FEBRUARY 2019-SCIENCE AND TECH NEWS
ISRO lists 10 firms to make li-ion cells
- The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) named 10 companies to which it proposes to transfer the technology for manufacturing Lithium-ion cells developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thumba.
- ISRO developed Li-ion cells with capacities ranging from 1.5 Ah to 100 Ah for use in launch vehicles and satellites.
Scientists create AI based system that translates thoughts into speech
Science have created an artificial intelligence (AI) based system that directly translates thoughts into intelligible, recognizable speech.
The technology developed by researchers from Columbia University in the United States.
The research will help people who cannot speak regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.
Hoveizeh- Long-Range Surface to Surface Missile Unveiled by Iran on 1979 Islamic Revolution Anniversary
‘Nasr’ - short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile test fired by Pakistan
- Pakistan has test fired a short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’ with a strike range of about 70-km.
- It is a high precision, shoot and scoot weapon system with the ability of in-flight maneuverability.
ISRO launched Human Space Flight Centre in Bangalore.
- The Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), the hub of ISRO's future manned missions, was inaugurated at ISRO headquarters in Bangalore.
- The country's first crewed mission is set to happen by 2022, the 75th year of Independence.
- Dr. Sivan named S. Unnikrishnan Nair as the founder Director of HSFC and R. Hutton as the project director of Gaganyaan.
NASA's Hubble Accidentally Discovers Dwarf Galaxy 30 Million Light Years Away
Astronomers from Italy, the UK, Germany and the United States discovered newly discovered galaxy consists of red giant particles.
This ancient galaxy is one of the oldest galaxies and was named after Luigi Bedin, a researcher at Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics.
Bedin 1 is located 28.38 million light years from Earth.
Mashoka 5 – Mobile App launched for booking of Bungalow No. 5, in New Delhi
Holding wedding ceremonies and private parties in Lutyen's Delhi will now become easier as the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry launched a mobile app to book its 5 Ashoka Road Bungalow.
The launch of the mobile application named after ''5 Ashoka Road'' is a step towards ensuring the commitment of the government to provide speedy provisions of services to the citizens in a transparent and efficient manner, Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said at the event.
To that extent the launch of this app is a facility which demonstrates the commitment of our government for providing minimum government and maximum governance to the citizens..
National Testing Agency (NTA) introduced mobile app for Mock Tests for JEE Mains 2019
- The candidates who are appearing for JEE Main, NEET or NTA NET exams will be able to practice for these competitive exams using an official app.
- To make aspirants of rural areas more familiar to online tests, earlier, NTA has established 4,000 Test Practice Centers at free of cost.
- The National Testing Agency (NTA) is a newly formed organisation, which conducts entrance examinations for admission in higher educational institutions in the country.
Facebook Messenger begins rolling out unsend feature
The feature would enable users to delete the sent message within a time period of 10 minutes
Facebook will retain a copy of the deleted message for a short time so that it can review it in case the receiver reports it for harassment.
World Largest Insurance Scheme Ayushman Bharat Launches Mobile App
The government’s mega health insurance scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), popularly known as the Ayushman Bharat, has launched the PM-JAY app on Google Play Store.
The scheme received an INR 6,400 Cr commitment from the government in the interim budget of 2019.
INF nuclear treaty: Russia plans new missile systems after pullout
Russia is planning to develop new missile systems after both Russia and the US suspended their involvement in an arms control pact.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banned both countries from using short- and medium-range missiles.
Centre clears plan to use Space Technology in Border Management The government has approved a plan to use space technology in border management to check intrusion.
Over 3 thousand incidents of intrusion on country’s borders took place in the last 4 years.
Island development, border security, communication and navigation, Geographic Information System and border infrastructure development are the areas which have been identified for use of space technology in improving border management.
Chennai Police Commissioner launches mobile app Digicop
Chennai Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan launched mobile App ‘DigiCop’ of the city police department at the commissioner’s office in Chennai.
This app as of now have details of 18,000 stolen mobile phones are stored.
The user can lodge mobile theft complaints and also check if the user’s mobile is in the police list of retrieved mobiles.
Serthupathi also released a DVD on CCTV awareness and several other police campaigns to make the police department people friendly.
2018 fourth warmest year on record
- Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880, an Independent analysis by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found.
- Globally, 2018’s temperatures rank behind those of 2016, 2017, and 2015.
- The past five years are collectively the warmest years in the modern record.
PM Modi launched the DD ‘Arun Prabha’ Channel in Itanagar
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the DD ‘Arun Prabha’ Channel in Itanagar.
- It will be a 24x7 satellite television channel and is Doordarshan’s second channel for the north-eastern region, after DD North East.
Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile ‘Helina’ test-fired in Balasore
- Developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), it is one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world.
- India test-fired its helicopter-launched version of one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons from the Odisha coast.
- Helina, the helicopter-launched version of the Nag anti-tank guided missile with a hit range of 7-8 km, was launched from an Army chopper.
- The weapon system was tested for its full range at 12.55 pm near the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in Balasore district.
- The infrared imaging seeker (IIR) technology is also indigenously developed and had been demonstrated in the NAG anti-tank guided missile system.
Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR), indigenously developed missile system successfully flight tested in Odisha
- The success of SFDR propulsion technology is a significant milestone and will pave the way for development of long-range air-to-air missiles in the country.
- The second indigenously developed "Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)" propulsion-based missile system was successfully flight tested in Odisha by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- The ground booster, separation of ground booster and nozzle-less-booster performance were found satisfactory during the trial conducted in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Balasore district.
First batch of heavy-lift Chinook helicopters arrives from US
- The first batch of heavy-lift Chinook helicopters arrived at Gujarat’s Mundra Port from the US spokesperson of American aerospace major Boeing.
- The four Boeing CH-47F (I) Chinooks, part of a 15-helicopter order placed by India three years ago, will be assembled and flown to their home base in Chandigarh where they will be formally inducted in the Indian Air Force (IAF) later this year.
- The CH-47F (I) Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that will provide the Indian armed forces with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat andhumanitarian missions.
Exercise Rahat concluded in Jaipur
- A disaster relief exercise ‘EX-RAHAT’ will be demonstrated in Jaipur, Kota and Alwar in Rajasthan.
- Disaster risk reduction has a pivotal role to play in supporting adaptation to climate change as well as sustained development.
- Jaipur based Sapta Shakti command will conduct the joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise on behalf of the Indian army.
- Representatives from Armed Forces, National Disaster Management Response Mechanism (NDMRM), SDMA Rajasthan and DLMAs participated in the exercise.
AYUSH Ministry Launched e-AUSHADHI Portal
- Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters at NewDelhi.
- e-AUSHADHI portal is intended for increased transparency, improved information management facility, improved data usability and increased accountability.
- The Minister informed that timelines will be fixed for processing of application through this portal with SMS and e-mail status updates at each step of the process.
- The launch of the e- Aushadhi portal for online licensing is part of governments commitment towards e-governance, ease of doing and Make in India.
Crying snake discovered by zoologist
- A new species of ‘crying’ snake has been discovered in Lepa-Rada district of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The discovery of the non-venomous crying keelback, whose zoological name is Hebiuslacrima, has been published in Zootaxa, the New Zealand-based scientific mega-journal for animal taxonomy.
- The name for this keelback was suggested because of a dark spot under its eyes looking like a black tear that interrupts a white stripe running along the upper jaw to the back of its head and beyond,” JayadityaPurkayastha, a Guwahati-based zoologist who located the new keelback in the Basar area of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Globally snakes are represented by 3,709 species.
- The northeast is home to some 110 species, with Arunachal Pradesh accounting for 55.
NASA’s longest-running Mars mission is over with the presumed death of its Opportunity rover
- NASA has tried for months to contact its Opportunity rover on Mars, but the golf-cart-size robot has failed to phone home to Earth ever since a record global dust storm engulfed the red planet.
- Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004 and was originally intended to operate for just 90 days.
- Over the course of its 15-year lifespan, in which it covered a record 28 miles, Opportunity found evidence that ancient Mars had water and was likely capable of sustaining life.
NASA Launching New 'SPHEREx' Mission To Find The Origins Of The Universe
- NASA is launching a brand new space mission that could solve two of the deepest questions about the universe.
- The mission is named the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) will last for two years, cost nearly $250 million and is expected to launch in 2023.
Govt Launches Global Housing Technology Challenge to Build Houses in Shorter Time With Lower Cost
- Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched the Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC) among stakeholders, a move aimed at introducing best technologies that seek to construct houses in a shorter period of time with lower cost.
- The PMAY-U, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015, aims to construct more than one crore houses and ensure "Housing for All by 2022" by providing financial assistance to the beneficiaries.
- The ministry has so far sanctioned around 68.5 lakh for construction under the PMAY (U).
- Around 1.5 million houses have been handed over to beneficiaries.
- Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister emphasized that there is a need to look for new emerging, disaster-resilient, environment friendly, cost-effective and speedy construction technologies.
Inland Waterways Authority of India launches portal for real-time information on available depth on stretches of National Waterways
- National Waterways, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) launched a new portal LADIS – Least Available Depth Information System LADIS will ensure that real-time data on least available depths is disseminated for ship/ barge and cargo owners so that they can undertake transportation on NWs in a more planned way.
- An assured depth of waterway is required for seamless movement of vessel.
- IWAI has designed LADIS to facilitate the day to day operations of inland vessels plying on National Waterways and to avoid any hindrance in service and operation.
- The portal is hosted on IWAI’s website www.iwai.nic.in. LAD information initially will be available for NW-1, NW-2, IndoBangladesh protocol route and NW-3.
- It will be expanded to other NWs.
Air force’s major exercise Vayushakti 2019 held in Pokharan, Rajasthan
- The Air Force carried out a mega exercise involving 140 fighter jets and attack helicopters, in a firepower demonstration close to the border with Pakistan that came two days after the Pulwama attack.
- Fighter jets and helicopters hit targets during day and night.
- It was for the first time, the Advanced Light Helicopter and the Akash were deployed in a military exercise.
- In the Vayu Shakti exercise, the IAF showcased firepower capability of indigenously-developed platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and efficacy of Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile.
- The IAF also deployed the upgraded MiG-29 fighter jet in an air-to-ground role during the exercise.
- A total of 137 aircraft including Sukhoi-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, Mig-27, Mig-29, IL78, Hercules and AN-32 aircraft participated.
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