- ISRO recoups for key 2018 missions
- National space agency ISRO expects to regain in the new year some of the ground and pace it lost in 2017 owing to a damp-squib launch mission of August.
- Starting January, the line-up for the first half of 2018 is highlighted by at least three or four significant missions. Among the prospective launches are a lunar lander cum rover mission, the Chandrayaan-2; the second GSLV-MkIII heavy-lift launch carrying the advanced communications satellite GSAT-20; and the third purported military communications spacecraft, GSAT-6A, in February.
- Then there is the private commercial Moon rover mission that Bengaluru startup TeamIndus plans to send by March on a PSLV; the company is a finalist in a Google XPrize lunar contest.
- The consolation of 2017 was the first full flight of a priority heavy-lift launch vehicle, the GSLV-Mark III: in the next couple of years, this vehicle should release ISRO from buying costly rides on foreign launchers for putting 3- and 4-tonne communications spacecraft in orbit.
- In February, PSLV-C37 made space history by placing 104 spacecraft – including the main Cartosat-2D – in orbits. This light-lift ISRO rocket now holds the record for launching the highest number of satellites (although small ones.) This feat has also raised the commercial image of the rocket in its category in the global launch market. The earlier record was made by a Russian Dnepr rocket that took up 37 satellites to space in 2014.
- Although no PSLV or the bigger GSLV was launched post-August, an ISRO spokesman said even otherwise, they had left the period blank between August and December.
- For the fiscal year April 2017 to March 2018, ISRO has 15 missions on its agenda, including eight main launchers and seven satellites.
- Space programmes everywhere have fluid schedules. Yet, the August setback — ISRO’s first failure since December 2010 — may go on to cram the rest of the fiscal year and even push some over to 2018-19.
· China successfully tested its first Photovoltaic road
- China successfully tested its first photovoltaic (solar) highway based on home-grown technology in country’s eastern Shandong province.
- With this, China became the second country in the world to construct a photovoltaic highway.
- China’s photovoltaic highway is constructed using solar panels which have a thin sheet of transparent concrete on top of them, protecting the surface.
· George Weah Elected Liberian President
- Former football star George Weah elected as Liberia’s president.
- The closest rival of Mr. Weah was his opponent Joseph Boakai.
- Weah won the elections with more than 60% of the vote.
- He succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, in Liberia’s first democratic handover in decades.
- India ranked 90th among 163 countries in the positive peace index
- Despite the unrest in the last one year, there is an atmosphere of peace in 93rd countries.
- In the ranking released by the Institute of Economics and Peace named Positive Peace Index 2017, India has been ranked 90th among 163 countries.
- Sweden, Switzerland and Finland are the top three countries respectively In the index.
- Haryana becomes first state to offer protected price for vegetables
- Haryana is all set to become the first state in the country to fix a protected price for vegetable crops.
- The farmers will be ensured of protected price for their vegetables under the ‘Bhavantar Bharpai Yojna’ or the price deficit compensation scheme.
- Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar said the primary objective of this scheme is to ensure that the farmers must not face the distress sale of their produce.
· Pluto Exchange Launches Indias First Bitcoin Trading App
- Cryptocurrency dealer‘Pluto Exchange’announced the launch of India’s first mobile application for transacting in virtual currencies.
- The Pluto Exchange mobile app offers a solution to the coordination problem between payment processors, financial gateways and banks.
- The app would permit a range of transactions, including payments, remittances, business-to-business commerce, supply chain finance, asset management and trading.
- ISRO to launch 31 satellites in a single mission onboard PSLV
- ISRO has announced that it would launch 31 satellites, including India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation space craft, in a single mission onboard its Polar rocket on January 10.
- The mission will be the first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission after the unsuccessful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August.
- The mission’s main payload would be India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite.
- Centre pumps Rs. 7,577 cr into 6 public sector banks
- Coming to the rescue of ailing banks, the Centre has pumped in capital of ₹7,577 crore in various weak public sector banks.
- The government has released Rs. 2,257 crore to Bank of India, which was recently placed under prompt corrective action by the Reserve Bank of India.
- The other big beneficiary of the latest capital infusion round is IDBI Bank, which has received Rs.2,729 crore, sources said.
- Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship
- Viswanathan Anand lifted the World rapid chess championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- The genial genius from Chennai, who defeated Magnus Carlsen of Norway earlier in the tournament, went on to finish on top with 10.5 points at the end of the 15th and final round.
- In the final, Anand beat Russia’s Vladimir Fedoseev to reclaim the title he had won in 2003.
- The women’s title was won by China’s Ju Wenjun.
· GAIL awards major contracts for Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga
- State-run Gas (India) Limited (GAIL) placed orders for another 400-km natural gas pipeline project under ambitious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga (PMUG).
- With this, the total pipe supply orders for 2,100 km of Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) projecthave been placed.
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