NASA captures images of strong solar flares

What is a solar flare
  • A solar flare is a sudden flash of brightness observed near the Sun’s surface.
  • It involves a very broad spectrum of emissions, an energy release of typically 1020 joules of energy for a well-observed event.
  • A solar flare is basically a giant explosion on the surface of our Sun which occurs when magnetic field lines from sunspots tangle and erupt.
  • A solar flare is defined as a sudden, rapid, and intense variation in brightness.
  • A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released.
About News
  • Two high-intensity solar flares were emitted
  • The second of which was the most intense recorded since the start of this sun cycle in December 2008
  • These radiation flares, which can disrupt communications satellites, GPS and power grids by reaching the upper earth atmosphere, were detected and captured by the US Space Agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
  • Solar cycles last on average eleven years.
  • At the end of the active phase, these eruptions become increasingly rare but still can be powerful.
  • Solar storms result from an accumulation of magnetic energy in some places.

GS III  : Science and tech

Source : The Hindu


MasterCard mulls using blockchain tech

In News

Mastercard is looking to incorporate blockchain technology into its operations and would like a clear regulatory framework in India that lays down what blockchain can be used for.

What is a Blockchain Technology

  • Blockchain is the technology behind crypto-currency such as Bitcoin, which is a purely electronic currency that can also be traded on exchanges.
  • It is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.
  • Each block contains typically a hash pointer as a link to a previous block,a timestamp and transaction data.
  • By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data.
  • Functionally, a blockchain can serve as an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.
  • For use as a distributed ledger a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks.
  • Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and a collusion of the network majority.

About Regulation

  • In India, an inter-ministerial committee is currently looking at how best to regulate blockchain technology, if it is allowed at all.
  • One of the proposals is to bring it under market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • Another option that could be considered is bringing blockchain regulation under the proposed Payments Regulatory Board in the Reserve Bank of India.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights

ISRO to develop full-fledged Earth observation satellite

In news

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) says it plans to launch a full-fledged niche Earth observation (EO) satellite — called the Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite or HySIS — using a critical chip it has developed.

Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite or HySIS

  • A new set of future satellites called hyperspectral imaging satellites is set to add teeth to the way India is gleaned from about 600 km in space.
  • Hyperspectral or hyspex imaging is said to be an EO trend that is being experimented globally.
  • It can be used for a range of activities from monitoring the environment, crops, looking for oil and minerals all the way up to military surveillance all of which need images that show a high level of differentiation of the object or scene.
  • ‘Hyspex’ imaging is said to enable distinct identification of objects, materials or processes on Earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

India among top nations with potential for digital payments

In News

India has emerged strong, exhibiting a high potential in terms of digital payments and has been categorised under the break out segment among 60 countries, according to the Digital Evolution Index 2017.

Break out segment : Refers to countries that have relatively lower absolute levels of digital advancement, yet remain poised for growth and are attractive to investors by virtue of their potential,

What the report says?

  • The Fletcher School at Tufts University in partnership with Mastercard, unveiled the Digital Evolution Index 2017.
  • The Index is a comprehensive research that tracks the progress countries have made in developing their digital economies and integrating connectivity into the lives of billions.
  • The Index measures four key drivers – supply, consumer demand, institutional environment, and innovation.

India in the digital evolution

India has been experiencing rapid strides of progress with an evolving payments landscape, catalysed by the governments demonetisation decision. With new players foraying into the market and an entire gamut of solutions for alternate payments, the India payment ecosystem is growing each day

Source : Economic Times

GS III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property right

NASA scientists to chase solar eclipse using special research jets

In News

Scientists are planning to chase the shadow of the Moon using NASA’s research jets during the upcoming total solar eclipse in the US, in order to capture the clearest ever images of the Sun’s outer atmosphere.

Taking observations from twin telescopes mounted on the noses of the planes will capture the clearest images of the Sun’s corona to date and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury, revealing how temperature varies across the planet’s surface.

Solar eclipse

  • As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when Untitledthe Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks  the Sun.
  • This can happen only at new moon when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy.
  • In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon.
  • In partial and annular eclipses, only part of the Sun is obscured.

Why the study ?

The corona is heated to millions of degrees, yet the lower atmospheric layers like the photosphere, the visible surface of the Sun are only heated to a few thousand degrees. Scientists are not sure how this inversion happens.

The high-definition pictures, captured 30 times per second, will be analysed for wave motion in the corona to see if waves move towards or away from the surface of the Sun, and with what strengths and sizes.

Source : Indian Express

GS III : Awareness in the fields of Space

Panel for action against farmers using herbicides on GM mustard


The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee’s (GEAC) sub-committee has drafted several recommendations on GM mustard before it approved the crop for commercial release. These included a proposal for legal action on farmers using the glufosinate-based herbicide (Basta) on the crop unless otherwise approved by the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee. Anti-GM activists question how effective such regulation.

Effect of glufosinate-based herbicide (Basta) on Human

Glufosinate-based herbicides act as a neurotoxin and have adverse impacts on humans, according to the U.S. National Institute of Health.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Agriculture; Biotechnology


World’s first child hand transplant a success

In News

The first child in the world to undergo a double hand transplant is now able to write, feed and dress himself, doctors have said, declaring the ground-breaking operation a success after 18 months.

How It Done ?

  • A hand is removed from a recently deceased organ donor.Untitled
  • The bones are attached first with titanium plates, then major tendons and muscles are reconnected, before eight tiny blood vessels are connected to ensure viable blood supply.
  • Major nerves are reattached, and the large and small veins connected.
  • With blood circulating in the remaining muscles, tendons and nerves are reconnected and the skin stitched closed.

Risk Involved

Organ transplantation is risky in that a recipient’s body may reject the new body part, while the drug regime involved carries a series of health risks. Immunosuppressive drugs must be taken continuously to prevent a patient’s body from rejecting the transplant. These drugs carry risks, including diabetes, cancer and infections.

Source : The Hindu


Saraswati, a supercluster of galaxies

What is a galaxy clusters ?

galaxy cluster, or cluster of galaxies, is a structure that consists of anywhere from hundreds to thousands of galaxies that are bound together by gravity.

What are superclusters ?

supercluster is a large group of smaller galaxy clusters or galaxy groups, which is among the largest-known structures. They are the largest known gravitationally bound structures in the universe.

In News

A group of Indian astronomers have discovered a massive supercluster of galaxies, and have named it Saraswati. The supercluster is about 4 billion light years away and spreads about 600 million light years across. This makes it one of the largest superclusters to be discovered and also the furthest. The first supercluster of galaxies, the Shapley Supercluster, was discovered in 1989, and the second, the Sloan Great Wall in 2003. The Milky Way galaxy is part of the Laniakea Supercluster, which was discovered in 2014.

Significance of the discovery

There are thin “filaments” that connect galaxies, forming a cosmic web, and there are large voids in between. The current belief is that infant galaxies form in these filaments and then drift to the intersections of the filaments where they grow. The Saraswati supercluster could challenge this premise, because it had formed so early and building such a big structure far back might have been difficult.

  • When sighting a supercluster of galaxies 4 billion light years away, the observer is looking back about 4 billion years.
  • A light year is the distance travelled by light in one year.
  • Given the belief that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, the discovery implies that such a huge structure existed even when the universe was just about ten billion years old.
  • This raises questions about the formation of large structures and the nature of the universe.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights

China sends PLA unit to man overseas base

In News

China has dispatched People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel to man its first overseas military base at Djibouti in the strategic Indian Ocean region, a move likely to spark concerns in the U.S.

Why China establish military base ?

  • The establishment of the PLA Djibouti base was a decision made by the twoDjibouti countries after friendly negotiations, and accords with the common interest of the people from both sides.
  • The base will ensure China’s performance of missions, such as escorting, peace-keeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and West Asia.
  • The base will also conduct overseas tasks, including military cooperation, joint exercises, evacuating and protecting overseas Chinese and emergency rescue, as well as jointly maintaining security of international strategic seaways.

Concerns about the overseas military base at Djibouti

Deployment of troops in Djibouti in the strategic Indian Ocean region is likely  spark concerns in the US and India. The base could spark concerns in India as it is located in the strategic Indian Ocean region. The move to set up base in Djibouti is also likely to raise concerns in the US as the military base is just a few kilometres from Camp Lemonnier.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : India and its neighborhood- relations

Scientists discover smallest-ever star

In News

Scientists have discovered the smallest-known star in the universe located about 600 light years away.

About the star

  • Star is slightly larger than Saturn in size which may possibly have Earth-sized planets with liquid water in its orbit.
  • The star, called EBLM J0555–57Ab, is part of a binary system as it orbits another, much larger star
  • Gavitational pull at its stellar surface is about 300 times stronger than what humans feel on Earth.
  • Discovery is also the Best possible candidates for detecting Earth-sized planets which can have liquid water on their surfaces, such as TRAPPIST-1, an ultracool dwarf surrounded by seven temperate Earth-sized worlds.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights

Juno completes Jupiter’s Great Red Spot flyby

In News

Juno spacecraft has successfully completed the closest flyby of Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot.

Great Red Spot

  • It is a massive storm that has been raging on giant planet for over 350 years.hotspot_cover_1280
  • Jupiter’s mysterious Great Red Spot is probably the best-known feature of Jupiter.
  • Great Red Spot is a 16,000-kilometre-wide storm that has been monitored since 1830.
  • In modern times, the Great Red Spot has appeared to be shrinking.
  • Astronomers also believe a greater understanding of the Great Red Spot may yield clues to the structure, mechanics and formation of Jupiter as a whole.

Juno Space probe

Name comes from Roman mythology. The spacecraft was launched on August 5, 2011, by NASA. Juno is probing Jupiter and studying its auroras to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. Juno logged one year in Jupiter orbit, marking 114.5 million kilometres of travel around the giant planet.

Earth facing sixth mass extinction, say scientists

Why in News

The sixth mass extinction of life on Earth is unfolding more quickly than feared, scientists have warned.

What is the issue ?

  • More than 30% of animals with a backbone fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals are declining in both range and population.
  • Around a decade ago, experts feared that a new planetary wipeout of species was looming.
  • Mammal species that were monitored have lost at least a third of their original habitat.
  • Forty per cent of mammals including rhinos, orangutans, gorillas and many big cats are surviving on 20% or less of the land they once roamed.
  • On an average, two vertebrate species disappear every year.
  • The main drivers of wildlife decline are habitat loss, overconsumption, pollution, invasive species, disease, as well as poaching in the case of tigers, elephants, rhinos and other large animals prized for their body parts.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Environmental impact assessment

Mini Saturns created from charged liquid droplets

Why in news ?

Scientists have created miniature versions of Saturn, complete with rings, by electrifying tiny droplets of fluids.

What is It ?

When a drop ofelectrically conductive liquid is exposed to an electric field, the droplet774340592-MiniSaturn_6 responds by forming two electrically charged poles. These poles can get pulled towards the sources of the electric field, taking on cone shapes. If the pull is strong enough, the tips of the cones can spray jets of droplets. Experiments regarding this effect, known as electrospraying, often involved drops of liquid surrounded by less electrically conductive fluids. If an electric field is strong enough, researchers found that the equators of these squashed drops emit concentric rings of droplets, making the drops look like miniature versions of Saturn.

Electrospraying is a method of liquid atomisation by electrical forces.

Significance of the experiment

The advance may pave the way for generating microscopic and uniform particles and capsules which are often used in products such as drugs, inks, cosmetics and paints.

Source : Indian Express

GS III : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Scheme for IPR Awareness – Creative India; Innovative India

In News

Scheme for IPR Awareness – Creative India; Innovative India’ has been launched by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM).

About the Scheme

  • Taking forward the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016, a Scheme for IPR Awareness – Creative India; Innovative India has been launched by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
  • Aims at raising IPR awareness amongst students, youth, authors, artists, budding inventors and professionals to inspire them to create, innovate and protect their creations and inventions across India including Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 cities as well as rural areas in the next 3 years.
  • Scheme for IPR Awareness aims to conduct over 4000 IPR awareness workshops/seminars in academic institutions (schools and colleges) and the industry ,including MSMEs and Startups, as also IP training and sensitization programmes for enforcement agencies and the judiciary.
  • These workshops will cover all vital IP topics including international filing procedures, promotion of Geographical Indications and highlighting the ill effects of piracy and counterfeiting.
  • The Scheme for IPR Awareness would be implemented through partner organizations to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

Source : Pib

GS III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights

Rukmini’ keeps eye on dancing ‘dragon’ at sea

In News

Indian Navy is keeping an eye on the dragon with the help of its eye in the sky, Gsat-7, the Navy’s own dedicated military satellite that was launched on September 29, 2013. With China increasing its naval presence in the Indian Ocean Region amid the ongoing Sikkim stand-off.

Satellite Rukmini

  • The satellite helped the Navy monitor the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as it has a nearly 2,000 nautical mile footprint.
  • The multi-band communication-cum surveillance satellite, which is operating from the geo-stationary orbit (at 36,000km altitude).
  • It provides real-time inputs to naval warships, submarines and maritime aircraft and networking capabilities to its naval assets on the high seas.
  • With the help of the shore-based operational centres, Rukmini has not only helped the Navy keep an eye on both Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal but also helped the force increase its communication and surveillance capabilities from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait, which together is equivalent to almost 70% of the IOR.
  • The satellite, which has a payload power of 2000W, has a mission life of nine years.

Source : Economic Times

GS III : Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

NASA developing first asteroid deflection mission

NASA is developing the first-ever mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test that will deflect a near-Earth asteroid, and help test the systems that will allow mankind to protect the planet from potential cosmic body impacts in the future.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test

  • DART would be NASA’s first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique striking the asteroid to shift its orbit to defend against a potential future asteroid impact.
  • DART is a critical step in demonstrating we can protect our planet from a future asteroid impact.
  • It is being designed and would be built and managed by the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory is moving from concept development to preliminary design phase.

Experiment on a real asteroid

  • The target for DART is an asteroid, the asteroid is called Didymos that will have a distant approach to Earth in October 2022, and then again in 2024.
  • The asteroid system that consists of two bodies: Didymos A and Didymos B.
  • DART would impact only the smaller of the two bodies, Didymos B.
  • After launch, DART would fly to Didymos and use an APL- developed on board autonomous targeting system to aim itself at Didymos B.
  • Then the refrigerator-sized spacecraft would strike the smaller body at a speed about nine times faster than a bullet, about six kilometres per second.
  • Earth-based observatories would be able to see the impact and the resulting change in the orbit of Didymos B around Didymos A, allowing scientists to better determine the capabilities of kinetic impact as an asteroid mitigation strategy.

  • By doing it well before the predicted impact so that this small nudge will add up over time to a big shift of the asteroid’s path away from Earth.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Awareness in the fields of  Space

Heat-resistant cows of the future

In News

Scientists from University of Florida in the U.S. are studying a more heat-tolerant Brangus cow a cross between an Angus and a Brahman.

Need for new breed

More than half the cattle in the world lives in hot and humid environments, including about 40% of beef cows in the United States.

Aim of the Research

  • Breed of genetically-modified cows of the future that will be more heat-resistant and have superior ability to adapt to hot living conditions.
  • By using genomic tools, researchers aim to produce an animal that can adapt to hot living conditions and produce top-quality beef.
  • Initially DNA segments from the two breeds and figure out which regions of the cow’s DNA are important to regulate body temperature.
  • Eventually want to develop the knowledge and tools the cattle industry needs to increase tolerance to heat stress.
  • At the same time, researchers try to increase efficiency in production, reproduction and meat quality.

Importance of the Research

This offers a powerful new approach to address the challenges of climate change and develop climate-smart productive cattle for a future, hotter world.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

NASA’s new revelation about Jupiter

In news

NASA’s Earth-bound Gemini North telescope has a stunning image of Jupiter showing haze particles over a range of altitudes, as seen in reflected sunlight.

  • The Gemini telescope is providing high-resolution images to help guide its exploration of the giant planet.
  • These observations trace vertical flows that cannot be measured any other way, illuminating the weather, climate and general circulation in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Gemini Observatory

  • The Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8.1-meter diameter optical/infraredmaxresdefault telescopes located on two of the best observing sites on the planet.
  • Locations on mountains in Hawai‘i and Chile, Gemini Observatory’s telescopes can collectively access the entire sky.
  • Gemini was built and is operated by a partnership of five countries including the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
  • These Participants and the University of Hawaii, which has regular access to Gemini, each maintain a “National Gemini Office” to support their local users.
  • Any astronomer in these countries can apply for time on Gemini, which is allocated in proportion to each Partcipant’s financial stake.

Source ; The Hindu

GS III : Awareness in the fields of  Space

GSAT-17 in ISRO satellite fleet

In News

GSAT-17, the country’s newest communication satellite launched, join the fleet of 17 working Indian communication satellites in space.

About GSAT-17

  • GSAT-17 was inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system from Kourou, French Guiana by Ariane-5 VA-238.
  • Weighing 3477 kg at lift-off, GSAT-17 carries Payloads in Normal C-band, Extended C-band and S-band to provide various communication services.
  • GSAT-17 also carries equipment for metereological data relay and satellite based search and rescue services being provided by earlier INSAT satellites.
  • GSAT-17 is designed to provide continuity of services on operational satellites in C-band, Extended C-band and S-bands.
  • GSAT-17 was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • The designed in-orbit operational life of GSAT-17 is about 15 years.

Indian National Satellite System (INSAT)

  • Series of multipurpose geo-stationary satellites launched by ISRO to satisfy the telecommunications, broadcasting, meteorology, and search and rescue operations.
  • INSAT is the largest domestic communication system in the Asia Pacific Region.
  • It is a joint venture of the Department of Space, Department of Telecommunications, India Meteorological Department, All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Source : The Hindu, ISRO

GS III : Awareness in the fields of Space

Uranus’ unusual rotation creates light switch effect

In News

A discovery was made based on the data from NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft that flew closely past Uranus the seventh planet from the Sun more than 30 years ago in January 1986.

The Study

  • Uranus’ magnetosphere, the region defined by the icy planet’s magnetic field and the material trapped inside it gets flipped on and off like a light switch every day as it rotates along with the planet.
  • When the magnetised solar wind meets this tumbling field in the right way, it can reconnect and Uranus’ magnetosphere goes from open to closed to open on a daily basis.
  • Magnetosphere is open in one orientation, allowing solar wind to flow into it.
  • It is later closed, forming a shield against the solar wind and deflecting it away from the planet.
  • Uranus’ rapid rotational change in field strength and orientation lead to a periodic open-close-open-close scenario as it tumbles through the solar wind.

Reconnection of magnetic fields is a phenomenon throughout the solar system. It is one reason for the Earth’s auroras.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Awareness in the fields of  Space

PSLV-C38 Successfully Launches 31 Satellites in a Single Flight

PSLV-C38 successfully launched the 712 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 30 co-passenger satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the thirty ninth consecutively successful mission of PSLV.

About the launch

  • One of the 30 satellites carried by PSLV-C38 was the 15 kg NIUSAT, a University/Academic Institute satellite from Nurul Islam University, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • The remaining 29 co-passenger satellites carried were international customer satellites from USA (10), United Kingdom (3), Belgium (3),  Italy (3),  Austria (1), Chile (1), Czech Republic (1), Finland (1), France (1), Germany (1), Japan (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (1) and Slovakia (1).

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle

  • It was developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into Sun-synchronous orbits.
  • The vehicle successfully launched two spacecraft – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013 a notable achievement.
  • The PSLV has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

India successfully fires heaviest launch vehicle

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its heaviest launch vehicle, GSLV MkIII-D1, and placed the country’s heaviest satellite till date, GSAT-19, into a precise orbit.

  • This was the first orbital mission of GSLV MkIII which was mainly intended to evaluate the vehicle performance including that of its fully indigenous cryogenic upper stage during the flight.
  • Weighing 3136 kg at lift-off, GSAT-19 is the heaviest satellite launched.


  • GSKV-Mk III  is capable of launching four-tonne satellites in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • The rocket is also capable of placing up to eight tonnes in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), enough to carry a manned module.
  • GSLV-Mk III is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C-25).
  • It is the first fully functional rocket to be tested with a cryogenic engine.


  • GSAT-19 satellite developed to help improve telecommunication and broadcasting areas.gsat 19
  • GSAT-19 satellite with a lift-off mass of 3136 kg.
  • It carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders and Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload to monitor and study the nature of charged particles and the influence of space radiation on satellites and their electronic components.

Tejas Successfully Test Fires Beyond Visual Range Missile

Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft successfully demonstrated an Air-to-Air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile firing capability by releasing Derby Air-to-Air BVR missile in RADAR guided mode.

Key Fact

  • The objective of the test was to assess the Derby integration with aircraft systems on-board Tejas including the aircraft avionics, fire-control radar, launchers and Missile Weapon Delivery System and to verify its performance.
  • test was conducted on a Manoeuvrable Aerial Target at the Interim Test Range (ITR), Chandipur.
  • The Derby firing is a major step towards clearing BVR capabilities on LCA aircraft for Final Operational Configuration.

What is BVR?

Targeting an object beyond the visual range of the pilot. The pilot actually see the target, on radar or by other artificial means. Beyond-visual-range missile (BVR) is an air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) that is capable of engaging at ranges of 20 nmi (37 km) or beyond. This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motor and ramjet sustainer motor.


  • Derby (Alto) is a beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile (AAM).
  • It is developed by Israeli defence company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to meet the combat needs of the armed forces.
  • It is integrated onto a variety of fighter aircraft such as F-5, F-16 Fighting Falcon, Gripen E and Mirage
  • Capable of engaging aerial threats from short ranges and near-beyond visual range.
  • Powered by a rocket motor, the Derby missile has a speed of Mach 4 and can hit targets at a range of up to 50km.

Tejas Aircraft

An indigenous fighter aircraft jointly developed by Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It is the smallest lightweight, multi-role, single-engine tactical fighter aircraft in the world and is being developed in single-seat fighter and twin seat trainer variants for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

Source : Pib

GS III : Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

Nod for GM mustard

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), India’s apex regulator for genetically modified seeds cleared GM mustard for environmental release and use in farmer fields. If it get final nod from Environment Ministery GM mustard would be the first transgenic food crop.

What is Gm Mustard? 

DMH (Dhara Mustard Hybrid)-11 is genetically modified variety of mustard developed by Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants at Delhi University. It was Government sponsored project. Mustard is one of India’s most important winter crops sown between mid-October and late November.

Favourable Arguments

  • Yields about 30% more than a traditional.
  • Need to raise domestic crop yields and cut dependence on imports.

Arguments Against

  • Can affect honeybees directly and indirectly through effecting flowering and pollen production.
  • It will force farmers to use only select brands of agro-chemicals because it use external gene that makes the plant resistant to herbicide.
  • May adversely affect environment, human and animal health.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Lunar palace on earth

Chinese students will live in a laboratory simulating a lunar-like environment for up to 200 days as China prepares for its long-term goal of putting humans on the moon.  The project seeks to help the country prepare lunar explorers for longer stays on the surface.

Key Facts

  • Research university Beihang entered the 160-square-metre (1,720-square-foot) cabin dubbed the “Yuegong-1”, or Lunar Palace.
  • The volunteers will live in the sealed lab to simulate a long-term, self-contained space mission with no input from the outside world.
  • Two men and two women entered the lab for an initial stay of 60 days.
  • They will then be relieved by another group of four, who will stay 200 days, before returning for an additional 105.
  • Experimental crops and vegetables grown with the help of food and waste byproducts.
  • Human waste will be treated with a bio-fermentation process.
  • The “Lunar Palace” has two plant cultivation modules and a living cabin: 42 square metres containing four bed cubicles, a common room, a bathroom, a waste-treatment room and a room for raising animals.
  • The Lunar Palace is the world’s third bioregenerative life-support base, and the first developed in China.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights