Current Affairs for OAS Prelims 2020: Science and Technology

April 2020

  • Bio suit named as “Personal Protective Equipment” has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to keep the medical, paramedical and other personnel engaged in combating COVID-19 safe from the deadly virus.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected mission “Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE)” to look into how the Sun generates and releases solar particle storms into planetary space.
  • Amidst the rising cases of COVID-19 in India, IIT Kanpur has started developing portable ventilators which will be significantly cheaper than the ones available in the market.
  • A team of Indian IIT Guwahati has developed a drone with “automated sprayer” to sanitise large areas such as roads, parks and footpaths in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Genrich Membranes has developed a ‘Membrane Oxygenator Equipment‘ for the treatment of COVID- 19 patients. The device has been developed to treat breathlessness which is one of the critical symptoms of COVID-19. The device is based on innovative & indigenous hollow-fiber membrane technology and can enrich oxygen in the air up to 35%.
  • NASA unveils plan to setup Artemis, the first human base camp on Moon’s south pole by 2024. NASA is working on the Artemis program that aims to land humans on the moon by 2024.
  • Google has announced the launch of a virtual Braille keyboard for Android users with low vision or blindness. This new keyboard will enable these people to type on their phones without additional hardware.
  • The scientists of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) have designed and developed an highly efficient super absorbent material titled “Chitra Acrylosorb Secretion Solidification System”.
  • DRDO has rolled out new products namely “Automatic Mist Based Sanitiser Dispensing Unit” and “UV Sanitisation Box and Hand-held UV device” to enable COVID-19 disinfection process.
  • A compact and portable solid-state sensor has been developed by the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) to detect the heavy metal ions in water.
  • Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has rolled out an Integrated Geospatial Platform known as “SAHYOG” to help in decision making during the present COVID-19 outbreak and support with area-specific strategies in order to handle the socio-economic impact in the recovery phase.
  • “COVSACK” is a kiosk developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation to make the process of collecting COVID-19 samples free of infection spread and to help in combatting the COVID- 19.
  • IIT-Bombay has developed a digital stethoscope called “AyuSynk” to check patients who are infected with COVID-19.
  • Google and Apple collaborates to fight against COVID-19 via contact tracing technology, enabling the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the Corona Virus.
  • CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories has developed Personal Protective Coverall Suit in association with MAF Clothing Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru. The polyproplylene spun laminated multi-layered non-woven fabric based suit has been developed for the front line health workers in order to fight aginst COVID-19.
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar (Punjab) has developed & designed a ‘WardBot’ to deliver medicines and food to COVID-19 patients in isolation wards without human intervention.
  • For the rapid detection of pathogens, a device named “bug sniffer” has been developed by the researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune.
  • A low-cost electro-catalyst has been developed with “Fish gills” by the scientists at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology.
  • IIT Mandi, Himachal Pradesh has developed a highspeed magnetic Random Access Memory (RAM) which is faster, energy-efficient and stores more data in a smaller volume as compared to existing data storage technologies.
  • Scientists from International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) has developed an advanced tool “NanoBlitz 3D” in collaboration with Nanomechanics Inc., USA. NanoBlitz 3D can be used for the mapping of nanomechanical properties of materials such as multiphase alloys, composites, and multi-layered coatings.
  • Raksha Mantri, Rajnath Singh has launched India’s 1st COVID-19 sample collection mobile Lab through video conference. India’s 1st COVID-19 sample collection mobile Lab has been named as “Mobile BSL-3 VRDL Lab”.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced that they will launch astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to International Space Station (ISS) on May 27, 2020. A SpaceX rocket will carry two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in Crew Dragon spacecraft.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration has developed a high-pressure ventilator called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally) to treat COVID-19 patients.
  • Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre For Advanced Scientific Research has developed “Berberine” based Alzheimer inhibitor. Scientists modified berberine to “Ber-D” which is a soluble (aqueous) and acts as antioxidant.
  • A low-cost robotic device named as “Hospital Care Assistive Robotic Device (H-CARD)” has been developed by CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute. It will be used in the collection of samples of people exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, and will also be useful in treating COVID-19 patients.
  • Scientists who have been observing the ozone hole at Copernicus’ Atmospheric Monitoring Service has announced that the Ozone layer hole is now closed in the North Pole.
  • A low-cost mechanical ventilator “Ruhdaar” has been developed by team of engineering students from IIT Bombay, NIT Srinagar and Islamic University of Science & Technology, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope, has completed 30th year in orbit on 25 April 2020.
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala has developed an AI Semantic search engine called ‘Vilokana’ to enable researchers to get deeper insights into scientific studies, especially when they need to find an early solution to the COVID-19 crisis.