The Daily Brief – 14th January 2017

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  • India’s first ever solar powered boat called ‘Aditya’ was launched at Kochi’s Vembanad lake in Kerala. It will offer ferry service along a 2.5-kilometre route between Vaikom and Thavanakkadavu.

    Aditya, India’s first solar-powered boat
  • India has signed a MoU with Sri Lanka to construct 3000 rain water harvesting systems in Rin Jaffna District at a cost of 300 million Rupees (Sri Lankan). The rain water project envisages construction of 3000 rainwater harvesting systems for 3000 households in selected divisions of Jaffna District.
  • India and the United States have signed MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to collaborate in the fields of developmental activities and aid in third world countries. The MoU was signed between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Union Ministry of External Affairs’ Development Partnership Administration (DPA).
  • The first edition of Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance Festival was held in Hyderabad, capital of Telangana. It was hosted by the Prasar Bharati, India’s public service broadcaster. It showcased the traditional and contemporary dance performances by artistes from over 10 counties across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The Union Government is discussing the issue of bringing water into concurrent list of VII schedule of the Constitution of India.  It was announced by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti after inaugurating the Jal Manthan-III in New Delhi. The Ashok Chawla Committee also had recommended inter alia the shifting of water to the Concurrent List to provide uniform national framework to manage water in a better and efficient way.
  • Bharti Enterprises’ Airtel Payments Bank (APB) became the first payments bank in the country to start its nationwide operations. It is 80:20 joint-venture between Bharti Airtel Ltd and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. It is offering 7.25% interest on savings accounts, which makes it the highest interest rate on offer.
  • Ecuador has taken over from Thailand as chair of the Group of 77 (G77) countries of the United Nations for the year 2017. The group promote collective economic interests of the 134 developing countries at the United Nations, including India. The group was founded in June 1964 by the Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries at the UNCTAD.
  • The United States of America (US) has announced the end of a 20-year economic embargo on Sudan by lifting trade and financial sanctions. The announcement made by outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration in an effort to foster ties with the Sudanese government to improve security in the region. This will be for the first time in two decades Sudan will be able to receive imported goods and services from US. The lift will also release frozen Sudanese property and assets held in the US and allow US companies to trade with the oil and gas industry in Sudan.
  • Senior Congress leader and former Tourism Minister of Maharashtra Chandrakant Chhajed passed away in Pune today due to prolonged illness. He was 67. Chhajed had joined the Congress at young age and worked on various posts of the party. He had served as mayor of Pune city in 1987.

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