The Daily Brief – 24th December 2016

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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 here, and all the previous Briefs can be accessed at the archives here. Also, do consider enrolling to our mock tests!

  • NITI Aayog is coming out with a ‘Health Index’ to track the improvement of healthcare in States across India. NITI Aayog is a think tank which replaced the Planning Commission.
    NITI Aayog

    It is a non-statutory body, which means that it was established by a gazette notification of the Government, but not by way of an Act of the Parliament. It is also not a Constitutional body because the Constitution did not establish it.

  • The Central Government is establishing 50 bio-technology labs in the State of Arunachal Pradesh. This will be as a part of the Biotech Labs in Senior Secondary Schools (BliSS) Scheme. The objective is to encourage students in the State to take up career in the biotech fields.
  • Najeeb Jung, the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi resigned. Note that the Governors of States are appointed by the President on the advice of the Council of Ministers. Such advice is binding. This essentially means that the Council of Ministers appoint the Governors. Governors work during the pleasure of the President, which means that they can be removed whenever the President wants. But if not removed, they have a term of five years.

Also note that Delhi is not a full-fledged State. It is a Union Territory, and Article 239AA of the Constitution says that the Delhi’s government will have all powers except ‘Law and Order, Land, and Police’. These three powers are with the Central Government. (Remember Arvind Kejriwal’s dharnas asking for Police?)

  • Indian Air Force is going to get another C17 Globemaster These aircrafts enable us to airlift people who are stuck in disasters such as floods, earthquakes, etc. The decision was made by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) which is chaired by the Minister of Defence. (Right now, it’s Manohar Parikar).
  • China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Ms. My-Name-is-Not-Important-For-CLAT said that India should consider joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The CPEC is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The aim of this is to connect various regions in Asia and Europe in order to facilitate better trade and transport. It is an attempt by China to increase its influence in this region. As a part of the CPEC, China is constructing a Port in Pakistan’s city of Gwadar. This will enable China to have easy access to Arabian Sea. (Check the maps to find out how and where CPEC is being contructed)

But will India join the CPEC? Most probably, no. The problem is that CPEC goes from China’s Xinjiang province till the Gwadar Port in Pakistan. And it travels through the Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK), which India claims to be its own territory. So, we have a problem with China constructing a corridor in land occupied by Pakistan which actually belongs to us. On the other hand, India is building the Chabahar Port on the Makran Coast in Iran. So, we already have access to connect to Central Asia through Arabian Sea, and Gwadar port may not help us much. (Check the maps again to see where these cities are located)

  • Shankha Ghosh, a well-known Bengali poet will be awarded the Jnanpith Award. He will be the 52nd recipient of this award. Jnanpith Award is the highest literary honour given out in India. (So if you get this award, you really are something). It was started by the Bharatiya Jnanpith Trust in 1961. The eligibility is 12th class pass with 50 % marks writings in any of the 22 Indian languages listed in the Schedule VIII of the Constitution and also English. (Remember that Schedule VIII does not include English)
  • December 24th is the National Consumer Day. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs celebrated it with the theme ‘Alternate Consumer Dispute Resolution’. Remember that ‘World Consumer Day’ is on the 15th of March. Why did India choose December 24th then? Because we wanted to be different. More than that, it was because our Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was passed on December 24. Which year was this Act passed in? Well, take a guess!

Also, NLSIU has started Online Consumer Mediation Centre to help resolve disputes between consumers and e-commerce websites. It aims to avoid court cases by attempting to resolve disputes through Mediation between the parties.

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