Current Affairs March 2016 - Technology


News 1 − ISRO set to launch India’s 6th navigational satellite IRNSS-1F.


The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is all set to launch its sixth navigation satellite IRNSS-1F on 10th March at 4 pm.

The satellite will be launched into orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This system aims at developing an independent regional navigation satellite system for India just like America’s reliable Global Positioning System (GPS).

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1F (IRNSS-1F) is the sixth navigation satellite in the IRNSS system. The satellite will be launched by PSLV C32 which will go on its 34th mission on Thursday.

News 2 − 25 Foreign Satellites to be launched this Year by India.


India will launch 25 foreign satellites of seven countries in 2016-17. Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, has signed the agreements for launching 12 satellites of USA, one each for Japan and Malaysia, Algeria and Canada for launching three satellites each and four for Germany.

India till date has launched 57 foreign satellites of 21 countries using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). ISRO earned 80 Million Euros during the last three years when 28 satellites were launched belonging to 13 countries.

News 3 − Europe and Russia jointly launched ExoMars 2016, an unmanned spacecraft to Mars.

ExoMars 2016

Europe and Russia launched a joint mission to Mars to analyze methane, a gas which on Earth is created in large part by living microbes, and traces of which were observed by previous Mars missions. The satellite, called the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), lifted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan at 09:31 GMT.

The ExoMars program is a joint endeavour between European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

News 4 − Paleontologists discover fossils of 250-million-year-old reptile Teyujagua in Brazil.

Fossil Reptile

Scientists have discovered have discovered a new fossil reptile that lived 250 million years ago in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southernmost Brazil. The species has been identified from a mostly complete and well preserved fossil skull that the team has named Teyujagua paradoxa.

The reptile, named Teyujagua or fierce lizard, is the close relative of a group that gave rise to dinosaurs, crocodiles and birds.

News 5 − MIT, Pune starts India’s first education focused accelerator program – Edugild.

First Education Technology

Pune-based Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) in Pune has set up India's first education technology (edtech) accelerator called Edugild. The accelerator is the first of its kind in the country to focus only on the education sector. Edugild will conduct two batches every year. Under the Edugild program, start-ups will receive seed funding worth Rs 15 lakh in return for a minority stake (sub 10%).

In its first year, from an application of 300 companies, four companies (Classboat, Instafeez, Simulanis and Gradopedia) were selected by Edugild for its accelerator programme.

News 6 − Indian Railways signs agreement with ISRO for route surveys.

Indian Railways

The Railway Ministry has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) regarding Effective Use of Space Technology in Remote Sensing and Graphic Information System (GIS) based Governance Application. ISRO with the help of space technology will help railways by providing passenger information in all trains, map railway assets and help survey new route alignments.

ISRO was also asked to conduct studies in order to find ways to ensure smooth rail traffic during the foggy season.

News 7 − ISRO established GIRI Radar System at Tirupati.

GIRI Radar System

ISRO established the Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer (GIRI) near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. It was set up at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) which is an autonomous research institute of the Department of Space.

GIRI is a 30 MHz radar system that will be engaged in meteor and space weather research in a comprehensive way.

News 8 − CIMAP Scientists claim Mint plant can be used in anti-cancer drugs.

Mint Plant

Scientists at CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) have found that a medicinal compound called ‘L-Menthol’ derived from Mentha plant or mint plant has medicinal values that can cure cancer.

The study was published recently in the international journal, `OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology'. Its production is cost-effective and easily available in comparison to anti-cancer compound used at present obtained from the bark of European Yew tree.

News 9 − Microsoft shuts Artificial Intelligence Robot – Tay.

Artificial Intelligence Robot

Microsoft, which launched artificial intelligence (AI) powered Chatbot, Tay, on Twitter for a playful chat with people, only to silence it within 24 hours as users started sharing racist and offensive comments with the chatbot.

Tay — an AI project built by the Microsoft Technology and Research and Bing teams — was coded with information which can tell users’ jokes or offer up a comment on a picture you send her.

News 10 − China launched their 22nd BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

China launched its 22nd satellite for its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to support its global navigation and positioning network from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The satellite was taken into orbit by a Long March-3A carrier rocket.

The BeiDou system will be completed in 2020 and will comprise over 30 satellites.

News 11 − ISRO to launch 22 satellites on one rocket.

22 Satellites on One Rocket

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is set to launch a record number of 22 satellites in a single mission in May 2016 with the help of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV C34.

The satellites to be launched include Cartosat 2C along with four micro-satellites weighing 85 to 130 kg each and 17 nano-satellites weighing 4 to 30 kg. 18 of these satellites are being launched for foreign agencies including the United States, Canada, Germany and Indonesia.