The Daily Brief – 18th August 2018


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  1. Indian scientist-academician N Raghuram became first Indian and Asian to get elected as Chair of International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), a global policy making initiative. He will succeed Mark Sutton of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh. Besides him, David Kanter of the New York University was elected as Vice-Chair. The new chairs will formally take up their roles on January 1, 2019. INI is international program set up in 2003 under sponsorship of the Scientific Committee on Problems of Environment (SCOPE) and from International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP).
  2. India (Union Ministry of Agriculture) has written to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of United Nations (UN) proposing declaration of year 2019 as “International Year of Millets”. It has requested inclusion of this proposal in agenda of 26th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) meeting, scheduled to be held in October 2018 in Rome, Italy. Adoption of this proposal by FAO with support of its member nations will enable it to be moved to United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for declaration of 2019 as International Year of Millets. India is celebrating 2018 as National Year of Millets. It is promoting cultivation of millets as part of this celebration.
  3. Rating agency India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) in its Mid-Year FY19 Outlook has revised down India’s growth to 7.2% from its earlier projection of 7.4% for 2018-19 (FY19). The downward revision comes as Indian economy to face headwinds from high crude oil prices, increase in minimum support prices (MSP) of kharif crops, rising trade protectionism, depreciating currency and no visible signs of abatement of the non-performing assets (NPA) of the banking sector.
  4. Supreme Court has accepted Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) proposal to use hologram-based coloured stickers on vehicles, plying in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) by September 30, 2018 to indicate the nature of the fuel used. It also clarified that this colour-coding will only be applicable in Delhi and NCR. This move aims to counter air pollution in national capital.
  5. The 18th Asian Games will be inaugurated on 18 August, 2018, through a colossal ceremony in Indonesia. The first Asian Games were held in Delhi, India, 4 – 11 March, 1951 and first time in Indonesia in 1962. The first Asian Games were officially opened by President Rajendra Prasad at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium, featuring 6 sports.
  1. The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs, vide its July 31, 2018 notification, amended the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014 and inserted a clause saying that companies need to include a statement disclosing their compliance under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. With this amendment, the disclosure of constitution of Internal Complaints Committee under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act in the Directors Report of every company is now mandatory.
  2. Colorado Party’s Mario Abdo Benitez was sworn in on August 15, 2018 as the new President of Paraguay for a five-year term. The presidential inauguration came a week after thousands took part in street protests in Asuncion against political corruption.  Benitez had campaigned on a pledge to tackle corruption in the judicial system. Economy-wise, Paraguay has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years. Paraguay under former President Horacio Cartes became the third country to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, after the United States and Guatemala.

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Today’s Quiz

1. When was International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) setup?

2. Which year was celebrated as National Year of Millets in India?

3. Which is the first city in India to use hologram-based coloured stickers on vehicles to indicate nature of the fuel?

4. In which year the first Asian Games were held?

5. Which rules have been amended by Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013?

6. Who has been elected as the new President of Paraguay in 2018?

7. Which among the following countries doesn’t have an embassy in Jerusalem?

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