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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 15th July, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 15th July, 2015. These are Important for SBI PO Mains 2015 and RBI Assistant 2015 Exams.

Finance/Industry –

Union Government decided to cap kerosene subsidy at Rs 12 per litre

  • Union Government on 13 July 2015 decided to cap the subsidy payout on kerosene at 12 rupees per litre.
  • At present, kerosene is sold through public distribution system at 14.96 rupees per litre against the actual cost of 33.47 rupees. The difference of 18.51 rupees per litre is termed as under-recovery or revenue loss.
  • Now, the government has finalised the formula for meeting this under-recovery, under which the Union Finance Ministry will pay 12 rupees per litre in cash to state-owned fuel retailers from the Budget and any unbridged gap between the retail selling price and the cost of production will be borne by upstream companies.
  • For domestic cooking gas LPG, the government has decided to fully bear the under-recovery.
  • The Budget for 2015-16 has provided for 22000 crore rupees towards LPG subsidy and another 8000 crore rupees on kerosene.

Boeing,Tata Advanced Systems sign pact for aerospace, defence manufacturing

  • Global aircraft maker Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems on Wednesday signed a pact to collaborate in aerospace and defence manufacturing as well as to tap into integrated systems development opportunities, including unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • The companies, under the memorandum of understanding, intend to access markets jointly for products and platforms developed together by Boeing and TASL.
  • The collaboration, which is in line with the government’s Make in India initiative, will not only work in the domestic market but will also be for international markets, sources said.
  • The agreement was signed by Shelley Lavender, President of Boeing Military Aircraft and Sukaran Singh, managing director and chief executive officer of TASL.
  • TASL is already on contract to manufacture aero structures for Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook and AH-6i helicopters.

India –

PM Modi launches Skill India Campaign; govt to train 40 crore youngsters by 2022

  • Pushing ahead with his ambitious Skill India Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a number of initiatives aimed at developing skills and promoting entrepreneurship among Indian youth.
  • These include a redesigned Model Skill Loan Scheme, Skill Card for persons certified under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and the new National Policy for Skill Development.
  • We have started a war against poverty and we have to win, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching 'Skill India' Mission.
  • The government has set a target of skilling 40.2 crore people by 2022 and the initiatives are aimed at realising this objective.
  • The Prime Minister today formally launched the National Skill Development Mission, unveiled the new National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 and rolled out on all-India flagship scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
  • The mission will have a three-tiered, high powered decision making structure, with its governing council being chaired by the Prime Minister.
  • The new National Policy for Skill Development policy is the country's first integrated national scheme for developing skills and promoting entrepreneurship at a large scale and was recently approved by the Union Cabinet. It acknowledges the need for an effective roadmap for promotion of entrepreneurship as the key to a successful skills strategy.

India’s first railway-line built under PPP model inaugurated in Gujarat

  • Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu on 14 July 2015 inaugurated the broad-gauge railway-line between Gandhidham and Tuna-Tekra Port in Gujarat by flagging off a goods train.
  • The rail line is India’s first railway-line built with private sector participation under Non-Government Railway (NGR) Policy 2012 of Indian Railways.
  • The rail line has been built at a cost of approx 185 crore rupees for M/s Kandla Port Trust (KPT) to bring about better and faster rail connectivity to Port of Tuna & Tekra.
  • The rail-line between Gandhidham, a town in Kutch district of Gujarat, and Tuna-Tekra Port, a port 20-km west of Kandla in Gulf of Kutch, was funded by M/s Kandla Port Trust (KPT) and Western Railway Zone of Indian Railways coordinated and pioneered it.
  • The project, approved by the Railway Board in October 2013, was completed in a record time of 12 months in May 2015 and was executed in two parts. The first part, viz., 11-km Gandhidham- Tuna Rail line was executed by Western Railway Zone as deposite work while the second part, viz., 6-km Tuna-Tekra line was executed by M/s Kandla Port Trust.

Union Ministry of Urban Development launched nationwide HRIDAY scheme from Amritsar

  • Union Ministry of Urban Development on 14 July 2015 launched the National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) for 12 cities in the country from Amritsar in Punjab.
  • The scheme seeks to preserve and rejuvenate the rich cultural heritage of the country in the selected 12 cities in the country, including Amritsar.
  • The scheme was launched by Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley in the presence of Union Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister of Punjab Singh Badal among others.

Features of HRIDAY
  • It seeks to promote an integrated, inclusive and sustainable development of heritage sites, focusing on maintenance of monuments and on advancement of the entire ecosystem.
  • In the initial phase of HRIDAY, 12 heritage cities have been identified which will be rejuvenated and developed. Union Government will provide 500 crore rupees to these 12 cities.
  • Physical, institutional, economic and social infrastructure developed as part of the scheme in the identified cities.
  • It will be completely funded by the Union Government to create infrastructure and provide facilities around the heritage sites to attract more tourists.

Union Government, Facebook launched #100Women Initiative to recognize 100 women achievers of India

  • The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development on 14 July 2015 launched the #100Women Initiative in collaboration with Facebook to select 100 women achievers of India.
  • The initiative is aimed at recognizing and acknowledging women who are making a difference in their communities across the country.

Process of selection
  • To select 100 women achievers, a contest will be held through public nominations via social media.
  • Nominations are accepted between 15 July 2015 and 30 September 2015 on the Facebook page of the Ministry.
  • Voting will begin on 27 November 2015 on the top 200 entries as determined by an esteemed jury.
  • Winners will be announced in December 2015 and invited to join a reception organized by the Ministry around the Republic Day.

Defence Acquisition Council approved defence proposals worth 30000 crore rupees

  • Defence Acquisition Council on 14 July 2015 approved defence proposals worth over 30000 crore rupees for buying four more P81 long-range maritime patrol aircraft for the Indian Navy and to replace Indian Army’s vintage air defence guns of 60s.
  • The Council was chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Detailed Proposals
  • Acceptance of necessity (AON) to replace L70 and Zu 23mm guns for Indian Army’s air defence under Buy-and-Make category. Now, army will buy 428 guns at a total cost of 16900 crore rupees. It will now pave the way for issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP).
  • Acquisition of 4 more P81 aircraft at a cost of 4380 crore rupees. These aircrafts are based on the Boeing next-generation 737 commercial airplane. It is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon used by the US Navy.
  • Upgradation of weapon and sensor suite of the Delhi and Talwar class ships at a cost of 2900 crore rupees.
Moreover, Six ships will see new surface-to-air missile system that would be bought from Russia, besides new radars.

Awards & Honors –

Noted Artist S. H. Raza Conferred Highest French Civilian Honour

  • Modern Indian artist Sayed Haider Raza, has been conferred with the highest French civilian honour, the Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur (the Legion of Honour) for his peerless achievements.
  • The award was bestowed by ambassador Francois Richier at a function at the French Embassy here late last evening to mark celebrations of the French National Day.
  • The French honour was conferred on the 93-year-old artist in acknowledgment of his "peerless achievements transcending all boundaries, the lasting ties he has forged between France and India, and his continuing artistic quest straddling nations, cultures, religions and philosophies."
  • Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the award is given for outstanding service to France, regardless of recipients' nationality.
  • A bilingual autobiographical account of the Raza entitled "Un Itineraire" (Itinerary) written originally in French in 2003 and now translated into English was also released on the occassion.

Make in India initiative of DIPP won Frost and Sullivan’s 2015 Economic Development Innovation Award

  • Frost and Sullivan, a US-based Growth Partnership Company, on 14 July 2015 recognised Make in India initiative of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India.
  • In this regard, it presented the DIPP with the 2015 Asia – Pacific Economic Development Innovation: Policy and Program Implementation Excellence Award in Manufacturing.
  • The award was received by Amitabh Kant, Secretary, DIPP from Aroop Zutshi, Frost & Sullivan’s Global President and Managing Partner in New Delhi.
  • The award was given in recognition of its outstanding contribution to nurture India’s economic and industrial transformation through simplifying the regulatory framework, reinforcing connectivity and incentivising investments.
  • The Make in India initiative scored the highest score among the 100 countries in the GIL-100 Index: Manufacturing Index for 2015 on Manufacturing Excellence which was prepared by independent global experts through a detailed 10-step process.

IOC bags top honour at Petrofed Awards

  • State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) today walked away with top honours at the annual Petrofed Awards, bagging the Leading Oil & Gas Corporate of the Year award for the fourth time in eight years.
  • It also bagged the Oil & Gas Marketing Company of the Year and the Human Resources Management Company of the Year awards which were presented by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan here today.
  • The Innovator of the Year - Team award was bagged by the eight-member team of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) for their indigenous development and commercial application of cost effective gasoline sulphur reduction catalyst additive for Fluid Catalytic Cracking using spent FCC catalyst in refineries.

Professor Kamal Bawa, an Indian-origin scientist, elected to Royal Society of London

  • Prominent Indian-origin scientist Professor Kamal Bawa was in news in the first week of July 2015 as he was elected, along with other two Indian-origin scientists, to the Royal Society of London on 30 April 2015. Other two scientists were- Ajay Sood and John Kuriayn.
  • The three scientists were elected for life to the society through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.


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