Current Affairs May 2019 - Science & Technology


1 - ICRISAT-led team collaborated with the BGI-Shenzhen to sequence genetic code to develop chickpeas resistant to vagaries of weather conditions

Chickpeas Resistant

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics' (ICRISAT) team partnered with the BGI-Shenzhen, China, involving 39 scientists from 21 research institutes worldwide, notified that scientists have successfully completed the largest-ever exercise of entire-genome re-sequencing of chickpea to identify genes that are resistant to various extreme factors. The study has been published in Nature Genetics online.

2 - Giant asteroid ‘99942 Apophis’ will fly past Earth in a decade

Giant asteroid 99942 Apophis

The 340m wide asteroid named 99942 Apophis will fly past Earth like a ‘moving star- like point of light’ on April 13, 2029. It will fly above the earth’s surface at 30,500 km and first become visible with a naked eye in the night sky over the Southern Hemisphere from the east coast to the west coast of Australia.

3 - Japan’s first privately developed rocket “Momo-3” reached outer space

Rocket Momo-3

A Japanese aerospace start-up Interstellar Technology Inc. has successfully launched a first privately developed rocket ‘Momo-3’ into space. The unmanned rocket launched from its test site in Taiki on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The rocket is 10 meters in length, 50 centimeters in diameter and weighs about 1 ton. ‘Momo-3’ rocket has the capability of putting payloads into the orbit.

4 - Space X launched Falcon-9 rocket for space station resupply mission with Dragon Spacecraft

Falcon-9 Rocket

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (Space X) launched its 17th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by using Falcon 9 rocket with Dragon Spacecraft. The 213-foot-tall rocket lifted off at about 2:48 a.m. local time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in

Florida. The resupply mission contains almost 5,500 pounds of science, supplies and hardware.

5 - Researchers identify drugs that block CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing


In the journal ‘Cell’ researchers authored that the discovery of the first small-molecule inhibitors of the Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9) protein could enable more precise control over CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing. The research was headed by Amit Choudhary of the Broad Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

6 - Ministry of Defence approved Indian Navy’s Rs 3,600 crore deal for 10 ‘Kamov Ka-31’ Helicopters

Kamov Ka-31 Helicopters

Ministry of Defence gave approval to Indian Navy to acquire 10 ‘Kamov Ka-31’ Airborne Early Warning and Control Helicopter for a deal worth of Rs 3,600 crore from Russia. These 10 helicopters would be deployed on the aircraft carriers and warships of the Indian Navy including the INS Vikrant and Grigorovich-class frigates. The Kamov Ka-31 helicopters will strengthen the capability of Indian Navy against aerial threats to its aircraft carriers and large warships.

7 - After 36 years of service, Indian Navy’s frontline missile destroyer, INS Ranjit has been decommissioned

INS Ranjit

After 36 years of service, Indian Navy's frontline missile destroyer, INS Ranjit has been decommissioned at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam. INS Ranjit was commissioned on 15th September 1983 with Captain Vishnu Bhagwat as the chair. INS Ranjit was the 3rd of the 5 Kashin-class destroyers built by the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). INS Ranjit's motto was 'Sada Rane Jayate' or 'Ever Victorious in Battle'.

8 - The US Air Force tested a laser system to shoot down multiple air launched missiles

Laser System Missile Launch

The US Air Force Research Laboratory tested a laser system called ‘Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) at the US Army’s White Sands Missile range in New Mexico which successfully shot down multiple air-launched missiles while in flight. The system is designed for the purpose of protecting the aircrafts from incoming surface-to-air and air-to-air launched


9 - INS Vela: Indian Navy’s 4th Scorpene-class made in India submarine launched

INS Vela

INS Vela, Indian Navy's 4th Scorpene-class submarine was launched at Mazagon Dockyard in Mumbai. This is the fourth submarine in the series of six submarines under Project 75 built by Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai. The Scorpene-class submarine has been termed as the Kalavari Class.


10 - NASA’s first Planetary Defence Technology to collide with small moonlet in 2022

Planetary Defence Technology NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will hit an asteroid named Didymoon or Didymos B with a spacecraft called Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) in 2022. This will be the first mission which demonstrates a planetary defence technique. The asteroid is 150 m tall which orbiting a larger body called Didymos A. This will help in understanding the state of the asteroid system.

11 - Approval from NOTTO required for organ allocation to foreign nationals


The National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) has mandated that an organ could be allocated to a foreign national only after it gives its approval. Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu (Transtan) has started following this guideline. In the last one year, the number of Indian patients receiving organs from brain-dead donors has gone up by 56% in Tamil Nadu. The number of lungs transplanted on Indians went up from 43 in 2017 to 84 in 2018.

The Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu (Transtan) introduced steps to bring about greater transparency in the allocation of organs harvested from brain-dead people.

12 - Stress buster serotonin may help treat neurological decline

Stress Buster Serotonin

Researchers at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai have identified a new function for Serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter.The serotonin may help treat neurological diseases. The results of the study were published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)”. Its Chemical name is 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT).

13 - India receives its first Apache Guardian attack helicopter in Boeing’s production facility in Mesa, Arizona US

Apache Guardian Helicopter

The Indian Air Force legally received its 1st Apache Guardian attack helicopter AH-64E (I) during a ceremony at the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, US (United States). This first attack helicopter in India’s defence arsenal was received by Air Marshal AS Butola, IAF.

14 - Scientists from the University of Cambridge create the World’s Smallest Colour Pixels for large-scale flexible displays

Smallest Colour Pixel

Scientists from the University of Cambridge, UK created the World’s Smallest Colour Pixels by trapping the particles of light under the tiny rocks of gold. These pixels can be used for new types of large-scale flexible displays and are big enough to cover entire buildings. The research is published in Journal Science Advances.


15 - U.S. Department of Energy creates a new 100% recyclable plastic named Polydiketoenamine (PDK)

Recyclable Plastic

U.S. Department of Energy‘s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in California created a new 100% recyclable plastic named Polydiketoenamine (PDK). This can be broken down and used without the loss of quality. It can be formed into a different shape and colour. The research is published in the journal Nature Chemistry.

16 - Department of Biotechnology (DBT) launched MANAV- Human Atlas Initiative, to understand the role of tissues in human body

MANAV-Human Atlas

Department of Biotechnology (DBT) launched MANAV- Human Atlas Initiative, to understand the role of tissues and cell in the human body. It is a collaborated project between Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER) Pune, Persistent Systems and the National Centre for Cell Science(NCCS). It was launched by the DBT Secretary, Dr. Renu Swarup. The project is funded by the Department of Biotechnology which has invested Rs. 13 crore.

17 - Chinese Navy launches two Type 052D new guided missile destroyers

Missile Destroyers

Chinese Navy has commissioned two new Type 052D guided missile destroyers in Dalian, a coastal city. They are the 19th and 20th ships in the class and are named as Tangshan and Suzhou. China, at present, has 20 Type 052Ds either in active service or to be launched for service soon.

18 - NASA dubbed its 2024 Mission to Moon as 'Artemis'

Artemis NASA

The US Space Agency announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Organization (NASA) is set for its Mission to Moon "Artemis" which is to be achieved by 2024. Earlier, its goal to achieve this feat was by 2028. The Mission is named 'Artemis' after the Greek mythological goddess of the Moon and twin sister to Apollo. The annual budget for this mission is approximately USD 21.5 billion (Nearly Rs. 1,51,000 crores)

19 - Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully conducted the flight test of ABHYAS in Odisha

ABHYAS Testing

Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has successfully conducted the flight test of ABHYAS, a High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) drone which is to be used for autonomous flying with the help of an autopilot. The flight test was conducted from an Interim Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha. It uses Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based navigation system for its navigation and guidance.

20 - WHO partnered with IFBA to eliminate industrially produced trans fat (iTFA) from food supply worldwide by 2023


WHO (World Health organization) collaborated with the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) to eliminate industrially produced trans fat (iTFA) from food supply worldwide by 2023. Trans fat-intake leads to coronary heart disease, due to which 5,00,000 deaths occur every year globally.

21 - FDA approved first Dengue vaccine named Dengvaxia

Dengue Vaccine Dengvaxia

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States has approved first vaccine named Dengvaxia for the prevention of dengue disease but with certain conditions that use dengue vaccine only in people who have a previous history of the disease. The vaccine is also known as CYD-TDV and made by company Sanofi Pasteur.Mexico was the first country to clear it in the year 2015.

22 - “ElectionGuard”, an open source software unveiled by Microsoft for secure voting


Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella has announced the launch of “ElectionGuard”, a free open-source Software Development Kit(SDK) to help nations to carry out secure and verifiable voting. Developed by Galois, “ElectionGuard” is a supplement to paper ballots.


23 - Experimental device generates electricity from the coldness of the universe for the first time

Electricity from Coldness

Scientists from Stanford University, Shanhui Fan along with Masashi Ono have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to produce a measurable amount of electricity in an infrared photodiode from the coldness of the universe. The infrared semiconductor uses the temperature difference between Space and Earth to produce the electricity. The study was published in a journal named Applied Physics Letters.

24 - A microprocessor named ‘AJIT’ developed by IIT Bombay

Microprocessor AJIT

A group of researchers and professor Manav Desai from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay have developed a microprocessor named ‘AJIT’ which was indigenously conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured. The chip of the microprocessor was developed at Semi-Conductor Laboratory in Chandigarh. This was the first time that academia, industry and government worked together for the development of new technology.

25 - Samsung launched world’s Highest Resolution Image Sensor

Samsung Image Sensor

Recently, South Korea based Samsung company has launched the world’s first highest resolution image sensor of 64 megapixels. This image sensor will be used in upcoming smartphones of Samsung and the objective is to meet the growing demand for smartphones with better image quality. Samsung has launched two new image sensors with 0.8 micrometer pixel −

  • The 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1

  • The 48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW2

26 - Doordarshan launched online Souvenir Store on Amazon India


Public service broadcaster, Doordarshan has partnered with online retail giant Amazon India to launch a Souvenir Store. The store will offer a whole range of merchandise which includes T-shirts, coffee mugs and sippers with the tagline “I am in your DNA, I am your Doordarshan”. The purpose of this initiative is to establish stronger relationship with viewers of Doordarshan channel.

27 - Leading stock exchange ‘BSE’ launched ‘BSE StAR MF’ app to help mutual fund distributors to accelerate transactions process


BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) notified that it has launched an app named ‘BSE StAR MF‘in order to enable more participation and aid mutual fund distributors to accelerate transactions process. It helps distributors in purchasing and redeeming the mutual fund units on behalf of their clients.

28 - Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Vigraha’ decommissioned at Vishakhapatnam


Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) ‘Vigraha’ decommissioned at Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It is a frontline offshore patrol served for 29 years from 1990 to 2019. It was the seventh offshore patrol vessel built by the Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai.

29 - Indian Navy has enhanced its anti-air warfare capability by successfully test-firing MRSAM missile

MRSAM Missile

The Indian Navy has achieved a significant milestone in enhancing its anti-air warfare capability by successfully test-firing a Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) on the western seaboard. The test-firing was carried out by Indian naval ships Kochi and Chennai. The test-firing of the missile was collaboratively undertaken by the Indian Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

30 - India delivered 2 Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan

Mi-24 Helicopters

Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Vinay Kumar made the hand-over of the first pair of replacement Mi-24 attack helicopters to Afghanistan Defence Minister, Asadullah Khalid at the Kabul Air Force base with the main objective of strengthening the Afghan air force as it battles Taliban insurgency against the fact of US’ lookout for exiting the Afghanistan after a 17-year stay.

31 - Lokpal website inaugurated by Chairperson Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose

Lokpal Website

The Website of the Lokpal was inaugurated by the Chairperson, Justice Shri Pinaki Chandra Ghose. His oath was administered by President Ram Nath Kovind. The Government has also appointed 4 Judicial and 4 non-Judicial Members. The Website with (Uniform Resource Locator) URL was developed by NIC (National Information Commission).

32 - 'Flye' a new computer programme developed by Australian National University (ANU) can help develop precision medicine

Flye Precision Medicine

Flye' a new computer program developed by Australian National University (ANU) can help develop precision medicine. It will be helpful to find out a person's genetic makeup. The research is published in Nature Biotechnology. Flye is a step-by-step procedure for computers to assemble genomes. A long DNA sequence ranges between 5,000 and 20,000 DNA letters, whereas short sequences are typically 200 letters.

33 - ISRO announced Seven Mega Missions in next 10 years


Recently, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced to conduct seven Mega Missions for upcoming 10 years and also prepared a roadmap for the next 30 years. The seven Mega Missions includes India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2, XPoSaT and Aditya L-1 as Defined Missions while Undefined Missions are: Mangalyaan-2, Venus Mission, Lunar Polar Exploration and Exoworlds. Rs 800 cr, Chandrayaan-2 will be flight ready by the May 2019 end and its spacecraft will be launched in July 2019.

34 - New Standards of measurement of kilogram, Kelvin, mole and ampere came into effect

New Measurement Standards

On the occasion of World Metrology Day i.e. on 20th May 2019, the world’s scientific and technical community has adopted the resolution to redefine four of the seven base units. The resolution has been adopted on the lines of the decision taken at the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) at BIPM (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) on 16 November 2018, which was passed by 60 countries. The four SI (International System of Units) base units that have been refined are the kilogram, ampere, kelvin, and mole. The second, metre, and candela are already defined by physical constants and are subject to correction to their present definitions.

35 - Researchers from UBC developed microscope for surgery without cutting skin

Microscope Surgery

Group of researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) has developed the microscope, which uses an ultrafast infrared laser beam, that can both scan skin and perform surgery by intensifying the heat its beam produces. It was published in the journal “Science Advances” titled "Precise closure of single blood vessels via multiphoton absorption–based photothermolysis".

36 - NASA Researchers discovered water, 'organic molecules' on mysterious Ultima Thule

Ultima Thule

Researchers at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have discovered a mixture of methanol, water ice and organic molecules found on the surface of the Ultima Thule. The research has been published in Journal Science. Ultima Thule, also known as 2014 MU69, is a trans-Neptunian object located in the Kuiper belt. It is 4 billion miles away from Earth.

37 - IAF test fired aerial version of BrahMos missile

BrahMos missile

Recently, Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully test-fired an aerial version of supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. The aerial variant of BrahMos missile was developed with the help of IAF, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). This aerial version of air-to-surface BrahMos missile weighed 2.5 tonnes and a target range of around 300 km.

38 - Nepal banned the use of Chinese digital wallets Alipay and WeChat

Alipay and WeChat

Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal, banned the use of Chinese digital wallets Alipay and WeChat Pay. This is done to prevent the loss of foreign currency earnings through its usage. The apps WeChat Pay and Alipay are operated by Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding's Ant Financial Services Group affiliate respectively. They had failed to secure licenses to operate in the country.