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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY - October 2021

Oct 2021

May 11, 2024

DoT Organises Telecom Design Collaboration Sprint to Drive Deep-tech Innovation in Telecom Sector...

  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) organised the first-of-its-kind Telecom Design Collaboration Sprint to foster deep-tech innovation among start-ups and academic institutions.
  • Through this initiative, DoT aims to drive the growth of the digital ecosystem by facilitating collaboration and innovation among a range of stakeholders. The event, which was held in Bangalore, brought together 15 leading start-ups, MSMEs, and academic institutions including IIT Madras, C-DOT, and IIT Delhi.

May 10, 2024

"Super-Earth": Astronomers Detect Rocky Planet with Atmosphere

  • Astronomers have searched for years for rocky planets beyond our solar system with an atmosphere - a trait considered essential for any possibility of harboring life. Well, they finally seem to have located one. But this hellish planet - apparently with a surface of molten rock - offers no hope for habitability.
  • As per the researchers, the planet is a "super-Earth" - a rocky world significantly larger than our planet but smaller than Neptune - and it orbits perilously close to a star dimmer and slightly less massive than our sun, rapidly completing an orbit every 18 hours or so.
  • Infrared observations using two instruments aboard the James Webb Space Telescope indicated the presence of a substantial - if inhospitable - atmosphere, perhaps continuously replenished by gases released from a vast ocean of magma.

May 08, 2024

Goldene: Swedish Scientists Create First Freestanding 2D Gold Sheet

  • Scientists at Sweden's Linköping University have recently made a significant scientific breakthrough by creating the first free-standing sheet made of gold, which is only one atom thick. This 2D sheet, named "goldene," is similar to graphene and marks the first time a metal has been transformed into a 2D sheet.
  • Production Process:
  • To create goldene, the scientists first sandwiched a silicon atomic layer between layers of titanium carbide. Gold was then deposited onto this structure, allowing gold atoms to replace the silicon atoms. Finally, the titanium carbide layers were removed through a chemical process, resulting in an extremely thin, free-standing layer of gold.
  • Potential Benefits:
  • Electronics Industry Gold is widely used in the electronics industry due to its high electrical conductivity. The development of goldene could revolutionize this industry by significantly reducing the amount of gold required in devices.
  • Energy-Efficient Catalysis Goldene could also be used in energy-efficient catalysis processes, such as carbon dioxide conversion, hydrogen production, and water purification.

Bajaj Auto Set to Revolutionize Transportation with World's First CNG Motorcycle

  • Bajaj Auto, led by Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj, is all set to introduce a groundbreaking innovation in the world of motorcycles. Amidst soaring petrol prices, the company is gearing up to launch the world's first CNG-powered motorcycle on June 18, 2024. This move aims to provide consumers with a cost-effective alternative for daily commuting, promising lower running costs compared to traditional petrol-powered bikes.
  • The prototype of Bajaj's CNG motorcycle, which has been spotted multiple times during testing, resembles a typical commuter bike. It features halogen turn indicators, telescopic forks, and a monoshock unit for suspension.

May 07, 2024

IIT-Madras Start-up Mindgrove Launches First India-made Microcontroller Chip

  • India is finally set to have a made-in-India microcontroller chip powering electronic devices. Mindgrove Technologies, incubated by IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation and IIT Madras Incubation Cell, and supported by Peak XV Partners, launched Secure IoT, India's debut high-performance SoC (system on chip).
  • A system-on-chip (SoC) combines many electronic parts into one chip, like a mini-computer. It goes into the printed circuit board (PCB) and is used in various devices, making them smaller and more efficient.
  • With Secure IoT, Indian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) can integrate an Indian SoC into their products and help reduce the cost of their feature-rich devices, without compromising on high-end features.

Boeing Starliner Crewed Launch Attempt Scrubbed Shortly Before Final Countdown

  • Two NASA astronauts had reached the final hours before a long-awaited launch attempt aboard Boeing's Starliner capsule, marking the first crewed mission of the new spacecraft.
  • But the mission was scrubbed about two hours before the countdown clock hit zero because of an issue with a valve on the Atlas V rocket, a workhorse vehicle built by Alabama-based United Launch Alliance that will fire the Starliner capsule to space.

May 05, 2024

Victoria Shi, the World's 1st AI Diplomat Representing Ukraine

  • Artificial Intelligence is rapidly gaining a stronghold in every aspect of human life. From being an intelligent assistant enhancing productivity at work, now it seems AI has taken on a bigger role. Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced an AI-generated avatar as its digital spokesperson. This is a first in the world of diplomacy.
  • The Ministry said that it would 'for the first time in history' use a digital spokeswoman named Victoria Shi to read its statements. Reportedly, the statements will be written by humans. The AI spokeswoman moves her head and hands as she speaks.
  • Moreover, the Ministry has taken adequate measures to combat issues like deepfake. Each of Victoria's statements will include a unique QR code linking to the official text version on the Ministry's website.

US Space Scientists Rediscover Satellite Missing For 25 Years

  • In a case of cosmic hide-and-seek, the US Space Force has located a tiny, experimental satellite that went missing in orbit for a staggering 25 years.
  • The satellite, named S73-7 Infra-Red Calibration Balloon (IRCB), was launched in 1974 alongside a massive Cold War-era spy satellite. Unfortunately, upon deployment, the IRCB malfunctioned and never inflated to its intended size, rendering it useless for its intended purpose.
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