Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 19, 2017

Science & Technology

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M)

  • NASA’s third and final in a series of next generation communications satellites
  • Successfully been placed into orbit

Enlighten about TDRSS

  • The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, or TDRSS, is a fleet of geosynchronous communications satellites
  • Introduced to support the Space Shuttle, TDRSS continues in service today, providing a relay for communications, scientific data, telemetry and commands between operators on the ground and spacecraft in Earth orbit.
  • When ready, TDRS-M will become part of NASA’s Space Network providing navigation and high-data-rate communications to the International Space Station, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, rockets and a host of other spacecraft.
  • The TDRS fleet is a critical connection delivering science and human spaceflight data to those who can use it here on Earth.
  • TDRS-M will expand the capabilities and extend the lifespan of the Space Network, allowing researchers to continue receiving and transmitting mission data well into the next decade.

Artificia Womb Developed By Scientist

  • An artificial womb have been developed by scientists that can be used in future to save the lives of extremely premature human babies.
  • It was successfully used to incubate healthy baby lambs for a week.
  • The research showed that preterm lambs were successfully maintained in a healthy, infection-free condition with significant growth, for a period of one week using ex-vivo uterine environment (EVE) therapy

Bilateral Relations

The India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue

  • To enhance peace across the Indo-Pacific region by establishing a new 2-by-2 ministerial dialogue
  • This will further elevate their strategic consultation.

Enlighten about the dialogue

  • The new dialogue format will involve the Indian foreign minister and the US secretary of state as well as the Indian defence minister and the US defence secretary.
  • The shared priorities include job creation, improving the business and investment climate and sustaining a rules-based global order.
  • The US has strategic consultations in this format with key partners and allies including Australia, Japan and the Philippines. India has had a dialogue in the two-plus-two format with Japan with secretaries or senior-most bureaucrats from the foreign and defence ministries engaging each other.
  • Earlier,trade and commercial issues were discussed in the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue and the Trade Policy Forum.
  • The first Strategic and Commercial Dialogue was held in 2015 in Washington and the second in New Delhi last year.
  • It was seen as an elevation of the US-India Strategic Dialogue in place since 2009 and which focused on regional security, economic cooperation, defence, trade and climate challenges.

Beijing Refused To Share Water Related Data On Brahmaputra River This Year

  • India has accused Beijing of not sharing any water-related data about the Himalayan rivers ( brahmaputara and satluj) in the current year
  • The Brahmaputra and the Sutlej - two major trans-border rivers that enter India directly from China.
  • There is an existing mechanism named India-China Expert-Level mechanism started in 2006 to share hydrological data during the flood season for Brahmaputra and Satluj rivers
  • Under the MoUs, the hydrological data is to be shared between May 15 to October 15 every year. However, the same has not been shared this year


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will shortly issue new banknotes of Rs.50 denomination in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series

  • The base colour of the new notes will be fluorescent blue
  • Banknotes in Rs.50 denomination issued in the earlier series will continue to be legal tender.
  • Its dimension will be 66 mm x 135 mm
  • It will have a motif of Hampi with Chariot on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage along with the Swachh Bharat logo