Current Affairs of 27 August 2015

1. ISRO's GSLV D-6 puts GSAT-6 satellite in orbit
Staging yet another spectacular launch of three-stage heavy weight rocket GSLV D-6 
 with indigenous cryogenic upper stage, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday successfully put in orbit GSAT-6 communication satellite.
The GSLV D-6 is the second successful consecutive launch of the GSLV series with indigenous cryogenic upper stage. ISRO had on January 5, 2014 launch GSLV D-5, after a similar attempt failed in 2010.
About 17 minute after the 49.1 metre high spacecraft lifted off raised from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre with a lift-off weight of 416 tonne at 4.52 pm, the rocket placed GSAT-6 in the intended orbit.

2. Tennis Player Novak Djokovic appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF
Novak Djokovic, the world’s top ranked tennis player, was  appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), after having served as the UNICEF’s Serbia Ambassador.
He also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the World Bank and the Novak Djokovic Foundation to promote early childhood development. The Fund and the Foundation have established a close cooperation on bringing early childhood services to every child and family in Serbia.
Novak Djokovic has been lending his support to children's welfare since he teamed up with UNICEF in 2011. He has been working for improving the lives of children, especially those who are amongst the most marginalized, with a particular focus on the importance of early childhood education.
With this, Djokovic has joined other accomplished and dedicated UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors including Danny Kaye, Audrey Hepburn, David Beckham, Harry Belafonte, Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Sir Roger Moore, Shakira, Maxim Vengerov, Serena Williams and others.

3. Dilip Vengsarkar elected as president of ACSSI, India's premier cricket Statisticians association
Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar in the third week of August 2015 elected as the president of the Association of Indian Statisticians and scorers of India (ACSSI).
At present, Vengsarkar is the vice president of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
He was elected unopposed during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ACSSI.
Also, Dara Pochkhanawalla and Ganesh Iyer were elected as the two vice presidents of the organisation.
The ACSSI was formed in 1987 to do serious research on Indian cricket, both past and present and provide one-stop accurate information about Indian domestic, test and limited overs international cricket statistics.

4. Rajendra Singh conferred with 2015 Stockholm Water Prize
The Waterman of India Rajendra Singh on 26 August 2015 was conferred with the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize.
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize presented the prize at a Royal Award Ceremony during World Water Week in Swedish Capital Stockholm.
Singh was named for the prestigious award for his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need.

5. Serbia, Kosovo agreed to implement 2013 Brussels Agreement
Kosovo and Serbia agreed to implement the 2013 Brussels Agreement paving the way for normalizing the relations between both the countries.
The First agreement of principles governing the normalisation of relations or more famously known as the Brussels Agreement was reached between both the countries under the mediation of the European Union on 19 April 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.
Key Features of Brussels Agreement
• Autonomy to Northern Areas: Serbs in northern Kosovo will enjoy greater rights. Kosovo has a majority Albanian population, but under the agreement ten areas with large Serb populations will be able to manage issues such as the local economy and education. Further, Serb Municipalities would have an assembly, president and a flag.
• Kosovo will have a separate international dialing code. It will put an end to the inconvenience for Kosovo's mobile phone users of using Monaco or Slovenia international codes. However, Serbian-majority areas in the north will still be able to use Serbian calling codes.
• The two sides also agreed on how to share the symbolic Mitrovica Bridge (on Ibar River) that separates Albanian and Serb communities in the north.

6. Cabinet gives nod to include Sipai, Patni, Jamat Kahar and Tanwar Singhariya in the OBC list
Union Cabinet gave its nod to amend the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for Gujarat and Uttarakhand for inclusion of Sipai and Patni Jamat or Turk Jamat (all Muslims) from Gujarat and Kahar, Tanwar Singhariya from Uttarakhand in the list. Decision to make suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs was taken Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Ministeri Narendra Modi based on advice from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). This inclusion will enable the persons belonging to these communities/castes to avail the benefits of reservation in Government services as well as in Central Educational Institutions as per the existing reservation policy. It will also make them eligible to get benefited by various Union Government welfare schemes, scholarships etc, which are presently available to persons belonging to the OBCs mentioned in the list.

7. Niti Aayog launches improved data tool for energy planning
The Niti Aayog has launched an improved version of its interactive data tool on the country's energy security scenario to help policy makers and stakeholders make informed choices for better energy planning for the future.
The Indian Energy Security Scenarios (IESS) 2047 (Version 2.0) calculator, housed within the Niti Aayog, will suggest measures to shift the energy pattern in a way to ensure advancement of the country's energy security considerations.
The calculator explores India's possible energy futures across energy supply sectors such as solar, wind, biofuels, oil, gas, coal, and nuclear, and demand sectors such as transport, industry, agriculture, cooking, lighting and appliances.

8. 7th Central Pay Commission gets four more months to submit report
The Seventh Central Pay Commission has been granted a four-month extension to submit its recommendations, after the Union Cabinet approved the decision on Wednesday.
The commission, which reviews pay scales of about 48 lakh Central government employees and 55 lakh pensioners, was constituted on February 28, 2014 by the UPA government and was supposed to submit its recommendations by August 27.
However, the commission had asked for a four-month extension due to the ‘volume of work’ and ‘intensive stakeholder consultations’. As a result of the Cabinet decision, the request stands granted.

9. Govt announces 98 smart city nominees; set for second stage of challenge
 The Government  announced the list of 98 cities which will now compete for the second stage of the smart cities challenge to secure Rs. 100 crore funding from the Centre.
Out of these 98 cities and towns, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centres, 18 are of cultural and tourism importance, 5 are port cities and 3 are education and health care hubs.
“Capital cities Itanagar, Patna, Shimla, Bengaluru, Daman, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Gangtok and Kolkata could not be nominated
The Centre had allotted each state a specific number of city slots. These 98 aspirants have been chosen by States/UTs through an intra-state competition based on existing service levels, financial and institutional capacities and past track record and reforms.
J&K has sought more time to decide the nominee from the State while UP has reported that Meerut and Raibareily have been tied in the evaluation. Hence, remaining 2 nominees will be decided in some time.
Out of the 98 cities, 90 cities have also already been selected for another flagship scheme — Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). “Funds for these 90 cities under AMRUT would be dovetailed with resources being made available under smart cities mission which is a clear evidence of convergence.

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