The Daily Brief – 8th July 2018

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  1. The Sambalpur railway division of Indian Railways’ East Coast Railway Zone on July 5, 2018 set a record by constructing six limited height subways (LHS) at one go, in a single block of four and half hours. The launch of the 6 Limited Height Subways in Sambalpur Division is the first of its kind not only in East Coast Railway, but also in the entire Indian Railways. The main objective behind the move was to eliminate all unmanned Level Crossing Gates over Sambalpur Division. Sambalpur railway division is one of the three railway divisions under East Coast Railway zone of Indian Railways. This railway division was formed on November 5, 1951 and its headquarters is located at Sambalpur in the state of Odisha of India.
  2. The newly re-constituted five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising of Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra will begin hearing of four crucial matters, including the much-contested case challenging the Constitutional validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code from July 10, 2018.
    Four Cases:

    • Constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality
    • Validity of the ban on entry of women between the age of 15 and 50 in the sanctum sanctorum of Sabrimala Temple
    • Validity of the Adultery Law under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, which seeks to punish only men for adultery and treats women involved in the crime as victims.
    • Whether a legislator can be disqualified on account of a charge sheet filed against him/her or should it be done only upon conviction?
  3. The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has approved US $6.69 billion dollar budget for 13 peacekeeping operations for year 2018-19. This is second year in row in which committee has made significant cuts to overall peacekeeping budget. The budget approved for missions include MINUJUSTH (UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti), MINUSCA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic), MINURSO (Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara), MONUSCO (Stabilisation Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo) and UNIFIL (Interim Force in Lebanon).
  4. Indian IT industry apex body NASSCOM (National Association of Software & Services Companies) has opened Centre of Excellence for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (CoE-DSAI) in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The centre was set up in collaboration with Karnataka Government with an aim to nurture innovation in emerging disruptive technologies such as AI and to leverage the power of data science. CoE-DSAI will work with Government & enterprises to make available large data-sets for training model, create a technology platform (cloud + on premise) with requisite library of solutions.
  5. The International Day of Cooperatives (IDC) with the theme of “Sustainable societies through cooperation” was observed on July 7 (first Saturday), 2018 across the world to promote co-operative model as it contains core aspects of sustainable development and is based on ethical values and principles. It was aimed at creating sustainable societies through cooperation. IDC is an annual celebration of the co-operative movement. It has been observed on first Saturday in July since 1923 by International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). Since 1995, United Nations’ International Day of Co-operatives has been observed jointly alongside International Co-operative Day.
  6. State-of-the-art Civil Aviation Research Organization (CARO) is going to set up at Hyderabad’s Begumpet Airport by State-run Airports Authority of India (AAI). Foundation stone of the centre was laid by Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu. For this project, AAI has earmarked Rs 1,200 crore which will be spent over 12 years for research and development (R&D). CARO will be spread over 27 acres and cater needs of growing needs air navigation services and airport and engineering research. It is expected to be built in three years. Its focus will be on pursuing inter-disciplinary solutions to improve the civil aviation sector.

    Justice AK Goel has been appointed as the Chairman of the National Green Tribunal
  7. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Justice AK Goel as new Chairperson of National Green Tribunal (NGT). He will have tenure of five years from date he assumes office or till he reaches age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. His appointment comes after he retired as Supreme Court Judge. Justice Goel had enrolled at Bar in 1974. He had practised before Punjab & Haryana High Court for 5 years and Supreme Court and Delhi High Court for about 22 years. The NGT was established in 2010 under National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a Krishak Kalyan Samavesh (farmer’s welfare rally) in Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal on July 16. BJP State president Dilip Ghosh said the meeting was being organised to congratulate the Prime Minister for raising the minimum support price for kharif crops. Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.

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Today’s Quiz

1. Who is not a member of the newly re-constituted five-judge bench for hearing of crucial matters, including the case challenging the Constitutional validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code from July 10, 2018?





2. Since when United Nations’ International Day of Co-operatives has been observed jointly alongside International Co-operative Day?





3. When is the International Day of Cooperatives (IDC) observed every year?





4. Under which of the following acts National Green Tribunal (NGT) was established?





5. Who is appointed as new chairperson of NGT by Appoinment Committee of the Cabinet?





6. Where is the Krishak Kalyan Samavesh going to be organised which will be addressed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi?









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