Current Affairs, News & Facts of 17 Aug 2015

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  • MHA to setup National Fingerprint Database



    • Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to establish a national fingerprint database of nearly 28 lakh convicts and those arrested for criminal offences from all the states. National fingerprint database will aid in the speedy identification of criminals and investigation of crimes across the country.
    • Currently Delhi-based Central Finger Print Bureau (CPFB) has data of over 9.7 lakh finger print records of convicted or arrested persons in digitized form but over 18 lakh finger print records with finger print bureaus of states and Union Territories are not linked to this central database. 
    • Records from the state bureau will be migrated and integrated in to national database.The National Informatics Centre is creating a 'cloud' for this integration. 
    • The ministry is also considering a proposal to integrate the finger print data with other biometric techniques like digital images, palm prints and auxiliary biometric like Iris records in future. 
    • Gujarat has the biggest database of fingerprints with nearly 12 lakh records, while Andhra Pradesh has 5.3 lakh records and Madhya Pradesh 3 lakh records. 

    How will it help in quick investigation ?

    Currently investigating agencies send finger prints lifted from a scene of crime for matching to their respective state finger print bureau, which runs them past its own record. It there is no match, the prints are then sent to the CPFB and finger print bureaus of other states. Besides being time consuming, the efficacy of this system is dependent on the cooperation extended by other bureaus but National fingerprint database will aid in the speedy identification of criminals and investigation of crimes across the country

    Image source :national journal

  • Saina Nehwal wins India's first ever silver medal at the Badminton World Championships



    • Saina has delivered India's first ever silver medal at the Badminton World Championships in Jakarta while Carolina Marin of Spain won the the gold medal defetaing Saina in the finals.
    • Saina Nehwal could have became Worlds number one if she would have defeated world champion Carolina Marin of Spain but in the final she was defeated by Carolina Marin by two set score of 16-21 and 19-21.
    • Saina Nehwal is currently world number two while Carolina Marin remains on the top spot. No Indian shuttler has ever reached the finals of the World Championships.
    • In the semifinal match at the Badminton World Championships Saina had defeated Indonesian’s Lindaweni Fanetria in straight-game by two set score of 21-17 and 21-17.

    Key facts :-

    • Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to win a bronze at the 1983 edition
    • P. V. Sindhu clinched the bronze twice in 2013 and 2014. 
    • Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had won the bronze in women's doubles at the 2011 edition.
  • MoU inked between India and Bangladesh to curb fake Indian currency notes



    • India and Bangladesh have inked as many as 22 agreements, including on curbing human trafficking, smuggling of fake currency and setting up an Indian Economic Zone, to boost bilateral ties.
    • Recently to tackle the menace of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) smuggling an MoU was signed at a maiden meeting of the Joint Task Force on Fake Currency Notes (JTFFC) in Dhaka held on 12 and 13 August, 2015.
    • As per MoU both countries have agreed to share intelligence inputs on operatives engaged in circulating FICN on real time basis in order to curb it.

    Key facts :-

    • India will provide advanced note sorting machines to Bangladesh to detect FICN circulation at international airports, immigration points, integrated crossing points, banks and financial institutions in Bangladesh.
    • India will establish state-of-the-art facilities for examination of fake currency notes in Bangladesh at the same time India will also facilitate maintaining a digital record of analysis and seizures of fake notes which will include creation of a database on smugglers for use by both countries.
    • India will help Bangladesh to set up Forensic Science Laboratory for examination of fake notes and maintaining a digital depository of forensic reports.

    Image source : India today

  • Kerala declared as a totally digital state



    • Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy declared  the state to be totally digital and added that it is the first state in the country to achieve such a distinction.
    • The declaration was made in his Independence Day address to citizens of the state. The declaration was made considering the digital revolution in the state as Kerala  has achieved 100 per cent mobile density, 75 per cent e-literacy, highest digital banking rate and broadband connection up to panchayat level 
    • Government also launched the second phase of digital literacy under which government would set up wi-fi hotspots in all local self government institutions and implement complete mobile governance 
    • The state government would launch an innovative programme in the name of Dr Kalam to enable the youth translate their innovative ideas into sucessful business ventures. 

    Image source :article.wn

  • PM Modi's New Initiative to Create Jobs: 'Start up India, Stand up India'



    • Addressing the nation on the 69th Independence Day at Red Fort Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new campaign ‘Start-up India; Stand up India’ an initiative to promote banks to finance for Start-ups (an entrepreneurial venture).
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said ‘Start-up India; Stand up India’ initiative will encourage entrepreneurship among the youth of India. Each of the 1.25 lakh bank branches should encourage at least one Dalit or tribal entrepreneur and at least one woman entrepreneur.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "We are looking at systems for enabling start-ups. We must be Number 1 in start-ups ". Government is looking at startups to create jobs for the 15 million people who are joining the workforce every year.
    • About 8% of India’s GDP is accounted for by small enterprises, and about 45% of India’s total manufacturing output comes from these companies.

    Other announcements that were made on 15th August :-

    • Mr. Modi renamed the Ministry of Agriculture as the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, and stressed that govt would work for the welfare of the farmers.
    • PM Modi questioned the practice of "interviews" for recruitments even at relatively junior levels and asked the department concerned to end this practice at the earliest and promote recruitment by merit only through transparent, online processes.
  • acquires HomeBuy360



    • Locon Solutions Pvt. Ltd, the compnay which operates real estate listing portal has acquired Bengaluru-based HomeBuy360 for Rs 13 crore.
    • This acquisition will will help developer to bring down their sales and operating costs which will help in reduction of property prices eventually benefitting the consumers 
    • HomeBuy360 is a cloud-based a sales lifecycle management platform connects developers, agents and buyers and streamlines the entire sales lifecycle, by tracking inventory, managing customer relations and in effect drives efficiencies in their sale operations. 
    • This is the third acquisition by so far this year i.e. 2015. Earlier, they had acquired Realty B, a company that allows property buyers and financial institutions to assess risks and take decisions. It also had acquired Indian Real Estate Forum (IREF), a platform providing property information to consumers.

    About :-

    • is a Mumbai-based real estate search portal which allows customers to search for housing based on geography, number of rooms, and various other filters.
    • A group of twelve students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay founded in June 2012, currently having nine founders
    • The company has 6,000 brokers and serves 40 cities in India including Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi. now has more than 2,551 employees in over 100 cities across India.

    Image source:zee news


  • Indian siblings become ‘youngest climbers’ to reach the base camp of  Everest



    • A five-year-old Indian boy and his eight-year-old sister have set a new record by becoming the youngest climbers to reach the base camp of the world's highest peak, the Mount Everest. 
    • Gwalior-based Kandarp Sharma and Ritvika successfully reached the base camp situated at an altitude of 5,380 metre in northeast Nepal. Kandarp is 5 years and 10 months old while her sister Ritvika is 8 years and 11 months old.
    • Apart from their individual records of being the youngest boy and girl to trek to the base camp, they have also become the youngest brother and sister to reach the height
    • Bhupendra Shara, his wife Mamta and the two children also reached Kalapathar peak situated near the base camp with an altitude of 5,555 metre. All the four reached the Everest base camp and three of them reached Kalapathar.
    • Kalapathar is higher than the highest peaks of three continents  Mont Blanc (4,810 m) in Europe, Vinson Massif (4,810 m) in Antarctica, and Puncak Jaya (4,884 m) in Australasia.

    Last year too, Harshit, another climber from India, had reached the base camp at the age of 5 years and 11 months, setting a record.

  • Gujarat Government  imposes ban on use of plastic in state



    • Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has banned the use of plastic in the state. Although several municipal bodies in the state have already baned use of plastic bags thinner than 40 microns. But the state government has announced this kind of a ban for the first time.
    • Chief minister Anandiben Patel has made seven more announcements like new colleges, skill development centers, increase in pension for freedom fighters and also for widows, irrigation projects etc.
    • Apart from plastic ban decision, she also announced that 159 towns and 8 cities in the state now have 100 per cent in-house toilets and nearly 8 lakh toilets have been built in rural areas.

    Image source :softpedia

  • Union Government unveils Indradhanush Mission for PSBs 



    • India has unveiled a seven-pronged revamp plan for Public Sector Banks to srenthen their economic health. It was launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi. 
    • The strategy, dubbed Indradhanush (rainbow), focuses on systemic changes in state-run lenders, including a fresh look at hiring, a comprehensive plan to de-stress bloated lenders, capital infusion, accountability incentives with higher rewards including stock options and cleaning up governance. 
    • It seeks to achieve the objective of economic growth revival through improving credit and minimising the political interference in the functioning of PSBs.

    The seven- point agenda :-

    Appointments: -

    Selection of non-executive chairman in remaining 6 state owned PSBs till November 2015. Appointing MD & CEO of two PSBs as early as possible. 

    Bank Board Bureau (BBB): 

    It will be a body of ’eminent’ professionals to be selected within 6 months i.e. February 2015. It will become functional from Financial year 2016-17 i.e. form 1st April 2016. 


    Infuse 25,000 crore rupees of capital into debt-laden banks in this fiscal in phased manner. Out of this 20,000 crore rupees would be injected in August 2015. Rest 5,000 crore rupees will be performance based allocation to be allocated in the last quarter of 2016. 

    De-stressing PSBs:

    To develop vibrant debt market for PSBs in order to reduce lending pressure on banks. Strengthen asset reconstruction of companies. 


    Provide greater flexibility in hiring of manpower in PSBs. 

    Framework of accountability:

    It will seek to streamline vigilance process for quick action in case major frauds and also include connivance of staff. 

    Governance reforms in PSBs:

    Next Gyan Sangam (also known as the Banker’s Retreat) will be held from 14 to 16 January 2016. Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) will be initiated for top management. 


  • Union Government to form Bank Board Bureau 



    • Union Government has decided to set up a Bank Board Bureau (BBB) to monitor key performance indicators of two dozen public sector banks (PSBs). It was announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jailtley as part of a seven-pronged revamp plan for PSBs dubbed as Indradhanush (rainbow) plan.
    • Bank Board Bureau (BBB) will start the functioning from next financial year i.e. from 1st April 2015 and the selection of its member will start in the next six months. 
    • It will replace existing system Appointments Board in which appointments for top level jobs at PSBs are made by an appointments committee led by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor. 


    The BBB will be a body of ’eminent’ professionals and shall consist of only one government official. It will be six members body with at least 3 former bankers, 2 professionals and secretary, department of financial services representing government. 


    • Give recommendations for appointment of full-time Directors as well as non-Executive Chairman of PSBs. 
    • Give advice to PSBs in developing differentiated strategies for raising funds through innovative financial methods and instruments and to deal with issues of stressed assets. 
    • Guide banks on mergers and consolidations. 
  • Abhishek Verma wins gold medal in Archery World Cup



    • Indian archer Abhishek Verma clinching the gold medal at the World Archery Championships in Poland marking a special independence day for the nation.
    • In the individual final held in Wroclaw in Poland he defeated Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran by 148-145 score in the five round match.
    • Abhishek Verma is currently ranked 18 in the world in the men’s individual Archery. He hails from Delhi and earlier had won silver medal in the Asian Games.
    • At the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon, he won the gold medal in the men's compound archery team event along with Rajat Chauhan and Sandeep Kumar, and the silver medal in the men's individual compound event.
  • Taj Mahal becomes first monument in world to have Twitter account



    • Taj had become the first historical monument in the world to have its own Twitter account. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav marked Independence Day on Saturday by launching the official Twitter account of the 17th century Taj Mahal.
    • Twitter handle will help have a better interaction with tourists and the feedback would help address grievances.Within an hour, it had more than 2,000 followers, and at the time of writing on Monday, it had over 13,000 followers.
  • Birla Corp to acquire Lafarge India’s cement units for Rs. 5,000 crore



    • Birla Group has acquired the cement business of Lafarge India for Rs.5,000 crore which  Lafarge is being forced to sell to conclude its mega global merger with Holcim Ltd. 
    • Cement units of  Lafarge India that Birla has acquired are Jojobera in Jharkhand and Sonadih in Chattisgargh. Birla Corp will acquire these cement units along its brands ‘Concreto’ and ‘PSC’ and also its management team.
    • These two plants have total cement capacity of 5.15 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and have adequate reserves of limestone and other minerals. 

    Note :- The global giants were uncomfortable since there is lack of clarity on transfer of mining rights for mines that have not been auctioned as per the amended Mining Act that came into effect earlier this year. It is difficult  for foreign comapnies to take such risk in India without a clear directive from the government. 

    About Birla Corp :-

    • Birla Corp, established in 1919, is part of the MP Birla Group with presence across cement and jute. ; cement constitutes over 90 per cent of the company's revenues with a total operational cement capacity of -10 mtpa, it has units in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal 

    About Lafarge :-

    • Last year in April, Holcim and Lafarge, had announced a $44 billion dollar alliance to create the largest cement company and and is operational around the globe under the name LafargeHolcim.
    • Both Holcim and Lafarge had to dispose assets from their global portfolio to meet regulatory approval for the merger. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) directed Lafarge to sell two of its assets as a precondition for giving a green light to the Indian leg of the transaction. 
    • The combined group of Holcim and Lafarge will have a cement capacity of around 68 million tonnes in India, largely on  due to  Holcim's vast operations through its local arms ACC and Ambuja. 
  • Hero Cycles acquires leading UK-based Avocet Sports



    World's largest cycle manufacturer by volume, Hero Cycles acquired majority stake in UK-based Avocet Sports for an undisclosed amount.

    This is the first overseas acquisition by Hero Cycles and marks it's entry into high-end bicycle market in Europe and is hoped to play an important role in making Hero Cycles a key player.

    About Avocet

    • Avocet is one of the top three distributors of bicycles, e-bikes, bicycle parts and accessories in the UK. The company has existing retail relationships with leading retailers such as Tesco, Halfords, ASDA, Shop Direct, Amazon, etc
    • Avocet offers a range of products including hybrid, children's bikes, e-bikes, mountain bikes, BMX and roadster. Its leading brands include Viking, Coyote, Rooster, Ryedale, Lectro, Concept and Riddick. 

    About Hero Cycles 

    • Hero Cycles has a manufacturing capacity of 7.5 million bicycles per year, with its manufacturing units in Ludhiana (Punjab), Bihta (Bihar) & Ghaziabad (UP) 
    • The Hero Cycles Group includes cycle giant, Hero Cycles, auto parts manufacturing companies, Hero Motors Ltd, ZF Hero Chassis Systems Pvt. Ltd, Munjal Kiriu Industries pvt. Ltd, hospitality arm Munjal Hospitality, and luxury home decor products company, Oma Livings.
    • The company has a highly integrated plant in Ludhiana which produces 19,000 cycles every day. It also manufactures automotive rims and various other precision-engineered auto components.

2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

Exam Time : 07:15:00

Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Exam Date : 01-08-2016

Exam Time : 06:00:00

Ques/Time : 8/5 min

Todays test

Exam Date : 22-07-2016

Exam Time : 05:10:00

Ques/Time : 3/5 min