DAILY GK UPDATE -- 151 TO 212 --SEPTEMBER FINAL LOT --BANKERSADDA.COM
151. Mariko Kipchumba of Kenya won 2015 Beijing International Marathon
i. Mariko Kipchumba of Kenya on 20 September 2015 won the annual Beijing International Marathon. He finished the 42.195-km course in 2 hours 14 minutes and 25 seconds.
ii. In women’s competition, Ethiopian runner Betelhem Cherenet won the title in 2 hours 27 minutes and 31 seconds.
iii. With the present win, forty-one-year-old Kipchumba became the first non-Ethiopian athlete to win the event since 2011. Francis Kiprop won the 2011 event.
iv. The annual marathon race is being held in the Chinese capital Beijing since 1981. It begins at Tiananmen Square and finishes at the National Olympic Sports Centre stadium.
152. Ajay Jayaram wins silver medal in 2015 Korea Open Badminton tournament
i. India’s Ajay Jayaram has won silver medal in 2015 Korea Open Badminton tournament in the Men’s singles category. In the final match played at Seoul, he lost to World no. one Cheng Long of China by 14-21, 12-21 score settling to silver medal.
ii. With this Ajay Jayaram became first Indian badminton player to win a medal in Korea Open Badminton tournament.
iii. It was Cheng Long’s sixth trophy of the season and second Korea Open Badminton tournament after he had won in 2014.
iv. Ajay Jayaram is currently ranked 32nd in the world. Earlier in the Korea Open tournament, he had defeated Viktor Axelsen of Denmark and Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei on his way to the Final.
153. Sebastian Vettel wins 2015 Singapore Grand Prix of Formula One
i. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel from Germany has won 2015 Singapore Grand Prix of Formula One.
ii. The race was held on the Marina Bay Street Circuit, which is the first street circuit in Asia.
iii. It was overall fourth victory for Vettel in Singapore Grand Prix as he had earlier won in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This was his third victory of the season 2015.
iv. Earlier he had won Malaysian Grand Prix and Hungarian Grand Prix.
154. Two Indian Coast Guard ships Apoorva & C-421 commissioned
i. Indian Coast Guard has commissioned two new ships named Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Apoorva and Interceptor Boat C-421.
ii. The ships were commissioned by Vice Admiral SPS Cheema, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of Western Naval Command (Mumbai) off the naval dockyard in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
iii. Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Apoorva is the 14th fast patrol vessel in a series of 20. It is 50-metre long and can achieve a top speed of 33 knots and displaces 317 tonnes.
iv. The ship Apoorva synonyms with Unparalleled in English will be based at Goa. It is equipped with state-of-the-art advanced communication, navigational and weapons.
v. Interceptor Boat C-421 is 27th in the series of interceptor boats of Indian Coast Guard. It had been designed and constructed by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Limited. It is water jet propelled vessel and can achieve a maximum speed of 45 Knots. It is designed for close coast and shallow water operations and equipped with medium range armaments.
155. Cow declared as National Animal of Nepal
i. Cow was on 20 September 2015 declared as the National Animal of Nepal as per the new secular constitution of Nepal unveiled by Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav at a special ceremony held in Parliament at Kathmandu.
ii. Cow is considered as a sacred animal to Hindus and as Nepal is a Hindu country, therefore the Nepal's government have made cow the national animal. With this, the animal has constitutional protection and cow slaughter has also been banned.
iii. Nepal on 20 September 2015 adopted its first democratically-framed constitution with the promulgation of the charter by the president Ram Baran Yadav. The constitution was conceptualized, developed and adopted by a representative Constituent Assembly.
156. Urdu scholar Shamim Hanfi awarded with Jnangarima Manad Alankaran award
i. Renowned Urdu scholar Shamim Hanfi was on 20 September 2015 honoured with the Jnangarima Manad Alankaran by Bharatiya Jnanpith in New Delhi.
ii. The award was declared at the annual Kavita Samay, an evening of poetry recitation by authors in Hindi and Urdu. The scholar is best known for his books on criticism like, Ghazal Ka Naya Manzarnama, Jadidiyat ki Falsafiyani Asas and Infiradi Shaoor aur Ijtemai Zindagi.
iii. Hanfi was born on 17 November 1938 in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Later, he moved to Allahabad for higher studies. The eminent scholar has also been a freelance contributor for various Hindi and Urdu newspapers and periodicals.
iv. Bharatiya Jnanpith instituted the Jnangarima Manad Alankaran award in 2015 to commemorate 70 years of the institution. The award identifies the contribution of writers in Indian languages. A Saraswati statue, a silver citation and a shawl is given to the recipient of this literary honor.
157. Bharat Dynamics ties up with ECIL
i. Two public sector units have joined hands to develop missile electronics and weapon support systems for major defence projects.
ii. Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), an unit under the Ministry of Defence, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), under the Department of Atomic Energy, to work together.
iii. The tie-up will enable both the organisations to tap business opportunities in the area of missiles and underwater weapon systems for upcoming defence programmes.
iv. The MoU was inked between V Udaya Bhaskar, Chairman and Managing Director, BDL, and P Sudhakar, Chairman and Managing Director, ECIL.
158. Vikram Pawah appointed as Managing Director of Harley Davidson's India operations
i. Vikram Pawah was on 21 September 2015 appointed as the Managing Director of India operations of US cult bike maker Harley Davidson with immediate effect. Pawah succeeded Anoop Prakash, who was appointed as the Managing Director of Harley Davidson Canada.
ii. Pawah will manage Harley Davidson India’s leadership team responsible for in-country sales, dealer network management, marketing, service and operations activities to expand the company’s presence in the country.
iii. Pawah has more than 24 years of experience in the auto industry, out of which he spent 21 years with Honda in India and Australia. His most recent role was as Assistant Vice President and Operating Head - Sales with Honda Cars India Ltd.
iv. Prior to serving Honda, he worked with Jay Engineering Works Ltd, a market leader in the manufacturing of USHA brand fans, sewing machines and fuel injection equipment.
159. Indian Wushu team won 12 medals at Pars International Cup in Tehran
i. The Indian Wushu team secured 12 medals comprising of one gold, four silver and seven bronze medals at the Fifth International Pars Wushu Cup held in Tehran. The event was held from 19 September to 20 September 2015.
ii. India’s L. Budhachandra Singh won the gold medal after defeating Masod Ansari of Iran in the final of the 56 kg category on the last day of the tournament. On the other hand, Mukesh Choudhary and Rajani Deori fetched silvers for the country.
iii. The Indian team won two silver and three bronze medals in the previous edition held at Zenjan, Iran.
iv. Wushu, traditional Chinese sports, is an exhibition and a full-contact sport. It is derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. At present, wushu has become an international sport through the International Wushu Federation (IWUF). The federation organizes the World Wushu Championships every two years.
160. Indra Nooyi, Shobhana Bhartia awarded 2015 Global Leadership Award
i. Hindustan Times Group chairperson Shobhana Bharatia and PepsiCo Chairman Indra Nooyi have been awarded 2015 Global Leadership Award of the US-India Business Council (USIBC).
ii. They were honoured with this award for their roles as top women leaders in the Business world and their commitment to driving a more inclusive global economy.
iii. Apart from them, renowned Indian-American artist Natvar Bhavsar was awarded the Artistic Achievement Award. He is well-known for his abstract expressionism and colour-field painting.
iv. All of them were presented the awards during the annual gala of the USIBC. US Vice President Joe Biden, US Secretary of State John Kerry were among the dignitaris who had addressed USIBC gala on the occasion.
161. CCS clears Military helicopters deal with US aviation giant Boeing
i. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has given its approval to a multi-billion dollar deal to purchase Military helicopters from United States aviation giant Boeing. Under this deal, India will purchase 22 Apache Attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers from Boeing.
ii. Apache Attack helicopters are equipped with Longbow gunships and are armed with deadly Hellfire and Stinger missiles. They are potent as fighter helicopters and are capable of destroying enemy helicopter and tank forces.
iii. There addition in Indian Air Force (IAF) will help to replace the ageing fleet of 15 Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters which already have undergone life extension upgrades.
iv. Chinook heavy-lift choppers will help IAF to enhance its heavy-lift chopper capabilities and replace existing fleet of Russia made four gigantic Mi-26s. These choppers will play important role in warfront as well humanitarian operations for proving logistics support.
162. Union Cabinet gives nod to amend MoU on Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education
i. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for minor amendments in earlier MoU signed to facilitate implementation of Indo-German Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education Programme.
ii. Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. In order to make changes, a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany will be signed for implementation of Indo-German Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education programme.
iii. Funding period of the programme will be changed from 2015-19 to 2016-20. Now it will be from 1 July 2016 to 30 June, 2020.
iv. Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education will help to strengthened education relationship between both the countries through this JDI. It will enable the higher education institutions of both the countries to mutually benefit by enhancing innovative partnerships in the field of education, research and skill development.
163. Union Cabinet gives nod to set up India Sign Language Research and Training Centre
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC).
ii. ISLRTC will be set up as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and initially will be located at the Institute for Physically Handicapped, New Delhi.
iii. It will be established under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities which comes under Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
iv. At the centre there will be General Council consisting of a President and 12 Members. There will be also an Executive Council consisting of a Chairperson and 9 Members. Some of these members will be ex-officio and others will be experts from National Level Organizations of the Deaf or Academic Institutions or Universities or and independent experts in Indian Sign Language (ISL).
v. It will seek to provide equal opportunities to hearing impaired persons to fully participate in every sphere of life.
164. Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai of Odisha won Community Impact Award at Google Science Fair
i. A class 9th student from Koraput district of Odisha, Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai, bagged the prestigious Community Impact Award at the fifth Google Science Fair held in California on 22 September 2015.
ii. Lalita is a student of DPS Damanjodi in Koraput, Odisha and she got the award for developing a low-cost bio-absorbent based water purifier, which aimed at cleaning waste water by flowing through difference layers of corn cobs.
iii. As a part of the award, 13 years old Lalita won 10000 US dollars as prize money. She will also receive support from Google for one year for her project.
iv. The Google Science Fair is an online science competition sponsored by Google, National Geographic, Galactic, Lego, Virgin and Scientific American. The competition is open for 13 to 18 years old students from all over the world. The first ever Google Science Fair award was announced in July 2011.
165. Korea Caravan 2015 organised by Korea-Andhra Pradesh Friendship Forum held in Vishakhapatnam
i. Korea-Andhra Pradesh Friendship Forum organized the Korea Caravan 2015 in Vishakhapatnam on 22 September 2015. This is for the first time that Caravan was held outside New Delhi.
ii. During this, Andhra Pradesh government announced to create a Korea Desk, which would be an exclusive cell to be opened in the State Secretariat, to issue necessary clearances and give swift response to investors.
iii. Besides, it also called upon the Koreans to join hands with the Indians to set up various industries in the State and in building the capital Amaravathi.
iv. On the other hand, Ambassador of Korea to India Joongyu Lee, while addressing the gathering, reiterated the faith and confidence in the potential of Andhra Pradesh as was reflected by the World Bank’s recent report on ‘Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms.
v. The report ranked the state second in ease of doing business category. Andhra Pradesh was ranked with a score of 70.12 percent, below Gujarat which stood at the top with a score of 71.14 per cent.
166. 24th Vyaas Samman conferred on eminent Hindi writer Dr Kamal Kishore Goenka
i. Eminent Hindi writer Dr Kamal Kishore Goenka was conferred with 24th Vyaas Samman for the year 2014 on 22 September 2015. He was awarded for his work 'Premchand ki Kahaniyon ka Kaal Kramanusaar Adhyayan'.
ii. Goenka's work is a critical analysis of the work by Hindi literature's towering giant Munshi Premchand.
iii. He was awarded a citation along with a cash amount of 2.5 lakh rupees by eminent Hindi writer Prof Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.
iv. The award was instituted in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation. It is presented to an outstanding literary work in Hindi published during the last 10 years.
167. Zayn Khan elected as President of Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India
i. Zayn Khan was on 22 September 2015 unanimously elected as the President of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). His appointment was necessitated by the death of R Bharath Raj, who passed away while serving as President on August 15.
ii. Khan is a resident of Hyderabad and represents the Western India Automobile Association. He has years of hands-on experience in the sport and has contributed a lot for the technical side of the sport in India.
iii. As head of the stewards development, training and deployment, Khan has extensive knowledge about rallying. He also has experience in officiating at the international level.
iv. FMSCI was formed in the year 1971 as a federation of five clubs to promote motorsporting events in the country. It is a Private Limited company registered under Section 25 of the Indian Companies Act 1956.
168. Mukesh Ambani India’s richest person for 9th consecutive year: Forbes
i. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani has been named as India’s richest person for ninth consecutive year in a row with a net worth of 18.9 billion dollars in the 2015 Forbes magazine’s India rich list.
ii. Presently, Mr. Ambani is the Chairman, Managing director (MD) and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). It should be noted that RIL is India’s second most valuable company by market value after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
iii. The combined wealth of India’s 100 richest persons remained largely unchanged at 345 billion dollars in 2015 as compared to 346 billion dollars in 2014.
iv. Flipkart’s co-founders Sachin and Binni Bansal have made their debut in this edition of list. They are placed at 86th position with a net worth of 1.3 billion dollars each. There are 12 newcomers in this edition of list including Flipkart’s founders, IndiGo’s co-founder Rakesh Gangwal.
v. Forbes magazine has compiled the list using shareholding and financial data obtained from individuals and families, stock exchanges, analysts and regulators.
169. RBI draft proposes allowing cos to tap SWFs, pension funds for external debt
i. In order to encourage overseas funding, the RBI on Wednesday proposed to allow domestic companies to borrow money from pension funds, sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and insurance funds as part of the ECBs.
ii. The draft framework on External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs), however, proposed to lower the all-in cost borrowing by 0.50 percent to ensure that the funds are borrowed from abroad at a reasonable interest rate.
iii. The modification in the ECB guidelines on which the RBI has invited comments till October 1 are aimed at replacing the ECB policy with a more rational and liberal framework, keeping in view the evolving domestic as well as global macroeconomic and financial conditions, challenges faced in external sector management and the experience gained so far, the draft guidelines added.
iv. The basic thrust of the revised framework, the RBI said, is to retain more qualitative parameters for the normal (foreign currency-denominated) ECB and to provide more liberal dispensation for long-term borrowings in foreign currency.
v. The framework for the rupee-denominated bonds will be announced separately, it said, adding the real estate investment trust and Infrastructure Investment Trust will be permitted to raise funds through these instruments. The currency risk with regard to the rupee denominated ECB lies with the lender or investor and hence the modified framework provides for minimal control for these borrowings.
170. Union Government gives nod to IAF’s Integrated Air Command & Control System
i. Union Government has given its approval for implementation of Integrated Air Command & Control System (IACCS) project of Indian Air force (IAF) with allocation of 8,000-crore rupees.
ii. Decision in this regard was taken by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the proposal forwarded by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). Earlier in November 2014, DAC had given its nod for addition of 4 more nodes IAF’s IACCS.
iii. IACCS system is an automated command and control system for Air Defence (AD) which integrates different air sensors and radars to protect Indian airspace. Presently, India has 5 IACCS nodes. The addition of four more nodes will help IAF to cover isolated islands thereby providing a security umbrella to the entire country.
iv. On completion of this project, the air headquarters will get a composite air situation picture as it is going to integrate Air Force, Army, Naval and civilian radars. IACCS will help IAF to connect all of its air, space and ground assets quickly for total awareness of a region and facilitate real-time transport of data, images and voice amongst aircraft, satellites and ground stations.
171. Marathi film ‘Court’ selected as India’s official entry to Oscars
i. Critically acclaimed Marathi film ‘Court’ has been selected as India’s official entry to the Best Foreign Language category of the 88th Academy Awards 2016 (popularly known as Oscars).
ii. The film was shortlisted from 30 other films by a Film Federation of India (FFI) jury headed by film-maker and director Amol Palekar. It should be noted that Court is third Marathi film to be shortlisted for India’s official entry to Oscars. Other two films are Shwaas (2004) and Harishchandrachi Factory (2008).
iii. Court is a courtroom drama film that examines the Indian legal system through the trial of an aging folk singer in a lower court in Mumbai. The film is directorial debut of Chaitanya Tamhane who also has written story of the film.
iv. It has been produced by Vivek Gomber and cast includes Vira Sathidar, Vivek Gomber and Geetanjali Kulkarni etc.The film also has won the Best Feature Film award at the 62nd National Film Awards in 2015.
172. Arvind Panagariya replaces Suresh Prabhu as G20 sherpa
i. Arvind Panagariya, vice-chairman of Niti Aayog, has been appointed as the sherpa for G20 negotiations, a key responsibility at a time when India is asserting its presence on the global stage.
ii. A sherpa represents the government or the Prime Minister at Group of 20 countries meetings and helps articulate the official position on critical issues. Panagariya will replace railway minister Suresh Prabhu, who has been the sherpa for G20 talks, sources told TOI.
iii. Prabhu was appointed as the sherpa when he was not a minister and continued to hold the position after he was named to head the railway ministry. Prabhu represented India in several vital summits and forcefully articulated New Delhi's stand on economic and other crucial policy challenges.
iv. Traditionally , the sherpa's position has been held by the deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission.Montek Singh Ahluwalia played the role of sherpa during the UPA regime and accompanied the then PM Manmohan Singh in key G20 summits.
173. Uninor re-branded as Telenor India
i. Telenor Group on 23 September 2015 announced that it had changed its brand identity along with legal company name from Uninor, its subsidiary in India, as Telenor India Communications Pvt. Ltd.
ii. Telenor in its release said that the renaming will not change its commitment to bring the best value to its 40 million customers.
iii. Telenor Group is one of the leading mobile operators in the world, with 189 million mobile subscriptions. It has mobile operations in 13 markets, as well as an interest of 33% in VimpelCom Ltd., operating in 14 markets.
iv. The company headquartered in Oslo, Norway provides tele, data and media services in the Nordics, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. In Asia it is operational in Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Myanmar.
v. Launched in 2009 under the brand name Uninor had emerged as a preferred mass-market brand. It captured the fourth position in most of its operating circles.
174. India-US Ministerial Energy Dialogue 2015 held
i. The India-US Ministerial Energy Dialogue was held on 21 September 2015 at the US Department of Energy, Washington. Indian delegation was led by Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power, New and Renewable Energy and US delegation was led by Dr Ernest Moniz, the US Secretary of Energy.
ii. During the Dialogue, both the sides reviewed the progress made by the six Working Groups of the Energy Dialogue and identified new areas for cooperation.
iii. The six Working Groups included Working Groups on
(b) New Technology and Renewable Energy
(c) Petroleum and Natural Gas
(d) Power and Energy Efficiency
(e) Sustainable Development and
(f) Partnership to Advance Clean Energy-Research (PACE -R).
iv. The focus of the meeting revolved on various dimensions of clean energy in order to ensure that people have access to adequate and affordable energy for better quality of life and sustainable livelihood.
v. It was also agreed to significantly scale up Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) and develop innovative mechanisms to encourage participation of private sector investments for off-grid solutions.
175. MUDRA credit camp on Sept 28
i. The banks in Dakshina Kannada district will conduct a mega credit camp to disburse loans under the MUDRA scheme of the Centre on September 28.
ii. A press release by the Lead Bank of the district, Syndicate Bank, said here on Thursday that the Central Government has conceived the idea of establishing MUDRA (Micro Unit Development and Refinance Agency) Bank through which the beneficiaries, existing and new, can get loans from all the commercial banks and regional rural banks in the country. Such loans are termed as MUDRA loans.
iii. To popularise the scheme and to speed up the disbursement of MUDRA loans, the Department of Financial Services under the Union Ministry of Finance has advised the heads of all the commercial banks and regional rural banks to launch a campaign from September 25 to October 2 for disbursing loans under MUDRA.
iv. Sanction letters will be distributed to the beneficiaries of all the banks in Dakshina Kannada district in the mega credit camp to be held in Mangaluru on September 28, the release said.
176. West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi got additional charge of Governor of Tripura
i. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was appointed as Governor of Tripura by the President Pranab Mukherjee on 24 September 2015.
ii. He will discharge the functions of the Governor of Tripura, in addition to his own duties, during the absence of Tathagata Roy, Governor of Tripura who has gone on leave.
iii. Keshari Nath Tripathi was appointed as the 22nd Governor of Bengal in July 2014. Earlier in November 2014, he was also appointed as Governor of Bihar to perform the tasks of Governor of Bihar in addition to his own duties of West Bengal.
iv. He was relieved from his previous additional charge of Bihar in August 2015, after Ram Nath Kovind was on 8 August 2015 appointed as Governor of Bihar.
v. According to article 153, there shall be a Governor for each State but the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act 1956 facilitated the appointment of same person as governor for two or more states.
177. Union Home Minister released a Graphic booklet on Sardar Post
i. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 24 September 2015 released a graphic depicting the valour and sacrifice of the CRPF personnel during the battle of Sardar Post, Rann of Kutch in the 1965 lndo-Pak War.
ii. On 9 April 1965, at the Sardar Post in the Rann of Kutch, two companies of CRPF stood their ground and repulsed the attack of full-fledged Pakistani Infantry Brigade inflicting heavy casualties.
iii. The retaliation by the CRPF men was such a profound shock to the Pakistani Army that they left behind 34 dead bodies including 2 officers. Four Pakistani soldiers were taken as prisoners. Six CRPF men made supreme sacrifice for the cause of the nation.
iv. CRPF has planned to publish a series of graphic booklets depicting various tales of valour and sacrifice of the Force. The booklets will be published with an aim to instill patriotism and nationalism in the young generation and also to let the people know about the gallantry and sacrifice of the unsung heroes of CRPF.
178. EPFO won Skoch Award for Smart Governance Initiatives
i. Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on 23 September 2015 won the Skoch Award for Smart Governance. It was awarded at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi for its initiatives on UAN Programme and Transformation of Social Security Agenda in India.
ii. EPFO was also awarded two SKOCH Order-of-Merits, one for launching UAN for EPFO members and another for transformation of Social Security Agenda in India.
iii. Skoch Smart Governance Award is an initiative recognising top performing government organisations and organisations working with the government, operating at local, state and national level.
iv. The award is given in the area of Health, Education, Rural Development/Panchayati Raj, Urban Development, Finance, and Security.
v. The award is given by the Skoch Group, which is a Gurgaon-based think tank dealing with socio-economic issues with a focus on inclusive growth since 1997. The Group was founded by Sameer Kochhar and he is the Chairman of the Group.
179. Reserve Bank of India relaxed Change in Ownership Norms of Borrowing Entities
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 24 September 2015 announced relaxation in norms that allow banks to upgrade credit facilities extended to borrowing entities upon a change in ownership, only if the ownership has been changed outside Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme (SDR).
ii. The Banker’s bank announced that the banks can treat loans to stressed companies that have undergone ownership changes as standard loans, provided the stress was due to operational or managerial inefficiencies.
iii. The relaxation will offer more flexibility to banks to bring in a change in ownership of borrowing entities which are under stress due to operational/ managerial inefficiencies despite substantial sacrifices made by the lending banks.
iv. As per the announcement, the new promoter should not be a person/entity/subsidiary/associate etc. (domestic as well as overseas), from/belonging to the existing promoter/promoter group.
v. The new promoter should have acquired at least 51 per cent of the paid up equity capital of the borrower company.
180. Former Indian Cricket Captain Sourav Ganguly appointed President of Cricket Association of Bengal
i. Former Indian Cricket captain Sourav Ganguly was on 24 September 2015 appointed as the President of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). The announcement regarding this was made by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat building in Kolkata.
ii. He succeeded Jagmohan Dalmiya and at the time of appointment Ganguly was serving CAB in the capacity of Joint-Secretary.
iii. The post had fallen vacant after the sudden demise of Dalmiya at the age of 75 on 20 September 2015.
iv. Besides, Dalmiya’s son Avishek Dalmiya was inducted as one of the two Joint-Secretaries, replacing Ganguly. Subir Ganguly will continue as the other Joint-Secretary while Biswarup Dey will continue as Treasurer.
181. Volkswagen AG appoints Matthias Mueller as new CEO
i. German auto maker Volkswagen AG has appointed Matthias Mueller as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Prior to this appointment, he was serving as CEO of Volkswagen’s subsidiary Porsche AG.
ii. He will succeed Martin Winterkorn who had resigned from office following an emissions cheating scandal (dubbed as Diesel Dope) described as a moral and political disaster.
iii. Matthias Mueller first priority as CEO would be to win back trust of investors following a plunge in Volkswagen AG stock by 30 per cent over the Diesel Dope scandal. The scandal had damaged the reputation of world’s largest car manufacturer’s in terms of sales and had threatened its business.
iv. Earlier, Volkswagen AG had admitted that it had cheated on diesel car emission test in United States by manipulating it by making changes in software on more than 4 lakh cars.
v. Currently, US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is investigating into Volkswagen over the Diesel Dope scandal. Transport authorities in several countries including the United Kingdom, South Korea and Germany etc also have announced their own investigations.
182. Shivinder Mohan Singh resigned as executive vice-chairman of Fortis Healthcare Limited
i. Shivinder Mohan Singh on 23 September 2015 resigned as the executive vice-chairman of Fortis Healthcare Limited. Fortis is a New Delhi based hospital chain.
ii. After a brief transition period, he will be designated as non-executive vice-chairman of Fortis with effect from 1 January 2016. He resigned from the position as he decided to take up full-time sewa at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), a philosophical organisation spread over 90 countries worldwide.
iii. Shivinder, along with his elder brother Malvinder Mohan Singh, runs 55 hospitals under the Fortis brand across India. At present, Malvinder is the executive chairman of the company.
iv. Apart from Fortis, the brothers own financial services firm Religare Enterprises Limited. In 2008, they sold their 33.5 percent stake in Ranbaxy to Japanese drug major Daiichi Sankyo which they inherited from its founder Bhai Mohan Singh.
183. UNGA adopted Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
i. The 193-Member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 25 September 2015 formally adopted the Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development along with a set of bold new Global Goals, that are a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.
ii. The 2030 Agenda and the Global Goals were adopted during the UN Sustainable Development Summit that is being held at the UN headquarters in New York.
iii. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an agenda for people to end poverty in all its forms. It is composed of 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.
iv. While, the Global Goals aim to build on the work of the historic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which in September 2000, rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle the indignity of poverty.
v. This Agenda, including its seventeen goals, can be met within the framework of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, supported by the concrete policies and actions outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda , which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
184. Kolkata start-up launches portal for preparing IT returns
i. A Kolkata-based start-up has announced the launch of its portal that helps in preparing income-tax returns and their filing.
ii. Alok Patnia, one of the three co-founders of the partnership firm Make Your Tax Technologies, said the portal was driven by software developed in-house that processed individual income and tax liabilities for the purpose of filing the individual’s or family’s tax returns.
iii. Abhishek Rungta, another co-founder of the portal and CEO of Indus Net Technologies, claimed the new platform allowed tax consultants to join in, if allowed by the tax assesses, in a bulk service providing exercise.
iv. The portal targets to have subscriptions from one lakh return filers next year and hopes to rope in around 200 tax consultants. The portal would also use Taxmantra.com and Indus Technologies’s network of consultants and offices in other metros for marketing its services.
185. Bajaj Auto finally launches quadricycle named ‘Qute’
i. Bajaj Auto on Friday launched its much-awaited RE60 quadricycle, which has been named ‘Qute’, at a free-on-board (FoB) price tag of $2,000 (around Rs. 1.35 lakh).
ii. The vehicle is meant only for export markets for now, as the regulations for India are not yet in place because of an ongoing public interest litigation in the Supreme Court.
iii. FoB refers to terms requiring the seller to deliver goods on board a vessel designated by the buyer. Depending on the duties and taxes of each country, the price will differ in each market.
iv. The vehicle will be shipped to 16 countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Kenya, Peru and Ecuador, starting early next month and will start with around 100 units initially.
v. The Qute has been designed in response to the evolving requirements of low-cost, last-mile public transport across the world by optimising size, weight, cost and speed, the company said.
186. Facebook to test wireless broadband services in India
i. From being just a social media platform, Facebook is transforming itself as an enabler of Internet access through various initiatives aimed at reaching the next billion users.
ii. On Thursday it announced partnerships with Internet Service Providers in India to launch wi-fi enabled broadband services in rural areas. Called Wi-Fi Express, the initiative is part of Facebook’s Internet.org platform as it looks to expand its user base beyond the saturated markets in the US and Europe.
iii. The Wi-Fi Express has gone live first in India. The initial Wi-Fi zones have been launched across several locations in North India. The initiative is being led by Munish Seth, who was earlier the country head of Alcatel Lucent’s India operations.
iv. Facebook has developed a low-cost software that will help hotspot operators at the village level do the billing and also alert consumers about data usage.
v. Facebook has been experimenting with various technologies to provide low-cost connectivity solutions. In its US labs, the company is working on using solar powered aircraft, codenamed Aquila, to provide network connectivity in remote locations. The aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 777 and is built to stay airborne at 60,000 feet for many months, connecting a large area over which it hovers.
187. Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis win Guangzhou Open title
i. The top seeds Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis continued their unbeaten run as they defeated Shilin Xu-Xiaodi You in the final to clinch the Guangzhou Open title on Saturday.
ii. The Indo-Swiss pair of Sania and Hingis registered an easy 6-3, 6-1 victory over unseeded Chinese pair in the summit clash.
iii. With this win, Sania claimed her seventh title of the season. She has won five titles with Hingis this season, including US Open and Wimbledon. They also won three titles in row at the start of the partnership --Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston.
iv. Sania had won her first title of the 2015 season with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Sydney.
188. PSLV Successfully Launches India's Multi Wavelength Space Observatory ASTROSAT
i. Isro on Monday successfully launched India's first astronomy satellite Astrosat, eleven years after the government cleared the project.
ii. A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30) carrying Astrosat and six other satellites lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 10am.
iii. In around 25 minutes after liftoff, PSLV-C30 injected Astrosat and other satellites -- four US nano satellites, a microsatellite from Indonesia a nanosatellite from Canada - into their respective orbits. This is the first time India is launching a US satellite.
iv. Astrosat was placed in an orbit 644.651km from earth, as desired. The satellite achieved an expected inclination of 6.002 degree.
189. S K Sharma appointed as Chairman of Bhakra Beas Management Board
i. S K Sharma was appointed as the Chairman of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) with effect from 25 September 2015. Sharma succeeded A B Agrawal, who was Chairman for a period of about five years.
ii. A civil engineering graduate from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, Sharma joined Haryana irrigation and water resources department in 1980 as sub divisional officer.
iii. While working in Haryana Irrigation & Water Resources Department, he has monitored various canal regulation related hydraulic structures, pump houses, canal and drainage network, NABARD projects etc. He has also handled training works on the river Yamuna.
iv. During working as Chief Engineer of Beas Satluj Link (BSL) project, he has been instrumental in successfully running of dredger and other allied works, besides running and maintenance of BSL Water Conductor System.
190. Dr. Jacob Tsimerman wins 2015 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize
i. Mathematician Dr. Jacob Tsimerman from Canada has been chosen for the prestigious 2015 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize.
ii. Presently he is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Canada and his mathematics research work is primarily in the field of Number Theory and surrounding topics.
iii. He will be conferred with the prize during the International Conference on Number Theory to be held at SASTRA University in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.
iv. The award has been named after great Indian Mathematician autodidact Srinivasa Ramanujan. It was established in 2005 by Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology& Research Academy (SASTRA) University.
v. It is an annual award bestowed on young mathematicians for his outstanding contributions to areas of mathematics influenced by the Srinivasa Ramanujan.
191. Union Government formed B S Baswan committee to revisit civil services examination pattern
i. Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in the fourth week of September revealed that an expert committee was constituted to revisit the civil services examination pattern.
ii. The seven member committee was constituted on 12 August 2015 and is headed by B S Baswan. Also, the committee was mandated to submit report within six months from the date of its constitution.
iii. The committee has to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing scheme of the civil services examination in selecting suitable candidates keeping in view various factors such as inclusiveness, fair mix of candidates from different disciplines, etc.
iv. It has to examine the time frame in which the examination is conducted and suggest suitable changes to reduce the time taken for selection of candidates by utilizing information and communication technologies, etc.
192. G-4 countries issue Joint Statement on UNSC Reforms
i. G-4 countries viz Brazil, Germany, India and Japan have issued a Joint Statement on United Nations Security Council Reforms (UNSC).
ii. It was issued after G-4 meeting held in New York,US which was called by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
iii. The leaders stressed on more legitimate, representative and effective UNSC reforms to address the global conflicts and crises which have spiralled in recent years. They also shared the view that global conflicts and crises of the international community in the 21st century which can be solved by more Member States representing UNSC.
iv. They unanimously supported the early reforms of the Security Council as an essential element of the overall effort to reform UN with regard to maintenance of international peace and security. They strongly emphasized that the reform of the Security Council should be conducted in a fixed time frame given its urgency.
193. Manipur Governor Dr. Syed Ahmad passes away
i. Manipur Governor Dr Syed Ahmad passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was 75.
ii. He was sworn in as the 16th Governor of Manipur in May 2015. Prior to this he had served as the eighth Governor of Jharkhand from August 2011.
iii. Dr. Ahmad was a senior Congress leader. He had served as the cabinet minister on two occasions during the Congress regime in Maharashtra.
iv. He was elected to Vidhan Sabha (state legislative assembly) for five times from the Nagpada constituency in Mumbai. He also served as a state minister in Maharashtra.
v. Dr. Ahmad was also a writer and has authored Maktal se Manzil, Kafas se Chaman and Jange-Azaadi Me Urdu Shayari. His autobiography is Pagdandi se Shahar Tak.
194. Lewis Hamilton wins 2015 Japanese Grand Prix title of Formula One
i. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won 2015 Japanese Grand Prix title of Formula One. This was his overall eight victory of the season.
ii. He has won Australia, China, Bahrain, Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium and Italy 2015 Grand Prix titles of Formula One.
iii. It should be noted Lewis Hamilton has won highest number as compared to any other British driver in the history of Formula One. He is currently 5th on the all-time list of F1 with 41 wins.
iv. It is the 66th season of the Formula One World Championship which is a motor racing championship for Formula One cars. The championship has been recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the sport’s governing body as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars.
v. 2015 season began in March 2015 starting in Australia with participation 22 drivers representing ten teams. The season is going to end in Abu Dhabi on 29 November 2015.
195. Pankaj Advani wins 2015 IBSF World Billiards Championship
i. India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani has won 2015 IBSF World Billiards Championship (Time Format) in Adelaide, Australia. It was his overall 14th World title.
ii. He won 2015 IBSF World title by defeating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore by 1168 points.
iii. Advani is 14-time World Billiards and Snooker Champion. He is only player in the world to win world titles in all formats of both, Billiards and Snooker.
iv. He is the first cueist in the world to win the Grand double three times in 2005 and 2008 respectively.
v. In recognition of his achievements in sports, Union Government has bestowed several awards upon him including Arjuna Award (2004), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2006), Padma Shri (2009).
196. September 27: World Tourism Day
i. Every year World Tourism Day (WTD) is observed on September 27 to raise awareness about the importance of tourism.
ii. To mark 2015 WTD, Union Ministry of State for Tourism and Culture established a Medical Tourism and Wellness Board. The board will give a new shape to medical tourism keeping in view its importance in the country.
iii. Union Government also had declared free entry for tourists to nearly 200 ticketed monuments and museums across India except in Bihar as a part of celebrations of 2015 WTD.
iv. United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is flagship initiative of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). It is observed annually since 1980.
v. United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is flagship initiative of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). It is observed annually since 1980. The day marks adaptation of Statutes of the UNWTO on September 27, 1970. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community.
197. Abhinav Bindra wins Gold in Asian Air Gun Championships
i. Ace Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra has clinched gold medal in the men’s 10 metre Air Rifle event of the Asian Air Gun Championships held in New Delhi.
ii. Bindra shot 208.3 points to settle at first position ahead of Kazakhstan’s Yurkov Yuriy (206.6) who is current world number eight and Yu Jaechul (185.3) of South Korea.
iii. In this event, India’s Gagan Narang was placed at fourth position with a score of 164.5 points. While another Indian, Chain Singh placed at seventh position of after notching up 122.7 points.
iv. It should be noted that, Abhinav Bindra had won gold in 2008 Beijing Olympics in 10 metre Air Rifle event becoming first Indian to win individual gold in the prestigious games. Gagan Narang had won a bronze in the same event in 2012 London Olympics.
198. RBI Governor has surprised with 50 bps cut
i. Most people expected a rate cut, but the expectations were for a 25 basis points cut. As many times in the past, the RBI Governor has surprised the markets.
ii. This surprise is pleasant with the announcement of a 50 bps rate cut. But the message is clear. Banks need to pass on this rate cut to industry and consumers.
iii. The RBI Governor is also indicating an easier posture going forward from RBI. It bodes well in terms of the timing of the decision. Since the US rate hike has been deferred.
iv. It is important to take advantage of this. Multiple factors have driven the decision, including the Government's ability to handle the fiscal deficit right now.
199. INS Kochi commissioned into Indian Navy
i. Indian Navy has commissioned INS Kochi, a Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer in its contingent to showcase India’s indigenous efforts in the field of underwater warfare. The ship was commissioned by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in Mumbai.
ii. It is a second ship of the three ships Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer to be inducted. Earlier in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had commissioned INS Kolkata. The third and last ship of Kolkata-class Guided Missile Destroyer INS Chennai is expected to join Indian Navy in 2016.
iii. The ship drives its name from the port city of Kochi (Kerala) which had distinct maritime character and culture and symbolises the special bond between the Indian Navy. It has been built at Mazagaon Docks (MDL), Mumbai and it is the 10th destroyer in India’s combat fleet.
iv. It is loaded with state-of-the-art weapons, sensors and advanced stealth features including long-range BrahMos surface-to- surface missile. It has AK 630 Close In Weapon System (CIWS) and 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) designed to take on air and surface targets.
v. Its anti-submarine arsenal consists of indigenously built Twin-tube Torpedo Launchers (ITTL), Indigenous Rocket Launchers (IRL) and bow-mounted new generation HUMSA Sonar Dome. INS Kochi is also equipped to operate 2 Sea King or Chetak helicopters.
200. India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2015 begins in Pune
i. India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2015 has begun at Aundh Military Station in Pune, Maharashtra. It is third edition of the joint training exercise between both countries that seeks to build Military to Military co-operation and interoperability.
ii. Aim of MITRA SHAKTI 2015 Exercise is to share the best military practices between the two Armies and promote healthy military to military relations.
iii. It also seeks to develop joint strategies between the two Armies by sharing expertise of conducting operations. The 14 days exercise’s basic objective is to enhance confidence and trust between the two militaries and engage in anti-terrorism operations including those under the UN mandate.
iv. It will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect between armies of both nations. It will seek to tap the rich repository of experience of each other and extract maximum learning value from the joint training.
201. Reliance Defence inks strategic partnership MoU with Emirates Defence Industries Co.
i. Reliance Defence has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC) in defence sector. The MoU seeks to boost partnership between both countries for manufacturing, knowledge transfer, services and technology development from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
ii. Both companies will partner to jointly explore the opportunity for manufacturing and building capabilities in Aviation, defence vehicles and associated areas.
iii. It will also include manufacturing and building capabilities of defence equipment, armament manufacturing, defence electronics, MRO of Military Equipment/Platforms commercial and naval Ships etc.
iv. The partnership between both companies will aim to bring synergy in order to bring down operational costs and leverage each other’s’ capabilities. It will also seek to leverage the partnership to explore the opportunity in the UAE defence industry.
202. Ministry of Railways launched Indian Railway Knowledge Portal
i. Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 28 September 2015 launched Indian Railway Knowledge Portal for dissemination of detailed information on Indian Railways.
ii. It is an initiative of the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) which allows the user to access most of the available knowledge about Indian Railways at one location due to linkage of websites, documents and much more.
iii. The portal was launched through video-conferencing established between Ministry of Railways, Rail Bhawan and NAIR Headquarters at Vadodara.
iv. The portal has made it easier for users to access information about Indian Railways, Railway Research and Development, use of ICT in Indian Railways, major International Railway Journals, existing Indian Railway Libraries and World Railways from a single web page.
v. Indian Railway Knowledge Portal also provides e-access to existing libraries of Railways. Also, National Informatics Centre (NIC) has clustered all the libraries to a single interface via e-Granthalaya. Besides, information regarding fan clubs, heritage, and rail museums across the world can also be accessed from the portal.
203. Union Ministry of Tourism launched new initiatives on World Tourism Day
i. The Union Ministry of Tourism on 27 September 2015 launched several new initiatives to augment tourism related infrastructure and manpower in the country. The initiatives were launched in New Delhi to mark the World Tourism Day.
ii. It goes into the challenges for the sector and details the way towards Vision 2030. It has been commissioned by the Experience India Society and prepared by KPMG.
iii. It is part of the HRD division of India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.,(ITDC) a PSU under Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. It provides the students with a world class contemporary education to have an edge over others in the field.
iv. The courses offered will be a blend of the rich heritage and culture of India and hospitality management education system. It will be operated from Hotel Samrat in New Delhi.
204. Indo-British van driver Dee Patel honoured with Pride of Britain Award
i. Prince Charles of Britain on 28 September 2015 awarded Indo-British van driver Dee Patel with the Pride of Britain Award. Patel had risked his life to save others. Daily Mirror newspaper organised a ceremony at the Governor House in London where Patel was given the award in the outstanding bravery category.
ii. When Patel set off for his routine job on 18 May 2005, he noticed a car ahead of him that was dangerously out of control on the M25 motorway. Soon, he realised that the driver of the car, a young woman, slumped unconscious over the steering wheel. It was when Patel, without wasting any time, came for the rescue of the woman.
iii. The Pride of Britain Awards was founded by Peter Willis in 1999. It is an annual award ceremony which takes place in the United Kingdom. The award is given to British people who have shown immense bravery in the hours of crisis.
iv. The winners for the awards are chosen by a panel of distinguished judges. The awards are organised in association with the Daily Mirror, Lidl, Good Morning Britain and The Prince’s Trust.
205. India signed 123.51 Million US dollar Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank
i. India on 28 September 2015 signed a 123.51 million US dollar loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to upgrade tourism infrastructure and services in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
ii. The agreement was signed by M Teresa Kho, Country Director for ADB in India and Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Union Ministry of Finance.
iii. The loan will be used for development and conservation of the places of tourist attractions. It will also be used to improve basic tourism facilities and to build the capacity of sector agencies and local communities in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
iv. It will also support conservation of important heritage structures including some century-old structures, new facilities including centers for arts and crafts in the three states. Eco-parks and eco-tourism will also be developed to help the states attract more tourists.
v. This is the third tranche loan agreement and it is a part of the 250 million US dollar multi-tranche financing facility named Infrastructure Development Investment Program for Tourism that was approved by ADB in 2010.
206. Railways to get $30 billion World Bank aid: Prabhu
i. The World Bank has promised $30 billion financial assistance to the Railways, said Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.
ii. Maintaining that funds will not be a problem for completing infrastructural projects for the Railways, the Minister said the capital expenditure for this year will surpass the budget estimates.
iii. The Minister was talking to reporters here on Monday on the 11th edition of International Railway Equipment Exhibition (IREE), scheduled from October 14 to 16 at Pragati Maidan. The IREE is organised by the Railway Ministry and the Confederation of Indian Industry. Prabhu said almost 89 per cent of the budget announcements made by him have been fulfilled.
iv. The Minister announced that the Railways has taken an ambitious programme of electrifying about 10,000 km of railway lines in the next five years. When asked for details of the funding, he said the government will announce it at the appropriate time. “Discussions are still taking place,” he added.
v. Prabhu said discussions with Japan and South Korea have progressed to build water-less odour-less toilets in trains. He said Google has offered cooperation to set up WiFi connectivity in stations and platforms.
207. Union Government appointed four Brand Ambassadors for Digital India Programme
i. Union Government on 29 September 2015 announced that four brand ambassadors for Digital India programme were appointed. The appointments were took place in the first week of July 2015 as part of the Digital India Week campaign.
ii. List of Brand Ambassadors
- Satwat Jagwani, All India IIT-JEE —Advanced Topper -2015 (Student)
- Krati Tiwari, All India IIT-JEE —Advanced Girl Topper -2015 (Student)
- Ankit Fadia, Author & Ethical Hacker
- Pranav Mistry, Samsung USA (Computer Scientist & Author of 6th Sense)
iii. The services of these Brand Ambassadors will be used for generating mass awareness for the programme for a period of one year since their nomination.
208. Piyush Goyal launched Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity - Survey of States Report
i. Piyush Goyal Union Minister of State (IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy, on 29 September 2015 launched ‘Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity - Survey of States Report’.
ii. The study was conducted by the Council on Energy, Environment & Water (CEEW) in collaboration with Columbia University with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.
iii. The analysis in the report provides a first of a kind multi-dimensional evaluation of the state of energy access in India.
iv. The report highlights that about 300 million Indians rely on kerosene for lighting, and more than 800 million relying on traditional biomass. It says that the access to modern forms of energy is still a significant barrier to our development.
v. It suggests that there is a need to focus beyond aggregate figures on electrification and LPG connections, and be sensitive to the numerous drivers which will determine how India will ensure true energy access for all.
209. NOC Online Application Portal and Processing System for the National Monument Authority launched
i. Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma on 29 September 2015 launched the NOC Online Application Portal and Processing System (NOAPS) for the National Monument Authority (NMA), Ministry of Culture in New Delhi.
ii. An initiative of the National Monument Authority, NOAPS will make the approval procedure more efficient for construction related activities in regulated/restricted areas in the vicinity of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments in different cities of India.
iii. NOAPS is designed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). The portal runs on the state of the art technology and expertise provide by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which is in the process of mapping all 3886 ASI protected monuments.
iv. NOAPS will also help the citizens to apply for NOC online. The portal will provide them with a unique registration ID with which they can check the status of their applications from time to time.
v. The NOC Online Application Portal and Processing System will offer great convenience to the people as there will not be any need for the people to run to local offices to get NOC for their property which is nearby to monuments.
210. Union Government unveils Green Highways Policy 2015
i. Union Government has launched Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy-2015 to promote greening of National Highway corridors across the country. The policy was unveiled by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.
ii. The objective of the policy is to reduce the impact of air pollution and dust by planting trees and shrubs along the National Highways. They will act as natural sink for air pollutants and arrest soil erosion at the embankment slopes.
iii. Monitoring Agency will be responsible for monitoring the plantation status on continuous basis by carrying out the site visit for field verification to check survival, growth and size of plantation and maintenance of the same. Performance audit of executing agencies will be regularly conducted by the agency on an Annual basis. New contracts will be awarded to the agencies based on their past performance audit.
iv. The policy will strike a balance between highways development and environmental protection. It will also help in providing employment to 5 lakh people of the rural areas.
211. M.R. Poovamma and Babita Kumari conferred Arjuna Award 2015
i. M.R. Poovamma and Babita Kumari have been conferred with prestigious Arjuna Award 2015 for their individual achievements in sports.
ii. The award was presented to them by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Youth affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal in New Delhi.
iii. M.R. Poovamma has been conferred with this award for her contributions in Athletics and Babita Kumari in the field of Wrestling.
iv. Arjuna Awards are given by Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to sportsperson in recognition of their outstanding achievement in National sports.
212. India’s Gurpreet Singh wins silver medal at 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship
i. India’s ace shooter Gurpreet Singh has won silver medal at 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship held in New Delhi.
ii. In the finals of 10 metre Air Pistol event, Gurpreet shot a tally of 197.6 to stand second on the podium. India’s Jitu Rai finished at third position wining bronze medal in this event.
iii. The gold medal in the 10 metre Air Pistol event was bagged by Boroujeni Safari of Iran with a tally shot of 198.7.
iv. It should be noted that this fourth medal India has won in 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship. Earlier, Abhinav Bindra had clinched the gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event while Ayonika Pual won the bronze in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle event.
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