Current Affairs, News & Facts of 08 Sep 2015

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  • Reliance Defence to build warships with UAE's Abu Dhabi Ship Building 


    Reliance Defence to build warships with UAE's Abu Dhabi Ship Building


    • Anil Ambani led Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL)  has entered into a pact with Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) to construct warships such as frigates and destroyers for the Persian Gulf nations over the next 10 years
    • The two companies are in the process of incorporating a joint venture, which will encompass both construction of new naval vessels as well as repair, maintenance, overhaul and refit opportunities of existing commercial and naval vessels in the Gulf region.
    • It should be noted that in the proposed joint venture RDL will be the majority partner with 51 per cent stake and ADSB will have 49 per cent of stake. Reliance Group will invest Rs. 6,500 crore in building an aerospace equipment manufacturing centre in Nagpur.
    • The MoU includes Combat Management Systems (CMS), Integrated Bridge Solutions (IBS), Combat System Integration (CSI), Integrated Platform Management Systems (IPMS) and staff training and development. 

    About Abu Dhabi Ship Building :-

    • ADSB is a major regional provider of construction, repair and refit services for naval, military and commercial vessels in the GCC region.
    • ADSB was established in 1996 and is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Originally, it was established to support the repairs and refits of UAE Navy vessels.
    • It is 40 per cent owned by Mubadala, 10 per cent by Abu Dhabi’s government and 50 per cent publicly traded on the UAE’s stock exchange.

    Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL) :- 

    • In March, Reliance acquired a controlling stake in Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company for Rs. 819 crore.
    • The Reliance-Pipavav combine has bagged three defence-related contracts from Russian companies, including a deal to manufacture 200 Kamov 226T helicopters in India and a contract to build Grigorivich frigates for the Russian navy.
  • BSNL to Boost Broadband Speed from 512 Kbps to 2 Mbps


    BSNL to Boost Broadband Speed from 512 Kbps to 2 Mbps


    • State-run telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will offer a minimum broadband speed of 2 mega bit per second (Mbps) on pan-India basis from October 1, at no extra cost.
    • Union Minister for Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the facility in Gurgaon. This move  came in the light of Narendra Modi government's Digital India initiatives. The speed upgradation will benefit all the existing and new broadband customers of BSNL
    • This move by BSNL will ensure that private Telecom operators will be forced to offer the same speed at a lower cost.Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is also expected to soon redefine the definition of Broadband speed, which is currently 512 kbps.
    • This move has been taken with an objective to revive BSNL, which is fast losing customers in mobile and lack of addition in customers in landline.  The Telecom public sector unit had registered a loss of Rs 7,600 crore in last financial year.
    • This scheme is expected to attract new customers for subscribing BSNL Broadband customers in an affordable manner

    BSNL Broadband services:-

    • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was the first telecom service provider in the country to provide the Broadband Access to the country.
    • BSNL launched the broadband services over its landline in India in 2005, with speed of 256kbps and above over the state-of-art multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) -based IP infrastructure.
    • Since then, BSNL has constantly is increasing the broadband speed in urban as well as rural areas and currently it has Broadband customer base of around 10 Million including about 1.1 Million Rural customers.
  • Qatar deploys 1000 ground forces in Yemen for first time


    Qatar deploys 1000 ground forces in Yemen for first time


    • Qatar has deployed ground forces in Yemen for the first time to counter the Shia Houthi rebels who have taken over the country.1000 ground forces  supported by armoured vehicles and helicopters, are reportedly headed for the province of Marib
    • According to United Nations around 4,500 people in which at least 2,110 civilians have been killed in fighting on the ground and by coalition air strikes since late March. The missile strike by Houthi rebels killed 45 UAE,10 Saudi and five Bahraini soldiers.
    • It should be noted that in March 2015, Qatar along with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members (expect Oman) had signed a joint statement with Saudi Arabia to form coalition in order to take military action against the rebels in order to bring regional stability in the Gulf region.
  • India’s Gagan Narang becomes Asia’s No.1 shooter


    India’s Gagan Narang becomes Asia’s No.1 shooter


    • Ace Indian shooter and Olympic medalist Gagan Narang has attained the top spot in men's 50m rifle prone shooting category in Asia.
    • The 32-year-old Narang topped the list with 971 points ahead of Shengbo Zhao of China, who has 896 points.
    • Pistol King Jitu Rai was ranked number two in the men’s 50m pistol category with 1929 points, behind Jongoh Jin of Korea.
    • Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, who is also through to the Rio Olympic Games, was ranked fifth in 10m air rifle followed by Narang in seventh position. Gurpreet Singh was positioned fifth in 25m rapid fire pistol.

    Note:- Gagan Narang has bagged the bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics and has already booked a quota for next year’s Rio Olympic Games by bagging the bronze medal in the 50m rifle prone event of the ISSF World Cup, 2015.


  • 6th Indo-Maldives Joint Military Exercise begins in Thiruvananthapuram


    6th Indo-Maldives Joint Military Exercise begins in Thiruvananthapuram


    • The sixth joint military training exercise, 'EKUVRIN 2015', between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF) has commenced at Pangode Military Station in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.
    • The bilateral annual exercise was commenced in 2009 in Belgaum, India. It is alternately held in India and Maldives with the aim of enhancing military cooperation and inter-operability between the two countries.
    • In this edition of joint exercise, total of 45 soldiers each from Indian Army (BIHAR Regiment) and the Maldivian National Defence Force will take part.
    • This year's joint training is the first exercise involving an international contingent to be conducted at Thiruvananthapuram, which is being developed as a training node by the Indian Army,
  • Joshana Chinappa clinches Indian Squash Circuit Title



    • National champion Joshana Chinappa clinched the women’s title in the USD 15,000 NSCI Open JSW Indian Squash Circuit 2015.
    • Joshana won the title after defeating  Egyptian top seed Habiba Mohammad in straight games in the finals. she defeated Habiba 11-8 11-9 11-6 in a tough title-clash, which lasted 47 minutes.

    About Joshna Chinappa :-

    • Joshna was the first Indian to win the British Squash Championship title in 2003 in the under 19 category and was also the youngest Indian women's national champion
    • Joshna Chinappa is the first beneficiary of Mittal Champions Trust. Joshna was ranked 19th in the world in March 2014.
    • At the 2014 Commonwealth Games she along with Dipika Pallikal won the squash women’s doubles gold medal, making it India's first ever Commonwealth Games medal in the sport. 
  • Snapdeal to invest USD 100-mn in Shopo


    Snapdeal to invest USD 100-mn in Shopo


    • E-commerce major Snapdeal will invest USD 100 million (about Rs 665 crore) in Shopo as it looks to build up the recently launched venture into a one million seller-strong platform. 
    • Shopo was launched in July and is a zero commission mobile marketplace targeting small and medium businesses which combines chat and commerce on smartphones. Snapdeal claims that it does not take any fees and allows SMBs to list their products in a single step
    • Sellers would be able to chat with their prospective customers and sell them products, taking into consideration the mode of transaction and delivery method. They would also be able to provide information, negotiate a price and arrange for pickup while closing transactions.
  • Haryana government passed Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015 


    Haryana government passed Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015


    • The State Assembly  passed Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015 thus fixing the minimum educational qualification for elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions besides laying down other conditions including making it mandatory for the candidates to have functional toilets.
    • The Assembly on the concluding day of its monsoon session passed the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015.  Haryana has become the second State after Rajasthan to fix educational and other qualifications for the candidates contesting PRI elections.

    Key points of the bill :-

    • The Bill fixes, matriculation as essential qualification for general candidates contesting the Panchayat elections while the qualification for the women (general) and Scheduled Caste candidate will be middle standard (VIII).
    • If Woman candidate belonging to SC category is contesting election for the post of Panch, the minimum qualification shall be V pass.
  • Brij Raj Sharma appointed as Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir


    Brij Raj Sharma appointed as Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir


    • Brij Raj Sharma, a 1984- IAS officer has appointed as the Chief Secretary of Jammu  & Kashmir, his appointment ended the week-long suspense over the issue.
    • Sharma will replace Iqbal Khanday, who volunteered for retirement three months before reaching the age of superannuation.The State Cabinet, which met here under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed decided to appoint Sharma as Khanday's successor
    • Sharma has superseded four IAS officers, Arun Kumar, Sonali Kumar, AK Angurana and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, to take over the top post
    • Sharma will have one of the longest tenures as the Chief Secretary of the state if he continues in the office till his superannuation.

    About Brij Raj Sharma:-

    • Sharma, who has two post-graduate degrees besides an LLB degree, has held several key posts in the government during his 31 years of service.
    • His last posting was as Principal Secretary, Planning and Development Department of Jammu and Kashmir.The vital 2008 Assembly elections were conducted during his tenure as Chief Electoral Officer

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