Current Affairs India - 16 August 2015

1. Union Government-s Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh (PAHAL) scheme has been acknowledged as the world-s largest cash transfer program (households) by the Guinness Book of World Records. The scheme was formally launched as Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG subsidy in 2013 in 291 districts under the aegis of Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Later it was renamed as PaHal in November 2014 and was launched in 54 districts which was extended nationwide from 1st January 2015.

2. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed former IAS officer Om Prakash Rawat as an Election Commissioner (EC) in the Election Commission of India (ECI). He will have tenure of more than three years till December, 2018 when we will attain the retirement age of 65 years.

Earlier he had served as a Director in the Defence Ministry in 1993 and as Principal Secretary to then Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh to Babu Lal Gaur from 2004 and 2006. He also had served as Secretary at Department of Public Enterprises in the Ministry of Heavy Industries from 2012 till December 2014 when he retired. With his appointment, the three-member of ECI are Om Prakash Rawat , Nasim Zaidi (Chief Election Commissioner) and A K Joti (EC).

3. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has allowed banks to tie up with insurers as a part of its new Bancassurance model guidelines. Prior to this decision, banks were not allowed to have insurance agency tie-ups with more than one insurer.

IRDAI had constituted a 7 member committee to study the reviewing of the existing architecture of the Banacassurance model. As per new decision banks can tie up with nine insurers from three segments which are life, non-life and standalone health insurance companies.

4. Online property search portal has acquired HomeBuy360, a unique cloud-based Sales Lifecycle Management Platform, for nearly USD 2 million. This is's third acquisition this year. With this acquisition, became the only online real estate listing platform to own a developer CRM company.

5. World number 1, Spanish Carolina Marin won 21-16 World Championship Women-s title after defeating India-s Saina Nehawal in the final of the World Badminton Championship in Jakarta on 16th August. Saina ends up winning the silver medal. Saina became the first Indian to reach the final in the women's singles after she defeaeted Lindaweni Fanetria by 21-17, 21-17 in the semifinal match yesterday. PV Sindhu won the bronze twice in 2013 and 2014 and Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won the bronze in women's doubles in 2011. Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to win a bronze in 1983.

In the men-s category, Top seed Chen Long retained world champion title at the World Badminton Championships in Jakarta on 16th August after defeating Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in the men's singles final match for a fourth successive time.

6. India's Abhishek Verma won the gold medal in the compound men's individual section in the Archery World Cup Stage 3 competition in Poland on 15th August. At Wroclaw, he performed his best in the individual final as he held on to his lead to wrap up the issue 148 -145, against Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran.