The Daily Brief – 21st October, 2016

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  • The World Trade Organization (WTO) head, Roberto Azevêdo, has announced that no member country has sought long-standing issues, including food security-related, to be taken off the negotiating table of the Doha Round. The main objective of the Doha Round negotiations — unveiled in November 2001 — is to “improve the trading prospects of developing nations”.
  • The government clarified that Pakistani artistes remain free to perform in the Indian entertainment industry as there is no “blanket ban” against them. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) reiterated that the creative space is open in India for Pakistan nationals even as Pakistan is set to ban Indian TV channels and radio stations from October 21. The MEA however maintained that its policy to highlight Pakistan as a supporter of terror-tactics remains on track.
  • The Maharashtra government has launched ‘Kaushalya Setu’, a skill development programme for students. It was launched by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
  • The Union Government has signed a $650 million loan agreement with the World Bank for the construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)-III project. The project aims to enhance rail transport capacity, improve service quality and boost freight carriage on the 401-km- long Ludhiana-Khurja section of the EDFC.
  • Pakistan warned “appropriate action” if India violated the Indus Water Treaty and said it was closely monitoring the situation, amid reports that New Delhi might revisit the key water sharing accord.
  • In order to protect and increase the wild tiger population, nearly one million acres of protected habitat in India and Bhutan will be covered under a new private conservation effort. The ‘Project C.A.T — Conserving acres for Tigers’ by Discovery Communications and NGO World Wildlife Fund (WWF) aims to conserve the wild tiger population, which has dropped by 96 per cent in the last century alone to only 4,000 left in the wild due to habitat loss and pervasive poaching.
  • FIFA ratified Navi Mumbai’s status as a venue for the Under-17 World Cup to be held in India in 2017. A 23-member high-level delegation, comprising experts from FIFA and a Local Organising Committee, visited the D.Y. Patil Sports stadium before announcing its decision.
  • The Indian football team achieved its best FIFA ranking in over six years when it jumped 11 places to be ranked 137th in the latest list.
Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte
  • Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte declared his “separation” from long-standing ally the United States in Beijing, as he rebalanced his country’s diplomacy towards China. Mr. Duterte is in China for a four-day trip seen as confirming his tilt away from Washington and towards Beijing’s sphere of influence.
  • China will deploy the world’s largest outdoor air purifier designed by a Dutch engineer in its smog-hit capital Beijing. In Beijing, thick heavily-polluted haze returned to haunt the city, driving people indoors.
  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court issued notice to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members in the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks case, acting on petitions seeking his disqualification over alleged corruption and illegally possessing assets abroad.

Today’s Quiz

  1. Who is currently serving as the President of the Philippines?





2. Who is currently serving as the head of the WTO?





3. Which state recently launched the Kaushalya Setu skill development programme?





4. The Union Government has signed a $650 million loan agreement with the ____ for the construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.





5. Project C.A.T. will cover nearly one million acres of protected habitat in India and ____.





6. Where will the Under 17 FIFA World Cup be held in 2017?





7. What is the Indian Football team's ranking in the FIFA's latest list?





8. Where is the world's largest air purifier set to be installed?









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