Current Affairs, News & Facts of 22 Aug 2015

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  • Greek PM Alexis Tsipras resigns

     

    Greek PM Alexis Tsipras resigns

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    • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned in a televised address to the debt ridden Greek which is centre of Eurozone crisis.Tsipras submitted his resignation to President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and asked for the earliest possible election date.
    • In the polls Mr Tsipras will lead his leftist Syriza party although he is facing a rebellion by some members angry at the bailout's austerity measures.
    • Tsipras was elected as Prime Minister after his left-wing party had emerged victorious in general election held in January 2015 but he had to resign in order to defend the country’s massive new 86 billion euro bailout programme which had triggered a rebellion within his own left-wing Syriza party

    Background :-
    Few months back Greek faced a near collapse of the Greek financial system which threatened the country's future in the euro, due to which Tsipras was forced to accept the creditors' demands and agreed to painful state sector cuts, including far-reaching pension reforms, in exchange for the bailout - and keeping Greece in the eurozone.The bailout allowed Greece to repay a €3.2bn debt to the European Central Bank and avoid it from being defaulter. The overall bailout package is worth about €86bn over three years.

     

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  • Bangladesh becomes 1st country to receive funds from UN for Solar Home Systems

     

    Bangladesh becomes 1st country to receive funds from UN for Solar Home Systems

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    Bangladesh became the first country to receive funds from the United Nations (UN) for its fast growing solar home systems. The UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) issued 395286 carbon credits worth 3.56 million US Dollar to two Bangladeshi organisations which are Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL) and Grameen Shakti .

    Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL) :-

    It is a state-owned development financial institution in Bangladesh. It finances and promotes infrastructure and renewable energy projects in the country.Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) was established on 14 May 1997 by the Government of Bangladesh. IDCOL is managed by an eight-member independent Board of Directors comprising four senior government officials, three representatives from the private sector and a full time Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.

    Grameen Shakti :-

    Grameen Shakti, set up by Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, aims to take clean solar power systems and communication technology to villages. Grameen Shakti is a non-profit village renewable energy scheme, linked to the micro credit lender Grameen Bank, pioneering solar systems for homes in Bangladesh.

    Solar home systems of Bangladesh

    • Bangladesh has installed over 3 million new residential solar energy systems with more than 15 million people now benefiting from these new systems.
    • The systems were installed as part of the country’s Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Idcol) program for off-grid areas. The total capacity of the new systems is somewhere around 135 MW
    • The new systems will help the country towards the achievement of its 2021 energy target which denotes doubling electricity generation up to 24 GW, 10% of which is set to come via renewable energy.
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  • Ashwani Lohani appointed as CMD of Air India Ltd.

     

    Ashwani Lohani appointed as CMD of Air India Ltd.

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    • Indian Railway Service officer of 1980 batch, Ashwani Lohani has been appointed as the new chairman and managing director (CMD) of state-run Air India Ltd for three years.
    • Lohani, is the first Railway Service officer to be made the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India he will succeed Rohit Nandan, a 1982 batch UP cadre IAS officer.
    • The appointment of Lohani as Air India chief is for a three-year period from the day he takes charge. His appointment came at a time when the airline is surviving on a Rs 30,000 crore bailout package for 10 years approved in April 2012 under a Turn Around Plan/Financial Restructuring Plan.

    About Ashwani Lohani :-

    • Lohani is an Indian Railways Service Officer of the 1980 batch, currently with the Madhya Pradesh government
    • Lohani is a qualified mechanical engineer, Lohani is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. 
    • He is the founder member of the Indian Steam Railway Society and member of CII National Council on Tourism.
    • He is also life member of Museums Associations of India and Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers.
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  • Government launched education loan portal for students seeking loans

     

    Government launched education loan portal for students seeking loans

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    • The Government has launched ‘Vidya Lakshmi’, a web based portal for students seeking educational loans.The portal (https://www.vidyalakshmi.co.in) provides a single window for students to access information and make application for loans provided by banks as well as Government scholarships.
    • So far, 13 banks have registered 22 educational loan schemes on the portal and five banks SBI, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India have integrated their systems with the portal for providing loan processing status to students
    • The Portal has been developed and maintained by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov) under the guidance of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
    • In order to ensure that no student misses out on higher education for lack of funds Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget for 2015-16 had proposed to set-up a fully IT based Student Financial Aid Authority to administer and monitor Scholarship as well as Educational Loan Schemes, through the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK)
    • Vidya Lakshmi Portal is a first of its kind portal providing single window for Students to access information and make application for Educational Loans provided by Banks as also Government Scholarships

    Features of the portal :-

    •  Information about Educational Loan Schemes of Banks
    •  Common Educational Loan Application Form for Students
    •  Facility to apply to multiple Banks for Educational Loans
    •  Facility for Banks to download Students’ Loan Applications
    •  Facility for Banks to upload loan processing status
    •  Facility for Students to email grievances/queries relating to Educational  
    •  Loans to Banks
    •  Dashboard facility for Students to view status of their loan application and Linkage to National Scholarship Portal for information and application for Government Scholarships

    This initiative aims to bring on board all Banks providing Educational Loans. It is expected that students throughout the country will be benefited by this initiative of the Government by making available a single window for access to various Educational Loan Schemes of all Banks.

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  • Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in PM of Sri Lanka

     

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    • Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Sri Lanka's Prime Minister for the fourth time following his party's victory in the parliamentary polls.
    • Wickremesinghe was administered the oath of office by President Maithripala Sirisena at the oath taking ceremony held at Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.
    • Wickremesinghe's United National Party and Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Freedom Party signed an agreement to work together in the new parliament. Wickremesinghe's UNP won 106 out of 225 seats in parliament, while Rajapaksa's SLFP secured 95.
    • General secretaries of the UNP and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Kabir Hashim and Duminda Dissanayake, signed an agreement to form a national government.
    • Ranil Wickremesighe has held the position of Prime Minister of the country on three earlier occasions i.e. in 1993-94, 2002-2004 and from January 2015 to August 2015 and He holds record of being Member of Parliament continuously without losing his seat for the last 38 years in Sri Lankan history

    Background :-

    • In the recent parliamentary election 2015, UNP led by Mr. Wickremesinghe had emerged single largest party by winning 106 seats. They were short by seven members to become majority party in the 225-member parliament. SLFP which is loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena had won 95 seats.
    • In the parliamentary election  Mr. Wickremesinghe had secured a record 5 lakh preferential votes from the Colombo constituency which is the highest number of votes polled by a candidate in Sri Lanka’s electoral history
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  • Cochin Airport becomes world’s first to operate completely on Solar Power  

     

    Cochin Airport becomes world’s first to operate completely on Solar Power

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    • The Cochin International Airport Kochi on Tuesday became the first in the world to operate completely on solar power. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the 12 MWp solar power plant which comprises of  46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres near the cargo complex
    • Cochin International Airport handled 6.8 million passengers in the 2014-15 financial year and forecasts a 300,000-tonne (330,700-ton) reduction in carbon emissions over the next 25 years as it has switched to solar power
    • With this move the airport will have 50000 to 60000 units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions, which technically makes the airport "absolutely power neutral".
    • Cochin International Airport ventured into the Solar PV sector during March 2013, by installing a 100 kWp solar PV Plant on the roof top of the Arrival Terminal Block. The plant was installed by the Kolkata-based Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd.
    • This move is in line up nicely with the Indian government's National Solar Mission, which had originally set a target of country-wide installed solar capacity of 22 GW by 2022. 
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  • Chengalikodan Banana from Kerala gets GI status

     

    Chengalikodan Banana from Kerala gets GI status

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    • Chengalikodan banana variety from Thrissur district of Kerala has been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) status by the Chennai based Central GI registry.
    • GI status is an indication that identifies goods as produced from a particular area, which has special quality or reputation attributable to its geographical origin.
    • Chengalikodan  banana, is the special variety grown in suburbs of Thrissur and Thalappilly taluks, is known for its unique size, shape, colour and taste
    • Chengalikodan  banana was cultivated in erstwhile Chengazhikode from where it got its name as Chengazhikodan banana which was later changed as Chengalikodan banana.
    • Vazhakkulam pineapple, Central Travancore jaggery, Pokkali rice, Palakkadan matta rice, Wayanadan scented rice varieties Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala are other agricultural products from Kerala already having GI status.

    Importance of GI status:-

    GI registration confers legal protection to the products, prevents unauthorised use of a GI by others, helps consumers get quality products of desired traits, promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods by enhancing demand in national and international markets and is essential to get protection in other countries. Nearly 200 unique goods have been registered as GIs in India.

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  • Pakistan, Russia ink landmark defence deal

     

    Pakistan, Russia ink landmark defence deal

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    • Pakistan and Russia have signed a crucial agreement that includes the sale of four Mi-35 "Hind E" attack helicopters to Pakistan.The agreement was signed between top defence officials from both the countries in Rawalpindi
    • It was during 2014 when both countries had signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement to strengthen their defence relation. It should be noted that currently Pakistan has number of  "Mi-17" helicopters which have been supplied by US to asssist pakistan in fighting with militency.
    • Mi-35M attack helicopter is a comprehensive modernisation of the Mi-24V. The Mi-35M was developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, and has been series produced at Rostvertol since 2005.

    Speciality of Mi-35M :-

    • Combat use of guided and unguided weapons in regular and challenging climate conditions;
    • Operational for attack flights at altitudes of 10-25 m daytime and 50 m at night over land or water.

    In addition to its attack capabilities, the Mi-35M can also be used in other operations:-

    • Landing-transporting up to 8 paratroopers, with equipment, in the transport cabin;
    • Transporting military supplies or other cargo weighing up to 1,500 kg internally. 
    • The Mi-35M is also fitted with an external sling system, expanding its cargo carrying capacity to 2,400 kg.
    • Medical uses include carrying the sick and injured along with medical personnel.
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  • Union Government to sell 10 per cent stake in IOC

     

    Union Government to sell 10 per cent stake in IOC

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    • Union Government has decided that it will sell a 10 per cent stake in Indian Oil Corporation on the stock market through an offer for sale (OFS) which will fetch that can fetch about Rs 9,500 crore to the exchequer.
    • The 10 per cent equity in IOC comprises 24.27 crore shares. At present, the government holds a 68.57 per cent stake in IOC, India’s biggest oil refining and marketing company.
    • Stake sale of IOC will mark the fourth round of disinvestment drive of Union Government in year 2015 the other three being in Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and Dredging Corporation. So far, the government has raised around Rs.3,300 crore via disinvestment,
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  • YouTube announces partnership with Whistling Woods to set up “YouTube Space” in Mumbai  

     

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    • YouTube has announced a partnership with Whistling Woods International (WWI) to set up ‘YouTube Space’, a collaboration and production facility for YouTube video creators.
    • The ‘YouTube Space’ at WWI will provide production facility for YouTube video creators as well as the students of WWI where they can learn video production.
    • YouTube Space  has similar facilities in Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, New York, Brazil, and Berlin the facilities are designed in a way so that the creators can produce original digital video content, all the way from the start of an idea through to filming, editing, and uploading to YouTube.
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2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

Exam Time : 07:15:00

Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Sports

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


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