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5th February 2024 (9 Topics)

Short News


INS Sandhayak Commissioned.


  • INS Sandhayak - India's First Survey Vessel Large (SVL) Ship
  • The primary role of INS Sandhayak is conducting full-scale hydrographic surveys, encompassing ports, harbors, navigational channels/routes, coastal areas, and deep seas.
  • The commissioning ceremony marked the formal induction of the first of the four ships of the SVL Project under construction at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The project has been steered by the Warship Design Bureau of the Indian Navy.
  • The keel was laid on March 12, 2019 and the ship was launched on December 05, 2021.
  • The ship has a displacement of 3,400 tons and an overall length of 110 meters with a beam of 16m.
  • INS Sandhayak is equipped with state-of-the-art hydrographic equipment including Deep & Shallow Water Multi-Beam Echo-Sounders, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Remotely Operated Vehicle, Side scan sonars, Data Acquisition and Processing System, satellite-based positioning systems and terrestrial survey equipment.
  • The ship is propelled by two Diesel Engines and is capable of achieving speeds in excess of 18 knots.
  • It has an indigenous content of over 80% by cost and is a tribute to the collaborative efforts between the Indian Navy and Industry, including MSMEs.
  • Its induction underscores the growing maritime interests and capabilities of the nation.


Revolutionary Machine Learning Unveils Potential 38% Reduction in Farming Ammonia Emissions

Precision Farming Insights: ML Estimates Propose Significant Atmospheric Ammonia Cut

  • In a groundbreaking study, researchers leverage machine learning to provide meticulous estimates of ammonia emissions from major crops, including rice, wheat, and maize.
  • The dataset's granularity allows for a cropland-specific evaluation, revealing a potential 38% reduction in atmospheric ammonia emissions through effective fertilizer management in crop cultivation.

Typhoid Vaccine Breakthrough in Malawi: Four-Year Efficacy Confirmed

  • In a typhoid fever-endemic setting in Malawi, Africa, Bharat Biotech's Typbar vaccine proves its effectiveness with a four-year duration.
  • The first-of-its-kind phase-3 trial, employing randomization and double-blind controls, establishes the long-term efficacy of a single dose.
  • Ongoing immunogenicity studies exploring booster doses after nearly five years hint at further advancements in typhoid prevention.

Science and Technology

Government Launches Digital India FutureLABS to Boost R&D in Automotive, Computing, and More

Strategic Initiative: Digital India FutureLABS Aims to Drive Innovation in Key Sectors

  • In a move to fortify domestic research and development (R&D) and foster innovation, the government inaugurated the Digital India FutureLABS.
  • The platform, aimed at sectors like automotive, computing, communication, strategic electronics, industrial electronics, and the internet of things, will serve as a collaborative space for partnerships and strategic direction.

Nodal Agency and Focus Areas: C-DAC to Lead; Automotive and Computing in the Spotlight

  • The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) is designated as the nodal agency to develop the overarching plan for Digital India FutureLABS.
  • The platform's focus areas include electric vehicles, onboard sensors, and autonomous connected devices in the automotive sector.
  • In computing, emphasis will be on R&D in high-performance, quantum, and exascale computers, indigenous microprocessors, accelerators, and blockchain.

Science and Technology

India's Vyommitra: Female Robot Astronaut Set to Soar in Uncrewed Space Mission Ahead of Gaganyaan Launch

  • In a significant leap towards India's ambitious "Gaganyaan" mission, Union Minister DrJitendra Singh unveiled that an uncrewed mission named "Vyommitra," a female robot astronaut, is scheduled to venture into space in the third quarter of this year.
  • Derived from Sanskrit words meaning "Space" and "Friend," Vyommitra is equipped with capabilities to monitor module parameters, issue alerts, and execute life support operations.
  • The maiden crewed mission, "Gaganyaan," slated for 2025, aims to launch Indian astronauts into space, and the Vyommitra mission serves as a precursor, testing critical systems and functionalities.
  • Designed to simulate human functions in the space environment, Vyommitra is a crucial component of India's foray into manned spaceflight.
  • DrJitendra Singh highlighted that the Gaganyaan project aims to demonstrate human space capabilities by safely orbiting astronauts 400 kilometers above Earth and bringing them back to land in India's sea waters.
  • Meanwhile, preparations for Gaganyaan, including the completion of human rating for the launch vehicle and successful tests of the crew escape system, are underway, marking a significant stride in India's space exploration endeavors.

Disaster Management

NITISH Device for Timely Disaster Alerts

Innovative Pendant-shaped Device Launched by Bihar State Disaster Management Authority

  • The Bihar State Disaster Management Authority, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Patna, has introduced a novel pendant-shaped device named NITISH (Novel Initiative Technological Intervention for Safety of Humanlives).
  • Designed to provide timely alerts to farmers and the general public, the device, synced with the Bihar meteorological service center, will sound alarms half an hour before lightning, floods, heatwaves, and coldwaves.
  • Launched in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna, the NITISH device aims to enhance the state's disaster management system, with unique features such as voice messages, color change from green to red, and body heat charging.

Device Sparks Political Controversy

  • Naming After Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Draws Sharp Reactions
  • While the NITISH device garners attention for its innovative disaster alert system, its nomenclature has stirred political controversy.
  • Critics question the choice of naming the device after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, labeling it as sycophancy.
  • The device, designed to address recurrent lightning and flood-related fatalities, has both political supporters defending it as Nitish's brainchild and detractors dismissing it as an unnecessary display of allegiance in the political landscape.

Species in News

Dusted Apollo (Parnassiusstenosemus)

Historic Discovery of Dusted Apollo Butterfly at Manimahesh Lake

  • In a remarkable event, the elusive Dusted Apollo butterfly (Parnassiusstenosemus) has been sighted and photographed for the first time in Himachal Pradesh, specifically at Manimahesh Lake in Chamba.
  • Discovered in 1890, this high-altitude butterfly, known for its rarity and unique features, was captured during a trek in September 2023 by GajinderVerma and Abinash Thakur, forest guards of Chamba Forest Circle.

Biodiversity Boost and Conservation Concerns

Flourishing Apollo Butterfly Diversity Raises Conservation Urgency

  • The Dusted Apollo's sighting highlights the thriving biodiversity of Apollo butterflies in the region, with 11 species recorded in Himachal Pradesh. LovishGarlani, a butterfly expert, confirmed the identity after scientific examinations.
  • Additionally, the rare Regal Apollo (Parnnasiuscharltonius) was also photographed at Manimahesh.
  • However, with most Apollo butterflies endangered, experts emphasize the immediate need for conservation efforts, including community awareness, anti-poaching measures, and the establishment of butterfly parks and conservation reserves in the state.

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