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Current Affairs Today – August 26 2016

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Nagaland Assembly ratifies GST bill & Nagaland welcomes Children’s film festival
i. The Nagaland State Assembly ratified the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill by the House by a voice vote following a discussion on 26 August 2016.
ii. Upon this ratification Nagaland’s revenue would go up as tax evasion would be checked due to transparency and broadening of tax base. It became the ninth state to sign the tax reform in the country.
iii. The state of Nagaland also welcomes Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI), has been organised in Nagaland. Titled “CFSI Film Bonanza commenced on August 23. The Festival will last for a week.
iv. The Festival is jointly organised by CFSI and Directorate of School Education of Nagaland, will encompasses major cities of Nagaland, including Kohima, Wokha and Dimapur during the week.
Nagaland:
♦ Capital: Kohima
♦Governor: Padmanabha Acharya
♦Chief Minister: T. R. Zeliang

Bengaluru to host the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017
i. IT-BT capital of the country, Bengaluru, will host the 2017 Bharatiya Pravasi Divas. It is scheduled to take place on February 7, 8 and 9 of 2017.
ii. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas(English:Non-Resident Indian Day), is celebrated in India on 9 January each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.
iii. The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on 9 January 1915. Established in 2003, it is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs of the government of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India.
iv. A celebratory event is held on 7–9 January each year in an Indian city: a forum for issues concerning the Indian Diasporais organized and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards are given.
v. In 2014, Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was held in New Delhi and was attended by 1,500 delegates from 51 countries. President Pranab Mukherjee gave the Pravasi Bharatiya Samma Awards. Media India Group (MIG) is one of the media partners of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2014.
vi. The Bharatiya Pravasi Divas, scheduled to be hosted from February 7 to February 9, will see close to 3000 Non-Residential Indians (NRI) and PIO delegates from across the world and the government is yet to finalize on the venue, dependent on the infrastructure availability in and around the place.

Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi launches POCSO e-Button for children to file complaints of sexual abuse
i. Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has launched an online complaint box named POCSO e-Box for reporting child sexual abuse in New Delhi on 26 August 2016.
ii. The Protection of ChildrenPOCSO e-Button from Sexual Offences (POCSO), e-Box, is a Portal which has dedicated system for easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against children and appropriate action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012.
iii. The Portal will make it possible to implement it on a large scale throughout the country which is merged prominently in the home page of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Portal in which will have a simply push a button.

Maharashtra to tie up with corporates to transform 1,000 villages
i. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis unveiled the State government plans to transform 1,000 villages with the help of corporate sector, and the civil society over the next few years.
ii. An institutional mechanism will be evolved for the trust, which will have its own corpus and be listed under the Companies Act. While the state government will provide 50 per cent of the funds, the remaining will come from the corporate sector.
iii. It is noted that corporate sector is already working with the government through the CSR and thought of using their resources, knowledge, technology and planning and implementation skills.
iv. Half the villages will be shortlisted by the state government while the rest will be selected by partnering agencies. About the criteria of selecting villages and the villages will be selected on the basis of their backwardness and how they rank on the Human Development Index.
About Maharashtra :
♦ Capital – Mumbai,
♦ CM – Devendra Fadnavis,
♦ Governor – C.V. Rao

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

US Postal Service honors Diwali Festival with a Forever Stamp
i. The United States Postal Service will commemorate the festival of Diwali with a Forever stamp on Oct 5 and on behalf  of this a dedication ceremony to be hosted at Consulate General of India in New York.
Diwaliii. The commemorative stamp designed with featuring a traditional diya oil lamp beautifully lit, sitting on a sparkling gold background.
iii. The Joyous Hindu festival Diwali (shortened version of the Sanskrit word Deepavali- means a necklace of lights) also Known as Deepavali celebrated the triumph of good over evil. Spanning five days each autumn, some considered this as the start of the New Year.
iv. The Festival falls on the eve of the new moon that occurs between mid-October and mid-November in the Hindu Calendar.

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI asks banks to extend loans to women SHGs at 7% rate
i. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked to grand loans to Women Self-Help Group (SHG) up to Rs 3 lakh at 7 per cent interest rate per annum.  The Revised Scheme comes from RBI after it god approval from Rural Development Ministry.
ii. These loan scheme to be provided under poverty alleviation project- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM)-Aajeevika scheme for the year 2016-17 in the 250 districts.
iii. Upon the new guidelines an interest subvention on credit line up to Rs 3 lakhs at 7% per annum will be provided. All women SHGs will be eligible for it. However, SHG availing capital subsidy under Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) in their existing credit outstanding will not be eligible for benefit under this scheme.
iv. The RBI statement says that all banks will be subvented to the extent of difference between the weighted average interest charged and 7 per cent, subject to the maximum limit of 5.5 per cent.

Finance Ministry set up a committee for digitalize incentive payments
i. The Finance Ministry led by Arun Jaitley has set up a committee to consider incentives such as cash back schemes and tax rebates for promoting card and digital payments in a step towards discouraging cash transactions.
ii. With an aim to discourage cash transactions, theFinance Ministryhas set up this high-level committee to suggest steps to promote card payments through incentives like tax rebates and cash back schemes.
iii. The 11-member committee, headed by former Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal, will recommend various measures to incentivize transactions through cards and digital means, e.g., through tax rebates/incentives, introduction of cash back/lottery.
iv. It will examine setting up of a Centralized KYC – know-your-customer registry. The panel will also study feasibility of creating a payments history of all card/digital payments and ensure that merchants/consumers can leverage the data to access instant, low cost micro-credit” through digital means and create necessary linkage between the payment history and credit information.
v. It is noted that the panel will also review the challenges the system could possibly face, study market practices around the world and consider the scope of integration of all government systems, such as Public Finance Management System, PayGov, Bharatkosh and eKuber.

Karnataka Bank launches UPI app KBL-SMATRz
i. Mangaluru based Karnataka Bank has come up with a mobile application named KBL-SMARTz built on the unified payments interface (UPI) platform of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
ii. The App was launched by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer P Jayarama Bhat, Karnataka Bank.
iii. The App enables users to perform the transactions on-the-go through this app, which is available in the Google PlayStore.
iv. KBL-SMARTz is Secure Mobile App for Rapid Transactionz which is a new initiative from NPCI in the digital payments ecosystem. The interface is designed to enable customers across UPI member banks to pay and collect money from their smartphones without entering any bank account information.
v. The UPI interfaced App makes customers to transact with UPI member banks to pay and collect money from their smartphones.
Karnataka Bank
♦ Founded: 1924
♦ Headquarters: Mangalore
♦ CEO: Polali Jayarama Bhat

World Bank sanctions Rs 980 cr for Brahmaputra dredging: Min
i. The World Bank has announced a funding of Rs 980 crore to dredge the Brahmaputra as an initiative to develop waterways to Bangladesh and to other South East Asian countries which is give fillip to trade and industry in the Area.
ii. Upon this Brahmaputra waterways will pave the way for trade that will lead to a reduction in the cost of transportation of goods and will finally the state of Assam will become export hub for the South East Asian countries.worldbank
iii. This Sanction also boost the Centre’s Act East Policy that also in line to boost trade with South East Asian countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and other countries.
World Bank
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C
♦ Founded: December 27, 1945
♦ President: Jim Yong Kim

BUSINESS

World Most Innovative Companies by Forbes, India bags 5 positions in top 100 ranks
i. Forbes has released a list of 100 ‘The World’s Most Innovative Companies’. These 100 companies ranked on the list are based on their creative disruption, potential for innovation and investor interest. The companies also need to have seven years of financial data and $10 billion in market capitalization.
ii. Tesla Motors tops Forbes’ sixth annual list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies for the second consecutive year.  Salesforce retains the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row.
iii. Life science and biotechnology companies occupy half of the top ten spots on the list. Investors have seen major innovations in biotechnology and expect big things for the industry.
Top 10 List:-

Rank Name Country Industry
1 TESLA MOTORS INC. USA Automobile Manufacturers
2 SALESFORCE.COM INC. USA Application Software
3 REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS USA Biotechnology
4 INCYTE CORP USA Biotechnology
5 ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS INC. USA Biotechnology

Mahindra launches technology platform DiGi Sense
mahindra-digi-sensei. Mumbai-based automobile maker Mahindra and Mahindra Limited has launched DiGiSENSE, an integrated technology platform that connects cars, trucks, tractors and construction equipment’s for cloud computing.
ii. The Company’s new platform has been conceived, developed and manufactured in India in collaboration with Tech Mahindra, Bosch and Vodafone.
iii. This is an open architecture which engaged 1,80,000 km and 10,000 hours of testing to develop the new DiGI SENSE 1.0 technology which safeguards the system from any unauthorised use of Mahindra vehicles like tractors, trucks and construction equipment.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

The World’s Highest-Paid Actors 2016: The Rock Leads With Knockout $64.5 Million Year
Wrestler cum actor Dwayne Johnson topped a Forbes magazine list of the world’s highest paid actors with an estimated 2016 payday of $64.5 million. Once again the Forbes annual list proved that actresses earned less than actors. Earlier this week, the magazine named “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence the world’s highest paid actress for the second straight year, with an estimated 2016 take of 46 million dollars.
The Top 5 List:-

1  Dwayne Johanson – $64. 5 Mn
2  Jackie Chan – $61 Mn
3  Matt Damon – $55Mn
4  Tom Cruise – $53 Mn
5  Johnny Depp – $48 Mn

Christiano Ronaldo – UEFA Best Player in Europe for the second time
i. Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Uefa’s Best Player in Europe for the second time after winning the Champions League and Euro 2016. It is noted that the Real Madrid forward beat team-mate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann were in the voting.
ii. Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He is a forward and serves as captain for Portugal.
iii. Often ranked as the best player in the world, Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation, during its 100th anniversary celebrations in 2015.
iv. He is the only player to win four European Golden Shoe One of the most marketable athletes in sport, in 2016 Forbes named Ronaldo the world’s best paid athlete. In June 2016,ESPN ranked him the world’s most famous athlete.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Shri P Kumaran – India’s next Ambassador to the State of Qatar
i. Shri P Kumaran Indian Foreign Service – 1992 batch, presently Joint secretary in the Ministry, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the State of Qatar.
ii. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly. 
iii. Qatar officially the State of Qatar is a sovereign country located in Southwest Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
iv. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. A strait in the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island country of Bahrain, as well as sharing maritime borders with the United Arab Emirates and Iran.
v. Following Ottoman rule, Qatar became a British protectorate in the early 20th century until gaining independence in 1971. Qatar has been ruled by the House of Thani since the early 19th century.
vi. Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thaniwas the founder of the State of Qatar. Qatar is a hereditary monarchy and its head of state is EmirSheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Whether it should be regarded as a constitutional or an absolute monarchy is a matter of opinion.
vii. In 2003, the constitution was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum, with almost 98% in favor. In 2013, Qatar’s total population was 1.8 million: 278,000 Qatari citizens and 1.5 million expatriates

ENVIRONMENT

World Risk Index – 2016, India at 77th, Pakistan at 72nd and Bangladesh at 5th
i. The World Risk Report 2016, published by the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft, analyses the role that infrastructure plays in shaping a country’s disaster risk. India has been ranked 77th on the World Risk Index, topped by Island state of Vanuatu.
ii. The Index, calculated by the University of Stuttgart, ranks 171 countries according to their risk of becoming a victim of a disaster as a result of natural hazards such as floods, cyclones, or earthquakes.
iii. The Island state of Vanuatu has been ranked no 1 on the index. Pakistan ranks 72th while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at 63rd and 5th position respectively. China and Nepal are in a better position than Indian on 85th and 108th position.
iv. The international community must invest more in the establishment and development of critical infrastructure even before disasters occur.

SPORTS

BCCI to submit first Compliance Report to RM Lodha panel
i. The BCCI submitted the first Compliance Report to the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Panel in regards to the implementation of reforms as per the apex court verdict.
ii. The BCCI has already filed a Review Petition with the Supreme Court seeking recusal of CJI TS Thakur from the case. At the moment none of the state associations will carry out any reforms till the verdict of Review Petition is out.
iii. This panel will meet on August 28 and the Compliance Report is likely to come up for discussion. The panel wants 11 reforms to be implemented by October 15.RM Lodha panel
iv. At the moment none of the state associations will carry out any reforms till the verdict of Review Petition is out.
About BCCI :
♦ President: Anurag Thakur
♦ Secretary: Ajay Shirke
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: December 1928

Paytm – Title Sponsor for India/West Indies T20 matches to be played in USA
i. The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) awarded the title sponsorship rights to Paytm for the upcoming two T20 International matches between India and West Indies to be played in Florida, USA.
ii. India and West Indies will play two Twenty 20 matches on August 27 and 28 at the Central Broward Regional Park, Fort Lauderdale, USA.
iii. Paytm is an Indian e-commerce website headquartered in Noida, India. It was launched in 2010 and adds to the industry of Fin Tech in India. It is owned by One 97 Communications.
iv. The firm started by offering mobile recharging, adding bill payment and e-commerce, with products similar to businesses such as Flipkart, Amazon.com, Snapdeal. In 2015, it further added booking bus travel. Paytm also launched movie ticket booking by partnering with Ciné polis in the year 2016.
v. It is noted that In 2015 Paytm received a license fromReserve Bank of Indiafor starting India’s first payments bank. The bank intends to use Paytm’s existing user base for offering new services, including debit cards, savings accounts, online banking and transfers, to enable a cashless economy.

Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee – Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Month for July, 2016.
i. With the closure of the Rio Olympics, Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee has been voted as the Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Month for July, 2016.
ii. Thongchai Jaidee is a Thai professional golfer who plays on the Asian Tour and the European Tour. On the Asian Tour, he holds the record for the most career earnings and is second in victories having won 13 times.
iii. He has won the Order of Merit on the Asian Tour three times during his career. Jaidee was the first man to win US$2 million, US$3 million, US$4 million and US$5 million on the Asian Tour in prize money.
iv. Jaidee did not start playing golf until he was sixteen, and he later went into theRoyal Thai Armywhere he was a paratrooper. Jaidee did not turn professional until he was thirty years old, but he soon achieved success on the Asian Tour, topping the tour’s order of merit in 2001 and 2004.
v. In 2006 he received a special invitation to play in theMasters Tournament. He was the second Thai to play in the Masters after Sukree Onsham, who did so in 1970 and 1971, and by doing so, he became the first Thai to play in all four major championships.
vi. He had a four-shot victory after carding a final round three-under 69 for an 11-under 273 aggregate to become the oldest champion at the Open de France

Tillakaratne Dilshan to retire after Australia series
Tillakaratne-Dilshani. Veteran Sri Lanka Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan is expected to retire from illustrious international career after ongoing ODI series against Australia.
ii. He is well known for his Dilscoop ( ducking ramp shot) and this man had captained his side in all the format of the game.
iii. Dilshan made his one-day debut against Zimbabwe in 1999 and went on to play 329 ODIs for Sri Lanka and Scored 10248 runs which includes 22 hundreds.
iv.The Fearless man also a handy Spinner has 106 ODI wickets under his belt, and is one of just five players to have scored a century in all three forms of the game.
v. He retired Test Cricket in 2013, played 87 Tests where he accumulated 5492 runs and 39 wickets.