Current Affairs Today August 2 2018

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Current Affairs Today August 2 2018

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet Approvals on August 2, 2018
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the first extension of Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS) to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad.
ii. Cabinet approves: Raising of Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) amounting up to Rs. 15,000 crore during the financial year 2018-19
iii. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the policy to permit exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons such as Shale oil/gas, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) etc
iv. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved issue of fresh 13,87,82,700 equity shares to the extent of 15% of paid up equity capital.
v. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the proposal for restructuring of Agricultural Scientists’Recruitment Board (ASRB)……………………………….Click here to Read more

Assam releases final NRC draft, 40 lakh declared ‘illegal citizens’ of India
On July 31, 2018,Assam government released its final draft of National Registry of Citizens of Assam.
i. According to the release, Out of 3,29,91,384 (3.29 crore) total applicants, 2,89,83,677 (2.9 crore) people have been found eligible to be included in the National Register of Citizens,
ii. 40.07 lakh  who have not made their name to the list have been declared ‘illegal immigrants’.
iii. However, there won’t be any deportation based of the final draft………………………………..Click here to Read more

‘State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index’ released by BEE and AEEE
On August 2, 2018, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE) released the ‘State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index’.
It was launched by Mr. A.K. Bhalla, Secretary, Ministry of Power; Dr Ajay Mathur, DG, TERIin the presence of senior officials from the Ministry and BEE.
Objective:
To create awareness and also to develop an action plan for energy conservation initiatives
Key Points:
i. It is a joint effort of the NITI Aayog and BEE.
ii. It assesses state policies and programmes aimed at improving energy efficiency across various sectors.
iii. A set of Energy Conversation Guidelines for energy intensive industries that are covered under the Government’s Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme was released.
About the Index:
i. The State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index comprises 63 qualitative, quantitative, outcome-based indicators to assess energy efficiency initiatives, programmes and outcomes in sectors, i.e. Buildings, Industry, Municipalities, Transport, Agriculture, and Distribution Companies (DISCOMs).
ii. States are categorised based on their efforts as ‘Front Runner’, ‘Achiever’, ‘Contender’ and ‘Aspirant’. 
iii. The data for calculating the efforts of the states were collected from state departments with the help of State Designated Agencies (SDAs) nominated by the BEE.
iv. AEEE also also collected information from various central government sources such as: Central Electricity Authority (CEA) General Review; Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) etc.
v. According to the findings, most states have implemented national programmes designed by BEE and EESL but the  ‘Front Runner’ and ‘Achiever’ states have several individual initiatives.
The Index goes as follows:

Front Runner StatesAchiever StatesContender StatesAspirant states
Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra , Punjab.Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana.Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand.West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh
vi. No Data was received  from Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur and Goa.
About PAT:
i. Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme is a flagship scheme of Government of India to improve energy efficiency of large energy consuming industries.
ii. As a part of Indo-Japan Energy Dialogue, Energy Conservation Centre of Japan (ECCJ) and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) have developed Energy Conservation Guidelines for energy intensive industries covering both large as well as MSMEs.

Seva Bhoj Yojna: new scheme worth Rs.325 crore launched by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India
On August 2, 2018, the Ministry of Culture, Government of India launched the new scheme Seva Bhoj Yojna.
Seva Bhoj Yojna new scheme worth Rs.325 crore launched by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India
Total outlay of the scheme is Rs. 325.00 Crores for financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Objective:
To reimburse the CGST and IGST to Religious  /  Charitable  Institutions who provide Food free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.
Key Points:
Eligibility:
i. Institutions such as Temples, Gurudwara, Mosque, Church, Dharmik Ashram, Dargah, Matth, Monasteries etc.  existing for at least Three years before applying for financial assistance/grant.
ii. Those who serve free food to at least 5000 people in a month.
iii.  Institutions coming under: section 10 (23BBA) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956, Societies Registration Act, 1860.
How it will work:
i. Religious / Charitable Institution shall first register with Darpan Portal of NITI Aayog and get Unique ID.
ii. Then the institution shall enroll itself in CSMS Portal (http://csms.nic.in/login/sevabhoj.php )  on the Ministry of Culture’s website.
iii. Then they shall apply “online” in the prescribed application form and upload required documents as listed below in CSMS Portal of Ministry of Culture’s website( www.indiaculture.nic.in)
Ministry of Culture:
Minister of State (I/C): Mahesh Sharma.

Logo, tagline for GI launched by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu
On August 2, 2018, the Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu launched a logo and tagline for Geographical Indications (GI).

Logo, tagline for GI launched by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh PrabhuObjective:
To create awareness about Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
Key Points:
i. The ministry had launched a contest for designing a logo and tagline for GIs. The slogan for the GI tag is: Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India.
ii. A GI tag on a product conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness relating to the place of origin.
iii. Some of the GI tagged products are: Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina.
About GI:
A Geographical Indication (GI) product is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicraft and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

Rs 722 cr sanctioned for 8 water projects in Haryana by NABARD
On August 2, 2018, NABARD sanctioned Rs 722 crore for eight water projects in the rural areas of Haryana.
i. These projects will supply water to 256 villages and 72 hamlets.
ii. Additionally, the state government has sent three more project proposals, costing Rs 236.85 crore, to NABARD for financial assistance.
iii. They would supply water to 109 villages and nine hamlets.
Achievements of Haryana on water supply projects:
i. 9 plans have been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 72.10 crore by the National Capital Region Planning Board for mordenizing sewerage syatem in urban areas.
ii. 1,200 to 1,300 Million Litres per Day (MLD) of water was being treated in the state sewerage treatment plants (STPs) out of which only 30 to 50 MLD water was being reused.
Haryana:
♦ Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar.
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki.
♦ Capital: Chandigarh.
♦ National Parks: Kalesar National Park, Sultanpur National Park.

MSME launches Mission Solar Charkha for implementation of 50 Solar Charkha Clusters across India
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has launched Mission Solar Charkha for implementation of50 Solar Charkha Clusters throughout India.
Mission Solar Charkha:
i. The budget for this mission is: Rs 550 crore for 2018-19 and 2019-20. The Solar Charkha Units have been classified as village industries.
ii. This scheme will offer direct employment to around 1 lakh people. This Mission was launched by President Ram Nath Kovind on the UN Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day (27th June 2018).
iii. The MSME Ministry is also carrying out a project to set up 15 new Tool Rooms and Technology Development Centres and upgrade the 18 existing centres in India. This will be done at an estimated cost of Rs.2200 crore including World Bank Loan of USD 200 Million.

Piyush Goyal Approves a New Promotion Policy for Railway Sportspersons
Union Minister of Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Piyush Goyal has approved a new policy for promotion of Railway Sportspersons.
Piyush Goyal Approves a New Promotion Policy for Railway SportspersonsNew policy for promotion of Railway Sportspersons:
i. As per this new policy, in addition to the sportspersons who won a position or medal in Olympics, all the sportspersons and coaches who have been awarded with Padma Shri will also be promoted as officers.
ii. Sportspersons, who have made two appearances in Olympics, won a medal in Asian Games or Common Wealth Games, will be promoted as officers.
iii. Also, Railway sportsperson who are winners of any of the awards like Arjuna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award will also be promoted.
iv. A coach whose trainees have won at least three medals in Olympic Games / World Cup / World Championship / Asian Games / Commonwealth Games including at least one medal in Olympic Games will also be promoted as an Officer.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ A. Chidambaram Stadium – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
♦ Nehru Stadium – Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
♦ MGR Race Course Stadium – Madurai, Tamil Nadu

BANKING & FINANCE

Mauritius-based SBM Group the first foreign lender has received Reserve Bank of India’s approval to operate in the country as SBM Bank (India)
On August 2, 2018, RBI has given approval to State Bank of Mauritius to operate in the country through a wholly-owned subsidiary route under the name SBM Bank(India) .

Mauritius-based SBM Group the first foreign lender has received Reserve Bank of India’s approval to operate in the country as SBM Bank (India)It is the first such bank to get such approval.
i. The bank will operate as a subsidiary to SBM group that has been operational since 1994.
ii. Currently it has 4 operational branches in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ramachandrapuram.
iii. It would expand its operation by opening 6 new branches in Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad and Jaipur by 2019.
Other Announcements:
i. Singapore’s DBS bank is another bank who is waiting for RBI’s approval to operate by converting its 12 branches as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Indian Bank revises interest rates on FCNR(B) deposits
On 1st August 2018, Indian Bank has revised interest rates on Foreign Currency Non-Resident (Banking) – FCNR(B)deposits with immediate effect.
Indian Bank revises interest rates on FCNR(B) deposits:

Deposit periodRevised Interest RatePrevious Interest Rate
1 year and above but less than 2 years (in US Dollar terms)3.68 %3.59 %
2 years and above, but less than 3 years3.88 %3.77 %
3 years and above but less than 4 years3.97 %3.89 %
4 years and above but less than 5 years3.99 %3.92 %
up to 5 years4 %3.93 %
About Indian Bank:
♦ MD & CEO – Kishor Kharat
♦ Headquarters – Chennai

RBI bars Fino Payments Bank from enroling new customers
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has barred Fino Payments Bank from adding new customers after it observed anomalies regarding deposits in the existing accounts.
RBI bars Fino Payments Bank from enroling new customers:
i. Fino Payments Bank has been alleged to have violated the norms related to the deposit limit.
ii. RBI’s operating guideline for payment banks state that, the aggregate limit for customers should not exceed Rs 1 lakh. If it exceeds, the excess amount should automatically be transferred to any other bank account, provided by the customer.
iii. Recently, Paytm Payments Bank was also barred by RBI to add new customers after violation of KYC process.
About Fino Payments Bank:
♦ MD & CEO – Rishi Gupta
♦ Incorporated – 2017

Bandhan Bank surpasses YES Bank market capitalisation; becomes 7th most valued bank
On 1st August 2018, Bandhan Bank surpassed YES Bank’s market capitalisation (m-cap) and became the sixth most valuable private sector bank and seventh most valued listed lender.
Bandhan Bank – seventh most valued listed lender:
i. Bandhan Bank with a market capitalisation (m-cap) of Rs 840 billion surpassed YES Bank with m-cap of Rs 838 billion.
ii. As on 1st August 2018, HDFC Bank, SBI and Kotak Mahindra Bank occupied the top three positions respectively, based on market capitalization.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s GDP growth to rise to 7.5% this fiscal, says Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley has predicted, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 7.5 % in this financial year 2018 – 2019.

India's GDP growth to rise to 7.5% this fiscal, says Morgan StanleyIndia’s GDP growth to rise to 7.5% this fiscal: Morgan Stanley:
i. Morgan Stanley said that, India’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.5 % in this financial year 2018-19 as against 6.7 % in 2017-18.
ii. Morgan Stanley’s report forecasts Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to remain above the inflation target of 4 % and the current account deficit below 2.5 % of GDP.
iii. Morgan Stanley stated that, the growth recovery will remain robust. It will initially  be supported by consumption and exports.
iv. In the January-March quarter, India’s GDP grew at the fastest pace in seven quarters at 7.7 %. It would pick up more in the April-June period.
v. The report stated that regarding inflation, risks could be expected from a weak monsoon and implementation of the minimum support price increase.
vi. The report said that, the risks to this growth outlook could emerge from slower global growth or a rise in trade tensions affecting external demand.
About Morgan Stanley:
♦ Chairman & CEO – James P. Gorman
♦ Headquarters – New York, United States

NHAI to Sign MoU with SBI for a long term, unsecured loan of Rs 25,000 Crore
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is getting an unsecured loan of Rs 25,000 crore from State Bank of India (SBI) for 10 years with 3 years of moratorium on repayments.
NHAI to Sign MoU with SBI:
i. This is the largest amount of loan that has been sanctioned to NHAI in one shot. Also, this is the largest long term unsecured loan sanctioned by SBI at a time to any entity.
ii. An MoU regarding this will be signed by SBI and NHAI on 3rd August 2018, in New Delhi.
iii. This loan is unsecured. There is no principal repayment liability for the first 3 years. After 3 years, the repayment will be done in 14 equal half yearly instalments.
iv. The total loan tenure is 10 years. NHAI can repay or prepay it at any time without any prepayment penalty.
v. The total amount of Rs 25000 Crore will be disbursed within 31st March 2019. Rate of interest will be based on 1 month MCLR (Marginal Cost of funds based Lending rate).
vi. Interest accrued on the amount actually outstanding will be paid on monthly basis. NHAI can draw the amount in any number of tranches, latest by 31st March 2019.
About NHAI (National Highways Authority of India):
♦ Chairman – Yudhvir Singh Malik
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Fortune 500 list 2018 features 7 Indian companies; RIL tops in the Indian Private sector
On August 2, 2018, 7 Indian companies have been listed in Fortune’s 500 list 2018 of world biggest corporations.

Fortune 500 list 2018 features 7 Indian companies; RIL tops in the Indian Private sectori. IOC is the highest ranked company from India followed by RIL which jumped 55 places.
ii. IOC ranked 137th in 2018 with a significant jump from 168th position from 2017.
iii. RIL is the top private sector company in India. It ranked 148th in 2018 from 203rd from 2017.
iv. ONGC ranked 197th in 2018 which not even featured in 2017.
v. SBI got 216th rank 1 place higher than 217th in 2017.
vi. Tata Motors ranked 232nd from 247th from 2017.
vii. BPCL ranked 314th in 2018 from 360th in 2017.
viii. Rajesh Exports ranked 405th in 2018 from 295th in 2017.
ix. On the most profitable list, RIL got the place in India and ranked 99th in the ‘most profitable company’ with Apple leading the chart.
x. The world’s 500 largest companies generated $30 trillion in profits in 2017. Together, this year’s Fortune Global 500 c companies employ 67.7 million people worldwide and re represented by 33 countries.
The top in the list of Fortune 500 list are:

RankCompany
1Walmart
2State Grid
3Sinopec Group (China)
4China National Petroleum (China)
5Royal Dutch Shell

Fortune Magazine:
♦ Company: Meredith Corporation.
♦ Based in: New York.

Indian-origin mathematician Akshay Venkatesh wins prestigious Fields Medal
On 1st August 2018, Akshay Venkatesh, an Indian-Australian mathematician, was awarded the Fields medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Indian-origin mathematician Akshay Venkatesh wins prestigious Fields MedalAkshay Venkatesh – Fields medal:
i. Akshay Venkatesh is one of the 4 winners of the Fields medal. Fields medal is also known as the Nobel prize for mathematics.
ii. Other 3 winners of Fields medal are:

  • Caucher Birkar
  • Peter Scholze
  • Alessio Figalli

iii. Akshay Venkatesh is 36 years old. He was born in New Delhi. At present, he is teaching at Stanford University. He has been awarded the Fields Medal for his contribution to a wide range of subjects in mathematics.
iv. He has also received the Ostrowski Prize, the Infosys Prize, the Salem Prize and Sastra Ramanujan Prize.
v. All four winners of the Fields medal were awarded 15,000 Canadian-dollar cash prize.
vi. The Fields medals are awarded every four years. Eminent mathematicians under the age of 40 are awarded.
vii. Fields medal was inaugurated in 1932 at the request of Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields.

President gives away Outstanding Parliamentarian awards from 2013-2017
On 1st August 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the years 2013-2017, in New Delhi.
Outstanding Parliamentarian Award:
i. The Outstanding Parliamentarian Award was presented to the Best Parliamentarians  from 2013 to 2017 for their remarkable contributions.
ii. Winners of the award are listed below:

Award WinnerFor the Year
Dr Najma Heptullah2013
Hukum Dev Narayan2014
Ghulam Nabi Azad2015
Dinesh Trivedi2016
Bhartruhari Mahtab2017
About Parliament of India:
♦ Houses – Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha
♦ Chairman of Rajya Sabha – Venkaiah Naidu
♦ Speaker of the Lok Sabha – Sumitra Mahajan

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

 Deepak Parekh re-appointed as Non-Executive Director on the board of HDFC
On 30th July 2018, Deepak Parekh was re-appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the board of HDFC.
Deepak Parekh – Non-Executive Director of HDFC:
i. Also, J.J. Irani and Keki Mistry were reappointment as directors to HDFC’s board.
ii. Upendra Kumar Sinha and Jalaj Ashwin Dani were also appointed as independent directors.
iii. HDFC has involved a special resolution for re-appointment of Deepak Parekh as he will cross the age of 75 years in October 2019.
About HDFC Bank:
♦ MD – Aditya Puri
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai

IIFL Mutual Fund appoints Anup Maheshwari as joint CEO and CIO
On 31st August 2018, IIFL Mutual Fund appointed Anup Maheshwari as the joint Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and chief investment officer (CIO) with effect from the middle of August 2018.
Anup Maheshwari – joint CEO and CIO of IIFL Mutual Fund:
i. Previously, Anup Maheshwari was chief investment officer of DSP Blackrock Investment Managers. He resigned from DSP Blackrock Investment Managers in April 2018.
ii. In his new position at IIFL Mutual Fund, he will work on the investment and strategy for mutual funds and alternative investment funds businesses.
About IIFL Asset Management:
♦ Chief Executive Officer & Fund Manager – Prashasta Seth
♦ Corporate Office – Mumbai

Oscar Kerketta appointed the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Rwanda
On 1st August 2018, Oscar Kerketta was appointed the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Rwanda.
Oscar Kerketta – next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Rwanda:
i. At present, Oscar Kerketta is Additional Secretary in the Foreign Service Institute (FSI).
ii. He has been appointed the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Rwanda. He will take up this assignment soon.
About Rwanda:
♦ President – Paul Kagame
♦ Prime Minister – Édouard Ngirente
♦ Capital – Kigali
♦ Official languages – English, French, Kinyarwanda, Swahili
♦ Currency – Rwandan franc

IMPORTANT DAYS

July 28th celebrated as Nature Conservation Day:
Every Year July 28th is celebrated as Nature Conservation Day.
i. It is observed to create awareness about the exploitation and to protect natural resources.
ii. India has taken a few steps towards conserving nature such as:

  • Shift to renewable energy: Aim to achieve 175 GW of power by 2022.
  • Schemes such as: Nagar Van Udyan Scheme, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Project Tiger, Mangroves for the Future, The National Wetlands Conservation Programme.