Science & Technology - 2019 FEBRUARY

February 1

ISRO lists 10 firms to make li-ion cells
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) named 10 companies to which it proposes to transfer the technology for manufacturing Lithium-ion cells developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thumba.
ISRO developed Li-ion cells with capacities ranging from 1.5 Ah to 100 Ah for use in launch vehicles and satellites.

February 2

Scientists create AI based system that translates thoughts into speech
Science have created an artificial intelligence (AI) based system that directly translates thoughts into intelligible, recognizable speech.
The technology developed by researchers from Columbia University in the United States.
The research will help people who cannot speak regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.

February 3

Hoveizeh- Long-Range Surface to Surface Missile Unveiled by Iran on 1979 Islamic Revolution Anniversary
Iran Unveiled its Long Range Cruise Surface to Surface Missile, named Hoveizeh with a Strike range of 1,300 km (800 miles) to mark the remembrance of 1979 Islamic Revolution Anniversary.
‘Nasr’ - short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile test fired by Pakistan
Pakistan has test fired a short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’ with a strike range of about 70-km.
It is a high precision, shoot and scoot weapon system with the ability of in-flight maneuverability.

February 4

ISRO launched Human Space Flight Centre in Bangalore.
The Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), the hub of ISRO's future manned missions, was inaugurated at ISRO headquarters in Bangalore.
The country's first crewed mission is set to happen by 2022, the 75th year of Independence.
Dr. Sivan named S. Unnikrishnan Nair as the founder Director of HSFC and R. Hutton as the project director of Gaganyaan.

February 5

NASA's Hubble Accidentally Discovers Dwarf Galaxy 30 Million Light Years Away
Astronomers from Italy, the UK, Germany and the United States discovered newly discovered galaxy consists of red giant particles.
This ancient galaxy is one of the oldest galaxies and was named after Luigi Bedin, a researcher at Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics. Bedin 1 is located 28.38 million light years from Earth.

February 6

Mashoka 5 – Mobile App launched for booking of Bungalow No. 5, in New Delhi
Holding wedding ceremonies and private parties in Lutyen's Delhi will now become easier as the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry launched a mobile app to book its 5 Ashoka Road Bungalow.
The launch of the mobile application named after ''5 Ashoka Road'' is a step towards ensuring the commitment of the government to provide speedy provisions of services to the citizens in a transparent and efficient manner, Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said at the event.
To that extent the launch of this app is a facility which demonstrates the commitment of our government for providing minimum government and maximum governance to the citizens.
National Testing Agency (NTA) introduced mobile app for Mock Tests for JEE Mains 2019
The candidates who are appearing for JEE Main, NEET or NTA NET exams will be able to practice for these competitive exams using an official app.
To make aspirants of rural areas more familiar to online tests, earlier, NTA has established 4,000 Test Practice Centers at free of cost.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) is a newly formed organisation, which conducts entrance examinations for admission in higher educational institutions in the country.
Facebook Messenger begins rolling out unsend feature
The feature would enable users to delete the sent message within a time period of 10 minutes
Facebook will retain a copy of the deleted message for a short time so that it can review it in case the receiver reports it for harassment.

February 7

World Largest Insurance Scheme Ayushman Bharat Launches Mobile App
The government’s mega health insurance scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), popularly known as the Ayushman Bharat, has launched the PM-JAY app on Google Play Store.
The scheme received an INR 6,400 Cr commitment from the government in the interim budget of 2019.
INF nuclear treaty: Russia plans new missile systems after pullout
Russia is planning to develop new missile systems after both Russia and the US suspended their involvement in an arms control pact.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banned both countries from using short- and medium-range missiles.
Centre clears plan to use Space Technology in Border Management
The government has approved a plan to use space technology in border management to check intrusion.
Over 3 thousand incidents of intrusion on country’s borders took place in the last 4 years.
Island development, border security, communication and navigation, Geographic Information System and border infrastructure development are the areas which have been identified for use of space technology in improving border management.

February 8

Chennai Police Commissioner launches mobile app Digicop
Chennai Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan launched mobile App ‘DigiCop’ of the city police department at the commissioner’s office in Chennai.
This app as of now have details of 18,000 stolen mobile phones are stored.
The user can lodge mobile theft complaints and also check if the user’s mobile is in the police list of retrieved mobiles.
Serthupathi also released a DVD on CCTV awareness and several other police campaigns to make the police department people friendly.

February 9

2018 fourth warmest year on record
Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880, an Independent analysis by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found.
Globally, 2018’s temperatures rank behind those of 2016, 2017, and 2015.
The past five years are collectively the warmest years in the modern record.
PM Modi launched the DD ‘Arun Prabha’ Channel in Itanagar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the DD ‘Arun Prabha’ Channel in Itanagar.
It will be a 24x7 satellite television channel and is Doordarshan’s second channel for the north-eastern region, after DD North East.

February 10

Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile ‘Helina’ test-fired in Balasore
Developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), it is one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world.
India test-fired its helicopter-launched version of one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons from the Odisha coast.
Helina, the helicopter-launched version of the Nag anti-tank guided missile with a hit range of 7-8 km, was launched from an Army chopper.
The weapon system was tested for its full range at 12.55 pm near the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur in Balasore district.
The infrared imaging seeker (IIR) technology is also indigenously developed and had been demonstrated in the NAG anti-tank guided missile system.

February 12

Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR), indigenously developed missile system successfully flight tested in Odisha
The success of SFDR propulsion technology is a significant milestone and will pave the way for development of long-range air-to-air missiles in the country.
The second indigenously developed "Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)" propulsion-based missile system was successfully flight tested in Odisha by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The ground booster, separation of ground booster and nozzle-less-booster performance were found satisfactory during the trial conducted in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Balasore district.
First batch of heavy-lift Chinook helicopters arrives from US
The first batch of heavy-lift Chinook helicopters arrived at Gujarat’s Mundra Port from the US spokesperson of American aerospace major Boeing.
The four Boeing CH-47F (I) Chinooks, part of a 15-helicopter order placed by India three years ago, will be assembled and flown to their home base in Chandigarh where they will be formally inducted in the Indian Air Force (IAF) later this year.
The CH-47F (I) Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that will provide the Indian armed forces with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat andhumanitarian missions.

February 13

Exercise Rahat concluded in Jaipur
A disaster relief exercise ‘EX-RAHAT’ will be demonstrated in Jaipur, Kota and Alwar in Rajasthan.
Disaster risk reduction has a pivotal role to play in supporting adaptation to climate change as well as sustained development.
Jaipur based Sapta Shakti command will conduct the joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise on behalf of the Indian army. Representatives from Armed Forces, National Disaster Management Response Mechanism (NDMRM), SDMA Rajasthan and DLMAs participated in the exercise.

February 14

AYUSH Ministry Launched e-AUSHADHI Portal
Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters at NewDelhi.
e-AUSHADHI portal is intended for increased transparency, improved information management facility, improved data usability and increased accountability.
The Minister informed that timelines will be fixed for processing of application through this portal with SMS and e-mail status updates at each step of the process.
The launch of the e- Aushadhi portal for online licensing is part of governments commitment towards e-governance, ease of doing and Make in India.
Crying snake discovered by zoologist
A new species of ‘crying’ snake has been discovered in Lepa-Rada district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The discovery of the non-venomous crying keelback, whose zoological name is Hebiuslacrima, has been published in Zootaxa, the New Zealand-based scientific mega-journal for animal taxonomy.
The name for this keelback was suggested because of a dark spot under its eyes looking like a black tear that interrupts a white stripe running along the upper jaw to the back of its head and beyond,” JayadityaPurkayastha, a Guwahati-based zoologist who located the new keelback in the Basar area of Arunachal Pradesh.
Globally snakes are represented by 3,709 species. The northeast is home to some 110 species, with Arunachal Pradesh accounting for 55.
NASA’s longest-running Mars mission is over with the presumed death of its Opportunity rover
NASA has tried for months to contact its Opportunity rover on Mars, but the golf-cart-size robot has failed to phone home to Earth ever since a record global dust storm engulfed the red planet.
Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004 and was originally intended to operate for just 90 days. Over the course of its 15-year lifespan, in which it covered a record 28 miles, Opportunity found evidence that ancient Mars had water and was likely capable of sustaining life.

February 15

NASA Launching New 'SPHEREx' Mission To Find The Origins Of The Universe
NASA is launching a brand new space mission that could solve two of the deepest questions about the universe.
The mission is named the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) will last for two years, cost nearly $250 million and is expected to launch in 2023.

February 16

Govt Launches Global Housing Technology Challenge to Build Houses in Shorter Time With Lower Cost
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched the Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC) among stakeholders, a move aimed at introducing best technologies that seek to construct houses in a shorter period of time with lower cost.
The PMAY-U, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015, aims to construct more than one crore houses and ensure "Housing for All by 2022" by providing financial assistance to the beneficiaries.
The ministry has so far sanctioned around 68.5 lakh for construction under the PMAY (U). Around 1.5 million houses have been handed over to beneficiaries.
Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister emphasized that there is a need to look for new emerging, disaster-resilient, environment friendly, cost-effective and speedy construction technologies.
Inland Waterways Authority of India launches portal for real-time information on available depth on stretches of National Waterways
National Waterways, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) launched a new portal LADIS – Least Available Depth Information System
LADIS will ensure that real-time data on least available depths is disseminated for ship/ barge and cargo owners so that they can undertake transportation on NWs in a more planned way. An assured depth of waterway is required for seamless movement of vessel.
IWAI has designed LADIS to facilitate the day to day operations of inland vessels plying on National Waterways and to avoid any hindrance in service and operation.
The portal is hosted on IWAI’s website www.iwai.nic.in. LAD information initially will be available for NW-1, NW-2, Indo-Bangladesh protocol route and NW-3. It will be expanded to other NWs
Air force’s major exercise Vayushakti 2019 held in Pokharan, Rajasthan
The Air Force carried out a mega exercise involving 140 fighter jets and attack helicopters, in a firepower demonstration close to the border with Pakistan that came two days after the Pulwama attack.
Fighter jets and helicopters hit targets during day and night. It was for the first time, the Advanced Light Helicopter and the Akash were deployed in a military exercise.
In the Vayu Shakti exercise, the IAF showcased firepower capability of indigenously-developed platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and efficacy of Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile.
The IAF also deployed the upgraded MiG-29 fighter jet in an air-to-ground role during the exercise. A total of 137 aircraft including Sukhoi-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, Mig-27, Mig-29, IL78, Hercules and AN-32 aircraft participated.

February 17

UAE's Tabreed to build India's first district cooling system in Amaravathi
The Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) has entrusted a United Arab Emirates-based, National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed), with the task of developing the District Cooling System (DCS) proposed in Amaravathi.
The DCS, which will be coming up in the Amaravati Government Complex (AGC) area, is a unique temperature management system which cools the space through a centralised source.
The estimated cost of the project is 150 crore. Instead of conventional air conditioning units, there will be air-handling units in the buildings of the capital.
Chilled water of 4.5 degree Celsius will be supplied through the network, thus bringing down the temperature in the rooms. The DCS is 40-50% more efficient than conventional cooling systems and is expected to reduce the carbon emissions by almost half.
Infosys launches learning app ‘InfyTQ’for engineering students
The country’s second-largest IT services firm Infosys announced the launch of ‘InfyTQ’, a digital platform to offer learning and engagement experiences to engineering students in the country.
InfyTQ is a free platform open to all engineering students in their third and fourth years across India.
The platform encourages holistic development by imparting technical as well as professional skills, helping them become industry-ready, it added.
With InfyTQ, students will benefit from the always-on, anytime, anywhere learning, catered through a continuous transfer of digital skills and expertise from the Infosys innovation ecosystem. The platform will also assist students to stay connected with the organisation, keep up with the latest happenings, and familiarise themselves with Infosys’ culture and value system.

February 18

China plans first solar power station in space
The Chinese Academy of Space Technology is building a prototype of the first power plant to be stationed in Earth's orbit. Once launched in 2025, the plant will capture solar energy in space and beam it back to Earth.
The plant would be able to harness energy even when weather on Earth is cloudy, giving it a big leg up over solar arrays on the ground.
The space solar power station held the promise of providing "an inexhaustible source of clean energy for humans," Pang Zhihao, a researcher working on the project at the China Academy of Space Technology Corporation.
The first of these test plants will be sent up to the stratosphere before 2025 and scaled models of the full-capacity power station, the construction of which is planned in 2030.
One of the biggest challenges to the project is the weight of the spacecraft – a power station will weigh roughly 400 tons heavier than the International Space Station
A drainage-cleaning robot has been introduced in Chennai
Adrainage-cleaning robot has been introduced for the first time at the Chennai city corporation as part of efforts to rid of manual scavenging.
The robot named “Bandicoot” has been introduced at a cost of 18 lakh rupees. Tamil Nadu Minister Kadambur Raju inaugurated the operation of the robot.
Drainage cleaning could be detected by viewing the blockages on the screen. The robot could be taken to any place in the corporation area.

Iran launches new locally-made submarine capable of firing cruise missiles
Iran's first semi-heavy submarine is capable of carrying and firing cruise missiles that could be launched from a submerged position.
It is now fully self-reliant on land, air and sea.
The 527-tonne submarine is also equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, including torpedoes and naval mines and 100% domestically-sourced technology, can operate more than 200 meters below the sea surface for nearly five weeks.

106 coastal and marine sites identified as conservation reserves
The Centre has identified over 100 coastal and marine sites as conservation reserves under its National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031.
The second biennial update report (BUR) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), submitted to the UN body on climate change in December 2018.
Under the National Wildlife Action Planfor the period 2017 to 2031, the government is working towards the conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems from the impacts of climate change.
Towards fulfillment of India's commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), several initiatives have been taken to meet the targets set under SDG 14- Life below Water.

February 19

India’s first Fulldome 3D digital theatre inaugurated at science city, Kolkata
India's first 'fulldome 3D Digital Theatre' at the Science City in Kolkata, was inaugurated by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.
The 'fulldome 3D Digital Theatre' at the Science city was the first of its kind in India having a 23 metre titled dome to offer a fully immersive experience to the visitors.
The Science City is operated by the National Council of Science Museums under the Ministry of Culture.
The first in the Indian sub-continent, one can feel like touching the water waves or the leaves of a tree during screening in the two edutainment films which will give an immersive experience where the viewer will feel part of environment.
Fulldome 3D Digital Theatre' was upgraded at a cost of Rs. 20 crore.

AntBot, the first walking robot that navigates without GPS
AntBot copies the desert ants' exceptional navigation capacities, allowing it to explore without using Global Positioning System (GPS).
Scientists claim to have developed the first walking robot that can explore its environment and find its way home without GPS or mapping, opening new avenues for the navigation of autonomous vehicles.
Researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) took inspiration from desert ants, which are extraordinary solitary navigators, to design the AntBot.
AntBot has been shown to be able, like the desert ants, to explore its environment and to return on its own to its base, with precision of up to one centimeter after having covered a total distance of 14 metres.
Weighing only 2.3 kg, this robot has sixfeet for increased mobility, allowing it to move in complex environments, precisely where deploying wheeled robots and drones can be complicated.
Rajnath singh inaugurates cybercrime detection center in Capital
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a Nationalcyber forensic lab and the DelhiPolice’s cybercrime unit ‘CyPAD’.
Cyber crimes pose a challenge to traditional policing and called upon the Police personnel to hone their skills to tackle the threats posed from the cyber world
The Cyber Protection Awareness and Detection Centre (CyPAD) and the lab are both located in the same complex in Dwarka’s Sector 16 C.
The national cyber forensic lab (NCFL) is part of the Union Home Ministry’s Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).

February 20

Xin Xiaomeng, the world's first female AI news anchor, will soon hit TV screens in China
China's Xinhua News Agency and the search engine Shougou Company who together collaborated in the development of the artificial intelligence anchor, called Xin Xiaomeng.
The AI presenter is, this is not the first robot news presenter in the world. In 2018, China became the first country in the world to develop the first of its kind AI 'journalist', a male news presenter by the name of Qui Hao.
China's Experiments with AI reporters and Journalists has been going on for some years. In 2012, the University of Science and Technology of China started developing a woman robot by the name of 'Jia Jia'. The robot was unveiled in 2017 when she took questions from AI expert and Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly. The interaction was filmed and released by Xinhua.
Great Barrier Reef Rodent, First To Go Extinct Due To "Climate Change"
Australia officially declared a Great Barrier Reef rodent extinct making it the first mammal believed to have been killed off by human-induced climate change.
The rat-like Bramble Cay melomys - whose only known habitat was a small sandy island in far northern Australia -- has not been spotted in a decade.
Researchers from Queensland determined a key factor in its disappearance was "almost certainly" repeated ocean inundation of the cay - a low-lying island on a coral reef -- over the last decade, which had resulted in dramatic habitat loss.
The Melomys rubicola, considered the Great Barrier Reef's only endemic mammal species, was first discovered on the cay in 1845 by Europeans who shot the "large rats" for sport.

February 21

Operation Digital Board Launched By HRD Ministry
The Minister of Human Resource Development, ShriPrakashJavadekar launched “Operation Digital Board” to leverage technology in order to boost quality education in the country.
Operation Digital Board is a revolutionary step which will make the learning as well as the teaching process interactive and popularize flipped learning as a pedagogical approach.
The government has aimed at equipping 9 lakh classrooms in schools and colleges across the country (7 lakh classrooms of 9th, 10th and 11th standards and 2 lakh classrooms of colleges and Universities) with digital facilities for teaching by 2022.
Together with converting classrooms into digital classrooms and providing e-resources to students, the operation digital board will aid in the provisioning of personalised adaptive learning as well as intelligent tutoring by exploiting emerging technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics.
Tele-law mobile app, Nyaya Bandhu launched by Department of Justice
Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the Tele-Law that will have two components: mainstreaming legal aid through common service centers and Nyaya Bandhu (pro bono legal services) mobile application.
Tele-law services across the country through which every litigant can access free legal aid services with help from common service centers and a dedicated mobile application.
The move comes after the Department of Justice earlier implemented the pilot project in UP, Bihar and J&K, where over 50,000 litigants have availed the services.
It will enable the Para legal volunteers (PLV)’s to perform on field pre-registration of cases with a facility to seek appointment from the panel lawyer on date and time suitable to them
It contains facility to confirm and register the pre-registered cases, to enable online interface between the beneficiary and the panel lawyer through video conferencing and telephone facility. The application will benefit 73,000 PLVs of National Legal Service Authority and State Legal Services Authorities (SLSA) in the country who will be associated under Tele-Law service.
Scientists discover massive mountains under Earth’s crust
Scientists have discovered massive mountains in the Earth’s mantle, an advance that may change our understanding of how the planet was formed. Most school children learn that the Earth has three layers: a crust, mantle and core, which is subdivided into an inner and outer core.
These mountains are located in the Earth’s mantle at a depth of 660 km, and could provide a breakthrough on how the planet was formed.
PM Modi inaugurates supercomputer 'PARAM Shivay' at IIT-BHU
PM Modiinaugurated ‘ParamShivay’ Supercomputer of 833 teraflop capacity built at the cost of Rs. 32.5 crore under the National Super Computing Mission at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
Scientists, teachers and research students, government research laboratories in adjacent engineering colleges to IIT-BHU can avail benefits of the projects. About 40 per cent computer power will be used by the students of Navodaya Vidyalaya.
The ‘ParamShivay’ will include 1 peta byte secondary storage and appropriate open source system and application software suite using 223 processor nodes, 384 GB per node DDR4 RAM, parallel file system, including CPU and GPU.
India’s first supercomputer called PARAM8000 was launched in 1991.
Modi flags off world's first diesel to electric converted locomotive 
Under Make in India initiative, Indian Railways has created history by converting a diesel locomotive into electric locomotive for the first time in the world. New converted energy-efficient electric locomotive has been flagged off by PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
In a first of its kind notable initiative, the diesel locomotive which has been converted to electric locomotive by the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) in Varanasi.
The entire project is an Indian R&D innovation for the entire world.
Kerala Police inducts India's first humanoid robot officer
Kerala Chief Minister PinarayiVijayan inaugurated the induction event of India's first humanoid robot 'KP-BOT', gendered female, into the Kerala Police force at the rank of Sub-Inspector.
The robot, equipped with facial recognition technology, will work at the police headquarters' front desk.
It will perform functions including greeting visitors and guiding them to appropriate sections.

February 22

Tortoise feared extinct for 100 years spotted on Galapagos island
A living member of species of tortoise not seen in more than 110 years and feared to be extinct has been found in a remote part of the Galapagos island of Fernandina.
An adult female Chelonoidis phantasticus, also known as the Fernandina Giant Tortoise, was spotted by a joint expedition of the Galapagos National Park and the U.S.-based Galapagos Conservancy, Ecuador’s Environment Ministry said in a statement
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has the Fernandina Giant Tortoise listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.
Fernandina is the third largest Galapagos Island and features the La Cumbre volcano, one of the most active in the world. The archipelago lies in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) off Ecuador’s mainland.
Rare frog species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh
A brownish-yellow frog spotted in Arunachal Pradesh in June 2017, with markings that turned fluorescent in torchlight, was last seen nearly 36 years ago in Tibet, a paper published in the latest issue of Records of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) confirmed.
The team was led by senior ZSI scientist Bikramjit Sinha. The research findings have been published in the journal ''Records of the Zoological Survey of India''
A medium-sized, brownish-yellow, male frog - head flattened, almost as long as wide; snout region concave, tip shield like, bluntly rounded, protrudes over the lower jaw.
The Crimson coloured, Convex-Vented Horned Species (Megophryspachyproctus), was collected from Tale Valley Wildlife Sanctuary of the district in 2017. It is native to Xizang in China.

Lockheed Martin unveiled new F-21 fighter jet to be made in India
Lockheed Martin offered India a new combat jet, F-21, to be made locally, in a bid to win a large military order worth over 15 billion dollars.
The company, which had earlier offered its F-16 fighter, has claimed that the F-21 fighter jet is specifically configured for the Indian Air Force and will strengthen India's path to an advanced airpower future
The U.S. defence firm had earlier offered its F-16 fighter used by countries around the world for the Indian air force's ongoing competition for 114 planes to be made in India.
It is specifically configured for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and provides a host of Make in India opportunities and strengthens India’s path to an advanced airpower future. It will be produced by Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems.

February 23

SpaceX launched Israel’s first moon lander, “Beresheet”, from Florida
An Israeli spacecraft aboard a SpaceX rocket has launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, beginning a two-month journey to land on the Moon
Beresheet, about the size of a dishwashing machine, was one of three sets of cargo carried aloft by the Falcon 9, part of the private rocket fleet of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's California-based company SpaceX.
Beresheet would mark the first non-government lunar landing. The 1,290-pound (585-kg) spacecraft was built by Israeli nonprofit space venture SpaceIL and state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) with $100 million furnished almost entirely by private donors.
The project is funded almost entirely by donations making it the first privately backed lunar lander mission. It was notably financed by businessman and philanthropist Morris Kahn. Other partners include Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel’s space agency and Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
Beresheet carries a “time capsule” loaded with digital files containing a Bible, children’s drawings, Israeli songs, memories of a Holocaust survivor and the blue-and-white Israeli flag.
Scientists have discovered 300,000 new galaxies using a Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope
A study conducted by 200 scientists from 18 countries has led to discovery of 300,000 new galaxies using a Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope in Netherlands.
LOFAR is capable of detecting low radio frequencies which is not visible to other telescopes. Thus, scientists could spot lakhs of light sources, which were once too faint to be detected from Earth.
The telescope has a very high sensitivity and detects traces or “jets” of ancient radiation produced when galaxies merge.
World’s largest bee spotted the first time since 1981
A team of researchers spotted the world's giant bee which is as big as a human thumb, in Indonesia for the first time since 1981.
Scientists spotted a female bee of the species Megachile pluto and its size is four times the size of the typical European honeybee and has a wingspan of 2.5 inches.
It was discovered in the 19th century by British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and nicknamed the ‘Flying bulldog”.
The IUCN Red list of Threatened species has listed the bee as vulnerable.

February 24

BEL Launches Atmospheric Water Generator safe Drinking Water, Straight From the Air 
Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has unveiled its new product, the Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG), an innovative solution to meet the ever-increasing need for drinking water worldwide at Aero India 2019.
Aim of AWG: To provide an innovative solution to meet the ever-increasing need for drinking water worldwide.
BEL's Atmospheric Water Generator employs a novel technology to extract water from the humidity present in the atmosphere and purify it. It uses heat exchange for condensing the atmospheric moisture to produce pure, safe and clean potable water.
The AWG comes with a Mineralisation Unit, which is used to add minerals which are required to make the water potable. The AWG is configurable in static and mobile (vehicular) versions and is available in 30 liters/day, 100 liters/day, 500 liters/day and 1,000 liters/day capacities.
The Atmospheric Water Generator is being manufactured by BEL in collaboration with CSIR-IICT and MAITHRI, a start-up company based in Hyderabad. It is on display at the BEL stall at Hall-E at Aero India 2019.
Iran announce 3 day navy drill
Iran is to launch a 3-day annual navy drill “Velayat 97” in a vast area of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean including a sensitive global shipping route.
The drill will be held in the waters of Strait of Hormuz, Makran coast, Oman Sea and the north of the Indian Ocean, covering 2 million square kilometers and going on for three days.
The exercise aims to evaluate the navy's equipment, practice launching weapons and enable the troops to gain readiness for a real battle.

February 25

Action plan for viral Hepatitis launched
The government of India launched the National action plan - Viral Hepatitis in Mumbai.
The Aim of the programme is to combat hepatitis and achieve countrywide elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030.
The action plan takes forward the National Viral Hepatitis control program launched by the Union Health Minister.
The budget outlay for health in India has increased over the years, and we are progressing towards taking it to 2.5% of GDP.
We aim to establish 1.5 lakh Health & Wellness Centers by 2022, out of which 10,000 are already operational by March 2019 the number will reach 15,000. These centers have diagnostic facilities for twelve illnesses.

February 26

Himachal Pradesh government declared Monkeys as vermin
Monkeys have again been declared Vermin for the next one year in 11 districts’ 91 tehsils and sub-tehsils of Himachal Pradesh.
The state government had urged the centre to declare Monkeys as vermin because the animals have been adversely affecting crops and causing harm to humans.
Vermin are pests or wild animals that are believed to be harmful to crops, farm animals, or game, or which carry disease.

Scientists discovered exo planet named ‘hot Earth’ that orbits its star in just 11 hours
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), NASA’s planet hunting satellite was launched on 18th April, 2018, for discovering transiting planets smaller than Neptune.
Data from the TESS has been used by the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics scientists to discover a ‘hot earth’exoplanet that orbits its dwarf star in just 11 hours.
It is rocky in composition and only about fifty light years away, with a radius of about 1.3 Earth-radii.
Revealed: date set for first Emirati astronaut's trip to the ISS
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced that September 25 will be the launch date of the first Emirati astronaut’s trip to the International Space Station (ISS).
The announcement came during a press conference held by MBRSC that featured Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi, the first two Emirati astronauts from the UAE Astronaut Programme.
According to, YousufHamad Al Shaibani, director general of MBRSCis one of the astronauts will fly to ISS on September 25 for an eight-day Russian space mission to ISS aboard a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft and will travel back aboard a Soyuz-MS 12.
The astronaut will conduct research in various fields to be shared with the international scientific community to show the effect of zero gravity on research experiments, compared to gravity on Earth... This is the first time this kind of research will be done by an astronaut from the Arab region.

February 27

Tejas Networks Launches World’s First Ultra-Converged Broadband Product At Mobile World Congress, Barcelona
Tejas Networks announced the launch of its innovative, ultra-converged broadband access/ edge product family which delivers wire line as well as wireless broadband services from a single integrated platform.
The new broadband product family was unveiled by Mr. Anshu Prakash, Additional Secretary, Department of Telecom, Government of India at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Barcelona.
The TJ1400 ultra-converged broadband product family provides an unmatched integration of multiple broadband access technologies: Gigabit Fiber Broadband (GPON/ NG-PON), Fixed Wireless Broadband (4G/ LTE eNodeB upgradable to 5G) and GE/ 10GE/ 100GE Business Ethernet Services (CE2.0 certified) in highly compact, modular and energy-efficient platforms.

February 28

First in India’s space history, ISRO’s PSLV-C45 to release payloads in 3 Orbits
The first time in the country space history, Indian Space Research Organisation is going to launch a PSLV-C45 mission in March where it will release payloads in three different orbits.
It is a special mission for us. We will be using a PSLV rocket with four strap-on motors. Further, for the first time we will be trying to orbit the rocket at three different altitudes.
The main passenger for the PSLV rocket will be the defence intelligence satellite ‘Emisat’ belonging to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The satellite weighs about 420 kg. The 28 satellites belonging to our customers would cumulatively weigh about 250 kg.
DAC consented to acquire Defence Equipment worth 2700 crores
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) gave approval for the acquisition of defence equipment worth Rs. 2700 crore.
The nod was given at a meeting of the DAC chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The DAC approved the procurement of three cadet training ships for the Indian Navy. The ships would be used to provide basic sea training for officer cadets, including women officer trainees.
The objective of the DAC is to ensure expeditious procurement of the requirements of the armed forces by optimally utilising the allocated budgetary resources.
The vessels would also be capable of undertaking hospital ship duties, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, besides search and rescue missions and non-combatant evacuation operations.


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