Science & Technology Current Affairs - 2019

Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019-2020 category comprises current affairs with all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2019-2020 for UPSC, States, Civil services, SSC and other competitive examinations of India and States.

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IIT-Madras launches country’s first standing wheelchair: Arise

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has launched country’s first indigenously designed standing wheelchair named as ‘Arise’ in presence of Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot at the institute.

About Wheelchair ‘Arise’

The assistive device enables a differently-abled person requiring a wheelchair to shift from sitting to standing position, and vice versa, independently and in a controlled manner. The testing partners for Arise included individual users, hospitals, NGOs, rehabilitation centres and clinicians who provided inputs.

The device was designed and developed by TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT Madras in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems.

The project was also supported from foreign countries such as United Kingdom (UK) and moreover, the commercialisation of Standing Wheelchair technology was made possible with support from Wellcome Trust (UK) through an ‘Affordable Healthcare in India’ Award. This award brought together research and manufacturing partners.

Since Arise is a novel, mass-manufacturable mechanical design (one Indian patent granted, other Indian, US and China patents pending), and with Phoenix’s manufacturing capabilities, it will be made available at an affordable price of around Rs.15,000.

‘Red Atlas Action Plan Map’ unveiled for flood mitigation in Chennai

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the ‘Red Atlas Action Plan Map’ atlas and the ‘Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS-Chennai)’ for flood mitigation in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Both the atlas and the CFLOWS-Chennai are intended as decision support systems covering aspects, including preparedness and prevention. Such initiatives to effectively tackle urban flooding are likely to be replicated in other Indian cities including Mumbai, Maharashtra.

What is Red Atlas Action Plan Map?

It is a first of its kind ready reckoner map, prepared by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences to aid state government of Tamil Nadu in effective flood mitigation in Chennai which witnessed the worst deluge in 2015.

The atlas is aimed at flood mitigation, preparedness, operations and management aspects. The manual besides showcasing the probable scenarios for different rainfall periods also provides information on corporation wards that are likely to be affected due to flooding, and the areas that may need evacuation in Chennai by taking into account all historical datasets.

The over 200-page atlas was prepared by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in association with TN State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and Greater Chennai Corporation. Also, the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to Centre government, IIT-Bombay, IIT Madras and Institute of Remote Sensing of Anna University participated from the academia.

What is ‘Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS-Chennai)’?

The CFLOWS-Chennai is a complete webGIS-based decision support system. It can be used both for mitigation planning operations before flooding as well as in real time to for aspects like relief work.

CFLOWS is an integrated system that involves coupling models of regional weather forecasts, storm surges and captures about 796 flood scenarios.