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1. India Successfully Test Fires Exo-Atmospheric Interceptor Missile
India has successfully test-fired its interceptor missile off the Odisha coast, achieving a significant milestone in the direction of developing a two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system. The interceptor was launched from Abdul Kalam Island or Wheeler Island.
This mission, termed as “PDV mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 km of earth’s atmosphere.
2. ‘India Pharma 2017’ & ‘India Medical Device 2017’ International Conference inaugurated
Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananthkumar inaugurated the 2nd edition of India Pharma & India Medical Device International Conference in Bengaluru. The three day event, with the Vision – ‘For Responsible Healthcare’, is being organized by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) from 11th-13th February, 2017.
3. Neelu Rohmetra becomes first woman Director of an IIM
The government has appointed heads of 10 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), including the first woman to head one of the 20 premier B-schools in the country. Prof Neelu Rohmetra of Jammu University is the first woman to be appointed director of an IIM at Sirmaur. She specialises in HRD and cross-culture management. Currently, she heads the university’s International Centre for Cross-Cultural Research and Human Resource Management.
4. Indian holds record for longest cycle journey in a country
Prasad Erande from Pune travelled 14,576 kilometres on a cycle across India, establishing a Guinness World Record for the ‘longest journey by bicycle in a single country’. He covered the distance between June 22-November 9 in 2014.
5. Government launches iOS version of BHIM payments app
The Bharat Interface for Money, or BHIM, an app developed by the government to further its cashless push, has been finally launched on the iOS platform . With its debut on iOS, it is currently supporting over 35 banks such as State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Union Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
The app is currently available in Hindi and English unlike the Android version which supports other regional languages as well such as Bengali, Odiya, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.
6. ISRO to launch record 104 satellites in one go on Feb 15
Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro) workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will carry a record 104 satellites in a single mission on 15 February from the space centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. “PSLV-C37/Cartosat-2 Series Satellite Mission is scheduled to be launched on February 15, 2017 at Sriharikota.
The PSLV, in its 39th flight (PSLV-C37), will launch the 714kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation along with 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664kg at lift-off. It will be launched into a 505km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
7. UNESCO Nature Festival begins in Himachal Pradesh
The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh was accorded the Unesco World Heritage Site status. The Unesco World Heritage Site Committee at Doha in Qatar granted the status to the park under the criteria of “exceptional natural beauty and conservation of biological diversity.”
The GHNP has now come in the league of Indian World Heritage Sites (WHS) such as the Taj Mahal, Ellora, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Manas National Park, Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve and the Sunderbans.
8. Japanese researchers use drones to pollinate flowers
Japanese tinkerers created a tiny, flower-pollinating drone for a world without insects.It’s a sad fact—bee populations are in decline in many parts of the world. While the reasons bees are in trouble aren’t yet well understood, the problem has some technologists investigating whether drones could fly flower-spreading pollen instead.
The latest effort comes from Japan, where investigators at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science, in Tsukuba, were looking for new uses for sticky substances called ionic liquid gels that have unusual physical properties.
9. MRI inventor, Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield passes away
A Nobel laureate who failed his school exams before going on to pioneer body scanning technology has died aged 83. Sir Peter Mansfield led a team in the 1970s that developed Magnetic Resonance Imaging, one of the most important breakthroughs in modern medicine.
10. Ambassador car brand sold to Peugeot for ₹80 crore
CK Birla controlled Hindustan Motors Ltd — maker of the iconic Ambassador car — has sold the ‘Ambassador’ brand to French carmaker Peugeot. According to a notification to the bourses, the “brand and certain related rights” have been sold for ₹80 crore. Kolkata-based Hindustan Motors had suspended production of Ambassadors way back in May 2014 citing weak demand and lack of funds.
11. Diego Maradona given FIFA ambassadorial role
Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona has been handed an ambassadorial role by the game’s global governing body FIFA.The world body is recovering from the worst graft scandal in its history, with dozens of people, including ex-FIFA executive committee members, indicted in the United States since May 2015.
12. Single entrance exam for engineering from 2018
tage has been set for single NEET-like examination for entrance to engineering colleges from the academic year 2018-19, with the HRD ministry asking the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to spell out suitable norms for holding such an exercise.
The AICTE, which oversees aspects related to technical education in the country, had discussed at a recent meeting a proposal for having a single entrance test for engineering colleges for undergraduate courses.
13. ISRO plans rover on lunar surface
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to deploy a rover on the lunar surface in the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
The Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon, is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover. After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter. After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.
14. Horse antibodies may effectively treat Ebola: Study
In a first, scientists have developed an effective, rapid and economical treatment for the deadly Ebola virus using antibodies from horses.
The post-exposure treatment made with antibodies from horses could be used in the next Ebola outbreak.This is a cost-effective treatment that can be used in low-income countries in Africa where equine production facilities are already in operation for producing snake-bite antivenin
15. Government to set up Defence Procurement Organisation
A key committee set up by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to suggest ways to restructure the acquisition wing will submit its report which will pitch in for a separate set up for defence procurement. The panel was set up in May last year by Parrikar following recommendations of the Dhirendra Singh Committee, which had given inputs for the new Defence Procurement Policy.
16. Government unveils first phase of Station Redevelopment Programme
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has unveiled the first phase of the Station Redevelopment Programme as part of which tenders are being floated for 23 of a total of 400 stations set to get a facelift.
The entire programme is estimated to attract investment of upto Rs 1 lakh crore by developers and it is estimated that the Railways will generate a surplus of Rs 10,000 crore which can be invested in other modernisation programmes.