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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ISRO launched programmes to commemorate birth centenary of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a year-long programmes and functions from 12 August 2019 to commemorate birth centenary of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, founder and eminent space scientist of ISRO. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is also known as father of Indian Space Program. Starting from 12 August the centenary celebration programmes were organized across 100 selected cities all over India and the yearlong centenary celebration will conclude at Thiruvananthapuram on August 12, 2020.

Key Highlights

As Ahmedabad city is birth place of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, inaugural function was organized at Gujarat University convention Hall in Ahmedabad which was attended by a host of dignitaries from Indian Space Research Organization- Department of Space (DOS) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

Commemorative coins were unveiled during inaugural ceremony.

Unique “Space on Wheels” exhibition inside bus was also held at Gujarat University Convention & Exhibition Center, in Ahmedabad.

ISRO also unveiled a Coffee Table book and a photo album of on life and work of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

About Dr. Vikram Sarabhai:

He was born in Ahmedabad in 1919 and earned his doctorate at Cambridge.

He founded Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in 1947.

He is known as father of India’s space program.

After launch of Russia’s Sputnik, he managed to convince Indian government on need for India, a developing country, to have its own space program.

In 1962, he established Indian National Committee for Space Research, which was later renamed as Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

He helped set up Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, with its maiden flight in 1963.

He had worked on Aryabhata, India’s first satellite, but he never lived to see its launch in 1975, which happened 4 years after his death.

Awards and Honours:

He received Padma Bhushan (1966) and was conferred Padma Vibhushan (1972) posthumously.

In 1973, a crater on moon was named after him.

Lander of Chandrayaan-2, India’s 2nd mission to moon, is named ‘Vikram’ to honour late Dr Vikram Sarabhai. This is naming of lander is part of the centenary celebrations of Vikram Sarabhai.

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ROTAVAC Vaccine to be expand to entire country

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to expand Rotavirus vaccine to the entire country from September 2019. It will provide Rotavirus vaccine to every child across all 36 states/UTs by September, 2019. This decision was taken as per an ambitious plan of Health Ministry under the 100-days agenda of the newly elected government.

Background

Out of all the causes of diarrhoea in India, rotavirus is a leading cause of diarrhoea in children less than 5 years of age. In India, every year there are 37 diarrheal deaths out of every 1000 children. It is estimated that rotavirus cause around 8 lakh hospitalizations; 32 lakh outpatient visits and estimated 78 thousand deaths annually in India.

Rotavirus diarrhoea presents in similar manner like any other diarrhoea but can easily prevented through rotavirus vaccination. Other diarrhoea can be prevented through general measures such as safe water and safe food consumption, good hygiene, frequent hand washing, exclusive breastfeeding as well as vitamin A supplementation.

About Rotavac

It is India’s first indigenously developed vaccine for rotavirus infections. It has been developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited.

It was introduced in 2016 in phased manner, beginning with 4 states initially. At present, Rotavirus vaccine is now available in 28 States/UTs.

It was included in Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) based on recommendation of expert committee National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).

UIP: 3 doses of rotavirus vaccine are provided along with other vaccines, free of cost under UIP at one and half month, two and half moth, and three and half month of age of child.

WHO Pre-qualification: In January 2018, World Health Organisation (WHO) had prequalified Rotavac vaccine i.e. it can be sold internationally to several countries in Africa and South America.

Gagandeep Kang: She had played key role development of Rotavac and for this she awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS), United Kingdom in April 2019, making her first Indian woman to be awarded this highest scientific recognition.

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