Current Affairs of 2nd September 2015

1. Anjali Duggal takes charge as Financial Services Secretary
Anjali Chib Duggal, a Punjab cadre IAS officer, has assumed charge as Secretary in the Department of Financial Services in the Finance Ministry.
She has replaced Hasmukh Adhia, who has taken over as Revenue Secretary in the same Ministry.
Prior to taking over as Financial Services Secretary, Anjuly was holding the charge of Corporate Affairs Secretary.
She had also earlier worked in various capacities including Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary and Special Secretary in the Department of Expenditure in Finance Ministry.
2. Durban to host XXII Commonwealth Games in 2022
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly selected South African city Durban as the host for the XXII Commonwealth Games.
With this, South Africa became the first country from Africa to host the games in its 85 years history.
The games are scheduled to start on 18 July 2022 to mark the birth anniversary of South African anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela.
So far, South Africa successfully hosted the three biggest single-sport events— Rugby world cup (1995), the ICC ODI world cup (2003), and FIFA world cup (2010). Commonwealth games will be the first biggest multi-disciplinary event to be held in the country.

3. India won UNESCO's Award of Excellence 2015 for conserving Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple
India  won the UNESCO prize Award of Excellence 2015 for the conserving the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple of Kerala. The award was given in the category of UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
While, the Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang won the UNESCO Award of Merit and became the first project in Lao PDR to receive the UNESCO Asia‐Pacific Heritage Award.
The Award of Excellence for the Conservation of Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple at Thrissur in Kerala recognizes the remarkable conservation effort undertaken at the sacred site which employed age‐old rituals and conservation techniques drawn from vastu shastra.

4. The Duels of the Himalayan Eagle authored by Air Marshal Bharat Kumar released
The Indian Air Force (IAF) commissioned book, The Duels of the Himalayan Eagle: The first Indo-Pak Air War was released. The book was released by Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari at the inauguration of the Tri-Services Seminar to commemorate the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the India-Pakistan War of 1965 in New Delhi.
The war's golden jubilee celebrations will last from 28 August to 22 September 2015.
The author, who was a young fighter pilot during the 1965-war, has tried to club official records, squadron diaries and veteran accounts of the war in the book.

5. Union Government released 2000 crore rupees to EPS-95 as contribution for 2015-16
The Union Government  released 2000 crore rupees to Employee Pension Scheme, 1995 (EPS-95) as its contribution for the year 2015-16.
Further, a sum of 250 crore rupees was contributed as grant-in-aid for providing minimum pension of 1000 rupees to the pensioners of EPS-95.
The additional grant-in-aid became necessary as the Union Government directed the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in September 2015 to provide for guaranteed minimum pension of 1000 rupees per month.
Employee Pension Scheme (EPS)-95
• It came into effect on 16 November 1995 and the scheme was launched under the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
• It applies to the employees of all factories and other establishments to which the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 applies.
• The Union Government and employers contribute 1.16 percent and 8.33 percent of the monthly wages of the members respectively.
• Under the scheme, monthly benefits for superannuation/ retirement, disability, survivor, widow(er), children is provided and the amount of pension is based on average salary during the preceding 12 months from the date of exit and total years of employment.
• It also provides for minimum pension on disablement and also provides for past service benefit to participants of erstwhile Family Pension Scheme, 1971.

6. Mumbai won Buchi Babu Memorial Trophy of Cricket
Mumbai  won the Buchi Babu Memorial Trophy in the All India invitation cricket tournament. In the final match played in Chennai, Mumbai defeated Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Districts (TNCA) XI by six wickets.
TNCA batting first was able to score 163 all out in 74 over, in response to which, Mumbai scored 166 for four in 45.2 over.
Mumbai's Surya Kumar Yadav, was adjudged as the Man of the Series.
About Buchi Babu Memorial Trophy
Buchi Babu Memorial Trophy in an annual tournament held in honour of Mothavarapu Buchi Babu Naidu.
 Buchi Babu born in 1868 was an Indian socialite and cricket pioneer who organised cricket clubs for native Indians. He is considered to be the “father of south Indian cricket”, who founded the annual Madras Presidency Matches, the first of which was held shortly after his death.

7. FIIs/FPIs exempted from MAT purview for the period prior to 1 April 2015
The Union Government  decided to exempt Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs)/ Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) from paying Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) for the period prior to 1 April 2015.
The decision was based on Justice A P Shah Committee’s report that was submitted to the Union Ministry of Finance on 25 August 2015. It is expected to improve ease of doing business conditions in the country.
Recommendations of Justice A P Shah Committee
To bring an amendment to Section 115JB of the Income Tax (I-T) Act, 1961 clarifying the complete inapplicability of the MAT provisions to FIIs/FPIs (OR)
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) may issue a circular clarifying the complete inapplicability of the MAT provisions to FIIs/FPIs.
In accordance with the above suggestions, the government decided to bring an amendment to the I-T Act, 1961.

8. India emerged as 8th largest tourism market for Australia
Australian trade minister Andrew Robb said that India has emerged as the 8th largest tourism market for Australia. In 2014, over 2 lakh Indians visited the nation in and spent about 1 billion dollars which was an increase of 39 percent.  Earlier in 2013, India stood at 11th position.
Till date in 2015, a total number of 207000 Indians have visited Australia. This increase was supported by the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand.
Robb also said that India was one of the fastest growing markets and the result demonstrates that tourism is one of its strengths. He said that tourism can be its fastest growing sector this decade if it continues to leverage on the 'clean, green and safe' brand to position itself for tourism.

9. Bihar to give 2% reservation to grand children of freedom fighters in government jobs
The Bihar Government decided to give two percent reservation in government jobs to the grand children of freedom fighters.
The decision was made during the state cabinet meeting.  The reservation will be given to those freedom fighters whose names figured in the list, which was prepared by union government. It has also decided to grant a marriage assistance of 51 thousand rupees to the granddaughter of freedom fighter.

10. Swachhata Sangraam Abhiyaan in Indore to make it open defecation-free
Swachhata Sangraam Abhiyaan was launched in Indore district of Madhya Pradesh . On the occasion, over 100 public representatives donated 140 toilets for the poor.
The aim of the programme is to make the entire district open defecation-free by the end of the financial year 2015-16. Depalpur tehsil is going to be the first tehsil of the district to achieve this milestone.
The district collector P Narahari announced that the first three village panchayats to eradicate open defecation would be awarded the Ahilya Gram Puraskar. The winners would be given cash prize of 20 lakh rupees, 15 lakh rupees, and 5 lakh rupees respectively.
He also announced that all panchayats that become open defecation free by 2 October 2015 would be given a cash prize of 3 lakh rupees each.

11. Allahabad HC: Ensure flag hoisting ceremony of National Flag in Madarsas on 15 August and 26 January
Allahabad High Court asked Uttar Pradesh government to ensure flag hoisting ceremony of National Flag on Independence Day and Republic Day in Madarsas and other schools all over the state.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Verma passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Arun Gaur, a resident of Aligarh.
The petitioner prayed the court to issue directions to ensure that the flag hoisting ceremony is held at madrassas on 15 August and 26 January in the same manner as done at the offices of various bodies controlled or assisted by the government.
The court directed the state government to issue necessary directions in this regard. It also asked the state government to file its counter-affidavit on the PIL and fixed 22 September 2015 as the next date of hearing.

12. Dinesh Kumar Likhi took charge as CMD of Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited

Dinesh Kumar Likhi  took charge as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI). Prior to this appointment, he was Director (Production & Marketing) of MIDHANI itself.
Likhi succeeded M Narayana Rao. As a CMD of MIDHANI, he will be expected to contribute in a bigger way in research, development, manufacture and supply of critical alloys and products of national security and strategic importance for defence, aerospace and atomic energy.

13. NASA’s SERVIR-Mekong project to help monitor environment in Southeast Asia
NASA and US Agency for International Development (USAID) have started the SERVIR-Mekong project, to strengthen the environmental monitoring in Southeast Asia region. It has been launched in the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok, Thailand to serve the 5 countries of the Mekong River Basin viz. Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

14. India partnered with UN's Better Than Cash Alliance to speed up PMJDY Programme
Indian Government  partnered with the United Nations’ (UN) Better Than Cash Alliance to share success stories from the financial inclusion programme Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
By joining the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Indian Government will have a research, technical, and policy partner as it continues to create a digital financial economy. 
The partnership is an extension of Indian Government’s commitment to reduce cash in its economy. Digital financial services lower the cost of providing financial services and make it more convenient for poor people to access their accounts. 
The Better Than Cash Alliance is made up of governments, companies and international organizations.

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