26 May 2016

ISRO to test Air-breathing Propulsion System

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has decided to test an Air-breathing Propulsion System after successful test of Reusable launch Vehicle- Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD).
The testing of air-breathing propulsion system aims to capitalize on the oxygen in the atmosphere instead of liquefied oxygen while in flight.
ISRO is evolving and testing various technologies to bring down the cost of launch vehicles and the air-breathing propulsion system is part of its new space endeavor.

 Key facts 
Conventional launch vehicles used to launch satellites, uses liquefied oxygen for combustion of propellants with oxidiser and fuel. It is carried by rockets along with the fuel, resulting in increase in lift-off mass. The air-breathing propulsion system uses natural oxygen present in the atmosphere up to 50 km from the earth’s surface to burn the fuel stored in the rocket.
Benefits: This system would help in reducing the lift-off mass of the vehicle as there will be no need of carrying liquefied oxygen on board the vehicle. In turn help in increasing the energy efficiency of the rocket and also make it cost-effective.
Way forward: The new propulsion system would complement ISRO’s aim to develop a reusable launch vehicle that would have longer flight duration. This system involving the recently tested scramjet engine, would become crucial while sending up the spacecraft

Pinarayi Vijayan sworn-in as Kerala Chief Minister

Veteran CPI (M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn-in as 12th Chief Minister of Kerala after the left Democratic Front (LDF) had won 2016 state assembly election. State Governor P Sathasivam administered his oath of office and secrecy to him along with other 18 ministers of his government in Thiruvananthapuram. In the 2016 state assembly election, the CPI (M)-led coalition of LDF had emerged victorious after winning 91 seats in the 140 member Assembly. Then ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) had emerged as largest opposition coalition after winning 47 seats.

US engineer Frances Arnold becomes first woman to win - Millennium Technology Prize

on 24 May 2016 Technology Academy Finland (TAF) announced American innovator Frances Arnold as winner of the 2016 Millennium Technology Prize.
Frances Arnold is the first female winner in its 12-year history, the 1 million euro prize is awarded biennially.
Frances Arnold, who is a Biochemical engineer received the 2016 Millennium Technology Prize in recognition of her discoveries that launched the field of directed evolution, which mimics natural evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory.

Know About Frances Arnold  - 
• Frances Hamilton Arnold is known to be an internationally recognized American scientist and engineer.
• Arnold pioneered methods of directed evolution to create useful biological systems, including enzymes, metabolic pathways, genetic regulatory circuits and organisms.

Union Cabinet gives approval to 6 new IITs

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to amend The Institutes of Technology (IIT) Act, 1961 for incorporation of 6 new IITs. This amendment will declare these 6 IITs as the institutions of national importance

6 new IITs will come up at:
Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwar (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Goa, Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir).
, Union Cabinet also gave its approval to convert of Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad into an IIT under the ambit of the IIT Act, 1961. The Cabinet also gave its ex post facto approval to set up the National Institutes of Technology (NIT) Andhra Pradesh which has been registered as a Society under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001. In this regard, National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will be introduced in the parliament for inclusion of the NIT, Andhra Pradesh in its first schedule. The bill will amend NITSER Act, 2007 to ensure a high level of public accountability and increase participation of the stakeholders in administration and academic activities of NIT.

Union Cabinet approves National Capital Goods Policy 2016

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for National Capital Goods Policy 2016 to give an impetus to the capital goods sector and the Make in India initiative. This is first ever policy for Capital Goods sector framed by the Union Government (Ministry of Heavy Industry & Public Enterprise).
 Key features of Policy Objectives:
 (i) Increase production of capital goods from 2,30,000 crore rupees in 2014-15 to 7,50,000 crore rupees in 2025.
(ii) Raise direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million.
(iii) Increase exports from the current 27% to 40% of production.
(iv) Increase the share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60% to 80% to make India a net exporter of capital goods.
 Aim of Policy:
 (i) Facilitate improvement in technology depth across sub-sectors, (ii) Ensure mandatory standards, (iii) Increase skill availability and promote growth and (iv) Capacity building of MSMEs. Help in realising the vision of ‘Building India as the World class hub for Capital Goods’ and also play a pivotal role in overall manufacturing as the pillar of strength to the vision of ‘Make in India’. The Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) will meet the objectives of the policy in a time bound manner through obtaining approval for schemes as per the roadmap of policy interventions.