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Day To Day Current Affairs - 17th & 18th August 2014 By Gandhi Raveendra Reddy

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This post includes the current affairs for 17th & 18th August 2104.
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Day To Day Current Affairs - 17th & 18th August 2014
1. ‘Janmashtami' fervour grips nation
i. Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, is being celebrated in various parts of the country today.
ii. The President, Vice President and Prime Minister have greeted the people on the occasion.. In his message, President Pranab Mukherjee said that Lord Krishna's message of righteous conduct and action inspires everyone to strengthen moral foundations of the society and strive selflessly to take the country to new heights
iii. Vice President Hamid Ansari said that Lord Krishna's message of performing our duties with sincerity and devotion, without attachment to the results of our actions remains a pertinent principle for salvation of humanity.
iv. In his message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, may Lord Krishna bless people with peace, prosperity and happiness.
2. Rajni Razdan takes over as new UPSC chief
i. Rajni Razdan on 16 August 2014 became the new Chairperson of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). She was appointed as Chairperson of UPSC by the President Pranab Mukherjee on 14 August 2014.
ii. She replaced Prof. D P Agrawal who completed his six-year tenure as Chairman of UPSC on 16 August 2014. He was appointed as Chairman of UPSC on 16 August 2008.
iii. She will serve as UPSC Chairperson for next six years. She had joined as UPSC member on 19 April 2010.
3. India ranked 5th amongst top 10 wind power producers: Report
i. India ranked fifth amongst top ten wind power producers in the world by adding 1,700 MW capacity in 2013, a report said.
ii. “China was the leading wind power producer by adding 16,100 MW capacity in 2013, followed by USA, Germany and Spain,” Renewables 2014 Global Status Report said.
iii. By the end of 2013, China, the US, Brazil, Canada and Germany remained the top countries for total installed renewable power capacity, the report said.
iv. According to the report, over the past few years the costs of electricity generation from onshore wind and particularly solar PV (photo-voltaic) have fallen sharply which has resulted in an increase in wind and solar power projects being built without public financial support.
v. In terms of annual investment in the wind energy sector and production, China ranked number one followed by Germany, UK, India and Canada.
vi. Worldwide more than 35,000 MW wind power capacity was added taking the total number to 3,18,000 MW in 2013 to which India contributed 1,700 MW.
4. HDFC Bank opens branch in Dubai
i. Expanding its global footprint, HDFC Bank has opened a branch in Dubai to provide wealth management services to large Indian diaspora in the Gulf city.
ii. This is the bank’s third overseas branch after Bahrain and Hong Kong, the bank said in a statement.
iii. In the United Arab Emirates, the second largest private lender has representative offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and plans to continue running both of them, it said.
iv. “The new branch at Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) will offer advisory services to NRIs regarding treasury products, trade finance, loans and other related services,” it said.
v. The branches at Bahrain and Hong Kong offer corporate, trade finance, loans and deposits to corporates and ultra high net worth individuals, it added.
5. AFI president Sumariwala to be Chef-de-Mission for Asian Games
i. Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwala has been appointed the Chef-de-Mission of the Indian contingent for next month’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Note: India won 65 medals in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou in China with 12 medals (5 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze) coming from athletics.
6. Haryana Government increases age of retirement from 58 to 60 years
i. The Haryana government announced a windfall for the state government’s employees which includes raising the retirement age from 58 to 60 years, 25% per cent increment in Dearness Allowance, full pension after 20 years service, and various other benefits.
ii. After 58 years of service, the employee will be given the option to either continue his service or seek retirement.
7. Inflation dips to 5-month low of 5.19 % in July
i. Wholesale inflation dropped to a 5-month low of 5.19 per cent in July this year, due to a fall in vegetable prices compared to the same month last year.
ii. Wholesale Price inflation had stood at 5.43 percent in June this year, and at 5.84 per cent in July last year, according to data released by the government today.
iii. Inflation in the overall food articles basket rose to 8.43 percent in July this year. But vegetables prices as a group actually declined 1.27 percent from last July, although they were up 22.83 percent from June.
iv. Onion prices fell 8.13 per cent, year-on-year, in July. But potato prices shot up 46.41 per cent, and fruits surged 31.71 per cent in July. Inflation in manufactured products stood at 3.67 percent.
8. Jayalalithaa appoints P.Venugopal as Parliamentary party leader in LS
i. AIADMK Party Chief Jayalalithaa has appointed A.Navaneethakrishnan as the leader of the Parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha and has removed Dr.Maitreyan who had been holding the post for quiet a long time.
ii. Maitreyan has also been removed from the post of the leader of the Medical wing. Mrs. Sasikala Pushpa has been named the Whip of the AIADMK party in the Rajya Sabha.
iii. A press release from the party also stated that Dr.P.Venugopal would be the leader of the AIADMK Parliamentary party in the Lok Sabha .
iv. K.N.Ramachandran has been nominated as the whip of the party in the Lok Sabha.
9. Jayawardene ends test career in near-perfect style
i. Mahela Jayawardene ended his illustrious 17-year test career in near perfect style in the whitewash win for Sri Lanka against Pakistan on Monday.
ii. A half-century at his home ground, another century stand with his friend and favourite batting partner Kumar Sangakkara, capped with his teammates carrying him off the field on their shoulders.
iii. In retirement he will be preparing a special place in his trophy cabinet for his 15-year test cap as he turns his attention to playing at next year’s World Cup, before quitting international cricket altogether.
iv. Jayawardene made his debut against India in 1997 as a 20-year-old and scored a half-century in his first innings which largely went unnoticed because of Sri Lanka’s record breaking 952-6 with Sanath Jayasuriya (340) and Roshan Mahanama (225) in a 576-run partnership.
10. Hollywood icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89
i. Legendary actress Lauren Bacall, an icon of Hollywood's golden age who lit up the silver screen in a series of classic movies opposite her husband Humphrey Bogart, has died at the age of 89, her family said.
ii. "With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall," the Bogart estate Tuesday confirmed in a brief statement on Twitter.
iii. US media reports said Bacall had died after suffering a massive stroke at her home in New York Tuesday morning.
iv. Born Betty Joan Perske "a nice Jewish girl from the Bronx," as she later put it Bacall electrified Hollywood in her 1944 screen debut "To Have and Have Not", when she famously met Bogart and "taught him how to whistle."
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