Daily Current Affairs – 4 Aug 2016


— Current Affairs : 4 Aug 2016 —

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

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– GST Bill Passed in Rajya Sabha

  • The Rajya Sabha has passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitutional Amendment Bill which the Lok Sabha had already approved last year.
  • The legislation was approved by the Rajya Sabha with 203 votes in favour and none against.
  • The main objective of the GST is to eliminate excessive taxation.
  • GST is a uniform indirect tax levied on goods and services across a country.

– SAARC Immigration Authorities Meet Held

  • The 7th meeting of SAARC Immigration Authorities was held in Islamabad.
  • Pakistan’s Director General Immigration and Passports Usman A. Bajwa chaired the meeting.
  • It reviewed different areas to maximize the potential of visa exemption scheme launched among the member countries in 1992.
  • It also deliberated on development of security software for SAARC visa exemption scheme and immigration matters.

– LS Pass Bill to Fast Track Debt Recovery

  • The Lok Sabha has passed a law empowering banks to take possession of collateral in the case of loan default.
  • The Enforcement of Security Interest & Recovery of Debts Laws & Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to amend 4 laws — the Sarfaesi Act, the DRT Act, the Indian Stamp Act & the Depositories Act.
  • Jaitley said the banks must be empowered to take effective legal action.

– Cabinet Approves 3 percent SUC

  • The Cabinet has approved 3 percent annual usage charge for the spectrum to be sold in upcoming auction.
  • The government expects to raise at least Rs 64,000 crore from the auction of about 2,300 Mhz of spectrum and Rs 98,995 crore from various levies.
  • As per the decision, spectrum to be sold in the different bands will attract SUC at the rate of 3% of the Adjusted Gross Revenue.

– First Tech Meet Of Hydrocarbon Vision 2030

  • The Two day long first technology meet under the targets of the ambitiousHydrocarbon Vision 2030 for Northeast India started in Guwahati Assam.
  • The idea of the meeting mooted by the sub- committee of the upstream sector headed by ONGC and has members from upstream national oil players as well as private players.
  • The main event of the meeting was to deliberate the issues pertaining to the implementation of the Vision document which envisions an investment of Rs 1,30,000 crore over the next 15 years.
  • The meet attended by various PSUs and private sector oil firms including ONGC, OIL, Geo Enpro, Jubilant, Hindustan and other companies involved in the sector.

– Land transfer for Ambedkar memorial gets nod

  • The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the terms and conditions for the transfer of 12 acres of land belonging to National Textile Corporation to the Maharashtra government for the construction of a memorial of B.R. Ambedkar.
  • “The Union Cabinet had already approved the transfer of 12 acres of Indu-6 Mill land to the government,” the government said in a release.

– Kerala, A.P., Telangana get new acting CJs

  • Justice Ramesh Ranganathan, senior-most judge of the Andhra Pradesh/Telangana High Court has been directed to perform the duties of the office of Chief Justice after Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale relinquishes charge of acting Chief Justice following his appointment as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.
  • Justice Shantanagoudar Mohan Mallikarjunagouda, who was only last week transferred from the Karnataka High Court has been asked to take the charge of acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. He is the senior-most judge there. He replaces Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, who was also officiating as the Chief Justice of that High Court.

– All villages will be electrified during current year except few in naxal-hit area: Government

  • The Centre today said all the villages in the country will be electrified during the current year except few villages in naxal affected area.
  • Replying to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said, out of 18,452 un-electrified villages in the country, out of which, 9,326 villages have been electrified during last 15 months.
  • Mr Goyal said 21 lakh 98 thousand 521 free electricity connections have been released during last two fiscals to below poverty line households in the country.

– Cabinet approves Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016

  • Union Cabinet has approved Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 to improve road safety in the country.
  • The bill proposes hefty penalties for violation of traffic norms including up to Rs.10,000 fine for drunken driving.
  • The bill proposes to increase penalties against traffic violations to as deterrent measure.
  • It also has stricter provisions for offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving and driving without licence.
  • An official release said, compensation for hit-and-run cases has been hiked from 25,000 rupees to two lakh rupees and in case of fatality it will up to 10 lakh rupees.

– Gujarat High Court quashes State Government’s notification granting 10 percent reservation for economically backward classes

  • The Gujarat high court has quashed the state government’s notification granting 10 percent reservation for the economically backward classes-EBCs.
  • The Court termed this notification as unconstitutional, which was issued by the Anandiben Patel Government on 1st of May this year granting 10 percent quota for EBCs in higher educational institutions and government jobs.
  • The state government’s decision was challenged in the Gujarat high court by a social worker. More from our correspondent:

– Finance minister to inaugurate India International Footwear Fair 2016

  • The Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley will inaugurate the 2nd edition of India International Footwear Fair (IIFF) – the premier specialised B2B event of the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and Confederation of Indian Footwear Industries (CIFI) on August 5, 2016 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
  • IIFF (August 5-7, 2016) is being organised with support of apex bodies including the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), Central Leather Research Institute(CLRI), Indian Shoe Federation (ISF), Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) and Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers Association (IFCOMA) and Indian Finished Leather manufacturers’ Association (IFLMEA).
  • This year, as many as 263 leading companies from India and abroad are participating in the fair. These include over 160 Indian companies and 103 overseas from Brazil, China, Iran and Taiwan. China’s group participation is represented by Wenzhou Donnor Exhibition Group, G&F Co. and Splendour Exhibition Group.

– Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Lao PDR

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
  • The Agreement is expected to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries bringing it in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector.
  • It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.
  • Under the agreement, the designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes.
  • The routes and frequencies shall be decided subsequently. ASA is the basic legal framework for any air operation between the two countries.

– Cabinet authorized National Highways Authority of India to monetize public funded national highway projects

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has authorized National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to monetize public funded National Highway (NH) projects which are operational and are generating toll revenues for at least two years after the Commercial Operations Date (COD) through the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Model.
  • The monetization will be subject to approval of the Competent Authority in Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) / NHAI on a case to case basis.
  • Around 75 operational NH projects completed under public funding have been preliminarily identified for potential monetization using the TOT Model.

– Rajya Sabha unanimously passes 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014

  • The Rajya Sabha unanimously passed the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014 to facilitate roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country.
  • The GST Bill is aimed at bringing uniform tax regime in the country by subsuming state levies.
  • Under it, a single rate of GST will replace Central Excise, State VAT, entertainment, entry and luxury taxes to ensure seamless transfer of goods and services.
  • Now, the Bill will again go to the Lok Sabha and then be ratified by at least 50 per cent of the state Legislative Assemblies, to become a law.



– Indian Origin Girl Named Child Genius

  • Indian-origin girl has been crowned Britain’s brightest child after she won a popular television quiz competition in the UK.
  • Rhea shot ahead in the final of ‘Child Genius 2016’ on Channel 4 with six correct answers.
  • She correctly spelled the word “eleemosynary”, meaning relating to charity,to claim the title.
  • She had moved to the UK with her family from the US six years ago.

– Vietnam Assures India Support for UNSC

  • Vietnam has assured that it will support India’s candidature for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC).
  • The assurance came by Vu Hong Nam,Vice-Foreign Minister of Vietnam during his meeting with Preeti Saran, Secretary, East, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • Both sides met for the 8th Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) and 5th Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi.

– China’s Online Population Exceeds 700 m

  • The number of Internet users in China has touched 710 million, more than half of the total population of the country.
  • China is already home to the world’s largest number of web users.
  • The country internet users accounting for 51.7 per cent of its total population
  • The China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) said that 92.5 % of Internet users in China go online through their smartphones.

– WEF India Economic Summit in Delhi on October 6-7

  • World Economic Forum (WEF), will host its annual India Economic Summit here on October 6-7 which would be attended by over 500 business and political leaders including top policymakers and CEOs.
  • This year’s meet will be convened under the theme, ‘Fostering an Inclusive India through Digital Transformation’.
  • “This year’s summit comes at an important juncture as India is the fastest-growing G20 economy just as the world is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Viraj Mehta, Head of India and South Asia at the WEF.

– Vietnam assures India support for UNSC high seat

  • Vietnam has assured that it will support India’s candidature for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC). The assurance by Vu H?ng Nam,Vice-Foreign Minister of Vietnam came during his meeting with Preeti Saran, Secretary, East, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Both sides met for the 8th Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) and 5th Strategic Dialogue.
  • Both sides also discussed bilateral issues, including political and security related matters, and held talks on trade and investment, cooperation in health, energy and agriculture sector, connectivity, lines of credit and other capacity building projects in Vietnam and increasing people-to-people ties. Both parties also discussed the progress in energy space.

– Austria’s Chancellor calls on EU to end membership talks with Turkey

  • Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern has called on the European Union to end membership talks with Turkey in the wake of a massive government crackdown following a failed coup.
  • Turkey’s longstanding, and recently revived, bid to join the EU has already been hit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s suggestion that he may reintroduce the death penalty in the wake of recent failed coup attempt.



– RBI launches ‘Sachet’ portal to rein in illegal money deposits

  • To curb illegal and unauthorised pooling of funds by unscrupulous firms, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a website, which will help people obtain information about entities allowed to collect deposits.
  • Launching the portal — sachet.rbi.org.in — RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said that initiating quick follow up and taking cases to logical conclusion by punishing the guilty is paramount to deter entities in future from carrying out unlawful activity.

RBI launches portal to curb illegal money pooling by firms

  • The Reserve Bank of India has launched a website ­ sachet.rbi.org.in– in a bid to curb illegal and unauthorized pooling of funds by unscrupulous firms. It was launched by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.
  • The move will help people obtain information about entities allowed to collect deposits and also would help in arriving logical conclusion by punishing the guilty is paramount to deter entities.
  • The Sachet portal (Hindi for alert) will provide filing, tracking of complaints in addition it will also offer information about whether any particular unit is registered with any regulator.

– SBI to become a single entity by April 2017

  • India’s largest lender State bank of India to merge its associate banks with itself this fiscal to make the merged entity operational by April 2017.
  • The lender is in line to submit the proposal to the government and likely to start the merging activities October this year to revitalize the system.
  • The lender will merge all its 5 subsidiaries — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad.
  • The merged SBI will be ranked as the 45th largest bank globally in terms of assets from its current 52nd position according to the Bloomberg.

– SBI to offer overdrafts, loans to 7 lakh Jan Dhan account-holders

  • State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, will offer overdraft and loan facilities to nearly seven lakh account-holders who have enrolled with it through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY).
  • Under the PMJDY scheme, the public sector bank has opened 10 crore accounts, its Chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya, said here on Wednesday.
  • Under its financial inclusion plan, the bank continues to open around 60,000 accounts a day.
  • According to Bhattacharya, SBI has looked at transactions and identified the accounts where it will offer overdraft facilities or loans.

– RBI imposes penalty on 2 Chhattisgarh cooperative banks

  • Reserve Bank today imposed penalty on two cooperative banks in Chhattisgarh under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  • “The RBI has imposed a monetary penalty of five lakh each on Zila Sahakari Kendriya Bank Maryadit, Raipur, and Raipur Urban Mercantile Cooperative Bank Limited,” a statement from RBI’s regional office here said.
  • Zila Sahakari Kendriya Bank Maryadit was penalised for violation of the directives/guidelines of the Central Bank on ‘Know Your Customer’ norms.



– Infosys Invests in Start-up Cloudyn

  • IT services major Infosys has invested $4 million in Cloudyn.
  • Israeli-based Cloudyn is a start-up that enables corporates to monitor their cloud computing usage & optimise its usage.
  • Cloudyn supports multiple infrastructure services including Amazon Web Services & Microsoft Azure.
  • All these efforts are part of CEO Vishal Sikka strategy to take the company towards the $20 billion target by 2020-21.

– Amazon launches fulfilment centre for prime deliveries in Chennai

  • Amazon.in has launched an urban fulfilment centre in Chennai to support prime deliveries and enable faster order fulfilment in the upcoming festive season.
  • The center has a storage capacity of over 100,000 cubic ft. This is the second of the six FCs planned in readiness for the festive season.
  • With this launch, Amazon.in has 23 operational FCs in ten states with a combined storage space of more than 6 million cubic ft, says a company press release.



– Sudhanshu Mani appointed as new GM for ICF

  • Sudhanshu Mani has been appointed as General Manager, Integral Coach Factory. Prior to this, he was Chief Mechanical Engineer, Rail Wheel Factory, Yelahanka Bengaluru.
  • Mani belongs to 1979 batch of Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME). He has over 36 years of experience in Indian Railways and worked in areas like workshop management, railway operations, project management, planning and R&D.

– Islamic State Group absorbs Boko Haram of Nigeria as its New leader.

  • Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. The group was lead by Abubakar Shekau until August 2016, when he was succeeded by Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
  • Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who was previously served as a spokesman for the Nigerian-based Boko Haram, is seemed to lead the Islamic state militant group.
  • The discussion with al-Barnawi indicates a major shift in strategy for the Nigerian extremists, who have killed many more Muslims than Christians in attacks in mosques with suicide bombers and gunmen..
  • It is noted that the ideological or religious roots of IS and like-minded groups go deep into history, almost to the beginning of Islam itself in the 7th Century AD.



– Shubha Mudgal to get Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award

  • Singer Shubha Mudgal will be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for her outstanding contribution towards the promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill.Shubha Mudgal is a well-known Indian singer of Hindustani classical music.
  • The award will be presented to Mudgal at a special ceremony on August 20 at Jawahar Bhawan auditorium. The award carries a citation and cash award of Rs 10 lakh.

– Artist Anita Gopalan gets PEN/Heim grant

  • Translator and artist Anita Gopalan has been awarded the 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for her English translation of Hindi novel “Simsim” by Geet Chaturvedi.
  • Ms. Gopalan, who is based in Bengaluru, is the second Indian translator to be selected for the grant. PEN America is a renowned literary organisation of the United States.It announced the grantees on Thursday.



– ISRO all set to launch IIT-B’s satellite ‘Pratham’ from Sriharikota space centre in September

  • IIT-B’s starry dreams will finally take off next month, after a nine-year wait.
  • The institute’s 10kg student satellite, Pratham, will be launched by Isro’s four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in September.
  • Pratham will piggy back with Isro’s main satellite, ScatSat, and few other satellites. Pratham, first conceived in 2007, was dogged by delays for a variety of reasons, upsetting its launch schedule.

– China’s Elevated Bus Hits the Road

  • China has made world’s first Transit Elevated Bus.
  • The first road test was made in North China Hebei Province in Qinhuangdao.
  • China’s homemade Transit Elevated Bus is also named as “Straddling Bus” (TEB – 1).
  • The futuristic bus is 22 meters long, 4.8 meters high & 7.8 meters wide where cars can go underneath of the elevated bus.
  • The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space.



– Vijender Breaks into Top 10 WBO Ranking

  • Vijender Singh broke into the World Boxing Organisation’s (WBO) rankings at 10th.
  • His rise in the rankings is due to his championship win over Kerry Hope for the Asia Pacific super middleweight champion last month.
  • Singh was unbeaten with six wins before facing Hope for the WBC European champion last month.
  • Currently, Vijender is unbeaten with seven wins, out of which six have been knockouts.

– Five new games including Karate finds place in Olympics 2020, Tokyo’s Agenda

  • Amidst the ongoing Rio Olympic fever, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed to add five new games/events to the sports programme agenda for the Olympic games, Japan 2020.
  • The games list of Japan Olympics gives way for five new entrants namely,
    • Baseball/softball,
    • Karate,
    • Skateboard,
    • Sports climbing and
    • Surfing.
  • The organization committee for the Japan 2020 Olympics submitted its report and based on these five new events have been added to the existing list of games.
  • The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realise their dreams of competing in the Olympic games and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sport and in life.
  • it is noted that the inclusion of the new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes, with equal numbers of women and men for all sports except baseball/softball, which will have the same number of teams but different player totals, because softball teams have 15 players whilst baseball teams have 24

– Olympic Games to formally kick off on August 6

  • Less than forty hours remain for the 31st Summer Olympic Games which are set to begin in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janiero.
  • Although the Group stage of Women’s Football got underway last evening, the Games will formally kick off with an opening ceremony at 4:30 AM Indian Time on Saturday.
  • Known as the world’s biggest sporting event, the creation of Olympics was inspired from the ancient Olympic Games which were held in Olympia, Greece from 8th century BC to 4th century AD.

– Jamaica Test: Roston Chase’s century help West Indies play draw against India

  • The second Test match between India and the West Indies ended in a draw as Roston Chase hit his maiden Test hundred to lead the host fightback in Jamaica.
  • Chase scored an unbeaten 137 off 269 balls while ably supported by skipper Jason Holder 64 not out to see off the last session of the match, as West Indies made 388 for 6 in their second innings.
  • At the end of the 5th day’s play Caribbean had 84 run lead with 4 wickets in hand.


  • The International Olympic Committee (ioc) today agreed to add baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing to the sports programme for the Olympic games Tokyo 2020.
  • The decision by the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro was the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history. Plans call for staging the skateboarding and sports climbing events in temporary venues installed in urban settings, marking a historic step in bringing the Games to young people and reflecting the trend of urbanisation of sport.
  • The Organising Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Games proposed the five new sports in response to the new flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020.


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