1. Bandhan Financial Services started operations as Scheduled Commercial Bank
i. Bandhan Financial Services, a Micro Financial Institution (MFI), on 23 August 2015 started operations as a Scheduled Commercial Bank (SCB). Henceforth it will be called as Bandhan Bank. The banking services were inaugurated by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Kolkata.
ii. With this, Bandhan became the first micro finance company in the country to start operations as a full-fledged commercial bank. It is also the first commercial bank from Eastern India to get RBI clearance since independence.
iii. Bandhan along with IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company) were granted banking licenses in 2014 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The move was aimed at deepening financial services reach in the country by utilizing the services of the existing players in the market.
iv. Bandhan started as a Non Banking Finance Company in 2001 and focused on the lower strata of the especially unorganized sector workers. On the inaugural day, the bank started operations with 501 branches in 24 states across the country with 1.43 crore accounts. Chandra Sekhar Ghosh, the Managing Director and Founder of the Bank.
2. DJB commissioned 1st ever Hydro-power plant at Chilla
i. Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on 23 August 2015 commissioned the first ever Hydro-power plant in the city. The power plant set up at Chilla area of east Delhi will be run through the Hydraulic Turbine propelled by treated effluents coming out of a Sewerage Treatment Plant.
ii. An official release said that the treated effluents will fall through the height of 4.8m and create pressure and velocity that will propel rotation of the turbine thereby generating power. It is a Pilot Project which has been set up free of cost and will produce 20000 KWH of electricity per year.
iii. The release also termed the technology as pollution free, as no fossil fuel is being used in the generation of the power.
3. UNFCCC, MSSRF to work for conservation of coastal resources of Andhra Pradesh
i. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Chennai-based MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in third week of August 2015 agreed to work together for the conservation of coastal resources in Andhra Pradesh.
ii. The UNFCCC has sanctioned 3.8 crore rupees for the potential adaptation strategy of MSSRF in Krishna district through an adaptation fund.
iii. The objective of the adaptation initiative is to overcome the consequences of sea level rise and seawater inundation following cyclones.
- Restoration of the Sorlagondi mangrove forest covers in Krishna district.
- A roadmap to improve the mangrove forest cover in 200 acres and fish cultivation in around 50 acres of mangrove forest has been prepared, and it will be executed by the end August 2015.
- The abandoned land will be brought under fish cultivation, while landless families will be involved in cage cultivation in three villages-Sorlagondi and Nali in Nagayalanka mandal and Basavanipalem in Koduru mandal.
- Cage cultivation would be encouraged in brackish water by setting up as many as 10 cages in the three villages adopted by Swaminathan Research Foundation.
iv. The UNFCCC will release the adaptation fund through the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
4. Syrian woman Journalist Zaina Erhaim wins 2015 Peter Mackler Award
i. A Syria-based woman journalist Zaina Erhaim has won the prestigious 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.
ii. She was bestowed with this award for her efforts to train citizen reporters in her war-ravaged country. She has trained about 100 citizen reporters (third of them are women) from inside Syria over the last two years. She also has helped in establishing new, independent newspapers and magazines in the war-torn country.
iii. Presently, Erhaim lives and works in Aleppo, Syria and will be presented with this award at a ceremony to be held at the National Press Club in Washington in late October 2015. It should be noted that since 2011, the media rights group has listed Syria as the deadliest country for journalists.
iv. The award has been named in the memory of late Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist Peter Mackler. It was instituted in 2008 to honour the memory of Mackler, who had died of a heart attack in the same year at the age of 58.
5. India has forex reserves to stabilise currency volatility: RBI
i. As the rupee hit a new low and the stock market took a tumble, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan said on Monday that India has sufficient foreign exchange reserves to prevent volatility in the currency market.
ii. India has foreign exchange reserves of around $380 billion and these would be used if needed to subdue the volatility in the currency market, he said on the sidelines of a banking conference here.
iii. Speaking at the conference, Rajan referred to his earlier comments that the central bank was not a cheerleader for the economy and said it was not for the RBI to lift sentiments unduly to deliver booster shots to the stock markets.
iv. According to Rajan, companies in some sectors were in real distress and some could survive with government help while others were unviable, for which too much help to unviable firms could also cause distress to spread to healthy firms.
6. Amol Palekar appointed chairman of India’s Oscar jury
i. Veteran actor-director Amol Palekar has been appointed as chairman of India’s Oscar jury, which will select the country’s official entry in the best foreign film category of the 88th Academy Awards.
ii. The “Gol Maal” star, 70, whose film “Paheli” was India’s official entry for the Academy Awards in 2005, will be heading the 17-member jury.
iii. An elated Palekar said the process of selecting the film to represent India at Oscars 2016 is yet to begin. “I am happy that I have been appointed as the chairman of India’s Oscar jury. We haven’t decided on any criteria for selecting a film for Oscars.
iv. Last year, “Liar’s Dice”, a road drama starring Geetanjali Thapa and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles, was selected as India’s official entry to the best foreign film category after beating “Shahid”, “Queen”, “Mardaani”, Marathi films “Yellow” and “Fandry” and Bengali films “Jatishwar” and “Apur Panchali”.
7. Serena Williams won Cincinnati Masters Women’s Singles title for second time and Roger Federer won Cincinnati Masters Men’s Singles tennis title for record seventh time
i. World number one ranking Serena Williams on 23 August 2015 won the Cincinnati Masters Women’s Singles title by defeating the third seeded Simona Halep of Romania.
ii. Roger Federer of Switzerland on 23 August 2015 won the Cincinnati Masters Men’s Singles title by defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia. The final match was held at Cincinnati in Ohio State of the USA.
iii. In the Women’s category, the title is considered only next to the four Grand slam titles.
iv. He won in all his appearances in the finals held in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 out of which he defeated Djokovic in 2009 and 2012. For Djokovic, it is the fifth appearance in the finals and so far he did not win a single title.
v. With Serena Williams and Roger Federer of Switzerland winning, it was the first time both the men and women champions have successfully defended their titles since Bobby Riggs and Virginia Hollinger in 1937 and 1938.
8. Usain Bolt wins world 100m title at World Athletics Championships
i. Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt has won world 100 metre title in the World Athletics Championships held in Beijing, China. With this victory he retained his 100 metre title which was won earlier in 2009.
ii. In the blue riband event, Bolt ran a season’s best of 9.79 seconds winning gold medal. While Justin Gatlin of United States finished at the second spot in 9.80sec, taking silver medal.
iii. Usain Bolt is regarded as the fastest person in the world. He is the first athlete to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records. He is Olympic gold medallist and has won medal in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic games in 100 metres.
iv. He is also the first to achieve a “double double” by winning 100 m and 200 m titles at consecutive Olympics (2008 and 2012).
9. Pro Kabaddi League 2015: U Mumba crowned champions after thrilling win over Bengaluru Bulls in final
i. U Mumba overcame a fighting Bengaluru Bulls 36-30 in a thrilling summit clash to lift the second Star Sports Pro Kabaddi crown at a packed NSCI Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. Starting the game as slight favourites, the Mumbai outfit had to stretch every sinew to get the better of their rivals from Bengaluru who fought tooth and nail but fell short at the end.
ii. U Mumba came up with some magical play when the occasion demanded, especially in the closing stages of both sessions, to run out victors and take home the top prize of Rs one crore. The Bulls got Rs 50 lakh.
iii. In the final match, U Mumba were held in check by the Bulls’ determined defence for the first 15 minutes of the opening half before they took control in both attack and tackling to take a 16-8 lead.
iv. In attack, Titans were led by Rahul Chaudhari (10 raid points, including nine touch points) and K Prashant Rai with six points that included five touch points while all-rounder Deepak Hudda secured five points in offence and defense combined.