The Daily Brief – 5th January 2018


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  • NASA is set to launch two missions — GOLD and ICON to explore the ionosphere, located 96 km above Earth’s surface. The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission will be launched in January 2018 and Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will be launched later this year.
  • Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ministry of Science & Technology, together, have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for joint funding of Technology Mission for Indian Railways (TMIR). The MoU will facilitate co-financing of (TMIR) by investment sharing for identified railway projects for applied research.
  • A 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds Scheme has been launched by the Ministry of Finance  to help citizens invest in a taxable instrument, without any monetary ceiling. It will enable resident citizens/Hindu Undivided Families (HUF) to invest in a taxable bond, without any monetary ceiling.
  • Procurement of P-8I Training Solution has been approved by the Union Ministry of Defence for Indian Navy and Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) for Indian Army at total cost of Rs 2419.32 crore. Earlier cleared by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the final approval for the contract comes from Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • India’s first digital Online Oncology Tutorial Series designed by Tata Memorial Centre (a grant-in-aid cancer centre  under Department of Atomic Energy, GOI) has been launched by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as a part of the Digital India initiative.
  • The United States has placed Pakistan on ‘Special Watch List’ for “severe violations” of religious freedom. It is only country to be put under the newly-formed list. Moreover, US also re-designated about 10 countries as ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ under its International Religious Freedom Act. They are Burma (Myanmar), China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved five Namami Gange projects worth Rs 295.01 crore in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Out of these 5 projects, three pertain to sewage management in West Bengal, one relates to sewage management in Uttarakhand and remaining one is  related to ghat improvement works in Uttar Pradesh.


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