The Daily Brief – 20th March 2017

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  • The troops of Indian and Oman armies concluded their exercise ‘Al-Nagah-II 2017‘ in Bakloh belt of Himachal Pradesh. The exercise was aimed at strengthening the military ties between the two countries. The first joint exercise between India and Oman was held in Oman in 2015.
  • International Diamond Conference was held in Sweden, and addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the Government is focusing on making India an international diamond trading hub.  He informed that the Special Notified Zone at the Bharat Diamond Bourse became operational in November 2015 and it has already shown good The SNZ (Special Notified Zone) means a building or office used to facilities receipt, storing and viewing of imported rough diamonds, together with all the necessary commercial, security and customs related facilities incidental to these activities.
  • India and Pakistan held meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission in Islamabad. The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission consisting of officials from India and Pakistan, created to implement and manage the goals and objectives and outlines of the Indus Waters Treaty.
  • World Bank has announced 57 billion US dollar financing for sub-Saharan Africa over the next three fiscal years. Of that total, 45 billion dollar will come from the International Development Association, the World Bank fund that provides grants and interest-free loans for the world’s poorest countries.
  • Vodafone India and Idea Cellular announced a merger, which will create India’s largest telecom operator. The deal is expected to close in 2018.
  • The SpaceX Dragon capsule has returned to Earth with a full load of science samples after its mission to the International Space Station. The capsule left the station after being released by astronauts Thomas Pesquet of France using a robotic arm.

    SpaceX Dragon
  • The UAE will be celebrating the International Day of Happiness, which falls on March 20 every year. This day is marked by the establishment of the World Happiness Council. “Happiness is a journey, not a destination,” Ohood Al Roomi, the Minister of Happiness said on the eve of the International Happiness day. Al Roomi, who was appointed to her post in February, last year, is the world’s first cabinet-level official to head the happiness ministry of a nation.
  • A talent search portal will soon be launched by Sports Ministry to spot, support and encourage young Indian talents across the country especially from the rural region. The portal will have an interactive window which will allow any person to upload a video or a bio data of any young talented girl or a boy who has exceptional sporting ability but does not have enough exposure.
  • Pyari Mohan Mohapatra succumbed to a brain haemorrhage and died. He is widely credited with Biju Janata Dal’s unstoppable growth from until 2012 and political advisor of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, when he was sacked from the party on an anti-party issue.

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