Current Affairs of 1st September 2015

1. A K Jha takes charge as NTPC interim CMD
NTPC’s Director (Technical) A K Jha today took additional charge of Chairman & Managing Director of the company as an interim measure.
After refusing to give extension to Arup Roy Choudhury as CMD of NTPC, the government has decided to give additional charge to Jha for three months from September 1 as an interim arrangement.
A search committee headed by Power Secretary P K Pujari is currently looking for a full-time CMD for NTPC.
The committee will send the list of short-listed candidates to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for a final call.

2. Law Commission of India submitted its report on Death Penalty
The Law Commission of India  submitted its report on the Death penalty to the Union Government. The report was submitted by Chairman of Law commission Justice (retd) AP Shah.
In its 272-page draft report, the commission favoured speedy abolition of the death penalty from the statute books of India not serve the penological goal of deterrence any more than life imprisonment. 
However, the capital punishment should not be abolished in cases where the accused is convicted of involvement in a terror case or waging war against the nation.
It further said that, the administration of death penalty, even within the restrictive environment of ‘rarest of rare doctraine’ was constitutionally unsustainable. Continued administration of death penalty raises constitutional questions related to the miscarriage of justice, errors, as well as the plight of the poor in the criminal justice system.

3. Highest mountain of North America Mt McKinley renamed as Denali
The highest mountain of North America was renamed as Denali instead of its existing name Mt McKinley by US President Barack Obama. This designation will now recognize the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.
The mountain, which sits in the 6 million-acre Denali national park, has been known as Denali in Alaska since 1975. Now officially, the Denali name will be used by all and it will also take effect for all federal usage and on all official maps.
The change comes after a debate between lawmakers from Alaska and Ohio. In January 2015, Republican Senate Lisa Murkowski of Alaska introduced legislation that sought to officially call the mountain what Alaskans and indigenous people called it Denali or The High One.
The historic change came during Obama's three-day presidential trip to Alaska. It is the latest bid by the President to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to improve relations between the federal government and the nation’s Native American tribes.

4. Tejinder Pal Singh named as Australian of the Day by Commonwealth Bank
An Indian-origin driver in Australia Tejinder Pal Singh was named as Australian of the Day by Commonwealth Bank of Australia for feeding the homeless in Darwin for the past three years.
He dedicated the last Sunday of every month to feed the poor and homeless in northern Darwin after his night shift as a cabbie. He cooked around 30 kg of Indian food to feed the homeless. The free lunch comprises chickpeas, rice and vegetarian curry.
His van itself carries the sign Free Indian food for hungry and needy people, Provide Sikh family.

5. Raghav Chandra took charge as the Chairman of NHAI
Senior IAS officer Raghav Chandra  took charge as the Chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Chandra succeeded Road Transport and Highways Secretary Vijay Chhibber.
Chandra is an IAS officer of the 1982 batch from Madhya Pradesh cadre. He has held several important positions in the central government and the government of Madhya Pradesh and has handled various crucial assignments in roads and transport sector in various capacities.

6. Haryana Government inaugurated Sakhi, one stop center for women in distress
Haryana Women and Child Development Minister Kavita Jain  inaugurated state’s first One Stop Centre, known as Sakhi, at Karnal. The center will play a role in helping the women in distress. This is the second such centre in the country after Chhattisgarh.
The Center, opened under a Union Government scheme, would provide help to sexually, mentally and emotionally harassed women and others.
Earlier a day before the Rakshabandhan, the state government opened women police stations in all the 21 districts of the state. Haryana is the second state in the country to have women police stations. These women police stations were opened with an aim to provide security to women.

7. YES Bank rejigs organisational structure
YES Bank, the country's fifth largest private sector bank, has redesigned its organisational structure to further accelerate its Retail and SME focus.
In a redesigned organisational structure, Pralay Mondal will now head the Commercial Business Banking & Rural Banking in addition to his existing role of heading Branch Banking, Business Banking and Retail Banking.
The organisational re-design has been done along three pillars -- expanding sales distribution network, enchased product offerings such as credit cards and home loans for customer engagement with end users and customer service and operations.
The bank has planned expansion of its network to 1,500 branches by March 31, 2018, and 2,500 by March 31, 2020.

8. IS damages ancient Temple of Bel in Syria’s Palmyra
Islamic State (IS) militant group has destroyed part of historical Temple of Bel in the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria. The ancient temple was dedicated to the Palmyrene gods and was one of the best preserved parts of the historical sites of Palmyra.

9. Union Government releases Rs 2,000 crore for Employees’ Pension Scheme
Union Government has released 2,000 crore rupees to Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 as its contribution for the year 2015-16. This contribution is in addition to the 250 crore rupees contributed by the government as grant-in-aid in the EPS in order to provide minimum pension of 1,000 rupees to pensioners under the scheme. The contribution of Union government has been calculated at a rate of 1.16 per cent of the monthly wages of the members contributing to the scheme. In September 2015, Government had assured EPS pensioners a guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month. In order to meet this assurance it was necessary for the Government to infuse additional amount as grants-in- to sustain the continuance of the minimum pension. Employers contribute nearly 8.33% of the monthly wages of the scheme members. Approximately 28 lakh pensioners including five lakh widows will get benefit from this scheme. (There are total 44 lakh pensioners).

10. Punjab Government wins award for achievement in rooftop solar power output
Punjab Government has won first award in the category of highest capacity addition in grid connected solar rooftop power in the country during the financial year 2014-15. It is one of 5 awards won by Punjab New and Renewable Energy Department (PNRED) for outstanding performance in the various fields of Renewable Energy and Power Generation. The other four areas in which Punjab won awards includes -Highest capacity addition of off-grid waste to energy plants. 
Deployment of highest cumulative numbers of Solar Water Pumps. Achieving highest cumulative grid connected solar rooftop power capacity. 
Achieving highest capacity addition in grid connected solar power in the country.

11. India beat Sri Lanka by 117 runs to win series 2-1
 India today clinched their first Test series victory on Sri Lankan soil in 22 years with an emphatic 117-run win over the hosts in the third and final cricket Test despite a valiant century by rival skipper Angelo Mathews.
After setting a daunting victory target of 386, India managed to dismiss the Sri Lankans for 268 on a wicket which slowed down considerably to wrap up the series 2-1, their first overseas series victory since June, 2011 against the West Indies.
It was new captain Virat Kohli’s first series win ever since he took over reins of the team from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

12. RP Watal to be made Finance Secretary
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given his nod for RP Watal, the senior most Secretary in the Finance Ministry, to be designated as Finance Secretary.
A 1978-batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS officer, Watal is currently the Expenditure Secretary in the Finance Ministry. Rajiv Mehrishi, who was till recently the Finance Secretary, has now been elevated as Home Secretary.

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