Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Facebook reaches 142 million users in India.
  • Facebook has over 142 million users in India, of which about 133 million access the social media platform through their mobile phones.
  • 69 million people in India use Facebook daily, of which 64 million access the platform through their mobile devices.
  • India is the largest market for Facebook outside of the US.
  • The growth was led by strong uptake in markets like India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Philippines.
  • Facebook Lite has reached 100 million monthly active users in less than nine months since it launched, making it our fastest-growing version of Facebook to hit that milestone.
  • Facebook Lite was built to use less data and work well despite constrained telecom networks, especially in developing countries.
  • And also Consuming less than 1 MB space, Facebook Lite supports over 50 languages languages.
2) ISRO successfully launches navigation satellite IRNSS-1F.
  • ISRO’s sixth navigation satellite IRNSS-1F was successfully launched PSLV C32 from the spaceport in Sriharikota.
  • IRNSS 1F satellite is part of the space segment satellites of the IRNSS system that has total constellation of seven satellites. It has a 12 year mission life.
  • It is 44.4 metre tall and has a liftoff mass of 1,425 kg. It will be located in the Geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) in the space with a 20,657 km apogee (farthest point to Earth) and 284 km perigee (nearest point to Earth).
  • It equipped with two types of payloads and navigation payload and ranging devices.
  • The navigation payload will be mainly used to transmit navigation service signals to the users.
About IRNSS System:
  • IRNSS System consists of constellation of seven satellites of which three are geostationary and four are non-geostationary.
4 Geosynchronous satellites: They will be orbiting in pairs in two inclined geosynchronous orbits. When observed from the ground, these 2 pairs of satellites will appear to travel in figures of ‘8’.
3 geostationary satellites: They will be placed in the geostationary orbit over the equator. They match the Earth’s rotation and shall remain at a fixed position in the sky.
Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation.
Disaster Management.
Vehicle tracking and fleet management.
Integration with mobile phones.
Precise Timing.
Mapping and Geodetic data capture.
Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers.
Visual and voice navigation for drivers.
3) India to launch 25 foreign satellites from 7 countries this year.
  • India will launch 25 foreign satellites belonging to seven countries, with the USA topping the list in 2016-17.
  • Jitendra Singh, minister of state in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) which looks after the department of space, 57 foreign satellites from 21 countries have been launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
  • Antrix - the commercial arm of ISRO - has signed agreements with Algeria and Canada for launching three satellites each, four for Germany, one each for Japan and Malaysia and 12 for the USA in 2016-17.
  • ISRO earned 80 million euros for the launch.
4) BSNL teams up with Tata Sky for video-on-demand service.
  • State run telecom firm BSNL has decided to offer video-on-demand services to their 2 crore plus customers pan-India.
  • They have announced partnership with Tata Sky to kickstart their operations right away.
  • Once a BSNL subscriber selects video-on-demand service, then the connectivity and bandwidth shall be provided by BSNL while content would be provided by Tata Sky, who have around 4000 titles available right now on their platform.
  • Tata Sky, which have 1.1 crore subscribers will get more visibility and branding infront of BSNL customers.
  • This also marks a first of its kind partnership between a public and private entity for providing a service which is unconventional in India. 
5) New frog species discovered in India’s wastelands.
  • A team of researchers from India and the National University of Singapore (NUS) has discovered a new species of narrow-mouthed frog in the laterite rock formations of India’s coastal plains.
  • The tiny frog measures 1.7 cm and is called Laterite narrow-mouthed frog (Microhyla laterite), after the laterite rock formation from where the frog was discovered.
  • The new species belongs to the genus Microhyla, which now comprises 39 species, distributed across South and Southeast Asia.
  • They are broadly considered as rocky areas as they are usually devoid of trees and other vegetation, and are therefore classified as wastelands.
  • This study was conducted along the West coast of India.
6) Wikipedia developing speech engine for visually impaired users.
  • Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, has teamed up with KTH Royal Institute of Technology to develop the world`s first crowdsourced speech engine.
  • The platform is aimed at providing access to Wikipedia and other wikis to users having reading difficulties or visually impaired.
  • It will be optimized for Wikipedia but available as open source.
  • Joakim Gustafson, professor of speech synthesis technology added that the first tests will be carried out in Sweden.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation estimates that 25% of users – 125 million people per month – prefer or need a voice device for reading texts.
  • Wikipedia plans to have English, Swedish and Arabic ready by the end of the year before moving on to the other 280 languages its site supports.
7) India Successfully Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable Agni I Missile.
  • India has successfully test-fired its indigenously built nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-I ballistic missile, capable of hitting a target 700 kms away, from a test range off Odisha coast as part of a user trial by the Army.
  • The missile was fired from mobile launcher at launchpad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) off the Odisha coast.
  • It was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory, the premier missile development laboratory of DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory, Research Centre Imarat and was integrated by Hyderabad based Bharat Dynamics Limited.
  • It weighs around 12 tonnes and is 15-metre-long.
  • Designed to carry both conventional and nuclear payload of about 1000 kg.
  • It can travel at a speed of 2.5 km/s and can destroy targets ranging between 700 and 1250 kms away.
8) Glenmark gets final FDA nod for migraine headache relief drug.
  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals announced that it received the final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to manufacture and market Frovatriptan Succinate tablets in the American market.
  • The Frovatriptan Succinate Tablets, 2.5 mg, which is therapeutical equivalent of Endo Pharmaceutical`s Frova tablets 2.5 mg.
  • Frovatriptan is used to treat migraines and helps to relieve other migraine symptoms.
  • It belongs to a class of drugs known as triptans.
  • It affects a certain natural substance (serotonin) that causes narrowing of blood vessels in the brain. 
9) Earthquake warning system installed at Haryana govts building.
  • Haryana successfully installed the first ever Early Earthquake Warning and Security System (onsite) in the country as a pilot project at New Secretariat in Chandigarh.
  • The system was installed by New Delhi based Terra Techcom Private Limited and Secretary Electronics GmbH, Germany.
  • This device can save thousands of lives and reduce the losses in case of severe earthquake.
  • It works on the principle of detection of primary and secondary seismic waves of an earthquake.
  • The primary waves are fastest kind of seismic wave and are the initial vertical movements beneath the earth that do not cause any damage.
  • The secondary waves that travel beneath the earth horizontally and have the potential to cause damage. They are generally known to us as an earthquake.
10) ExoMars 2016 spacecraft successfully launched by Europe and Russia.
  • The joint European/Russian ExoMars spacecraft successfully launched at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Proton-M rocket.
  • A joint mission by the European and Russian space agencies, the probe will circle the red planet and measure minute levels of atmospheric gases.
ExoMars 2016:
  • It consists of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli, an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module.
  • The spacecraft is currently circling in a temporary and preliminary parking orbit around Earth following liftoff of the 191-foot-tall (58-meter)
  • A total of four more burns from the Breeze-M upper stage are required to boost ExoMars higher and propel it outwards on its seven-month-long journey to the Red Planet.
About Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli :
  1. Its sole purpose is to search (trace) evidence of methane (CH4) and other atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes on Mars.
  2. TGO has 4 suites of science instruments. They are ACS (Atmospheric Chemistry Suite), FREND (Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector), CaSSIS (Color and Stereo Surface Imaging System) and NOMAD (Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery).
  3. Schiaparelli will obtain measurements of electric fields on the Mar’s surface combined with measurements of the concentration of atmospheric dust.
  4. For the first time it will provide new insights into the role of electric forces on dust lifting, the trigger for dust storms on the Martian surface.
11) IAF successfully conducts combat drills; Astra, Akash missiles and LCA Tejas.
  • The Indian Air Force`s (IAF) long-awaited Exercise Iron Fist 2016 was successfully conducted at the Air Force Firing Range, Pokhran, in Rajasthan`s Thar desert.
  • The day-night exercise demonstrating IAF’s combat and fire power was conducted in the presence of Hon’ble President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The massive exercise that included both a day and night components saw over 180 aircraft from the IAF inventory, which included fighters, transport and helicopters, in action and some firing missiles as well.
  • The event comprised 6 packages depicting 6 different themes in which more than 180 aircraft, including fighters, transport and helicopters of IAF participated
  • The event mainly showcased more than 22 types of platforms and Weapons Systems of IAF.
The event comprised six packages:
  1. Fly Past
  2. Net Enabled Operations
  3. Air Defence Operations
  4. Combat Support Operations
  5. Flying Displays
  6. All Weather Operations