9th August 2015

SBI Life Insurance launched Smart Humsafar Plan

It is a unique plan which offers multiple benefits of savings and insurance cover for husband and wife under a single policy.

Smart Humsafar Plan Highlights:
• A Joint life insurance cum savings plan wherein you can take insurance cover for yourself and your spouse under a single policy.
• Guaranteed minimum bonus for first 3 years @ 2.50 percent of the Basic Sum Assured.
• Provides financial protection in the event of death of either or both the lives assured. 
• Pays a maturity amount on survival of one or both the lives assured at the end of the policy term.
• Benefits also include premium waiver in case of death of any one of the lives assured for in force policies. 
•  Additional rider benefit at an affordable cost 
• Tax benefits as per prevailing norms under the Income Tax Act, 1961.

appointed as the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives- 
Atul Keshap

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  • Indian-American Atul Keshap appointed as the United States (US) Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. Earlier, Keshap had been an official at the US Embassy in India.
    He is currently working as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau of State Department.
  • He joined the Foreign Service in 1994.
    He was the deputy political counsellor at the US Embassy in New Delhi from 2005 to 2008.
  • Keshap also served as special assistant for the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia for the under secretary of state for political affairs.
  • In 2003, he moved to the White House where he served as Director for North African and Middle Eastern regional affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. 
  • He was also the director for UN Human Rights in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs from 2008 to 2010.
India and Myanmar
 countries has inked agreement to set up CESDT in Myanmar 

  •  An agreement to initiate Centre of Excellence in Software Development and Training (CESDT) in Myanmar was signed by India and Myanmar.
  • A state of the art Information and Communication Technology Centre, proclaiming intensive teachers training, extending support for ICT curriculum development is anticipated by the project. It will be recognized as an authorized Centre of C-DAC.
  • Minister of State for External Affairs of India Gen (Retd) VK Singh signed the agreement during his visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to address the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meet.
  • Under the chairmanship of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Anifah Aman, the 48th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Foreign Ministers meet was held in Kuala Lumpur. "Our People, Our Community, Our Vision" was the theme for the meet.

Bharti Airtel launched 4G services in 296 towns across India

  • Bharti Airtel launched pan-India 4G high-speed data services. The service was launched in 296 towns across India and it will be available to customers through 4G-enabled mobile phones, internet dongles and Wi-Fi routers.
  • With this the largest telecom company of India became the first company to roll out the pan-India 4G network which is built on an open partner ecosystem model.
  • Airtel has exclusively partnered with mobile manufacturer major Samsung and 4G service will be available at 3G prices with packs starting at 25 rupees.
  • Airtel also announced the launch of a carrier agnostic mobile app ‘Wynk Movies’ that offers a library of thousands of movies and other popular videos.
  • Bharti Airtel launched the first 4G services in India in Kolkata and until now it was available in 15 select cities. 
  • These cities were – Bangalore, Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Amritsar, Kapurthala, Phagwara, Hoshiarpur, Nagpur, Patiala, Pune and Nasik.
Snapdeal tied-up with department store chain Shoppers Stop Ltd

Snapdeal tied-up with retailer Shoppers Stop Ltd to launch a digital marketplace through a flagship Shoppers Stop store on Snapdeal. The partnership will leverage Shoppers Stop’s product range, brands and Snapdeal’s reach.

Customers ordering from Shoppers Stop brand store on Snapdeal can now pick up the ordered products or get them delivered from the nearest Shoppers Stop store.
This facility will be launched first in North India and will later be extended to other regions over the next 12 months. 

Shoppers Stop has 74 stores in 35 cities across India. Shoppers Stop currently sells its private-label brands on Amazon, Flipkart and some other e-commerce companies.

8th August 2015

Global satellite was proposed to be named after Abdul Kalam - GlobalSat for DRR

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  • GlobalSat for DRR which is a Global satellite was proposed to be named after former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who recently passed away on 27 July 2015.
  • This satellite is used for Earth observation and disaster risk reduction and will be named as UN Kalam GlobalSat.
  • Milind Pimprikar Chairman of CANEUS (CANada-Europe-US-Asia) headquartered in Montreal(Canada) made this proposal in the honour and tribute to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • The proposed GlobalSat will be formally adopted by more than 150 world leaders at the UN Session in New York in September 2015.

Typhoon Soudelor battered Taiwan leaving four people dead & a trail of devastation

  • Typhoon Soudelor made its landfall on the east coast of the Taiwanese city of Hualien
  • After the landfall, the typhoon battered Taiwan with fierce winds ranging 230km/h (142mph) and rain leaving four people dead and a trail of devastation.
  • After making landfall, it swept across central Taiwan ripping up trees, snapping wind turbines and triggering a landslide in one remote village in the northern region of Taoyuan. 
  • The typhoon was pushing through central Taiwan towards the Mainland Chinese province of Fujian, where 158000 people have already been evacuated.

RBI relaxed Branch Authorisation Policy to allow banks to merge or close branches in urban areas

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified Section 23 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 -Relaxations in Branch Authorisation Policy. 
  • The decision will provide more operational freedom to banks.
  • Some guidelines that should be followed for Merger/Closure/ Shifting of branches includes:
  • Banks may shift, merge or close all branches except rural branches and sole semi-urban branches at their discretion.
  • Shifting, merger, or closure of any rural branch as well as a sole semi urban branch would require approval of the DCC/DLRC.
  • While shifting/merging/closing sole rural or semi urban branches, banks may ensure that the banking needs of the centre continue to be met through either satellite offices/mobile vans or through Business Correspondents.
  • Part-shifting of Branches:
  • Banks may require shifting some activities/part shift activities of a branch in any centre due to space/rent constraints, and may do so without seeking prior approval of Reserve Bank of India.
  • It may be noted that banking activity, i.e., deposit or loan business cannot be maintained at both places, and the new location for part shifting would have to be within 1 km of the existing location
  • They may also spin off certain activities such as Government business into separate branches at their discretion.
  • Opening of Extension Counters:
  • Presently banks can open Extension Counters in the premises of institutions where they are the principal bankers, or obtain a NOC from the principal banker. 
  • With a view to enabling customer choice and operational freedom, the requirement of being the principal banker for opening of EC is not required.

Tripura's Legislative Assembly passed a resolution against death penalty 

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  • This resolution moved by Congress MLA Jitendra Sarkar requested the Union government to amend the Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and replace it with life sentence unto death.
  • As per procedure this resolution will now be sent to Union government and the Law Commission for consideration.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurated first National Handloom Day

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi  inaugurated first National Handloom Day at the Centenary Hall of Madras University in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, where he also unveiled 'India Handloom' brand. 
  • Modi, while addressing the function, sought greater use of handloom in people's daily lives and also emphasised on innovative initiatives for making handloom as fashionable choice among consumers.
  • The Prime Minster visited the exhibition of handloom products from various states kept for display at the University Auditorium. 
  • He also gave away the Sant Kabir Awards and National Awards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 to distinguished handloom personalities.
  • Each Sant Kabir award consists of one mounted gold coin, tamrapatra, one shawl and a citation and a financial assistance of up to 6 lakh rupees.

BHEL commissioned 500 MW unit of Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station 

  • 500 MW Unit-13 of Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station (STPS), Stage-V of  NTPC was commissioned by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in Vindhyanagar(Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh).
  • After installation of this BHEL has now commissioned seven sets of 500 MW each aggregating to 3500 MW at Vindhyachal power station, which is the highest by BHEL in a power project.
  • BHEL involvement in the project comprised of designing, engineering, manufacturing, supply and erection & commissioning of steam generator and steam turbine generator along with associated auxiliaries and state of the art controls and instrumentation.
    Chairman & MD of BHEL -B Prasada Rao