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ISRO conducts successful test launch of scramjet engine
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the first time has successfully conducted the Scramjet (or Supersonic Combusting ramjet) engine test. 
The test was conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sri hari kotta in Andhra Pradesh and has successfully has met all the intended parameters.


What is scramjet engine? 
The scramjet engine works on the Air-breathing Propulsion System. The system uses natural oxygen present in the atmosphere to burn the fuel stored in the rocket. It reduces the amount of oxidiser to be carried along with the fuel, bringing down launch costs.


NASA’s Juno probe completes first Jupiter flyby
NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft has successfully executed its first flyby of Jupiter, our solar system’s most massive planet. 
During its first flyby, Juno passed just 4,200 kilometres above the planet’s clouds. It was the closest contact ever achieved by a man-made probe with Jupiter. 

Key Facts 
  • During this flyby, it was for the first time Juno had its entire suite of science instruments activated. 
  • During this closest approach, Juno passed about 4,200 kilometres above Jupiter’s clouds and travelled at speed of 208,000 kilometres per hour with respect to the planet. 
  • There are 35 more close flybys of Jupiter planned during Juno’s mission scheduled to end in February 2018.
Mahindra unveils DiGiSENSE platform to track vehicle information
Automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) has introduced DiGiSENSE, a cloud based technology solution to track vehicle information in real time. 
With this, Mahindra has become the first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in India to integrate its product line-up onto a cloud-based technology platform. 

Key Facts 
  • DiGiSENSE by its digital-enabled sensing connects Mahindra range of pick up vehicles, tractors, trucks and construction equipment to the cloud. It will enable vehicle owners to have complete information on the location and usage their assets round-the-clock on their mobile phones. 
  • This inbuilt technology solution has been jointly developed in India in association with Tech Mahindra, Bosch India and Vodafone. 
  • DiGiSENSE allows vehicle owner to monitor the performance and location of vehicles, including the quantity of fuel used by the vehicles on real time basis. 
  • The key features include delivery tracking and route planning, vehicle utilisation reports, trip optimisation, alerts and machine hour operations and geo-fencing to prevent unauthorised use of the asset and theft.
Unified Payments Interface becomes operational
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced that Unified Payments Interface (UPI) application has become operational. The application will allow customers to make easier real-time payments via digital means using smartphones. 

Key Facts 
  • The payment gateway became operational after it received the Reserve Bank of India’s clearance that allowed banks’ UPI applications to go live on Google Play Store
  • Initially, the UPI will be available only on the Android mobile operating system. 
  • It will be going live with 21 banks in the first phase.
Union Government inaugurates IIT in Dharwad
The Union Human Resource Ministry has formally launched Indian Institute of Techonogy (IIT) Dharwad in Karnataka. It was launched by Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash.
Key Facts 
  • IIT-Dharwad is located at Walmi centre on the Dharwad’s outskirts till its permanent campus is built The prestigious higher education institute has already started functioning from this academic year from a temporary structure. 
  • Around 2000 students with Science and Maths background have been invited to the inaugural function to sensitise them about the higher learning institute. 
  • It is spread over the sprawling 470 acres allocated by the state government at nearby Kelgeri town. 
India ranks 77th on 2016 World Risk Index
India has been ranked 77th among the 171 countries in the 2016 World Risk Index (WRI). The index was released as part of the World Risk Report 2016 released by the United Nations University Institute for Environment (UNUIE) and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart in Germany

Key highlights of Report 
  • The index has assessed the disaster risk of countries through combined analysis of natural hazards such as floods, cyclones, or earthquakes and societal vulnerabilities. 
  • Lack of critical infrastructure and weak logistic chains will substantially increase the risk that an extreme natural event will become a disaster. 
  • In 2016 WRI, the Island state of Vanuatu has been ranked number 1. India’s Neighbours: Bangladesh (5th), Sri Lanka (63rd), Pakistan (72th), China (85th) and Nepal (108th).
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