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News in Short

News in Short - 18-December-2020

India slips two spots in Human Development Index

Date: 18 December 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • slipping two places from the previous year, according to the Human Development Report (HDR) 2020.
  • Norway topped the index, followed by Ireland and Switzerland. Hong Kong and Iceland complete the top five.
  • HDI measures average achievement on three basic aspects of human development, life expectancy, education, and per capita income.
  • India’s gross national income (GNI) per capita on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP), too, fell from $6,829 in 2018 to $6,681 in 2019,

US puts India on “currency manipulators” monitoring list

Date: 18 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The US has put India on its "monitoring list" of currency manipulating countries for the third time. This came after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made relentless dollar purchase, leading to forex reserves rising by $100 billion this fiscal.
  • Along with India, Taiwan, Thailand Vietnam and Switzerland were also branded as currency manipulators.
  • Notably, India was removed from the watch list last year. With the tag back on, bankers now believe that it could lead to the rupee appreciating as the RBI is likely to step back from its dollar purchases.

Great Pyramid artefact found in Scotland

Date: 18 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • One of only three artefacts ever recovered from inside Egypt’s Great Pyramid has been found in a misplaced cigar tin in a Scottish university collection.
  • The fragment of cedar wood, which has been found to date back 5,000 years to the building of the pyramid at Giza, was first discovered in the late 19th century but had been missing for more than 70 years.
  • Carbon dating results, delayed by coronavirus restrictions, placed the wood at somewhere between 3341 and 3094 BC, long before the construction of the pyramid. This supports the theory the items were left behind by builders rather than by later explorers.

Chinese capsule returns to Earth with samples from Moon

Date: 18 December 2020 Tags: Space
  • A Chinese spacecraft carrying rocks and soil from the Moon returned safely to Earth in the first mission in four decades to collect lunar samples.
  • The capsule carrying the samples collected by the Chang’e-5 space probe landed in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region.
  • With this mission, China became only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon, following the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Chang’e-5, named after a mythical Chinese Moon goddess, landed on the Moon on December 1.

Dinosaur with hair and ribbon

Date: 18 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Researchers have discovered that a two-legged chicken-sized Cretaceous Period dinosaur made a living hunting insects and perhaps small vertebrates like frogs and lizards about 110 million years ago along the shores of an ancient lagoon in north-eastern Brazil.
  • This dinosaur, called Ubirajara jubatus, possessed a mane of hair-like structures while also boasting two unique, stiff, ribbon-like features probably made of keratin.
  • Ubirajara's hair-like structures appear to be a rudimentary form of feathers called protofeathers. It most likely, had hair-like protofeathers over much of its body but they are only preserved along its neck, back and arms.
  • Ubirajara's ribbon-like structures may have been used for display, possibly to attract mates or intimidate adversaries or in inter-male rivalry.