The Daily Brief – 18th January, 2017


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  • India has became an associate member of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. On November 21, Sekhar Basu, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), and Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General, signed an agreement to admit India to CERN as an associate member. Being an associate member will allow India to take part in meetings of the CERN Council and its committees (Finance Committee and Scientific Policy Committee). Indian industry will be entitled to bid for CERN contracts, which will open up opportunities for industrial collaboration in areas of advanced technology. Also, Indian scientists will become eligible for staff appointments.
  • Professor C.V. Vishveshwara (77), who did pioneering work on black holes, has passed away. In the 1970s, while at the University of Maryland, he was among the first to study “black holes” even before they had been so named.
  • The second edition of Ministry of External Affairs’ annual Raisina Dialogue was held in New Delhi with the theme “The New Normal: Multilateralism in a multipolar world”. The conference is held jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), an independent think tank based in India.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal for India’s taking full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved holding negotiations for a Trade Agreement with Peru on trade in goods, services and investment.
  • The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has commissioned a very high resolution (12 km) global deterministic weather prediction model for generating operational weather forecasts. The model has been on trial since September 2016. It has shown significant improvements in skill of daily weather forecasts. It was made operational from January 2017.
  • Asia’s oldest stock exchange, BSE, will soon become the first equity bourse in the country to go public. The initial public offer (IPO) of the exchange will open on January 23 wherein a total of 1.54 crore equity shares would be offered to the public in the price band of between Rs. 805 and Rs. 806. The offering will allow individuals and institutions to own a slice of the exchange that was established on July 9, 1875.
  • Kochi will host two matches of the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup to be held in India from Jan. 30 to Feb. 12. Kochi will be the venue for the India-Australia match on Feb. 5 and the Australia-Sri Lanka game the next day.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has approved a mission to explore 16 Psyche, an iron-rich asteroid. As part of the mission, NASA craft will be launched in 2023, and will arrive at Psyche in 2030. The mineral contents on the asteroids are worth over 100-thousand times the value of the entire world economy.



  1. We, India, should also launch our spacecraft to explore the 16 psyche and bring back some mineral on Earth from it.

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