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As part of rationalization after merger of six associate banks with itself, the country’s largest commercial bank State Bank of India (SBI) changed names and IFSC codes of nearly 1,300 branches across the country. This mega merger had come into effect from 1 April 2017

The merger of six associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with State Bank of India (SBI) came to effect from 1 April 2017, thus resulting into increase in size and valuation of the bank.

 Now the SBI has changed name of banks and IFSC codes of a total of 1,295 branches across the country as per the SBI naming conventions and IFSC code system.

 The merger of associates and BMB had helped SBI reduce 1,805 branches and rationalise 244 administrative offices. As a result of merger, SBI witnessed addition of around 71,000 new employees to its earlier work force of around 2 lakh.


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the civil aviation regulator in India, released policy for drone operations in the country on 27 August 2018. According to this policy, all drone operators have to secure a registration and a unique ID number from 1 December 2018 to carry on drone operations for different purposes

Businesses across industries ranging from real estate developers to power producers in India will be able to use commercial drones for monitoring, and shipping and delivery operations from 1 December 2018. This was disclosed in the landmark policy for drone operations, which was unveiled by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on 27 August 2018.

 In the initial phase, drones will be permitted to operate only along the visual line-of-sight and only during the day, with a maximum altitude of 400 feet. The initial policy framework requires drone operators to secure registration and a unique identification number from 1 December 2018.

 Exemptions have been offered to some categories of drones. These include those in the nano category, less than or equal to 250 grams and operating below 50 feet, as well as those in the micro category weighing between 250g and 2kg and operating below 200 feet. Drones operated by select government agencies also do not require a licence.

 Those with an operator’s licence need to have features such as a global positioning system, return-to-home facility, anti-collision capability, flight controller with flight data logging capacity, a SIM to ensure that drones do not take off without permission and an identification plate.


Google has tied up with four private banks to provide instant loans online, as was announced on 28 August 2018 HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Federal Bank

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is partnering with four Indian banks – HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Federal Bank, to grant instant loans online.

 This tie-up has been done as the fight for a $1 trillion digital finance market intensifies. From Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp to Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, internet giants are joining a race to provide financial services in the world’s fastest-growing mobile arena.

 Online lending is becoming the next frontier as mobile users look for small loans with minimal paperwork, served to them even without credit ratings as fintech companies use data and algorithms to determine risk.


Manjit Singh unheralded Indian athlete surprised everyone by winning the gold medal in men’s 800m race on 28 August 2018

Haryana’s Manjit Singh gave a huge surprise to the Indian contingent by winning the men’s 800m final and pushing the more-fancied Jinson Johnson to second spot. The 31-year-old Manjit, an unheralded runner who till now had not even won a gold medal in nationals in India, ran an incredible final lap to leave the more fancied athletes behind.

 In fact, he snatched it from the seasoned Jinson Johnson with a personal best of 1:46.15sec. Johnson finished second for a silver medal, a rare 1-2 for India in the Games. The bronze was won by Qatar’s Abubaker Abdalla.


Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian javelin-thrower to win an Asian Games gold medal as he shattered his own national record at the ongoing 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on 27 August 2018. What is his new record 88.06m

20-year old Neeraj Chopra’s winning throw came in his third attempt. He began with 83.46m and fouled the second attempt. With this golden performance Chopra became the first Indian javelin-thrower to win an Asian Games gold medal.

 Liu Qizhen of China was a distant second, with a best throw of 82.22m, while Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem won the bronze with a 80.75 effort.

 Chopra’s gold is only the second medal India has won in javelin throw in Asian Games history after Gurtej Singh won bronze in 1982 in New Delhi. He was India’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony of the Games.


SpiceJet India’s first-ever biofuel run flight was successfully tested on 27 August 2018 with a Bombardier Q400 flight from Dehradun to Delhi.

A 72-seater SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 aircraft created history of sorts as it completed its flight from Dehradun to Delhi successfully on 27 August 2018. This was India’s first biofuel-powered flight that aims to reduce costs of air travel by replacing the costly aviation turbine fuel.

 SpiceJet’s biofuel is a mix of the oil extracted from the seeds of Jatropha plant and aviation turbine fuel (ATF). Five hundred farmer families in Chhattisgarh are involved in the production of the partially-refined biofuel used in this flight. The biofuel used for this trial flight, developed by Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), was rigorously tested to ensure flight safety.

 While 25% of the right engine of the aircraft will have the biofuel mix, the left engine will run on aviation turbine fuel. The efficiency of the engine running on biofuel is expected to be slightly higher than that of the other engine.


A local authority of Andhra Pradesh had launched the bonds titled ‘Amaravati Bond 2018’, which were listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on 27 August 2018

To raise funds to build Andhra Pradesh’s capital Amaravati, the state government has tapped the capital markets with the listing of bonds issued by AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) for Rs. 2,000 crore on 27 August 2018 on the BSE.

 These bonds are being touted as the largest bonds issue in the country from a local authority.

 Earlier bonds worth Rs. 2,000 crore were floated by the APCRDA. The bonds were lapped up in a one-hour offer window on the BSE’s electronic platform on 14 August 2018.


Aeolus is the name of the world’s first satellite capable of wind-sensing that was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) during August 2018 

“Aeolus” is the name of the first-of-its-kind wind-sensing satellite that was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA). This satellite was launched through the Vega rocket from ESA’s French Guyana-based launch station on 24 August 2018.

 Aboard this satellite is a laser that will measure wind speeds across the globe. Aeolus could vastly increase the data scientists have on wind speeds, improving weather forecasting and providing new resources to climate researchers.

 The ESA began the Aeolus project way back in 2002, but the laser instrument was more challenging to design than anyone expected. It was supposed to launch in 2007 originally.


Former President Pranab Mukherjee on 24 August 2018 launched the National Electoral Transformation or NETA mobile application, a platform where voters can review and rate their elected representatives and hold them accountable as well. This unique type of app is the brainchild of which 27-year old entrepreneur Pratham Mittal

NETA or National Electoral Transformation mobile app was launched by former President Pranab Mukherjee on 24 August 2018. This app is the brainchild of 27-year-old entrepreneur Pratham Mittal.

 Inspired by the US’ approval system, the app seeks to let users rate their MLAs and MPs. It is also being viewed as an instrument to gauge voter sentiment across constituencies in the country. To ensure participation, the app requires a combination of mediums like the app itself, IVR calls, SMS and even offline activation leveraging ASHA and anganwadi workers to collate data on evolving political inclinations.

 The platform, in its beta version, has already registered over 1.5 crore verified voters rating and reviewing their local leaders across 543 parliamentary constituencies and 4,120 assembly constituencies over the last eight months. It is available on Android and iOS and web in 16 languages to cater to a diverse user profile.


Scott Morrison was chosen as the new Prime Minister of Australia after winning a three-way battle for the leadership of the Liberal party on 24 August 2018 

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison will become Australia’s new Prime Minister after winning a Liberal party leadership vote on 24 August 2018. He emerged victorious from a three-way race with former home affairs minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

 Morrison became country’s 30th Prime Minister. Incumbent Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who called the leadership meeting after losing the majority support of the party, opted not to contest the vote.

 The Liberal party is the senior partner in the ruling conservative coalition. The Liberal-National government has consistently trailed opposition Labor in opinion polls in recent months.

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