Friday, August 26, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 25-26th August, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs for 25th and 26th August, 2016. These are important for the upcoming RBI Grade B Phase I, Bank of Baroda and Bank of Maharashtra PO and IBPS PO VI Mains Exams.



Current Affairs at a Glance – 25-26th August, 2016
  1. India moved closer to a cashless future on Thursday with four banks introducing unified payments interface-based (UPI-based) apps that will make it possible for customers to make everyday payments with just a few taps on their smartphones. Axis Bank Ltd, Union Bank of India, Federal Bank Ltd and Bank of Maharashtra on Thursday went live with National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI’s) UPI apps on the Google Play Store.
  2. Mahindra & Mahindra today announced the launch of DiGiSense, a technology solution that connects M&M vehicles, tractors, trucks and construction equipment to the cloud.
  3. Sakshi Malik, the woman wrestler who won the bronze medal at 2016 Rio Olympics in the 58 kg category, was named as Haryana’s brand ambassador for Beti Bachao, Beti Padao campaign.
  4. The Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) on 24 August 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation in traditional medicine.
  5. First Children's Court was on 25 August 2016 inaugurated in Hyderabad. Moreover, it was also the first Children Court in South India. However, two other states Goa and Delhi have already got their child friendly court.
  6. Union Government on 24 August 2016 launched Accessible E-Library 'Sugamya Pustakalaya' for Divyang under Prime Minister’s Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan). The e-library was jointly launched by Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar and Thawar Chand Gehlot.
  7. While Bangladesh is among the top five countries at risk of disaster, India ranks 77th on the World Risk Index, marginally better positioned than Pakistan which is placed 72.
  8. Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar are among the world’s highest paid actors of 2016, raking as many dollars as Hollywood heavyweights Robert Downey Jr and Brad Pitt, according to a Forbes list topped by wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson. Shah Rukh, is ranked 8th on the list of 20 of the ‘World’s Highest Paid Actors 2016’, tied with ‘Iron Man’ Downey Jr with earnings of $33 million. Akshay is tied with Hollywood heartthrob Pitt for the 10th position with earnings of $31.5 million.
  9. Forbes on 23 August 2016 released the list of The World's Highest-Paid Actresses 2016. Jennifer Lawrence topped the Forbes magazine list for the second straight year with earnings of 46 million US dollars. Indian actress Deepika Padukone is the only newcomer to the World’s Highest-Paid Actresses list and the only Indian star to make the cut.
  10. Forbes on 24 August 2016 released the sixth annual list of The World's Most Innovative Companies 2016. The list ranked companies using an algorithm to measure investor enthusiasm. The list encompasses five Indian companies including Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Consultancy Services, Sun Pharma and Larsen & Toubro. At number 18, Asian Paints is the highest-ranked Indian company on the list, featuring on the list for the fourth time in a row.
  11. National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on 25 August 2016 constituted a five-member review committee to probe the shooters' Rio Games debacle. The committee will be headed by India's first and only individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra. The committee has been asked to submit the report within a maximum period of four weeks.
  12. Cristiano Ronaldo on 25 August 2016 won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award for 2015-16. He won the award for the second time in three years.
  13. World's first self-driving taxi service was on 25 August 2016 launched in Singapore. With this, Singapore became the first country in the world to launch such service nuTonomy, beating Uber Technologies Inc by mere days to public road tests of a technology that could revolutionize the transport industry.
  14. The United States Postal Service (USPS) on 23 August 2016 announced to commemorate the joyous Hindu festival of Diwali with the launch of Forever stamp.
  15. G. Satheesh Reddy, Indian aerospace scientist, on 25 August 2016 was conferred the first IEI-IEEE Award for engineering excellence 2015.





Finance/Industry –

UPI goes live, banks introduce payment apps on Google Play Store


  • India moved closer to a cashless future on Thursday with four banks introducing unified payments interface-based (UPI-based) apps that will make it possible for customers to make everyday payments with just a few taps on their smartphones.
  • Axis Bank Ltd, Union Bank of India, Federal Bank Ltd and Bank of Maharashtra on Thursday went live with National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI’s) UPI apps on the Google Play Store.
  • The UPI system will allow customers to safely and instantaneously transfer funds almost as easily as they send a text message.
  • The system uses a single identifier that eliminates the need to exchange sensitive information such as bank account numbers or credit card details during a financial transaction.
  • The UPI system will be available only for bank customers with Android smartphones initially. Union Bank’s UPI app, Federal Bank’s Lotza, Axis Bank’s Axis Pay and Bank of Maharashtra’s MahaUPI apps are now UPI-enabled.
  • Versions for Apple’s iOS operating system will take up to six months to go live.

Mahindra launches technology platform DiGiSense


  • Mahindra & Mahindra today announced the launch of DiGiSense, a technology solution that connects M&M vehicles, tractors, trucks and construction equipment to the cloud.
  • The new technology that is digitally enabled sending will be available across Mahindra breadth of mobility products from commercial and passenger vehicles to tractors and construction equipments. 
  • DiGiSense empowers fleet operators, drivers, dealers and service teams to access vital information about their vehicles, trucks, tractors or construction equipment on a real time basis from the driver's seat and afar.
  • The technology provides data such as route planning, delivery tracking, vehicle utilisation reports, trip optimisation, alerts and machine hour operations and geo fencing.
  • The project was conceived more than three years ago and is a joint project involving Tech Mahindra, Bosch and Vodafone. The subscription will be free of cost initially and will be a paid service after a year.

India –

Sakshi Malik named brand ambassador for Beti Bachao, Beti Padao campaign in Haryana


  • Sakshi Malik, the woman wrestler who won the bronze medal at 2016 Rio Olympics in the 58 kg category, was named as Haryana’s brand ambassador for Beti Bachao, Beti Padao campaign.
  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal made this announcement on 24 August 2016 at Bahadurgarh where he awarded Malik with 2.5 crore rupees and Commendation Certificate. He also offered her a class two level job in the state government.
  • Her coaches Mandeep and Kuldeep were also presented cheque of 10 lakh rupees each by the Chief Minister.

Union Government, US sign MoU for cooperation in the field of traditional medicines


  • The Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) on 24 August 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation in traditional medicine.
  • The MoU was signed by Rajiv Kumar Sharma, Director of PCIM & H and Dr KV Surendra Nath, Senior Vice President, Global Sites, USP.
Highlights of the MoU

  • It aims at collaborating, identifying, and development and dissemination of science-based standards in medicines field.
  • It will promote the safety, quality and integrity of traditional medicines and botanical dietary supplements.
  • It will improve public health in India, US and worldwide by working together to increase awareness and understanding of traditional and herbal medicines, botanical dietary supplements and their products.

South India's first Children's Court inaugurated in Hyderabad


  • First Children's Court was on 25 August 2016 inaugurated in Hyderabad. Moreover, it was also the first Children Court in South India. However, two other states Goa and Delhi have already got their child friendly court.
  • The court was jointly inaugurated by acting High Court Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and TS director general of police (DGP) Anurag Sharma. It was presided by T Rajani, Metropolitan Sessions judge, and Dr Soumya Misra, inspector general of police (IG), Crime Investigation Department.
Highlights of the Children's Court

  • Features like separate waiting rooms for children and a video camera trial for the accused will be available.
  • The child (witness/victim) will be allowed direct interaction with the judge.
  • The accused, who will be at a different location, will be able to view and hear the proceedings via two-way video conferencing in the courtroom
  • A two-way video communication system will allow the child witness to identify the accused on camera.
  • The judge will not sit on a dais to be more approachable and the police accompanying a child will also not be in uniform.

Union Government launches 'Sugamya Pustakalaya' an e-Library for Persons with print Disabilities


  • Union Government on 24 August 2016 launched Accessible E-Library 'Sugamya Pustakalaya' for Divyang under Prime Minister’s Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan). The e-library was jointly launched by Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar and Thawar Chand Gehlot.
  • Sugamya Pustakalaya is an online platform that makes accessible content available to print-disabled people. It houses more than 2 lakh books in diverse subjects and languages and multiple accessible formats.
  • The e-library was created by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with member organizations of Daisy Forum of India and powered by TCS Access.
  • The Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) was launched by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) as a nation-wide Campaign for achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).

Union Cabinet approves introduction of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016


  • The Union Cabinet on 24 August 2016 approved the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016.
  • The Bill will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.
Provisions of the Bill

  • It will regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level.
  • It will also establish State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the State and Union Territories.
  • All infertile Indian married couple who want to avail ethical surrogacy will be benefited.
  • The rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected.
  • It shall apply to whole of India, except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
  • It will control the unethical practices in surrogacy.
Background

  • India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries. However, there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes.

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Lists & Indexes –

India ranked 77 in disaster risk index of the world


  • While Bangladesh is among the top five countries at risk of disaster, India ranks 77th on the World Risk Index, marginally better positioned than Pakistan which is placed 72.
  • The index is part of the World Risk Report 2016 released on Thursday by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
  • The index assessed the risk of disaster in 171 countries through the combined analysis of natural hazards and societal vulnerabilities.
  • Ranking No1, the island state of Vanuatu displayed the greatest risk in 2016.

SRK, Akshay, Salman, Amitabh in Forbes World's Highest-Paid Actors 2016


  • Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar are among the world’s highest paid actors of 2016, raking as many dollars as Hollywood heavyweights Robert Downey Jr and Brad Pitt, according to a Forbes list topped by wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson.
  • Shah Rukh, whose repertoire contains films from ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ to ‘Chak De India’, is ranked 8th on the list of 20 of the ‘World’s Highest Paid Actors 2016’, tied with ‘Iron Man’ Downey Jr with earnings of $33 million.
  • Akshay is tied with Hollywood heartthrob Pitt for the 10th position with earnings of $31.5 million.
  • ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ Salman is ranked 14th on the list with earnings of $28.5 million, ahead of Oscar-winning actor Leonardo Dicaprio, who is ranked 15th with earnings of $27 million and ‘Independence Day’ star Will Smith who comes in on the 17th spot with $20.5 million.
  • Bachchan is on the 18th rank with earnings of USD 20 million, ahead of Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey (19) and ’Star Wars’ legend Harrison Ford (20).
  • The list of the top-earning actors comes days after Forbes released the list of the highest-paid actresses in the world.

Forbes releases list of The World's Highest-Paid Actresses 2016


  • Forbes on 23 August 2016 released the list of The World's Highest-Paid Actresses 2016. Jennifer Lawrence topped the Forbes magazine list for the second straight year with earnings of 46 million US dollars.
  • Indian actress Deepika Padukone is the only newcomer to the World’s Highest-Paid Actresses list and the only Indian star to make the cut.
Highlights of the list

  • The list is topped by Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence with 46 million US dollars in her pocket.
  • The second position is grabbed by Ghostbusters star Melissa McCarthy (33 million US dollars) followed by Scarlett Johansson (25 million US dollars) and Jennifer Aniston (21 million US dollars) at third and fourth position respectively.
  • Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (17 million US dollars) took the fifth spot in the list.
  • This year, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Stewart are drop-offs from the 2015 list.

Forbes releases Sixth Annual List of The World's Most Innovative Companies 2016


  • Forbes on 24 August 2016 released the sixth annual list of The World's Most Innovative Companies 2016. The list ranked companies using an algorithm to measure investor enthusiasm.
  • The list is topped by Tesla Motors for the second consecutive year. Moreover, five major Indian companies including Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Consultancy Services, Sun Pharma and Larsen & Toubro have been ranked among other companies in the list.
Highlights of the list

  • Tesla Motors tops the list for the second consecutive year, followed by  Salesforce at the second position in the list.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals grabbed the third spot in the list, followed by Incyte at fourth place and Alexion Pharmaceuticals at fifth place.
Indian Companies on the List

  • The list encompasses five Indian companies including Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Consultancy Services, Sun Pharma and Larsen & Toubro.
  • At number 18, Asian Paints is the highest-ranked Indian company on the list, featuring on the list for the fourth time in a row.
  • Hindustan Unilever  fetched the 31st spot, Tata Consultancy Services got the 66th spot, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries ranked at 73rd position and Larsen & Toubro stood at 89th spot.

Sports –

Abhinav Bindra to Head NRAI Review Committee on Rio Debacle


  • National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on 25 August 2016 constituted a five-member review committee to probe the shooters' Rio Games debacle.
  • The committee will be headed by India's first and only individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra. The committee has been asked to submit the report within a maximum period of four weeks.
Mandate of the committee

  • To examine and identify the causes behind shooting not securing any medals at the Rio Olympics.
  • To recommend concrete steps that NRAI must immediately undertake to ensure that this is not repeated in future Olympics.
  • Other members of the committee include former tennis player Manisha Malhotra, who has also been appointed Convenor of the committee, NRAI Secretary Rajiv Bhatia and two journalists.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins UEFA Best Player in Europe award


  • Cristiano Ronaldo on 25 August 2016 won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award for 2015-16. He won the award for the second time in three years.
  • Ronaldo defeated Antoine Griezmann and Gareth Bale to bag the honours.
  • Ronaldo scored 35 goals for Real Madrid in La Liga and 16 goals in Champions League competition in 2015. He scored three goals for Portugal at Euro 2016.
  • Ada Hegerberg was voted the winner of the UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe Award for 2015-16 ahead of Amandine Henry and Dzsenifer Marozsan.
  • In 2014-15, Barcelona's Lionel Messi was the winner of the award. Ronaldo joins Messi as the only player to win the award twice.
  • On the other hand, Messi won the UEFA Goal of the Season award for 2015-16.

Thongchai Jaidee becomes Asian Tour Golfer for July 2016


  • Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee on 25 August 2016 was voted as the Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Month for July 2016.
  • Thongchai won the award ahead of Chinese Taipei's Chan Shih-chang and Carlos Pigem of Spain. They were nominated by a selection panel before going into a voting process.
  • He has won the Order of Merit on the Asian Tour three times during his career.
  • In February 2004, he became the first Thai to win a tournament on the European Tour by winning the Carlsberg Malaysian Open, an event which was co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour.
  • In 2006, he received a special invitation to play in the Masters Tournament. He was the second Thai to play in the Masters after Sukree Onsham. By doing so, Thongchai became the first Thai to play in all four major championships.

World –

World’s first self-driving taxis launched in Singapore


  • World's first self-driving taxi service was on 25 August 2016 launched in Singapore. With this, Singapore became the first country in the world to launch such service, beating Uber Technologies Inc by mere days to public road tests of a technology that could revolutionize the transport industry.
  • The trial, although small, illustrates how intense the global race to develop autonomous driving vehicles has become.
Highlights of the Self-Driving Taxi Service

  • Singapore based nuTonomy began testing a free taxi-hailing service in a small business district in Singapore called one-north, a campus-like space dominated by tech firms and biotechnology companies.
  • The trial was given the approval of the Singapore government, which has long sought to turn the city-state into a hub for disruptive technology through firms like nuTonomy.
  • NuTonomy’s test vehicles, a Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car, will have a computer engineer and backup human driver during the trial phase in case anything goes wrong.

US Postal Service honors Diwali Festival with a Forever Stamp


  • The United States Postal Service (USPS) on 23 August 2016 announced to commemorate the joyous Hindu festival of Diwali with the launch of Forever stamp.
  • The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony of the Forever Stamp will take place at the Consulate General of India, New York on 5 October 2016. The launch of this stamp is an important recognition for the more than 3 million Indian-Americans who celebrate Diwali every year in US.
  • The Diwali stamp will be issued as a Forever stamp. This Forever stamp will also be equal in value to the current First Class Mail 1-ounce price.
  • The stamp design is a photograph featuring a traditional diya oil lamp beautifully lit, sitting on a sparkling gold background.

Awards & Honors –

G Satheesh Reddy conferred first IEI-IEEE Award


  • G. Satheesh Reddy, Indian aerospace scientist, on 25 August 2016 was conferred the first IEI-IEEE Award for engineering excellence 2015.
  • The award is in recognition of Reddy’s significant national contributions towards missiles and aerospace technologies.
  • The award was presented by the Institution of Engineers (India) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Asia Pacific region. It was presented during the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ 50th anniversary.





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