By: D.K. Choudhary
Leap Second added to Indian Clock to Synchronize with Earth’s Spin
i. An extra second was added to the Indian clock at 5:29.59 hours at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) on January 1, 2017 as the atomic clock was struck at 23:59:59 the previous night.
ii. The ‘leap second’ was added to the Indian clock to synchronize the Indian Standard Time (IST) with the Earth’s Rotational Clock. The atomic clock was programmed to add an extra second to 2017 to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.
iii. Addition of the leap second to the Indian clock is done by the NPL under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. The NPL, one of the oldest laboratories in the country, has five atomic clocks and nearly 300 such pieces exist across the globe.
India Successfully Test Fires Agni IV Ballistic Missile off Odisha Coast
India successfully conducted the test firing of the nuclear-capable strategic ballistic missile, Agni IV from the Abdul Kalam Island, Balasore, off the Odisha coast on January 2, 2017 at about 11.50 a.m.
Features of Agni IV
i. Agni IV is a two-stage solid-propelled, surface-to-surface ballistic missile which is designed to carry a payload of 1-tonne up to a distance of 4,000 km.
ii. Designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) the missile is 20 meters in length and weighs 17 tonnes.
iii. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, which include indigenously developed ring laser gyro and composite rocket motor. Agni-IV missile has 5th generation onboard computer and distributed architecture. It has the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances.
iv. This was the sixth test fire of Agni IV over the course of five years out of which one failed and five were successful.
v. India currently has the Agni-I (700-km range), Agni-II (2,000-km range), Agni-III and the Agni-V. The 5,000-km range Agni V missile was successfully flight tested on December 26, 2016.
vi. The DRDO is reportedly in the process of building Agni-VI, which will have a strike range of 8,000 km to 10,000 km.
Defence Research and Development Organisation
♦ The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Republic of India which conducts
military’s research and development.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1958
♦ Chairman: Avinash Chander
MUI Launches Android App for Indian Merchant Navy Officers
i. Country’s oldest union, the Maritime Union of India (MUI), representing Indian Merchant Navy Officers since 1939, has launched an android based mobile app named MUI.
ii. The app was launched in the presence of MPs Kirit Somaiya (Mumbai North-East constituency) and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Jodhpur).
iii. The app will help Indian merchant navy officers to share, comment, knowledge, latest updates, and also engage in video chats to bolster the growth of skilled Indian seafarers working aboard specialized cargo ships across the globe.
iv. The app will also share regular information on various initiatives including the updates related to joint initiatives and latest representation by MUI and National Union of Seafarers of India.
Image of world’s most powerful Rocket Falcon Heavy shared by SpaceX
i. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation or SpaceX has released a new teaser
image of the world’s most powerful rocket Falcon Heavy rocket which will ferry a crewed Red Dragon capsule on Mars in 2018.
ii. Falcon rocket initial launch was scheduled for 2016 which is later postponed to 2017 due to the explosion of a Falcon 9 in September.
iii. Falcon Heavy rocket have the ability to lift over 54 metric tons (119,000 lbs) into orbit, which is equivalent to 737 jetliners loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel.
iv. This rocket is designed to carry humans into space and it restores the possibility of flying missions with a crew to the Moon or Mars.
Ministry of Minority Affairs Launches Mobile App for Haj Pilgrimage
i. The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (I/C) and Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launched a Mobile App on January 2, 2017, at Haj House in Mumbai that will provide information and facilitate e-payments for the pilgrimage.
ii. It is for the first time that Haj application process would be digital. The mobile app will be available on Google Play store from January 2 and the application for the next Haj schedule is also being registered while the last date for submitting applications is January 24.
iii. The app features the information regarding the application for Haj, enquiry and information, news and updates and e-payment. The application can be made directly on the app.
iv. Five adults and two infants can apply as a group. A PDF copy of the form will go to applicant’s email. After affixing the photo, the printout with documents is to be sent to the state Haj committees. Registration fees can also be paid through this app.
v. The Ministry is continuously focusing to make Haj Management digital and it also launched a new website for the same in December.