1. Russian scientists discovered new mineral “Uakitite”
- The mineral came from the Uakit meteorite, named for the Russian location where it was found.
- The researchers predicted that uakitite is between 9 and 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning it’s very hard — a diamond falls at 10.
- The scientists say that the meteorite had been subjected to temperatures of over 1,000 degrees centigrade forming troilite-daubreelite associations, one of whose early minerals is uakitite.
Sources- Live Science
2. Thermal battery plant unveiled in Andhra Pradesh.
- India became home to the world’s first-ever thermal battery plant, that was inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh.
- The plant aims to create a new energy storage form that is expected to have commercial applications, while also maintaining a low carbon footprint, and being less dependent on external factors like weather.
- Owned by Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited (BEST).
- At the initial stage of commercial operations, set for May 2019, BEST plans to create a battery capacity of 1000MW. This is expected to be upgraded to a 10GW capacity by 2025.
- Thermal batteries use thermal energy to operate, i.e., the energy created by temperature differences.
- Therefore, the energy transfer in thermal batteries helps store heat when heat travels from one part of the battery setup to the other.
Source- Indian Express
3. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India launches integration & availability of TRAI Mobile Apps on UMANG platform.
- TRAI has now integrated its Mobile Apps namely DND 2.0 & MyCall with UMANG Platform with the objective of reaching out to consumers and safeguarding their interests.
(a) TRAI MyCall App
- TRAI MyCall is an intuitive and user-friendly application for Crowdsourced Voice Call Quality Monitoring.
- The Application helps Mobile phone users to rate their experience about voice call quality in real time and help TRAI gather consumer experience data along with Network data.
- A pop-up requests the user to rate the call after it ends.
- Callers simply select their rating in the form of stars and indicate if the calls were made in indoor, outdoor or while travelling.
- Callers can also provide additional details such as noise or audio delay or mark a call-drop.
(b) DND 2.0 App
- DND (Do Not Disturb) Services App enables smartphone users to register their mobile number under DND and report spam messages or calls to avoid Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC)/Telemarketing Calls/SMS.
- UMANG or Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance, is a Government of India all-in-one single unified secure multi-channel multi-platform multi-lingual multi-service freeware mobile app for accessing over 1,200 central and state government services in multiple Indian languages over Android, iOS, Windows and services such as AADHAR, DigiLocker, Bharat Bill Payment System, PAN, passport and much more.
- This a key component of the Digital India government initiative to make all traditional offline government services available 24/7 online through the single unified app.
- The app is initially available in 13 languages and will replace or compliment 1500 apps launched by the government so far.
- On 23 November 2017, this app service was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the fifth edition of the Global Conference on Cyberspace in New Delhi.
4. Rajyavardhan Rathore flags off an all-women expedition to Mt. Manirang.
- The Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports & Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore flagged off an all-women expedition to Mt. Manirang (6593Mt/21631 ft) in Himachal Pradesh.
- The expedition commemorates the silver jubilee of 1993 Women Everest expedition.
- The 19-member expedition team to Mt. Manirang is being led by Ms Bimla Negi, a veteran mountaineer who was a member of the 1993 team.
- The expedition is expected to make the summit attempt around 24th August, 2018.
- The Indo-Nepalese women’s Everest expedition in 1993 was the first all-women expedition, launched by Indian Mountaineering Foundation, funded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- The 21-member team was led by Bachendri Pal.
- The historic expedition set up several world records at the time which included the largest number of persons (18) of a single expedition to climb Mount Everest, the largest number of women (six) from a single country to climb Mount Everest.
- Santosh Yadav, the member of the team, became the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest, while Miss Dicky Dolma became the youngest women (19) years in the world to climb the highest peak in the world.
5. Startup Academia Alliance Programme.
- For promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship and to fulfil the central government’s mission in the country, Startup India under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched the Startup Academia Alliance programme, a unique mentorship opportunity between academic scholars and startups working in similar domains.
- The Startup Academia Alliance aims to reduce the gap between scientific research and its industrial applications in order to increase the efficacy of these technologies and to widen their impact.
- The first phase of Startup Academia Alliance kickstarted through partnering with Regional Centre for Biotechnology, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and TERI School of Advanced Studies.
6. Maharashtra set to kick off biggest land survey exercise using drones.
- The State government will soon launch a ₹346-crore land survey project in which drones will play a pivotal role.
- The State government, along with the Survey of India, had initiated a project, which will survey about 1.20 lakh hectares using drones. In three years, 40,000 villages will be extensively surveyed using drones.
- Even if current methods with Electronic Total Stations (ETS) are used, it will take 30 years to survey such a big area.
- With drones, a team would be able to cover two villages daily and over three years all the villages would be surveyed.
- ETS is a field instrument for surveying of land, which establishes maps and boundaries for landowners.
Source- The Hindu
7. Andaman rule eased for tourism
- The Union home ministry has excluded 29 inhabited islands in Andaman and Nicobar from Restricted Area Permit (RAP) with an aim to boost tourism.
- Foreigners are not allowed to enter most of the hundreds of Andaman &Nicobar Islands and they are required to obtain a RAP to visit the islands.
Restricted Area Permit (RAP)
- A foreign national is not normally allowed to visit a Protected / Restricted Area unless it is established to the satisfaction of the Government that there are extraordinary reasons to justify such a visit.
- Every foreigner, except a citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in a Protected or Restricted Area, is required to obtain a special permit from a competent authority delegated with powers to issue such a special permit to a foreigner, on the application.
- The RAP is notified under Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963.
- Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are the exception and are not allowed to enter such areas.
Source- Times of India