Union HRD Minister launches NISHTHA to build capacities of 42 Lakh government teachers across the country
- The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) launched the National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancements (NISHTHA) .
- This is aimed at training over 42 lakh teachers across the country.
- HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched the initiative’s website, training modules, primer booklet and mobile app built for the purpose.
- It’s a bid to boost education and employment, govt focusing on reskilling the teaching workforce.
- NISHTHA is the world’s biggest such project and will focus on training 42 lakh teachers from across the country.
Chandrayaan 2 sends first Moon picture
- The Indian Space Research Organisation has released the first moon image captured by Chandrayaan 2.
- The image was taken at a height of about 2,650 km from the lunar surface.
- The Mare Orientale basin and Apollo craters are identified in the picture tweeted by ISRO.
- Chandrayaan 2 successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre.
- The second such manoeuvre was successfully performed on August 21. The next lunar bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled for August 28 between 5.30 a.m. and 6.30 a.m. IST.
- After two more manoeuvres, the Lander would separate from the Orbiter on September 2 and enter into a 100kmX30km orbit around the moon. Then it will perform a series of complex braking manoeuvres to soft land in the South Pole region of the moon.
Russia sends its first humanoid robot Fedor into space
- Russia launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.
- Named Fedor, short for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, the robot is the first ever sent up by Russia.
- Fedor blasted off in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft at 6:38 am Moscow time (0338 GMT) from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
- The Soyuz is set to dock with the space station on Saturday and stay till September 7.
- Instead of cosmonauts, Fedor, also known as Skybot F850, was strapped into a specially adapted pilot’s seat, with a small Russian flag in hand.
- The silvery anthropomorphic robot stands 1.80 metres (5 foot 11 inches) tall and weighs 160 kilogrammes (353 pounds).
- Fedor copies human movements, a key skill that allows it to remotely help astronauts or even people on Earth to carry out tasks while the humans are strapped into an exoskeleton.
- Such robots will eventually carry out dangerous operations such as space walks, Bloshenko told the state news agency RIA Novosti.
- Russian media speculated that Fedor-like robots will be used in Russia’s Moon programme.
- Fedor is not the first robot to go into space.
- In 2011, NASA sent up Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot developed with General Motors that had a similar aim of working in high-risk environments.
- It was flown back to Earth in 2018 after experiencing technical problems.
- In 2013, Japan sent up a small robot called Kirobo along with the ISS’s first Japanese space commander. Developed with Toyota, it was able to hold conversations — albeit only in Japanese.
Dr Ajay Kumar appointed Defence Secretary
- Kumar was appointed as the Union Defence Production Secretary by the prime minister-headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet in November 2017, he assumed office on 1 December 2017.
China launches unmanned warship
- China has launched an unmanned warship, which its developer claims is combat-ready.
- The ship, jointly developed by No. 716 and No. 702 research institutes under China’s state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), has a length of about 15 meters and a displacement of 20 tonnes.
- The JARI multi-purpose unmanned combat vessel held its launch ceremony on Wednesday at an undisclosed location.
ACC approves appointment of Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla as Home Secretary
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla, IAS (AM:1984), Officer on Special Duty, Ministry of Home Affairs as Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs vice Shri Rajiv Gauba, IAS (JH:1982).
- The Appointments Committee of the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Bhalla’s appointment as the new home secretary.
- He replaces Rajiv Gauba, who was appointed as the new cabinet secretary.
- Bhalla, a 1984-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer, served as the Union power secretary, before being appointed as an officer on special duty on July 24.
- He will have a fixed two-year tenure till August 2021 as the home secretary.