Current Affairs- 20th July
Science and Technology
Prasar Bharati and IIT Kanpur to collaborate on NextGen Broadcasting Technology
- As a follow up to the Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, signed between Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), a Center of Excellence for Media and Broadcasting Technologies will be established at IIT Kanpur.
- Subsequent to the collaboration agreement, three areas have been identified to be taken up under the aegis of the Center of Excellence – Direct to Mobile Broadcasting and Convergence with emerging 5G standards, Artificial Intelligence and advanced algorithms for audio-visual media
Blue Origin Jeff Bezos launch on New Shepard
- Billionaire Jeff Bezos blasted into space today, in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard.
- He was accompanied by Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pioneer of the space race, and an 18-year-old student. They travelled in a capsule with the biggest windows flown in space, offering stunning views of the Earth. New Shepard, built by Bezos’ company Blue Origin, is designed to serve the burgeoning market for space tourism.
- The passengers included the oldest person who has been to space – Ms Funk – and the youngest, student Oliver Daemen. The spacecraft lifted off at 14:12 BST (09:12 EDT) from a private launch site near Van Horn, Texas. They parachuted back down to the West Texas desert 11 minutes later.
DRDO develops high strength beta titanium alloy on industrial scale
- India’s premier defence research firm, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has indigenously developed a ‘High Strength Metastable Beta Titanium Alloy’ containing Vanadium, Iron and Aluminium, Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al (non-ferrous near-beta titanium alloy) on industrial scale for applications in aerospace structural forgings.
- Designed and developed by DRDO’s Hyderabad-based Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), the state-of-art alloys have been in use by many developed nations in recent times as a beneficial and cost-effective substitute for the relatively heavier traditional Ni-Cr-Mo structural steels to achieve weight savings.
- NASA announced that its new spacecraft, named NEA Scout, has completed all required tests and has been safely tucked inside the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
- Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, or NEA Scout, is a miniaturized spacecraft, known as a CubeSat, developed under NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Program. The CubeSat is being designed and developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
- NASA selected NEA Scout as a secondary payload on Artemis I — the first integrated, uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft. The NEA Scout will serve as a robotic reconnaissance mission to fly by and return data from an asteroid representative of near-Earth asteroids that may one day be human destinations.
Perumkulam is Kerala’s first ‘Book Village’
- Perumkulam, in Kollam District has been bestowed with the title Kerala’s first ‘Book Village’. This claim to fame results from years of concerted efforts aimed at encouraging the habit of reading.
- Perumkulam is a small village in Kulakkada near Kottarakkara in Kollam district.Bapuji Smaraka Grandhasala’, a library in the village is at the forefront in this efforts of making it the first book village of the State.
- The library inculcates passion towards reading by setting up bookshelves, or ‘Book Nests’ placed at different corners of the village. Anybody can take books from the book nests, read them, and keep them back. Eleven such shelves have been set up in the village, and they houses more than seven thousand books.
Govt to set up Indian Institute of Heritage in Noida
- The government has decided to set up the Indian Institute of Heritage at Noida, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Culture Minister Kishan Reddy told Parliament on Monday.
- In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Reddy said this will impact higher education and research in the field of rich Indian heritage and its conservation, leading to Masters and Ph.D. courses in History of Arts, Conservation, Museology, Archival Studies, Archaeology, Preventive Conservation, Epigraphy and Numismatics, Manuscriptology as well as conservation training facilities to in-service employees and students of the institute.
China reports first human death caused by `Monkey B Virus`
- A man in China has died after contracting a rare infectious disease from primates, known as the Monkey B virus, Chinese health officials revealed in a report Saturday. The victim, a 53-year-old veterinarian based in Beijing, was the first documented human case of the virus in China.
- According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the man worked in a research institute that specialized in nonhuman primate breeding and dissected two dead monkeys in March. He experienced nausea, vomiting and fever a month later, and died May 27. His blood and saliva samples were sent to the center in April, where researchers found evidence of the Monkey B virus.
Russia to hold military drills near Afghan border in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
- Russia has said it will conduct military drills next month with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan near the border with Afghanistan where the Taliban have launched offensive against Afghan government troops. Russian Defence Ministry said that the joint drills will take place August 5-10 at the Kharbmaidon training ground in Tajikistan near the Afghan border.
- Alexander Lapin, commander of the Central Military District, said that the troops will run drills to defeat illegal armed units that invaded the territory of an allied country. Defence Ministry said, troops from a Russian military base in Tajikistan and the Central Military District will take part in the games.
Sarang helicopter team to perform in Russian air show
- The Sarang Helicopter Display Team of the Indian Air Force is all set to perform for the first time at the MAKS International Air Show held at Zhukovsky International Airport, Russia. The air show is scheduled from 20th July to 25 July this year.
- Defence Ministry said, this is the first occasion when the Sarang Team is performing its four helicopter aerobatics display in Russia, with its Made in India – Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters. Apart from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard also operate this helicopter.
Awards and Honours
Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus to receive Olympic Laurel
- Social entrepreneur, economist, civil society leader and Nobel Peace Prize awardee Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh will become the second recipient of the Olympic Laurel. He will officially receive the trophy during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on 23 July 2021. The distinction was created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honour outstanding individuals for their achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport.
- Professor Muhammad Yunus, who is often referred to as the “world’s banker to the poor”, receives the Olympic Laurel award for his extensive work in sport for development, including founding the Yunus Sports Hub, a global social business network that creates solutions through sport.
Space Exploration Day: 20th July
- Space Exploration Day is observed on July 20 of every year. It is marked to wonder at the mysterious space and to think of all technological advances that are made by humans to explore the space. It observes the anniversary of humans successfully landing on the moon. In 1984, this day was officially announced as a holiday by the United States President Ronald Reagan. July 20 is also celebrated as Moon Day, encouraging people to read and learn more about outer space.
- Space Exploration Day motivates kids and young adults to take up space sciences and space exploration as their careers. It was on the same day in 1969, when people all around the world witnessed the most significant breakthrough in the history of space exploration, it was the first walk of astronauts on the moon.
Other Important Affairs
- International Chess Day, often known as World Chess Day, is celebrated on July 20th around the world. Chess fans from all over the world get together on this day to honour the lovely two-player strategy board game.
- Defence Ministry has issued Request of Proposal for construction of six modern submarines for Indian Navy. The Request of Proposal was issued to shortlisted Strategic Partners or Indian Applicant Companies for the project. The project cost is over 40 thousand crore rupees.
- Three monuments of Andhra Pradesh namely (i) Monuments at Nagarjunakonda, District Guntur (ii) Budhhist Remains at Salihundam, District Srikakulam, and (iii) Veerabhadra Temple at Lepakshi in District Anantapuram have been identified as Adarsh Smarak for providing additional facilities like Wi-Fi, Cafeteria, Interpretation centre, Brail signages, Illumination, etc. Further, Fort at Gandikota has been included in the Adopt-a-Heritage scheme of Ministry of Tourism, which is PPP mode.