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Current Affairs for 12 March 2016
March 12, 2016

JNU professor Rakesh Bhatnagar, a member of the high-level probe panel looking into the the February 9 incident on the campus, has won the Visitor’s Award for ‘Research and Innovation’ along with the Parasitology Group of the varsity.

Prof. Bhatnagar has been selected for developing a vaccine that is genetically engineered, as well as a therapeutic antibody, against anthrax. The Molecular Parasitology Group of the varsity has been recognised for pioneering work in molecular parasitology, especially anti-malaria, leishmaniasis, and amoebiasis. The award for ‘Best University’ this year has gone to Tezpur University. President Pranab Mukherjee, who is the Visitor of Central universities, will present the awards at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 14.



The new edition, initially, is being recommended only for mobile app makers and will only work on a few smartphones and tablets.

Google is previewing the next version of its Android operating system two months ahead of schedule in an effort to get the upgraded software on more mobile devices.

The upgraded software, known as “Android N” for now, offers a split-screen feature so users can toggle between apps more easily. Android N also enables users to reply directly to notifications, something already available on the software that Google makes for smartwatches running on Android Wear.

Another change is being made to reduce the battery power drawn by apps when the device’s screen turns off. Devices running on Android “Marshmallow,” a version released last year, shift into a battery-saving mode called “Doze” only when they’re stationary.

The new edition initially is being recommended only for mobile app makers and will only work on a few smartphones and tablets.

Google typically hasn’t released test versions of Android until its annual developers’ conference, which begins May 18 this year. The head start is designed to get Android N the hands of mobile device makers earlier than ever, according to a Google blog post , to give them more time to set up the new software on their latest models.


A rupture in the coolant system of one of the nuclear reactors at Kakrapar, Gujarat, on Friday morning forced the authorities to indefinitely shut down the plant. Multiple sources confirmed that there was no harmful, radioactive leakage and the backup safety mechanisms kicked in.

However, it will be a while before experts can actually get close enough to the plant to investigate what went wrong, given the high temperature at the plant.

Harikumar S., Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), told The Hindu that the pressure tubes that had supposedly ruptured were last changed in 2012, as per a planned refurbishing.



The Union government, as part of the national organ transplant programme, is setting up six biomaterial centres or tissue banks across the country, including one at KEM Hospital in Mumbai. The centres have been planned to cater to a growing demand for tissues in various medical procedures.

Work on the biggest of the six tissue banks, the National Biomaterial Centre, has begun at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.

This will be the first such government facility, coming up at an estimate of Rs 20 crore for equipment and manpower and will occupy an entire floor of the hospital with four separate chambers each for cornea, skin, bones and heart valves — the four main tissues that are transplanted. Technical support will be provided by the hospital staff.



Australian scientists have claimed to have created the world’s thinnest lens which is 2,000 times thinner than human hair, a breakthrough set to revolutionise nanotechnology.

The finished lens is 6.3 nanometres thick. Previous versions of small lenses were 50 nanometres thick. The lens was created by a team of researchers led by Yuerui ‘Larry’ Lu from Australian National University (ANU).

Scientists said the lens could have revolutionary applications in medicine, science and technology and it could be used to create bendable computer screens.

While the new lens has already been used by technology companies with prototype TV and computer screens that can be rolled up or folded, mass production at cheaper costs is yet to be worked out.


The Lok Sabha on Friday cleared the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, as a money Bill despite protests by the Opposition over its classification, in what Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed “the culmination of seven years of discussion” over the Bill.

He said the government would save crores of rupees by routing government subsidies through the unique identification or Aadhaar system now that it had statutory backing.

The Bill “will empower the States to distribute resources to deserving people and save the resources that undeserving people get,” he said, responding to the short debate on the Bill.

He also justified the measure as a money Bill saying any measure which led to money going into the Consolidated Fund of India and coming out of it qualified for this.


Pele, the ‘King of Soccer’, has announced that he would auction his medals and trophies and even a crown he received for scoring his 1,000th career goal.

The collection includes nearly 2,000 items, among them the gold medals the sporting legend received as a member of three Brazilian World Cup-winning squads in 1958, 1962 and 1970, a replica of the Jules Rimet Trophy and the cleats he used in the 1981 film Victory.

Proceeds from the auction, to be held from June 7 – 9 in London through Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions, will be paid into a fund established to provide financial assistance to relatives of the 75-year-old Pele, the former soccer great’s personal adviser, Jose Fornos Rodrigues, said.

The top item for auction is a Jules Rimet trophy that was created especially for Pele by world soccer body FIFA and the Mexican government after he led Brazil to the nation’third World Cup victory in Mexico in 1970. It is inscribed with his three wins for Brazil.

Julien’s has placed an estimated price of $400,000 –$600,000 on the trophy.