- A robot journalist made its debut in a Chinese daily newspaper with a 300 characters long article written in just a second, scientists say.
- The article was focused on the Spring Festival travel rush.
- Its author, Xiao Nan, took only a second to finish writing the piece and is able to write both short stories and longer reports, according to Wan Xiaojun, a professor at Peking University who leads the team studying and developing such robots.
- At present, robots are unable to conduct face-to-face interviews, cannot respond intuitively with follow-up questions and do not have the ability to select the news angle from an interview or conversation.
Current Affairs on Technology
- According to the data released by mobile analytics firm App Annie, during 2016 India overtook both the US and Brazil to become the nation that downloaded the most apps from Google Play Store.
- Report also declared that China became the biggest source of revenue for Apple’s iOS App Store for the first time.
- San Francisco-based App Annie’s research is widely used by app publishers and others involved in the digital industries.
- Scientists have developed the world's lightest high-performance mechanical watch made using the 'wonder material' graphene and weighing just 40 grammes.
- The RM 50-03 watch was made using a unique composite incorporating graphene to manufacture a strong but lightweight new case to house the delicate watch mechanism.
- The graphene composite known as Graph TPT weighs less than previous similar materials used in watchmaking.
- Graphene is the world's first two-dimensional material at just one-atom thick. It was first isolated in 2004 and has the potential to revolutionise a large number of applications including high-performance composites for the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as flexible, bendable mobile phones and tablets and next-generation energy storage.
- The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has launched a mobile application named “SEZ India” that will help the SEZ Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions on Online System.
- It will also facilitate them to file all their transactions digitally through SEZ Online system and track the status on the go through the SEZ India mobile app.
- Tamil Nadu government has launched a mobile application Pinakin to provide information of famous tourist destinations in the state and initially, it will cover world heritage tourist sites like Thanjavur Big Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Mamallapuram and Darasuram and soon include other places in the state.
- The app will provide information on other major tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.
- The first-of-its-kind solar-powered boat service was started from Vaikom in Kottayam district of Kerala from 12 January 2017
- The solar-powered boat conducted its first service with 75 passengers from Vaikom to a place near Kochi.
- The Union Railway Minister launched new passenger mobile application named ‘IRCTC Rail Connect app’ and will replace the old existing IRCTC connect app.
- It aims to promote ease of ticketing through digital transactions and has been developed for reserved booking and to increase the ease to users.
- China is setting up the world's highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India with a budget of $18.8 million to detect faintest echoes resonating from the universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.
- Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture, said Yao Yongqiang chief researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
- The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere. It is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Union Government Launched Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) Web Portal & Mobile App
- Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal on 4 January 2017 launched Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) Web Portal & Mobile App to ensure transparency, enhance accountability of various stakeholders and facilitate view of near real time progress, enabling consumers to demand better services for them.
- The UDAY portal/app would track and monitor the progress of DISCOMs on operational and financial parameters under the UDAY scheme.
- This will be the first time when the performance metrics of various DISCOMs will be available in a single platform, which shall promote healthy competition amongst the DISCOMs/States.
India's space agency ISRO will launch a record 103 satellites
- India's space agency ISRO will launch a record 103 satellitesISRO's workhorse rocket PSLV-C37 in February from from its Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
- As India looks to grab a larger slice of the lucrative commercial space market, 100 of the 103 satellites set for launch by belong to foreign nations, including the US and Germany.
- The space agency had earlier planned a launch of 83 satellites in the last week of January, of which 80 were foreign ones.
- But with the addition of 20 more foreign satellites, the launch was delayed by a week and will now take place in first week of February.
- These will be 100 micro-small satellites, which will be launched using a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle)- C37. The weight of the payload will be 1350 kgs, of which 500-600 kgs will be the satellite's weight.
- Last year, ISRO launched record 20 satellites at one go. The highest number of satellites launched in a single mission is 37, a record that Russia set in 2014. The US space agency NASA launched 29.
'Haj Committee of India Mobile App' launched
- Minister of State for Minority Affairs (I/C) and Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launched Haj Committee of India Mobile App at Haj House in Mumbai.
- The last date for submitting applications is 24th January and Application for Haj can be made directly from the app. Five adults and two infants can apply together as a group. A PDF copy of the form will go to applicant’s email.
- The Centre has been encouraging online applications to ensure fair opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency and comfort as after affixing the photo, the printout with documents is to be sent to the state Haj committees. Registration fees can also be made through this app.
- The website also has “Do’s and Don’ts” during Haj pilgrimage and also a film informing about various aspects of the pilgrimage.
- During Haj 2016, about 45,843 people had applied for Haj online which was about 11 per cent of total applications received from across the nation for Haj.
One More Second Added to IST
- A ‘leap second’ was added to the Indian clock to synchronise with the Earth’s rotational clock as the atomic clock at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) struck 23:59:59 ,it was programmed to add an extra second to 2017 to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.
- Adding a second barely has an impact on the daily life,but it does matter in the fields of satellite & communication.
Haryana Government to set up India’s first Caterpillar Train
- Haryana Government will set up a pilot corridor for an innovative concept of 'Caterpillar Train' that will fly over city’s traffic, in Gurgaon city.
- The concept of Caterpillar Train, also known as C-Train, was co-developed by an Indian Railways engineer Ashwani Kumar Upadhyaya along with Emil Jacob, both PhD Caterpillar Trainscholars at MIT, for which they won a global award at the MIT in the United States earlier in 2016 for this innovative idea.
Khattar Inaugurates DIATC at Gurugram
- Haryana CM inaugurated India’s first of its kind first Digital Investigation,Training & Analysis Centre (DIATC) at Gurugram that would enhance technological capabilities of the police in solving cybercrime cases.
- IT has been set up in collaboration with National Technical Research Organisation and has Cyber Forensic Laboratory & has Social Media Monitoring Lab.
Nedumkayam 1st Digital Tribal Colony
- The Nedumkayam tribal colony at Nilambur in Malapuram District of Kerala has become the first cashless and digital tribal colony in the country.
- The training was completed with the support of National Service Scheme,volunteers of an Arts and Science College at Kondotty & Jan Sikshan Sansthan.
Gujarat Announces Biotechnology Policy
- Gujarat government has introduced the Biotechnology Policy- 2016 with the aim to establish Gujarat as a preferred destination for manufacturing of biotechnology products.
- Under this policy, state govt would provide capital subsidy up to Rs 25 crore on the total investment for developing a Biotechnology (BT) Park.
- The developer of such park will be eligible for 100% reimbursement of stamp duty
Scientists find world's most heat resistant material
- Researchers from Imperial College London in the UK have identified materials - hafnium carbide that can withstand temperatures of nearly 4,000 degrees Celsius, an advance that may pave the way for improved heat resistant shielding for the faster-than-ever hypersonic space vehicles.
- Tantalum carbide (TaC) and hafnium carbide (HfC) are refractory ceramics, meaning they are extraordinarily resistant to heat and the The melting point of hafnium carbide is the highest ever recorded for a material.
World's first solar road opens in France
- The world's first solar road made with 30,000 square feet of solar panels has been opened in the French village of Normandy that is one-kilometre long road took five years and cost $5.2 million to develop
- It will be used for a two-year test period to check if it can generate enough energy to power street lighting in the village.
Flock launches world’s first chat operating system
- Flock has launched world’s first chat operating system”FlockOS” by Bhavin Turakhia, Flock CEO, a free instant messaging service for work and business environments.
- Flockos Developers can build apps by using Flock OS that provided a tightly integrated experience by using widgets. This OS provides setup slash commands, providing an additional option for users to interact with the app.