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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 27th August, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 27th August, 2015. These are important for IBPS RRB Office Assistant and IBPS Clerk 2015.

Finance –

Union Cabinet cleared 4 months extension for 7th Pay Commission

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 August 2015 gave 4 months extension (up to 31 December 2015) to the 7th Central Pay Commission. Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur is the Chairman of the Commission.
The extension was approved after the commission sought extension of 4 months due to volume of work and intensive stake-holders’ consultations. The Commission constituted by the Central Government in February 2014 was mandated to submit its recommendations by 27 August 2015.
Seventh Pay Commission is scheduled to come into effect from 1 January 2016.
The Sixth Pay Commission headed by Justice BN Srikrishna was implemented with effect from 1 January 2006, the fifth from 1 January 1996 and the fourth from 1 January 1986.

Bharti Airtel buys Augere to boost 4G play

  • Bharti Airtel has agreed to acquire Augere Wireless Broadband India, as the nation's top telecom carrier looks to consolidate its 4G footprint ahead of the launch of similar high-speed broadband services by rivals such as Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio Infocomm.
  • Augere had won a block of 20 MHz of 4G spectrum (the 2,300 MHz band) in the Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh circle for Rs 122.46 crore in the 2010 auctions. The company — owned by France Telecom and a clutch of private equity funds such as Harbinger Capital and New Silk Route — initially announced plans of rolling out 4G services in late 2011.
  • But it then decided not to go ahead with the launch, citing uncertain regulatory conditions. It had been looking to sell its permit ever since.

India –

Govt announces 98 smart city nominees; set for second stage of challenge

  • The Government on Thursday announced the list of 98 cities which will now compete for the second stage of the smart cities challenge to secure Rs. 100 crore funding from the Centre.
  • Out of these 98 cities and towns, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centres, 18 are of cultural and tourism importance, 5 are port cities and 3 are education and health care hubs, Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaih Naidu said.
  • The Centre had allotted each state a specific number of city slots. These 98 aspirants have been chosen by States/UTs through an intra-state competition based on existing service levels, financial and institutional capacities and past track record and reforms.
  • J&K has sought more time to decide the nominee from the State while UP has reported that Meerut and Raibareily have been tied in the evaluation. Hence, remaining 2 nominees will be decided in some time.
  • In the next few days, the Government will release Rs. 2 crore for each to these 98 cities for preparation of smart city proposals for competing in the second stage.
  • Urban Development Ministry has drawn up region-wise panels of agencies for assisting cities in preparation of smart city plans. States/Urban local bodies can call for bids from among these panels, an official statement said.
  • Proposals will be judged by the Centre on credibility of implementation, city vision and strategy, economic and environmental impacts, cost effectiveness, innovation and scalability and processes followed including citizen implementation.
  • Top 20 scoring cities will be chosen by December this year and Rs. 100 crore per city per year will be provided by Centre for the next 5 years. States will have to match this contribution.
  • For implementation of proposals, a special purpose vehicle will be each selected city wherein the State/UT and urban local body will have 50:50 equity.

Niti Aayog launches improved data tool for energy planning

  • The Niti Aayog has launched an improved version of its interactive data tool on the country's energy security scenario to help policy makers and stakeholders make informed choices for better energy planning for the future.
  • The Indian Energy Security Scenarios (IESS) 2047 (Version 2.0) calculator, housed within the Niti Aayog, will suggest measures to shift the energy pattern in a way to ensure advancement of the country's energy security considerations.
  • The calculator explores India's possible energy futures across energy supply sectors such as solar, wind, biofuels, oil, gas, coal, and nuclear, and demand sectors such as transport, industry, agriculture, cooking, lighting and appliances, said Anil Kumar Jain, Adviser (Energy), Niti Aayog.
  • The IESS 2047, an initiative of the Department of Energy & Climate Change, has been developed by the energy team in Niti Aayog with support from a number of non-government organisations, think-tanks and industry bodies such as FICCI, CII, TERI, India Smart Grid Forum, Integrated Research and Action for Development, Berkley Lab and Centre for Study of Science, Technology & Policy.

GSLV-D6 launched successfully from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR

  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)-D6 was successfully launched on 27 August 2015. It was launched from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  • GSLV-D6 inducted 2117 kg GSAT-6, an advanced communication satellite into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The satellite is intended to provide S-band communication services in the country.
  • This is the third time the indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) is being carried on-board during a GSLV flight. The flight is significant since it intends to continue the testing of CUS.
  • It is configured with all its three stages including the CUS similar to the ones successfully flown during the previous GSLV-D5 mission in January 2014. GSLV-D5 successfully placed GSAT-14 satellite carried on-board in the intended GTO very accurately.

Union Cabinet approved amendments in the Central List of Other Backward Classes

  • The Union Cabinet on 26 August 2015 approved the amendments in the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in respect of two States Gujarat and Uttarakhand for making suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs.
  • The amendments were approved following the advices received from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The following castes/communities have been included in the Central List of OBCs in the two States of Gujarat and Uttarakhand:

  • Gujarat: Sipai
  • UK: Kahar

  • Gujarat: Patni Jamat or Turk Jamat (all Muslims)
  • UK: Tanwar Singhariya

  • The amendments will enable the persons belonging to these castes/ communities to avail the benefits of reservation in Government services and posts as well as in Central Educational Institutions as per the existing policy.

Kolkata Port adjudged as the best 'Major Port of 2014-15'

  • Kolkata Port was on 21 August 2015 adjudged as the ‘Major Port of the Year’ amongst 12 major ports in the country for the year 2014-15. It was honoured in recognition of its impressive growth rate in volumes, optimizing capacity utilization, growth in output per berth and customer satisfaction.
  • It has been declared in the Gateway Award 2015 programme held at Mumbai.
  • Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock System under Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) together handled 16.834 million tonnes (MT) of traffic during April to June 2015, which stands against 13.698 MT handled during the corresponding period 2014.
  • KPT has achieved traffic growth of 23 percent, while all other major ports of the country have together recorded a growth of 5.8 percent. The port handles two private train operators apart from CONCOR.

Union Cabinet approved Amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 August 2015 gave its nod for amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015. The amendments are based on the Law Commission’s recommendations of 246th reports and suggestions received from stakeholders.
  • The Union Government has decided to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 by introducing the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in the Parliament. These amendments will help India to become a hub of International Commercial Arbitration.
  • In order to ensure neutrality of arbitrators, it is proposed to amend Section 12 to the effect that when a person is approached in connection with possible appointment of arbitrator, he shall disclose in writing about existence of any relationship or interest of any kind, which is likely to give rise to justifiable doubts. Further, if a person is having specified relationship, he shall be ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator.

Appointments –

Tennis Player Novak Djokovic appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF

  • Novak Djokovic, the world’s top ranked tennis player, was on 26 August 2015 appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), after having served as the UNICEF’s Serbia Ambassador.
  • He also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the World Bank and the Novak Djokovic Foundation to promote early childhood development. The Fund and the Foundation have established a close cooperation on bringing early childhood services to every child and family in Serbia.
  • Novak Djokovic has been lending his support to children's welfare since he teamed up with UNICEF in 2011. He has been working for improving the lives of children, especially those who are amongst the most marginalized, with a particular focus on the importance of early childhood education.
  • With this, Djokovic has joined other accomplished and dedicated UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors including Danny Kaye, Audrey Hepburn, David Beckham, Harry Belafonte, Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Sir Roger Moore, Shakira, Maxim Vengerov, Serena Williams and others.
  • Djokovic is one of the most dominant players to ever set foot on a tennis court. To date, Djokovic has won a total of 54 career titles, including 9 Grand Slams and he was a Medallist at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Snapdeal appoints former Adobe executive Rajiv Mangla as CTO

  • e-Commerce major Snapdeal, appointed former Adobe executive, Rajiv Mangla, as Chief Technology Officer.
  • In his new role, Mr. Mangla will establish the company’s technical vision and lead all aspects of its technological development, Snapdeal said in a statement.
  • Previously, he spent about 10 years at Adobe Systems, where he most recently served as VP Engineering, Digital Marketing.
  • Prior to Adobe, Mr. Mangla had been an entrepreneur for 10 years and founded a couple of companies.
  • The technology team at Snapdeal is currently 1,000 people strong and the company looks at doubling it by the end of this year.
  • In the past few months, Snapdeal has significantly ramped up its technology leadership team and has hired senior leaders like Anand Chandrasekaran (ex-CPO Bharti Airtel), Gaurav Gupta (India Head of Scalearc), Amitava Ghosh (ex-CTO, Taxi For Sure) and Viraj Chatterjee (ex-Director Engineering, Adobe Systems).

Awards & Honors –

Rajendra Singh conferred with 2015 Stockholm Water Prize

  • The Waterman of India Rajendra Singh on 26 August 2015 was conferred with the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize.
  • King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize presented the prize at a Royal Award Ceremony during World Water Week in Swedish Capital Stockholm.
  • Singh was named for the prestigious award for his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need.

Three Indians named Fellows of American Society for Metals for 2015

  • Three Indians were named as Fellows of American Society for Metals (ASM) in the fourth week of August 2015. These three Indians along with three other Indian-origin persons featured among the list of 29 fellows who were named as Fellows of ASM for 2015.
  • While, the Indian Fellows were Pradeep Goyal, Vivekanand Kain, and Gankidi Madhusudhan Reddy, the Indian-origin achievers were Pranesh Aswath, Suveen Mathaudhu and Muthukumarasamy Sadayappan.
  • All the 29 persons were honoured for their contributions in the field of materials science and engineering. The fellows will be presented with their awards in October 2015 during the Materials Science and Technology event at Columbus in Ohio State of the USA.


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