The Daily Brief – 18th October, 2016


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 by entering your email address at the right side of this page. The previous Briefs can be accessed at the archives here. Also, check out our mock tests!

Note: It’s exam time at NALSAR again, so in the interest of surviving this horrible week, we won’t be putting up the Daily Briefs until the 28th of October. They’ll be updated soon after that, however. Until then, keep reading the newspaper and do those mock tests!

  • Supreme Court-appointed High Level Technical Team has informed the Court that the parched Cauvery basin has become a fertile reason for farmers’ suicides and mass migrations in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In its report, the team, led by Central Water Commission Chairperson G.S. Jha, said the “ground realities of the Cauvery delta region include drought, rising unemployment, bore wells dug a 1000-feet deep and withering of acres of crops in both States.” The Supreme Court extended its October 4, 2016 order, directing Karnataka to release 2000 cusecs a day to Tamil Nadu. This interim arrangement would continue till the court gives further orders.
  • Scientists at Delhi’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have developed a novel way of producing electricity from water at room temperature without using any power or chemicals. A team led by Dr. R.K. Kotnala used nanoporous magnesium ferrite to split water into hydronium (H3O) and hydroxide (OH) ions and used silver and zinc as electrodes to make a cell that produces electricity.
Irom Sharmila
  • Activist Irom Sharmila began her political journey by announcing a new political party. The party, People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance ( PRJA), will contest the Assembly polls in Manipur in 2017. Sharmila (44), who broke her 16-year-long fast demanding withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act on August 9, had announced her decision to test political waters. On October 5, a court in Imphal acquitted Sharmila, who was facing charges under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (attempt to suicide). The announcement of the new political party on October 18 in significant. On the same date in 1948, the first session of Manipur Assembly was held.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National SC/ST Hub to provide support to entrepreneurs from the community.
  • Senior IFS officer Amandeep Singh Gill was appointed as India’s Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament. 
  • Eminent writer C Radhakrishnan, an eminent Malayalam writer and director was selected for the prestigious Mathrubhumi Literary Award for the year 2016. 
  • India has completed its nuclear triad by inducting the indigenously built strategic nuclear submarine INS Arihant into service. INS Arihant was formally commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in August. Arihant is capable of carrying nuclear tipped ballistic missiles, the class referred to as Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN). SSBNs are designed to prowl the deep ocean waters carrying nuclear weapons and provide a nation with an assured second strike capability — the capability to strike back after being hit by nuclear weapons first. Second strike capability is particularly important for India as it had committed to a ‘No-First-Use’ policy as part of its nuclear doctrine. With this, India becomes fourth country to have a nuclear triad i.e. capable of delivering nuclear weapons by aircraft, ballistic missiles and submarine launched missiles. Other countries having nuclear triad are Russia, United States and China.
  • The 21st Law Commission in its first report, recommended a series of changes in the draft Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill-2016, proposed by the Women and Child Development Ministry, including one-year jail term for wrongful retention or removal of a child from the custody of a parent. The Commission has, in its revised “The Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2016”, also recommended three months’ punishment for wilful misrepresentation or concealment of fact as regards the location or information about the child or for voluntarily prevent the safe return of the child.
  • The Madras High Court Bench refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by the secretary of a Muslim jamath seeking a direction to the State Government to declare the caste to which Dalit converts to Islam would belong and issue community certificates to them mentioning the appropriate caste.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three hydro-electric projects with a generating capacity of 1,732 MW in Himachal Pradesh. All the three power projects are equipped with generating equipment supplied and commissioned by state owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited.
  • The BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries have expressed commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. In this regard, seven nations of BIMSTEC countries (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand) have issues Leaders Retreat Outcome Document emphasising that there can be no justification for acts of terror.
  • The National Summit on Fortification of Food was recently inaugurated in New Delhi to address interventions in combating micronutrient malnutrition in the country. The two day summit was co-hosted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in partnership with related central ministries/departments and development partners.
  • Ashok Leyland has unveiled its ‘Circuit’ series — comprising the first 100 per cent electric bus made in India. A zero-emission, non-polluting vehicle created specifically for Indian road and passenger conditions, the bus has a seating capacity ranging from 35 to 65.
  • Four Indian wrestlers have won four medals individually including a gold medal, at the sixth edition of the TAFISA World Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Wrestler Dalmiya had won gold medal in 60kg category by defeating Azerbaijan’s Muhammad Sahan.
  • Serena Williams has withdrawn from the elite WTA Finals, saying she was still working to recover from the shoulder problems that hampered her in 2016.
  • Stanford University in the U.S. is aiming to meet 50 per cent of electricity needs with a solar plant now in the final stages of construction.

Today’s Quiz

  1. What is Irom Sharmila's new political party called?

2. Irom Sharmila's 16-year long fast was aimed at the repeal of which of the following legislations?

3. ____ was appointed as India’s Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament.

4. Who has been awarded the Mathrubhumi Literary Award for the year 2016?

5. India has completed its nuclear triad by inducting the indigenously built strategic nuclear submarine ____ into service

6. Which of the following countries does not have a nuclear triad?

7. Which automobile manufacturer recently unveiled the first electric bus in India?

8. Which of the following countries is not part of the BIMSTEC?


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