A 17-year-old girl, Khushi Chindaliya has been appointed as Regional Ambassador for India by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)- Tunza Eco-Generation. In her new role, Khusi will raise awareness about climate change and the importance of environmental conservation and the need to safeguard environmental treasures. She will work with the TEG on various environmental awareness programmes till February 2021.

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Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • UNEP Headquarters location: Nairobi, Kenya.
  • UNEP Head: Inger Andersen.
  • UNEP Founded: 5 June 1972.

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Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested a Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), which is an unmanned scramjet vehicle with the ability to travel at six times the speed of sound. The test was conducted from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha.  Now, India has joined the elite club of the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test Hypersonic Technology.

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About HSTDV

  • The HSTDV tests the indigenously developed hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology. The scramjets are a variant of air-breathing jet engines and have the ability to handle airflows of speeds much higher than the speed of sound.
  • The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 kilometres, where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated. The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned.
  • The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound, which is nearly two kilometres per second, for more than 20 seconds.
  • The critical events, like fuel injection and auto-ignition of the scramjet, demonstrated technological maturity.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • DRDO Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.

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The IIT Delhi incubated startup Chakr Innovation has launched a special decontamination device called ‘Chakr DeCoV’, to decontaminate N95 masks. The Chakr DeCoV device is designed in the shape of a cabinet.

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Chakr DeCoV is built with an innovative decontamination mechanism, which utilises the high penetrability of Ozone gas for cleaning the pores of the N95 mask, ensuring complete decontamination of its intricate layers.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IIT Delhi Director: V Ramgopal Rao.

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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, students have launched a free-of-cost mobile scanner application “AIR Scanner”. The app saves the scanned document in PDF format and stores directly in the device. The AI (Artificial Intelligence) based Reading Assistant and Document Scanner app is developed by Rohit Kumar Chaudhary and Kavin Agrawal.

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About “AIR Scanner” App

AIR Scanner app does not collect any information about the user and all the documents are stored in the phone’s local storage. The document scanned using a mobile camera will be saved in PDF format and will be stored in the device only.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IIT-Bombay Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Director of IIT-Bombay: Subhasis Chaudhuri.

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World’s Largest Solar Tree has been developed by the CSIR-CMERI. The solar tree has been installed at the Residential Colony of CSIR-CMERI in Durgapur, West Bengal. The solar tree has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power while its installed capacity is above 11.5 kWp.

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The Solar Tree has been designed in such a way that it ensures maximum exposure of each Solar PV Panel to Sunlight. A single solar tree comprises of 35 Solar PV Panels each having a capacity of 330 wp each. The energy generation data of the tree can be monitored either real-time or on daily basis. This tree will also ensure minimum Shadow Area which will make it available for usage in Agricultural activities like High Capacity Pumps, e-Tractors and e-Power Tillers.

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Indian Institute of Technology’s (IIT) Alumni Council has signed an agreement with Russia’s Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and Russoft to build the world’s largest and fastest hybrid quantum computer in India. The most promising areas for Indo-Russian joint projects are Information and Communications Technology, space exploration, climate change, quantum technology and data security.

The objective of the agreement is to use technology in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, transport and logistics, pollution and weather forecast to achieve the mission of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. As a part of the agreement, the Russian state-owned companies, which are key Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) owners, will transfer critical modules in cryogenics, cryptography and modularised cloud management technology to IIT Alumni Council.

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What is Quantum Computing?

Quantum Computing is several million times faster than the largest supercomputer in India. It will also reduce the cost of genome testing from over Rs 1 lakh per sample to under Rs 1,000, facilitating genetics-based personalised medicines to avoid unnecessary universal vaccination which may have safety issues. It also enables real-world events to be emulated in the virtual world.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IIT Alumni Council President: Ravi Sharma.
  • IIT Alumni Council Headquarter: New Delhi.

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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) to set up the first of its kind innovation cum incubation centre, VSSUT Space Innovation Centre (VSSSIC) to promote space research. ISRO and VSSUT will collaborate to develop high-end simulation tools, miniature test facilities like Static test facility and solid propulsion research lab and establishment of testing facilities for the scaled-down model.

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Important features of MoU:

  • ISRO will offer technical consultancy support and financial assistance of Rs.50 lakhs for the development of infrastructure of VSSUT.
  • ISRO and VSSUT will collaborate to develop high-end simulation tools, miniature test facilities like Static test facility and solid propulsion research lab and establishment of testing facilities for the scaled-down model.
  • VSSSIC will explore the latest global trends in space technology and will take up related projects that benefit India.
  • ISRO will ease the limited utilisation of rocket launching facilities like Thumba, Sriharikota or Balasore (under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • These facilities have all kinds of safety systems that are required for the launch of future sounding rockets of VSSSIC.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • ISRO Chairman: K.Sivan.
  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • VSSUT Vice-Chancellor: Atal Chaudhuri.
  • VSSUT Headquarters: Sambalpur, Odisha.

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Swadeshi Microprocessor ChallengeInnovate Solutions for #Aatmanirbhar Bharat” has been launched by the Union Minister of Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad. It aims to invite innovators, startups and students to use two microprocessors namely “SHAKTI (32 bit) and VEGA (64 bit)” to develop various technology products. SHAKTI & VEGA microprocessors have been developed by IIT Madras and Center for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC) respectively.

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The Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge will provide momentum to the strong ecosystem of Start-up, innovation as well as research in India. The challenge has been made open to students at all levels and startups.

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Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, DIAT (DU) has launched two products namely “Pavitrapati” & “Aushada tara” to fight against COVID-19. “Pavitrapati” is an Ayurvedic based Biodegradable Face Mask which will act as a virus neutraliser in order to provide resistance against the bacteria / virus. These masks will be made available on online platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart etc.

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“Aushada tara” is an anti-microbial body suit which comprises of superhydrophobic, breathing, anti-microbial, comfort feeling properties. The has passed the splash resistant tests and has got good repellent property of any fluids.

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Google and Central Water Commission(CWC) of India have launched the flood forecasting initiatives across India for the past several months. The Central Water Commission is the first governmental partner of Google to measure water levels on an hourly basis using around 1000 stream gauges across India.

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Flood Forecasting Initiatives:

  • Under the flood forecasting initiatives, Google has sent out numerous public alerts to people in flood-impacted regions of India.
  • These alerts provide updates and critical information to inform the users on their safety and the safety of their family and friends.
  • The notifications are provided in English, Hindi and Bengali based on the device language and locations of users.
  • The initiative enables the users with Android Smartphones with location service to receive the alerts and notification on the real-time water level measurements.
  • This initiative also allows the users to enter queries on flood-affected areas and access information on the current situations of the region.
  • This also provides visual overviews of the information like rising and fall in water level in the next day with a description of the current situation with specific guidance.
  • A colour-coded map of the flooded regions which provides a larger and detailed view in Google maps with zoom facility to get a better understanding of the water levels.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Central Water Commission Chairman: Rajendra Kumar Jain.
  • Central Water Commission Headquarters: Sewa Bhawan, New Delhi.

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