The Daily Brief – 13th January 2017

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  • The ambitious Ken-Betwa river linking project has received formal environment, forest and tribal clearances. The project aims at addressing water needs of dry swathes in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation is working out the funding pattern with NITI Aayog.
  • The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has called for a review of the provisions of the Right To Education (RTE) Act that stipulate children who do not perform well cannot be held back up to 8th Class.
  • The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has decided to set up a six-member committee to look into the Hajj subsidy issue. The decision has been taken in light of a 2012 Supreme Court order on gradually reducing and abolishing subsidy given to pilgrims by 2022.
  • Europe’s first underwater contemporary art museum, Museo Atlantico (Atlantic Museum) was made open for public off the coast of Lanzarote, in Bahía de Las Coloradas, Canary Island in Spain. The art museum has been created British artist Jason DeCaires Taylor.
  • Outgoing US President Barack Obama has awarded Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, highest civilian honour. He was bestowed with this for an extraordinary career in public service.

    Joe Biden
  • China’s Navy has commissioned a sophisticated electronic reconnaissance ship CNS Kaiyangxing or Mizar (hull code 856). The ship is so sophisticated that only a few countries in the world such as US and Russia are capable of developing it.
  • National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi was declared free from bird flu (H5N8 avian influenza) after consecutive samples collected at 15 days’ intervals from the last positive results tested negative. In October 2016, cases of mortality among the birds due to H5N8 avian influenza were reported in National Zoological Park, Delhi NCR.
  • India’s largest software firm, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), has named its chief financial officer (CFO), Rajesh Gopinathan as the chief executive officer (CEO). He succeeds N. Chandrasekaran who was named chairman of Tata Sons.
  • Citi Bank India has introduced voice biometrics authentication system for its phone banking clients. This will replace the current practice of interactive voice response.
  • Former world champion Sarita Devi is set to become the first female professional boxer from India. She has signed a two-year deal with Sporty Boxing Private Limited, a licensing body for professional boxers in India. She will be making her professional debut against Hungary’s Zsofia Bedo on January 29, 2017 fight night being organised by Indian Boxing Council (IBC) in Imphal.
  • Saudi Arabia has increased India’s annual Haj quota by 34,500. It is the biggest hike in nearly three decades.
  • For first time as many as 46 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh (where Assembly elections is scheduled in February 2017) will have voters’ list printed in Urdu along with Hindi and English. So far the electoral rolls were usually printed in Hindi and English. But in case of a dispute arising in Urdu version, the Hindi version of the rolls will be held as authentic.
  • National carrier Air India will soon reserve six seats in the front rows of its aeroplane fleet only for women passengers for their safety. This is for the first time in the world’s aviation industry, seats will be reserved only for women passengers. This will be done without charging any additional fee.
  • Pakistan Government has launched renovation project of Katas Raj Hindu temple in Chakwal district of Pakistan’s Punjab Province. The Katas Raj temple is revered by Hindus across the globe as legend has it that the foundation of the sacred site was laid by Lord Shiva.
  • Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport claimed to become the first aerodrome in the world to adopt Arc, an unique performance and benchmarking digital platform. The dynamic platform at T3 helps in tracking and monitoring building performance.

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