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Science and Technology Current Events

ISRO to Scale New Heights by Launching 22 Satellites in Single Mission

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) Chairman Kiran Kumar, while speaking at the sidelines of FKCCI (Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry) organised event, has said that after the successful testing of reusable launch vehicle, they will launch a record 22 satellites in a single mission during June-end. Out of 22 satellites, 3 will be Indian and the rest commercial ones (from USA, Germany, Indonesia, and Canada). Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director K Sivan said PSLV C34 will be used by ISRO for the launch.    

TRAI Chief says Open to Free Internet Idea

TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) Chief RS Sharma has said that he is open to the idea that internet content should be provided at free of cost or even at discounted rates. TRAI doesn’t have any reservation if any service provider provides content free, provided the facility is available to all mobile subscribers. Sharma’s comment comes at a time when TRAI’s February-proposal, prohibiting differential tariffs, is under consultation and Government of India is looking at ways of increasing internet access across India.

Bengaluru launches ITS for easy bus tracking

As an initiative to make bus operations smarter, Bengaluru has launched the Intelligent Transport System or ITS. This system would be utilized for keeping track of buses, helping the commuters know the exact location of a particular bus. In Bengaluru, about 6,400 buses have been installed with Vehicle Tracking Systems in addition to the Electronic Ticketing Systems which assist in fetching inputs to the Passenger Information Systems which further provide updated vehicle information to the commuter.

India test launches 'Made In India' space shuttle

Today, the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) successfully test launched the first ‘Made in India’ space shuttle, named as Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Test launch of this 6.5 metre long and 1.75 ton reusable launch vehicle took place at 7:00 a.m. from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

Maiden Launch of ISRO-made Space Shuttle on May 23

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) will launch RLV-TD (Reusable Satellite Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator) tomorrow. Its launch is important because it will be the first step forward towards advanced RLV’s launch by the year 2020. VSSC director K Sivan said that final mission readiness tests are now conducted at Sriharikota spaceport for tentative May 23, 2016's scheduled launch. Successful space shuttle launch can bring down space travel cost by 110thand later by 1100th of the cost incurred by other space agencies.

Tim Cook spills Apple's mega plan to stay in India for "next 1000 years"

Apple CEO Tim Cook not only announced facilities for both Hyderabad and Bangalore during his India visit but also said that they are considering India as a viable investment destination. Discarding rumours that Apple is just testing waters, Cook said that they are here to invest for long term. He also said that are here to stay for 1000 years. Today, Apple CEO also met PM Narendra Modi at the latter's official residence and also launched the updated version of Narendra Modi mobile app.

IBM set to create smart township out of Rashtrapati Bhavan

IBM Smart City Solutions would be utilized for transforming Rashtrapati Bhavan into a smart township. Announcement regarding the same was made at an event that witnessed the participating of President Pranab Mukherjee. The event also saw the launch of a citizens mobile app that would allow residents to report issues using the web and mobile. This app has been created by IBM Intelligent Operations Center (IOC).

Moto G4 & Moto G4 Plus to be launched in India today

The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus smartphones will be unveiled today at an event in New Delhi at 2:30 p.m. IST. Moto G4 Plus is expected to come equipped with a fingerprint sensor along with a superior camera quality as compared to the Moto G4 smartphone. Phenomenal performance, exceptional battery life and a fast auto-focus camera are the key highlights of Moto 4G and Moto 4G Plus smartphones.

ISRO prepares for "Hanuman Leap" to launching Indigenous Space Shuttle

Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (Thiruvananthapuram), K Sivan, said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has already started to take “first baby steps towards the big Hanuman leap” in launching its indigenous space shuttle. He went on to say that the launch of their full made-in-India winged “Reusable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD)” will be launched pretty soon from Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota spaceport. This space vehicle can glide back to a virtual runway in Bay of Bengal with its delta wings.

International Astronautical Federation to honour Indian Scientist U.R. Rao

In a statement, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said that eminent Indian space scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao will be honoured with the 2016 Hall of Fame award by International Astronautical Federation (IAF) for his outstanding contribution to the progress of astronautics and the federation. 84-year-old Rao will receive the prestigious award at 67th International Astronautical Congress’s closing ceremony in Mexico’s Guadalajara. U.R. Rao was space secretary and chairman of ISRO for 8 years (1985-1993).

Pebble Technology to launch its ranges of smartwatches in India today

Smartwatch pioneer, Pebble Technology, is ready to launch its range of smartwatches for the India market today. The California-based company will be witnessing stiff competition from rival brands like Motorola, Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi. With the flexibility of getting connected to both Android and iOS phones, Pebble smartwatches can conveniently display notifications from your phone, view calendar events, control audio and create reminders. 

Lenovo Z1 to hit Indian stores today

Today, Lenovo India would be unveiling its Z1 smartphone, under the online sub-brand Zuk. After confirming the India launch last week, the Chinese smartphone manufacturing company will be live streaming the launch programme on YouTube and Zuk official website from 12:00 p.m. IST. Lenovo ZA runs Cyanogen OS 12.1 based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and will be available at a price of approx. Rs. 18,250. 

India to spend $6.2 billion to increase forest cover to 33%

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 has been passed in the lower house of Parliament recently that vouches for expeditious use of around $6.2 billion or Rs. 40,000 crore for increasing forest cover from 21.34 per cent to 33 per cent of the total land. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar regarded it as historic because it will now lead to utilisation of unutilised funds in banks, which will help India achieve the 2.5 billion tonne of carbon sink target, as indicated in India’s INDCs.

GPS likely to be made mandatory in public transport vehicles

In an attempt to make all public transport vehicles safe for passengers, particularly women, the road transport ministry has issued a draft notification that specifies all transport vehicles(with seating capacity of more than 23) to have GPS installed, a different type of vehicle tracking device, an alert button and CCTV cameras. Additionally, all vehicles with less than 23 seats would be expected to install vehicle tracking device and emergency button.

Indian Smartphone market witnesses 23 Per Cent Market Growth in Q1 2016

Research firm Counterpoint said that despite flat global sales, smartphone market in India increased by 23 per cent in 2016’s Q1. Research Director Peter Richardson said Indian smartphone market is showing strong smartphone demand even after becoming the second largest smartphone market after surpassing that of USA. He also said there is immense potential for all players in the mobile value chain in India. Advent of 4G LTE network infrastructure will usher in new wave of smartphone adoption in India.

Lok Sabha lauds ISRO's Effort in launching 7th Navigational Satellite of India

Lok Sabha has lauded ISRO’s successful effort in launching 7th navigational satellite. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi christened the IRNSS-1G satellite as NAVIC, which will provide India its indigenous satellite navigation system. With the help of the satellite system, NAVIC will provide information of Indian region along with 1,500 kms around mainland. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan congratulated both scientists and technologists of ISRO on the successful launch as well as the upcoming endeavours of ISRO.

ISRO successfully launches seventh navigation satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully developed India’s own navigation system with the launch of IRNSS-1G, the last satellite in the series of seven navigation satellites. Carried by PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) C33, IRNSS-1G lifted off from the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 12:50 p.m. With a mission life of 12 years, IRNSS-1G was successfully placed in orbit by PSLV-C33, 20 minutes after the lift-off.  

India along with 174 Countries sign landmark Paris Climate Change Deal

Environment Minister of India Prakash Javadekar along with representatives of 174 other countries signed the landmark Paris climate change agreement, which Javadekar regarded as “triumph of collective wisdom” for saving the world. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded that it is “a new covenant with the future” where every party needs to meet the signed promises. Reports say the agreement will come into effect later this year once 55 countries contributing at least 55 per cent global emission joined it formally.

Over 2.5 lakh village panchayats in India to get broadband network by 2018

Telecom Secretary J. S. Deepak, while speaking at Global Exhibition on Services at a venue in Greater Noida said that Union Government is looking forward to roll out broadband network to all village panchayats throughout India (estimated over 2.5 lakh panchayats) by 2018. He went on to say that all these panchayats will be connected through fibre optic network and the rolling out will be done under the Bharat Net programme. Deepak said that internet-equipped panchayats will further help in boosting connectivity.

Cashless toll payment to hit 275 toll plazas across India

NHAI, the governing body for highways has announced the introduction of cashless toll payment mechanism at around 275 toll plazas across India effective from 25 April 2016. Named as FASTag, the system would utilize RFID technology. NHAI has also hinted on introduction of similar systems at 75 more toll plazas in different parts of India.