Current Affairs Update – 20th August, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 20th August, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming IBPS RRB 2015 Exam.

Govt approves pact
with Seychelles to check black money

  • Stepping up its fight against black money generation, the
    government today approved signing and ratification of an agreement between
    India and Seychelles for exchange of information on taxes.
  • The agreement will stimulate information exchange between
    India and Seychelles for tax purposes, which will help curb tax evasion and
    avoidance, Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar
    Prasad said after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • In this regard, he said the government has taken various
    initiatives, including signing of FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act)
    with the USA and enactment of black money law.
  • The agreement will enable competent authorities of India and
    Seychelles to provide assistance through exchange of information that is
    relevant to the administration and enforcement of domestic laws of the two
    countries concerning taxes.

YouTube tied-up with
Whistling Woods International to set up YouTube Space

  • Google-run video sharing portal YouTube on 19 August 2015
    tied-up with Whistling Woods International (WWI) to set up YouTube Space in
    Mumbai, a collaboration and production facility for YouTube video creators.
    However, the firms did not disclose any financial details.
  • Slated to open in late 2015, the YouTube Space Mumbai
    facility will allow YouTube creators and students at WWI to learn about video
    production and collaborate with other creators.
  • YouTube and WWI will also develop original courses to train
    the next generation of Indian filmmakers to succeed in digital and online
  • YouTube Space Mumbai is the seventh such facility for the
    YouTube. It has similar facilities in Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, New York,
    Brazil, and Berlin. The facilities are designed in a way so that the creators
    can produce original digital video content.

Prasar Bharti,
Digital Television Russia inked MoU
  • Prasar Bharti and Digital Television Russia on 20 August
    2015 signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation which will set the
    stage for a new media era in both the countries. This purposeful and meaningful
    MoU was inked in New Delhi.
  • The MoU is aimed at co-producing TV programmes, repackaging
    and dubbing popular programmes from the both countries.
  • It also covers technology modernisation, news exchange and

Union Government
issued final notification demarcating ESZ around Okhla Bird Sanctuary
  • The Union Government on 19 August 2015 issued the final notification
    demarcating the Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around Okhla bird sanctuary.
  • The announcement was made by the Union Environment Minister
    Prakash Javadekar, who also said that the final notification was issued after
    the National Board of Wild Life cleared the process of demarcating the ESZ.
  • The ESZ around the sanctuary will be the area up to 100
    meters from the eastern, western and southern boundary. In the northern
    boundary, the ESZ will expand up to 1.27-km from the Okhla Bird Sanctuary,
    which extends up to DND flyover across the riverbed situated in Uttar Pradesh’s
    Gautam Buddh Nagar district and southeast district of NCT Delhi.

Haryana, Maryland
agreed to cooperate in biotechnology, life sciences
  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Lt Governor
    of Maryland Boyd K. Rutherford, on 18 August 2015 have agreed to explore the
    possibilities of cooperation in the fields of bio-technology, life sciences and
    agriculture, cyber security and engineering.
  • They also decided to find out scope for working with
    companies engaged in the sector of low-cost housing.
  • The decision was taken during a meet of Khattar with Lt.
    Governor in Annapolis (Maryland). At present, Khattar is leading a 20-member
    delegation of officials and businessmen on a 10-day trip to the US and Canada.
  • During the visit to Maryland, the chief minister visited the
    Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he sought cooperation
    and guidance from its Bloomberg School of Public Health for upgrading the
    Kalpana Chawla University of Health Sciences being set up at Karnal in Haryana
    as a Centre of Excellence.

Australian government
appoints Adam Gilchrist ambassador to India – for education

  • In a move set to further strengthen education ties with
    India, the Australian government on Thursday appointed former cricketer Adam
    Gilchrist as nation’s inaugural ambassador to the region on education.
  • The announcment was made by the Minister for Education and
    Training Christopher Pyne prior to attending the Annual Ministerial Dialogue
    and third Australia-India Education Council meeting in New Delhi on August 24.

Olympic champion
Sebastian Coe elected as President of IAAF
  • The former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe on 19 August 2015
    was elected as the sixth President of the International Association of
    Athletics Federations (IAAF). The British Olympian was elected as the President
    at the 50th IAAF Congress in Beijing, China.
  • Coe will take office on 31 August 2015 after the end of the
    2015 IAAF World Championships of Beijing. He succeeds Senegalese Lamine Diack,
    82, who has led the IAAF for 16 years.
  • The 58-year-old Briton defeated his rival Sergey Bubka, a
    former Olympic pole vault champion, by 115 votes to 92.

Karnal Singh assigned
additional charge of Director of Enforcement Directorate
  • Karnal Singh, an IPS officer of 1984 batch of union
    territories cadre, was on 19 August 2015 assigned the additional charge of
    Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED). He will handle the office of the
    director for a period of three months or until further orders for a regular
  • His name for the post was approved by the Appointments
    Committee of the Cabinet. This is the first time an IPS officer has been chosen
    for the key post under the Department of Revenue.
  • Singh, who is currently serving as Special Director in
    Centre Region of Enforcement Directorate, will replace Rajan S Katoch. Kotoch
    was given three extensions as ED Director.

Air India appoints
Ashwani Lohani as Chairman, MD

  • Ashwani Lohani is to be the next Chairman and Managing Director
    of Air India.
  • Lohani is a 1980 batch Railway official. He will hold charge
    for three years or till further orders.
  • He takes over from Rohit Nandan who will demit office
  • Lohani is currently working as Chief AdministartiveOffcer of
    the Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuel, a subordinate organisation
    of the Railway Board.

Bangladesh became
first country to receive funds from UN for Solar Home Systems
  • Bangladesh on 20 August 2015 became the first country to
    receive funds from the United Nations (UN) for its fast growing solar home
    systems. The UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) issued 395286
    carbon credits worth 3.56 million US Dollar to two Bangladeshi organisations.
  • Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL) and Grameen
    Shakti are the two organisations that won the carbon credits. The UNFCCC has
    issued 212482 carbon credits to the IDCOL and 182804 credits to Grameen Shakti.
  • The IDCOL is a state-owned development financial institution
    dedicated to promote and finance infrastructure and renewable energy projects,
    while Grameen Shakti, set up by Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, aims to
    take clean solar power systems and communication technology to villages.

Pakistan and Russia
signed defence agreement that includes the sale of four Mi-35 helicopters
  • Pakistan and Russia on 19 August 2015 signed a landmark
    defence agreement that includes the sale of four Mi-35 Hind E attack
    helicopters to Pakistan. The agreement was signed by top defence officials from
    Pakistan and Russia in Rawalpindi.
  • The Mi-35 helicopter is an exceedingly modernised version of
    the Mi-24 (Hind) combat helicopter with new onboard equipment and avionics. It also
    has a more powerful engine and a different tail rotor.
  • Both countries were negotiating for this deal since 2014. It
    is after the visit of the Chief of Pakistan Army Staff General Raheel Sharif to
    Russia in June 2015, that Russia sent a draft contract for the delivery of four
    Mi-35M Hind E combat helicopters to Pakistan.
  • The signing of agreement signals a major thaw in relations
    between the two Cold War rivals. Earlier in November 2014, Pakistan and Russia
    had signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening
    military-to-military relations.

$10 billion Pak
nuclear power plant to be built by China
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated
    construction work on a China-backed $10 billion nuclear power plant here.
  • The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant II (Kanupp II) with the
    capacity to produce 1,100 MW electricity is being built with the assistance of
    China, which has become the biggest investor in energy and infrastructure
    projects in Pakistan.
  • Built for an estimated cost of $10 billion, the project was
    in the spotlight due to opposition by civil society activists who alleged that
    it was being built in violation of environmental laws.
  • The start of work on Kanupp II will pave the way for the
    construction of Kanupp III, also with a planned capacity to produce 1,100 MW,
    to be built with Chinese help.
  • The groundbreaking of Kanupp III was also performed in 2013
    along with Kanupp II.

Awards & Honors –
Debut Novelist Zia
Haider Rahman won the James Tait Black Award 2015

  • Bangladesh novelist Zia Haider Rahman on 19 August 2015 won
    the James Tait Black award 2015 for his debut novel In the Light of What We
    Know. He received this prize during the 2015 Edinburgh international book
  • Born in rural Bangladesh, Rahman was educated at Balliol
    College, Oxford and later at Cambridge, Munich, and Yale Universities. Prior to
    shifting to the writing career, he had worked as an investment banker and a
    human rights lawyer.
  • James Tait Black award is an annual literary award bestowed
    for literature written in the English language in UK and is the oldest literary
    award of UK.

Babasaheb Purandare
conferred with ‘Maharashtra Bhushan

  • History writer Balwant Moreshwar Purandare was on Wednesday
    conferred with the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’ award, the state’s highest honour, at
    a glittering function in Mumbai. The award ceremony was held at Raj Bhavan in
    Mumbai amidst tight security after the BJP-led state government’s decision to
    honour Purandare received criticism from some sections of the Maratha
    community, which had protested against the move.
  • The ceremony was attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister
    Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena MPs Arvind Sawant, Sanjay Raut, state cultural
    affairs minister Vinod Tawde, industries minister Subhash Desai and Mumbai
    Mayor Snehal Ambekar among other dignitaries.
  • Purandare, who was born on 19 August, 1921, started writing
    about the life of Shivaji from a very young age. He is known for his books like
    Raja Shiv Chhatrapati, Purandaryanchi Daulat, Purandaryanchi Naubat and
    Gadsanch which are considered masterpieces on the life and times of the 16th
    century Maratha warrior king.

HUL, TCS & Sun
Pharma among most innovative comapnies in the wolrd: Forbes

  • Hindustan Unilever, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Sun
    Pharma Industries are the three Indian companies that have been named among the
    world’s 100 most innovative companies by Forbes in a list that has been topped
    by Tesla Motors .
  • Fast moving consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever has
    been ranked 41 on the list, followed by TCS at rank 64 and Sun Pharma at rank
    71 in the Forbes list of The Worlds Most Innovative Companies.
  • The list has been topped by Elon Musk’s California-Based
    Tesla Motors which has a market capitalization of $25.5 billion. Musk has
    inherited (former Apple CEO) Steve Jobs’ mantle as the cult favorite CEO. And
    his electric car company has grabbed Apple’s creative crown, it said.
  • On Hindustan Unilever, Forbes said the company had over 35
    brands spanning 20 distinct categories.

World Humanitarian
Day observed with theme Inspiring the World’s Humanity
  • World Humanitarian Day was observed on 19 August 2015 with
    the theme Inspiring the World’s Humanity. The theme calls on people to join any
    of the world’s humanitarian organizations and become an active messenger of
  • The day is dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel and
    those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. It is also an
    opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the
  • World Humanitarian Day was designated by the United Nations
    General Assembly (UNGA) as part of a Swedish-sponsored resolution on the
    Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the United
    Nations, and set as 19 August.

Former Gujarat
Finance Minister Sanat Mehta passes away
  • Veteran Congressman and former Finance Minister of Gujarat,
    Sanat Mehta, breathed his last on Thursday evening at his residence in
  • Mehta, 90, had suffered a massive cardiac arrest on Tuesday
    late evening, following which he was admitted to a private hospital and kept on
    ventilator support till Thursday morning.
  • A prolific writer and newspaper columnist, Mehta has been a
    renowned expert in financial matters and a popular politician with clean image.
    He also contributed an article, “Development is in the blood of Gujaratis: The
    state is known for its entrepreneurial spirit” in the inaugural issue of
    BusinessLine’s Ahmedabad edition on May 25, 2013.
  • Among those who paid “rich tributes” to Mehta were Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.


Team ExamPundit


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