The Daily Brief – 9th December 2018


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  1. NITI Aayog in partnership with Perlin, a Singapore-based AI start up, has launched ‘AI 4 All Global Hackathon’ to further expand the idea of ‘Artificial Intelligence, AI for All’ articulated in the National AI Strategy. The objective of this hackathon is to promote awareness and subsequently develop solutions that deliver the twin benefit of efficient computing to address the infrastructure challenges, while also not compromising on privacy of data for training AI algorithms.
  2. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 6, 2018 approved the Agriculture Export Policy 2018, which aims to double farmer’s income by 2022.  The Cabinet has also approved the proposal for establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Ministry of Commerce as the nodal Department with representation from various Ministries, agencies and representatives of concerned State Governments to oversee the implementation of the Policy.
  3. The Ministry of Shipping December 6, 2018 approved the development of Rs 156 crore Freight Village in Varanasi, adjoining the Inland Waterways Terminal on River Ganga. The Varanasi Freight Village will be developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India. A Freight Village is a designated area where facilities for various modes of transportation, distribution of goods and other logistics are available in a synchronised manner on a large scale.
  4. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on December 6, 2018 launched a new framework titled UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact’ to combat international terrorism and coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors. The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Task Force will replace the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, which was established in 2005 to strengthen UN system-wide coordination and coherence of counter-terrorism efforts.

    Preeti Saran
  5. The Indian Foreign Service Officer of 1982 batch, Preeti Saran was on December 6, 2018 elected to an Asia Pacific seat on the 18-member United Nation’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) for a term of four years. Saran will begin her term at CESCR after former Indian diplomat Chandrashekhar Das gupta completes his third term on the CESCR by the end of December 2018.  The CESCR was set up in 1985 by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
  6. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 5, 2018 launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’ which offers free travel packages for senior citizens from Delhi to five religious circuits. 1,100 senior citizens from every constituency of Delhi will be able to avail this facility at one go. To facilitate a seamless coordination for the scheme, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd (DTTDC) had signed an MoU with the Indian Railways and Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Ministry of Railways.
  7. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Amendment of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951. The decisions aims to secure representation as trustees, “the leader of opposition recognised as such in the house of the people, or where there is no such leader of opposition, then the leader of the single largest opposition party in the house”. The proposed amendment ensures representation of the opposition party in the trust.
  8. The Union Cabinet has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on October 15, 2015 at New Delhi between India and Russia on Joint Activities under Human Spaceflight Programme. It will lead to setting up of a Joint Working Group, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing the provisions of this agreement.

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Today’s Quiz

1. When was the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force established?

2. Where the development of Freight Village is approved by Ministry of Shipping?

3. Preeti Saran who is elected to CESCR is a 1982-batch ____ officer.

4. When was United Nation's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) set up?

5. How many members does United Nation's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) have?

6. Who launched 'Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’?

7. With which country India signed MoU on Joint Activities under Human Spaceflight Programme?

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