i. India is finally close to operationalising its long-awaited nuclear weapons triad — the capability to launch nukes from land, air and sea.
ii. INS Arihant’s 750km and 3,500km missiles may be somewhat dwarfed by SLBMs with ranges of well over 5,000km with the US, Russia and China, but the completion of the nuclear-triad is critical for a country like India, which has a clearly declared policy of “no first-use” of nuclear weapons.
iii. INS Arihant has undergone a whole host of surface and “dived” sorties during its trials to prove its sea-worthiness. But the full weapons integration with the “K” (named after former president APJ Abdul Kalam) series of SLBMs will take some more time. While the K-15SLBM has a 750-km range, the K-4 can go up to 3,500-km.
i. China successfully launched a spacecraft carrying two astronauts, in its longest-ever manned space mission.This team would later join its experimental space lab orbiting the Earth as the country moved a step closer to establish its permanent space station by 2022.
ii. The manned spacecraft Shenzhou-11, carrying two astronauts who will remain in space for 33 days, the longest manned mission in its space program to date.
iii. Shenzhou-11, China’s sixth manned spacecraft, will dock with space lab Tiangong-2, marking a step closer to the country’s space ambitions.
i. The central mines ministry launched a satellite-based illegal mining detection system, which will receive tip offs in the form of pictures taken from a mobile phone, automatically generate complaints to state authorities and publish the outcome of a probe in a mobile application.
ii. Mining surveillance system (MSS), a pan-India surveillance network using latest satellite technology, to check illegal mining. The technology will ensure sustainable utilisation of the country’s mineral resources. MSS will trigger an alarm whenever there is an instance of illegal mining outside permitted areas.
i. Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, have developed a cost-effective, high-performance, self-powered UV photodetector that can use the harvested optical energy for direct self-charging of energy storage devices such as supercapacitor.
ii. The researchers have developed the photodetector by integrating semiconducting vanadium doped zinc oxide (VZnO) nanoflakes with a conducting polymer.
iii. The zinc oxide (ZnO) is the base material for UV detection which can be doped with vanadium to produce photodetectors that are self-powered.
iv. Photodetector is a device capable of sensing (detecting) or responding to electromagnetic energy, typically light by using the electrical effect of individual photons.
Kolkata researchers used human hair to produce cathodes for solar cells
i. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research(IISER) in Kolkata had used human hair to produce cost-effective, metal-free cathodes for use in solar cells.
ii. This is the first instance where a bio-waste-derived electrode has been used as cathode in a quantum dot sensitised solar cell device.
iii. IISER researchers have developed graphitic porous carbon cathode by cleaning and drying human hair and treating with sulphuric acid to achieve pre carbonization.
i. A researcher from Pune’s Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) has successfully produced a stable, high-efficiency, all-inorganic perovskite nanocrystal solar cells.
ii. The new material has 10.77% efficiency to convert sunlight to electricity.
iii. According to the scientist, Generally, more electrical energy is required to get low energy emission in LEDs. But less electrical energy was sufficient to produce red light in LEDs made using using the nanocrystal thin film.
High-altitude glacial lab opens in the Himalayas
i. The glaciological research lab inaugurated by M. Rajeevan, Secretary to the Ministry of Earth Sciences at Himansh in the Spiti Valley on October 10, 2016. It was located at an altitude of nearly 13,500 feet.
ii. It was established by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), has automatic weather stations, ground penetrating radars, geodetic GPS systems and other sophisticated facilities to study glaciers and their discharge.
Smallest Transistor Ever Developed in US
i. Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed the smallest transistor reported to date, breaking a major size barrier with a gate only one nanometre long.
ii.The laws of physics had set a 5-nanometre threshold on the size of transistor gates among conventional semiconductors, about one-quarter the size of high-end 20-nanometre-gate transistors now on the market.
i. India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully launched by a heavy duty rocket of Ariane space from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.
ii. Weighing 3404 kg at lift-off, GSAT-18 carries 48 communication transponders to provide Services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku bands of the frequency spectrum. GSAT-18 carries Ku-band beacon as well to help in an accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
iii. GSAT-18 was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by Ariane-5 VA-231 launch vehicle.
iv. The spacecraft and launch service cost about US$153 million.
EC launches mobile app for UP assembly polls
i. Election Commission has launched a mobile application for more transparency and effective monitoring of the ongoing revision of voters’ list before the 2017 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
ii. This app will provide details regarding addition and deletion of names from the electoral roll.
iii. ECI would come up with an online grievance redressal information system soon.