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Science and Technology Current Affairs


Innovative techniques to be introduced by Indian Railway to eliminate rail accidents

According to reports, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has stated that innovative techniques will be introduced to eliminate rail accidents. These techniques include revamping the existing signalling system by use of TPWS - Train protection and Warning System and MTRC, Mobile Train Radio Communication. Railway will be eliminating existing 5000 unmanned level crossings in a time bound manner.

According to the Minister, about 20 stations will be modernised in an expedited manner with superior infrastructure and passenger facilities, including disabled-friendly, by December 2018. It is also proposed to increase speed of around 700 trains with effect from November this year.

India's MOM completes three years in orbit

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also called as Mangalyaan completes three years in space. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)spacecraft was successfully placed in the Martian orbit in its very first attempt by the ISRO. MOM was successfully inserted into Mars' orbit on 24 September 2014. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is only the fourth space agency in the world to send a mission to Mars. ISRO is the first space agency to do so in its first attempt. On completion of Magalyaan's three years in Martian orbit, the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) released MOM's second year science data.

Google's Unified Payment Interface (UPI) based digital payment service Tez launched

Google has forayed in the payment segment with the launch of Tez. Tez is an app and is available in both android and iOS platforms. Tez uses the government's Unified Payments Interface. The app was launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Tez allows users to do financial transactions like sending money, receiving payments directly into their bank accounts and paying bills. The users can link the app to their bank accounts as the platform is built on the government's Unified Payment Interface.

Google Tez supports several local languages including Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.

Delhi High Court seeks response from Google, Yahoo on blocking Blue Whale web links
After a plea was filed on August 17 against the infamous Blue Whale game, the Delhi High Court has sought for a response from the famous IT companies Google and Yahoo. In the recent times, Blue Whale has led to the deaths of hundred of teenagers across the world. However, in India there have been various cases of attempt to suicide and suicide linked to Blue Whale. The game offers life challenges to teenagers, who are further asked to complete these challenges which even involve harming their bodies and are asked to upload pictures of the same. The plea seeks that the Delhi High Court direct IT giants-Google and Yahoo to block links associated with this harmful game.
India successfully test-fires short-range surface-to-air missile

According to reports, India has successfully test-fired  Surface-to-Air Missile from Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha. This is the second developmental trial of the missile just within three months from the same test range.

Reports suggest that the missile is jointly developed DRDO and Bharat Electronics Ltd.  The  QR-SAM system can also engage multiple targets within a range of around 30 km with two vehicle configuration for area air defence.
ISRO successfully launches Cartosat-2 from Sriharikotta

According to reports, ISRO has successfully launched PSLV C-38 from Sriharikotta. It has placed Cartosat-2 Series remote sensing earth observation satellite and 30 other nano-satellites into their orbits. Out of the 30 nano-satellites 29 belongs to foreign customers from 14 countries. This is the fortieth flight of its highly reliable polar satellite launch vehicle lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta at 9.29 am.

ISRO launches its heaviest ever rocket GSLV Mark III D1
According to reports, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched its heaviest ever rocket GSLV Mark III D1 from Sriharikota. This is the first developmental flight of the heavy-lift launch vehicle GSLV Mark-III D1 that can carry 4-ton class satellites into the 36000 kilometer geostationary orbits.
As per reports, the mission's success will enable India to launch four-tonne satellites on its own rocket instead of paying huge amounts of money to foreign space agencies to execute the operation.
President Congratulates DRDO For Successful MRSAM Missile Launch
President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for successfully test-firing a medium-range ballistic missile, developed jointly with Israel. On Thursday, India test-fired twice a medium-range surface-to-air ballistic missile, off the coast of Odisha. Mukherjee also conveyed his greetings to the members of the team of scientists, engineers, and all others involved in the mission. 
As per reports, the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program, Prithvi-II was inducted into India's armed forces in 2003. The Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads.
Truecaller Enters Lucrative Mobile Payment Market in India

As per reports, Truecaller partnering up with ICICI bank launched a service called Truecaller Pay which lets Android users transfer money securely using mobile phones.

Truecaller is a popular call monitoring and spam call identification app based in Stockholm. At an event on Tuesday in New Delhi, they announced a refreshed design of their mobile app Truecaller 8, introducing two new features for flagging spam SMS and make mobile payments.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A to be Launched on Monday, To Cost Around Rs. 6,000

Xiaomi is all set to launch its newest budget phone – Xiaomi Redmi 4A - in India on March 20 at an estimated cost of around Rs. 6,000.

Reports say that Redmi 4A will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor. Other important features include 2GB RAM, 16GB internal support, microSD card storage compatibility, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, and 3,120mAh battery.

Redmi 4A will come with MIUI 8 interface (based on older Android Marshmallow).

The well awaited smartphone is expected to be Reliance Jio compatible (4G VoLTE support) and will be exclusively available on Amazon.in.

Rolls Royce to Make Combat Aircrafts in India

Kishore Jayaraman, President of Rolls Royce (India and South Asia), while delivering a lecture at National Institute of Technology (Trichy) during their annual techno-managerial festival Pragyan-2017, has said that his company will build combat aircraft engines in India soon. While stressing on his company’s commitment towards technological innovations, Jayaraman said that Rolls Royce is the only company to produce white body aircraft engines. While charting out his company’s future plans in India, he said that they are all set to make Bangalore their next generation technology hub in India.

Xiomi promotes India head Manu Jain as Global VP

Xiaomi's India operations head Manu Kumar Jain has been promoted to the post of Vice President of the company. Jain will replace Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's Global VP, who had announced his decision to leave the company last month.

The news was confirmed in a tweet from the official Twitter handle of Xiaomi India - Mi India.

Along with being the Vice President at the company, Jain will also be Managing Director of Xiaomi India. He had joined Xiaomi back in June 2014.

Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's former Global Vice President, decided to part ways with the smartphone-maker last month only to return to Silicon Valley. Barra was with the company from last three and a half year and will now join Facebook to lead the Oculus team's VR efforts within the social network.

Prior to joining the smartphone maker, Barra was the Vice President of Product Development for Android at Google.

Barra has been the face of the company at various events, and his exit was seen as a major blow to the company's strategies for international markets like India.

Jain's promotion has strengthen the fact that India will continue to be an important market for Xiaomi and that Jain will have a key role in maintaining Xiaomi's momentum in the country. Currently India is Xiaomi's biggest market outside of China with over $1 billion in sales last year.

BHIM App: Registration Crosses 140 Lakh

Reports say that more than 140 lakh registration have been done for the recently launched Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app. According to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, two new schemes -Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and a Cashback Scheme for merchants, will be launched. These will help in promoting the usage of this app.

Aadhaar Enabled Payment System's merchant version, Aadhaar Pay is also going to be launched, which will be helpful for those without debit cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones.

Xiaomi plans to launch products in three new categories in India

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi is looking to launch products in three to four new categories in India this year, Xiaomi India head Manu Jain told to media. The brand has crossed the $ 1 billion revenue mark in India in 2016

However, the company is yet to confirm on the new product categories to be rolled out. The brand entered India in 2014 and along with smartphones, the China based player sells air purifiers, wearables, bluetooth speakers and power banks in India.

Apart from phone and routers, all other products of Xiaomi are developed by its ecosystem companies in which Xiaomi holds majority stake. The company has 77 such ecosystem companies, and 20 of them have launched products till now.

Divulging the details Jain said that the new product categories will be customised for the Indian market. Jain was in Hyderabad to unveil the company's latest smartphone, Redmi Note 4.

Apart from Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi also displayed an installation of Mi Home sufficed with Mi Air Purifier 2, Mi Bluetooth Speaker, Mi Powerbanks, Mi Robot, Mi Notebook Air apart.

Commenting on expectation from sales of Redmi Note 4, Jain said that the count is expected to be double the sale figure of Redmi Note 3. Noticeably, Xiomi had sold 3.6 million Redmi Note 3 handsets in 2016.

ASUS plans Zenfone 3S Max India launch on February 7

Adding yet another model to its ZenFone 3 Series, Taiwan based mobile phone manufacturer ASUS has planned to launch its first smartphone of this year on February 7 via web streaming in India.

The smartphone operates on the newly launched Android Nougat 7.0 (with ZenUI 3.0) for the Indian users and boasts of Octa-core 64-bit processor together with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage that can be expanded up to 2TB.

Enclosed in a metallic body, the smartphone is packed with a 5,000mAh battery, 13MP primary camera and 8MP selfie-shooter.

Oppo A57 'selfie-centric' smartphone' Soon to be Launched in India

As per reports, Oppo is going to launch its A57 ‘selfie-centric’ smartphone' in India on 3 February. As the design is concerned, this phone has many of its characteristics of its F1 series.

This smartphone was launched in China last year in November. The phone comes with a 5.2-inch HD LCD display (1280×720 pixel) with 2.5D curved glass design and powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor along with an Adreno 505 GPU. It runs on Android6 Marshmallow based Color 3.0 OS. Oppo A57 weighs only 147 grams. Its latest price in China is 1,599 Yuan (approx Rs 16,000).

Jaipur Literature Festival: Amitabh Kant predicts death of ATMs in India

Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has asserted that soon the nation will become a significantly cashless economy and even cash dispensing machines will become irrelevant in years to come, given the exponential growth of mobile phones based transactions.

Kant was a panelist for session on the virtual economy and beyond, during the thirds day of Jaipur Literature Festival. However, other co-panelists were dubious of the timeframe and the availability of the required infrastructure.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy of demopnetisation, Kant said that this step was necessary to enable the push towards a digital economy in a quicker manner.

In words of Kant, the nation is in the middle of a major disruption. At present, 85 percent of the transactions are in cash, thereby creating space for ‘black money’. But given the extraordinary growth in mobile phones, has set the base for a cashless economy.

Those from academia and business were skeptical of this possibility. Columnist and author Mihir Sharma said that mobile phone usage has grown as landlines didn’t work.

In words of Sharma, it all happened naturally, without the government pushing for it. Ambit Holdings CEO Ashok Wadhwa also has similar concerns. According to him, the transition from a cash major economy to a cashless one will take far more time.

Similar were the reactions of John Elliott who has authored several books on India.

Xiaomi to Bring Flagship Phone One per Year in India

As per reports, though Xiaomi has indicated that they want to add more ecosystem products to the market in India, they will keep the limit of flagship smartphones one per year in the country, at least for 2017.

The global director of product management of the company, Donovan Sung said that as of now the company is focussing on the Redmi Note 4 and they will also have an upgrade to the Redmi series very soon.

The flagship devices are Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi Note 2.

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro Launched in Bhubaneswar

Samsung India has launched its new smartphone ‘Galaxy C9 Pro’ in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. The price of the smartphone is Rs 36,900. Customers will be able to pre-book the phone from selected stores and online platforms from 27 January onwards. Customers can find the phone at offline retail stores by February.

On pre-booking, customers will be able to get one-time screen replacement for a period of 12 months. The phone is going to be available in two colours, black and gold.

The other cities where this smartphone will be available are Jaipur, Chandigarh and Pune.

Jharkhand: Tata Steel's mines to have 1st drone application monitoring

Steel giant Tata Steel's Noamundi Iron-ore Mine in West Singhbhum, Jharkhand/ is soon going to become the first mine of the nation which will launch 'Drone Application in Mine Monitoring' (DAMM).

Noamundi Iron Mine will become the first Mine to launch DAMM on January 16, revealed a press release by Tata Steel. Balvinder Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines will launch the DAMM.

Under the 'Make in India' by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there has been an emphasis on role of Space Science in order to achieve good governance. Based on the Prime Minister's vision, Ministry of Mines has conceptualized and launched Mine Surveillance System on October 15, 2016.

MSS is a satellite-based monitoring system through automatic remote sensing detection technology to have responsive mineral administration by curbing illegal mining and public participation. Other dignitaries to mark their presence at the event are R K Sinha, Controller General, Indian Bureau of Mines, A B Panigrahi, Controller of Mines (CZ), Indian Bureau of Mines, Rajeev Singhal, Vice President, Raw Materials, Tata Steel, Pankaj Kumar Satija, General Manager (OMQ), Tata Steel and Manish Mishra, Chief (Regulatory Affairs), Tata Steel.




FAQs and Answers on Indian History and Geography
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