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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 13th August, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 13th August, 2015. These are important for UIIC Assistant and IBPS RRB 2015 Exams.

India –

Indian Railways signed 4 MoUs with Union Ministries of Power and New & Renewable Energy

  • The Indian Railways on 12 August 2015 signed four Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with Union Ministry of Power and Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy for Cooperation in areas of electricity transmission, energy conservation and promotion of renewable Energy in a time bound manner.

Highlights of the MoUs
  • MoU for co-operation in the area of Electricity and Energy Conservation between Union Ministry of Power and Indian Railways. Implementation of Electricity & Energy Efficiency projects for Indian Railways including feasibility, study, construction, operation and maintenance of Electricity & Energy Efficiency projects in a phased manner by optimum utilization of resources of both Parties.
  • MoU between Indian Railways and Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. Conceptualization, structuring, implementation, Operation and Maintenance of Renewable Energy Projects in phased manner by  optimum utilization of resources of both Parties.
  • MoU between Indian Railways and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). Co-operation in implementation of energy conservation projects  for targeted achievement of energy savings over Indian Railways and development of long term road map.
  • MOU between Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). EESL will  undertake Energy Audits of Railway Building, assess potential of energy savings through techno-commercially viable energy efficiency measures as may be mutually agreeable.

Union Government approved 300 crore package to save standing kharif crops from weak monsoon

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 August 2015 approved the 300-crore rupees package to save standing kharif agriculture and horticulture crops from weak monsoon.
  • The package will help farmers to be better equipped to deal with challenges posed by delayed and aberrant monsoon, as the state governments will be able to initiate immediate remedial measures to save standing agricultural crops and perennial orchards in rainfall deficient districts.
  • Besides, the CCEA also gave its nod to a soft loan scheme to the extent of 6000 crore rupees for the current sugar season. The decision was taken to make sure that the farmers are paid their dues expeditiously. It also mandated that banks pass on the financial assistance directly to the cane growers after obtaining the list from the mills.

Union Cabinet nod for India, US MoU on cooperation to establish the Pace Setter Fund

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 August 2015 gave its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation to establish the Pace Setter Fund (PSF).
  • The PSF seeks to support the Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) track of the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) between India and United States of America.
  • This MoU signed on 30 June 2015 is expected to accelerate commercialisation of innovative off-grid clean energy solutions by providing early-stage grant funding. This would also allow businesses to develop and test innovative products, systems and business models.

Union Cabinet approved MoU between India, Nepal for construction of petroleum pipeline

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 August 2015 gave its approval for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the India and Nepal for the construction of a petroleum products pipeline from Raxaul (India) to Amlekhgunj (Nepal).
  • The MoU also includes re-engineering of Amlekhgunj Depot of Nepal and allied facilities. The MoU will promote bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector and secure long term supply of petroleum products to Nepal.
  • It will also help preserve the environment along the route and decongest the international border at Raxaul.

Highlights of the Project
  • On behalf of Union Government, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been entrusted with the job of construction of the pipeline and re-engineering of the Amlekhgunj Depot and allied facilities.
  • The project will be completed in two phases. In the first phase, a petroleum products pipeline from Raxaul in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal would be constructed.
  • The Indian Oil Corporation will bear a cost of 200 crore rupees for the first phase of the project.

Centre sanctions 1,500-MW solar power park for AP

  • The Ministry for New and Renewable Energy has sanctioned a 1,500-MW ultra mega solar power park for development in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • This will become the third park of over 1,000 MW to be taken up by the state. Two other parks of 1,000 MW each are being executed by NTPC at Anantapur and Kurnool districts, respectively.
  • Tenders for the Kurnool project are expected to be finalised later during the month, and those for phase two of 750 MW for the NP Kunta project in Anantapur would be invited shortly. The phase one of 250 MW has been tendered out and is now under execution, Ajay Jain, Secretary, Energy, Andhra Pradesh, said.
  • The first bunch of projects tendered out by the state in 2014 is expected to be implemented before March 2016 as per schedule, Jain said after a meeting with renewable sector companies — solar and wind power — here today.

Appointments –

O.P. Rawat Appointed New EC

  • Om Prakash Rawat, a former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer who till recently was Secretary at the Centre, was today appointed as the new Election Commissioner, days before dates of the Bihar assembly elections are announced.
  • His appointment will come into effect from the day he assumes office, a Law Ministry statement said here.
  • With Rawat's appointment, the sole vacancy in the three-member poll body has been filled. His appointment comes days before the poll watchdog takes a call on announcing the schedule for Bihar assembly polls.
  • Born on December 2, 1953, Rawat -- a 1977 batch officer -- will have a tenure of more than three years which will end in December, 2018. He had retired from government service in December last year.
  • An EC or a CEC has a tenure of six years in office or till he or she attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • While Naseem Zaidi is the Chief Election Commissioner, Achal Kumar Joti is the other Election Commissioner.

Coca-cola India signs Sourav Ganguly for 3-years as social ambassador

  • Beverage maker Coca-Cola India has roped in cricketerturned-commentator Sourav Ganguly as its social ambassador for a three-year deal ending in 2017, replacing Sachin Tendulkar, the country's most famous cricketer, whose contract ended last year.
  • Ganguly is on board and a part of the team that will lead our charge towards the FIFA Under-17 World Cup football 2017.
  • Besides the cricket association, Ganguly will lead Coca-Cola's football programmes and run various grassroots football activities.

Jayant Patel appointed as acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court

  • Justice Jayant Patel was on 12 August 2015 appointed as acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. Justice Patel has replaced Justice VM Sahai who retired as acting chief justice on superannuation.
  • Justice Patel (59), who hails from Veraval town in Junagadh district, graduated in commerce and law from MS University. He started practicing law in 1979.
  • During his three-decade career as advocate, he had appeared for Union government, Railways and Income Tax department. He was elevated as an Additional Judge of the High Court in 2001 and confirmed as a permanent judge in 2004.

Indian-American Atul Keshap Sworn in As US Envoy to Sri Lanka

  • Indian-American Atul Keshap has been sworn in as the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, becoming the second Indian-origin diplomat to be posted to the region after Richard Rahul Verma.
  • Keshap, 44, a former official at the US Embassy in India, was administered the oath of office by Deputy US Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Anne Higginbottom.
  • Keshap was confirmed by the US Senate as the country's envoy last week. It would be his first Ambassadorial posting.
  • In his previous capacity as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in South and Central Asian Affairs, Keshap had visited Sri Lanka and Maldives on several occasions.

Sudhakar Shetty elected as President of Gymnastics Federation of India

  • Sudhakar Shetty of Maharashtra was elected as the president of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) on 12 August 2015. He succeeds Jaspal Singh Kandhari.
  • Elections for the four year term were attended by 35 members from 18 States and Units.
  • Kandhari, the outgoing president who was in the fray for a third term, could not contest the elections after his nomination was rejected. According to GFI release, his nomination was rejected on the ground that he did not file his address in the nomination form, which is mandatory as per the rules.

Awards & Honors –

Sania Mirza became second Tennis player to be recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna

  • 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.
  • The first tennis player to be named for the top award was Leander Paes. He was bestowed the honour way back in 1996 after his bronze medal in the Atlanta Olympics.
  • Sports Minister Sarbanada Sonowal on 1 August 2015 recommended Sania's name for the highest honour that is given for achievement in sports.  But, her name for the award was finally approved by the Sports Ministry-constituted awards committee headed by Justice VK Bali, the retired Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.

Urdu Author Shamim Hanfi Chosen for Jnangarima Manad Alankaran Award

  • Noted Urdu litterateur Shamim Hanfi has been chosen for the first Jnangarima Manad Alankaran award, instituted by the Bharatiya Jnanpith this year, the literary body said today.
  • The award marks the seven decades of Jnanpith.
  • Hanfi was selected for the award in a meeting of jury members chaired by Hindi author Vishwanath Tripathi. Other members of the board included poet Kedarnath Singh and author Madhusudan Anand.
  • The Jnangarima Manad Alankaran award comprises a monthly honorarium for one year.

World –

China, Pakistan signed deals worth 1.6 billion US dollars to implement CPEC

  • China and Pakistan on 12 August 2015 signed 20 agreements worth 1.6 billion US dollars to implement the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. These agreements were signed during the CPEC Forum that was held at Karamay city in Xinjiang province of China bordering.
  • Both the countries together also issued the Karamay Manifesto on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a major project under China's Belt and Road Initiative.
  • CPEC project is brainchild of China and was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Pakistan in April 2015. Around 51 agreements were signed of which 30 were linked to this strategic corridor.
  • It is part of its ambitious six economic corridors conceived under Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.


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