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August 23, 2015

23rd August 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • Gujarat is going to become the first state in the country to launch ‘Agro-Solar Policy’ to encourage the farmers to tap the solar energy.
    • This new policy will encourage the farmers to tap energy from sun, which will also help them to earn additional income from power generation companies.
    • To strengthen security on trains, Indian Railways is expediting the process of installing CCTV surveillance cameras in 20,000 coaches at a cost of Rs 700 crore.
    • The Funds for the installation will be derived from the Nirbhaya Fund, which was created in the year 2013, after the gang rape incident in the national capital in December 2012.

Business & Economy
  • India gets its first private bank in 11 years with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurating
    "Bandhan Bank" as a full-fledged scheduled commercial bank today.
    • Note : Bandhan Bank launched its operations with 501 branches in the country.
      • The company, which started operations as a micro finance institution, got final approval from RBI in June to launch commercial banking operations.
    • Chairman of Bandhan Bank: Ashok Kumar Lahiri
    • Founder of Bandhan Bank : Chandra Shekhar Ghosh 
  • RBI's Nine-Member High Powered internal Committee on Urban UCBs headed by RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi, has recommended conversion of Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs), which have a revenue of more than Rs 20,000 crores into Regular Banks.
    • The recommendation has been made with the objective of allowing UCBs to grow and proliferate further for financial inclusion.
  • The AP Shah committee on minimum alternate tax (MAT) has recommended to the finance ministry that the levy shouldn't be imposed for the period preceding April 1, 2015.
    • If this view is accepted, it would mean a significant relief for foreign investors facing several years of levies on capital gains made by them and the resolution of a knotty problem for the government.
    • Note : In the February Budget, the government had exempted foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from MAT starting April 1, 2015, but had not made the clarification retrospective.

  • Former Australian Test cricketer Arthur Morris (93) has passed away.
    • Morris, an opening batsman, played 46 Test matches between 1946 and 1955 and was a key member of Don Bradman’s Invincibles side in their undefeated Ashes tour of England in 1948.
    • Bradman regarded Morris as the best left-hander he had ever seen.

  • Indian Golfer Aditi Ashok made history today by becoming the first Indian to win  the Ladies British Amateur stroke play golf championship at the Moortown Golf Club, Leeds (UK).
  • Jamaican runner Usain Bolt trumped American rival Justin Gatlin to retain his world 100m title today.
    • Bolt, also the double Olympic gold medallist and world record holder in the blue riband event, ran a season's best of 9.79 seconds.
  • Punjabi University of Patiala has clinched the prestigious sports award Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) trophy for year 2014. 
    • The Trophy will be awarded to Univeristy on National Sports Day (29th of this month).

  • About 4,65,000 candidates today appeared for civil services preliminary examination across the country.
    • Over 2,000 venues in 71 centres were opened across the country for conducting the exam.
    • The civil services examination is conducted by the UPSC annually to select candidates for prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), and other Group -A services.
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