CRUX Notes

Jan to Dec 2018




ISRO’s PSLV C43 launched India’s first HysIS)

Lifts 31 satellites

Into 636km polar sun-synchronous Orbit


2 payloads:

One to capture image in visible near-Infrared VNIR


Other short wave infrared range(SWIR)



45th flight of PSLV

Polar Sun-Synchronous orbit Geosynchronous orbit Geostationary orbit  
nearly polar orbit around a planet

same local mean solar time

matches Earth’s rotation on its axis

(takes one sidereal day)

circular geosynchronous orbit 35,786 km (22,236 mi) above Earth’s equator and following the direction of Earth’s rotation


the Hyperspectral Imaging

Technology: digital imaging + spectroscopy

 locate different materials and their chemical and physical properties

 many more bands than a normal color camera

o It was first tried by ISRO in an experimental satellite in May 2008 and later on Chandrayaan-1 mission for mapping lunar mineral resources, this is the first time a full-fledged hyperspectral imaging satellite has been launched


continuous and contiguous ranges of wavelengths (e.g. 400 – 1100 nm in steps of 0.1 nm) subset of targeted wavelengths at chosen locations (e.g. 400 – 1100 nm in steps of 20 nm).
consists of much narrower bands (10-20 nm). image could have hundreds or thousands of band

ISRO launched satellite-GSAT-29 through the launcher GSLV-Mk III D2.

GSLV-Mk III D2- Launcher GSLV-Mk III GSAT 29
fifth generation, India’s heaviest launch vehicle



upto 4000kg:GTO

geosyn transfer orbit


10000kg into low earth orbit LEO


three-stage heavy-lift rocket


two solid fuel strap-on engines

2nd: a liquid propellant core

3rd    a cryogenic engine

cryogenic propellant system in upper stage called the C25 engine



thrust to future space missions –

Chandrayaan 2, ISRO’s moon and man missions etc.




India is among six nations — apart from the US, Russia, France, Japan and China — to possess cryogenic engine technology.



multi-beam, multiband communication satellite of India and is the heaviest satellite




bridge the digital divide of users including those in Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern regions of India




(NGT) upheld the environmental clearance granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO), a major research facility proposed in Theni district of Tamil Nadu



INO- experimental particle physics projects

    construction of an underground laboratory

     surface facilities at Pottipuram in Bodi West hills of Theni District of Tamil Nadu,

    an Iron Calorimeter (ICAL) detector for studying neutrinos

     setting up of National Centre for High Energy Physics at Madurai


      second most abound particles in the universe

      hard to detect

      no electrical charge and nearly massless

       3 different types/flavors-, separated based on mass (electron-neutrino, muon-neutrino, tau-neutrino).

       produced in the core of the sun

Other Neutrino study projects-

 LAGUNA (Large Apparatus studying Grand Unification & Neutrino Astrophysics) in Europe

 Hyper Kamiokande Detector at Kamioka Observatory in Hida (Japan)

 DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino) project in South Dakota (US)

MoEFCC categorized it as a Category B project for which Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is not necessary. However, Madhikettan Shola National Park in Idukki district of Kerala was just about 4.9 km from the proposed project site and the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border was just a km away, making it a Category “A” project

The IceCube observatory at the South Pole has discovered that a “blazar”, a galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its centre, also produces neutrinos


• The IceCube experiment at the South Pole is a cubic kilometre in size and

 uses deep arctic ice as a target for the neutrinos.

• Neutrinos can produce a charged particle when they occasionally do interact with the fundamental particles that make up ice.


only been observed originating from supernovae (exploding stars) and the sun

 Neutrinos can also be made artificially





to sequence, catalog and characterize the genomes of all of Earth’s eukaryotic biodiversity over a period of ten years.

•  by various countries: o US-led project to sequence the genetic code of tens of thousands of vertebrates

oChinese project to sequence 10,000 plant genomes

oThe Global Ant Genomes Alliance, which aims to sequence around 200 ant genomes


Initiative, led by The National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR) – National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS)

• The collective genome of all micro-organisms contained within the human body( residing inside tissues & bio-fluids) :Human Microbiome

Methodology to study:

o Metagenomics as a culture-independent method of broad microbial community characterization

o Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to provide a “deep” genetic perspective on aspects of a given microbial community, i.e. individual bacterial species


General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM)

• highest international body of the world for accurate and precise measurements.

• India became a signatory in1957.

• meets usually once every 4 years

• The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), executive body  – to define the International System of Units (SI).

International System of Units (SI Units)

 •  adopted in 1960.

• 7 fundamental units

INTEGRATED HEALTH INFORMATION PLATFORM (IHIP) under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) was launched in 7 states IHIP:

real time, village wise, case based electronic health information system with GIS tagging

help in prompt prevention and control of epidemic prone diseases.

to enable creation of interoperable Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Information from other branches like tuberculosis control programme, maternal and child health programme and non-communicable disease programme also will be included in this platform


Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP)

 • disease surveillance scheme under National Health Mission, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India, assisted by the World Bank.

•  to set up a Central Disease Surveillance Unit and a State Surveillance Unit in each State 

•  one stop portal which has facilities for data entry, view reports, outbreak reporting, data analysis, training modules and resources related to disease surveillance


India is planning to legalise Indian Standard Time

Microsoft software or iPhone users get the

time sourced from US-based Network Time Protocol. Once IST becomes legal, users will not be allowed to

use any other time other than the one generated by National Physical Laboratory





ü Other elements used to make atomic clocks are:

o Rubidium (Lower cost but less stable),

o Hydrogen masers (short-term stability and low long-term accuracy),

o Mercury ions,

o Isotope of Ytterbium and Strontium

Who maintains Indian Standard Time?

ü National Physical Laboratory in Delhi, also known as National Measurement Institute

ü The Time and Frequency Standards Laboratory at the institute in New Delhi generate official time signals for both commercial and official use.

ü The signals, based on atomic clocks, synchronize with the worldwide system of clocks that support the Coordinated Universal Time.


Atomic Clocks

üa kind of clock that uses an atomic resonance frequency standard

übased on the properties of atoms transitioning between different energy states.

ü The oscillation frequencies within the atom depend on the mass of the nucleus and the gravity and

electrostatic “spring” between the positive charge on the nucleus and the electron cloud around it.

ü The most accurate atomic clocks available today use the cesium atom and normal magnetic fields and detectors.

ü Cesium 133

ü Inside a cesium atomic clock, cesium atoms are funneled down a tube where they pass through radio waves. When these atoms at resonate frequency, they change their energy state.

.Indian Standard Time

ücalculates on the basis of 82.5° E longitude, just west of the town of Mirzapur, near Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

 longitude difference between Mirzapur and the United Kingdom’s Royal Observatory at Greenwich:exact time difference of 5 hours 30 minutes.

ü earliest descriptions of standard time in India , fourth century C.E.

astronomical treatise Surya Siddhanta. Postulating a spherical earth, the book defined the primemeridian, or zero longitude, as passing through Avanti (Ujjain) and Rohtak.

ü India standard Meridian passes through Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

CALL FOR TWO TIME ZONES IN INDIA Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), which maintains Indian Standard Time (IST), has published a research article describing the necessity of two time zones • In 2006, the Planning Commission recommended the introduction of two time zones in the country, saying it would save “a lot of energy”.
BOMBALI VIRUS STRAIN AND EBOLA Researchers discovered a new strain of Ebola Virus In bats in northern Bombali region of Sierra Leone.

ü The newly discovered strain has been named as Bombali virus strain, after district where it was found.

ü The Bombali virus is overall sixth known virus strain Ebola virus. Others are:

1. Zaire,

2. Sudan,

3. Tai Forest,

4. Bundibugyo and

5. Reston.

What is Ebola?

ü Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness

in humans.

ü The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through

human-to-human transmission.

ü The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in

past outbreaks.



ü It was first described in the 1940s by Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger, who observed autism like

behaviors and difficulties with social and communication skills in boys who had normal


developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social

interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior

and interests.

intelligence and language development.

ü Children with Asperger’s Disorder may be only mildly affected, and they frequently have good language

and cognitive skills. limited or inappropriate social interactions

o “robotic” or repetitive speech

o challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.) coupled with

average to above average verbal skills

o tendency to discuss self rather than others

o inability to understand social/emotional issues or nonliteral phrases

o lack of eye contact or reciprocal conversation

o obsession with specific, often unusual, topics

o one-sided conversations

o awkward movements and/or mannerisms


no vaccine is available against the Virus

ü symptoms of norovirus :o Nauseao Vomiting

o Abdominal pain or crampso Watery or loose diarrhoeao Low-grade fever

very contagious virus that can infect anyone.

ü one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK.

ü called the winter vomiting bug because it’s more common in winter, although one can catch it at any time of the year.

ü spread by the faecal–oral route.

ü may be by contaminated food or water or person-to-person contact.

ü may also spread via contaminated surfaces or through the air.

ü Risk factors include unsanitary food preparation.

ü Disinfecting the surfaces are the ways to prevent it.



Transmit by mosquito transmit dengue;

Sexually transmitted

First identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys

microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with small and underdeveloped brains.

Guillain-Barré syndrome — a neurological disorder that could lead to paralysis and death, according to WHO.

The Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) is monitoring microcephaly from 55 sentinel sites

DOWN SYNDROME type of mental retardation caused by extra genetic material in chromosome.

It is associated with intellectual and learning disabilities.

ü Persons with Down Syndrome have 47 chromosomes

slows down learning process impacts neurological functioning causing impairment of intellectual functions e.g. analytical thinking,

complex abstractions and judgement etc.

Huntington Disease

ü Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain

ü HD is known as the quintessential family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene.

ü It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure.

ü Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 to 50, and worsen over a 10 to 25 year period.

ü Ultimately, the weakened individual succumbs to pneumonia, heart failure or other complications.

ü Everyone has the gene that causes HD, but only those that inherit the expansion of the gene will develop

HD and perhaps pass it on to each of their children.

ü Every person who inherits the expanded HD gene will eventually develop the disease.

ü Over time, HD affects the individual’s ability to reason, walk and speak

genetic disorder is a disease caused by abnormalities or mutations in the DNA sequence


by damage to chromosomes- Down Syndrome

by a single error in a single gene in the human DNA. (such as Sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis )

by mutations in multiple genes compounded by environmental factors(Heart disease, diabetes,

and most cancers Mitochondrial disorders: these are very rare disorders caused by mutations in non-chromosomal


o blood related genetic disorder which involves the absence of or errors in

genes responsible for production of haemoglobin

Sickle-cell anemia

o blood related disorder that affects the haemoglobin molecule, and causes

the entire blood cell to change shape(sickle shape) under stressed conditions.


 o a bleeding disorder that slows down the blood clotting process.


o an extremely rare genetic disease of childhood characterized by dramatic, premature aging

Cystic Fibrosis

o Affects the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems involving the

production of abnormally thick mucus linings in the lungs and can lead

to fatal lung infections.

Tay-Sachs Disease

o Harmful quantities of a fatty substance accumulate in the nerve cells in brain.

Huntington’s disease

o degenerative brain disorder, in which afflicted individuals lose their ability to walk, talk, think, and reason. They easily become depressed, and lose their short-term memory capacity.


World Health Organisation (WHO) released World TB Report 2018, with collaboration of UN’s first high-level meeting (HLM) on TB.


TB-by the bacillus Mycobacterium Tuberculosis


Drug Resistant TB :

1.Mutidrug resistant TB

2.Exsistencely drug resistant TB (XDR-TB)

3.Totally drug resistant TB(TDR-TB)



Findings of the World TB report 2018

TB is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide

Overall, TB deaths have decreased over the past year

major challenge : underreporting and under-diagnosis of TB cases

Triple-Billion Goals:

WHO General Programme of Work 2019-2023 linked to SGDs health goals

Catastrophic total costs due to TB


TB-specific indicator incorporates

-direct medical payments for diagnosis and treatment,


also direct non-medical payments

(e.g. for transportation and lodging) and indirect costs (e.g. lost income).


India situation:27% new cases in 2017 ; MDR-TB New cases


WHO- End TB Strategy

Vision: A world free of TB with zero deaths, disease and suffering due to TB.

 It has three high-level, overarching indicators and related targets:

✓ 95% reduction by 2035 in number of TB deaths compared with 2015.

✓ 90% reduction by 2035 in TB incidence rate compared with 2015.

✓ Zero the level of catastrophic costs for TB-affected families by 2035


Rice University researchers enhanced micron-sized titanium dioxide particles to trap and destroy bisphenol A

chemical use in production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.

BPA is an endocrine system disruptor and it can interfere with the production, and function of natural hormones. It also contributes to high blood pressure.

BPA can also be found in breast milk. Its Prolonged exposure is suspected of affecting the health of children

NOBLE PRIZES IN PHYSIOLOGY 2018 awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of ‘immune checkpoint therapy,’ a cancer treatment

protein that functions as a brake on the immune system: realized the potential of releasing the brake and thereby unleashing our immune cells to attack tumors.

NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS Arthur Ashkin for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems

Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses

•                     Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) for subsequent high-intensity lasers. Its uses include the millions of corrective eye surgeries that are conducted every year using the sharpest of laser beams


Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018 : prescribed standards for fortification of various food products: must not fall below the minimum level of micro nutrients.

Quality assurance

operationalised standards for fortification of:

o wheat- flour-rice (with iron, Vitamin B12 and folic acid)

o milk & edible oil (with Vitamins A and D)

o double-fortified salt (with iodine and iron).


• It has also introduced the +F logo to identify fortified foods

promoted through both open market and government schemes like ICDS,MDMS,PDS,etc



Nilima Shirsagar committee


cocktail of two or more therapeutic drugs packed in a single dose


Drug regime in India

 regulated by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945.

 Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), under the Ministry of     Health and Family Welfare

• State Drug Authorities are the licensing authorities for marketing drugs.

Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB): It is the highest statutory decision-making body on technical matters

HYDROGEN-CNG vehicle fuel which is a blend of compressed natural gas and hydrogen, typically 8-50% hydrogen by volume


Delhi became the first city in the country to supply ultra-clean Bharat Stage (BS) VI grade fuel (both petrol and diesel).




trains called Coradia iLint

manufactured by Alstom, Europe’s largest railway manufacturers

world’s first noise free, zero emissions trains running at 140km/hr

covering 1000 km on a full tank of hydrogen with seating capacity of 150 passengers refuelled from a 40 foot high mobile hydrogen steel container.

running cost is cheaper than the diesel trains


Hydrogen fuel cell

combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity

 water and steam as the only biproducts.


 climate friendly fuel as it does not emit carbon dioxide or particulate


swimming pool type research reactor “Apsara-upgraded” has become operational at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)


•  upgraded version of “Apsara”, the first research reactor in Asia which had became operational in 1956

uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).


Owing to higher neutron flux, this reactor will increase indigenous production of radio-isotopes for medical application by about 50%


Kamini (Kalpakkam Mini)

 only reactor in the world operating with 233U fuel which is produced by the thorium fuel cycle


Dhruva (at BARC in Trombay)

 It is India’s largest research reactor.

primary source of weapons-grade plutonium




PARTICLE DECAY(higgs boson)


Higgs bosons decay into pairs: bottom quarks (58 percent), W bosons (21 percent), Z bosons (6 percent), tau leptons (2.6 percent) and photons (0.2 percent)



Quarks and antiquarks are the only two fundamental particles that interact through all four fundamental forces of physics: gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong interaction and weak interactions

Higgs Boson

•  popularly known as the God particle and

    responsible for giving mass to fundamental subatomic particles.

• discovered by Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

• LHC accelerator hosts two large-particle physics detectors  — the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and A Toroidal LHC Apparatus (ATLAS).



NASA satellite


ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite)


 benchmark Earth Observing System mission :measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics.

 launched in 2003 and ended in 2009.

Observation:  sea ice was thinning, and ice cover was disappearing from coastal areas in Greenland and Antarctica.

 ICESat-2 continues key elevation observations of the cryosphere begun by the original ICESat mission (2003 to 2009) and

Operation IceBridge airborne efforts (2009 through present), to provide a continuous long-term record of change in the beginning of the 21st century.



ISRO will be sending its first human spaceflight mission into the space by 2022

technologies required for the mission such as Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-2007), Crew module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment (CARE-2014), GSLV Mk-III (2014), Reusable Launch Vehicle- Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), Crew Escape System (July 2018) and Pad Abort Test (2018)
GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle

first human mission indigenously developed by ISRO

comprise of a crew module and service module that constitute an orbital module

The Environmental Control & Life Support System (ECLSS) is meant for humans inside to live

Comfortably ; ensures that conditions inside the crew module are suitable for living.

• The ECLSS –

i. maintains a steady cabin pressure and air composition

ii. removes carbon dioxide and other harmful gases

iii. controls temperature and humidity

iv. manages parameters like fire detection and suppression, emergency support

v. takes care of food and water management


Ministry of Civil Aviation (DGCA)


Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been defined as: “Powered, aerial vehicles that do not carry a human operator, use aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.”



 Key features of the Regulations for Civil Use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)

The Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT).

drone pilots are required to request permission to fly via a mobile app

 required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners –Unique Identification Number (UIN) from DGCA.

 5 categories of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) categorized by weight, namely o Nano (Less than or equal to 250 grams),

o Micro (250 grams to 2kg),

o Small (2kg-25kg),

o Medium (25kg-150kg) and

o Large (Greater than 150kg).


Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAO The DGCA has to issue the UAOP within seven working days and it shall be valid for five years and not transferrable.

flown only by someone over 18 years of age, having passed 10th exam in English

•  no remote pilot can operate more than one RPA at any time.

•  restrict drone flights to the daytime only  within “Visual Line of Sight (VLOS)”.  

• Restrictions placed:

·       within 5km of the perimeters of the airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad and within 3km from the perimeter of any other airport.  “permanent or temporary Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas” and within 25km from international border which includes the Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL).

·       beyond 500 m into sea from the coast line and within 3 km from perimeter of military installations.


‘Making India 5G Ready’.



(1G) : analog & voice call 2.4kbps

(2G): digital technology & text messaging  144kbps

(3G): high digital transmission

Wide band wireless network

(4G): Long term Evolution(LTE)

wireless communication technology

using radio waves or radio frequency (RF) energy


 The final standard for 5G will be set up by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

• Technical specification for 5G – o high data rates (1 Gbps for hotspots, 100 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload for wide-area coverage)

o massive connectivity (1 million connections per square kilometre)

o ultra-low latency (1 millisecond)

o high reliability (99.999% for mission critical ‘ultra-reliable’ communications), and

o Mobility at high speeds (up to 500 km/h i.e. high-speed trains).



NITI Aayog recently pointed out that the digital payments market in India is set to become a trillion-dollar industry in the next five years, led by growth in mobile payments which are slated to rise to $190 billion by 2023 from $10 billion in 2017-18

The Payment and Settlement Act, 2007 defines Digital Payments/electronic funds transfer


The payment system can be bifurcated into two main segments: o The first segment consists of instruments which are covered under Systemically Important Financial Market Infrastructure (SIFMIs) and the second segment consist of Retail Payments

Digital payment is a primary tool to move to a ‘less cash’ economy since the cash to GDP ratio in India is one of the highest in the world at about 12%.


Ratan Watal Committee

DIGITAL NORTH-EAST VISION 2022 Launched under the Digital India programme it will be coordinated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology


eight digital thrust areas -digital infrastructure, digital services, digital empowerment, promotion of electronics manufacturing, promotion of IT and IT enabled services including BPOs, digital payments, innovation & startups, and cyber security

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SPORTS Technological Advancements in Sports

Hawk-Eye Technology:  an error-free decision in cricket, lawn tennis, rugby league, football, and baseball

HANS (Head and Neck Support) device used in motorsports saving the lives of driver in the event of a tragic crash.

Whole body polyurethane swim suits which contains polyurethane membrane which decreases the drag by 24% compared to other suits

Prosthetic Devices for Disabled Athletes

Ingestible Thermometer Pills which supervise visceral organs, temperature and heart rate of an athlete and transmits vital information to medical personnel. It will help to minimize death from heat exhaustion which is the second most common reason for athlete fatalities


MHRD recently launched the Innovation Cell at All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE)

Major Programs

Network of Innovation Clubs (NIC)


Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA).  primarily focus on 5 main parameters –

 o Budget expenses and revenue generated through innovation and entrepreneurship

o Facilitating access to advance centres/facilities and entrepreneurial support system

o Idea to entrepreneurship

o Development of innovation ecosystems supported through teaching and learning

o Best innovative solutions developed in-house for improving governance of your institution


Smart Inia Hackathon (SIH) 2019 – to provide students a platform to solve some of pressing problems we face in our daily lives, and thus inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem solving.

National Student Startup Policy (NSSP) –  to guide AICTE approved institutions to promote student driven innovations and start-ups.

identifying the innovative and entrepreneurial potential of students and transforming them into start-up entrepreneurs.


PRIME MINISTER’S SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION COUNCIL (PM-STIAC) It will be chaired by the government’s Principal Scientific Advisor, Dr K. Vijay Raghavan. It will replace two scientific advisory committees for the prime minister and the cabinet

aimed to streamline as well as cut down the number of committees and councils.

The new panel will advise the PM on all matters related to science, technology and innovation, and would also monitor the implementation of the PM’s vision.

It will also advise government on developing ‘Clusters of Excellence’ in science including city-based R&D clusters


Impacting Research, Innovation and Technology or IMPRINT

initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)

launched in 2015 as a joint initiative of IIT and IISc under which 142 project are being implemented presently.

• The round two of IMPRINT – IMPRINT II, will be jointly funded and steered by MHRD and Department of Science and Technology

is a national which aims to address engineering challenges in 10 technology domains relevant to India through an inclusive and sustainable mode.

• The 10 domains include: (i) Health care (ii) Information and Communication Technology (iii) Energy (iv) Sustainable Habitat (v) Nano-technology Hardware (vi) Water Resources and River systems (vii) Advanced Materials (viii) Manufacturing (ix) Security and Defense (x) Environmental Science and Climate Change



Key features of IMPRINT-II include–

o Principle objective is to translate knowledge into viable technology

o MHRD and DST will be equal partners in the scheme

o It will be open to all MHRD funded Higher Education Institute (HEI)/Centrally Funded Technical Institution (CFTI). Its scope has been extended to private institutions as well.

o Projects with industry support will be preferred

START UP INDIA’S ACADEMIA ALLIANCE PROGRAM unique mentorship opportunity between academic scholars and start-ups to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country.

to reduce the gap between scientific research and its industrial application

• It has been partnered by Regional Centre for Biotechnology, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and TERI School of Advanced Studies to provide mentorship and guidance to relevant start-ups in the field of renewable energy, biotechnology, healthcare


launched by FSSAI

to enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel

environment friendly because as of now cooking oil is either not discarded or disposed in an environmentally hazardous manner, thereby, choking drains and sewerage systems

About UCO standards

According to FSSAI regulations, the maximum permissible limits for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) in cooking oil- 25 per cent.

TPC is formed due to repeated frying and usage of edible oil which changes its physiochemical and nutrition properties making it unfit for human consumption

FSSAI is working in partnership with Biodiesel Association of India (BDAI) and the food industry to ensure effective compliance of UCO standards.

FSSAI is also implementing a ‘Triple E strategy’ – Education, Enforcement and Ecosystem to divert UCO from the food value chain and curb current illegal practices


World’s first-ever thermal battery plant was inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh

use thermal energy to operate, i.e., the energy created by temperature differences.

consists of two parts: a cool zone known as sink, and a hot source called source.

• Both these sides consist of compounds known as phase-changing materials (PCMs)


maintaining a low carbon footprint and last longer than the lithium batteries

integration with power grids, can help meet industrial demand.

help solving power issues in remote areas.

offer support to public transport systems and telecom grids.

Telecom infrastructure can also be enhanced, as thermal batteries can help maintain signal strength and network connectivity.

 E-vehicles can also get charging power from stations running on thermal batteries


the positive correlation between presence of Wolbachia bacteria in mosquitoes and reduced spread of diseases such as Malaria and Dengue

Wolbachia is a tiny bacterium that is present in up to 60% of all species of insects, including several mosquito species.

usually not present in the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary species responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

e world’s most common parasitic microbes

• When present in the mosquito, the viruses cannot replicate and hence small numbers of wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes are released in target areas. -BIOCONTROL


• The World Mosquito Program introduces Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Once Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes are released, they breed with wild mosquitoes and over time, the majority of mosquitoes carry Wolbachia.


Indian and European Union (EU)

The programme will get fund under EU funding programme for research and innovation called ‘Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020

• It is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

• It is helping to achieve research and innovation on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.



basic principles of net neutrality is that nobody owns the internet and it is free and open to all and that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally without any regard to the type, origin or destination of the content or the means of its transmission.

• According to TRAI net neutrality principles,

 any form of discrimination or interference in the treatment of content, including practices like blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content is prohibited


proposal submitted by DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion) regarding accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty


WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation)

one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (headquarters at Geneva, Switzerland)

 aims to promote worldwide protection of both industrial property (inventions, trademarks, and designs) and copyrighted materials (literary, musical, photographic, and other artistic works

WIPO Copyright Treaty

special agreement under the Berne Convention (for protection of literary and artistic works) that deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors in the digital environment.

• It grants following rights: o the right of distribution

                                                 o the right of rental

                                                 o a broader right of communication to the public

WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty

•  two kinds of beneficiaries, particularly in the digital environment

o performers (actors, singers, musicians, etc.); and

o producers of phonograms


• It grants them these economic rights: the right of reproduction; the right of distribution; the right of rental; and the right of making available.

• The term of protection must be at least 50 years

Benefits of accession to two treaties

It extends coverage of copyright to the internet and digital environment and will instill confidence and allow distribution of creative works in digital environment


Ministry of Health and Family welfare


Increasing access to testing and management of viral hepatitis


Establish at least 100 treatment sites in the public sector

Viral Hepatitis

means inflammation of the liver- often caused by a virus and Hepatitis B and C,

the two main types of the five different hepatitis infections (A, B, C, D, E) are responsible for 96% of overall hepatitis mortality.


Hepatitis B Hepatitis C
spread when blood, semen, or certain other body fluids from a person infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.
Vaccine Available Not Available

incorporates particle-tracking technology developed for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

it records the precise energy levels of the X-rays as they hit each particle in your body then translates those measurements into different colours representing your bones, muscles, and other tissues.

 clearly shows the difference between bone, muscle and cartilage and also the position and size of cancerous tumours as well.

• Other benefits include

The CERN technology called Medipix is like a camera detecting and counting individual sub-atomic particles o More accurate diagnosis

o Future version may enable complete image of a human, which may help in 3D printing a lost limb or a malfunctioning organ

o Customised medical care to individual needs as it would not just show fractures, surrounding tissues, blood and nerve supply but also structures exactly as they are


rare blood group

It has anti-PP1Pk antibody – cause acute intravascular haemolytic reaction

known to cause recurrent abortions in women ;

finding compatible unit for such case is a near impossible task


used in the fishing industry to increase the shelf-life of fish

• International agency for research on cancer and US FDA both classify formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. It increases risk of leukaemia, blood cancer etc

an anti-decomposition agent.

colorless flammable chemical used in pressed wood products, fabrics, insulation materials.

used as fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant. used as a preservative for bodies and organs to ensure the specimen doesn’t decompose.

Short term damages for formaldehyde are watery eyes, coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation.


ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR INCLUSIVE GROWTH NITI Aayog released a ‘national strategy for artificial intelligence’
QUADRIVALENT INFLUENZA VACCINE he quadrivalent vaccine will contain four influenza virus strains (two A subtypes and two B subtypes — H1N1 and H3N2, and Victoria and Yamagata respectively).

Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory illness caused by a virus

Types of influenza viruses

ü There are four types of influenza viruses: types A, B, C and D:

o Influenza A viruses: infect humans and many different animals. It can cause an influenza


o Influenza B viruses: circulates among humans and cause seasonal epidemics. Recent data

showed seals also can be infected.

o Influenza C viruses: can infect both humans and pigs but infections are generally mild and

are rarely reported.

o Influenza D viruses: primarily affect cattle and are not known to infect or cause illness in


What is H and N that we Influenza type A viruses are classified into subtypes according to the combinations of different virus

surface proteins hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). So far there are 18 different hemagglutinin

subtypes and 11 different neuraminidase subtypes.

ü Depending on the origin host, influenza A viruses can be classified as avian influenza, swine influenza,

or other types of animal influenza viruses.

ü Examples include avian influenza “bird flu” virus subtypes A(H5N1) and A(H9N2) or swine influenza

“swine flu” virus subtypes A(H1N1) and A(H3N2).

What the WHO recommendation says?

ü Since the vast majority of influenza vaccines manufactured were trivalent till recently, the World Health

Organisation (WHO) used to recommend two A subtypes and one B subtype, plus an optional f



Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), under Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Agreement for transfer of technology for India’s first Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Battery project


SCIENCE-BASED TARGETS global team comprised of people from all partner organisations – the United Nations Global Compact, CDP, WWF and World Resources Institute.

Targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered “science-based” if they are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre- industrial temperatures.

• Unique to this initiative is the criterion that companies need to commit to setting supply chain or ‘scope 3’ targets


India has committed to generate at least 40 per cent of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources and decrease carbon emission intensity of GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030

AUGMENTING WRITING SKILLS FOR ARTICULATING RESEARCH (AWSAR) initiated by National Council of Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology (DST)

to encourage, empower and endow popular science writing through newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media etc. by young PhD scholars and post-doctoral fellows during the course of their higher studies


DRY SORBENT INJECTION (DSI) for controlling sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions


Dry Sorbent Injection (DSI) system is a pollution control system for the reduction of SOx (SO2, SO3), HCI and heavy metals like mercury.

 dry process –resultant dry waste is removed via either an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) or a fabric filter baghouse

 offers various advantages in comparison to traditional acid gas scrubber technology such as: lower capital cost, wide range of favourable operation conditions, and much lesser time for completing installation and commissioning.




Quantum Dot:

 • semiconductor nano crystal which is made of specific materials.

•  discrete quantized energy spectrum.

• It contains a small finite number of conduction band electrons, valence band holes, or excitons



 help in reducing carbon footprint

 absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to generate fuel and  oxygen in the process, simulating the process of photosynthesis

 the leaf can convert about 20 per cent of the incident solar energy into chemical energy. Also, it is 100 times more efficient than a natural leaf in absorbing carbon dioxide during the process.

composed of completely biocompatible, earth abundant

 semiconductor nano crystals called Quantum dots which act as catalyst to convert absorbed CO2 into bicarbonate and then ‘formate’ (derivative of formic acid) that can be used as bio fuel.

uses copper aluminium sulphate and zinc sulphide as semiconductors.

 act as a source of renewable energy, while significantly reducing the carbon footprint from the atmosphere, releasing more oxygen in the process. Hence the development is being viewed as one of potential solutions in tackling global warming and climate change.

 The bio fuel generated is not only 100% combustible but the carbon dioxide emitted in the combustion of the fuel can be recycled by the quantum leaves too


NASA has released a document, titled “National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan

It is a 10-year plan which will enhance NEO Detection, Tracking, and Characterization Capabilities and develop Technologies for NEO Deflection and Disruption Missions


NASA is a key member in both the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) and the asteroid Space Mission Planning and Advisory Group, endorsed by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) as the combined response for all space-capable nations to address the NEO impact hazard




EXTRA: Echelle Spectrograph

ü An Echelle spectrograph disperses the light in two orthogonal directions using two dispersion stages

discovered a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune sized exoplanet



discovery was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed PARAS (PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-Sky Search) spectrograph integrated with a 1.2m telescope at Gurushikar Observatory in Mount Abu.


The name of the host star is EPIC 211945201 or K2-236 and the planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b


Himalayan Chandra Telescope

 a 2-m Telescope at IAO, Hanule, ladakh.

 remotely operated using dedicated satellite communication link from the Centre of Research & Education in Science and Technology


Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH)-India, began its operation at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Hanule in Ladakh.

fully robotic telescope which has been funded by the Science and Engineering Board (SERB) of the Department of Science and Technology


part of multi-country collaborative initiative known as Global Relay Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) to observe transient events in the universe


ROBINSECTS for pollination; called as Robinsects or Nova-Crafters, based on the concept of ‘Biomimetics


Algorithms are being developed to help

the robot locate flowers, and its robotic arm, topped with a set of soft brush tips–designed to act like a bee’s hairs–will gently reach out to each flower and pollinate it


Biomimetics: Biomimetics, also known as bionics, biognosis, or biomimicry.


• Fund establishment of a network of alliances among Academia Services Industry, Product Industry, Start-ups and Government Ministries;

• Establishing & administering National AI Challenge funds;

• Increasing awareness of AI through AI-yatras;

Coordination of projects of national importance: commercialisation of AI based

products and technology through PPP models and start-ups

Establishing Centres of Excellence for promoting interdisciplinary research


• type of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) which claims to emit nicotine

without other harmful chemicals that are present in normal cigarettes.

• aim to provide a similar sensation to inhaling tobacco smoke, without the smoke and are sold as aids to reduce or quit smoking.

• produce an aerosol by heating a fluid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals which is then inhaled by users of e-cigarettes.

• Smoking e-cigarettes is also called vaping.



o It may function as a “tumour promoter” and seems to be involved in the neuro-degeneration.

o May also contribute to cardiovascular disease.

o Foetal and adolescent nicotine exposure may have long-term consequences for brain development, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders.

• It is because of above concerns that worldwide a need is being felt to regulate the e-cigarettes just as traditional tobacco products are regulated.


to prevent the misuse of ART services and promote its safe and ethical practice


. Key features of the Draft Bill include:

Setting National and State Board for ART

Setting up a National Registry


ART refers to all techniques that attempt to obtain a pregnancy by handling the sperm or the egg outside the human body and transferring the gamete or the embryo into

the reproductive tract of a woman. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

is the most common form of ART


o IVF process involves fertilization by combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish manually and then transferring the embryo to the uterus

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) neurodegenerative condition,

attacks the motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord,

hampering their ability to communicate with muscles

and control voluntary movements, leading to eventual paralysis.

• ALS is very rare, occurring on average among 2/ 100,000 people every year

    among individuals aged between 55 and 65.

• There is currently no cure or treatment that halts or reverses ALS

Contribution of Stephen Hawking Hawking-Penrose theorem / Big Bang Theory

Singularity’ which inside a Black Hole indicate towards the beginning of the Universe


Information Paradox, or Hawking Paradox,

-the black hole would lose energy and eventually disappear or “evaporate”.


The launch took ISRO a step

towards realising its second Moon

mission Chandrayaan 2 planned for

October 2018

Vikas Engine – powered the rocket‘s second stage.

· The improved engine has increased the thrust by 6%, thereby enhancing payload capability of the vehicle by 50%.

· The second stage also had electromechanical actuation system replacing electrohydraulic actuation system.


launched on board the GSLV F08, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at



COPERNICUS PROGRAMME India and the European Union recently signed an agreement


Earth observation programme headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

• India will get free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of six satellites.

Reciprocally India will provide free, full and open access to the data from ISRO’s land, ocean and atmospheric series of civilian satellites (Oceansat-2, Megha-Tropiques, Scatsat-1, SARAL, INSAT-3D, INSAT- 3DR) with the exception of commercial high-resolution satellites data.

• The services address six thematic areas: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management, and security.

AIR-BREATHING ELECTRIC THRUSTER By European Space Agency (ESA)- which could keepsatellites in low orbit for longer time.


Air-Breathing Electric Thruster or Ion Thruster?

• It is an ion thruster which uses Air Breathing Electric Propulsion (ABEP) or RAM electric propulsion method

Significance of ABEP

reduces the weight of the satellite, thus reducing the consumption

of fuel.

It extends the stay of satellites in space to almost indefinite time and also opens the doors for deep space exploration.

MICRO-LED: THE NEXT-GEN DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY emerging flat panel display technology in which displays consist of arrays of microscopic

LEDs forming the individual pixel elements.

simply traditional LEDs shrunk down and placed into an array.


The LED technology is not new but manufacturing a panel array using such tiny components is very difficult and currently not commercially viable over OLED



 self-emissive : requires no backlight; instead, it lights each individual pixel as needed

 made of organic materials that age,resulting in a decrease in luminance over time


hypothesized type of nuclear reaction that would occur at, or near, room


Cold Fusion Reactor

Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) technology is nuclear fusion

Supposedly occurring at or close to room temperature

form of energy generated when hydrogen interacts with various metals like nickel and palladium.

• Cold fusion seeks to produce nuclear energy without harmful radiation, complex equipment and the application of very high temperatures and pressures


Ultra-clean and Energy Dense: Cold fusion energy generators will not need to be connected to an electrical grid


thermoelectric material which can be used for converting waste heat into electricity :poor conductivity in 25-425 degree C range but shows good electrical conductivity.


• Properties –

o Tellurium: Its atoms are strongly bound and the lattice is very rigid which provides a conduction channel for holes thus rendering good electrical conductivity to the compound.

o Silver and Copper: contribute to low thermal conductivity. Over 170-degree C, both silver and copper ions flow like liquid within the rigid tellurium sublattice, thereby reducing the thermal conductivity to the level of glass without affecting the hole (electrical carrier) transport


AgCuTe has the efficiency of 14% to convert heat into electricity which can be used to avoid loss of about 65% of the utilized energy which is wasted as heat

VATERITE – RARE MINERALS IN PLANTS a polymorph (a solid chemical compound that exists in more than one crystalline form)

of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

• Being unstable in Earth’s humid atmosphere, it often reverts to more common forms of calcium carbonate, such as calcite.

•  often associated with outer space and on earth it is found in some sea and freshwater

crustaceans, bird eggs, the inner ears of salmon, meteorites and rocks.

•  potentially superior carrier for medications due to its high loading capacity, high uptake by cells and its solubility properties that enable it to deliver a sustained and targeted release of therapeutic medicines to patients

GALLENENE a 2D form of soft metal gallium

Gallenene is first metal to be created in 2D.

these are mainly high-strength, uncoated and layered structures. So Gallenene is an exception that could save the need for metals in the 2D world.

• binds semiconductors well and can now be created using a relatively simple technique, it could be used as an efficient nanoscale electronic metal contact, a field that currently does not have many 2D metal options for this type of applications


•  helpful in cosmology

. If we are indeed living in an invisible all-pervading Bose Einstein Condensate, this experiment can suggest ways to detect it.

• This new, weakly bound state of matter is a new possibility of investigating the physics of ultracold atoms

RARE ‘ICE-VII’ ON EARTH samples of naturally occurring ice-VII on Earth inside Diamonds

The common ice (ice-I):  hexagonal crystal arrangement – lower density than water.

Compressing ice can change the shape of the crystals, turning ice-I into ice-II (rhombus-shaped crystals), ice-III (tetragonal crystals), and so on.


Ice-VII has cubic crystal arrangement with 1.5 times denser than ice-I.

• It requires both low temperature and high pressure exceeding 30,000 atmospheres (3 gigapascals)-

 The only place  in the Earth’s mantle, but the temperature is very high for ice to form there.


• Diamonds often pick up molecules during their formation deep in the Earth. The trapped water inside can become super-rare ice-VII in such high pressure

DISEASE ‘X’ World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a global alert for ‘Disease X


 called “known unknown” — that could be created by different reasons like biological mutation such as Spanish Flu or HIV or it might be spawned by a terror attack, or simply an accident.

• Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a currently unknown pathogen


new human organ called Interstitium

fluid filled compartments found beneath the skin, as well as lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteins.

earlier considered as dense connective tissue.

may act as “shock absorbers” that protect body tissues from damage.

• This newly discovered organ may help in understanding of the spread of cancer in human body.

• Interstitium is among one of the largest organs of human body


India and World Bank for a National Biopharma Mission’s project titled “Innovate in India (i3) for inclusiveness”.

Key components

Strengthening the pilot-to-market innovation ecosystem

Accelerating the pilot-to-market process

Project management and monitoring and evaluation

• Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public-sector enterprise under Department of Biotechnology (DBT), is the implementing agency of the mission


The initial focus will be on Vaccines for HPV, Dengue and biosimilars for cancer, diabetics and rheumatoid arthritis and medical devices and diagnostics.

EARTH BIO-GENOME PROJECT (EBP) international consortium of scientists  aims to sequence, catalogue, and characterize the genomes of every eukaryotic biodiversity on Earth over a period of 10 years to sequence 1.5 million species in three phases.

• There are about 8 million eukaryotic species and only 0.2% of eukaryotic genome have

been sequenced so far which are still in the crudest form


launched by FSSAI

nationwide campaign –

to spread awareness about consumption of Vitamin D through natural sun light and consuming fortified food among school going children.

• schools to shift their morning assembly timing to noon time so that children are able

to absorb optimum levels of Vitamin D through natural sunlight.

It will ensure that the children are exposed to sun light that will give them the required 90% of Vitamin through sun light.

• The sunshine from 11AM to 1PM is most beneficial for bones of human body because during that time the best UVB radiation is received.


Recently, the Hubble Telescope discovered a light bending Einstein Ring in space




Einstein Ring?

•  General Relativity theory of Albert Einstein, light can get deflected when passing through gravitational field of a massive body.

• Einstein Ring is a kind of gravitational lens which is formed when the galaxy cluster is so closely aligned

that the otherwise divergent light is focussed as a visible ring by them.

• The rings and lenses magnify objects that otherwise would be too distant and dim to see in today’s telescopes.

• When the amount of bending of light is analyzed and the required bending mass is found greater than the visible mass of the cluster, it shows the presence of Dark matter.


from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, through its PSLV-C41

• It is the eighth satellite to join the IRNSS satellite constellation.

• IRNSS-1I will replace IRNSS-1A(three rubidium atomic clocks failed.)

• It will be placed in a sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit

•  carry two payloads – navigation payload (determines position,

velocity and time) and ranging payload (determines the frequency range of the satellite).


Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

(IRSO) successfully launched RH-300 MKII

Sounding Rocket from Thumba Equatorial

Rocket Launch.

one or two stage solid propellant rockets with a payload of 60kg, and altitude capacity of 160km,

used for probing the upper atmospheric regions and for space research

Objective – is to measure neutral wind in the dynamo region (80-120 km) of equatorial ionosphere using the

indigenously developed Electron Density and Neutral Wind Probe (ENWi) and perform cross-validation using

an independent Tri Methyl Aluminium (TMA) release technique

LYRID 2018

This burning of debris with burst of light is called Meteor Shower.

Lyrid 2018 meteor shower

caused by remains of the C/1861 Thatcher comet, and is a yearly celestial phenomenon set

Lyrid meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Lyra



hormone produced in humans by the hypothalamus (a part of brain) and secreted by the

pituitary gland

produced in animals naturally.

Usage of Oxytocino

During Childbirth– The hormone stimulates the uterine muscles to contract, so labor begins.

used to control post-delivery bleeding

o Breastfeeding- It promotes lactation by moving the milk into the breast during feeding.

o Human bonding activities- released naturally during sex, it is also known as ‘love hormone’.

• It has been misused for increasing milk production in animals, increasing size of vegetables, accelerate puberty among trafficked girls etc.




to eliminate trans fats from the food by


Also known as Trans Fatty Acids (TFA), they are of 2 types

o Natural Trans-Fat– Occur naturally in the dairy and some meat products.

o Artificial Trans-Fat– They are created when the oil goes through hydrogenation, which involves adding hydrogen to the liquid oil to make it more solid.


The current permitted level of trans fat is 5 per cent (by weight) in India. FSSAI has further proposed to limit the maximum amount of trans fat in vegetable oils, vegetable fat and hydrogenated vegetable oil to 2 per cent to make India trans-fat free by 2022














FSSAI has issued Draft food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2018


Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

• FSSAI, under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has been established under Food Safety

and Standards Act, 2006.

•  responsibility of laying down scientific standards for articles of food and to regulate their

manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and

wholesome food for human consumption

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee,

•  under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)

•  responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and

recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle.

•  responsible for appraisal of proposalsrelating to release of genetically engineered (GE)

organisms and products into the environment




Important Zoonotic diseases in India are: Nipah virus, avian influenza, rabies, Japanese encephalitis,

leptospirosis, Hanta virus, SARS, cysticercosis, anthrax, plague, echinococcosis and schistosomosis, Kyasanur

forest disease (KFD) etc.

Nipah virus

• first identified in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998 from where it derives its name.

• first outbreak in India was reported from Siliguri, West Bengal in 2001.

• The natural host of the virus is the fruit bat but it can also infect pigs or any domesticated animals.

• The virus is present in bat urine, faeces, saliva, and birthing fluids which then transmits it to Humans climbing trees or drinking raw palm sap covered in it.

• Transmission – direct contact with other NiV-infected people.

What are Zoonotic diseases?

• A zoonotic disease is a disease that spreads between animals and people.

• They can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.


held in Sweden





Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is nodal agency of this mission in India

Mission Innovation Champions Programme was launched by Mission innovation countries to felicitate clean energy innovators.

Hydrogen Innovation Challenge was announced to reduce costs along the value chain and further expand the deployment of hydrogen.

• India announced setting up of First International Incubator for clean energy in public-private partnership at a total investment of around US $ 5 million in Delhi.

• India announced participation in Global cooling innovation challenge

The seven Innovation Challenges under Mission Innovation :

• Smart Grids Innovation Challenge

• Off-Grid Access to Electricity Innovation Challenge

• Carbon Capture Innovation Challenge.

• Sustainable Biofuels Innovation Challenge

• Converting Sunlight Innovation Challenge

• Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge

• Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings

Innovation Challenge



Its aim is to find out the best student innovators of India

Out of 100, Top 30 innovations are selected



•  high school students can work with university incubators

• Students will be trained on business and entrepreneurship skills,

• ATL schools will also be offered a participationvoucher to World Robotics Olympiad (WRO),

which is a global innovation challenge







to expand Common Service Centres (CSC) to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats and to

establish 700 Digital Villages by the end of this year

one of the mission mode projects under the Digital India Programme.


• CSCs are the access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services, apart from host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.


malware GravityRAT

‘RAT’stands for Remote Access Trojan


• I national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when

they occur, operational since January 2004.

•  IT Amendment Act 2008, it has been designated to serve following function so

Collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber incidents.

o Forecast and alerts of cyber security incidents.

o Emergency measures for handling cyber security incidents.

o Coordination of cyber incident response activities.



Bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis


India Trachoma free under WHO GET2020 program


Criteria used by WHO for assessing a country’s claim for having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem.

• less than 5% of children aged 1–9 years (antibod treatment)

• less than 0.2% of people aged 15 years and older have trachomatous trichiasis

• A health system which can identify and manage new cases of trachomatous trichiasis

About Chikungunya

• a mosquito-borne viral disease spread by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus

mosquitoes (They transmit dengue and zika as well).

• There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms

Biosensor technology

•  Molybdenum disulphide nanosheet which is absorbed onto the screen-printed gold electrodes and then used in the detection of chikungunya virus DNA using electrochemical voltammetric techniques.

Advantages: Used to develop a point of care device for rapid identification of disease. It is suitable for mass production, has low cost, higher disposability and design flexibility as compared to traditional electrode materials.



Timbaktu is a small hamlet in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh


Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR)

• It is an all-pervasive, but weak, electromagnetic radiation from the early universe, about 3,80,000 years after the Big Bang when matter was still to be


• This radiation does not come from any of the objects that we see in the universe, like stars or galaxies but from a time when matter and radiation were in thermodynamic equilibrium.

• CMB signals are so faint, and so pervasive is the interference from modern technology that there is a proposal to set up CMB observation experiments on the other side of the moon

INTERSTELLAR ASTEROID 2015 BZ509 by Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) in Hawaii

Its orbit is “retrograde,” i.e. 2015 BZ509 moves around the sun in the opposite direction (clockwise if seen from Sun’s imaginary North Pole)

orbit of the asteroid almost coincides with the Jupiter




element ruthenium (Ru).

belongs to the platinum group

fourth element to have unique magnetic properties at room temperature.

other than this only three elements have been found to be ferromagnetic at room temperature – iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni).

one of the rarest metals on the earth, resistant to oxidation, and additional theoretical predictions claim it has a high thermal stability.


It is the property of material by which certain materials (such as iron) form permanent magnets

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS MASCOT Ministry of Commerce and Industry launched Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Mascot –

IP Nani

CIPAM (Cell for IPR Promotion and Management) + European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU-IPO) to produce a series of animated videos on IPRs for children with IP Nani as their central character

GREEN PROPELLANT Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of ISRO is developing a green monopropellant based on hydroxyl ammonium nitrate (HAN) to replace hydrazine.

• The HAN based green propellant also contains ammonium nitrate (AN), Methanol and Water. Methanol reduces combustion instability and AN controls the burn rate and

lowers the freezing point of the propellant.

• The conventional hydrazine rocket fuel is a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical.

• Green propellant is needed as almost any propellant that gives good performance is a very active chemical;

hence, most propellants are corrosive, flammable, or toxic




Parker Solar Probe completed a flyby of Venus, done to slowdown the spacecraft enough to avoid gravitational pull of the Sun, during its first gravity assist from the planet
New Horizons probe will flyby the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule on 1st January, 2019 and will set the record for the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft.

 It is the first mission to the Pluto System and the Kuiper belt.

Hubble Telescope

Supernova is an astronomical event that occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive

star’s life


the first major optical telescope to be placed in space

observe the most distant stars and galaxies as well as the planets in our solar system

Life Cycle of a Star

ü Stars :hot bodies of glowing gas that start their life in Nebulae

ü colour of a star – its temperature, the hottest stars : blue & the coolest stars : red.

ü The Sun : surface temperature of 5,500 degrees C, its colour appears yellow.

ü The life cycles of star are different according to their mass.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory


one of NASA’s original “Great Observatories” projects along with Hubble, the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

• The planet-hunting Kepler space telescope

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres (largest object in asteroid belt)
NASA’s Mars Insight probeInSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic

Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport)



ü measure the size, frequency and speed of these quakes.

ü consists of a mass attached to a fixed base. During an earthquake, the base moves and the

mass does not.

ü The motion of the base with respect to the mass is commonly transformed into an electrical voltage.

ü The electrical voltage is recorded on paper, magnetic tape, or another recording medium.



ü branch of geology that studies the shape of the earth and the determination of the

exact position of geographical points

study its insides as to what it is made of, how that material is layered and how much heat seeps out of it

Earth and Mars used to be similar – warm, wet and shrouded in thick atmospheres.

• But this was before they took different paths 3.4 billion years ago.

• After the event, Mars stopped changing, while Earth continued to evolve.

• They turned out so different – Mars cold and dry, Venus and Mercury burning hot, and Earth hospitable to life.

• With InSight, Earth would thus be compared to Mars, to better understand how a planet’s starting materials make it more or less likely to support life.

• It is thus expected to study how Mars and other rocky worlds formed at the dawn of the solar system 4.6bn years ago.

• But notably, sending a probe to Mars, whether to land, orbit or fly past, is risky; only 40% of missions have succeeded so far. Landing site – The landing site is Elysium Planitia, where InSight can stay still and quiet all through.

• It is a vast, smooth lava plain that NASA calls “the biggest parking lot on Mars

TRANSITING EXOPLANET SURVEY SATELLITE (TESS) MISSION to search for exo-planets (the planets outside of our own solar system), specifically those that are Earth-like, and close enough for scientists to study them further.

• SpaceX Falcon9 rocket (reusable launch vehicle)



Phyto Chemicals

ü chemical compounds produced by plants, generally to help them thrive or thwart competitors, predators, or pathogens.

ü produced by plants through primary or secondary metabolism.

ü non-essential nutrients, meaning that they are not required by the human body for sustaining life.


Indian Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry And Therapeutics (IMPPAT)

ü database which contains information on the phytochemical composition and

therapeutic uses of Indian medicinal plants belonging to Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicine.

ü constructed via literature mining followed by manual curation of information gathered from more than 50 specialized books on traditional Indian medicine, more than 7000 abstracts of published research articles and other existing database resources.

ü IMPPAT database captures three different types of associations:

o Indian medicinal plants and their phytochemical constitutents

o Indian medicinal plants and their therapeutic uses

o Indian medicinal plants and openly accessible traditional Indian medicinal formulation

Preventing Asteroid Hit with HAMMER

Mission – Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response vehicle.


· spacecraft designed to serve as either a kinetic impactor or as a transport vehicle for a nuclear device.

· deflect an asteroid by nudging i.e. a device (a battering ram) is used to apply force to cause deflection.

Launches – Delta IV Heavy rocket is the world‘s second highest-capacity launch vehicle


Bennu – Bennu is a 500 m wide and 79 billion kg asteroid.

· It has a 1-in-2,700 chance of striking the Earth on September 25, 2135



ODL – A New Class of Anti-biotic Odilorhabdin (or ODL) are antibiotics that are produced by special bacteria that are found inside

the soil-dwelling ―nematode worms a symbiotic relationship

ODLs are unique because they bind to a place on

the ribosome that has never been used by other known antibiotics

Tiangong-1 Downing and Space Debris Tiangong-1

·   China’s space station.

·  Launched in 2011, it made China just the third country to launch a space station.

·  to demonstrate spacecraft docking capabilities.

·  It included China‘s first woman astronauts, Liu Yang and Wang Yaping

Spacecraft graveyard ·  larger space objects that may not entirely burn up before reaching the ground.

·  Spacecraft operators can thus plan for the final destination of their old satellites to make sure that any debris falls into a remote area.

·  A 1,500 sq km area in Southern Pacific Ocean is said to be the spacecraft graveyard or spacecraft cemetery.

·  This is suitably far from any coast and human habitations thereby

Solution to Reduce Wastage of Pesticides

CSIR has found a lipid compound-Glyceryl-Mono-Oleate (GMO), a natural wax-like solid

extracted from sunflower oil

The structure of this compound is that it’s one end is hydrophilic (water-attracting) and the other end is

hydrophobic (water-repelling).

• When this compound is mixed with pesticides, the liquid sticks to the leaves and doesn’t fall off to the ground

Science Based Targets – Transition to Low Carbon Economy



India has committed to generate at least 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources

an environmental initiative-to tackling climate change.

Science Based Targets’?

·  joint initiative of CDP, the UN Global Compact (UNGC), the World Resources

Institute (WRI) and WWF.

·   initiative to drive corporate climate actions globally.

·  sets emissions reduction targets to ensure that the transformational action is aligned with current climate science.

·  to keep global temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

·  ‗Science-based target setting‘ is a way of boosting companies‘ competitive advantage in transition to a lowcarbon economy

future of exo-planetary studies in India look?


·  aim of detecting planets of close-to-Earth mass (2 to 10 Earth masses).

·  A new 2.5-m telescope at ―Mount Abu Observatory with a bigger spectrograph is likely to be installed by 2020, and it will be called ―PARAS-2.

·  PARAS-2 is slated to have the capacity to even measure smaller exo-planets that are just about 2 or 4 times Earth‘s mass.

EU Ruling on Gene Editing

guidelines on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will apply to plants bred using gene editing

technology (mutagenesis

gene editing?

·  Genetic modification involves the introduction of foreign DNA into an organism.

·  On the other hand, gene editing involves editing of the organism‟s native genome.

·  CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a gene editing technology.

·  CRISPR was talked about recently for its successful use in human embryos.

·  This is done by introducing a protein (Cas9) containing the code of a defective gene.

·  The protein then seeks out parts of the defective DNA that match this code.

·  It then attaches itself to it, cuts it out, and then the DNA is allowed to repair itself by getting rid of the defect

Oumuamua Comet Discovery

”, was first spotted on October, 2017.


Oumuamua – Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar arriving first”

·  When it was discovered, the oddly-shaped, about 800-m

·  It was dark and faint, with no visible „coma‟ (atmosphere of dust and gas around a comet‟score) or „tail‟ (elongated cloud that points away from the Sun) signature identifiers of comets as they approach the inner Solar System


Oumuamua differs from other comets?

·  The dust grains have to be larger than typical for other Comets, which could be a reason for the absence of the characteristic cometary tail.

·  The tail we see in comets is typically made of fine dust lifted off the nucleus and dragged away by the emitted gas.

·  In the case of „Oumuamua, the dust is not visible because it‟s made of larger grains, that are too heavy to be lifted off by the gas.

·  The gas itself is actually very difficult to detect, because the specific molecules composing it (water, CO and CO2) are difficult to see in optical images


liquid water ‘lake’ in Mars

used the Mars Advanced Radar for

Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding

(MARSIS) instrument

Findings – The team had discovered a lake stretching for 20-km.

• It is found 1.5 km under the southern polar ice cap of Mars.

• Despite temperatures at about -68° C, the water remains in a liquid form.

• The radar profile of the lake closely matches those of subglacial lakes on Earth, beneath the ice sheets of Greenland and


Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

trials to release GM mosquitoes to tackle certain diseases

Oxitec has bio-engineered a transgenic male Aedes aegypti mosquito.

• This carries a new gene fatal only to female mosquitoes

The so-called “Friendly Aedes” project launched “closed cage” trials at the Oxitec facility in Maharashtra.

• Trials have been launched in Malaysia, Brazil, and Florida as well

Defining Pluto and a ‘Planet

International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to remove Pluto’s planetary status

International Astronomical Union (IAU)

The International Astronomical Union

(IAU) was founded in 1919.

Its mission is to promote and safeguard the

science of astronomy in all its aspects

through international cooperation.

It serves as the internationally recognized

authority for assigning designations to

celestial bodies and surface features on


The meeting accordingly defined three conditions for a celestial object to be called a ‘planet’ –

i. it must orbit the Sun

ii. it should be massive enough to acquire an approximately spherical shape

iii. it has to ‘clear its orbit’ i.e. be the object that exerts the maximum gravitational pull within its orbit

• ‘Dwarf planets’, on the other hand, need to only satisfy the first two conditions

Xena is an object in the Kuiper belt which is an icy ring of frozen objects that circle the solar system beyond

Neptune’s orbit

Ceres in the asteroid belt and Xena

LIGO to Publish Paper on Analysis Techniques


LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration detected

gravitational waves in 2015

Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, arising from the merger of a pair of black holes in

distant space.

• LIGO’s 2015 announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves was an exciting finding in physics for


• The discovery confirmed a prediction made by Einstein

GSAT-7A Launch – GSLV-F11



advanced communication satellite with a Gregorian Antenna

e 39th Indian communication satellite of ISRO


What is the key feature?

· At 2,250 kg, GSAT-7A is the heaviest satellite launched by GSLV-Mk-II

· The cryogenic stage of this vehicle has been modified to increase the thrust rate.

· They include six successive flights since 2014 with an indigenous cryogenic fuel upper stage.

What is ISRO’s GSLV programme?

· GSLV-Mk-II is ISRO‘s fourth generation rocket with three stages.

· The first stage has four liquid strap-ons and a solid rocket motor.

· The second has a high thrust engine using liquid fuel, and the third is the cryogenic upper stage.

· The indigenous cryogenic engine was tested successfully for the first time in 2014

GSLV-Mk-III is the designated launch vehicle for India‘s upcoming second moon mission and the first human space flight scheduled for 2022

LED AND LCD DISPLAYS way for smart daily newspapers that could be uploaded onto the display in real time development of optically re-writable


LCDs coat the plates with special

molecules which realign in the presence of

polarized light

removes the need for traditional electrodes

several advantages of LED over LCD

greater energy efficiency

viewing angles of displays has no limit

great colour accuracy


OPTICALLY STIMULATED LUMINESCENCE Two forms of luminescence dating

Thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL)

ü TSL measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to temperatures between 400 and 500°C;

ü OSL measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to daylight


Luminescence dating is based on the principle that certain naturally occurring minerals (e.g. quartz, feldspar), which are previously exposed to ionizing radiation, will emit light (luminescence) when they radio

are thermally or optically stimulated


The National Physical Laboratory has signed an agreement with IFR Information Dissemination Services

(IFR) Ltd. to set up the towers and employ long wave radio (LWR) technology for disseminating Indian

Standard Time

Radio waves and its applications

ü the longest wavelengths and lowest frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum.

ü According to NASA, wavelength: 1 mm to 100 km.

Frequencies range :3,000 cycles per second

ü communications signals travel through the air in a straight line, reflect off of clouds

or layers of the ionosphere, or are relayed by satellites in space.

ü used in standard broadcast radio and television, shortwave radio, navigation and airtraffic

control, cellular telephony, and even remote-controlled toys.

Advantage of Long Wave Radio Wave in time dissemination

ü travel close to the ground and so can reach out to far-flung locations, even to submarines

SONAR TECHNOLOGY ü basic remote sensing technology.

ü Sonar stands for Sound Navigation and ranging and it developed for submarine warfare in World War I.

ü transmits sound waves that are then returned in form of echoes which are used to analyze various qualities or attributes of the target or object.

ü works excellently in water, where sound travels far better than light or radio waves

ü Sonar sensors are in active use on cars today, primarily in the form of parking sensors. These shortrange(~5m) sensors enable a cheap way to know just how far that wall is behind your car.

ü Sonar hasn’t been proven to work at the kinds of ranges a self-driving car demands (60m+).

Developments in autonomous technologies

RADAR technology is not affected by adverse weather conditions such as clouds, rainfall or fogs.

LiDAR pulses are adversely affected by atmospheric weather conditions such as dense fogs, smoke and even rain.


The most widespread RADAR usage is for military purposes. Airplanes, weather

forecasting, etc.

Ground-penetrating RADAR is used in geology to determine the composition of Earth’s crust

It is mainly used in mapping archeological sites, for urban planning, crop management, etc.

It is also used in atmospheric sciences (to measure atmospheric densities of various components such as aerosols and other atmospheric gases).


Two of the most talked about self-driving advancements come from Google and Tesla(Waymo and Autopilot).


Waymo: Google’s autonomous car development company. It stands for a new ‘way forward in mobility’.

Autopilot: It is Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving technology


Tesla uses Camera and Radar technology while

Google’s WAymo uses LIDAR-based system.


Tesla is presently focusing on driver assisted cars while

Waymo’s focus is to develop completely autonomous cars.

Some of the other technologies used:


Radio Detection And Ranging Light Detection and Ranging

 uses radio waves to detect objects and determine their range, angle, and/or velocity

uses pulsed laser light to detect objects and determine their range, angle, and/or velocity

the nature of the laser pulses and its shorter wavelength, LiDAR can detect objects more sharply.

 cannot provide an exact 3D image of the object due to the longer wavelength.


LiDAR technology is capable of creating high resolution 3D images of an object. –

mapping and other topographical uses.


ü Blind Spot Technology: Blind spots are areas outside of a vehicle that the driver is unable to see. -information aboutobjects that are outside his range of vision

ü Altimeter: instrument that measures the altitude of the land surface or any object such as an airplane.

It is also employed in autonomous vehicle to know the precise location.

ü Gyroscope: A device containing a rapidly spinning wheel or circulating beam of light that is used to detect the deviation of an object from its desired orientation. (Gyroscopes are also used in compasses and automatic pilots on ships and aircraft, in the steering mechanisms of torpedoes, and in the inertial

guidance systems installed in space launch vehicles, ballistic missiles, and orbiting satellites.)


allows more uniform distribution with conventional

application equipment. Costs are also reduced by eliminating a separate application

Benefits of Coated Fertilizers

üprolonged supply of


ü Sustained nutrient release also decrease leaching and gaseous losses.

ü Prolonged nutrient release may provide more uniform plant nutrition, better growth and improved plant performance.

ü Since it is coated with macro-nutrients, labor and application costs may be reduced by eliminating the need for multiple fertilizer applications.

ü Seedlings may better tolerate closely placed fertilizer

DATA LOGGERS Data loggers are electronic devices which automatically monitor and record environmental

parameters over time, allowing conditions to be measured, documented, analysed and validated

Data acquisition is the sampling of the real world to generate data that can be manipulated by a



tested successfully for the first time with an indigenous seeker

at Pokhran test range, Rajasthan

BrahMos missile?

· supersonic cruise missile.

· joint collaboration between India and Russia.

· capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against surface and sea-based targets.

· range was initially capped at 290 km as per obligations of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) -the range has been extended to 450 km

· air-launched version – test-fired for the first time last year from a modified Su-30MKI aircraft.

· submarine-launch variants – testing phase.

seeker technology?

· critical technology that determines the accuracy of a missile.

· come from Russia.

· The technology is a closely guarded secret.

· The seeker was developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad, in collaboration with other DRDO labs.







BepiColombo Mission


joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA),

 two spacecrafts: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO).

help in finding out the possibility of water in Mercury. The surface temperature of Mercury varies from 450 degree Celsius to -180 degree Celsius (areas permanently in shade).


largest ever galaxy proto-supercluster

 with the help of Very Large Telescope of European Southern Observatory.

 first time that such a large structure has been identified at such a high redshift, just over two billion years after the Big Bang i.e. when universe was relatively young


3-dimensional map of the milky way was released using data from the Gaia mission

latest data, it pins down the positions of nearly 1.7 billion stars and also helps in revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy.

• It is a leap forward from ESA’s Hipparcos satellite, Gaia’s predecessor and the first space mission for astrometry



Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) +  CSIR on developing a darknet/network telescope-based cyber security monitoring and interference framework


The Onion Router

ü  special software like The Onion Router (Tor), which protects one’s identity online ie. IP address.


Dark web

ü Darknet, or dark web, is an internet network -inaccessible by internet service providers (ISPs) or government authorities.

ü accessed only using specialised software, configurations and authorisations as it generally uses non-standard communication protocols.

ü  not indexed by search engines like Google or Yahoo.

ü  under security scrutiny as it’s used for illegal activities:Bitcoins or other

ü  to access blocked content, sex trafficking, selling banned drugs and for sensitivecommunication by malicious actors like terrorists, spies


Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes reported the birth of the first ever cloned Assamese buffalo

male calf- named Sach Gaurav

Sach Gaurav

ü born to a Murrah buffalo, at Hi Tech Sach Dairy Farm in Hisar, Karnataka.

ü India’s first cloned Assamese buffalo calf and was also the first to be born in the field.

ü second cloned male buffalo produced by ICAR-CIRB after Hisar-Gaurav


ü Natural clones, also known as identical twins, occur in humans and other mammals. These twins are produced when a fertilized egg splits, creating two or more embryos that carry almost identicalDNA

Artificial Cloning-2 TYPES

Reproductive cloning produces copies of whole animals. involves the implantation of a cloned embryo into a real or an artificial uterus. The embryo develops into a fetus that is then carried

to term.

ü Therapeutic cloning is intended to use cloned embryos for the purpose of extracting stem cells from them, without ever implanting the embryos in a womb. Therapeutic cloning enables the cultivation of stem cells that are genetically identical to a patient


Mechanism- appropriate magnetic field and frequency for about 20 minutes- rises by 7-8 degrees Celsius- enough to kill the cancerous cells

A nanomotor is a molecular or nanoscale device capable of converting energy into movement.

ü new type of zinc-ferrite–coated magnetic nanomotors that are highly stable and can generate localised heating to kill cancerous cells.

ü Silicon dioxide : backbone of these nanomotors and magnetic material such as iron is deposited on top of it.

ü zinc ferrite coating : applied to provide multifunctional properties such as enhanced physical and chemical stabilities, and magnetic hyperthermia potential

ANTIBIOTIC-PRODUCING BACTERIUM- Planctopirus hydrillae, – solution to the problem of diseases becoming resistant to a majority of known drugs ü The new bacteria would also clean up ammonia waste, a growing environmental concern.

ü The bacterium was isolated from aquatic plant Hydrilla



an AI-based space assistant for Germany’s DLR Space Administration

Described by its creators as a “flying brain”, this 3Dprinted artificial intelligence system will soon join the crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to assist astronauts.

ü It will tested during the European Space Agency’s Horizons mission

ü the first AI-based mission and flight assistance system.

ü made up of plastic and metal, created using 3D printing.

ü brain-like AI network

3D PRINTING process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file

additive process through which an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created

Chuck Hull invented the first 3D printing process called ‘stereo lithography’ in 1983

BHABHA KAVACH Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has developed a next-generation bulletproof jacket

.( jacket is named after Dr.Homi J Bhabha)


available in three variants as per the requirement of the armed forces.

ü The jacket is made using extremely hard boron carbide ceramics that is hot-pressed with carbon Nanotubes and composite polymer

ü lighter in weight with reduced trauma level with respect to the existing jackets


Minister of Communications

To innovate and develop Telecom products at reasonable costs for exporting to SAARC countries and other developing regions of the world.


ü Indian Government owned telecommunications technology development centre.

ü Its initial mandate was to design and develop digital exchanges.

ü expanded to develop intelligent computer software applications.

ü Now it is vested with full authority to develop state-of-the-art telecommunication technology to meet the needs of the Indian telecommunication network.

ü Recently, it launched its latest innovation “WiDHWAN”



ü It was launched to cater the recurring call drop issues in no-signal and low-signal network scenarios


International and intergovernmental institution evolved from the efforts of countries in asia and Africa, in the aftermath of 2004 tsunami 12 Member States

member countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Comoros, India, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, PapuaNew Guinea, Philippines, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste


INDO-U.S. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FORUM (IUSSTF) to promote, catalyze and seed bilateral collaboration in science, technology, engineering

and innovation

autonomous, not for profit society that promotes and catalyzes Indo-US bilateral collaborations in science, technology and engineering.

ü established under an agreement between the Governments of India and the United States of America

ü The Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India and the U.S. Department of the State are the two nodal agencies of the respective Governments handling matters related to IUSSTF


Public Sector  Setup as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs

ü not-for-profit enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

ü  providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence and make them globally competitive.

ü bridge the existing gaps in the industry-academia Innovation research and facilitate novel, high quality affordable products development through cutting edge technologies


European system for monitoring the Earth which offers information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data.


ü It consists of a complex set of systems: earth observation satellites and in situ sensors

ü The services address six thematic areas: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management, and security


India and Vietnam have signed an MoU on Cooperation between the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy

Partnership (GCNEP) and the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VINATOM).


ü the sixth R&D unit under the aegis of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

ü located near Bahadurgarh in Haryana.

ü help in capacity building, in association with the interested countries and the IAEA, involving technology, human resource development, education & training and giving a momentum to R&D in enlisted areas


Telecom major Bharti Airtel has acquired the India leg of Gulf Bridge International submarine cable

which will boost its data carrying capacity

ü first submarine cable landing in Iraq

ü The GBI Cable System is privately owned by Gulf Bridge International

Private submarine cable system connecting the Gulf countries

together and provide onward connectivity to the rest of the world.

ü The GBI Cable System was launched in Feb. 2012, connecting the world to the Gulf.

üdesigned with a self-healing core ring in the Gulf, with double cable landings at the major terminals of Qatar and Fujairah (UAE) and branched landings in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Oman, and onward connectivity to landing in India and Europe as well.

COSPAS-SARSAT India, as a member of the International COSPAS-SARSAT system, provides distress alert and position location services to India and seven neighbouring countries

ü SARSAT : Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking

COSPAS : Russian words

which mean “Space System for the Search of Vessels in Distress


an international, humanitarian search and rescue system that uses satellites to detect and locate emergency beacons carried by ships, aircraft, or individuals.

ü With a 406 MHz beacon, a distress message can be sent to the appropriate authorities from anywhere on Earth 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

ü It is sponsored by Canada, France, Russia, and the United States.

ü Use of the COSPAS-SARSAT system is free to the beacon operator


India and Cospas-Sarsat

ü India is a member of this international programme.

ü Under this programme, India has established two Local User Terminals (LUTs), one at Lucknow and the other at Bengaluru.

ü Indian LUTs provide coverage to a large part of the Indian Ocean region and it render distress alert services to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

ü In India, INSAT-3D, the advanced metrological satellite, carries a Search and Rescue (SAR) Payload.


Heatstroke signs and symptoms include:

ü High body temperature.

ü Altered mental state or behaviour

ü Alteration in sweating.

ü Rapid breathing

ü Headache

Heatstroke is a condition caused by body overheating.

ü This happens usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high


ü The condition is a medical emergency and can be fatal.

ü This can occur if body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher.

ü The condition is most common in the summer months.



prolonged period of abnormally hot weather


if maximum temperature- at least 40°C or more for Plains/37°C or more for coastal stations/ at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions

ü Following criteria are used to declare heat wave:

Based on Departure from Normal

o Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.5°C to 6.4°C

o Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >6.4°C

Based on Actual Maximum Temperature (for plains only)

o Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45°C

o Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47°C.

ü The health impacts of Heat Waves typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or

heat stroke.

VIRTUAL BRONCHOSCOPY NAVIGATION SYSTEM- help to navigate bronchoscope without puncturing the lung and reducing complications the bronchoscope is guided on the bronchial route to a peripheral lesion using virtual bronchoscopy images.

ü CT scan image of a patient to generate a 3D view of the windpipe, following whichNa bronchoscope can be passed through the windpipe to reach the abnormal areas.

SAGARKANYA a research vessel owned and operated by India’s National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) ship has helped in India’s studies of the Arabian Sea,

the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean

fully automatic diesel-electric type equipped with DP System


May 11 Theme  year 2018: Science and Technology for a sustainable future.”

ATL Marathon’s Top 30 Innovations

Significance of MAY11

on 11th May, 1998, carried series of nuclear tests at Pokhran.

the first, indigenous aircraft “Hansa-3” was test flown from Bangalore on this day

performed successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day


located in the state of Goa

Indian research and development institution for the co-ordination and implementation of the Indian Antarctic Program.

ü autonomous Institution of the Department of Ocean Development (DOD), Government of India

ü The Centre is designated as the nodal organization for the maintenance of India’s permanent station in Antarctica.

MICRO BEADS pieces of plastic, usually spherical in shape-5mm

found in chewing gum, certain toothpastes, industrial cleaning products, synthetic clothing fibers and tires

contain pollutants; the plastic can also release chemical additive like BPA

BUCKYBALL/ Buckminster fullerene

allotrope of carbon called fullerene

spherical allotrope of carbon(Allotropes are various forms of the same element that differ from each other in terms of physical structure)

ü consists of 60 carbon atoms arranged spherically in hexagonal or pentagonal patterns.

ü most common naturally occurring fullerene and is found in soot.

ü used in the fields of material sciences, nanotechnology and electronics.





largest and most massive moon of Jupiter and in the Solar System.

without a substantial  atmosphere. the only moon with its own magnetic field- causes auroras in regions circling the moon’s north and south poles.

ü This magnetic-field region shelters it from cosmic radiation.

ü Ganymede has large, bright regions of ridges and grooves that slice across older, darker terrains

.Galileo Mission

ü Galileo was an American unmanned spacecraft that studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as several other Solar System bodies.

ü named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.

ü consist of an orbiter and entry probe.

ü It was launched on October 18, 1989.

ü It was the first spacecraft to visit asteroids Gaspra and Ida.

ü Galileo provided the only direct observations of a comet colliding with a planet.

ü Its other discoveries include evidence for the existence of a saltwater ocean beneath the Jovian moon


Europa’s icy surface, extensive volcanic processes on the moon Io and a magnetic field generated by the moon Ganymede etc

MICROGRAVITY- Canadian Space Agency’s study “Bone Marrow Adipose Reaction: Red or White (MARROW)” will look at

the effects of microgravity on bone marrow and the blood cells

condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless.

condition where gravity seems to be very small.


Are the astronauts in ISS weightless?

ü People aren’t weightless on the ISS.

ü In fact, 90 per cent of Earth’s gravity still affects the ISS, so people weigh 90 per cent of what they would on Earth.

ü The reason they float is because the ISS is in perpetual free-fall around the Earth, an orbit in which microgravity takes effect because people and objects inside fall at the same rate as the ISS itself

GRAVITY RECOVERY AND CLIMATE EXPERIMENT FOLLOW-ON (GRACE-FO)- map changes in water and ice around the world mission by NASA

follow-on mission to the original GRACE mission, which mapped Earth’s gravity field from 2002 to 2017.

ü Both missions are joint projects between NASA and the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Germany

PRIMORDIAL BLACK HOL E- type of black hole that formed soon after the Big Bang ü generally lower masses than their colossal counterparts

ü Most primordial black holes are believed to have masses so low, in fact, that their ability to hang on to their own mass weakens over time.

CLARIVATE ANALYTICS INDIA INNOVATION AWARD 2018 AND CSIR- Council of Scientific & Industrial Research has been awarded Award

2018 in the Government Research Organizations Category


IIT Bombay has won Award 2018 in the Academic Institutions


Clarivate Analytics

ü formerly known as the IP & Science division of Thomson Reuters.

ü to identify the most influential researchers and institutions for their outstanding and pioneering research contribution

ü The awards were given in 3 broad categories of namely Government Research Organizations, Academic Institutions, and Corporations


ü a R&D organization, having pan-India presence.

ü  mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860

ü The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize was established by CSIR. It is aimed to honor the outstanding performers in the various research fields of Science & Technology,

ü The Prime Minister is the ex-officio President of CSIR


parameters related to women,

including education and age at marriage, account for 50% of the difference between districts with high and low levels of stunting among children below the age of five

Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

ü international agricultural research centre

üfounded in the year 1975.

üheadquartered in Washington D C.

üprovides research-based policy solutions

üpart of a network of international research institutes funded in part by the CGIAR


Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

ü It is a global partnership platform that unites organizations engaged in research for a food-secured


ü It was founded in 1971.

ü Its’ research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health

and nutrition, and ensuring sustainable management of natural resources.

ü It is carried out by 15 centres that are members of the CGIAR Consortium.

ü The membership of CGIAR includes country governments, institutions, and philanthropic foundations


ü The commission will also coordinates with all States to ensure uniformity of terminology in Hindi and

other Indian languages

was established to evolve and define scientific and technical terms in Hindi and all Indian languages. also publish glossaries, definitional dictionaries, and encyclopaedia.

ü It will check whether the evolved terms and their definitions reach the students, teachers, scholars,scientists, officers etc.

ü It will ensure proper usage, necessary update, correction, improvement on the work done (through

workshops/ seminars/ orientation programmes) by obtaining useful feedback.

ü It is also involved in the Preparation of University level textbooks, monographs and journals

CHICXULUB CRATER Chicxulub asteroid — which caused the extinction of dinosaurs — drove a long-lasting era of global

warming when it smashed into Earth 65 million years ago, with a rapid temperature increase of 5 degree

Celsius that endured for roughly 100,000 years

impact crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.

ü The date of the impact coincides precisely with the

Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary

ü This extinction event is a mass extinction in which 75% of plant and animal species on Earth became extinct, including all non-avian dinosaurs.



in Jharkhand

74: 26 Joint Venture between Government of Jharkhand and Patratu Vidyut Utpadan

Nigam Ltd. (PVUN), a subsidiary company of NTPC establishing a total capacity expansion of 4,000MW

About the Project

ü The project has salient features of Dry Ash disposable system (second to NTPC Dadri), zero liquid

discharge system, Air-cooled condenser technology (only second to North Karanpura STPP) and rail loading facility for transportation of ash.

ü The project further complies with the new emission norms.


a group of fat-soluble- for increasing intestinal absorption of

calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, and multiple other biological effects.


formed in our skin under the influence of ultra-violet B (UVB) rays


source: fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.


controls the absorption of calcium

and maintenance of bones and muscles

ü Its deficiency affects both children and adults- causing bone diseases such as rickets in children, and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults.

ü In addition, low vitamin D has been found to be associated with conditions such as asthma, infections,

auto-immune disorders, depression and even cancer.


Vitamin D deficiency in India

ü Indians demonstrates ‘sun-fleeing behaviour’, especially in the urban areas, in order to avoid the heat and skin darkening.

ü Atmospheric pollution too makes it difficult for UV rays to reach the earth’s surface which further aggravates the problem.

ü Also Indians rarely consume fishes such as salmon and tuna which are dietary sources of vitamin


launched in Rajasthan

for presumptive diagnosis and monitoring of seasonal and

non-communicable diseases

ü help in formulation of specific action plans for control of diseases.

ü help strengthen tele-medicine services in the government hospitals.

ü facilitate online entries of as many as 46 diseases and healthcare services available for their treatment in different institutions

MYCOPLASMA BOVIS New Zealand, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, will spend more than NZ$880 million ($610 million) in a

bid to eradicate the mycoplasma bovis cattle disease

Mycoplasma bovis is a bacterial disease which mainly affects cattle.

ü  one of 126 species of genus Mycoplasma.

ü  the smallest living cell and anaerobic in nature.

ü  does not contain any cell wall, – resistant to penicillin and other beta lactam antibiotics which target cell wall synthesis.

ü  lead to conditions such as udder infection, pneumonia and arthritis in affected cattle.

ü It does not pose a food safety risk or any risk to humans.

ü The disease, which is common in many countries, was first detected in New Zealand at a farm in the South Island last July.

ü It is a silent spreader, cattle may be infected but not ill.

ü Calves may become infected through drinking un-pasteurised milk from infected cow

HELIUM 3 India’s space program will travel to the south side of the moon


light, non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron.

rare on Earth

Other than 1H, helium-3 is the only stable isotope of any element with more protons than neutrons

ü The existence of Helium-3 was first proposed in 1934 by the Australian nuclear physicist Mark Oliphant.

ü Helium-3 was originally thought to be a radioactive isotope until it was found in samples of natural helium, taken both from the terrestrial atmosphere and from natural gas wells.

ü It is sought after for use in nuclear fusion research, and it is abundant in the moon’s soil


setting up the country’s largest national data centre in Bhopal


by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics and

Information Technology (MeitY)


ü The following major activities are being undertaken:

o Setting up of ICT Infrastructure

o Implementation of National and State Level e-Governance Projects/Products

o Consultancy to the Government departments

o Research & Development and

o Capacity Building

Data Centres

ü This will be the fifth National Data Centre after the ones at Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune.

ü These National Data Centres host government websites, services and applications.


National Informatics Centre (NIC)

ü  premier Information Technology organization in India which is

committed to providing state-of-the-art, solutions for the IT needs of the Government of India, State governments and UTs at all levels.

ü  established in 1976

ü NIC, through its ICT Network, “NICNET“, has institutional linkages with all the Ministries of the Central Government, State Governments/ Union Territories, and District administrations of India.

ü NIC assists in implementing Information Technology Projects, in close collaboration with Central and

State Governments, in the areas of (a) Centrally sponsored schemes and Central sector schemes,

(b)State sector and State sponsored projects, and

(c) District Administration sponsored projects.


NATIONAL DIGITAL LIBRARY OF INDIA (NDLI) Union Human Resource Development Minister launched the new digital initiative of HRD Ministry

National Digital Library of India’ on the occasion of National Reading Day

developed by IIT Kharagpur

comes under NMEICT


Single Window Platform that collects and collates metadata from premier learning institutions


digital repository containing textbooks, articles, videos, audio books, lectures, simulations, fiction and all other kinds of learning media

National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT)


ü  Centrally Sponsored Scheme to leverage the potential of ICT, in teaching and learning process for the benefit of all the learners in Higher Education Institutions in any time anywhere mode.

ü  major intervention in enhancing the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education by 5 percentage points during the XI Five Year Plan period.

ü NMEICT encompasses all the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality.

ü The Mission has two major components:

o Providing connectivity, along with provision for access devices, to institutions and learners;

o Content generation.

ü The Mission would have a three tier committee system to monitor and guide its functioning. The apex National Committee would be chaired by Minister of Human Resource Development

SMART INDIA HACKATHON Ministry of HRD along with AICTE, Persistent Systems, i4C and IIT Kharagpur hosted the Grand Finale

of Smart India Hackathon 2018 – Hardware edition

the second massive scale hackathon initiative in India following Smart India Hackathon


ü Smart India Hackathon 2018 had 2 sub-editions – Software and Hardware.

ü Winners won a cash prizes and a chance to be part of the NASSCOM’s 10,000 Start-ups program unique initiative to identify new and disruptive digital technology innovations for solving the

challenges faced by our country

RAMA (RECONSTITUTING ASTEROIDS INTO MECHANICAL AUTOMATA)- NASA has recently announced it would give funds to a California-based 3D printing company for finding

ways to turn asteroids into giant, autonomous spacecrafts, which could fly to outposts in space


ü The objective of this study is for Made In Space (MIS) to establish the concept feasibility of using the age-old technique of analog computers and mechanisms to convert entire asteroids into enormous autonomous mechanical spacecraft.

ü The company plans to use 3D printing to turn the asteroids into self-flying vehicles by 2030

ü The concept received funding through NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts programme, which will provide $100,000 for feasibility studies



ü The company is considering sending an advanced robotic “Seed Craft” out to rendezvous with a succession of near-Earth asteroids in space, as part of its long-term project.

ü The Seed Craft would harvest material from the space rocks, then use this feedstock to construct propulsion, navigation, energy-storage and other key systems onsite with the aid of 3D printing

ü Thus transformed into autonomous spacecraft, the asteroids could be programmed to fly to a mining

station in Earth-moon space, or anywhere else they’re needed.

ü This approach would be much more efficient than launching a new capture probe (or probes) to

every single space rock targeted for resource exploitation

BIO PLASTIC– plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn

starch, or microbiota

produce less carbon dioxide in production than conventional plastics


processing involved both impact theirproduct footprint

ü These are degradable, equally resistant and versatile, already used in agriculture, textile industry,

medicine and, over all, in the container and packaging market.

ü Many bioplastics also release carbon dioxide or monoxide when biodegrading.

ü Their overall environmental impact is typically lower than that of conventional plastics, and as oil costs

rise, their cost becomes more and more competitive.

ü There are some which are not biodegradable also.


caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae.

ü The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory

tract and the eyes.


ü Leprosy is known to occur at all ages ranging from early infancy to very old age.

ü It is curable and early treatment averts most disabilities.

ü The exact mechanism of transmission of leprosy is not known.

ü Contrary to popular belief, it is not highly contagious

ü Signs of leprosy are painless ulcers, skin lesions of hypopigmented macules (flat, pale areas of skin), and eye damage (dryness, reduced blinking).

ü Later, large ulcerations, loss of digits, skin nodules, and facial disfigurement may develop

IMMUNOTHERAPY also called biologic therapy, is a

type of cancer treatment that boosts the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer

ü uses substances made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function.


ü Immunotherapy may work by:

o Stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells

o Stopping cancer from spreading to other parts of the body

o Helping the immune system work better at destroying cancer cells

ü body’s natural defences — immune cells, also known as T-cells — to detect and kill cancer cells, which otherwise can adapt and hide.




Main types of immunotherapy

ü Monoclonal antibodies: man-made versions of immune system proteins. Antibodies can be very useful in treating cancer because they can be designed to attack a very specific part of a cancer cell.

ü Immune checkpoint inhibitors: drugs basically take the ‘brakes’ off the immune system,  helps it recognize and attack cancer cells.

ü Cancer vaccines: Vaccines are substances put into the body to start an immune response against certain diseases


extremely rare autosomal dominant genetic disorder

symptoms resembling aspects of aging are manifested at a very early age

Most children with progeria have a mutation on the gene that encodes for lamin A, a protein that holds the nucleus of the cell together. This protein is also known as progerin

ü Children with progeria appear healthy, but by the age of 2 years, they look as if they have become old too fast.

ü  extremely rare, affecting 1 in every 4 million children.

ü  lead to fatal heart complications and a heightened risk of stroke.

ü Progeria is incurable, but symptoms can be managed.

ü Recent findings show that administering a small molecule, named remodelin, reversed these abnormalities in cells isolated from progeria patients

PRSS-1, PAKTES-1A China successfully launched two remote sensing satellites for Pakistan PRSS-1 is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan.

 used to aid the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the Chinese government

ü PakTES-1A is a scientific experiment satellite developed by engineers of the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).

MEERKAT TELESCOPE to unlock cosmic conundrums from dark energy to detecting extraterrestrial life

was given a boost, when the 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope was inaugurated in the remote South

African town of Carnarvon.

ü MeerKAT is a follow up to the KAT 7 (Karoo Array Telescope), built in the vast semi-desert Karoo

region north of Cape Town to demonstrate South Africa’s ability to host the SKA. (“meer” means “more”)

ü Organizations from ten countries are members of the SKA Organisation – Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom

originally the Karoo Array Telescope, is a radio telescope consisting of 64 mirrors now being

tested and verified in the Northern Cape of South Africa.

ü Built at a cost of 4.4 billion rand, MeerKAT will be incorporated into the complex Square Kilometre Array (SKA) instrument, which when fully operational in the late 2020s would be the world’s biggest

and most powerful radio telescope.


The SKA Project

ü The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometer (one million square meters) of collecting area.

ü The SKA will eventually use thousands of dishes and up to a million low-frequency antennas enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence.

ü Its unique configuration will give the SKA unrivalled scope in observations, largely exceeding the image resolution quality of the Hubble Space Telescope.



ü CNG is compressed natural gas.

ü With natural gas mainly composed of methane, CNG emits less air pollutants — carbon dioxide, carbon

monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter — than petrol or diesel

What is H-CNG?

ü H-CNG is a blend of hydrogen and CNG, the ideal hydrogen concentration being 18%.

ü Compared to conventional CNG, use of H-CNG can reduce emission of carbon monoxide up to 70%,

ü Some minor engine optimisation is needed to make existing CNG buses H-CNG-ready as it will involve “high temperature combustion


to tell the distance of any object that is very far away in the Universe.

ü The red shift is one example of the Doppler Effect.

ü An object, like a star or a galaxy that is far away and moving toward us, will look more blue than it

normally does. This is called blue shift.

ü A star or galaxy moving away from us will look redder than it would if the source were not moving in our

frame of reference. This is where red shift got its name, since the colors are shifted towards the red end

of the spectrum.


What is Gravitational Lensing?

ü Gravitational lensing is the process by which light

travelling from a distant source seems to “bend” or

curve around extremely dense objects that lie

between the light source and the observer.

ü It can create the appearance of two or more objects

where there is really only one.

ü This effect is usually observed around large objects, such

as a galaxy or black hole, which creates a very strong

gravitational field in space.

ü The existence of gravitational lenses was predicted by Alfred Einstein in his general theory of relativity


A FASTag is a reloadable tag that automatically deducts toll charges and allows a vehicle to pass

through a toll gate without stopping for the payment uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to make cashless payments through a

prepaid account linked to it


are launched by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)


 seven different colours


a validity of 5 years



ü  technology to record the presence of an object using radio signals.

ü  small transponders (combined radio receiver and transmitter) that will transmit identity information over a short distance, when asked.

ü  an RFID tag reader.

ü An RFID tag can be applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves.

ü Most RFID tags contain at least two parts:

o One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal, and other specialized functions.

o The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal.

ü There are generally two types of RFID tags:

o active RFID tags, which contain a battery, and

o passive RFID tags, which have no batteries


material is said to exhibit superconductivity when it is able to conduct electric current with

practically zero resistance

ü Meissner effect is where the magnetic fields are completely expelled by the superconducting state

ü crucial evidence for superconductivity

ü  discovered by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes.

ü A superconductor can carry a current indefinitely without losing any energy.

ü They need to be cooled to very low temperatures, which restrict their use in our everyday life.

ü The ability to achieve superconductivity at ambient temperature and pressure therefore becomes very significant.


ü The team observed superconductivity in nano-sized films and pellets made of silver nanoparticles embedded in a gold matrix.

ü Superconductivity was observed at minus 37 degree Celsius

CRISPR-CAS9 stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat.

ü The name refers to the way short, repeated DNA sequences in the genomes of bacteria and other

microorganisms are organised.

ü CRISPRs are specialized stretches of DNA

The protein Cas9 is an enzyme that acts like a pair of molecular scissors, capable of cutting strands of DNA and editing them.

potential applications include:

o Correcting genetic defects,

o Treating and preventing the

spread of diseases and

o Improving crops

TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE totality duration of 1 hour 43 minutes. The duration

makes it the longest total lunar eclipse of this century (2001 AD to 2100 AD)




ü Earth’s shadow can be divided into three parts:

o Umbra – the darker, central part.

o Penumbra – the outer part.

o Antumbra – the partly shaded area beyond the umbra

Total Lunar Eclipse

ü A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and covers the Moon with its shadow.

ü When this happens, the Moon can turn redBlood Moon.

ü Total eclipses of the Moon happen at Full Moon when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned to form line- alignment is syzygy

ü When the Sun, Earth, and Moon come together in a straight line, a total lunar eclipse takes place.

ü When the three bodies are aligned in a way that the Moon is partly covered by the Earth’s umbra, a partial lunar eclipse is the result.

ü On the other hand, if only the outer part of Earth’s shadow covers the Moon, a penumbral lunar eclipse takes place.

ü Earth’s umbra extends into space far beyond the orbit of the moon. This means that Earth’s Antumbra plays no role in lunar eclipses


Moon Looks Red?

ü Even though Earth blocks sunlight from directly reaching the surface of the Moon during a total lunar eclipse, the Moon is still visible to the naked eye.

because Earth’s atmosphere bends sunlight and indirectly lights up the Moon’s surface.

ü When sunlight passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, it gets refracted towards the Earth’s surface, and part of it—the colors with shorter wavelengths—gets scattered and filtered out, while

the rest, colors with longer wavelengths like orange and red, passes through the atmosphere.

ü This light is once again refracted towards the surface of the fully eclipsed Moon, thus illuminating it in a reddish-orange glow.

ü Because of this, a total lunar eclipse is sometimes colloquially called a Blood Moon


proposed new policy which will be launched by Government to lease out time on scientific

instruments to researchers across the country


reduce the amount of time such expensive instruments remain idle.

NOT APPLICABLE initially to strategic sectors.


ü It plans to hire out to researchers all lab equipment that cost more than 10 lakh.

ü The policy if launched

ü The new system, according to the policy, envisages institutions declaring on a website how often

their instruments would be available for use by those outside the department or university.

ü Those who would like to use, for example, a DNA-sequencing machine, would have to pay a fee and specify the purpose and time they would want it for.

ü Currently, the practice of researchers bidding for time-slots to use lab instruments is typically seen more

with very expensive equipment, such as radio telescopes and particle-accelerators


Partnership for New Industrial Revolution and was formed at the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg


focus on Maximising the opportunities

arising from the fourth industrial revolution/New Industrial Revolution


BRICS Networks of Science Parks, Technology Business Incubators and Small and Medium-sized

Enterprises is being considered

 the Fourth/New Industrial Revolution?

ü The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century.

ü characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

ü It is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields such as:

o Robotics, Nanotechnology,

Quantum computing, Biotechnology,

o Artificial intelligence, Blockchain,

o The Internet of Things, The

Industrial Internet of Things(IIoT),

o Fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G)

o Additive manufacturing/3D printing

o Autonomous vehicle


Why in News?


lunar missions

ü It has been four years since any country attempted a lunar mission last being China’s Yutu mission

in 2013.

ü United States has been the only country to put a man on the moon, with the last man on the moon

being NASA astronaut Gene Cernan in 1972.

ü Israel may overtake India with its lunar mission, now that the ISRO mission is delayed


Discovery Presence of water molecules in the

lunar soil; Confirmed the magma

ocean hypothesis that the Moon

was once completely molten

India’s second mission to the moon which is a totally

indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover.

o Orbiter: After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, theLander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter.

o Lander: After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.

o Rover: The mission will carry a six-wheeled Rover which will move around the landing site in semiautonomous mode as decided by the ground commands. The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.

ü The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice


Major components

 Orbiter, lander and rover for the first time.

Vehicle PSLV-XL rocket, serial number C11 Proposed on a GSLV Mk II   Weight 1,380 kg 3,290 kg

Objective Imaging of the north and the south polar regions which are in permanent shadows; Search for surface and subsurface water or ice Lunar topography, lunar exosphere, signatures of

hydroxyl and water-ice

UAKITITE A rare piece of space-borne rubble containing a new mineral Uakitite

discovered in Russia


mineral came from the Uakit meteorite, named for the Russian location

More than 98 percent of the meteorite consists of kamacite, an alloy of iron and nickel, that’s formed

in space and is found only in meteorites

ü The remaining 1 to 2 percent of the meteorite consists of just over a dozen minerals that, for the most part, are exclusively formed in space.


ü Uakitite is composed of vanadium nitride with formula VN.

ü The mineral is structurally similar to two other space-borne minerals, carlsbergite and osbornite, referred to as mononitrides.

ü Uakitite is very hard mineral but, the hardness is lower than that of a diamond.

ü Synthetic boron nitride, a mineral produced at insanely hot temperatures,is likely the only mineral that comes close to being as hard as a diamond


Para-SHAKTI (parallel SHAKTI) project

ü It is the next phase of the Shakti project in which the H class will be developed.

ü Para-SHAKTI will make microprocessors for indigenous high-performance computers with over 32 SHAKTI cores


other classes of microprocessors and their usage are as follows:

E class Smart cards, IoT devices, fan/motor controls, etc.

I class Tablets, desktops and mobile phones.

S class Enterprise class servers

H class High Performance computers with a massive parallel processing capacity


ü It refers to the initial batch of 300 microprocessor chips produced under project Shakti.

ü  fabricated at Intel’s facility at Oregon, US.

ü  runs on the linux operating system. The design is open source, so that microprocessors can be adapted by others.

ü  meet the demands of defence and strategic equipment such as NAVIC (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite) and in Internet of Things (IoT) electronics.

ü It is a C class microprocessor developed under Project Shakti.


About Project Shakti

ü Started in 2014 as an IIT-Madras initiative, it was partly funded by Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in 2017.

ü The project also aims to build high speed interconnects for servers and supercomputers, apart from building processors.


held in Vienna


is capacity-building programme on small satellite development for students from developing countries

ü Training for selected students will be conducted at U R Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru for the next

three years.

ü UNISPACE was started by the United Nations in 1968 to bring together the international community of space scientists and organisations to enable further development of students and

young professionals in space research

HEPCIDIN CSIR-IGIB) have successfully discovered

a pathway that regulates hepcidin hormone production


ü Hemochromatosis is a rare hereditary disease that is characterised by iron accumulation or

overload in various tissues (or) hepcidin level is abnormally low


ü The hepcidin hormone, released by the liver, is a key regulator of the entry of iron into the circulation in mammals.

ü Dysregulation of the hormone leads to anaemia on one hand and excess iron accumulation in organs such as liver and heart leading to multi-organ failure.

ü Hepcidin production is regulated by many signalling pathways.

ü This is the first time that researchers have been able to identify that the NFkB pathway regulates liver hepcidin production.




Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology

ü Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), Delhi is a part of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

ü founded in 1977 as the Center for Biochemical Technology with a primary focus on biochemical research

ü Genomics for Understanding Rare Disease, India Alliance Network (GUaRDIAN) is a large-scale collaborative network of clinicians – use genomics in clinical practice, with the focussed aim to understand genetic structure of rare genetic diseases in India.


Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research of National Council of Science and

Technology Communication (NCSTC), DST has been initiated


o To encourage, empower and endow popular science writing through newspapers, magazines,blogs, social media, etc.

ü The scheme aims to tap the tremendous potential of students to popularize & communicate science and also to inculcate scientific temperament in the masses.

ü It endeavors to disseminate Indian Research stories of science, technology and innovation being pursued in the country in a format that is easy to understand and interesting for the stakeholders


An electronic cigarette is a battery-operated device that emits

doses of vaporized nicotine, or non-nicotine solutions, for the

user to inhale.


ü It simulates the feeling of tobacco smoking without smoke.

ü They generate an aerosol, commonly called a “vapor“, for the user

to inhale- commonly referred to as vaping.

ü They can be manufactured to resemble traditional tobacco

cigarettes, cigars or pipes, or even everyday items like pens or USB

memory sticks.

ü E-cigs do not let off tobacco smell and do not produce ash



ü DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material typically found in tissue of all living cells.

ü DNA contains the hereditary data which is unique to each person (except in identical twins)

DNA fingerprinting technology isolates and identifies these variable elements.

ü DNA profiling is used by Police in identifying criminals and solving serial crimes hence is crucial for

investigative purposes

Applications of DNA profiling

ü Forensic technique in criminal investigation.

ü Paternity and parentage testing, immigration disputes and genealogical research.

ü Study of animal and plant populations and in Zoology, Botany and Agricultural fields

The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018


ü A P Shah Committee report highlighted the issues and sought safeguards from illegal collection of data and its misuse.


Key features:

ü The Bill seeks to provide for the regulation of use and application of DNA technology.

ü DNA regulation board:

o The board will certify labs authorized to carry out DNA testing and lay down procedure and guidelines for collection, storage, sharing and deletion of DNA information.

o The Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology has been made the ex-officio chairman of the proposed DNA Regulatory Board.

ü National DNA Data Bank:

o A National DNA Databank and certain regional DNA Databanks will store DNA profiles received from DNA labs in a specified format.

ü Limited purpose of identification:

o The Bill states that DNA data contained in any DNA labs and Databank “shall be used for the purpose of facilitating identification of the person and not for any other purpose”.

o It will only be made available to facilitate the identification of persons in criminal cases.

ü Safeguard against misuse:

o The Bill states that disclosure of DNA information to unauthorized persons, or for unauthorized purposes, shall lead to penalties up to three years in jail or up to Rs 1 lakh as fine.

AEROGEL transparent heat-resistant gel dubbed Aerogel has been developed from beer waste  transparent gel which shows high resistance to heat.

 insulation properties of aerogel is attributed to its ability/capacity to trap air within its matrix


Chinese unmanned lunar probe Chang’e 4 is expected to land in the Aitken basin on the far side of

the Moon, not visible from the Earth


the “far side of the Moon”?

ü Tidal forces from Earth have slowed down the Moon’s rotation to the point where the same side is always

facing the Earth–a phenomenon called tidal locking.

ü The other face, most of which is never visible from the Earth, is therefore called the “far side of the Moon”.


ü The vehicle is similar to Yutu, China’s first lunar rover launched in 2013 along with Chang’e 3.


ü The South Pole–Aitken basin is an impact crater on the far side of the Moon.

ü  one of the largest known impact craters in the Solar System.

ü The outer rim of this basin can be seen from Earth as a huge chain of mountains located on the Moon’s southern limb, sometimes informally called “Leibnitz Mountains”.


What is Chang’e 3?

ü  an unmanned lunar exploration mission operated by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), incorporating a robotic Lander and China’s first lunar rover.

ü the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon

ü Chang’e 3 discovered a new type of basaltic rock, rich in ilmenite, a black mineral

What is Chang’e 4?

ü Chang’e 4 is a planned Chinese lunar exploration mission, to be launched in December 2018 that will Incorporate an orbiter, a robotic Lander and rover.

ü Chang’e 4 will be China’s second lunar Lander and rover.

WHEAT GENOME UNRAVELLED cracked the full genome of wheat for the first time Genome?

ü A genome is the complete set of genetic information in an organism.

ü It provides all of the information the organism requires to function.

ü In living organisms, the genome is stored in long molecules of DNA called chromosomes.

ü Small sections of DNA, called genes, code for the RNA and protein molecules required by the organism.

ü The full range of RNA molecules expressed by a genome is known as its transcriptome, and the full

assortment of proteins produced by the genome is called its proteome.

ü Genomics is the study of the genome.

O-SMART umbrella scheme “Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (OSMART)


International Seabed Authority (ISA)

ü autonomous international organization established

under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

ü governs non-living resources of the seabed lying in international waters.

ü to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans.

ü  based in Kingston, Jamaica.

ü Two principal organs establish the policies and govern the work of the Authority: the Assembly, in which

all members are represented, and a 36- member Council elected by the Assembly.


ü This scheme covers 16 sub-projects related to ocean development such as services, technology, resources, transmission and science.

ü The services rendered under the O-SMART will provide economic benefits to a number of user communities in the coastal and ocean sectors, namely, fisheries, offshore industry, coastal states,

Defence, Shipping, Ports etc.

ü Implementation of O-SMART will help in addressing issues relating to Sustainable Development Goal- 14, which aims to conserve use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.

ü This scheme (O-SMART) also provide necessary scientific and technological background required for implementation of Blue Economy.

ü The State of Art Early Warning Systems established under the O-SMART Scheme will help in effectively dealing with ocean disasters like Tsunami, storm surges.

ü The technologies being developed under this Scheme will help in harnessing the vast ocean resources of both living and non-living resources from the seas around India.

ü Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavaratti will be set up as part of the scheme.

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

ü established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life.

ü This was in response to increasing commercial interest in Antarctic krill resources, a keystone component of the Antarctic ecosystem and a history of over-exploitation of several other marine

resources in the Southern Ocean.

ü practises an ecosystem-based management approach.

ü ROSS Sea in Antarctic is converted into a Marine Protected Area in 2016.

ü Secretariat is based in Hobart, Tasmania.

ü India is a member of CCAMLR.


infrared space telescope

detects infrared light, most often heat radiation emitted by warm objects.

follows an Earth-trailing, Heliocentric orbit.

ü Spitzer assisted in the detection of seven Earth-size planets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1, among other accomplishments

ü It is the fourth and final of the NASA Great Observatories program.


NASA Great Observatories program

ü NASA’s series of Great Observatories satellites are four large, powerful space-based astronomical telescopes.

ü Each of the four missions was designed to examine a specific wavelength/energy region of the electromagnetic spectrum (gamma rays, X-rays, visible and ultraviolet light, infrared light).

1. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) primarily observes visible light and near-ultraviolet.

2. The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) primarily observed gamma rays, though it extended into hard x-rays as well.

3. The Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) primarily observes soft x-rays.

4. The Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) observes the infrared spectrum

AEOLUS World’s first space mission to map the Earth’s wind on a global scale launched from French Guyana


Aeolus is the fifth of the eight ESA’s planned Earth Explorer missions


part of the Copernicus project, a joint initiative of the European Union and the European Space

Agency (ESA) to track environmental damage and aid disaster relief operations.


Earth observation satellite capable of performing global wind-component-profile observation.

ü The satellite ‘Aeolus’ is named after the guardian of wind in Greek mythology.

ü It will be placed at an altitude of 320km (200 miles) above the Earth

How it works?

ü Aeolus is equipped with a single instrument: a Doppler wind lidar – an advanced laser system designed to accurately measure global wind patterns from space


Living Planet Programme

ü It is a programme within the European Space Agency which is managed by the Earth Observation Programmes Directorate.

ü LPP consists of two classes of Earth observation missions

1. Research missions known as Earth Explorers

2. The Earth Watch class of missions whose objective is to develop support operational applications

such as numerical weather forecasting or resource management.

List of Earth Explorers missions

Currently there are eight approved Earth Explorers missions, five of which are in orbit and operating:

1. GOCE – Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer;

2. SMOS – Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite

3. CryoSat – is a program designed to map the Earth’s ice cover.

4. Swarm – is a trio of satellites to map the Earth’s magnetism

5. Aeolus – Atmospheric Dynamics Mission will use an innovative laser to measure global winds.

6. EarthCARE – Earth Clouds Aerosols and Radiation Explorer will examine the formation and effects of


7. Biomass (satellite) – designed to calculate the amount of carbon stored in the world’s forests.

8. FLEX – the FLuorescence EXplorer mission proposes to launch a satellite for the global monitoring of steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence in terrestrial vegetation

NEW TYPE OF GOLD form of very small crystals — microcystallites


It do not dissolve in mercury and Aqua regia (a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid).


microcrystal gold has been found to be nobler than gold


the least interaction with copper

ü The newly formed microcystallites, about 3 micrometre in length were found to be of a different crystal structure.

ü Normal gold has a (face-centered) cubic structure, while the new ones exhibit deformed cubic structure — tetragonal and orthorhombic cells.

ü All these properties microcrystallites an ideal candidate for catalytic purposes.

ü Gold in itself is not a catalyst but the new gold microcystallites have very active surfaces.

ü Compared with other catalysts like palladium and ruthenium, gold is cheaper and it can also be easily recovered.

MONSTER GALAXIES/STARBURST GALAXIES monster galaxy has been found about 12 billion light years from Earth. It has been named ‘COSMOSAzTEC-1’


Monster Galaxy

ü They are thought to be the ancestors of the huge elliptical galaxies in today’s universe.

ü A unique characteristic of monster galaxies is that they form stars at a startling pace —1,000 times higher than the star formation in our galaxy.



ü COSMOS-AzTEC-1 was first discovered with the James

Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii.


.What’s unique and why?

ü It was found that the galaxy has molecular clouds that are

highly unstable, and leads to runaway star formation.

ü In normal galaxies, star formation is self-regulating by balancing the gravity (inwards) and pressure (outwards).

ü But, in COSMOS-AzTEC-1, the pressure is far weaker than the gravity and hard to balance and is experiencing a massive gravitational collapse.

ü Hence, this galaxy shows runaway star formation and has morphed into an unstoppable monster galaxy.

About leptospirosis”black jaundice”

caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira.

ü It is also known as rat fever



transmitted by both wild and domestic animals, most commonly by rodents

ü It is often transmitted by animal urine or by water or soil containing animal urine coming into contact

with breaks in the skin, eyes, mouth, or nose

 most common in tropical areas


Signs and symptoms

ü Symptoms can range from none to mild such as headaches, muscle pains, and fevers; too severe with

bleeding from the lungs or meningitis.

ü It is known as Weil’s disease if the situation elevates causing the person to turn yellow, have kidney

failure and bleeding.

ü It becomes categorized as severe pulmonary hemorrhage syndrome if the condition worsens to bleeding into the lungs.


ü Leptospirosis has many different names including: “7-day fever”, “harvest fever”, “field fever”,”cane

field fever”, “mild fever”, “rat catcher’s yellows”, “Fort Bragg fever”, “rat fever” and “pretibial fever”



a superbug, resistant to all known antibiotics that can cause

“severe” infections or even death. The study says that it is spreading undetected through hospital

wards across the world


deadly MRSA superbug: Staphylococcus epidermidis found naturally on human skin and most commonly affects the elderly or prosthetic implant



ü New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase-1.

ü a gene that is carried by some bacteria. A bacterial strain that carries the NDM-1 gene will be resistant to even some of the strongest antibiotics.

Red line Campaign

ü  Indian campaign to curb over-the-counter use of antibiotics

ü It entails marking prescription-only antibiotics with a red line to curb their irrational use

About Superbugs and antimicrobial resistance

ü Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and anti-malarial) from working against it.

ü As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

ü Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as superbugs.

ü Antimicrobial resistance is the broader term for resistance in different types of microorganisms and encompasses resistance to antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antifungal drugs.

ü Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally over time, usually through genetic changes.

 However, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is accelerating this process WHO has been leading multiple initiatives to address antimicrobial resistance:

· Global action plan on tackle antimicrobial resistance.

· World Antibiotic Awareness Week

· The Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System(GLASS)

· Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership(GARDP) – A joint initiative of WHO and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative(DNDi)



GM Mustard?

ü  Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH -11) for commercial cultivation.

ü  genetically modified variety of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) mustard.

ü  created by using “barnase/barstar” technology for genetic modification by adding genes from soil bacterium that makes mustard self-pollinating.

About Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)

ü GEAC is India’s apex regulator for genetically modified seeds.

ü It functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

ü It is responsible for appraisal of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms

and products into the environment.

ü It is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and

recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle


The prisons in the Kerala are set to switch over to Tetra, an advanced, mobile radio communication


 Tetra is also designed to transferdata at faster speeds than that of mobile communications regardless of traffic.

Tetra, originally called Trans-European trunked radio and later named as Terrestrial Trunked Radio offers individual calls, calls involving two persons, group calls, priority calls, call authentication,

late entry and voice encryption

ü It offers fast transmission of information, as part of general surveillance overhaul.

ü It combines features of mobile radio, cellular phone, paging and wireless ata and is equipped with

built-in encryption features to ensure the confidentiality of sensitive data communication.

Hope Mission

UAE is set to send two astronauts to spaces a part of Hope space program. The program includes sending

of an unmanned space probe to mars by 2021.

ü Its unique placement in orbit around Mars will provide a new type of data to build “holistic models”

of the Martian atmosphere.

ü The data is expected to provide additional data on the escape of the atmosphere to a level where it is

now too thin to allow liquid water to exist.


ü The Hope Mars Mission or Emirates Mars Mission : United Arab Emirates in 2020.

ü Upon launch, it will become the first mission to Mars by any Arab or Muslim country.

ü The spacecraft will be launched from Japan using a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA launcher.

ü Upon arrival at Mars, it will study the atmosphere of Mars for two years.

ü The Hope probe will carry three scientific instruments to study the Martian atmosphere, which include

o A digital camera for high resolution colored images,

o An infrared spectrometer that will examine the temperature patterns, ice, water vapors in the atmosphere, and

o An ultraviolet spectrometer that will study the upper atmosphere and traces of oxygen and hydrogen further out into space.


Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have developed

organic solar cells using a synthetic derivative of vitamin B12

Other applications of corroles

ü  used as Sensors

o Catalysts

o In biomedical imaging.

Advantages expected of the new Cell

ü Low-cost

ü Efficient photovoltaic material

ü A wide range of absorption

ü Increased flexibility


ü  made up of acceptor and donor materials.

ü The donor absorbs light from solar radiation and the harvested energy is passed to the electrodes with the help of the acceptor.


Technology behind

ü The researchers synthesized the donor using an artificial aromatic chemical (corrole) which has a similar structure to the Corrin ring in vitamin B12.

ü The artificially synthesized corrole (Cor-BODIPY) absorbs light much like porphyrinin natural chlorophyll.

ü They are very flexible unlike the silicon solar cells– so could be used in flexible electronics

ü Power conversion efficiency (the ability to turn the light absorbed to electricity)was 2.5%.




A group of 45 women from 10 countries, ‘Solar Mamas’ were felicitated at a ‘graduation ceremony’ at

the Barefoot College


About Solar mamas

ü Solar mamas are rural women solar engineers

ü Barefoot College, Tilonia (Rajasthan) has been promoting and training rural women solar engineers(solar mamas) from Africa in fabrication, installation, use, repair and maintenance of solar lanterns

and household solar lighting under Government of India supported programmes.

ü They have set up a Barefoot women vocational training college in Zanzibar Islands of Tanzania and

other countries in Africa for imparting solar electrification skills (training) and distributing solar kits to trainees.

About Barefoot College in Tilonia

ü  established four decades ago, empowers marginalized women by training them to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists, broadcasters and doctors for their own villages.

ü It caters to two groups of women — from India, and from Latin America, other parts of Asia, the Pacific Islands, and African countries


ü NASA has named the Orion spacecraft after the largest constellation in the night sky.

About Orion

ü Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV) is an

American-European interplanetary spacecraft intended to

carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations at or beyond

low Earth orbit (LEO).

ü It is built together with the ESA.

ü Orion is intended to facilitate human exploration of the moon,

asteroids and of Mars and to retrieve crew or supplies



Scientists at Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) have developed India’s first

indigenous medical kit against wounds resulting from nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage


ü It is Developed for the armed, paramilitary and police forces only as they are the first ones likely to

get exposed to radiation — be it during nuclear, chemical and biomedical (NCB) warfare or a rescue operation after a nuclear accident.

ü The kit has over 25 items, including radio-protectors that provide 80-90% protection against radiation and nerve gas agents, bandages that absorb radiation as well as tablets and ointments.

ü Developed in India for the first time, it’s a potent alternative to similar kits that were till now being procured from strategically advanced nations such as the US and Russia at much higher prices



ü  first all-British radar satellite.

ü The satellite applications include track illegal shipping activity, forestry mapping, land use, and ice

cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring and maritime missions


ü It is a high resolution earth observation satellite meant for surveying resources, environment

monitoring, urban management and disaster monitoring

Why in News?

PSLV-C42 launches 2 foreign satellites

About the news

ü The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C42) of ISRO successfully

launched two satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.


ü Both satellites were injected into the Sun Synchronous Orbit.

ü The satellites belong to UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), which has a contract with Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of ISRO.

ü This was the 44th flight of PSLV and the 12th flight of the Core Alone version of the vehicle.

ü Core Alone is its lightest version without the six strap-on motors. It is used for launching smaller payloads.

Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile

First successful trials of indigenously developed third generation Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided

Missile (MPATGM) was conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)


ü  third generation anti-tank guided missile

ü  fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.

ü It claims a top attack capability and an engagement range of about 2.5 kilometers

ü It is expected to supplement the SPIKE missile system, which is under process for procurement from Israel


ü Spike is an Israeli fourth-generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead.

ü It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants.

About brown barge

Jupiter’s “brown barge” feature is the subject of a new photograph snapped by Juno‘s camera


the brown barge is shaped by cyclone-like weather patterns in the

gas giant’s atmosphere.


barge is longer and boxier.

The purpose of Juno Mission

ü Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere

ü Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and

ü Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure

ü Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’snorthern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic

force field affects its atmosphere

What is Great Red Spot?

ü  a giant oval of crimson coloured clouds in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere that race counterclockwise around the oval’s perimeter with wind speeds greater than any storm on the earth.


More about the Juno Mission

ü NASA space probe orbiting the planet Jupiter.

ü Juno is the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, after the nuclear powered Galileo orbiter, which orbited from 1995 to 2003.

ü The Juno mission is also the second spacecraft designed under NASA’s New Frontiers Program.

The first is the Pluto New Horizons mission, which flew by the dwarf planet


ü Unlike all earlier spacecraft sent to the outer planets, Juno is powered only by solar arrays,

commonly used by satellites orbiting Earth and working in the inner Solar System, whereas

radioisotope thermoelectric generators are commonly used for missions to the outer Solar

System and beyond.



first GPS module to be owned by an Indian firm that will primarily use Indian satellite for

navigation was launched


UTRAQ is an Indian GPS module based on India’s own IRNSS, and doesn’t rely on American GPS


ü UTRAQ will provide more accurate and reliable data.

ü These modules can be used for different purposes like tracking, ranging, command, control and



A satellite navigation or satnav system is a system that uses satellites to provide autonomous geospatial positioning.

ü  allows small electronic receivers to determine their location (longitude, latitude, and

altitude/elevation) to high precision (within a few meters) using time signals transmitted along a

line of sight by radio from satellites

ü Satnav systems operate independently of any telephonic or internet reception


United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS),Russia’s GLONASS, China’s BeiDou Navigation

Satellite System (BDS) and the European Union’s Galileo are global GNSSs.

ü The European Union’s Galileo GNSS is scheduled to be fully operational by 2020, India for regional navigation called NavIC (or the IRNSS)

About Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS): Navigation with Indian Constellation(NavIC)

ü  an autonomous regional satellite navigation system developed by India.

ü The system has a constellation of seven satellites (with two additional satellites on ground as standby)

o 3 satellites in the geostationary orbit

o 4 satellites in the geosynchronous orbit:

ü Primary service area

o positioning data of for the whole Indian mainland and the region that extends 1500 km from India’s mainland. Primary Service Area.

ü Extended Service area-between the Primary Service Area and the area enclosed by the rectangle from

Latitude 30-degree South to 50-degree North and Longitude 30-degree East to 130-degree East (1,500–6,000 km beyond borders). Some of the applications of IRNSS:

o Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation

o Disaster Management

o Vehicle tracking and fleet management

o Integration with mobile phones

o Precise Timing

o Mapping and Geodetic data capture

o Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travelers

o Visual and voice navigation for drivers

ü IRNSS also provides two types of services

o Standard Positioning Service (SPS)

§ Standard Positioning Service is provided to all the users and has accuracy of up to 10 meters.

o Restricted Service (RS)

§ Restricted Service is an encrypted service and is only provided to authorized users –

including military.

ü IRNSS claims an accuracy of better than 20 m in its primary service area.

ü IRNSS will be expanded by increasing the satellites to 11 in the future


NASA balloon mission recently captured images of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs).

To reveal the processes leading to turbulence. This could be useful in studying atmospheric

and oceanic turbulence as well as other planetary atmospheres


About Polar mesospheric clouds Turbo mission

ü NASA launched a giant balloon as part of its polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) Turbo mission to

study what is known as Polar mesospheric clouds or noctilucent clouds (night shining clouds)



Objectives of the mission

ü To study atmospheric motions, such as airflow over mountains or the motions caused by thunderstorms

ü This can cause disturbances in the atmosphere which are generated through something called atmospheric gravity waves.

ü To understand the processes of matter in near-Earth space, including how matter there interacts with Earth’s atmosphere and weather

About Polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs)/ noctilucent clouds

ü Polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs)/ noctilucent clouds are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere of Earth.

ü They are the highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere, located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 76 to 85 km.

ü mostly made up of ice crystals and appear like faint lines in the sky.

ü  visible only during local summer months and when the Sun is below the observer’s horizon, but while the clouds are still in sunlight– which causes them to shine a bright electric blue

or white colour.

ü  atmospheric gravity waves – caused by the convection

and uplifting of air masses


Cultured meat, also called clean meat, synthetic meat or in vitro meat, is meat grown from in vitro animal cell culture instead of from slaughtered animals

ü It is a form of cellular agriculture.

How it is made?

ü Stem cells or progenitor cells are extracted from an animal.

ü In a lab, under the right circumstances, cells can divide, just like they do naturally.

ü They have to be fed nutrients like salt, sugar and proteins.

ü These come from serums made from animal blood



Japan became the world’s first country to successfully land two robotic rovers on an asteroid named

Ryugu. This is the first time that the world will observe the surface of an asteroid via moving robots

ü MinervaII1 : 3.3 kg compact package consisting the two cookie-tin shaped rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B.

ü world’s first rover to land on the surface of an asteroid

ü carried on Hayabusa2 spacecraft.

ü JAXA have confirmed that both the rovers landed on the surface of asteroid Ryugu.

ü ‘the world’s first man-made object to explore movement on an asteroid surface’

Ryugu is a blackish colored, diamond-shaped asteroid.

ü It rotates on its axis once every 7.5 hours.

ü Its surface is rougher than expected, with man boulders and barely any smooth patches. This was the main concern in terms of landing the rovers.

About Hayabusa2

ü Hayabusa2 is the successor to Hayabusa1, JAXA’s first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa


an extended shell of icy objects that exist in the outermost reaches of the solar system.

The Kuiper Belt (sometimes referred to as the Kuiper-Edgeworth Belt) :area of the outer solarsystem across 20 astronomical units of space. ü Pluto belongs to the Kuiper belt

ü It is named after astronomer Jan Oort, who first theorized its existence.

ü  roughly spherical, and is thought to be the origin of most of the long-period comets that have been observed.

ü This cloud of particles is theorized to be the remains of the disc of material that formed the Sun and planets.

ü The Oort cloud is very distant from the Sun and it can be disrupted by the nearby passage of a star,nebula, or by actions in the disk of the Milky Way.


BSX 2018

The theme of the event was “Creating Dynamism in Indian Space Ecosystem

ü  an International Exhibition on Space, Satellites, Launch Vehicles and its Technologies, & Services.

ü It was organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the Indian SpaceResearch Organisation (ISRO) and its commercial arm, the Antrix Corporation Limited(ANTRIX).



ü  world’s first anti-doping dog

ü She’s a search dog and is trained exactly the same as a dog for customs. She’s trained for doping substances instead for narcotics

hydrogen-powered train


ü Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions. Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train
BUFFALO ü The Beyond Ultra deep Frontier Fields And Legacy Observations (BUFFALO) survey will observe six massive galaxy clusters and their surroundings It is one of the missions coordinated by the National Aeronautics and Space

Administration (NASA) to explore the origins of the earliest galaxies.




ü  in Bengaluru is set to become the first airport in Asia next

year to use face recognition as the boarding procedure for passengers to board flights and move across different sections of the airport

EYEROV TUN India’s first underwater robotic drone developed at Maker Village,Kochi ü  tested on India’s first and largest solar ferry, Aditya in

Kerala’s Vaikom. EyeROV is designed to perform visual inspection and surveys of submerged structures


Decommissioning of RISAT-1

ü RISAT-1 was an Indian Remote sensing satellite developed and operated by ISRO, for civilian

applications. It was launched in 2012 and deactivated in 2017

ROBAT fully autonomous,bat-like terrestrial robot.

ü  use echolocation to move through a novel environment while mapping it solely based on sound


ü Robat delineates the borders of objects it encounters, and classifies them using an artificial neural

network, thus creating a rich, accurate map of its environment while avoiding obstacles

MAGIC SCROLL rollable touch-screen tablet developed – taking inspiration from ancient scroll


ü The device, is comprised of a high-resolution flexible display that can be rolled or unrolled around a central, 3D-printed cylindrical body containing the device’s computerised inner-workings.

ü There are three types of anthrax, each with different symptoms: Cutaneous, or skin, Gastrointestinal

anthrax, inhalation or pulmonary anthrax.


ü caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis

ü It occurs naturally in both animals and humans in many parts of the world, including Asia, southern Europe, sub-Sahelian Africa and parts of Australia.

ü The most severe form of human anthrax is called inhalation or pulmonary anthrax. Though the rarest, it is the form of human anthrax causing the most current concern.

Spread and Prevention

ü Anthrax bacteria can survive in the environment by forming spores.

ü One can get anthrax through indirect or direct contact by touching, inhaling, or ingesting anthrax spores.

ü Anthrax responds well to antibiotic treatment.

ü Anthrax became widely known in 2001 when it was used as a biological weapon. Powdered anthrax

spores were sent via letters in U.S. mail.



A humanoid robot named Erica chats to a man in front of stunned audience members in Madrid

Erica | Japan

ü Erica, a lifelike android designed to look like a 23-year-old woman.

ü The android can replace a human news anchor on the airwaves.

ü Erica is capable of holding a conversation with humans using

combination of speech-generation algorithms, facial-recognition

technology and infrared sensors that allow her to track faces across a


Humanoid robot & Android

ü A humanoid robot is a robot with its body shape built to resemble the human body.

ü The design may be for functional purposes, such as interacting with human tools and environments, for experimental purposes.

ü In general, humanoid robots have a torso, a head, two arms, and two legs

ü Androids are humanoid robots built to aesthetically resemble humans.




ü a serious bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the throat and nose.

ü causative organism bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

ü It spreads easily from one person to another through direct contact or when infected individual cough or sneeze.

ü usually start two to five days after exposure to infection.

ü Major symptoms : Sore throat, fever, and barky cough.

ü Diphtheria can be prevented through the use of vaccines.

ü If left untreated, it can cause severe damage to kidneys, nervous system, and heart.

ü Its treatment involves administration of antitoxin and antibiotics.



What is interstellar space?

ü Interstellar space is the part of space that exists between stars.

ü Scientists define the beginning of interstellar space as the place where the sun’s constant flow of

material and magnetic field stop affecting its surroundings.

ü This place is called the heliopause. It marks the end of a region created by our sun that is called the



About Voyager 2

ü Launched on August 20, 1977, Voyager 2, along withVoyager 1, is humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft.

ü Both the probes completed 40 years of operation in 2017.

ü Their initial mission objective was to gather data on Jupiter and Saturn.

ü Thereafter the mission is extended and Voyager 1 made its

way towards the edge of the solar system, Voyager 2 headed to make observations of Uranus and Neptune.

ü Voyager 2 found evidence for rings around Neptune, thus showing that all four gas giants Jupiter,Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in the solar system had rings. As the mission’s planetary exploration phase had been successfully completed, NASA renamed it the

Voyager Interstellar Mission.

ü Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space in 2012.

Triton, the largest of Neptune’s moon, coldest known object in the solar system with a mean surface temperature of minus 235


ü It is also the only large satellite that orbits in the opposite direction of its planet’s rotation



A team of researchers has produced viable offspring from same-sex pairs of mice, using a novel technology that involves stem cells altered to remove certain genes.


ü Imprinted genes

o During the reproduction process, mammals mostly inherit two sets of each gene, one from their mother and one from their father.

o Imprinted Genes are a small subset of genes, which are inherited from only one parent.

o For these genes, the set produced by the other parent is effectively inactive, having been “shut off” when it is transmitted.

o If this “shutting off” process does not function correctly, the offspring could suffer from abnormalities or even die.

ü Example of Normal inheritance

o If a child inherits the gene for blood group A from either parent and the gene for group B from the other parent, the child’s blood group will be AB.




gram-negative gram positive
Lose crystal violet retain crystal violet dye
ü Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis caused by ingestion of unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat from infected animals, or close contact with their secretions.

ü Zoonosis are infectious diseases that can be naturally transmitted between animals (usually vertebrates) and humans.

ü It is also known as undulant fever, Malta fever and Mediterranean fever.

ü Brucella species are small, gram-negative, nonmotile, nonspore-forming, rod-shaped (coccobacilli) bacteria.

ü Symptoms include profuse sweating and joint and muscle pain.


About Guillain-Barré syndrome

ü Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves.

ü This leads to weakness, numbness, and tingling.

ü It can eventually cause paralysis.


a genetic engineering method to produce ‘blue rose’.


The study claims it to be the world’s first engineered blue rose

ü Blue roses do not exist in nature. However, florists can produce blue-hued flowers by placing cut roses in dye.

ü  a combination of genetic engineering and selective

breeding. However, the rose is more mauve-coloured than blue.

How was the feat achieved?

ü  two bacterial enzymes that together can convert L-glutamine, a common constituent of rose petals, into the blue pigment indigoidine.

ü When the researchers injected the engineered bacteria into a white rose petal, the bacteria transferred the pigment-producing genes to the rose genome, and a blue colour spread from the injection site




Chitosan is a substance found in the hard outer shells of crab and shrimp

ü  gel for topical application to prevent organophosphate-based pesticides getting absorbed through the skin.

ü The active ingredients of the gel are attached to chitosan so the gel does not penetrate the skin.

ü The gel does not act like a physical barrier but chemically deactivates the pesticides

About the harmful effects of organophosphate-based pesticides

ü  they bind and inhibit an enzyme critical for nerve and muscle function.

ü This causes neurological disorders, suffocation, paralysis, and even death.

ü The majority of organophosphate-based pesticides are absorbed through the skin while the nasal/inhalation route constitutes about 10-15%.


degraded toluene into less-toxic byproducts using bacteria isolated from soil

Bioremediation of Toluene

ü Several types of fungi and certain species of bacteria can degrade toluene using it as a source of carbon

and energy.

ü The new study found that the bacteria Acinetobacter junii showed good degrading potential

About Toluene

üone of the petrochemical wastes that get released without treatment from industries such as refineries, paint, textile, paper and rubber.

ü Toluene finds application in the production of Explosives and Foam.

ü It is a common solvent and can be used as an octane booster in gasoline fuels.

ü an intoxicating inhalant.

ü Toluene has been reported to cause serious health problems to aquatic life.

ü Studies also point that it has genotoxic and carcinogenic effects on human beings.


BEPICOLOMBO AND MERCURY ü BepiColombo is a joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to the planet Mercury

ü ESA developed Bepi will operate in Mercury’s inner orbit while JAXA’s Mio will be in the outer orbit.

ü This is the second recent cooperation between the Europeans and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency after JAXA’s Hayabusa2 probe dropped a German-French rover on the asteroid Ryugu earlier.




3D audio effects are a group of sound effects that manipulate the sound produced by stereo speakers, surround-sound speakers, speaker-arrays, or headphones
3-D audio processing

ü It uses head-related transfer function filters and cross talk cancellation techniques to transform sound waves to mimic natural sounds waves

ü It is thus able to trick the brain, to place different sounds in different 3-D locations upon hearing the sounds, even though the sounds may just be produced from just 2 speakers



Mixed reality (MR) experience combines elements of both AR and VR, real-world and digital objects interact.


What is immersive e-commerce ecosystem?

ü  platform built on technologies such as 3D audio, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR),

digital scent, holograms and touch.

ü The viewers will be able to touch, feel, smell and experience products, with a seamless transaction(e-commerce) ecosystem.

About Augmented Reality (AR)

ü layers computergenerated enhancements

ü developed into apps and used on mobile devices

ü Augmented reality is related to two largely synonymous terms:

mixed reality and computer-mediated reality, which

merges real and virtual worlds to produce new environments.

ü AR applications for smartphones typically include global

positioning system (GPS) to pinpoint the user’s location and

its compass to detect device orientation.

ü Leaders of the tech industry are also using AR to do amazing

and revolutionary things with holograms and motion

activated commands.

Virtual Reality (VR)

ü artificial, computer-generated simulation or recreation of a real life environment or situation.

ü It is used prominently in two different ways:

o To create and enhance an imaginary reality for gaming, entertainment, and play (Such as video and computer games, or 3D movies, head mounted display).

o To enhance training for real life environments by creating a simulation of reality where people can practice beforehand (Such as flight simulators for pilots).





About Hologram technology

ü a photographic recording of a light field

ü used to display a fully three-dimensional image of the

holographed subject, which is seen without the aid of special

glasses or other intermediate optics.

ü The hologram itself is not an image and is usually unintelligible

when viewed under diffuse ambient light.

ü When a hologram is suitable lit, the interference pattern diffracts

the light into a reproduction of the original light field



NASA has used characters from modern myths such as the “Hulk” and “Godzilla” to name its new set of 21 gamma-ray constellations constructed in celebration of its Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope’s 10th year of operations



ü International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) is a currently operational space

telescope for observing gamma rays.

ü It was launched by the European Space Agency into Earth orbit in 2002.

ü It helps in detecting the mysterious ‘iron quasar’.

ü It was the most sensitive gamma ray observatory in space before NASA’s Fermi was launched in


ü INTEGRAL is an ESA mission in cooperation with the Russian Space Agency and NASA.

About FGST

ü The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST) is a space observatory being used to perform gammaray astronomy observations from low Earth orbit.

ü It is formerly called the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST).

ü  joint venture of NASA, and government agencies in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Sweden, becoming the most sensitive gamma-ray telescope on orbit, succeeding INTEGRAL.

ü Its main instruments are the Large Area Telescope (LAT) and the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM).

ü It is not a part of NASA Great Observatories program


Gamma Ray

ü penetrating electromagnetic radiation arising from the

radioactive decay of atomic nuclei.

ü shortest wavelength electromagnetic waves and so imparts the highest photon energy.


ü NASA’s series of Great Observatories satellites are four large, powerful space-based astronomical telescopes.

1. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) primarily observes visible light and near-ultraviolet.

2. The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) primarily observed gamma rays, though it extended into hard x-rays as well.

3. The Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) primarily observes soft x-rays.

4. The Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) observes the infrared spectrum.



Aloe Vera

the first naturally occurring material to be used to separate oil from water.

ü The study also found that the oleophobicity of Aloe vera gel

was not compromised under harsh conditions such as extreme heat or cold, and extreme acidic or alkaline


ü The membrane was able to separate both light and heavy oil

from water.

a succulent plant species that grows wild in tropical climates around the world.

ü It is also cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses.

ü It is found in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for

minor burns and sunburns.



Oral ingestion of aloe vera, is potentially toxic. Ingested non -decolorized liquid aloe vera is a possible carcinogen



the world’s smallest optical gyroscope

Sagnac effect

ü In Sagnac’s demonstration, a beam of light was split such that part traveled clockwise and part

counter clockwise around a rotating platform.

a “fringe interference” pattern (alternate bands of light and dark) was detected that

depended on the precise rate of rotation of the turntable

ü Gyroscope is a device used to detect the deviation of an object from its desired orientation.

ü It can contain a rapidly spinning wheel or circulating beam of light.

ü Gyroscopes are used in

o compasses and automatic pilots on ships and aircraft,

o in the steering mechanisms of torpedoes

o in the inertial guidance systems installed in space launch vehicles, ballistic missiles, and

orbiting satellites.




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