Current Affairs Update – 15-16-17th August, 2015 - Exam Pundit - IBPS PO | Clerk | SBI PO | Insurance Exams | SSC Exams | Current Affairs

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 15-16-17th August, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 15th, 16th and 17th August, 2015. These are Important for the IBPS RRB 2015 Exam.


Finance/Industry –

UAE to Raise India Investment to $75 Billion, Bilateral Trade $100 Billion

  • To boost economic ties, the UAE today agreed to increase investments in India to USD 75 billion (about Rs 5 lakh crore) including through a dedicated infrastructure fund, while the two nations will raise their bilateral trade to nearly USD 100 billion in five years.
  • The two countries also agreed for strategic partnership in the energy sector, including through UAE's participation in petroleum sectors in India and tie-ups in the third countries.
  • While deciding to elevate India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed AI Nahyan also agreed to facilitate participation of Indian companies in infrastructure development in the UAE.



India, Bangladesh signed MoU to tackle the menace of fake Indian currency notes


  • India and Bangladesh on 13 August 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to tackle the menace of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) smuggling. The MoU was signed during a maiden meeting of the Joint Task Force on Fake Currency Notes (JTFFC) in Dhaka.
  • The MoU was signed by Additional Inspector-General of Bangladesh Mohammed Mokhlesur Rahman and Head of National Investigation Agency of India IG Sanjeev Kumar Singh.


Highlights of the MoU
  • Both countries will share intelligence inputs on operatives engaged in circulating FICN on real time basis.
  • India will provide Advance note sorting machines to Bangladesh to detect FICN circulation at international airports, immigration points, integrated crossing points, banks and financial institutions in Bangladesh.
  • India will help Bangladesh to set up Forensic Science laboratory for examination of fake notes and maintaining a digital depository of forensic reports.
  • Both the countries in future will organise capacity building training programmes.


Birla Corp to acquire Lafarge India’s cement units for Rs. 5,000 crore

  • Birla Corporation today said it will acquire two cement units from Lafarge India having a capacity of 5.15 million tonnes per annum for Rs. 5,000 crore.
  • Birla Corporation said in a BSE filing said ,“It has agreed to a transaction with Lafarge India Private Ltd, whereby Birla Corp, either directly or through its wholly-owned subsidiary, shall acquire both the Jojobera and Sonadih cement businesses (Acquisition business) from Lafarge India for an Enterprise Value of Rs 5,000 crore.”
  • Birla said it will acquire the cement business, comprising an integrated cement unit at Sonadih (Chhattisgarh), a cement grinding unit at Jojobera (Jharkhand), along with Concreto and PSC brands.



IndiGo inks agreement to buy 250 A320 NEO aircraft valued at $26.5 bn


  • IndiGo has signed an agreement to purchase 250 Airbus 320 New Engine Option (NEO) aircraft. The aircraft have a book value of $26.5 billion although it is not uncommon for both Airbus and Boeing to provide discounts from the listed price provided the order size is large.
  • IndiGo plans to fund the acquisition through its initial public offering. The airline has already filed its draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
  • In a statement the airline said the purchase agreement was signed on August 15 this year.
  • Earlier, in 2005, IndiGo had placed an order for 100 Airbus 320s, which have all now been delivered. In 2011, IndiGo became the first Indian operator to commit to the A320 NEO, bringing its total to 280 Airbus aircraft.
  • With today’s announcement, IndiGo has ordered 530 A320 family aircraft with Airbus.



Goldman Sachs to invest $150 million in Piramal Realty

  • Leading global investment bank Goldman Sachs will invest US$ 150 million (Rs 900 crore) for a minority stake in Piramal Realty, the real estate development arm of the Piramal Group.
  • Piramal Realty will use the funds to expand its current real estate portfolio and acquire prime properties in and around Mumbai, the company said in a statement.



Housing.com acquired Bengaluru-based HomeBuy360

  • Mumbai based Real estate listing portal Housing.com on 16 August 2015 acquired Bengaluru-based customer relationship management software company HomeBuy360 in all cash deal of 2 million US dollars.
  • This deal will help Housing.com to strive for efficiency in the Indian real estate sector. This will help in reduction of property prices eventually benefitting the consumers. With this acquisition, Housing.com is now the only online real estate listing platform to own a developer CRM company.



India –

Taj Mahal becomes 'first monument' to debut on Twitter


  • With the launch of Taj Mahal's twitter account today, the 17th century mausoleum became the "first historical monument" to have an official handle on the micro-blogging site.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today launched the official twitter account of the monument-- @Taj Mahal at his residence in the state capital, Director general of UP Tourism Amrit Abhijat said.
  • He said that while visiting the official account, a tourist could share his picture on #MyTajMemory, which would be included in the main account.
  • After launching the account, the Chief Minister also shared a picture with his MP wife Dimple Yadav and son in front of Taj Mahal and hash tagged it #MyTajMemory.
  • In fact immediately after its launch the twitteraties started hash tagging pictures of their visit to the monument of love.
  • Within an hour of its launch, the Taj Mahal account got more than 2000 followers.



PM Narendra Modi launched a new campaign Start-up India, Stand up India

  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August 2015 launched a new campaign Start-up India, Stand up India to promote bank financing for start-ups and offer incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation.
  • The campaign was launched during the celebrations of 69th Independence Day at Red Fort, Delhi. The initiative is aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship among the youth of India.
  • As per the initiative, each of the 1.25 lakh bank branches should encourage at least one Dalit or tribal entrepreneur and at least one woman entrepreneur.
  • Under this initiative, in addition to existing systems to facilitate start-ups, loans would also be given to help people. This initiative will give a new dimension to entrepreneurship and will help set up a network of start-ups in the country.


Other Announcements
  • Union Agriculture Ministry will now be renamed as Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Ministry with a view to take care of the farming community’s needs as well as the personal problems faced by them.
  • The Prime Minister also announced to replace the current practice of interview-based selections for low-skilled government jobs with online merit based recruiting.
  • Under the Skill India and Digital India initiative, government will now work to provide package of incentives to manufacturing units for generating jobs.



India, UAE Denounce State-Sponsored Terrorism


  • Elevating their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, India and the UAE today came down heavily on countries sponsoring terrorism and asked all states to dismantle terror infrastructure, an oblique reference to Pakistan.
  • Denouncing and opposing terrorism in all forms and manifestations and asking all states to abandon the use of terrorism against other countries, the two sides called for bringing perpetrators of terrorism to justice.
  • References to terrorism in all forms including state-sponsored were the highlight of a 31-point joint statement issued after talks between the UAE Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed AI Nahyan and Narendra Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the strategic Gulf state in 34 years.
  • Agreeing to boost bilateral cooperation in counter- terrorism operations, intelligence-sharing and capacity building, Modi and the Crown Prince also decided to coordinate efforts to counter radicalisation and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred and justifying terrorism for pursuing political aims.



Odisha government approved State Capital Region Improvement of Power System scheme

  • Odisha government on 13 August 2015 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.
  • The approvals in this regard were given during the State Cabinet meeting that was chaired by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.


Highlights of State Capital Region Improvement of Power System (SCRIPS) scheme
  • The scheme aims to provide 24x7 quality power supply to the people in and around the state capital of Bhubaneswar.
  • The scheme will be implemented by the Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL), that has already chalked out broad features for SCRIPS for underground cabling, smart grid and others.
  • The project envisages renovation, modernisation and expansion of the existing transmission and distribution infrastructure.



Appointments –

Union Government appointed two private sector professionals to head BoB, Canara Bank

  • Union Government on 14 August 2015 appointed private sector professionals, namely PS Jayakumar and Rakesh Sharma, as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Canara Bank, respectively.
  • This is the first time that private sector professionals were appointed to head the Public Sector Banks (PSBs). Earlier, the heads of PSBs were selected from among the state-run banks or government officers.
  • The announcements were made along with appointment of MD and CEO of Bank of India (BoI), IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB).




Ajit Kumar Seth appointed as Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board

  • Former Cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth was on 14 August 2015 appointed as the Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). He was appointed for a period of three years or till he attains 65 years of age.
  • Seth succeeded Atul Chaturvedi, who has completed his tenure. Prior to this appointment, Seth completed his extended tenure of four years at the Cabinet secretariat in June 2015.
  • Seth is a 1974-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre.



Sports –

World Badminton Championship: Saina became 1st Indian shuttler to win silver medal


  • India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on 16 August 2015 became the first Indian to win silver in the World Badminton Championship.
  • She lost the women's singles summit clash to Spain's Carolina Marin 16-21, 19-21 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Olympic bronze medallist Saina had reached the finals of the event on 15 August 2015 by defeating Indonesia's Lindaweni Fanetri.
  • This was India's fifth medal at the World Championship.  Following are the Indian medal winners at the World Badminton Championships which started in 1977. Legendary shuttler Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to win a bronze at the 1983 edition.



Abhishek Verma clinched gold for India at Archery World Cup

  • India's Abhishek Verma on 15 August 2015 won the gold medal in the compound men's individual section in the Archery World Cup Stage 3 competition at Wroclaw, Poland.
  • The Asian Games silver medalist defeated Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran 148 -145. At the Incehon 2014 Asian Games, Ebadi defeated Verma 141-145.
  • Apart from this, India's recurve mixed pair of Deepika Kumari and Mangal Singh Champia won silver at the World Cup stage 3. The duo faced defeat by Mexican pair of Aida Roman and Juan Rene Serrano.


Andy Murray won Rogers Cup Masters tournament

  • Briton Andy Murray on 16 August 2015 won the Rogers Cup Masters tournament in Montreal, Canada. In the title clash, Murray defeated world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. It was Murray's 11th Masters Title.
  • With this win, Murray was successful in ending an eight match losing streak against Djokovic. This was his first victory against the world number 1 since 2013 Wimbledon final.
  • Djokovic, who lost for just the fourth time in 2015, had won 12 consecutive Masters Series Finals before this.



Awards & Honors –

Mustansir Barma won 2015 Gujar Mal Modi award for innovative science and technology

  • Prof. Mustansir Barma on 14 August 2015 won the prestigious Gujar Mal Modi Award for Innovative Science and Technology for the year 2015. He was awarded for his commendable contribution in the field of Science and Technology.
  • He received the award from Vice President of India Hamid Ansari at a ceremony in New Delhi.
  • Barma, a distinguished Professor and former Director of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, has made immense contribution in the field of Statistical Physics in India.
  • He has published numerous papers on the topic and is one of the best recognized names in the discipline internationally. His personal initiative helped in expanding the TIFR campus in Hyderabad.



Union Government announced awardees for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2015 and Arjuna Awards 2015

  • The Union Government on 14 August 2015 announced the awardees for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and Arjuna Award for the year 2015.
  • The selection of awardees was based  on the recommendations of the Selection Committee headed by Justice VK Bali, former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court and consisting of eminent sportspersons and sports administrators.



Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ranta 2015
  1. Ms. Sania Mirza - Tennis


Arjuna Awards 2015
  1. Name of the sportsperson - Discipline
  2. Naib Subedar Sandeep Kumar - Archery
  3. MR Poovamma - Athletics
  4. Kidambi Srikanth Nammalwar - Badminton
  5. Mandeep Jangra - Boxing
  6. Rohit Sharma - Cricket
  7. Dipa Karmakar - Gymnastic
  8. Sreejesh PR - Hockey
  9. Manjeet Chhillar - Kabaddi
  10. Abhilasha Shashikant Mhatre - Kabaddi
  11. Sawarn Singh - Rowing
  12. Anup Kumar Yama - Roller Skating
  13. Jitu Rai - Shooting
  14. S Sathish Kumar - Weightlifting
  15. Bajrang - Wrestling
  16. Babita Kumari - Wrestling
  17. Yumnam Sanathoi Devi - Wushu
  18. 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.



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