1. Mysore tops Swachh Bharat rankings
Mysore in Karnataka has topped the Swachh Bharat rankings of 476 cities in the
country based on the extent of open defecation and solid waste management practices, a statement from the Ministry of Urban Development said.
Mysore leads the pack with minimal open defecation and extensive adoption of solid waste management practices, followed by Tiruchi (Tamil Nadu), Navi Mumbai, Kochi (Kerala), Hassan, Mandya and Bengaluru from Karnataka, Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Halisahar (West Bengal) and Gangtok (Sikkim) in that order.
Among the top 100 cities, 39 cities were from the South, 27 from the East, 15 from the West, 12 from the North and 7 from the North-Eastern States, the statement added.
North performed poorly accounting for 74 cities in the bottom 100, while 21 were from the East, 3 from the West and 2 from the South, the statement said.
The worst performer was Damoh (Madhya Pradesh), preceded by Bhind (Madhya Pradesh), Palwal and Bhiwani, both in Haryana, Chittaurgarh (Rajasthan), Bulandshahar (Uttar Pradesh), Neemuch (Madhya Pradesh), Rewari(Haryana), Hindaun (Rajasthan) and Sambalpur in Odisha.
The survey conducted during 2014-15 was commissioned by the Ministry of Urban Development as required under the National Sanitation Policy of 2008.
2. Govt plans ‘Suraksha Bandhan’ drive to push social security
Seeking to tap ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival, the Government plans to launch a ‘Suraksha Bandhan’ drive to push its flagship social security plans through innovative schemes like gift cheques and special deposits.
A special enrolment drive will be launched by the participating banks and insurance companies during August-September, in the backdrop of the forthcoming festival of Raksha Bandhan, Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Raksha Bandhan, to be celebrated on August 29, is a festival where brothers traditionally give gifts to their sisters and vow to protect them.
Similarly, the ‘Suraksha Bandhan’ drive would seek to encourage people to gift ‘social security’ plans to their loved ones. The new drive is aimed at taking forward the government’s objective of creating a universal social security system in the country, targeted especially at the poor and the under—privileged, the Finance Ministry said.
The drive will be supported through the Jeevan Suraksha Gift cheques, which will be available for purchase for Rs. 351 in bank branches by persons wishing to gift them to facilitate one year payment of premium for Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) by the recipient.
The recipient of the gift cheque would deposit the instrument in his or her bank account for a realisable value of Rs. 342 (Rs 12 + Rs. 330) to cover one—year subscription to PMJJBY and PMSBY.
The balance of Rs. 9 from the purchase price of Rs. 351 would be retained by the issuing bank as a service charge.
Banks will also provide a facility to account holders under the Suraksha Deposit Scheme and the Jeevan Suraksha Deposit Scheme aimed at enabling them to deposit Rs. 201 or Rs. 5,001, respectively in their accounts either on their own initiative by cash, cheque or based on cash or cheques received as gifts on Raksha Bandhan for subscription to PMSBY or to both PMSBY and PMJJBY, respectively.
3. Pramerica Mutual Fund has acquired Deutsche MF business in India
Mutual Fund sector witnessed fifth exit of foreign fund house in two years from India on 7 August, as Pramerica Mutual Fund (MF) a company affiliated to US based Prudential Financial Inc. buys out German Deutsche Bank Group’s MF business in India for 400 crore rupees. Deutsche MF with 20,720 crore rupees assets under management (AUM) is the second largest foreign fund house in India after Franklin Templeton, Whereas Pramerica MF has 2,125 crore rupees AMU and after acquisition it will rise to 23,000 crore rupees making it among the top 15 Assets Management Companies in India. Earlier ING MF, Morgan Stanley MF, Daiwa MF and Pinebridge Investments had exited from India’s fund management business. They all were bought by Birla Sun Life MF, HDFC MF, SBI MF and Kotak MF respectively.
4. Global satellite named 'GlobalSat for DRR' proposed to be named after Abdul Kalam
Global satellite called GlobalSat for DRR was in news in the first week of August 2015 as it was proposed to be named after former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who died on 27 July 2015.
The satellite to be used for earth observation and disaster risk reduction will be renamed as UN Kalam GlobalSat.
The proposal to name the satellite after Dr. Kalam was made by Milind Pimprikar, Chairman of CANEUS (CANada-Europe-US-Asia) headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
The renaming of GlobalSat after Kalam will be a tribute to his vision, who in his World Space Vision-2050 had envisaged space faring nations joining hands to find solutions to mankind’s major problems such as natural disasters, energy and water scarcity, health-care education issues and weather prediction.
The proposed GlobalSat will be formally adopted by more than 150 world leaders at the UN Session in New York in September 2015.
5. India has 1,866 registered political parties: EC
There has been a rush for registration of political parties, with as many as 239 new outfits enrolling themselves with the Election Commission between March, 2014 and July this year, taking their number to 1,866.
According to the Commission, as on July 24, there are 1,866 political parties which are registered with it. Out of these, 56 are recognised as registered national or state parties, while the rest are “unrecognised, registered” parties.
According to data complied by the Commission, in the last Lok Sabha election in 2014, 464 political parties had fielded candidates.
The data complied by the poll panel was shared with the Law Ministry for use in Parliament. Legislative Department of the ministry is the administrative unit for the poll watchdog.
According to the Election Commission, there were a total of 1,593 such parties in the country till March 10, 2014. 24 more such parties were registered between March 11 and March 21. And by March 26, 10 more outfits had registered as political parties. This was days after the Lok Sabha polls were announced on March 5.
The total number of political parties registered with the EC in March last year stood at 1,627.
Between March 2014 and July this year, 239 parties registered themselves with the Commission.
6. England beat Australia to regain Ashes
England ripped out the last three Australia wickets for 12 runs to win the fourth test by a crushing innings and 78 runs at Trent Bridge on Saturday and regain the Ashes.
Ben Stokes had Mitchell Starc caught by Ian Bell at second slip for nought and Mark Wood bowled Josh Hazlewood for a duck.
Wood produced another ferocious full-pitched delivery to shatter Nathan Lyon's stumps and complete the rout, sparking wild celebrations on the pitch and all around the ground
7. Clarke to retire after final Ashes test
Australia captain Michael Clarke will retire after the final Ashes test against England this month, the cricketer announced on Saturday.
Clarke was speaking after England won the fourth test at Trent Bridge by an innings and 78 runs to regain the Ashes.
larke has played 114 tests and scored over 8,000 runs, including 28 centuries.