News in Brief

The 18th BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) ministerial meeting on climate change concluded in New Delhi on 8 August 2014. It brought to the fore the crucial question of responsibilities of the developed nations and the controversial issue of payment of compensation for climate-related damages of $100 billion a year by 2020. Ahead of at least two major climate talks—UN Climate Summit and UN Climate Change Conference (UNCCC)—the representatives of the four major developing nations met to discuss points and tactics.

The Reserve Bank has decided to transfer to the Centre its surplus profit of Rs 52,679 crore, for the year ended June 30, 2014, about 60 per cent more than the amount given in previous year (Rs 33,010 crore).

“Vistara” is the brand name of the new airline that has been started as a Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines joint venture.

With effect from 1 November 2014, the Reserve Bank of India has imposed a limit of 3 transactions per month from ATMs of other banks and 5 from the same bank in six metropolitan cities.

India’s first skill development centre has been inaugurated in Jaipur.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig Disease, is a degenerative disease that causes a person to become weaker and weaker over time.  In an effort to raise awareness and research dollars for the ALS cause, the ALS Association devised an ingenious stunt called the “Ice Bucket Challenge”. Starting on 29 June 2014, participants were asked to dump a full bucket of freezing cold ice water over their heads, videotape the humiliation, and post it onto social media networks.  The participants were then asked to tag their friends to perpetuate the challenge.  Those who decided not to participate in the challenge were asked to donate at least $100 to the ALS Association instead.

Rhodiola is a herb found in the cold and highland climate of Ladakh in J&K. Locally, it is called ‘Solo’. Indian scientists at Leh-based Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) say they have found it to be a “wonder herb” which can regulate the immune system, help adapt to the mountain environment, protect from radioactivity, and probably can do wonders for the troops posted in difficult high altitude areas like the 5,400-metres-high Siachen glacier.

“Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana” is a financial inclusion scheme that aims at covering every household in India with a bank account and insurance cover. It was launched on 28 August 2014.

On 25 August 2014, India and Russia commenced their first-ever exercise between their Air Forces, in Astrakhan region located north of the Caspian Sea.

Minimum monthly pension for Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscribers is fixed at Rs 1,000.  Monthly wage ceiling has been raised from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000.

Micromax has won the Board of Control for Cricket inIndia (BCCI) title sponsorship rights for 2014-15 season for a fee of Rs 18.01 crore

Indian American V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai received official recognition as the inventor of the computer program for electronic mail system from the US government on 30 August 1982. Studying at Livingston High School in New Jersey, Ayyadurai began his work on the email system for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In 1978, aged 14, he developed a full-scale emulation of the interoffice mail system which he called “E-mail” and copyrighted in 1982.

Asia’s first Ballistic Research Centre is being set-up at Gujarat Forensic Science University (GFSU), Gandhinagar, to test bullet-proof armoured vehicles as big as trucks. Till now, the armoured vehicles from India were being sent to countries like the UK, USA and France for testing.

Indian banks can now issue Tier 2 capital with a minimum original maturity of 5 years as against 10 years previously, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification, amending some guidelines on Basel III implementation in India.

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