Science & Technology Current
November 1st week 2015 current affairs
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) India test-fires indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile

  • India on 22nd November test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast. The interceptor, known as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile. The interceptor roared through its trajectory to destroy an electronically prepared target which was fired from the Chandipur Test Range. 
  • DRDO said, the kill effect of the interceptor was being ascertained by analysing data from multiple tracking sources. In April this year, the AAD missile had failed to hit the target missile during a similar test.
2) Digital India Mobile Science Bus Launched in Kolkata
  • Current Affirs A Mobile Science Bus has been started by the National Council of Science Museums and an independent organization under the Ministry of Culture for Digital India. The main aim of this ‘Science Bus’ is to popularise the Digital India which is of Government and for highlighting different feature and benefits of digital technology in various sectors. 
  • The ‘Museobus’ is exhibits the 15 accommodates of previously organized the golden jubilee celebrations of the NCSM. The development of technologies related with computers and the internet has been displayed in the exhibition. It is also describes the role of the Internet greatly, regarding World Wide Web and mobile phones in transforming the modern digital world. 
  • The digital technology impact has been showed on various sectors such as banking, health care and other Indian industries via the numerous display panels.
3) India test-fires nuclear-capable Dhanush missile
  • The nuclear-capable ballistic missile Dhanush was test fired from warship Subhadra, off the Puri coast of Odisha on 24th November. According to Defence Research and Development Organisation sources it was a perfect mission and the missile splashed down near the target point with high degree of accuracy. 
  • The DRDO sources said Dhanush missile is a naval variant of Prithvi-II, and can carry a nuclear payload of 500 kg. The missile has a length of 8.53 meters and 0.9 meter wide. 
  • The missile has already been inducted into the armed Services and can target both land-based and sea-based targets. Dhanush was one of the five missiles developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. Naval variant Dhanush missile was first successfully tested in 2012.

4) 4 endangered species among 514 spotted in Salim Ali bird count

  • The Salim Ali Bird Count, which was revived after almost 20 years, recorded over 15,000 observations by people across 22 states. A critically endangered and four endangered species were among the 514 species spotted on November 15. 
  • The nationwide bird count was relaunched by the Bombay Natural History Society-India in association with Bird Count India to commemorate the birth anniversary (November 12) of Dr Salim Ali, popularly known as the Bird Man of India. 
  • Bird-watchers uploaded their observations on the eBird website. BNHS said 15,638 observations were recorded by 280 people. The observations were collated from 549 lists, as each individual had to prepare separate lists for each location covered. Of these, 383 were unique lists while others had multiple contributors. Maharashtra saw maximum participation. 
  • Out of the 514 species spotted during the count, 30 were from the the IUCN Red List of Threatened Birds 2015. The White-rumped vulture was the only bird spotted from the `critically endangered` category, whereas four birds from the `endangered` category were spotted. These included the Black-bellied Tern, Egyptian Vulture, Great Knot and Steppe Eagle. 
  • Experts feel bird-count activities will help study the impact of climate change. BNHS said they plan to scale up the initiative on the pan-India level. It will be held on the Sunday after November 12 every year.
5) Prithvi-II launched successfully
  • India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile with a strike range of 350 km as part of a user trial by the army from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha. Prithvi-II missile weighs about 4,600 kg is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads. It has the ability to dodge enemy missiles. 
  • Prithvi-II has been designed to operate with both liquid and solid fuels and is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads.
6) Saltwater-tolerant paddy developed
  • The Scientists at the Rice Research Station of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) at Vyttila have developed a new variety of paddy tolerant to saline intrusion, a major challenge faced by farmers in the lowlands. 
  • The landmark achievement in rice research was made possible by the introduction of genes tolerant to salinity and iron toxicity into Jyothi, Kerala’s most popular rice variety. 
  • The project which began in 2008 involved the incorporation of the SalTol gene present in Pokkali, the most saline tolerant rice variety in the world, into Jyothi. 
  • Thus Jyothi, known for its superior grain quality, yet restricted by the lack of saline tolerance, has become suitable for Pokkali fields, Kuttanad and kolelands as well, according to the researchers. 
  • The scientists used the introgressive hybridisation technique to move the SalTol gene from Pokkali to the gene pool of Jyothi. The project was part of a long-term programme initiated by KAU for the development of stress-tolerant rice varieties for less favourable environments. The SalTol gene is the donor for salinity-tolerant rice breeding programmes all over the world.

7) Agni-I missile test-fired successfully in Odisha

  • India has successfully test-fired the indigenously built nuclear-capable, Agni-I missile from Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast on 27th November. 
  • The surface-to-surface missile was fired from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at 10.02 a.m. as part of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) training exercise. The sources of Defence ministry said the trial was successful. The path of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars which were installed at various places, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships. The missile is at least 15 metres long and is powered by solid and liquid propellants at a speed of 2.5 km per second. 
  • Agni-I missile which weighs around 12 tonnes has already been inducted into the armed forces. It can carry both conventional and nuclear payload of 1000kgs. It was first launched on January 25, 2002 and can be fired from rail and road mobile launchers. The last trial of Agni-I was conducted in September 2014, was also successful.
8) Government advances roll out of BS-V and BS-VI norms for 4-wheelers
  • The government on 28th November said it has advanced the date for implementation of the roll out of Bharat Stage (BS) stage V and VI norms for four-wheelers by three years. According to the roadmap earlier laid down by the Auto Fuel Policy, BS-V norms were to be implemented from April 1, 2022 and BS-VI from April 1, 2024, it added. 
  • Accordingly, the ministry has decided to implement BS-V norms from April 1, 2019. 
  • BS-VI norms, which aim at substantial reduction in NOx/4C levels will be implemented from April 1, 2021, it added. This reflects a firm commitment to play a major role in reducing vehicular emissions. 
  • Draft norms for two- and three-wheeler categories will be notified shortly with advanced timeline similar to the four wheeler category, it added.
9) Fund for developing countries deal with climate change
  • Commonwealth leaders have agreed to set up a 1 billion dollar green finance facility to support developing countries to access to funds in dealing with climate change. The decision is in sync with India`s demand for providing adequate financial resources to poor nations to reduce green house gas GHG emissions. 
  • During Commonwealth Heads of Governments CHOGM meeting in Malta, outgoing Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma said various island nations and small countries are facing difficulty in securing financial support to bring down emissions and this new climate change hub will provide funds to them. 
  • In talks on climate change, Indian officials argued that the Commonwealth must not pre-judge outcome of the negotiations leading to Paris climate conference starting on 30th November. India wishes that commitment of the rich nations towards small islands and poor countries must go beyond the current level.