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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 2011

January In an effort to recover the population of the endangered wild dogs (or) 'dhole', the central zoo authority has selected Indira Gandhi zoological park, visakhapatnam as the Conservation Breeding Centre for wild dogs (or) 'dhole' in the country and vandalur zoo in Chennai as the associate zoo in the pilot project. Astronomers have discovered what they believe is the most distant and ancient galaxy named UDFJ - 39546284 thought to be more than 13 billion years old. Australian scientists have developed world's first hack proof software. A small operating system named SEL-4 Microkernel can defend the computer hackers to enter into the hardware. A study led by Alexis smith of keel university, Britain discovered an exo-planet has been found to be the hottest planet discovered so far with a record breaking temperature of 3,200 celsius. The planet named WASP-33b is also known as HD/5082. International conference on 'Recent Trends in Renewable energy Resources' (ICR2ER-2011) conducted by Indo-German Nachkontakt Association at Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in Hyderabad INS Deepak, an Italian-built fleet tanker, was commissioned into the Navy by Defence Minister A K Antony. In a groundbreaking achievement that could help scientists "build" new biological systems, Princeton University (USA) scientists have constructed for the first time artificial proteins that enable the growth of living cells. India's first indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 'Tejas',Twenty-seven years after it was conceived, the LCA project progressed further, with Union Defence Minister A.K.Antony handing over the 'Certficate of Release to Service' to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V.Naik. Air temperatures of minus 61.2 degrees Celsius were reported in the settlement ofOimyakon in Russia's republic of Yakutia, known as the cold pole. The record low air temperatures of minus 67.7 degrees Celsius were registered in Oimyakon in 1933. In the 21st century, the lowest temperature was 64.5 degrees below zero. It was registered in 2002 The first Partial Solar Eclipse of the year occured on January 4 from 12:10 a.m. to 4:31 p.m. The maximum phase of the eclipse was at 2:21 p.m. The eclipse will be visible in the north-western States. The 98th Indian Science Congress opened at Kattankulathur near Chennai. Dr.Manmohan Singh presented awards of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) to 21 persons. In Three awardees from AP State are Rallapalli Rammurthi, D. Narayana Rao, Allam Appa Rao. Five

Nobel laureates-Martine Chalfie, R.Timothy Hunt, Thomas Steitz, Venkata Ramakrishna, and AdaE.Yonath participated in the science congress. The 99th Indian Science Congress will be held in Bhubaneswar from January 3 to 7, 2012. India successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed microlight Pilotless Target Aircraft 'Lakshya' from Test Range at the Gopalapur Air Defence Guided missiles (ADGM) College campus. February The Thailand scientists have successfully produced the world's First Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Vaccine .The Thailand Ministry of Science and Technology has introduced the world's first live attenuated dengue hemorrhagic fever vaccine developed by Thailand researchers Dr Suthee Yoksarn, a lecturer of Mahidol University, together with his team and Chiang Mai University have jointly developed four stereotypes of the live attenuated vaccine. NASA's Oldest and most Journeyed Space Shuttle, Discovery, was poised for launch on 24 February on its Final Mission, wrapping up a near three-decade legacy of orbital travel. When the storied spacecraft lifts off, it will mark the beginning of the end of the United States' space shuttle programme, with Discovery, first of the remaining three shuttles, headed for retirement this year. The closure of the shuttle programme will leave a gaping hole in the American space mission, forcing astronauts to rely on the Russian Soyuz space capsule for transport to the orbiting International Space Station. The shuttle will bring the first humanoid robot to the ISS. The Robonaut 2, or R2, is a joint project of General Motors and NASA and will stay behind when Discovery leaves as a permanent resident of the space station. Discovery first flew in 1984. Final flights for the other two in the fleet Atlantis and Endeavour are scheduled for later this year. The defence research and development organization (DRDO) has launched multi-repellent wipes that will be available to the public at large, with Indias trajectory of malaria, dengue and chikungunya epidemics on the rise. The defence research and development organization (DRDO) has launched multi-repellent wipes that will be available to the public at large, with Indias trajectory of malaria, dengue and chikungunya epidemics on the rise An international scientist team led by Flinders University, U.K. has developed a new mobile technology which is set to improve calls during disasters by allowing the transmission of signals without nearby cell phone towers. NASA's kepler mission has discovered a remarkable planetary system which has 6 planets around a sun-like star called 'keplerII', including 5 small planets in a tightly packed orbits.Kepler Mission's main goal is to find small, earth size planets in the habitable zones of their stars.

Princeton University Engineers have developed a new larger-sensing technology that may allow soldiers to detect hidden bombs form a distance. Indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) NISHANT has successfully completed a series of trails conducted by the army at chandan range, pokhran. British researchers have developed World's first accurate blood test for Human mad-cow disease (or) creetzfeldt-jacket-disease. The disease affects the brain, and is believed to have passed from cattle to humans through infected food. Scientist operating NASA's kepler planet-hunting satellite reported that they had identified 1235 possible planets orbiting other stars, potentially tripling the number of known planets.

March According to the 2010 tiger census, whose results were declared on 28 March, there are approximately 1,706 tigers in the country, which includes about 70 in the marshes of the Sunderbans, which have never been scientifically surveyed before. The 2006 census had estimated that there were 1,411 tigers, without including any from the Sunderbans. Thus, India's wild tiger population has grown 12 per cent in the last four years. Thirty per cent of the tiger population lives in areas outside the government's reserves, giving conservationists a new challenge in the effort to protect them. Tiger occupancy areas shrunk from 9 million hectares to less than 7.5 million hectares over the last four years, this means that tiger corridors are under severe threat, especially in central India in Madhya Pradesh and northern Andhra Pradesh. These are the two States that have fared the worst in the census, with tiger populations falling to 213 in Madhya Pradesh and 65 in Andhra Pradesh. The largest number of tigers lives in Karnataka about 280 and conservation efforts have been successful in the entire Western Ghats area, with Tamil Nadu and Kerala also seeing good results. While Kaziranga in Assam has 100 tigers, the largest in a single reserve, there are worrying signs from the North Eastern area. These forested hills are capable of supporting far more than the number of tigers that were found in the area, but poaching and the pressure of developmental activities have kept the numbers low. The 20th International World Wide Web conference began in Hyderabad on 28 March, bringing together researchers, technologists, practitioners, and other experts from 50 countries. With the theme Web for all', the conference would discuss the web's future direction and help it become all-inclusive. Being jointly hosted by the International Institutes of Information Technology Bangalore and Hyderabad and the Institute of Information Technology, Mumbai, over 700 delegates were attending the five-day event. The conference would have three key-note speeches by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, WWW inventor and director, World

Wide Web Consortium, Tim Berners-Lee and Christos H. Papadimitriou, the C. Lester Hogan Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley. The U.S. Space Agency on 25 March said, NASA spacecraft Stardust has ended a 12-year run that helped the world better understand comets and plan for future deep space missions. An auroral and unusually big supermoon' was seen lighting up the sky on 19 March ,offering a visual treat to an enthusiastic audience of curious sky-gazers.The phenomenon was special, as the moon came closest to the earth in 18 years, becoming the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. The moon was around 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than the other full moons.The moon was only 3,56,577 km away. The phenomenon occurred in 1955, 1974, 1992 and 2005. India on 6 March successfully test-fired an Interceptor Missile, which intercepted an incoming enemy' ballistic missile at an altitude of 16 km and pulverised it in a direct kill. While the hostile' missile took off at 9.32 a.m. from a launch complex at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Orissa, the interceptor blasted off at 9.37 a.m. from the Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast. Both the missiles were made by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The attacker simulated the 600-km range of a ballistic missile and the interceptor sped up at 4.5 Mach. This is the DRDO's sixth interceptor mission, and five have been successful including a hat-trick in the first three. India is next only to the U.S., Russia, France and Israel, which have the BMD capability, said Dr.Vijay Kumars Sarawat, who is the DRDO Director-General and architect of India's interceptor missile programme. Multinational pharmaceutical drug company MSD, the fully owned subsidiary of Merck & Co, has launched a diarrhoea-prevention vaccine RotaTeq for infants and children in India.RotaTeq is a pentavalent rotavirus vaccine that helps in preventing rotavirus gastroenteritis, a leading cause of severe and life threatening diarrhoea in young children. NASA said the launching of Taurus XL rocket carrying an Earthobservation satellite Glory from Vandenberg air force base in California was failed on 4 February. Scientists at the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod,have developed an indigenous technology to extract virgin coconut oil from fresh coconut kernels. Oil extracted from fresh coconut kernels is called virgin coconut oil. India has applied to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) at Geneva in Switzerland for associate membership. This was stated by CERN official Rudiger Voss on 2 March. Mr. Voss said if India was granted associate membership, Indian researchers would be eligible for jobs at the CERN. Currently, researchers of institutes that collaborate with the CERN can only be deputed there for short periods of time. It will also open the gates for the private sector to the international

research organisation. The CERN was established in 1954 by 12 European countries. At present, it has 20 member-States. Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on 2 March launched the country's first research centre on marine bio-diversity at Jamnagar in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, for the protection of the fragile coastal eco-system. The National Centre for Marine Bio-diversity (NCBM) would promote different kinds of research activities in respect of coastal and marine eco-systems and would also impart training and education to the youth for maintaining the ecological balance in the fragile coastal areas. The Gujarat port town was selected for the centre because of its closest proximity to the country's only National Marine Park spread over some 200 sq km area in the Gulf of Kutch. Mr. Ramesh said the centre would be his Ministry's first public-private partnership venture with the Reliance Industries, which had a major oil refinery in Jamnagar, sharing the 50 per cent cost of the initial project sanction of Rs. 20 crore. NASA's Glory spacecraft is scheduled for launch on March 4. Technical issues with ground support equipment for the Taurus XL launch vehicle led to the scrub of the original Feb. 23 launch attempt. Those issues have been resolved. Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth's climate. The Taurus XL also carries the first of NASA's Educational Launch of Nano satellite missions. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with IAVI will soon establish and operate a laboratory in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, to meet one of the biggest challenges of designing and developing an efficacious AIDS vaccine elicitation of antibodies that are capable of neutralising a broad spectrum of HIV variants found in humans. April Bourn Hall Clinic, the world's first IVF (In-vitro Fertilisation) clinic, has opened a centre at Kochi (Kerala) the first one outside the United Kingdom. They chose Kerala to begin with because of its high literacy standards and cost affordability coupled with high quality medical community and better health parameters. National Policy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance for the first time in the second week of April 2011 put a cap on how much antibiotics should be used into poultry products or seafood. Antibiotic shots are generally given to chickens to make chickens fatter and bigger. Eating these food products can have harmful effect on human beings by causing antibiotic resistance in humans. The policy has enlisted common antibiotics like oxytetracycline, tetracycline, oxolinic acid and trimethoprim to prescribe the tolerance limit for them.According to an estimate, 20 to 50 percent of all antibiotics used in India is inappropriate causing harmful effects on human beings. Nagpur will be promoted as the tiger capital and a gateway to tiger land. New tiger reserves have been approved in Maharashtra at NagziraNavegaon and Bor. Another major decision was to decentralise the

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and set up three field offices and the first one would be opened in Nagpur. The PSLV-C16 scored a spectacular success on 20 April by putting three satellites into orbit with precision. It was the PSLV's 17th consecutive successful mission out of the 18 launches from Sriharikota. The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) put three satellites in orbit 1. India's 1,206-kg Resourcesat-2, 2. the Indo-Russian 93-kg Youthsat and 3. The 106-kg X-Sat from the Nangyang Technological University of Singapore. Resourcesat-2 is would be useful in monitoring the earth's resources, including crop yield before harvest, the snow-cover in mountains, the glaciers advancing or the changes in the coastal zones and the urban landscape; locating groundwater; and realigning roads in rural areas. The Youthsat's three payloads one from Russia and two from India would be useful in studying the solar X-ray and gamma ray fluxes, and the influence of the activities in the sun on the upper layers of the earth's atmosphere. The X-Sat, Singapores first indigenous micro-satellite, is a remotesensing satellite that can process the images it takes and send more refined images to the ground. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has asked the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to build an orbiter that will provide the communication between the soil samples collected from the far side of the moon and the earth. The ISRO would provide an orbiting communicator to the NASA for this mission, scheduled for 2016. Chandrayaan-2 would be put in an orbit around the moon by a Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) in 2013 and the project would cost Rs.462 crore. It would be a joint mission with Russia: while the spacecraft and the rover would be built by India, the lander would be from Russia. Union Minister for Environment and forests Jairam Ramesh launched a Bio-remediation technology project in the Buddah Nallah of Ludhiana in Punjab. This is the first and the largest project of environment ministry across India under which bacteria are used for cleaning water bodies. There are five places across India where such Bio-remediation projects have been launched. The project is expected to provide relief to thousands living along the Sutlej River as well as canals off the Harike barrage in Punjab and Rajasthan. Severe disorders among them were reported because of the water pollution. The cost of the project is calculated at 16 crore rupees and this cost will be fully funded by the Union Ministry for Environment and forests, Government of India. The Union Cabinet of India on 20 April 2011 approved the signing of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) by India. The Nagoya Protocol comprises a plan to protect biodiversity by setting

targets for 2020. As per the protocol, nations agreed to make 10 percent of coastal and marine areas and 17 percent of the globes land area into protected areas. Earlier, 13 percent of the globes land area and 1 percent of coastal and marine areas are into protected areas. Nagoya is a city in Japan. According to a study done by the Scientists at Columbia University, the Antarctic ozone hole caused the series of droughts in Australia. The scientists concluded that the hole shifted wind and rainfall patterns across the Southern Hemisphere. Its effect has been strong over Australia. The scientists did an extensive research over the southward migration of the Southern Hemisphere jet stream. It should be noted that these high altitude winds determine weather patterns in both hemispheres. Ozone depletion is caused by chemical reactions in the stratosphere. The chemical reactions involved substances like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), used in air-conditioning, aerosol and refrigeration. The amount of compensation being paid to the victims of the use of the pesticide Endosulfan was increased from 300 rupees to 2000 rupees per month in Kerala by the state government in the third week of April 2011. In 2010, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) proposed a nationwide ban on endosulfan. Endosulfan was used in Kasargode on cashew plantations for a considerable time. After various diseases were reported from the district the pesticide Endosulfan was banned. Endosulfan is used in 70 crops like fruits, vegetables and crops. The Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention in Geneva on 29 April approved the recommendation for elimination of production and use of Endosulfan and its isomers worldwide, subject to certain exemptions. The decision will not be binding on India unless specifically ratified by the country. However, the Indian delegation to the Convention concurred with the decision after its concerns about exemptions and financial assistance were addressed, The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee to the Convention, which recommended the ban last year, will work with parties and observers to come up with alternatives to Endosulfan. The Convention will also approve financial assistance to developing countries for replacing Endosulfan with alternatives. The conference took the decision after considering the risk profile and risk management evaluation for Endosulfan done by the Review Committee and the exemptions decided upon by contact group on endosulfan and new persistent organic pollutants. Endosulfan is the 22nd chemical to be listed in the Convention. Scientists, in the last week of April 2011, developed a new vaccine named Bapineuzumab jab, which is effective against the Alzheimers disease not only in stopping but also reversing the damage caused to the brain due to the disease. The Bapineuzumab jab was discovered to be effective in preventing and reversing the build-up of Amyloid. It will slow down the progress of the disease. Amyloid is the name of the toxic protein that clogs the brain in Alzheimers. Moreover, it destroys

important connections between cells. The three drug firms namely Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Elan Corporation are involved in the making of vaccine. The testing process of the vaccine Bapineuzumap jab is likely to be completed towards the end of 2012. A team of Scientists in the last week of April 2011 led by professors Alice Parker and Chongwu Zhou at the University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineeringfor the first time created a synthetic synapse circuit whose behaviour is very much similar to the function of a brain cell. A synapse is a junction that allows a neuron to pass a chemical or electrical signal to another brain cell or nerve. The Scientists combined circuit design with nanotechnology to address the complex problem of capturing brain function. This Scientific breakthrough could have long term implications from healing serious brain injuries to develop prosthetic nanotechnology. A rapid molecular test kit has been invented to detect both TB and multi-drug resistant TB in just 90 minutes. The study was carried out simultaneously in Indias Christian Medical College and in countries like Peru, South Africa, the Philippines and Uganda. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the launch of remote-sensing satellite the ResourceSat-2 has been tentatively scheduled for 10.12 a.m., April 20. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) will launch the 1,206-kg satellite along with two other satellites YouthSat and X-Sat from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.ResourceSat-2, built by ISRO, is an advanced remote sensing satellite and designed for the study and management of natural resources.YouthSat, weighing 92 kg, is a joint Indo-Russian satellite for stellar and atmospheric studies. X-Sat is a microsatellite for imaging applications built by the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The countdown to the launch is expected to begin in the early hours of April 18. The Director General of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Robert S. Zeigler has said that the institute was discussing with the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) the possibility of developing an India specific programme of molecular genetic and breeding for rice. One possibility the Philippines-headquartered IRRI was looking at was the creation of a single centre in Hyderabad. The other was the setting up of a number of institutions which would be coordinated by the IRRI and the ICAR, Mr. Zeigler said in Hyderabad on 9 April on the sidelines of the forty-sixth annual rice research group meeting at the Directorate of Rice Research of ICAR. May India successfully test fired indigenously developed air-to-air Astra interceptor missile with an 80 km range from Chandipur in Orissa first on 20 May and then again on 21 May 2011. Astra is one of the smallest missiles developed by the DRDO in terms of size and weight. Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the

Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air missile was test-fired with an objective to study the modifications incorporated in its main frame and flight systems. The missile was test-fired to gauge performance of its motor, propulsion system and the configurations of the vehicle and aero-dynamics performance. Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on 24 May 2011 launched anelephant conservation programme, Hathi Mere Sathi on lines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The objective of the programme is to protect elephants as the mining projects in Central India pose great threat to Elephant corridors especially in the states of Orissa, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. The Government had in 2010 declared the Elephant as the National Heritage Animal of the country. There are over 26000 elephants in India, out which one third are held in captivity. India's advanced communication satellite GSAT-8 was successfully launched into its geosynchronous transfer orbit by Arianespace's launch vehicle Ariane-5 from Kourou in French Guyana on 21 May 2011. India's GSAT-8 which is the largest and heaviest satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its partners was one of the two satellites on the flight. The other, an even heavier satellite weighing five tonnes, was from Singapore and Taiwan. Weighing about 3100 Kg, GSAT8 is configured to carry 24 high-power transponders and a two channel GPS-aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload. India's GSAT-8 is the 20th satellite designed and built indigenously by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to meet this country's requirements for space capacity in communications and broadcasting NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) launched Space Shuttle, Endeavour on 16 May 2011 from the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida for its final mission. The Space Shuttle, Endeavour carried a particle physics experiment to the International Space Station. The particle physics experiment is worth of 2 billion dollars. Once the Endeavour will be set in its orbit, it will deploy its payload, the 7.5-ton Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). An engineer from the University of Missouri developed a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light. Todays solar planes only collect about 20 percent of available light. This new device was developed by using a thin mouldable sheet of small antennas called nantenna. It could harvest the heat from industrial processes and convert it into usable electricity. Within five years the new discovery could be incorporated into roof shingle products, or be custom-made to power vehicles. Gujarat High Court ordered the release of 494 birds held captive in cages. Justice MR Shah passed the order in response to several petitions which raised the issue whether birds have a right to live freely or whether they can be kept in cages. The caged birds were confiscated by police under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and under section 12 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.The Gujarat high court in its

judgment stated that it is the fundamental right of the bird to live freely in the open sky. To keep birds in cages is equal to illegal confinement of the birds. The researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga discovered 47-million-year old fossil of a lizard called Cryptolacerta hassiaca provided the first anatomical evidence that the body shapes of snakes and limbless lizards evolved independently. The fossil of the lizard revealed that amphisbaenians are not closely related to snakes. Instead of they are related to lacertids, a group of limbed lizards from Europe, Asia and Africa. Discovery of this fossil deny the theory that snakes and other burrowing reptiles had a common ancestry. Actually, their body shapes evolved independently. Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh declared that the Union government had approved two more tiger reserves in Karnataka. Following the governments approval, B.R. Hills in Chamarajanagar district and Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district became the 40th and 41st tiger reserves in the country. The minister also observed that shifting of the 700 families living in the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary was one of the most successful examples of relocation in the India. The expert group on strategies for low carbon growth submitted its report. The expert group was headed by Kirit Parikh. The expert group was set up in the aftermath of the December 2009 Copenhagen Summit with the objective of suggesting a low carbon growth strategy including sector-specific initiatives. The report by the expert group suggested a possibility of a higher range of emission intensity reduction up to 35% by 2020 over 2005 level. The Parikh expert group found that implementing the existing policies would make sure an emission intensity reduction of almost 25% at growth rate of 8% and a 24% reduction at 9% growth. The expert group further stated that fuel efficiency in transport sector, including the railways, emission cut in industries like steel, oil, cement and gas by adopting new technologies will be the part of a low carbon strategy. The Indian Union Ministry of Environment gave its approval to Indias first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) specialising in infrastructure development in Himalayan region in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. The IIT with 8000 students and 800 faculty members will be spread in an area of 500 hectares in Kamand region of the district. Of this land, 125 hectares will be forestland. The Union Minister of Environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh stated on 6 May 2011 that it had cleared the 400 MW Maheshwar hydroelectric power project on the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh. The ministry had given stop-work order after it was discovered that the Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation had failed to implement its resettlement and resettlement programme meant for people living in villages whose homes will be destroyed because of the

construction of dam. The Narmada Bachao Andolan had spearheaded the protest against the project. Pig-nosed Turtles are facing extinction threat because of large scale poaching. The demand for tortoise meat is high because people think that it has aphrodisiacal qualities. Pig-nosed turtle is listed on the IUCN red list of threatened species. It was added to the list in 1996.Pig-nosed Turtle weigh over 20 kg and grows to about 70 cm in shell length. The turtle is best adapted to an aquatic lifestyle with the exception of marine turtles. Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) unveiled a supercomputer on 2 May 2011, which is to be India's fastest supercomputer in terms of theoretical peak performance of 220 TeraFLOPS (220 Trillion Floating Point Operations per second). The supercomputing facility named as Satish Dhawan Supercomputing Facility is located at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram.The new Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) based supercomputer named SAGA-220(Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) is being used by space scientists for solving complex aerospace problems. The supercomputer SAGA-220 was inaugurated by Dr K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO at VSSC.SAGA220 Supercomputer is fully designed and built by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre using commercially available hardware, open source software components and in house developments. The first American in space, late Alan Shepard, was honoured with his own stampon 4 May 2011 on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his flight. The success of Shepard's flight had helped lead America to the moon. Shepard later became the fifth man to walk on the moon. He died in 1998 at age 74.The Postal Service dedicated the Forever stamp to commemorate Shepard's suborbital flight on 5 May 1961. He is the first astronaut to be honoured, all by himself, on a stamp. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man to go to space and he had defeated Alan Shepard by one month. On 3 May 2011, the Department of the Environment and Forests of India declared of setting up a National Environmental Appraisal and Monitoring Authority (NEAMA)as a part of efforts to bring in institutional reforms and improve environmental governance. As a professional, science-based and autonomous entity tasked with environmental appraisals and monitoring of compliance, NEAMA is planned to mark a major improvement over the prevailing system of the institutional reforms and environmental governance.NEAMA is expected be more effective in addressing conflict of interest issues through separation of the processes of appraisal and approval. The appraised projects look for an approval of the Department of the Environment and Forests of India to ensure the principle of executive accountability. First Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Noncommunicable Disease Control was organised in Moscow by World Health Organisation on 28 and 29 April 2011. At the conference mental disorders

was included in the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) list at Indias insistence. India achieved a major success on the global platform by pushing for inclusion of mental health in the list of non-communicable diseases. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad led the Indian delegation to Moscow.Mental health as a NCD was adopted in the Moscow Declaration on 29 April 2011. It was agreed that that NCDs such as mental disorders significantly contribute to the global disease burden June A 50-MW wind power project is to be set up in Tamil Nadu by April 2012. The project is to be set up by the subsidiary of Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd, Suryachakra Green Power Pvt Ltd. Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd entered into a memorandum of understanding with Winwind Power Energy Private Ltd (WPEPL) to set up 250 MW-capacity at Dharapuram in Tamil Nadu.WPEPL use agriculture waste, comprising output from sugarcane mills to fire the plants. The Scientists on 5 June 2011 discovered a werewolf gene which causes hair to grow all over the body. The discovery could provide a remedy for baldness. According to the Scientists, a genetic fault is behind a rare condition called hyper-trichosis also known as werewolf syndrome, where thick hair covers the face and upper body. Based on this finding, Scientists could use drugs to trigger a similar gene mutation in people to cause hair grow on bald patches.It should be noted that Werewolf syndrome is ery rare, in the past 300 years only 50 cases were recorded. Thick hair similar to wolf grows on upper part of the body and face of a human being under this syndrome. The World Environment Day is anually observed on 5 June. The theme of 2011 World Environment Day (WED) was Forests: Nature at your service. The 2011 WED theme explores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems. The WED theme also supports this year's UN International Year of Forests. The United Nations has also announced 2011 as International Year of Forests. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced India to be the global host of World Environment Day 2011. Prithvi-II missile was successfully flight-tested on 9 June 2011 by the Strategic Forces Command personnel. It was flight-tested at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Orissa. Prithvi-II is nine metres tall. Its range is 350 kilometre. Prithvi-II is the first indigenously built surface-to-surface strategic missile. Prithvi-II is capable of carrying nuclear weapons and can carry payloads ranging from 500 to 1000 kg. It could be launched anywhere and it is equipped with a high accuracy navigation system. The Spices Board on 5 June 2011 launched a campaign to educate farmers, traders and exporters about aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxin that degrades spices exported from India. The campaign was launched following rapid alerts issued by the European Union against aflatoxin in

nutmeg and mace exported from India.Nutmeg and mace are important spices that find wide application in food industry and medicine, and hence monitoring their quality is of utmost importance. Countries from the EU and West Asia, and South Africa and Japan import large quantities of these products in the raw form and as value-added spice oils and oleoresins.The board launched a nationwide publicity campaign to create awareness on the need to get rid of the toxin. Exporters, scientists from the Indian Institute of Spices Research and Kerala Agricultural University, the board, and educated farmers will address the campaign meetings. In the meetings the major nutmeg- and mace-growing regions of Kerala, Konkan coast and Raigad district of Maharashtra will be focussed upon. A new report released by the International Energy Agency on 5 June 2011 stated that despite 20 years of effort, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing instead of decreasing. The IEA report revealed that energyrelated carbon emissions topped 30 gigatons in 2010 which is 5 percent more than the previous record in 2008. If the emission increases further, it could lead to catastrophic climate shifts affecting global agriculture and water supplies. Moreover, it will set off more frequent and fierce storms besides causing an increase in sea levels that would endanger coastlines.The IEA report was released ahead of the Bonn summit to debate a new global warming accord taking place from 6 June to 17 June 2011. It should be noted that the World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June 2011 every year. The centurys longest and darkest lunar eclipse has taken place on june 15 night. The awesome spectacle was visible all over the country, including the national capital. The total phase lasted 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000. The next such eclipse will only take place in 2141. India's latest warship 'INS Kabra' was on June 08 commissioned at Naval Base in Kochi by Vice Admiral K N Sushil, Flag Officer Commandingin-Chief, Southern Naval Command. The ship is named after an island in Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. INS Kabra is the eighth of a series built at GRSE. Garden Reach Ship(GRSE), Kolkata.With a top speed of over 35 knots and manoeuvrability offered by her water-jet propulsion, the ship was ideally suited for high-speed interdiction of fast-moving targets and useful in search and rescue operations, he said.INS Kabra complies with the latest regulations of International Maritime Organisation on sea pollution control.