Current Affairs of 29 July 2015

1. Ramon Magsaysay Awardees for the year 2015 announced; Two Indians among the awardees
The Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) on 29 July 2015
announced the Ramon Magsaysay awardees for the year 2015.
Among the five awardees who will be conferred with the so-called Asia’s Nobel Prize, there are two Indians, namely Sanjiv Chaturvedi and Anshu Gupta.
The awards will be presented on 31 August 2015 at Manila, Philippines.

List of Awardees
Sanjiv Chaturvedi, India: He was awarded for Emergent Leadership for his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office. He is an Indian Forest Service officer and currently the deputy secretary of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He also served as a Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) at AIIMS during 2012-14.
Anshu Gupta, India: He was recognized for his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India and his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor. He founded Goonj in 1999, which is a non-governmental organisation based in Delhi and works in 21 states across India in disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development.
Kommaly Chanthavong, Laos: She was recognized for her fearless, indomitable spirit to revive and develop the ancient Laotian art of silk weaving, creating livelihoods for thousands of poor, war-displaced Laotians, and thus preserving the dignity of women and her nation’s priceless silken cultural treasure.
Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa, the Philippines: She was recognized for her single-minded crusade in preserving the endangered artistic heritage of southern Philippines, and in creatively propagating a dance form that celebrates and deepens the sense of shared cultural identity among Asians.
Kyaw Thu, Myanmar: He was recognized for his generous compassion in addressing the fundamental needs of both the living and the dead in Myanmar -- regardless of their class or religion -- and his channeling personal fame and privilege to mobilize many others toward serving the greater social good.

2. Facebook launches its compressed version ‘Lite’ in India
Facebook, the social networking leader has unveiled a new compressed version of its application called ‘Facebook Lite’ in India to reach out its users who have slow data connections. The motive for launching this version in India is to expand the reach of Facebook to a much wider user who do not necessarily use high-end smart phones. Further it will be roll out across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe; till date Facebook has 1.4 bn people on its network globally.

3. International Tiger Day observed across the world
International Tiger Day was observed across the world on 29 July 2015. The day is observed every year since 2010 to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tiger habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation.
In last 100 years, world has lost 97 percent of all wild tigers. The tiger count has fallen from 100000 in 1913 to 3274 in 2013 to 3200 in 2014.
Tigers lost 93% of their natural habitat due to the expansion of cities and agriculture by humans. Besides, human-wildlife conflict and climate change also has been responsible for decline in tiger population and loss of habitat.
Among the 13 tiger-range countries, India with 2226 has the highest number of tiger population. India is followed by Malaysia with 500 tigers. Bangladesh, which was at third with 440 tigers in 2004, saw the tiger population decline to 106 in Tiger Census 2015.

4. Dr. Suniti Solomon, pioneering Indian HIV/AIDS researcher, passed away
The pioneering Indian HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Suniti Solomon died at her residence in Chennai on 28 July 2015. She died due to cancer and was 76.
She was the first person in India who documented the nation’s first HIV/AIDS case in 1986 and later set up Y R Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education (YRG CARE) – the first voluntary testing and counseling center for the disease.
In 1986, Dr Solomon, then a microbiologist at Madras Medical College, made headlines for discovering HIV/AIDS cases in six blood samples collected from female sex workers lodged at the government home on Kutchery Road in Mylapore in Chennai.

5. Justice Mahajan Committee constituted for Re-drafting National Sports Development Code of India
Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports  constituted a Working Group on re-drafting National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI). The aim of constituting the working group is to make the NSDCI more relevant from both sports governance and legal angles.
The nine-member Working Group will be headed by Justice CK Mahajan (retd.), Former Judge of Delhi High Court.
Terms of Reference of the Committee
To examine the existing NSDCI from both sports governance and legal angles and fine-tune/revise the same with the purpose of making it more precise and succinct.
To make specific recommendations on preparation of Electoral College and streamlining of State/District bodies
The Committee will submit the revised draft of the NSDCI within three months.
NSDCI was drafted in 2011 by amalgamating all the orders/notifications/instructions/circulars issued till 2001 with necessary modifications and it came into force with immediate effect from 31 January 2011.

6. General Council approved Kazakhstan's membership terms to join WTO as 162nd member
General Council of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) approved the membership terms of Kazakhstan, thus enabling it to join the world trade body as 162nd member.
In order to formally become the member of WTO, Kazakhstan Parliament now has to ratify the deal by 31 October 2015. It will become a member 30 days after it notifies the ratification.
The Protocol on the Accession of Kazakhstan was signed between WTO Director-General Roberto Azev√™do and President Nazarbayev Nursultan following the General Council’s approval of the country’s WTO terms of entry.

7. Govt approves 7 FDI proposals worth Rs. 981 cr
The Government has approved seven foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals, including ones by Kotak Mahindra Bank and Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd, worth Rs. 981 crore.
Six proposals have been deferred which includes ones by telecom company Sistema Shyam TelServices and Reliance Globalcom, according to a Finance Ministry release issued on Wednesday.
The decisions are based on recommendations made by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in its meeting early this month.
Kotak Mahindra Bank was given a go-ahead by the FIPB on July 3 for its proposal to increase FDI in the bank to 55 per cent. The proposal, deferred a number of times before, was finally approved after the Department of Financial Services gave its nod.

8. World’s first diamond exchange at Singapore to go online from September
Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange’ (SDiX) the first ever diamond exchange is all set to function from September 2015. Till now diamonds were traded on mutual basis where the retailers or jewellers used to buy diamonds from the polishers and consumers were supposed to buy it from the retailer. Now under the SDiX customers can physically trade in diamond under one roof.

9. Titagarh Wagons buys Italy-based Firema Trasporti
The Kolkata-based private sector wagon manufacturer Titagarh Wagons Ltd (TWL) has acquired Italian coach manufacturing company Firema Trasporti for 25 million Euros. This purchase will help out TWL to venture into the metro coach and high-speed train manufacturing business. Earlier in 2010, TWL had acquired France based Arbel Fauvet Rail now (Titagarh Wagons AFR) and now Firema Transporti’s take over will avail its state-of-the-art technology to venture out into global market in wagon manufacturing sector. This acquisition will greatly complement Titagarh’s growth strategy and will add significant value to its conventional EMUs manufacturing business for the Indian Railways. Availability of Firema state-of-the-art technology will now open the world market for the group.

10. IndusInd Bank acquires RBS’ bullion financing business for Rs 4,100 crore
IndusInd Bank has acquired the diamond and jewellery (bullion) financing business and related deposit portfolio of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for 4,100 crore rupees on 28 July 2015. Britain’s largest public bank Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was in talks with IndusInd Bank to sell off its bullion financing business and had signed a non-binding agreement in April 2015. According to the agreement RBS’s employees within the diamond and jewellery clients in India would be transferred to IndusInd Bank. RBS in 2008, had acquired ABN AMRO Bank the oldest banks in diamond and jewellery financing and started dealing in bullion financing in India through RBS Mumbai branch. The reason behind this sell-off comes on the back of RBS’s decision in 2013 to exit its banking operations from India and to consolidate its business in UK and Western Europe. However, it has decided to retain its back-office operations in India and has moved over 60 back-offices roles from the UK to India that has workforce of 12,000 people. Prior to RBS’s decision it had shut down its 23 out of 31 branches in India and had also sold off its credit card business, commercial banking portfolios and mortgage business  to Ratnakar Bank Ltd (RBL) Bank in 2013. Note: The partnership agreement with ABN AMRO and RBS’ global knowledge and its ready bullion financing loan book of 4,500 crore rupees will help IndusInd to engage with the customers in the industry globally.

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