The Daily Brief – 18th February, 2017

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  • The Indian Navy’s second ocean-going sailboat INSV Tarini was inducted at the INS Mandovi Boat Pool in Goa. INSV Tarini is a sloop built by Divar-based Aquarius Shipyard.  It is slated to be the platform for the Indian Navy’s first Indian all-women circumnavigation of the globe expedition.
  • Maharashtra Government has approved a Rs. 250 crore Cloud Seeding Programme during 2017 monsoon season to produce sufficient rain. Under this programme, weather scientists using aircrafts will spray chemicals (silver iodide) over clouds clouds hovering above Solapur district, a rain shadow region of Western Ghats in the state.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully ground tested India’s largest indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage engine for GSLV Mark III. It was tested for a full 10 minutes at ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Complex (ILPC) at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
  • Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS AYUSH was commissioned at Kochi, Kerala by Vice Admiral AR Karwe, Flag Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Southern Naval Command. ICGS AYUSH is the 20th and the last in the series of 20 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd.
  • Orally noting that “there is no concept of National Song”, the Supreme Court has refused to intervene in a petition seeking a direction to the government to frame a national policy to promote and propagate the ‘National Song’, along with the National Anthem and the National Flag.
  • The joint venture (JV) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Rosoboronexport and Russian Helicopters of Russia for manufacturing Kamov-226T light utility helicopters in India will be registered very soon and the final contract is likely to be signed this year.
  • The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has made Aadhaar mandatory for providing scholarships to meritorious school students from economically weaker sections. Students who want to avail scholarship benefits under ‘National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme’ need to get enrolled under Aadhaar.
  • A month-long ‘Jaipur Foot’ fitment camp has begun in Yangon city of Myanmar. A team from Jaipur aims to rehabilitate 300 handicapped persons with the famous artificial limbs, which will enable them to walk again. The camp has been jointly organised by the Indian Embassy in Myanmar, U Nu Daw Mya Yi Foundation — named after the country’s first democratically elected Prime Minister U Nu — and Jaipur-based Bhagwan Mahaveer Vikalang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS). It is to be organised in Myanmar every year.

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  • P.V. Sindhu has become the second Indian woman, after Saina Nehwal, to break into the top 5 after the latest BWF world rankings. Sindhu, with a career-best ranking of World No. 5, is currently the best-placed Indian in the chart. Saina is currently placed ninth. In men’s singles, Ajay Jayaram is the highest- ranked Indian at No. 18.
  • India produced an all-round performance to defeat Bangladesh by nine wickets in a Super Six match and qualified for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
  • The woolly mammoth vanished from the Earth 4,000 years ago, but now scientists say they are on the brink of resurrecting the ancient beast in a revised form, through an ambitious feat of genetic engineering. Speaking ahead of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston this week, the scientist leading the “de-extinction” effort said the Harvard team is just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo, in which mammoth traits would be programmed into an Asian elephant. The woolly mammoth roamed across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America during the last Ice Age and vanished some 4,000 years ago, probably due to a combination of climate change and hunting by humans. Their closest living relative is the Asian, not the African, elephant.
  • Scientists from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have made world’s strongest material graphene commercially more viable by using soybean. They have developed a novel “GraphAir technology” which transforms soybean oil, a renewable, natural material into graphene films in a single step.

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