1. Railway Budget set to be merged with Union Budget from next fiscal
i. Ending a 92-year-old tradition which started during the colonial era, Railway Budget will be merged with the General Budget from 2017-18 onwards.
ii. The move is considered to be a relief to the national transporter, which was suffering from an additional burden of about Rs 40,000 crore on account the Seventh Pay Commission and close to Rs 35,000 crore on subsidy burden. If the merger happens, the Railways will get rid of the annual dividend that it has to pay for gross budgetary support from the government.
iii. According to a report, the finance ministry has given a go-ahead signal to the proposal by the Railways ministry and has set up a five-member committee in this regard.
2. Govt sets up National Committee on Trade Facilitation
i. The Centre has constituted the National Committee on Trade Facilitation following India’s ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in April.
ii. The NCTF will facilitate domestic co-ordination and TFA provisions’ implementation, and help develop the pan-India trade facilitation road map.
iii. The committee is a mandatory, institutional arrangement under TFA.
3. Nasscom launches operations of its startup warehouse in Visakhapatnam
i. The apex IT industry body in the country, National Association of Software and Services (Nasscom) has launched operations of its startup warehouse at Sunrise Startup Village at Rushikonda in Visakhapatnam, AP.
ii. This is the first Nasscom Startup Warehouse in AP and ninth under its 10,000 startup initiative by 2020, which was kick-started from Bengaluru in 2013.
iii. The warehouse would provide affordable co-working space with incubation for six months. In this regards, Nasscom has selected five teams to join the incubation programme at their Visakhapatnam facility.
4. Nadda inaugurates AMRIT outlet at Safdarjung hospital
i. Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda has inaugurated an AMRIT pharmacy at the city-based Safdarjung hospital in News Delhi.
ii. The new AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) Pharmacy, the 10th such in the country, will sell drugs at highly discounted rates.
iii. The project has been floated in a tie-up with government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd, which is mandated to establish and run the AMRIT chain of pharmacies across the country.
5. Rajasthan signs MoU with India Trade and Exhibition Centre
i. Rajasthan government led by Vasundhara Raje has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India Trade And Exhibition Centre (ITEC), Dubai for the promotion of skill development, investment and tourism sectors.
ii. As per the agreement, ITEC would work as a service providing agency for promotion of skill development, investment and tourism sectors in Rajasthan.
6. Sri Lanka and China sign a tripartite agreement to construct Financial City Center in Colombo
i. Sri Lanka and China have signed a tripartite agreement to proceed with the construction of a Financial City Center in capital Colombo.
ii. However, Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority, the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and the China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd signed the agreement for the development of Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) formerly known as the Colombo Port City.
iii. The USD 1.4 billion Port City project which initially began construction in September 2014 under the former government was suspended in March 2015 by President Maithripala Sirisena’s government due to environmental concerns. However, in March 2016, the project was given a nod from the government stating that the project would convert Sri Lanka into an international hub in the region.
7. Manipal Technologies acquires CrossFraud detection solution from Bengaluru company
i. Manipal Technologies Ltd (MTL), which is a secure print solutions organization has announced that it has acquired CrossFraud – an advanced fraud detection and anti-money laundering solution from Bengaluru-based Saraansh Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount.
ii. The acquisition comes with four international patents in risk and fraud detection area which is already implemented in two banks in Thailand and six banks in India.
8. Syndicate Bank launches Project Ananya aimed at digital banking
i. India’s major commercial banks of India, Syndicate Bank has launched a program called “Project Ananya” that focuses on improved customer service and offering the latest in digital banking services.
ii. Project Ananya over the next 2 years will upgrade the products, services and digital channels of the Bank to cater to the fast changing customer needs including those of the younger generation, who are more tech-savvy and prefer to do banking online. The project is also focused on improving business through enhanced sales and service focus as well as improving the HR policies and practices of the Bank.
iii. The bank plans to transform 10 % of its branches to the new format in the next 6-12 months. The first Ananya branch was opened by MD and CEO Arun Srivastava.
9. SBI, Korea Development Bank join hands for biz opportunities
i. The Country’s largest public sector lender State bank of India and Korea Development Bank have signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance business synergies.
ii. The agreement was signed between SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, and chairman and CEO of Korea Development Bank (KDB), Lee Dong-Geol.
iii. Through this MoU, both SBI and KDB will gain direct access to both markets of operation, and will be able to use the vast combined network to expand their businesses abroad. In this regards, both the banks will also set up a korea desk in India to enable a smooth cooperation and draw the full benefit from the MoU.
10. Former Chief Secretary Sudhanshu Mishra passes away
i. Former Odisha chief secretary Sudhanshu Bhushan Mishra has passed away in Bhubaneswar. He was suffering from cancer. Mishra was 76 years old and a 1965 batch IAS officer.
ii. Mishra was the Chief Secretary of Odisha during the tenure of former Chief Minister JB Patnaik from 1995-1999.
iii. The former IAS officer was also a member of the Indian Red Cross Society-Odisha State Branch Working Committee. He was also actively involved in various social organisations and was an independent director of the Nalco.
11. Cipla names Umang Vohra as MD & Global CEO
i. Indian’s multinational pharmaceutical company Cipla Limited has appointed Umang Vohra as the managing director (MD) & global chief executive officer (CEO) of the company effective September 1, 2016.
ii. The current incumbent, Subhanu Saxena will step down from his position on August 31, 2016, to attend to emergent family priorities.
iii. The company also announced that Samina Vaziralli, Executive Director (ED) and the global head – strategy, M&A and Cipla New Ventures, will be the executive vice-chairman of Cipla effective September 1, 2016.
12. Manjula Chellur is the new chief justice of Bombay high court
i. The Ministry of Law and Justice has notified the appointment of Justice Manjula Chellur as the next Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
ii. Justice Chellur, who is currently the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, will take charge of Bombay High Court on or before August 24, 2016.
iii. She replaces CJ Dhirendra Hiralal Waghela.
13. Saraswat Cooperative Bank appoints it new Chairman – Gautam Eknath Thakur
i. Gautam Eknath Thakur has been elected Chairman of the leading co- operative banker, Saraswat Bank.
ii. Saraswat Bank is an urban co-operative banking institution based inMumbai, Maharashtra and operating as a co-operative bank since 1918.
14. Lionel Messi announces to continue to play for Argentina
i. Lionel Messi has announced that he will play on for Argentina, reversing his decision in June to retire from international soccer.
ii. The Barcelona forward Messi had announced not to play for Argentina again after the team lost to Chile in the final of the Copa America in the United States.
iii. A few hours later the announcement, Messi was named in new coach Edgardo Bauza’s squad to face Uruguay and Venezuela in 2018 World Cup, South American qualifiers to be held in the first week of September.
15. Ethiopian sets world record in 10,000 metre run
i. Ethiopian runner Almaz Ayana ran 10,000 metres in 29:17.45 minutes, to set a new world record and win the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
ii. Ayana smashed the 23-year-old record of 29:31.78 minutes set by China’s Wang Junxia in 1993.
iii. She becomes the first woman to break a 10,000-metre world record at an Olympic Games.