Current Affairs of 12 August 2015

1. Greece agrees bailout deal ‘in principle’ with its creditors
Greece has agreed a new in principle multi-billion euro bailout deal with its creditors. It was announced by the European Commission (EC) after series of marathon talks between Greece and its lenders in Athens. In this regard a technical agreement has been reached between the EC and Greece. The agreement will now require political approval from the debt ridden country. The bailout deal comprises a package of 85 billion euros over next three year. This agreement will keep Greece in the Eurozone currency and avert bankruptcy which may had led to a negative cascading effect on global economy.

2. NABARD accredited by UN’s Green Climate Fund as National Implementing Entity
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) got accredited by the
 Green Climate Fund as a national implementing entity for undertaking climate change related projects in India. In 2010 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had set Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help developing countries to finance clean energy projects other mitigation efforts and adaptation to climate change. Accordingly NABARD is the only national implementing entity in the country for undertaking climate change projects. NABARD will get funds in the form of concessional loan or in form of grant or through other modalities approved by the GCF Board. In line of this NABARD has submitted a proposal to GCF for financial support on ‘Mitigating climate change and enhancing adaption for farmers through agro-forestry project set by Haryana Government.

3. Azim Premji, Shiv Nadar among world’s 20 richest tech czars: Forbes
Two Indian technology tycoons Azim Premji chairman of Wipro and Shiv Nadar founder of HCL bagged place in Top 20 on Forbes’ first ever list of ‘100 Richest People In Technology’. As per the Forbes list of ‘top 100 richest people in technology’ Azim Premji with net worth of $17.4 billion ranked 13th followed by Shiv Nadar on the 14th spot with net worth $14.4 billion. Two Indian-origin technology czars Romesh Wadhwani and Bharat Desai are also in the list, they were ranked 73rd and 82nd respectively.
World’s richest Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ranks number one among tech tycoons too with a net worth of $79.6 billion. Oracle CEO Ellison ceded second spot with a net worth estimated at $50 billion.

4. Thermal Powertech flags off second unit two of Krishnapatnam plant
Thermal Powertech Corporation India Ltd (TPCIL) has synchronised the second 660 MW unit of its 1,320 MW coal-fired thermal power plant with the grid on 11 August. The power plant is situated at Krishnapatnam in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, whose first unit of 660 MW was synchronised in 2014 and started commercial operations from February 2015. The commercial operation of second unit is expected to commence by September 2015 with which it will function in full capacity of 1,320 MW. The thermal power plant is developed and operated by TPCIL which was incorporated in 2008 as a joint venture company between Hyderabad-based Gayatri Energy Ventures Private Limited and Singapore-based SembCorp Utilities. The Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries has gross power capacity of over 8,200 MW and has over 3,340 MW of capacity in India of which 2,640 MW is of thermal energy and 700 MW in from renewable energy.

5. India & World Bank signed agreement of US$ 308.40 Million for NCRMP-II
Union Government and World Bank  signed 308.40 million US dollar credit agreement in support of the second phase of the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Program (NCRMP-II). The agreement was also signed by the state Governments of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and West Bengal.
The agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the Union Government and John Blomquist, Program Leader and Acting Country Director in India, on behalf of the World Bank.
The Project Agreements in respect of the States of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal were signed by the representatives of the respective State Governments.

6. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced marketing of Bio Fuel Blended HSD
The Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) on 10 August 2015 announced Marketing of High Speed Diesel (HSD) blended with Bio-diesel in selected retail outlets of OMC’s in New Delhi & Vishakhapatnam (by HPCL), Haldia (by BPCL) and Vijayawada (by IOCL). ‘
It is a path breaking step in India’s retail sector for launching Bio-diesel B 5 blend to diesel consumers.
Sale of fuel was announced on the occasion of World Bio Fuel Day by Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan at HPCL’s retail outlet in New Delhi. He also launched the sale of Bio-Diesel blended HSD in other cities through live streaming from New Delhi.

7. Japan nuclear reactor for first time start operations since Fukushima Nuclear disaster
Japan for the first time has switched on a nuclear reactor nearly two years after all nuclear power stations were closed aftermath of the Fukushima disaster of 2011. The No 1 reactor at Sendai plant of Kyushu Electric Power started its operations and within few days it will start producing full power. The second Sendai reactor will restart its operation later in October 2015. Approval to start reactor was given by Japan’s apex regulator, Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) based on stricter safety rules imposed after the 2011 accident.

8. Australia unveils plan to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030
Australian government has announced to cut country’s greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions by 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 as part of negotiations on a global climate deal. In this regard, Conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott led government will submit its target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Australia’s announcement in this regard comes ahead of Climate change conference which is scheduled to be held in Paris in December 2015. Being world’s largest exporter of coal and iron ore, Australia is one of the largest carbon emitters on a per capita mainly due to its reliance on coal-fired power plants. Currently the country is aiming to reduce its emissions by 5 per cent by 2020, based on the level of emissions target set in 2000.

9. Union Government gives nod to set up All India Institute of Ayurveda
Union government has given nod to set up of All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) for imparting Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Ph.D level education in the field of traditional medicine. It was announced by Minister of State (MoS) of AYUSH Ministry, Shripad Yesso Naik in a written reply to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha. AIIA will be located at Sarita Vihar in New Delhi. It will be the apex institute of ayurveda with 200 bedded referral hospital for imparting postgraduate and doctoral education in the field of Ayurveda. Apart from this, it was also announced that Union Government has set up Research Councils and implemented a Central Scheme of Extramural Research. These councils seek to undertake and support research and development (R&D) activities including development of drugs in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy.

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