The Daily Brief – 25th January, 2017

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  • India and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) inked 14 agreements in various areas to boost bilateral cooperation between both countries. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in New Delhi. The Crown Prince is the chief guest of 2017 Republic Day Parade.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for launching of the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017. The scheme will be launched as part of Government’s commitment for financial inclusion and social security.
  • The Union Ministry of Women & Child Development has released the National Action Plan for Children, 2016  on the occasion of National Girl Child Day (24th January). It was released by the Union Minister of Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi in New Delhi.
  • Improved Pinaka rockets, with a guidance system and an enhanced range were successfully test-fired for the second time from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha. The guided version dubbed as Pinaka mark-II, has been evolved version of Pinaka mark-I. Its first successful test flight was conducted from the same venue on January 12, 2017.
  • Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports, the National Human Rights Commission issued notice to the Tamil Nadu authorities on the alleged police excesses on jallikattu protesters.
Mt. Everest
  • The height of Mount Everest will soon be “re-measured” by the Survey of India to determine whether the world’s tallest peak has really shrunk following a devastating earthquake in Nepal two years ago. An expedition from the Survey of India would depart for Nepal in two months to conduct the exercise that comes in the backdrop of doubts expressed by section of the scientific community about the shrinking of the towering mountain peak. Mount Everest officially stands at 8,848 metres (29,028 feet) above sea level.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval to ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs). The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012 and is set to expire in 2020. So far, 75 countries have ratified the Second Commitment Period.
  • The US $ 120,000 Seamaster 2017 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour ‘India Open,’ offering the highest ever prize money in the country, will be held for the first time at the Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi from February 14 to 19.
  • Amidst a proliferation of professional leagues across sports in an attempt to develop the games and cash in on their growing popularity, the AIFF announced the launch of the first-ever Indian Women’s League to develop women’s football in the country. Unlike the other leagues, however, the first edition of the IWL would be a short, two-week affair starting January 28 with all the matches in the six-team event being played at Delhi’s Ambedkar Stadium. The IWL would be played in a round-robin format with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals.
  • Pakistan successfully conducted the first flight test of Ababeel surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile. The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of missile’s weapon system. It is claimed that Ababeel missile has the capability to carry nuclear as well as conventional warheads and engage multiple targets with high precision by defeating the enemy’s hostile radars.
  • US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to formally pull US out of the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a mega trade deal of 12 Pacific Rim countries. TPP was one of the major international trade initiatives of his predecessor Barack Obama aimed to set trade rules for the 21st century and bind US allies against growing Chinese economic clout.
  • La La Land has received 14 nominations for the Academy Awards this year. La La Land matched Titanic and All About Eve for most nominations ever.
  • The British government’s plans to commence the process of leaving the European Union speedily this spring met with uncertainty as the Supreme Court ruled that the U.K. could not trigger Article 50 — the EU article that sets out how a country can leave the union — without a parliamentary vote.
  • Russia, Iran and Turkey, the sponsors of peace talks between Syrian rebels and Damascus, agreed to establish a joint “mechanism” to monitor the frail truce in the war-torn country. The sides will establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire, prevent any provocations and determine all modalities of the ceasefire.

Today’s Quiz

  1. What is the height of the Mt. Everest, officially known today?





2. Where will the India Open Tennis Tournament be held this year?





3. What does the Kyoto Protocol seek to regulate?





4. Where was the Pinaka II recently test fired from?









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