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RBI unchanged key policy rate
The Reserve Bank of India today keeps policy rates unchanged in its 33rd bi-monthly monetary policy review. This is the last bi-monthly monetary policy review of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan who will retire in September 2016. The Fourth bi—monthly monetary policy will be announced on October 4.

Current Rates as announced today are:
  • Repo Rate – 6.50% (Unchanged)
  • Reverse Repo Rate – 6.00% (Unchanged)
  • CRR (Cash Reserve ratio) – 4% (Unchanged)
  • Bank Rate – 7.00% (Unchanged)
  • MSF (Marginal Standing Facility) – 7.00% (Unchanged)
  • SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) – 21.00% (as per RBI official website)
  • RBI retains growth projection at 7.6%
  • The Reserve Bank in its third bi-monthly monetary policy review, retained growth projection for the current fiscal at 7.6 per cent.

Irom Chanu Sharmila ended her 16-year-long fast today
Manipur’s ‘Iron Lady’ Irom Chanu Sharmila ended her 16 – year long fast today. She wants Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to be revoked through political means in Manipur. After ending her long fast, she told to media that she is going to join politics and want to be Chief Minister of Manipur. She was on a hunger strike for 5757 days and was being force-fed through a nasal tube to keep her alive at a prison-turned-hospital in Imphal.

About Armed Forces Special Powers Act
  • In 1958, the government of India had enacted Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act to control the disturbed’ areas in the country.
  • Disturbed areas mean – those areas which are affected because of differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.”
  • According to the Home Ministry – six more states come under the ambit of this law under various conditions. 

The following states are under AFSPA –
  • Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (except the Imphal municipal area), Arunachal Pradesh (only the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts plus a 20-km belt bordering Assam), Meghalaya (confined to a 20-km belt bordering Assam) and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The law gives security forces the right to shoot to kill suspected rebels without fear of possible prosecution and to arrest suspected militants without warrants. It also gives police wide-ranging powers of search and seizure.
  • It prohibits soldiers from being prosecuted for alleged rights violations unless granted express permission from the federal government.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples observed today
The Int’l Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This year’s the day is devoted to the right to education. The theme of this year is – “Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education.”

Kalikho Pul, former Arunachal CM found dead
Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul found dead in his residence in Itanagar today.
He allegedly commits suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan. He was the acting Chief Minister of the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh for a brief time. He belonged to Kaman Mishmi ethnic group.

Renowned Yoga guru TKV Desikachar passed away
TKV Desikachar, a famous yoga guru, died following a brief illness in Chennai today. He was a son of T Krishnamacharya, popularly acknowledged as the father of modern yoga. He founded Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in 1976, a yoga learning institution where today about 1000 students visit every month to learn yoga.

Anand Sinha, former RBI Deputy Governor, appointed to the IDFC Bank board
Former RBI Deputy Governor Anand Sinha has been appointed to the Board of IDFC Bank. The appointment of Sinha came after Vinod Rai resigned after serving on the board for a year. Vindo Rai is a former Comptroller and Auditor General of India who served as a Nominee Director representing IDFC Limited on the board of IDFC Bank.

Ibtihaj, the first U.S. athlete, to wear hijab at an Olympics
Ibtihaj Muhammad became the only American ever to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab.
She is a fencer for Team USA, ranked eighth in the world in sabre. She beat Ukranian Olena Kravatska by 15-13 in her first match and beat France’s Cecilia Berder 15-12 in the round of 16. She is Muslim, and she wears the traditional hijab that covers up her head. This is a common religious custom.
She was born and raised in Maplewood, New Jersey; her father is a retired detective, and her mother is a teacher. She was a three-time all-American at Duke University and graduated with a double major in international relations.

Katie Ledecky sets world record to win gold in 400m freestyle
American swimmer Katie Ledecky wins gold in the 400m freestyle and set a new world record at the Rio Olympics 2016. She took 3 minutes 56.46 seconds to beat Britain’s Jazmin Carlin who took 4 minutes 01.23 seconds to finish the race. She is the current world-record holder in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle (long course). During her career, she has broken twelve world records.
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