- 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.
Current Affairs on Technology
- 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.