i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 31 August 2015 declared State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) in line with the D-SIB Framework released by the RBI on 22 July 2014.
ii. These banks have been identified as D-SIBs based on the methodology provided in the D-SIB Framework and data collected from banks as on 31 March 2015.
iii. Further, these banks have been put under associated bucket structure as required under the D-SIB Framework and each bucket corresponds to the higher loss absorbency requirements that they would be required to hold from January 2016.
iv. As a result, SBI has been put under Bucket 3 with additional Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) requirements as a percentage of Risk Weighted Assets (RWAs) placed at 0.6percent.
Union Government releases Rs 2,000 crore for Employees’ Pension Scheme
i. Union Government has released 2,000 crore rupees to Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 as its contribution for the year 2015-16.
ii. This contribution is in addition to the 250 crore rupees contributed by the government as grant-in-aid in the EPS in order to provide minimum pension of 1,000 rupees to pensioners under the scheme.
iii. In September 2015, Government had assured EPS pensioners a guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month. In order to meet this assurance it was necessary for the Government to infuse additional amount as grants-in- to sustain the continuance of the minimum pension.
IS damages ancient Temple of Bel in Syria’s Palmyra
i. Islamic State (IS) militant group has destroyed part of historical Temple of Bel in the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria.
ii. The ancient temple was dedicated to the Palmyrene gods and was one of the best preserved parts of the historical sites of Palmyra.
iii. Earlier in August 2015, IS militant group had destroyed the ancient Temple of Baalshamin in same region of Palmyra.
Highest mountain of North America Mt McKinley renamed as Denali
i. The highest mountain of North America was on 28 August 2015 renamed as Denali instead of its existing name Mt McKinley by US President Barack Obama. This designation will now recognize the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.
ii. The mountain, which sits in the 6 million-acre Denali national park, has been known as Denali in Alaska since 1975. Now officially, the Denali name will be used by all and it will also take effect for all federal usage and on all official maps.
Tejinder Pal Singh named as Australian of the Day by Commonwealth Bank
i. An Indian-origin driver in Australia Tejinder Pal Singh was on 31 August 2015 named as Australian of the Day by Commonwealth Bank of Australia for feeding the homeless in Darwin for the past three years.
ii. He dedicated the last Sunday of every month to feed the poor and homeless in northern Darwin after his night shift as a cabbie. He cooked around 30 kg of Indian food to feed the homeless. The free lunch comprises chickpeas, rice and vegetarian curry.
CSO released estimates of GDP for April-June quarter of 2015-16
i. Central Statistical Office (CSO) on 31 August 2015 released the estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the April-June quarter of 2015.
ii. As per the estimates, India grew by 7 percent during the first quarter of the 2015-16 financial year. Thus, India remained the fastest growing major economy of the world for a second straight quarter.
India had overtaken China as the world’s fastest growing major economy in the January-March quarter, growing 7.5 per cent against China’s 7 per cent.
Highlights of the CSO estimates
- GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q1 of 2015-16 is estimated at 27.13 lakh crore rupees as against 25.35 lakh crore rupees in Q1 of 2014-15, showing a growth rate of 7.0 percent. In terms of GVA it is 7.1 percent.
- The economic activities which registered growth of over 7 percent in Q1 of 2015-16 over Q1 of 2014-15 are manufacturing, trade, hotels and transport & communication and services related to broadcasting and financial, insurance, real estate and professional services.
- Growth in other areas: agriculture, forestry and fishing (1.9), mining and quarrying (4.0), electricity, gas, water supply & other utility services (3.2), construction and public administration, defence (6.9) and other services (2.7).
- Gross Capital Formation (GCF) rate, a barometer for investments, continued to decline. It was down to 27.8 per cent from 29.2 per cent in April–June 2014.
L C Goyal appointed as CMD of India Trade Promotion Organisation
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 August 2015 approved the appointment of L C Goyal as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Indian Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO).
ii. Prior to the present appointment, he retired as the secretary of the Union Home Ministry. He was a 1979 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre.mbly also passed a resolution welcoming the Peace Accord signed between the Union Government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN)-IM.