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Current Affairs Today – August 20 2015

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Dear Readers, We cover some important news in Current Affairs Today Section, which are not covered in Daily Detailed News, More Current Affairs coverage will help you to Score Good Marks in Competitive Exam.

**Blue Heading are Detailed News, Click the News to Read More**

Indian Affairs 

Only BS-IV compliant vehicles will be sold and registered from 2017: Government

  • Sale of four-wheelers not meeting Bharat Stage (BS)-IV emission norms will be barred in India from April 2017, with the government deciding to bring the entire country under the ambit of the tighter pollution control standard.
  • The sale and registration of vehicles not meeting the new emission norms won’t be allowed in the country from April 2017 and only Bharat Stage compliant four-wheeler vehicles will be manufactured
  • BS-IV is already mandatory in some major cities, including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. For the rest of the country, the government has prepared a plan to implement the new norms in two phases.

Govt launches portal for students seeking loans


The government has a launched a website, on the occasion of Independence Day i.e. 15th August, 2015 .

  • The portal has been developed and maintained by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov) under the guidance of Department of Financial Services in the Finance Ministry, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
  • 13 banks have registered 22 educational loan schemes on the Vidya Lakshmi Portal and five banks — SBI, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India have integrated their system with the portal for providing loan processing status to students.

Haryana, Maryland agreed to cooperate in biotechnology, life sciences

  • At a meeting in state capital Annapolis, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford agreed that Haryana and the US state of Maryland to explore the possibility of cooperation in the fields of biotechnology, life sciences, agriculture, cyber security and engineering.
  • They also decided to find out scope for working with companies engaged in the sector of low-cost housing in Maryland.
  • Manohar Lal Khattar, led a 20-member delegation of officials and businessmen on a 10-day trip to the US and Canada.
  • In the memory of the first Indian-origin astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the government of Haryana has decided to set up the Kalpana Chawla University of Health Sciences Khattar sought cooperation and guidance from its Bloomberg School of Public Health of Maryland. 

International Affairs

Pakistan and Russia signed defence agreement that includes the sale of four Mi-35 helicopters

  • Pakistan and Russia signed a landmark defence deal on the sale of four Mi-35 ‘Hind E’ in Rawalpindi.The agreement have been finalised during Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Russia in June earlier this year.
  • It was the first major defence deal between the two Cold War-era adversaries.
  • In November 2014, Pakistan and Russia had signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening military-to-military relations.
  • Pakistan currently has a number of ‘Mi-17’ helicopters delivered by the US to assist in the fight against militancy.

 Mi-35 helicopter:

The Mi-35 helicopter is an exceedingly modernised version of the Mi-24 combat helicopter with new onboard equipment and avionics. It also has a more powerful engine and a different tail rotor.

Banking & Finance 

Emirates NBD ties-up with Axis Bank, Empays Payment

  • UAE-based bank Emirates NBD to transfer money directly into registered mobile numbers in India from UAE, Emirates NBD has tied up with Axis Bank and Empays Payment Systems.
  • Through an innovative funds remittance service ‘DirectRemit2 Mobile’, account holders in the UAE can transfer funds to any registered mobile phone number in India.
  • Within 60 seconds through the DirectRemit platform funds can be transferred to the beneficiary’s account.
  • Emirates NBD Senior Executive Vice President & Group Head – Retail Banking and Wealth Management Suvo Sarkar said that we foresee DirectRemit2 Mobile revolutionising peer-to-peer international money transfers in the UAE as we expand the service to new markets in the near future.


YouTube tied-up with Whistling Woods International to set up YouTube Space

  • Google-run video sharing portal YouTube to set up YouTube Space in Mumbai tied-up with Whistling Woods International (WWI).
  • YouTube Space Mumbai is the seventh such facility for the Google-run video sharing portal. It has similar facilities in Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, New York, Brazil, and Berlin.
  • It will allow YouTube creators and students at WWI to learn about video production, collaborate with other creators.


  • WWI is a film, communication and media arts institute and subsidiary of director Subhash Ghai-promoted Mukta Arts.
  • It has recently partnered Taiwan’s electronic contract manufacturer Foxconn for supplying equipments and creating a high quality content hub.

Prasar Bharti, Digital Television Russia inked MoU

  • Prasar Bharati (PB) and Russian Pay-TV programmer Digital Television Russia (DTR) today signed a deal on cooperation focussing on high quality production, marketing and distribution of content related to art, culture, research, technology in the two countries.
  • Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash.
  • Dmitry Mednikov Yurievich, deputy CEO of Russia Television and Radio.

Awards and Recognition

Historian Babasaheb Purandare conferred with Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2015


  • History writer Balwant Moreshwar Purandare was conferred with the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’ award, the state’s highest honour, at a glittering function in Mumbai.
  • He was bestowed this award in literature category by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at a function held at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.

Purandare, who was born on 19 August, 1921, started writing about the life of Shivaji from a very young age. He is known for his books like Raja Shiv Chhatrapati, Purandaryanchi Daulat, Purandaryanchi Naubat and Gadsanch which are considered masterpieces on the life and times of the 16th century Maratha warrior king.

Appointments & Resigns

Abhay Kumar Singh Appointed as Private Secy To Agriculture Minister

  • IAS officer Abhay Kumar Singh has been appointed as Private Secretary to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh by Department of Personnel and Training.
  • Currently, he is working as Additional Secretary in the Department of General Administration, Bihar.

Karnal Singh assigned additional charge of Director of Enforcement Directorate

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) assigned additional charge of Director, Enforcement Directorate to IPS officer Karnal Singh.
  • This is the first time that an Indian Police Service officer has been appointed as the chief of the central agency.

 Enforcement Directorate (ED)

  • ED has always been led by an IAS officer, barring a few instances when IRS officers headed the agency, which was created in 1956.
  • ED is mandated to enforce two of the most stringent laws in the country.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to check black money and hawala trade cases.

Lt Gen Hira appointed Chief of Staff Northern Command

  • Lieutenant General NPS Hira, Commander of Vajra Corps, has been appointed as Chief of Staff Northern Command at Udhampur.
  • On completion of his successful tenure as Vajra Corps Commander, Lt Gen NPS Hira is now moving to the prestigious appointment of Chief of Staff Northern Command at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir



Bangladesh has won maiden Under-16 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship title 2015.

  • Bangladesh has won earliest Under – 16 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship title 2015.
  • It was played at the Sylhet District Stadium and they defeated defending champions of India by 4 – 2 in penalties shoot out.
  • In the regular play, both teams had scored equal one goal against each other.
  • In Under – 16 SAFF tournament, the participants were Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the Maldives.

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