Science & Technology Current Affairs 2018 - Current Affairs Today

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  • Aditya L1 Mission ISRO first sun mission to take off in 2019

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch first solar mission Aditya-L1 in 2019. It will be India’s first dedicated scientific mission to Sun. The mission aims to put 1,500-kg heavy class Aditya-L1 satellite into a halo orbit around Lagrangian point L1, a point between Sun and Earth. It is a joint venture between ISRO and physicists from various institutes including Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru).

    DANX-17: Defence of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Exercise concludes

    The Defence of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Exercise (DANX-2017) was conducted under the aegis of Andaman & Nicobar Command from 20 to 24 November 2017. The main objective of the five-day exercise was to practice and validate procedures and drills of all Command forces aimed at defending strategic Andaman and Nicobar Island. The purpose of the exercise was for adopting planning and precise execution of Command plans by forces in a synergistic manner.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space in New Delhi

    The Global Conference on Cyber Space will begin in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the two-day mega event. For the first time, the event is being organized in India.  The theme of the conference is Cyber for All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development.  The story of Digital India and Digital Inclusion of citizens will be discussed in the conference. Over 10 thousand delegates will take part in the conference in person. There will also be virtual participation from over 2800 locations across the world that will be connected in an interactive mode.

    Union Government observes Vasectomy Fortnight

    Current Affairs: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare observed Vasectomy Fortnight to raise awareness about male sterilization and to promote the participated of men in family planning. Under this awareness campaign, all states and union territories observed Vasectomy Fortnight by providing quality of male sterilization services by providing quality of male sterilization services at public health facilities. The Vasectomy fortnight will be observed up to block level with a focus on family planning service delivery along with information, education, communication, and advocacy. The theme for this is “Zimmedar Purush ki yehi hai Pehchan, Parivar Niyojan mein jo de Yogdaan”.

    Brahmos Flight test from IAFs Su-30MKI Fighter Aircraft

    Brahmos, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile created history after it was successfully flight-tested first time from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal.  The successful maiden test firing of Brahmos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) from Su-30MKI will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges.

    India's first mission to the Sun to be launched in 2019

    India's mission to the Sun will be launched in 2019 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The main aim of the solar mission is to improve our understanding of dynamical processes of the sun and help resolve some outstanding questions in solar physics. The satellite carrying six payloads will be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on the PSLV- XL launch vehicle. It will be launched into the halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system.  The second edition of India’s moon mission, Chandrayaan II is scheduled for launch in March 2018. The space agency is aiming to double its satellite launches next year from the current eight to nine annually to 20 every year.

    NASA tests Supersonic Parachute for Mars 2020 mission

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully tested supersonic landing parachute that will be deployed in its Mars rover mission set to launch in 2020. The mission will rely on a special parachute to slow spacecraft down as it enters Martian atmosphere at over 5.4 kilometers per second. It was first of several tests in support of NASA's Mars 2020 Mission.

    Union Government introduces Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis

    The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) patients across the country under The Revis. Under it, Health Ministry is providing a thrice-weekly regimen for treatment of TB, however, it has now decided to change treatment strategy for TB patients. TB is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that most often affect lungs. The disease is spread from person to person through the air.

    NASA launches Joint Polar Satellite System-1

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched a next-generation satellite called the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1). It was launched into orbit atop United Launch Alliance-built Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It is is first multi-day weather forecasts satellite in NOAA’s series of four, next-generation operational environmental satellites representing major advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. It is designed to monitor weather around world and help improve forecasts.

    Andhra Pradesh soon to get a Centre of Excellence on Space Sciences

    Andhra Pradesh soon to get a Centre of Excellence in Space Sciences and Technologies. CANEUS International, a Canadian organization, will establish a Centre of Excellence on Space Sciences and Technologies for Development at Hindupur. The Coming up on 60 acres in Hindupur town of Anantapur district, the facility will create opportunities for 500 highly skilled direct jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs. A MoU was signed by the Andhra Pradesh government with CANEUS International. A tripartite agreement for setting up the facility was signed with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) and the Andhra Pradesh State Skills Development Corporation (APSSDC). It is is a unique non-profit organization of professionals involving public-private partnership, serving the needs of aeronautics, space and defence communities by fostering the coordinated, international development of micro-nano technologies for aerospace and defence applications.

    India witnesses record 1.04 crore domestic flyers in a month

    Air traffic volume reached an all-time high of 1.04 crore passengers in October 2017, according to data released by the DGCA. The number of flyers saw a year-on-year increase of over 20%, up from 86.7 lakh passengers in October 2016. All major airlines except Air India logged a passenger load factor above 80%, which DGCA attributed to the festive season. IndiGo flew the most number of passengers at 41.33 lakh and the second position was secured by Jet Airways with 15.88 lakh passengers. Noteworthy that Air India managed to grab the third position with 13.66 lakh passengers, while SpiceJet was at the fourth spot with 13.64 lakh.

    India to host Global Conference on Cyber Space for first time ever

    In present time cybersecurity is a big issue globally. India is also moving to a digital era. Hence against this backdrop, focusing on a Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development, India will host the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS). The Curtain Raiser events will be held from 20th November. It is the fifth edition of GCCS wherein international leaders, policymakers, industry experts, think tanks and cyber experts will gather to deliberate on issues and challenges for optimally using cyberspace. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the mega event. The main goal is to promote the importance of inclusiveness and human rights in global cyber policy, to defend the status quo of an open, interoperable and unregimented cyberspace, to create political commitment for capacity building initiatives to address the digital divide and assist countries, and to develop security solutions in a balanced fashion that duly acknowledge the importance of the private sector and technical community. Overall 33 ministers from various nations dealing with the subject matter of cyberspace have already confirmed. More than 7000 people have already registered on the website and among them, only 2500 will get their invites to the conference.

    R.K. Singh Launches Saubhagya Web-Portal

    Shri R.K. Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’ Web Portal.

    US Approves First Pill with Digital Tracking Device

    The Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug in the United States with a digital ingestion tracking system, in an unprecedented move to ensure that patients with mental illness take the medicine prescribed for them. The drug Abilify MyCite, developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat schizophrenia. The ingestible sensor, made by Proteus Digital health, was approved for marketing in 2012.

    Virtual Nation Asgardia Launched its First Satellite Asgardia-1 into Space

    The Space Kingdom of Asgardia has launched its first satellite. This so-called ‘virtual nation’ is the pet project of Russian scientist and billionaire Igor Ashurbeyli. In 2016, he proposed a new nation which would be based in space in order to be outside of the control of nations on Earth. The Asgardia-1 satellite, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, and contains half a terabyte of data. It was launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia aboard a Cygnus spacecraft on an Orbital ATK Antares rocket.

    China launches worlds first fully electric cargo ship

    China launched the world’s first all-electric ship, which can travel up to 80 km with 2000-tonnes cargo after a two-hour charge. The ship is 70.5-metre-long and weighs about 600 tonnes. It was launched in Guangzhou in South China’s Guangdong Province. The ship has been manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Limited. It is powered by a 26-tonne lithium battery and can cruise at the top speed of 12.8 km per hour.

    United Nations hosts first talks on use of killer robots in Geneva

    United Nations is set to open its first official talks on the use of autonomous weapons, including killer robots, at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) for 5 days, in Geneva. The meeting is chaired by Indian ambassador on disarmament, Amandeep Gill. The discussion will also include civil society and technology companies. It will be partly focused on understanding the types of weapons in the pipeline.

    Northeast to get India first ever Air Dispensary

    Northeast is set to get India’s first-ever “Air Dispensary” based in a helicopter and the Union Ministry of Development of Northeast (DONER) already contributed Rs. 25 crores as part of the initial funding. As per the plan, the helicopter will be based at two locations, namely Imphal in Manipur and Meghalaya in Shillong. From these two locations, specialist doctors, paramedical staff, and necessary equipment would move into the helicopter and hold a dispensary in different locations across the eight States of North Eastern Region.

    India Sixth Most Vulnerable Country Facing Extreme Weather Events

    India is the sixth most vulnerable country in the world in terms of facing extreme weather events, according to the report released by the Germanwatch. The top 5 countries on the list are- 1. Haiti 2. Zimbabwe 3. Fiji 4. Sri Lanka and 5. Vietnam. The Germanwatch is an independent Berlin-based development and environmental organization and it has released its latest global climate risk index (CRI). The Index put the United States (US) at 10th position.

    Union Government to launch BharatNet Phase 2 project

    The Union government will launch its second and final phase of the BharatNet project to provide high-speed broadband service in all Gram Panchayats by March 2019. It will be implemented at an outlay of around 34 thousand crore rupees. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is organizing a National Conference in New Delhi in which it will sign MoUs with states for the implementation of the second phase of BharatNet. Under this phase, broadband connectivity will be provided in remaining 1.5 lakh Gram Panchayats in the country. Almost 90 thousand installations have been completed and broadband services are expected to commence in 80 thousand Gram Panchayats soon.

    India 2nd Technology and Innovation Support Centre to come up soon in Chennai

    Union Government of India inked an agreement with Chennai’s Anna University in order to establish India’s second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC). This would be done under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) TISC program. The main objective of the TISC is to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to foster creativity and innovation, thereby promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing social, economic and cultural development by establishing a network of TISCs in India.

    Coal India Launched Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App

    Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Railways & Coal launched ‘Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App’ benefitting customers of Coal India Limited (CIL) lifting coal through road mode. The customer-friendly app launched recently in Kolkata on CIL’s Foundation Day helps achieve transparency in despatch operations, as a tool to monitor, whether the despatches are made on the fair principle of ‘First in First Out’.

    Kerala government inks MOU with Intel and UST Global

    The Kerala government inked a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Intel and UST Global for exploring the possibility of transforming the state into an electronic hardware manufacturing hub. The MoU was signed by the state IT department, Intel and UST Global in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Kerala government was committed to making the state an electronic hardware manufacturing hub. To achieve this goal, the government had taken the initial steps by setting up the Kerala Electronics and Hardware Mission.

    Long-Range Cruise Missile ‘Nirbhay’ Test-Fired

    India conducted a flight test of its indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’. It can carry warheads of up to 300 kg from a test range at Chandipur along the Odisha coast. This was the fifth experimental test of the homegrown missile system. The test fire was carried out by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

    "Operation Digital Blackboard" campaign soon to run in every school

    HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar envisaged Operation Digital Blackboard in every school in the next few years. The main focus will be five themes - Digital Education, Physical Education, Value Education, Life Skills Education and Experiential Learning. The main aim of the workshop is to provide holistic education relevant for 21st century India and to bring together key stakeholders from various NGOs, private sector and individuals to deliberate on key themes in the education sector. Over the course of two days a total of 157 organizations/experts will be making their point via presentations. The participants will be divided theme-wise and detailed discussion would be held amongst the participants.

    Tokyo’s AI ‘boy’ first bot to gain a residency

    Microsoft as a joint developer, an AI character was made an official resident of a busy central Tokyo district in Japan. He doesn’t exist physically. He is a virtual chatty seven-year-old boy. The virtual boy was named “Shibuya Mirai”. Mirai, whose name means “future” in the Japanese language. He can have text conversations with humans on the widely used LINE messaging app. He can reply to messages and make light-hearted alterations to the selfies he is sent.

    India Pavilion Launched at COP 23 in Germany

    The India Pavilion at Conference of Parties (COP) 23 was inaugurated by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan at Bonn in Germany. India’s theme for COP 23 is “Conserving Now, Preserving Future” The Minister is leading the Indian delegation, which is participating in the 23rd to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) being held at the Bonn, Germany from November 6-17, 2017.

    HSBC Bank pledges $100 billion of finance by 2025 to combat climate change

    HSBC Bank pledged to provide $100 billion in financing and investment by 2025 to help combat climate change. They promised $100billion of finance for low-carbon technology and sustainable development by 2025 as part its commitment to tackling climate change and other “green” goals. They would become more transparent about risks to its business and to those of its clients from climate change by adopting recommendations made by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

    China launches two BeiDou-3 navigation satellites

    China successfully launched two BeiDou-3 satellites named BeiDou-3 M1 and BeiDou-3 M2 into space on board of single carrier rocket Long March-3B from  Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan. These two satellites and carrier rocket were developed by China Academy of Space Technology and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, respectively. The two newly-launched satellites represent third phase of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. They will reside in a medium-Earth orbit at an altitude.

    ERO-Net launched in Rajasthan

    Rajasthan’s Chief Electoral Officer Ashwini Bhagat launched the Election Commission’s web-based project, ERO-Net, using which voters can register their names on electoral rolls. The Electoral Roll Management System (ERMS) software was being used to make voter lists. It could not identify multiple entries of a voter. ERMS software has been replaced with ERO-Net, which is a transparent mechanism to identify whether the voter was listed anywhere in the country.

    Indian-Origin Couple Gets US Award For AIDS Research

    Indian-origin South African researchers were honored with a prestigious award for their exceptional contributions in the field of HIV/AIDS. Professors Salim Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim received the award from the Institute for Human Virology (IHV) in Baltimore, US. The award was presented to them by Robert Gallo, who discovered HIV as the cause of AIDS‚ at the 19th international meeting of the IHV.

    SBI launches ‘2nd SBI Digital Hackathon’ Digitize For Bank

    State Bank of India (SBI) launched the second edition of its Hackathon. This hackathon has been named ‘Digitize For Bank’. The main focus is on four ‘Cognitive’ themes namely Facial Recognition, Signature Recognition, Voice based Authentication and Cheque Truncation Value Enhancers. The winners will get an opportunity for incubation and acceleration with SBI.

    Indian-American girl wins 2017 Young Scientist Challenge for water contamination detection device

    Indian-American Gitanjali Rao, 11, was announced the winner of Discovery Education’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The sensor-based device detects the quality of water and shares the results to a mobile application via Bluetooth.  There are over 5,000 water systems in the US alone with lead contamination issues. Detection and preventive action can help mitigate the problem,

    USA to provide EMALS technology to India for aircraft carriers

    Donald Trump Government has promised to provide the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System(EMALS) technology to India for aircraft carriers. S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be visiting India soon and before his visit, Trump administration has informed of its decision to give EMALS to India. EMALS also weighs less, is expected to cost less and require less maintenance, and can launch aircraft that are heavier or lighter. This EMAL will help to launch heavy combat planes from the short runway of an aircraft carrier using electromagnetic force, instead of the old steam-powered catapults.

    Facebook launches food delivery service in US

    Facebook launched a service in the United States, through which users can order food and get it delivered by using Facebook's app or website. The feature allows users to browse nearby restaurants by visiting the 'Order Food' section on Facebook's 'Explore' menu. The social media giant has partnered with food ordering services like for the same. Restaurant partners include Chipotle, Five Guys, Papa John's and Jack in the Box.

    Worlds largest combustion research centre inaugurated at IIT Madras

    The world's largest combustion research centre which will impart a major boost to the Indian scientific community was inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. The National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) was inaugurated by NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat in the presence of Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology. NCCRD's research interests will cover automotive, thermal power and aerospace propulsion, besides fire research and microgravity combustion to minor extent.

    SpaceX completes successful launch of recycled rocket Falcon 9

    SpaceX launched its recycled rocket Falcon 9 and landed it on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The main aims is to provide television coverage and communications capabilities to North America, Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is a “dual-mission” satellite for the US-based operator EchoStar and Luxembourg-based operator SES. This is the 18th successful landing of Falcon 9 rocket first stage. The Falcon 9’s first stage had previously flown on a cargo mission to the International Space Station in February 2017.

    LG India Ties up with Bajaj Finserv

    Consumer Electronics major LG Electronics India announced the launch of an exclusive OEM co-branded card in partnership with Bajaj Finserv. As per the company, the co-branded card will enable customers to buy all LG products at no-cost EMI option across all LG formats. It will be available to customers buying LG products on a minimum invoice amount of Rs 7,000 and maximum of up to Rs 2 lakh.

    India is second largest market for pharma: LinkedIn Report

    The 13.7 percent contribution to the global pharmaceuticals and biotechnology workforce India has emerged as the second largest market for the industry, a report by professional networking giant LinkedIn has revealed.  The report, detailed in the newly released e-book "The Indian Pharma and Biotech Industry", showed that while New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chandigarh are thriving grounds for talent in this sector in India, talent migration is highest to the US. Talent migrating to other countries mainly comprises of researchers, scientists, quality assurance professionals, statistics programmers and data analysts.

    Japan launches fourth Michibiki satellite for hi-tech GPS

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched Michibiki-4 satellite (QZSS-4) onboard of H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Centre. It was the fourth satellite in Michibiki series i.e. Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), which is a satellite-based high-precision global positioning system. Michibiki-4 is third QZSS satellite to be launched in 2017 and once operational it will bring the constellation of QZSS to its operating capacity of four until a planned expansion to 8 satellites occurs around 2023.

    IIT Kharagpur Signs MoU with Samsung for Digital Academy

    IIT-Kharagpur signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Samsung India for the setting up of a digital academy on the institute’s campus. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the institute will host the Samsung Innovation Lab and train students on the Internet of Things (IoT) through Tizen-based operating systems, commonly used by the company for its mobile phones and home appliances. 

    Nobel Prize 2017 in Economic Sciences Announced

    The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017 was awarded to Richard H. Thaler for his contributions to behavioral economics. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) established the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize.

    U.S. approves sale of Rs. 98,000 crore THAAD missiles to Saudi Arabia

    U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of a THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile defence system to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of $15 billion (Rs. 98,000 crore). The deal includes 44 THAAD launchers and 360 missiles along with fire control stations and radars.

    Saudi Arabia agrees to purchase S400 missile defence systems from Russia

    Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase S400 missile defence systems from Russia on the sidelines of a visit by Saudi King Salman to Moscow. The S-400 Triumf is an anti-aircraft, anti-ballistic missile and anti-cruise missile defense system that has been in service with the Russian Army since 2007. The system uses four missiles, a very-long-range 400 km missile, a long-range 250 km missile, a medium-range 120 km missile and a short-range 40 km missile. This missile system will give Saudi Arabia a multi-layer defense ability against aerial threats.

    India Renewable Energy to be double by 2022

    India’s renewable energy capacity will more than double by 2022 to overtake renewable expansion in the European Union for the first time, International Energy Agency (IEA). The country’s renewable energy installed capacity is 58.30 GW as per the recent government data. The government has a target of raising it to 175 GW by 2022 including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy. Earlier this year, the solar and wind power tariffs dropped to an all-time low of Rs2.44 per unit and Rs3.46 per unit in a tariff-based competitive bidding conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

    World Space Week is observed from October 4th to October 10th

    The World Space Week is observed from 4th to 10th October. The theme of 2017 is ‘Exploring New Worlds In Space’. On October 4th1957 Sputnik 1 was launched. It was the first human-made, Earth-orbiting satellite. Second, the signing of The Outer Space Treaty on October 10th 1967.

    Soumya Swaminathan is appointed as New Deputy Director General at WHO

    The World Health Organization (WHO) appointed Soumya Swaminathan one of two Deputy Directors General.  This is the first time such a post has been ever created within the organization. The position is also the highest post held by an Indian in the WHO. She is currently the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

    National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) launches new website and PMIS Mobile App

    The Chairman of National Highways Authority of India Shri Deepak Kumar launched a world-class, new multilingual website of the organization. He also launched a Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS) Moblie App that will facilitate close, in-house monitoring of NHAI projects on a mobile phone. The system is now digitally monitoring them through a state-of-the-art Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS) which has been developed in-house along with The Boston Consulting Group. 

    Russia and US Partner to Build 1st Ever Space Station Near Moon

    Russian and the United States space agencies, Roscosmos and NASA, have agreed to jointly build a "deep space gateway", the first-ever astronaut-tended space station around the Moon.  It would help prepare for manned missions to deep space destinations including Mars. NASA and Roscosmos are two of the major partners in the $100-billion Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS).

    ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit

    Indian Space research Organistaion (ISRO) globally acclaimed Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan completed three years in Martian orbit. On the occasion of completion of three years, ISRO released MOM second-year science data from September 24, 2014, to September 23, 2016. The main plan designed built and launched by ISRO in a record period of fewer than two years in Rs.450 crore ($73 million US) budget, making it cheapest inter-planetary.

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