Science & Technology Current Affairs - 2020

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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Project NETRA: ISRO Signs pact to set up optical Telescope

The Indian Space Research Organization signed a pact with Indian Institute of Astrophysics to establish an optical telescope under “Project NETRA”. The organisation also tied up with NIT-Karnataka to set up a regional academic centre for space to promote research and development.

Project NETRA

Project NETRA was launched by ISRO in September 2019. Under the Project, ISRO plans to set up observational facilities that will help in making early warnings to satellites about debris and hazards in their orbit. It includes radars, telescopes, control centres and data processing units. The aim is to make the facilities powerful enough to track even the smallest particle of 10 cm diameter up to a range of 3,400 km.

Significance

The project will help India detect threats to Indian satellites from debris. Currently, India operates 15 communication satellites, 13 remote sensing satellites and eight navigation satellites.

Need

Space debris is the biggest problem of the satellites sector. There are more than 7,500 tonnes of space debris that are circling the earth at present. These junks include screws of old rocket bodies to defunct space crafts that pose collision hazard to satellites.

NETRA of DRDO

Apart from ISRO, DRDO (Defence Research Development Organisation) operates NETRA (Network Traffic Analysis). It is a software network used to analyse internet traffic. It is used by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other intelligence agencies of Government of India.

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I-Stem portal; DRDO Science Expo launched at the Indian Science congress

On January 3, 2020, PM Modi inaugurated the 107th Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru. He launched the I-Stem portal at the inaugural function. Also, the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) has installed more than 150 exhibits at the congress

I-STEM Portal

I-STEM is Indian Science, Technology Engineering Facilities Map. The portal will act as a gateway for the researchers and users to locate facilities that are required for their research and development work. Also, after locating the facility, the researcher can make an online reservation in order to use the facility. With this, the start-ups can leverage public and private investments and come up with successful services and products.

Initially, similar facility was operating at IISc Bengaluru and IIT Bombay. The I-STEM portal is a replica of these facilities. The facility at IISc Bengaluru was called the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE).

DRDO Science Exhibit

Around 31 DRDO laboratories have show cased more than 150 exhibits at the expo. The outdoor exhibit of DRDO technologies that were manufactured under “Make in India” include ASLESHA, ASTRA missile, Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM), Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM), Bharani, autonomous surveillance robots, etc. The indoor exhibits of DRDO includes Prithvi missiles, NAG missiles, Akash, Helina, Nirbhay, Bukhari, etc.

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