PIB News Synopsis 16th-17th January 2020

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1)India’s communication satellite GSAT-30 launched successfully:- India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-30 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana during the early hours today. The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-251 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana carrying India’s GSAT-30 and EUTELSAT KONNECT for Eutelsat, as scheduled.

ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-30 immediately after its separation from the launch vehicle.

2)Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad to inaugurate ‘Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology’ in Bengaluru:- National Informatics Centre (NIC) has set up the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology in Bengaluru, Karnataka, aiming to provide Blockchain as a service and allowing all stakeholders to benefit from shared learning, experiences and resources.

Blockchain technology is upcoming & niche technology and adoption of the same in sectors such as health, finance, agriculture and various other sectors would aid the government in implementing various programmes and provide trust and immutability to the assets.

What is BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY :- If this technology is so complex, why call it “blockchain?” At its most basic level, blockchain is literally just a chain of blocks, but not in the traditional sense of those words. When we say the words “block” and “chain” in this context, we are actually talking about digital information (the “block”) stored in a public database (the “chain”).

3)Novel coronavirus outbreak in China:Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as denoted by WHO, also known as Wuhan coronavirus or Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus,is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA coronavirus first reported in 2019 and genomically sequenced after nucleic acid testing on a positive patient sample in a patient with pneumonia during the 2019-2020 Wuhan pneumonia outbreak.

According to WHO, there may have been limited human-to-human transmission of this coronavirus within patient families, and a wider outbreak is possible. No specific treatment for the new virus is currently available, but anti-virals could be “re-purposed”.

Sequences of Wuhan beta-coronavirus show similarities to beta-corona viruses found in bats, but is genetically distinct from other corona viruses such as Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related corona virus and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related corona virus.

5)1ST Session of India-Norway Dialogue on Trade & Investment Held in New Delhi:- The first Session of India-Norway Dialogue on Trade & Investment (DTI) was convened in New Delhi on 15-16 January, 2020. The session was based on the Terms of Reference (ToR) signed between India and Norway on 8th January, 2019 in New Delhi, during the visit of Prime Minister of Norway.

6)K9 VAJRA-T:- Gun from Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Armoured System Complex

Shri Rajnath Singh termed K9 VAJRA-T Gun as the best example of ‘Make in India’ in Defence. “I have been told that more than 75 per cent of K9 Vajra has been manufactured in India.

7)IAF Rescues More than 107 Individuals from the Frozen Zanskar River in the UT of Ladakh:– 50 trekkers including nine foreign nationals and approximately equal number of local guides and porters, who were a part of the ongoing ‘Chadar Trek’, got stranded when some portions of the frozen Zanskar River melted. The melting caused the flow of the water to become too strong, for the trekkers to continue across the river on foot. The stranded trekkers managed to move to Niraq, a small camp site upstream and were awaiting to be rescued. To carry out a rescue by helicopters, a makeshift helipad was prepared along the river bank. ALH helicopters were immediately pressed into action from AF Stn Leh.

8)Fuel conservation mega campaign of PCRA Saksham 2020 launched:- Saksham’, an annual one-month long fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, was launched today by Dr. M.M Kutty, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum& Natural Gas in a function held in Delhi.

9)Mega-science exhibition Vigyan Samagam in New Delhi from 21st January:- In order to highlight the value and impact of fundamental research to a broad cross-section of audience including students, academician and industry, and to further strengthen India’s participationin mega-science Projects, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science andTechnology (DST) have jointly organised a multi-venue mega-science exhibition, VigyanSamagam.

The exhibition will be held in New Delhi from 21stJanuary to 20thMarch, 2020 at the National Science Centre (NSC), PragatiMaidan.

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