Current Affairs 8th August 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Ahmedabad-headquartered Zydus Group has acquiredMelgain brand from Hyderabad based Issar Pharma for an undisclosed sum that would marketed in India by Liva Healthcare, a speciality division of the Group catering to the dermatological segment. Zydus is currently the leader in the skin de-pigmentation segment and the acquisition of Melgain marks its foray into the re-pigmentation segment. Dermatology has been a core focus segment and we have been working with the medical fraternity to serve patient needs better. I believe that this acquisition will strengthen our portfolio of derma brands and will leverage our equity in this key segment. Zydus also has an option to launch this product in other global markets where it is not available. Melgain is used for the treatment of Vitiligo, a chronic skin condition characterized by portions of the skin losing their pigment. It occurs when skin pigment cells die or are unable to function. Though the reason for the onset of the condition is not known, the most widely accepted view is that the depigmentation occurs because Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease — a disease in which a person's immune system reacts against the body's own organs or tissues. Nearly 15-20 million people in India are estimated to be suffering from this condition. Half of those affected show the disorder before age 20, though most develop it before age 40.

Pizza lovers in the US can now relish their favourite cheesy delicacy by using the first-ever 'Pizza ATM' in the country installed at a university campus. The pizza vending machine on the campus of Xavier University (XU) in Ohio can hold seventy 12-inch pizzas and dispense them fresh and hot in just three minutes. Customers can select what kind of pizza they want using the 24-hour machine's touchscreen. The pizza ATM, which opens for public on August 10, has a temperature-controlled refrigeration system that allows the pizza to stay fresh and a convection oven that enables it to be served nice and hot in just three minutes. Once users decide what type they want, the ATM then slides the option in the oven, cuts it into slices, places the pizza into a cardboard box and ejects the meal. The cost of each pizza is around $10, with the ATM accepting credit and debit cards, as well as a student card, 'Tech Times' reported. The ATM has a dependable process that preserves taste and quality,  the pizza and its ingredients never touch any part of the machine, French-based company Paline, which developed the ATM, said on its website. The machine offers full remote communication for custom settings and tracking, real-time email and text alerts, webcam monitoring, remote error and shutdown detection.

IDFC Bank, the newest lender in the country, has appointed former Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Anand Sinha to the bank's board. In a notice to exchanges, the lender said Sinha would be joining as an additional director in the category of independent director on the board. His appointment comes into effect from August 1 (Monday). This comes after Vinod Rai, the former comptroller and auditor general of India, who served as a nominee director representing IDFC Limited on the board of IDFC Bank, stepped down after serving on the board for a year. Rai was appointed as the chairman of the Banks Board Bureau. Hence, to avoid any conflict of interest, he has resigned as a director of IDFC Bank. However, Rai will still continue to be non-executive independent chairman of IDFC Limited. In his role as the Deputy Governor between January 2011-2014 he was in-charge of regulation of commercial banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies, Urban Cooperative Banks and Information Technology, among others. He was also the RBI's nominee director on the boards of Dena Bank, Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank, Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation etc. At the moment, IDFC Bank is believed to be mulling a merger with its parent after the new on-tap universal banking guidelines came out that state that the converting entities that do not have any other group entities do not need to have a non-operative financial holding company (NOFHC) structure. However, the lender has added that the board is yet to meet and they haven't arrived at a  decision yet. In the April-June quarter, IDFC Bank has reported a 60 per cent rise in its net profit to Rs 265 crore, compared with the January-March quarter. The bank remains well capitalised with a capital adequacy ratio of 20.39 per cent

Australian surfing champion Bernard Farrelly, best known as Midget for his slight size, died on 7 August 2016. He was 71. Bernard Farrelly : Bernard "Midget" Farrelly born on 13 September 1944 was an Australian world surfing champion.He won the first official surfing World Championship at Sydney's Manly Beach in 1964 and dominated the sport as it gained popularity during that decade. In 1963, he became the first Australian to win a surfing major at the unofficial world championships in Makaha, Hawaii. Farrelly was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985. In 2007, he was inducted into the surfing walk of fame at California’s Huntington Beach.He was the first president of Australia's oldest surfboard riders club, Dee Why Surfing Fraternity, which still operates under the same name.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Mission Bhagiratha at Komatibanda Village, Gajwel in Medak District of Telangana on 7 August 2016 . The scheme was launched by the State Government with an objective to provide safe drinking water to all.The Prime Minister also unveiled plaques to lay Foundation Stones for important development projects. These included: 1600 MW Thermal Power station of NTPC at Ramagundam Revival of a Fertilizer Plant at Ramagundam; Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences, Warangal and Manoharabad-Kothapalli Railway line.  He also dedicated to the nation the 1200 MW Thermal Power Station of Singareni Collieries at Jaipur in Adilabad district. Highlights : Mission Bhagiratha is Telangana Water Grid Project intended to provide a sustainable and permanent solution to the drinking water woes.  It is a pet project taken up at an outlay of 42000 crore rupees.  Apart from creating a water grid for supply drinking water to houses, it aims to rejuvenate more than 45000 water tanks.  The water grid project aims at reaching out drinking water supply to even remotest place in the State to every household across the State in the coming four years. The objective of project is to provide 100 liters of clean drinking water per person in rural households and 150 liters per person in urban households. This project aims to provide water to about 25000 rural habitations and 67 urban habitations. Mission Bhagiratha  : The Telangana Water Grid would depend on water resources available in Krishna & Godavari – two perennial rivers flowing through the state. A total of 34 TMC of water from Godavari river and 21.5 TMC from Krishna river would be utilized for the water grid.  Plans are ready to use water from Srisailam, Sriram Sagar Project, Komuram Bheem Project, Paleru Reservoir, Jurala Dam, Nizam Sagar Project. This scientifically designed project intends to use the natural gradient wherever possible and pump water where necessary and supply water through pipelines. The main trunk pipelines of this project would run about 5000 KM, and the secondary pipelines running a length of about 50000 KM would be used to fill service tanks in habitations.  From here the village-level pipeline network of about 75000 KM would be used to provide clean drinking water to households.  

Justice (Retired) Markandey Katju panel appointed by BCCI to advice on SC verdict on implementation of Justice Lodha committee recommendations submitted its interim report to it on 7 August 2016. The panel in its recommendations termed Supreme Court verdict on BCCI reforms as recommended by Lodha Committee as unconstitutional and illegal. It advised the Board to file a review petition before a larger bench of the Apex Court and not to meet the Committee as scheduled on 9 August 2016. It terms the action of the Supreme Court as the violation of principles of separation of powers as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. It is the legislature's prerogative to make laws and if judiciary starts making laws, it would set a dangerous precedent. It suggests, as BCCI's constitution has been prepared as per Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, both the Supreme Court and the Lodha Committee cannot forcibly change its by-laws. The BCCI alone can amend by-laws by passing a special resolution by two-third of majority. However, Justice Katju agreed that there is a need for reforms in the BCCI. The Apex Court had appointed the Lodha Committee to suggest reforms in the working of BCCI. Earlier on 2 August 2016, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju as the head of a legal panel to guide the board in understanding the recommendations of the Justice RM Lodha Committee. Lodha Committee’s recommendations were approved by the apex court.

The Odisha government has launched a special assistance scheme for elderly weavers, ‘Baristha Bunakar Sahayata Yojana’, to mark the National Handlooms Day on 7 August 2016. Baristha Bunakar Sahayata Yojana :  Under the scheme all weavers above the age of 60 years would get a monthly pension of 500 rupees, and those above 80 years would get 700 rupees.The scheme is aimed at improving the financial condition of over 8000 weavers, who have been working in this field for the last 20 years.The pension amounts would be directly sent to the beneficiaries bank accounts. On the occasion, chief minister Naveen Patnaik also gave away awards to weavers' cooperative societies who have been relentlessly promoting and producing the traditional weaves of Odisha. As per reports, Odisha a home of nearly 1.5 lakh weavers including 78% women engaged in handloom production produces handloom fabrics worth 160 crore rupees. Some handloom products of Odisha include tie and dye, Sambalpuri, Khandua, Berhampuri Pata, Saktapar sari, Maniabandha, Bomkai and others.

Union Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu has  launched Swachh Suvekshan-2017 project to assess and rank 500 cities based on levels of sanitation and efforts made by respective urban local bodies on 6 August 2016. It also aims to capture progress towards achieving Open Defecation Free status.   Highlights of the Swachh Survekshan-2017 : Cities will be ranked based on the reports by urban local bodies on the progress made towards construction of toilets, feedback of citizens and independent observation of sanitation levels.  Cities with a population of one lakh and above each, heritage and tourism cities, capital cities with less than one lakh population are included in this survey. Quality Council of India which conducted the last Survey in 73 cities will conduct the survey in 500 cities and towns. Swachhata App and Swachhata Helpline : Naidu also launched a web portal Swachhata App and Swachhta Helpline 1969 to enable citizens associate more and more with Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas.  Citizens can post photos of unhygienic places in urban areas on Swachh App and they will be informed of action taken by respective urban local bodies in specific time period.  Using toll free Helpline Number 1969, citizens can seek information about the ways of participating in cleanliness mission and can also enquire the status of their applications for construction of toilets. Asli Tarakki campaign : Asli Tarakki campaign was also launched to highlight the need for construction of toilets and using them well. This campaign will be mounted on TV channels and in print media.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of NTPC's 1,600 MW Telangana Super Thermal Power Project (Phase I) in Ramagundam city of the state . Heralding a brighter future for India's 29th state NTPC is all set to establish the project in two phases  1600 MW (2x800MW) in Phase I and 2400 MW (3x800 MW) in Phase II. Project is being set up in the available land in the premises of NTPC's existing Ramagundam station with no additional land requirement. An investment approval of Rs 10,598.98 crore has been accorded for the project.  The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 mandates that NTPC shall establish a 4000 MW power facility for the newly carved out state Telangana.  As an interim arrangement till the development of this mine, tapering coal linkage for Telangana Phase-I (2X800 MW) shall be provided from WCL.  Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) is one of the eight subsidiary companies of Coal India Ltd (CIL) which is under administrative control of Ministry of Coal.  Telangana Governor E S L Narasimhan, Chief Minister Telangana K Chandrashekhar Rao, Power Minster Piyush Goyal, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Telangana Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy and NTPC Chairman & Managing Director Gurdeep Singh are expected to be present on the occasion NTPC has a total installed capacity of 47,228 MW through its 18 coal-based, 7 gas-based, 9 solar, one hydro and 9 JV/ subsidiary companies.  It has a multipronged strategy for capacity addition through greenfield projects, expansion of existing stations, joint ventures and acquisition of stressed assets etc. 

Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar today inaugurated the transit campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here and praised Jammu and Kashmir for "keeping pace" with education despite a decades-long turmoil with gross enrolment figures higher than the national average.  Ninety students have been enrolled at IIT, Jammu for the first academic session. Compared to the national average of 23.6 per cent of gross enrolment in higher education, girls pursuing higher studies in Jammu and Kashmir have a 27-per cent gross enrolment, more than the 25 per cent of boys, and both the figures are higher than the national average. Javadekar announced Rs 100 crore for NIT, Srinagar under a special plan this year to facilitate research and development.  He said a fund of Rs 1,000 crore has been earmarked in the Union Budget to create a finance agency and another Rs 1,000 crore is expected to come from a bank soon to create a kitty of Rs 2,000 crore for infrastructure building and research in IITs.  He said over 2,000 research proposals have been received and of these, 450 have been shortlisted and around 300-400 would be funded.  The institute is the first for the state. Jammu is among the six cities across the country which were to get the IITs. 

CSS Corp, a global Technology Support company, has appointed Manish Tandon as its new Chief Executive Officer of the company. He will be inducted as a whole time director of the board and as CEO later this quarter.  He will take over from "Tiger" TG Ramesh, the current CEO who now transitions to a strategic advisor role as a non-executive director on the board.  This is in line with the company's strategy to have its CEO based in the US, which is its largest market. Mr. Manish is an IIT Kanpur alumnus, and a Gold Medalist from IIM Bangalore, Manish has spent nearly two decades at Infosys building and delivering value to global clients across the IT-enabled Services value chain. After his early experience in software delivery and operations, Manish moved into client and business management roles.  He is currently the head of Healthcare & Life Sciences, Insurance and High-Tech Manufacturing businesses at Infosys. He also is a director on the board of Infosys Lodestone, Infosys Public Services and EdgeVerve. CSS Corp : CSS Corp is a leading technology company supporting enterprise and consumer products, managing IT infrastructure and deploying networks. We partner with many Fortune 1000 companies to help realize their strategic business outcomes and be future-ready. Technology support is in our DNA. Our expertise and in-depth understanding of the enterprise & consumer product space, along with proven pedigree in Infrastructure Management, helps customers increase revenues, optimize costs, enhance IT availability and business efficiency, to more than 100 customers worldwide. With over 5,500 technology professionals across 16 locations globally, we have a rich heritage of 15+ years in managing large and complex support ecosystems.  

An International Conference on Aluminium (INCAL) will be held here in February next year keeping in mind the emergence of bauxite-rich Odisha as the aluminium capital of India.  Aluminium Association of India (AAI) would host the three-day global event from from February 15 to 17, 2017. Odisha has emerged as the aluminium capital of India, with more than half of the bauxite reserves of the country and the gigantic presence of Nalco, Hindalco and Vedanta in the state.  So, in fitness of things, it has been decided that the temple city shall play host to a never-before international congregation of aluminium majors, primary producers and secondary producers. With logistic support from Reed Exhibitions of Germany. This is also an occasion to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Odisha," said Dr Chand while speaking at a function here last night.

Dipa Karmakar, the Indian Gymnast, created history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to enter the Olympic final at the Rio Olympic Centre on 7 August 2016. The 22-year-old qualified for the final round in the Individual vault final of artistic gymnastics after finishing eighth on the standings. Competing in the third sub-division, Dipa had an average score of 51.665. She scored 14.850 by performing her much-vaunted ‘Produnova’ vault cleanly on the vault, 11.666 on the uneven bars, 12.866 in balance beam and 12.033 in floor exercises. American Simone Biles, the three-time world all-round champion topped the charts with a score of 16.050. North Korea's Jong Un Hong stood at the second position after securing 15.683 followed by Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber (15.266).

Vijay Rupani, the newly elected leader of Gujarat BJP, was sworn in as the 16th Chief Minister of Gujarat on 7 August 2016. Rupani, who succeeds Anandiben Patel, was the senior most cabinet minister in Anandiben Government. Apart from Rupani, Nitin Patel was also sworn-in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state. Gujarat governor OP Kohli has administered the oath of post and secrecy to the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel at the Mahatma Mandir conference hall in Gandhinagar. Besides, new Council of Ministers of Vijay Rupani Government has also taken oath simultaneously. In total 25 ministers took oath, out of which 9 Ministers took oath as the cabinet Ministers, while 16 ministers took oath as Minister of state (MoS). Now the strength of new council of Ministers has reached to 25 in comparison to 24 ministers in previous government. Apart from caste and regional balance, the performance of individual ministers also considered in the formation of new council of ministers. Former Finance Minister Saurabh Patel & social Justice Minister Ramanlal Vora in previous Anandiben Patel Government have been dropped from the new council of ministers. Eight other ministers from the Anandiben administration have been dropped in the new cabinet. Speaker Ganpat Vasava, a tribal leader from south Gujarat, has been made a cabinet minister.

Telangana State Government has launched a unique Water Resources Information System to assess accurate reserves of water in thousands of Tanks and reservoirs across the state on 6 August 2016. For this purpose, the Telangana Irrigation Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Space Research Organization over sharing satellite data. The new system will be set up by ISRO's National Remote Sensing Centre. The unique system will help the government authorities to plan for new irrigation projects as well as maintaining transparency in governance. The Water Resources Information will also pave way for other states to explore possibilities to utilize technology.

The 2nd National Handloom Day was observed across the country on 7 August 2016 with the main function being held at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. On this occasion, Sant Kabir Awards and National Handloom Awards were presented. The Day was also celebrated at state level in all the states and Day was also celebrated in more than 200 handloom clusters. The first National Handloom Day was inaugurated on 7 August 2015 at the Centenary Hall of Madras University in Chennai, Tamil Nadu by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he also unveiled 'India Handloom' brand. The Union Government declared 7 August as the National Handloom Day on 29 July 2015 with the objective to generate awareness about the importance of handloom industry. The Day also seeks to highlight the contribution of handloom to the socioeconomic development of the country in general and to promote handlooms, increase income of weavers and enhance their pride in particular. The date August 7 was chosen as on this day in 1905 the Swadeshi Movement was formally launched, at a massive meeting in the Calcutta Town hall. The movement involved revival of domestic products and production processes.  

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