The Daily Brief – 22nd July, 2016

  • The Centre has agreed to permit private persons to seek sanction for prosecution of State and central IAS officers under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Under the existing rules, requests for sanction for prosecution of civil service officers can be initiated by the investigative agencies only.
The INS Viraat (Source: The Indian Navy, Wikimedia Commons)
  • The INS Viraat, a flagship Indian Navy vessel, is set to sail for the last time after almost six decades of service. The vessel has fought in the Falklands war on behalf of the British in the 1980s, and in 1987, was named INS Viraat. INS Viraat will undertake the last operational journey from Mumbai on July 23 and reach Kochi on July 27 after which it is scheduled to be decommissioned.
  • Chinese and Pakistan border troops have for the first time launched joint patrolling of the border connecting Pakistan-occupied Kashmir with Xinjiang Province.
  • Seven Indian companies have made it to the latest Fortune 500 list of the world’s biggest corporations in terms of revenue. These are Indian Oil Corporation (161st), Reliance Industries (215th), Tata Motors (226th), State Bank of India (232nd), Bharat Petroleum (358th), Hindustan Petroleum (367th) and Rajesh Exports (423rd). Globally, Walmart has topped the list.
  • The Lok Sabha has passed the National Institute of Technology, Science, Education and Research (Amendment) (NITSER) Bill, 2016. The bill seeks to establish a National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched the National Electoral Roll Purification (NERP) 2016 across the country. The 2016 motto of the ECI is “No voter to be left behind”. The NERP 2016 programme aims to improve the health of electoral rolls (ERs) and optimize the polling station location and area. Besides, it also seeks to correct errors in electoral rolls and enrolment of all eligible citizens. Currently, the Chief Election Commissioner is S.Y. Quraishi.
  • The oldest and last litigant of the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri title suit, Hashim Ansari, has passed away, due to heart-related complications. Ansari, born in Ayodhya, was one of the seven main litigants from the Muslim side in the 1949 Babri Masjid case regarding placing of Lord Rama idols in the premises. He was the lone surviving litigant of the case. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court gave the verdict that the land would be partitioned into three – one part for the Infant Ram (Ram Lalla), one part for the Sunni Wakf Board, and another for the Nirmohi Akhara.
  • Russian athletes have been banned from participating in track and field events at the Rio Olympics this year, in light of the International Association for Athletics Federation (IAAF) finding regarding rampant state-sponsored doping. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has also rejected an appeal against the ban.
  • Steve Elworthy, former South African fast bowler, has been appointed the Managing Director of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which will be held in England and Wales. Elworthy will oversee the lead-up and running of the 2019 World Cup as well as the Champions Trophy and Women’s World Cup. The Champions Trophy and Women’s World Cup will be hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2017.
  • A previously unknown specie of meat-eating dinosaur has been unearthed in Argentina, in the Patagonia region.
  • Scientists in Israel have, for the first time succeeded in sequencing the genes in 6000-year-old barley seeds. With this, the ancient barley has become the oldest plant genome to be reconstructed to date. Before this, only prehistoric corn was genetically reconstructed.
  • Artem Vaulin, alleged to be the owner of the world’s biggest online piracy site, Kickass Torrents, has been arrested in Poland. He was hit with U.S. criminal charges for distributing over $1 billion worth of illegally copied films, music and other content. Kickass Torrents, has in recent years eclipsed Pirate Bay and others to become the world’s biggest source of pirated media.
  • NASA is celebrating a 29-cent Pluto-themed postage stamp stuck to the side of the New Horizons spacecraft that has travelled nearly 3.5 billion miles from Earth. 

Today’s Quiz

  1. Who is the oldest litigant in the Babri Masjid case, who passed away recently?

2. Which court delivered the verdict in the Babri Masjid case in 2010?

3. Name the flagship vessel of the Indian Navy that is set to sail for the last time this year before being decomissioned.

4. Which Indian company is the highest ranked in the Fortune 500 list this year?

5. Which company has globally been ranked no. 1 in the Fortune 500 list this year?

6. Where will the latest National Institute of Technology be set up?

7. Who is the Chief Election Commissioner of India?

8. The athletes of which country have been banned from field and track events at the Rio Olympics, following rampant state sponsored doping?

9. Who has been appointed as the Managing Director of the 2019 Cricket World Cup?

10. What plant recently became the oldest plant genome to be reconstructed?

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