Current Affairs Update – 7th August, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 7th August, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming Insurance Exams and IBPS RRB 2015 Exam.

Finance –

RBI relaxed Branch Authorisation Policy to allow banks to merge or close branches in urban areas

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 6 August 2015 notified Section 23 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 -Relaxations in Branch Authorisation Policy. The notification allows banks to shift, merge or close branches, in urban areas, at their own discretion.
  • The decision will provide more operational freedom to banks. The central bank said that customers of the branch should be informed well in time before actual shifting, merger or closure of the office.

Some guidelines that should be followed for Merger/Closure/ Shifting of branches includes
  • Banks may shift, merge or close all branches except rural branches and sole semi-urban branches at their discretion.
  • Shifting, merger, or closure of any rural branch as well as a sole semi urban branch would require approval of the DCC/DLRC.
  • Further, while shifting/merging/closing sole rural or semi urban branches, banks may ensure that the banking needs of the centre continue to be met through either satellite offices/mobile vans or through Business Correspondents. Thus the centre should not be left unbanked.
  • Banks should, however, ensure that customers of the branch, which is being shifted/merged/closed, are informed well in time before actual shifting/merger/closure of the branch, so as to avoid inconvenience to them.

SBI Life Insurance launched Smart Humsafar Plan [ INSURANCE AWARENESS ]

  • Private insurer SBI Life Insurance on 6 August 2015 launched Smart Humsafar, a unique plan which offers multiple benefits of savings and insurance cover for husband and wife under a single policy.
  • The plan complements the couple's efforts to achieve prosperity along with protection to fulfill their dream of leading a better life.
  • In case of death of one of the spouses, a payment of sum assured is made to the surviving spouse, in addition to waiver of future premiums. And, in the event of death of surviving spouse during the reminder of the policy term, the nominee gets the sum assured along with all the accrued bonuses.
  • The basic sum assured with all accrued bonuses will be paid upon survival of any or both lives on maturity.

Smart Humsafar Plan Highlights:
  • A Joint life insurance cum savings plan wherein you can take insurance cover for yourself and your spouse under a single policy.
  • Guaranteed (Conditions apply#) minimum bonus for first 3 years @ 2.50 percent of the Basic Sum Assured.
  • Provides financial protection in the event of death of either or both the lives assured.
  • Pays a maturity amount on survival of one or both the lives assured at the end of the policy term.
  • Benefits also include premium waiver in case of death of any one of the lives assured for in force policies.
  • Additional rider benefit at an affordable cost
  • Tax benefits as per prevailing norms under the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Snapdeal tied-up with department store chain Shoppers Stop Ltd

  • Leading e-commerce player Snapdeal on 6 August 2015 tied-up with retailer Shoppers Stop Ltd to launch a digital marketplace through a flagship Shoppers Stop store on Snapdeal. The partnership will leverage Shoppers Stop’s product range, brands and Snapdeal’s reach.
  • With this partnership, customers ordering from Shoppers Stop brand store on Snapdeal can now pick up the ordered products or get them delivered from the nearest Shoppers Stop store.
  • This facility will be launched first in North India and will later be extended to other regions over the next 12 months.
  • Shoppers Stop has 74 stores in 35 cities across India. Shoppers Stop currently sells its private-label brands on Amazon, Flipkart and some other e-commerce companies.

BHEL commissions 500 MW thermal unit at Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station

  • State-run BHEL today said it has commissioned a 500 MW unit of NTPC’s Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station in Madhya Pradesh.
  • “Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has added one more coal-based power plant to the grid by successfully commissioning the 500 MW Unit-l3 of Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station (STPS), Stage-V of NTPC,” the company said in a regulatory filing.
  • The project is located at Vindhyanagar in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh, it added.
  • BHEL has earlier commissioned six units of 500 MW each at Vindhyachal power station, it said.
  • Equipment for the project was manufactured at BHEL’s Trichy, Ranipet, Haridwar, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Bhopal plants, while the company’s power sector-western region undertook erection and commissioning of the equipment.

Govt to impose 10% import duty on wheat till March 2016

  • The Centre has moved forward on the question of an import duty on wheat with the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, placing a copy of the notification regarding the subject before the Lok Sabha on Friday.
  • The notification dated August 7 sought to impose a Customs duty of 10 per cent wheat till March 31, 2016, under Section 159 of the Customs Act, 1962. The step had been suggested by the Food Ministry in June to curb the premium quality Australian wheat shipments in order to liquidate the stocks lying with the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
  • Global prices of Australian wheat, in the range of $265-270/tonne, are viable for flour millers to buy, particularly those in South India. Flour millers have entered into a contract for about 0.5 million tonnes (mt) worth of imports since they found it difficult to procure good quality domestic grain.
  • FCI has procured about 28.1 mt this year but almost 26.6 mt is believed to have been purchased under relaxed quality norms after the standing crops had been damaged by unseasonal rain between end-February and early-April.

Thomas Cook acquires Kuoni Travel for Rs. 535 crore

  • Travel major Thomas Cook has acquired Kuoni Travel (India) Private Limited (‘Kuoni India') and Kuoni Travel (China) Limited ('Kuoni Hong Kong') for Rs. 535 crore.
  • "The deal will be financed through a mix of funds from earlier equity infusion, internal accruals, debt funds (for Hong Kong) and/or other permissible modes, subject to applicable law and any regulatory approvals, as may be required," the company said in a filing with the BSE.

India –

Global satellite to be named after Abdul Kalam

  • A global satellite for earth observation and disaster risk reduction — GlobalSat for DRR — proposed under the UN framework is to be dedicated to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as a tribute to the vision of the celebrated rocket scientist and former Indian president who died July 27.
  • This has been stated by Milind Pimprikar, Chairman of CANEUS (CANada-Europe-US-ASia) Organization on Space Technologies for Societal Applications headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
  • Founded in 1999, CANEUS serves to develop a common platform for space technology solutions for natural and man-made disaster management. The ‘GlobalSat for DRR’ is a UN-driven global initiative on sharing space technology for disaster risk reduction, Mr. Pimprikar told IANS.
  • Launch of this satellite was mooted at the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held at Sendai in Japan this March.
  • The concept was initiated by CANEUS in cooperation with UN agencies including the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank.

Govt to allow Aadhaar enrolments of NRIs, PIOs, OICs

  • Government has decided that Aadhaar enrolment of Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India should be eventually allowed to help them authenticate their identity digitally, Parliament was informed today.
  • At present, all residents including Indian national and foreigners with valid visas can be enrolled and provided Aadhaar number by the UIDAI.
  • Under the Aadhaar project, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is providing a unique identity numbers to residents, which can be digitally verified using the database.
  • As per the official sources, UIDAI is working on the policy for Aadhaar enrolment of NRIs, PIOs and OICs after receiving a direction from the government on the issue.
  • However the minister said in its reply that no timeframe has been formulated at this stage for achieving the goal.
  • The Aadhaar number helps in availing various services and benefits provided by the government.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurated first National Handloom Day

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7 August 2015 inaugurated first National Handloom Day at the Centenary Hall of Madras University in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, where he also unveiled 'India Handloom' brand.
  • Modi, while addressing the function, sought greater use of handloom in people's daily lives and also emphasised on innovative initiatives for making handloom as fashionable choice among consumers.
  • This was his first visit to the Tamil Nadu capital since he assumed office. On his arrival to the city, he was received by Governor K Rosaiah and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
  • Besides, the Prime Minster visited the exhibition of handloom products from various states kept for display at the University Auditorium. He also gave away the Sant Kabir Awards and National Awards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 to distinguished handloom personalities.

India and Myanmar inked agreement to set up CESDT in Myanmar

  • India and Myanmar on 6 August 2015 inked an agreement to set up Centre of Excellence in Software Development and Training (CESDT) in Myanmar.
  • The project to be set up with the financial support through ASEAN-India Cooperation fund will be implemented by C-DAC.
  • The project envisages setting up of a state of the art Information and Communication Technology Centre, imparting intensive teachers training, extending support for ICT curriculum development, and will be accredited as an authorized Centre of C-DAC.
  • The agreement was signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the visit of Minister of State for External Affairs of India Gen (Retd) VK Singh. Singh was in Malaysia to attend the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meet.

Summit –

48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • The 48th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Foreign Ministers’ meet was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between 4 August and 6 August 2015. The meet was chaired by Anifah Aman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.
  • The meet was held under the theme "Our People, Our Community, Our Vision", to create an ASEAN Community which is truly people-oriented, people-centred comprising all areas of cooperation.
  • The foreign ministers of ASEAN had a productive discussion revolving round the theme of the meet.
  • They also discussed regional and international issues as well as their ongoing efforts to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Appointments –

Amitava Ghosh appointed as Vice President-engineering of Snapdeal

  • Amitava Ghosh was on 6 August 2015 appointed as Vice President-engineering of Domestic e-commerce portal Snapdeal. As a Vice President-engineering, Ghosh will head company’s technology innovation centre in Bengaluru and lead the company’s future development of intuitive technology solutions.
  • Prior to this appointment, he was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at TaxiForSure. Earlier, he was serving as the Head of Indian engineering team of Tribune Digital Ventures.
  • Ghosh has rich experience of over 17 years in building web-based platforms and products. For almost a decade, he was associated with Yahoo Inc, where he was responsible for building user experiences and platforms for media verticals, listings, communities and social products.

Sports –

August Edition of FIFA World Rankings released

  • The August edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings was released on 6 August 2015. The rankings show change in top three places with Argentina remaining at No 1 position.
  • Argentina is followed by Belgium at No 2 (moved up 1) and the World Cup winner Germany at No 3 position (moved down 1).
  • The main highlight of the August edition of the FIFA rankings is that Chile for the first time entered top ten (ranked 10th) while the Netherlands moved out of top ten (ranked 12th, down 7).
  • India with 161 points retained its 156th position in FIFA World rankings.


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