Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

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Northeast India’s largest IT hub opens in Tripura

Northeast’s sixth and largest hub for information technology has been inaugurated in Agartala. The hub has been set up at a cost of Rs 50 crore to boost employment and e-governance besides export of software technology. The hub is expected to create more employment opportunities for the youths and extend the e-governance to cover all the people of the region. This would facilitate famous IT companies to set off their business and services and boost export of software technology. This will be the largest hub in the region.

Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), under the union Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, helped the state government in setting up of the hub by sharing the technological knowledge. In the new IT hub, ready-to-use incubation space will be made available that can be used by the start-up companies, aspiring entrepreneurs, Indian and multi-national companies as per their needs and requirements.

Last year, Tripura got an award for its performance in IT and e-governance from the central government. The state has already extended many e-governance based facilities and services up to the level of gram panchayats. The e-district scheme in the state helps people in getting various certificates and documents from their concerned panchayats or blocks. It is estimated that the state’s 80 percent of the state’s 37 lakh population have begun to use mobile phones leading to an IT boom.

Significance

Tripura has a vast pool of skilled English speaking IT manpower. Thousands of these professionals are currently working in cities like Bengaluru or Hyderabad. Opening up of IT hub offers a new opportunity for not only Tripura but the whole of northeast India. With India’s recent agreement with Bangladesh over the purchase of surplus bandwidth and its close proximity to Bangladesh, Tripura can act as a “backyard” of the fledgling IT industry of Bangladesh. It can make use of Bangladesh’s plans to double its IT exports by 2017.

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson sets new space record

Astronaut Peggy Whitson has set a new space record for most days in space by a US astronaut. She has broken the previous record set by Jeff Williams who had spent a total of 534 days in space. President Trump congratulated her through a video chat between White House and the ISS.

Peggy Whitson, at present, is serving as the Space Station Commander of Expedition 51. She was recently launched to the ISS in November 2016 using a Russian Soyuz capsule. At the time of her launch, she had already accumulated 377 total days in space. At the time of her return back to Earth, she would have accumulated more than 600 days in space.

Achievements

Peggy Whitson already holds many records:

  • Whitson holds the record for most spacewalks carried out by a woman astronaut.
  • She holds the record for being the first woman to command the International Space Station (ISS) twice. She commanded the ISS for the first time in 2007.
  • At the age of 57, Peggy Whitson is the also the oldest woman to have gone into space.
  • She holds the record for spending the longest time in space by a woman.
Peggy Whitson

Peggy Whitson was born in Iowa, United States and holds an advanced degree in biochemistry. She has held several prominent medical science and research positions at NASA. She was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and went into space for the first time in 2002.

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Wax worm caterpillars found to eat Plastics

The wax worm, the larvae of insect Galleria mellonella, is found to possess the ability to biodegrade polyethylene, which is one of the toughest and most used plastics. The scientists have observed that the degradation rate of the wax worm is extremely fast when compared to other recent discoveries. Last year, a bacteria was found to biodegrade plastics at a rate of just 0.13mg a day.

Significance

The present discovery assumes significance for getting rid of the ever increasing Polyethylene plastic waste that degrades the environment. It is estimated that a trillion plastic bags are used every single year. The plastics are highly resistant to breaking down, and even if it does the smaller pieces usually tend to choke up ecosystems without getting degraded.

The wax worms were found to transform the polyethylene into ethylene glycol. To make sure it was not just the chewing and degrading the plastic, scientists mashed up some of the worms and smeared them on polyethylene bags and got similar results as above. The molecular details of the process of breakdown could be used to come up with a biotechnological solution for managing polyethylene waste.

Wax Worm

Wax worms are medium-white caterpillars with black-tipped feet that live as parasites in bee colonies and are commercially bred for fishing bait. They are the caterpillar larvae of wax moths. Wax moths lay their eggs inside beehives where these worms hatch and grow on beeswax. The wax worms feed on cocoons, pollen, and shed skins of bees and are considered as parasites by the beekeepers.

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