Current Affairs of 17 Augst 2015

1. Ajit Kumar Seth appointed as Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board
Former Cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth was  appointed as the Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). He was appointed for a period of three years or till he attains 65 years of age.
Seth succeeded Atul Chaturvedi, who has completed his tenure. Prior to this appointment, Seth completed his extended tenure of four years at the Cabinet secretariat in June 2015.
Seth is a 1974-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre.

2. Andy Murray won Rogers Cup Masters tournament
Briton Andy Murray  won the Rogers Cup Masters tournament in
Montreal, Canada. In the title clash, Murray defeated world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. It was Murray's 11th Masters Title.
With this win, Murray was successful in ending an eight match losing streak against Djokovic. This was his first victory against the world number 1 since 2013 Wimbledon final.
Djokovic, who lost for just the fourth time in 2015, had won 12 consecutive Masters Series Finals before this.

3. HDFC to sell its 9 percent stake in HDFC life to JV partner Standard Life for Rs. 1700 Crore
HDFC has announced to sell its 9 per cent stake in HDFC Life Insurance to its British joint venture partner Standard Life for sum of 1,700 crore rupees. Prior this agreement HDFC had 70.65 per cent stake while Standard life had 26 per cent stakes which will be change to 61.65 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. This move was taken in line to increase the role of its foreign partner which followed the Centres approval to hike FDI to 49 per cent from 26 per cent in Insurance sector. As per the agreement HDFC will issue 17.5 crore shares at the rate of Rs. 95 per share to Standard life.

4. Birla Corp to acquire Lafarge’s two Indian units for Rs. 5000 crore
Birla Corporation has signed an agreement with French-based Lafarge Group to acquire its Jojobera unit in Jharhkand and Sonadih in Chattisgarh for sum of Rs. 5000 crore. The Lafarge disinvested these two units in order fulfil the directions given by Competition Commission of India (CCI) as a part to conclude its mega global merger with Swiss-based Holcim Ltd and its operations in Indian, the merger took place on 15 July 2015. As per the acquisition deal Birla Corp will acquire these cement units along its brands ‘Concreto’ and ‘PSC’ and also its management team. These two plants have total cement capacity of 5.15 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and have adequate reserves of limestone. After the disinvestment by Jafarge-Holcim group, its cement capacity will come around 68 million tonnes in India. The local cement companies ACC cement and Ambuja Cement are part of this group.

5. Hero Cycles acquires leading UK-based Avocet Sports
World’s largest bicycle manufacturer Hero Cycles acquired majority stake in UK-based Avocet Sports for an undisclosed amount. It is the first overseas acquisition of Hero Cycle with an aim to enter into high-end bicycle market in Europe. Manchester-based Avocet is among top three players in bicycles, e-bikes, bicycle parts and accessories in the UK and with Hero Cycles it aims to capture high-end bicycle market in UK and Germany. With the experience of 20 years in high-end bicycles market Avocet has Tie-ups with leading retailers around the globe which includes Tesco, ASDA, Halfords,, Shop Direct, and Hero Cycles.

6. IndiGo inks agreement to buy 250 A320 NEO aircraft valued at $26.5 bn
IndiGo has signed an agreement to purchase 250 Airbus 320 New Engine Option (NEO) aircraft. The aircraft have a book value of $26.5 billion although it is not uncommon for both Airbus and Boeing to provide discounts from the listed price provided the order size is large.
IndiGo plans to fund the acquisition through its initial public offering. The airline has already filed its draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
The airline plans to take delivery of the aircraft between 2018 and 2026. IndiGo will have to pay a premium for each of the 250 NEO that it is to take delivery of. The Airbus Industrie website shows that the premium on an A320 NEO is $9.2 million.
According to Airbus, the premium is charged as the NEO promises 15 per cent fuel burn savings among other benefits such as noise reduction and lower maintenance and operating costs.

7. Indigo, Emirates bag KIAB Pinnacle awards
Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB) which has clocked 15.4 million passengers in financial year 2014-15 celebrated seven successful years of airport operation.
The airport which has established itself as South India’s busiest and country’s third largest airport organised its second edition of Pinnacle Awards – a platform created to recognize excellence and collaboration within the airport community.
Indigo has been awarded the domestic airline of the year while Emirates was awarded the international airline of the year. Indigo and Emirates have also won the flyer’s favourite airline in the domestic and international category.

8. India, Bangladesh signed MoU to tackle the menace of fake Indian currency notes
India and Bangladesh  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to tackle the menace of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) smuggling. The MoU was signed during a maiden meeting of the Joint Task Force on Fake Currency Notes (JTFFC) in Dhaka.
The MoU was signed by Additional Inspector-General of Bangladesh Mohammed Mokhlesur Rahman and Head of National Investigation Agency of India IG Sanjeev Kumar Singh.
Highlights of the MoU
• Both countries will share intelligence inputs on operatives engaged in circulating FICN on real time basis.
• India will provide Advance note sorting machines to Bangladesh to detect FICN circulation at international airports, immigration points, integrated crossing points, banks and financial institutions in Bangladesh.
• India will help Bangladesh to set up Forensic Science laboratory for examination of fake notes and maintaining a digital depository of forensic reports.
• Both the countries in future will organise capacity building training programmes.

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