Weekly Current Affairs August 2018 - 2nd Week
Dear Student, Here Defence Guru given the list of Important Weekly Current Affairs 2nd Week of August 2018. Candidates those who are preparing for NDA, CDS, SSB and other competitive exams can make use of it.
Weekly Current Affairs August 2018 - 08 Aug to 15 Aug
1. Govt appoints S. Gurumurthy on RBI board
The government has appointed Chartered Accountant Swaminathan Gurumurthy, who is associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch, on the board of the Reserve Bank of India.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment as non-official director on the central board of the RBI for a period of four years.
- He is also the editor of Tamil magazine Thuglak.
2. NDAâ€™s Harivansh Narayan Singh elected as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman
NDA candidate and JD(U) leader Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
- Harivansh got 125 votes as against oppositionâ€™s BK Hariprasad who polled 105 in the House with a majority mark of 119.
- The election was necessitated after former Deputy Chairperson and Congress leader PJ Kurien retired from the House on July 1.
3. Rekha Sharma appointed chairperson of Â NCW
NCW member Rekha Sharma, who recently stoked a controversy by suggesting abolition of confessions in churches, has been appointed as the chairperson of the National Commission for Women.
- Sharma, 54, was earlier a member of the Commission and was holding the additional charge of chairperson after Lalitha Kumaramangalam demitted office in September last year.
4. TRAI chairman gets two year extension
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has extended the term of Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma till September 2020.
- His term was to end this week.
- Sharma was appointed TRAI chief for three years in July 2015. Before that he was Secretary to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology.
5. Dr. R. G Anand appointed Member, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
The Government of India has appointed Dr. R. G Anand as Member, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights with effect from 13th July 2018.
- He has been appointed for a period of three years, or until on attaining the age of 60 years, or until further orders, wherever is the earlier.
6. Jammu and Kashmir gets first woman Chief Justice
Justice Gita Mittal took oath as the first woman Chief Justice of Jammu And Kashmir High Court.
- The ceremony was administered by Governor Narinder Nath Vohra at Srinagar.
- Mittal had been previously appointed as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court on April 14, 2017, after the retirement of Chief Justice Gorla Rohini.
7. Justice M R Shah sworn in as Chief Justice of Patna HC
Justice Mukesh R Shah was t sworn in as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court in Patna.
- Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik administered the oath of office to Justice Shah at the Raj Bhavan.
- Justice Shah was a judge of the Gujarat High Court before his appointment as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court.
8. New Chairperson of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity
Smt. Justice Manjula Chellur took Oath as Chairperson, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, Ministry of Power.
- Prior to this, Smt. Justice Manjula Chellur was Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.
- She was the first woman Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.
9. Akshay Kumar Becomes Brand Ambassador for Road Safety Campaigns
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari launched three short films for generating public awareness towards road safety.
- Film actor Shri Akshay Kumar has featured in these films, which are directed by Shri R.Balki.
- In a function attended by MoS Shri Mansukh L Mandavia in New Delhi, Shri Gadkari announced the appointment of Shri Akshay Kumar as Road Safety Brand Ambassador.
10. Anandiben Patel given additional charge as governor of Chhattisgarh
President Ram Nath Kovind today gave Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel additional charge of Chhattisgarh following the demise of Balramji Dass Tandon.
- Patel will discharge the additional duties until the regular arrangements for the office of governor of Chhattisgarh are made.
11. DMK chief M Karunanidhi passes away
DMK chief Karunanidhi passed away at the age of 94 after battling a prolonged illness at the Kauvery hospital.
- Following the demise of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, the state government has declared a public holiday on August 8.
12. Anant Bajaj of Bajaj Electricals passes away at 41
Anant Bajaj, business magnate and the only son of Bajaj Electricals Chairman Shekhar Bajaj passed away.
- According to reports, Bajaj, who was 41 years of age, suffered a cardiac arrest around in Mumbai.
- Bajaj was the managing director of Bajaj Electricals and was appointed on the post two months ago.
13. Nobel Laurate VS Naipaul passes away
Nobel Laureate writer VS Naipaul has passed away on August 11 at the age of 85.
- He was a Trinidadian by birth, an Indian by descent and in terms of citizenship he was British.
- Some of his notable books are A House for Mr Biswas, Guerrillas, The Middle Passage etc.
14. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee passes away
Former Lok Sabha Speaker and veteran communist leader Somnath Chatterjee passed away at the age of eighty-nine in Kolkata.
- A 10-time Lok Sabha MP, Chatterjee was a central committee member of the CPI(M), which he had joined in 1968.
- He was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009 during the UPA-I regime.
15. Chhattisgarh Governor Balram Das Tandon passes away
Chhattisgarh Governor Balram Das Tandon passed away after suffering a heart attack in Dr B R Ambedkar Memorial Hospital in Raipur. He was 90.
- Tandon was one of the founding members of the Jan Sangh which later became the BJP.
- He became the governor of Chhattisgarh in July 2014 and had served on various other posts including the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab.
16. Vice President releases the Book â€˜Bebak Baatâ€™ authored by Shri Vijay Goyal
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that continuous communication between public representatives and the public is crucial for development of our nation.
- He was addressing the gathering after releasing the Book â€˜Bebak Baatâ€™, authored by the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics & Programme Implementation, Shri Vijay Goel.
17. Dr. Mahesh Sharma releases 3 books at IGNCA, New Delhi
Minister of state for Culture (I/C), Dr. Mahesh Sharma released 3 books â€˜Jewelleryâ€™ by Dr. Gulab Kothari, â€˜Ghats of Banarasâ€™ by Dr. Sachidanand Joshi and â€˜Untold Story of Broadcastingâ€™ by Dr. Gautam Chatterjee at IGNCA, New Delhi.
- Speaking on the occassion, he congratulated IGNCA for its efforts to take art and culture through the release of these books.
18. Neeraj Chopra to be Indiaâ€™s flag-bearer at Asian Games opening ceremony
Javelin thrower star Neeraj Chopra will be Indiaâ€™s flag bearer in the opening ceremony of the upcoming Asian Games 2018.
- Chopra, who won the gold medal in Commonwealth Games 2018 event in Gold Coast earlier this year, will lead Indiaâ€™s contingent in the multi-sport event.
- The announcement was made by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra during the send-off ceremony organised for the Indian contingent.
19. Gerard Pique announces retirement from Spain national team
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has confirmed that he is stepping down from international football following a disappointing World Cup for Spain.
- Pique has accumulated 102 caps for his national team.
- Among the centre-back's international honours are the 2010 World Cup and a Euro 2012 winner's medal.
20. Nadal downs Tsitsipas to win Toronto Masters
Rafael Nadal held off a late surge from Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim the 80th title of his career with victory at the Toronto Masters.
- Nadal overcame a second set fightback from Greek youngster Tsitsipas to claim a 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) victory in just under 1hr 45mins.
- The win gave the 32-year-old Spaniard a record-extending 33rd trophy at the elite Masters level as well as his 80th title.
21. Joint cycling cum Trekking expedition by Indian Army & Royal Bhutan Army
A joint Cycling cum Trekking Expedition of Indian Army and Royal Bhutan Army was conducted to commemorate â€œFifty years of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between India and Bhutanâ€.
- The expedition began on 31 July from Haa Dzong in Bhutan and was flagged-in at Thimpu on 07 August 2018.
- A total of seventeen personnel of both armies participated in the expedition which covered a total of 384 kms of distance across challenging mountainous terrain in both India and Bhutan.
22. 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministersâ€™ Meeting held in Singapore
51st ASEAN Foreign Ministersâ€™ Meeting was held in Singapore. Singapore was the rotating president of the meeting.
- Negotiations on regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement was held between the ASEAN nations.
- Next edition will be held next year.
23. Nasa launches mission to 'touch the Sun'
US space agency Nasa has launched its mission to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before.
- The Parker Solar Probe rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- The probe is set to become the fastest-moving manmade object in history. Its data promises to crack longstanding mysteries about the Sun's behaviour.
- It is the first space craft to be named after a living person - astrophysicist Eugene Parker, 91, who first described solar wind in 1958.
24. International Youth Day: 12 August
International Youth Day (IYD) is an awareness day designated by the United Nations and celebrated every year on 12 August.
- The purpose of the day is to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth.
- The first IYD was observed on 12 August, 2000.
- The Theme for International Youth Day 2018 is â€œSafe space for Youthâ€.
25. Vienna ranked as most liveable city in the world
The Austrian capital, Vienna, has beaten Australia's Melbourne to be named the world's most liveable city.
- It's the first time a European city has topped the rankings of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual survey.
- The worldwide league table ranks 140 cities on a range of factors, including political and social stability, crime, education and access to healthcare.
26. Australia recommences its adoption programme with India
The Government of Australia has decided to recommence the Adoption Programme with India, as per Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption.
- The adoptions from India had earlier been put on hold by the Government of Australia eight years ago, on the reported charges of trafficking of children for Inter-country adoption by some of the recognized Indian placement agencies (the Adoption agencies mandated to place children in Inter-country adoption at that point of time).
- The regulation of Inter-country adoptions have been made strict by the Government of India with the enactment of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and notification of Adoption Regulations, 2017.
27. TRAI launches integration & availability of TRAI Mobile Apps on UMANG platform
Policy initiatives of TRAI, over the years, have been to protect the interests of the consumers. Recognizing the importance of reaching out to the consumers and to safeguard their interests, TRAI has now integrated its Mobile Apps namely DND 2.0 & MyCall with UMANG Platform.
- UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is developed by National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). UMANG provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies and other citizen centric services.
- It provides a unified approach where citizens can install one application to avail multiple government services.
- From now onwards, TRAIâ€™s Mobile Apps namely DND 2.0 &MyCall shall also be available on Umang Platform.
28. Niti Aayog to organise Government and Business Partnership Conclave
With a view to exploring the roles and contributions of the business sector in the implementation of SDGs in India, NITI Aayog, United Nations in India and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) are jointly organizing a Government and Business Partnership Conclave on 8th August 2018 at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
- The conclave will focus on the interrelated sectors of water, energy and green industry.
Objectives of the Conclave are as follows:
- Facilitate deliberation on key thematic areas and issues around Water, Energy and Green Industry in the Indian context;
- Generate clarity about the responsibilities and contributions of businesses and industries towards implementation of SDGs, particularly in the context of selected theme areas and sustainability issues involved;
- Highlight best practices from businesses and industries, and explore strategies and ways forward to achieve the related SDG targets;
29. APY Strategy cum Review Meeting for FY 2018-19 for South Based Banks held at Bengaluru
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) organised a Regional Atal Pension Yojana (APY) Strategy cum Review Meeting for FY 2018-19 at Bengaluru yesterday for South Based Banks (Karnataka and Kerala) and DOP-Circles with an objective to discuss the target allocated for FY 2018-19 and the strategies adopted by the banks to achieve the same.
- More than 10 lacs accounts have been mobilized during FY 2018-19 and cumulative APY Subscriber Base is 1.09 cr.
- It is empahised that PFRDA has enabled several online features to facilitate subscribers to access their Account without visiting the Bank/Post Branch.
30. Nitish Kumar launches 'Mukhyamantri Kanya Utthan Yojana'
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has launched an ambitious scheme which promises to provide Rs 54,100 from the birth of a girl child till she graduates.
- Kumar launched the 'Mukhyamantri Kanya Utthan Yojana' and expressed his government's resolve for empowerment of women.
- On the occasion, the chief minister also made several other announcements like increasing the amount under the 'Bicycle Yojna' from Rs 2500 to Rs 3000.
31. Suresh Prabhu to inaugurate rubber meet on Aug 30 at Kochi
Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, will inaugurate the fourth edition of the India Rubber Meet (IRM 2018) in Kochi on August 30.
- Jointly organised by the Rubber Board and the stakeholder associations in rubber and allied sectors, the two-day meet will be a forum to evolve new strategies to confront the present challenges of the rubber industry.
32. Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve Included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves
The Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve has become the 11th Biosphere Reserve from India that has been included in the UNESCO designated World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR).
- The decision to include Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve in WNBR was taken at the 30th Session of International Coordinating Council (ICC) of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme of UNESCO held at Palembang, Indonesia, from July 23-27, 2018.
- India has 18 Biosphere Reserves and with the inclusion of Khangchendzonga, the number of internationally designated WNBR has become 11, with 7 Biosphere Reserves being domestic Biosphere Reserves.
- Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve in Sikkim is one of the highest ecosystems in the world, reaching elevations of 1, 220 metres above sea-level.
33. Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu launches Mobile App Niryat Mitra
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Aviation Suresh Prabhu launched Niryat Mitra â€“ mobile App in New Delhi.
- The app developed by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is available both on Android and on IOS platforms.
- It provides wide range of information required to undertake international trade right from the policy provisions for export and import, applicable GST rate, available export incentives, tariff, preferential tariff, market access requirements â€“ SPS and TBT measures.
34. Hardeep Puri to launch Swachh Survekshan 2019
Shri Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (I/C), Housing & Urban Affairs will launch the Swachh Survekshan 2019 on 10th August 2018 in New Delhi.
- Parallelly, a slew of new initiatives under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) as well as the Ease of Living Index will also be launched.
- Swachh Survey-2011 will be organized from January 4 to January 31, 2009. This will be the ranking of all cities under Clean India Mission (Urban).
35. NITI Aayog and CII Launch Partnership on SDGs
Union Minister Shri Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State (IC), Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, mentioned that business and government must partner for sustainable development of India.
- He was speaking at the launch of NITI Aayog and CII Partnership on SDGs, at the Government and Business Partnership Conclave in New Delhi on 8 August 2018, organised by NITI Aayog, Confederation of Indian Industry and UN.
- The Minister said that in sustainable development three things matter the most: energy, water and circular economy/green industry.
- To action his 2022 agenda, he expressed confidence that India will achieve its clean energy goals even earlier than 2022 and urged everyone to be conscious and responsible towards the environment.
36. PM to attend event to mark World Biofuel Day 2018
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will attend an event to mark World Biofuel Day, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on August 10, 2018.
- He will address a diverse gathering, consisting of farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs, students, government officials, and legislators.
- Biofuels can help reduce import dependency on crude oil. They can contribute to a cleaner environment, generate additional income for farmers, and generate employment in rural areas.
- Therefore, biofuels have synergies with various Government initiatives, including enhancing farmersâ€™ incomes, and Swachh Bharat.
37. Cabinet approves joint issue of postage stamp between India and South Africa
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of joint issue of Postage Stamps on India-South Africa on the theme, "20 Years of Strategic Partnership between India and South Africa".
- The joint stamps were released in June 2018.
- The Commemorative Postage Stamps on India-South Africa: Joint Issue depicts image of Deendayal Upadhyaya and Oliver Reginald Tambo of South Africa.
- An MoU was signed to this effect between India and South Africa in May 2018.
38. NITI Aayog will host Investorsâ€™ Conference
NITI Aayog will host an Investorsâ€™ Conference on August 10, 2018 at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra for the Holistic Development of Islands.
- The Conference will be inaugurated by Shri. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.
- It will attract investment for the sustainable development of eco-tourism projects in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.
39. PRATIBANDHIT SAHITYA MEIN SWATANTRATA SANGRAM inaugurated by Dr. Mahesh Sharma
The Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Environment Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma inaugurated an exhibition entitled â€˜Prathibandhit Sahitya mein Swatantrata Sangramâ€™ (Freedom Movement through Proscribed Literature) in the premises of National Archives of India, in New Delhi.
- The Exhibition is based on the unique collection of proscribed literature in its possession.
- This exhibition of proscribed literature is from vast collection of poetry and prose that portrays the nationalistic fervour prevalent in the days of freedom struggle.
40. President of India inaugurates â€˜One District one Productâ€™ Summit
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the â€˜One District One Productâ€™ Summit on August 10, 2018 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
- Speaking on the occasion, the President said that micro, small and medium enterprises are called the backbone of our economy.
- These enterprises are engines of inclusive development. After the agricultural sector, most people find employment in this sector.
- This sector generates more employment opportunities at a lower cost of capital.
- And the most important thing about this sector is that it creates jobs in rural and backward areas.
41. Operation 'Madad' by Southern Naval Command
Operation â€œMadadâ€ has been launched by the Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi since 09 Aug 2018 for assisting the state administration and undertaking disaster relief operations due to the unprecedented flooding experienced in many parts of Kerala, owing to incessant rainfall and release of excess water from Idukki and other dams.
- Based on a request received from Deputy Collector, Wayanad, one diving team with Gemini inflatable boat was airlifted and sent to Kalpetta at 10:00 pm on 09 Aug to undertake rescue operations due to floods and landslides.
- â€œOperation Madadâ€ continued on 10 Aug 18 with all resources available with SNC.
42. Curtain Raiser: Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018
As part of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) initiatives, SCO Peace Mission Exercise is conducted biennially for SCO member states.
- The joint exercise for the year 2018 will be conducted by Central Military Commission of Russia from 22 August to 29 August 2018 at Chebarkul, Chelyabinsk, Russia.
- This will be a historic occasion due to the maiden participation of India post becoming a full member of the SCO in June 2017.
- This exercise marks a major milestone in the multilateral relations of SCO member nations.
- The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency or counter terrorism environment under SCO Charter.
43. â€œPARIVESHâ€ â€“ an environmental single window hub launched
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched PARIVESH (Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single-window Hub) on the occasion of World Biofuel Day.
- PARIVESH is a Single-Window Integrated Environmental Management System, developed in pursuance of the spirit of â€˜Digital Indiaâ€™ initiated by the Prime Minister and capturing the essence of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance.
44. MoHFW and Ministry of Tribal Affairs sign an MoU
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India for cooperation between the two Ministries for sensitizing the principals and training to teachers each of all functional EMRSs, Ashram Schools and other Schools supported by MoTA in the country using the existing infrastructure of MoTA in the states.
- The MoU covers various activities including extending all aspects of the School Health Program viz., providing weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation, biannual de-worming, basic first aid and health promotion activities through teachers designated as Health and Wellness Ambassadors at the school level in all functional EMRSs, Ashram Schools and other Schools supported by MoTA in the states.
45. Israel opens visa centre in Kolkata
In a bid to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the Middle East nation has opened a Visa Application Centre in Kolkata that would cater to West Bengal and seven northeastern states.
- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura would come under the purview of the centre, which can also accept visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre.
- The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism and meeting or conference, and A2 for students.
46. Centre sets up GoM headed by Suresh Prabhu to decide on RCEP talks
The government has set up a four-member group of ministers (GoM) headed by trade minister Suresh Prabhu to advise prime minister Narendra Modi on whether to continue with or withdraw from the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.
- The GoM also includes finance and power minister Piyush Goyal, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri.
- The GoM will also help India fine tune its strategy for the upcoming RCEP ministerial meet on 30 and 31 August in Singapore.
47. Environment Ministry Celebrates World Elephant Day
Strongly emphasizing the need to address the root cause behind the man-animal conflict, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Mr. Suresh Prabhu pointed out that the man-animal conflict is an existential crisis not for the animals, but for human beings.
- Addressing a gathering to celebrate World Elephant Day on 12 August at Indira Gandhi Centre for National Arts, Mr. Prabhu said that there is an urgent need to explain this existential crisis to the human population.
- He underlined the fact that protection of wilderness and forests is a must to protect any wildlife species.
48. 'Sarabhai Centenary' programmes begin
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that Jammu will be the first city in North India to get a full-fledged Space Technology Research Centre, devoted to research, academics and post-graduation study.
- The Centre will function under the aegis of the Central University Jammu.
- In addition to Jammu, the other town selected for opening a Space Technology Research Centre is in the Northeast in Tripura, where it would function under the aegis of National Institute of Technology (NIT) Agartala.
- This was disclosed on the occasion of the beginning of year-long "Sarabhai Centenary" programmes of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), that is, the 99th birth anniversary of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the first Chairman of ISRO and the founding father of India's Space Programme.
49. Pune best city to live in, Bengaluru ranked 58
Bengaluru does not figure even in the top 25 Indian cities in the Ease of Living Index, which rates Pune as the best city to live in.
- Bengaluru was rated 58th among major cities surveyed to assess living conditions of urban areas in the country.
- Navi Mumbai bagged the second place followed by Greater Mumbai. Temple town Tirupati was ranked fourth in the country.
- The survey was commissioned by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 111 major cities.
50. Santhali becomes Indiaâ€™s first tribal language to get own Wikipedia edition
Santhali has become the first Indian tribal language to get a Wikipedia edition in its own script after the Santhali Wikipedia went live earlier this month.
- Wikipedia contributors from India, Bangladesh and Nepal generated the content to make this page possible.
- It presently has content of about 70,000 words.
51. Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition to MT Kamet
In pursuit of achieving greater heights in the field of mountaineering, Indian Army is planning to attempt Mt Makalu (8485M), the fifth highest mountain peak in the world in 2019.
- As a precursor to it, an expedition to Mount Kamet (7756M), Joshimath District Chamoli, Uttarakhand is being conducted under the aegis of Army Adventure Wing in August-September 2018.
- The expedition was flagged off from Delhi by Director General of Military Training on 13 August 2018.
- Mt Kamet is the 3rd highest peak of India after Kanchanjanga & Nandadevi and is the only highest peak available to climb within the country.
52. Piyush Goyal Releases the Third Party Survey Report on Station Cleanliness
Minister of Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Piyush Goyal has released a report on Station Cleanliness conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI).
The third report of Third Party Audit-cum-Survey of ranking of cleanliness covers 407 stations which includes 75 station in A1 and 332 station in A category stations. The top scorers are as under:
- category stations (out of 75)
- 1st: Jodhpur/North-Western Railway
- 2nd: Jaipur/North-Western Railway
- 3rd: Tirupati/South-Central Railway
A category stations (out of a total of 332)
- 1st: Marwar/North Western Railway
- 2nd: Phulera/North -Western Railway
- 3rd: Warangal/South-Central Railway
Zonal Railway rankings are:
- 1st: North Western Railway
- 2nd: South Central Railway
- 3rd: East Coast Railway
53. â€˜North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjomâ€™ in Manipur will be inaugurated
Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, Honâ€™ble Governor of Manipur will be inaugurating the project â€œDevelopment of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjomâ€ implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
- The above project is the first project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country.
- Swadesh Darshan scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 70 projects for Rs.5708.88 Crore to 29 States and UTs under the Scheme.
54. Shri Piyush Goyal Participates in India-Us Roundtable Discussion
Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Piyush Goyal, Chairman Railway Board, Shri Ashwani Lohani, other Railway Board Members and senior officials participated in the India-US Roundtable discussion.
- The roundtable discussion with a high-level delegation of leading US companies working in the area of railway construction, maintenance and Information Technology was held in the Ministry of Railways on 13th August, 2018.
- The US delegation comprising 13 companies was led by US Ambassador to India H.E. Kenneth I. Juster. High-ranking US Embassy officials from US Commerce Services and US Trade Development Agency (USTDA) also participated.
55. NITI Aayog launches â€œPitch to MOVEâ€
NITI Aayog has launched â€œPitch to MOVEâ€ - a mobility pitch competition that aims to provide budding entrepreneurs of India a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a distinguished jury.
- Startups working in the various fields of mobility can pitch their ideas to industry leaders and Venture Capitalists for raising investments.
- Winners of the event will be felicitated by Honâ€™ble PM during the Global Mobility Summit.
- â€œPitch to MOVEâ€ is organised by NITI Aayog in collaboration with Invest India and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) as a part of a series of engaging featured events in the run up to the main event.
- The Summit is scheduled to be held on 7th and 8th Sep 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi and is being inaugurated by the Honâ€™ble Prime Minister of India.
56. Andhra govt, Holytech sign MoU
Andhra Pradesh government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with electronics giant, Holytech.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Holytech will set up its plant in 75 acres land in Tirupati and Chittoor districts, against an investment of Rs. 1400 crores.
57. Nearby technologies to start bill payments through BBPS with Yes Bank
Fintech startup Nearby Technologies in partnership with Yes Bank has gone live with Bharat Bill Payments, the telecom bill payments ecosystem managed by National Payments Corp of India.
- Registered as an agent institution for Bharat Bill Payment System powered by Yes Bank, Nearby Technologies enables lakhs of retailers and merchants to offer bill payment service to their customers on the PayNearby app.
- The PayNearby app has more than 1 lakh retail stores across India and they in turn have the potential to serve more than 2.2 crore customers.
58. Bajaj Allianz General, Vijaya Bank enter bancassurance tie-up
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has entered into a bancassurance deal with Vijaya Bank.
- This corporate agency agreement will enable distribution of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance products through the bankâ€™s network of 2,129 branches across the country.
- Under this strategic tie-up, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer personal lines of insurance products such as health, personal accident, home, motor and travel along with a commercial line of insurance products.
59. PSU banksâ€™ NPAs decline by Rs 1.29 lakh crore in FY18
Public sector banks' non-performing assets declined by Rs 1,28,229 crore in FY18 due to write-offs, including compromise settlement.
- This is about 60 per cent higher vis-a-vis the year ago period.
- This was stated by Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
60. SBI in top 53 banks in the world
Public sector State Bank of India (SBI) has reached 53rd position in the category of worldâ€™s top banks.
- Finance Minister Piyush Goyal gave this information in response to a supplementary question in the Lok Sabha.
- He said that according to SBI, this information was given in the July edition of 'The Banker' published by International Financial Affairs Publications.
- He said that SBI's associate State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Jaipur and Bikaner etc. were merged with it, after the merger of 6950 branches in the bank.
61. PayPal enters into pact with HDFC Bank
Global technology platform and digital payments leader, PayPal, and HDFC Bank, the largest credit card issuer in India, have entered into a partnership.
- It will result in a safer, faster and more convenient payment experience for HDFC Bank cardholders and help drive incremental digital spend.
- This agreement will take effect immediately, with new experiences available to customers that are designed to drive incremental digital spend.
62. BLS acquires SBI business correspondent Starfin India
BLS E-Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BLS International Services, has acquired Delhi-based banking business correspondent Starfin India for an undisclosed sum.
- Starfin India, a business correspondent (BC) to State Bank of India (SBI), has more than 1,500 active customer service centres across 11 States.
- It also holds a national licence for the BC business.
63. HDFC Bank Dy MD Paresh Sukthankar resigns
Private sector HDFC Bankâ€™s Deputy Managing Director Paresh Sukthankar has resigned amid speculation that he may be joining as the chief of another lender.
- Sukthankar was widely perceived as a potential successor to HDFC Bankâ€™s CEO and Managing Director Aditya Puri, who is likely to retire by October 2020.
64. UAE top source of inward remittances in 2016-17: RBI
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the top source of inward remittances, while Kerala has received the maximum funds sent from abroad, according to the Reserve Bank of Indiaâ€™s survey of inward remittances for 2016-17.
- UAEâ€™s share in total remittances was 26.9%, followed by the United States (22.9%), Saudi Arabia (11.6%), Qatar (6.5%) and Kuwait (5.5%).
- According to the survey, 82% of the total remittances received by India originated from eight countries â€” UAE, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.
- Among destinations, Kerala has the highest share with 19%, followed by Maharashtra (16.7%), Karnataka (15%), Tamil Nadu (8%) and Delhi (5.9%).
65. Blockchain: Exim Bank signs MoU with BRICS development banks
Exim Bank of India has signed a multilateral cooperation agreement with member development banks of BRICS to undertake â€œcollaborative researchâ€ in distributed ledger/blockchain technology.
- The MoU was an outcome of the discussions the member development banks had during their annual meeting.
- The BRICS grouping comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
66. Amazon inks MoU with UP govt to boost MSME entrepreneurs
E-commerce major Amazon India has signed an MoU with the Uttar Pradesh government to support MSME entrepreneurs across nine districts as a part of the state's One District One Product (ODOP) scheme.
- Amazon India through its Kala Haat programme will help traditional industries.
- Under the programme, a wide range of benefits will be offered to 300 MSME sellers registered under UP government's ODOP scheme.
67. PNB scam: Govt dismisses Usha Ananthasubramanian from service
Nearly three months after Allahabad Bank divested its MD & CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian from all functional responsibilities, the government has dismissed her from service.
- Ananthasubramanian is the former CEO & managing director of scam hit Punjab National Bank.
- Ananthasubramanian was named in a CBI charge-sheet in the Rs 14,000 crore PNB fraud.
- She was to superannuate on 13 August but has been dismissed from the service.
68. IRDA constitutes working group to review surveyors norms
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) constituted a 7 member working group for norms regarding insurance surveyors.
- The group will be headed by Yegna Priya Bharat, Chief General Manager (Nonlife), IRDAI.
- The group will work in the areas pertaining to licensing, renewal and others as per the existing regulatory framework for Surveyors and Loss Assessors.
- It will submit its report with recommendations within six weeks.