The Daily Brief – 5th October, 2016

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  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided at its first policy review to reduce the benchmark repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent. The Reserve Bank of India’s key policy interest rate has now been cut to its lowest level since 2011.
  • The Supreme Court has put on hold its order to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and finally settled for the Centre’s suggestion to appoint a “technical team” to visit the Cauvery basin and report back on the ground reality there. The technical team led by G.S. Jha, Chairman, Central Water Commission, will visit the river basin along with nominees of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala to submit a report in the Supreme Court by October 17. The court will hear the matter on October 18.
  • The Maharashtra State Cabinet has decided to hand over 40.68 hectares of government land to the Atomic Energy Department to build the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory Project (LIGO India Project) at Dudhala village in Hingoli district. In April this year, India and United States had signed an MoU to set up the LIGO Observatory that recently proved the existence of gravitational waves envisaged by Albert Einstein nearly a century ago. With this project, India will join an elite league of countries that support research on gravitational waves. Besides the U.S, U.K, Italy, Germany and Japan have ongoing research in the area. The two current LIGO Observatories are located at Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana, and are operated by Caltech and MIT.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to discuss the security scenario in the wake of the surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC.
Image result for nayanjot lahiri
Nayanjot Lahiri
  • Nayanjot Lahiri, Professor of History at the Ashoka University, has been awarded the 2016 John F. Richards Prize for her book Ashoka in Ancient India. The Richards Prize is awarded annually by the American Historical Association (AHA) to the best book in South Asian history. The prize will be awarded at the Association’s 131st Annual Meeting in January, 2017.
  • A survey of 23,000 households across 100 villages in rural Madhya Pradesh has found that while the number of private health care providers has increased, many of them had no formal medical training. The survey, published in the journal Health Affairs, says that on an average, people had access to 11 health-care providers in a village. Seventy-one per cent of these providers were in the private sector but only 51 per cent of them had any formal medical training.
  • GSAT-18, India’s heaviest satellite to date at 3,404 kg, is scheduled to be launched from the European spacepad of Kourou in French Guiana between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. IST on October 5. It is a communication satellite, and will support the services of users in telecommunication, broadcasting, VSAT services and digital satellite news gathering areas.
  • The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS). It was launched by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi as a major step towards ensuring safety of bridges in the country.
  • The Union Government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for availing cooking gas (LPG) subsidies after November 2016. Currently, the government gives 12 LPG cylinders at subsidised rates per household in a year. The subsidy on every LPG cylinder is transferred directly into bank accounts of individuals who then buy the cooking fuel at market rates. The LPG subsidy is an expenditure incurred from Consolidated Fund of India. The use of Aadhaar as an identifier for delivery of government services/subsidies/ benefits is expected to simplify the delivery process of the government.
  • In solidarity with India’s counter-terror drive, Singapore on Tuesday condemned the terror strike in Uri that killed 19 soldiers. Visiting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reviewed the India-Singapore strategic partnership and highlighted his country’s commitment to fight terrorism.
  • The European Parliament has also backed India’s surgical strike on terrorist training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided that its independent board members will conduct a performance audit of the regulatory body. The capital market regulator is also in favour of inducting a woman board member – just like the norm for listed companies. The SEBI chairman, UK Sinha, who is due to retire next year in February, said that the regulator would not insist that the market comply with something that the watchdog itself cannot do and that hence, it would evaluate its own corporate governance standards.
  • The Union Finance Ministry has constituted a four-member Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) with Financial markets expert MS Sahoo as its Chairman. The IBBI has been tasked with regulating the functioning of insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. 
  • India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has announced the opening of its foreign branch in Yangon, the capital city of Myanmar. With this, the SBI became the first domestic bank of India to open a branch in Myanmar.
  • The 10th Women’s India Open golf championship will be held from November 11 to 13 at New Delhi. The Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI) also confirmed the return of defending champion Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark for the competition. Emily won her first Ladies European Tour title at the co-sanctioned event here in 2015, when she also won the Rookie of the Year award. The Indian challenge will be led by Aditi Ashok, 18, who will be hoping to use the experience at the Rio Olympics.
  • Maria Sharapova’s doping ban was reduced from two years to 15 months, meaning the Russian tennis star can come back in April, and return to Grand Slam play at Roland Garros. The CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) cut nine months off the suspension period imposed on Sharapova, who tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January.
  • British trio of physicists David Thouless, F Duncan M Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz have won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has selected them for their individual researches on topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.
  • Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos opened a new national dialogue to seek peace with FARC rebels as both sides scrambled to revive a peace deal to end the half-century conflict.
  • Hurricane Matthew has hit Haiti with devastating force. More than 6,400 people had been evacuated to temporary shelters, and Cuba evacuated some 316,000 people from the east of the island.
  • The U.S. has suspended talks with Russia over the protracted conflict in Syria, accusing the Kremlin of joining with the Syrian air force in carrying out a brutal bombing campaign against the besieged city of Aleppo. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia responded by withdrawing from a landmark arms control agreement that calls for each side to dispose of 34 tons of plutonium, a material used in nuclear weapons.
  • Scientists have identified a new species of prehistoric sharks that lived about 20 million years ago, and are related to the iconic extinct superpredator ‘megalodon’. Researchers based their discovery on fossilised teeth up to 4.5 centimeters tall found in the U.S. (California and North Carolina), Peru and Japan.

Today’s Quiz

  1. Who is currently serving as the Chairman of the SEBI?





2. Who chairs the technical team constituted by the Supreme Court, to report on the status of the Cauvery basin?





3. Who is the President of Colombia?





4. Which of the following organisations selects the winners of the Nobel Prize?





5. Whose doping ban for consuming meldonium was reduced from two years to 15 months?





6. Where will the 10th Women’s India Open golf championship be held?





7. Which of the following became the first domestic bank of India to open a branch in Myanmar?





8. Who has been appointed as the Chairman of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India?





9. Which of the following has been made mandatory for availing cooking gas (LPG) subsidies after November 2016?





10. Who has won the 2016 John F. Richards Prize?









6 COMMENTS

  1. The daily brief and other articles posted by Raji Gururaj and others are excellent and very informative and useful for updation of our knowledge

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