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Science & Technology 2018

Current Affairs[October 2018]
  • Artificial Moon: It is a latest scientific initiative proposed by Chengdu aerospace science and technology microelectronics system research institute. The city of Chengdu has unveiled plans to replace the city’s streetlights with a satellite that will boost the glow of the real moon. The artificial moon will be able to light an area with a diameter of 10 to 80 kilometres. Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu aerospace science and technology microelectronics system research institute, announced the news and said that the artificial moon would be eight times brighter than the real moon. The testing of the illumination started years ago and is now ready. The manmade moon will have a coating that can reflect light from the sun with solar panel-like wings. The angles of these wings can then be adjusted to allow the light to focus on a precise location. The exact details of the spacecraft, the launch date and how the artificial moon would be maintained were not revealed. Officials from the city of Chengdu said they were hoping to save money on street lighting and also increase tourism.
  • Artificial Intelligence:It is a way of making a computer, a computer-controlled robot, or a software think intelligently, in the similar manner the intelligent humans think. NITI Aayog has inked agreement with Microsoft India to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to deal with problems in agriculture and health care and promote adoption of area language computing among the other folks. This partnership will assist NITI Aayog to shift over and above pilots and understand how to scale AI implementation in sectors characterized by preponderance of community products. Below the agreement, Microsoft will present NITI Aayog sophisticated AI-dependent remedies to handle worries in agriculture and health care which includes farm advisory services, health care screening styles at Major Health Centres (PHCs) and build potential for AI by education between some others. It will also assist NITI Aayog by combining cloud, AI, investigate and its vertical skills for new initiatives and options throughout various main parts.
  • Climate change: It is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time. Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather within the context of longer-term average conditions. India has suffered economic losses of $79.5 billion due to natural disasters during the last two decades, according to the United Nations (UN). Between 1998 to 2017, two of the worst years for lower-middle income countries -- a category that India falls into -- were 2002 when a severe drought in India affected 300 million people, and 2015 again with a drought hitting India and other countries, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction report. It warned of growing risk from climate change, which would hit developing countries the hardest. The last 20 years have seen a dramatic rise of 151 per cent in direct economic losses from climate-related disasters, the report said. During that period 77 per cent of the economic losses $2,908 billion were due to climate-related disasters.
  • ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be working together on the first manned space mission. At end of delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladmir Putin, a MoU was inked between ISRO and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ for joint activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme. The Russian side has offered a ride to Indian astronaut a short visit to International Space Station (ISS) on board a Soyuz spacecraft for a short training mission in 2022. India hopes to send its first manned mission Gaganyaan in 2022.
  • Bioelectronic medicine: It is a new development in the scientific world where an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve. Researchers at the Washington University in the US developed a device that delivers regular pulses of electricity to damaged peripheral nerves in rats after a surgical repair process, accelerating the regrowth of nerves in their legs and enhancing the ultimate recovery of muscle strength and control. The size of a dime and the thickness of a sheet of paper,the wireless device operates for about two weeks before naturally absorbing into the body, according to the study published in the journal Nature Medicine. This method offers therapy and treatment over a clinically relevant period of time and directly at the site where it’s needed, thereby reducing side-effects or risks associated with conventional, permanent implants. While the device has not been tested in humans, the findings offer promise as a future therapeutic option for nerve injury patients.
  • Stanford University: It is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top universities. Stanford University takes first place on Reuters' list of the World's Most Innovative Universities for the fourth consecutive year. Backed by producing new patents and papers that influence researchers around the world, the university has locked down the top spot. According to the report, the patents and research works include several developments in the field of rtificial intelligence. Members of the department of Electrical Engineering have come up with an AI camera system that analyzes images faster and with less energy than current systems. The work could lead to a new generation of smart camera applications in autonomous vehicles, surveillance systems and medical devices. At the university's department of Computer Science, researchers have designed an AI system that can predict potential drug interactions before new pharmaceuticals are ever tested on humans. The system, called Decagon, could help researchers find better drug combinations to treat complex diseases.
  • Nobel Prize: The Nobel Prize is a set of six annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances. The will of the Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel established the prizes in 1895.
  • 2018 Nobel Physics Prize : Arthur Ashkin of the United States won one half of the nine million Swedish kronor (about USD 1.01 million or 870,000 euros) prize, while Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada shared the other half.
  • 2018 Nobel Medicine Prize: Two immunologists, James Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won this year's Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how the body's natural defences can fight cancer.
  • 2018 Nobel Chemistry Prize: US scientists Frances Arnold and George Smith and British researcher Gregory Winter won the Nobel Chemistry Prize for applying the principles of evolution to develop enzymes used to make everything from biofuels to pharmaceuticals. Arnold, just the fifth woman to win the Nobel Chemistry Prize, won one half of the nine million Swedish kronor (about USD 1.01 million or 870,000 euros) award, while Smith and Winter shared the other half.
  • 2018 Nobel Peace Prize: Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. The prize is worth nine million Swedish kronor (USD 1.01 million).The winners have been chosen from among 331 nominations (216 individuals and 115 organisations) which the second highest number of nominees ever, next only to the 376 nominated in 2016.
Current Affairs[September 2018]
  • Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS): It is a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Located in New Delhi, it is involved in Nuclear medicine research and responding to nuclear accidents and explosions. The scientists at a INMAS claim to have developed India�s first indigenous medical kit that may ensure protection from serious injuries and faster healing of wounds resulting from nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage. The kit, developed after two decades of work by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) here, has over 25 items, including radio-protectors that provide 80-90 per cent protection against radiation and nerve gas agents, bandages that absorb radiation as well as tablets and ointments. Developed in India for the first time, it�s a potent alternative to similar kits that were till now being procured from strategically advanced nations such as the US and Russia at much higher prices. The contents include an advanced form of Prussian blue tablets, highly effective in incorporating Radio Cesium (Cs-137) and Radio Thallium, among the most feared radioisotopes in nuclear bombs that destroy human body cells. The tablet provides 100 per cent absorption from the gut and other portals of entry to the human body, according to documents inside the medical kit accessed.
  • Eyerovtuna: It is the country�s first underwater robotic drone developed at Maker Village, which can send real-time videos of ships and other underwater structures to help with their repair and maintenance, was launched and handed over to the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO on Friday. The drone will be used by NPOL for research and development activities which in turn would result in a commercial product for defence purposes. The first commercial Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)/ underwater drone, Eyerovtuna was developed by EyeROV Technologies. NPOL, a laboratory of Delhi-headquartered Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), made the first order of the product. The development of the product of EyeROV was largely supported by Kerala Start up Mission (KSUM) through various schemes.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) : It is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. ISRO has launched two satellites from the United Kingdom � NovaSAR and S1-4 from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The lightest version of the PSLV, flying in its core-alone version without the six strap-on motors, the PSLV-C-42 rose into the skies at 10.08 p.m. Almost 18 minutes later, the two satellites were placed in the desired orbit by ISRO. This was the 12th such launch of a core-alone version of the PSLV by ISRO. The two satellites, owned by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) were placed in a circular orbit around the poles, 583 km from Earth. The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation earned more than ₹220 crore on this launch. The NovaSAR is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-band SAR platform. It will be used for ship detection and maritime monitoring and also flood monitoring, besides agricultural and forestry applications. The S1-4 will be used for environment monitoring, urban management, and tackling disasters. Among the slew of launches scheduled over the next few months, the much-awaited and delayed, India�s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2 finally has a launch window. Chandrayaan-2 is planned for a window from January 3 to February 16, 2019 that we are targeting. It can happen anytime during that window. But we are aiming for the beginning of the window, January 3. Right now with the status of the rocket, the GSLV Mk-3 M1, and the present status of the satellite, we are not expecting any more delay. At the same time tests are going on. If unexpected things happen, that may have some impact. But right now, we are not anticipating any delay. The other launches include the GSAT series that will provide bandwidth speeds of up to 100 Gbps per second, as part of the government�s Digital India efforts.
  • S�Band Polarimetry Doppler Weather : It is newly inaugurated facility at Sriharikota spaceport near Chennai. The radar has been developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bengaluru under ToT (Training of Trainers) from ISRO. The Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) provides advanced information, enhances the lead-time essential for saving lives and property in the event of a natural disaster associated with severe weather. While conventional radars are able to track and predict cyclones, the DWR provides detailed information on a storm�s internal wind flow and structure. The severity of the weather systems can be quantitatively estimated and more precise advanced warnings can be generated for saving human lives and property. The polarimetric capability of the radar will significantly improve the accuracy of rainfall estimation leading to accurate and timely flash flood warnings, according to ISRO�s earlier release.
  • India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP): It is a system planned by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) for the cooling requirement across sectors and lists out actions which can help reduce cooling demand. Its thrust is to look for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socio-economic benefits. ICAP�s overarching goal is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society. Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP). It makes India first country in world to develop such document. The draft was prepared by Ozone Cell of MoEFC. It aims to provide sustainable cooling while keeping in mind, at the same time, the need to protect the ozone layer from substances that can deplete it. It provides a 20-year perspective, with projections for cooling needs in 2037-38. Hydrogen powered train: The new train will carry a hydrogen tank and fuel cells on the roof, and produce electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen. Germany has rolled out the world�s first hydrogen-powered train. The landmark move, signals to push the challenge that might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology. Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French company Alstom, began running a 100km route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany � a stretch normally plied by diesel trains.
  • Cyclotron: It is an apparatus in which charged atomic and subatomic particles are accelerated by an alternating electric field while following an outward spiral or circular path in a magnetic field. India�s largest Cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator that produces radioisotopes, for medical applications became operational last week in Kolkata. According to the Department of Atomic Energy, the facility called Cyclone-30 at the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) in Kolkata will provide affordable radioisotopes and related radiopharmaceuticals. Cyclone-30 is in the first phase of production generating Flourodeocyglucose (FDG), a radioisotope used for date imaging and oncological tissue imaging. The machine is soon expected to produce Germanium 68 and Gallium 68 radioisotopes � both imported and expensive. Cyclone-30 will become the first and only facility in the country to produce Germanium 68 isotopes, which is used in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Simultaneously, we will be able to produce Palladium 103 isotopes which is used for the treatment of prostate cancer. The machine at VECC was likely to bring down costs of radioisotopes for the pharmaceutical industry such as Germanium 68 by almost half.
  • Gaganyaan Mission: It is India's maiden human spaceflight programme. The mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 72nd Independence Day speech. It is India�s first manned space mission that will be launched by ISRO by 2022. The mission will send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days. The crew will do microgravity experiment during the mission. The crew will be selected by Indian Air Force (IAF) and ISRO jointly after which they will undergo training for two-three years. GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle, having the necessary payload capability for this mission, will be used to launch Gaganyaan. The programme will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions. India and France have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to constitute a working group for Gaganyaan Mission, India�s first manned space mission. The French space agency CNES and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be combining their expertise in fields of space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems. The ambit of the cooperation includes ISRO�s access to space hospital facilities in France. Both the sides have decided that infrastructure such as CADMOS centre for development of microgravity applications and space operations or the MEDES space clinic will be used for training of future Indian astronauts. French-Indian space cooperation includes climate monitoring, with a fleet of joint satellites devoted to research and operational applications. The two countries also have plans to work on Mars, Venus and asteroids.
  • Space Elevator: It is a proposed type of planet-to-space transportation system. The main component would be a cable anchored to the surface and extending into space. Researchers from Shizuoka University, Japan are planning to conduct world�s first experiment to test small prototype of space elevator in space by using two mini satellites. According to official sources, two ultra-small cubic satellites developed by Shizuoka University Faculty of Engineering will be used for demonstration of space elevator technology. Each satellite measures 10 centimeters each side. Roughly 10-meter-long steel cable will be employed to connect twin satellites. The pair of satellites will be released from International Space Station (ISS) and container acting like elevator car will be moved on cable connecting satellites using motor. The movement of motorised elevator box will be monitored with cameras in the satellites.
  • Google: It is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. Google has announces new AI technology to combat online child sexual abuse. Google said its cutting-edge AI technology uses deep neural networks for image processing to help discover and detect child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online. The new tool based on the deep neural networks will be made available for free to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other "industry partners," including other technology companies, via a new Content Safety API service that could be offered upon request.
Current Affairs[August 2018]
  • Innovation Cell: Innovation cell is Ministry of Human Resource and Development�s initiative and has been established at AICTE premises with a purpose to systematically foster the culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country. The primary mandate of Innovation Cell is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by exposing them to new ideas and processes resulting in innovative activities in their formative years fostered through Network of Innovation clubs in Higher Educational Institutions. In yet another game changing initiative, the Union Minister for HRD, Shri Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister of State for HRD, Dr. Satya Pal Singh launched the Innovation Cell at AICTE, New Delhi.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO): It is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. ) ISRO has unveiled India's Gaganyaan programme for manned space flight before 2022 as announced by the Prime Minister on the Independence Day. The manned mission to space having 3 crew members will be in space for 5-7 days. After the takeoff, the manned flight will reach the orbit in 16 minutes. The crew, while coming back to the Earth, could land in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast or in the Bay of Bengal or even on land, he added. He said the mission may be executed six months before India completes its 75th Independence Day with the help of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle. The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km and the total programme cost is expected to be less than Rs 10,000 crores.
  • European Space Agency (ESA): It is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. ESA has successfully launched wind-sensing satellite named Aeolus into orbit on board of Vega rocket from French Guyana. It is world�s first wind-sensing satellite dedicated to map Earth�s wind on global scale in particular tropical winds which are very poorly mapped because of almost complete absence of direct observations. The satellite is Aeolus named after guardian of wind in Greek mythology. It will be placed at altitude of 320km above the Earth. It is part of the Copernicus project, a joint initiative of European Union (EU) and European Space Agency (ESA) to track environmental damage and aid disaster relief operations.
  • Jatropha: Jatropha is a genus of flowering plants in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. The name is derived from the Greek words meaning "physician", hence the common name physic nut. A blend of oil from jatropha seeds and aviation turbine fuel propelled the country�s first ever bio jet fuel-powered flight on Monday between Dehradun and Delhi. The 43 minute flight was operated by SpiceJet�s Bombardier Q-400 aircraft with 20 officials and five crew members on board. A blend of 25% of bio jet fuel and 75% of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) was carried in one of the two engines of the plane, while the other engine carried only ATF. International standards permit a blend rate of upto 50% biofuel with ATF.
  • E-Cigaratte: It is a handheld electronic device that simulates the feeling of tobacco smoking. Union Health Ministry has instructed all the States that e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) should not be sold under their jurisdiction. Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have already prohibited the use of e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, E-Shisha and e-nicotine-flavoured hookahs, and have prohibited the manufacture, import, sale and distribution of ENDS. The Health Ministry has issued an advisory for the other States to follow suit. �ENDS products are a great health risk to the public at large, especially to children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age. States and Union Territories are advised in larger public health interest, and in order to prevent the initiation of ENDS by non-smokers and youth, with special attention to vulnerable groups, to ensure that ENDS are not sold...,� it said. Thirty countries including Australia, Singapore and Sri Lanka have already brought in such bans.
  • Influenza: It is a commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. The Indian government and the European Union (EU) has joined hands for Rs. 240 crore research programme to develop a Next Generation Influenza Vaccine to protect citizens worldwide. Both the EU and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) ), Government of India, have also committed EUR 15 million each to fund this joint call for the program named "Horizon 2020".
  • Wheat : Wheat is one of the world's most commonly consumed cereal grains. It comes from a type of grass (Triticum) that is grown in countless varieties worldwide. Bread wheat, or common wheat, is the most common species. Several other closely related species include durum, spelt, emmer, einkorn, and Khorasan wheat. Scientists have decoded the entire DNA of wheat for the first time. Researchers hope the findings will allow them to produce new low allergy varieties as well as crops that need less water. It is hoped the research will benefit sufferers from Coeliac disease - who become ill when eating gluten. It is the world�s most widely-cultivated crop on Earth and detailing it was a far more complex task than that of the human genome. Wheat has 16 billion base pairs - the building blocks of DNA - five times more than the humans. More than 200 scientists from 73 research institutions including the UK�s John Innes Centre worked on the mammoth task - the results of which are published in the journal Science. Wheat has 21 chromosomes, 107,891 genes and more than 4 million molecular markers.
  • Cyclone warning centre: It is one of the most important functions of the Indian Meteorological Department. The Centre has proposed to set up a Cyclone Warning Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. New centre would further strengthen the present forecasting activity in IMD's existing office in Kerala. The ministry is also planning to set up another C-Band Doppler Weather Radar at Mangalore by end of 2019 which would cover the northern parts of Kerala. At present, there are two Doppler Weather Radars in the state -- at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. With these three radars, the entire state would be covered for monitoring of rainfall and severe weather events, and adequately warn the people well in advance. The IMD has developed many new models and tools from nowcasts (2-3 hours) to extended range forecasts (15-20 days' lead time). The MoES is also planning to organise an awareness and training workshop for the state disaster management authorities of all states and other stakeholders by next month, to brief and train them on the new tools and their use for effective decision making.
  • Global Positioning System (GPS): It is a satellite navigation system used to determine the ground position of an object. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an in-body GPS system, called ReMix, which can identify the location of ingestible implants inside the body via low-power wireless signals. Scientists team expects that such implants can be used to track tumours by monitoring even slight movements. In the future, the implants may also help in dispensing drugs to a specific area in the body. ReMix is being developed by MIT�s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in alliance with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The in-body GPS system is based on a wireless technology that MIT previously developed to detect heart rate, breathing and movement. To validate the system, the researchers implanted a small marker in animal tissues. They used a wireless device that reflects radio signals off the patient to track the marker�s movement. This marker does not transmit any signals of its own. It merely reflects those transmitted by the wireless device. As a result, the marker does not need a battery or any external source of energy.
  • Laboratory of Conservation of Endangered Species: It is a first of its kind genetic resource bank, which could have far reaching implications in conservation and revival of extinct and endangered species in the near future. It was inaugurated at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology�s (CCMB) Laboratory of Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) facility. It is dubbed as National Wildlife Genetic Resource Bank and inaugurated by Union Minister for Science and Technology and Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the genetic bank will cryopreserve living cell lines, gametes and embryos of endangered wild animal species in India. Such a genetic bank will be a priceless resource material for conservation, taking up artificial reproduction, conducting studies in evolution biology and wildlife medicine. This is the first-of-its-kind facility in India where genetic material will be stored for posterity and will be a ready reckoner for future generations. Biotechnology research in basic Biology is developing at a very fast pace and in coming years, there will be a definite need for such resources. The CCMB-LaCONES is the only laboratory in India that has developed methods for collection and cryopreservation of semen and oocytes from wildlife and successfully reproducing blackbuck, spotted deer and pigeons. The operating costs for maintaining such a genetic resource bank at CCMB-LaCONES will be around Rs 1 crore a year.
  • Aerogel : It is a new transparent heat-resistant gel developed using beer waste. The material which features the look like a flattened plastic contact lens, could also be used on buildings on Mars, Earth to help make huge savings on energy costs. The gel is so resistant to heat that you could put a strip of it on the hand and a fire on top without feeling a thing, researchers said. However, unlike similar products on the market, the material is mostly see-through.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO): It is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. India will send a human to space by 2022, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day speech. The project would cost about Rs 100 billion. If India succeeds, it will be the fourth country to achieve this landmark. Modi said, �I want to give the country some good news: We have resolved that by 2022, before we celebrate 75 years of Independence, India will place an Indian in space. India is proud of our scientists, who are excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. In 2022, or if possible before, India will unfurl the tricolour in space�. K VijayRaghavan, principal scientific advisor to the Government of India, said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was well on track to do this. Technologies being used and developed will have many benefits to society
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) : It is a public engineering institute located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A group of computer scientists and students from IIT-Madras have development first of a family of six industry-standard microprocessors. The initial batch of 300 chips, named RISECREEK and produced under Project Shakti, have been fabricated free at Intel�s facility at Oregon, U.S., to run the Linux operating system. According to an official source, its microprocessors can be adapted by others, as the design is open source. They optimise power use and compete with international units such as the Cortex A5 from Advanced RISC Machines (ARM).
  • ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. The launch of India�s second lunar mission �Chandrayaan-2�, has been postponed to October. Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister�s Office, in-charge of the Department of Space, Jitendra Singh had on 16 February last said the lunar mission under which the Isro will for the first time attempt to land a rover on the moon�s south pole, will be launched in April. Sivan had earlier said the window to launch the Rs 800 crore mission was between April and November 2018. While the �targeted date� was April, Isro would launch the mission in October or November, he had said. According to Isro, Chandrayaan-2 is a �totally indigenous mission comprising an orbiter, lander and rover".
  • Akademik Lomonosov: It is the world's first floating nuclear power station. Constructed by the state nuclear power firm Rosatom, the 144 by 30 metre (472 by 98 foot) ship holds two reactors with two 35 megawatt nuclear reactors that are similar to those used to power icebreaker ships. The 21,000-tonne barge will be towed in the summer of 2019 to the port of Pevek in the autonomous Chukotka region in Russia's extreme northeast, 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. The barge can produce enough electricity to power a town of 2,00,000 residents, far more than the 5,000 who live in Pevek, Russia's northernmost town. It will be primarily used to power oil rigs as Russia pushes further north into the Arctic to drill for oil and gas and needs electricity in far-flung locations.
  • Nipah Virus: Nipah Virus is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes a severe disease in both animals and humans. This virus was first identified in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998. At that time, it was primarily caused in pigs and through them got transferred to humans. Nipah Virus infected as many as 265 people then, out of which 40 per cent were taken under intensive care due to the infection having spread severely. As quoted by the WHO, the natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus. Nipah Virus is usually associated with inflammation of the brain due to which severe days of fever can often lead to a state of confusion, disorientation and even persistent drowsiness. If not taken care of, these symptoms can even cause a coma in a span of 24-48 hours. There are many patients who show neurological, respiratory and pulmonary signs as well. Therefore, do not ignore any such signs.
  • New frog species: Scientists from Karnataka have found a new frog species in a small industrial region in coastal Karnataka. The new frog named as Microhyla kodial after the city of Mangaluru (called kodial in the Konkani language) from where they spotted it two years ago. The frog is found only in a small industrial region here � a former timber dumping yard � surrounded by seaport, petrochemical, chemical and refinery industries. The yard is bounded by the rail line of the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited on one side and the busy National Highway 66 on another.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO): It is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bangalore. Its vision is to harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration. Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have reported progress in the development of an environment-friendly propellant to power satellites and spacecraft. The effort is to replace the conventional hydrazine rocket fuel, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical, with a greener propellant for future missions. Initial tests by a research team at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) have shown promising results in the formulation and associated tests of a propellant blend based on hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN).
  • National Wind Solar Hybrid Policy (2018): It is a new policy announced by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to promote to promote new hybrid projects as well as hybridisation of existing wind/solar projects. The objective of the policy is to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land. It also aims at reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability. The Policy provides for procurement of power from a hybrid project on tariff based transparent bidding process for which Government entities may invite bids.
  • National Policy on Biofuels (2018): It is a new policy approved by Union Cabinet, which aims to seek farmers dispose of their surplus stock and reduce India�s oil-import dependence. The Policy categorises biofuels as �Basic Biofuels�. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and �Advanced Biofuels� - Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category. The policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials like sugar beet, sweet sorghum, starch containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, rotten potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
  • National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation: It is a health created for the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. The Union Cabinet Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal. The estimated cumulative cost of the project is Rs 179.54 crore in first three years. This includes non-recurring expenditure of Rs 128.54 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs 51 crore.
  • Hidden reserves of water found in Moon: Scientists have found a mineral in a lunar meteorite pointing to the presence of abundant hidden reserves of water ice under the surface of the Moon. A team from the Tohoku University in Japan found the mineral, called moganite, in a lunar meteorite discovered in a desert in northwest Africa. Moganite, a crystal of silicon dioxide, is known to form on Earth in specific circumstances in sedimentary settings from alkaline fluids. It has never before been detected in samples of lunar rock. Researchers believe the mineral formed on the surface of the Moon in the area called Procellarum Terrane, as water originally present in lunar dirt evaporated due to exposure to strong sunlight."For the first time, we can prove that there is water ice in the lunar material," said Masahiro Kayama from Tohoku University, who led the study.
  • Atomic clock: It is a clock device that uses an electron transition frequency in the microwave, optical, or ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms as a frequency standard for its timekeeping element. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has developed an atomic clock to be used in navigation satellites to measure the precise location data. This clock is currently undergoing a series of qualification tests. Once it successfully clears all tests, the desi atomic clock will be used in an experimental navigation satellite to test its accuracy and durability in space.
  • Plastic eating enzyme: A group of international scientists have accidently developed a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks. The accidental break through could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles. The new bacterium was found eating plastic at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug. Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research said, �What we are hoping to do is use this enzyme to turn this plastic back into its original components, so we can literally recycle it back to plastic. It means we won�t need to dig up any more oil and, fundamentally, it should reduce the amount of plastic in the environment�.
  • Odilorhabins: It is new class of antibiotics, discovered by a team of scientists from the University of Illinois, Chicago (US). Odilorhabdins are produced by a symbiotic bacterium found in soil-dwelling nematode worms. Called Xenorhabdus nematophila, the bacterial symbiont produces toxins and immuno-modulators, enabling the nematode to colonize and kill insects. The bacteria further benefit the host nematode by releasing antibiotics that prevent the invasion of the insect�s carcass by other competing bacteria and fungi.
  • IRNSS-1I: It is a navigation satellite launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 12 April. IRNSS is launched to create India's own navigation system which would be quite similar to the US' GPS or Global Positioning System. IRNSS can also provide �accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary�. IRNSS-1I also carries two types of payloads for navigation and ranging. The navigation payload will transmit navigation service signals to the users, while the ranging payload consists of a C-band transponder, which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite.
  • GSAT-6A: It was the India's largest communications satellite and carrying a 6-metre antenna for enabling more efficient ground communication. The satellite itself was successfully placed into a geosynchronous orbit, but has lost communication. When the satellite was on course to normal operating configuration for the third and final firing, scheduled for April 1, 2018, communication from the satellite was lost. Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite. The second orbit raising operation of GSAT-6A satellite has been successfully carried out by LAM Engine firing for about 53 minutes on March 31, 2018, in the morning.
  • TRAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is a statutory body set up by the Government of India under section 3 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. It is the regulator of the telecommunications sector in India. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has mooted a concept of open architecture-based public Wi-Fi grid to bring down the cost of internet by 90 per cent. This will allow small entrepreneurs like tea stalls, grocery shops and vendors to set up and maintain access points. Device manufacturers, payment companies, ISPs/telcos and consumer internet companies can provide the remaining pieces to set up public data offices (PDOs). The regulator�s concept involves PDOs � much like PCOs of yesteryears that galvanised connectivity. The PDOs will be companies, or even small merchants, interested in providing Wi-Fi hotspots to public either free or on payment model. According to the report submitted to telecom ministry, the products available for consumption should begin from �sachet sized�, that is, low denomination, as low as ₹2. It said users should be able to easily discover the network, do one-click authentication and payment and connect their devices in Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Eel

    Eel is any of more than 800 species of teleost fishes characterized by elongate wormlike bodies. Researchers have discovered three new kinds of species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal. Describing the species, Anil Mohapatra, the scientist at Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) said, Dark brown with white dots on the dorsal side known as Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. The other two species, Gymnothorax visakhaensis (uniformly brown) and Enchelycore propinqua (reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots), were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. While Gymnothorax pseudotile is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long, Gymnothorax visakhaensis is about a foot long. Enchelycore propinqua is the smallest of them measuring less than a foot. A description of all the three new species was published in the journal Zootaxa.

  • World's smallest satellite - Japan successfully launched on the world's smallest satellite-carrying rocket following a failed attempt in January last year. According to a release from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 'The rocket about the size of a utility pole, measuring 10 meters in length and 50 centimeters in diameter, lifted off from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture and delivered its payload to its intended orbit'. The No. 5 vehicle of the SS-520 series carried a microsatellite weighing about 3 kilograms developed by the University of Tokyo to collect imagery of the Earth's surface. The launch was aimed at verifying JAXA's technology used to launch small rockets made with commercially available components at lower cost amid growing global demand for microsatellites. The agency used components found in home electronics and smartphones for the rocket. JAXA launched the No. 4 vehicle on Jan. 15 last year, but terminated its flight shortly after liftoff due to a communications problem. The agency found that vibrations during liftoff caused a short circuit, leading to a loss of power in the data transmitter. For Saturday's launch, the agency made more than 40 improvements to prevent a recurrence.

  • Science & Technology 2014

    • Indian Spacecraft Orbiter Halfway To Mars

      India's maiden mission to Mars is on course, with its spacecraft Orbiter crossing the halfway mark on its voyage to the red planet, four months after it left Earth Dec 1.

      "The spacecraft Wednesday at 9.50 a.m. crossed the halfway mark of its journey to Mars along the designated helio (sun)-centric trajectory in the solar orbit," the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.

    • Indian Navigation Satellite's Orbit Raised

      The Indian space agency Saturday raised further the orbit of its second navigation satellite by around 4,200 km by firing the space craft's onboard motor for around seven minutes, said a senior official.

      "The satellite's motor was fired for around seven minutes today (Saturday) evening. Post raising the satellite's elliptical orbit is 292.7 x 24,830 km," an official of the space agency told IANS preferring anonymity.

    Current Affairs [April 2014]

    Science & Technology 2013

    Current Affairs [November 2013]
    • 'India Must Be Part Of Global Mega-Science Projects'

      Stressing on the importance of critical research relevant to the country, eminent physicist and principal scientific advisor to the Indian government R. Chidambaram Friday said the nation needs to be a part of global mega-science projects.

      Speaking at Calcutta University's annual convocation here, Chidambaram referred to the studies regarding the recent path-breaking discovery of the Higgs Boson, and advocated India's participation in projects relating to origins of the universe.

    • India to sling Mars craft into Sun orbit Sunday

      ndia's maiden Mars craft will sling into Sun orbit early Sunday for a 280-day long voyage to reach the red planet Sep 24, 2014.

      "The Orbiter entered the final orbit of earth early Wednesday for its trans-injection into the Sun orbit Sunday at 00.49 a.m. for a nine-month journey to Mars through the interplanetary space, a senior space agency official said here.

    • India Leaps Into Interplanetary Space With Mars Mission

      India will be the first Asian country and the fourth entity in the world to leap into interplanetary space Tuesday with an exploratory mission to Mars, about 400 million km from planet Earth.

      "So far, only Russia, the US and the European Space Agency (ESA) have undertaken such missions to Mars. India will be the fourth and first in Asia," a top space agency official told IANS ahead of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) launch from Sriharikota spaceport, about 80km northeast of Chennai.

    Current Affairs [October 2013]
    • India's Mars Mission To Blast Off On November 5

      India's ambitious Rs.450 crore space mission to Mars has now been fixed for blast-off Nov 5, said a top Indian space agency official Tuesday.

      "The Mars mission has been fixed for Nov 5. The heat shield of the rocket (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-PSLV) has been closed and the final electrical checks will be carried out Wednesday," K.Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told.

    • High Speed Rail Corporation of India launched

      Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge Tuesday launched the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd (HSRC), a subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL) and tasked to develop High Speed Rail (HSR) Corridors in India to run passenger trains at speeds up to 350 km per hour.

      Inaugurated a two-day international technical conference on "High Speed Rail Travel; Low Cost Solution" here, the minister also unveiled the logo of HSRC that has been designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

    Current Affairs [September 2013]
    • Indian Nuclear Plants Notch Top Performance In 2012

      The performance of Indian nuclear power plants as well as several fuel cycle facilities reached their highest levels last year, a top official said Wednesday.

    • Indian Satellite's Transponders Switched On

      All the 11 transponders of India's advanced multiband communication satellite (GSAT-7) have been switched on and are performing well, the space agency said late Wednesday.

    • Indian 'military' satellite put into earth's orbit

      India's first 'military' satellite was Wednesday put into the geosynchronous orbit, about 36,000 km above the earth, five days after it was launched Aug 30 on board an European rocket from Kourou in French Guiana off the Pacific coast.

    Current Affairs [August 2013]
    • Eastern India to get its first bio-bank by 2016

      Eastern India's first biobank, aimed at storing cancer tissues for further research and analysis, is slated to come up here by 2016, an official said Saturday.

      The Tata Translational Cancer Research Centre (TTCRC) will come up on a two-acre plot near the existing Tata Medical Centre-Cancer Hospital in New Town, Rajarhat, on the north-eastern fringes of the Bengal capital.

    • India gets its own national media centre

      A state-of-the art National Media Centre comparable to those in capitals across the world was inaugurated Saturday, with an impressive conference hall, workplace for the media, a library, cafeteria and high-speed internet.

      The four-storied Rs.60 crore facility, built over three years, is located at the heart of the capital, on Raisina Road – with many important government buildings a stone's throw away and in the vicinity of the Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhavan.

    Current Affairs [June 2013]
    • Genetic Engineering Approval Committee Gave Approval for Field Trials of 5 GM Crops

      The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) permitted certain companies as well as the research institutes for conducting the field trials of 5 GM (genetically modified) crops. The trials for development of genetically modified cotton, maize, castor, wheat and rice were permitted.

      The specialty of GM crops is that they are formulated for getting protection against the insects. Also, these crops are resistant to salinity and water. Also, they are more resistance to the use of nitrogen which is required by them for growing efficiently.

    • Early Tsunami Warning System installed in Rangachang

      Chief Scientist of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Vinith Kumar on 11 June 2013 announced that the Early Tsunami Warning System (ETWS) installed at Rangachang in Andaman and Nicobar Islands can predict a tsunami immediately after an earthquake. Vinith Kumar claimed that the new technology installed can predict the Tsunami within 3 minutes after the initial tremors are felt and can send alerts.

    Current Affairs [May 2013]
    • US Scientists created first Cloned Human Embryo

      A group of US Scientists in second week of May 2013 declared that they have succeeded in creating a cloned human embryo using the technique that helped in developing the cloned sheep in 1996. The scientists took fifteen years to create the cloned embryo.

      The team of scientists developed the embryo using skin samples of a woman's egg to develop an early cloned human embryo. Aim of this research is development of a source of stem cells not a baby. These can be helpful in repair of damage created after heart attack or brains of patients of Parkinson's disease.

    • Superbug H041 can be more deadly than AIDS

      Doctors have warned that the new sexually transmitted Sex-Superbug named H041 can be much more deadly than the AIDS virus. Recently, two cases of the sex-superbug were confirmed in Hawaii. Doctors have claimed that the superbug is the antibiotic resistant strain of gonorrhea.

      In 2011, the superbug was discovered for the first time in Japan and then it spread to Hawaii and now visible in Norway and California. As per Doctors, the H041 bacteria can be much more deadly than the AIDS Virus because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly and effect is more direct.

    Current Affairs [April 2013]
    • Scientists developed Device to detect Gastro-Intestinal Cancers

      Scientists developed a prototype of an advanced multi-bending cholangioscope to detect and cure Gastro-Intestinal Cancers. Earlier, most patients used to visit a physician when the disease was in an advanced stage. This new equipment has a video camera and can bend easily. It could detect cancers of bile duct, liver and pancreas. It will help in detecting the disease in early stage.

      The multi-bending peroral direct cholangioscope (PDCS) cannot be inserted free-hand into the bile duct. But a high success rate of direct insertion will be achieved if the endoscope is passed over a guide-wire and an anchoring balloon. In fact, pancreatic cancer is the third most prevalent gastro-intestinal cancer in India whereas liver cancer is the most common.

    • Union Government Approved Project for National Optical Fibre Network Creation in Gram Panchayats

      The Government of India approved the project for creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) connecting all the 250000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country through Optical Cable (OFC). The Union Government decided to fund the project through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

      The State Government on the other hand, will have the role of providing free Right of Way (RoW) for laying OFC. The project envisaged signing a tripartite MoU for free Right of Way (RoW) among the Union Government, State Government and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL).

      16 States/UTs signed the MoUs on 26 October 2012. These states and UTs were Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and 3 Union Territories viz. Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Puducherry. Under the MoUs, 140727 GPs will be facilitated with Optical Fibre Network in these States and UTs.

    Current Affairs [March 2013]
    • Astronomers Discovered Six Speeding Stars Racing Through Milky Way

      Astronomers in the third week of January 2013 discovered six speeding stars which were racing through the space at a speed of 3.2 million kilometers per hour. These stars were ejected from the huge black hole which sits in the middle of Earth's galaxy, Milky Way.

      These stars represented the first-known hypervelocity stars that have mass just like that of Earth's Sun. The discovery is said to be very important because it would reveal how stars were formed in the dust-cloaked core of Milky Way.

    • First Complete Bionic Man of the World Unveiled at London's Science Museum

      First bionic man of the world called Rex was unveiled on 7 February 2013 at London's Science Museum. The bionic man was created using 1 million US dollar limbs as well as organs.

      Prosthetic legs and ankle came from MIT, synthetic blood from Sheffield University, spleens, pancreas and artificial kidneys from University College London, retinas from Oxford University and artificial lungs came from Swansea.

    Current Affairs [Febraury 2013]
    • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sanctioned Remote Village Electrification for 6033 Villages

      Remote Village Electrification (RVE) for a total of 6033 villages as well as hamlets was sanctioned during 11th Plan by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Additionally, work on 5211 villages as well as hamlets, was in its completion stage in various states such as Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

      Two proposals of 61 hamlets as well as 161 hamlets of UP along with one proposal of 14 villages of Rajasthan and one proposal of 24 villages and 274 hamlets of Jammu & Kashmir, were in all received and were under initial stage of appraisal. It is important to note that the Remote Village Electrification (RVE) programme as well as projects is usually sanctioned on the case-to-case basis after these proposals are submitted by the state notified implementing agencies according to the guidelines of this scheme.

    • Indian-origin science writer wins British Physics journalism prize

      Washington, Mar 1 (IANS) Anil Ananthaswamy, a London based Indian origin writer, has won the inaugural Physics Journalism Prize sponsored by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

      The prize is designed to inspire the next generation of physicists by encouraging journalists to grapple with often complex topics and help spread excitement about the subject, according to an IOP release forwarded by the American Astronomical Society.

    Science & Technology 2012

    Current Affairs [September 2012]
    • Infosys Ltd made some news by announcing the 'Cloud Ecosystm Hub’ platform which will allow large companies to manage all their IT resources and supplementary cloud services from a single platform. They are charged fee on a usage basis.

      The medical and health science fraternity watched in excitement a noble Bluetooth technology enabled instrument was unveiled in Texas. Called the Diabetois, this instrument is capable of transferring glucose level readings from any ordinary gluco-meter into a special Android application. Then, the readings can be easily analyzed using the app, and can be mailed to a doctor as well. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of deaths in the world, and this invention will surely interest patients of Diabetes.

      Apple's CEO Tim Cook issued an apology to the customers of the newly launched iPhone 5. Customers have been reporting frustrations with the erroneous operation of the new Maps service. In a startling statement, Tim Cook directed users towards services from rivals, notably Google's Maps service. Cook also convinced Apple customers that the company was desperately trying to the set the issues right.

    • A court in the United States gave some respite to Korean electronics manufacturing heavyweight Samsung by ordering a lower court to reconsider the sales ban slapped on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 after arch rival Apple Inc. won a patent dispute against them.
    • The Guinness World Record for the lowest roadworthy car was made by ‘Mirai’, which translates into ‘future’ in Japanese. Faculty and students from Automobile Engineering Course of Okayama Sanyo High School created ‘Mirai’, which measures just 17.79 inches in height.
    • Investors had to rethink their estimates about RIM’s prospects in the highly competitive smartphones’ market with RIM recording highly stable financial position and quarterly results better than anticipations. The company is now expected to invest heavily in producing and marketing the next line of smartphones.
    Current Affairs [February 2010] Our Milky Way in Midst of life crisis
    • Planetary scientist say that our Milky way is in its mid life crisis as a result of which it will slow down its process of production of stars in the next billion years. As per the aeronautics the galaxies are classified under two categories namely- energetic blue galaxies and the lethargic red galaxies. The blue galaxies produce stars at a massive rate while the other one are slowly dying. But a team of scientist from the Swinburne University of Technology says that our Milky Way falls into neither of the two categories. It is in fact a green valley galaxy that lays half way between the blue galaxy and the red galaxy.
    • This is the first time ever that scientists have compared both the galaxies with our Milky Way as the Astrophysical Journal reported. Though we are in our own galaxy and to determine its state was a tough job to accomplish was reported by the Astrophysical Journal.
    Indian communication satellite GSAT-8 successfully launched
    • India’s communication satellite GSAT-8 was launched successfully. The satellite was launched by Arianespace from Kourou in French Guiana. The satellite was launched to enable powerful services direct to our home. The satellite weighs 3100kg and is one the heaviest and high powered satellite developed by the Indian Scientist at the Bangalore- headquarters ISRO. The ISRO team that launched the satellite showed extreme pleasure at the successful launch of the satellite.
    • "I am extremely delighted and happy to announce that ISRO successfully launched the satellite and we are happy to confirm that we have taken the charge of the satellite immediately after its injection into the orbit” ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said.

    Science & Technology 2010

    Current Affairs [February 2010]
    • USA Space agency NASA launched Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to discover the causes of extreme solar activity such as sun spots and solar winds & flares.
    • ‘GANGES’- Global Advisory Network Group on environmental sciences. It was created by Govt for environment research work.
    • Agni-III ballistic missile with a range of 3500 Km was successfully launched from Wheeler Island, Orissa.
    • Ht Cotton – Herbicide Tolerant Cotton. The variety of Ht Cotton in MON 1445. The variety can withstand herbicides (weed killers) for better productivity and is under trail.
    • Cervical cancer is caused by HPV- Human Papilloma Virus.
    • South Korea has world’s highest average connection speed at 14.6 Mbpd in Internet links. Japan has 2nd highest average speed.
    • Scientist deciphered the genetic blueprint of South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Titu.
    Current Affairs [January 2010]
    • 97th Indian Science Congress held at Tiruvananthapuram in Jan 2010. The theme of this year congress was ‘ Science & Technology of 21st Century- National Perspective’.
    • The longest annular solar eclipse on the third millennium occur on 15 Jan 2010. The next annular solar eclipse will be visible in year 3043. Annular eclipse is occurred when the sun is visible like a ring of fire, with the moon darkening its centre. The last annular solar eclipse visible from India was occurred in 1976. In July 2010 also, a total solar eclipse will be occurred.
    • There are three strains of wild Polio virus namely P1, P2 & P3. Type 2 wild Polio virus (P2) was eliminated from the world in 1999.
    • First public hearing on the introduction of Bt Brinjal (First Genetically Modified Food Crop in India) was held in Kolkatta. Seven such public hearing are being organized by Centre for Environment Education, for opinion of public in respect of introduction of Bt Brinjal. 2nd hearing was held at Hyderabad.
    • 50th anniversary of creation of LASER is being celebrated in 2010. Theodore Maiman constructed the first LASER in May 1960. LASER stands for Light Amplification for Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Charles H Townes was father of MASER.

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