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Spice of the Month

Science & Technology

Scientific Temper• Young Scientist Programme’ is an initiative under which ISRO will select over 100 students and give them a practical experience of how satellites are build.
R&D• Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the leading automotive R&D organization of India, will set up a new mobility research center to test the futuristic vehicles like autonomous and connected or IoT-enabled vehicles at Takwe near Pune.
Affordable Housing• Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum building technology developed by IIT Madras is being considered by the Kerala government for the housing needs of those whose homes were ravaged by the floods in Aug 2018.
• The technology recycles gypsum — a major waste product of fertilizer industry and coal fired power plants — to produce low-cost, environment-friendly housing which is also resistant to earthquake.
Space Race• China’s Jan 3 landing on the mysterious “dark” side of the moon, the first by any country, gives it an edge over US. Unlike the near side, the far side of the moon is shielded from radio transmissions from earth.
• Chang’e-4 mission got around the problem of lack of communication with those on earth by using a relay satellite.
• The data that China obtains on the moon’s craters could help it acquire an edge in the highly competitive domain of space research.
Robotics• Chennai Traffic Police introduces robots for traffic management. The robot has two hands to interact with the people and show traffic signs. It has highly expressive eyes to create a feel of a neighborhood helper. Named ROADEO, the robot will make the pedestrians, especially children, feel safe while crossing the roads.
Artificial Intelligence• Finland is teaching the basics of AI to 1% of its population. Once it reaches that goal, it plans to go further. Citizens take an online course that is designed for non–technology experts. Finland is showing other countries how to make AI revolution more inclusive.
• Welthungerhilfe has rolled out an app called Child Growth Monitor, which will help tackle malnutrition in India with the help of Microsoft’s AI technology. The app will scan nearly 10,000 children for signs of malnutrition.
• India ranks third in the world in terms of high quality research publications in artificial intelligence (AI) but is at a significant distance from China and US.