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Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs October 4th Week 2016
Author : priya
Category : Science & Technology Current
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Science & Technology Current Affairs October 4th Week 2016

1) India shows second highest growth in science research.

  • India is at the second position among countries with the highest increase in high-quality scientific research. the growth of research in the country is only behind China’s.
  • The institutions from India among the top 100 highest performers across the globe include Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
  • As many as 40 of the top 100 performers are from China with 24 of those showing growth above 50 per cent since 2012.
  • The US - which remains the largest contributor to high-quality scientific papers overall - has 11 entrants into the top 100, despite many starting from a high base.
  • Chemistry made up for more than half (51 per cent) of India’s scientific contributions to the index in 2015. About 36 per cent was from physical sciences, 09 per cent from life sciences and four per cent from earth and environmental sciences.
2) New climate change culprits discovered.

    Culprits

  • Scientists have discovered two new major clusters of microorganisms contributing to climate change, the second major breakthrough in 12 months towards mapping the tree of life. 
  • The previously unknown group of methane - metabolising micro-organisms appeared to be ancient and widespread in nature.
  • Methane - producing and consuming organisms played an important role in greenhouse gas emissions and consumption, contributing to climate change. 
  • The new methane-producing cluster is found includes wetlands, lake and river estuary sediments, mud volcanoes and deep-sea vents. 
3) European Space Agency targets Mars for October landing of Schiaparelli module.
  • The European Space Agency has teamed up with Russia`s Roscosmos program to land a spacecraft on Mars on October 19.
  • European Space Agency will land the Schiaparelli module on 19 October this year. This will be the first European landing attempt on the red planet since 2003’s ill-fated Beagle 2.

4) Kolkata researchers use human hair to produce cathodes for solar cells. 

    Solar Cells

  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata have used human hair to produce cost-effective, metal-free cathodes for use in solar cells.
  • This is the first instance where a bio-waste-derived electrode has been used as cathode in a quantum dot sensitised solar cell device.
  • Producing graphitic porous carbon cathode using human hair is simple, quick and inexpensive. It has potential to bring down the cost of solar cells.
5) Inox Wind bags 40 MW power project from Malpani Group.

    Inox Wind Bags

  • Inox Wind has bagged repeat orders from Malpani Group for 40 MW wind power projects in Gujarat.
  • Malpani Group has bagged repeat orders from D.J. Malpani for two wind power projects of 20 MW each in the state of Gujarat. The two orders will be executed on turnkey basis and are scheduled to be commissioned by March 2017.
  • The orders involve supply and installation of 20 units of Inox Wind`s latest offering, the 113 meter rotor dia Wind Turbine Generator.
6) India to eliminate potent greenhouse gas HFC-23 (Hydrofluorocarbons).

    green House

  • Taking the lead on tackling climate change, India will eliminate the use of HFC-23, a greenhouse gas that harms the ozone layer, by 2030. As part of its commitment to combat the threat emanating from climate-damaging HFCs. 
  • The major commitment was made by Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, who is in Kigali to attend the high-level segment of the conference on Montreal Protocol. 
  • Giving the go-ahead for releasing the order for incinerating the HFC-23 by producers of HCFC-22 gas, HFC-23 gas, a potent greenhouse gas with global warming potential 14,800 times more than CO2 is produced as a by-product of HCFC-22 manufacturing, and if vented out in environment, it is a threat to the environment". 
  • The incineration of HFC-23 being produced as by-product will ensure an avoidance of more than 444 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent globally. 
7) US has an underwater memorial reef.

    Under Water Memorial Breef

  • The Neptune Memorial Reef near Miami, Florida, is an artificial underwater eternal resting place where people are cremated. 
  • The cremated remains are mixed with cement to form parts of the reef, which includes structures like lion statues, benches, and podiums.
  • The reef is open to the public so families can visit their loved ones at the bottom of the sea.
8) Asia accounts for 50 per cent of total internet users in the world.

    Internet Users

  • Internet users and services continue to grow. The increase in smartphone usage and the lower access costs as well as the growing population are the reasons of increase in number of internet users all over the world.
  • Data released by Internet World Stats shows that internet penetration in the world has almost touched the 50 per cent mark. 
  • Asia has highest number of internet users and accounts for half of total internet users in the world. Total internet users in the world have increased from 3.61 billion in June 2016 to 3.63 billion in October 2016.
  • India stood at 18th place with 36.5 per cent internet penetration as on June 30, 2016.
9) ISRO looking at putting a telescope on moon.

    Isro

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is exploring possibilities of setting up a telescope on moon as part of enhancing its scientific observation capacity. For studies related to black holes and neutron stars. 
  • The space agency is expecting the second moon mission to take place by the end of next year.
  • At present, in Hanle, in Leh, Ladakh, there is a remote telescope operational, and its actual operation is done from Bengaluru with very minimal support from Hanle. 
10) Harsh Vardhan calls for support from scientists.

    Harsh Vardhan

  • Union Minister Harsh Vardhan called upon scientists to think out-of-box in research laboratories, as a number of government’s programmes like Digital India and Make in India need support of the scientific community. All these people-oriented programmes need support from the scientific community to make life of people easy. Therefore, all should think differently to help the people in need.
11) World`s largest solar plant costing $5 billion proposed.

    Solar Plants

  • California based renewable-energy developer Solar Reserve is planning the world`s largest solar energy project, costing an estimated $5 billion.
  • The plant could generate energy equivalent to two nuclear power plants, enough to power one million homes.
  • The proposed concentrated solar plant (CSP) is built over 15,000 acres in Nevada`s desert and will have a capacity of two gigawatts.
12) China opens the `world`s longest sightseeing escalator.

    Escalator

  • A scenic spot in central China has opened an impressive sightseeing escalator to take tourists down a mountain.
  • The 688 meter long (2,260 feet) machine, branded as the world`s longest sightseeing escalator, is located in Hubei province and allows visitors to see the sights during the 18-minute journey.
  • The escalator can transport 7000 people per hour and is expected to carry about 6,00,000 people annually.
13) US Navy commissions most advanced stealth destroyer Zumwalt.

    Navy

  • The US Navy has commissioned its largest, most expensive and technologically advanced destroyer named a ship the USS Zumwalt.
  • The Zumwalt, costing nearly USD 4.4 billion, is striking in appearance, with sharp angles and weaponry concealed behind flat surfaces, a design that makes it many times more difficult to spot on radar than conventional destroyers.
14) Kashmiri Red Stag to be declared as Critically Endangered.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) would be declaring the Kashmiri Red Stag or Hangul as a critically endangered species. 
  • Hangul has been hunted over centuries and its habitat destroyed, leading to its wild population shrinking to 150. The IUCN had earlier categorised it as of Least Concern by clubbing it with European and other red deer species.
15) Typhoon Sarika hits the Philippines.

    Typhoon Sarika

  • Typhoon Sarika battered wide areas of the country’s main island of Luzon, killed at least two people and isolated hundreds of villages due to floods, cutting off communication lines, felling down trees and electric posts as well as inflicting heavy damage on farms was reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
  • Daet in Camarines Norte has reported 224 mm of rain in the last 24 hours and rain was still falling. A little further south, the city of Legaspi reported 139 mm of rain in the same period.
  • The typhoon is creeping along at only 13 kilometres per hour and is still strengthening. By the time it makes landfall in the Aurora province, the sustained winds are forecast to be 185km/h.

16) China successfully launches longest manned space mission.

    Manned Space Mission

  • China successfully launched a spacecraft carrying two astronauts, in its longest-ever manned space mission join its experimental space lab orbiting the Earth as the country moved a step closer to establish its permanent space station by 2022.
  • Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng, 50, and Chen Dong, 37, were blasted off into space by Shenzhou-11 (heavenly vessel) spacecraft at 7:30 am local time (5 am IST) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre near the Gobi Desert in northwest China.
17) IIT-Kharagpur students developing fully indigenous drones. 

    indigenous

  • A group of students at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur is developing drones using indigenous hardware and software. 
  • The drones, being developed under the institute`s Aerial Robotics Kharagpur (ARK) initiative, are being given shape at the Centre for Excellence in Robotics, funded by the Sponsored Research & Industrial Consultancy (SRIC) facility of the Institute. 
  • The Centre has received funding from the Institute to the extent of Rs. 5 crore for 12 projects. 
18) Skill development digital platform UNO Learn launched.

    Skill Development

  • Positive Shift International launched the skill development digital platform UNO Learn to offer skill development courses from industry experts and universities.It will offer 500+ courses now.
  • UNO Learn has signed up with five global institutes – Massachusetts Institute of Tech (MIT), Open University UK, Saylor Academy USA, Future Learn (UK), ZTE University (Taiwan) in addition to 11 domain expert instructors with strong followers on other platforms
  • It will focus on courses – Design, Technology, Business, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Big Data, Digital Marketing, Spoken English, Accounting, Web development, CCNA, CCNP, A+, Networking and Business planning.
19) Japan bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on airplanes over fire risk.
  • Japan has barred all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from airplanes, mirroring moves by US regulators and a string of carriers that banned the recalled devices over fire risk concerns.
20) BomanIrani invests in sports fans connecting app Rooter.

    Boman Irani

  • Versatile Bollywood actor Boman Irani has come on board as an angel investor for Rooter, a first of its kind social platform that connects sports fans and engages them during live sporting events. 
  • Irani has invested an undisclosed amount in the angel investment round enabled by Kwan Entertainment. The round also saw participation from Dhruv Chitgopekar, partner, Kwan Entertainment, and Prantik Dasgupta. 
  • Rooter, available for both Android and Apple`s iOS devices, offers sports fans a chance to connect across real and virtual worlds. The mobile-based platform takes sporting interactions beyond generic social media platforms by allowing fans to connect through pre-match quizzes and chats, live match prediction games and post-match interactions in order to share their insights, predictions, analysis and opinions. 
21) Ashok Leyland launches first India-made electric bus.

    Ashok Leyland

  • The Hinduja flagship Ashok Leyland has launched its first locally designed, engineered and produced battery electric bus series Circuit.
  • A zero-emission, non-polluting vehicle created specifically for Indian road and passenger conditions, the bus has a seating capacity ranging from 35 to 65.
  • These buses were unveiled in lines with National Electric Mobility Plan which aims at a 20% penetration of electric/ hybrid (eco-friendly) vehicles by 2020. They enjoy a subsidy under the Central government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme.
  • It could be used in heritage sites, metro stations, tarmacs, rural areas, hill stations and by IT firms and educational institutions. Already, State Transport Undertakings in Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra have shown interest.
22) New sensor could detect vitamin B12 deficiency within minutes.

    Vitamin

  • Researchers from University of Adelaide have developed a world`s first optical sensor that can detect vitamin B12 in diluted human blood - a novel step towards developing a low-cost and portable deficiency test.
  • Device would enable the tracking of vitamin B12 levels in high-risk patients and early intervention can help overcome the limitations of current testing methods which are time-consuming and costly.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency has been shown to be a potential modifiable risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer`s disease and is associated with cognitive decline.
23) September 2016 hottest on record: NASA.

    Nasa

  • The warmest September in 136 years of record-keeping, meaning 11 of the past 12 consecutive months dating back to October last year have set new monthly high temperature records.
  • According to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA`s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in the US, September 2016`s temperature was a razor-thin 0.004 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest September in 2014.
  • The margin is so narrow that those two months are in a statistical tie. Last month was 0.91 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean September temperature from 1951-1980.
  • The record-warm September means 11 of the past 12 consecutive months dating back to October 2015 have set new monthly high-temperature records.
24) India set to complete N-triad with Arihant commissioning.
  • India is finally close to operationalising its long-awaited nuclear weapons triad - the capability to launch nukes from land, air and sea.
  • INS Arihant’s 750 km and 3,500 km missiles may be somewhat dwarfed by SLBMs with ranges of well over 5,000km with the US, Russia and China, but the completion of the nuclear-triad is critical for a country like India, which has a clearly declared policy of no first-use of nuclear weapons.
  • INS Arihant has undergone a whole host of surface and dived sorties during its trials to prove its sea-worthiness. But the full weapons integration with the K (named after former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam) series of SLBMs will take some more time. While the K-15SLBM has a 750 km range, the K-4 can go up to 3,500 km.
  • INS Arihant is the first of three such SSBNs being constructed under the secretive ATV programme launched decades ago. The construction of the second one, INS Aridhaman, is also almost complete now, with its delivery slated for 2018.
25) TRAI starts discussion on norms for M2M communication.

    NTRAI

  • Telecom regulator TRAI sought industry views on regulatory framework, spectrum, and service quality related requirements for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications a new age technology that is at the heart of concepts such as smart homes and smart cars.
  • According to some estimates, the number of connected devices in India is projected to touch about 275 million by 2020.
  • M2M communication can include a gas, electricity or water meter communicating information it records such as consumption level, or a vending machine alerting distributor when stocks run low, or transmission of data about personal appliances.
26) Two New Green Train Corridors Declared, Bio-Toilets In Our Coaches Are Becoming A Reality.

    Train

  • The Indian Railways declared the Okha-Kanalus (141 Kms) and Porbandar-Wansjaliya (34 Kms) sections of Gujarat in Western Railway as the Green Train Corridors.
  • Green Train Corridors are sections of the railways which will be free of human waste on the tracks. This is being achieved by the installation of bio-toilets in all coaches of Indian Railways.
  • The technology of environment-friendly bio-toilets has been developed jointly by the Indian Railways and the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) through an MoU. These toilets function in a manner that the human waste is collected in tanks below the toilets and the same is decomposed by the use of various bacteria.
27) India to lease another Russian Akula-class nuclear attack submarine.

    Submarine

  • After protracted negotiations, Russia has agreed to lease a second nuclear submarine to India in a deal which will cost around USD 2 billion.
  • The deal was struck during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 15 on the sidelines of the BRICS meet in Goa.
  • Akula-class submarines of Project 97 (NATO name Akula-II) weigh around 8,140 tonnes and expected to arrive in Indian waters in 2020-21. They are considered one of the most silent SSNs in service and are capable of sailing at speeds up to 35 knots.

 


 

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