Current Affairs of 8 September 2015

1. Govt sets target of achieving 100% literacy in villages by March 2016
The government today set a target of achieving 100 per cent literacy in villages adopted under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana by March 2016.
The announcement came as President Pranab Mukherjee regretted that India still 
lagged behind some of its neighbours in achieving 100 per cent literacy.
“We have written to the MPs requesting them the villages they have identified under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, we will make such villages 100 per cent literate by March 2016,” HRD Minister Smriti Irani said.
She was speaking at the International Literacy Day function where Tamil Nadu was felicitated as the ‘best performing state’ by the President.
Noting that there are 410 districts where villages have identified under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, she expressed confidence of accomplishing the target.
Mukherjee noted that literacy alone can bring development, empowerment and sustainability and achieve desired goals set under the Saakshar Bharat and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan programmes.
He also stressed on the need for greater “societal involvement” in achieving higher literacy target and reminded of the UNESCO slogan of ‘each one teach one’, saying by adopting such strategy, “it will be possible for us to fulfil the dream of sakshaar Bharat, Swachh Bharat and the Bharat of our dream”.
Without literacy, India cannot claim its pride of place among the comity of nations, he underlined.
“From 18 per cent in 1951 to 72.5 per cent in 2011, we are still behind. Many of our sister developing countries including those in South Asia have almost 100 per cent literacy rate.
“While we have fixed a target of 80 per cent literacy in country by end of 12th Five Year plan, we have to ensure that the gender gap in literacy should not be more than 10 per cent,” he said.

2. Indian Overseas Bank launches Rupay MUDRA Debit Card
State-run Indian Overseas Bank has launched Rupay MUDRA Debit Card under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojna, targeting the micro, small and medium enterprises.
According to the scheme, the micro units can utilise the card for meeting working capital requirements. The cards can be used at ATMs, point of sales and for online transactions, the city—based bank said in a statement .
“The bank has disbursed Rs. 266.15 crore against the annual target of Rs. 1,495 crore for the current financial year,” its Managing Director and CEO R Koteeswaran said.
“Under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojna, the bank achieved 26.04 per cent in Tamil Nadu (during the year)”, the statement said.
The bank has distributed sanction letters to several micro, small and medium enterprise applications in the state totalling Rs. 50 crore, it added.

3. First-ever Census on India’s Leopard presented
Lead scientist of the tiger census Yadvendradev V Jhala in first week of September 2015 presented first ever data on India’s leopard. The team shows availability of around 7910 of leopards across India, except the northeastern region of India. 
Based on the data covered, the team estimates leopard population to be around 12000 to 14000. 
The very first leopard count of India was presented by Jhala at Wildlife Institute of India's annual research seminar in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

4. Arun Jaitley launched digital version of Mahatma Gandhi's collected work
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley  launched the e-version of the 100 volumes of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG) in New Delhi.
The works of Mahatma Gandhi compiled by a team of Scholars includes historic speeches of Gandhi. The collection provides varied, numerous and logical profiles of Gandhi’s life and thought, action and engagements. 
The CWMG was published by Publications Division. Electronic Master Copy of CWMG (Volumes 1 to 100) is in the form of a searchable PDF beta version.
Authentic documentation of Mahatma Gandhi's available writings was carried out under the CWMG project. The project commenced on September 1956 and concluded on 2 October 1994, with the publication of the 100th volume.

5. MCX Ltd, IamSMEofIndia signed MoU to unveil benefits of Commodity Price Risk Management
The Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) and Integrated Association of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises of India (IamSMEofIndia)  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at creating awareness among Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) on the benefits of commodity price risk management.
This collaboration will encourage them to hedge on exchanges and face competition adroitly. It will also disseminate in-depth knowledge about the derivatives market and its benefits among MSMEs will lead to their growth and development.
The small businesses are hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship, they provide a varied range of products, but bear the brunt of international commodity price movements. However, this collaboration will enable and empower them to effectively manage their risks amidst unprecedented uncertainty.

6. Doha Bank tied up with Reliance ADA Group to generate business opportunities
Doha Bank on 7 September 2015 tied up with Anil Ambani-led Reliance ADA Group to generate business opportunities in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations and India. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The MoU is envisaged to provide tangible business opportunities and further prospects for expansion for Doha Bank and Reliance Group. It will also provide synergy in product development and congruence in mutual infrastructure support.
This tie-up will open new horizons for business reciprocity in financial services. It will include financial services initiatives with Reliance Capital in the areas such as asset management, life and general insurance and distribution of financial services.

7. HUL to sell Modern bakery business to Everstone
Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has signed an agreement for the sale and transfer of its bread and bakery business under the `Modern’ brand to Nimman Foods Pvt Ltd, an investee company of the Everstone Group (Everstone).
The transaction is subject to statutory approvals and requisite clearances. It includes the purchase of the 'Modern' brand and business on a going concern basis.
HUL and Everstone will work together to secure the necessary approvals to complete the transaction over the next few months, HUL said in a filing to the BSE. It will continue to manage the operations until the completion of the transaction.
HUL’s bread and bakery business consists of a full range of white and sweet breads, health and wellness breads and value-added bakery products such as cakes, muffins, buns, pavs, cream rolls under the Modern brand name. The business currently has six own operating manufacturing units and a network of franchisees across India.

8. BSNL to upgrade Broadband speed to minimum 2 Mbps at no additional cost
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)  decided to upgrade Broadband speed to minimum 2 Mbps at no additional cost for all its Broadband customers. The service will be effective from 1 October 2015. 
Under this scheme, BSNL is upgrading the speed of existing Broadband plans of 512 Kbps and one Mbps to two Mbps speed. The speed up-gradation will benefit all the existing and new Broadband customers of BSNL.
This plan of BSNL was formally announced by the Information Technology (IT) Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a function in Gurgaon.
With this upgradation, BSNL customers will be able to access/surf the internet including social network websites like Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. at high speed.
Earlier in April 2015, BSNL launched the scheme of offering free night calling from its landline to all operator networks. In June 2015 it also provided free incoming roaming services for its customers. 

9. 6th Indo-Maldives Joint Military Exercise begins in Thiruvananthapuram
The sixth Indo-Maldives joint Training Exercise has commenced at Pangode Military Station in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. Aim of the Joint Exercise is to acquaint forces of both countries with each other’s operating procedure and increase understanding and interoperability between Armies of both countries. In this edition of joint exercise, total of 45 soldiers each from Indian Army (BIHAR Regiment) and the Maldivian National Defence Force will take part. The exercise will cover varied military training activities in order to enhance interoperability between the two defence forces. It will conclude with tactical exercises. It should be noted that the sixth Indo-Maldives joint Training Exercise commenced on 31 August 2015 and it will conclude on 13 September 2015 with the closing ceremony involving cultural events by various military display teams along with aerial acrobatics display by Sarang Team of Indian Air force.

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