The Daily Brief – 20th August 2017


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  • Two new species of earthworm belonging to the primitive family Moniligastridae have been discovered by scientists in Western Ghats ranges of Kerala. The new earthworms have been named Drawida polydiverticulata and Drawida thomasi respectively.
  • India and US have established new two-by-two (2 by 2) ministerial dialogue to enhance strategic coordination between them and maintaining peace and stability in the Pacific region. It will replace the earlier Strategic and Commercial dialogue and will now follow a Indo-Japanese model of (2+2) between foreign and defence secretaries.
  • NASA launched Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M(TDRS-M) into the orbit aboard the United Launch Alliance(ULA)  Atlas-5 rocket. TDRS-M is third and final satellite in a series of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), next generation communications satellites.
  • Extreme weather events are costing India $9-10 billion annually according to the recent report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture. It also observed that climate change is projected to impact agricultural productivity with increasing severity from 2020 to the end of the century.
  • 19th August is celebrated internationally as World Humanitarian Day(WHD) to recognize work of humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives. The campaign theme for this year is #NotATarget 
  • The Reserve Bank of India has decided to launch new banknotes of Rs. 50 denomination with base colour as florescent blue. These notes, a part of Mahatma Gandhi(New) series, will have motif of Hampi the Chariot on the reverse, Swacch Bharat logo, numeral 50 in Devnagiri, year of printing and the language panel.
  • Five Indian-origin persons have featured in Fortune’s 2017 ’40 Under 40′ list of young and influential people in the field of business inspiring others with their work. They are Leo Varadkar (age: 38), Divya Nag (26), Rishi Shah (31), Shradha Agarwal (32) and Leila Janah (31).


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