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1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. The Param Tyag Chakra initiative was launched by the Alumni Association of Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology to honour family members of brave military men, who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
5. Union Government and Delhi Government agreed to set-up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the cleaning-up and rejuvenation of the Yamuna River.
6. Union Government launched Suraksha Bandhan drive in a Mission Mode through participating banks and insurance companies to facilitate enrolment under social security schemes.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. As per recently released data by US Department of Agriculture (DoA), India has emerged as world’s largest exporter of beef.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. Rajasthan High Court banned the‘Santhara’ ritual prevailing in the JainCommunity.
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).
15. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has fully commissioned and started commercial production at the first indigenous Titanium Sponge Plant at Chavara in Kerala.
16. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has allowed banks to tie up with insurers.
17. The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the spectrum sharing guidelines based on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
18. Union Railway Ministry has signed 4 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Ministry for energy conservation, transmission and solarisation.
19. 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.
20. 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).
21. 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.
22. 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”.
23. 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).
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. Union Government has decided to set up a Bank Board Bureau (BBB) to monitor key performance indicators of two dozen public sector banks (PSBs).
28. Gujarat Government has declared ban on the use of plastic in the State for the first time.
29. 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).
30. Odisha government has approved a new policy for ‘Housing for All’ in urban areas of state.
The policy aims to work towards strategies for creating a steady supply of affordable housing stock in order to cater to the growing demands.
31. 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.
32. 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.
1. China has started the construction of an academy for Tibetan Buddhism at Chengdu in southwest China at a cost of $18.9 million.
2. India and Slovak Republic 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.
3. China and Pakistan have signed 20 more agreements worth 1.6 billion dollars to implement the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
4. The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Nepal for construction of petroleum products pipeline from Raxaul (Bihar) in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
1. Senior India hockey player Gurbaj Singh was 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Ace Indian Archer Abhishek Verma has won gold medal in Archery World Cup in the stage 3 in the compound men’s individual section.
5. Indian Men’s Hockey Team won three match series of their European Tour 2-1 after registering second win in the third and final match of the series.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Indian sociobiologist Raghavendra Gadagkar was awarded with the Germany’s highest civilian honour Cross of Order of the Merit at the German Consulate in Bengaluru.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. President Pranab Mukherjee has conferred prestigious literary award Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. Marpadi Veerappa Moily in New Delhi.
8. The social network giant Facebook doled out 21 million US dollar to Indian app developers under its FbStart initiative.
9. 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.
Amazon.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.
10. Uttar Pradesh Government approved the amended guidelines for Begum Akhtar Award.
11. The iconic Mughal monument Taj Mahal became the first historical monuments in the world to have a Twitter account of its own.
12. Kerala Government has declared state totally digital, thus becoming first state in the country to achieve it.
13. Boxing Coach Swatantra Raj Singh has 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.
Mergers & Acquisition:
1. China-based Smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc has tied up with Taiwan-based Foxconn to 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.
2. 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.
3. World’s sixth largest South Korean steelmaker Posco has signed an agreement to form a Joint venture with Uttam Steel and Power to set up a 3 million tonnes per year integrated steel plant in Maharashtra.
4. The billionaire Warren E Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to acquire the metal parts manufacturer Precision Castparts Corporation (PCC) for 37.2 billion US dollars.
5. 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between American and India to establish the PACEsetter Fund.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. 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.
2. Actor Amitabh Bachchan has agreed to become the state ambassador for the ‘Save the Tiger’ campaignand promote tiger tourism.
3. Snapdeal names former Adobe senior executive Viraj Chatterjee as its latest vice president for Engineering.
4. Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ram Nath Kovind was appointed as Governor of Bihar.
5. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed former IAS officer Om Prakash Rawat as an Election Commissioner (EC) in the Election Commission of India (ECI).
6. Jethabhai Patel the 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.
7. Acharya Dev Vrat was 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.
8. Larsen and Toubro has appointed former Infosys executive Sanjay Jalona as the Managing Director and CEO of its subsidiary L&T Infotech, IT arm of L&T.
9. Prime Minister of Libya Abdullah al-Thani announced his resignation during a live telecast. He announced his resignation hours after fraught peace talks between the country’s rival factions restarted.
10. Sudhakar Shetty of Maharashtra was elected as the president of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI).
Science & Technology:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Cross-category classifieds platform Quikr today launched its own separate automobile vertical QuikrCars, which will allow buying and selling of cars, bikes and commercial vehicles.
4. Search engine giant Google Inc launched a new parent company called Alphabet Inc that 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
1. International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was observed on 9th August 2015 with the theme Post 2015 Agenda: Ensuring indigenous peoples’ health and well-being.
2. The World Bio-Fuel Day was observed across the world. The day is observed every year with an aim to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green Fuels).
1. Eminent Kannada poet and freedom fighter Kayyara Kinhanna Rai passed away at Badiyadkka in Kasaragod district of Kerala. He was 101.
2. Veteran Marathi stage actor, singer and drama producer Bhalchandra Pendharkar died at a private hospital in Mumbai. He was 94.
3. The founder of Hero Cycle and a leading industrialist Om Prakash Munjal breathed his last in the DMC Hero Heart Centre, Ludhiana. He was 87.