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Science & Technology – Current Affairs – May 2016 – Govt Jobs 2016

Portal launched for CLPMS (Contract Labour Payment Management System)

On 4th May 2016, State Minister for PCNRE (Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy) Piyush Goel announced the launch of CLPS (Contract Labour Payment Management System), a new CIL (Coal India Portal) portal. The government launched this portal with the objective of curbing issue such as exploitation and corruption of contractual employees by the contractors.  The portal will also guide in issuing timely and proper wages to the contractual workers. It is planned that payments will be made to the contractual workers only after submission of a system-generated compliance declaration. This integrated system will be applicable for all CIL subsidiaries.

SpaceX successfully launched Japanese Satellite JCSAT-14

On 6th May 2016, SpaceX successfully launched Japanese Satellite JCSAT-14. The event took place in the Cape Canaveral region of Florida and the rocket on which this communication satellite was launched was Falcon 9.This satellite was placed into the intended PGTO (Preliminary Geostation Transfer Orbit) by Falcon 9. JCSAT-14 has been designed to run for at least 15 years. The orbit of this satellite is much higher compared to the last launch by SpaceX. The major objective of this satellite will be providing communications and television services. This is SpaceX’s 4th successful flight in 2016 so far.

Flying Observatory SOFIA detects Atomic Oxygen detected in the Martian Atmosphere by SOFIA

During the first week of May 2016, Atomic Oxygen was detected in the Martian Atmosphere (upper layers) by a Flying Observatory called SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy). This significant discovery of Atomic Oxygen came after 40 years of observation of the atmosphere of Mars. Atomic Oxygen is responsible for the escape of other gases from Mars and has an important effect on the atmosphere of the planet. This significant discovery was published in a research paper in the ‘Astrophysics and Astroeconomics’ Journal. The current observation was made possible as a result of the airborne location of SOFIA’s, which is flying between 37000 feet and 45000 feet.

RECA (Renewable energy country attractiveness index) 2016 released

On 10th May 2016, Global firm Ernest & Young released the RECA ((Renewable energy country attractiveness index) for the year 2016. The report ranks 40 nations based on their markets for renewable energy investments. As per the index, India is placed at the 3rd position in terms of attractiveness of renewable energy investments. This is saw European nations slip down in the index as a result of the saturated market. At the same time Africa, Asia, and Latin America continued to grow as their markets were less mature. The top three positions were held by US, China and India. Nations that came up the index compared to year were Chile, Brazil and Mexico wile saturated nations such as France and Germany fell down.

World Bank approves support of 625 Million dollars (US) for Rooftop Solar Programs in India

On 13th May 2016, World Bank gave a go ahead for supporting and financing Rooftop Solar programs in India. The support came in the form of loan worth 625 Million Dollars (US) for supporting the program. This loan will significantly help in generating electricity from the widespread rooftop solar PV (photo-voltaic) installations. The WB Board also approved another loan amount of US Dollars 120 Million on co-financing basis. Above this, another grant of US 5 Million Dollars has been given from the CT (Clean Technology) Fund of CIF (Climate Investment Fund). These loans have in general grace period of 10 years and maturity period of 40 years.

First ever robot lawyer in the world, ROSS, hired by law firm Baker Hostetler of US

During May’s first week, BakerHostetler, a law firm from US hired the first ever robot lawyer in the world. The robot which is named ROSS will be helping the firm and its numerous teams in vast legal research. This artificial lawyer will be licensed for various usages such as Restructuring, Bankruptcy as well as team for Creditor’s Rights. Built by the ROSS Intelligence Group, it is structured upon Watson, an IBM Cognitive- Computer. Lawyers will be able to ask ROSS about their various research questions. ROSS works by reading the law, gathering evidence, drawing interferences and returning with highly relevant and evidence based answers. The research on ROSS began in 2014.

World’s largest SRSP (Single Rooftop Solar Power) Plant launched in Amritsar

On 18th May 2016, the world’s largest SRSP (Single Rooftop Solar Power) Plant was launched in Amritsar. Chief Minister of Punjab PS Basal inaugurated the plant at Beas. The plant has a capacity of 11.5 MV (Megawatt). This rooftop solar plant covers an area of more than 82 acres in a single campus. The installed capacity is 19.5 MV making this plant largest single RT solar plant. The total cost of setting up this plant was Rupees 139 crore. The project aims to generate green and clean energy to sufficiently power more than 8000 homes. This solar project based at the Dera Beas will be helping in abating Carbon Dioxide of amount four lakh tones in the next two decades. This is nearly equivalent to planting around two lakh trees.

Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the IOC (Intelligent Operations Centre) and launched the Mobile-App Monitor

On 19th May 2016, Pranab Mukerjee inaugurated an IOC (Intelligent Operations Centre) at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. This IOC is an IBM designed software solution which will help in collecting as well as sensible transforming of rich data that is being streamed from various sources for gathering intelligent insights. The President also inaugurated a Mobile-App Monitor for building a smart township of the President’s estate. The chosen 4H theme under this township will be Hi-Tech, Humane, Heritage as well as Happy Township.

HIFiRE hypersonic super-jet technology successfully tried in Australia

On 18th May 2016, team of space scientists successfully tried HIFiRE hypersonic super-jet technology as a part of their HIFire (Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation) Program in Australia. The base of the operations was Woomera; largest ground based testing range across the world. The test included successfully sending the scramjet attached with a rocket-booster to a distance of 278 kilometers at speed Mach 7.5 which is 7 times that of sound. The HIFiRE program is among the largest research collaborations between the USA and Australia. The objective of this program is exploring the fundamental hypersonic science and discovering potential for next-gen aeronautical systems.

India launches its first reusable space-shuttle, RLV-TD from Sriharikota

On 23rd May 2016, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) launched its first reusable space-shuttle, RLV-TD (Reusable Launch Vehicle) from the Sriharikota spaceport, Andhra Pradesh. The operation was carried on a SRM (Solid Rock Motor) which weighted 9 tones. The design of the SRM was to blister slowly to support vertical movement of the winged body. After launching from Sriharikota spaceport, the vehicle glided back in the BOB (Bay of Bengal). The vehicle entered the atmosphere again after reaching 70 km height. The mission was termed as ‘Hypersonic Flight Experiment’ and lasted for 10 minutes. The RLV-TD (Re-Usable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator) is a new initiative towards TSTO (Two Stage To Orbit) fully reusable space-shuttle realization.  The total project cost for this experiment was around Rupees 95 cores and was almost similar as the US space-shuttle.

India launches its first integrated web-portal for promoting NZEB (Net Zero Energy Buildings)

On 27th May 2016, the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and UPM (Union Power Ministry) launched first ever integrated web-portal for promoting NZEB (Net Zero Energy Buildings) in India. For its promotion and mainstreaming, a portal () has been launched. This portal will be providing complete information regarding the NZE buildings generating equal energy as their usage. Through various usage of equipment and efficient lighting methods (renewable energy technologies), the project will ensure a status of near-zero energy state.

NASA successfully deployed BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module)

On 28th May 2016, the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and Bigelow Aerospace together successfully launched the BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) on the ISS (International Space Station). This is an experimental first of its kind inflatable room connected to space stations. BEAM is an EHT (expandable habitat technology) demo for the Space Station. This habitat decreases the transport volume amount to a great extent thereby making future space projects easier. These habitats are lightweight as well as need negligible payload volume. However, they expand to a great extent once deployed, providing a comfortable space for astronauts for working and living and protection against cosmic and solar radiation.

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