The Daily Brief – 24th February 2018

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  • Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have ceremonially broke ground on Afghanistan section of ambitious, multi-billion dollar TAPI gas pipeline. TAPI gas pipeline project is proposed trans-country natural gas pipeline from Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Anti-dumping duty of $1.04 per kg on import of ceramic tableware and kitchenware from China has been imposed by the Union Ministry of Finance in a bid to protect domestic producers.
  • New plant species named Drypetes kalamii has been discovered by scientists from Buxa and Jaldapara National Parks in West Bengal. It has been named after former President of India, Dr Dr APJ Kalam. The new species is close relative of medicinal plant known in Sanskrit as Putrajivah.
  • A collaborative agreement has been signed between Heavy Water Board (HWB), a constituent industrial unit of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Clearsynth, Mumbai for sale of 20 tonnes of Heavy Water in year. It will be sold for development of deuterium labeled compounds, NMR Solvents, d-labeled Active Pharma Ingredients (APIs).
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched Ombudsman Scheme for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) for redressal of complaints against NBFCs registered under the RBI Act. The scheme will provide cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in services by non-banking financial companies covered under the scheme. 
  • India and Germany have inked MoU for “Implementation Agreement in Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities in India. The Agreement was signed between Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, India on behalf of Government of Germany.
  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has retained its ‘A’ status of accreditation of Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) for fourth consecutive term. The Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of GANHRIs had recommended that NHRC be reaccredited with “A” status.
  • The Union Government has inked $84 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar. The loan has 25-year term, including grace period of 5 years.
  • Kunwar Bai, a 106-year-old woman from Chhattisgarh who was chosen as mascot for `Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, passed away after a prolonged illness.  She had shot to fame in 2016 when story of her selling goats to build toilet at home had got nationwide publicity.

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