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Exoskeleton Technology: International Workshop in Bengaluru on April 16-17

The first international workshop on ‘Emerging Technologies and Challenges for Exoskeleton’ took place in Bengaluru on April 16-17.

  • Exoskeleton technology involves wearable structures that enhance human strength.
  • Dr. Samir V Kamat and Lt Gen JP Mathew were notable figures in attendance, representing the Department of Defence R&D, DRDO, and the Integrated Defence Staff.
  • The workshop attracted over 300 attendees from DRDO, Services, Industry, Academia, and Researchers, aiming to advance the development of wearable exoskeleton structures to enhance human capabilities.

Q: What is Exoskeleton Technology?

a) A form of virtual reality gaming equipment
b) Wearable structures that enhance human strength
c) A software used for cybersecurity purposes
d) A method of renewable energy production

Answer: b) Wearable structures that enhance human strength

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ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 Team Honoured With John L ‘Jack’ Swigert Jr Award

ISRO Chandrayaan-3 mission team awarded the 2024 John L ‘Jack’ Swigert Jr. award for space exploration by the US-based Space Foundation. The award ceremony took place during the Space Symposium’s annual opening ceremony in Colorado on April 8, 2024.

  1. DC Manjunath, Consul General of India in Houston, accepted the award on behalf of ISRO’s Chandrayaan team.
  2. Space Foundation CEO Heather Pringle praised India’s leadership in space, emphasizing Chandrayaan-3 mission’s technical and engineering excellence.
  3. The John L “Jack” Swigert Jr award commemorates astronaut John L “Jack” Swigert Jr, a pivotal figure in space exploration history.
  4. Previous winners of this award include NASA, University of Arizona OSIRIS-REx team, NASA JPL Mars Ingenuity Helicopter and InSight-Mars Cube One missions, as well as NASA Dawn and Cassini missions.
  5. Space Foundation, established in 1983, is a nonprofit organization providing information, education, and collaboration opportunities for the global space ecosystem.
  6. India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission marked the first successful landing on the Moon’s South Pole in September last year, positioning India as a significant player in lunar exploration alongside the US, Russia, and China.

Q: Who was honored with the 2024 John L ‘Jack’ Swigert Jr. award for space exploration?

a) NASA
b) ISRO Chandrayaan-3 mission team
c) University of Arizona OSIRIS-REx team
d) Russian Space Agency

Ans : b) ISRO Chandrayaan-3 mission team

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India’s First Home-Grown Gene Therapy for Cancer at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

On April 4, 2024,  President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, visited Mumbai to launch India’s first home-grown gene therapy for cancer at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.

Key highlights:

  1. The Therapy: The gene therapy in question is known as NexCAR19, which falls under the category of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. It was developed by ImmunoACT, a company incubated at IIT Bombay in collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital. CAR-T therapy is a cutting-edge approach that harnesses the patient’s own immune system to target cancer cells.
  2. Targeted Treatment: NexCAR19 is specifically designed for B-cell cancers, including conditions such as leukemia and lymphoma. By genetically modifying the patient’s T-cells, this therapy enhances their ability to recognize and destroy cancerous cells.
  3. Indigenous Innovation: The fact that this therapy is home-grown is a matter of immense pride for India. It signifies the country’s capability to develop advanced medical solutions within its own borders.
  4. IIT Bombay’s Role: The Bioscience and Bioengineering (BSBE) department at IIT Bombay played a crucial role in designing and manufacturing the CAR-T cells for NexCAR19. This interdisciplinary effort demonstrates the synergy between scientific research and clinical application.
  5. Hope for Patients: With NexCAR19, patients now have access to a novel treatment option that holds promise for improved outcomes and enhanced quality of life.

Q: What is the name of India’s first home-grown gene therapy for cancer?

A) NexCAR19
B) ImmunoACT
C) Tata Memorial Hospital
D) IIT Bombay

Answer: A) NexCAR19

Q: What does CAR-T therapy stand for?

A) Cellular Antigen Receptor Treatment
B) Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy
C) Cancer Antigen Response Technique
D) Cellular Antibody Recognition Therapy

Answer: B) Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy

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Moon to get own Standard Time: NASA to Develop Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC)

The White House has directed NASA to establish a unified standard of time for the moon and other celestial bodies, aiming to set international norms in space amid increasing competition.

  1. The directive comes from the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), instructing NASA to develop a plan by the end of 2026 for a Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC).
  2. LTC would provide a time-keeping benchmark for lunar spacecraft and satellites, considering the differing gravitational force and other factors on the moon and celestial bodies.
  3. NASA’s Artemis program aims to send astronauts to the moon and establish a lunar base, involving numerous companies, spacecraft, and countries.
  4. Lack of a unified lunar time standard could pose challenges in data transfers between spacecraft, communication synchronization, and commercial activities on the moon.
  5. Deployment of atomic clocks on the lunar surface may be necessary to establish LTC.
  6. The initiative for a unified lunar time standard aligns with international efforts and may involve agreements among nations, including those within the Artemis Accords.
  7. While the U.S. leads in defining the standard, international cooperation will be crucial, potentially influenced by existing standards like Coordinated Universal Time.

Q: What is the name of the proposed standard time for the moon and other celestial bodies?

a) Lunar Standard Time (LST)
b) Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC)
c) Celestial Time Standard (CTS)
d) Universal Lunar Clock (ULC)

Ans : b) Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC)

Q: What is the average time difference between an Earth-based clock and a person on the moon (per Earth day)?

(a) It is always the same.
(b) There is no difference.
(c) An Earth-based clock would be 58.7 microseconds faster.
(d) An Earth-based clock would lose 58.7 microseconds.

Ans : (d) An Earth-based clock would lose 58.7 microseconds.

Moon to get own Standard Time: NASA to Develop Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC) Read More »

Bharat Biotech Starts Clinical Trials Of Tuberculosis Vaccine MTBVAC

Bharat Biotech International Ltd has initiated clinical trials for the Tuberculosis vaccine MTBVAC on adults in India.

  1. MTBVAC is the first tuberculosis vaccine derived from a human source, developed by the Spanish bio-pharmaceutical company, Biofabri.
  2. Bharat Biotech is conducting these trials in close collaboration with Biofabri.
  3. The clinical trials involve a dose escalation trial in HIV-uninfected adults, followed by a Phase 2 study in HIV-infected adults to assess the safety of MTBVAC in this population.
  4. The development of MTBVAC is seen as a significant milestone in global vaccinology, highlighting the importance of public-private, national, and international collaboration.

Q: Which company has initiated clinical trials for the Tuberculosis vaccine MTBVAC on adults in India?

a) Biofabri
b) Bharat Biotech International Ltd
c) Spanish bio-pharmaceutical company
d) Global Vaccinology Collaboration

Ans : b) Bharat Biotech International Ltd

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ISRO successfully carries out landing experiment of Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) ‘Pushpak’ at the Aeronautical Test Range

On March 22, 2024, ISRO achieved a milestone with the successful landing of the RLV ‘Pushpak’ at the Aeronautical Test Range in Challakere near Chitradurga in Karnataka.

  • The mission aimed to demonstrate the autonomous landing capabilities of the reusable vehicle.
  • Costing over Rs 100 crore, the RLV was carried by an Indian Air Force Chinook Helicopter to 4.5 km altitude before being released mid-air.
  • Utilizing advanced navigation systems and radar altimeter, the RLV autonomously approached and landed on the ATR air strip, simulating space re-entry conditions.
  • This historic feat marked the first time a vehicle was carried to altitude by a helicopter and autonomously landed on a runway, showcasing significant advancements in space technology.

Q: What is the name of the first Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) successfully tested by ISRO?

A) RLV Viman
B) RLV-TD
C) RLV-Mk3
D) RLV ‘Pushpak’

Ans : D) RLV ‘Pushpak’

Q: Where is the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) located, where the RLV test was conducted?

A) Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
B) Bengaluru, Karnataka
C) Hyderabad, Telangana
D) Challakere, Karnataka

Ans : D) Challakere, Karnataka

ISRO successfully carries out landing experiment of Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) ‘Pushpak’ at the Aeronautical Test Range Read More »

First flight test of Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle technology conducted successfully

On March 11, 2024, India achieved a significant milestone by successfully conducting the first flight test of its indigenously developed Agni-5 missile under the project named “Mission Divyastra”. This advanced missile is equipped with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology

Here are the key details :

  • Agni-5 Missile: The Agni-5 is a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a remarkable range of more than 5,000 kilometers. It can carry a nuclear warhead weighing over one tonne.
  • MIRV Capability: With the successful test of Mission Divyastra, India has joined the select group of nations possessing a weapons system with MIRV capability. MIRV allows a single missile to carry multiple independently targeted warheads, enhancing its effectiveness.
  • Indigenous Development: The Agni-5 missile was developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It uses a three-stage solid-fuel engine and is equipped with indigenous avionics systems and high-accuracy sensor packages.
  • Striking Range: The Agni-5’s impressive range enables it to bring almost the entire Asia, including the northernmost part of China, as well as some regions in Europe, under its striking capability.
  • Historical Context: The development of Agni missiles began in the early 1980s under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, led by the renowned scientist and former President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

MCQs

  1. What technology does the Agni-5 missile possess?
    • A) Hypersonic propulsion
    • B) Stealth capabilities
    • C) Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology
    • D) Laser guidance system
    Answer: C) Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology
  2. Who developed the Agni-5 missile?
    • A) NASA
    • B) European Space Agency (ESA)
    • C) Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
    • D) SpaceX
    Answer: C) Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  3. What is the range of the Agni-5 missile?
    • A) 1,000 km
    • B) 3,500 km
    • C) 5,000 km
    • D) 10,000 km
    Answer: C) 5,000 km

First flight test of Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle technology conducted successfully Read More »

India’s Gaganyaan Mission and its Astronauts

India is poised to take a giant leap in its spacefaring journey with the ambitious Gaganyaan mission, its first human spaceflight program. Named after the Sanskrit word for “celestial vehicle,” Gaganyaan aims to send a crew of four astronauts into low Earth orbit for a three-day mission.

The Astronauts:

On February 27, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the identities of the four Indian Air Force pilots chosen for the prestigious mission:

  • Gp Capt Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair
  • Gp Capt Angad Prathap
  • Gp Capt Ajit Krishnan
  • Wg Cdr Shubanshu Shukla

These individuals have undergone rigorous training at the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) astronaut training facility in Bengaluru, preparing them for the physical and mental demands of space travel. While only three astronauts will form the crew for the first mission, all four individuals will continue their training, fostering a pool of qualified astronauts for future endeavors.

Mission Details:

While the initial crewed mission is targeted for 2025, India plans to launch its first uncrewed test flight of the Gaganyaan spacecraft before the end of 2024. This crucial step will provide valuable data on the spacecraft’s performance and pave the way for the historic crewed mission.

MCQs based on the passage on India’s Gaganyaan Mission:

1. What is the name of India’s first human spaceflight program?

  • a) Chandrayaan
  • b) Aditya-1
  • c) Gaganyaan
  • d) LVM3

Ans : c) Gaganyaan

2. What is the literal meaning of the word “Gaganyaan” in Sanskrit?

  • a) Lunar Chariot
  • b) Celestial Vehicle
  • c) Solar Probe
  • d) Orbital Station

Ans : b) Celestial Vehicle

3. How many astronauts will be part of the first crewed Gaganyaan mission?

  • a) 1
  • b) 2
  • c) 3
  • d) 4

Ans : c) 3

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National Science Day: February 28th

Celebrating Innovation and Discovery

Every year on February 28th, India observes National Science Day.expand_more This day commemorates the remarkable discovery of the “Raman Effect” by Indian physicist Sir C. V.expand_more Raman on the same date in 1928. This groundbreaking discovery earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930, marking a significant milestone in Indian science.

2024 Theme: “Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat”

This year’s National Science Day theme focuses on promoting the development and application of indigenous technologies for a developed and self-reliant India (“Viksit Bharat”).

MCQs on National Science Day

Q: National Science Day in India is celebrated on which date?

  • a) January 26th
  • b) February 28th
  • c) March 12th
  • d) May 11th

Ans : b) February 28th

Q: Which scientist is credited with the discovery of the “Raman Effect”?

  • a) S. N. Bose
  • b) Homi J. Bhabha
  • c) C. V. Raman
  • d) Vikram Sarabhai

Ans : c) C. V. Raman

Q: What year did Sir C. V. Raman win the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the Raman Effect?

  • a) 1928
  • b) 1930
  • c) 1935
  • d) 1940

Ans : a) 1928

National Science Day: February 28th Read More »

India’s first septic tank cleaning robot, named “Homosep Atom”

India’s first septic tank cleaning robot, named Homosep Atom, aims to eradicate manual scavenging and bolster the Swachhata Abhiyan across the nation.

  • Developed by a startup incubated in the Department of Science and Technology (DST)-Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of IIT Madras, this technology revolutionizes traditional manual cleaning methods into robotic ones.
  • The Ministry of Science and Technology highlighted in a statement that the Homosep Atom robot has been deployed in 16 cities across India.
  • Its capabilities include extensive blade cleaning, solid waste desilting, suction, and storage, all integrated into one device.

Q: What is the name of India’s first septic tank cleaning robot?

a) Swachhata Atom
b) Homosep Atom
c) RoboCleaner 1.0
d) Sanitech Pro

Ans : b) Homosep Atom

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