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Current Affairs Today – August 1 2016

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Bihar lifts ban on toddy sale, consumption
Bihar Assembly Elections - Grand victory for Grand Alliancei. Bihar government-led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has lifted the Ban on the toddy (palm wine) consumption and selling in the state.
ii. The Rashtriya Janata Dal Party which is alliance with Janata Dal were not in favor of the ban when the state imposed a total liquor ban and the sale of ‘toddy in April this year.
Toody and Bihar:
Toddy  locally called ‘tadi is considered the poor man’s beer and has been a favourite of villagers as a natural drink from the palm tree.In Bihar people engaged in the business most of them are from Pasi caste.


WHO to remove transgenders from is mental disorders list
With a new study published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal declared a proposal that would remove the decades-old assignment, World Health Organization is making the move to declassify transgender identity as a mental disorder on its international list of medical conditions.
i. A study led by the National Institute of Psychiatry in Mexico suggested that transgender people struggled to access health care services due to this classification.
ii. Labeling transgender identity as a mental disorder is becoming increasingly controversial and a WHO Working Group has recommended that transgender identity should no longer be classified as a mental disorder in ICD-11.
iii. The definition of transgender identity as a mental disorder has been misused to justify denial of health care and contributed to the perception that transgender people must be treated by psychiatric specialists, creating barriers to health care services and from inchanging legal documents to child custody and reproduction
iv. The study found that many transgender people had physical health problems stemming from having to live as a marginalized population, because their lives went on a “slope leading from stigma to sickness.
About WHO :
♦ Name – World Health Organization,
♦ Establishment – 1948,
♦ Head – Margret Chan
♦ HQ – Geneva, Switzerland


Bonanza for 7th pay commission beneficiaries – SBI unveils two new cheap housing loans
SBI unveiled a new cheaper home loan scheme for defense and other government employees. This new decision reflects to attract the donee of the 7th pay commission’s salary hike. SBI eyes that the surplus income of the employees can thus be utilized by government employees and defense personnel towards purchase of house.
i. State Bank of India introduced two new self customizable schemes as per the needs of the employees  without any processing fee in the following terms,
♦ SBI Privilege Home Loan – government employees,
♦ SBI Shaurya Home Loan – defence personnel.
ii. The government employees are relaxed with instalment tenure extending up to 75 years of age and lower EMI burden post retirement and 0.05 percent concession over the home loan interest.
iii. It is noted that customers of other banks or financial institutions will have an option to switch over their home loan outstanding balance to SBI.

Raghuram Rajan released the consolidated norms of On-Tap Licensing process to enact reform in the Banking Industry
In order to switch over bank licensing process from once-in-a-decade affair into an ongoing process, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has released the key features regarding the consolidated norms of the ‘on tap licensing’ or continuous licensing process.
Guidelines :
i. On-tap licensing has initiated the biggest overhaul in India’s banking structure, after readying the structure for differentiated banking regime with the issuance of small finance banks and payments bank licences.
ii. If one sees the monetary policy structure reforms too along with this, Rajan’s governorship has witnessed an era of big reforms in India’s banking industry.
iii. The applicant have to pass the ‘Fit and Proper‘ criteria, which constitutes of a promoting entity/ group should have a past record of proper and efficient financial credentials, integrity and should have a minimum 10 years of successful track record.
iv. It is also to be complying by the applicants that the respective entity has total assets of Rs 5,000 crore or more, the non-financial business of the group does not account for 40 per cent or more in terms of total assets/in terms of gross income.

Tata Capital Housing unveils home loan scheme with 4% rate
Tata Capital Home loani. Tata Capita Housing Limited announced a Comprehensive Housing finance scheme called Prapti with an attractive 4% interest rate for people earning less than Rs 6 lakh a year.
ii.The Scheme categorizes two group upon their annual income.viz
1.People with earning between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh a year are recognised as low income group
2.People earning less than Rs 3 lakh are considered as economically weaker segment.
iii. Also the Prapti scheme that intends sections like the lower income group (LIG), economically weaker section (EWS), scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST) and women in the peripheries of metros, tier I cities along with those living in tier II and tier III cities.
iv. The iniative is inline with the union government’s vision of ‘Housing for All by 2022.

ICICI lowers its Marginal Cost Lending Rate by 0.05% to 8.9%
India’s largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank reduces its Marginal Cost Lending Rate by 0.05% to 8.90 from previously 8.95%.
i. The Reserve Bank of India has brought a new methodology of setting lending rate by commercial banks under the name Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR). It has modified the existing base rate system from April 2016 onwards.
ii. As per the new guidelines by the RBI, banks have to prepare Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) which will be the internal benchmark lending rates. Based upon this MCLR, interest rate for different types of customers should be fixed in accordance with their risk.
iii. The main components of MCLR are,
♦ Marginal cost of funds;
♦ Negative carry on account of CRR;
♦ Operating costs;
♦ Tenor premium.
iv. The new methodology uses the marginal cost or latest cost conditions reflected in the interest rate given by the banks for obtaining funds while setting their lending rate. This means that the interest rate given by a bank for deposits and the repo rate are the decisive factors in the calculation of MCLR.

SEBI’s first phase of new enterprise portal goes live
i. Markets Watchdog SEBI unveiled its first phase of its new enterprise portal to offer timely dissemination of information to all its stakeholders be it internal or external.
ii. The new portal developed by IT major Tech Mahindra went live on July 29 will come in place of the existing one, also the first phase provides the SEBI-employees and some of its market intermediaries.
iii. The portal provides an e-Platform to registered and prospective intermediaries to communicate in secure, simplified, transparent and paperless process that is in line with the digital trends.
iv. The project was done by Tech Mahindra includes migration of data and providing live feed and various other works that started in December 2014.
♦ Formed‎: ‎12 April 1992
♦ Chairman: ‎U K Sinha‎,
♦ Headquarters‎: ‎Mumbai

Bank of Baroda ties up with start-up Fisdom
i. Vadodara headquartered Public Sector lender Bank of Baroda has entered into partnership with a fintech start-up Fisdom for personal wealth management services.
ii. The lender also entered into pact with six other fintech companies, proficient in different areas, they are CreditMantri, FundsTiger, Probe42, Power2SME, IndiaLends and KredX.
iii. The Fisdom is a Bangalore-based personal finance startup. Also its Fisdom app helps users make financial investments in seamless and paperless way by integrating technology with personalised financial advice.
Bank of Baroda
♦ Headquarters: Vadodara
♦ CEO: P. S. Jayakumar
♦ Slogan: India’s International Bank


Oracle India Joins SBI to Foster Digital Skills Initiative’
i. American Business Software maker Oracle India has joined with India’s largest lender State bank of India to corporate citizenship collaboration and unveiled the ‘D-Change’ programme to support education and learning, women’s empowerment and rural skills development.
ii. The initiative will merge SBI’s financial expertise and expansive reach with Oracle’s technology leadership to help local communities drive substantial change and develop a skilled economy.
iii. On behalf of this move both the majors will enhance IT literacy among high school students, teachers and parents from over 100 SBI-supported government schools by iniative named Digital Kushalta ki Aur.
iv. Initially D-Change will be initiated at Rotary Bangalore Vidyalaya in Bengaluru and Mandal Parishad High School, Kondapur in Hyderabad


All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Award goes to West Bengal for Four Major reforms in Agri sector
For the first time, West Bengal has been selected for the prestigious All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Award 2015.
i. 51st committee from the Indira Gandhi Krishi Bikash Kendra has selected West Bengal for this award.
ii. Four primary areas including scientific seed research have paved the way for west Bengal to relish this award for agricultural practices.
iii. West Bengal Government is so keen in attracting FDI from US and Malaysia in order to invest in food processing sector in West Bengal.
iv. It is noted that West Bengal already been awarded with the second position for participating in International Agriculture and Horticulture Expo.
About West Bengal :
♦ Capital – Kolkata
♦ CM – Mamata Banerjee
♦ Governor – K. N. Tripathi


Anandiben Patel resigns as Gujarat chief minister
Maa Annapurna Yojna'i. Ahead of the forth coming elections in Guajarat in 2017, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel expressed her offer to resign from her hot seat and this decision eyes at marking her age 75, which is to be completed soon.
ii. It is noted that BJP has a policy to the effect that leaders above 75 years of age should not hold any administrative post and this also adds up to the resignation of Anandiben Patel.
iii. Modi appointed Patel as his successor in Gujarat, his home state, in 2014. But Patel’s standing weakened after a series of caste-driven protests and murder issues of the Dalits in the state.
iv. Anandiben Mafatbhai Patel is an Indian politician and the ex-incumbent Chief Minister of Gujarat. She was the first woman Chief Minister of the Gujarat.
v. She is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) since 1987. She was the Cabinet Minister of Road and Building, Revenue, Urban development and Urban Housing, Disaster Management and Capital Projects in the Government of Gujarat from 2007 to 2014.
About Gujarat ;
♦ Capital – Gandhinagar
♦ CM – Anandhiben Patel (resignation under approval)
♦ Governor – OP Kohli

Southern Naval Command gets it new chief – Air Marshal S Neelakantan
i. S Neelakantan, Air Marshal took charge as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command and the traditional Guard of Honour was presented to him by the Air Warriors.
ii. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force on December 28, 1977.
iii. He is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Tactics and Combat Development Establishment.
iv. Mr. Neelakantan has flown over 3100 hours on various aircrafts and became a Qualified Flying Instructor. He also commanded a frontline fighter squadron and two flying bases.
v. He was a recipient of Yudh Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal and has also led the IAF contingent in Congo as part of the UN Mission.
vi. The Southern Air Command(SAC) of the Indian Air Force  is headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram . This is one among the five commands of IAF. This command was started on 19 July 1984 and was inaugurated by Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. It is noted that the conflicts in Sri Lanka and the need for establishing a strong base over the Indian Ocean resulted to the formation of this new command.


Yahoo researchers built a powerful new online abuse detector
Yahooi. American multinational technology company Yahoo has come up with the new online abuse detector for detecting and eventually curbing rampant online abuse.
ii. The Yahoo researchers used their massive comment sections to create the powerful tool that can is the best automated abuse filter built to date.
iii. The system can detect the correctly identify abusive language from the same data set about 90 percent of its time when used.
iv. The tool uses technique called word embedding that integrated with machine learning to their massive repository of flagged comments, at present scenario many abuse filters depend on combination of blacklisted terms, common expressions and syntax clues to catch hate speech online.


Many big animals may be extinct by 2100: study
i. According to the study published in the journal BioScience, many mammoth animals will go extinct by 2100, the study went on to say that big animals could disappear by the end of the century if conservation measures aren’t taken it warned.
ii. Biodiversity  loss also mammals of a particular region, habitat is an issue than the Climate change the report also urges governments and conservation organizations to prevent the mass extinction by taking steps that could save them.
iii. In many parts of the world people settlement has decimated rhino and elephant populations also big cats are worst affected among them.
iv. The data danger lies in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, everywhere much of the world’s biodiversity resides.


Novak Djokovic bags the renowned Rogers Cup title held in Toronto, Canada
Ahead of the Olympic Games, Novak Djokovic defeated Kei Nishikori in straight sets and got back to winning streaks in the Rogers Cup final in Toronto, Canada.
Winners of 2016 Rogers Cup

Men singlesNovak Djokovic defeated K. Nishikori
Women SinglesS. Halep defeated M. Keys
Men DoublesI. Dodig and  M. Melo defeated J. Murray and B. Soares
Women DoublesE. Makarova and E. Vesnina defeated S. Halep and M. Niculescu

Lewis Hamilton wins 2016 German Grand Prix of F1
i. Britain’s Lewis Hamilton who drove for Mercedes has sealed German Grand Prix that also gains 19 points lead championship over his teammate Nico Rosberg.
ii. The victory is fourth straight in a row after he European grand prix Hamilton bagged all the four in a row.
iii. His Rosberg gave excellent start on the grid finished fourth in the end he finished behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen.
iv. The Mercedes driver German Rosberg also penalised for making Red Bull’s Max Verstappen off the track.

Patna Pirates titled as the Winner of Season 4 Pro Kabbadi League
Patna Pirates won in the season 4 finals of the Pro Kabaddi League by defeating Jaipur Pink Panthers. Being a winner of season 3, Patna again proved its ability in the Kabaddi league by winning this season.
i. Patna Pirates mandled a convincing win over Jaipur Pink Panthers with a point set of 37-29 to continue their winning spree in Pro Kabaddi league.
♦ Patna Pirates’ Pardeep Narwal  – Best raider with 17 points
♦  Hodi Oshtorak – Best Defender of the Match.
♦  Telugu Titans’ Rahul Chaudhari – The most successful raider with 146 points.
ii. The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is a professional kabaddi league in India, based on the format of the Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament.
iii. The first edition of the tournament was played in 2014 with eight franchises representing various cities in India. It is currently managed by Mashal Sports.
iv. Patna Pirates followed by Telugu Titans and Jaipur Pink Panthers secured top three positions of this current league.

Darren Lehman’s tenure has been extended as the head coach of Cricket Australia till 2019 World Cup
i. Darren Lehman’s contract has been extended as the head coach of Cricket Australia till the 2019 ICC cricket World Cup, which to be played in England.
ii. Darren Scott Lehmann is a former Australian cricketer and the current coach of the Australian cricket team. Lehmann made his ODI debut in 1996 and Test debut in 1998.
iii. Being an aggressive left-handed batsman, Lehmann was also a part-time left arm orthodox bowler, and was known for his disregard for physical fitness and modern dietary regimes.
iv. He announced his retirement from first-class cricket in November 2007.
v. He coached the IPL teams Deccan Chargers from 2009 to 2012 and Kings XI Punjab in 2013. He coached Queensland during the 2010/11 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash in place of Trevor Barsby,
vi. Cricket Australia(CA), formerly known as the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia. It was originally formed in 1905 as the “Australian Board of Control for International Cricket”. It is incorporated as an Australian Public Company


Indian-American Professor Emeritus Braj B Kachru passes away 
Indian-American Professor Emeritus Braj B Kachru passes away i. Eminent Indian-American Professor Emeritus Braj B Kachru has passed away in Urbana. He was 84 year old. He was a Jubilee Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana.
ii. Kachru has authored over 25 books and more than 100 research papers, reviews and review articles and was worked with many editorial board. He was born in Sri Nagar in India.
iii. He was a member of the Indian Cultural Society, The Linguistic Society of America and the founder of the International Association of World Englishes  also became the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University in 1998.

Renowned Actor and singer Gloria DeHaven dies at the age of 91.
Renowned Actor and singer Gloria DeHaven who featured in films with Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Charlie Chaplin has died at the age of 91 following a major stroke suffering in Las Vegas.
i. DeHaven was born inLos Angeles, California, the daughter of actor-directorCarter DeHaven and actress, Flora Parker DeHaven.
ii. She began her career as a child actor with a bit part in Charlie Chaplin‘s Modern Times (1936). 
iii. She was signed to a contract with MGM. Despite featured roles in such films asBest Foot Forward(1943), The Thin Man Goes Home (1944), Scene of the Crime(1949) and Summer Stock (1950), and being voted by exhibitors as the third most likely to be a “star of tomorrow'” in 1944, she did not achieve film stardom. She portrayed her own mother, Flora Parker DeHaven, in the Fred Astaire film Three Little Words (1950).
iv. It is noted that DeHaven has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fameat 6933 Hollywood Blvd.