1. Reserve Bank of India leaves door open for more easing
i. Reserve Bank of India policy kept its policy rate on hold at 7.25 percent on Tuesday, as widely expected, while leaving the door open to ease further depending on the inflation outlook and how swiftly banks lower their lending rates.
ii. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also said government economic reforms and the timing of any increase in U.S. interest rates would be key factors that will determine whether the central bank cuts rates for a fourth time this year.
iii. The RBI has reduced its policy rate by three-quarters of a percentage point since embarking on an easing cycle in January. The last cut lowered the repo rate to 7.25 percent on June 2.
iv. The RBI’s next policy review is set for Sept. 29. That would be after the Fed’s September meeting, and any increase in U.S. rates is expected to suck money out of emerging markets.
2. Union Government extends term of Rajan S Katoch as Director of ED for 3rd time
i. Union Government has extended term of senior IAS officer Rajan S Katoch as the Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
ii. In this regard, Apppointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued an order. Thus, Mr. Katoch will have three months additional tenure till October 31, 2015.
iii. Mr. Katoch is an IAS officer of 1979-batch of Madhya Pradesh cadre. He was appointed to top most post of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in March 2012 for three year term which was to end in January 2015.
iv. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India. It is part of and operates under the aegis of Department of Revenue of Union Ministry of Finance.
3. HSBC India plans to launch ‘green bonds’
i. HSBC India’s chairman Naina Lal Kidwai announced to launch ’green bonds’ in India for raising funds for investments in environmental projects. Announcement was done by the HSBC chairman in a Ficci event held on 3 August 2015.
ii. The total investment attracted by Green Bonds in last two years is 37 million dollars. HSBC is the fourth largest issuer in the world.
iii. Green Bonds in India was initially launched by Axis Bank and Yes Bank in February 2015 that attracted investment of 1,000 crore rupees against the target of 500 crore rupees.
iv. Green bond is a debt instrument with which a bond issuer gets capital while the investors receive fixed income in the form of interest. The issuer of green bond gets capital from the investors only if the investment is being raised to fund ‘green’ projects relating to renewable energy or emission reductions etc.
4. Operation Muskaan helped Gurgaon Police to trace over 1000 kids
i. Operation Muskaan, an initiative launched by railway police to trace missing and destitute children and reunite them with parents, was in news in first week of August 2015.
ii. It came into news after Gurgaon Police traced 1094 children in Haryana during the month-long operation.
iii. Of the 1094 children traced under the operation, 263 were living in shelter homes, while 831 children were traced from different places. Out of the 831 children, 809 have been reunited with their parents, while the remaining 22 have been lodged in shelter homes.
iv. The Operation Muskaan was launched by the railway police on 1 July 2015 from Dindigul railway station of Tamil Nadu. The operation was launched with an aim to prevent child trafficking and rescue children from persons who tried to engage them in begging, sexual trade and other antisocial activities.
5. Airtel acquires YTS for mobile payment solutions
i. India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has acquired YTS Solutions a mobile payments solutions company for an undisclosed price.
ii. YTS Solutions will be integrated with the operations of Airtel Money Services Ltd a subsidiary of Airtel.
iii. This acquisition will help Airtel to expand its footprint in the payments sector by integrating business capabilities and unique service delivery model of the YTS.
iv. In line with this acquisition the co-founder and MD of YTS Solutions, Manish Khera, will be appointed as CEO of Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd (AMSL) which offer wallet service under the brand name ‘Airtel Money’.
6. NTPC inks agreement to form JV with Jharkhand for Patratu Power Plant
i. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited has inked an agreement with Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL) to form a joint venture (JV) company for Patratu Power Plant.
ii. The agreement will help optimise utilisation of improve performance, assets and expand capacity of Patratu Thermal Power Station located in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand.
iii. The JV company will have 74 per cent share or stake of state-run NTPC while JBVNL will have the rest 26 per cent stake.
iv. It will work to improve the performance of the existing power stations in Jharkhand in order to gradually provide more power to the state.
7. Delhi's specially-abled athletes win 7 medals at Summer Games
i. A team of specially-abled athletes from state-run Asha Kiran Home has brought laurels to Delhi by winning seven medals, including three gold, at the World Summer Games 2015 in the United States.
ii. Phoolan Devi (17) won first gold for the country in power lifting (bench press category). She also clinched three bronze medals in power lifting (all lifts, dead-lift and squat lift).
iii. Two of the other gold winners at the games, held between July 25 and August 2 in Los Angeles, were Mathru and Patto who excelled in softball (team event) and 800 metres run respectively.
8. IOC gives Olympic Sport recognition to ‘Frisbee’
i. International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially recognised ‘Frisbee’ as an Olympic sport.
ii. Decision in this regard was taken at the 128th IOC Session held in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia by giving official recognition to World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF).
iii. It was included as Olympic sport after WFDF had meet all the criteria including having 62 national federations members and gender equality.
iv. Olympic recognition to this sport now opens the door to the some financial support from the IOC and participation in the Olympic Games. Frisbee is the sport of flying disc which became popular in the 1960s and 70s. Presently, WFDF governs several Frisbee events including Beach Ultimate, Ultimate Frisbee and field events.