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Current Affairs for 21 January 2016
January 21, 2016
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ISRO PUTS FIFTH GPS SATELLITE IN ORBIT

1.PSLV-C31 successfully put into orbit IRNSS-1E, the fifth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) after its succesful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota, on Wednesday morning.

2.PSLV-C31 for the eleventh time used ‘XL’ version of PSLV.

3.IRNSS-1E, with a liftoff mass of 1425 kg, carried navigation payload and ranging payload, according to an ISRO release.

4.Some 19 minutes after it lifted off from Second Launch Pad of the SDSC at 9.31 am,, PSLV-C31 placed the satellite in precise orbit.

5.The ranging payload of IRNSS-1E consists of a C-band transponder which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. IRNSS-1E also carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging.

6.The system is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metre in the primary service area.


FUNDS FOR UP, HARYANA PROJECTS

1.In a decision expected to have a major impact on transport infrastructure across the NCR, the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) on Tuesday said it had decided to support nine transport infrastructure projects in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

2.As per a statement, these would include a six-lane elevated road in the vicinity of metro projects at Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

3.The NCRPB will provide a loan of Rs. 700 crore for the development of a six-lane elevated road in Ghaziabad, it will also finance the 29.7 km long Rs. 5,533 crore Noida-Greater Noida Metro Project with a loan assistance of Rs. 1,587 crore.


 

RAJE INAUGURATES RAJASTHAN’S SECOND BIOLOGICAL PARK AT JODHPUR

1.Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Wednesday inaugurated the State’s second biological park in Jodhpur and took a ride in an open vehicle to savour its natural beauty and wildlife.

2.Spread over 41 hectares of land, the park named Machia Biological Park serves as a habitat for a slew of wild animals and a perfect hangout for nature enthusiasts.

3.DFO (Widlife) Mahendra Singh Rathore said that the park has 20 animal enclosures and almost all are occupied.

4.The park will remain open on all days except Tuesdays, besides August 15 and January 26.


 

INDIA’S FIRST LGBT RADIO TAXI SERVICE ANNOUNCED

1.India’s first radio taxi service for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, Wings Rainbow, was flagged off on Wednesday. The initiative by Wings Travels and Humsafar Trust will have taxis chauffeured by LGBT community members, and is expected to start functioning in 2017. On Wednesday, five volunteers from The Humsafar Trust, an LGBT rights organisation, signed up to drive radio cabs.

2.Under the pilot programme, five members of the gay and transgender community will apply for a learner’s licence, and complete their training in getting the All India Driver’s Licence.

3.During the nine to 12 months it takes to get the permanent driving licences, they will also undergo customer etiquette training.


 

NEW CLASS OF FROGS FOUND IN THE NORTH-EAST

1.A class of frogs that grow in tree holes and, as tadpoles feed on eggs laid by their mother have been discovered in the north-east region, according to an international team of researchers led by a Delhi University-based scientist.

2.In the last two decades, India has reported a rapid rise in the discovery of frog species from the Western Ghats and, more recently, the north-eastern States. The new frog, reported in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One , has been christened Frankixalus Jerdonii and was once considered a species lost to science.

3.He said he had first found these frogs in 2005 during explorations in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, among other places, but had taken a decade to publish about them because of the complexities involved in ensuring that it was indeed an entirely new genus and not merely a known species.


 

DESIGN FOR SECOND DOMESTIC AIRCRAFT CARRIER TO BE FINALISED BY YEAR-END

1.By the end of the year, India expects to freeze the design for the largest battleship ever built for the Indian Navy. It will also be one of the largest carriers across the world after the U.S. super carriers, which weigh about 1,00,000 tonnes.

2.According to Navy sources, the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-II) would be of 65,000 tonnes, and will be capable of carrying over 50 aircraft. In comparison, displacement of INS Viraat is only 28,500 tonnes and INS Vikramaditya is 45,400 tonnes, both of which are of foreign origin and currently in service with the Indian Navy. The first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant weighing 40,000 tonnes is currently under construction at Kochi.

3.Given that this the first time a ship of such size will be built in India which involves development of several new technologies, design consultancy will be sought from foreign companies with expertise in carrier design and construction.


 

‘2015 WAS EARTH’S HOTTEST IN MODERN TIMES, BY FAR’

1.Last year was the planet’s hottest in modern times by the widest margin on record, setting a troubling new milestone as the climate warms at an increasing pace, U.S. scientists said on Wednesday.

2.Last year alone, 10 months had record high temperatures for their respective months. The heat was felt worldwide, with unprecedented warmth covering much of Central America and the northern half of South America.

3.“During 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62 [0.90 Celsius] above the 20th century average,” said the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


 

CABINET NOD FOR POWER TARIFF POLICY

1.The Union Cabinet has approved several amendments to the national power tariff policy with a view to promote renewable energy and improve the ease of doing business for developers in the sector.

2.In a major shift, power companies are allowed to pass costs on to consumers arising out of any changes in taxes, cesses and levies levied on them.

3.The policy also seeks to “create a win-win between the generator, utilities and consumers” by allowing power generators to sell their surplus power on the power exchange and sharing the proceeds with the state government.

4.The amended tariff policy also imposes a renewable energy obligation on new coal or lignite-based thermal plants, requiring them to establish or purchase renewable capacity alongside their own generation units.


 

POWER FOR 2.5 MILLION HOMES, JOBS FOR 30,000

1.The Union Cabinet approved Rs. 5,050 crore of viability gap funding for 5,000 MW of grid-connected solar projects. The additional 5,000 MW of power will generate an estimated 8,300 million units a year that could that provide power to almost 2.5 million households.


 

ICC AND MRF FORMALISE FOUR-YEAR ASSOCIATION

1.The sports-loving city may be missing as a host for the men’s matches of the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 in India but a tyre major from the southern metropolis will ensure that Chennai’s ties with the tournament remains as strong as ever.

2.In a function at the ITC Grand Chola here on Wednesday afternoon, MRF Limited and the International Cricket Council inked a four-year sponsorship association that includes this summer’s ICC World T20, next year’s ICC Champions Trophy and the ICC World Cup at England in 2019.

3.One of Chennai’s eternal favourites Sachin Tendulkar, present as MRF’s brand ambassador, lent a special touch when just before praising the ICC-MRF alliance, he drew attention to the devastating floods that ravaged the city and the manner in which it roused itself.


MUMBAI VARSITY GRADUATE WINS OSCAR FOR DESIGN

1.After Bhanu Athaiya, Satyajit Ray, Resul Pookutty, A.R. Rahman and Gulzar, another person of Indian origin has joined the list of Academy Award winners. Rahul Thakkar, a computer engineering graduate from Mumbai University, has won an Oscar for technical achievement.

2.Mr. Thakkar shares the honour with Richard Chuang for “groundbreaking design” of the DreamWorks Animation Media Review System.

3.Earlier this month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the ten scientific and technical achievements represented by 33 individuals who will be honoured at its annual scientific and technical awards presentation on February 13, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.