Science and Technology Current Affairs |January 2021

Science and Technology Current Affairs |January 2021

Science and Technology Current Affairs, January 2021

15th January 2021

Mealworm has become the first insect to be approved in Europe as human food.

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has decided that mealworms be used whole and dried in curries and other recipes and as a flour to make biscuits, pasta, and bread. Mealworms are rich in protein, fat, and fiber.  Mealworms are the larval stage of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio Molitor which is a species of darkling beetle. 

14th January 2021

Khadi Prakritik Paint

Khadi Prakritik Paint is India’s First cow dung paint which has been developed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission. It is eco-friendly and non-toxic with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Its main ingredient is cow dung and has been certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards. It is cost-effective and odorless. The paint is free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, and others.

12th January 2021

Flight Surgeons for Gaganyan to receive training from Russia.

Russia will be providing training to two flight surgeons from India in Space Medicine for the Gagaganyan Mission. These Flight Surgeons are from the Indian Air Force with a specialization in Aerospace Medicine. Their responsibility includes ensuring the astronauts are in good health before, during, and after the flight. Gaganyan is to take its maiden flight in 2022 commemorating India’s 75th Independence Day.

11th January 2021

Arunachal Pradesh is to become India’s Premiere producer of Vanadium.

Arunachal Pradesh is all set to become India’s prime producer of vanadium. Vanadium is a hard, silvery grey malleable transition metal. It is represented by the letter ‘V’ and has an atomic number of 23.  It is very rarely found in nature. Vanadium is recovered as a by-product from processing Vanadiferous Magnetite Ore. It is used for the strengthening of steel and titanium. India is a significant consumer of Vanadium, but not a major producer.

8th January 2021

Organic Substitute for Gypsum developed by school students.

 Two students from a government school in Hyderabad’s government have come up with an organic substitute for gypsum chalks. The students- K Rudra and Harshit Verma came up with the idea after observing the harmful effects of chalks made from gypsum powder. The chalk dust can lead to serious health problems as well. Organic ingredients like natural clay, rice flour, and essential oils like lemon oil, neem oil, camphor have been utilised in the making of the chalk.

7th January 2021

Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policy

On January 1, the draft Science, Technology and Innovation Policy was released. It is expected to revolutionize not just the scientific research community, but also the way ordinary Indians interact with Science. The 5th national STI policy (STIP) believes in the core principles of being decentralized, bottom-up, evidence-informed, experts-driven, and inclusive. It aims to position India among the top three scientific superpowers in the world and to strengthen human capital. It aims to bolster Gros Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) to achieve the highest level of Global Recognition. It proposes the idea of Open Science Framework and One Nation, One Subscription.

CEPI Centralised Network Lab was Inaugurated at DBT-THSTI Faridabad.

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was recently established at the Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad. CEPI, Faridabad is a part of a seven centralized network of the lab, spread all across the world. THSTI is the only laboratory of such kind in India. THSTI has also received accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). CEPI came into existence through the efforts of the public, private, philanthropic, and civil organizations, in 2017 in Davos. Its aim is to develop vaccines to prevent future outbreaks of epidemics. The Department of Biotechnology, under the Ministry of Science & Technology, is the implementing body of the Ind-CEPI mission.

6th January 2020

Swasth Vayu gets a nod to be used on the Covid-19 patients.

The expert committee constituted by the Director-General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has reached the conclusion that  SwasthVayu may be employed for the benefit of the Covid-19 patients with up to 35% requirement of oxygen supplementation. Swasth Vayu is indigenously designed and developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). Swasth Vayu is a non-invasive bi-level positive airway pressure ventilator. It is a microcontroller based precise closed-loop adaptive control system with a built-in biocompatible “3D printed manifold and coupler” with HEPA filter (Highly Efficient Particulate Air Filter). Other features of Swasth Vayu include CPAP, Bi-Timed, Spontaneous / AUTO modes. These have the provision to connect the Oxygen concentrator or Enrichment unit externally as well.

5th January 2021

Floating solar project at Omkareshwar dam to begin power generation by 2022-23

The Solar project at Omkareshwar will have floating solar panels of 600 MW power generation capacity in the backwaters of Omkareshwar dam. It has been estimated that in 2 years, the project shall start providing cheap and good quality power. Electricity will be produced in about 2000-hectare water areas by installing solar panels in the dam. Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company has agreed to purchase 400 MW power from the project. Solar panels will float on the surface of the water in the reservoir

2nd January 2021

Skyroot Aerospace successfully tested ‘Kalam-5’

Indian Space Startup, Skyroot, has successfully test-fired a solid propulsion rocket engine named ‘Kalam-5’. The test was conducted from a Private Test Facility at Nagpur, Maharashtra. This makes Skyroot the first Private company of India to successfully design, develop, and test a full solid-fuelled rocket stage. It will now be used for propulsion of their rocket ‘Vikram-1’ which is expected to be launched in December 2021 with the help of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Kalam 5 have a thrust ranging from 5 kN


1st January 2021

Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia launched

 INSACOG or Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia was recently launched. It was developed by the coordination between the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Indian Council for Medical Research, and CSIR.  The consortium shall determine the status of the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country. INSACOG is set to have a high-level Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee. It will also have a Scientific Advisory Group for scientific and technical guidance. The aim is to monitor the genomic variations in the SAES-CoV-2 on a regular basis by a multi-laboratory network. The consortia have been set up for the early detection of the genomic variants in events of super spreading, high mortality, etc.