-run video sharing portal YouTube tied-up with Whistling Woods International (WWI)to set up YouTube Space in Mumbai, a collaboration and production facility for YouTube video creators.

13. Adani Enterprises, the flagship firm of Adani Group, has inked a pact with the Chhattisgarh government to invest over INR 25,000 crore for setting up urea and power project as well as rice bran oil extraction plant in the state.

14. Russia’s biggest mobile phone operator MTS had teamed up with Google Inc to help grow the use of mobile Internet and will get a share of the search site’s advertising revenues in Russia.

15. NASA signed a contract worth 490 million US dollars with Russia’s space agency Roscosmos for carrying the US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

16. The water treatment engineering company Polutech Limited of Murugappa Group signed an agreement with Japan-based Organo Corpto form a Joint venture (JV) of an industrial water treatment requirement company.

Economics:

1. 162 enclaves of India and Bangladesh were integrated with the main land with the execution of Land Border Agreement, 1974 between the two countries.

According to the agreement, 51 Bangladeshi enclaves situated at Indian soil in Coochbehar District of West Bengal amalgamated with India, while 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladeshi territory integrated with that country when the clock struck 12 at night.

2. Reserve Bank of India (RBI)notified Section 23 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 -Relaxations in Branch Authorization Policy. The notification allows banks to shift, merge or close branches, in urban areas, at their own discretion.

3. Private insurer SBI Life Insurance launched Smart Humsafar, a unique plan which offers multiple benefits of savings and insurance cover for husband and wife under a single policy.

4. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)signed two unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with two Multi-National Companies (MNCs). The aim of the APAs is to user in an era of certainty in taxation.

5. India and Mozambique signed Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to deepen cooperation in New and Renewable Energy Sector.

6. Maharashtra government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tiawan-based Foxconn to set up its manufacturing facility in the state.

7. Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) worth 2,452 crore rupees at an investor event organized in New Delhi.

The event was organized in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) by the Bureau of Industry Promotion in Rajasthan.

8. In order to bring certainty in tax liability and avoid disputes in taxation with the multinationals operating in India, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for the first time has entered into an Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with ‘Rollback’ provision with the two US MNCs.

9. Central government has capped the subsidy payout on kerosene at INR 12 per litre and INR 18 per kg for LPG and notifies the upstream companies to bear about INR 5,000-6,000 crore kerosene subsidy for the fiscal year.

10. Phicomm, a Shanghai-based smartphone maker has announced to invest around 6400 crore rupees in India by 2017.

The company has decided to set up five business units in phased manner which includes units of – Mobile phones, Cloud services, Enterprise, SOHO- Small Office Home Office networking products and Intelligent Cities in India.

11. Global electronic manufacturing giant Foxconn and Maharashtra Government signed an agreement in Mumbai to invest 5 billion US dollar in the state over the next five year.

12. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)has signed two Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for skill development training in eastern states and Bihar.

13. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the 300 crore rupees package to save standing kharif agricultural and horticultural crops from weak monsoon.

14. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved INR 1750 crore for strengthening the drug regulatory system both at the Central and the State.

15. The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between American and India to establish the PACEsetter Fund.

16. In order to infuse liquidity into the sugar industry and facilitate clearing of cane dues arrears government approved a soft loan scheme worth INR 6000 crore for the current sugar season.

17. Government of India and the World Bank signed the Financing Agreement for the assistance of National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project- I & II (NCRMP- I & II) for $ 104.00 Million and $ 308.40 Million respectively.

18. Tata Sons has decided to increase its stake in low-cost carrier AirAsia India from 30 per cent to 41 per cent by infusing fresh capital.

AirAsia India is a joint venture between Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia Berhad, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace.

19. With an intention of curbing black money generation the government approved signing and ratification of the Tax information exchange agreements between India and Seychelles.

According to the agreement both the nations will exchange information with each other regarding taxes so as to curb tax evasion and avoidance by its citizens.

20. Central government announced 30 per cent income tax rebate for establishment of new manufacturing plants and machinery in 21 ‘backward’ districts of Bihar.

In order to give boost to economy and to attract new manufacturing units in 21 backward districts of Bihar Finance Ministry announced this special concession for five years under section 32 of the IT Act.

The notified 21 Districts are-

The notified districts include Patna, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Kaimur, Gaya, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Nawada, Vaishali, Sheohar, Samastipur, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Purnea, Katihar, Araria, Jamui, Lakhisarai, Supaul and Muzaffarpur.

21. Reserve Bank of India granted ‘in-principle’ approval to 11 applicants to start payments banks.

The Committee of the Central Board (CCB) of RBI has selected 11 entities among the 41 applicant who has the reach and the technological and financial strength to provide service to the customers and promote government’s initiative of financial inclusion across the country.

The selected applicants are:

Reliance Industries

Airtel M Commerce Services

Tech Mahindra

Vodafone m-pesa

Aditya Birla Nuvo

Department of Posts

Cholamandalam Distribution Services

Fino PayTech

PayTm

National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL)

Sun Pharma.

22. Haryana Chief Ministerhas signed an MoU with the Connecticut-based firm United Technologies for setting up a facility to manufacture air conditioners in Gurgaon and to expand its operations in Haryana.

23. Prasar Bharti and Digital Television Russiasigned a memorandum of understanding for cooperation which will set the stage for a new media era in both the countries.

24. Birla Corporationsigned an agreement with French-based Lafarge Group to acquire its Jojobera unit in Jharhkand and Sonadih in Chattisgarh for a sum of 5000 crore rupees.

25. Kerala governmentsigned a MoU with Adani Group led Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd for developing 7525 crore rupees Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport near Kovalam beach.

26. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)has barred 59 entities from trading in Bombay Stock Exchange due to alleged manipulation of the stock exchange route for evading taxes.

27. Bharti Airtel Limited tied-up with the Uber Cabs, allowing Uber riders to pay using Airtel’s mobile wallet service Airtel Money. With this partnership, Uber will set up WiFi hotspots in each of its cabs. Uber will pay Airtel for the bandwidth consumed.

28. Bandhan Bank has become the first micro-finance company in India to start operation as full-fledged scheduled commercial bank. The bank was inaugurated by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Kolkata.

29. India and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for constructing a Petroleum Product Pipeline which will be built from Raxaul in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal.

The MoU was signed by Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Sunil Bahadur Thapa, Minister of Commerce and Supplies of Nepal.

30. Tata Trusts has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Government to develop 264 villages. Under this initiative, all 264 villages in the Vijayawada constituency will be developed in order to transform them into smart villages.

The project has been jointly undertaken by local Lok Sabha MP Kesineni Srinivas and the Tata Trust as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Tata Group.

31. Royal Enfield, the two-wheeler division of Eicher Motors Ltd, on Monday announced its entry in Indonesia as a part of its global strategy in the mid-sized motorcycle segment (250-750cc).

According to the company, Indonesia is the world’s second largest market for motorcycles.

32. NITI Aayog launched the second version of the India Energy Security Scenarios 2047 (IESS 2047) by the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya in New Delhi.

The open source web based tool aims to explore a range of potential future energy scenarios for India, for diverse energy demand and supply sectors leading up to 2047.

33. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave 4 months extension (up to 31 December 2015) to the 7th Central Pay Commission. Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur is the Chairman of the Commission.

The extension was approved after the commission sought extension of 4 months due to volume of work and intensive stake-holders’ consultations. The Commission constituted by the Central Government in February 2014 was mandated to submit its recommendations by 27 August 2015.

34. Union Government has approved six new proposals 6 Special Economic Zones (SEZs)proposals including four from Information Technology and IT enabled Service (ITeS) sector.

This decision was taken by the Board of Approval (BoA) for SEZ (under the aegis of Union Commerce Ministry) chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia.

The approved SEZ proposals are

HCL IT City Lucknow- set up IT/ITeS zones in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

Loma IT Park Developer- set up IT/ITeS zones in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

North Mumbai International Commodity Township- It is proposed free trade warehousing zone in Thane, Maharashtra.

Appointments & Resignations:

1. Rekha M Menon was appointed as the chairperson of Accenture India and Anindya Basu new country MD.

2. Indian-American Atul Keshap was appointed as the United States (US) Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

3. Amitava Ghosh was appointed as Vice President-engineering of Domestic e-commerce portal Snapdeal.

4. Roland S Folgerwas appointed as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mercedes-Benz India with effect from 1 October 2015.

5. Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansariwas appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court.

6. Rajiv Mehrishi, 1978 batch IAS of Rajasthan cadre, was appointed as the Union Home secretary.

He will occupy the post for two years with effect from 31 August 2015. He was due to retire on the day of appointment, but was given an extension of two-year.

7. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Acharya Dev Vrat and Ram Nath Kovind as the governors of Himachal Pradesh and Bihar respectively.

8. India-born Sundar Pichai named CEO of restructured Google.

Larry Page announced the formation of a new umbrella firm Alphabet, of which Google will be a part.

9. Actor Amitabh Bachchan has agreed to become the state ambassador for the ‘Save the Tiger’ campaign and promote tiger tourism.

10. Snapdeal names former Adobe senior executive Viraj Chatterjee as its latest vice president for Engineering.

11. World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic from Serbia has been appointed as a new goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Prior to this appointment he has focused on the issues of vulnerable children and their communities through his own Novak Djokovic Foundation and as a UNICEF Serbia Ambassador

12. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed former IAS officer Om Prakash Rawat as an Election Commissioner (EC) in the Election Commission of India (ECI).

13. Jethabhai Patelthe veteran cooperative leader and Sabar Dairy chief was unanimously elected as Chairman of the prestigious Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets the Amul brand of dairy products in India and overseas.

14. Acharya Dev Vratwas sworn in as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh at oath taking ceremony held in Raj Bhawan, Shimla. He is 27th Governor and 18th regular Governor of the Himachal Pradesh, since it was granted full statehood in 1971.

15. Larsen and Toubrohas appointed former Infosys executive Sanjay Jalona as the Managing Director and CEO of its subsidiary L&T Infotech, IT arm of L&T.

16. Prime Minister of Libya Abdullah al-Thaniannounced his resignation during a live telecast. He announced his resignation hours after fraught peace talks between the country’s rival factions restarted.

17. Sudhakar Shetty of Maharashtra was elected as the president of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI).

18. Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) has appointed Kishor Piraji Kharat as its new Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer.

19. Karnal Singh, an IPS officer of 1984 batch of union territories cadre, was assigned the additional charge of Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED).

20. Union Government has appointed Ashwani Lohani as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of state owned national carrier Air India Ltd.

21. Noted academician and former Vice-Chancellor of the Jammu University Amitabh Mattoowas appointed as Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister (CM) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Mattoo will have the status of a Cabinet Minister.

22. Dr. Kandakatla Manohar was appointed as the Director of Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) of Hyderabad. His appointment was approved by the Telangana Government. He succeeded Dr. L Narendranath.

23. Rajiv Mangla was appointed as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of eCommerce major Snapdeal. As a CTO, Mangla will help the organisation in establishing its technical vision and will lead all aspects of technological development of the company.

24. Ranil Wickremesinghe has sworn-in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for fourth time. He was administered the oath of office by President Maithripala Sirisena at the oath taking ceremony held at Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.

25. Justice Madanlal Laxmandas Tahaliyani, a retired judge of the Bombay High Court, was sworn-in as the new Lokayukta of Maharashtra. Governor Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office to Justice Tahaliyani at Raj Bhavan Raj Bhavan’s Darbar Hall in Mumbai.

26. Indian-American Vince Chhabria was appointed as the full-time federal judge of California court by President Barack Obama. The 46-year-old Chhabria is the Bay Area’s first Indian-American federal judge.

27. Veteran actor and director Amol Palekar has been appointed as the Chairman of India’s Oscar jury by Mumbai based Film Federation of India (FFI). He will head the 17-member jury panel which will select the Indian films official entry in the best foreign film category of the 88th Academy Awards which will be held in Los Angeles in February 2016.

28. The former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe was elected as the sixth President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The British Olympian was elected as the President at the 50th IAAF Congress in Beijing, China.

He succeeds Senegalese Lamine Diack, 82, who has led the IAAF for 16 years.

About IAAF

IAAF was founded on 17 July 1912 in Stockholm, Sweden, following the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in the Swedish capital. The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) was founded as the world governing body for the sport of track and field athletics.

Science & Technology:

1. India’s first Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS)was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala.

First of its kind system in the country is part of initiatives to strengthen and beef up coastal security in the western coastline.

2. Wildlife researchers have discovered new frog species in Netravali forest sanctuary of Goa.

The discovered species has been christened as ‘Indirana Salelkari’ after Netravali Range Forest Officer Prakash Salelkar for his contribution to conservation of wildlife.

3. Bharti Airtel launched pan-India 4G high-speed data services. The service was launched in 296 towns across India and it will be available to customers through 4G-enabled mobile phones, internet dongles and Wi-Fi routers.

4. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi approved the proposal of hiving about 65000 towers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) into a new company.

5. Scientific technology named SHEFROL (Sheet Flow Root Level) was in news in the first week of August 2015.

It was in news as the SHEFROL-based waste water treatment plant built at Chinna Kalapet fishing hamlet in Puducherry, was found to be successful.

6. NASA beefed up its enhanced collision-avoidance system with an aim to ensure that Mars orbiters do not approach each other too closely.

The system involves process of traffic monitoring, communication and maneuver planning.

7. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched a new mobile app ‘Disha’to aid digital literacy in Bihar.

The app was launched in Bihar that aims to help people learn about computers and Internet through self-learning modules.

The app envisages offering digital literacy to tribal and Dalit women in the State which is free and available on Google app store.

8. Typhoon Soudelor made its landfall on the east coast of the Taiwanese city of Hualien.

After the landfall, the typhoon battered Taiwan with fierce winds ranging 230km/h (142mph) and rain leaving four people dead and a trail of devastation.

9. Cross-category classifieds platform Quikr launched its own separate automobile vertical QuikrCars, which will allow buying and selling of cars, bikes and commercial vehicles.

10. Search engine giant Google Inc launched a new parent company called Alphabet Incthat separates its highly profitable search and advertising business.

The new parent company was formed as part of Google’s new organizational structure which will help the company to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities and products.

11. Union Government has announced that 424 species of fauna and 347 species of flora including 2 reptiles have been discovered in the country in 2013-2014.

12. A team of researchers from University of Colorado have discovered an evidence of presence of an ancient lake on Mars. The findings of the research titled Late-stage formation of Martian chloride salts through ponding and evaporation were published in journal Geology on 5 August 2015.

13. India’s third largest private sector lender, Axis Bank has launched the first Contactless Debit, Credit and Multi-Currency Forex Card in association with VISA payWave in the country.

14. India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has launched ‘Smart Vault’first of its kind fully automated digital locker facility in India.

15. India’s largest banking entity State Bank of India (SBI) launched a Mobile wallet application dubbed as ‘SBI Buddy’.

Key features of SBI Buddy

Aims at providing convenient and secure digital payment system to its customers.

It was launched in collaboration with Accenture and Mastercard.

The application is available in 13 languages with several features including bill payment, all types of ticket bookings for movies, flights, payment and cash transfer among others.

It also has features like reminders to recharge, bill payments, dues settlement etc.

At present the app is available only on android based phones and can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

SBI soon is going to launch this app on Apple App Store.

16. Scientists from United States (US) have successfully grown a replica of a human brain in a laboratory dish.

This medical breakthrough research was undertaken team of researchers from Ohio State University led by Professor Rene Anand.

17. Government launched a web-based portal www.vidyalakshmi.co.infor the students seeking educational loans.

In order to ensure that no student misses out on higher education due to lack of funds, finance minister in the Union Budget for 2015-16 had proposed to set a fully IT-based Student Financial Aid Authority.

18. Scientists from United States have discovered a way to take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and convert it into valuable manufacturing material carbon nanofibres (CNFs).

19. India’s second largest IT services company Infosys launched Aikido, three enhanced service offerings in design thinking, platforms and knowledge-based IT (KBIT).

Aikido services are aimed at helping its clients address three key aspects of their business. The three service offerings are Ki in Knowledge-Based IT, Do in Design Thinking, and Ai in Platforms.

20. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacecraft LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) confirmed the presence of Neon gas in Moon’s atmosphere.

21. State-owned financial services lender Indian Bank has launched IndPay mobile app service to enable its customers to operate bank accounts anytime from anywhere. It was formally unveiled by the Indian Bank MD and CEO M K Jain.

Key features of IndPay app

Aims at helping bank’s customers to access their bank accounts from any corner of the country.

It can be operated through smartphones compatible with Android, iOS and Windows mobile operating systems.

It will help customers to do transactions like enquiries, transferring funds to any account and getting mini statements.

Important Dates:

1. 70th Hiroshima Daywas observed on 6th August 2015. The day was marked by adding of names of survivors of the explosion called the hibakusha, who died in previous 12 months, on the cenotaph of the Peace Memorial Park. With this, total number of dead ones listed on the cenotaph reached 292325.

2. International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peopleswas observed on 9th August 2015 with the theme Post 2015 Agenda: Ensuring indigenous peoples’ health and well-being.

3. The World Bio-Fuel Daywas observed across the world. The day is observed every year with an aim to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green Fuels).

4. World Humanitarian Daywas observed on 19th August 2015 with the theme inspiring the World’s Humanity. The theme calls on people to join any of the world’s humanitarian organizations and become an active messenger of Humanity.

5. National Sports Day was celebrated on the 29th August 2015 across the country. The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of hockey player Dhyan Chand.

6. 50th anniversary of 1965 India-Pakistan war was observed across the country on 28th August 2015.

Death:

1. United States country singer Lynn Anderson passed away after she suffered a heart attack in Nashville, US. She was 67.

2. Frances Oldham Kelsey, the Canadian doctor who played a central role in preventing the drug thalidomide being distributed in the US, died in London, Ontario. She was 101.

3. The actor George Cole, best known for playing the role of Arthur Daley in the TV series Minder, died due to a brief illness. He was 90.

4. Arnold Scaasi, the Canadian Fashion Designer, died due to cardiac arrest in New York. He was 85.

5. Colonel Harwant Singh, a World War-II hero, died at Patiala. He was 95.

6. The last surviving Dambusters pilot, Les Munro, died in New Zealand following heart problems. He was 96.

7. Legendary British singer Cilla Black, who had a 50-year music and television career, passed away.

8. Former Madhya Pradesh (MP) Minister and senior Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Jagannath Singhpassed away in Bhopal after prolonged illness. He was 69.

9. Eminent Kannada poet and freedom fighter Kayyara Kinhanna Raipassed away at Badiyadkka in Kasaragod district of Kerala. He was 101.

10. Veteran Marathi stage actor, singer and drama producer Bhalchandra Pendharkar died at a private hospital in Mumbai. He was 94.

11. The founder of Hero Cycle and a leading industrialist Om Prakash Munjalbreathed his last in the DMC Hero Heart Centre, Ludhiana. He was 87.

12. Uttar Pradesh Minister of State (MoS) for Parliamentary Affairs Chitranjan Swarup passed away in Delhi. He was 70 and died after a prolonged illness.

13. Renowned Malayalam actor Paravoor Bharathan passed away in Kochi, Kerala. He was 86 and was suffering from age-related ailments since 2009.

14. India’s First Lady Suvra Mukherjee, wife of President Pranab Mukherjee passed away in New Delhi. She was 74.

15. Eminent Sanskrit Scholar and Indologist NR Varhadpande passed away on 21st August 2015 in Nagpur following age related issues. He was 94.

16. Former Australian Cricketer Arthur Morris passed away. He was aged 93. He was an opener and is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest left-handed batsmen. Morris is best known as member of Don Bradman’s 1948 ‘Invincibles’ team which made an undefeated tour of England.

17. The veteran Kannada writer and former vice-chancellor of Kannada University Dr. Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi was shot dead at his residence in Dharwad. He was shot dead by unidentified persons.

18. Renowned neurologist and author Oliver Wolf Sacks died on 30 August 2015 in New York, the USA. He was 82.

 

Click here to download GK Monthly Eduwrap for August 2015 in PDF Format

 

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