Current Affairs, News & Facts of 18 Aug 2015

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  • Elizabeth is about to become Britain’s longest-reigning monarch



    • Next month Queen Elizabeth II will become Britain's longest-reigning monarch. Victoria’s reign of 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes i.e, 63 years and seven months  "defined an era and a people"
    • On September 9 she will beat the record held by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who reigned for more than 63 years. Queen Elizabeth II who is currently 89 years old is world's oldest living monarch.
    • Although she faced many hurdles in the 1990s, such as the death of Princess Diana, that seemed to threaten the monarchy's very existence, the queen has been able to lead the thousand-year-old institution into a new era of popularity.


    • Uncle of  Elizabeth II, Edward VIII abdicated because of his love for American divorcee Wallis Simpson and the crown passed to her father George VI when she was 10 years old.
    • On February 6, 1952 when she was just 25  and was on tour with her husband Prince Philip she got the news of the death of her father due to which she took the responsibility and became Queen Elizabeth II .
    • Queen Elizabeth II was crowned queen of Britain and other realms, including Australia and Canada, on June 2, 1953, in a televised ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

    Key facts about Queen Elizabeth II :-

    • She became the 40th monarch in a royal line that goes back to William the Conqueror, who took the throne in 1066 after winning the Battle of Hastings.
    • While on the throne, she has seen 12 prime ministers, beginning with Winston Churchill, and bade farewell to the British Empire amassed by her forebears from Kenya to Hong Kong.
    • During her reign, she has made more than 250 overseas visits to well over 100 countries and met 4 million people in person.

    The longest-reigning monarch of all time - King Sobhuza II of Swaziland - ruled for almost 83 years until his death in 1982, while King Louis XIV of France ruled for 72 years, the longest period for any major European country.

    Image source :telegraph

  • Former Cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth appointed as the Chairman of PESB



    • Former Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth has been appointed as the chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). He has been appointed for a period of three years or till he attains 65 years of age.
    • Ms. Kumar, will be replacing K.M. Acharya, a 1974-batch former IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, who has completed his tenure.
    • Ajit Kuma Seth, is a 1974-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, he completed his extended tenure of four years at the Cabinet secretariat on June 13 this year. IAS officers Gauri Kumar and Anshuman Das, former CMD of NALCO, have been appointed as members in the PESB.

    Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) :-

    • The Public Enterprises Selection Board [P.E.S.B] is a high powered body constituted by Government of India with the objective of evolving a sound managerial policy for the Central Public Sector Enterprises and, in particular, to advise Government on appointments to their top management posts. 
    • It is responsible for the selection and placement of personnel in the posts of Chairman, Managing Director or Chairman-cum-Managing Director and Functional Director in Public Sector Enterprises  as well as in posts at any other level as may be specified by the Government
    • It advises the Government on formulation and enforcement of a code of conduct and ethics for managerial personnel in PSEs
  • Tamil Nadu tops in organ donation in India



    • Tamil Nadu leads in organ donation in the country with harvesting organs of 683 persons and donating to over 3,000 beneficiaries. The current organ donation rate for the country is only 0.08 per million per year. Tamil Nadu is the best, but at 1.15 per million per year, it is still far less than desired
    • The organ transplantations include 144 heart transplants, 69 lung transplants, 636 liver, 1233 kidney, four pancreas, two small bowels, 618 heart valves, 1,032 cornea, 22 skin and two blood vessel
    • The effort is now on to bring more hospitals into the network to counsel families of brain-dead patients and generate more donors and to enhance quality Tamil Nadu is setting up immunology lab in association with Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR University.
    • The success of the voluntarily organ donation in the state has been attributed of Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu (TATN) which was established in 2008. The TATN had played pivotal role in streamlining organ transplantation in the state

    In India every year:-

    • 500,000 people die because of non-availability of organs.
    • 200,000 people die of liver disease
    • 50,000 people die from heart disease.
    • 150,000 people await a kidney transplant but only 5,000 get one.
    • 1,000,000 lakh people suffer from corneal blindness and await transplant

    Image source: north devon health

  • China successfully tests power system for largest space rocket 



    • China successfully tested the power system of a Long March-5 carrier, stated to be the largest space launch vehicle that will be used in the Chang'e-5 lunar mission around 2017.It uses non-toxic and non-polluting liquefied propellant, the engines of the rocket were fired on the ground. 
    • With a payload capacity of 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, the largest carrying capacity in China, the rocket will greatly increase China's ability to enter space.
    • The Long March-5 carrier rocket has the largest carrying capacity under development in China. The aim of its design is heavy thrust, zero toxin and pollution. It will serve to the country's follow-up space projects, such as the Lunar Exploration program, the manned space station, as well as the survey of deep space in the future.

    Image source :deccan chronicle

  • Sachin Tendulkar to be Maharashtra's tiger ambassador



    • On July 29, World Tiger Day, Mr. Sudhir Mungatiwar, the state's forest minister wrote to actor Amitabh Bachchan and Tendulkar, requesting them to be part of tiger conservation project thereby seeking their involvement in the government's efforts to save tigers and promote tourism in the tiger sanctuaries
    • Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Monday agreed to become Maharashtra's tiger ambassador and in response wrote a letter to Mr. Sudhir Mungatiwar, the state's forest minister, to give his consent for the same.
    • Earlier in the month, Big B accepted the request from the government and met the minister to discuss details of his role and involvement in the project.
    • Maharashtra has six tiger sanctuaries, including five in Vidarbha (eastern part of the state) and one in the Sahyadri ranges in the western part, besides Madhya Pradesh's four, Chhattisgarh's three and Telangana's one. India is currently home to 2,226 tigers, shooting up significantly from 1,706 in 2010. 

    Image source : zeenews

  • Egypt approves stringent new counter-terrorism laws



    Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has approved stringent new counter-terrorism laws to fight a growing jihadist insurgency in the country. Jihadist groups have stepped up their attacks after the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi two years ago and launched a deadly crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Under the new laws :-

    • Trials for suspected militants will be fast-tracked through special courts. Anyone found guilty of joining a militant group could face 10 years in prison
    • Financing terrorist groups will also carry a penalty of life in prison (25 years)
    • Inciting violence or creating websites deemed to spread terrorist messages will carry sentences of five to seven years
    • Journalists can be fined between 200,000 and 500,000 Egyptian pounds (£16,300-£41,000; $25,550-$64,000) for contradicting official accounts of militant attacks. 

    Image source :

  • HDFC to sell 9% stake in HDFC Life for over Rs 1700 cr



    • HDFC has announced  to sell 9 per cent stake in HDFC Life to its British joint venture partner Standard Life for sum of 1,700 crore rupees.
    • Before this deal was made HDFC had 70.65 per cent stake while Standard life had 26 per cent stakes which will be change to 61.65 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. This move was taken in line to the decision taken by the govt to increase the FDI limit in the insurance sector. 

    About Standard Life:-

    Standard Life is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has around 1.2 million individual shareholders in over 50 countries around the world. It has businesses in the UK, Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

    About HDFC Life :-

    It is a joint venture between Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC), one of India's leading housing finance institution and Standard Life plc.
    HDFC Life has about 400+ branches and presence in 980+ cities and towns in India. The company has also established a liaison office in Dubai

  • Government names private sector bankers to head Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank 



    • Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank  became the first state-owned banks to be headed by private sector professionals as government announced appointment of MD and CEOs of five PSU lenders.
    • Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia also announced the names of MD and CEOs of Bank of India, IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank. These three executive heads are serving officials in other government owned banks.
    • Government has named private sector professionals to head government owned banks with hope to bring more dynamism to lenders struggling under rising nonperforming loans. Three-stage screening was done for the MD position culminating into final interview by three different panels 

    New appointments :-

    • Rakesh Sharma, who currently heads private sector Laxmi Vilas Bank, will take over as the chief executive of Canara Bank while PS Jayakumar of VBHC Value Homes will head of Bank of Baroda 
    • Ravi Venkatesan, an independent director on the board of Infosys and former chairman of Microsoft India, has been appointed non-executive chairman of Bank of Baroda. 
    • TN Manoharan, a director at Tech Mahindra and the Public Health Foundation of India, will be non-executive chairman of Canara Bank. 
    • The CMD of Bhartiya Mahila Bank, Usha Ananthasubramanian, will move to Punjab National Bank as MD and CEO 

    Image source :newindianexpress


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