Current Affairs of 20 August 2015

1. Air India appoints Ashwani Lohani as Chairman, MD
 Ashwani Lohani is to be the next Chairman and Managing Director of Air India. Lohani is a 
1980 batch Railway official. He will hold charge for three years or till further orders. He takes over from Rohit Nandan who will demit office shortly. Lohani is currently working as Chief AdministartiveOffcer of the Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuel, a subordinate organisation of the Railway Board. 


2. Prasar Bharti, Digital Television Russia inked MoU
Prasar Bharti and Digital Television Russia on 20 August 2015 signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation which will set the stage for a new media era in both the countries. This purposeful and meaningful MoU was inked in New Delhi.
The MoU is aimed at co-producing TV programmes, repackaging and dubbing popular programmes from the both countries.
It also covers technology modernisation, news exchange and programmes.

3. Government approves pact between India and Seychelles to curb black money
With an intention of curbing black money generation the government approved signing and ratification of the Tax information exchange agreements between India and Seychelles. According to the agreement both the nations will exchange information with each other regarding taxes so as to curb tax evasion and avoidance by its citizens. As per the agreement the information provided by each nation will be treated as confidential and may be disclosed only to persons or concern authorities (Judiciary) who in relation to taxes covered under the agreement. Implications: 
Due to this agreement the competent authorities of both the countries will get relevant information for administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of two countries concerning taxes.

4. SM Khan-headed team constituted to assess situation in FTII by Union Government
The Union Government on 19 August 2015 constituted a three member team to assess the situation over the student protest in Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. 
The three-member team will be headed by the Registrar of Newspapers in India (RNI) SM Khan and comprise two more I&B Ministry officials.

5. YouTube tied-up with Whistling Woods International to set up YouTube space
Google-run video sharing portal YouTubetied-up with Whistling Woods International (WWI) to set up YouTube Space in Mumbai, a collaboration and production facility for YouTube video creators. However, the firms did not disclose any financial details.
Slated to open in late 2015, the YouTube Space Mumbai facility will allow YouTube creators and students at WWI to learn about video production and collaborate with other creators.
YouTube and WWI will also develop original courses to train the next generation of Indian filmmakers to succeed in digital and online media.
YouTube Space Mumbai is the seventh such facility for the YouTube. It has similar facilities in Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, New York, Brazil, and Berlin. The facilities are designed in a way so that the creators can produce original digital video content.

6. Debut Novelist Zia Haider Rahman won the James Tait Black Award 2015
Bangladesh novelist Zia Haider Rahman  won the James Tait Black award 2015 for his debut novel In the Light of What We Know. He received this prize during the 2015 Edinburgh international book festival.
Born in rural Bangladesh, Rahman was educated at Balliol College, Oxford and later at Cambridge, Munich, and Yale Universities. Prior to shifting to the writing career, he had worked as an investment banker and a human rights lawyer. 

7. World Humanitarian Day observed with theme Inspiring the World's Humanity
World Humanitarian Day was observed on 19 August 2015 with the theme Inspiring the World's Humanity. The theme calls on people to join any of the world’s humanitarian organizations and become an active messenger of Humanity.
The day is dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.

8. Hindustan Unilever Sun Pharma Industries and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) among the world’s top 100 innovative Companies: Forbes
Three Indian companies Hindustan Unilever Sun Pharma Industries and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and have been named among the world’s 100 most innovative companies by Forbes. Hindustan Unilever the FMCG has been ranked 41 on the list whereas TCS stood at number 64 and Sun Pharma at 71 in the Forbes list of ‘The World’s Most Innovative Companies’.
California-Based Tesla Motors has topped the list whose market capitalization is of $25.5 billion. Tesla Motors has also won the Apple’s creative crown.

9. Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) compliant vehicles though out the country from 1 April 2017: Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
In order to reduce air pollution due to vehicles the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways issued a notification to introduce Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) compliant four wheeler vehicles though out the country from 1 April 2017. As per the notification from 1 April 2017 all newly manufactured four-wheeled vehicle that are complaint with the BS-IV standards will be allowed to registered and move on roads. From 1 April, 2010 vehicles in few cities of NCR, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad including Secunderabad, Kanpur, Pune, Surat, Agra, Lucknow and Sholapur were already running with BS IV complaint engine. More 50 cities were added till 1 April 2015.

10. Historian Babasaheb Purandare conferred with Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2015
Eminent Historian writer Babasaheb Purandare has been conferred with Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2015. He was bestowed this award in literature category by Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at a function held in Raj Bhava, Mumbai.

11. US launches biggest NATO airborne drills since Cold War in Europe
The US military has launched the largest NATO airborne drills dubbed as Swift Response 15 since the end of the Cold War to enhance security and stability in the European region. Swift Response 15 will be month long simultaneous multinational airborne operations drill in which around 5,000 soldiers from 11 NATO member states will participate.
 11 NATO member courtiers participating are: Bulgaria, Germany, France, Greece, Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Britain Spain, and United States.

12. Olympic champion Sebastian Coe elected new IAAF president
Former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe from United Kingdom has been elected as President of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). In the election for this post he defeated Sergei Bubka of Ukraine by securing 115 votes. He succeeds Senegalese Lamine Diack who had led the IAAF for 16 years since 1999. He becomes only the sixth president in the organisation’s 103-year history.


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