The Daily Brief – 28th July, 2016


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  • The European Space Agency (ESA) decided to severe communications from robot lab Philae after a year-long silence from the probe that is shuttling through space on a comet. This was the first probe that landed on a comet, which is said to be primeval rubble from the formation of the Solar System. Philae’s orbiting mothership Rosetta will remain in orbit before crash landing in September this year after being launched into space in March 2004.

  • World Hepatitis Day is observed annually across the globe on 28th July with this year’s theme being “Elimination”. There will be a World Hepatitis Summit in March 2017 that is being held in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is being jointly organised by World Health Organisation and World Hepatitis Alliance.
  • The European Union has appointed Michel Barnier, a former French Financial Services Commissioner, as its Chief Negotiator for United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
  • India signed a one-billion dollar deal with the US Defence and Boeing, the aerospace major company, for procurement of four long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft Poseidon-8I. This deal makes India the P-8I’s first international customer and also makes it Boeing’s first military sale to India.
  • A joint expedition led by India and United States has resulted in the discovery of large reserves of rich natural gas hydrate in the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean. The team was led by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited of India (ONGC) in cooperation with the US Geological Survey (UGSC). This discovery is touted to be the first of its kind that will lead to productivity.
  • India might get a supercomputer running a dynamical model to predict its monsoon forecast next year. This model is being tested at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and it will work by simulating the weather on powerful computers and extrapolating it over particular timeframes.
  • Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat declared that the report of a Chinese incursion were true with the People’s Liberation Army transgressing into the Bara Hoti area of Chamoli District in the state.
  • The Lower House of the Parliament (Lok Sabha) gave its nod for an amendment to the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act of 2013 that allowed extension in the time given for declaring the assets of public servants, trustees and board members of NGOs that received government or foreign funding of over Rs. 1 crore or Rs. 10 lakhs respectively. This extension is also applicable to their spouses.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the establishment of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bhatinda, Punjab. This hospital is being established under the scheme Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) that has also established AIIMS in Rishikesh, Patna, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Jodhpur and Raipur. It is proposed to be set up in Nagpur, Mangalagiri (Andhra Pradesh) and Kalyani (West Bengal).
  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitutional Amendment Bill was cleared by the Union Cabinet after the necessary changes were made that included dropping 1% manufacturing tax as well as providing guarantee of compensation to the states if they suffer any loss in their revenue due to the proposed indirect tax regime.
  • The Lok Sabha passed the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 that amends the Benami Transactions Act, 1988. This bill not only prohibits transactions that are in the nature of benami but also provides for confiscation of benami properties.
  • Neelamraju Ganga Prasada Rao, popularly known as the Father of Hybrid Sorghum, passed away in Hyderabad. He was known for basic and applied research in breeding and agronomy of several dryland crops.
  • Olympic Channel is set to be launched in August 2016 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games 2016. It will be available online worldwide via an app for Android as well as iOS devices and at
  • Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Karen Rolton (Australia), Arthur Morris (Australia) and George Lohmann (England) will be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame according to the announcement made by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Muralitharan will be the first Sri Lankan cricketer to receive this honour.

Today’s Quiz

1. Name the robot lab that was launched in March 2004 by the European Space Agency that is now having communications severed after a year-long silence.

2. When is World Hepatitis Day observed?

3. Who has been appointed by the EU as the Chief Negotiator for the UK's exit from the EU?

4. Which country recently became the Poseidon-8I's first international buyer?

5. Where did the India-US joint expedition recently discover reserves of natural gas hydrate?  

6. Who was known as the Father of Hybrid Sorghum?

7. Who recently became the first Sri Lankan cricketer to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame?

8. Where will the new AIIMS under the PMSSY be set up?


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