1. RBI lowers repo rate by 50 basis points to 6.75 per cent
i. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reduced the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 50 basis points from 7.25 per cent to 6.75 per cent with immediate effect.
ii. It was announced in the recently released fourth bi-monthly policy of RBI since January 2015.
iii. This surprise repo rate cut decision was taken by RBI on the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation in the country. This decision was taken following abating of inflationary pressures, full monsoon outturn, no changes in US central bank actions, and greater transmission of the RBI’s front-loaded past actions.
2. Union Government appointed four Brand Ambassadors for Digital India Programme
i. Union Government on 29 September 2015 announced that four brand ambassadors for Digital India programme were appointed. The appointments were took place in the first week of July 2015 as part of the Digital India Week campaign.
ii. List of Brand Ambassadors
Satwat Jagwani, All India IIT-JEE —Advanced Topper -2015 (Student)
Krati Tiwari, All India IIT-JEE —Advanced Girl Topper -2015 (Student)
Ankit Fadia, Author & Ethical Hacker
Pranav Mistry, Samsung USA (Computer Scientist & Author of 6th Sense)
iii. The services of these Brand Ambassadors will be used for generating mass awareness for the programme for a period of one year since their nomination.
3. Piyush Goyal launched Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity - Survey of States Report
i. Piyush Goyal Union Minister of State (IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy, on 29 September 2015 launched ‘Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity - Survey of States Report’.
ii. The study was conducted by the Council on Energy, Environment & Water (CEEW) in collaboration with Columbia University with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.
iii. The analysis in the report provides a first of a kind multi-dimensional evaluation of the state of energy access in India.
iv. The report highlights that about 300 million Indians rely on kerosene for lighting, and more than 800 million relying on traditional biomass. It says that the access to modern forms of energy is still a significant barrier to our development.
v. It suggests that there is a need to focus beyond aggregate figures on electrification and LPG connections, and be sensitive to the numerous drivers which will determine how India will ensure true energy access for all.
4. NOC Online Application Portal and Processing System for the National Monument Authority launched
i. Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma on 29 September 2015 launched the NOC Online Application Portal and Processing System (NOAPS) for the National Monument Authority (NMA), Ministry of Culture in New Delhi.
ii. An initiative of the National Monument Authority, NOAPS will make the approval procedure more efficient for construction related activities in regulated/restricted areas in the vicinity of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments in different cities of India.
iii. NOAPS is designed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). The portal runs on the state of the art technology and expertise provide by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which is in the process of mapping all 3886 ASI protected monuments.
iv. NOAPS will also help the citizens to apply for NOC online. The portal will provide them with a unique registration ID with which they can check the status of their applications from time to time.
v. The NOC Online Application Portal and Processing System will offer great convenience to the people as there will not be any need for the people to run to local offices to get NOC for their property which is nearby to monuments.
5. Union Government unveils Green Highways Policy 2015
i. Union Government has launched Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy-2015 to promote greening of National Highway corridors across the country. The policy was unveiled by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.
ii. The objective of the policy is to reduce the impact of air pollution and dust by planting trees and shrubs along the National Highways. They will act as natural sink for air pollutants and arrest soil erosion at the embankment slopes.
iii. Monitoring Agency will be responsible for monitoring the plantation status on continuous basis by carrying out the site visit for field verification to check survival, growth and size of plantation and maintenance of the same. Performance audit of executing agencies will be regularly conducted by the agency on an Annual basis. New contracts will be awarded to the agencies based on their past performance audit.
iv. The policy will strike a balance between highways development and environmental protection. It will also help in providing employment to 5 lakh people of the rural areas.
6. M.R. Poovamma and Babita Kumari conferred Arjuna Award 2015
i. M.R. Poovamma and Babita Kumari have been conferred with prestigious Arjuna Award 2015 for their individual achievements in sports.
ii. The award was presented to them by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Youth affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal in New Delhi.
iii. M.R. Poovamma has been conferred with this award for her contributions in Athletics and Babita Kumari in the field of Wrestling.
iv. Arjuna Awards are given by Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to sportsperson in recognition of their outstanding achievement in National sports.
7. India’s Gurpreet Singh wins silver medal at 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship
i. India’s ace shooter Gurpreet Singh has won silver medal at 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship held in New Delhi.
ii. In the finals of 10 metre Air Pistol event, Gurpreet shot a tally of 197.6 to stand second on the podium. India’s Jitu Rai finished at third position wining bronze medal in this event.
iii. The gold medal in the 10 metre Air Pistol event was bagged by Boroujeni Safari of Iran with a tally shot of 198.7.
iv. It should be noted that this fourth medal India has won in 2015 Asian Air Gun Championship. Earlier, Abhinav Bindra had clinched the gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event while Ayonika Pual won the bronze in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle event.
8 . RBI move could make your loans cheaper
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday brought festive cheer to the markets with a surprise 50 basis points reduction in its benchmark repo rate to 6.75 per cent in an effort to boost economic growth.
ii. The central bank’s rate cut is expected to give more elbow room for the banks to cut lending rates in the festive season, which is likely to spur demand in the economy. State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, promptly announced a reduction in its base lending rate, making loans taken by home buyers, among others, cheaper.
iii. In its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy on Tuesday, the RBI kept the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), the portion of deposits which banks have to hold as reserve, unchanged at 4 per cent. The repo rate is the rate at which banks borrow funds from the central bank. Front-loading the policy action by a reduction of 50 basis points, RBI Governor Dr. Raghuram Rajan said that “investment is likely to respond more strongly if there is more certainty about the extent of monetary stimulus in the pipeline, even if transmission is slow.”