Current Affairs Update – 8th July, 2015


Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are Important Current Affairs of 8th July, 2015. These are very important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains and RBI Assistant Exam 2015.


Finance/Banking –

India to contribute $18 billion to BRICS' $100-billion foreign exchange reserves pool


  • India will contribute $18 billion to the $100 billion foreign-exchange reserves pool that is being set up by five nations of the BRICS grouping to help each other "in case of any problems with dollar liquidity".
  • Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have signed an agreement to set up the $100 billion pool, with maximum $41 billion coming from China.
  • India's contribution of $18 billion to the Pool will be same as that of Brazil and Russia. South Africa would chip in $5 billion.
  • "The central banks of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have signed Operational Agreement on July 7, 2015 in Moscow. The Agreement outlines the terms of mutual support for member states in the framework of the Agreement on BRICS Pool of Conventional Currency Reserves," the Russian Central Bank said in a statement.
  • The fund will be an "insurance instrument" that members nations could draw on if they experience problems with their balance of payments.
  • The Pool will go into force on July 30.


               
India, Russia Sign MoU for Funding of Hydro-Generation Projects

  • In a significant step in economic cooperation, Russia's Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) today signed an MoU with India's Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) for funding of hydro-generation projects.
  • RDIF Director General Kirill Dmitriev told the BRICS Business Council meeting here that his company signed an MoU with its partners in the BRICS member-states to work with sovereign funds, with the BRICS Bank and invest in the equity of infrastructure projects in these countries.
  • Highlighting cooperation with India and China, he said, the BRICS initiative is already seeing practical negotiations on specific projects.
  • Dmitriev said the funds are forming together the IFI to work with sovereign funds, with the BRICS bank and invest in the equity of infrastructure projects.



HDFC Bank launched watch banking application for Apple Watch

  • HDFC Bank, the country’s second largest private sector bank, launched Watch Banking application for Apple Watch in the first week of July 2015.
  • With this, HDFC became the first bank in India to offer the service of Watch Banking. In order to avail this service, customer will not be required to download a separate app but they just need to activate it from an upgraded version of HDFC Bank’s mobile banking app itself.
  • The Apple Watch app will work via Bluetooth on iPhone 5 and above versions. The application will allow customers to make around 10 banking transactions, like account information (on savings, current, fixed deposits), credit cards, mobile and DTH recharge, request account statements and cheque books.



Infosys bags multi-million euro deal from Deutsche Bank


  • Country’s second largest IT services firm Infosys has signed a multi-million euro deal with Deutsche Bank.
  • Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Infosys will provide services like development, application maintenance, digital and mobility, package implementation and testing services across the Deutsche Bank Group, Infosys said in a statement on Wednesday.
  • The Bengaluru-based firm will also be a strategic partner under Deutsche Bank’s Supplier Partnership Programme, it added. The programme was launched in June 2014 to concentrate the most strategic vendors based on business impact across all categories of the bank, it said.


PM Visits –

India, Uzbekistan inked three agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation

  • India and Uzbekistan on 7 July 2015 signed three agreements to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two nations. The agreements were inked during the two-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Uzbekistan from 6 July to 7 July 2015.


The agreements are
  • Intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of tourism
  • Protocol on Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uzbekistan, and Ministry of External Affairs, India was inked.
  • Agreement on Intergovernmental Programme of Cultural Cooperation for 2015-17
Besides, during his first visit to Central Asian countries, Modi met with President Islam Karimov and Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoev of Uzbekistan.


India, Kazakhstan signed five Agreements including a contract for supply of uranium


  • India and Kazakhstan on 8 July 2015 signed five agreements during the two-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan. The agreement was signed in the presence of PM Modi and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
  • Narendra Modi is on an eight-day visit to five Central Asian states, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan from 6 July to 13 July 2015.

List of Agreements signed
  1. Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons
  2. Agreement on Defence and Military – Technical Cooperation
  3. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation on Physical Cultural and Sports
  4. MoU on Technical Cooperation in the field of Railways
  5. Long term contract between Department of Atomic Energy, India and KazAtomProm for sale and purchase of natural uranium concentrates

  • In addition to above agreements, a MoU between JSC «Kazxnex Invest» and JSC «Invest India», which includes a Road Map on Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation was also signed during the visit. The roadmap would identify concrete projects in various sectors and assist in efficient implementation of projects in both the countries to activate bilateral trade and economic relations.
  • Besides, the two leaders also issue a joint statement title Tej Kadam highlighting the continuation of strategic partnership between the two nations that was established in 2009 and a shared desire for regional and international peace and stability.






India, Kazakhstan launched first drilling at Satpayev oil block

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov on 7 July 2015 jointly launched the first exploratory drilling of the Satpayev oil block by ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and KazMunaiGaz of Kazakhstan.
  • OVL, the overseas arm of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), had picked up 25 percent stake in Satpayev oil block in the North Caspian Sea in 2011 and committed to invest 400 million dollar in exploration in the block.
  • The Satpayev oil block is an offshore field (1582 sq km) in the Northern Caspian Sea, in water depths of 6-8 m. It has a potential reserves estimated at 1.8 billion barrels crude oil and natural gas.  ONGC Videsh has estimates a peak output of 2 lakh 87 thousand barrels per day from the Satpayev structures.



India –

Entire Nagaland Declared as 'Disturbed Area'


  • The Centre has declared entire Nagaland as a "disturbed area" as it finds that a "dangerous condition" prevails in the state and armed forces should assist the civil administration in maintaining law and order.
  • In a gazette notification, the Home Ministry said that it was of the opinion that the whole state of Nagaland is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.
  • "Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, the central government hereby declares that whole of the said state to be a disturbed area for a period of one year with effect from June 30, 2015 for the purpose of the Act," Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Shambu Singh said in the notification.
  • The decision came almost a month after NSCN-K, the dominant Naga rebel group, attacked an army convoy in Manipur's Chandel district and killed 18 soldiers.
  • Subsequently, army commandos carried out an attack in the camps of militants inside Myanmar.


               
India to Supply 500 MW Additional Power to Bangladesh in 12 Months

  • India will begin to supply up to 500 MW additional power to Bangladesh as soon as the work on SAARC grid is accomplished in the next one year or so, said Power System Operation Corporation Executive Director V K Agrawal.
  • India will also draw considerably higher volumes of hydro power from nations such as Bhutan and Nepal, Agrawal said at a conference organised by the PHD Chamber.
  • The participants suggested that the government should bring in legislation empowering right to electricity in view of massive capacity additions and set up a statutory mechanism to regulate state electricity boards.



NDDB launched mobile application Pashu Poshan to boost dairy farmers' income

  • The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) on 7 July 2015 launched a mobile application named Pashu Poshan that will boost dairy farmers' income by raising milk yield and cutting feed cost. The app will recommend a balanced diet for cows and buffaloes.
  • The mobile application was launched by the Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
  • The application will be available on both web and android platforms. It can be accessed by registering on the INAPH portal inaph.Nddb.Coop.
  • To use this application, the farmer needs to provide complete animal profile including breed, age, milk production, fat content in milk apart from food items being currently fed to the animal along with the cost in order to formulate the balanced ration formula.



Telangana Government signed MoU with Uber to expand operations in Hyderabad

  • Telangana Government on 6 July 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with transportation facilitation app Uber.
  • The MoU is aimed at creating thousands of jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities, foster technical innovation and research into smart city initiatives and a commitment to make significant investments to expand its operations in Hyderabad.

Highlights of the MoU
  • Uber will collaborate with The Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge (TASK) to identify and train around 2000 candidates by the end of 2016 who will then drive on the Uber platform. The focus of this initiative will be on women and poor people.
  • Uber will invest upwards of 50 million US dollars into Hyderabad to establish a state-of-the-art facility that will house hundreds of new employees. With this, India will have Uber’s second-largest employee pool after the USA.
  • Uber will engage with T-Hub and the government and explore synergies to foster the smart cities initiative and technological innovation in the city using big data analysis.



Hilliard Energy plans to set up 650 MW renewable energy projects in AP

  • Hilliard Energy Limited has expressed its intent to set up a multi-phase 650 MW solar and wind energy project in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Sterling Hilliard, Director of Hilliard Energy India, part of the US company, in a letter of intent submitted to Palle Raghunath Reddy, Information Technology Minister of Andhra Pradesh Government, has expressed the company’s interest to set up 150 MW of wind power and 500 MW of solar power with a possible deviation of 10 per cent either side.
  • The letter of intent submitted to Reddy, who is now in the US, by Hilliard Energy Director, has been circulated to the media here.
  • According to the letter of Intent submitted to the Minister, Hilliard has indicated that the project cost could be about $ 600 million.
  • The company said that they look forward to following this intent with specific information on the location, power purchase agreement etc before closing the deal.
  • Hilliard has a history of renewable energy acquisition and green filed developments totalling 2800 MW in the US and other locations.



Government launches learning portal for MGNREGA


  • Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh today launched an Online Learning Portal (OLP) for MGNREGA, and expressed confidence that it will help both the government officials and beneficiaries of the rural job flagship scheme.
  • The OLP will build capacities of technical functionaries and help in developing qualitative and sustainable assets.
  • The governmnet said that it is expected to ensure flow of knowledge and skill from the brains of MGNREGS field functionaries through to the hands of MGNREGS unskilled labourers on to the ground, to result in qualitative and sustainable assets with enhanced livelihoods.
  • All the field functionaries like Gram Rozgar Sevak, technical assistants, junior engineer, engineering consultants and others can take use this OLP.



UGC accorded Heritage Status on 19 Colleges across the country

  • University Grants Commission (UGC) on 2 July 2015 accorded special Heritage Status on 19 Colleges across the country. These include St Xavier’s College, Mumbai and Fergusson College, Pune among others.
  • The Heritage status was granted to institutions across the country with an aim of conserving college campuses which are more than 100 years old. The UGC also approved financial assistance for the improvement and upgradation of these 19 colleges.


List of 19 Heritage Colleges
  1. St Xavier's College, Mumbai (Maharashtra)
  2. Ferguson College, Pune (Maharashtra)
  3. Hislop College, Nagpur(Maharashtra)
  4. Midnapore College (West Bengal)
  5. St Xavier's College, Kolkata (West Bengal)
  6. Khalsa College, Amritsar (Punjab)
  7. Kanya Mahavidyalya, Jalandhar (Punjab)
  8. CMS College, Kottayam (Kerala)
  9. Government Brennan College, Thalassery (Kerala)
  10. Old Agra College, Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
  11. Meerut College, Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)
  12. St Joseph College, Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu)
  13. St Bede's College, Shimla (Himachal Pradesh)
  14. Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur (Bihar)
  15. University College, Mangalore (Karnataka)
  16. Cotton College, Guwahati (Assam)
  17. Government Medical Science College, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh)
  18. Gandhi Memorial Science College, Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir)
  19. DAV College, Ambala (Haryana)



Appointments –

Bharti Enterprises appoints Rahul Bhatnagar as MD&CFO


  • Bharti Enterprises on Wednesday appointed Rahul Bhatnagar as its new Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer.
  • He will report to Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises.
  • Mr. Rahul takes over from Manoj Kohli, who has assumed the role of Executive Chairman, SBG Cleantech — a JV between SoftBank, Bharti and Foxconn for renewable energy, Bharti Enterprises said in a statement.
  • In his new role, Mr. Rahul will build strategic business value proposition for Bharti’s non-telecom businesses, it said.
  • He will be responsible for further strengthening the financial management processes and governance of these businesses and also lead new business development for the group, it added.



Ashok Haldia appointed MD and CEO of PTC India Financial Services

  • PTC India Financial Services said on Wednesday that Ashok Haldia was appointed the company’s new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Haldia has been a part of the company’s board as a whole-time director for the last seven years. Prior to joining PTC India Financial Services, Haldia served as a Secretary in the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India. He has also been a member of several Central Government committees.




World –

Female Supreme Court Nominee Rejected by Afghan Parliament

  • The first-ever female nominee for the supreme court in Afghanistan has failed to garner enough votes of approval from the parliament.
  • Anisa Rasoli received 88 votes today, nine short of the 97 needed for her nomination to pass. Zahir Qadir, the deputy parliament speaker who was chairing the session, asked.
  • President Ashraf Ghani to bring forth another nominee.
  • During the same session, Mohammad Yasuf Halim was approved for the supreme court and Khalilullah Sediq was approved as the governor of the central bank.



Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka entered Guinness World Records for spending 804 days on ISS

  • Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka in the first week of July 2015 entered Guinness World Records for spending most number of days in the space.  He achieved the feat by spending 804 days on the International Space Station (ISS).
  • He surpassed cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, also a Russian, record of 803 days, nine hours and 41 minutes in the space which Sergei achieved across six missions from 1998 to 2005.
  • Padalka, who is also the commander of the crew on the ISS, is scheduled to return to earth in September 2015. It means he would have spent a total of 877 days in space by then.
  • ISS is a space station that was launched in 1998. It is the largest artificial satellite body that orbits earth nearly 400 km above the surface and it can be seen with naked eye. ISS moves at a very high speed and it completes 15.54 orbits per day.



Sports –

               
Indian Women Crush NZ to Win Series, BCCI Awards Rs 21 Lakh

  • Indian women produced a clinical performance to crush New Zealand by nine wickets in the fifth and final one day international cricket match and winning the series by 3-2 margin.
  • The win also brought another piece of good news as BCCI announced a cash award of Rs 21 lakh for the team as they fought back valiantly from being 1-2 down to win the series.
  • The final match turned out to be an anti-climax of sorts with New Zealand being shot out for 118 in 41 overs as seven of their batsmen failed to reach double digits.
  • Suzie Bates top-scored with 42 while left-arm spinner Rajeswari Gayekwad had the best figures of 2/15. Jhulan Goswami with 2/17 was economical as ever while Deepti Sharma took 2 for 22.
  • In reply, India surpassed the target in 27.2 overs with DT Thirushkamini scoring 62 off 78 balls with 13 boundaries.
  • Deepti showed her all-round prowess scoring an unbeaten 44 off 78 balls with 8 boundaries.



Goa to host the Youth Delphic Games in February 2016

  • Goa will host the fifth Youth Delphic Games in February 2016. The announcement was made in June 2015. The motto of the 2016 Games is Celebrating Arts and Cultures.
  • Started a 100 years after the modern edition of the Olympics, the youth edition of the Delphic Games will be hosted in India for the first time from 1 February to 14 February 2016 in Goa.
  • The Youth Delphic Games are held at every four years and invites participants of the age group of 15 to 25 years. The games will include competitions in six categories:

  1. Musical arts and sounds (singing, instrumental music, electronic sounds)
  2. Performing arts (dance, theatre, circus, puppetry)
  3. Language arts (literature, poetry, moderation)
  4. Visual arts (painting, graphics, sculpture, installation, fashion, photography)
  5. Social arts (communications, Internet, media, pedagogic, didactic)
  6. Ecological arts & architecture (urban planning, landscaping, preservation and conservation of nature, monuments)




Books & Authors –


India Central Asia Relations authored by Amiya Chandra

  • Book titled India Central Asia Relations: The Economic Dimension authored by Amiya Chandra came in news in second week of July 2015. It came in news during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
  • The book focuses on the economic dimensions of the ties. The author through the book wants to say that India can compete with China if it focuses on quality instead of quantity and improves credit line. The book also says that for that purpose, India will have to seriously take forward the trade disputes.



Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years authored by AS Dulat & Aditya Sinha released

  • The book titled Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years was published on 6 July 2015 by HarperCollins. It was co-authored by AS Dulat and Aditya Sinha.
  • The book focuses on initiatives launched by the Vajpayee government between 1998 and 2004 to restore normalcy in India's most beautiful but troubled state.
  • The book includes firsthand account of AS Dulat, who was chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) during Vajpayee government, about the difficulties, successes and near triumphs in the effort to bring back Kashmir from the brink.


Awards & Honors –

Jodhpur Film Society honoured with Pritiman Sarkar Award 2014-15

  • The Film Society of Jodhpur was on 7 July 2015 conferred with the Pritiman Sarkar Award 2014-15 for the consequent fourth time for being the best film society in Northern Region in raising awareness and film appreciation.
  • The award was presented by the Federation of Film Societies of India (North Region). The award was given in recognition of screening of a series of films by the society in 2014-15 in Jodhpur to mark 100 glorious years of Indian cinema under the Incredible Journey of Indian Cinema.
  • The society screened 24 films of different times, culture and languages for Incredible Journey of Indian Cinema. These screenings included the films as old as Raja Harishchandra.
  • The first Pritiman Sarkar Award in 1997-98 was also given to the Film Society of Jodhpur.



Obituaries –

Legendary producer Jerome Charles Weintraub died

  • Jerome Charles Weintraub, the legendary producer who produced Ocean’s Eleven, died on 6 July 2015 following cardiac arrest in a Santa Barbara hospital, California. He was 77. He is survived by his four children and his wife Susan Ekins.
  • Weintraub got fame in the 1960s as a music manager and concert promoter. Later as a producer, he produced Nashville in the 1970s and other hits including Oh God!, The Karate Kid and the immensely popular caper-comedy series Ocean’s Eleven.
  • Weintraub was an executive producer of HBO’s comedy show The Brink. He worked with everyone from Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra to Led Zeppelin and George Clooney.




Regards



Team ExamPundit


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