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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
Women’s Equality Day
- Women’s Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26 to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.
- It was first celebrated in 1972, designated by Congress in 1973, and is proclaimed each year by the United States President.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are GST exempt: Finance Ministry
- The Ministry of Finance said that businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakhs are exempt from GST and those with a turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the Composition Scheme and pay only one per cent tax.
- Earlier, the GST exemption limit was Rs 20 lakh.
- The Ministry also informed that significant relief has been extended to the construction sector, particularly the housing sector. It has now been placed at the 5% rate. GST on affordable housing has been reduced to 1%.
- Out of a total of about 230 items in the 28% slab, about 200 items have been shifted to lower slabs.
About Ministry of Finance
- Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Constituency: Rajya sabha, Karnataka
World Health Organization declares Africa free of polio
- World Health Organization has declared Africa free of polio, a landmark in a decades-long campaign to eradicate the notorious disease around the world. This was announced by WHO Regional Director of Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti. She described this as a historic day for Africa.
- A commission led by Rose Gana Fomban Leke, has certified that no cases had occurred on the continent for the past four years, the threshold for eradication of poliovirus. The WHO stated, polio virus now joins smallpox in the list of viruses that have been wiped out in Africa.
- Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
- Founded: 7 April 1948
- Heads: Tedros Adhanom, Soumya Swaminathan, Jane Ellison
BRICS Industry Ministers attend video meeting to discuss ways to boost cooperation in 5G, AI
- Industry Ministers of BRICS countries have attended a video meeting to discuss ways to boost cooperation in areas including 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI). As per Chinese state media, the meeting adopted a joint statement on cooperation in new industries such as 5G, AI and the industrial Internet, among the five members bloc which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- The video meeting comes ahead of the proposed meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers in early next month, arranged by the current BRICS chair Russia. China’s push for cooperation in 5G among BRICS countries may be seen in the backdrop of China’s efforts to push Huawei internationally with regard to development of 5G infrastructure, despite the company being embroiled in controversies in many countries.
- India and China are currently seeing their bilateral relations undergoing a rough phase. This has also impacted the economic ties between the two countries with India taking the path of self-reliance depending on imports for necessary items only, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision and strategy of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’. India has also banned some chinese apps and put tighter scrutiny for foreign investments from its neighbouring countries including China.
- BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs. Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. Brazil hosted the most recent 11th BRICS summit on 13–14 November 2019.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
ICICI Bank Becomes First in India to Use Satellite Data To Assess Farmer Loans
- ICICI Bank has announced that it will make use of satellite data, in combination with technologies from agri-tech and fin-tech firms, to offer advanced, remote credit assessment for extending loans to farmers.
- The technology will involve using advanced satellite imagery to assess farm lands in parameters such as land quality, location, irrigation and year-round crop patterns.
- This data set will be combined with demographic data as well as financial spending patterns from fin-tech companies, in a bid to increase maximum credit allocation for farmers with existing credit history, as well as introduce farmers new to the credit system with faster assessment and lesser hassle.
- The technology, ICICI Bank claims, will help them introduce first time credit users into the system, and also increase the creditworthiness of farmers with existing credit history.
- It will also help reduce the time taken to process these loans, since the use of satellite technology combined with analytical all-round data will further help ICICI Bank executives to remotely assess farm details, and not travel to the farm lands physically.
- This can be particularly beneficial for times such as these, when despite considerable relaxation of rules, travel restrictions still persist in many areas due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- ICICI Bank has also claimed that it is the first bank in any sector (public or private) to use a combination of satellite imagery and advanced analytics in order to extend loans to farmers.
- It also claims to be among a few banks around the world to use this technology for agriculture sector loans.
About ICICI Bank
- CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi
- Headquarters: Mumbai
SBI General Insurance Launches ‘Shagun – Gift an insurance’ policy
- SBI General Insurance, one of the leading general insurance companies in India, today announced the launch of first-of-its-kind offering, ‘Shagun – Gift an Insurance”, a unique gift of Personal Accident policy. This product was filed by SBI General under Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDAI) Sandbox regulations.
- The key differentiating feature of the policy is that it can be gifted to anyone you want, which means it is not necessary for the policy buyer to be related to the insured.
- Shagun covers personal accident insurance which provides complete financial protection to the insured person against uncertainties such as accidental death and partial or total disabilities, and permanent as well as temporary disabilities resulting from an accident.
- A Gift giver can gift this “Shagun” to family, friends, extended family and even domestic helpers, chauffeurs, drivers, cook, etc
- Gift Receiver can be in the age group of 18 years to 65 years
- Policy Can be availed for up to 1 Year
- The premium of the product has also been designed at Rs. 501, 1001, 2001.
About SBI General Insurance Co Ltd
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
- MD and CEO: Prakash Chandra Kandpal
RBI projects country’s growth rate at (-) 4.5 per cent for 2020-21
- The Reserve Bank has projected India’s growth rate at (-) 4.5 percent for 2020-21. In its annual report released, RBI projected global growth rate between (-) 6.0 per cent and (-) 7.6 per cent. The report says that expected headline inflation will remain elevated in the current quarter, but likely to ease in the second half of the fiscal.
- In its report, RBI has asked for wide-ranging reforms to regain losses due to COVID-19 crisis adding that it will take quite some time to mend and regain the pre-COVID-19 momentum. Noting that meeting the fiscal targets budgeted in 2020-21 has become even more challenging due to COVID-19, RBI has stated that the government must have a clear exit strategy with credible consolidation milestones and timelines in reworking the path towards fiscal rectitude in the coming years.
- The report also notes that government consumption spending has provided a measure of relief, with the central government’s revenue expenditure, having risen by 7 per cent in the first quarter. It stressed that the pandemic will inflict deep disfigurations on the world economy adding that the future is heavily contingent upon the evolving intensity, spread and duration of COVID-19 and the discovery of the elusive vaccine.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
- Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Formation– 1 April 1935
- Governor– Shaktikanta Das
- Deputy Governors– 4 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, one is yet to be appointed).
RBI to dissolve Banking Codes and Standards Board of India
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to dissolve the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI).
- BCSBI was set up by the Reserve Bank in February 2006 as an independent and autonomous body, assigned to formulate codes of conduct to be adopted by banks voluntarily for ensuring fair treatment of customers.
- The Reserve Bank has since set up CEPD (Consumer Education and Protection Department), issued the Charter of Customer Rights (CoCR), and considerably strengthened the Ombudsman mechanism to enhance consumer protection.
- It was, accordingly, decided to dissolve BCSBI, which is now in an advanced stage of completing its dissolution process, the central bank stated.
- CEPD acts as the single nodal point for receipt and disposal of all external complaints on deficiency of services provided by the Reserve Bank of India and the Reserve Bank-regulated entities.
Major functions of CEPD:
- The major functions of CEPD include administering the Banking Ombudsman Scheme; and acting as a nodal department for BCSBI.
- BCSBI, in collaboration with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), has evolved two codes – Code of Bank’s Commitment to Customers and the Code of Bank’s Commitment to Micro and Small Enterprises – which set minimum standards of banking practices for member banks to follow when they are dealing with individual customers and micro and small enterprises.
- Meanwhile, the RBI will be implementing the recommendations of an in-house committee for integrating three existing Ombudsman schemes – Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006; Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCs, 2018; and Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019 – into one scheme.
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance launches cover for pet dogs
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance launched its pet insurance product called ‘Bajaj Allianz Pet Dog Insurance Policy’.
- This is India’s only retail comprehensive pet insurance offering for pet dogs. This policy provides comprehensive coverage to domesticated pet dogs of indigenous origin, pedigree, non-pedigree, cross-bred and also exotic breeds over the lifetime of the dogs from age three months to 10 years, the insurer stated.
- The premium starts from 315 and a 5 per cent discount on premium is available in case the dog is RFID-tagged.
- The insurer stated that medical tests for pet dogs are not mandatory, even at higher ages. “It covers treatment of any injury, surgery or mortality resulting from any accident from the moment of policy issuance, without any waiting period,” it further stated.
- The mandatory coverage includes surgery and hospitalisation charges while optional covers for mortality benefit, terminal diseases, long term care, OPD, third party liability as well as theft and straying.
About Bajaj Allianz General Insurance:
- CEO: Tapan Singhel
- Headquarters: Pune
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
Assam: Handicraft production centre inaugurated in Guwahati
- In Assam, in a bid to give a boost to the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Mission, a handicraft production centre is inaugurated in Guwahati by Assam Apex Weavers and Artisans Cooperative Federation Limited- ARTFED.
- The Managing Director of the ARTFED Mukul Chandra Deka that bamboo and cane based local items to be produced in the centre. Mr. Deka stated that during the lockdown period, the weavers under the ARTFED produced 13 thousand pieces of bedsheets and pillow covers for the National Health Mission. He stated that the Assam government has already set up yarn banks across the state so that weavers could get yarn at subsidised rate. He stated that a proposal has been sent to the state government to establish a cloth bank at Sualkuchi.
- There are 1 thousand societies with around 1 lakh members under the ARTFED. The Assam government has already set up yarn banks across the state so that weavers could get yarn at subsidised rate. ARTFED has recently sent a proposal to the state government to establish a cloth bank at Sualkuchi .
- Capital: Dispur
- Governor: Jagdish Mukhi
- Chief Minister: Sarbananda Sonowal
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPS AND PORTALS
E-auction portal launched to promote trading of GI-tagged ‘Kashmir Saffron’
- Jammu and Kashmir’s agriculture department has created an e-auction portal to promote trading of GI-tagged ‘Kashmir Saffron’. The Department, under the aegis of India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre (IIKSTC), has created the portal in collaboration with NSE-IT, with the sole motive to assure buyers to have access to quality ‘Kashmir Saffron’.
- The Saffron growers of Kashmir valley and buyers across India have been requested to register themselves as sellers and buyers for E- trading on saffroneauctionindia.com, so that hassle free e-Trading between registered growers and buyers is ensured.
CURRENT AFFAIRS : MOU
APEDA signs MoUs with AFC India Ltd and NCUI, Delhi to utilise their expertise in agri sector
- Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)is engaged with State governments for the implementation of agri export policy. Several States, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala have also finalised the action plan for the implementation of policy.
- APEDA signed MoUs with AFC India Ltd, and National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), Delhi to utilise their expertise in the agri sector. The agriculture export policy was framed with a focus on agriculture export oriented production, promotion of outbound shipments, better price realisation to farmers and synchronisation within policies and programmes of the central government.
- AFC, wholly-owned by commercial banks, NABARD and EXIM Bank, provides consulting and policy advisory and implementation support for agriculture, rural development and other strategic socio-economic sectors. NCUI objective is to educate, guide and assist people in their efforts to build up and expand the cooperative sector.
About AFC India Ltd:
- AFC India Ltd., is a deemed to be Govt. organization, wholly owned by Commercial Banks, NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) and EXIM Bank (Export-Import Bank of India), established in 1968.
- Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
About National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI):
- President: Dr. Chandra Pal Singh Yadav
- Headquarter: New Delhi
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS
IEX board accepts resignation of MD & CEO Rajiv Srivastava
- Indian Energy Exchange said its board of directors have accepted resignation of its Managing Director and CEO Rajiv Srivastava.
- Goel, non-executive chairman of the board, has been given additional charge of Managing Director and CEO of the company for an interim period with immediate effect by the board
- Goel was the Managing Director & CEO of the company from January 21, 2014 to July 20, 2019.
About Indian Energy Exchange(IEX)
- Interim MD & CEO: Satyanarayan Goel
- Headquarters: New Delhi
Vinay Tonse is the new MD & CEO of SBI Funds
- SBI Funds Management Private Ltd has appointed Vinay Tonse as Managing Director & CEO with immediate effect. He will take over from Ashwani Bhatia, who will return to parent SBI as Managing Director.
- Tonse joined SBI as a Probationary Officer in 1988 and has worked across different locations in India and abroad. During his 32-year tenure with the bank, Tonse has traversed through various functions, including corporate credit, treasury, retail and international banking.
About SBI Mutual Fund:
- Headquarters: Mumbai, India
- Denys de Campigneulles :Deputy CEO
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONORS
Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash won ‘World’s Fastest Human Calculator’ title
- Twenty-year-old Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash of Hyderabad has emerged as the fastest human calculator in the world after winning first-ever gold for India in Mental Calculation World Championship at Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) held in London
- A student of Mathematics (Hons.) at Delhi University’s St Stephen College holds world records and 50 Limca records for being the fastest human calculator in the world.
- MSO was held virtually with 30 participants up to 57 years of age from 13 countries including UK, Germany, UAE, France Greece and Lebanon.
- His vision is to create “VISION Math” labs and reach out to millions of children to make them start loving maths.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS AND CONFERENCE
International Conference on Climate Change and Its Impact on Himalayan Region From September 14 to 16
- A three-day online international conference on Aerosol air quality, climate change and its impact on water resources and livelihoods in the Greater Himalayas will be held from September 14 to 16.
- The Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital and Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University will jointly organise the conference.
- This is the first online international conference to be held at ARIES during this pandemic.
- The conference will deliberate on rapid increase in the air pollution associated with industrialisation, urbanisation and its resultant impact on regional and global air quality, visibility degradation, cloud formation, and atmospheric chemistry, radiation budget, ecosystem, Himalayan climate, and glaciology, cryosphere, monsoon patterns, water availability, and human health.
- The reviewed presentations will be published on a thematic issue, titled “Aerosols-Climate interaction and water resources over the Himalayas”.
17th meeting of India-Vietnam Joint Commission held via video-conference
- The 17th meeting of the India-Vietnam Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation was held via video-conference.
- It was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh. During the meeting, both sides reviewed the recent developments in India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and discussed the future trajectory of their wide-ranging engagement. They agreed to add new momentum to the economic and defence engagement between the two countries and to explore closer cooperation in emerging areas such as civil nuclear energy, space, marine sciences and new technologies.
- The Minister reaffirmed India’s development and capacity building assistance to Vietnam through initiatives such as Quick Impact Projects, ITEC and e-ITEC initiatives, PhD fellowships, as well as projects in water resource management in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, SDGs, digital connectivity and heritage conservation.
- Two MoUs were also signed on the margins of the Joint Commission Meeting. Both sides agreed to coordinate closely at multilateral forums, including at the UN Security Council, where both India and Vietnam will serve concurrently as non-permanent members in 2021. They also agreed to step up cooperation and coordination at important regional forums under the ASEAN framework.
- Capital: Hanoi
- Currency: đồng
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS AND AUTHORS
Running Toward Mystery: The Adventure of an Unconventional Lifeby Tenzin Priyadarshi, Zara Houshmand
- Running Toward Mysteryis the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi’s profound account of his lifelong journey as a seeker. It is and co-written by Zara Houshmand
- Tenzin Priyadarshi is the President and CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Zara Houshmand is an Iranian American author and literary translator.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Indian Satellite AstroSat Detects Extreme UV Light Coming from Galaxy 9.3 Billion Light-years Away
- AstroSat, India’s first multi-wavelength satellite, has detected an extreme ultraviolet (UV) light from a galaxy called AUDFs01 which is 3 billion light-years away from Earth.
- A global team led by Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) scientists have achieved the major breakthrough.
- This team comprised scientists from India, France, Switzerland, the USA, Japan and The Netherlands. Dr Saha and his team observed the galaxy, which is located in the Hubble Extreme Deep field, through AstroSat.
- AstroSat/UVIT was able to achieve this unique feat because the background noise in the UVITdetector is much less than the ones on HST.
Rare fish sighted by Andhra University scientists in Sileru
- A rare fish called Mahseer (scientific name Tor) was sighted and fished out from the upper part of Sileru river, by a team of researchers from the Department of Zoology, Andhra University.
- The specie of fish, which is called the Golden Mahseer is found in the Himalayan region, where the temperature around year does not exceed 20° Celsius.
- Since the Golden Mahseer is found in Sileru and the grey ones are found in the Godavari, the government should explore the possibility of conserving and rearing it for its commercial and medicinal values.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
TN women top the list of MUDRA loan scheme beneficiaries
- Over 15 crore loans amounting to4.78-lakh-crore have been disbursed to women borrowers since the inception of the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) with Tamil Nadu topping the list in availing the loan followed by women in West Bengal and Karnataka.
- As on March 31 women in Tamil Nadu had availed58,227 crore loan from the scheme followed by West BengalRs.55,232 crore, Karnataka Rs.47,714 crore, BiharRs.44,879 crore and Maharashtra Rs.42,000 crore loan as per the data provided by the Ministry of Finance to the Rajya Sabha.
- Together women from these five States have got 52 per cent of the total MUDRA loan for women.
- Loans under this scheme are extended to eligible borrowers for manufacturing, processing, trading, services, and activities allied to agriculture, which help in creating income-generating activities and employment.
- PMMY was launched on April 8, 2015, for providing loans up to10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro-enterprises.
- The loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, MFIs, and NBFCs.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
England pacer James Anderson becomes 1st fast bowler in history to take 600 Test wickets
- England pacer James Anderson became the first fast bowler in history to take 600 Test wickets. The 38-year-old was seven wickets away from the feat when he started playing the third Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl. On Day 5 of the match, he dismissed Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali to claim his 600th wicket.
- Though the match ended in a draw, England won the series 1-0, with its three-wicket victory in the first test in Manchester followed by two drawn tests in Southampton. Muttiah Muralitharan with 800, Shane Warne with 708 and Anil Kumble with 619 wickets are the only other bowlers – all spinners – who remain ahead of Anderson on the all-time list of wicket-takers.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Former Congo president Pascal Lissouba passes away
- Former Congolese president Pascal Lissouba passed away at the age of 88.
- He was president of the Republic of Congo – also called Congo-Brazzaville, to distinguish it from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – from 1992 to 1997.
About Republic of Congo
- Capital: Brazzaville
- Currency: Central African CFA franc
Urdu poet Ashok Sahil passes away at 64
- Urdu poet Ashok Sahil passed away after prolonged illness. He was 64.
- Sahil had been suffering from kidney ailments for some year.
DAILY CA 25th AUG
- Validity of motor vehicle documents extended till Dec 31 amid Covid-19 pandemic
- CMIA partners with UNDP to set up help desk for MSMEs
- India, Uzbekistan Co-Chair First National Coordination Committee Meet; Discuss Trade, Investment
- Nabard introduces debt and credit guarantee product
- Government of India and AIIB Sign Agreement For $500 Million To Improve Network Capacity Of Mumbai Suburban Rail
- RBI announces OMO worth 20,000 crore to tame G-Sec yields
- NSE to launch ‘silver options’ in commodity derivatives segment from September 1
- Tech Mahindra and NITI Aayog collaborate to support women entrepreneurs in India
- Delhi govt launches Niraman Mazdoor Registration Abhiyan for construction workers
- Kerala’s first-ever Dragonfly Festival
- Axis Bank to acquire 17% in Max Life Insurance instead of 29%
- IAF launches mobile app ‘MY IAF’ to provide career-related information to aspirants
- Uttar Pradesh: CM Yogi Adityanath launches NRI unified portal
- Government launches ‘Open API Service’ in Aarogya Setu app
- DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy gets two-year extension
- Wabag Wins Prestigious Global Water Award For Project In Chennai
- Garuda Prakashan to publish book on Delhi riots
- Start up RoDeSo develops gesture controlled robot Astra for remote use in Covid, hazardous environment
- Manipur student develops mobile game ‘Coroboi’ amid COVID-19
- IIT Madras, Stuttgart University develop method to dispose pharma waste
- Kallis, Sthalekar and Zaheer Abbas inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
- Australia all-rounder Cameron White announces retirement from professional cricket
- Filmmaker AB Raj passes away at 95
DAILY CA 26th AUG
- Women’s Equality Day- 26th august
- Businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are GST exempt: Finance Ministry
- World Health Organization declares Africa free of polio
- BRICS Industry Ministers attend video meeting to discuss ways to boost cooperation in 5G, AI
- ICICI Bank Becomes First in India to Use Satellite Data To Assess Farmer Loans
- SBI General Insurance Launches ‘Shagun – Gift an insurance’ policy
- RBI projects country’s growth rate at (-) 4.5 per cent for 2020-21
- RBI to dissolve Banking Codes and Standards Board of India
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance launches cover for pet dogs
- Assam: Handicraft production centre inaugurated in Guwahati
- E-auction portal launched to promote trading of GI-tagged ‘Kashmir Saffron’
- APEDA signs MoUs with AFC India Ltd and NCUI, Delhi to utilise their expertise in agri sector
- IEX board accepts resignation of MD & CEO Rajiv Srivastava
- Vinay Tonse is the new MD & CEO of SBI Funds
- Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash won ‘World’s Fastest Human Calculator’ title
- International Conference on Climate Change and Its Impact on Himalayan Region From September 14 to 16
- 17th meeting of India-Vietnam Joint Commission held via video-conference
- Running Toward Mystery: The Adventure of an Unconventional Lifeby Tenzin Priyadarshi, Zara Houshmand
- Indian Satellite AstroSat Detects Extreme UV Light Coming from Galaxy 9.3 Billion Light-years Away
- Rare fish sighted by Andhra University scientists in Sileru
- TN women top the list of MUDRA loan scheme beneficiaries
- England pacer James Anderson becomes 1st fast bowler in history to take 600 Test wickets
- Former Congo president Pascal Lissouba passes away
- Urdu poet Ashok Sahil passes away at 64