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Government approves pact between India and Seychelles to curb black money

With an intention of curbing black money generation the government approved signing and ratification of the Tax information exchange agreements between India and Seychelles. According to the agreement both the nations will exchange information with each other regarding taxes so as to curb tax evasion and avoidance by its citizens. As per the agreement the information provided by each nation will be treated as confidential and may be disclosed only to persons or concern authorities (Judiciary) who in relation to taxes covered under the agreement.
Due to this agreement the competent authorities of both the countries will get relevant information for administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of two countries concerning taxes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Seychelles as part of three-nation tour for cementing strategic partnership with island countries of Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka in March 2015. On his visit he had inked various agreements – relating setting up joint working group to promote ocean based economy, free visa on arrival (VoA) and free visas for three months.  Four MoUs were signed in fields of renewable energy, hydro graphic survey, electronics navigation and infrastructure development at the island of Seychelles.
Government Measures to curb Black Money
The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Asset) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 was passed by the parliament in May 2015.
 It makes people mandatory to disclose their foreign income and assets and pay 30 per cent of it as tax and if fail to pay in given time limit then extra 90 per cent is levied.
 India and United States have signed inter-governmental agreement to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) under which both the nations exchange a wide range of financial information among themselves automatically and periodically.
 In June 2015, India has joined the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (AEOI) which includes Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Indonesia and New Zealand.

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Ashwani Lohani appointed new Air India chief

Ashwani Lohani, Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME) official, was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of national carrier Air India Ltd, for three years.He will be replacing Rohit Nandan, whose extended tenure ends tomorrow.The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved appointment of Mr. Lohani, a 1980 batch IRSME officer, as CMD, Air India Ltd, for tenure of three years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said.He is presently working as Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, in Bhopal.The first extension came on August 11, last year, after he completed a three-year term at the helm of Air India, steering it through a difficult phase of merger.Following this, the Civil Aviation Ministry had sought his continuation in the post crediting Mr. Nandan with improving the performance of the loss-making airline and successfully making Air India a member of the 27-member global airlines grouping, Star Alliance.

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Sebastian Coe elected IAAF president

The sport's 214 federations cast their votes in Beijing to decide who should lead the sport, which is dealing with the fall-out from a series of doping allegations.
The UK's Lord Coe succeeds Senegalese Lamine Diack, 82, who has led the IAAF for 16 years.The other contender was Ukrainian Olympic pole vaulter Sergey Bubka.
Lord Coe's initial term will be for four years.
He won 115 votes from the voting members that make up the International Association of Athletics Federations, with Bubka receiving 92.The two-time 1500m Olympic gold medallist praised the organisation for how the contest was conducted, saying it was "fought according to sound judgement throughout".
 About IAAF 
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics. It was founded on 17 July 1912 at its first congress in Stockholm, Sweden by representatives from 17 national athletics federations as the International Amateur Athletics Federation. Since October 1993, it has been headquartered in Monaco.Beginning in 1982, the IAAF passed several amendments to its rules allowing athletes to receive compensation for participation in international athletics competitions. However, the IAAF retained the word "amateur" in its name until its 2001 Congress at which the IAAF's name was changed to its current form.

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Taj Mahal makes to world’s top 5 travel hotspots

The Taj Mahal has made it to the top five of a prestigious new list of the world’s best tourist attractions.Lonely Planet’s “Ultimate Travelist” ranks the historic mausoleum built in Agra by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as the fifth most attractive travel hotspot in the world and describes it as a “magnificent Mughal masterpiece”.According to the list, the architectural perfection is reached beginning with “acres of shimmering white marble. Add a few thousand semi-precious stones, carved and inlaid in intricate Islamic patterns. Take a sublime setting by a sacred river, in jewel-like formal gardens. Apply a little perfect symmetry, and tie up the whole package in an outlandish story of timeless love. And there you have the Taj Mahal”.It notes that there’s no other building in India that so perfectly encapsulates the attitudes and atmosphere of its era.The Temples of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Cambodia, tops the list as a complex of more than 1,000 temples, shrines and tombs which attracts more than 2 million visitors annually.The Great Barrier Reef in Australia comes in at number two, the Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru at number three, and the Great Wall of China at four.Travel writers and Lonely Planet staff were invited to submit ideas before voting on their favourites.Voters were asked to consider which sights enthused, inspired, and excited them the most.The one UK entry was the British Museum, which came in 15th on the wish list. To celebrate the release of the new book, some of the world’s finest sand sculptors will recreate five sights from around the world on Peter’s Hill near St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London later this week. 

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Reserve Bank of India notified the Union Budget 2015-16 Interest Subvention Scheme


Reserve Bank of India on thirteen August 2015 notified the Union Budget-2015-16 Interest Subvention scheme (ISS) and asked all banks to provide interest concession of 2 % on short term crop loans of up to three lakh rupees.The central bank in its notification said that interest subvention of 2 % p.a. will be made available to public and private sector banks provided they lend short term credit at the bottom level at 7 % p.a. to farmers.The bank said that extra interest subvention of 3 % will be offered to farmers for repaying the loan promptly from the date of disbursement of the crop loan. This implies that farmers paying promptly would get short term crop loans at 4 % during the year 2015-16.To provide relief to farmers affected by natural calamities, the reserve bank has said that interest subvention of 2 % will continue to be available to banks for the 1st year on the restructured amount. However, such restructured loans may attract normal rate of interest from the second year onwards.
The government in the budget for 2015-16 proposed to implement interest subvention scheme during 2015-16 fiscal for short-term crop loans up to 3 lakh rupees. After that, the Union Government on twenty one July 2015 extended ISS to Public Sector Banks (PSBs), private sector commercial banks, rural regional banks (RRBs), cooperative banks and NABARD.

About RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is India's central banking institution, which controls the monetary policy of the Indian rupee. It commenced its operations on 1 April 1935 during the British Rule in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 The original share capital was divided into shares of 100 each fully paid, which were initially owned entirely by private shareholders.  Following India's independence on 15 August 1947, the RBI was nationalised on 1 January 1949.
The RBI plays an important part in the Development Strategy of the Government of India. It is a member bank of the Asian Clearing Union. The general superintendence and direction of the RBI is entrusted with the 21-member Central Board of Directors: the Governor (Dr. Raghuram Rajan), 4 Deputy Governors, 2 Finance Ministry representatives, 10 government-nominated directors to represent important elements from India's economy, and 4 directors to represent local boards headquartered at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and New Delhi. Each of these local boards consists of 5 members who represent regional interests, and the interests of co-operative and indigenous banks.The bank is also active in promoting financial inclusion policy and is a leading member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

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Prof. Mustansir Barma won the prestigious Gujar Mal Modi Award

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that Prof. Mustansir Barma, a distinguished Professor and former Director, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai has made immense contribution in the field of Statistical Physics in India. 

He has published numerous papers on the topic and is one of the best recognized names in the discipline internationally. Addressing after presenting Prof. Mustansir Barma with the prestigious “Gujar Mal Modi Award for his commendable contribution in the field of Science and Technology” at a function here today, he has said that his personal initiative in expanding the TIFR campus in Hyderabad and his support and encouragement to younger scientists in exploring new areas is commendable. The bestowing of this year’s prestigious G.M. Modi Science Award to Prof. Mustansir Barma is a most befitting step taken by Gujar Mal Modi Foundation. He said that a number of historical, cultural, political, social and economic situations have given rise to the need to develop strategies that favour the popularization of science and technology. The technical possibilities of gaining access to information are changing our vision of the world and transforming the relationship between human beings and the appropriation and dissemination of knowledge.The Vice President opined that today, access to knowledge is synonymous with development, well-being and quality of life. The world is increasingly being divided into societies that produce knowledge, and those that are essentially consumers of it. To be a society that progresses, builds and creates, rather than being one that passively contemplates such progress, it is essential to make science and technology an essential part of the culture of the people. The popularization of science and technology must make such knowledge a central component of culture, of social awareness and of collective intelligence. It must also contribute to an effective address of cultural, social and economic issues.
About Gulzar mal Modi Award 

•  the G.M. Modi Foundation has been instituted an annual award, the Gujar Mal            Modi Award for Innovative Science & Technology.
• The award acknowledge excellence in scientific research and development.
• The award consist of Rs. 2.01 lakh, a silver shield and a scroll of honor.

About Mustansir Barma

•   Mustansir Barma is an Indian Scientist specializing in Statistical Physics.
•   He was former Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
•   He has published numerous papers on the topic and is one of the best recognized names in the discipline internationally..
•   His personal initiative in expanding the TIFR campus in Hyderabad and his support and encouragement to younger scientists in exploring new areas is commendable.

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First Lady of India Mrs Suvra Mukherjee passed away

Smt. Suvra Mukherjee was born on September 17, 1940 in Jessore
(now in Bangladesh) and married Shri Pranab Mukherjee on July 13, 1957. A graduate, Smt. Suvra Mukherjee was an ardent fan of India’s national poet, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. She was a vocalist of Rabindra Sangeet and performed in the poet’s dance-dramas for long years not only in different parts of India, but also in Europe, Asia and Africa. Smt. Suvra Mukherjee founded the ‘Geetanjali Troupe’, whose mission
is to propagate Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy as expressed through his
songs and dance-dramas. She was the guiding force behind all productions of the Troupe. Smt. Mukherjee was also a highly talented painter who had many
group and solo exhibitions to her credit. She considered her mother who was herself a painter as the source of her creative inspiration and her works won critical acclaim. Smt. Mukherjee has written two books: Chokher Aloey which is a personal account of her close interaction with Smt. Indira Gandhi and Chena Achenai Chin- a travelogue recounting her visit to China. Smt. Suvra Mukherjee and Shri Pranab Mukherjee have threechildren Shri Abhijit Mukherjee, Shri Indrajit Mukherjee and Ms. Sharmistha Mukherjee.

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Urdu litterateur Shamim Hanfi has been selected for the first Jnangarima Manad Alankaran award

Noted Urdu litterateur Shamim Hanfi has been chosen for the first Jnangarima Manad Alankaran award, instituted by the Bharatiya Jnanpith this year, the literary body said today.The award marks the seven decades of Jnanpith.Hanfi was selected for the award in a meeting of jury members chaired by Hindi author Vishwanath Tripathi. Other members of the board included poet Kedarnath Singh and author Madhusudan Anand.The Jnangarima Manad Alankaran award comprises a monthly honorarium for one year."Jury members along with the members of Bhartiya Jnanpith family will felicitate this year's award to Hanfi at his residence in an informal ceremony," Leeladhar Mandloi, Director Bharatiya Jnanpith said in a statement here today.

The Bharatiya Jnanpith was founded in 1944 to undertake systematic research and publication of Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali and Apabhramsha texts and covers subjects like religion, philosophy, logic, ethics, grammar, astrology and poetics.It annually publishes books in Hindi (both original and translated works) and other languages, and also presents the literary awards, the Jnanpith Awards and the Moortidevi Award, besides awards for upcoming writers.

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Government appointed new heads in five Public Sector Banks


In a significant change of policy, government has roped in private sector professionals to run two of its largest banks — Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank — as it announced appointment of MDs and CEOs of five lenders.The move is seen as a part of process to reform the public sector banking industry, which accounts for over 70 per cent of the banking business, but struggling to deal with mounting non-performing assets.In past, public sector banks heads were selected from among the state-run banks or government officers.
Apart from these two banks-Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia also announced names of MDs and CEOs of Bank of India, IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank. These three executive heads are serving officials in other government-owned banks.
In addition, Adhia also announced appointments of non-Executive Chairman at Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Vijaya Bank and Indian Bank.
The government also picked up private sector executives for the post of non-Executive Chairman of Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank.
1. Managing Director and CEO of VBHC Value Homes Pvt Ltd P S Jayakumar (53) has been selected to head Bank of Baroda.MD and CEO of private sector lender The Laxmi Vilas Bank Rakesh Sharma (57) will head Canara Bank.M O Rego (Deputy Managing Director, IDBI Bank), Kishore Kharat Piraji (Executive Director, Union Bank of India), and Usha Ananthasubramanian (CMD, Bhartiya Mahila Bank) are the new MD and CEOs of Bank of India, IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank, respectively.
Rego and Ananthasubramanian took charge .
Ravi Venkatesan (51), Independent Director, Infosys  has been appointed as non-Exeuctive Chairman of Bank of Baroda. T N Manoharan (59), Director, Tech Mahindra, Public Health Foundation is non-Executive Chairman of Canara Bank.G Padmananbhan (Retired ED of RBI), G Narayanan (Retired ED, Indian Overseas Bank) and T C V Subramainian (Retired CMD, Exim Bank) have been appointed as non-Executive Chairman of Bank of India, Vijaya Bank and Indian Bank, respectively.

Five MD and CEOs were appointed earlier.The government had decided to separate the post of Chairman and Managing Director by prescribing that in the subsequent vacancies to be filled up the CEO will get the designation of MD & CEO and there would be another person who would be appointed as non-Executive Chairman of PSBs.
“This approach is based on global best practices and as per the guidelines in the Companies Act to ensure appropriate checks and balances. The selection process for both these positions has been transparent and meritocratic.

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Ajinkya Rahane created a world record as he became the first player to take eight catches in a Test match

Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane created a world record as he became the first non-keeper player to take eight catches in a Test match. Rahane achieved the feat on the third day of the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle when he caught  Rangana Herath at slip off Amit Mishra. Rahane grabbed three catches in the first innings and five more in the second to surpass five international players -- Yajurvindra Singh (India), Greg Chappell (Australia), Hashan Tilakaratne (Sri Lanka), Stephen Fleming (New Zealand) and Mathew Hayden (Australia), all of whom took 7 catches in a match.Incidentally Yajuvindra took 7 catches in a Test after Independence Day in 1977, while Rahane has done it on the eve of August 15.England's Jack Russell and South African AB de Villiers shared the most number of dismissals (11) record by wicket-keeper against South Africa in 1995 and Pakistan in 2013 respectively.

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