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Science and Technology - June 2011

A 50-MW wind power project is to be set up in Tamil Nadu by April 2012. The project is to be set up by the subsidiary of Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd, Suryachakra Green Power Pvt Ltd. 

Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd entered into a memorandum of understanding with Winwind Power Energy Private Ltd (WPEPL) to set up 250 MW-capacity at Dharapuram in Tamil Nadu.WPEPL use agriculture waste, comprising output from sugarcane mills to fire the plants.

A new report released by the International Energy Agency stated that despite 20 years of effort, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing instead of decreasing. The IEA report revealed that energy-related carbon emissions topped 30 gigatons in 2010 which is 5 percent more than the previous record in 2008. 

The IEA report was released ahead of the Bonn summit to debate a new global warming accord from 6 June to 17 June 2011. 

The century’s longest and darkest lunar eclipse has taken place on june 15 night. The awesome spectacle was visible all over the country, including the national capital. 

The total phase lasted 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000. The next such eclipse will only take place in 2141.

India's latest warship 'INS Kabra' was commissioned at Naval Base in Kochi by Vice Admiral K N Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command. The ship is named after an island in Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. 

INS Kabra is the eighth of a series built at GRSE. Garden Reach Ship(GRSE), Kolkata.With a top speed of over 35 knots and manoeuvrability offered by her water-jet propulsion, the ship was ideally suited for high-speed interdiction of fast-moving targets and useful in search and rescue operations, he said.INS Kabra complies with the latest regulations of International Maritime Organisation on sea pollution control.

The World Environment Day is anually observed on 5 June. The theme of 2011 World Environment Day (WED) was Forests: Nature at your service. The 2011 WED theme explores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems. 

The WED theme also supports this year's UN International Year of Forests. The United Nations has also announced 2011 as International Year of Forests. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced India to be the global host of World Environment Day 2011.

Prithvi-II missile was successfully flight-tested on 9 June 2011 by the Strategic Forces Command personnel. It was flight-tested at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Orissa. Prithvi-II is nine metres tall. Its range is 350 kilometre. 

Prithvi-II is the first indigenously built surface-to-surface strategic missile. Prithvi-II is capable of carrying nuclear weapons and can carry payloads ranging from 500 to 1000 kg. It could be launched anywhere and it is equipped with a high accuracy navigation system.

The Spices Board launched a campaign to educate farmers, traders and exporters about aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxin that degrades spices exported from India. The campaign was launched following rapid alerts issued by the European Union against aflatoxin in nutmeg and mace exported from India.

Nutmeg and mace are important spices that find wide application in food industry and medicine, and hence monitoring their quality is of utmost importance. Countries from the EU and West Asia, and South Africa and Japan import large quantities of these products in the raw form and as value-added spice oils and oleoresins.

The board launched a nationwide publicity campaign to create awareness on the need to get rid of the toxin. Exporters, scientists from the Indian Institute of Spices Research and Kerala Agricultural University, the board, and educated farmers will address the campaign meetings. In the meetings the major nutmeg- and mace-growing regions of Kerala, Konkan coast and Raigad district of Maharashtra will be focussed upon. 

The Scientists discovered a werewolf gene which causes hair to grow all over the body. The discovery could provide a remedy for baldness. 

According to the Scientists, a genetic fault is behind a rare condition called hyper-trichosis also known as werewolf syndrome, where thick hair covers the face and upper body. Based on this finding, Scientists could use drugs to trigger a similar gene mutation in people to cause hair grow on bald patches.

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), India signed a memorandum of understanding with Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation, of Russia, for cooperation in the activities to be pursued at the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) being set up by the DAE in Haryana. 

DAE Secretary and Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee, and Rosatom Director-General SV. Kirienko, signed the MoU in Vienna.The Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) is set to be consisted of four schools studying advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear security, radiological safety, and applications of radio-isotopes and radiation technologies.

UNESCO removed the in-danger tag from the Manas National Park, a World Heritage Site in Assam. The tag suffixed to the national park was removed at the 35th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in Paris that started on 20 June 2011.

The in-danger tag was attached to Manas National Park in 1992 it was ravaged due to insurgency and political unrest. The removal of the tag was a huge achievement and recognised the hard work put in by the government and the people, to restore the lost glory of Manas. 

Manas National Park is a biodiversity hotspot in Northeast India. Mana has a number of additional epithets, including a national park, a tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1985.



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