The Daily Brief – 24th July 2018


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  1. State-of-the-art Air Quality and Weather Forecast System– SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) has been unveiled by Ministry of Earth Sciences at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. It is first of its kind and most advanced system in India. SAFAR was developed indigenously by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and operationalized by India Meteorological Department (IMD). SAFAR will accelerate public awareness and preparedness of air pollution and weather extremes. It will also lead to better understanding of linkages among emissions, weather, pollution and climate.
  2. Odisha Special Task Force (STF) has launched drive to bust an international syndicate that peddles ‘endangered’ pangolin, one of the world’s most illegally traded mammals. It has requested Union Home Ministry to approach the Myanmar government to block the transit route for smuggled pangolin under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).  MLAT is an agreement between nations to exchange information or provide legal assistance for enforcing laws. It is a Schedule I category protected animal, under the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
  3. Kerala tops the list as best-governed state in the country followed by Tamil Nadu according to Public Affairs Index (PAI) 2018. The think tank Public Affairs Centre (PAC) released the index. Kerala has topped PAI as the best-governed state for the third consecutive year since 2016 among large states. 2018 PAI also included separate index on children of India, giving measure of how child-friendly each of the states are. The index is being released since in 2016 by Bengaluru base Public Affairs Centre (PAC), a not for profit think tank which aims to improve governance in India.
  4. Regional Rail Training Institute (RRTI) is inaugurated by the Indian Railways at Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh in a bid to strengthen expertise and capabilities of the employees of North-Eastern Railways. A newly constructed 400 metre washing pit at Ghazipur City station was also inaugurated at a cost of Rs 19.62 crore. It will provide modern training facilities to the railway employees and would enhance their efficiency.
  5. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has initiated process of introducing QR code (Quick Response code) in their textbooks. It is aimed at helping students understand chapters better by watching film or reading additional content on laptops and digital boards. The QR code laden textbooks are likely to be introduced from the 2019 academic.
  6. Sports Authority of India (SAI) under Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs has cleared 734 athletes for the scholarship under the Khelo India Talent Development Scheme. They were selected by High Powered Committee of SAI. Through this programme, the athletes will get training at government-accredited residential academies. They will be provided with annual stipend of Rs. 1, 20,000 on quarterly basis to meet their out of pocket expenses, treatment of injuries and other expenses. Khelo India Talent Development Scheme was introduced by Ministry of Sports and Youth affairs to revive sports culture in India at grass-root level.
  7. The Union Government has reduced minimum yearly deposit required under popular girl child savings scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana to Rs 250 from Rs 1000 earlier. This has been lowered to enable more people to enjoy benefits of this scheme. In this regard, Government has amended Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules, 2016. It was launched as a small savings scheme under Beti Bacho Beti Padho (BBBP) in January 2015. It aims to motivate parents to open an account in name of girl child for her welfare and meet expense requirements of higher education and marriage.
  8. The Supreme Court of India on July 23, 2018 ruled that there cannot be a “complete ban” on holding protests at Jantar Mantar or India Gate. The bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said there was a need for striking a balance between conflicting rights such as right to protest and right of citizens to live peacefully. The court directed the Centre to frame guidelines for according sanctions to such events. The verdict came on a batch of petitions, including the one filed by Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghtan challenging the decision of the National Green Tribunal, which had banned all kinds of protests at these locations.

    Tokyo 2020 Olympics mascots Miraitowa and Someity
  9. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee on July 22, 2018 officially launched its Olympic mascots Miraitowa and Someity at a ceremony attended by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Committee’s President Yoshiro Mori.  The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, is a major international multi-sport event. The games are planned to be held from 24 July 2020 to 9 August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo was announced as the host city at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 7 September 2013. Tokyo previously hosted the 1964 Summer Olympic Games, and in 2020 will become the fifth city to host the Summer Olympic Games more than once. The city will also be hosting the 2020 Summer Paralympics.
  10. The US space agency NASA on July 20, 2018 announced to launch the Parker Solar Probe, a robotic car-size spacecraft, to study the Sun and reveal multiple mysteries behind the star. The spacecraft will be launched in August 2018 on the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral in Florida. This planned seven-year mission will fly into the Sun’s corona within 3.8 million miles (6.1 million km) from the solar surface, seven times closer than any other spacecraft. Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living with a Star Program to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.

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Today’s Quiz

1. Where is the SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) unveiled?

2. Public Affairs Index (PAI) 2018 is released by

3. Which among the following states tops as the best-governed state in the country according to PAI 2018?

4. Abbreviate SAI

5. Who is going to be the host of Summer Olympics 2020?

6. Tokyo previously hosted Summer Olympics in__

7. NASA stands for?

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