1. Indian telescope discovers most distant radio galaxy ever
- Astronomers have used an Indian telescope to discover the most distant radio galaxy ever known, located at a distance of 12 billion light-years.
- The galaxy from a time when the universe was only seven per cent of its current age was found using the Giant Meter-wave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Pune.
- GMRT is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45-metre diameter. It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics.
- Radio galaxies are very rare objects in the universe.
- They are colossal galaxies with a supermassive black hole in their centre that actively accretes gas and dust from its surroundings.
- This activity initiates the launch of high-energy jet streams, which are capable of accelerating charged particles around the supermassive black hole to almost the speed of light.
2. Scrub typhus is key encephalitis cause in eastern U.P.
- Scrub Typhus is an infectious disease which is transmitted by the bite of an infected mite larva present in the soil.
- It is not caused by a virus, but by a parasite called Orientia tsutsugamushi.
- Almost, 65% of the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) patients got infected by Scrub Typhus (Gorakhpur in U.P is treated as a hub of AES).
- This disease is more common during monsoon season when the mites lay eggs.
Source- The Hindu
3. New sensor developed to measure sea surface temperatures
- Sea surface temperature (SST) is an important parameter for oceanographic and atmospheric studies and to monitor biological habitations in the marine environment.
- Indian scientists have developed a new sensor to measure ocean temperatures.
- The negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistor-based sensor, developed by scientists at the Chennai-based National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and School of Engineering at Vels University, Chennai, can be deployed on drifting buoys on the sea.
- India has deployed buoys named Pradyu which communicate with Indian satellite INSAT for real-time data telemetry.
- Twenty such buoys equipped with the new sensor have been deployed in the Arabian Sea from the research vessel, SagarManjusha.
- They were used to collect sea surface temperature data for about one month.
4. ISRO developing eco-friendly propellants for its rockets.
- The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is developing green propellants for future rockets, considering the harmful effects of exhausts released by rockets on the earth’s atmosphere.
- The propellants that are being used have a very reactive effect on the ozone layer due to the release of chlorinated exhaust products.
- This, along with other chemicals released, wreaks havoc on the sensitive ozone layer.
- The new propellant has the capacity to eliminate chlorinated exhaust from rocket motors. The solid propellant is based on Glycidyl Azide Polymer as fuel and Ammonium Di-Nitamide as an oxidiser.
- ISRO has already been using LOX/Liquid Hydrogen and LOX/Kerosene-based propulsion systems for launch vehicles, and electric propulsion for spacecraft.
- The LOX/Liquid Hydrogen combination is already being used in the upper stages of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and GSLV Mk-III.
India-UN Small Satellites Programme’ (INDOUNSSP)
- India announced a capacity building programme, INDOUNSSP (India UN Small Satellites Programme) on small satellites development in COPUOS (Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space)” at Vienna in February 2017.
- INDOUNSSP will be held for the first time this year.
- A combination of theoretical coursework and hands-on training on Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) will be conducted.
- Training for selected students will be conducted at U R Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru for the next three years.
- 30 candidates from 15 developing nations will be selected and each of the 45 nations under INDOUNSSP will nominate two students.
Source- Indian Express
5. Illegal trade flourishes, smugglers breeding star tortoises.
- Captive breeding has become rampant owing to the heavy demand for the vulnerable species from South East Asian Countries in AP and Karnataka.
- The Indian star tortoise is a threatened species of tortoise found in dry areas and scrub forest in India and Sri Lanka.
- Star Tortoises mostly eat grass and medicinal plants due to which people in South East Asian Countries believe that it has medicinal properties and use it in soups. They are also raised as pets.
- They need 52 days to hatch.
- Female lays eggs by digging half-a-foot to nine inches into the sand and covering eggs.
- They mate only during the monsoon as their male genitals retract in dry weather.
Source- Times of India
6. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Aviation Suresh Prabhu launched Niryat Mitra – mobile App.
- The app developed by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is available both on Android and on IOS platforms.
- It provides a wide range of information required to undertake international trade right from the policy provisions for export and import, applicable GST rate, available export incentives, tariff, preferential tariff, market access requirements – SPS and TBT measures.
- The most interesting part is that all the information is available at tariff line.
- The app works internally to map the ITC HS code of other countries with that of India and provides all the required data without the users bothering about the HS code of any country.
- Presently the app comes with the data from 87 countries.
- Human Resource tool of the app enables candidates with interest in the international trade sector to register and apply against the vacancies arising in the sector.
- Companies can also search the profiles of the candidates and engage them.
7. INTACH bats for heritage buildings.
- The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has called for transforming heritage buildings in Rajasthan into “economic assets” for the society.
- Economic benefits could be derived from these properties as an alternative to paying for their upkeep on a regular basis.
- The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage is a non-profit charitable organisation registered under the Societies’ Registration Act, 1860.
- Founded: 27 January 1984
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- In 2007, the United Nations awarded INTACH a special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council.
- INTACH has pioneered the conservation and protection of India’s natural and cultural heritage and is today the largest membership organisation in the country dedicated to conservation.
Source- The Hindu