1. India, Nepal ink 3 pacts; work on Pancheshwar dam to start soon
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala during which the two sides inked three agreements, including one on the 5,600 MW Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project that will pave the way to start the stalled project.
ii. Modi, who arrived here this morning on his maiden official visit to Nepal, met Koirala at Singha Durbar Secretariat.
iii. The two leaders discussed various issues including Nepal’s peace process and constitution-drafting process as well as economic issues. They also discussed various facets of mutual relations and issues of common interest.
iv. Nepal and India has also signed three separate Memorandum of Understandings during the bilateral talks held between the delegations led Modi and Koirala.
v. Under the first agreement, India would provide Rs 65 million to procure and distribute iodised salt in the rural areas of Nepal. This would be the extension of the ongoing goiter control project being implemented under India’s grant.
vi. The two governments also signed MOU regarding the amendment of Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project on the Mahakali river.
vii. Under the agreement, the two countries have agreed to move forward works relating to Pancheshwar Development Authority by declaring Pancheshwar authority regulation.
viii. The project falls under the integrated treaty on Mahakali River, bordering both Nepal and India, which was signed in 1996. It could not be developed earlier as the two countries could not decide on the terms of reference.
2. PM offers $1 bn credit to Nepal
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on an official visit to Nepal offered a line of $1 billion credit to the Himalayan nation, a minister said Sunday.
ii. The fund is for road and hydro-power projects, Nepalese Finance Minister Ram Saran Mahat briefed the media.
iii. Modi is on a two-day visit to Nepal which is expected to strengthen bilateral and regional ties between the two neighbouring countries.
3. English marks in CSAT-II will not be included for gradation: govt
i. English marks in CSAT-II will not be included for gradation or merit and 2011 candidates may get a second chance to appear for the test next year, the government announced in the Lok Sabha on Monday seeking to defuse the UPSC row that has seen the aspirants on the warpath.
ii. Government is of the opinion that in the Civil Services Preliminary examination, Paper-II, the marks of the question section on ‘English Language comprehension skills’ should not be included for gradation or merit,” Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said seeking to mollify the agitating candidates.
iii. In a brief statement Mr. Singh said, “Candidates, who appeared in Civil Services Examination 2011, may be given one more attempt in 2015.”
iv. Parliament has witnessed repeated uproar and several adjournments in the past few days over the issue.
v. There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the preliminary examination. These papers are also known as CSAT-I and CSAT-II.
vi. The CSAT-II paper carries questions on comprehension, inter-personal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem- solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills (of Class X level).
vii. Students have been objecting to the level of aptitude and English language questions being asked in the examination claiming they are much above the standard prescribed for the examination.
viii. The civil services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in three stages — preliminary, main, and interview — to choose candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.
4. Ramon Magsaysay Award 2014 announced
i. The prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards for year 2014 was announced.. The list of awardees included six winners among five individuals and one organization from Pakistan.
The 2014 Awardees are:
i. Hu Shuli: She is a Chinese investigative journalist whose work has led to the ouster of corrupt officials. She is the founder and former editor of Caijing a business magazine famed for its groundbreaking investigative reporting that has had a profound impact on China.
ii. Saur Marlina Manurung: She is being recognized for her ennobling passion to protect and improve the lives of Indonesia’s forest people, and her energizing leadership of volunteers in SOKOLA’s customized education program. She put up a Jungle School program for children of Indonesia’s Orang Rimba, or forest people.
iii. Omara Khan Masoudi from Afghanistan: He is being recognized for his courage, labor, and leadership in protecting Afghan cultural heritage. Masoudi was awarded for his courage in protecting Afghan cultural heritage.
iv. The Citizens Foundation from Pakistan: It is a non-profit organisation (NGO) in Pakistan founded by six business leaders. It was recognized for building 1000 schools over hundreds of cities and towns in the country with the world’s second highest number of children who are out of school.
v. Wang Canfa from China: Wang Canfa founded the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, which has offered free legal services to thousands of people and provided environmental law training to lawyers and others.
vi. Randy Halasan for Emergent Leadership from the Philippines: He was chosen for the award for serving the indigenous Matigsalug tribe. He put in huge efforts in teaching the children of the Matigsalug tribe in one of the remotest mountain villages in Mindanao.
About Ramon Magsaysay Awards
i. The award was established in 1957. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
ii. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named.
iii. The award is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.
5. 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games concluded; India finished 5th with 64 medals
i. 20th Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2014 concluded at Hampden Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on 3 August 2014 at.
ii. The game that saw 17 sports in a competition of 11 days was held from 23 July to 3 August 2014.
iii. The Glasgow 2014 CWG was declared closed in presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and vice patron of Commonwealth Games Federation. The 21st Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast in Australia.
India in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland
i. India in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland stood at the fifth position in the rankings after closing its account with total 64 medals (15 Gold, 30 silver and 19 Bronze). This was third highest medal haul after 2010 Delhi CWG (101 medals) and 2002 Manchester CWG (69 medals).
ii. On closing ceremony, the Indian contingent’s flag bearer was Seema Punia, who won Silver in women’s discus throw. While, the torch bearer in the opening ceremony was ace shooter Vijay Kumar, the 2012 London Olympics Silver medalist.
Note: England topped the medals tally while Australia got the second position. Canada was third followed by Scotland.
15 Indians who won gold at 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow
• Yogeshwar Dutt: Men’s wrestling, 65 kg freestyle
• Babita Kumari: Women’s wrestling, 55 kg freestyle
• Sushil Kumar: Men’s wrestling, 75kg
• Amit Kumar: Men’s wrestling, 57kg
• Vinesh Phogat: Women’s wrestling, 48kg
• Satish Sivalingam: Men’s weightlifting, 77 kg (broke the Commonwealth Games record for the snatch with a mark of 149kg)
• Vikas Gowda: Men’s discus throw (first person to win a gold medal for India in 56 years in Men’s Athletics after Milkha Singh in 1958)
• Jitu Rai: Men’s shooting, 50 m Pistol
• Rahi Sarnobat: Women’s shooting, 25 m Pistol
• Apurvi Chandela: Women’s shooting, 10 m Air Rifle
• Abhinav Bindra: Men’s 10m Air Rifle
• K Sanjita Chanu: Women’s weightlifting 48 kg category
• Sukhen Dey: Men’s weightlifting 56 kg category
• Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa: Women’s squash
• Parupalli Kashyap: Men’s Badminton
About the Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international sporting event that involves athletes from 71 nations and territories connected with the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Games is a unique, world class, multi-sports event which is held once every four years. It is often referred to as the Friendly Games.
6. England topped the Medal Tally at 2014 Commonwealth Games
i. England on the concluding day 3 August 2014 topped the medal table at 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. It won a total of 174 medals comprising of 58 Gold, 59 Silver and 57 Bronze medals. While, Australia was ranked second with total 137 medals and Canada ranked third with 82 medals.
ii. The first Gold medal on the concluding day went to England cyclist Lizzie Armistead in the road race. The country ended the day with Gold medal in badminton won by Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock.
iii. England had also won the first Gold medal of the 2014 CWG on the opening day 24 July 2014. The first medal of the Games was won by Jodie Stimpson of England in women’s triathlon.
iv. This has been the most successful Commonwealth games for England since 1986 in Edinburg, the last time when the games were staged in Scotland.
7. P Kashyap wins gold in Badminton
i. Parupalli Kashyap etched his name firmly in the history books by becoming the first Indian male shuttler in 32 years to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, but women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had to settle for a silver on Sunday.
ii. A bronze-medallist at the Delhi Games, Kashyap rose to the occasion and played a sensational game of nerves to eke out a breath-taking 21-14 11-21 21-19 triumph against Derek Wong of Singapore in the final showdown which lasted for over an hour.
iii. Kashyap joined badminton legend Prakash Padukone and late Syed Modi, who had won the title in the past. While Padukone had won the men’s singles gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Modi retained it four years later.
iv. It turned out to be a red letter day for World No. 22 Kashyap who bagged the biggest title of his career. He reached the quarterfinals of the London Olympics and won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in 2012.
8. India lose to Australia 0-4, settle for silver in men’s hockey
i. India men’s hockey team lost 0-4 to Australia in the final and had to be content with a silver medal on the final day of the 20th Commonwealth Games at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Sunday.
ii. Two goals on either side of the break gave the Australians their fifth consecutive Commonwealth gold.
iii. Drag flicker Chris Ciriello scored a hat-trick of penalty corner goals while Eddie Ockenden chipped in with one.
iv. Australia had beaten India 8-0 in the final in Delhi four years ago, resulting in India’s only previous hockey medal, a silver, in the Commonwealth Games.
9. Jwala-Ashwini settle for silver
i. Jawala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa failed to recreate the same magic as their title defence lay in tatters after a 17-21 21-23 defeat against World No. 18 Malaysian combo of Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon in the 41-minute summit clash at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Sunday.
ii. Nonetheless, the silver medal is yet another feather in the caps of Jwala and Ashwini who had clinched the 2011 World Championship bronze and also bagged the bronze at the Asian Badminton Championship in April this year.
10. WFI suspends tainted referee Virender Malik
i. Wrestling Federation of India on Monday suspended referee Virender Malik, who was detained on charges of alleged sexual assault in Glasgow during the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games, with immediate effect.
ii. The president of WFI, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh took the decision to suspend the tainted official but the Federation would wait for details from Scotland police before making his ban permanent.
iii. “The news of Malik’s arrest came and since it was a Sunday and the office was close, the decision to suspend Malik was taken on Monday by the WFI president. The first thing the President did today was issue a suspension against Malik with immediate effect,” Assistant secretary of WFI, Vinod Tomar told PTI.