The Daily Brief – 28th October, 2016

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  • The Union Cabinet has approved a new agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan. The Agreement provides for a free trade regime between the two countries. It also provides duty free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the establishment and operationalisation of a National Academic Depository (NAD). Under it, all academic degrees, certificates and awards in the country will be made digitally available for verification at a single spot. The NAD will be established and operationalised within the next three months. It will be rolled out throughout the country in 2017-18.
  • The first National Ayurveda Day was observed on 28 October on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti.
  • Two Yazidi women, Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar have been selected for the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Human Rights for the year 2016.
  • According to recently released study, global wildlife populations have fallen by 58% since 1970 and if the trend continues then two-thirds of wild animals may go extinct by 2020. The study was published as The Living Planet assessment by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The Living Planet Report is published every two years. It aims to provide an assessment of the state of the world’s wildlife.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government has signed a FinTech Cooperation agreement with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to promote innovation financial services in their respective markets.
  • A day after a Pakistan High Commission (PHC) staffer, Mehmood Akhtar, was allegedly caught receiving defence-related information from two Indian “spies”, he was declared persona non grata and asked to leave India. In a tit-for-tat response, Pakistan too expelled an official posted in the High Commission of India in Islamabad.
  • Shedding its three-year-long reservations over the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Tamil Nadu government has announced that it would implement the Act, effective November 1. There will be no change in the government’s policy of universal public distribution system.
  • In the latest World Bank report, Ludhiana ranks number one in overall ease of doing business, with Hyderabad securing first place in two parameters — enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. The World Bank report measuring business regulations, has surveyed 17 cities across the country in terms of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is looking to transfer its massive troves of data into the cloud, more than a century after the organisation started functioning. The purpose is to have more centralised control with its regional centres across the country and to be able to make it easier for research arms to access weather-related data.
  • Chhattisgarh, torn by years of conflict, has the most crowded prisons in the country. The recent data revealed by the Prison Statistics of India [PSI], under the Home Ministry, 2015, says that 28 prisons of Chhattisgarh with a capacity of 7,552 inmates has a population of 17,662 inmates making the occupancy rate at 233.5 per cent. The national average occupancy rate of the prisons is 114.4 percent.
  • Tata Sons has claimed that its former chairman Cyrus Mistry had made “unsubstantiated claims, malicious allegations” and misrepresentation of facts about business decisions at the group, even though he had been a party to them.
  • IBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Bengaluru-based disaster recovery solution provider Sanovi Technologies. The deal, expected to close by December, will help the U.S. major strengthen its offering in cloud recovery, cloud migration and business continuity software category for enterprise data centres and cloud infrastructure.
  • Frustrated with a lack of political will shown by nations with a high burden of tuberculosis, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for the first United Nations General Assembly on tuberculosis. The development follows the release of the Global TB report, in which the WHO had to significantly revise the global burden of TB after a 34 per cent increase in cases reported from India. The country shoulders the highest burden of 2.2 million cases a year.
Xi Jinping
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping was anointed as the “core” leader of China’s ruling Communist Party (CPC), conferring on him a status similar to that of party founder ‘Chairman’ Mao Zedong and allowing him to further tighten his grip on the party, military and government.
  • A top Russian official has said his country will destroy all of its chemical weapons by the end of next year, a year earlier than previously announced. As a signatory of the international Chemical Weapons Convention, Russia already has destroyed about 93 per cent of its chemical weapons, according to Russian officials.

Today’s Quiz

  1. The Union Cabinet has approved a new agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and ____.





2. When is National Ayurveda Day commemorated?





3. Who has been awarded the Sakharov Prize for Human Rights for the year 2016?





4. According to recently released study, global wildlife populations have fallen by _____ since 1970.





5. The Andhra Pradesh government has signed a FinTech Cooperation agreement with which country?





6. In the latest World Bank report, ____ ranks number one in overall ease of doing business.





7. Which state has the most crowded prisons in the country, at an occupancy rate of 233.5 per cent?





8. IBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Bengaluru-based disaster recovery solution provider _____.









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