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Indian scientist Manvendra K Singh bags SGD 3 million grant from Singapore's NRF

Dr Manvendra K Singh, was awarded a grant of SGD 3 million by Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF).
•    He is a scientist from Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur city
•    He is among the seven young scientists from across the world to be endowed with the Singapore NRF fellowship.
•    The scientist has been awarded the fellowship to pursue research in the field of congenital and adult cardiovascular diseases.
•    He works as an assistant professor at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
•    He is also an adjunct assistant professor at National Heart Research Institute Singapore 
•    He obtained his masters degree in Biotechnology from Madurai Kamaraj University.
•    After completing his masters, he joined MD/Ph.D program in Molecular Medicine at Hannover Medical School, Germany.
•    The National Research Foundation was set up on 1 January 2006.
•    It is a department within the Prime Minister's Office.
•    The NRF sets the national direction for research and development (R&D) by developing policies, plans and strategies for research, innovation and enterprise.

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Asia's first Rice Technology Park to be established in Gangavati, Karnataka

The Karnataka Government in May 2016 decided to establish Rice Technology Park at Gangavati.
•    Maize Technology Park will also be established at Ranebennur in Haveri district.
•    These parks will be established under public private partnership 
•    The establishment of the Rice Technology Park will help paddy cultivators in the Tungabhadra Command Area in Ballari, Raichur and Koppal districts.
•    It will also help the paddy cultivators in the command areas of the Upper Krishna Project in Shahpur and Surpur taluks in Yadgir district and Vijayapura and Bagalkot districts.
•    Park will have facilities for rice flour, rice rava, rice bran oil, noodles, rice-based alcohol, animal and poultry feed and paddy hus.
•    Maize Technology Park at Ranebennur will have a storage capacity of 32000 tonnes.
•    Gangavati is a big commercial city in Raichur District.
•    It is also a largest city in terms of area and population 
•    It is often known as Rice Bowl city of Karnataka.

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China bug Chan's Megastick declared world's longest insect

On 5 May 2016 The Insect Museum of West China said that a stick insect measuring 62.4 centimeters has broken the record for length among the world’s 807625 known insects.
•    The insect, named Phobaeticus chani was discovered two years ago in the southern province of Guangxi, China.
•    The previous record-holder was a Malaysian 56.7-centimeter-long stick insect discovered in 2008. 
•    Phobaeticus chani is species of stick insects.
•    The bug is named after Malaysian naturalist, Datuk Chan Chew Lun.
•    Very little is known about its biology. 
•    It may live in the canopy of the rainforest, making it hard to find.
•    International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists. selected it as one of The Top 10 New Species described in 2008 
•    The species was also listed as one of the top 10 discoveries of the decade in the BBC television documentary Decade.

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SpaceX successfully launches Japanese JCSAT-14 Satellite

On 6 May 2016 SpaceX successfully launched JCSAT-14 on Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
•    The odds of a successful soft-landing were slim due to the mission requirements for the particular launch.
•    JCSAT-14 is designed to last 15 years 
•    It is needed to be placed into geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 22000 miles.
•    This is much higher than SpaceX’s last launch when they successfully recovered their rocket on a drone ship 
•    Earlier they sent space station supplies to low earth orbit (LEO) at around 250 miles.
•    JCSAT-14 is a satellite from the SKY Perfect JSAT Group
•    The satellite will be used to provide television and communication services.
•    This launch was the fourth successful flight for SpaceX so far in 2016.
•    SpaceX has completed two successful rocket recoveries on a drone ship and one rocket recovery on a landing pad on stable ground.

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University of Cambridge have built the world’s smallest (nanoscale) working engine

On 2 May 2016Cambridge researchers have built the world's smallest working engine. The research was published in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
•    The engine is few billionths of a meter in size and uses light to power itself.
•    The nano scale engine can set a benchmark for nano-machines that can navigate in water, sense the environment around them, or even enter living cells to fight disease.
•    Professor Jeremy Baumberg from the Cavendish Laboratory, who led the research, has named the devices Actuating Nano-Transducers.
•    Device is made of tiny charged particles of gold, bound together with temperature-responsive gel.
•    When the engine is with a laser, it stores large amounts of elastic energy in a fraction of a second.
•    This has the effect of forcing the gold nano particles to bind together into tight clusters.
•    However, when the device is cooled, the polymers take on water and expand, and the gold nano particles are strongly and quickly pushed apart.

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China developed world's first graphene electronic paper

China has developed a new electronic paper, which has been heralded as "the world's first graphene electronic paper.Compared with traditional e-papers, graphene e-paper is more pliable and has more intensity and its high-light transmittance means optical displays will be much brighter.E-papers have been produced on a commercial scale since 2014. 
Compared with liquid crystal displays, e-papers are thinner, bendable and energy efficient, meaning products are more portable.
• Graphene is the world's strongest and lightest known material.it can conduct heat and electricity.
• The material can be used to create hard or flexible graphene displays, used in electronic products such as e-readers and wearable smart devices.
• Graphene is derived from carbon, meaning production costs will be much lower than for traditional e-papers, which use the rare, expensive metal indium.

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BlackBerry Launches BBM Money Transfer Service in India

BlackBerry has now launched BBM Money, a payment solution, in partnership with Digitsecure, a payments platforms to cater to the BBM users in India. Hot Remit is a product of Digitsecure, which does the work of a mobile wallet, which has been used to create the BBM Money service.
•    BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, is a proprietary Internet-based instant messenger and videotelephony application included on BlackBerry devices that allows messaging and voice calls between BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone and Android users. 
•    It is developed by BlackBerry Limited (formerly known as Research In Motion Limited (RIM)) and was first released in August 2005.
•    BBM is after new customers because the customers they currently have are of old ages when BBM was a big name but nowadays since android and IOS has taken over the market BBM is finding it hard to stay in the competition.
•    This payment service has came after facebook launched money transfer facility via its messenger app.

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'Laser walls' activated along India-Pakistan border to plug gaps in vigil

A dozen "laser walls" have been made operational along the India-Pakistan international border in Punjab to plug the porous reverie and treacherous terrain and keep an effective vigil against intruders and terrorists exploiting the frontier areas to cross over.
•    A total of 45 such laser walls will be installed in these areas along the international border in Punjab and Jammu, a blueprint prepared in this regard and accessed 
•    In September last year, Pakistan complained UN Security Council (UNSC) about India’s plans to construct a wall along the Line of Control.
•    BSF is also considering deploying at least four more battalions in Punjab and Jammu border areas.
•    Pakistan has considered this work as a threat to its national security and has planned to move to UN yet once again.
•    This step has been taken quickly after the incident of pathankot happened because this was being planned since last 2 years but location marking was being done at initial stage so that this technology can e used very effectively 

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IIT scholar, K Ashok Kumar, won International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award

K Ashok Kumar, a research scholar from IIT Kharagpur (KGP), won the prestigious International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award.
•    Kumar, a research scholar at the department of agricultural and food engineering at the Bengal-based IIT, was recently awarded by the US-based International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). The award carries a cash prize of 2000 US dollar and a recognition certificate.
•    Ashok is pursuing his PhD on 'Comparative Assessment of Direct and Residual Effects of Organic and Inorganic Nutrient Management on Rice-Chickpea Production System in Lateritic Soil.'
•    The objective of this research is to study the soil nutrient dynamics under organic and inorganic nutrient management to improve the crop yield and quality of rice-chickpea cropping system in lateritic soil.
•    The research will help application of organic fertilizers such as vermicompost in right amount and at the right time to the rice crop. It will increase the yield of the rice-chickpea cropping system by 10% as compared to the use of conventional synthetic fertilizers.
•    Further, the organic fertilizer application will improve the nutritional and cooking quality of rice grain and chemical and biological properties of the acid lateritic soil.
•    The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Board of Directors offers two awards of interest to graduate students and scientists working in plant nutrition and management of crop nutrients and they are International Plant Nutrition Scholar Awards and IPNI Science Award.
•    The International Plant Nutrition Scholar Awards are open to applicants who are graduate students and attending a degree-granting institution located in any country with an IPNI program. Priority is given to the relevance of the proposed research in support of IPNI's mission.
•    Students in the disciplines of soil and plant sciences including agronomy, horticulture, ecology, soil fertility, soil chemistry, crop physiology, and other areas related to plant nutrition are encouraged to apply for the award.

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Japan successfully tested its first stealth fighter X-2 jet

Japan on 22 April 2016 successfully tested the first stealth fighter jet.  With this, the country joins a select group of world military powers wielding the radar-dodging technology.
The domestically developed single-pilot prototype X-2 jet took off from Nagoya airport in central Japan on its maiden test flight. It safely landed at Gifu air base, north of Nagoya airport, after a 25-minute flight with no particular problems.
Even though the use of military force have a strict constitutional constraints after World War II, Japan still has one of the world's most advanced defence forces and the development of the stealth fighter comes as it faces new security challenges in the form of China's expanding force posture.
At present, only the USA, Russia and China have been internationally recognised as having successfully developed and flown manned stealth jets.
• It was developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and 200 other firms, measures 14.2 metres (47 feet) long and 9.1 metres wide and was built as a successor to F-2 fighter jets developed jointly with the United States of America (USA).
• Its delivery to the defence ministry is expected as early as May 2016 and the acquisition agency will continue analysing data and check its stealth technology capability.
• Japan began the project in 2009 and has reportedly spent about 39.4 billion yen (332 million US dollars) to develop the aircraft.
• The country was barred from developing aircraft for a number of years after its defeat in World War II but eventually produced the YS-11, a propeller passenger plane that began flying in the early 1960s.
• In another aviation milestone in November 2015, Japan's first domestically produced passenger jet, also developed by Mitsubishi Heavy, made its maiden test flight.

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