Current Affairs Update – 8th July, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are Important Current Affairs of 8th July, 2015. These are very important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains and RBI Assistant Exam 2015.

Finance/Banking
India to contribute
$18 billion to BRICS’ $100-billion foreign exchange reserves pool

  • India will contribute $18 billion to the $100 billion
    foreign-exchange reserves pool that is being set up by five nations of the
    BRICS grouping to help each other “in case of any problems with dollar
    liquidity”.
  • Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have signed an
    agreement to set up the $100 billion pool, with maximum $41 billion coming from
    China.
  • India’s contribution of $18 billion to the Pool will be same
    as that of Brazil and Russia. South Africa would chip in $5 billion.
  • “The central banks of Brazil, Russia, India, China and
    South Africa have signed Operational Agreement on July 7, 2015 in Moscow. The
    Agreement outlines the terms of mutual support for member states in the
    framework of the Agreement on BRICS Pool of Conventional Currency
    Reserves,” the Russian Central Bank said in a statement.
  • The fund will be an “insurance instrument” that
    members nations could draw on if they experience problems with their balance of
    payments.
  • The Pool will go into force on July 30.

               
India, Russia Sign
MoU for Funding of Hydro-Generation Projects
  • In a significant step in economic cooperation, Russia’s
    Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) today signed an MoU with India’s Infrastructure
    Development Finance Company (IDFC) for funding of hydro-generation projects.
  • RDIF Director General Kirill Dmitriev told the BRICS
    Business Council meeting here that his company signed an MoU with its partners
    in the BRICS member-states to work with sovereign funds, with the BRICS Bank
    and invest in the equity of infrastructure projects in these countries.
  • Highlighting cooperation with India and China, he said, the
    BRICS initiative is already seeing practical negotiations on specific projects.
  • Dmitriev said the funds are forming together the IFI to work
    with sovereign funds, with the BRICS bank and invest in the equity of
    infrastructure projects.

HDFC Bank launched
watch banking application for Apple Watch
  • HDFC Bank, the country’s second largest private sector bank,
    launched Watch Banking application for Apple Watch in the first week of July
    2015.
  • With this, HDFC became the first bank in India to offer the
    service of Watch Banking. In order to avail this service, customer will not be
    required to download a separate app but they just need to activate it from an
    upgraded version of HDFC Bank’s mobile banking app itself.
  • The Apple Watch app will work via Bluetooth on iPhone 5 and
    above versions. The application will allow customers to make around 10 banking
    transactions, like account information (on savings, current, fixed deposits),
    credit cards, mobile and DTH recharge, request account statements and cheque
    books.

Infosys bags
multi-million euro deal from Deutsche Bank

  • Country’s second largest IT services firm Infosys has signed
    a multi-million euro deal with Deutsche Bank.
  • Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Infosys will
    provide services like development, application maintenance, digital and
    mobility, package implementation and testing services across the Deutsche Bank
    Group, Infosys said in a statement on Wednesday.
  • The Bengaluru-based firm will also be a strategic partner
    under Deutsche Bank’s Supplier Partnership Programme, it added. The programme
    was launched in June 2014 to concentrate the most strategic vendors based on
    business impact across all categories of the bank, it said.

PM
Visits –
India, Uzbekistan inked
three agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation
  • India and Uzbekistan on 7 July 2015 signed three agreements
    to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two nations. The agreements were
    inked during the two-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Uzbekistan
    from 6 July to 7 July 2015.

The agreements are
  • Intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of
    tourism
  • Protocol on Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign
    Affairs, Uzbekistan, and Ministry of External Affairs, India was inked.
  • Agreement on Intergovernmental Programme of Cultural
    Cooperation for 2015-17

Besides, during his first visit to Central Asian countries,
Modi met with President Islam Karimov and Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoev of
Uzbekistan.

India, Kazakhstan signed
five Agreements including a contract for supply of uranium

  • India and Kazakhstan on 8 July 2015 signed five agreements
    during the two-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan. The
    agreement was signed in the presence of PM Modi and Kazakh President Nursultan
    Nazarbayev in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
  • Narendra Modi is on an eight-day visit to five Central Asian
    states, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan from 6
    July to 13 July 2015.

List of Agreements
signed
  1. Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons
  2. Agreement on Defence and Military – Technical Cooperation
  3. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation on Physical
    Cultural and Sports
  4. MoU on Technical Cooperation in the field of Railways
  5. Long term contract between Department of Atomic Energy,
    India and KazAtomProm for sale and purchase of natural uranium concentrates

  • In addition to above agreements, a MoU between JSC «Kazxnex
    Invest» and JSC «Invest India», which includes a Road Map on Trade, Economic
    and Investment Cooperation was also signed during the visit. The roadmap would
    identify concrete projects in various sectors and assist in efficient
    implementation of projects in both the countries to activate bilateral trade and
    economic relations.
  • Besides, the two leaders also issue a joint statement title
    Tej Kadam highlighting the continuation of strategic partnership between the
    two nations that was established in 2009 and a shared desire for regional and
    international peace and stability.

India, Kazakhstan
launched first drilling at Satpayev oil block
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kazakhstan Prime Minister
    Karim Massimov on 7 July 2015 jointly launched the first exploratory drilling
    of the Satpayev oil block by ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and KazMunaiGaz of
    Kazakhstan.
  • OVL, the overseas arm of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas
    Corp (ONGC), had picked up 25 percent stake in Satpayev oil block in the North
    Caspian Sea in 2011 and committed to invest 400 million dollar in exploration
    in the block.
  • The Satpayev oil block is an offshore field (1582 sq km) in
    the Northern Caspian Sea, in water depths of 6-8 m. It has a potential reserves
    estimated at 1.8 billion barrels crude oil and natural gas.  ONGC Videsh has estimates a peak output of 2
    lakh 87 thousand barrels per day from the Satpayev structures.

India
Entire Nagaland
Declared as ‘Disturbed Area’

  • The Centre has declared entire Nagaland as a “disturbed
    area” as it finds that a “dangerous condition” prevails in the
    state and armed forces should assist the civil administration in maintaining
    law and order.
  • In a gazette notification, the Home Ministry said that it
    was of the opinion that the whole state of Nagaland is in such a disturbed or
    dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is
    necessary.
  • “Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by
    Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, the central government
    hereby declares that whole of the said state to be a disturbed area for a
    period of one year with effect from June 30, 2015 for the purpose of the
    Act,” Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Shambu Singh said in the
    notification.
  • The decision came almost a month after NSCN-K, the dominant
    Naga rebel group, attacked an army convoy in Manipur’s Chandel district and
    killed 18 soldiers.
  • Subsequently, army commandos carried out an attack in the
    camps of militants inside Myanmar.

               
India to Supply 500
MW Additional Power to Bangladesh in 12 Months
  • India will begin to supply up to 500 MW additional power to
    Bangladesh as soon as the work on SAARC grid is accomplished in the next one
    year or so, said Power System Operation Corporation Executive Director V K
    Agrawal.
  • India will also draw considerably higher volumes of hydro
    power from nations such as Bhutan and Nepal, Agrawal said at a conference
    organised by the PHD Chamber.
  • The participants suggested that the government should bring
    in legislation empowering right to electricity in view of massive capacity
    additions and set up a statutory mechanism to regulate state electricity
    boards.

NDDB launched mobile
application Pashu Poshan to boost dairy farmers’ income
  • The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) on 7 July 2015
    launched a mobile application named Pashu Poshan that will boost dairy farmers’
    income by raising milk yield and cutting feed cost. The app will recommend a
    balanced diet for cows and buffaloes.
  • The mobile application was launched by the Union Agriculture
    Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
  • The application will be available on both web and android
    platforms. It can be accessed by registering on the INAPH portal inaph.Nddb.Coop.
  • To use this application, the farmer needs to provide
    complete animal profile including breed, age, milk production, fat content in
    milk apart from food items being currently fed to the animal along with the
    cost in order to formulate the balanced ration formula.

Telangana Government
signed MoU with Uber to expand operations in Hyderabad
  • Telangana Government on 6 July 2015 signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with transportation facilitation app Uber.
  • The MoU is aimed at creating thousands of jobs and
    entrepreneurship opportunities, foster technical innovation and research into
    smart city initiatives and a commitment to make significant investments to
    expand its operations in Hyderabad.

Highlights of the
MoU
  • Uber will collaborate with The Telangana Academy for Skills
    and Knowledge (TASK) to identify and train around 2000 candidates by the end of
    2016 who will then drive on the Uber platform. The focus of this initiative
    will be on women and poor people.
  • Uber will invest upwards of 50 million US dollars into
    Hyderabad to establish a state-of-the-art facility that will house hundreds of
    new employees. With this, India will have Uber’s second-largest employee pool
    after the USA.
  • Uber will engage with T-Hub and the government and explore
    synergies to foster the smart cities initiative and technological innovation in
    the city using big data analysis.

Hilliard Energy plans
to set up 650 MW renewable energy projects in AP
  • Hilliard Energy Limited has expressed its intent to set up a
    multi-phase 650 MW solar and wind energy project in Anantapur district of
    Andhra Pradesh.
  • Sterling Hilliard, Director of Hilliard Energy India, part
    of the US company, in a letter of intent submitted to Palle Raghunath Reddy,
    Information Technology Minister of Andhra Pradesh Government, has expressed the
    company’s interest to set up 150 MW of wind power and 500 MW of solar power
    with a possible deviation of 10 per cent either side.
  • The letter of intent submitted to Reddy, who is now in the
    US, by Hilliard Energy Director, has been circulated to the media here.
  • According to the letter of Intent submitted to the Minister,
    Hilliard has indicated that the project cost could be about $ 600 million.
  • The company said that they look forward to following this
    intent with specific information on the location, power purchase agreement etc
    before closing the deal.
  • Hilliard has a history of renewable energy acquisition and
    green filed developments totalling 2800 MW in the US and other locations.

Government launches
learning portal for MGNREGA

  • Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh
    today launched an Online Learning Portal (OLP) for MGNREGA, and expressed
    confidence that it will help both the government officials and beneficiaries of
    the rural job flagship scheme.
  • The OLP will build capacities of technical functionaries and
    help in developing qualitative and sustainable assets.
  • The governmnet said that it is expected to ensure flow of
    knowledge and skill from the brains of MGNREGS field functionaries through to
    the hands of MGNREGS unskilled labourers on to the ground, to result in
    qualitative and sustainable assets with enhanced livelihoods.
  • All the field functionaries like Gram Rozgar Sevak,
    technical assistants, junior engineer, engineering consultants and others can
    take use this OLP.

UGC accorded Heritage
Status on 19 Colleges across the country
  • University Grants Commission (UGC) on 2 July 2015 accorded
    special Heritage Status on 19 Colleges across the country. These include St
    Xavier’s College, Mumbai and Fergusson College, Pune among others.
  • The Heritage status was granted to institutions across the
    country with an aim of conserving college campuses which are more than 100
    years old. The UGC also approved financial assistance for the improvement and
    upgradation of these 19 colleges.

List of 19
Heritage Colleges
  1. St Xavier’s College, Mumbai (Maharashtra)
  2. Ferguson College, Pune (Maharashtra)
  3. Hislop College, Nagpur(Maharashtra)
  4. Midnapore College (West Bengal)
  5. St Xavier’s College, Kolkata (West Bengal)
  6. Khalsa College, Amritsar (Punjab)
  7. Kanya Mahavidyalya, Jalandhar (Punjab)
  8. CMS College, Kottayam (Kerala)
  9. Government Brennan College, Thalassery (Kerala)
  10. Old Agra College, Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
  11. Meerut College, Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)
  12. St Joseph College, Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu)
  13. St Bede’s College, Shimla (Himachal Pradesh)
  14. Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur (Bihar)
  15. University College, Mangalore (Karnataka)
  16. Cotton College, Guwahati (Assam)
  17. Government Medical Science College, Jabalpur (Madhya
    Pradesh)
  18. Gandhi Memorial Science College, Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir)
  19. DAV College, Ambala (Haryana)

Appointments
Bharti Enterprises
appoints Rahul Bhatnagar as MD&CFO

  • Bharti Enterprises on Wednesday appointed Rahul Bhatnagar as
    its new Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer.
  • He will report to Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti
    Enterprises.
  • Mr. Rahul takes over from Manoj Kohli, who has assumed the
    role of Executive Chairman, SBG Cleantech — a JV between SoftBank, Bharti and
    Foxconn for renewable energy, Bharti Enterprises said in a statement.
  • In his new role, Mr. Rahul will build strategic business
    value proposition for Bharti’s non-telecom businesses, it said.
  • He will be responsible for further strengthening the
    financial management processes and governance of these businesses and also lead
    new business development for the group, it added.

Ashok Haldia
appointed MD and CEO of PTC India Financial Services
  • PTC India Financial Services said on Wednesday that Ashok
    Haldia was appointed the company’s new Managing Director and Chief Executive
    Officer.
  • Haldia has been a part of the company’s board as a
    whole-time director for the last seven years. Prior to joining PTC India
    Financial Services, Haldia served as a Secretary in the Institute of Chartered
    Accounts of India. He has also been a member of several Central Government
    committees.

World
Female Supreme Court
Nominee Rejected by Afghan Parliament
  • The first-ever female nominee for the supreme court in
    Afghanistan has failed to garner enough votes of approval from the parliament.
  • Anisa Rasoli received 88 votes today, nine short of the 97
    needed for her nomination to pass. Zahir Qadir, the deputy parliament speaker
    who was chairing the session, asked.
  • President Ashraf Ghani to bring forth another nominee.
  • During the same session, Mohammad Yasuf Halim was approved
    for the supreme court and Khalilullah Sediq was approved as the governor of the
    central bank.

Russian cosmonaut
Gennady Padalka entered Guinness World Records for spending 804 days on ISS
  • Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka in the first week of July
    2015 entered Guinness World Records for spending most number of days in the
    space.  He achieved the feat by spending
    804 days on the International Space Station (ISS).
  • He surpassed cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, also a Russian,
    record of 803 days, nine hours and 41 minutes in the space which Sergei
    achieved across six missions from 1998 to 2005.
  • Padalka, who is also the commander of the crew on the ISS,
    is scheduled to return to earth in September 2015. It means he would have spent
    a total of 877 days in space by then.
  • ISS is a space station that was launched in 1998. It is the
    largest artificial satellite body that orbits earth nearly 400 km above the
    surface and it can be seen with naked eye. ISS moves at a very high speed and
    it completes 15.54 orbits per day.

Sports
               
Indian Women Crush NZ
to Win Series, BCCI Awards Rs 21 Lakh
  • Indian women produced a clinical performance to crush New
    Zealand by nine wickets in the fifth and final one day international cricket
    match and winning the series by 3-2 margin.
  • The win also brought another piece of good news as BCCI
    announced a cash award of Rs 21 lakh for the team as they fought back valiantly
    from being 1-2 down to win the series.
  • The final match turned out to be an anti-climax of sorts
    with New Zealand being shot out for 118 in 41 overs as seven of their batsmen
    failed to reach double digits.
  • Suzie Bates top-scored with 42 while left-arm spinner
    Rajeswari Gayekwad had the best figures of 2/15. Jhulan Goswami with 2/17 was
    economical as ever while Deepti Sharma took 2 for 22.
  • In reply, India surpassed the target in 27.2 overs with DT
    Thirushkamini scoring 62 off 78 balls with 13 boundaries.
  • Deepti showed her all-round prowess scoring an unbeaten 44
    off 78 balls with 8 boundaries.

Goa to host the Youth
Delphic Games in February 2016
  • Goa will host the fifth Youth Delphic Games in February 2016.
    The announcement was made in June 2015. The motto of the 2016 Games is
    Celebrating Arts and Cultures.
  • Started a 100 years after the modern edition of the
    Olympics, the youth edition of the Delphic Games will be hosted in India for
    the first time from 1 February to 14 February 2016 in Goa.
  • The Youth Delphic Games are held at every four years and
    invites participants of the age group of 15 to 25 years. The games will include
    competitions in six categories:

  1. Musical arts and sounds (singing, instrumental music,
    electronic sounds)
  2. Performing arts (dance, theatre, circus, puppetry)
  3. Language arts (literature, poetry, moderation)
  4. Visual arts (painting, graphics, sculpture, installation,
    fashion, photography)
  5. Social arts (communications, Internet, media, pedagogic,
    didactic)
  6. Ecological arts & architecture (urban planning,
    landscaping, preservation and conservation of nature, monuments)

Books
& Authors –
India Central Asia
Relations authored by Amiya Chandra
  • Book titled India Central Asia Relations: The Economic
    Dimension authored by Amiya Chandra came in news in second week of July 2015.
    It came in news during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to central
    Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and
    Turkmenistan.
  • The book focuses on the economic dimensions of the ties. The
    author through the book wants to say that India can compete with China if it
    focuses on quality instead of quantity and improves credit line. The book also
    says that for that purpose, India will have to seriously take forward the trade
    disputes.

Kashmir: The Vajpayee
Years authored by AS Dulat & Aditya Sinha released
  • The book titled Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years was published on
    6 July 2015 by HarperCollins. It was co-authored by AS Dulat and Aditya Sinha.
  • The book focuses on initiatives launched by the Vajpayee
    government between 1998 and 2004 to restore normalcy in India’s most beautiful
    but troubled state.
  • The book includes firsthand account of AS Dulat, who was
    chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) during Vajpayee government, about
    the difficulties, successes and near triumphs in the effort to bring back
    Kashmir from the brink.

Awards
& Honors –
Jodhpur Film Society
honoured with Pritiman Sarkar Award 2014-15
  • The Film Society of Jodhpur was on 7 July 2015 conferred
    with the Pritiman Sarkar Award 2014-15 for the consequent fourth time for being
    the best film society in Northern Region in raising awareness and film
    appreciation.
  • The award was presented by the Federation of Film Societies
    of India (North Region). The award was given in recognition of screening of a
    series of films by the society in 2014-15 in Jodhpur to mark 100 glorious years
    of Indian cinema under the Incredible Journey of Indian Cinema.
  • The society screened 24 films of different times, culture
    and languages for Incredible Journey of Indian Cinema. These screenings
    included the films as old as Raja Harishchandra.
  • The first Pritiman Sarkar Award in 1997-98 was also given to
    the Film Society of Jodhpur.

Obituaries
Legendary producer
Jerome Charles Weintraub died
  • Jerome Charles Weintraub, the legendary producer who
    produced Ocean’s Eleven, died on 6 July 2015 following cardiac arrest in a
    Santa Barbara hospital, California. He was 77. He is survived by his four
    children and his wife Susan Ekins.
  • Weintraub got fame in the 1960s as a music manager and
    concert promoter. Later as a producer, he produced Nashville in the 1970s and
    other hits including Oh God!, The Karate Kid and the immensely popular caper-comedy
    series Ocean’s Eleven.
  • Weintraub was an executive producer of HBO’s comedy show The
    Brink. He worked with everyone from Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra to Led
    Zeppelin and George Clooney.



Regards

Team ExamPundit

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