Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs from 13th to 16th August, 2016. These are important for the upcoming RBI Grade B Phase I and BMSB & Bank of Maharashtra PGDBF PO Exams 2016.
UBI launched USSD based *99# Mobile Application for basic banking needs
- The Union Bank of India (UBI) on 12 August 2016 launched an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) based *99# Mobile Application for their customers for basic banking needs.
- It was launched in partnership with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in the country.
Highlights of the *99# mobile application
- It can be downloaded in an android smartphone from the Google Play Store by the bank customers.
- It can be used even without any internet connection as it does not require any data and is available in 10 languages.
- It provides basic banking facilities like checking account balance, sending money, Mobile PIN (MPIN) management.
- Besides, it provides value added services like checking Aadhaar linked overdraft status and PMJDY account overdraft status.
Hindustan Copper Limited inaugurated nickel production facility in Ghatsila
- Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) on 10 August 2016 inaugurated the Nickel, Copper and Acid Recovery Plant of Hindustan Copper Limited at Indian Copper Complex, Ghatsila in Jharkhand.
- This is the first facility in India to produce Nickel metal of LME grade from primary resource.
- This project will utilize an eco-friendly technology and will check pollution by eliminating the use of lead.
- It will have reduced liquid effluent, generate 75 percent less solid waste, utilize less energy, provide safe working environment and utilize and conserve natural resources.
- At present the capacity of the plant is 50 MT per annum, considering the current production rate from the Surda mines.
- The Nickel output is expected to increase by eight times after the completion of mine expansion projects located at Ghatsila.
India’s first Nuclear Suppliers’ Insurance Policy unveiled by INIP
- The India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) on 12 August 2016 unveiled India’s first Nuclear Suppliers’ Insurance Policy.
- New India Assurance Company Limited and INIP will issue the policy and administer the claims on behalf of the pool.
- The INIP has become the 27th such insurance pool in the world as countries such as France, Russia, South Africa and the U.S. have put in place such similar risk transfer mechanisms.
Features of India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP)
- It will cover the risks of liability of nuclear operators and suppliers under Section 6(2) and Section 17 of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages (CLND) Act, 2010 respectively.
- It provides three types of policies viz., tier 1 policy for operators, tier 2 policy for turn key suppliers and tier 3 policy for suppliers other than turn key suppliers.
- The pricing of premiums will depend on factors such as risk probability, possible severity of damage and exposure to people and property around nuclear installations.
Bihar becomes second state to ratify GST
- Bihar today ratified the Goods and Services Tax (GST) constitution amendment Bill, becoming the second state, and the first non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled state, to do so. Last week, the legislative assembly of BJP ruled Assam had become the first state in the country to ratify the Bill. The Bill, passed by Parliament in its monsoon session, needs to be ratified by 16 of the 31 state assemblies to become law.
- Bihar has a bicameral legislature. Today, the Bihar Assembly as well the Legislative Council unanimously ratified the Bill at a special one day session. The Bihar assembly session had concluded earlier this month, but Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had assured Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in a telephonic conversation that his state would ratify the constitution amendment Bill at the earliest.
- The Bihar government, which has lost revenue after implementing prohibition since April 1, has hopes that the tax reform would bring more revenue to the state coffers.
Union Government constituted National Committee on Trade Facilitation
- The Union Government on 12 August 2016 constituted the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF).
- The committee seeks to develop the pan-India road map for trade facilitation as per the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
- Earlier, on 22 April 2016, India ratified the TFA which is an outcome of the Bali Package 2013 or Ninth Ministerial Conference of the WTO.
Features of NCTF
- It is an inter-ministerial body on trade facilitation.
- It will act as a national level body that will facilitate domestic co-ordination and implementation of TFA provisions.
- It will play lead role in developing the pan-India road map for trade facilitation.
- It will synergise the various trade facilitation perspectives across the country.
- The focus will be on outreach programmes for sensitization of stakeholders about it.
- The committee will also be responsible for identifying the nature of required legislative changes and spearheading the diagnostic tools needed for assessing compliance to TFA.
- It will have a 3-tier structure with main national committee for monitoring implementation of TFA.
- At the apex level, it will be headed by the Union Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha.
Odisha government to make Aadhar Card mandatory for procurement of paddy
- In a bid to maintain transparency and ensure quick payment of dues, the Odisha government has decided to make Aadhar Card mandatory for procurement of paddy in the state.
- In a meeting at the state secretariat in Bhubaneswar held on 11 August 2016, it was decided to link Aadhaar cards of farmers to the cooperative banks and the peasants’ accounts for online transfer of cost of paddy to be procured from the coming kharif season.
- Both farmers and sharecroppers would link their Aadhaar cards for online payment of paddy cost. This apart, the government has also decided to link Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries for availing ration under National Food Security Scheme and work under MG-NREGA.
- So far 68 percent people have already availed Aadhar Card and others would be provided with the same before November 2016.
Nagaland government to grant 33% reservation to women in Urban Local Bodies
- The Nagaland Government on 10 August 2016 decided to grant 33 percent reservation to women in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting held in Kohima.
- The decision was announced by the Chief Minister TR Zeliang during the State Level Watershed Conference held in Kohima.
- Zeliang however said the state has not been able to avail the annual developmental funds granted by the Centre for ULBs, which was a big loss.
- Elections to the state ULBs have been pending for several years as the tenure of the first municipal bodies came to an end between December 2009 and March 2010.
- Zeliang said the Joint Action Committee on Women Reservation of the Naga Mothers' Association was fighting in the Supreme Court for 33 percent women reservation, which has also led to withholding of the elections to the ULBs.
Manjula Chellur appointed as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court
- Manjula Chellur was on 12 August 2016 appointed as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court with effect from 24 August 2016. Presently, she is the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.
- She succeeds DH Waghela, who retired as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court on 10 August 2016. Waghela held the post for a brief six months.
- Chellur will be only second woman Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court after Sujata Manohar who served the office in 1994. She is scheduled to retire in 2017.
Dipika Pallikal wins Australian Open Squash 2016 title
- India's top squash player Dipika Pallikal on 13 August 2016 won the Australian Open Squash women’s singles title in Melbourne.
- To win the title, the top seed Dipika defeated eighth seed Mayar Hany of Egypt 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 in the 40-minute final.
- For Dipika, this was the first title win in 2016. Earlier, in February 2015, she won the Winnipeg Winter Open in Canada.
Usain Bolt wins gold in men's 100 meters in Rio Olympics
- Usain Bolt on 14 August 2016 clinched gold in the 100-metre final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- With this win, Bolt became the first man to win the event three times at consecutive Olympic Games.
- Bolt won the race in 9.81 seconds, followed by USA’s Justin Gatlin at 9.89 seconds and Canada’s Andre De Grasse at a personal-best 9.91 seconds.
- De Grasse is also the first Canadian male athlete to win a medal in Rio.
Andy Murray of Great Britain won gold in Rio 2016 Olympic Games
- Andy Murray of Great Britain on 14 August 2016 won the gold medal in men’s singles tennis category in Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
- To win the title, he defeated Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro 7-5 4-6 6-2 7-5 in the final match held at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- With the win, he retained the medal and became the first player to win two men's singles tennis gold medals in Olympics.
- For him, it was also the 18th straight victory following his second Wimbledon title in July 2016.
- For Del Potro, the silver medal winner, it was his second Olympic medal after a bronze at the 2012 London Games.
Anita Wlodarczyk breaks world record to win gold in Hammer Throw
- Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk on 15 August 2016 broke her own women’s hammer world record to win the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
- Wlodarczyk’s winning mark was 82.29m.
- China’s Wenxiu Zhang won the silver medal with a mark of 76.75m. Sophie Hitchon of Great Britain earned the bronze medal.
China launches World's first Quantum Communication Satellite
- China on 16 August 2016 launched the world's first quantum satellite named Quantum Experiments at Space Scaler (QUESS) satellite. The satellite was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote northwestern province of Gansu.
- The satellite will help establish hack-proof communications between space and the ground.
- It is nicknamed Micius, after a 5th century BC Chinese philosopher and scientist who has been credited as the first one in human history conducting optical experiments.
- It is designed to establish hack-proof quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.
- It will enable secure communications between Beijing and Urumqi, the capital of China's violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang.
International Youth Day celebrated on 12 August
- The International Youth Day was celebrated across the world on 12 August 2016. The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day is - The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production.
- This year’s Day is about achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
World Bio-Fuel Day observed on 10 August
- The World Bio-Fuel Day was observed across the world on 10 August 2016. The day is observed every year with an aim to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green Fuels).
- On 10 August 1893, Sir Rudalph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical engine with Peanut Oil.
- His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines.
Eminent Tamil Lyricist Na Muthukumar passes away
- Eminent poet and lyricist Na Muthukumar passed away on 14 August 2016 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu following a brief illness. He was 41. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
- He was known for his critically acclaimed literary work and Tamil film songs.