Science & Technology Current Affairs 2017 - Current Affairs Today

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  • 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.

    INS TARASA commissioned into Indian Navy

    INS Tarasa (T94), the fourth and last ship in series of Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) was commissioned into Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard. It is an improved variant of Car Nicobar-class high-speed offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) built by Kolkata (West Bengal) based Garden Reach Shipbuilder. It is named after the picturesque island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in Bay of Bengal.

    New Underground Water Treatment Plant in Agartala

    In Tripura, a new underground water treatment plant commissioned at Sadhutilla in the southern part of Agartala. The plant has started functioning with a supply of quality treated water initially to 565 households through the pipeline. The treatment capacity of 4 point 8 million litre per day. It has two Over Head Storage Reservoirs with capacities of 1,130 Kilo Liter and 450 Kilo Liter.

    Australia announces new space agency to develop domestic space industry

    Australia will establish a national space agency as part of long-term plan to develop the country’s domestic space industry. Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham made the announcement at the International Astronautical Congress. The global space industry sector has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9.52 percent from 1998 to 2015. Globally, revenue from space-related activities in 2015 was about US$323 and the five-day Congress is expected to draw more than 4,000 space professionals, including astronauts, engineers, scientists, and innovators, from all over the world.

    Panasonic launched its first dual camera phone Eluga Ray 500

    Panasonic India introduced its first Dual camera phone, the Eluga Ray 500 which lets the user switch between the 120 degree ultra-wide 8MP and 13 MP rear camera for the perfect shot. Eluga Ray 500 features a 5 inch HD IPS Display with a sleek 2.5D curved design.

    Catalyst E2 Max electric bus set a World Record by driving 1,771 km on a single charge

    US-based electric vehicles manufacturer Proterra's Catalyst E2 Max electric bus has set a world record by driving 1,771 km (1,101 miles) on a single charge, at the Navistar Proving Grounds in Indiana. E2 Max bus is 40 feet long and has a battery with 660 kWh capacity.

    Worlds largest aircraft Stratolaunch built by Microsoft Co founder Paul Allen completed its first engine test

    The world's largest aircraft 'Stratolaunch' which has a 385-feet wingspan, built by Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen has completed its first engine test. This Plane can carry up to 250 tonnes of cargo and is capable of launching rockets.

    Indias First indigenously built Scorpene submarine INS Kalvari delivered to Navy

    The first of the Scorpene class submarines, INS Kalvari, was delivered to the Indian Navy by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). Kalvari is named after the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean. Similarly, other Scorpene class submarines Khanderi and Karanj are undergoing trials and development.

    China launches fastest bullet train in the World, running between Beijing and Shanghai

    China launches the world's fastest bullet train ‘Fuxing’ between Beijing and Shanghai at 350 kms per hour, covering the 1,250-km-long distance in just 4 hours and 30 minutes. China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network of over 22,000 kilometres, about 60% per cent of the world’s total.

    Saudi Arabia lifts ban on Internet Calling Apps like WhatsApp and Skype

    Saudi Arabia government introduced the ban of internet phone calls - known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) in 2013. Saudi Arabia's new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman lifted the ban on voice calls on Skype, Whatsapp and other applications to make Saudi Arabia more attractive for business.

    Russia unveils statue of AK 47 inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov

    The nine-metre (30ft) statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, has been unveiled in Russian capital Moscow in a controversial ceremony. Kalashnikov designed "Avtomat Kalashnikova", which became the standard issue rifle of the Soviet army, in 1947 - hence the abbreviation AK-47.

    Afghan Air Force got its first four U.S.-made UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters

    The first four Afghan Air Force (AAF) UH-60s arrived in Kandahar, as part of a planned replacement of its aging fleet of Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters. The U.S. plans to supply a total of 159 Black Hawks to Afghanistan in the coming years as it boosts the capacity of the AAF.

    Assam Skill City to have 10,000 training seats may take 4-5 years to get functional

    The Assam State government to launch well-equipped cities with the capacity of 10000 seats in the state. A Singapore based premier institute will support the state government for further development. A temporary complex with 400 capacity is being set up in Guwahati. Around  30 thousand former militants will be given skill development training and cease-fire camps where they are residing now will be made production centers.

    India’s First Lithium-Ion Battery Unit in Gujarat

    Suzuki Motor invest more than Rs 1,150 crore along with Japanese partners Toshiba and Denso to set up India's first lithium-ion battery facility in Gujarat. The announcement by the parent of the country's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki is a major boost to the government's ambitious vehicle electrification and Make in India initiatives. It will hold half the stake and meanwhile, Toshiba will own 40% and Denso the remaining 10%.

    Two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh to be commissioned in 2018

    The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) its two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh are on the verge of completion and they would be commissioned next year. The commissioning of the 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project and the 110 MW Pare Hydro Electric Project was delayed by about a couple of months due to floods and landslides. According to the officials, the Pare Hydro Project is set to be commissioned by February end next year, while the Kameng project would take another two months.

    India's First Centre for Animal Law set up at Hyderabad

    India's first Centre for Animal Law established at the city-based NALSAR University of Law. Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi inaugurated the centre according to a release issued by Humane Society International (HSI). The Centre will create curriculum on animal welfare laws, including developing topics for research. It will also conduct workshops on animal laws and animal welfare issues with judicial magistrates, animal welfare advocates, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders in the government.

    India-Japan ink Open Sky Agreement

    India and Japan agreed to ink open sky arrangement to allow airlines from both countries to operate an unlimited number of flights. In this regard, both countries exchanged RoD (Record of Discussions) on civil aviation cooperation with respect to open sky. The open sky agreement will be signed in accordance with the National Civil Aviation Policy (NACP), 2016.

    IAF successfully conducts development trials of Astra missile

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully conducted developmental trials of indigenously developed Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM). Total of seven trials of Astra BVRAAM conducted in various missions and two of them were against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully fired. It is one of the smallest weapon system developed by DRDO, having a length of 3.8-metre and weighing 154kg. It is a single stage solid fuelled missile.

    Bharti Airtel and SK Telecom to build advanced telecom network in India.

    Telecom services provider Bharti Airtel and SK Telecom of Korea have announced a strategic partnership under which Airtel will leverage the latter's expertise to build advanced telecom network in India. It is Korea’s largest telecommunications company with more than 29 million mobile subscribers, which accounts for around 50 percent of the total market. The two companies will also collaborate on an ongoing basis to evolve standards for 5G and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV).

    Chennai-Vladivostok sea route made India’s effort to counter China’s OBOR

    India is planning to launch major connectivity initiative, connecting Chennai with key Russian port Vladivostok via sea route with an aim to harness natural resources from Northeast Asia and Western Pacific region. The proposed maritime route can be transformed into a corridor that could juxtapose with Indo-Japan Pacific to Indian Ocean Corridor to counter China’s Maritime Silk Route (MSR) under Border Road Initiative (BRI) which connect entire South East Asia through road, shipping and rail links. India was the first country to establish resident Consulate in Vladivostok in 1992. India’s current engagement with the region is limited to isolated pockets such as Irkut Corporation in Irkutsk where Mig and Sukhoi aircraft are built and over $6 billion worth of investments by ONGC Videsh Limited.

    Kerala to open India's first transgender-exclusive clinics

    Kerala opens India's first transgender-exclusive clinics at government medical colleges across the state.  They are planning to open Transgender Clinics in all government medical colleges in the state. We also plan to provide facilities for their surgery at least in two medical colleges. The first clinic will be set up at the government medical college of Kottayam within the next two months and will be one of the first clinics to provide the sex-change surgery.

    India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab inaugurated in Kolkata

    India’s first state of art virology laboratory inaugurated at Dr Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy in Kolkata, West Bengal. The lab plays important in developing new drugs and technologies in Homoeopathy to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases. The laboratory is only one of its kind in India for conducting basic and fundamental research in Homoeopathy for viral diseases like influenza, dengue.

    DRDO tested 3rd Generation ATGM NAG successfully

    The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully twice flight tested indigenously developed 3rd generation Anti-Tank Guided in Rajasthan. During the test, ATGM Nag missile has successfully hit both the targets at different ranges and conditions with very high accuracy. The ATMG Nag missile is one of five missile systems developed indigenously by DRDO under the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP).

    Union Government announces Rs 3,700 crore plan to provide Wi-Fi to gram panchayats

    The Union Government planned to Rs 3,700-crore plan in an attempt to cover nearly 5.5 lakh villages with Wi-Fi facility by March 2019. The government expects to start broadband services with about 1,000 megabits per second (1 Gbps) across 1 lakh gram panchayats by the end of this year. Earlier, the plan was to provide 100 megabits per second connectivity to village panchayats, but under the new BharatNet, the broadband speed has been enhanced 10 times to 1 gigabit per second at every panchayat level.

    Breakthrough Mission Project detects 15 radio bursts from Dwarf galaxy

    Breakthrough Listen project detected 15 Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) coming from a dwarf galaxy about 3 million light years away from earth. The new detection was made with help of Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia. It was emitted from FRB 121102, a mysterious source associated with the galaxy in the distant universe. FRB is brief, bright pulse of radio emission from distant galaxies. It was first detected in 2007 with help of Parkes Telescope in Australia.

    UN Security Council emergency meeting to discuss response to North Korea's latest nuclear test

    The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold an emergency meeting to discuss an international response to North Korea's latest nuclear test. North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on a missile and is its biggest nuclear detonation.  The countries namely the United States, Britain, France, Japan and South Korea requested the urgent meeting.

    Astronaut Peggy Whitson returns to Earth after spending a record breaking 288 days in outer space

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Peggy Whitson finishing a 288-day mission that put her over the top as the American who has spent the most cumulative amount of time in space. The oldest female astronaut in the history of space exploration was the first female International Space Station commander and holds the record for number of spacewalks by a woman.

    AMD launches Ryzen Pro processors for Business Personal Computer

    Chipmaker AMD presented a new line of microprocessor chips called ‘Ryzen Pro’ for commercial desktop workstations to be available in India and other countries by end of 2017. At the global launch of Ryzen Pro leading PC makers HP, Dell and Lenovo introduced new high-end workstations using Ryzen Pro to meet the demand of present scenario toughest computing-tasks. The Ryzen Pro desktop processor is an 8 core and 16 thread CPU and much faster than the rival Intel’s ‘Core i7’ which is of 4 core and 8 thread.

    Unicity Launched World’s First ever Genomeceuticals Range of Products in India

    Unicity International, headquartered in Orem, Utah, United States launched world's first ever Genomeceutical (gene controlling) range of products to India. DNA contains the biological code that defines every single protein in the body. It undergoes a process called transcription or gene expression that creates a "messenger" molecule, telling the body to make a specific protein.

    ISRO all set to launch IRNSS-1H

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch PSLV-C39 carrying Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1H). The satellite will lift off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, on board the rocket PSLV C39. NavIC system is equivalent to the GPS service having a footprint over the whole of India and about 1500 kilometers from its borders on all sides.

    After Kalpana Chawla, Jalseen Kaur Josan becomes 2nd Indian woman to fly for NASA’s Mars Mission

    Jaslin Kaur Josan becomes the first Indian Sikh woman to be selected by NASA for the Mars Expedition happening in 2030.  After Kalpana Chawla, Jasleen Kaur Josan becomes the 2nd Indian Women and first Sikh women to be selected by NASA for the Mars Expedition happening in 2030. The mission called the Orion Mission will be the first man mission to the red planet and candidates were selected from around the world.

    Jammu and Kashmir Government to Set Up First Eco-Park

    The Jammu and Kashmir Government decided to build an Eco-Park on over 34 acres of land reclaimed from encroachers in the state's Rajouri district. The park is a first-of-its-kind project in the region. It will have a botanical garden, a cactus garden, a cafeteria and other amenities. Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed is the present CM of Jammu and Kashmir.

    Microsoft Launches 'Project Brainwave' for Real-Time AI

    Software giant Microsoft announced its 'Project Brainwave' deep learning acceleration platform for real-time artificial intelligence (AI). The 'Project Brainwave' uses the massive field-programmable gate array (FPGA) infrastructure that Microsoft has been deploying over the past few years. Real-time AI is becoming increasingly important as cloud infrastructures process live data streams, whether they be search queries, videos, sensor streams, or interactions with users.

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