The Daily Brief – 14th June 2018

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  1. Secretary of the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer, launched the Phase III of ‘Swachh Iconic Places’ (SIP) under PM Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission on June 12, 2018.  Ten new iconic sites, namely, Raghavendra Swamy Temple (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh), Hazardwari Palace (Murshidabad, West Bengal), Brahma Sarovar Temple (Kurukshetra, Haryana), Vidur Kuti (Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh), Mana village (Chamoli, Uttarakhand), Pangong Lake (Leh-Ladakh, J&K), Nagvasuki Temple (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh), Ima Keithal/market (Imphal, Manipur), Sabarimala Temple (Kerala) and Kanvashram (Uttarakhand) have been taken up under phase III.  These new sites have joined the 20 iconic places under phase I and II where special sanitation work is already underway. The Ministry launched the project at the Mana village which is situated close to the Badrinath temple in Uttarakhand. The Mana village now becomes a Swachh Iconic Place.The ministry also launched four major Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities in Mana village, including community soak pits, compost pits, separation centre for organic and inorganic waste and naalis for liquid waste with a sanctioned amount of Rs. 26.87 lakhs.

    Mana Village, where the Phase III of the Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) was launched
  2. The US State Department approved the sale of six  Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters, which could be a big boost for India’s defensive capabilities. These Apache attack helicopters could enable Indian armed forces to tackle ground-armoured threats. Apart from the attack helicopter, the US State Department also approved sale of four AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars, 180 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 90 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire II missiles, 200  Stinger Block I-92H missiles, Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation Systems, 30mm cannons, transponders, simulators, training equipment etc. The total cost of the deal is said to be around $930 million.
  3. The Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved a 33-per cent increase in the carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS), which aims to support the dream of every family in owning a house, for the Middle-Income Group (MIG) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) (PMAY-U) to boost affordable housing. The increased construction activity in the housing sector has a cascading effect on core sectors like cement, steel, machinery and other allied sectors. Hence, more construction activity in the urban areas would result in the creation of more jobs for both skilled and unskilled workers.Overall, the move will be a big boost to the economy.
  4. The armies of India and Nepal concluded the thirteenth edition of the joint military exercise ‘Surya Kiran’ in Pithoragarh of Uttarakhand, wherein the troops learnt the tricks in conducting operations to counter terrorists. The aim of 14 days long, from May 30 to June 12, joint military exercise was to conduct battalion level joint training with emphasis on counter terrorism operations in mountainous terrain under United Nations (UN) mandate.
  5. With the theme of “Sustainable Development Goals for Smart Society”, International Conference on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be held on June 17-18, 2018 in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. The two day conference is organised by Federation of Computer Association Nepal (CAN) and aims to bring government and private sector together for developing plan of action using sustainable ICT applications. It also seeks to unleash prospects of SMART Nepal by 2030. Around 500 delegates, including ICT users, professionals, trainers, researchers and experts from India, Japan, China, Korea and Nepal will attend the conference.
  6. PhD degree has been made mandatory for recruitment of teachers in universities from 2021-22 and cracking the National Eligibility Test (NET) would not be accepted as the only eligibility criteria, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said today. However, masters degree with NET or PhD would continue to be the minimum eligibility criteria for direct recruitment in colleges.
  7. Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has told that the live streaming can be seen on IRCTC website to keep a check on how the food is cooked. The system implemented by the Indian Railways has the capability to track any discrepancy in the kitchen. It will help in checking the uniforms worn by kitchen staff members and will also detect rodents and mopping across kitchens.
  8. President Ram Nath Kovind will embark on a seven-day, three-nation-Greece, Suriname and Cuba-tour this weekend on his maiden visit to Europe and Latin America as the head of the state. In his first leg, President Ramnath Kovind will visit Greece from June 16-19, next he will be in Suriname, between June 19 to 21 and then he will be in Cuba from June 21-22, where he will hold talks with newly elected Cuban President Miguel Diza-Canel Bermudez.
  9. The Enforcement Directorate is expected to file a fresh charge sheet against former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram in connection with Karti’s alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis Case. He allegedly took service charges for getting the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving funds from abroad worth Rs 305 crore in 2007, when his father was the finance minister.
  10. India and Pakistan agreed to maintain peace on the border at a flag meet held at Octroi post on Wednesday evening, in the backdrop of tension following the killing of four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Ramgarh sector. The sector-level flag meeting was arranged by the BSF and Pakistani Rangers. DIG Frontier Headquarters P S Dhiman led an eight-member group of BSF officials while Brigadier Muhammad Amjad Hussain and six other officials represented the Pakistani Rangers in the meeting.
  11. The 2018 FIFA World Cup is the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national team of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018, after the country was awarded the hosting rights on 2 December 2010. This is the first World Cup held in Europe since the 2006 tournament in Germany, the first ever to be held in Eastern Europe and the eleventh time that it has been held in Europe.  The final will take place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The winners of the World Cup will qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Today’s Quiz:

1. Surya-Kiran is a joint military exercise of which of the following countries?

2. What is the aim of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana?

3. What are the three countries to be visited by President Ramnath Kovind on his maiden visit to Europe and Latin America?

4. Where will the International Conference on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) 2018 be held?

5. Where was the 'Swachh Iconic Places' (SIP) Phase III launched?


  1. Priorities aren’t what you set for yourself, priorities are what you regret 20 years later when you’re homeless in a ditch. I’m glad I won’t have not reading the CG daily breifs in that list.

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