The Daily Brief – 26th January 2018

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  • The names of recipients of Padma awards for this year viz. Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri has been announced by President Ram Nath Kovind. He approved conferment of Padma Awards on 85 persons. The 2018 list includes 3 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri Awardees. The second highest civilian award recipients are Ilaiyaraja(Art-Music), Ghulam Mustafa Khan(Art-Music) and Parameswaran Parameswaran(Literature and Education).
  • President Ram Nath Kovind awarded India’s highest peacetime military decoration Ashok Chakra (31) posthumously to Indian Air Force (IAF) Garud commando Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala. He had laid down his life after gunning down two terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. He is the third Ashok Chakra for the for the IAF and its first for ground combat. Other two IAF officers are Rakesh Sharma (first and still only Indian citizen to go to space) and Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon posthumously decorated with the Param Vir Chakra in 1972. 
  • The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has inked MoU with IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of the 14.150 km long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. This would be India’s longest road tunnel and longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. On completion, the tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.
  • The 25th anniversary of the establishment of sectoral dialogue between India and ASEAN countries was celebrated under the Indo-ASEAN commemorative summit held at New Delhi under the theme of “Shared Values, Common Destiny”. It issued joint statement titled Delhi Declaration after the plenary session focusing on counter-terrorism, identity security, military cooperation, and bilateral financial support.
  • Chinese scientists for first time have successfully cloned two identical long-tailed macaques (monkeys), named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua using same technique that produced Dolly sheep two decades ago. This development makes them world’s first primates – the order of mammals that includes monkeys, apes and humans – to be cloned from non-embryonic cell.
  • India and Vietnam have signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to enhance cooperation in field of information and broadcasting and space cooperation.

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