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Day To Day Current Affairs - 20th August 2014 By Gandhi Raveendra Reddy

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This post includes the current affairs on 20th August 2104.
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Day To Day Current Affairs - 20th August 2014
1. K V Thomas takes over as new PAC Chairman
i. Senior Congress leader K V Thomas today took over as the new Chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.
ii. The key committee, which examines CAG reports after they are tabled in Parliament, will hold its first meeting next week.
iii. The post of the PAC Chairman is held by a senior member of the Opposition party. Murli Manohar Joshi (BJP) was the Chairman of the PAC in the last Lok Sabha.
Note: i. The PAC, constituted every year, consists of not more than 22 members — 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and not more than seven members from the Rajya Sabha.
ii. The PAC’s controversial 2011 draft report on the 2G scam, which had strongly indicted former Telecom Minister A Raja and come down heavily on the PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat for not taking “corrective action”, continued to be on its ‘unfinished agenda’ for three years.
2. Yoga guru BKS Iyengar passes away
i. World-renowned yoga guru and founder of the Iyengar School of Yoga BKS Iyengar passed away here early this morning following illness.
ii. 96-year-old Iyengar had been ailing since some time and was admitted to a private hospital here a week back. He was put on dialysis after his condition worsened two days back.He breathed his last at 3.15 am.
iii. Iyengar, honoured with Padma Vibhushan, is survived by a son and daughter.
3. HDFC Bank accorded most valued brand
i. HDFC Bank with a brand value of $ 9.4bn is India’s most valuable brand according to the first edition of the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands ranking that was announced in Mumbai today.
ii. At pole position, HDFC Bank’s valuation was much higher than telecom major Airtel at $ 8.2 bn that occupied the second spot.
iii. Other banking sector leaders like State Bank of India (SBI) at $ 6.8 bn were placed at number three with ICICI Bank ($ 3.53 billion) at fourth position.
iv. The combined brand value of all the 50 top brands in the ranking was about $70bn.
Note: The study, undertaken by marketing and brand consultancy Millward Brown in conjunction with the WPP Group, claims to be the only one in India that takes into account consumer opinions of brands to calculate the contribution that product brands make to business success.
4. IDBI donates Rs9 cr to build toilets in rural schools
i. The IDBI Bank has donated Rs 9 crore towards the building of 300 gender-segragated toilets in schools close to the bank’s branches in rural and semi-urban areas.
ii. IDBI CMD M.S. Raghavan said this was the Bank’s contribution to the Swachh Bharat Mission announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day.
iii. This was part of its CSR initative, he said, lauding the national mission which was sure to go a long way to improve health and sanitation facilities for rural India and encourage the girl child’s education.
5. 2015-16 to be observed as Water Conservation Year: Uma Bharti
i. Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has stressed the need for interlinking of rivers to save excess water from floods.
ii. Speaking at an International Seminar in New Delhi today, Ms Bharti said that her Ministry has finalized 30 river interlinking projects which will be implemented in the next 10 years.
iii.The Union Cabinet has recently approved the Ken-Betwa link.
iv. She said that interlinking is being done keeping in view the aqua life and ecological balance.
6. TCS and Bharti Foundation announced to spend 200 crore rupees for Clean India Campaign
i. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Bharti Foundation announce to spend 200 crore rupees for Clean India Campaign.
ii. TCS has decided to provide hygienic sanitation facilities in 10000 schools for girl students. On the other hand, Bharti Foundation (development arm of Bharti Enterprises) decided to build toilets in Ludhiana in next three years covering every rural household.
iii. This initiative of Bharti Foundation is part of Satya Bharti Abhiyan where in it will invest in improving sanitation facilities in government schools in rural Ludhiana by building new toilets for girls where no such facilities exist.
7. Indian neuroscientist Partha Mitra awarded research grant to map the human brain
i. Partha Mitra, an Indian neuroscientist in the United States, was awarded Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) to map the human brain on 19 August 2014 under President Barack Obama’s multi-year BRAIN Initiative.
ii. Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) is an Initiative by the US government to identify brain structures.
iii. Partha Mitra was awarded this grant along with Florin Albeanu, a researcher at the National Science Foundation. With this grant, they would develop a virtual neuroanatomist, an artificial-intelligence system that can recognize neural structures and cell types in tiny images of brain slices. They would also be developing conceptual and physical tools that may help to promote neuroscience.
8. Hindu eco-temple opens in London
i. A Hindu temple, claiming to be the world's first 'eco-temple' featuring solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system, has been opened in northwest London in the UK.
ii. The ornate Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in Kingsbury combines traditional Indian architecture, intricate carvings and masterful artistry with green technology.The temple opened yesterday.
iii. Mayor of London Boris Johnson described the new temple and facilities as stunning and impressive during his recent visit to the temple.
9. India and Czech Republic signed MoU on technical cooperation in Railway
i. India and Czech Republic on 19 August 2014 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation in railway sector. This MoU was signed between the Union Ministry of Railways and Czech Railways (Ceske Drahy) of the Czech Republic and Association of Czech Railway Industry (ACRI) of the Czech Republic.
ii. The MoU was signed at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi by Chairman of Railway Board, Arunendra Kumar and Ambassador of Czech Republic, Miloslav Stasek.
10. Jammu and Kashmir to host Football Federation Cup in August 2015
i. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on 18 August 2014 that Jammu and Kashmir will host Football Federation Cup in August 2015.
About Federation Cup
i. The Federation Cup is an annual club level football tournament of India. It was started in 1977.
ii. Presently it is the most important club tournament after the I-League to which it has become a de facto League Cup. The winning club of the Federation Cup gets a chance to compete in the continental level in AFC Cup.
iii. The current holders of the Federation Cup are Churchill Brothers which defeated Sporting Clube de Goa by 3–1 in the 2014 final held in Kochi.
11. Dutch teenager Max Verstappen to become youngest Formula One driver
i. Max Verstappen of Netherlands will become the youngest Formula One (F1) driver in the F1 history when he will compete for the 2015 season. For the 2015 season he will make the F1 debut with Scuderia Toro Rosso
ii. Verstappen currently racing in Formula Three is the son of former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen, who had contested for 106 Grands Prix for teams such as Benetton and Tyrrell between 1994 and 2003.
iii. The youngest driver to earn a Championship point is Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, who was 19 when he finished ninth in this season's opening race in Australia. The Russian will be Verstappen's team-mate in 2015.
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