Research

IISC, Park Systems to open Nanoscience Lab

IISC, Park Systems to open Nanoscience Lab
IISC Bangalore India and Park Systems to open ‘Park Nanoscience Lab’ at Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE). The Nanoscience Lab will be equipped with Park NX20 AFM at the CeNSE & will hold workshops on the latest advancements in nanometrology. The Lab at Indian Institute is a tremendous step forward for researchers in India in fields of science & technology.

NCERT introducing QR code in textbooks

NCERT introducing QR code in textbooks
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has initiated the process of introducing QR code in their textbooks. The move aims at helping students understand chapters better by reading additional content on laptops & digital boards. Quick Response (QR) Code is a machine-readable code used for storing web-links which can be read by a camera on a smartphone.

Athena to beam internet on earth

Athena to beam internet on earth
Facebook is working on an internet satellite project called ‘Athena’ to beam internet connectivity down to Earth. The company aims to launch the satellite in early 2019. The new satellite project will provide broadband internet connections to “unserved and underserved areas”.

NASA launches online toolkit

NASA launches online toolkit
NASA has launched an online toolkit to make it easier for users to find, analyse and utilise the most relevant satellite data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts. The “Remote Sensing Toolkit” provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input. The toolkit is designed to help users search for data as well as code to build new tools.

“World’s first” remote LEAP microscope

IIT Madras has launched “world’s first” remotely operatable microscope that would enable a precise atom-by-atom view of a material. The Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) was developed in a collaborative exercise involving eight top research institutions headed by IIT Madras. It was developed at a cost of Rs 40 crore.

Seminar on Conservation of Tribes

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) is organizing a Seminar on Conservation of Tribes of Andaman & Nicobar Islands in New Delhi. This Seminar is being organized by Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) and Directors of 18 Tribal Research Institutes. NCST, a Constitutional body set up under Article 338(A) of the Constitution protects the interests of Scheduled Tribes.

World’s 1st Manta ray nursery discovered

Researchers have identified the first recognized giant manta ray nursery in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has recognised them as endangered species and is working on providing a natural habitat. Manta rays live in deep tropical and subtropical waters, making the study of the sea creatures quite difficult.

3-day national yoga olympiad-2018

A 3-day National Yoga Olympiad was inaugurated at the National Council of Educational Research and Training in CIET in New Delhi. This is the third consecutive year of National Yoga Olympiad of NCERT and this year about 500 students from 26 States and 4 RIEs are participating. Two books – Joy of Theatre and Sangeet — training packages were released on the occasion.

Scientists seek to find mass of ghost particle

Researchers in Germany with Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino experiment have started collecting data to determine the mass of the universe’s lightest particle- neutrino. Those are sometimes called “ghost particles” because they’re so difficult to detect. KATRIN measures the neutrino mass in a model-independent way via ultrahigh precision measurements of the kinematics of electrons from beta-decay.

ISRO’s scientists discover an ‘EPIC’ planet

A team from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, has spotted for the first time a distant planet six times bigger than Earth and revolving around a Sun-like star about 600 light years away. Both the planet and the star have been named EPIC. EPIC 211945201b (or K2-236b) is the name given to the planet and the host star is named EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.

Scientists in India discover a planet

Scientists at Ahmedabad’s Physical Research Laboratory have discovered an exoplanet, propelling India into a select group of countries which have found planets outside the solar system. The ‘super-Neptune’ is about 27 times the mass of Earth and six times its radius. It is most likely ‘uninhabitable’ due to the proximity to its star, 600 light-years away from Earth, scientists found.

IISc developed ‘LifeBox’ to transport organs

Researchers at IISc Bangalore have developed a ‘LifeBox’ that can extend the preservation time of organs, specifically the heart, and allows for increased travel time and distances. Researchers said that transport of organs using drones could cut down the transportation time by at least 50% compared to green corridors. The technology was used to transport a payload for 10 km.

Upgraded Pinaka rocket successfully test-fired

An upgraded version of Pinaka rocket, with a guidance system and an enhanced range, was successfully test-fired from the Proof & Experiment Establishment at Chandipur in Odisha. Pinaka has now been upgraded into a guided version, with a navigation, guidance & control kit developed by the Research Centre, Imarat, Hyderabad. The conversion helped in enhancing the range and accuracy of Pinaka.

First Indian to receive Linnean Medal

Indian botanist Kamaljit Bawa received the Linnean Medal in Botany from Linnean Society of London. Bawa is the 1st Indian to win the award ever since it was constituted in 1888. He was recognised for his pioneering research on evolution of tropical plants, tropical deforestation & non-timber forest products. Linnean Medal is awarded to a biologist every year by the Linnean Society of London

Swraj Paul wins lifetime achievement award

NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has received a lifetime achievement award for his contributions towards promoting brand India in UK. The founder of Caparo Group of industries, Paul was recognised at a UK & Asia Business Awards ceremony, organised by World Consulting & Research Corporation. He has also served as the deputy speaker of the Lords & was appointed to the Privy Council in 2009.

ISRO making green propellant

Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation have reported progress in the development of an environment-friendly propellant to power satellites and spacecraft. The effort is to replace the conventional hydrazine rocket fuel, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical, with a greener propellant. ISRO has started working on propellant blend based on hydroxylammonium nitrate.

India fast losing mangrove cover

According to the report, India has ranked ninth in the area of mangrove forests it lost between 2000 and 2015, but the rate of loss is only half the global average. The report has been published by the Woods Hole Research Center, a think tank based in Massachusetts, USA. While Malaysia, Myanmar, Brazil, and Thailand were other countries to lose maximum cover during the period of study.

Trump axes funding for NASA system

The Trump administration has eliminated funding for NASA’s research program that tracks greenhouse gases around the world.The Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10m (£7m)-a-year project tracks the world’s flow of carbon dioxide from space.The US’s environmental policy has shifted under Trump administration, which wants to bolster the US’s fossil fuel industry.

Beijing to hold World Robot Conference

The 2018 World Robot Conference will be held in Beijing from August 15 to 19. The event will see over 12,000 competing teams and 50,000 participants from more than 10 countries and regions. The conference will greatly stimulate passion and innovation in the robot industry as well as help with research and development.

New sheep insemination technique developed

Scientists at the Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI), have come up with a new laparoscope-assisted insemination technique for sheep. The minor invasive laparoscopic technique involves passing a rigid fiber-optic laparoscope into the abdomen through a small incision. Scientists said the new technique would help achieve up to 60% survival in the birth of lambs.

NITI Aayog and Google sign SoI for AI

A Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed between Google and NITI Aayog.The move is aimed at fostering growth for India’s nascent AI and machine learning ecosystem. The NITI Aayog has been entrusted to set up a national programme to conduct research and development in frontier technologies such as AI. Under this program, Google will train, mentor and incubate Indian AI startups.

Copper-Bronze age chariots discovered

The “first ever” physical evidence of chariots dating from 2000 BC – 1800 BC have been found by the Archeological Survey of India. It was found during a trial excavation in Sanauli village near Baghpat. Decorated with copper motifs, the findings of the Copper-Bronze age have opened up further research opportunities into the area’s civilisation and culture.

Indian Culinary Institute inaugurated

The Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) was inaugurated by Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons in Noida on April 27, 2018.The institute will further government’s commitment to creating skilled manpower in the field of hospitality.It will also help in promoting the research and development in Culinary Arts. Another ICI campus is being set up in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati.

BARC offers first indigenous bulletproof vest

The Bhabha Atomic Reseach Centre (BARC) has developed a next-generation bulletproof jacket for the Indian armed forces, which is not only cheaper but also much lighter.The bullet jacket, named Bhabha Kavach, will reduce the weight of jacket by nearly 50%. Bhabha Kavach is made of boron carbide and carbon nanotube polymer composite.

Government makes an agreement with World Bank

The government has entered into a legal agreement with the World Bank for financing the research towards early development for bio-pharmaceuticals. The aim is to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective bio-pharmaceutical products. This mission will mark the beginning of a new partnership between the Department of Biotechnology & the World Bank.

Western Ghats reveal smallest land fern

Indian researchers have discovered the world’s smallest land fern hiding in the Ahwa forests of the Western Ghats in Gujarat’s Dang district.The fingernail-sized fern belongs to a group known as the adder’s-tongue ferns. The size of the new Malvi’s adder’s-tongue fern ‘Ophioglossum malviae’ is just one centimetre.

Mechanism of deadly fungal infection found

Scientists have discovered a unique mechanism that drives the spread of a rare and deadly fungal infection that affects the lungs and brain. Cptococcosirys is a fungal infection that usually only occurs in people with impaired immunity, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham. The infection affects the lungs first, because it is acquired by inhaling fungal spores.

Isro to launch slew of military satellites

Indian Space Research Organisation is gearing up to launch a slew of important satellites in the coming months.Some of these satellites are significant as they will help military keep an eye on our neighbours & safeguard our land & sea borders. ISRO will launch a dedicated satellite, Gsat-7A, for Indian Air Force & an advanced remote sensing satellite, Risat-2A, for surveillance purpose.

Scientists in Spain create a new record

Researchers based out in Spain cramp down light to lesser than a nanometer, that is, a space of 1 atom.The team did so by squeezing plasmons into a gap between graphene and metal. This is the smallest confinement done till date. This work was performed in collaboration with MIT (USA) and University of Minho (Portugal).

NRDC to develop ASEAN technology data bank

The National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) will establish a technology data bank for ASEAN region as part of ASEAN-India Innovation Platform.The corporation has been entrusted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to manage the platform for a period of four years. The proposed data bank will link existing data banks of available technologies in the ASEAN region.

3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB

2nd lead-up Conference to 3rd Annual Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on ‘Enhancing Port and Coastal Infrastructure’ was held in Visakhapatnam.The Conference was organized by the Ministry of Finance, AIIB, CII and Research and Infrastructure System for Developing Countries.The need for international funding for developing and maintaining inland waterways was discussed.

New plant species found in Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered a new plant species from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot.Classified as a sedge, the grass-like plant has been named ‘Fimbristylis agasthyamalaensis’ after the locality from which it was found. The new species belongs to the Cyperaceae family. In India, the genus is represented by 122 species, of which 87 are reported from the Western Ghats.

NASA test launches Mars landing parachute

A supersonic parachute that will help NASA missions to land on Mars, was successfully launched into the sky.The Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) was launched on March 31 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in the US. The test was meant to mimic the conditions that a spacecraft would experience during a red planet entry, descent and landing.

NASA to focus on Earth?s frozen regions

NASA will launch two new satellite missions to know more about the Earth‘s ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice, snow and permafrost. NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences are scheduled to launch the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission in this spring. And in autumn, NASA is scheduled to launch the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2).

SACF receives Frederick Pincott Award

South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF), has received the Frederick Pincott Award for 2017 from the Indian High Commissioner for promoting Hindi cinema in Britain. The institution has been active in boosting original research and books on Indian films. SACF‘s have made documentaries like ‘Beyond Partition’, ‘Niranjan Pal’ and ‘Indo-British Cinematic Encounters’.

Indians least criminal among major economies

According to Institute for Criminal Policy Research, India has a lower imprisonment rate compared with other major economies. In India 33 of every 1 lakh Indians are behind bars. US, with 666 of every 1 lakh Americans behind bars, has the highest imprisonment rate among major countries. India‘s neighbours, China has a prison population rate at 118, while Pak is at 44 & Sri Lanka is at 78.

Bilaspur’s stone age tools link to Sivaliks

Researchers from the Anthropological Survey of India have discovered a number of Acheulian artefacts (dated to about 1, 500,000–1,50,000 years ago) along with Soanian ones from an unexplored site at Ghumarwin in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. The Soanian stone age cultures date to 6,00,000 years ago. The oldest dated Acheulian sites in India are those at Attirampakkam in Tamil Nadu.

New fish species identified in Manipur

A new freshwater fish species have been identified in the north-eastern state of Manipur. The new fish species, ‘Pethia poiensis’, was found by a research team of Manipur University‘s life sciences department and a researcher from the Zoological Survey of India in the Challou River in Manipur. These fish species is locally known as ‘Ngakha macha’ in Manipur

NASA to Build ‘HAMMER’ Spacecraft

NASA has drawn up plans to build a huge nuclear spacecraft that is capable of shunting or blowing up dangerous space rocks and safeguarding life on Earth. The spacecraft named Hammer (Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response) is an eight-tonne spaceship which could deflect a giant space rock. The 1,600-foot-wide asteroid Bennu is circling the sun at 63,000 mph.

AYUSH Drug QOL-2C for Cancer Patients

Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) has undertaken the development of a coded drug AYUSH QOL-2C for cancer patients. The clinical studies were conducted at St. John‘s Medical College, Bengaluru and AIIMS, New Delhi in breast cancer patients. The study was also conducted at Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur in lung cancer patients.

India tops list of arm buyer

Arms import by India increased by 24% between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017 period as per data on international arms transfers released by International Peace Research Institute. India is followed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, China, Austrailia, Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan and Indonesia as the world top importers. The largest arms suppliers to India are Russia (62%), US (15%) and Israel (11%).

India’s 1st coastal policing academy to start

Country‘s 1st national academy to train police forces in effectively safeguarding the Indian shoreline will start functioning from the next month. National Academy of Coastal Policing will be launched from a campus of Gujarat‘s Fisheries Research Centre located in coastal Okha in the newly created Devbhoomi Dwarka district. It will be created and run by a team of paramilitary defence forces.

John Sulston human genome pioneer passed away

British genome pioneer Sir John Sulston has died aged 75. Sir John won a Nobel Prize in 2002 for his work on the development of cells within a humble worm, which paved the way for innovations in cancer research. He was known as a passionate believer in pushing the boundaries of science and in making data on the human genome available to all.

Rare mineral inside diamond discovered

Geologists have discovered a mineral known as calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3) trapped inside a tiny diamond that was mined from less than a kilometre of the earth‘s surface at the Cullinan Mine in South Africa. Calcium silicate perovskite is in abundance in Earth‘s mantle. Humans have never seen it before because it becomes extremely unstable above a depth of about 650 kilometres.

Association of Metro Trains launched

‘I-METROS’, an association of all Indian Metro Rail companies was launched by Cabinet Secretary. The platform will be a forum for exchange of ideas, pooling of knowledge and sharing of experience, best practices, innovations etc. among the Indian Metro Rail companies to nurture excellence in performance. This association will also undertake and promote techno-economic studies and research.

Researchers find plants with rare minerals

In a first, researchers have discovered on alpine plants a rare mineral that holds potential as a new material for industrial and medical applications. The mineral vaterite, a form of calcium carbonate, is a dominant component of the protective silvery-white crust that forms on the leaves of a number of alpine plants. It is according to the study published in the journal Flora.

Prevention of food loss by Radiation

7 : Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) & Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in particular is engaged in extensive research on the use of radiation processing for extending shelf life of food products. Irradiation is very effective in treating agricultural produce to enhance its shelf life. Application of nuclear techniques has helped in increasing productivity and production in agriculture.

New malware threat looms over cyberspace

The cybersecurity agencies have detected a new malware called Saposhi, which is capable of taking over electronic devices and turning them into bots. Bots can be then used for any purpose, including a Distributed Denial Of Service attack which can cripple entire industries. Depending on the size of the botnet, malware can execute multiple DDOS attacks at the same time.

The reptile that could detach its tail

Scientists have identified ancient reptiles dating back to 289 million years ago that could detach their tails to escape the grasp of their predators. The reptiles, called Captorhinus, weighed less than two kilograms and were smaller than the predators of the time. Captorhinus are small omnivores and herbivores, and its relatives had to scrounge for food while avoiding being preyed upon.

Russia, China to create joint data centre

Russia and China have agreed to set up a joint data centre for lunar and deep space projects, Russian space agency Roscosmos said. The Russian agency and China National Space Administration will look into possibilities of providing assistance to each other‘s lunar programmes. Last year, the two agencies had agreed on a bilateral cooperation programme, including research on the moon.

NASA finds water on Saturn-mass planet

Using NASA‘s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, astronomers have found evidence of water in the atmosphere of a Saturn-mass exoplanet some 700 light-years away. The planet, WASP-39b, has three times as much water as Saturn does, which suggests it developed far away from its host star, where it was bombarded by a lot of icy material, said NASA.

Distant galaxy void of dark matter found

Researchers found a galaxy, known as ‘NGC1052-DF2’ that lacks the enigmatic substance known as the dark matter, which is generally considered as an essential ingredient in the birth of galaxies. Researchers used the Gemini-North Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) to capture detailed images of NGC1052-DF2. The team‘s results demonstrate that dark matter is separable from galaxies.

Colonies of penguins discovered in Antarctica

‘Mega-colonies’ of over 15 lakh Adélie penguins have been discovered on Danger Islands near the Antarctic peninsula. Prompted by satellite images, scientists mounted on an expedition and used on-the-ground counts and drones to reveal 7,51,527 pairs of penguins. Researchers have called for protecting the area, five times larger than Germany, as it was seemingly unaffected by climate change.

CSIR project to find pollution spots

To warn people of pollution hotspots, the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies is rolling out a project to install pollution sensors at the Capital’s traffic junctions.The aim is to develop a messaging alert system that will warn people of spikes in pollution in certain localities. NISTADS is the policy arm of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

New record for fastest distance measurements

Germany and France-based researchers have recorded 100 million distance values per second, demonstrating the fastest distance measurement so far.The team studied a bullet travelling at 540 kmph with micrometre accuracy using laser-based LIDAR (light detection and ranging). This technology could be used in autonomous navigation and 3D cameras.

India Signs MoU With IDRC

An MoU between the Government of India and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) was signed in New Delhi.The agreement was signed to usher the “programme based research support” in addressing current and future global and local developmental challenges. IDRC has funded 551 research activities worth CA$159 million in India through institutions, researchers and NGOs.

UK, India launch joint research projects

UK- India Joint research projects on Water Quality Research & Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment were launched in New Delhi.Water Quality Research programme has 8 projects & Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment programme has 4 projects. Projects aims to deliver benefits & research solutions not only to UK & India but also to address global sustainable development goals.

ISRO plans to launch 2nd space observatory

Indian Space Research Organisation is planning to launch the country’s second AstroSat-2 or space observatory.The mission is meant to further the study of astronomy and astrophysics.The advantage of having such a space observatory in outer space is that it helps observe distant planets, galaxies and other astronomical objects more clearly than from the Earth.

India to land Chandrayaan-2 on Moon

India, which has been making strides in the space race, is set to land its Chandrayaan-2 on the Moon in April.Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1 which discovered the presence of water on the surface of the moon. The mission will cost around 800 crore rupees which includes cost of orbiter, lander and rover.

Delhi-Pune in top ten air routes

Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi, Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi and Mumbai-Bengaluru-Mumbai routes continued on top, ranked in terms of number of seats deployed. Routes such as Delhi-Pune-Delhi have, however, climbed from the fifteenth place in 2007 to the sixth place in 2017. It is according to data sourced from civil aviation research firm OAG.

UK team to study ice shelf in the Antarctic

14 : A British Antarctic Survey-led team will investigate a marine ecosystem hidden for up to 120,000 years beneath the Larsen C Ice Shelf, which lost a trillion-tonne iceberg last year.They will investigate the 5,818-square-km of seabed left exposed by the separation. The team plans to conduct the research before sunlight changes the undersea environment changes, giving birth to new species.

Russia seeks ?125 crore to repair INS Chakra

Russian authorities have demanded over $20 million for rectifying the damage suffered by nuclear submarine INS Chakra, which was dry-docked last week.Before INS Chakra, indigenously built nuclear ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant suffered extensive damage because of human error over a year ago. INS Chakra is a Russia-made, nuclear-propelled, hunter-killer submarine.

World’s first robot ski competition held

World’s first robot ski competition was held in South Korea in which self-operational humanoid skiers with two legs participated wearing skis.The robots were reportedly equipped with sensors, batteries and deep learning algorithms that allowed them to move on their own. Eight teams from local universities and tech firms took part in the competition, reports said.

Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal

Scientists have discovered three new species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal coast in the past few months. One was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. The other two species were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. A description of all the three new species was published in the journal Zootaxa.

International Conference on Unani Medicine

The International conference on Unani Medicine was inaugurated by Dr. Jitendra Singh at New Delhi.The theme of the conference is Integration of Unani System of Medicine in main stream healthcare. It is organized by Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, under the Ministry of AYUSH. This year is special for Unani fraternity as it is the 150th Birth Anniversary of Hakim Ajmal Khan.

` 1,650cr allotted for PM Research Fellow plan

The Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of ‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows’ scheme at a cost of ?1,650 crore for a period of seven years starting 2018-2019.Under the scheme, students pursuing PhD in IITs and IISc will be offered fellowships worth ?70,000-80,000 per month for five years.A total of 3,000 fellows will be selected for the fellowship.

Most cryptocurrencies to hit zero: Goldman

Goldman Sachs’ head of investment research Steve Strongin has said most cryptocurrencies will lose all their value as they are replaced by a small set of future competitors.Adding that cryptocurrencies don’t have any “intrinsic value”, he said most will never see their recent peaks again.It’s worrying that all cryptocurrencies move together as a single asset class, he added.

Second shipwreck found near Vizag

A 2nd shipwreck was discovered by a team of experienced divers in the sea off Bheemunipatnam, 45 km from Vizag.This comes a month after a century-old shipwreck was unearthed in the region.An extremely rare species of Goliath grouper fish, considered to be the keystone species of an ecosystem is also found here. This fish is recognised as a critically endangered species by the IUCN.

Prithvi-II missile successfully test-fired

India successfully test-fired indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile on Wednesday.The surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kg of warheads.Developed under DRDO’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, Prithvi-II uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.

Material 100,000 times thinner than paper

IIT Gandhinagar researchers claim to have created the world’s thinnest material, measuring one nanometre, about 100,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper.The 2D material was made using Magnesium diboride for the first time with boron atoms in a honeycomb structure. Scientists have earlier made single-atom-thick graphene, a 2D form of carbon, whose discovery won the 2010 Physics Nobel.

Indian rover to spend 14 days on Moon

ISRO is leaving no stone unturned to make the Chandrayaan-2 (lunar-2) mission a success.This time, heavy-payload lifter GSLV Mk II will launch the spacecraft weighing 3,290kg as the module will carry an orbiter, a rover and a lander to the moon.Chandrayaan- 2, will spend 14 Earth days on the lunar surface, before going into sleep mode.

New AI system can train robots for armies

Scientists have developed an AI Technique that will teach robots and computer programmes to interact with a human instructor and perform tasks for the army.Researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory and the University of Texas considered a specific case where a human provides real-time feedback in the form of critique.The team developed a new algorithm called Deep TAMER.

Ancient Mayan city discovered under jungle

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Mayan city in the jungle of Guatemala’s Peten region using an aerial mapping technique.Researchers mapped over 2,100 square kilometre of the region and found more than 60,000 hidden Mayan ruins, including houses, buildings, defence works and pyramids.As per estimates, nearly one crore people may have inhabited the ancient city.

Chandrayaan-2 to land near Moon’s south pole

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to send the Chandrayaan-2 on the world’s first-ever mission to soft-land near the Moon’s south pole. Former ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar said the mission could take place either in the first quarter or second half of 2018.The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II will reportedly carry the Chandrayaan-2.

Evidence of particle predicted in 1970s found

A team of over 100 physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in France claimed to have found a potential evidence of the existence of a subatomic quasiparticle called ‘Odderon’.It’s existence was first predicted in the 1970s.The finding, which was brought about during the analysis of proton collisions, may help refine the current Standard Model of particle physics.

Interaction b/w Dinosaur & mammals found

A sandstone containing at least 70 mammal and dinosaur tracks was discovered at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.They are older than 100 million years, according to a new paper published by journal Scientific Reports.The sandstone shows that there was interaction between mammals and dinosaurs.

Fossil of dinosaur dug up in Egypt

Scientists have unearthed in a Sahara Desert oasis in Egypt fossils of a long-necked, four-legged, school bus-sized dinosaur that lived roughly 80 million years ago.Researchers said the plant-eating Cretaceous Period dinosaur, named Mansourasaurus shahinae, was nearly 33 feet (10 metres) long. He was a member of a group called titanosaurs that included Earth’s largest-ever land animals.

4 schemes to promote young scientists-2

The third scheme –Distinguished Investigator Award — offers a maximum of 100 fellowships to principal investigators of Science and Engineering Research Board/Department of Science and Technology projects.The fourth scheme ‘Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR)’ aims to encourage science writing. The scheme seeks to tap the potential of over 20,000 PhD scholars.

4 schemes to promote young scientists-1

The government announced four new schemes to promote young scientists and researchers.Teacher Associateship for Research Excellence Scheme will connect the educators to leading public funded institutions like IIT, IISc to pursue research. The 2nd scheme Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship offers support to 100 PhD scholars for training in universities/laboratories abroad up to 12 months.

Homeopathy Research Institute in Jaipur

Minister of State, for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik laid the foundation stone for Central Research Institute in Jaipur.This will be the 3rd CRI under the aegis of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy. In his address during the stone laying ceremony, Sh. Naik stated that Ministry of AYUSH is determined towards a focused infrastructural push to Homoeopathy and other systems of AYUSH.

Moss that can remove lead from water

Scientists have identified a type of moss that can efficiently absorb a large amount of lead, providing a green alternative for decontaminating polluted water and soil.Lead-contaminated water is a serious environmental concern. Researchers from RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan conducted the research.

Pact signed for research incubator

The Odisha government has signed an agreement to set up an incubator for promoting research with Software Technology Park of India.VARCoE will be set up at the campus of IIT, Bhubaneswar and it will become a landmark initiative for promoting research, technology incubation and product development in the country. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, was present during the signing of the agreement.

India and Israel signed the following MoUs.

Israel will invest $68.6m to boost cooperation with India in areas like technology, tourism, agriculture and innovation in 4 years.India and Israel inked 9 pacts in cyber security medicine and oil & gas sectors. Both announced joint research and development projects under the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).

Third Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi

3rd edition of the Raisina Dialogue was held on January 16. It was inaugurated by PM of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.Theme – “Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms”. First held in 2016, it is a multilateral conference held annually in Delhi.It is Indian Government’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics, hosted by ‘Observer Research Foundation’.Israel PM Netanyahu’s visit – Part 2

India Ratings projects growth at 7.1%

18 : India Ratings & Research has projected country’s economic growth to be at 7.1% next fiscal from 6.5% this year, buoyed by robust consumption demand & low commodity prices.Ind-Ra expects GDP to grow 7.1% year-on-year in 2018-19 which is a tad lower than 7.4% growth estimated by ADB & IMF. Agency said there will be a gradual pick up in growth momentum owing to reforms like GST & IBC in place.

Indian Oil signs LoI with Israeli Firms

Indian Oil Corporation has signed letters of intent with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up, & YEDA, a technology spin-off from Israel’s Weizmann Research Institute.The agreement with Phinergy allows IndianOil to work on adoption of advanced energy systems for the domestic market. This association could lead to the setting up of manufacturing units for these energy systems, initially in India.

First image taken by Cartosat-2

The first-day image captured by India’s recently launched weather observation Cartosat-2 series satellite shows a part of Indore city in Madhya Pradesh.The image was acquired on January 15, three days after the launch of the satellite.Cartosat-2 Series satellite was successfully launched onboard the PSLV-C40 rocket on January 12 by ISRO from its spaceport at Sriharikota, 110 km from here.

India’s GDP to reach 7.3% by 2020-22

The Indian economy is expected to witness an average GDP growth of 7.3 per cent over 2020-22, says a Morgan Stanley research report.The report said that the growth recovery and normalising food prices are expected to drive a pick-up in inflation.The Reserve Bank in its fifth bi-monthly review of this fiscal kept the repo rate unchanged at 6 per cent and reverse repo at 5.75 per cent

Moon Landing tests for Chandrayaan-2

13 : In a bid to land on the moon, ISRO is going to conduct landing simulation tests for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft at Mahendragiri.Chandrayaan-2 mission comprises an orbiter, lander and six-wheeled rover which would move around the landing site and would send back data to study the lunar surface. ISRO is chaired by A.S. Kiran Kumar.

ISRO launches its 100th Satellite

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.It carries 31 satellites in total from countries including India and six other countries. Cartosat 2, a surveillance satellite that was part of India’s 100th satellite was placed into sun-synchronous orbit according to ISRO. The satellites are to be launched in two orbits which makes the mission a unique one.

Rajasthan to digitise historical records

With an aim to protect old and fragile documents, the Rajasthan government is digitising 10,000 pages daily to preserve administrative and historical records of Rajputana’s princely states.The move will further boost the state government’s effort to use technology to improve the lives of people. The online records will help research scholars, administrative departments of state government.

Dr Sivan K Appointed New ISRO Chairman

The government appointed renowned scientist Sivan K as the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation.Sivan, at present Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, will succeed Kumar, who was appointed on January 12, 2015. He was graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in Aeronautical Engineering in 1980. ISRO was established in 1969.

New Online Vendor Reg System by Railways

Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of Ministry of Railways, has launched ‘New Online Vendor Registration System’.This new system provides major improvements and big changes in the registration system over the earlier system. This system was evolved by Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal.

ISRO mulls launching 65 satellites

The Indian Space Research Organisation has set itself an ambitious to-do list for making and launching around 65 satellites for a slew of uses.They are planned to be released over the period from 2017 to 2021, according to a top official. The headquarters of ISRO is in Bengaluru.

India unveils its fastest supercomputer

India unveiled Pratyush, an array of computers that can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops.A petaflop is a measure of a computer’s processing speed and can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second. Pratyush is the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world dedicated to weather and climate research and follows machines in Japan, USA and UK.

Chemical ban closes up ozone layer hole

With the declining levels of ozone-destroying chlorine, scientists have for the first time observed less ozone depletion.The findings showed that an international ban on chlorine has resulted in about 20% less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter from 2005 to 2016. CFCs are long-lived chemical compounds that eventually rise into the stratosphere, where they destroy ozone molecules.

Endangered plant species discovered

Scientists have discovered a new endangered species of flowering plants in China.It was discovered in southwest Chinas Yunnan Province during a field survey. The species, Primula Zhui, known in Chinese as Zhu Hua Baochun, was named after Zhu Hua, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

India Excludes Pak from SAARC Initiative

India has excluded Pakistan from the list of SAARC member countries with which it will be connecting its state-of-theart National Knowledge Network.Through NKN scientific databases will be shared and remote access to advanced research facilities will be provided.SAARC is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia.

AB Mathur appointed as interlocutor

The Centre announced the appointment of AB Mathur as the interlocutor on their behalf to hold talks with the United Liberation Front of Assam.A 1975-batch IPS officer, Mathur served as the former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing.ULFA is a separatist outfit operating in Assam for the indigenous Assamese and seeks to establish a sovereign Assam.

India’s GER in Higher Edu.up by 0.7%

The country’s Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education has registered an increase from 24.5% in 2015-16 to 25.2% in 2016-17. It is according to the latest edition of the All India Higher Education Survey launched by HRD Minister Javadekar.GER is a statistical measure for determining the number of students enrolled in under graduate, postgraduate and research level studies within the country