The Daily Brief – 8th October, 2016

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  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its latest Asia Pacific regional economic update has asserted that the adoption of the GST (Goods and Services) tax will boost India’s medium-term growth.
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the India-Pakistan border will be completely sealed by December 2018. India and Pakistan share a 3,323-km-long border which is termed as the Radcliffe. 4 states share this international border with Pakistan. Of this, 1,225 km falls in Jammu and Kashmir (including the Line of Control), 1,037 km in Rajasthan, 553 km in Punjab and 508 km in Gujarat.
  • The Supreme Court has stayed the commercial release of Genetically Modified (GM) mustard crop till October 17, 2016. It has asked the Central Government to seek a public opinion before releasing the variety for cultivation purposes.
  • Maharashtra became 17th state to Central Government’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY) scheme. It will help Maharashtra to reap benefits worth Rs. 9,725 crore by way of cheaper funds, transmission losses, energy efficiency and coal reforms during the period of the turnaround.
  • The Union Ministry of Urban Development has approved projects worth Rs.114 crore under the HRIDAY scheme for improving infrastructure facilities around core heritage sites in five cities. These cities are Varanasi, Amritsar, Dwarka, Puri and Warangal.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has collaborated with social networking giant Facebook to register young voters in 5 states, which are going to polls in 2017. These five states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued directions to bar political parties from using public resources that amount to advertisement for parties or propagating their election symbols.
  • A new termite species Glyptotermes Chiraharitae was discovered at Kakkayam in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala. It has been named after the tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, where it was spotted.
  • India has said it will take up concerns over campaigns against Mahatma Gandhi in a few African countries, after the Ghanaian government decided to move his statue from the University of Ghana, Legon campus, bowing to pressure from academics who accused the Mahatma of being “racist.” The Ghanaian government’s decision is particularly embarrassing as the statue of the Mahatma was unveiled as a gift from President Pranab Mukherjee in June this year.
  • India’s foreign exchange reserves scaled a new high of $371.99 billion, up $1.223 billion for the week to September 30, as per the Reserve Bank data. The increase was on account of a $1.468-billion surge in the foreign currency assets.
  • Indian Oil Corporation has announced a start-up scheme with a revolving corpus fund of Rs.30 crore to promote start-ups and nurture an eco-system conducive for innovations in the domestic hydrocarbons sector. The start-up scheme will be administered through a dedicated online portal and shall facilitate the community of innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • Japanese telecom major NTT Docomo has sued Tata Sons in a U.S. court asking it to pay $1.17 billion in damages awarded by the London Court of Arbitration (LCIA).
  • Indian shuttlers Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and Siril Verma have reached the semifinals of the Russian Open Grand Prix at Vladivostok.
  • Rafael Nadal crashed out of the ATP China Open quarterfinals, losing to 20th-ranked Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. Meanwhile, Andy Murray entered his 11th semifinal of the season.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos
  • The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. He was selected for the prestigious award by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for his resolute efforts to bring the more than 50-year-long civil war of Colombia with the FARC rebels to an end. He became only the second Colombian to receive a Nobel after writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  • A new Statue of Liberty Museum, spanning 26,000-sq.ft. and a rooftop terrace that offers views of New York City, is being planning on Liberty Island. The statue was designed by sculptor Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. It was donated by France on the 1876 centenary of US independence and inaugurated on Liberty Island in 1886.
  • Ancient Japan may have been far more cosmopolitan than previously thought, archaeologists have said, pointing to fresh evidence of a Persian official working in the former capital Nara more than 1,000 years ago. Present-day Iran and Japan were known to have had direct trade links since at least the seventh century, but new testing on a piece of wood suggest broader ties. Infrared imaging revealed previously unreadable characters on the wood that named a Persian official living in the country.
  • Iranian judges have ordered a young woman writer and activist, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee to serve a six-year jail term for writing an unpublished fictional story about stoning to death in her country. Stoning to death is one of Iran’s most controversial punishments, often used against women accused of having an illicit relationship outside marriage.

Today’s Quiz

  1. Who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year?





2. Who became the first Colombian to win the Nobel Peace Prize?





3. Who did Rafael Nadal lost to at the ATP China Open quarterfinals?





4. Which of the following governments has decided to remove a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, in relation to allegations of racism?





5. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has collaborated with ____ to register young voters in 5 states, which are going to polls in 2017.





6. _____ became 17th state to join the Central Government’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY) scheme.









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