Online Current Affairs based on Science & Tech.


Indian-American Computer Scientist Anshumali Shrivastava Wins NSF CAREER Award


  • An Indian-American computer scientist, Anshumali Shrivastava has won National Science Foundation (NSF)'s prestigious CAREER award for his research on redesigning current machine-learning processes.
  • He is an Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science at William Marsh Rice University, commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice which is a private research university located in Houston, Texas.
  • Anshumali Shrivastava was one of the recipients of the CAREER awards given to about 400 scholars each year across all disciplines to support the research and educational development of young scholars likely to become leaders in their fields.
  • Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) awards support the research and educational development of young scholars likely to become leaders in their fields.
  • The five-year grants, which are among the most competitive awarded by the NSF, are given to some 400 scholars each year across all disciplines.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian-American computer scientist,  has won National Science Foundation (NSF)'s prestigious CAREER award for his research on redesigning current machine-learning processes?
- Anshumali Shrivastava. 
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MIT Pune, IBM unveil robot 'Chintu' to assist senior citizens


  • The students of Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) Pune and technology giant IBM have developed a robot, Chintu, which would assist senior citizens in their everyday tasks.
  • Chintu, under 2ft tall robot, was developed after MIT Pune received a grant of Rs 10 lakh last year from IBM.
  • It is powered by the US-based company's cognitive assistant, IBM Watson. Chintu can move his hands and read books to an audience.
  • Chintu will assist senior citizens in conducting everyday tasks such as reading the newspaper/book and generate reminders on their daily medication.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The students of Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) Pune and technology giant IBM have developed which robot, that would assist senior citizens in their everyday tasks? 
- Chintu. 
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Indian-American teen wins top science award worth USD 250,000


  • An Indian-American teen has won the top award, worth USD 250,000, in the oldest and most prestigious science and math competition in the US, for her research on preventing death of neurons due to brain injuries or neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Indrani Das, a 17-year-old resident of New Jersey, and four other Indian-origin students were among the top ten finalists to be honoured at the annual Regeneron Science Talent Search Awards Gala for their research projects demonstrating exceptional scientific and mathematical ability.
  • In a laboratory model, Das showed that exosomes isolated from astrocytes transfected with microRNA-124a both improved astrocyte uptake of glutamate and increased neuron survival.
  • Arjun Ramani, an 18-year-old student from Indiana won the third place honours worth USD 150,000 for blending the mathematical field of graph theory with computer programming to answer questions about networks.
  • Archana Verma, 17, from New York, received a USD 90,000 award for her study of the molecular orbital energy dynamics of dyes, which may someday result in windows that produce solar energy.
  • Prathik Naidu, 18, from Virginia, received a USD 70,000 award for his creation of a new machine learning software to study 3D interactions of the human genome in cancer.
  • Vrinda Madan, 17, from Florida, received a USD 50,000 award for her study of 24 potential compounds for the treatment of malaria, in which she found two potential candidates that appear to target the disease-causing organism in a novel way and may warrant further study.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian-American teen has won the award, worth USD 250,000, in the oldest and most prestigious science and math competition in the US, for her research on preventing death of neurons due to brain injuries or neurodegenerative diseases? 
 - Indrani Das, a 17-year-old resident of New Jersey. 
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Punjab Agriculture University develops Bt cotton variety with reusable seeds


  • Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has developed the first genetically modified (Bt) cotton seeds that can be reused, resulting in saving of input cost to farmers.
  • The new cotton variety is among few others identified by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for cultivation in North region.
  • The three Bt cotton varieties include;
    1. PAU Bt 1,
    2. F1861 and
    3. RS 2013.
  • PAU Bt 1 and F 1861 were developed by PAU, whereas, RS 2013 was developed at Rajasthan Agricultural University (RAU), Bikaner.
  • While the PAU Bt 1was completely developed at Punjab Agricultural University, the F 1861 and RS 2013 varieties were converted to Bt version by Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian University has developed the first genetically modified (Bt) cotton seeds that can be reused, resulting in saving of input cost to farmers?
 - Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). 
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IBM Researchers Store Data on World’s Smallest Magnet -- a Single Atom


  • IBM announced it has created the world’s smallest magnet using a single atom – and stored one bit of data on it.
  • Currently, hard disk drives use about 100,000 atoms to store a single bit.
  • The ability to read and write one bit on one atom creates new possibilities for developing significantly smaller and denser storage devices, that could someday, for example, enable storing the entire iTunes library of 35 million songs on a device the size of a credit card.
  • Scientists used a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to build and measure isolated single-atom bits using the holmium atoms.
  • An electrical current was used to write and read binary data (1s and 0s) on the atom.
  • The invention can allow people and businesses to store 1,000 times more information in the same space and one day make data centers, computers and personal devices radically smaller and more powerful.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which IT firm has announced that it has created the world’s smallest magnet using a single atom – and stored one bit of data on it?
- IBM. 
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Europe launched fifth Sentinel Earth observation satellite


  • Europe launched the fifth of its Sentinel Earth observation satellites on Monday as part of its multi-billion-euro Copernicus program to provide speedy images of land, oceans and waterways.
  • The Sentinel-2B satellite, part of a system of satellites that is to monitor Earth, blasted off on board a Vega rocket from Europe's spaceport in French Guyana.
  • It will join its twin Sentinel-2A, which has been in orbit since 2015, to take high-resolution, color and infrared images for a wide array of environmental initiatives, including crop forecasting and monitoring natural disasters.
  • The two satellites will orbit 488 miles (786 km) above Earth, on opposite sides of the planet.
  • Together, they will be able to cover all of;
    - Earth's land surfaces,
    -large islands,
    -inland and coastal waterways every five days,
    -providing more up-to-date images and at higher resolution than have been available.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who launched the fifth of its Sentinel Earth observation satellites as part of its multi-billion-euro Copernicus program to provide speedy images of land, oceans and waterways? 
 - Europe. 
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SpaceX Launches 1st Private Rocket from Historic NASA Pad


  • SpaceX has launched the first private rocket from the same historic site that saw some of NASA's greatest space missions, then landed a booster nearby in a resounding success.
  • The California-based company's Falcon 9 rocket launched a robotic Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center — the same pad that once hosted Apollo moon missions and space shuttle launches.
  • The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth successfully, landing a few miles from the Florida launch site about 8 minutes after liftoff as planned.
  • It was SpaceX's first daytime landing at the site, called Landing Zone 1, at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which firm has launched the first private rocket from the same historic site that saw some of NASA's greatest space missions? 
 - SpaceX. 
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‘Science Express’ train flags off to create climate change awareness in India


  • A ‘Science Express’ train was flagged off  a seven-month journey that will cover 68 stations across the country, including;
    1. Agartala and
    2. Lumding
    in the northeast, to spread awareness about climate change.
  • Named ‘Science Express Climate Action Special’, with the collaborative efforts of;
    1. Ministries of Railways,
    2. Environment and
    3. Science and Technology,
    the 16-coach train will travel to Tripura and to the north bank of the Brahmaputra for the first time.
  • Exhibits of eight coaches of the train are devoted to ;
    1. Information ,
    2. Caste Studies and materials
    related to various aspects of climate change.
  • The exhibitions mounted by the Environment Ministry will also showcase;
    1. the underlying science,
    2. impacts,
    3. adaption activities,
    4. mitigation solutions and
    5. policy approaches
    in a manner that is easy to understand and interesting for not just school students but also the masses.
  • Since railways is focusing on clean energy, three coaches are fitted with solar panels on the roofs. The train will stop at each station for students and others to visit the exhibitions in coaches.
  • The train will cover 68 stations ending the journey at Gandhinagar station on September 8.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which train was flagged off  a seven-month journey that will cover 68 stations across the country?
 - ‘Science Express’. 
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ISRO sets space record with successful launch of Cartosat-2 and 103 other satellites


  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) set a new record in space mission achievements after it successfully launched 104 satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • This was ISRO’s first space mission for the year 2017, and the most complicated mission it has ever carried out.
  • The PSLV-C37/Cartosat2 Series satellite mission included the primary satellite (Cartosat-2) and 101 international nano satellites.
  • It also launched two of its own nano satellites,
    1. INS-1A and
    2. INS-1B.
  • PSLV first launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite for earth observation, followed by;
    1. the INS-1A and
    2. INS-1B,
    after it reached the polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  • It then went on to inject 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg, in pairs.
  • ISRO scientists used the XL Variant – the most powerful rocket – earlier used in the ambitious Chandrayaan and during the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) set a new record in space mission achievements after it successfully launched how many satellites in one go? 
 - 104 satellites.
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Intech DMLS launches India's first indigenously developed jet engines


  • Intech DMLS Limited, a metal 3D printing provider and metal additive manufacturing establishment in aviation sector, has launched the country's first indigenously developed jet engine series.
  • Jet engines has been developed by a private establishment and augurs well for the industry in looking inwards for innovation in the high technology aviation sector.
  • The company was established in 2012 and has its headquarters in Bengaluru specialises in metal 3D printing provider and metal additive manufacturing.
  • With this India has become the first country in Asia and only the fourth country after :
    1. US,
    2. Europe and
    3. Israel
    to indigenously develop such an engine in the private space.
  • The engine MJE 20 is indigenously designed and manufactured with a thrust of 20 Kgf. It is currently undergoing testing at our Bengaluru facility.
  • Another Jet engine SJE-350 with a thrust of 350kgf, designed for strategic applications is currently being manufactured.
  • The company also plans to expand into the Turbo Shaft/Fan category in the near future
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian firm has launched the country's first indigenously developed jet engine series? 
 - Intech DMLS Limited. 
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India successfully test-fires advanced interceptor missile


  • In its effort to have a full fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system, India on Sunday, successfully test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile.
  • It's capable of destroying any incoming hostile ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast.
  • The test conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode has been successful.
  • The interceptor was engaged against a target which was a naval version of Prithvi missile launched from a ship anchored inside Bay of Bengal, taking up the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
India successfully test-fired which of its indigenously developed missile?
 - supersonic interceptor missile.
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MoU signed between India and France in science and technology


  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation between;
    1. Technology Development Board (TDB),
    2. Department of Science and Technology,
    3. Government of India and
    4. Bpifrance- which is a Public Investment Bank in France.
  • The agreement will foster exchange of desirable practices and setting up of coordinated measures to further developmental exchange in the field of;
    1. science,
    2. technology and
    3. innovation.
  • The MoU aims at carrying out activities related to exchange of best practices in the field of science and technology through TDP and Bpifrance. (ANI)
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Recently a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between India and France in which field ? 
 - science and technology. 
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1st stable compound of chemically inactive helium confirmed


  • Helium, considered to be a chemically inert and unreactive gas due to its extremely stable and closed-shell electronic configuration, has been confirmed to form a stable compound (Na2He) with sodium under high pressure.
  • These findings were so unexpected that it took more than two years to convince science reviewers and editors to publish their results, said the lead researcher.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which gas has been confirmed to form a stable compound (Na2He) with sodium under high pressure?
 - Helium. 
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India, Norway set up body to accelerate research for epidemics


  • India and Norway have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics.
  • An R&D blueprint for action to prevent epidemics- funding and coordination models for preparedness and response' and asked member countries, including India, to develop a research and development blueprint during epidemics.
  • Accordingly, CEPI has been founded by ;
    1. Government of India (Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Health) and
    2. Norway, the Welcome Trust,
    3. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and
    4. The World Economic Forum in collaboration with industry, other governments, foundations regulatory bodies, civil society and the WHO.
  • The CEPI will prioritise list of diseases against which vaccines are most feasible to overcome barriers for development of vaccines.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which two countries have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics?
- India and Norway. 
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E-paathsala launches technology-backed services for higher education institutions in India


  • E-paathsala, a Bangalore based startup, launched its first-of-its-kind, end to end integrated accreditation and ERP technology solution for managing colleges and universities with multiple accreditations for standards such as;
    1. NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) and
    2. NBA (National Board of Accreditation) etc.
  • The accreditation assists institutions to get access to more funding, improve the quality of education and get higher student enrolment ratio.
  • Once an educational institution uses the ERP solution, they automatically get an accreditation report with gaps and recommendations on how to improve and get better grades for the accreditations.
  • E-paathsala provides software and consultancy solutions to the institutions to help them improve their college management with an emphasis on how to improve their compliance with the accreditation standards.
  • In addition, it also provides a full-fledged Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to align the institution processes as per benchmark standards and improve efficiency of operation.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian start up launched its first-of-its-kind, end to end integrated accreditation and ERP technology solution for managing colleges and universities with multiple accreditations for standards? 
 - E-paathsala, a Bangalore based startup. 
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‘Vampire’ star caught in the act by Indian space observatory ASTROSAT


  • India’s first dedicated space observatory, ASTROSAT, has captured the rare phenomenon of a small, 6-billion-year-old “vampire” star “preying” on a bigger celestial body
  • Scientists say the smaller star, also called a “blue straggler”, feeds off its companion star by sucking out its mass and energy, causing its eventual death.
  • The most popular explanation is that these are binary systems in which the smaller star sucks material out of the bigger companion star to become a blue straggler, and hence is called a vampire star.
  • The small star becomes bigger, hotter and bluer, which gives it the appearance of being young, while the ageing companion burns out and collapses to a stellar remnant
  • The stars are part of a “cluster” called NGC 188 formed some 6 billion years ago, and are much older than the sun, which is believed to have come into existence nearly 4.5 billion years ago.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
India’s first dedicated space observatory, ASTROSAT, has captured which rare phenomenon recently? 
- “vampire” star.
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ISRO Cryogenic Upper Stage for GSLV Mk III tested successfully


  • ISRO has successfully tested its indigenously developed cryogenic engine in a major step forward for its landmark ‘GSLV Mk III’ rocket, scheduled for launch within the first quarter this year.
  • Cryogenic engines are used in the upper stage of a rocket launch as they provide the maximum thrust to a launcher vehicle.
  • The cryogenic upper stage, designated as C25, was tested on January 25 for 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu, demonstrating all the stage operations.
  • The development of C25 cryogenic stage began with the approval of GSLV MkIII, the next generation launch vehicle of ISRO, capable of launching 4 ton class spacecraft in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • The vehicle consists of two solid strap-on motors, one earth storable liquid core stage and the cryogenic upper stage.
  • The C25 stage is the most powerful upper stage developed by ISRO and uses Liquid Oxygen and Liquid Hydrogen propellant combination.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
ISRO has successfully tested its indigenously developed cryogenic engine in a major step forward for which of its rocket? 
-  ‘GSLV Mk III’. 
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ISRO plans to launch 103 satellites on a single rocket


  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set a record when it launches 103 satellites in one go on a single rocket in the first week of February.
  • The satellites will be separated from the launch vehicle in different directions.
  • The separation angle and time of separation will be such that one satellite will not collide with another.
  • In June last year, ISRO launched 20 satellites in one go. It took about 26 minutes to launch all the 20 satellites.
  • In 2008, ISRO launched 10 satellites in a single mission.
  • The highest number of satellites launched in a single mission so far has been 37 by Russia in 2014.
  • NASA launched 29 satellites in one go in 2013.
  • ISRO’s workhorse PSLV (C37) with 103 satellites will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to launch, how many satellites in one go on a single rocket which will be a world record? 
- 103 satellites. 
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Physicists have created a new form of hydrogen


  • Physicists from Austria have created new form of Hydrogen i.e. negatively charged hydrogen clusters.
  • It is a previously unseen form of hydrogen.
  • For the past forty years, existence of hydrogen in ion clusters was known and is positively-charged clusters have already exists.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which country have created new form of Hydrogen i.e. negatively charged hydrogen clusters?
- Austria. 
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Scientists Finally Discover The Function of the Human Appendix.

  • For generations the appendix was thought to have no purpose.
  • But now, researchers say they have discovered the true function of this organ, and it is anything but redundant.
  • Researchers now say that the appendix acts as a safe house for good bacteria. The body uses this to essentially “reboot” the digestive system when one suffers from a bout of dysentery or cholera.
  • Conventional wisdom used to claim that this small pouch protruding from the first part of the large intestine was simply redundant or an evolutionary shadow of a once useful organ.
  • For years doctors advised people have their appendix removed and in spite of it’s now-apparent use, most seem none the worse for having it removed.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
According to researchers the human appendix acts as a safe house for which thing of the body? 
- good bacteria.
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