Science & Technology - 2017 November

November 1

China, ASEAN hold joint naval drills as tensions ease
China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have held their largest- ever joint maritime rescue exercise, signalling a calm in South China Sea tensions.
The exercise, which took place, in the waters off the southern coast of China’s Guangdong Province, was “the largest of its kind for China and ASEAN members.
It involved about 1,000 participants aboard 20 ships and three helicopters from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar Laos, Philippines and Brunei, rival claimants in the South China Sea with Vietnam notably absent.
China asserts authority over almost all of the South China Sea in the face of rival claims from its Southeast Asian neighbours including four ASEAN members.
It has rapidly reclaimed reefs, creating artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.
Despite a 2015 pledge by Chinese President Xi Jinping not to further militarize the islands, China has continued to add infrastructure and weapons as it seeks to reinforce effective control of much of the waterway.

November 2

India, Kazakhstan joint exercise “Prabal Dostyk- 2017” begins in Himachal Pradesh
The bilateral military exercise “PRABAL DOSTYK – 2017” between India and Kazakhstan began at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh. ‘Prabal Dostyk’ means ‘Robust Friendship’
It is second edition of the joint military training exercise between both countries. The first edition of exercise was held in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan in September 2016.
The fourteen day joint training aims to build and promote bilateral army-to-army relations and exchange skills and experiences between Kazakhstan and the Indian Army. It also aims at enhancing military ties between two countries for achieving interoperability between two armies.
The exercise will help in strengthening ties between two countries and would serve as platform for exchange of drills and procedures leading to seamless interoperability. The training contingents comprise of platoon strength from the 11th Gorkha Ries of Indian Army and similar strength of Kazakhstan Army.
The Indian troops participating in joint exercise have undergone extensive training in counter terrorism and low-intensity conflict operations at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte, Mizoram.

November 3

Indian Army releases Integrated Quarter Master Package Software Application
Indian Army has formally launched Integrated Quarter Master Package (IQMP) software application for automating various logistics related functions of an Army Unit.
IQMP is web based software developed by Army Software Development Centre in association with TCS Ltd. It will replace numerous legacy applications such as ‘Vastra’ and ‘Quarter Master Package’.
The IQMP software package comprises thirteen modules to automate all logistics functions of Indian Army at unit level. It can be dynamically conjured to meet specific requirements of various types of Army units. It is capable of sharing information and data with other software applications in domain of logistics management.

Western Railways RPF launches EyeWatch app for women safety
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Western Railway (WR) has launched a mobile application ‘Eyewatch Railways’ for the security of women commuters travelling between Churchgate and Virar suburban railway stations, in Mumbai.
The free app, ‘Eyewatch Railways’ was developed by RPF of Western Railway in collaboration with Eyewatch Technologies Pvt Ltd. It is available on Google Playstore and App Store.
This app helps women commuters in times of emergency, to immediately send out their location, video and audio. It can be instantly viewed on the emergency response control centre at the RPF Control room at Mumbai Central.
The RPF would immediately send a RPF personnel from the nearest station to help the Women Commuters.

November 4

Indian Air Force, DRDO successfully test-fire guided ‘Glide Bomb’
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully tested indigenously developed light weight glide bomb Smart Anti Aireld Weapon (SAAW).
Total of three tests with different release conditions and ranges were conducted at Chandipur in Odisha and were all successful. The bomb was fired from an air force aircraft and was guided through precision navigation system. It reached the targets at greater than 70 km range, with high accuracies.
The SAAW project is India’s first fully indigenous anti-airfield weapon project sanctioned by Government in September 2013. SAAW is a long-range lightweight high precision-guided anti-airfield weapon.
It is 120 kg smart weapon capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 km. It can be used to destroy bunkers, runways, aircraft hangers and other reinforced structures.

November 5

Two-day Sagar Kavach exercise starts in Goa
The two-day Coastal Security Exercise 'Sagar Kavach' is to provide seamless seaward cover along the Goa Coast jointly by all security agencies from coastal belt area line to the limit of territorial water i.e. 12 nautical miles.
The exercise will also assess the effectiveness of coastal fishing community in serving as 'Eye and Ears' for early warning of seaward threat. This time the service of Drishti lifeguards, present at the beaches of Goa, will also be utilized for same purpose.
The Coastal Security exercise is being conducted and coordinated by Indian Coast Guard, District Headquarter at Goa.
Various agencies like Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Goa Police, Goa Coastal Security Intelligence Agencies, MPT, Ports Administration Department, CISF and Customs etc. will take part in this exercise. Intelligence and infiltration will be induced and the alertness and preparedness of the entire stakeholder including people of Goa will be tested.
This exercise provides all stakeholders and opportunity to fine tune standard operating procedure and test new operation concepts for coastal security.

November 6

India, Bangladesh joint military combat exercise “Sampriti” begins in Meghalaya
The 13-day exercise will be conducted at India's Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram and at the Joint Training Node at Umroi in Meghalaya.
Army personnel of India and Bangladesh will take part in a joint training exercise 'Sampriti-7' in Meghalaya and Mizorum.
This is the 7th edition of the joint training exercise.
According to The Inter Services Public Relation Directorate-ISPR of Bangladesh the main objective of the exercise is to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in peace-keeping activities in the United Nations (UN).
The joint exercise was first held in Assam in 2011 and since then both the countries have been hosting the exercise alternatively. In 2016, the training exercise was conducted in at Bangabandhu Cantonment in Ghatail of Bangladesh.

China launches 2 navigation satellites
China successfully launched two BeiDou-3 satellites named BeiDou-3 M1 and BeiDou-3 M2 into space on board of single carrier rocket Long March-3B from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern province of Sichuan.
These two satellites and carrier rocket were developed by China Academy of Space Technology and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, respectively.
The two newly-launched satellites represent third phase of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. They will reside in a medium-Earth orbit at an altitude of 21,500 kilometers, inclined 55.5 degrees. These two satellites represent third phase of BDS system (BeiDou-3). It is the final stage of the establishment of Chinese space-based navigation architecture.

Navy to use U.S. aircraft launch system in ship
Indian Navy is likely to use advanced catapult-based aircraft launch mechanism (CATOBAR) from United States for its second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-II), which is on drawing board.
In this regard, both countries have held several rounds of discussions in joint working group (JWG) on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC) under Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) set up by them.
For some time, India was exploring possibility of installing US electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS). The US has offered India its latest EMALS technology, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
EMALS uses electric motor-driven catapult instead, which allows launch of much heavier aircraft and reduces stress on aircraft whereas older-generation CATOBAR is powered by steam catapult. It will allow Indian Navy to operate heavy surveillance aircraft, in addition to heavy fighters. However, the system is expensive, something that needs to be factored in.

November 7

India test fires ‘Nirbhay’ missile
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted flight test of its indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from test range at Chandipur, Odisha.
It was the fifth experimental test of Nirbhay missile system. It achieved all mission objectives completely from lift-off till the final splash, boosting the confidence of all scientists associated with the trial.
It is India’s first indigenously designed and developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile. It has blended missile and aeronautical technologies which allows it to take off vertically like missile and cruise horizontally like an aircraft.
It is two stage missile powered by solid rocket motor booster developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) It has operational range of 1000 km and can carry warheads of up to 300 kg including nuclear warheads. It can be launched from various kind of platforms.

Fossils of oldest mammal ancestor discovered in UK
Palaeontologists from University of Portsmouth, UK have discovered remains of humankind’s oldest mammal ancestor — a tiny rat-like creature that lived 145 million years ago.
The fossils of nocturnal mammal were discovered on Jurassic Coast of Dorset. The mammal is earliest in line that evolved into humans and branched off into creatures as diverse as blue whales and pigmy shrews.
The new species of fossilized nocturnal mammal was named Durlstotherim newmani after an amateur palaeontologist and pub owner Charlie Newman, who helped scientists collect the new specimens. Its teeth had evolved over time from very simple ones that were not very efficient to molar-like ridged teeth which could tear, chew and grind food very easily.
The fossilized teeth as well-evolved as Durlstotherim newmani previously were found only in rock layers from, late Cretaceous between 86 and 66 million years ago.

November 8

Tyrannomyrmex alii: New ant species discovered in the Western Ghats
Researchers have discovered new species of ant in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala in Western Ghats, as one of the world’s ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity. It has been named Tyrannomyrmex alii (or T. alii), after eminent myrmecologist Musthak Ali, who is regarded as the India’s ‘ant man’
Tyrannomyrmex alii belongs to Tyrannomyrmex, a rare tropical genus of ants. It was discovered from Vallakadavu range of Western Ghats. It can be distinguished from other species of same genus through its morphological characteristics. It has petiolar shape.

Musa paramjitiana: New species of wild banana discovered in Andaman and Nicobar
Botanists have discovered new species of wild banana named Musa paramjitiana in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It has been name in honour of Paramjit Singh, director of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI)
Musa paramjitiana species was discovered in North Andaman’s Krishnapuri forest, 6 kilometres from any human habitation.
Musa paramjitiana species grows to height of nine metres and bears an edible, sweet-and-sour tasting fruit that is boat-shaped and has numerous bulb-shaped seeds. The fruit of Musa paramjitiana is part of diet of local tribes
Its fruits and seeds have ethno-medicinal importance. Pseudo-stem and leaves of these species are also used during religious and cultural ceremonies.
Its conservation status has been declared as ‘Critically Endangered’ as it has so far been spotted in only two locations on islands, each with 6 to 18 plants in a clump. No population has been located in other regions of Islands.

November 9

Uber joins forces with NASA to develop flying taxis
Uber has unveiled a partnership with NASA that will see it develop flying taxis priced competitively with standard Uber journeys.
It also announced Los Angeles will join two other previously revealed “UberAIR” pilot schemes in Dallas Fort-Worth, Texas, and Dubai.
The first demonstration flights are expected in 2020 and will move into commercial operations by 2023, with plenty of time for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
The flights will have a pilot during initial flights. But it could be automated in the future. An UberAir journey would take three times less time than the same journey by car.

November 10

Facebook launches Disaster Maps in India for better response to disasters
The social networking giant Facebook Inc. has rolled out Disaster Maps for India in a bid to help communities recover and rebuild faster in aftermath of natural disasters.
It was launched at Facebook’s first Disaster Response Summit in India along with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to improve disaster response and disaster management in India.
Government has claimed that India will be first country to partner with Facebook on disaster response.
Facebook will initially join hands with NDMA and SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society) in India to share data about its users with them in times of disasters. Globally Facebook has partnered with organizations like Red Cross for such initiative.

November 11

Google Arts and Culture unveils its first lab experiment in India
Google Arts and Culture unveiled its first lab experiment in India at an exhibition at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai.
As a part of first Google Arts & Culture Lab experiment in India, Google has collaborated with Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and the British Museum in London to unveil Future Relics.
Future Relics is an interactive installation that takes participants on a shared journey, connecting past with present whilst looking to the future.
This was created as part of the landmark exhibition ‘India and the World: A History in Nine Stories’ at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS). The Future Relics project will blend ancient craft and modern technology to build relics for the future.

November 12

Indo-Bangla defense cooperation: Army training capsule in Patna
As a part of the ongoing Indo-Bangladesh defense cooperation, an army training capsule on counter-insurgency operations will be conducted in Patna’s Danapur Cantonment.
This training capsule will be first of its kind being organised for the Bangladesh Army at Danapur Cantonment.
Five officers and 25 other ranks of the Bangladesh Army will attend this training. Experienced Indian Army training team will provide them skill based training on handling counter-insurgency / counter-terrorism operations in hostile environment.
Colonel D.D. Swain will be heading the Indian Army training team.
State-of-the art weapons and equipment for close-quarter battle, explosives detectors, surveillance and tracking equipments and communication equipment will be fielded during this training event.

China to make first contact with Alien life using world’s largest dish
China claims to be the first country to make contact with alien life using its radio dish named Five hundred metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), which is believed to detect alien signals coming from other galaxies.
The Five hundred metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is considered the world’s largest radio dish. It is almost twice as wide as the America’s Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.
Other leading experts into Alien Life including astrophysicist Andrew Siemion, the director of the Search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) research centre at Berkley University have been impressed by FAST.
Radio transmissions are forbidden near the dish in order to stop human sources interfering with any signals coming from alien sources.

November 13

Scientists have successfully transformed stress into Electricity
A flexible new material has been developed by researchers from Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, which generates electricity when stressed.
The researchers have created a thin, flexible, rubbery material that generates electricity when stretched and compressed. This works using Piezo-electric effect.
To create this material, polar nanoparticles and silicone must be shaped before they are connected. Then, a strong electric field is introduced into the thin, elastic film to create the piezoelectric effect, which is achieved by exposing the material to extremely hot, then cool temperatures.
This could be used in pressure sensors, pacemakers, other medical devices, clothing, control buttons, or even wearable monitors that generate electricity from the wearer’s movement.

Australian scientists launch “dinner table” app to tackle vegetable aversion
Australian scientists launched a "dinner table" app named ‘VegEze’ in an effort to tackle aversion towards consuming vegetables.
Research indicates two out of three Australian adults are not eating enough vegetables, a factor that is contributing partly to the nation's health and obesity problems, reports Xinhua news agency.
VegEze app, developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), aims to encourage Australians to add extra vegetables to their daily diets.
CSIRO nutritionists will study how effective the app's game-like nature is at changing people's eating patterns as part of a broader research study.
VegEze challenges users to eat three different vegetables at their evening meal daily for 21 days. It will track their intake and tally vegetable serves, with reminders and rewards.
VegEze app features educational resources, including a visual guide to optimum serve sizes, recipes and nutritional information.

November 14

The 'space nation' Asgardia just launched its first satellite
The Space Kingdom of Asgardia (virtual nation) launched its first satellite ‘Asgardia-1’ into space from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The Asgardia – so-called ‘virtual nation’ is the project of Russian scientist and billionaire Igor Ashurbeyli. In 2016, he proposed a new nation which would be based in space in order to be outside of the control of nations on Earth.
The Asgardia-1 satellite, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, contains half a terabyte of data. It holds the foundations of the project – the nation’s constitution, its national symbols, and data from its 115,000 citizens.
It was launched aboard a Cygnus spacecraft on an Orbital ATK Antares rocket. The Cygnus craft docked with the International Space Station. After a month, it will release Asgardia’s satellite into orbit.

China launches world’s first fully electric cargo ship
China launched world's first fully electric cargo ship in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. This 2000-metric-ton ship is the first in the world to use lithium battery.
The ship was manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Ltd. The ship is presently running in the inland section of the Pearl River.
The ship can run 80 kilometers after being charged for two hours.
The ship is 70.5 meters long and has battery energy of about 2400 kilowatt hours which is the same energy of 40 new energy cars.
Its highest speed is 12.8 kilometers per hour, and there is zero emission of waste gas pollutants.
The ship will be mainly used to run in the inland section of the Pearl River for carrying coal for the generation of electric power.
This all-electric cargo vessel will help in reducing the shipping costs for electric power operators. The main cost of this ship depends on how much lithium battery it is equipped with.

November 15

US approves “Abilify MyCite”, first pill with digital tracking device
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved “Abilify MyCite” the first drug in the United States with a digital ingestion tracking system, to ensure that patients with mental illness take the medicine prescribed for them.
The drug Abilify MyCite was developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. It was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat schizophrenia. The ingestible sensor, made by Proteus Digital health, was approved for marketing in 2012.
The medication works by sending a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch. Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for illness may be useful for some patients.
According to FDA, Abilify MyCite should not be used to track drug ingestion in ‘real-time’ or during an emergency because detection may be delayed or may not occur.

Astronomers spot pair of rare hyper-luminous galaxies “ADFS-27”
Astronomers have for the first time spotted two hyper-luminous starburst galaxies, extremely bright and spectacularly massive galaxies, in the early universe.
According to Dominik Riechers, an astronomer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, "finding just one hyper-luminous starburst galaxy is remarkable in itself. Finding two of these rare galaxies in such close proximity is truly astounding.”
Astronomers captured the two interacting galaxies, collectively known as ADFS-27, as they began the gradual process of merging into a single, massive elliptical galaxy. The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal.
The ADFS-27 system is reported to have approximately 50 times the amount of star-forming gas as the Milky Way. Much of the gas will be converted into new stars very quickly.
The current observation of the astronomers reveals that the two galaxies are producing stars at a very high pace, about one thousand times faster than Milky Way.
The galaxy pair is located approximately 12.7 billion light-years from Earth in the direction of the Dorado constellation.

November 16

Sampriti 2017: Indo-Bangladesh Joint Military Exercise held in Mizoram
Joint Indo-Bangladesh Training Exercise SAMPRITI 2017 was culminated at Counter Insurgency & Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte in Mizoram.
The exercise was aimed to strengthen and broaden the aspects of interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and Bangladesh Armies. It was 7th edition of exercise in SAMPRITI series which is held alternately in India and Bangladesh every year with aim to build and promote positive relations between armies of two neighbours.
The 13-day exercise also aimed to enhance interoperability between two nations and enrich from each other’s experience while carrying out counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism operations. This edition of exercise had two district components which included Command Post Exercise (CPX) and Field Training Exercise (FTX). The CPX was conducted at Umroi and FTX was conducted at Vairengte.
CPX focused on practicing joint planning and conduct of counter-terrorist operations in semi-mountainous terrain with special focus on drills and procedures followed while operating in dense jungles. The FTX emphasised on physical conditioning, training on special heliborne operations, cordon and search operations, neutralisation of improvised explosive devices and company and platoon level tactical drills in counter-terrorist operations scenario.

November 17

Country’s longest expressway from Agra to Lucknow to offer free Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi will soon be available on the entire 302-kilometre stretch of India’s longest expressway from Agra to Lucknow.
The Uttar Pradesh government has offered to lease out space for laying an Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) along the six-lane Agra to Lucknow expressway.
The plan is to earn revenue to maintain the expressway and have a win-win agreement with a private player by giving out leasing rights to lay OFC in order to offer free Wi-Fi facility along the entire stretch.
This will also help UP have Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) by traffic monitoring, event detection and speed enforcement through CCTV cameras and phone helplines at every two kilometres on the expressway.
The OFC network may be laid along the expressway, on top of power transmission lines along the expressway or using earth wire.

November 18

INS Sarvekshak reaches Dar-Es-Salaam for hydrographic survey
INS Sarvekshak, a hydrographic survey ship of Southern Naval Command has arrived in Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania for undertaking joint- Hydrographic Survey along with the Tanzanian Navy.
The joint survey will be conducted with the naval personnel of Tanzania who have been trained in India in National Institute of Hydrography, Goa.
During the survey, training of Tanzanian Naval personnel will also be undertaken on advanced hydrographic equipment and practices.
INS Sarvekshak is a specialised survey ship of the Indian Navy presently based at Kochi. It is fitted with state-of-the-art survey equipment like Deep Sea Multi beam echo sounder system, Side Scan Sonars and a fully automated digital surveying and processing system.
In addition, the ship carries an integral Chetak helicopter which would be extensively deployed during the survey.
The ship is second ship of the Darshak class of ships. It has 15 officers and 175 sailors and is presently commanded by Captain Peush Pawsey.

November 19

NASA Launches NOAA Weather Satellite to Improve Forecasts
NASA successfully launched a highly advanced polar-orbiting satellite to improve weather forecasts for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The satellite- Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1)-was launched through a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US.
The advanced technology will help improve weather forecasts up to seven days in advance.
This is the first in a series of four such satellites in a collaborative programme between NOAA and NASA.
The satellite will be renamed NOAA-20 when it reaches its final orbit.
It will become operation after a three-month checkout and validation of its five advanced instruments.

November 21

India-Myanmar joint Army exercise “IMBAX-2017” begins in Meghalaya
The first India-Myanmar Bilateral Military Exercise 2017 (IMBAX 2017) was held at Joint Warfare Centre at the Umroi Joint Training Node in Meghalaya
It is first of its kind military training exercise between India and Myanmar on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO). It was conducted by Army’s RED HORNS DIVISION under aegis of GAJRAJ CORPS.
The six-day training exercise aimed at building and promoting closer relations with armies of the neighbouring countries. It also aims to train officers of Myanmar Army in various United Nations Peacekeeping roles and tasks. Its focus was on training the Myanmar army delegation on tactics, expertise, procedures and methodology required by contingent of member nations for serving in UNPKO.
The exercise includes participation of 15 officers from Myanmar army and 16 officers from Indian army.

China launches three commercial remote sensing satellites
China launched three remote sensing satellites Jilin-1 04, Jilin-1 05 and Jilin-1 06 from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China’s northern Shanxi Province.
The three remote sensing satellites have been designed to improve observation capability to promote commercial use for the remote sensing industry.
It was the third launch of the Jilin-1 satellite family, a remote sensing system of more than 60 satellites developed by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co., Ltd.
The system will be used for wide imaging, video imaging and multispectral imaging. Remote sensing data will serve administrations and commercial customers.
The satellites were carried by a Long March-6 rocket, a new generation of liquid-fuelled carrier rocket developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

November 22

NASA Tests Supersonic Parachute for Mars 2020 Rover
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has completed the first test of its Mars 2020 mission’s parachute-testing series, the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE).
The test began with a 58-foot-tall Black Brant IX sounding rocket launch and upper-atmosphere flight from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.
The payload is a bullet-nosed, cylindrical structure – holding a supersonic parachute, the parachute’s deployment mechanism, and the test’s high-definition instrumentation, including cameras to record data.
The rocket carried the payload as high as about 51 km. 42 seconds later, at an altitude of 42 km and a velocity of 1.8 times the speed of sound, the test conditions were met and the Mars parachute successfully deployed.
35 minutes after launch, ASPIRE splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean about 54 km southeast of Wallops Island.

November 23

CMFRI joins hands with ISRO to identify Potential Fishing Zone
The (CMFRI) Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has joined hands with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) to identify Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ), an area in sea where fishes are seen in abundance.
In the first phase, CMFRI and the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO have jointly launched a research project for identifying, forecasting and monitoring PFZ in coastal and offshore waters of Tamil Nadu.
The project named “Samudra” is aimed at helping fishermen easily locate fish without wasting time and fuel.
The project aims to develop a satellite-based numerical ocean model to forecast information about the fishing locations by closely monitoring and analyzing various physical changes occurred in ocean due to seasonal and climatic variations, high winds, rain and cyclonic conditions.

November 24

MHA conducts Multi State Mega Mock Tsunami Exercise 2017
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) conducted Multi State Mega Mock Tsunami Exercise 2017 along the entire East Coast in 31 coastal districts across four States
It was conducted through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). The exercise was one of various activities conducted as part of observation of 2nd World Tsunami Awareness Day (observed on November 5).
The exercise was simultaneously conducted in 31 coastal districts across four States – West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (UT) along entire East Coast. It aimed to assess and help improve preparedness, response mechanism and coordination among concerned agencies.
It was for first time entire eastern coast will participate simultaneously in mock exercise. During it, disaster scenario simulating tsunami waves originating due to high-intensity earthquake near Andaman and Nicobar Islands causing massive tsunami along east coast of India was created.

Scientists make world’s smallest tape recorder from bacteria
Columbia University researchers have converted a bacterial immune system into the world’s smallest data recorder.
The researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in the US modified an ordinary laboratory strain of the human gut microbe Escherichia coli, using CRISPR gene-editing method. This enabled the bacteria to not only record their interactions with the environment but also time-stamp the events.
It could be used for disease diagnosis and environmental monitoring. Other applications are environmental sensing and basic studies in ecology and microbiology.
The Science paper is titled, “Multiplex recording of cellular events over 1 time into a CRISPR biological tape.” The contributors are: Harris Wang, Sung Sun Yim and Felix L. Wu (CUMC).

November 25

China successfully launches remote sensing satellites
China successfully launched remote sensing satellites for conducting electromagnetic probes and other experiments.
These Satellites were launched on a Long March-2C rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan. However, number of satellites launched has not been specified.
Just few days ago, China had launched three remote sensing satellites to improve observation capability to promote commercial use for the remote sensing industry.
Those satellites were carried by a Long March-6 rocket developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

New species of gecko discovered in Andhra Pradesh after 5-year study
Scientists have discovered new species of gecko in the Eastern Ghats in northern Andhra Pradesh. It was identified from few areas in northern Mahendragiri range and scattered coastal hills in northern Andhra Pradesh.
The new species has been named Hemidactylus sushilduttai or Dutta’s Mahendragiri gecko, after eminent herpetologist Sushil Kumar Dutta from Odisha.
Dutta’s Mahendragiri gecko is second gecko endemic to this hilly range and third vertebrate as other endemics in region are — Gegeneophis orientalis — caecilian amphibian and Jeypore Indian gecko (Cyrtodactylus jeyporensis. It grows up to 225mm in length with its tail half its size. It is nocturnal and lives on rocks, large
Trees and coffee plantations at altitudes between 250-1,100 metres above sea
level.
The reptile was earlier identified as different species and was misidentified as spotted rock gecko (Hemidactylus maculatus), a large-bodied lizard endemic to northern Western Ghats in Maharashtra. However, after studying its DNA, it was found that morphological characters of new species has many unique, diagnostic characters and these two species have geographically separated populations that deeply divergent from each other.

November 26

World’s first AI Politician developed in New Zealand
Scientists from New Zealand have developed world’s first artificial intelligence politician named SAM. It was created by Nick Gerritsen, entrepreneur in New Zealand.
The virtual politician SAM can answer person’s queries regarding local issues such as policies around housing, education and immigration. It constantly learns to respond to people through Facebook Messenger as well as a survey on its homepage. It may help to bridge the growing political and cultural divide in many countries.
Artificial intelligence is branch of computer science concerned with making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs in order to make them behave like computers. AI enables a machine to perceive and respond to it changing environment. It is related to similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence.

November 27

IMMSAREX-17 begins in Cox’s Bazar
The 2017 International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) was held in Bangladesh.
The exercise is taking place under the aegis of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). It was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.
From India, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba participated in the exercise to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. Indian Naval Ships (INS) Ranvir, Sahyadri, Gharial and Sukanya along with one Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8I participatied in the exercise.
Extraordinary Conclave of Chiefs (ECoC)’ meeting of IONS was also held. It focussed upon activities being undertaken by IONS in-addition to review progress made by three IONS Working Group (IWG)- Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR), Maritime Security and Information Exchange and Interoperability. The ships and aircraft of IONS members and observers including China (has observer status) and Pakistan also participated in exercise.

November 28

India -UK to conduct military exercise
The third India-United Kingdom joint army training exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior’ conducted in Rajasthan from Dec 1-14.
The first exercise was conducted in 2013 at Belgaum, Karnataka, whereas for the second exercise in 2015, an Indian Army contingent had visited the United Kingdom.
Approximately 120 personnel will participate in the exercise.

November 29

Indus civilisation did not develop around flowing river: Research
A major Himalayan river not flow at the same time as the development of Indus Civilisation urban settlements.
The Indus Civilisation, one of the world’s oldest urban civilisations spanning across northwest India and Pakistan, flourished along a course abandoned by the major Himalayan river Sutlej, and did not develop around a flowing river.
The Indus or Harappan Civilisation was a Bronze Age society that developed from 5,300 to 3,300 years ago, at about the same time as urban civilisations developed in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Scientists have found that much of the Indus civilisation thrived around an extinct river, challenging ideas about how urbanisation in ancient cultures evolved.


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