— Current Affairs : 31 July 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:
- Important Days
- Books & Authors
- Business & Economy
- Appointments and Resigns
- Awards & Honours
- Science & Technology
— NATIONAL —
Assam Chief Minister gives order to setup Embankment Protection Committee to be set up in Assam
- A protection committee to avert breaches in any embankment in flood-hit Assam will be set up with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal issuing directions to Chief Secretary V K Pipersenia in this regard.
- The Embankment Protection Committee comprising of engineers, experts, youth organizations, NGOs, clubs and socio-cultural organizations will help averting breaches in embankment with timely intervention, an official release said.
- Sonowal asked the Water Resources Department to go for thorough inspection of the condition of around 1,200 embankments covering a stretch of 5,000 km so that strengthening and repairing of the old ones could be carried out.
‘Madhubabu Pension Scheme’ to cover 3 lakh more people
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today directed the district collectors to extend ‘Madhubabu Pension Scheme’ to three lakh more beneficiaries from August 15.
- The district collectors must ensure that the people get pension under the social security scheme on time, he said.
- While 47 lakh people have already been covered under the ‘Madhubabu Pension Scheme’, the number of beneficiaries will increase to 50 lakh from August 15.
- Speaking to the officers through video conferencing, Patnaik told them to double the number of completed houses under the rural housing scheme.
Centre to hold Make in India Conference in Odisha in December
- The Central government proposes to organise a ‘Make in India’ conference in Bhubaneswar in December, an official said on Saturday.
- The conference would be organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to attract investment to Odisha as well as the country.
- The Odisha government has requested the ministry to hold the conference in the first week of December.
Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister meets District Nodal Officers of Eastern and North Eastern States; 23 lakhs connections issued so far under PMUY
- Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan has held meeting with all District Nodal Officers (DNOs) of Eastern States and North Eastern States.
- Nearly 250 DNOs, Senior Officials of the Ministry and Oil Marketing Companies attended the meeting.
- The DNO meet was first such meeting providing an opportunity for experience sharing by DNOs in implementing Hon’ble Prime Minister’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) under which LPG connections are given to women of BPL Households.
- Today (30th July) is the 90th day after launch of the scheme and a total of 23 lakhs connections have been issued so far under PMUY.
India to supply free ration to jobless workers in Saudi Arabia
- The government also immediately announced that the unemployed Indian workers in Saudi Arabia would be given free rations. Minister of state (MoS) for external affairs Gen. (retd.) V.K. Singh has rushed to Saudi Arabia to take stock of the situation and discuss the issue with the Saudi government.
- “The number of Indian workers facing food crisis in Saudi Arabia is over 10,000. I appeal to 30 lakh Indians in Saudi Arabia. Please help your fellow brothers and sisters. There is nothing mightier than the collective will of the Indian nation,” Ms Swaraj tweeted.
— BANKING —
ICICI Bank sets up top team to track loans, sound ‘NPA’ alert
- ICICI Bank has set up a team to improve monitoring of credit and provide early warning of loans going bad after a sharp rise in non-performing assets (NPAs) in the last fiscal year.
- The group will be separate from existing loan-monitoring teams and is a result of suggestions by consultant McKinsey.
- ICICI Bank’s net profit plunged 76 per cent in the quarter ended March, the biggest year-on-year drop since inception as it set aside Rs 3,600 crore against bad loans.
- The bank listed five sectors – iron and steel, power, cement, mining and rigs-for special monitoring in the months ahead.
Bank of India to allot preference shares to govt for Rs 1,338 crores
- Bank of India (BoI)will issue shares on a preferential basis to the government for capital infusion of Rs 1,338 crore.
- On the proposed preferential issue, BoI said there is an ever-increasing need to raise capital for the bank to comply with Basel II and III capital adequacy norms.
- The government announced capital infusion of Rs 22,915 crore in 13 public sector banks for the current financial year and BoI is to get Rs 1,784 crore.
Fifteen banks ready to roll out UPI by July 31
- At least 15 banks, both from public and private sectors, are ready to roll out the unified payments interface (UPI) starting July 31.
- The UPI system is a kind of e-payment which can be authenticated using mobile phones.
- Existing bank apps can be UPI-enabled or have UPI apps. Customers can have a single virtual identity for a bank account through which they can make and receive payments digitally.
- The Reserve Bank of India had formally launched the system in April this year.
— BUSINESS AND ECONOMY —
A collection under Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme reaches a new high
- The GOI, in consultation with RBI, launched the 4th of SGB.
- To improve attractiveness of SGB, new product features were introduced this time such as:
- The minimum subscription limit was reduced from 2 gm to 1 gm.
- The Capital gain tax arising on redemption of SGB to an individual was exempted, in line with the Budget 2016-17 announcements
- The applications were allowed to be routed online and SGB was issued in Demat/ paper form.
- National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange were notified as additional receiving offices.
- Trading of Gold Bonds was also operationalized.
- The issue price of the Sovereign Gold Bond was fixed at Rs 3,119 per gram of gold based on the basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity for the week July 11 to 15, 2016 as published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd.
— BUSINESS AND ECONOMY —
‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ book launches in London
- The book based on the script of the play ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ launched today globally.
- This is JK Rowling’s eighth Harry Potter story written along with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.
- Thorne scripted the two-part play based on the original story, which begins 19 years after ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’, which was published in 2007.
— APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGN—
Ashok Leyland non-exec vice chairman R Seshasayee resigns
- Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leylandhas announced, in a BSE filing, that the company’s Non-Executive Vice-Chairman – R Seshasayee has resigned from the board of directors with effect from July 28.
- A Chartered Accountant by profession, Seshasayee started his career with Hindustan Lever in 1971, and joined Ashok Leyland in 1976. He was appointed Executive Director of the company in 1983, became Deputy Managing Director in 1993.
Rani Nair set to be new CBDT Chairperson
- Senior IRS officer Rani Singh Nair is set to be appointed as the new CBDT Chairperson with incumbent Atulesh Jindal retiring today.
- Nair, a 1979-batch Indian Revenue Service officer of the Income Tax cadre, is presently working as Member (Legislation and Computerisation) in the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the policy-making body of the I-T department.
- Officials said the government has issued orders for her to take over as the “acting” chief of CBDT from Jindal and fresh orders by the Prime Minister headed Appointments Committee of Cabinet are expected soon to be out soon for her to take charge in a full capacity.
Praveen dixit retires today; Satish Mathur appointed DGP of Maharashtra
- Satish Mathur, a 1981-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, has been appointed the new Director General of Police (DGP), Maharashtra.
- Mathur will take over from Praveen Dixit, the outgoing DGP who retires on Sunday. The formal handing over of charge is scheduled on the same day.
- A St Stephen’s alumni, Mathur has many firsts to his credit. He is the first IPS officer in the country who was trained by the National Security Guard (NSG).
- He was also the first IPS officer to become the Director General, Legal and Technical, after it was created by the state to improve the conviction rate in Maharashtra.
— AWARDS AND HONOURS —
Kerala Tourism bags six National Tourism awards
- Kerala Tourism bagged six National Tourism awards for 2014-15 in the marketing category for states. It received two more awards, including the one for its Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative in Wayanad.
- Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan presented the awards to Principal Secretary Venu V and Director U V Jose in the presence of Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma at a function at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.
Adman Srinivasan Swamy conferred with AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award
- The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) conferred its Lifetime Achievement Award on famous adman Srinivasan K.Swamy.
- Mr. Swamy is popularly known as Sundar. He is a veteran in the advertising industry and has almost four decades of rich experience.
- Swamy is Chairman of R.K. Swamy Hansa, a diversified marketing communications group. He has served as the President of AAAI for three consecutive terms from 2004 to 2007. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and a Board Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
— SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY —
New artificial leaf converts CO2 into usable hydrocarbon fuel using sunlight
- Scientists have developed “artificial leaves” – potentially game-changing solar cells that cheaply and efficiently convert atmospheric carbondioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel using sunlight.
- Unlike conventional solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once.
- A solar farm of such “artificial leaves” could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and produce energy-dense fuel efficiently.
SpaceX Wins Second NASA Contract To Take Astronauts To International Space Station
- The US space agency has ordered a second mission from Elon Musk’s space transport services company SpaceX to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
- Commercial crew flights from Florida’s Space Coast to the International Space Station will restore America’s human spaceflight launch capability and increase the time US crews can dedicate to scientific research, which is helping prepare astronauts for deep space missions, including the Journey to Mars, NASA said in a statement on Saturday.
- This is the fourth and final guaranteed order NASA will make under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts.
— SPORTS —
Bryan brothers pull out of Rio 2016 Olympics citing health concerns
- Americans Bob and Mike Bryan, the most successful doubles team in men’s tennis history, have pulled out of the defence of their title at the Rio Games saying their family’s health is their top priority.
- Many athletes have withdrawn from the Olympics over concerns about the mosquito-borne Zika virus linked to birth defects in newborn babies and possible neurological problems in adults.
- The Bryan brothers are both married and Bob has three children. The pair won Olympic gold at the London 2012 Games and own 112 titles together, including 16 grand slams.