Current Affairs of 19 August 2015

1. SEBI-FMC merger set to be formalised on September 28
The much-anticipated merger of the Forward Markets Commission with SEBI is set to get formalised from September 28. The government will soon issue a notification in this regard for market participants, including exchanges, intermediaries and members to prepare for the transition, said sources in the government department.
Belying commodity market expectations, SEBI does not appear to be in favour of introducing new products, such as options and trading on indices at least for one year from the day FMC-SEBI comes into effect, he said. The capital markets regulator SEBI has been working on the merger for the last six months and the commodity exchanges have made separate presentations on their operations to the new regulator.
Incidentally, the SEBI board will meet on September 24 to discuss progress on the merger, regulatory changes needed in commodity market and various other issues.

2. LIC launches maiden unit linked insurance plan (ULIP)
State run insurer, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has launched its maiden unit linked insurance plan (ULIP) product across the country. The ULIP which is also called as ‘New Endowment Plus’ offers investment-cum-insurance provision during the term policy providing dual benefit for the policy holder. Specifications of ULIP: 
It provides dual benefits of risk cover and investment opportunity in market to the policy holder and also provides option of partial withdrawal under this plan. 
ULIP provides four fund options to policy holders in form of — bond fund, balance fund, secured fund, and growth fund to which policy holder can switch over according to their conveniences. Policy holders can switch over among the fund options for four times in a given policy for free of charge. 
ULIP provides double death benefit .i.e. it gives assured amount equal to the higher of basic sum assured or policy holder’s fund value on death before or after the date of commencement of risk. It also provides accident death benefit to rider which provides for an additional amount equal to accident death benefit sum assured on death due to accident. 
The basic sum assured under ULIP is higher by 10 times the annualised premium and 105% of the total premiums paid. The minimum lock-in period for ULIP plan is for five years and if surrender before that an additional charge is levied.

3. Malayalam actor Paravoor Bharathan died
Malayalam actor Paravoor Bharathan died on 18 August 2015 in Kerala after suffering from age-related ailments. He was 86. Bharathan is survived by his wife Thankamani, three sons and a daughter.
Bharathan was known for his versatility in the Film Industry as he had played a variety of roles including negative roles, character roles and comedy roles. He acted in nearly 300 regional films.
Bharathan began his career in the late 1940s in drama, he first appeared in films in 1951 and till 2009, he was an integral part of the film industry. Some of his much talked about films include In Harihara Nagar, Aniyan Bava Chetan Bava, Aniathipravu, and Meleparambil Aanveedu.

4. TPP Nair, SP Misra, Romeo James recommended for 2015 Dhyan Chand Award
The selection committee headed by former Indian hockey captain Zafar Iqbal  recommended the names of TPP Nair, SP Misra and Romeo James for 2015 Dhyan Chand award. Their names were shortlisted from the names of 60 applicants.
TPP Nair, the former captain of the Indian volleyball team, led the Indian team which bagged a bronze medal in the 1958 Tokyo Asian Games and a silver medal in the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games.
SP Misra is the former captain of Davis Cup and at present is the chairman of the All India Tennis Association Selection Committee (AITASC). 
Romeo James, the former goalkeeper of the Indian hockey team, represented the country in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where India finished fifth.

5. Bangladesh lifted South Asian Football Federation U-16 title
Bangladesh Under-16 team on 18 August 2015 won their first-ever South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) under-16 title. In the title clash at the Sylhet District Stadium of Bangladesh, the hosts defeated defending champions India 4-2 in penalties.
Bangladesh got the lead through Fahim Murshed when he found the net in the 46th minute. India equalised the score after the hour mark through Amay Morajkar's left-footer. The match went into penalties after both sides failed to score the second goal.

6. Lenovo to make Smartphones in Chennai with Flextronics under Make in India initiative
Chinese personal computer and smartphone giant Lenovo has roped with electronics contract manufacturer Flextronics to start manufacturing facility in Sriperambudur, near Chennai. Lenovo has forayed in Indian smartphone manufacturing sector after the latest entrant Foxconn who will manufacture the phones in its facility and will invest $ 5 billion over a period of five years in India. Lenovo will start local manufacturing smartphones of it’s both brands Lenovo and Motorola which it acquired from Google last year at its Sriperambudur facility. Lenovo’s development comes as another boost for the government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign which will establish local manufacture units with an annual production capacity of 6 million units smartphones and expects employment to 1,500 persons. Currently Lenovo manufactures around three million PCs and laptops at Puducherry, near Chennai but didn’t have smartphone manufacturing unit in India. It should be noted that India is the third largest smartphone market in the world.

7. Finance Minister launches two funds for promoting MSMEs and Start-ups
 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched two funds the India Aspiration Fund (IAF) and SIDBI Make in India Loan for Enterprises (SMILE) under Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in line to carter funding for start-ups and to aid small enterprises in India. SIDBI under the first fund India Aspiration Fund (IAF) would invest in venture capital funds for meeting the equity requirement of MSME start-ups and for this the initial corpus of Rs. 2,000 crore has been set. Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) will be a partner and co-investor in this fund. Under second fund the SIDBI Make in India Loan for Enterprises (SMILE) is a debt-fund which will carter soft term loans to MSMEs to meet debt-to-equity norms and pursue growth opportunities, SIDBI has set Initial corpus of Rs. 10, 000 crore under SMILE fund. Finance Ministry has launched these funds under SIDBI to boost MSME and start-ups under Make in India initiative and expects to create employment for over one lakh person for four to five years. Ministry also intend to move people from overstaffed agriculture sector to areas such as services and manufacturing through MSMEs and start-up which fund their own business and creates employment.

8. Taj Mahal world’s fifth travel hotspots: Lonely Planet
India’s historic Mughal mausoleum Taj Mahal has ranked fifth position in the prestigious list of most attractive travel hotspot in the world. It was revealed in the recently released Ultimate Travelist of Lonely Planet which has described the monument as a magnificent Mughal masterpiece. 
Top hotspot in the world 
The Temples of Angkor: It was placed at first position in the list. These temples are UNESCO World Heritage site located in northern Cambodia. It has more than 1,000 temples, shrines and tombs which attracts more than 2 million tourists annually. 

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