The Daily Brief – 2nd March, 2017


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  • The government is unlikely to be able to clean the Ganga by 2018, a target set by Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti. According to the Water Ministry, key reasons include “unreasonable” directions by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) questioning the operating capacity of sewage treatment plants in Uttar Pradesh and a delay in clearances by State governments to execute projects.
  • The police have recovered arms and ammunition from a truck returning from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the Uri area of Baramulla district. During the search, a Chinese pistol, two pistol magazines, 14 rounds, four AK magazines, 120 AK rounds and two Chinese grenades were recovered from the truck. A case under Section 7/25 of the Arms Act and Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was lodged.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully carried out a test of an interceptor missile, further validating the reliability of the under-development, two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) in shooting down enemy missiles.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) signed a technology transfer agreement with Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited (JSHL) for manufacturing High Nitrogen Steel. The alloy has significant applications in the defence sector, but currently the country is largely dependent on imports.
  • The Indian Navy successfully test-fired an anti-ship missile for the first time from an indigenously built submarine. The submarine is called the INS Kalvari. INS Kalvari is the first of India’s six Scorpene-class submarines, and was manufactured at the Mazagaon dock, Mumbai.
  • The Union Government has notified the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017 to prohibit the holding, transferring or receiving of scrapped old Rs.500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes from 31 December, 2016. This law makes possession of more than a certain number of the old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes a criminal offence.
  • An indigenously developed supersonic Advance Area Defence (AAD) interceptor missile was successfully test-fired from launch complex III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island in Balasore, Odisha. The supersonic interceptor missile is capable of destroying any incoming enemy ballistic missile at low altitude.
  • The Government-appointed ‘Working Group on Migration’ headed by Partha Mukhopadhyay has recommended necessary legal and policy framework to protect the interests of the migrants in the country. The panel in its report stated that the migrant population makes substantial contribution to economic growth and so it is necessary to secure their Constitutional rights.
  • The Indian Meteorological Department has forecasted above normal temperature in most parts of the country during the 2017 summer season. The predictions were given by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune. The maximum temperatures in March to May 2017 are likely to be warmer by more than 1°C in the north, northwest and parts of central India. In other parts, maximum temperature will be between 0.5 to 1°C more than normal.
  • The BCCI Awards are a set of annual cricket awards given by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). These awards in various categories recognise and honour the best Indian international and domestic cricketers of the past year. Below is the list of winners for this year:
    • CK. Nayudu Lifetime achievement award: Padmakar Shivalkar, Rajinder Goel
    • BCCI Lifetime achievement award: Shantha Rangaswamy
    • Polly Umrigar Award: Virat Kohli

      Image result for jitu rai
      Jitu Rai
  • Jitu Rai clinched the gold medal with a stirring comeback while Amanpreet Singh bagged the silver in men’s 50m pistol event as India secured its first gold in the ongoing ISSF World Cup.
  • Hockey India announced the appointment of former Dutch women’s national coach Sjoerd Marijne as the chief coach for the Indian women’s hockey team for the next four years.
  • S. Sreesanth has approached the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to lift the life ban imposed on him after the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. Sreesanth pointed out that a sessions court in Delhi had discharged all the accused, including him, in the case on July 25, 2015.
  • Penguin Random House has won the book industry’s most coveted contract: a deal to produce the memoirs of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. 
  • U.S. President Donald Trump called for adopting a merit-based immigration system that could benefit high-tech professionals from countries like India, modifying his hard-line campaign rhetoric with a promise to revive the ‘American spirit’.
  • For the first time in last 146 years, Chicago is going through a snow-drought winter, with January and February passing without a flake.
  • A UN probe has announced that all Syrian sides that fought in the battle for Aleppo committed war crimes and the deal to evacuate civilians following the rebel defeat was a crime of forced displacement. The United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) for Syria documented violations including chemical attacks and civilian executions perpetrated during the Damascus regime’s five-month siege of eastern Aleppo, which had been a key opposition stronghold.
  • Islamic State (IS) militants from China’s Uighur ethnic minority have vowed to return to China and perpetrate violence, according to a jihadist-tracking firm, in what marked the first IS threat against Chinese targets. The threat came in a half-hour video released by a division of the Islamic State (IS) in western Iraq and featuring militants from China’s Uighur ethnic group.
  • Frogs have a unique ability to see colour even when it is so dark that humans are not able to see anything at all, a new study has found. It was previously known that toads and frogs are unique in having rods with two different sensitivities, leading researchers to hypothesise that frogs and toads might be able to see colour in low-light conditions. The new study was first in proving this to be true.
  • Scientists have used over 100,000 images extracted from Google Street View to map and quantify how street trees regulate urban ecosystems in megacities like Delhi and Shanghai. Most of the research has been conducted in the temperate zones of Europe and North America, but little is known about how trees contribute to urban ecosystems in tropical regions.

Today’s Quiz

  1. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) signed a technology transfer agreement with Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited (JSHL) for manufacturing _____.

2. ____ is the first of India’s six Scorpene-class submarines, and was manufactured at the Mazagaon dock, Mumbai.

3. Where is the Abdul Kalam Island situated?

4. Who heads the government Working Group on Migration?

5. Who won the Polly Umrigar trophy this year?

6. Who won gold at the ISSF World Cup this year?



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