Current Affairs Update – 18th August, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 18th August, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming IBPS RRB 2015 Exam.

Reserve Bank of India
suspends licences of Religare Finance, 6 Other NBFCs

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suspended licences of seven
    non-banking finance companies, including Religare Finance, which the company
    said is a dormant entity and would not affect its business.
  • The seven companies include Religare Finance, Eden Trade &
    Commerce, Artisans Micro Finance, Nott Investments, RCS Parivar Finance,
    Swetasree Finance, Dewra Stocks & Securities. Religare Enterprises, the
    holding company of the group, said its lending operations continues under
    Religare Finvest.
  • There are around 12,000 NBFCs in the system. RBI has the
    power to cancel licence if the companies do not fulfil various norms including
    minimum net owned funds.

ICICI Bank launched
locker facility named Smart Vault

  • ICICI Bank on 18 August 2015 launched Smart Vault, a
    first-of-its-kind locker facility by a bank in India with latest robotic
    technology. The facility was launched by Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of ICICI
    Bank at the Defence Colony branch of Delhi.
  • The Smart Vault uses robotic technology to access the
    lockers from the safe vault and enables customers to conveniently access their
    lockers at any time of their preference, in the comfort of a secure lounge
    where the locker automatically comes up to the customer.
  • Smart Vault locker is equipped with multi-layer security
    system, including biometric and PIN authentication and debit cards, among
    others. Customers can access it without any intervention by the branch staff.
  • The lockers are of two-three different sizes and the charges
    of availing this facility would depend on their size. Also, the locker charges
    in a city would vary depending on the real estate cost.

SBI launches mobile
wallet app ‘Buddy’

  • Country’s largest lender State Bank of India today launched
    a mobile wallet app, SBI Buddy, in collaboration with Accenture and Mastercard.
  • The service will be available to existing as well as non-SBI
  • The app was launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley along
    with Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance and Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary,
    Department of Financial Services.
  • The mobile wallet app can be used to send money to new and
    registered customers, book for movies, flights, hotels as well as for shopping.
  • It also has features like reminders to settle dues, recharge
    and pay bills instantly.
  • The app is available on Google Play Store, at present, and
    soon will be launched on Apple App Store.

Snapdeal raises $ 500
m from Alibaba, Foxconn and others
  • Online marketplace Snapdeal has raised $ 500 million (about
    Rs. 3,269 crore) in a fresh round of funding from a clutch of investors led by
    Alibaba Group, Foxconn and SoftBank.
  • Existing investors Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad and Premji
    Invest also participated in the latest funding round, Snapdeal said in a
  • The company had raised more than $ 1 billion, from investors
    including Softbank ($ 627 million) and iconic business leader Ratan Tata
    (personal investment).
  • As per market estimates, the new round would value the
    city—based firm at about $ 4—5 billion.

Telangana Government
launched Grama Jyothi Scheme across the state
  • Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on 17 August
    2015 launched a flagship programme Grama Jyothi across the state. The scheme is
    aimed at comprehensive development of rural areas allowing planning and
    execution of works by villages themselves.
  • For the successful implementation of the scheme, the state
    government has decided to invest 25000 crore rupees to empower villages.
  • The scheme will focus on improving the Human Development
    Index (HDI) by addressing core issues such as drinking water and sanitation,
    health and nutrition, education, infrastructure, natural resources management,
    agriculture, social security and poverty reduction.
  • The Grama Jyothi programme aims to empower gram panchayats.
    The programme introduces a participatory approach in preparing village
    development plans involving the panchayats, self help groups, people and all
    interested in the holistic development of the village.

Kerala Government
signed MoU with Adani Group for development of Vizhinjam Port
  • Kerala government on 17 August 2015 signed a MoU with Adani
    Group led Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd for developing 7525 crore rupees
    Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport near Kovalam beach.
  • The MoU was signed by Kerala Principal Secretary (Ports)
    James Varghese and Santosh Kumar Mahopatra, CEO of Adani Vizhinjam Port Private
  • The proposal for the project was first initiated 25 years
    ago in 1991 by late Kerala Chief Minister 
    K Karunakaran but he project failed to take off for various reasons.
  • The project is expected to start from November 2015 and
    promises to be operational in a record time of less than 1000 days.
  • Out of the total cost, 4089 crore rupees would be the PPP
    component and 1463 crore rupees will be the funded work expenditure to be borne
    by the state government.
  • The MoU is for granting of licence for construction and
    operation of the port for a 40-year period, including the construction period
    of four years.

Second Round of
Foreign Office Consultations between India and Paraguay held

  • The Second Round of India-Paraguay Foreign Office
    Consultations (IPFOC) was held on 17 August 2015 in New Delhi. The meet aimed
    to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries.
  • The Indian delegation was led by R Swaminathan, Secretary
    (AMS, CPV &SA), MEA and Oscar Cabellow Sarubbi, Deputy Foreign Minister of
    Paraguay led the Paraguayan delegation.
  • During the meet, the entire gamut of bilateral relations
    including political, commercial & trade, financial, tourism, technical and
    other areas of cooperation were discussed. They also discussed important
    regional and multilateral issues including India’s ongoing engagement with
    Community of Latin American Caribbean States (CELAC), MERCOSUR and UN Reforms.

Visits –
Prime Minister
Narendra Modi visited United Arab Emirates

  • Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited United Arab
    Emirates (UAE) between 16 August and 17 August 2015. He is the first Prime
    Minister of India to visit UAE after 34 years. The last Indian Prime Minister
    to visit the UAE was Indira Gandhi in 1981.

Important events
held during Modi’s visit to the nation includes
  • His Highness the Crown Prince decided to allot land for
    construction of a temple in Abu Dhabi.
  • He also visited the historic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in
    Abu Dhabi, which is the third largest mosque in the world and can accommodate
    around 40000 people at a time. It is named after the founder and first
    President of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The other two
    mosques’s which are larger than the Zayed Grand Mosque ate the ones in Mecca
    and Madina in Saudi Arabia.
  • He visited Masdar City, a zero carbon city, where he met
    with investors.
  • He addressed Indian Diaspora of the country at the Dubai
    Cricket Stadium. Indian Diaspora forms 30 per cent of the UAE’s population.
  • He also interacted with Indian workers at the ICAD
    Residential Labour Camping, Abu Dhabi, which houses thousands of migrant
    labourers from the Indian subcontinent.
  • Besides this, the Prime Minister announced that the Indian
    mission in UAE has set up an e-migrant portal to help Indian migrant workers
    and an online platform ‘MADAD’ to assist them.

Kishor Piraji Kharat
takes charge as MD & CEO of IDBI Bank

  • Kishor Piraji Kharat has assumed charge as managing director
    & chief executive director of IDBI Bank with effect from August 14, 2015.
  • He was earlier posted as executive director of Union Bank of
    India. Kharat is a graduate in commerce and law, and is a certified associate
    of the Indian Institute of Bankers.
  • He also holds an Executive Diploma in Management. Before
    Union Bank of India, Kharat had served Bank of Baroda for three decades. Kharat
    has dealt with various verticals of banking including credit, international
    business, information technology and general administration both in India as
    well as overseas.

Australia’s Chris
Rogers confirms Test retirement after Ashes

  • Australian opening batsman Chris Rogers confirmed on Tuesday
    that he will retire from test cricket at the end of the current Ashes series in
  • Rogers had already indicated that the series would be his
    last and the 37-year-old told reporters in London he had no reason to change
    his mind.
  • Rogers is the oldest member of the current Australian team
    but has been one of the few to shine in the Ashes, scoring 437 runs at an
    average of 62.42.
  • He made 173 in the first innings of the second test at
    Lord’s, but retired hurt in the second innings, complaining of dizziness after
    being hit in the head earlier in the match.
  • After struggling for years to cement a place in the team,
    the left-hander has been in the best form of his career, in which he has
    excelled at first-class cricket but managed only 24 test appearances since his
    debut in 2008.

First Lady Suvra
Mukherjee passes away

  • President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife Suvra Mukherjee, who has
    been ailing for some time, passed away today.
  • Suvra Mukherjee, an accomplished Rabindra Sangeet singer,
    was 74.
  • The First Lady, who remained hospitalised for 11 days,
    breathed her last at 10.51 am at the Army Research and Referral Hospital.
  • Born in Jessore (now in Bangladesh) on September 17, 1940,
    Surva, a graduate, was an ardent fan of India’s national poet Gurudev
    Rabindranath Tagore.
  • She was a vocalist of Rabindra Sangeet and performed in the
    poet’s dance-dramas for long years not only in different parts of India, but also
    in Europe, Asia and Africa.
  • Suvra founded the ‘Geetanjali Troupe’, whose mission is to
    propagate Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy as expressed through his songs and
    dance-dramas. She was the guiding force behind all productions of the Troupe.


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