August 2014 Current Affairs List

Current Affairs World - 2 August 2014

  1.  The US economy added 209,000 jobs in July which increases optimism about the world-s largest economy. Though the unemployment rate increased marginally to 6.2% in July compared to 6.1% in June, as per the latest data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a good sign for the US economy and its job market.

Current Affairs India - 2 August 2014

  1.  Famous Indian filmmaker Muzaffar Ali has been selected for Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award today for his outstanding contribution towards the promotion of Communal harmony, peace and goodwill. This will be the 22nd edition of the Sadbhawna award and the award will be presented at Jawahar Bhawan on 20th August at a special ceremony, the birthday of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

It carries a citation and cash award of Rs 5 lakh. Recipients of the award include Mother Teresa, K R Narayanan, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Sunil Dutt, Dilip Kumar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Maulana Wahiduddin Khan.

  1.  The Supreme Court (SC) ruled that a complaint about a bounced cheque must only be filed at the place where the bank dishonoured it, settling doubts raised by its own earlier conflicting judgments on the jurisdiction of a magistrate. Some judgments had specified the place where the cheque was issued, others from where the notice of dishonour was sent and still others the place of receipt.

A three-judge bench headed by T S Thakur unanimously laid down that the place of dishonour is the right place to file a complaint. However, to avoid inconvenience to persons already prosecuting such cases, the new rule is to come into force only with respect to cases in the future.

  1.  The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against the Chairman and Managing Director of Syndicate Bank, S K Jain for alleged bribery case. As per allegation, the CMD asked for bribe to extend credit facilities to certain companies.

Simultaneous raids have been conducted in 20 places across Bangalore, Bhopal, Mumbai and Delhi, and that bribe amount of Rs 50 lakhs has also been recovered.

  1.  The board of directors of India-s largest milk federation, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), unanimously elected Jethabhai Patel as the new Chairman yesterday. GCMMF sells milk products under the -Amul- brand. All the 17 board members were present for the election held on Friday at Anand and unanimously elected Patel to the top post in the Rs. 18,000-crore milk federation.

  2.  Senior IRS officer K V Chowdary took over as the new Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) yesterday. He has replaced R K Tewari who superannuated on 31st July. Before his appointment, he was Member (Investigations) in CBDT.

  3.  Deputy National security Advisor Nehchal Sandhu resigned and his resignation was accepted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31st July. He, former Director Intelligence Bureau, resigned citing "personal reasons".

He, a 1973 batch IPS officer of Bihar cadre, took over as Deputy National Security Adviser and Secretary in NSCS on 21st March, 2013.

  1.  Reserve Bank of India's new deputy governor S S Mundra took charge of banking supervision, currency management, financial stability and rural credit yesterday. He has been appointed for three years. He succeeded former deputy governor KC Chakrabarty put in his papers three months before his term ended.

Before that, he was chairman of Bank of Baroda. He had begun his career as a probationary officer in Bank of Baroda in March 1977.

  1.  India-s manufacturing activity jumped to 17-month high in July with a stable government in place. The HSBC compiled Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), an important parameter to analyze the performance of the sector, jumped to 53 in July from 51.5 in June. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth in the sector.

  2.  India-s Forex reserves were increased by USD 2.714 billion to 320.564 billion for the week ended 25th July as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This increase was mainly due to increase in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets. 

The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was increased by USD 2.733 billion to 293.784 billion for the same week. Foreign currency assets are expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies, such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves. However the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were decreased by USD 13.6 million and USD 5.3 million respectively for the same week. Gold value remained unchanged at USD 20.634 billion for the same reporting week.

  1.  The first Indian woman mountaineer to scale Mount Everest, Bachendri Pal was awarded with the -Bharat Gaurav- award by the Kolkata based football East Bengal Club. She was honoured at a function held at the Khudiram Indoor hall at East Bengal's to celebrate the 95th foundation day celebrations.

Bachendri, who heads the Tata Steel's Adventure Foundation apart from being an instructor at the National Adventure Foundation, was given a cheque of Rs 2 lakh.

  1.  Indian athlete Vikas Gowda won gold medal in men's discuss throw event at the 20th Commonwealth Games on Friday. This is also India-s first gold medal in athletics. He won a silver in the 2010 Delhi Games.

Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian woman gymnast of India to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games being held at Glasgow in Scotland. She won a bronze medal in the vault event and scripted history for and in India.
India-s Men's Hockey team defeated New Zealand in the semifinals 3-2 to enter into the final of Commonwealth Games. India will face World Champions Australia for Gold Medal in the final.
Current Affairs Global - 4 August 2014

  1.  The prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards for year 2014 was announced this weekend. Established in 1957. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia-s highest honor and is widely regarded as the region-s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The list of awardees for 2014 includes five individuals and one organization from Pakistan.

The 2014 Awardees are, Chinese journalist Hu Shuli whose work has led to the ouster of corrupt officials. Another Chinese Wang Canfa who founded the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, which has offered free legal services to thousands of people and provided environmental law training to lawyers and others.
Indonesian anthropologist Saur Marlina Manurung, who put up a -Jungle School- program for children of Indonesia-s Orang Rimba, or forest people. Randy Halasan from the Philippines for Emergent Leadership for serving the indigenous Matigsalug tribe. He put in huge efforts in teaching the children of the Matigsalug tribe in one of the remotest mountain villages in Mindanao.
Omara Khan Masoudi from Afghanistan for his courage, labor, and leadership in protecting Afghan cultural heritage. The last one is the Citizens Foundation from Pakistan which is a non-profit organisation (NGO) founded by six business leaders. It was recognized for building 1000 schools over hundreds of cities and towns in the country with the world-s second highest number of children who are out of school.
Current Affairs India - 4 August 2014

  1.  Government has announced in the Lok Sabha today that English marks in CSAT-II will not be included for gradation or merit in the Civil Services, Preliminary Examination, Paper-two and 2011 candidates may get a second chance to appear for the test next year. This move aims to clear the UPSC row that has seen huge protests from all the aspirants claiming that the difficulty level of aptitude and English language questions is much higher than the standard format prescribed for the examination.

Minister of State for Personnel and Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh announced that candidates, who appeared in Civil Services Examination 2011, may be given one more attempt in 2015.

  1.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala during his visit to Nepal yesterday and these two countries have signed three agreements, including one on the 5,600 MW Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project that will pave the way to start the stalled project.

Nepal and India has also signed three separate Memorandum of Understandings during the bilateral talks held between the delegations led Modi and Koirala. Under the first agreement, India would provide Rs 65 million to procure and distribute iodized salt in the rural areas of Nepal. They have also signed MOU regarding the amendment of Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project on the Mahakali River.

  1.  The 20th Commonwealth Games was concluded at Glasgow yesterday through a glittering concluding ceremony. India finished at fifth position as per medal tally after posting a successful performance in the tournament. Indian athletes won 15 gold, 30 silver and 19 bronze for a total haul of 64 medals to finish fifth. England leads the medal tally with 58 Gold medals, 59 silver medals and 57 Bronze medals followed by Australia (49, 42, 46), Canada (32, 16, 34) and host Scotland (19, 15, 19).

India had finished second behind Australia in 2010 Delhi edition but considering that some disciplines, from which the hosts had won medals, were either dropped or pruned down in Glasgow.

  1.  India men's hockey team lost 0-4 to Australia in the final match and had to settle with a silver medal on the final day of the 20th Commonwealth Games at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre yesterday. Australia had beaten India 8-0 in the final in Delhi Commonwealth games four years ago as well.

  2.  Wrestling Federation of India suspended referee Virender Malik today, who was detained on charges of alleged sexual assault in Glasgow during the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games, with immediate effect. The president of WFI, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh took the decision to suspend him but the Federation would wait for details from Scotland police before making his ban permanent.

The WFI is awaiting the investigation report before finalising his suspension. Once it gets the report and is satisfied that the charges against him are true, WFI suspend him permanently from all national and international tournaments.
Current Affairs Global - 5 August 2014

  1.  The World Bank has pledged USD 200 million in emergency funding to Ebola virus hit countries in West Africa which include Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

World Bank President Dr Jim Yong Kim said the new amount was sanctioned as a response to a call from the worst hit African countries and the World Health Organisation for immediate assistance to contain the outbreak. The World Bank Group would also help to build up public health systems in those countries to strengthen the region-s disease control capacity.
Current Affairs India - 5 August 2014

  1.  Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has been given additional charge of Rajasthan as Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva completed her tenure today. At the same time, Governor of Gujarat Om Prakash Kohli was given additional charge of Goa state.

  2.  Justice Dr. Manjula Chellur was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court today. She was administered the oath of office by the West Bengal Governor Mr. Keshari Nath Tripathi. She will be the first woman Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court. Before this, she was the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.

  3.  Former Indian Foreign Service officer Arvind Gupta has been appointed as deputy National Security Adviser. He succeeds Nehchal Sandhu who resigned from the post earlier citing personal reasons. He will also be Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), an apex advisory body tasked with suggesting to the government on political, economic and strategic security concerns.

Prior to joining IDSA, he was Joint Secretary at the NSCS from 1999 to 2007 during which he dealt with a wide range of international and national security issues.

  1.  Lt Gen Philip Campose has taken over as the new Vice Chief of Army Staff succeeding Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is now the Chief of Indian Army. Before this, he was the Western Army Commander.

An alumnus of St Xavier's School, Delhi, the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, he was commissioned into the Infantry in 1974 and later sidestepped into the newly constituted Mechanised Infantry Regiment in 1982.

  1.  Four Indians are named among Fortune magazine's list of 20 "extraordinary" technology czars and young entrepreneurs analysing data and processing big numbers to discover information that will "transform the way businesses operate." Fortune's maiden 'Big Data All-Stars' lists the 20 extraordinary people who are "the best at connecting the dots and digging deep."

They are Arun Murthy, who co-founded business computer software company Hortonworks, Surabhi Gupta, a software engineer at popular travel rentals website Airbnb, Swatee Singh who is Vice President of GMS IM Platforms and Big Data Capabilities at American Express and the last one is Vijay Subramanian, Chief Analytics Officer at Rent the Runway, an online service that provides designer dress and accessory rentals.
RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 8%; SLR cut by 50 bps to boost credit
The RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan kept key policy rates unchanged today in his third bi-monthly monetary policy review. Repo rate, the rate at which RBI lends money to banks for the short term, was kept unchanged at 8% while the Reverse Repo Rate, the rate at which RBI borrows money from banks, was kept unchanged at 7%. The cash reserve ratio for banks has been kept unchanged at 4%. The reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 7% and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate have been kept unchanged at 9%.
The RBI has decided to reduce the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks by 50 basis points from 22.5% to 22% of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) with effect from the fortnight beginning August 9, 2014. Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) refers amount that the commercial banks require to maintain with the RBI in the form of gold or government approved securities (G-Secs or bonds) before lending. This move will give banks more freedom to increase credit or loan to non-government sectors which will help to improve economic activity.
The RBI has projected India-s GDP growth for the current financial year at 5.5% from earlier GDP growth of 4.7% in the previous financial year. The improvement in growth is due to improve investment sentiment and improved economic activity under the newly elected NDA government.
Current Affairs India - 6 August 2014

  1.  Union cabinet has approved a proposal today to empower the Juvenile Justice Board to decide whether a juvenile of above 16 years involved in heinous crimes such as rape will be considered as a juvenile or an adult to be tried in a regular court. The proposed changes in the law come after the nationwide outrage over the lighter punishment of three years in a reform home given to a minor convicted in the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang-rape case.

However, according to the bill, the juvenile involved in a heinous crime will never be sentenced to death or life imprisonment when tried under the provisions of JJ Act or under the provisions of IPC.

  1.  The union cabinet has also approved raising FDI limit in the defence sector to 49% in the Cabinet meeting held today headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The FDI cap in the sensitive defence sector has been increased to 49% from current 26%, with the condition that control in joint ventures for manufacturing of defence equipment will remain in Indian hands. This move will boost the domestic defence industry as India import more than 70% of its military equipment.

The cabinet has also opened up the railway infrastructure segment for FDI to push new reforms and attract more foreign investment. It has approved 100% FDI in areas such as high-speed train systems, suburban corridors and dedicated freight line projects implemented in PPP mode.

  1.  India-s Services sector activity expanded for the third month in a row in July as the HSBC complied Purchasing Managers- Index (PMI) stood at 52.2 in July compared to 54.4 in June. PMI reading hit 17-month high of 54.4 in June any reading higher than 50 indicates growth in the sector.

This is very good news for Indian economy as service sector contributes 60% to Indian economy. With this revival in services sector Indian economy will also be on revival path.

  1.  German ERP giant SAP has appointed Dilipkumar Khandelwal as the Managing Director for SAP Labs India, German company's third largest R&D center globally. He succeeds Anirban Dey, who has resigned as SAP Labs India head in June this year citing personal reasons.

  2.  India-s largest two wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp has named MD and chief executive Pawan Munjal to the newly-created position of vice-chairman. This was termed as a well-planned succession programme as he may succeed Brijmohan Lall Munjal as the company's chairman very soon.

  3.  Famous cartoonist Pran Kumar Sharma, popularly known as Pran, who created iconic comic characters Chacha Chaudhury and his friend Sabu, passed away today. He succumbed to cancer early this morning at a hospital in Gurgaon, according to his publisher Diamond Comics. He was 75. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter to express his grief over the passing away of the cartoonist.

Born in Kasur, near Lahore in Pakistan in 1938, Pran began his career in 1960 as a cartoonist for the Delhi-based newspaper -Milap- with comic strip -Daabu-. In 1969, Pran sketched Chacha Chaudhary for the Hindi magazine -Lotpot-, which made him famous. He also created some more famous cartoon characters like Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman and Channi Chachi, which are regularly published in Indian magazines.
Current Affairs Global - 7 August 2014
1. The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.15% during its latest monetary policy review meet. It has also announced that it would keep the interest rate at record low level for an extended period to boost economic growth and avert deflation across the region.
The ECB cut its benchmark rate from 0.25% to 0.15% in June this year and with this it has become the first major central bank to introduce negative interest rates in recent times.
The Bank of England has also kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5% today during its monetary policy announcement. The size of the Bank's economic stimulus programme - Quantitative Easing - was also kept unchanged at 375 billion pounds. The Bank of England has kept the rate unchanged at 0.5% since 2009 post one of the worst financial crisis in history.

  1.  Italy's economy was contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter of the year following a 0.1% contraction in the previous quarter. With the economy contracting for two consecutive quarters, Italy-s economy has fallen back into recession again after recovering from its longest recession only in last year.

Current Affairs India - 7 August 2014

  1.  The 18th BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) ministerial meeting on climate change started from today onwards in Delhi. The two- day meeting is used to discuss important issues and aspects related to the current United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.

Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Zhenhua, Vice Chairman, Minister National Development and Reform Commission, China, Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil and Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa will be participating at the ministerial meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow. The 17th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was held in Hanzghou, China in October last year.

  1.  Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah has announced that the government has launched a scheme -Padho Pardesh- to provide interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies for students belonging to the notified minority communities like Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis.

The objective of the scheme is to provide interest subsidy to meritorious students from the specified minority communities and economically weaker sections so that they can get the opportunities for higher education in foreign countries. The Minister said under the scheme, 100%interest subsidy will be provided on the interest payable on the education loan availed for the period of moratorium, which includes the course period plus one year or six months after getting the job, whichever is earlier.

  1.  In a surprise move, President Pranab Mukherjee sacked Mizoram governor Kamla Beniwal yesterday. Her tenure as Governor was expected to be over in next 4 months. The decision to sack Beniwal was taken after it came to light that she had misused the governor-s office (in Gujarat) to make several unauthorized air travels, including to her home state of Rajasthan, at the expense of the state exchequer.

  2.  The Reserve Bank of India has announced some measures to tighten the regulatory framework for asset reconstruction companies in order to improve the sale of bad loans in the banking system. The RBI said ARCs will henceforth have to mandatorily invest and hold minimum 15% compared to earlier 5% of the Security Receipts issued by them against the assets acquired from banks on an ongoing basis till the redemption of all the receipts.

The RBI has also reduced the planning period to 6 months compared to current 12 months, for ARCs to formulate a plan recoveries from the non-performing assets acquired from the banks. Also, those planning to buy bad loans will get more time (at least two weeks) to carry out due diligence before bidding for stressed assets
With these new rules, It will become more difficult for ARCs to just allow an asset to sit on their balance sheet and collect management fees for that and also it will allow new players to enter into the ARC business. The central bank said the ARCs should also be members of Joint Lenders- Forum and should be a part of the process involving the JLF with reference to such stressed assets.

  1.  Emami Group Director, Aditya Vardhan Agarwal has been nominated and appointed as the Vice-President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce. He is the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Ethiopia in Kolkata. Before this, he also served as an Executive Committee Member of Assocham and as a Director of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

  2.  India Ratings & Research (a Fitch group company) has increased Indian GDP growth project to 5.7% for the current financial year 1014-15 compared to earlier projection of 5.6%. The upward revision was because of favorable budget and improve economic activity under newly elected NDA government.

However, it has estimated agricultural growth to come down to 1.3% in the current financial year compared to earlier estimation of 3% due to adverse monsoon rains. This is much lower growth compared to last year-s agricultural growth of 4.7%.

  1.  Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, CMD of Bandhan, has received the -Entrepreneur of the Year- award from the All India Management Association (AIMA). Among the other awardees of the year were M G George Muthoot, Chairman, Muthoot Group (Emerging Business Leader of the Year), N Chandrasekaren, CEO & Managing Director, TCS (Indian MNC of the Year), Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Film Producer, Director of Bhaag, Milkha Bhaag (Director of the Year) and S. S. Badrinath, Founder and Chairman, Emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya (Outstanding Institution Builder).

The AIMA Managing India Awards 2014 were given away at a function in Delhi by Union Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday.
Current Affairs Global - 9 August 2014

  1.  The World Health Organization has declared the deadly Ebola epidemic in some countries of West Africa as an international health emergency and appealed for global aid to help affected countries. The move comes after a two-day emergency session was held in Geneva which was attended by healthcare experts. It implies that global travel restrictions can be put in place and international health regulations will be in place by WHO to halt its cross country spread.

Ebola has claimed at least 932 lives and infected more than 1,700 people since breaking out in Guinea earlier this year. Worst affected countries Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have declared state of emergency to combat the spread of the deadly virus.
Current Affairs India - 9 August 2014

  1.  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued draft guidelines for implementation of Bharat Bill Payment System (BPPS), an anytime anywhere bill payment systemThe proposed guidelines describe the basic requirements of operating the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) which is intended for the implementation of a unified bill payment system across the country.

It would enable the customers to pay the bills with the help of agents and getting instant confirmation of the payment made. School fees, municipal taxes and utility bills payments would become easier now. The centralized bill payments infrastructure will consist of two types of entities, Entity operating the BBPS, which will be the standard setting body and Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOUs), which will be the authorized operational units.

  1.  The Reserve Bank has issued revised guidelines for mortgage guarantee companies today, which said that guarantees provided by MGCs may be treated as contingent liabilities, for which credit conversion factor would be considered as 50% compared to present consideration of 100%.

As per the existing guideline, MGCs have to provide for a lower appropriation to contingency reserves if provisions made towards losses exceeded 35% of the premium or fee earned during a financial year, but it does not specify the exact level of such contingency reserves. As per new regulation, contingency reserves could go to a minimum of 24% of the premium or fee earned, such that the aggregate of provisions made towards losses and contingency reserves is at least 60% of the premium or fee earned during a financial year.
An MGC may now also utilise contingency reserves without prior RBI approval for the purpose of meeting and making good losses suffered by mortgage guarantee holders. However, such a measure can be initiated only after exhausting all other avenues and options to recoup losses. Also the investments made towards government securities, government guaranteed securities and bonds not exceeding the MGC's capital may now be treated as "held to maturity" (HTM), for the purpose of valuation and accounted for accordingly.

  1.  Capital market regulator SEBI has change the guidelines of Offer-for-sale mechanism to encourage retail participation. As per the new guideline, the number of companies eligible to sell shares using the offer-for-sale (OFS) mechanism through the stock exchanges has been increased from the top 100 to 200 by market capitalization in any of the last four completed quarters.

Now, non-promoter shareholders having at least 10% stake in a company will also be allowed to use OFS to offload their stake. When non-promoters use OFS to sell, promoters/promoter group may participate in the process and add to their shareholding subject to extant norms for public offers and takeover, as per SEBI.
SEBI has also mandated that the lowest price at which the entire offer gets sold (cut-off price) would be determined separately for bids received under retail and non-retail categories. After this, the retail portion would be allocated first with any under-subscription being offered to the non-retail category of investors. The indicative price for retail and non-retail portion has to be displayed separately.

  1.  Indian capital market regulator, SEBI has imposed a penalty of 13 crore rupees on Reliance Industries 4. Limited for alleged irregularities in issuance of warrants by the company to its promoters. The case related to 2007 earnings and the company's repeatedly failed to disclose the key earnings ratio.

SEBI began adjudication proceedings to probe the violation of relevant clauses under the Listing Agreement and the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act for not disclosing the Diluted Earnings per Share. As per the terms of the Listing Agreement, the companies have to disclose these earnings in their quarterly statements filed with the stock exchanges.

  1.  India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 573.5 million to 319.990 billion for the week ended 1st August as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This decrease was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets. Indian-s forex reserves decreased after four weeks of continuous increase.

The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 1.091 billion to 292.693 billion for the same week. The SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were also decreased by USD 15.5 million and USD 5.9 million respectively for the same week. Gold values were increased by USD 538.9 million to USD 21.173 billion for the same reporting week.

  1.  Ravi Shankar joined infrastructure finance company IDFC as the head of Bharat Banking with effect from 8th August. IDFC has recently won the commercial banking licence from the RBI recently and plans to start banking operations by end of next year.

Before this, Shankar was head of business and marketing at Fullerton India Credit Co Ltd and Senior Vice-President at TNS India Pvt Ltd.

  1.  Philips India has roped in Alia Bhatt as its brand ambassador for its beauty business, which includes a range of hair and depilation devices. She will start by endorsing Philips Kerashine range and the company will run a 360 degrees campaign in mid-August.

Current Affairs Global - 11 August 2014
1. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won first direct presidential election of Turkey after securing 52% of the total votes against 38% votes won by his closest rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
He has spent three terms as prime minister of Turkey earlier and this will be his fourth term as Prime Minister.

  1.  German striker Miroslav Klose, the broke record as the all-time World Cup top scorer in the recently held FIFA world cup, announced his retirement from international football today.  He scored his 16th goal in his fourth World Cup, to surpass Brazilian Ronaldo as the tournament's leading scorer.

  2.  French 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the Toronto Masters after defeating Roger Federer by 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in the final match. He won the title two years after injuring himself at the same event in a freak collision with a fire hydrant.

It was Tsonga's second career Masters 1000 title, six years after winning his first one at Paris Bercy in 2008.  He is also now the second French player after Guy Forget to win two titles at the Masters level.

  1.  Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska defeated former world number one Venus Williams in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in the final match at the WTA Montreal tournament yesterday to win her first title of the season. This is her 14th career singles title.

Current Affairs India - 11 August 2014

  1.  Sikkim has become the most favoured destination of foreign tourists in the north-eastern states of the country, as per a press release issued by the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front and the latest figures published by the Central Tourism Ministry. Sikkim received 23,602 tourists in 2011, the figures were 26,489 in 2012 and 31,698 in 2013 respectively.

Sikkim is followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura respectively, as per the release. The release said the state has already been recognized as the best place to visit, in the world famous travel guidebook -Lonely Planet-.
2. World number two Deepika Kumari won a Gold and two Bronze medals yesterday at the Archery World Cup Stage IV in Wroclaw, Poland yesterday. Indian team finished at fifth with a total of 5 medals.
The Gold came in the Recurve Women's Team event in which Deepika, Bombayala Devi Lashram and Lakshmi Rani Manji defeated Mexico by 6-0 in the final. Deepika won a Bronze in the Recurve Individual event and the Recurve Mixed team pair event along with Jayanta Talukdar.
The Men's Recurve team comprising Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta and Atanu Das won a Silver medal, as it lost to Mexico 3-5 in the final. The Mixed pair of Abhishek Verma and Puvasha Shende won a silver medal on Saturday.
India-s retail inflation jumps to 7.96% in July from 7.31% in June
India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, dropped jumped to 2-month high of 7.96% in July compared to 7.31% in June due to increase in prices of vegetables, fruit and milk. This is slightly higher compared to Retail inflation of 7.46% in the same month last year. Consumer food price inflation, under a new series published by the government, jumped to 9.36% in July from 7.97% in June.
The steep increase in retail inflation for July was mainly due to increase in fruits and vegetable prices, which rose 22.48% and 16.88% respectively in July compared to 20.64% and 8.73% respectively in the previous month. Inflation in milk and milk products stood at 11.26% in July. The urban inflation growth was at 7.42 percent as 6.82 compared to percent last month. Retail inflation in urban areas jumped to 7.42% in July from 6.82% in June.
IIP growth slows to 3.4% in June; grows for third consecutive months
India-s Index of Industrial Production, the most important parameter to judge performance of industrial sector, growth drops to 3.4% in June compared to 4.7% in May due to lower growth in consumer goods sectors. Output of consumer goods sector was contracted by 10% in June compared to the contraction of 1.5% in the same month last year. Manufacturing, which constitutes over 75% of the index, grew by 1.8% in May compared to a contraction of 1.7% a year earlier.
However IIP growth stood in the positive territory for the third consecutive months, increasing optimism about the Indian economy. IIP was contracted by 1.8% in June last year. During the April-June period of the current fiscal year 2014-15, the IIP recorded a growth of 3.9%, as compared to contraction of 1% in the same duration of 2013-14.
Current Affairs Global - 12 August 2014

  1.  Iraqi President Mohammed Fuad Masum named Haider al-Abadi as the new Prime Minister of Iraq. He was given 30 days to form the next government and present it for the approval of parliament. Before this appointment, he was was deputy parliament speaker.

This will help Iraq to ensure its security and avert the major crisis it is facing now due to militants in the northern parts of the country. Iraq-s security collapsed during rule of Nuri al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq since 2006.

  1.  Oscar Winning veteran actor Robin Williams was found dead in his apartment yesterday. He was 63. The apparent cause of the death was suicide, as per the authorities. He was known as one of the best Comic heroes of Hollywood. He won Oscar as best supporting actor for the movie -Good Will Hunting-

  2.  India has dropped to fourth rank in the latest ICC Test team rankings published in Dubai today after losing third and fourth test against England. India is ranked behind South Africa, Australia and Pakistan. Ravichandran Ashwin has been has been ranked as the number one test All-rounder. None of the Indian players were ranked in top 10 of both the Batsmen and Bowlers lists.

Among the batsmen, India-s Chetseshwar Pujara dropped to 12gth place compared to 7th place last month. Kumar Sangakkara has been ranked as the top batsman followed by South Africa-s ABDevilliers and Hashim Amla. South Africa-s Dale Steyn leads the bowlers- list followed by Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson.
Current Affairs India - 12 August 2014

  1.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Leh Srinagar Transmission Line in Leh and Chutak hydro-power project in Kargil to the nation today. These projects are the 44 MW Chutak hydro-electric project in Kargil district and the 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo project in Leh district.

PSU Company Power Grid Corporation of India is working on the Leh-Kargil-Srinagar Transmission System for connectivity with Northern Region Grid in order to meet electricity demands of the Ladakh region. The Leh-Srinagar transmission line will connect the Ladakh region with India-s northern grid and ultimately solve the electricity woes of the energy starved Leh and Kargil districts.

  1.  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Senior Congress leader Karan Singh and JD (U) President Sharad Yadav have been awarded wtih Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards today evening. President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the awards at a function in Parliament library.

Mr Jaitley was honoured with the award for 2010, Dr Karan Singh for 2011 and Sharad Yadav for 2012.

  1.  AIADMK  MP M Thambidurai is set to be elected unopposed as Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha after all major parties extended support to him. He has filed nomination for the post and the first nomination paper was proposed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and seconded by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The election for the post will be held tomorrow.

  2.  Global rating agency Moody's has projected India-s growth rate at 0.5% for the current year and improvement in the next year 2015, in its report 'Global Macro Outlook 2014-15: Summer Lull: Subdued, But Less Risky Global Growth Likely'. Moody-s said that India-s economic and business environment is expected to improve as the newly elected government was formed with absolute majority which should pave ways for more reforms.

  3.  Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd, Ratan Tata has been conferred the 18th MMA Amalgamations Business Leadership Award at a function in Chennai today in recognition of his ability to foresee economic trends, manage change, take bold initiatives, sustain values and for his contributions to business, industry and society. A selection committee headed by Sunil B Mittal and consisting of Naina Lal Kidwai, S Ramadorai and R Seshasayee unanimously selected Tata for the award.

The award was instituted in 1969 in memory of S Anantharamakrishnan, Founder and Past President of the association and founder of the Amalgamations Group. JRD Tata was the first recipient of the award.

  1.  No sportsperson has been nominated for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award this year while total 15 sportspersons including cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin were recommended today for the Arjuna Award this year.

The 12-member selection committee, headed by legendary cricketer Kapil Dev, decided not to name any sportsperson out of the seven candidates for the Khel Ratna. This is the third time no sportsperson has been named for the Khel Ratna since the inception of the country-s highest sporting award in 1991.
Besides Ashwin, the other 14 recommended for the Arjuna Award were Akhilesh Varma (archery), Tintu Luka (athletics), H N Girisha (paralympics), V Diju (badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (basketball), Jai Bhagwan (boxing), Anirban Lahiri (golf), Mamta Pujari (kabaddi), Saji Thomas (rowing), Heena Sidhu (shooting), Anaka Alankamony (squash), Tom Joseph (volleyball), Renubala Chanu (weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (wrestling).
Current Affairs Global - 13 August 2014

  1.  Indian-origin mathematician Manjul Bhargava has been awarded the prestigious Fields Medal at the International Mathematical Union-s (IMU) International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul for developing powerful new methods in geometry of numbers. He is a professor of mathematics at Princeton University, specializes in number theory.

This award, also known as the Nobel Prize in the field of mathematics, is given to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement for existing work and for the promise of future achievement.
Iranian-born mathematician and Stanford University professor Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman and Iranian to win the Fields Medal this year. Also Artur Avila became the first Brazilian and Martin Hairer became the first Austrian to win the medal.
Another Indian origin Subhash Khot was awarded with the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize by the International Mathematical Union, at the International Congress of Mathematicians 2014 held in Seoul. He was awarded for his -prescient definition of the -Unique Games- problem, and leading the effort to understand its complexity and its pivotal role in the study of efficient approximation of optimisation problems--. He is a professor in the Computer Science Department at New York University-s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

  1.  United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed three member to its Commission of Inquiry to probe possible war crimes and human rights violations during a month long conflict in Gaza on 12th August. The panel will also investigate human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including Jerusalem.

The commission will be headed by William Schabas, a Canadian international criminal law and human rights professor at Middlesex University in London. The other two members include Amal Alamuddin of United Kingdom and Doudou Diene of Senegal.

  1.  Japan-s economy was contracted by an annualized rate of 6.8% during April-June quarter due to a controversial sales tax increase by the Government recently. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 60% of total GDP dropped by 5% in the same quarter after the Japanese government raised nation-s sales tax in April which is the first hike in 17 years. At the same time, total exports declined 0.4% from 6.5% increase in the previous quarter.

4. Global oil prices dropped to their nine-month low level of USD 103.7 per barrel even if the Ukraine and Iraq issues are still present. This is the lowest price of crude oil rate since November 2013.
Crude oil price hit its highest level at USD 115.71 per barrel in July this year due to escalated violence in Iraq. This drop in crude oil prices will help all the developing nations including India.
Current Affairs India - 13 August 2014

  1.  The Lok Sabha passed the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014 today after the withdrawal of certain amendments by some members. A total of 367 members voted in favour of the new bill. The key aim of the new Judicial Appointments Commission Bill is to replace the existing Collegium system used to appoint new Judges to Supreme Court and High Courts.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has later announced that the Bill along with the Constitution Amendment Bill, was approved by two-thirds majority in the parliament.

  1.  Munisamy Thambidurai, a five-term MP from AIADMK in the Lok Sabha, was unanimously elected as Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha today. With this, he has become the first person to hold the post twice, as he was also Deputy Speaker in the Eighth Lok Sabha.

His name was proposed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and seconded by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  1.  Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre, R Banumathi, Prafulla Chandra Pant and Uday Umesh Lalit have been appointed as the new Supreme Court judges today. With this appointment, total strength of Supreme Court judges touched 30 including Chief Justice R M Lodha. The sanctioned strength of judges in the apex court is 31, including the CJI.

Justices Pant, Sapre, and Bhanumati were the Chief Justices of the Meghalaya High Court, Gauhati High Court and Jharkhand High Court respectively while Justice Lalit has been elevated as an apex court judge from the bar.

  1.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set up Expenditure Management Commission today which will be headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan. This committee will suggest ways to reduce food, fertiliser and oil subsidies and narrow the fiscal deficit.

Former finance secretary Sumit Bose and former RBI deputy governor Subir Gokarn are also members of the Commission. The Commission is expected to submit its interim report before Budget 2015-16 and the final report before Budget 2016-17.
Current Affairs Global - 14 August 2014

  1.  Brazil-s Presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in a plane crash yesterday, raising doubt about the upcoming Presidential election scheduled to be held later this year. President Dilma Rousseff declared three days of mourning and halted all campaign activities for the presidential elections on 5 October.

  2.  Economic growth of the 18-member euro zone stood at zero in the second quarter of the current year due to lower than expected GDP growth in two of its biggest economies Germany and France. This is slightly lower compared to 0.2% GDP growth witnessed in the previous quarter.

The German economy was contracted by 0.2% after expanding by 0.7% in the first quarter, while France-s economic growth stagnated for the second consecutive quarter. Spain-s economy witnessed 0.6% growth in the same period and Italy fell into another recession with 0.2% contraction followed by 0.1% contraction in the previous quarter.

  1.  Spanish football club Real Madrid won the UEFA Football Super Cup, the first European trophy of the season, after defeating Sevilla football club by 2-0 in Cardiff, Wales yesterday. With this win, Madrid has now won 14 major European trophies. Both the goals were scored by striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Current Affairs India - 14 August 2014

  1.  Parliament has given its final approval to the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014 with the Rajya Sabha adopting the measure today. It was placed in Rajya Sabha today after getting approval from the Lok Sabha yesterday.

Post this, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the six-member Commission will be able to select propoer talented and capable people for the posts of judges to Supreme Court and High Courts.

  1.  The reserve Bank of India has imposed a limit of 3 transactions per month from ATMs of other banks and 5 from the same bank in six metropolitan cities, with this frequent withdrawal of money from ATMs will become more expensive from November onwards when the new guideline will be effective. A customer will be required to pay a fee of up to Rs 20 for using ATMs beyond the permitted numbers of transactions in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

RBI said that banks will have to permit at least 5 free transactions per month (both financial and non-financial) and banks have been allowed to charge a maximum fee of Rs 20 per transaction post hitting the maximum limit.

  1.  The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has reduced the rate of interest on their refinance facilities to banks by 20-50 basis points to boost investments in the agriculture sector. The new rates of interest on refinance will now be 9.30% compared to 9.5% earlier for 5 years and 9.50% compared to 9.7% earlier for 3-5 years period and 9.50% compared to 10% earlier for 18 months to 3 years period.

Nabard will also give 50 basis points reduction in interest rates for area development projects and innovative activities which enhance production and productivity of agriculture.
India-s overall inflation drops to 5-month low of 5.19% in July; may increase due to lower Monsoon
India-s overall inflation, measured by the wholesale price index, dropped to 5-month low of 5.19% in July compared to 5.43% in June. Overall inflation stood at 5.84% in the same month last year.
Food articles inflation, which has nearly 14.34% weight in overall inflation number, stood at 8.43% in July compared to 8.13% in the previous month though prices of vegetables dropped by 1.27% in the same month. Onion prices dropped by 8.13% while potato, fruit prices jumped by 46.41% and 31.71% respectively in the same month. Inflation in food category is excepted to increase due to lower than expected Monsoon rains in the country.
Inflation in manufactured products stood at 3.67% in July while the core inflation for July 2014 came in at 3.32 per cent against 3.49 per cent in the previous month.
Current Affairs India - 17 August 2014

  1.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi-s maiden Independence Day speech on the eve of Independence day promised a new foundation for a more inclusive India; socially, economically and politically. In his speech, he has announced some plans and only one big ticket announcement which is financial inclusion plan.

He has announced a financial inclusion plan, named as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna which will help the poor open bank accounts which will come with the facility of a debit card and insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh. This scheme will help all the India citizens to avail the benefits of formal banking system.
The main features of the scheme include a Rs. 5,000 overdraft facility for Aadhar-linked accounts, a Ru Pay Debit Card with an inbuilt Rs. 1 lakh accident insurance cover and minimum monthly remuneration of Rs. 5,000 to business correspondents.
He announced another scheme, the Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojna, under which each MP will create a model village in his or her constituency using MP Local Area Development funds. Modi fixed October 11, the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, as the deadline to reveal its blueprint
He also announced that the Planning Commission would be replaced by another institution that will be more in keeping with India-s federal structure as well as more relevant in today-s domestic and global economic environment.

  1.  The Union Government announced to set up State level export promotion commissions, which will work with the Centre and provide fresh stimulus to the exporters in the country, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the audience at the foundation laying ceremony of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Navi Mumbai yesterday. These commissions will study the problems of exporters and suggest solutions. Advice would be provided to them in areas of designing, packaging and product innovation.

  2.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned INS Kolkata, India's largest indigenously built warship, at a ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai yesterday. Defence minister Arun Jaitley and chief of naval staff Admiral RK Dhowan were also present during the ceremony. 60% of INS Kolkata is built in India and it is a symbol of self-reliance of Indian Navy.

The warship, constructed by the Mazagon Dockyards Limited, has been designed by Navy's design bureau. The 6,800 tonne warship is a technology demonstrator and will showcase a giant leap in shipbuilding technology in the country.

  1.  Karnataka and Kerala governments have signed an MoU for rural livelihood mission. The Karnataka Minister for Rural Development and Panchyatraj, H K Patil, and the Kerala Chief Minister, Ommen Chandy, had signed the MoU on 13th August at Thiruvanathapuram.

As per the MoU, Kerala Governement-s Kudumbashree and Karnataka State Rural Livelihood Mission are to help train and hand-hold rural Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Karnataka.
5. India-s Forex reserves were decreased by USD 643.3 million to 319.347 billion for the week ended 8th August as per the recent weekly data released by RBI. This decrease was mainly due to decrease in the reserve portion in the Foreign Currency Assets. Indian-s forex reserves decreased after four weeks of continuous increase.
The Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) was decreased by USD 646.7 million to 292.046 billion for the same week. However the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and Reserve portion with IMF were increased by USD 2.5 million and USD 0.9 million respectively for the same week. Gold values remained unchanged USD 21.173 billion for the same reporting week.

  1.  The International Political Science Association has honoured Delhi University professor Dr Sunil Kumar with the Global South Award for his outstanding work on the politics of the developing world. He won the award for his paper titled "Changing Landscape of Electoral Democracy and Political Demography: A Study of 2014 General Elections in India."

The award instituted in 2009 aims at recognising the work done by a scholar from the Global South, and whose scholarly contribution is focused on the relevant countries/regions/ themes. The first Global South Award was bagged by Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav in 2009.
Current Affairs Global - 18 August 2014

  1.  The Global Peace Index published by the Institute for Economics and Peace last week measures the peacefulness of a country based on 22 indicators including safety, domestic and international conflicts, security etc. in 162 countries. Iceland, Denmark and Austria were ranked first, second and third respectively in the same list.

Bhutan and Nepal are the two most peaceful countries in the South Asian region, as per the Global Peace Index, 2014 published last week. Bhutan was placed at 16th position and Nepal was placed at 76th position in the global list.
India was ranked at 143th position the Global Peace Index, 2014 published last week while Pakistan was ranked at 154th and Afghanistan at 161st. India-s neighbours Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have been rated at 98th and 105th positions.

  1.  FDI in China dropped by 16.95% in July compared to same month last year to USD 7.81 billion as Chinese government took some steps against some MNCs over alleged violations of the anti-monopoly laws recently.

For the first seven month of the current year, total FDI stood at USD 71.14 billion which is lower than 0.35% compared to same period last year.

  1.  Former Sri Lanka Skipper Mahela Jayawardene ended his 17-year Test career on a victorious note today as Sri Lanka won the second and final Test against Pakistan by 105 runs to win the series 2-0. He had already retired from Twenty20 internationals after Sri Lanka-s title-winning campaign in the World T20 in April last year and will continue to play only one-day Internationals till next year-s world cup. He finished with 11,814 runs in 149 Tests with 34 centuries with an average of 49.82.

  2.  Serena Williams and Roger Federer won the Cincinnati Open Singles Tennis trophies in Ohio in their respective Women-s and Men-s single categories. In Men-s single final match world number three Federer defeated Spaniard David Ferrer by 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 while in Women-s single final match world number one Serena defeated Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1 to win the title.

Federer has won the Cincinnati Open all six times he has reached the tournament's title match while it was the first Cincinnati title for Serena.
Current Affairs India - 18 August 2014

  1.  Rajni Razdan has been appointed as the new chairman of Union Public Service Commission today. Razdan was administered the oath by the outgoing UPSC chairperson D P Agrawal, whose tenure ended today. The UPSC is headed by a chairman and 10 members. UPSC conducts the prestigious civil services examination.

Razdan, a former IAS officer of Haryana cadre, had retired as Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances and joined as UPSC member in April 2010.

  1.  Indian Institute of Management Calcutta has become the first IIM to obtain the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in business programmes for a period of 5 years. Formerly known as the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB was one of the key organisations in internationalizing business education.

Post this, IIM Calcutta joins this elite network such as Harvard, Yale and Columbia University and it will now get more foreign faculty members to teach students and collaborate globally on areas of research.

  1.  Indian stock market indexes Sensex and the Nifty jumped to new record highs of 26,391 and 7,874, respectively at the closing session today due to heavy FII inflow and favorable global cues. The 30-share BSE index Sensex surged 287.73 points to end at 26,390.96 and touched the day's high of 26,413.11. Similarly, the 50-share NSE index Nifty regained the psychological 7,800-level for the first time since July 25 by gaining 82.55 points to close at 7,874.25.

  2.  Top seed Diego Elias of Peru ended India's Kush Kumar dream run as he defeated Kush Kumar 11-5 11-7 11-4 in the semifinals of the World Junior Squash Championships  on Sunday.  Earlier Kush Kumar became the first Indian reach the semifinals of World Junior Squash Championship. The championship is being held in Windhoek, Namibia.

Current Affairs Global - 19 August 2014

  1.  Global internet giant Google announced that it has bought the startup behind a Jetpac mobile application that creates insightful travel guides by analyzing pictures from social networks such as Instagram. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jetpac, founded about three years ago and is based in San Francisco, mines publicly shared pictures for visual clues to insights and then presents users with city guides suggesting spots that might be of interest. Post this acquisition, Jetpac said that its application would be removed from Apple-s online App Store in coming days and it would stop supporting the software in the middle of September.

  1.  After a humiliating defeat in the recently concluded Pataudi Trophy test-series against England, India-s ranking dropped to fifth position behind South Africa, Australia, England and Sri Lanka in the latest ICC Test team rankings published in Dubai today. No Indian player were figured in top ten except for Ravichandran Ashwin who is ranked second among All-rounders.

South Africa leads the ICC Test team ranking with 124 points followed by Australia with 123 points, England with 104 points and Sri Lanka with 101 points.
Among the batsmen, Sri Lanka-s Kumar Sangakkara has been ranked as the top batsman followed by South Africa-s ABDevilliers and Hashim Amla while India-s Chetseshwar Pujara has been ranked at 16th place. Dale Steyn leads the list of bowlers followed by Ryan Harris and Rangana Herath. India-s Ravichandran Ashwin is placed at number 13 in the bowlers ranking.
Current Affairs India - 19 August 2014

  1.  India was ranked at 5th position in the list of top ten wind power producers in the world by adding 1,700 MW capacity in 2013, as per the Renewables 2014 Global Status Report published this week. As per the list, China was the leading wind power producer by adding 16,100 MW capacity in 2013, followed by USA, Germany and Spain in the same order.

China, USA, Brazil, Canada and Germany remained the top countries for total installed renewable power capacity by the end of 2013, as per the report. Worldwide more than 35,000 MW wind power capacity was added in 2013 taking the total capacity to 3,18,000 MW to which India contributed 1,700 MW.

  1.  Samsung leads the Indian handset market in India with market share of 17%, as per the latest report published by IDC yesterday. Samsung is followed by Micromax with 14% market share, Nokia with 10% market share, Karbonn with 9% market share and Lava with 8% market share.

IDC has also predicted Micromax to be the no 1 player in the Indian handset market as it continues to narrow gaps with Samsung.

  1.  Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Bharti Foundation have announced to spend 200 crore rupees for Clean India Campaign as a part of their CSR activities. TCS has decided to provide hygienic sanitation facilities in 10000 schools for girl students while Bharti Foundation decided to build toilets in Ludhiana in next three years covering every rural household.

This initiative of Bharti Foundation is part of Satya Bharti Abhiyan wherein it will invest in improving sanitation facilities in government schools in rural Ludhiana by building new toilets for girls where no such facilities exist.

  1.  The BCCI has appointed former captain Ravi Shastri as the Team Director today and virtually sidelined Coach Duncan Fletcher for the upcoming one-day series after humiliating 3-1 series loss against England in the recently concluded Pataudi Trophy test-series. India has also suffered innings defeat in the last two matches which got over in just 3 days, which is also the heaviest Test defeat of India in 40 years.

The BCCI also appointed former players Sanjay Bangar and Bharat Arun as assistant coaches and R Sridhar as the fielding coach as it revamped the team management.
India-s exports jumped by 7.33% to USD 27.72 billion in July, Trade deficit jumped to USD 12.2 billion
India-s total exports grew by 7.33% in July compared to same month last year to USD 27.72 billion. With this, Indian export growth dropped to single digit from double digit growth for the two consecutive months. Total Imports grew by 4.25% in July compared to same month last year to USD 40 billion. The trade deficit stood at USD 12.2 billion in the same month. India-s total exports jumped by 8.6% in the first four months of current financial year.
India-s Gold import stood at USD 1.9 billion in July, dropped by 26% in the same month last year. Gold import stood at USD 3.3 billion in previous month of June. India's current account deficit, which had touched a historic high of 4.7% of GDP in 2012-13, dropped steeply to 1.7% of the GDP in 2013-14 after the UPA government raised customs duty on gold from 2% to 10% in stages, and the RBI brought in the stringent 80:20 rule for imports.
Current Affairs Global - 20 August 2014

  1.  Indian capital Delhi has been ranked at 111th position out of 140 world cities in the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) 'Global Liveability Ranking' released yesterday. This dismal ranking indicates to the lack of urban planning across India's polluted and chaotic cities.

The ranking, which provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide, shows that since 2009 average liveability across the world has fallen by 0.7%. Karachi in Pakistan and Dhaka in Bangladesh were ranked at 135th and 139th places respectively in the same ranking.
Melbourne, Australia tops the ranking for the fourth consecutive year, while Vienna has been ranked as the top city in Europe and 2nd overall.
2. An Indian neuroscientist in the US, Partha Mitra, has been awarded Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) under President Barack Obama's multi-year Brain Initiative to map the human brain. He along with his fellow researchers at the National Science Foundation, Florin Albeanu, have been awarded with the grant.
The award provides USD 300,000 over two years for the development of innovative conceptual and physical tools to advance neuroscience. The grant will help them to develop a -virtual neuroanatomist", an artificial-intelligence system that can identify cell types and neural structures in microscopic images of brain slices.

  1.  Sixteen-year-old Max Verstappen will become the youngest driver in Formula One history in 2015 season after being singed for the season. He, son of ex-F1 driver Jos Verstappen, will partner Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull feeder team along with Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne as surplus.

He will turn 17 next month and will beat the age record currently held by Spain's Jaime Alguersuari, who was 19 years and 125 days when he made his debut in 1990.
Current Affairs India - 20 August 2014

  1.  Senior Congress leader K V Thomas has been appointed as the Chairman of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee, PAC which will hold its first meeting next week. The Committee is constituted every year consisting not more than 22 members out of which 15 members are taken from Lok Sabha and remaining ones from Rajya Sabha. It examines Comptroller and Auditor General's reports after they are tabled in Parliament.

As per norm, the post of the PAC chairman should be held by a senior member of the opposition party. Earlier Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi was the chairman in the previous Lok Sabha when UPA was in power.

  1.  The Central government has issued a notification regarding CSAT exams. As per the notification, the marks obtained for questions on English language comprehension skills, asked in the second paper of the civil services (preliminary) examination, will not be included for grading.

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the civil services preliminary examination. These papers are also known as CSAT I and CSAT II. The notification, issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, makes it clear that candidates should not attempt nine questions of 22.5 marks asked in the English section of the prelims- second paper.

  1.  The Government has constituted a high-level committee to recommend restructuring of Food Corporation of India (FCI) which will be headed by former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar. The committee will submit its report to the Government within three months.

The committee will study various models of restructuring or unbundling of FCI to improve its operational efficiency and financial management as well as measures for overall improvement in management of foodgrains by FCI, among others.

  1.  World-famous yoga guru and founder of the Iyengar School of Yoga BKS Iyengar passed away early this morning following illness. He was 96. He was was admitted to a private hospital last week and he was put on dialysis after his condition worsened two days back.

Iyengar was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and had written many books on yoga practice and philosophy including -Light on Yoga-, -Light on Pranayama-, and -Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali-. He was honoured with Padma Vibhushan by Indian Government.
Current Affairs Global - 21 August 2014

  1.  Thailand coup leader, Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, has been elected as the 29th Prime Minister of Thailand. He was backed by 191 members of the 197-strong junta-picked national assembly. No assembly member opposed the selection of the army chief who was also the only candidate for the Prime Minister post.

Earlier, He seized power from an elected government in a bloodless coup in May this year shortly after previous Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was dismissed in a controversial court ruling.

  1.  Bangladesh has decided to join the newly formed BRICS development Bank, an initiative taken by the five emerging countries of the world - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Finance Minister of Bangladesh A.M.A. Muhith announced that the ministry has send letters to Bangladesh Missions in the five countries to know about the details of joining the bank.

  2.  Global cloud computing company Salesforce secured the first rank in the same list for the fourth consecutive times in the list of Forbes- list of the world-s 100 most innovative companies that investors think are most likely to -generate big, new growth ideas--, published yesterday. Salesforce is followed by biotech firm Alexion Pharmaceuticals (2), British semi-conductor company ARM Holdings (3), fast moving consumer goods company Unilever Indonesia (4) and New York-based biopharmaceutical company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (5).

  3.  Australian Cyril Baldock has set the world record for being the oldest person to cross the English Channel. The 70 year old swimmer completed the swim between England and France in 12 hours and 45 minutes yesterday. This is his second channel swim, he had earlier crossed the channel in 1985.

Current Affairs India - 21 August 2014

  1.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated NTPC's thermal power station at Mouda near Nagpur to the nation today. In his speech, he has given more importance to infrastructure for any nation to develop.

He has also dedicated the Ranchi-Dharamjaygarh-Sipat 765 KV inter-regional power transmission line to the nation in Jharkhand earlier the day. This line is the first inter-regional link between the eastern and western region.

  1.  The Reserve Bank of India introduced a minimum set of guidelines for non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) on lending against shares in order to reduce volatility in the capital market due to NBFCs offloading shares pledged by borrowers who have defaulted on loans. As per the new guidelines, NBFCs with asset size of Rs 100 crore and above, the NBFCs have to maintain a loan-to-value (of shares pledged) of 50% and accept only Group 1 securities as collateral for loans of a value more than Rs 5 lakh. The guidelines come into effect immediately.

All NBFCs with asset size of Rs 100 crore and above should report online to stock exchanges information on the shares pledged in their favour by borrowers to avail themselves of loans.

  1.  HDFC Bank has been ranked as India-s most valuable brand with a brand value of USD 9.4 billion, as per the first edition of the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands ranking published in Mumbai on 20th August. Bharti Airtel secured the second position with USD 8.2 billion, State Bank of India (SBI) at third with 6.8 billion and ICICI Bank at fourth position with USD 3.53 billion in the same list.

  2.  Five Indian companies, including Hindustan Unilever and Tata Consultancy Services, are placed in the list of Forbes- list of the world-s 100 most innovative companies that investors think are most likely to -generate big, new growth ideas--, published yesterday. Hindustan Unilever is ranked 14th, followed by IT major Tata Consultancy Services (57), Larsen & Toubro (58), Sun Pharma Industries (65) and Bajaj Auto (96).

Current Affairs India - 22 August 2014

  1.  The Central Government is all set of appoint Arvind Subramanian as the new Chief Economic Advisor (CEA). He is now the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and senior fellow at the Centre for Global Development as its Chief Economic Advisor (CEA).

He will succeed Dr. Raghuram Rajan who took over as Reserve Bank Governor in September last year, since then the post has been lying vacant.

  1.  The Reserve Bank has projected India-s economic growth at 5.5% in the current financial year due to improvement in manufacturing activity and investment, in its annual report for the Financial Year 2013-14 published yesterday. As per the report, high and persistent inflation has become a key risk to growth and to overall macroeconomic stability.

RBI expects retail inflation to be at 8% by January 2015 which is in its control but it projects 6% inflation by January 2016 which is still on the higher side. It has also warned that any steep increase in global crude oil price will have adverse impact on Inflation.
The RBI said in its report that its surplus for the Financial Year 2014 fiscal declined 14.75% to Rs 52,679 crore as its interest income from investments in foreign sovereign bonds declined during the year even as its investments increased.

  1.  The Indian Banks- Association has elected TM Bhasin as the Chairman of the Association for 2014-15 at its 67th annual general meeting. Currently, he is Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank. He succeeded previous IBA chairman KR Kamath, CMD of Punjab National Bank.

The AGM also elected three Deputy Chairpersons, Arun Kaul, CMD, UCO Bank; SL Bansal, CMD, Oriental Bank of Commerce, and Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank and an Honorary Secretary, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, State Bank of India.

  1.  Jnanpith award winner and famous Kannada writer U R Ananthamurthy passed away today evening at a hospital in Bangalore. He was hospitalised for infection and fever today morning. He was awarded with the Padma Bhushan in 1998, Jnanpith award in 1994, the state Rajyothsava award in 1984. He was also nominated for the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.

He did his doctorate from the University of Birmingham in 1966 where he began his career as a professor in the English department. He also served as the vice chancellor of the Mahatama Gandhi University in Kottayam from 1987 to 1991. After serving as the chairman of the National Book Trust for the year 1992, he was elected as the President of the Sahitya Academy in 1993.
Current Affairs India - 24 August 2014

  1.  Maharashtra Governor K. Shankaranarayanan has submitted resignation from his post today as he was asked to move to Mizoram yesterday. His tenure was due to end in 2017. Gujarat Governor O.P. Kohli will take over the additional charge of Maharashtra today.

  2.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Pradhan Mantri Krishi Seenchayi Yojana to meet the irrigation needs of all farmers across the country. Total Rs 1000 crore has been allocated for implementation of the scheme.

The scheme was proposed in the Lok Sabha in July 2014 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his budget speech.

  1.  An indigenously built anti-submarine warfare corvette named as -INS Kamorta- was inducted into the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy on 23rd August. This is the first of four ASW stealth corvettes designed by the Navy-s in-house organisation, the Directorate of Naval Design (DND), under Project 28.

The warfare is 110 meters in length, 14 meters in breadth and displacement of 3,500 tonnes with a maximum speed of 25 knots. The ship is also fitted with anti-submarine rockets and torpedoes, medium and close-in weapon systems, and an indigenous surveillance radar.

  1.  Delhi-based wrestling academy, Guru Hanuman Akhara, has been chosen for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar (RKPP) award for this year, as per a Sports Ministry release on 21st August. It has been chosen for the award for -establishment and management of sports academies of excellence.- President Pranab Mukherjee will honour the RKPP awardees along with Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand award winners at the National Sports Awards function on August 29.

Other RKPP awardees are Oil and Natural Gas Corporation for employment of sports persons and sports welfare measures; Jindal Steel Works for community sports — identification and nurturing of budding/young talent and Child Link Foundation of India — Magic Bus forother forms of sports activities not covered in the categories mentioned in the schemes.

  1.  Online restaurant and food discovery site Zomato acquired Czech Republic-s and Slovakia's restaurant guides and respectively for a total amount of USD 3.25 million. Post this acquisition, the combined entity will be the largest resource of restaurant information in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Zomato has been aggressively expanding its global presence in last couple of months in addition of expanding its presence in existing markets. Recently it had acquired MenuMania, the leading restaurant discovery service in New Zealand earlier this year.

  1.  India's forex reserves increased by USD 43.3 million to USD 319.39 billion for the week ended on 15th August, as per the latest weekly report published by the RBI. The foreign currency assets were increased by USD 54.7 million to USD 292.101 billion in the same week. Gold reserves remained unchanged at USD 21.173 billion.

  2.  India has maintained its second position in the latest ICC ODI team rankings with 112 published in Dubai yesterday while Australia secured No 1 rank in the same list. India is followed by South Africa and Sri Lanka with 111 points each.

In the batsmen list, Virat Kohli is ranked at third position while Indian team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is ranked sixth and Shikhar Dhawan is ranked eleventh in the same list while South Africa-s Hashim Amla has been ranked at the top followed by his team mate AB Devillliers. Amoong the bowlers, India-s Ravindra Jadeja is ranked at fifth while Ashwin is ranked at the 18th place.
Current Affairs Global - 25 August 2014

  1.  Oscar-winning British actor, film director and producer Richard Attenborough, famous for his critically-acclaimed biopic on Mahatma Gandhi, has passed away. He was 90.

Lord Attenborough won an Academy Award for best director for 'Gandhi' in 1983. He also won four BAFTA Awards and four Golden Globe Awards

  1.  Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull team won Belgian Grand Prix held on Sunday. This is his third victory in this season after winning Hungary and Canadian Grand Prix this season.  

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel secured second to fifth places respectively in the same race.
Current Affairs India - 25 August 2014

  1.  In a significant ruling, India's higher court the Supreme Court has ruled tpoday that all coal mining licences awarded between 1993 and 2010 are illegalDuring this period, different governments gave rights to mine coal to state and private companies in a manner which was "not fair and transparent" and without competitive bidding, said a bench headed by Chief Justice R.M Lodha.

The apex court will now examine each of the 218 such licences if that should be cancelled or not. Earlier, India-s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has ruled that Indian government lost USD 210 billion because of wrong allocation of coal blocks.

  1.  Textiles Ministry has inked a pact with domestic e-commerce major Flipkart to provide an online marketing platform to handloom weavers across the country in order to boost the handloom sector, empower the weavers and uplift manufacturing in the country.

As per the deal, Flipkart will provide weavers in India an online marketing platform, infrastructural support in data analytics and customer acquisition to help them get remunerative prices for their products and scale up their business. This move will help weavers and weaver entrepreneurs in the textile ministry in the country and also help to eliminate middleman.

  1.  Central Government has appointed R N Ravi as the new chief of Joint Intelligence Committee, a body tasked to assess intelligence gathered by various intelligence agencies including IB and RAW and functions under the National Security Council Secretariat.

He is a 1976 batch IPS officer from Kerala and retired in 2012 as Special Director of Intelligence Bureau. He will hold the charge for next three years.

  1.  Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has awarded HCL Founder and Chairman Shiv Nadar with the ICSI Life Time Achievement Award 2013 for Excellence in Corporate Governance. He was awarded for his exemplary work in institution - building and good governance.

Current Affairs Global - 26 August 2014

  1.  Global e-commerce giant Amazon announced acquisition of the videogame platform Twitch for USD 1 billion which will enable millions of people to watch games being played on the site.

San Francisco-based Twitch, founded 3 years ago, streams games being played for non-playing viewers to watch, and hosts gaming events. It also allows viewers to chat with the players and others, which makes it very popular among its users. It sells advertising to generate income and the service had over 55 million unique monthly viewers till July.

  1.  South Africa-s economy managed to grow by 0.6% during April-June quarter of the current year, which helps the economy to avoid recession. Its economy was hit by the recent platinum strike which affected platinum output significantly. South African economy was contracted by 0.6% in the previous quarter.

Current Affairs India - 26 August 2014

  1.  President Pranab Mukherjee appointed four new governors today for Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. Kalyan Singh, Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, C. Vidyasagar Rao and Mridula Sinha have been appointed as new Governor of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa respectively.

C. Vidyasagar Rao succeeds K Sankaranarayanan who resigned after he was transferred to Mizoram. Kalyan Singh succeeded Margaret Alva who completed her tenure early this month. Mridula Sinha succeeded B V Wanchoo who resigned last month and Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala succeeded H R Bhardwaj who had completed his complete tenure.

  1.  Bhartiya Janata Party has announced a twelve-member Parliamentary Board today, which includes names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and BJP general Secretary J P Nadda among others. The complete list of the BJP Parliamentary Board reads: Amit Shah; Narendra Modi; Rajnath Singh; Sushma Swaraj; Arun Jaitley; M Venkaiah Naidu; Nitin Gadkari; Ananth Kumar; Thawarchand Gehlot; Shivraj Singh Chouhan; J P Nadda; Ramlal; Jual Oram; Shahnawaz Hussain; Vijaya Rahatkar.

Veteran party leaders LK Advani and MM Joshi were not included in the board but were included in a new body, the 'Margdarshak Mandal'. The 'Margdarshak Mandal' (guiding body) is a five-member body that consitutes of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Narendra Modi, LK Advani, MM Joshi and Rajnath Singh.

  1.  Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit resigned today one day after she met President Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The former Delhi chief minister was appointed the Governor of Kerala by the UPA-II government about five months ago.

Current Affairs India - 27 August 2014

  1.  The Supreme Court said today that Prime Minister and Chief Ministers should not induct persons with criminal and corruption charges as ministers in their cabinets for national interest. It will send a strong signal to criminal and corrupt politicians.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha did not pass any order to disqualify them as ministers, instead it has left the decision with the PM and CMs not to induct them as ministers in their cabinets. It further said that the Constitution reposes immense trust in the PM and CMs and they are expected to act with constitutional responsibility and morality.

  1.  SAIL Chairman C.S.Verma has been elected as First President of Indian Steel Association (ISA), which was formally launched by Major domestic steel producers on 26th August. Sajjan Jindal, Chairman & Managing Director, JSW, Mr. TV Narendran, MD, Tata Steel, P Madhusudan, CMD, RINL will be apex committee members. 

The membership of ISA will be open to any steel producer with a yearly capacity of at least 2 million tonne while Steel producers with capacity less than 2 million tonnes can be affiliate members. The association will work towards transforming the Indian steel industry to improve its Quality, Productivity & Competitiveness.

  1.  India-s telecom major Vodafone and will come together to plant 3,00,000 saplings under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to develop country-s first private wildlife corridor between Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserve. Both the companies have announced this campaign today.

The trees will be planted over 100 hectares of forest land between the two reserves over a period of three years and it will generate 25,000 mandays employment for tribals and other people living in the area.

  1.  Indian women cricket captain Mithali Raj has retained No 1 rank for batters in the latest ICC women-s rankings published today. She is followed by England captain Charlotte Edwards, who has jumped five places to second position and S.J. Taylor of England.

In the bowlers- rankings, S.R. Taylor of West Indies secured No 1 rank while England-s Jenny Gunn has moved up to two places to second, her highest ranking so far. India-s J. Goswami secured third rank. In All-rounders- category, S.R. Taylor of West Indies secured No 1 rank followed by Australia-s E.A. Perry and her team mate S.F. Daley.
Current Affairs India - 28 August 2014

  1.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana' today. This is the most ambitious financial inclusion scheme so far by the Central Government which aims to provide a bank account and insurance cover to every household across the country. Narendra Modi announced the scheme during his independence speech this month.

On opening day, '1.5 crore bank accounts will be opened as a part of Jan Dhan Yojana scheme. As a first step, under the scheme, every account holder will get a 'RuPay' debit card with Rs 30,000 life insurance besides accidental insurance of up to Rs 1 lakh.
The Finance Ministry has asked State-owned Life Insurance Corporation to see if the insurance behemoth could provide life cover of ?30,000 to each of the 15 crore new bank account-holders proposed to be covered under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
2. The government announced the minimum monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 and a higher wage ceiling of Rs. 15,000 for social security schemes run by retirement fund manager EPFO which will be implemented from 1st September. This decision to fix pension entitlement of Rs. 1,000 will immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners who are currently getting less than this amount as pension. This list includes 5 lakh widows as well.
Also the proposal to make minimum wage ceiling for becoming a subscriber of EPFO to Rs. 15,000 per month will bring nearly 50 lakh workers under the pension body. The maximum sum assured under the EDLI has also been fixed at Rs. 3.6 lakh including 20% ad hoc benefit over the prescribed amount under the notification compared to existing benefit of Rs 1.56 lakh.

  1.  Bollywood Superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been roped in as Ambassador of Interpol-s initiative -Turn Back Crime- campaign to promote awareness about prevention of crime. With this, he has become the first Indian to be roped in as Ambassador of Interpol. He will lend his voice to help the global body to spread the message about respecting the law and fight crimes.

He also joins Chinese star Jackie Chan as an Ambassador for the campaign which has already received support from famous sportspersons footballer Lionel Messi, Formula 1 racing drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Current Affairs Global - 30 August 2014

  1.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been sworn in as the President of Turkey after winning the country's first public vote after serving three terms as Prime Minister. This move will only increase his dominance on the country. At the same time, former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will be the Prime Minister of the country.

  2.  US actor and singer Harry Belafonte has been named for the honorary Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar Award yesterday. This is one of the three Governor's Award given by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for lifetime achievement. He will recieve the award in November this year.

Belafonte, also known as the King of Calypso, has spent much of his life campaigning for various causes including Aids awareness, famine relief, education and civil rights. He was a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. He was also named as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987.
3. The eurozone inflation dropped to five year low of 0.3% in August, increases fear of possible deflation across the region. Inflation in euro zone stood at 0.4% in July.
This will prompt the European Central Bank (ECB) to take immediate action to boost economic growth across the region.
4. Brazilian economy fallen into recession as its economy was conracted by 0.6% during second quarter of current year following a 0.2% contraction in the previous quarter. A recession is defined by contraction in two consecutive quarters.
This is a very bad news for President Dilma Rousseff just before the General Election which will be held in October this year.

  1.  Famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was named the UEFA Best Player in Europe this week, his second after he won the same in 2008. He defeated Bayern Munich players Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben for the prestigious award.

Ronaldo has received highest number of 24 votes from a panel of European football journalists to win the award followed by Neuer with 19 votes and Robben with 9 votes.
Current Affairs India - 30 August 2014

  1.  National Sports Day was celebrated yesterday (29th August) across the country. The National Sports Day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of famous hockey player Dhyan Chand. Major Dhyan Chand was India-s greatest hockey player. He helped India win 3 Olympic Gold medals including the first in 1928 (Amsterdum Olympic games) and then in 1932 (Los Angeles Olympic games) and 1936 (Berlin Olympic games).

The President presented all the sport-related awards such as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award on this day at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to sports achievers and coaches across various sporting fields.

  1.  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today during his 5 day visit to Japan and both the countries signed a MoU today to develop Varanasi into a -smart city- by using the experience of Kyoto, the -smart city- of Japan. A Partner City MoU was signed by Indian Ambassador Deepa Wadhwa and Kyoto Mayor Daisaka Kadokawa at a ceremony in presence of Prime Ministers of both the countries.

The MoU provides for cooperation in heritage conservation, city modernisation and cooperation in the fields of art, culture and academics, as per External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin. This will serve as framework for Smart heritage city programme between the two countries, he added.

  1.  Vinod Kumar Duggal resigned as Manipur Governor, becomes the ninth government to resign since the newly elected NDA government took charge 100 days back. He was appointed as governor of Manipur by President Pranab Mukherjee in December 2013.

  2.  Chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) RN Ravi was appointed as Naga interlocutor on 29th August, as per notification released by the PMO. He will be representing Govt of India in Naga peace talks.

  3.  After Governors, the Narendra Modi government planned to remove independent directors appointed by the previous UPA regime on PSU boards. NDA government begins that with sacking of four directors on the board of Indian Oil Corp.

As per regulatory filing by Indian Oil Corp, K Jairaj, Nesar Ahmad, Sunil Krishna and Sayan Chatterjee have ceased to be Independent Directors on the Board of the company on August 27, 2014. All of them were appointed to IOC board in March this year for a three-year term by previous UPA government.

  1.  In a rare honour, the US Post Service will issue a special postage stamp to commemorate legendary Indian actor Akkineni Nageswara RaoThe Telugu actor, who has spent 70 years in the industry, was awarded with all the top honours of the Indian film industry including the top most honour -Dada Saheb Phalke Award-.

Popularly known as ANR, he was a leading pillar of the Telugu film industry, beginning from Chennai to moving to Hyderabad and contributing to its growth as one of the biggest in the country now. The AFA also plans to release the stamp in India at the first "International Akkineni Awards Ceremony" in the presence of ANR family members.

  1.  Famous historian Bipin Chandra passed away at his residence today after prolonged illness. He was 86. He had played multiple roles including that of chairperson of the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Member of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Chairman of the National Book Trust (NBT).

He had authored several books including 'The Rise and Growth of Economic Nationalism', 'In the Name of Democracy: The JP Movement and the Emergency', 'Nationalism and Colonialism in Modern India' and 'The Making of Modern India: From Marx to Gandhi' etc. He was also awarded with Padma Bhushan by the Central Government.
India-s Economic growth rebounds; GDP growth jumped to 9-quarter high of 5.7% in First quarter of FY-15
India-s economic growth rebounded sharply in the first quarter (April-June) of the current financial year to 5.7% due to strong output by manufacturing and services sectors and steps taken by the new government to boost economic growth. This is the highest quarterly GDP growth in last 9 quarters, also much higher compared to GDP growth of 4.6% in the previous quarter and GDP growth of 4% in the same quarter last year.
The manufacturing sector, which accounts for nearly 14% of the economy, grew by 3.5% in the same quarter compared to 1.4% contraction in the previous quarter. The services sector, which accounts for nearly 60% of the economy, grew by 6.8% in the same quarter compared to 6.4% growth in the previous quarter. This is a good news for the economy and newly elected NDA government. Government has to take more measures now to booth investment and economic growth.
Check the link to see sector wise growth in the same and previous quarters: