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August 20, 2014

20th August 2014 - Daily Current Affairs updates


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International Affairs
  • Liberia's president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared a curfew and ordered security forces to quarantine a slum home to at least 50,000 people late Tuesday as the West African country battled to stop the spread of Ebola in the capital.
  • An Israeli air strike on Gaza City has killed the wife and infant daughter of elusive Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif.
  • Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit today defended his meetings with Hurriyat leaders over which India called off planned talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries, but said his government was committed to the dialogue process with India.
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today decided to meet opposition leader Imran Khan in an effort to end the anti-government protests at Islamabad seeking his ouster, as Pakistan's powerful military called for calm and asked all stakeholders to resolve the impasse through meaningful talks.  
National Affairs

  • A target of three years has been set by the government at the Centre of the rejuvenation of the River Ganga, the polluted holy river. The cleaning of the river has been accorded top priority by the Modi government.  
  • Irom Chanu Sharmila, an anti-Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) activist who was on an indefinite hunger strike in Manipur for nearly 14 years, walked free today after being released from the Jawaharlal Nehru hospital Imphal.
  • Assam suffers an average loss of Rs 200 crore every year due to devastating floods with nearly 40 per cent of the state's total land declared as flood-prone by the government.
  • Making a strong pitch for women's reservation in Parliament and state Assemblies, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said her party will put "full pressure" on the NDA government to pass the bill on the issue as soon as possible.
  • The Centre today dismissed as "baseless" Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's allegation that CRPF was not intervening in the Assam-Nagaland border dispute, saying the central forces are at the disposal of the state.
  • The Home Ministry today submitted a report to the Prime Minister's Office on the ongoing violence along the Assam-Nagaland border, where nine persons were killed and 10,000 people rendered homeless, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought details on it.
  • The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money today submitted an action taken report on its findings and recommendations on the illegal funds issue to the Supreme Court. The apex court expressed satisfaction on the steps taken by the SIT for bringing back black money stashed away by Indians in foreign banks. 
  • The Union Cabinet today approved Digital India Project to transform the country into digitally empowered and knowledge economy.
  • Cabinet approves hike in mining royalty rates (Mineral rich states including Odisha to benefit with this decision)and slashes Onion export price to USD 350 per tonne
  • Cabinet clears installation of 1,836 telecom towers in naxal affected areas in 9 states at cost of Rs 3,216 cr to improve communication
Awards & Honors
  • Prime Minister Modi gave away DRDO Awards in 10 categories for the year 2013 for outstanding contribution in various areas of technology. 
  • Yoga guru BKS Iyengar, founder of Iyengar Yoga, dies at 95 in Pune due to renal failure 
People in News
  • A 111-year-old retired educator from Japan Sakari Momoi, has been recognized as the world's oldest living man by the Guinness World Records. 
  • Former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and seven others, chargesheeted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a 2G scam-related money laundering case, were granted bail by a special CBI court today.
Business & Economy
  • In a move to promote use of CNG, the government has ordered state gas utility GAIL India Ltd to supply natural gas to city gas retailers by cutting supplies of non-priority sectors like steel and petrochemicals.
  • Former Microsoft MSFT Chief Executive Steve Ballmer quit his post as a company director after 14 years, giving new CEO Satya Nadella an even freer hand to reshape the company.
  • The marks obtained for questions on English language comprehension skills, asked in second paper of the civil services (preliminary) examination, will not be included for grading, according to a notification issued by the Centre. 

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