Air Unique-quality Monitoring (AUM) Photonic System has been indigenously developed with the prime objective of real-time remote monitoring of air quality. The system has been developed by Prof. Rao Tatavarti, Director of Gayatri Vidya Parishad-Scientific and Industrial Research Centre & GVP College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam along with the support of Department of Science and Technology’s Clean Air Research Initiative. The system is portable, compact, low powered and economical. It works on plug and play system and do not require any setting uptime.

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The Air Unique-quality Monitoring has the capability to identify, classify, and quantify various pollutants simultaneously (of orders of less than one part per billion) including meteorological parameters, with very high precision, sensitivity as well as accuracy. All of this will be achieved with the help of inculcated principles of laser backscattering, statistical mechanics, optoelectronics, artificial intelligence, machine/deep learning, as well as Internet of Things.

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Skyroot Aerospace, a Spacetech startup has successfully test fired an upper stage rocket engine “Raman”. With this, Skyroot Aerospace has become the first Indian private firm to exhibit the potential to build a homegrown rocket engine. “Raman” is a 3-D printed rocket engine which has been named after Nobel laureate CV Raman.

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Skyroot Aerospace expects to launch its first rocket, which can hurl satellites of 250-700 kgs, into a lower earth orbit by December 2021. These developments from the private players has become possible after the union cabinet’s approval of private player participation in space in June 2020.

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has launched “Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission” with United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket to the Red Planet “Mars”. The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission was launched from Space Launch Complex 41, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Perseverance rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program which is a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet.

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The ULA Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage will initially place the Mars 2020 spacecraft into a parking orbit around Earth. NASA has launched the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples to send back to Earth.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Jim Bridenstine.
  • Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States.

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Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) has developed ‘Aashray’, a medical bed isolation system to combat COVID-19 by preventing or minimising the spread of the virus.

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About ‘Aashray’:

  • This medical bed isolation system developed by Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, (DIAT) is a low cost, reusable solution to maintain proper isolation of COVID-19 patients by creating a suction or negative pressure near exhale, further filtering and disinfecting the aerosol.
  • As per prototype manufacturer, the cost of the setup for a unit of 10 beds is Rs 1 lakh approximately and for home, the quarantine will be around Rs 15,000 for a single bed.
  • The bed isolation system envelopes are made up of specialised material and manufacturing process with transparent and translucent supported on medical grade materials structure.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Vice-Chancellor of DIAT: CP Ramnarayanan.
  • Headquarters of DIAT: Pune, Maharashtra.

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Acculi Labs, a Bangalore based startup has been selected by Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH), an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to develop “Lyfas COVID score”, a COVID risk assessment profile. Lyfas, an android application captures the capillary pulse and blood volume change when individual keeps the index finger on the rear phone camera of a mobile phone for 5 minutes. It also derives 95 biomarkers with proprietary algorithms and signal processing techniques. It also utilizes the power of smartphone processor and smartphone sensors to record a bunch of body signals.

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All the above parameters have been planned to be repurposed with the “Lyfas COVID score”. CAWACH is supporting market-ready innovations to the control COVID-19 and helps the startup ideas to address associated challenges.

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The Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIM-K), has developed a wearable hand band Known as the “Veli Band” that helps in maintaining social distancing by sending out an alarm in case of proximity with another person.

The device has been developed by Qual5 India Pvt.Ltd, a startup co-founded by a woman entrepreneur, mentored and funded by IIMKs business incubator and entrepreneurship development centre.

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About Veli Band: 

  • Veli Band helps implement social distancing and location/contact tracing which can help organisations comply with social distancing norms during the current pandemic situation.
  • The band momentarily vibrates, sounds buzzer, and flashes LED simultaneously to notify wearers that another band is within 3 feet (1 metre), reminding them of the need to maintain social distance.
  • The device, to be worn on the wrist, can anonymously keep track of interactions with other devices and thus not only help in maintaining a safer workplace but also aid in tracking employee movements in real-time.
  • The band comes with a rechargeable battery and uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for detection.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of IIM-K: A. Vellayan.
  • IIM-K Headquarters: Kozhikode, Kerala.

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All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Nagpur has designed and developed a ‘smart wristband’ for effective tracking and monitoring of Covid-19 positive and suspect patients.

The new device, a wristband is designed in collaboration with IIT Jodhpur and IIT Nagpur looks to overcome the limitations of existing online mobile apps used for tracking and monitoring coronavirus patients.

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About ‘smart wristband’:

  • This device will operate on a technology that is more effective than the GPS system.
  • The data collected through wristband will be collected and archived on cloud facilitating monitoring by health workers from a distance.
  • Tracking through mobile apps is limited to the quarantined person’s movement.
  • There is no mechanism at present to track symptoms which is the user’s subjective self-assessment.
  • The existing mobile apps use GPS or cell tower triangulation methods for tracking location with an accuracy that may vary sometimes up to a radius of 1.5 to 2 kilometres.

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Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant, Unit-3 (KAPP-3), Gujarat has attained criticality at around 09:36 Hrs on 22 July 2020. It is India’s first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) with innovative features.

What is meant by “Nuclear reactor attaining criticality”?

A nuclear reactor is said to attained criticality when every nuclear fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons in order to sustain an ongoing series of reactions or a self-sustaining chain reaction.

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KAPP-3 is located at Kakrapar Site, Gujarat, along with two 220 MWe PHWRs (KAPS-1 & KAPS-2) which are in operation and another 700 MWe PHWR (KAPP-4) which is under advanced stage of construction. An exhaustive safety review of various safety aspects was carried out by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to ensure satisfactory compliances to regulatory requirements. The permission for First Approach to Criticality of KAPP-3 was granted on 17 July, 2020.

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The human trial of COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford and backed by AstraZeneca Plc has shown a positive result. The researchers found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55. Oxford’s vaccine is designed to reduce disease and transmission. Director at the Jenner Institute of Oxford University, Dr Adrian Hill, explains the mechanism of this vaccine “this vaccine triggers both arms of the immune system”.

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As per the British Medical Journal Lancet:

The vaccine was officially known as AZD1222, prompted a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot and did not prompt any serious side effects. According to trial results published in The Lancet medical journal, the Covid-19 vaccine prompted no serious side effects and elicited antibody and T-cell immune responses with the strongest response seen in people who received two doses.

About AZD1222 vaccine:

  • The vaccine developed by the University of Oxford has entered into phase III of trial in which the medical experts will dose thousands of candidates to understand the mechanism of the vaccine.
  • The vaccine uses a weakened version of chimpanzee adenovirus as a vector, infused with the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
  • Phase III is the last trial for this vaccine before getting authorized.
  • A weakened version of chimpanzee adenovirus as a vector is used in this vaccine that is infused with the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

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The COVID Protection System (COPS) for Workplace has been unveiled by the CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur. The COPS for Workplace comprises of three units namely contactless Solar Based Intelligent Mask Automated Dispensing Unit cum Thermal Scanner (IntelliMAST), Touchless Faucet (TouF) and 360° Car Flusher.

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IntelliMAST:

With the help of customised Software solutions, this intelligent surveillance kiosk will determine the body temperature and finds out whether an individual is wearing Face Mask or not. The IntelliMAST will help in keeping the safety of supervising staff as well as implementation of precautionary measure in any large organization.

Touchless Faucet (TouF):

This system has been launched for households and Office Spaces. It dispenses Liquid Soap and Water from the same Faucet with a time-gap of 30 seconds, and help in containing the spread of infection among the family members, for any asymptomatic individual.

360° Car Flusher:

This system will be applicable to sanitize cars as it comprises a Sodium Hypochlorite Water Screen which uses specialised Nozzle Design to ensure that the Sanitizer Diffused Water is evenly spread over and under the Car Body/Wheels with adequate Water Force and coverage.

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