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- On the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day, President Pranab Mukherjee made the customary address to the nation. He said that attacks against the weaker sections of society were against the Indian ethos, and had to be dealt with firmly.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address from the Red Fort in New Delhi this morning, addressed issues of cross border terror, and Pakistan’s human rights violations in Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), and an appeal for social harmony within the country in the light of recent incidents of atrocities against Dalits by cow vigilante groups.
- Havildar Hangpan Dada has been awarded the Ashok Chakra, while Lt. Col. Niranjan Kumar of the NSG, who lost his life combating the Pathankot attacks was awarded the Shaurya Chakra on the eve of Independence Day by President Pranab Mukherjee. In all, 82 Gallantry Awards have been awarded this year to armed forces personnel and members of paramilitary forces.
- India’s first Nuclear Suppliers’ insurance policy for ‘Right to Recourse’ was unveiled by India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP). INIP is the 27th global nuclear insurance pool which was launched by state run General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re), in association with non-life insurance companies.
- Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha has announced that BSNL landline customers will be able to make unlimited free voice calls to mobiles and landlines of any network in the country on August 15, and thereafter every Sunday.
- To facilitate pilgrims, a new train service was flagged off between Jammu and the holy city of Haridwar.
- The Finance Ministry has accepted a proposal to merge the Railway Budget with the General Budget. The 92 year old practice of presenting a separate railway budget, hence, will soon come to an end. The Finance Ministry has now constituted a five-member committee to work out the modalities for the merger. The committee has been asked to submit its report by August 31.
- The Centre for Indian Music Experience (IME) in Bangalore, an interactive music museum, is ready to host 50 digital versions of Vande Mataram. The song has been reinterpreted and recorded 125 times since Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote it.
- India’s civil aviation authorities will hold talks with their counterparts in Dubai to increase bilateral airline seat entitlements due to an increased demand.
- Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) unveiled a Rs.100 crore start-up fund to foster, nurture and incubate new ideas related to the oil and gas sector. The initiative will be called ‘ONGC Start-up’, and is in line with the Government of India’s initiative ‘Start-up India’. As part of this initiative, ONGC will provide the entire support chain for start-ups including seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring, market linkage and follow-ups.
- Dipa Karmakar, the gymnast from Tripura who became the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify at the Olympics, has come fourth at the finals of the women’s vault gymnastics.
- Monica Puig of Puerto Rico beat Australian Open champion, Wimbledon runner-up and World No. 2 Angelique Kerber of Germany, and went on to win the Olympic Gold for the women’s tennis final at the Rio Olympics.
- Usain Bolt of Jamaica made Olympic history by winning his third consecutive gold medal at the 100m race at the Rio Olympics. The victory left Bolt standing alone in the 120-year history of sprinting in the modern Olympic games. No other athlete — man or woman — has ever won three consecutive individual Olympic sprint titles.
- Sri Lanka and China have signed a tripartite agreement to proceed with the construction of a Financial City Centre in Colombo.
- China is set to launch the world’s first quantum communication satellite which boasts of hack-proof ultra high security features to prevent wiretapping and intercepts.
CG wishes y’all a happy Independence Day! Here’s some useful trivia – The President addresses the nation from the Rashtrapati Bhavan on the eve of Independence Day, while the Prime Minister hoists the flag on 15th August, and 21 gunshots are fired. He also addresses the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort to speak about the past year’s achievements and raise important issues. If you’re curious, also look up the Hindu’s fascinating 1947 archives here.