Current Affairs – August 2016

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Union Ministry of Mines launches web portal for star rating of major mineral mines

The Union Ministry of Mines has launched web portal for Star Rating of Major Mineral Mines with an aim to promote sustainable mining.

The portal was launched by the Union Minister of State (IC) for Mines, Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal.

Key Facts

  • The online portal was developed by IBM (Indian Bureau of Mining) through NISG (National Institute of Smart Government), Hyderabad.
  • The innovative scheme of star rating of mines was launched by the Union Ministry of Mines through IBM as part of Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) in the mining sector.
  • The main objective of this system is to bring all mines to a minimum standard of Star Rating in the shortest possible time frame to adopt sustainable practices.
  • Based on the performance of the mining leases, a one to five star rating would be given to the mines. Initially, the star rating will be done for mines of major minerals.
  • The star rating will be based on the following parameters: (i) scientific and systematic mining, (ii) addressing social impact of resettlement and rehabilitation, (iii)local community engagements and welfare programmes, (iv) progressive and final mine closure and adoption of international standards and (v) adoption of international standards for mining operations and reporting.


The star rating will help in collation of various technical, environmental and social data by IBM, which will be utilised to allow better management and monitoring of mining areas. In the long run, it will help in formulation of Comprehensive Regional Plans to address cumulative impact in mining areas through coordinated and collective action.


SBI board approves merger of 5 associate banks, BMB with itself

The State Bank of India’s (SBI’s) board of directors has approved merger of its five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with itself.

These five subsidiaries are State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of HyderabadState Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore and Bharatiya Mahila Bank.

Key Facts

  • The board  has finalised the share swap ratio for three of the listed subsidiaries and BMB.
  • It also approved merger of two unlisted associate banks State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Hyderabad with it.
  • The merger will create a global-sized bank with assets worth over Rs 37 lakh crore. It will make SBI one of the top 50 global financial powerhouses in the world.
  • The merged entity will have network of 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs serving a customer base of over 50 crore.
  • SBI has close to 16,500 branches, including 191 foreign offices across 36 countries while the five subsidiary banks have nearly 6,000 branches.
For more details: Cabinet Approval


Maharashtra launches India’s first Crime Criminal Tracking Network System

The Maharashtra Government became first state in the country to launch India’s first comprehensive ‘Crime Criminal Tracking Network System’ (CCTNS) in Mumbai.

It was launched through the operationalisation of 42 cyber laboratories across the state in order to combat growing cybercrimes.

Key Facts

  • The CCTNS has been developed by Pune based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).
  • Under it, all police stations in the state will be linked with one another for sharing information about crimes in their respective jurisdictions.
  • It will pave the way for a digital police force in Maharashtra. The services of the cyber labs, will be linked by secure high-speed fibre optic cable network.
  • It will be available to address cyber security concerns of private organisations and banks among others.
  • Under it, the state government will raise a special cyber police force of around 1,000 policemen well trained to handle the growing incidents of cybercrimes.