Current Affairs Update – 5th August, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 5th August, 2015. These are important for the upcoming IBPS RRB 2015 Exam.

Finance/Industry –

Snapdeal launched Snapdeal Instant to make instant delivery of packages

  • eCommerce firm Snapdeal on 4 August 2015 launched its new service  named Snapdeal Instant to enable delivery of packages to customers as early as within an hour of placing the order.
  • Snapdeal Instant is aimed at further improving customer experience on the eCommerce platform by enabling faster deliveries and maintaining product quality at the same time.

Highlights of Snapdeal Instant
  • Based on hyper local delivery approach, Snapdeal will allow sellers to ship the product directly to consumers through its courier partners or via its fulfilment centres.
  • Customers need not pay out extra for getting their products delivered faster, but this service is currently.
  • Initially, this service will be available in three cities Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and later it will be extended to eight major cities by October 2015.

Tata Sons to acquire stake in Titan for Rs. 680 crore

  • Tata Sons, the promoter of major operating companies of the Tata group, will acquire 2.18 per cent stake in Titan Company at an estimated price of over Rs. 680 crore taking its total holding to 19.59 per cent.
  • Tata Sons will acquire 2.18 per cent stake from Tata Steel as a part of restructuring of its investment portfolio, Titan said in a BSE filing.
  • Titan said the proposed date of acquisition is on or after August 11 and the shares are proposed to be acquired at the prevailing price on the date of acquisition.
  • However, it added that the acquisition price would not be more than 25 per cent of Rs. 352.10 per share, which is the weighted average market price for a period of 60 trading days preceding its notice issued on Wednesday.
  • At the indicated price, the transaction is estimated to be around Rs. 682.64 crore.

ICICI hits overseas debt market with USD 500 million issue

  • India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank on Wednesday hit the US dollar debt market with a benchmark issue, under which it plans to raise up to USD 500 million, market sources said.
  • The five-year bond sale is a part of the bank’s USD 7.5 billion global medium-term note programme and will be carried out from its Dubai IFC branch. The bonds will be listed on the Singapore Exchange, the sources added.
  • The bank has reportedly roped in Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase and StanChart as advisors for the deal.
  • However, none of the bankers were ready to talk saying that the issue is yet to be closed while ICICI Bank could not be immediately reached.
  • International rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service have rated the proposed US dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes at BBB- and Baa3, respectively.

India –

Rural Development Minister launched ‘SAMANVAY’ for Gram Panchayats

  • Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on 4 August 2015 launched SAMANVAY, a compilation of all schemes of both Union and State governments for Gram Panchayats.
  • SAMANVAY was launched with an aim to help MPs in utilising relevant schemes in the planning and implementation of Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). It will also act as a database for mapped and compiled information on various gram panchayat activities through schemes undertaken by the Centre and State Governments.
  • More than 1800 state schemes from across all states have been documented in SAMANVAY.
  • Besides, the Singh also launched 'Panchayat Darpan' magazine to monitor the progress of the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. It will act as a mirror of all the development activities in the village panchayats.

India's biggest telescope inaugurated in Udaipur

  • India's biggest multi-application solar telescope (MAST) was inaugurated at the Udaipur Solar Observatory on Tuesday by Prof UR Rao, the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.
  • Authorised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, MAST has been funded by the Department of Space. So far Rs 26 crore has been spent on the project. The Physical Research Laboratory of Ahmedabad will take care of the project.
  • Besides providing 3-D images of solar activities like solar blast and solar flares, MAST could help in vital studies about other planetary movements.
  • The telescope was installed at the Udaipur Solar Observatory, as it is surrounded by water, which keeps temperature pleasant. Besides, the site can boast of more than 250 days of continuous sunshine, which allows to observe the sun properly during day time.
  • MAST, designed in 2004, had optical elements added to it till 2008. It was installed at the Udaipur Solar Observatory in 2012. MAST, which has a lens of 50 centimetre diameter, is developed on the basis of mechanical and optical system of Belgium.

Maharashtra government increased the retirement age of medical officers from 58 to 60

  • Maharashtra government on 4 August 2015 increased the retirement age for group 'A' category medical officers from 58 to 60 years. The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet in Mumbai and will be implemented with retrospective effect from 31 May 2015.
  • This means that the relaxation will be provided for all those who retired on 31 May 2015.
  • The state government also decided to award special increments to officers holding post graduate diplomas and degrees to ensure availability of sufficient human resources to provide health services.
  • Besides, the Cabinet approved a proposal to amend the lacunae in the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994, and increase quantum of punishment for crimes pertaining to human organ transplants.

Parliament Passes Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill

  • A bill to reduce the workload of the Delhi High Court by enhancing the pecuniary jurisdiction of civil suits from the existing Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore was passed by Parliament today.
  • The Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2015, earlier passed by Rajya Sabha, was adopted by a voice vote by the Lower House in the absence of most of the opposition members who are boycotting proceedings to protest the suspension of 25 Congress members for five days by the Speaker.
  • Once implemented, the measure would allow transferring of civil suits, valued up to Rs 2 crore, to the nine district courts in Delhi from the high court.
  • The bill was introduced by the UPA government in Rajya Sabha in February 2014 and referred to the Standing Committee on Law and Personnel, which cleared it.
  • The NDA government approved the measure without any changes and the measure was passed by the Upper House in the Budget Session.
  • Replying to the debate on the bill, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said that the measure would considerably reduce the workload of the Delhi High Court.

Two films Masaan & Jaanisaar made tax free in UP

  • Uttar Pradesh Government on 4 August 2015 announced that two films namely Masaan and Jaanisaar will be free from the entertainment tax in the state. They were made tax free as they were entirely shot in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The decision to make these films tax free in the state, under Section 11 (1) of the Uttar Pradesh Entertainment and Betting Tax Act, 1979, was taken during a cabinet meet chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
  • Masaan, an Indian Hindi drama film directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and written by Sudhish Kamath is set in Varanasi. ‘Masaan’ follows the stories of four people from a small town and how they fit in to the moralities. Earlier, the film was screed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival winning two awards.

Uttar Pradesh government decided to rename UPTU as APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University

  • The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Cabinet on 4 August 2015 approved UP Technical University (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The amendment was approved during a state cabinet meet chaired by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
  • The Bill amends the UP Technical University Act, 2000 to rename the Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) as Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (APJAKTU), Uttar Pradesh in the honour of 11th President of India.
  • Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, 83, passed away in Shillong on 27 July 2015 after suffering a massive cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to students at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM).
  • The cabinet also decided to create a memorial and central library in memory of Kalam and other famous scientists at the new campus of the University.

Awards & Honors –

Mathematician Amalendu Krishna won 2015 Ramanujan Prize

  • Mathematician Doctor Amalendu Krishna on 3 August 2015 won the Ramanujan Prize for year 2015. He was bestowed with this award for his outstanding contributions in the area of algebraic cycles, algebraic K-theory and the theory of motives.
  • Presently, Krishna is a mathematician professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai.
  • He hails from Bihar and had completed his early college and schooling from there itself. From 2001 til 2004, he taught mathematics as the Hedrick Assistant Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.
  • Krishna is the second Indian to win this award, first was Sujatha Ramadorai who had won the award in 2006.

NDDB wins the Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award 2015

  • The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) on Tuesday said it has won the Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award 2015 for exemplary work in Dairy Geographical Information System.
  • The award ceremony was held recently at the annual Esri International User Conference in San Diego and presided over by Jack Dangermond, President and Founder of Esri.
  • With the advancement of Internet-based GIS technology, it is now possible to integrate and quickly disseminate the tremendous amount of attribute and graphical data of villages into usable information for decision-making by all stakeholders of the dairy sector.
  • NDDB’s Internet-based Dairy Geographical Information System (i-DGIS) application is the first of its kind in India, where village-level integration of data has been done, at such a large scale, for the dairy sector.

Indian-Origin Rugby Coach Rahul Das Named Personality of the Year in NZ

  • A 30-year-old Indian-origin rugby coach has been honoured with personality of the year award for guiding his team to its first title in New Zealand.
  • Auckland-born Rahul Das, a fourth-year medical student, was honoured at Dunedin club rugby this week for his impressive effort to help his team register the victory even though he was considered a rookie at premier level.
  • Das, who is of Fijian Indian descent, played rugby at school and a social club before a series of injuries forced him call it quits.

Obituaries –

Last surviving Dambusters Pilot Les Munro died

  • The last surviving Dambusters pilot, Les Munro, died on 4 August 2015 in New Zealand following heart problems. He was 96.
  • Les Munro was among the pilots who took part in the legendary Dambusters operation of World War II in 1943. The operation consisted of using bouncing bombs to attack German dams. Out of 133 crew members, only 77 returned after the war. There are now only two surviving crew members of the Dambusters missions.


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