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Evening News Digest: 16 January 2018

Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurates Gigabit Connectivity with Sri Lanka

  • Union Minister for Law and Justice and Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad is on an official visit to Sri Lanka. On the first day of his visit, he inaugurated the gigabit connectivity between the National Knowledge Network of India and LEARN network of Sri Lanka.
  • This dedicated high speed internet connectivity will boost the collaboration among the academic institutions of India and Sri Lanka.
  • Both countries signed MoU for enhancing cooperation between India and Sri Lanka in the IT sector, cyber security and eGovernance. On this occasion, the Minister also inaugurated the use of eOffice software developed by National Informatics Center (NIC) by the government of Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh, India and Nepal agree on operating procedures for movement of Passenger Vehicles

  • Bangladesh, India and Nepal have given nod to operating procedures for movement of passenger vehicles in the sub-region under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicles agreement.
  • The participating countries will complete the internal approval processes for signing of the passenger protocol soon.
  • The countries have also agreed to conduct more trial runs for cargo vehicles under the agreement. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been providing technical, advisory, and financial support to the BBIN MVA initiative as part of its assistance to the south Asia sub-regional economic cooperation (SASEC) program.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore unveils the Khelo India Anthem

  • With the perspective, to encourage mass participation and promote excellence in sports, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore unveiled the Khelo India Anthem Commencing on January 31, 2018.
  • The Khelo India Anthem, is a spirited composition, which resonates with the vision of the programme, of nurturing a rich sporting culture in the country.
  • The anthem is conceptualized by Ogilvy, composed by Louis Bank and the film has been produced by Nirvana Films.
  • Khelo India: The Khelo India School Games will be the first program to mark the beginning of Khelo India, a category defining, holistic sports development program. The Khelo India School Games will play a pivotal role in this movement, by encouraging participation among youngsters.

SC announces composition of 5-judge constitution bench headed by CJI to hear crucial cases

  • Supreme Court has announced the composition of a 5-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Mishra to hear crucial cases.
  • The bench comprises Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan besides the Chief Justice. The newly constituted bench will start hearing on a range of crucial matters from 17 January 2018.
  • These include cases challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and 2013 apex court judgment re-criminalising gay sex between consenting adults.
  • The other issues to be dealt with by constitution bench include the pleas, which have raised a question as to when will a lawmaker, facing criminal trial, stand disqualified. All these matters were earlier referred to larger benches for adjudication by different benches of the apex court.

Romanian PM Mihai Tudose resigns after losing party support

  • Romania's left-wing Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on 16 January 2018, after losing the backing of his party due to internal power struggles, barely seven months after his predecessor suffered the same fate.
  • The move heralds fresh turmoil for Romania, one of the European Union's poorest countries, and comes on the eve of a historic visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
  • It is the second time in a year that the PSD has torpedoed its own government. Tudose's resignation will have to be signed off by centre-right President Klaus Iohannis.

Nation's Cup tournament: Indian boxers claim 11 gold medals

  • Indian boxers have claimed 11 gold medals and both the team championship trophies in the Nation's Cup tournament for junior and youth women in Sombor, Serbia.
  • The junior team won 13 medals, nine gold, two silver and two bronze medals, while the youth team clinched four medals 3 gold and one bronze.
  • In the junior category, Indian boxers won gold in 46, 52, 54, 70, 75 ad +80 kilogram categories and bagged silver medals in 48 kilogram category and bronze in 50 and 57 kilogram categories. In the youth category, they got gold in 60, 64 and 81 kilogram categories and bronze in 54 kilogram.

UIDAI to roll out face recognition feature to enhance Aadhaar security

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will soon roll out face authentication as an additional security feature for Aadhaar verification.
  • The new feature, likely to be introduced by July, would make it convenient for those who have difficulty in authentication through fingerprint or iris scan.
  • However, the face recognition would be used only in "fusion mode", that is it would be valid only when used along with one more authentication feature fingerprint or iris or one-time password (OTP).

Turkey unveils route of 45 km 'Istanbul Canal'

  • The Turkish government unveiled the route of its planned new canal for Istanbul, a hugely ambitious 45 kilometer (28 mile) project designed to be its answer to the famed artificial shipping lanes in Panama or Egypt’s Suez.
  • The canal would begin in the Istanbul district of Kucukcekmece on the Sea of Marmara, where there is already an inland lake.
  • Aim: The aim is to reduce the risks that can arise from vessels in the Bosphorus carrying dangerous materials. It is to create an urban transformation for our citizens in this area and also to increase the attractiveness of Istanbul as a global metropolis.

Govt. needs to increase healthcare outlay in budget: Report

  • A report has shown that, Public sector accounts for only 30 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure in the country and investment in building and maintaining public health infrastructure needs priority in the forthcoming budget for FY 2018-19.
  • Public sector investment on healthcare accounts for less than 1.5 per cent of GDP, which is one of the lowest globally, and the government intends to increase the expenditure to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025.
  • WHO Report: Public sector accounts for only 30 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure in the country, as compared to 42-58 per cent in Brazil, 58 per cent in China, 52 per cent in Russia, 50 per cent in South Africa, 48 per cent in USA and 83 per cent in UK.
  • ICRA believes that investing in building and maintaining public health infrastructure should be given priority.

Former minister Raghunath Jha passes away

  • Former Union Minister Raghunath Jha passed away at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on 15 January 2018. He was 78. He was suffering from hypertension, diabetis, chronic hepatitis and a chronic kidney disease and that he was on maintenance haemodialysis.
  • Raghunath Jha: Born on August 9, 1939, Mr Jha was the Union minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprise in the UPA government, led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) representative.
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