Science & Technology Current Affairs 2018 - Current Affairs Today

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  • Scientist developed worlds fastest camera, T CUP

    Scientists from California Institute of Technology have developed the world’s fastest camera, T-CUP (Compressed Ultrafast Photography), which can capture 10 trillion frames per second. The speed makes it possible to freeze time to see light in extremely slow motion. The advance may offer insight into as-yet undetectable secrets of the interactions between light and matter, say scientists. The camera set the world record for real-time imaging speed. It can power a new generation of microscopes for biomedical, materials science, and other applications. The first time it was used, the ultrafast camera broke new ground by capturing the temporal focusing of a single femtosecond laser pulse in real time.

    COAI said the Telcos might report losses for three more quarters due to high levies

    Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that the telecom sector might experience three more quarters of losses, hurt by high levies and unsustainable tariffs. COAI’s director general Rajan Mathews said that the present tariffs will remain sustainable for the sector’s long-term health.  Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI):  ♦ Formed: 1995 ♦ Type: Registered, non-governmental society ♦ Chairman: Sunil Sood ♦ Vice Chairman: Ajai Puri ♦ Director General: Rajan S. Mathews ♦ Headquarters: New Delhi, India

    Lupin launched Clobetasol Propionate in US market

    Lupin, Drug firm major, has launched generic Clobetasol Propionate ointment in the U.S. market. This is used to treat inflammation and itching caused by a number of skin conditions. It had earlier received approval for the product from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), Lupin said in a statement. The company has launched Clobetasol Propionate ointment USP in the strength of 0.05%.

    Researchers devised a novel method of navigation to help them drive

    Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised a new way that will help the robots, as it might struggle with navigational concepts, navigate environments more as humans do. This new method of the motion-planning model will help the robots determine how to reach a goal by exploring the environment, observing other agents, and exploiting what they’ve learned before in similar situations. The new model is a combination of a planning algorithm with a neural network that learns to recognise paths that could lead to the best outcome and uses that knowledge to guide the robot’s movement in an environment.

    Hawkings final scientific paper on blackholes has been released

    Stephen Hawking’s final scientific paper has been written and posted online by his colleagues at Cambridge and Harvard universities. The paper was completed days before his death. The paper titled ‘Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair’ tackles with what happens to information when it falls into a blackhole, a problem that theoretical physicists refer to as ‘the information paradox’. In his paper, Hawking had argued that black holes have a temperature. Since hot objects lose heat into space, the ultimate fate of a black hole is to evaporate out of existence. However, the rules of the quantum world dictate that information is never lost. So what happens to all the information contained in an object when it tumbles into a black hole. In the latest paper, Hawking and his colleagues showed how some of the information may be preserved.

    Soyuz crew survives emergency landing

    The Soyuz rocket made a successful emergency landing after an engine problem on lift-off to the International Space Station (ISS). The two-man crew, astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin, survived. The rocket was launched was from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0840 GMT. The rocket had a problem with the booster while launching. A few seconds after the first stage of separation after the crew has started to go into ballistic descent mode. The failure is a major setback for the Russian Space Industry.

    Mobile Health App MedWatch Launched By Indian Air Force

    The Indian Air Force on the occasion of its 86th anniversary announced an innovative mobile health App named ‘MedWatch’. The main aim is to provide health information to air warriors and all citizens of India. It has been developed by Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) and the idea was conceived by IA doctors. It is in sync with Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digital India, Ayushman Bharat and Mission Indradhanush’.

    Researchers developed bio electronic medicine that helps nerve growth

    Researchers at the Washington University in the U.S. have developed the first bioelectronic medicine, an implantable, biodegradable wireless device. This device speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve.  The scientists 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. About the size of a small coin, the wireless device operates for two weeks before getting absorbed into the body.

    Pakistan Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable Ghauri Ballistic Missile

    The country successfully test-fired Ghauri ballistic missile capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads up to a distance of 1,300 kilometers.  The launch was conducted by Army Strategic Forces Command and was aimed at testing the operational and technical readiness.  

    Google To Shut Down Google+ For Consumers Over The Security Lapse

    After a bug exposed the personal data of up to 5 lakh users, Google stated that it discovered and immediately patched" the bug in March 2018 but found "no evidence" that any data was actually misused.  Google company reportedly disclose the security breach because it feared regulation. According to Google, Google+ currently has “low usage and engagement” and that 90 percent of Google+ user sessions last less than 5 seconds.

    Scientists said AI may predict Alzheimers disease 5 years in advance

    Researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada have created an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm that can accurately predict whether a person’s cognitive decline will lead to Alzheimer’s disease in the next five years.  The algorithm learns signatures from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), genetics, and clinical data. It can help predict whether an individual’s cognitive faculties are likely to deteriorate towards Alzheimer’s in the next five years. So far, there are only limited ways to treat Alzheimer’s and the best evidence is for prevention.

    BBMP introduced app for its health inspectors and medical officers

    Karnataka’s Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has developed an in-house app for its health inspectors and medical officers. The app will help the health department officials to levy fines on those found to be using banned plastic items. They will be able to take a photo of the banned item.  It will also generate a challan online, which will also be sent to the offender, besides recording it in the database. The civic body had earlier announced that it would procure hand-held devices to levy on-the-spot fines. This was towards better implementation of the plastic ban in the city. There has been a delay in getting these hand-held devices. The banned items are plastic bags, plastic banners, plastic buntings, flex, plastic plates, plastic cup, plastic spoons, and above items in thermocol (polystyrene), cling films, plastic sheets used to spread on dining tables, plastic microbeads. 

    Hubble malfunctions because of gyros failure said NASA

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. space agency, said that the Hubble space telescope is currently out of action because of a gyroscope failure. A gyroscope is a device used for measuring or maintaining orientation and angular velocity. NASA said Hubble went into safe mode because of the failure of another of the six gyroscopes that are used to orient the telescope. Hubble space telescope has been in orbit since 1990.  Hubble is currently down to two working gyroscopes and needs at least three for optimal operations but it can continue to provide observations with just one functioning gyroscope. NASA is working to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic.

    Scientists developed a new DNA analysis tool that can help arresting criminals

    The researcher at the Flinders University in Australia has developed a new test that can reveal the amount of DNA people shed, a tool that could be used by forensic experts to catch criminals using genetic clues left at crime scenes.  A single tap of a finger on items like door handles, glass or even shaking hands can help identify and link potential suspects to a crime.

    Scientists created spheres of titanium dioxide petals destroy bisphenol A

    Scientists at Rice University in the U.S. have created tiny spheres that can catch and destroy BisPhenol A (BPA). The micron-sized spheres are a collection of titanium dioxide petals.  BPA is a synthetic chemical used to make plastics that often contaminates water. It is commonly used to coat the insides of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. BPA is hydrophobic and naturally attracted to the cavity. Once trapped, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) produced by the spheres degrades BPA into harmless chemicals.  The researchers determined that 200 mg of the spheres per litre of contaminated water degraded 90% of BPA in an hour, a process that would take more than twice as long with unenhanced titanium dioxide.

    IAFs upgraded MiG 29 showcased its combat capabilities at Admapur, Maharashtra

    The upgraded MiG-29, Indian Air Force’s beast, has gained in strength and ferocity. It has been a much-needed boost. The upgraded MiG-29 showcased its combat capabilities at Admapur, Maharashtra. MiG-29 is a Russian-origin aircraft, now capable of effecting mid-air refuelling, is compatible with latest missiles and can launch multi-dimensional attacks.  It should be noted that the previous ‘legacy version’ of MiG-29 played an important role as the IAF stamped its supremacy over the Pakistani force during the Kargil War of 1999.  New features of MiG-29:  ♦ Mid-air refuelling facility that increases its range  ♦ It has the ability to launch the latest missiles and multi-dimensional attacks  ♦ It is capable to take off vertically ♦ It has the ability to take off possible within 5 minutes of spotting a hostile jet ♦ It is featured with the glass cockpit with ‘Multi-functional Display’ screens

    Twitter introduces data-saving feature

    Twitter incorporated a new feature which will help users to reduce excessive data consumption. A data-saving mode is now available with both iOS and Android version of the Twitter app.  

    Zydus Cadila gets approval from USFDA for breast cancer drug

    Zydus Cadila, the major drug firm, has received the final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market Exemestane tablets. The drug will be used for the treatment of breast cancer. The drug is made in the strength of 25 mg. The company will manufacture the drug at its group’s formulations SEZ facility in Ahmedabad.

    Bacteria in Bellandur lake develop resistance to drugs

    A study done in Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), lead by researcher Priyanka Jamwal showed a combination of industry effluents, rampant use of antibiotics and raw sewage may be the cause for certain types of bacteria developing resistance to drugs in the severely-polluted Bellandur lake. It also showed that bacteria had developed more resistance to more drugs in Bellandur lake compared to the relatively-cleaner waters of Jakkur lake. They had compared 10 bacteria species with 10 commonly used antibiotics found in the city’s lakes. Bellandur had 14 cases of increased bacteria-drug resistance as compared to Jakkur. There is a real possibility of infection or outbreak of diseases in the community, 

    Ukraine launched solar power plant in Chernobyl

    Ukraine launched a park of photovoltaic panels at the former Chernobyl power plant. It is to use solar power to give the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster a new lease on life. The $1.2-million, a one-megawatt plant is located just a hundred metres from a giant metal dome sealing the remains of the nuclear power plant that suffered a catastrophic meltdown in 1986. The facility can power about 2,000 households.

    Crewed SpaceX mission is to take place by June next year

    NASA has announced the first crewed flight by a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). It is expected to take place in the month of June 2019.  It will be the first manned U.S. launch to the orbiting research laboratory since the space shuttle program was retired in 2011, forcing U.S. astronauts to hitch costly rides aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft. A flight on Boeing spacecraft is set to follow in August 2019.  Both missions are considered tests: the two astronauts transported in each flight will spend two weeks aboard the orbiting ISS before returning to the earth. Later missions could last about six months.

    Centre to introduce facial recognition technology at airports in February

    The Centre is set to introduce facial recognition technology under the “Digi Yatra” scheme at the Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports in February 2019.  The passengers should initially register themselves on a web portal by providing identity proof. After registration, the passengers would be required to undergo a one-time verification at an airport so that the individual’s facial identity would be captured and mapped onto a newly created “Digi Yatra” profile. Once the profile is created a distinct identification number will be generated. This number should be used at the time of purchasing an air ticket, to avail the paperless access facility.

    DST boosts solar cooking

    In order to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Department of Science and Technology (DST)introduced a project to boost the solar cooking. DST has instituted Grand Challenge Awards for the design of solar cooking solutions at both household and community levels to empower rural people.  The government has been encouraging the use of solar cookers. Financial incentives of 30% of the cost of the solar cooker all over the country and 60% to special category States (hilly and northeastern States) are already in place.  Ministry of Science and Technology:  Organisation:   Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research  Minister: Dr.Harsh Vardhan  Headquarters: New Delhi ​​​​​​​ Formed: May 1971

    China used tiny chips to steal U.S. technology secrets

    The Bloomberg News report said tiny chips were inserted in the U.S. computer equipment that was manufactured in China in order to steal U.S. technology secrets.  The U.S. authorities alerted after finding a chip, that is the size of a grain of rice, were used on equipment made for Amazon and Apple, and possibly for other companies and government agencies.  The report also suspected a unit of the People’s Liberation Army has involved the operation that placed the chips on equipment manufactured in China for U.S.-based Super Micro Computer Inc. The Super Micro also manufactured equipment for Department of Defense data centres, the CIA’s drone operations, and onboard networks of Navy warships.

    JAXAs probe Hayabusa2 launched MASCOT to study Ryugu asteroid

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) probe, Hayabusa2, launched the French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout or MASCOT, a new observation robot towards Ryugu asteroid. MASCOT will pursue its mission to shed light on the origins of the solar system.  MASCOT takes data from the surface of an asteroid which is expected to have scientific data. The 10-kg box-shaped MASCOT is loaded with sensors. It can take images at multiple wavelengths, investigate minerals with a microscope, gauge surface temperatures and measure magnetic fields. The battery life of MASCOT is 16 hours and it will transmit the data it collects to the Hayabusa2 before it runs out of battery.  Initially, the Hayabusa2 dropped a pair of MINERVA-II micro-rovers on the Ryugu asteroid. After 10 days it launched MASCOT. The rovers are to survey the asteroid’s physical features with cameras and sensors and will spend several months on the asteroid.

    Researchers developed spacesuits for microbes

    Researchers from the University of California (UC) Berkeley developed spacesuits, a patchwork of mesh-like pieces called a Metal-Organic Framework (MOF), for bacteria which might allow the microbes to survive space environments that would otherwise kill them. The protective suits pair up with a living bacteria with light-absorbing semiconductors in order to capture carbon dioxide and convert it into chemicals that can be used by industry or, someday, in space colonies. The system mimics the photosynthesis process in plants. The hybrid system captures CO2 and light to make a variety of carbon compounds, depending on the type of bacteria. The bacteria used in the experiment are anaerobic, which means they can live in environments without oxygen.  The MOF suit is impermeable to oxygen and reactive oxygen molecules, like peroxide, that shortens bacteria’s lifespan. With the suit, the bacteria live five times longer at normal oxygen concentrations, 21% by volume, than without the suits.

    Three scientists, laser pioneers, won Nobel Physics prize

    Three scientists, Arthur Ashkin of the U.S., Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada, won the Nobel Physics Prize for inventing optical lasers that have paved the way for advanced precision instruments used in corrective eye surgery. Arthur Ashkin won one half of the 9 million Swedish kronor (about $1.01 million) prize, while Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada shared the other half.  Mr.Ashkin invented optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers. He made this discovery while working at AT&T Bell Laboratories from 1952 to 1991.  Mr.Mourou and Ms.Strickland won for helping develop a method to generate ultra-short optical pulses that are the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind. Their technique is now used in corrective eye surgery. Ms.Strickland is the only the third woman to win the Physics Prize.

    Facebook reports major security breach, 50 million users exposed by unknown attackers

    The attackers stole digital keys, called access tokens; the company uses to keep people logged in. More than 90 million users were forced to log out of their accounts on Friday for security reasons. The attackers stole Facebook “access tokens” which keep a person logged into their Facebook account over long periods of time so they don’t have to keep signing in.

    Scientists found 59 Indian plant species under IUCN threat categories

    Scientists have found that 59 Indian plant species are under threat status based on criteria used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Dr.S.K. Barik, Director of Lucknow's CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute and experts from several institutes selected 59 plant species that are at risk of elimination if the threat levels they face are not assessed soon. Based on their assessment they assigned each species a threat status based on IUCN criteria. This included the extent and area of each plant's geographical range, which revealed that 10 species are critically endangered, 18 endangered, 6 vulnerable, 5 near threatened and one species each are data deficient and least concern.

    Xiaomi launched seven new products

    Xiaomi, the Smartphone maker, launched seven new products, including smart TVs along with a wide range of ecosystem gadgets such as fitness band, security camera, air purifier and luggage.  Xiaomi introduced three variants of Mi LED Smart TV Pro. These TVs come with Xiaomi’s own PatchWall interface specially designed for India. Xiaomi: ♦ Type: Electronics company ♦ Founded: 6 April 2010 ♦ Founder: Lei Jun ♦ Headquarters: Beijing, China ♦ Products: Mobile phones, Smartphones, Tablet computers, Smart home devices, Laptops, Smart TV

    Abbott is to introduce high-sensitive troponin-I blood test in India

    Abbott announced it is to introduce a high-sensitive troponin-I blood test in India. This test can predict chances of a heart attack or other cardiac event months to years in advance.  According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) cardiovascular diseases kill an estimated 17.7 million people globally. In that, nearly 7.4 million are due to coronary heart disease. The troponin-I test provides better predictive information for determining a person’s chances of developing future heart disease when added to the current standard of care.  Troponin-I proteins are released from the heart and can be found at elevated levels in the blood when the heart muscle has been damaged due to lack of blood flow.

    Indian railways to launch Smart coaches

    The Indian Railways is set to launch the ‘Make in India’ Smart coaches. The smart coaches have several new features like black box and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered CCTVs, matching international standards, Wi-Fi hotspot information system. The coaches have been equipped with sensors that can detect defects on bearings, wheels, and the railway track and gives constant inputs to those in the control room to avoid accidents, carry out maintenance, and to improve the efficiency of operations. A water-level indicator technology to know whether the water in the coach is sufficient and when it needs to be filled is also available.  The maiden smart coach was unveiled at the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh as part of launching 100 such trains in a pilot project to improve the safety and security of commuters and to boost efficiency.

    Researchers says that the worlds biggest bird was Vorombe titan

    A study released by the British scientists suggested that one species of elephant bird with a specimen weighing an estimated 860 Kg, about the same as a fully grown giraffe. Scientists suggest that they couldn’t have definitely flown as they couldn’t have supported anywhere near their weight.  By examining the bones, it is found that the elephant bird bones are found around the world. The data collected were thus fed into a machine-learned algorithm to create a spread of expected animal sizes. The bird was named Vorombe titan, Malagasy for “big bird”. It would have stood at least three metres, i.e,10 feet tall, and had an average weight of 650 kg.

    Japan becomes world's first to land rovers MINERVA-II1 on asteroid Ryugu

    Japan became the world's first country to successfully land two robotic rovers on an asteroid. This is the first time that the world will observe the surface of an asteroid via moving robots. MINERVA-II1 separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, is a 3.3 kg compact rover consisting of two cookie-tin shaped rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B, which are now operating on the asteroid surface. Ryugu is a blackish coloured, diamond-shaped asteroid. It rotates on its axis once every 7.5 hours.

    India's 1st electric hypercar concept Vazirani Shul unveiled

    Mumbai-based Vazirani Automotive has unveiled their first turbine-electric hypercar concept, the Shul, in India. The new Vazirani Shul, which is quite similar to the BMW i8, has been created by designer and co-founder Chunky Vazirani. The name ‘Shul' (pronounced 'Shool') has been derived from the Hindu god Shiva.

    Cabinet approved policy of DoT to provide broadband access to all citizens by 2022

    The Union Cabinet approved the new telecom policy of providing broadband access to every citizen. It aimed at providing a speed at 50 Mbps speed by the year 2022. The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has planned to invest $100 billion in the country’s digital communications sector. It also plans to create at least 40 lakh new jobs in the sector in the next four years.  The policy has called for a review of levies and fees which includes licence fee, universal service obligation fund levy and spectrum usage charges, on the sector. This is expected to help the debt-laden telecom sector. It is expected that the government would take up to a year to decide on this issue.

    Samsung launched triple rear camera phone

    Samsung India launched the Galaxy A7 model with three rear cameras. A7 is the first phone to have a triple rear camera. It is expected that the new launch will pass the targeted growth of 20-25%.  The Galaxy A7 comes in two variants priced at Rs.23,990 and Rs.28,990. The company was aiming to replicate the success of its ‘J’ series devices in the sub Rs.20,000 segment with the ‘A’ series. The ‘J’ series has an installed base of about 60 million in India.

    MOM completed 4 years of its journey

    ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), India’s maiden interplanetary mission, has completed four years orbiting around the red planet. MOM was launched on November 5, 2013, and it placed itself into the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014. The designed mission life of MOM was six months. But it has been sending scientific data for four years. The Mars colour camera has acquired over 980 images so far. With the information collected by MOM, the scientists can now prepare a global atlas of Mars successfully.

    Manatec won the Innovation award

    Manatec, the Pondicherry-based garage equipment manufacturer, won the Innovation Award at Automechanika, a leading trade fair, held in Germany. The company was chosen for the award for its innovation of JUMBO 3D – World's 1st 3D Wheel Aligner for Multi-Axle Trucks, Buses & Trailers. The award was received Manatec Chairman Mr.R. Mananathan.

    Mitraclip, an effective device in treatment of heart failure

    People with severe heart failure find difficult even in doing mundane tasks. With blood flow impeded throughout their bodies, patients may become breathless simply walking across a room or upstairs. Some must sleep sitting up to avoid gasping for air. There has been no proper measure until now.  The researchers have recently developed a tiny clip, a device called the MitraClip, which was used to repair the mitral valve by clipping its two flaps together in the middle. That can be inserted into the heart sharply so that it can reduce death rates in patients with severe heart failure. It has been found, after a large clinical trial using a tiny clip, these patients also avoided additional hospitalisation and described a drastically improved quality of life with fewer symptoms.

    Odisha government changed norms in food and procurement policy for KMS

    The Odisha government decided to ease the entry of more small and marginal farmers and sharecroppers into the procurement fold. For this, the norms of Food and Procurement Policy for the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2018-19 is to be changed. A tentative target to procure 55 lakh tonnes of paddy from farmers has been fixed which will be around 37 lakh tonnes in terms of rice.  Earlier, the Cabinet approved the Food and Procurement Policy for KMS 2019. According to the policy for KMS, the paddy (Kharif crop) will be procured between November 2018 and April 2019. The paddy (Rabi crop) will be procured from May to June 2019.  The Central government has fixed the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the farmers as Rs.1,750 per quintal for the common variety of paddy and Rs.1,770 for Grade-A variety.

    India successfully conducted an interceptor missile test

    India successfully conducted an interceptor missile test on Prithvi Defence Vehicle mission from Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha on 23rd September. This set a major milestone in developing a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system. The is for engaging targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude of above 50 km of the earth’s atmosphere.  The Inertial Navigation System (INS) that guided interceptor was highly accurate. It is supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System which moved towards the estimated point of the interception. Once the missile crossed the atmosphere, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR Seeker dome opened to look at the target location as designated by the mission computer. With the help of Inertial Guidance and IR Seeker, the missile moved for an interception.

    Scientist Dr VR Lalithambika is heading India's First Human Space Mission

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has chosen veteran scientist Dr VR Lalithambika to head its Gaganyaan mission to put an Indian in space by 2022. The 56-year-old scientist has 30 years of experience in space missions with ISRO. She was also a key member of the team responsible for launching 104 satellites in one go in February 15, 2017.

    BSNL signed deal with SoftBank, NTT to roll out 5G in India

    BSNL Chairman Anupam Shrivastava announced that BSNL with Japan's SoftBank and NTT Communications may launch 5G internet service and Internet of Things (IoT) technology by 2020 in India. BSNL has signed agreement with Nokia and Cisco as well for developing 5G ecosystem.

    Mysuru city police is to launch Mysuraksha app

    The Mysuru city police are to launch Mysuraksha app soon. The aim is to ensure the safety and security of passengers who use auto and cab. While downloading the app on their smartphones, the passengers can scan the Quick Response (QR) code printed on autos and cabs that will have the details of the vehicle and the driver.  If the passengers encounter any trouble with the auto or cab drivers, they should just press the SOS button in the app. It will transmit the details of the cab/auto to the police control room. The location of the passenger will be traced through Global Positioning System (GPS) and the nearest police patrol vehicle will be alerted and rushed to the rescue of the passenger. The police plans make sure and provide help in time to people and protect them from harassment, intimidation and assault of passengers, through an app and make their journey safe and smooth.

    Citizen Science platform helps to save Hornbills

    A Citizen Science platform is an initiative to create awareness so that the public also can participate in the conservation of the unique bird. The platform was launched by scientists Aparajita Datta and Rohit Naniwadekar from Nature Conservation Foundation and Ramki Sreenivasan and Vikram Hiresavi from Conservation India. It is introduced to provide the information on hornbill distribution in the country. An interactive web interface named the Hornbill Watch initiative (www.hornbills.in) allows a person to report on hornbills anywhere in India. If the bird is found outside the protected area, the public can record the details and inform the conservationists so that the birds can be protected from possible threats and development projects. The platform can also serve as a centralized database that will allow the public to determine changes in animal distributions over time. About Horn Bills: ♦ Hornbills are called the farmers of the forest  ♦ It plays a very important role in the dispersal of seeds that grow into trees ♦ Hornbills are relatively large birds that are easily recognizable because of their large size, beaks and distinctive calls, and even untrained eyes can identify them with relative ease ♦ There are about nine hornbill species in India

    The Hindu Group launched The Hindu Lounge Online for collectibles

    To commemorate the 140th anniversary of The Hindu Group’s, the Hindu Lounge has launched its online store, The Hindu Lounge Online.  The Hindu Lounge online offers a wide range of collectibles. It has been operating a store at the Express Avenue mall in Chennai. The merchandise available for sale are broadly classified into four categories: the Madras Edition, personalised collection, restored collection and handmade collection. In an effort to engage with the readers more, an online shopping portal, https://lounge.thehindu.com has been launched.

    Chennai airport to get facial recognition system

    Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that Chennai Airport will be soon getting facial recognition technology under the ‘DigiYatra’ scheme which will soon be implemented by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. This technology will capture the image of a passenger and scan the ticket so that there is no need for the passengers to wait in queues at the entrance.  Also if someone who travels with a fake ticket or with the boarding card of another the system will find out immediately and won't allow the passenger. It also ensures better security for the airport.

    DAC approved for the enhancement of Akash missiles

    The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)  gave its approval for the upgradation of the indigenously developed Akash short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) system. Akash missile was to be inducted by the Army. This approval will let Akash missile to be upgraded. The upgraded version will have the seeker technology and the coverage will be of 360-degree. It will have a compact configuration. To provide protection to vital assets, the operation of the missile has been made critical. About Akash Missile: It was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme initiated in 1984 It was manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) The range of the missile is 25 km and can engage multiple targets at a time in all-weather conditions It has a large operational envelope, from 30 meter to a maximum of 20 km All regiment in the missile consists of six launchers, each having three missiles

    ISRO launched its technology incubation centre in Agartala, Tripura

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a space technology incubation centre in Agartala, Tripura. It was inaugurated from Bengaluru. The centre at Agartala is the first of six such centres which are planned to build capacity in new locations. It is aimed to have a good presence in academia and industry.  These space research activities are to tap the talents of the locations and include them in the space footprint. ISRO’s Capacity Building Programme directorate is to invest Rs.2 crore for such centres in Jalandhar, Bhubaneswar, Tiruchi, Nagpur and Indore. These centres will not have activities related to space.

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