Current Affairs Daily Updates 15 August 2016
India Celebrates 70th Independence Day
- The nation is celebrating its 70th Independence Day with patriotic fervor and gaiety.
- President Pranab Mukherjee in his message bowed to the heroes of independence struggle who sacrificed their lives for the freedom.
- The PM Modi called upon the countrymen to come forward with the commitment for Surajya.
- He said Surajya is a qualitative & positive change in the lives of the citizen of India.
Trudeau Marches in Montreal Pride Parade
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marched with thousands of people in Montreal’s annual Gay Pride parade.
- Government representatives from all of Canada’s political parties joined Trudeau in Montreal
- He made history in July when he became Canada’s first sitting prime minister to participate in Toronto’s Gay Pride parade.
- He had also attended Vancouver’s pride event.
SpaceX Lands Falcon9 Rocket After Launch
- SpaceX has successfully landed a reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a floating drone ship at sea after the vehicle had sent a Japanese satellite into orbit.
- It carry its onboard satellite called JCSAT-16 into geostationary transfer orbit.
- This was part of its ongoing effort to re-use costly rocket parts.
- It was also the fourth time SpaceX has landed a used Falcon9 rocket aboard a floating platform.
Obama Declares Emergency in Louisiana
- US President Barack Obama issued a disaster declaration for flood-devastated Louisiana.
- The action makes emergency federal funding available to support rescue crews working nonstop as deadly flooding ravages the state.
- Obama informed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal of the emergency declaration
- The flooding has submerged large parts of the region.
Rhino Horn Verification Process Starts
- The Assam Government has launched Rhino horn verification process for verifying rhino horns stored in various treasuries of Assam since 1980.
- The process will be responsible for verifying the genuineness of the rhino horns.
- The process of verification will be conducted by 12-member Rhino Horn Verification Committee.
- The committee is headed by former forest officer Mohan Chandra Malakar.
Dharmendra Pradhan Launches PMUY in West Bengal
- Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ (PMUY) in West Bengal.
- PMUY scheme entailed providing free connection to women of BPL households.
- The government had earmarked Rs. 8,000 crore for its rollout across the country.
- The ambitious social welfare scheme of the Narendra Modi Government was launched on May 1 at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh.
Pathankot NSG Martyr gets Shaurya Chakra
- The Govt has conferred Shaurya Chakra posthumously to Lt. Col. E.K. Niranjan of the National Security Guard.
- He was killed while defusing a grenade at the scene of the terror attack at Pathankot IAF base in Jan.
- The brave officer had sanitised two bodies & was working on the third when the fatal blast claimed his life.
- The Shaurya Chakra is the 3rd highest peacetime gallantry medal of the country
Hangpan Dada Honoured with Ashok Chakra
- Havildar Hangpan Dada has been posthumously honoured with Ashok Chakra on the eve of Independence Day
- He belonged to the Assam Regiment/35th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles.
- Dada had shown exemplary courage, devotion & gallantry beyond the call of duty during an encounter with a group of terrorists in J&K.
- Ashoka Chakra is the country’s highest award for gallantry during peace time.
J’khand Govt Introduces e-POS in State
- Jharkhand government has introduced the e-POS (electronic point of sale) system.
- The system would enable genuine beneficiaries to get grains by taking their finger prints.
- Jharkhand has become only 3rd State in country to have their PDS system digitised.
- Chief Minister Raghubar Das this biometric system would help not only the beneficiaries, but also curb corruption.
1st BIO-CNG Project in India Inaugurated
- The first ever BIO-CNG project in India was inaugurated in Pune.
- The project was inaugurated, by Transport Min Nitin Gadkari & Manohar Parrikar.
- This plant will use agricultural residue to generate CNG.
- The process of generation of CNG from agricultural waste involves treating the waste with a special bacterial solution,after which the gas so generated is cleaned & compressed for use in vehicles.
Saina Nehwal Suffers Shock Defeat at Rio
- India medal hope Saina Nehwal crashed out of the women’s singles badminton title at Rio.
- The London Olympics bronze medallist and world no. 5 lost 18-21 19-21 to World No. 61 Maria in a match that lasted 39 minutes.
- She had won the opening match against Brazil’s Vicente Lohaynny
- Nehwal cited an inflammation in her right knee as the reason which hampered her on court movement.
US Wins 1,000th Olympic Gold Medal
- The U.S. earned its 1000th Olympic gold medal in summer Olympics after the American women’s team won the 4×100 meter medley relay.
- The honor of reaching the milestone was shared by Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Dana Vollmer & Simone Manuel.
- Of the 1,000 gold medals, more than half have come from track and field (323) and swimming (246).
- The U.S. team had arrived in Rio with 977 gold medals.
Usain Bolt Wins 100m Gold
- Jamaica’s speedster Usain Bolt has retained his coveted title “Fastest man alive on the planet”.
- Bolt won the 100m Final of Rio Olympics , to have the third Olympic Gold medal in the event.
- In his Final appearance in an Olympic, he recorded his season best time of 9.81 seconds.
- American Justin Gatlin settled for a Silver with a time of 9.89 sec & Canada’s Andre De Grasse finishing 3rd.
Dipa Karmakar Narrowly Misses Medal
- Dipa Karmakar missed a bronze medal by a whisker to finish 4th in the women’s vault finals in the Rio.
- She scored an average of 15.066 points, a mere 0.15 less than the eventual bronze winner Giulia Steingruber (15.216) of Switzerland.
- She still created history by producing the best-ever performance by an Indian gymnast in the Olympics history.
- The gold went to American Simone Biles (15.966).
Kotak Bank Starts Innovation Lab
- Kotak Mahindra Bank has started an ‘Innovation Lab’ in Bengaluru.
- It aims to tap into the best technology that impacts its operations & is open to investing in startups.
- The initiatives being undertaken by them include launching dedicated funds to invest in startups.
- It will working with startups in the artificial intelligence, analytics, biometric or iris scanning & machine learning space.
Yes Bank to Raise $1 bn via QIP
- Yes Bank plans to raise Rs.6,885 crore through QIP in the next 7 months.
- It has started engagement with large investors across geographies.
- Yes Bank has reported a 32.8 % rise in net profit to Rs.731.8 cr during the first quarter ended June 30.
- Qualified institutional placement (QIP) is a capital-raising tool whereby a listed company can issue equity shares,fully & partly convertible debentures.
RBI may not meet Inflation Target: IMF
- An IMF paper has raised question marks over the ability of RBI to target inflation through monetary measures.
- IMF has said the size of formal financial sector is small in India and may undermine the effectiveness of interest rate changes on aggregate demand.
- the RBI has recently implemented an inflation-targeting regime.
- RBI will be required to meet retail inflation target of 4%,plus or minus 2%,
Pipeline to Connect B’desh,Myanmar,India
- The govt has ambitious plan to lay 6,900 km of gas pipelines linking Bangladesh, Myanmar, most north-eastern states & West Bengal.
- As part of Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North-eastern region pipelines would be laid connecting Sitwe (Myanmar),Chittagong (B’desh),most north-eastern states, Siliguri & Durgapur.
- Thirteen routes with a total length of about 6,900 km of pipelines have been proposed.
No Rail Budget from Next Fiscal
- The 92-year-old practice of presenting a separate Rail Budget is set to come to an end from the next fiscal.
- The Finance Ministry accepted Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s proposal to merge it with the General Budget.
- The Finance Ministry has now constituted a five-member committee to work out the modalities for the merger.
- The committee has been asked to submit its report by August 31.
ONGC Sets up Fund for Start-ups
- Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has set up a Rs. 100-crore start-up fund to nurture new ideas related to the sector.
- The initiative, christened ONGC Start-up is in line with the Centre’s ‘Start-up India’ initiative.
- ONGC will provide the support chain for start-ups including seed capital & mentoring
- The aim of is to increase the contribution of fresh implementable ideas in the oil & gas sector.