Current Affairs of 25 August 2015

1. Amol Palekar appointed as Chairman of India’s Oscar jury
Veteran actor and director Amol Palekar has been appointed as the Chairman of India’s Oscar jury by Mumbai based Film Federation of India (FFI). He will head the 17-member jury panel which will select the Indian films official entry in the best foreign film category of the 88th Academy Awards which will be held in Los Angeles in February 2016.

2. India, Nepal ink MoU on Raxaul-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline
India and Nepal have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of Raxaul-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline. This pipeline will be the first of its kind project between two neighbouring countries in the SAARC region in the oil and gas sector. The MoU was signed by Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and his Nepali counterpart Sunil Bahadur Thapa (Nepal’s commerce and supplies minister) in Kathmandu.
It will be constructed by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on behalf of Indian Government at a cost of 200 crore rupees. It will connect supply depot at Raxaul (Bihar) in India to Nepal Oil Corporation’s Amlekhgunj receiving terminal. It will also include re-engineering and construction of the Amlekhgunj Depot and allied facilities. This pipeline will cover total distance of 41 km, off which only 2 km will be in India and 39 km in Nepal.

3. Justice M L Tahaliyani sworn in as Lokayukta of Maharashtra
Justice Madanlal Laxmandas Tahaliyani has sworn-in as the new Lokayukta of Maharashtra. He was administered the oath of office by the Governor Vidyasagar Rao at the oath taking ceremony held in Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. Justice Tahaliyani will succeed Justice PB Gaikwad whose term as Lokayukta had ended on July  2014. He is a retired judge of the Bombay High Court.

4. Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser retained Women’s 100 meters gold at World Championships in Athletics
Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser  retained Women’s 100 meters gold at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics by finishing the race in 10.76 seconds.
The silver medal was won by Dafne Schippers (10.81) of Netherlands and the Bronze went to Tori Bowie (the USA) who completed the race in 10.86 seconds.
The biannual event was held at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in the Chinese capital Beijing where she won the gold in the same category in 2008 Olympics. Her only other Olympic gold was during the 2012 London Olympics.

5. Indian-American Vince Chhabria appointed as a full-time federal judge by Obama
Indian-American Vince Chhabria was on 24 August 2015 was appointed as the full-time federal judge of California court by President Barack Obama. The 46-year-old Chhabria is the Bay Area's first Indian-American federal judge.
Along with Chhabria, Obama also elevated 10 other people as the full-time judge in the third largest US state California. All 11 Obama appointees sailed through Senate confirmation hearings, which helped in filling the 11 of 14 vacancies in the court for the northern district of California.

6. India, Australia signed MoU on cooperation in fields of education, training and research
India and Australia  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of education, training and research. The MoU was signed by Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development and Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education and Training, Australia.
The MoU will help intensify existing partnerships between India and Australia in higher education & research, including technical and professional education, schools, vocational education and training and will open up new and innovative areas of cooperation. 
The MoU was signed during the meeting of the Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) in New Delhi. 

7. NITI Aayog decided to set up expert group to draft Model Land Leasing Law
NITI Aayog decided to set up an experts committee to prepare a model land leasing law, which can be adopted by states as per their local needs. 
The decision on the matter was taken at a meeting of Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of Revenue and Land, which was chaired by Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya. 
The representatives of the states generally agreed that land leasing, updating of land records and land titling would be win-win steps for all affected parties and expressed keen interest in making progress on them in the months to come.

8. Tata Trusts ink MoU with Andhra Pradesh Government to develop 264 Smart Villages
Tata Trusts has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Government to develop 264 villages. Under this initiative, all 264 villages in the Vijayawada constituency will be developed in order to transform them into smart villages. The project has been jointly undertaken by local Lok Sabha MP Kesineni Srinivas and the Tata Trust as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Tata Group. It should be noted that this is the first of its kind of project undertaken by Tata Trust in the country to develop all villages of a single Parliamentary constituency. As part of this initiative, the trusts will work in the areas of education, drinking water, health and nutrition, self-employment for the youth, bamboo cultivation, fisheries etc. by developing each village. Around 2.5 lakh households in all villages of this constituency will benefit from this ambitious project.

9. 105-year-old Urdu copy of Ramcharitmanas written by Shiv Brat Lal found
Urdu copy of 105-year-old Shri Ramcharitmanas was found from a scrap market at Hauz Khas in New Delhi. The book written by Shiv Brat Lal, a native of Bhadohi district, in 1904 and was later printed at Lahore’s Half-Tone press in 1910 was found in a pile of torn books three years ago. 
The book was bought for 600 rupees by the Sankat Mochan temple priest family.
The copy carries a prologue of 20 pages and has four hand-drawn photographs, in which one photograph not only carries the pictures of Lord Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman but also of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

10. Flipkart launches in-app chat service Ping
E-commerce major Flipkart has launched an, in-app chat service called Ping 
through which consumers can chat, share images and then take a shopping decision. Taking technology a notch up, Ping, allows Flipkart to do all this in real time.
Shopping is way more than the act of viewing a catalog, selecting a product and buying it at the click of a button and thus, with Ping, Flipkart aims to fundamentally redefine the shopping experience and make it near ‘real-life’ in ‘real –time’
Currently in its beta stage of development, Ping will be available to customers through an invite only model in the first phase.

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