The Daily Brief – 24th January, 2017


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  • India, along with Brazil, Argentina and some other nations, has rejected an informal attempt by the European Union (EU) and Canada to work towards a global investment agreement at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level that would incorporate a contentious Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. The ISDS mechanism has become contentious as it permits companies to drag governments to international arbitration without exhausting the local remedies and claim huge amounts as compensation citing losses they suffered due to reasons, including policy changes.
  • The N.K. Singh panel submitted its report on revising the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act to Mr. Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister. The five-member committee — including Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel, former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy Director Rathin Roy — was constituted in May 2016 following Mr. Jaitley’s announcement, in Budget 2016-17, of the creation of a panel to review the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.
  • The Great Theodolite, a device used by the British for the Survey of India, has been displayed at a stall of the Survey of India in the Geospatial World Forum conference in Hyderabad. The device was part of an exhaustive survey undertaken by British surveyor William Lambton. The survey began in 1802 and ended four decades later on the foothills of the Himalayas. The device is now part of the museum at the Survey of India headquarters in Dehradun.
  • The Steel Ministry has released new draft National Steel Policy of 2017, envisaging to double India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
  • The Union Government has constituted a working group to frame uniform rules for the states to avoid delay in proper implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 across the country. The Committee will be headed by Secretary from Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). It will submit its report within three months.
  • The Union Health Ministry will soon launch population based prevention, screening and control programmes for five common non-communicable diseases on the occasion of World Cancer Day (4th February). They are Hypertension, Diabetes, and cancers of the oral cavity, breast and cervix. This programme will be launched as part of the National Health Mission.
  • According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016, students of Himachal Pradesh stand ahead of Kerala and all other states in terms of learning outcomes.  The 2016 ASER was the largest annual household survey of the children in India in the field of education. It focused on status of schooling and basic learning.

Image result for rafael nadal australian open 2017

  • Rafael Nadal struggled into his first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2015 at the Australian Open.
  • Prolific Australian opener David Warner has become just the fourth player to win back-to-back Allan Border Medals. Only Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke have previously won consecutive medals in Australian cricket’s prestigious annual awards.
  • Sailor Lisa Blair set off from the Australian town of Albany in a bid to be the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo, non-stop and unassisted in less than 100 days. The 32-year-old from Queensland will have to navigate through the Southern Ocean’s Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn and Cape Agulhas, which are regarded as some of the world’s most dangerous stretches of water.
  • NASA has invited people to vote on which parts of Jupiter should be photographed by the Juno spacecraft during its next close flyby on February 2. Juno will make its closest approach to Jupiter when the spacecraft is about 4,300 kms above the planet’s swirling clouds. Two hours later, the imaging will conclude as the spacecraft completes its close flyby, departing from below the gas giant’s south pole. Juno is now on its fourth orbit around Jupiter.
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII will be titled The Last Jedi , Walt Disney Co. has announced.

Today’s Quiz

  1. Who recently became the fourh cricketer to receive back-to-back Allan Border Medals?

2. Name the NASA spacecraft that is currently orbiting Jupiter.

3. The NK Singh Panel recently sought to revise which of the following legislations?

4. Where are the headquarters of the Survey of India?

5. When is World Cancer Day observed?


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