Daily Current Affairs – 18 August 2016


P V Sindhu
P.V. Sindhu of India reacts during play against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Sindhu is the youngest recipient of the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour.

— Current Affairs : 18 Aug 2016 —

Daily | Current Affair Updates | 7-Minute-Read | By-Raksha | PDF Version

A complete dose of current affairs for the whole day. Categories listed are given as below:



– Festival of Raksha Bandhan

  • The festival of Raksha Bandhan is being celebrated in different parts of the country today.
  • Textiles Minister Smriti Irani is visiting Siachen base camp to tie Rakhi to soldiers deployed there. Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman will be tying Rakhi to the jawans at Lumla in Tawang today.
  • Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal tied Rakhi to the BSF personnel deployed at the international border in Attari near Amritsar yesterday.
  • Girls from colleges and schools also tied Rakhis to BSF troops at the Attari border.



– Telangana Assembly to ratify GST Bill this month

  • Telangana government will call an Assembly session this month to pass the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax, state Finance Minister Etela Rajender said.
  • Rajender recalled that members belonging to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti in the Parliament had supported the bill and noted that the chief minister had assured the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who recently addressed a public meeting at Gajwel, of the state’s backing to GST.

– ICHR plans encyclopedia of village folklore from across India

  • The Indian Council of Historical Research has set the ball rolling to document stories and legends relating to villages and towns across India into an encyclopedia in a bid to “connect” people better with the oral and folk traditions.
  • This would be among the key initiatives of the ICHR in the coming year, the others being a study of the princely States of modern India and studies to “fill the gaps” between the Harappan civilisation (the first Indian urbanisation) and the 6thcentury BC (the second urbanisation).
  • The ICHR would seek part funding by corporate houses for its projects.

– Uttar Pradesh cabinet approves Metro Rail for Allahabad

  • The Uttar Pradesh government has approved a Metro Rail project for Allahabad.
  • Work is already underway on the Metro Rail in Lucknow and the Detailed Project Report for Varanasi and Kanpur has already been approved.
  • Akhilesh Yadav later told the media that Uttar Pradesh was the lone state in which Metro Rail projects were underway in four major cities, and Ghaziabad as well as Noida were already linked to the Delhi Metro.
  • The state cabinet also approved a scheme to provide free school bags and books to students till class VIII in government schools.
  • A decision to increase the salaries of cabinet and state ministers was also approved by the cabinet.

– Mr. Piyush Goyal launches ‘TARANG’ ‘e-Trans’ & ‘DEEP’

  • Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines opened a new chapter to enhance transparency in power transmission sector of the country by launching the ‘TARANG’ Mobile App, ‘e-Trans’ & ‘DEEP’ e-bidding web portals, developed by Rural Electrification Corporation Transmission Projects Company Limited (RECTPCL), a subsidiary of REC Ltd, in New Delhi today.
  • The Minister informed that with the perspective of good governance, and keeping in line with the “Digital India” initiative of Government of India, ‘TARANG’ (Transmission App for Real Time Monitoring & Growth) Mobile App & Web Portal has been developed by RECTPCL, under the guidance of Ministry of Power.
  • Introduction of the electronic platform shall enhance ease, accountability & transparency and would boost confidence of investors in power transmission sector. Better price discovery shall ultimately benefit the power consumers in India.

– Amarnath Yatra to conclude today

  • The annual Amarnath Yatra will comclude in Jammu and Kashmir today. Final Pooja, the last worshipping ritual of the season, will be organised today when the Chhari Mubarak, the holy silver mace of Lord Shiva, will be taken inside the cave shrine on the occasion of Shrawan Purnima.
  • AIR correspondentreports tha “The Chhari Mubarak’ and the last batches of devotees this morning left for the cave shrine from Panchtarni and the base camps.
  • This year over 2.20 lakh pilgrims from different parts of the country paid obeisance at the cave shrine since the commencement of 48-day long pilgrimage on July 2. The number of pilgrims have recorded considerable drop due to unrest in the Valley since July 9.

– India, Bangladesh to make joint documentary on 1971 war

  • India and Bangladesh on Wednesday agreed to jointly produce a documentary on the 1971 war which led to independence for Bangladesh.
  • The decision was taken after a meeting between Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu with his Bangladesh counterpart Hasanul Haq Inu here.
  • The AIR would begin an exclusive service for Bangladesh and the Bengali diaspora titled “Akashvani Maitree” on August 23, he said.
  • The President would be launching the radio channel, which was supposed to go on air on June 28. It got postponed following the cancellation of the President’s trip to Kolkata two days ahead of the launch.



– Russia rejectes US allegations on Iranian military base issue

  • Russia has rejected the allegations that its use of Iranian military bases for air strikes in Syria violates United Nations sanctions on Tehran.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Moscow that Russian Air Force uses its fighter jets to take part in the counter-terrorism operation in Syria and there has been no supply, sale or transfer of fighter jets to Iran.

– Australia agrees to close controversial Papua New Guinea refugee detention centre

  • Australia has agreed to close a controversial asylum seeker detention centre in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
  • PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said, he met Australia’s immigration minister, Peter Dutton, in Port Moresby yesterday.
  • Both PNG and Australia are in agreement that Manus Island centre is to be closed.
  • PNG’s Supreme Court found in April that detaining asylum seekers and refugees at the centre was unconstitutional.
  • Mr O’Neill said the Manus Regional Processing Centre, which currently houses 854 men, would not close immediately. He said this must take into account the interests of the people of Papua New Guinea and the wellbeing of asylum seekers and refugees.



– BoI to tap retail investors for tier-I capital bonds

  • Bank of India plans to tap retail investors for issuance of additional tier-I bonds (AT1) to strengthen capital adequacy ratio.
  • M Rego, managing director and chief executive, said his bank would look at this route (AT1) to raise capital. AT1 are Basel-III compliant instruments that come with restrictions on payments of interest and principal to absorb losses.
  • The bank had raised Rs 1,500 crore in capital by issuing AT1 bonds to institutional investors, Rego told reporters on the sidelines of annual banking summit Fibac here on Wednesday.

– HDFC Bank, Axis top global charts

  • Indian private banks HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank along with their Chinese peers China Construction Bank Corp (CCB), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) occupy the top six slots amongst global banks on key return ratios, namely:
    • return on equity (or shareholders’ funds) (RoE)
    • return on assets (RoA)
  • For FY16, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank earned the highest return on assets of 1.91 per cent and 1.67 per cent respectively, followed by CCB which clocked return on assets of 1.30 per cent.
  • HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) are the top four highly valued banks currently based on FY17 estimated price to book value basis.



– Consortium of eight banks sanction 6750 Crore Loan for Mission Bhagiratha

  • The Telangana Drinking Water Supply Project (Mission Bhagiratha) has got approval for sanction of Rs. 6,750 crore loans by a consortium (an association, typically of several companies) of eight banks, led by Andhra Bank.
  • The decision was taken at a meeting organised at the Andhra Bank corporate office.
  • Andhra Bank’s managing director Suresh Patel said the bank had already approved a loan of Rs. 1,300 crore for the project, before forming a consortium.
  • The detailed project reports (DPR) of the project has been scrutinised by the banks along with its tendering process and payment of bills.
  • Mr. Patel said, and added that it is only rarely that such a large amount is approved for a government project. He said more banks are showing interest to join the consortium.
  • The loan will be used for Mission Bhagiratha works in Karimnagar and Warangal, the note said.

– Huawei to start mobile manufacturing in India

  • Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone seller, will start manufacturing handsets in India soon.
  • Huawei has been selling mobile phones in India for the last 16 years and established its research and development centre in Bengaluru in 1999.
  • The company sells smartphones under two brand names – Huawei and Honor.

– Individual bankers should take onus for loan sanctions: RBI Governor

  • Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday said there is a need to shift loan sanctioning process from the present committee-based approach to single banker taking up the responsibility.
  • He also suggested for rewarding the person if the project goes on well.
  • Addressing the annual bankers conference in Mumbai, Mr Rajan said, the incentive structure for bankers should be worked out so that they evaluate, design and monitor projects carefully.
  • He said, technology can go a long way in helping arrive at a better due diligence.



– BARC develops portable kit for detection of Chromium contamination of water

  • Chromium is widely used in various industries like leather, steel, chrome plating, paint manufacturing, wood preservation etc. Untreated effluents from these industries cause widespread contamination of water as been reported in several parts of the country.
  • Chromium in the environment primarily exists as Trivalent Chromium Cr(III) and Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI). The later is toxic and the World Health Organization has classified it as carcinogenic and can cause stomach ulcers and cancers and severe damage to kidneys and liver.
  • As per Indian standard IS10500 for drinking water, the maximum permissible concentration of Cr(VI) in drinking water is 50 microgram per litre. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a still lower permissible concentration of 10 microgram per liter.
  • Detection of Cr(VI) at such low levels is not only technically challenging but also expensive and time consuming since it involves collection of water samples from affected areas, transport to laboratory, storage and finally analysis. The method can be used for limited water samples with errors due to conversion of Cr(III) to Cr(VI) and vice versa during transport and storage.

– Airlander 10: World’s largest aircraft embarks on its maiden flight

  • The world’s “largest aircraft” the Airlander 10 embarked on its maiden flight, four days after a previous attempt was abandoned due to technical issues.
  • The part plane part airship yesterday took to the skies at an airfield in Cardington in central England.
  • The 92-metre-long Airlander 10, can fly at up to 4,880 metres and reach speeds of 148 kilometres per hour. Filled with helium, it can stay airborne for more than two weeks unmanned and up to five days if manned. It can also be used for commercial purpose.
  • The successful flight comes 85 years after another airship the ill-fated R101 took off from the same airfield in October 1930 before crashing in France, killing 48 people and ending the development of airships in Britain.

– ‘India’s Internet Users To Grow Over 2-Fold To 730 Million By 2020’

  • Buoyed by Internet penetration in rural areas, the number of web users in India will see a two-fold rise at 730 million by 2020 against 350 million at the end of 2015, a latest report said today.
  • India, whose Internet user base is second largest after China, will remain the fastest growing market, according to ‘The Future of Internet in India’ report by Nasscom and Akamai Technologies.
  • The report said that 75 per cent of new Internet users in India will come from rural areas. An overwhelming majority (75 per cent) of new users will consume data in local languages.
  • “India’s Internet consumption has already exceeded the US to become number two globally…By 2020, the Internet is expected to penetrate deeper in hinterlands of the country, helping create more opportunities for everyone,” Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said.



-Wrestler Narsingh Yadav ousted from Olympics

  • The Court of Arbitration of Sports has slapped four-year ban on the Indian grappler for doping.
  • Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav has been ousted from Olympics as the CAS slapped him with a four-year ban, while hearing into the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal against the clean chit given to him in a dope scandal by NADA.
  • Narsingh’s name appeared in the official schedule released on Thursday after he underwent the regular weigh-in. He was scheduled to take on France’s Zelimkhan Khadjiev in the qualification round.

– Pusarla Venkata Sindhu sets up gold clash with Carolina Marin

  • Pusarla Venkata Sindhu on Thursday became the first Indian woman to enter a Olympic Badminton final, as she confirmed a place in the gold medal round with a 21-19, 21-10 victory over 6th-ranked Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.
  • The World No. 10 from Hyderabad will next take on two-time World Champion and top seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the final clash on Friday.
  • She first made her mark in the badminton circles in 2013. She won her maiden grand prix gold at the Malaysian Open, went on to win the first of her hat-trick of titles at the Macau Open. The bigger reward in the form of Arjuna award was the icing on the cake. In March 2015, P.V. Sindhu became the youngest recipient of the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour.

– Sri Lanka beat Australia in third Test; clinch series whitewash

  • Sri Lanka clinched their first series whitewash over a major cricketing nation today at Colombo as they won the third and final Test against Australia by 163 runs, with spinner Rangana Herath taking seven wickets for 64 runs.
  • Set a formidable target of 324 in their second innings, the world number one Test side collapsed in the afternoon session on the fifth day and were all out for 160.
  • It was the third time in a row that the Australians had lost all of their Tests in away series against teams from the sub-continent.

– Argentina & Belgium reach Olympic Games hockey final

  • Argentina and Belgium reached the Olympic Games hockey final for the first time yesterday as defending champions Germany and fellow favourites Netherlands came up short.
  • Argentina stunned Germany, the gold medallists in 2008 and 2012, by 5-2 while Belgium clinched a 3-1 semi-final win over neighbours Netherlands, the 1996 and 2000 champions.
  • Defender Gonzalo Peillat hit a hat-trick of penalty corners with Joaquin Menini and Lucas Vila giving Argentina a 5-0 lead.

– European Olympic official arrested over illegal Rio tickets sales

  • Brazil Police has arrested the head of the European Olympic Committees, Patrick Hickey, in Rio over illegal Olympic ticket sales.
  • Hickey, 71, is suspected of illegally passing on tickets for the Games to be sold on at extortionate prices. Hickey, said to be unwell after his arrest, has not yet commented publicly.

– Sakshi Malik Gets first medal for India in Rio

  • Sakshi Malik, has won the only medal India has been able to win at the 31st Olympiad.
  • She clinched the bronze in the Women’s Freestyle 58kg category with a spirited comeback victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan.
  • She is the only Indian woman wrestler to have ever won a medal at the Olympic Games.
  • Kaori Icho of Japan won the gold medal in the category while Russia’s Valeria Koblova — who had defeated Sakshi in the quarter-finals — took the silver.


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Current Affair Updates 18 August 2016

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