Daily GK Update 7th August 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. PM Modi declares August 7 as National Handloom Day to mark Swadeshi movement.
i. To commemorate the 1905 Swadeshi movement the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced August 7 as ‘National Handloom Day’ at the function held in Chennai.
ii. At the event PM Modi also launched the ‘India Handloom’ brand to help weavers with brand for global markets.
iii. The day 7 August was selected to commemorate the 110 year old Swadeshi Movement, which promoted use of domestic products over British products.

iv. The motto behind observing National Handloom Day is to honour the handloom weavers and to carter an impetus to India’s handloom industry. Whereas launching of ‘India Handloom’ brand aims to promote handloom of India in the global markets as a genuine good quality international product.
2. Indian-American Atul Keshap confirmed Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
i. Indian-American Atul Keshap has been confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, becoming the second Indian-origin diplomat to be posted to the region after Richard Rahul Verma.

ii. Mr. Keshap (44), a former official at the US Embassy in India, was on Wednesday confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the country’s envoy which would be his first Ambassadorial posting.

iii. 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.
iv. Mr. Keshap also served as special assistant for the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia for the under secretary of state for political affairs.
3. Colonel Harwant Singh (Retd), World War-II hero passes away.
i. Retired Colonel Harwant Singh, a World War-II veteran and hero passed away in Patiala, Punjab. He was 95.

ii. He was commissioned in 2nd battalion of the Sikh Regiment of then British Army in September 1941. During the World War (WW)-II he had served in Palestine, North Africa, Iraq, Cyprus and Italy for the British Army.
iii. In 1944, he was awarded with the Military Cross (highest award of the British Army) for gallantry during an offensive against the German forces on the Gothic Line in Italy.
iv. During the first Independence Day celebration of 1947, he was officer in charge of the flag-hoisting ceremony held at Princess Park on August 15 and Red Fort on August 16.
4. Rajasthan signs MoUs for Rs 2,452-cr investments at the investment meet in New Delhi.
i. Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) worth 2,452 crore rupees at an investor event organised in New Delhi.

ii. The event was organised in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) by the Bureau of Industry Promotion in Rajasthan.
iii. Investment pacts were signed between the state government and several private companies that plan to set up industrial units in Rajasthan.
iv. These investments are expected to generate over 7000 direct and more than thousand indirect jobs.
5. IS seizes central Syrian town of Qaryatain.
i. The radical militants of Sunni Islamist militant group Islamic State (IS) have seized Qaryatain, a key town in central Syria. It was seized following heavy clashes with Syrian forces.
ii. It is IS’s biggest advance after it had captured the historic town of Palmyra in May 2015.
iii. The town of Qaryatain lies southwest of Palmyra and it is heavily populated town with a mixed population of around 40,000 Sunni Muslims and Christians, as well as thousands or internally displaced people.
iv. Qaryatain lies midway between the cities of Palmyra, Homs and Damascus and is home to towering Roman ruins. Its capture gives the IS group strategic link up to areas under its control around and in Palmyra with areas in the eastern countryside of Qalamoun in Damascus province of Syria.
6. Egypt launches Suez Canal expansion.
i. Egypt has launched a major expansion of the Suez Canal. It was inaugurated by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a lavish ceremony held at port city of Ismailiya ( located on west bank of canal).

ii. The project was started in August 2014 for the expansion of the Ballah Bypass from 61 metres to 312 metres. The project was dubbed as the New Suez Canal.
iii. Expansion aims to increase the traffic handled by the canal in order to boost Egypt’s economy and global standing by turning the Suez Canal zone into a global logistics and trade center.
iv. Completed in one year span with an estimated cost of US 8 billion dollars. It comprises 72km of new channel and bypasses which has deepened the main waterway.
7. Snapdeal appoints Amitava Ghosh as VP-engineering.
i. Ghosh, who has over 17 years of experience in building web-based products and platforms, will lead the development of intuitive technology solutions at the Delhi-based online marketplace. 
ii. Prior to this, Ghosh was the chief technology officer at TaxiForSure before Ola Cabs acquired the company. He headed the India engineering team of Tribune Digital Ventures earlier. 
iii. Snapdeal said in a press release that under Ghosh's leadership the company has launched Newsbeat, a mobile application which provides personalised audio streams of news stories. 
iv. For almost a decade, Ghosh was associated with Yahoo, where he was responsible for building platforms and user experiences for listings, media verticals, communities and social products. He holds an MTech degree in biochemical engineering and biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. 


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