The Daily Briefs are a comprehensive update of current affairs for the day. To know more about them, read this. If you’d like to receive updates for current affairs every day, you’ll need to subscribe here, and all the previous Briefs can be accessed at the archives here. Also, check out our mock tests!
- Irom Sharmila ended her 16-year long fast yesterday. The moment marked her transformation from a global icon of protest into a political leader. Ms. Sharmila started her fast at the age of 28 following a massacre in Imphal, Manipur, in which 10 persons were killed. She has been demanding the repeal of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
- Prime Minister Modi has expressed his government’s keenness on getting the Transgender Bill granting certain protections and a legal status to the transgender community. The Bill was first cleared as a private members Bill in the Rajya Sabha, and now the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is to pilot it in the Lok Sabha as a government bill.
- Using surface and satellite data, a team led by scientist M.V. Ramana of the Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre has found that aerosol plumes from ships produced severe pollution along the international shipping route in the Bay of Bengal. Compared with the surrounding regions, the concentration of Nitrogen dioxide was five times higher along the shipping corridor.
- The Niti Aayog’s Vice Chairman, Arvind Panagariya, has noted that India’s bilateral investment pacts happen to be ‘restrictive’ while China is emerging as a major force in overseas investments.
- Parliament has passed the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws Amendment Bill, 2016. It was first passed in Lok Sabha and later in Rajya Sabha. The Bill seeks to strengthen the debt recovery laws, improve financial health of the banks and lead to ease of doing business.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Yaad Karo Kurbani (‘remember the sacrifices’) celebrations at Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh, birthplace of freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad. It is a 15-day programme aimed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement and 70 years of Independence. The Quit India Movement was started on 8th August 1942 at the Bombay session of All India Congress Committee (AICC).
- India’s six-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza has decided to part ways with her partner, Martina Hingis of Switzerland. Sania’s partner for the next two events — the Cincinnati Open and the US Open — will be Czech Republic player Barbora Strycova. The Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis pair has won 14 WTA titles, including three Grand Slams, and is ranked World No. 1 in doubles.
- The UN will pay homage to legendary Carnatic music vocalist M.S. Subbulakshmi, on India’s 70th Independence Day next week. There will also be an iconic performance by A.R. Rahman at the General Assembly. Rahman will become only the second Indian artist after Subbulakshmi to perform at the UN, after she was invited for a performance 50 years ago.
- Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha of Thailand has announced that a general election will be held in 2017. Chan-O-Cha, an army chief, seized power form Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014, and a referendum was held last week to adopt a new military-backed Constitution. This was the first test of public opinion since the 2014 coup, although campaigning was curbed and open debate banned ahead of the polls.
- Former Australia captain Michael Clarke was given honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. Clarke retired from international cricket last year after scoring 8,643 runs in 115 Tests. He follows in the footsteps of former teammates Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting, who are also life members of the MCC.
- The Indian forest department has imposed a fine of Rs. 20,000 on cricketer Ravindra Jadeja for taking a selfie with lions in the Gir forest!