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Day To Day Current Affairs - 30th August 2014
1. India, Japan sign MoU to develop Varanasi into ‘smart city’ i. Varanasi, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents in the Lok Sabha, will be developed into a ‘smart city’ by using the experience of Kyoto, the ’smart city’ of Japan, under a pact signed b/w India & Japan.
ii. A Partner City MoU was signed by Indian Ambassador Deepa Wadhwa and Kyoto Mayor Daisaka Kadokawa at a ceremony witnessed by Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. iii. The MoU, which was signed soon after Modi’s arrival here on a five-day visit, provides for cooperation in heritage conservation, city modernisation and cooperation in the fields of art, culture and academics, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters. This will serve as framework for Smart heritage city programme between the two countries, he added.
Note: Kyoto, which is a heritage city with Buddhist culture, provides special symbolism to the visit as the Prime Minister has the vision of “rejuvenating” Indian cities.
2. President confers National Sports Awards to eminent sportspersons i. President Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Sports Awards to eminent sportspersons on the occasion of National Sports Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday. Boxer Jai Bhagwan, shuttler V. Diju and shooter Heena Sidhu are among 14 sports persons who received the Arjuna Award - 2014 for their outstanding performance in the field of sports.
The awardees: Arjuna award: Abhishek Verma (archery), Tintu Luka (athletics), H.N. Girisha (para-athletics), V. Diju (badminton), Geethu Anna Jose (basketball), Jai Bhagwan (boxing), R. Ashwin (cricket), Anirban Lahiri (golf), Mamta Pujari (kabaddi), Saji Thomas (rowing), Heena Sidhu (shooting), Anaka Alankamony (squash), Tom Joseph (volleyball), Renubala Chanu (weightlifting), Sunil Kumar Rana (wrestling).
Dronacharya award: Mahabir Prasad (wrestling); Lifetime achievement: N. Lingappa (athletics), G. Manoharan (boxing), Gurcharan Singh Gogi (judo), Jose Jacob (rowing).
Tenzing Norgay Awards: Land adventure: Subedar Jagat Singh, Passang Tenzing Sherpa; Air adventure: MWO Surender Singh; Lifetime achievement: Wg. Cdr. (retd) Amit Chowdhury.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy: Punjabi University, Patiala.
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (employment of sports persons and sports welfare measures); Jindal Steel Works (community sports–identification and nurturing of budding/young talent); Guru Hanuman akhara (establishment and management of sports academies of excellence); Child Link Foundation of India–Magic Bus (other forms of sports activities not covered in the categories mentioned in the schemes).
Note: i. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees receive statuettes, citations and cash prize of 5 lakh rupees each, whereas recipients of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar were given Trophies. ii. No sportsperson was selected for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this year.
3. Indian Bank to revise FCNR (B) term deposits i. Public sector Indian Bank will revise the interest rate on foreign currency non-resident (banking) term deposits from tomorrow. ii. “For FCNR (B) deposits, in USD, the revised interest rate has been revised to 2.34 per cent (from 2.36 per cent) for deposits of one year and above but less than two years,” the Chennai-based bank said in a statement. iii. For deposits of two years and above but less than three years, it has been revised to 2.71 per cent from the existing 2.76 per cent. iv. Interest rates have been revised to 3.64 per cent for deposits of three years and above but less than four years from the existing 3.71 per cent, it said.
4. Malaysia, India to review economic cooperation pact i. Malaysia and India will soon review their economic cooperation pact, signed in 2011, to chart out ways to enhance and diversify trade further, the Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia, T S Tirumurti, has said. ii. “The two sides are expected to review the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) either in December or February next year,” he said. iii. He said, although, the agreement had helped in a big way and the bilateral trade now stood at $13.38 billion in 2013, as per Malaysian statistics, the trade balance was in Malaysia’s favour. iv. Malaysia exported goods worth $9.95 billion to India, while it imported $4.44 billion from India last year. v. The CECA, which came into force on July 1, 2011, is a free trade agreement, which covers trade in goods and services and investment, as well as, economic cooperation.
5. Noted historian Bipin Chandra passes away
i. Noted historian Bipin Chandra died today at his residence after prolonged illness. He was 86. "He had not been keeping well since last few months. ii. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Chandra had donned multiple roles including that of chairperson of the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Member of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Chairman of the National Book Trust (NBT). iii. Considered to be a specialist in economic and political history of India, Chandra had authored several books including 'The Rise and Growth of Economic Nationalism', 'In the Name of Democracy: The JP Movement and the Emergency', 'Nationalism and Colonialism in Modern India' and 'The Making of Modern India: From Marx to Gandhi', among others. iv. The left leaning author had founded the journal 'Enquiry' and was a member of its editorial board for a long time. v. Born in 1928 in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Chandra studied at the Forman Christian College, Lahore, Stanford University, US and the University of Delhi. vi. He worked as the Reader at Hindu College of Delhi University and then became the professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
6. US actor Harry Belafonte to receive Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar Award i. US actor and singer Harry Belafonte was named for honorary Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar Award on 29 August 2014. Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar Award is one of the three Governor's Award given by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for lifetime achievement. ii. The academy noted his films such as Carmen Jones, Odds Against Tomorrow and The World, the Flesh and the Devil strived to bring attention to the injustices of racism and inequality. He will recieve the award in November 2014.
About Harry Belafonte Belafonte, also known as the King of Calypso, who has spent much of his life campaigning for various causes including Aids awareness, famine relief, education and civil rights. He was a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. He was also named as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987.
7. India Signed agreement with World Bank for MSRPII project i. India on 29 August 2014 signed loan agreement with World Bank for Mizoram State Roads Project (MSRP II). As per the agreement, soft loan window of World Bank, International Development Agency (IDA) will provide assistance of 107 million US dollars for the Project. ii. The agreement was signed by Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs and Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank, India. iii. The objective of the project is to enhance transport connectivity along regional trade corridors in Mizoram.The project will focus on improvement of priority cross-border roads connecting Myanmar and Bangladesh , as also on trade related infrastructure. iv. Thus, the MSRPII will be an important milestone in enhancing the connectivity for the state of Mizoram and the rest of North-East India with Myanmar and Bangladesh. v. The project is the first project facilitating regional connectivity in transport sector undertaken in India with Bank support.
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