The Daily Brief – 5th September, 2016


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  • Pope Francis proclaimed Mother Teresa of Kolkata a saint, hailing her as the personification of maternal love and a powerful advocate for the poor.
  • The government will soon unveil a new scheme to provide mobile phone access to over 55,000 villages. These villages are mostly those in border states and in the Himalayan region, and the programme seeks to push forward the Digital India programme. The Centre is also executing the Bharat Net project which aims to connect all of India’s households, particularly in rural areas, through broadband by 2017.
  • The heritage site of Karez or Surang Bavi, a medieval era underground aqueduct in Bidar, has been damaged by reckless earthwork in front of its entrance. Bidar is among the 16 cities in India that have a Karez-like underground water structure. The Bidar Karez is unique, as the structure has been carved in laterite soil, harvests rainwater and filters it, and uses techniques of a step well, reservoirs and channels.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
  • Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Limited was appointed Knight of the National Order of the French Legion of Honour. She was bestowed with this prestigious award for her contribution to biosciences and research. This recognition is the highest civilian award of the French Government for outstanding contribution in diverse fields.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has granted national party status to All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) Party led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The party has fulfilled the required conditions to become a national party after getting the status of a state party in four states. With this recognition, TMC became the seventh national party in the country along with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM).
  • The Union Government has announced a special package of 200 crore rupees for Jammu and Kashmir to engage the youth of the state in constructive sporting activities. The package will provide the construction of indoor sporting halls in all districts of the state to provide playing facilities to the youth.
  • Canada’s British Columbia province has become the first foreign government to issue masala bonds, a rupee-denominated bond. It had issued Rs 500 crore rupee denominated overseas bonds (masala bond) on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated bonds issued to overseas buyers, aimed at boosting investments in India’s infrastructure sector.
  • Indian researchers have made a major discovery by understanding the mechanisms by which preterm births (between 28 and 32 weeks of gestation) occur. At 35 per cent, India accounts for the highest burden of preterm births in the world. The researchers found for the first time, that gram-positive Group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria produce small balloons called membrane vesicles which contain toxins that kill both foetal and maternal cells and destroy the collagen that binds the cells together.
  • The global human rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW), in its 2016 report on India titled ‘Stifling Dissent: The Criminalisation of Dissent in India,’ presents a list of draconian Indian laws that “restrict freedom of expression”. The laws mentioned include Section 124A (sedition), and Section 295A (hurting religious sentiment) of the Indian Penal Code. It also interestingly includes the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The Act contains a provision to penalise the intentional insulting, intimidation or humiliation of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe person in any public place.
  • Nico Rosberg won the Italian Grand Prix by defeating Lewis Hamilton. It was the 21st win of Rosberg’s career.
  • Scientists have named a small maroon and gold fish species, which was discovered 300 feet deep in the waters off the Kure Atoll in the Pacific ocean, after U.S. President Barack Obama. The fish was named in honour of Mr. Obama for his commitment to protecting nature through the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off Hawaii.
  • The world’s largest gorillas, called the Eastern Gorillas, have been pushed to the brink of extinction by a surge of illegal hunting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are now critically endangered. There are just 5,000 Eastern gorillas left on Earth. Four out of six of the great apes are now endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List. The Red List is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of plant and animal species.
  • Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov passed away at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Karimov had dominated Uzbekistan, Central Asia’s most populous nation, for more than 25 years. He was also the first President of Uzbekistan, in office from 1990 to 2016.

Today’s Quiz

  1. Name the longest serving President of Uzbekistan who recently passed away.

2. Tashkent is the capital of which of the following countries?

3. What is the world's most comprehensive inventory of plant and animal species called?

4. Which specie of large apes is the world's largest gorilla?

5. Who won the Italian Grand Prix this year?

6. Which government became the first foreign government to issue masala bonds?

7. Which state party was recently granted national party status?

8. How many national parties does India have in all?

9. Who has been bestowed with the French government's highest civilian award this year?

10. Which of the following connections does the Bharat Net Project seek to establish?


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