Current Affairs of 4 August 2015

1. Monetary Policy: RBI leaves key rates unchanged

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan kept interest rates unchanged 
as expected but raised hopes of a reduction before the end of the year if the monsoon maintains its "near normal" progress thus far to keep farm product prices in check and a global supply glut prevents oil prices from climbing. 

The RBI kept the repo rate, at which it lends to banks, at 7.25%. All other rates, the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) remain unchanged. SLR relates to the proportion of money that banks need to invest in government bonds, while CRR is the amount they need to keep with the central bank 

2. Bharti Airtel acquired YTS Solutions for mobile payment solutions
India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on 4 August 2015 acquired financial solutions firm YTS Solutions for an undisclosed amount. With this acquisition, YTS Solutions will be integrated with the operations of Airtel Money Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Airtel.
This acquisition will help Airtel to expand its footprint in the payments sector by integrating business capabilities and unique service delivery model of the YTS. 
Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd (AMSL) offers wallet service under the brand name Airtel Money.

3. Iqbal Ahmed Ansari appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court
Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari was  appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court. Ansari is a senior-most Judge of Patna High Court.
Ansari was appointed by President Pranab Mukherjee under article 223 of the Constitution of India with effect from 1 August 2015. Ansari succeeded Justice Lingala Narasimha Reddy, Chief Justice of Patna High Court, who retired on 1 August 2015.

4. Union Government signed historic peace accord with NSCN (I-M)
Union Government  signed a landmark peace accord with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak-Muivah (NSCN (I-M)), putting an end to almost two decades long pending peace talks.
The signing of the pact is the end of over 80 rounds of negotiations that spanned 16 years with first breakthrough in 1997 when ceasefire agreement was sealed.
The accord was signed at the Prime Minister's official residence 7 RCR, New Delhi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the NSCN (IM) leader Th. Muivah, and government's interlocutor for Naga peace talks RN Ravi.
RN Ravi inked the document on behalf of the Union government, while NSCN (IM) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah were the signatories on behalf of the Naga organisation.
However, NSCN-Khaplang (NSCN-K), the faction of the NSCN which broke away in 1988 was not part of the settlement.

5. 193 UN members reached agreement on sustainable development agenda
The 193 member states of the United Nations on 2 August 2015 reached agreement on a new Sustainable Development Agenda for the next 15 years. It calls for eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, improving living standards and taking urgent action to combat climate change.
new Sustainable Development Agenda
The draft agreement outlines 17 goals with 169 specific targets on issues ranging from ending poverty in all its forms everywhere to ensuring quality education and affordable and reliable energy.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the plan seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core.
With this agreement, the document called "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" will be adopted at a UN summit just before the annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly in September 2015. The summit will be held between 25 and 27 September 2015 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. 
The 17 new, non-binding goals will succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders 15 years ago.

6. McCann bags Incredible India ad campaign
The global advertising agency McCann bagged Tourism Ministry’s ‘Incredible India’ advertising campaign for the period of three years. The current campaign is advertised by Ogilvy India. McCann was selected because of its unique consumer understanding, deep knowledge about India’s culture and for its excellent creative work in field of advertising. Currently McCann is responsible for the set of four commercials for Tourism Ministry’s ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ campaign featured by superstar Aamir Khan.

7. Union Government extends term of Rajan S Katoch as Director of ED for 3rd time
Union Government has extended term of senior IAS officer Rajan S Katoch as the Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). In this regard, Apppointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued an order. Thus, Mr. Katoch will have three months additional tenure till October 31, 2015. Mr. Katoch is an IAS officer of 1979-batch of Madhya Pradesh cadre. He was appointed to top most post of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in March 2012 for three year term which was to end in January 2015.

8. Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singh chosen for Bharat Bharti literary award 2014
Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singh was on 3 August 2015 chosen for the Uttar Pradesh's highest literary award Bharat Bharti for the year 2014. The award is given by UP Hindi Sansthan every year. It carries a cash prize of 5 lakh rupees.
Singh has penned many novels and short stories. One of his most famous novel is Kashi ka Assi, which captures the vibrant hues of Banaras.
Besides Singh, several other writers were also selected in various categories by a committee set up by Hindi Sansthaan. Some of these prominent awardees were:
• Mridula Garg for Lohia Sahitya category
• Vinod Kumar Shukla for Hindi Gaurav category
• Krishna Bihari Mishra for Mahatama Gandhi Sahitya Samman
• Abhiraj Rajendra Mishra for Deendayal Upadhaya Sahitya Samman
• Ramkrishna Rajput for Avantibai Sahitya Samman

9. IOC gives Olympic Sport recognition to ‘Frisbee’
International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially recognised ‘Frisbee’ as an Olympic sport. Decision in this regard was taken at the 128th IOC Session held in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia by giving official recognition to World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF). It was included as Olympic sport after WFDF had meet all the criteria including having 62 national federations members and gender equality. Olympic recognition to this sport now opens the door to the some financial support from the IOC and participation in the Olympic Games. Frisbee is the sport of flying disc which became popular in the 1960s and 70s. Presently, WFDF governs several Frisbee events including Beach Ultimate, Ultimate Frisbee and field events.

10. Kerala’s first IIT starts functioning at Palakkad district
The first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kerala started functioning from a temporary campus at Palakkad district, scripting a new chapter in the higher education sector in the state. The IIT-P campus was opened in Palakkad district at a function and Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani addressed the students through video conferencing. In the initial phase, IIT-Palakkad will offer four B-Tech streams including Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

11. Airtel appoints Rajiv Mathrani as chief brand officer
Bharti Airtel (Airtel) on Tuesday said it has appointed Rajiv Mathrani as Chief Brand Officer for its India operations.
He will lead Airtel’s brand positioning, strategic initiatives and associations, and will report to Srini Gopalan, Director – Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel (India), the company said in a statement.
He takes over from Mohit Beotra, who has decided to move on from Airtel to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.
Mathrani joins Airtel from Pepsico where he led the snacks category and portfolio strategy for Lay’s, Kurkure, Uncle Chipps and Cheetos – and played a key role in driving strong business growth and defining master brands.
Apart from Pepsico, he has held various leadership, marketing and sales roles earlier in India and other emerging markets across organisations like Marico Industries, Citibank and Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

12. Dipa Karmakar wins bronze medal at 6th Senior ART Gymnastics Asian Championships
Ace Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has won bronze medal in women’s vault event at the 6th Senior ART Gymnastics Asian Championships held in Hiroshima, Japan. Yan Wang of China successfully defended her title to win  gold medal with 14.988 points. The silver medal was won by Japanese Sae Miyakawa with 14.812 points. Karmakar, finished at in third position with 14.725 points. Earlier in February 2015, Karmakar had won total of five gold medals while representing Tripura state in the 35th National Games in Kerala. In the 2014 Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korea, she had finished fourth in the final of vault event with a score of 14.200.

13. Former MP Minister Jagannath Singh passes away
Former Madhya Pradesh minister and senior Bhartiya Janta Party leader Jagannath Singh passed away in Bhopal after prolonged illness. He was 69. He had had served as state labour minister from 2008 to 2013 in the BJP government led by incumbent MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. In his political career he was elected as Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) four times and for first time as an MLA in 1977 from Devsar constituency. He was twice elected as Lok Sabha member from Sidhi constituency and once as Rajya Sabha member.

14. Joshna Chinappa wins WSA Victorian Open title of squash
India’s ace female squash player Joshna Chinappa won the prestigious US 15,000 dollars Victorian Open squash competition. In the final match of the WSA event played at Melbourne, Australia she defeated second Denmark’s Line Hansen by three set score of 11-5, 11-4 and 11-9. It was her overall tenth WSA title and the last one was Richmond Open title won in April 2014. In the men’s category, Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly won the title. In the final match he defeated Greg Lobban of Scotland by three set score of 12-10, 13-11 and 11-9.

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