Current Affairs: Top Headlines for August 28, 2013

Rupee witnesses biggest single-day fall in last 18 years

Following the approval of the Food Security Bill by Lok Sabha, the Rupee witnessed its biggest single day fall since last 18 years on August 27, 2013. The Rupee fell 2.9% from Rs 64.30/31 to 66.24/25 per dollar.

International Children’s Peace Prize 2013 awarded to Malala Yousafzai

Famous Pakistani brave girl and activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in head by Taliban for campaigning for girls’ right to education, won the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize 2013. She currently lives in Britain where she was given life-saving treatment.

Food Security Bill 2013 passed in Lok Sabha

After a daylong debate, the Lok Sabha finally passed the National Food Security Bill, 2013 that will legitimately entitle 67 % or two-third of India’s population (including 75 % rural and 50 % urban)  to get to subsidized grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). The individuals to whom this scheme will be meant for will be identified by the States using the criteria prescribed by the Union government. An individual under this program will be entitled to 5 kg of rice, wheat or coarse cereals at Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Re. 1 per kg a month, respectively.

US and its allies planning to take action against Syria

Amid opposition by Russia and China for an attack on Syria, USA and its allies are planning for an air attack against Syria. UN experts in Syria are attempting to prove what had actually killed hundreds of civilians in rebel-held suburbs of Damascus (Syria) as the Syrian Govt. had denied using gas.

Rajya Sabha passes Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010

Rajya Sabha passed the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to amend the Hindu Marriage Act (1955) and the Special Marriage Act (1954) that allows for “irretrievable breakdown on marriage” as a base for divorce and also grants women the right to a share in the property of their husbands. The bill has yet to be passed in Lok Sabha

Rajya Sabha passes Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013

Contravening Supreme Court order, Rajya Sabha approved a proposal to maintain the right of those in jail to contest polls. The Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, attempts to add a provision to sub-section (2) section 62 of the Representation of the People (RP Act) to state that a person cannot cease to be a voter while in detention as his/ her right is only temporarily suspended.

Thousands request Facebook for government data, mostly from US and India

Social networking website Facebook disclosed in its transparency report that it received more than 25,000 government data requests in the first half of 2013, with the largest number from the US followed by India. It includedboth criminal and national security requests. The report comes with US tech firms under pressure following revelations of a secret spying program which sneaks up vast amounts of data from Internet companies. Tech companies including Facebook intend to release more information on government data requests, assuming that this would reassure customers’ trust.

Coal Ministry informs SC about non-availability of coal documents

The Coal Ministry, through an affidavit, informed the Supreme Court that the 189 out of 236 documents sought by the CBI, which is investing coal block allocation scam, are not-available. It also informed that an Inter Ministerial Committee has been set up to “examine and review non-availability of any file or document” and to suggest appropriate action for locating them within a month.

Tight entry norms for new banks, four- tier structure: RBI

The RBI, in its discussion paper, proposed “stringent” entry norms for new banks and suggested a four- tier structure for the domestic banking industry. The proposed 4-tier structure envisages a tier-1 consisting of 3-4 large banks with presence both in the country and overseas, along with foreign bank branches.

The tier-2 will consist of mid-sized banks with economy wide reach and will be followed by tier-3 category devoted to old sector private banks, regional rural banks and multi state cooperative banks. The tier-4 will consist of privately owned local banks and cooperative banks.

Brigalia Bam honored with Gandhi Peace Prize

Brigalia Bam, former head of South Africa’s election body, received the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation which was given in recognition to her commitment to democracy. Bam was conferred with this honor for ensuring free and fair elections since the establishment of democracy in 1994 when anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was elected the country’s first democratic president.

Reliance Capital to list proposed bank as a separate entity in 3 years

Reliance Group head Anil Ambani held that the proposed bank would help lower Reliance Capital’s debt to one-fourth of current levels and would be listed as a separate entity in 3 years. He also held that the immediate benefit of the proposed bank would be a decrease in the company’s consolidated debt from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore. Reliance Capital, which is already present in a number of financial services businesses like insurance, mutual funds and brokerage, is one of the 26 entities that have applied for banking licence.

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