Science and Technology Current Affairs in October 2020
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Science & Technology Current Affairs -31st October 2020
Secure Application for Internet (SAI)
The Indian Army on October 29, 2020, launched this messaging mobile application.
The application was developed: by Colonel Shankar of the Indian Army.
- The application facilitates secure communication among the Indian Army personnel by will provide secure voice, video, and text calling services to the soldiers of the Indian Army.
- The SAI model is similar to other commercial applications such as Telegram, WhatsApp, SAMVAD.
- It uses end-to-end encryption messaging protocol.
- The possibility of compromised security in using commercial mobile applications.
- Earlier the Army issued an order to ban the use of 89 applications such as Truecaller, Facebook, Instagram in order to prevent the leak of national security information by its personnel.
- The application was examined by the army cyber group and CERT.
- The application is currently being registered under intellectual property rights
- It will help in infrastructure management.
- It will assist the Indian Army to monitor land encroachment and manage cantonment roads which is currently done manually.
Science & Technology Current Affairs -30th October 2020
NASA has estimated the worth of the metallic asteroid to be $10,000,000,000,000,000,000
This asteroid orbits between Mars and Jupiter.
The net worth of this asteroid is way more than the earth's entire economy
The study was published in Planetary Science Journal.
- Asteroid 16 Psyche is one of the most massive objects in the solar system's main asteroid belt.
- It is about 230 million miles from Earth.
- 16 Psyche measures about 140 miles in diameter,
- Unlike most asteroids are made of rocks or ice, the dense 16 Psyche is mostly made of metal
- The first ultraviolet (UV) observations of the celestial object reveal that 16 Psyche may be entirely made of iron and nickel.
- Such asteroids are considered to be the building blocks of the solar system
NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)
The NISAR satellite is scheduled to be launched by 2022.
- India and the US decided to share Space Situational Awareness Information.
- The 2+2 strategic dialogue between Defence Minister and External Affairs Minister and their US counterparts led to this development
- Intent to continue the India-US Space Dialogue.
- Discussions on potential space defense cooperation.
2+2 Dialogue on Space coordination
- Sharing of the Space Situational Awareness information by the two countries
- Working towards the creation of a safe, stable, and sustainable space environment.
- Technical Cooperation in Earth Observation and Earth Sciences between the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Developing a better understanding of the regional and global weather origins in the Indian Ocean.
- Forward the common research goals in meteorology, oceanography and management of marine resources.
- The agreement was signed in 2014conduct the joint NISAR mission.
- The mission was to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar on the Earth observation satellite.
- A joint project of NASA and ISRO.
- It will be the first radar imaging satellite that uses the dual frequencies.
- The satellite would be launched from India on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle in a Sun-synchronous orbit.
Significance of NISAR:
- Remote sensing, to observe the Earth.
- The satellite would use advanced radar imaging for mapping the elevation of Earth’s land and ice masses 4 to 6 times a month.
- It is designed to observe and measure complex natural processes
Science & Technology Current Affairs -29th October 2020
Scientists have recently discovered a life-threatening inflammatory disease in males.
USA’s National Institute of Health
Mutation in the UBA1 gene
- The genome of more than 2500 individuals with undiagnosed inflammatory conditions were taken into consideration.
- The disease hence was traced backward from genes to symptoms.
Reason for naming:
It has been named VEXAS because of the characteristic
- Vacuoles, unusual cavities in certain cells
- E1 enzyme, related to the UBA1 gene
- X-linked connection,
- Autoinflammatory - as the body attacks itself, and
- Somatic- that is the condition isn’t a birth defect it can originate anytime
About the disease:
- VEXAS also causes symptoms like blood clots in veins, recurrent fever, pulmonary abnormalities.
- In 40% of cases, it causes death.
- The discovery is expected to pave the path for future therapeutics.
Science & Technology Current Affairs -26th October 2020
NASA confirms the presence of water on the Moon
Discovered by: The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA),
- Clavius Crater, one of the largest crater seen from the earth
- Present on the sunlit surface of the moon
- For the first time it is confirmed that water may be distributed across the moon
- Not just limited to cold, shadowed places.
- SOFIA, is a modified Boeing 747SP jetliner with flying at altitudes of up to 45,000 feet, and a 106-inch diameter telescope that offers a new perspective of looking at the moon
- As it reaches above 99 percent of the water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere, the telescope offers a new vantage point in the cosmos to get a clearer view of the infrared universe.and helps to look at distant, dim objects such as black holes, star clusters, and galaxies.
-The most volume of the water detected must be stored within glasses or in voids between grains sheltered from the harsh environment
-This allows the water to remain on the lunar surface.
-The discovery was published in Nature Astronomy
-Even though the quantity of water is small, it raises a pertinent question about the origin and creation of water
-About how it persists on the harsh lunar terrain in a vacuum.
-The United States sets its eyes on returning to the moon with the Artemis program, in advance of sending the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 and establishing a viable human presence on the moon by 2030.
- Rocks on the moon were considered bone dry, it changed when in 2013 the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft of ISRO remotely detected magmatic water that is the water which originates from deep within the moon’s interior, on the surface of the moon.
-The discovery by SOFIA reiterates several other observations made in the past including by the Chandrayaan-1 mission.
Industry 4.0 Technology
- IIT Kharagpur, and
- This novel technology has been created for remotely controlled factory
operations and real-time quality correction during industrial production
- This would help to deliver quality output at low costs.
- It involves: -
-1st: Mechanization, water power, steam power
-2nd: Mass Production and assembly line
-3rd: Computer and Automation
-4th: Cyber-Physical System
Industrial Revolution 4.0
- The term coined by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the Geneva-based WEF, in his book “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” published in 2016
- It is in reference to the growing role of technology in human physical lives in the form of artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and the internet of things examples: Voice-activated assistants, facial ID recognition, and digital health-care sensors.
- The similarity among each of the four industrial revolutions is the invention of a specific technology that fundamentally changed society.
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution is different from the third for two reasons:
the fissure between the digital, physical, and biological worlds is shrinking, and technology is evolving faster than ever.
Science & Technology Current Affairs -24th October 2020
Flash flood guidance services for South Asia
Designed by India Meteorological Department (IMD)
India has launched the first of its kind of Flash Flood Guidance services for
- Bhutan, Nepal, and
- Sri Lanka
IMD will issue impact-based forecasting at the watershed and also city level, of floods which are very sudden and of short duration.
The Flash Flood Guidance:
- It is a robust system to provide real-time to support the development of warnings for flash floods about 6-12 hours in advance at the watershed level
- It provides a resolution of 4kmx4km for the Flash Flood prone South Asian countries — India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
- The implementation of a Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) project with global coverage was approved by the 15th WMO Congress.
- Developed by the WMO Commission for Hydrology
- WMO has entrusted India with the responsibility, of the South Asia Flash Flood Guidance System for coordination, development, and implementation
Science & Technology Current Affairs -22nd October 2020
Mobile Application for Geo Tagging: PMKSY
Launched by the Ministry of Jal Shakti
This is a mobile application for geo-tagging the components of projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
- Bhaskaracharya National Institute of Space Applications & Geo-informatics (BISAG-N).
- Both online &
- Offline mode depending on the availability of networks in the region.
- To track the pace of work and the real-time status of the projects.
- The application can be used to capture the image of the project component along with other details such as location, completion status, type of canal/ structure, etc.
- This captured information can be submitted by the user for geo-tagging on the geographic information system (GIS) portal developed for this purpose.
- BISAG-N is an autonomous scientific society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- It comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
- Geo-tagging is the process of adding geographical identification data like latitude and longitude coordinates, altitude bearing, timestamps to various media such as websites, SMS messages, QR Codes.
- A GIS framework is for gathering, managing, and analyzing geography-related data.
- PMKSY looks to expanding cultivated areas with assured irrigation, reduce wastage of water, and improve water use efficiency i.e. Per drop-More crop.
Science & Technology Current Affairs -21st October 2020
Tubarial Glands: New Organ Discovered in Human Body
A set of salivary glands set deep in the upper part of the throat, previously overlooked and clinically relevant nasopharyngeal salivary glands have been recently found.
Netherlands Cancer Institute and the University of Amsterdam.
- Patients with head and neck tumors will be benefitted
- Radiation oncologists will now be able to bypass this area to avoid any complications during treatment.
- These bilateral structure at the back of the nasopharynx and these glands had characteristics of salivary glands, look similar to the known glands.
- These glands could either be a conglomerate of minor glands,or a major gland, or a separate organ, or a new part of an organ system.
- The researchers believe that these glands would qualify as the fourth pair of major salivary glands.
- The proposed name is based on their anatomical location
- They have poor access because of their location under the base of the skull
- The area can only be visualized using nasal endoscopy.
- The physiological function of the glands is expected to moisten and lubricate the nasopharynx and the oropharynx
- Patients with head and neck cancers and tumors in the tongue or the throat are treated with radiation therapy that can damage the new salivary glands, whose location was not previously known.
- The next step is for researchers to find out how to avoid delivering radiation to these newly discovered glands so that patients experience fewer side effects and lead to a better quality of life.
- The known major salivary glands are parotid, submandibular, and sublingual.
- The salivary gland system in the human body has three paired major glands and over 1,000 minor glands that are spread throughout the mucosa.
- These glands produce saliva required for swallowing, tasting, digestion, mastication, and dental hygiene.
- These major salivary glands are regarded as organs-at-risk while conducting radiation therapy and need to be spared.
India International Science Festival 2020
- Ministry of Science & Technology
- Ministry of Earth Sciences
- Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA)
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Ministry of Science and Technology
- It is to recognize and celebrate the feats of India’s scientific and technological advancements
- It brings together innovators, craftsmen, students, farmers, scientists, and technocrats from India and abroad.
- It was originally launched in 2015 to promote Science and Technology
- Demonstrate how science could steer India on the path of becoming a developed nation within a short span of time.
- To increase awareness about science among people, amd celebrate the enthusiasm.
- Demonstrate how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) could provide solutions to improve people's lives.
The Union of Housing and Urban affairs minister.
- The portal shall integrate map and lease plans in the Management Information System.
- This will make the system Geographic Information System enabled.
- The load on the land & development office (L&DO) is massive with around 60,000 properties that are, residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional.
- All organizations are advised to undertake efforts to identify the areas that need to be automated and made free of human interface.
- This initiative will integrate legacy drawings such as maps and lease plans in the MIS), called e-Dharti, and make it GIS-enabled.
- The certificate offered includes property details like property type, land type, property status, date of allotment, property address, sub-type, plot area, date of execution of lease deed, litigation, and details about present lessee, status among others.
- Geographic information system
- It is a computerized system that captures, checks, stores, and displays data related to the position of the earth.
- The system displays details of data such as buildings streets and vegetation.
- The Government of India has been taking the initiative to map the land area in the country.
- It is created during the purchase of a property.
- The property certificate that is issued, provides information about the property to the purchaser and the lessee.
- The information about the property certificate can now be accessed by paying a nominal fee of Rupees 1000.
Science & Technology Current Affairs -20th October 2020
OSIRIS-REx Mission: NASA
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s robotic arm called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM, attempted to “TAG” the asteroid Bennu at a sample site and collected rock and dust sample.
- OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer
- United States’ first asteroid sample return mission
- The mission is to collect and carry an unaltered sample from an asteroid back to earth for scientific study.
- The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was launched in 2016 for the journey to Bennu.
- The mission is essentially a seven-year-long voyage
- This mission will conclude when at least 60 grams of samples are delivered back to the Earth (in 2023), the largest amount of extraterrestrial material back to the Earth since the poll era.
- The spacecraft contains five instruments meant for exploring Bennu including cameras, a spectrometer, and a laser altimeter.
- It is an ancient asteroid, currently more than 200 million miles from Earth.
- Bennu offers a window into the early solar system it hasn’t undergone drastic changes since its formation over billions of years ago and hence it is expected to contain chemicals and rocks dating back to the birth of the solar system.
- It is also relatively close to the Earth.
- This B-type asteroid, implying that it contains significant amounts of carbon because of which it reflects about 4% of the light that hits it, and various other minerals.
- Around 20-40% of Bennu’s interior is empty space, and it is roughly 4.5 billion years old.
- It is covered in massive boulders, making it more difficult to collect samples from its surface.
- There exists a slight possibility that Bennu, which is classified as a Near Earth Object (NEO), might strike the Earth in the next century.
IIT-Madras incubated dairy-tech startup, “Stellapps”
- First-of-its-kind, fully-automated direct payment platform, ‘mooPay’launched
Dairy farmers in Rajasthan.
- Stellapps is a novel digital technology solutions providing end-to-end dairy technology solutions company in India.
- Stellaps is one of the pioneers of the technology of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Science & Technology Current Affairs – 19th October 2020
FoSCoS: Food Safety Compliance System
To become operational from November 1, 2020.
FosCoS is currently functional in nine states and union territories
From November 1, 2020, FSSAI extends FoSCoS to the entire country.
- The FoSCoS is to replace the existing FLRS.
- FLRS is Food Licensing and Registration System.
- It is a cloud-based, the latest food safety compliance online platform.
- It will act as a one-point stop for all engagement of food business operators.
Science & Technology Current Affairs – 16th October 2020
SCALE India Android App
Launched by Leather Sector Skill Council
Skill Certification Assessment for Leather Employees (SCALE) India android app was launched.
-The needs of all the stakeholders of the skilling and employment ecosystem that includes the candidate/trainee, employer, employee, assessor, and trainer are provided all in one place on the platform.
- The App is expected to provide end to end quality assurance across training, assessment, and certification services.
- It will also help employers engage with other stakeholders seamlessly and provide a marketplace for human capital for the leather industry.
- SCALE shall enable candidates in the skilling ecosystem to get assessed and certified on their knowledge, skills, and behavior on a specific qualification pack.
- Access to micro-learning modules to bridge the skill gaps that are identified and can be re-assessed and certified at the end of the learning on the specific qualification pack.
- The candidates can look for employment opportunities and get in touch with employers post completion of their certification.
Science & Technology Current Affairs – 14th October 2020
National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)- Second
Phase Launched by The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)
National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)
- NSM is a plan to create a network of seventy supercomputers connecting various academic and research institutions all across India.
- The NSM’s total outlay is Rs.4500 crore for a period of 7 years
- The objective of the mission was set up to provide the country with supercomputing infrastructure to meet the increased computational demands of academia, MSMEs, researchers, and startups by creating the capability design, manufacturing, of supercomputers indigenously in India.
- This is to establish a satellite of supercomputers ranging from a few Tera Flops (TF) to Hundreds of Tera Flops (TF) and three systems with greater than or equal to 3 Peta Flops in academic and research institutions of National importance across the country by 2022.
- This network of Supercomputers revised to a total of 45 PF (45000 TFs),
Us e of supercomputers
- Tackle problems
- These high-performance computers can simulate the real world
- They also aid in the extraction of new sources of oil and gas, Disaster Management
- They are also used by financial services,
- Future applications of artificial intelligence (AI)
IMD launches impact-based cyclone warning system
Launched by India Meteorological Department(IMD).
This dynamic, impact-based cyclone warning system will limit to a minimum the economic and property loss from cyclones that hit the coasts every year.
- District or location will have to issue specific warnings that would factor in the infrastructure, local population, settlements, land use, as well as other elements, will be disseminated and prepared.
- The extensive geological, cartographic, and hydrological data available can be used for disaster management for the concerned districts.
- This system would send warnings regarding the kind of infrastructure that will likely get damaged by a wind up to 160 kmph, and these can be mapped.
- IMD was established in 1875.
- It is under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- It is the primary agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting, and seismology.
Science & Technology Current Affairs – 8th October 2020
Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020
- Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and
- Jennifer Doudna of the U.S. won the Nobel Chemistry Prize
- For CRISPR-Cas9 the DNA snipping “scissors” tool, used for gene editing.
- Nobel science prize has gone to a women-only team for the first time
- The CRISPR-Cas9 can be used by the researchers to alter the DNA of animals, plants, and microorganisms with extremely high precision.
- The CRISPR-Cas9 tool has been used significantly gains in crop resilience, altering their genetic code to better withstand drought and pests.
- The technology has also led to innovative ion in cancer treatments.
- It could one-day possibly inherited diseases curable through gene manipulation.
- CRISPR’s relative simplicity and widespread applicability have the risk of being misused.
- Chinese scientist He Jiankui in 2018 had caused an international scandal when he used the CRISPR to create what he called the first gene-edited humans.
Science & Technology Current Affairs – 6th October 2020
Purified Equine Antisera
- The Drugs Controller General of India has given its nod for conducting Phase-1 human clinical trial of 'antisera', a potential treatment COVID-19.
- This antiserum was developed by injecting inactivated SARS-CoV-2 in horses.
- Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
- Hyderabad-based bio-pharmaceutical firm- Biological E Limited.
- Are blood serum developed in animals, which is rich in antibodies against the specific antigens.
- This antigen is then injected in humans to help kickstart the immune response.
The study :
- The study was released on the Research Square platform.
- Provides evidence of the potential of generating highly purified F(ab')2 from equines against SARS-CoV-2 that can demonstrate consistent and high neutralization activity.
- This may also prove to be an efficient alternative to the existing convalescent plasma treatment of COVID-19 patients.
- This technique has been previously employed for controlling several viral and bacterial infections.
- The antisera need to undergo human clinical trials to establish safety and efficacy.
Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 2020
Awarded to :
- Roger Penrose ,UK ,
- Reinhard Genzel Germany, and
- Andrea Ghez, USA
- Roger Penrose received one half of this year’s prize for the discovering that a black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.
- Genzel and Ghez received the second half of the prize for the discovery of a supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milkyway galaxy,now named as the Sagittarius A*.
Roger Penrose’s discovery
- The Theory of Relativity explains gravity, as objects try to follow a straight line through a universe whose geometry is warped by matter and energy.Resulting planets, as well as light beams, follow curving paths
- Dr Penrose affirmed that if huge mass accumulates in too small a place, it would inevitably lead to collapse of Black Hole
- At the event horizon, that is boundary of a black hole, one would have to go faster than the speed of light to escape it, which is impossible. At the centre of a black hole, the laws of physics, would no longer apply because the density became infinite,
- Dr Penrose proved that if too much mass accumulated in too small a place, collapse into a black hole was inevitable.
- At the event horizon, that is at the boundary of a black hole, one would have to go faster than the speed of light to escape it, which is impossible.
- Laws of physics donot apply at the center of the black hole, because the density here is extremely high.
Genzel and Ghez’s discovery:
- Its mass is four million times than that of the Sun and is confined to an area about the size of our Solar System.
- The scientists got the first optical image of a black hole which is at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy in 2019.
- Sagittarius A* is only the second black hole whose photographs have been captured by the Event Horizon Telescope project.
- Dr. Ghez is the 4th woman to have won the Nobel Prize for Physics, after Marie Curie in 1903, Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963 and Donna Strickland in 2018.
Nobel Prize For Medicine Or Physiology 2020
Awarded to :
- Harvey J Alter, USA
- Charles M Rice, USA
- Michael Houghton, USA
Nobel Prize has been awarded for the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
- It is a small (55–65 nm in size),
- positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus
- Family : Flaviviridae.
- The virus causes Hepatitis C, some liver cancers like hepatocellular carcinoma, abbreviated HCC, and lymphomas in humans.
- Currently, no vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C infection
- According to WHO, there are over 70 million cases of hepatitis worldwide and 400,000 deaths due to Hep C, each year.
Science & Technology Current Affairs – 5th October 2020
‘PARAM Siddhi – AI
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)
This is India’s largest High-Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer.
Supporting Infrastructure provided by:
- NSM at C-DAC,
- Niti Aayog, Ministry of Electronics and IT,
- Department of Science and Technology
- Central Government.
- The supercomputer will have 210 AI Petaflops
- It will be based on the NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD.
- The computer would use C-DAC software stack, NVIDIA Next Generation technology, and Cloud platform.
- Lead India into top countries in the field of global AI supercomputing research and innovation.
- Will develop an ecosystem for research and innovation in science and engineering.
- Expertise in AI and augmenting the AI and Language Computing Mission Mode Program of C-DAC will boost experiments and outcomes in Health Care, Education, Energy, Cyber Security, Space, Automotive, and Agriculture in India.
- It will also enhance partnerships with Academia, Start-ups, Industry, and MSMEs.
Science & Technology Current Affairs – 2nd October 2020
SS Kalpana Chawla cargo spacecraft
Launched by NASA
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
- Located in NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
- A commercial cargo spacecraft bound for ISS, recently launched cargo was named after the deceased NASA astronaut Kalpana K.C. Chawla, for her key contributions to human spaceflight.
- The spacecraft, a Northrop Grumman Cygnus, is expected to arrive at and be attached to the space station after 2 days.
Superior New-generation Information and Data Handling Initiative (SUNIDHI)
To be able to digitize all provident fund and pension related activities of the Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisation ( CMPFO )
- From its data center at Hyderabad
- The Disaster Recovery Centre at Bhubaneshwar.
The board of trustees comprising of 23 members,
- Representing the Centre,
- State governments and
- Representatives from the employee’s side under the chairmanship of the coal secretary.
- The expected opening of information kiosks would help to provide Pension Fund and pension-related information in vernacular languages.
- The aim of CMPFO is to extend seamless service to coal workers across the country.
- Emphasis to be laid on integration and simplification of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) of CIL and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) with CMPFO for seamless transaction and flow of PF and pension data information.
- CMPFO was established by an Act of Parliament in 1948
- It was established to administer different schemes of provident fund, pension and deposit linked insurance for coal mine workers.