1. Isro's PSLV rocket powers five British satellites into orbit
i. India ferried five British satellites into orbit on its space warhorse PSLV-C28 that blasted off from Isro’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Srikarihota in Andhra Pradesh on Friday night.
ii. The rocket blasted off sharp at 9:58pm from the first launch pad with five satellites together weighing around 1,440kg, marking the space agency's heaviest commercial mission so far.
iii. The five international satellites were launched as part of the arrangement entered into between DMC International Imaging (DMCii), a wholly owned subsidiary of SSTL, UK and Antrix Corporation Limited.
iv. These satellites can image any target on the Earth's surface every day. Major application areas include surveying the resources on earth and its environment, managing urban infrastructure and monitoring disasters.
v. The last such major launch by Isro was on June 30, 2014 when France's SPOT 7 satellite weighing 714kg was carried by a PSLV rocket.
2. On World Population Day, Indians number 1,274,234,538
i. On World Population Day, Indians numbered 1,274,234,538 at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday, constituting an estimated 17.23 percent of the overall global inhabitation of humans, as per data available with an independent socio-economic statistical organisation.
ii. According to Indiastat.com, which compiled secondary level socio-economic statistical information on India based on official figures, the numbers were based on data from the National Commission on Population and the US Census Bureau.
iii. India has been forecast to overtake China as the most populous country by 2028, as per official estimates. But the government also says that population growth rate of the country has declined significantly from 21.54 percent for the decade of 1991-2000 to 17.64 percent during 2001-11.
iv. Out of 36 states and Union territories, 24 have reached population stabilisation.
3. Nationwide model science labs programme launched by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam
i. To inculcate scientific temperament among students, government has proposed to set up ‘model science labs’ across the country, beginning with the North East region. The labs aim to ignite passion and nurture spirit of enquiry and creativity for mathematics and science in students between 6-18 years of age.
ii. The initiative would be launched through the Department of Science and Technology, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said while addressing a gathering of students through video- conferencing during the launch the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan programme in New Delhi. “Let us begin with North East by setting up one model lab for school children.
iii. Former President APJ Abdul Kalam launched the programme in the presence of Minister of State of HRD Ram Shankar Katharia, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region and Department of Space Jitendra Singh, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan.
4. MPEDA launched mobile-based applications to help farmers capture data through mobile
i. The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) on 9 July 2015 launched two mobile based applications to help farmers get prices on shrimp and capture data on aquaculture through mobile. Moreover, MPEDA also revamped its website and launched an online registration portal for exporters.
ii. MPEDA is a nodal agency for promotion of marine exports from India under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
iii. With this application, MPEDA will provide price related market information of Vannamei shrimp and BT shrimp to farmers over SMS on a missed call to a predetermined number. On receipt of the missed call, information on price of Vannamei shrimp and BT shrimp for different grades in major markets like Japan, USA and EU will be provided by SMS.
iv. The authority also launched a mobile applications named mKRISHI that will provide an easy tool for book keeping, advisory services and weather informations. It is an Android mobile application which has been developed by MPEDA and TCS Innovation Lab, Mumbai (as part of its CSR initiative).
5. Prince Saud al-Faisal, World’s longest serving Foreign Minister passes away
i. Prince Saud al-Faisal, former foreign minister of Saudi Arabia passed away in United States. He was 75. He was the Saudi kingdom’s foreign minister for 4 decades (from 1975 to 2015). He had retired in April 2015 and was succeeded by Adel al-Jubeir.
ii. He had served under four Saudi kings and had advanced the kingdom’s foreign policy, especially after the 9/11 attacks in US. It should be noted that he was world’s longest-serving foreign minister.
iii. Saud al-Faisal was son of King Faisal and was born on 2 January 1940 in Taif near Mecca. In the 1960s, he started his career as consultant for Petroleum Ministry of Saudi Kingdom.
6. Famous Hollywood actor Umer Sharif passed away
i. Actor Omar Sharif, famous for his title role as Doctor Zhivago in the Oscar-winning film, has died at the age of 83. Egyptian state television reported.
ii. Sharif’s agent also confirmed his death revealing that the actor, who played a wide range of dashing and dignified characters, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
iii. Sharif was one of the few Arab actors who succeed to make it to Hollywood. He won international fame and an Oscar-nomination for best supporting actor for his role in the 1962 film “Lawrence of Arabia” with Peter O’Toole.
7. Record-breaking Rabada helps Proteas crush Bangladesh
i. Kagiso Rabada became only the second man in history to claim a hat trick on debut as South Africa thrashed Bangladesh by eight wickets in a rain-hit first one-day international in Dhaka on Friday.
ii. Rabada finished with 6-16, the best ever one-day haul by a debutante, as Bangladesh were folded 160 in 36.3 overs after the hosts opted to bat first on a rain-soaked pitch at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
iii. Rabada, selected ahead of experienced Morne Morkel, struck in the third ball of his second over when he sent the off-stump of opener Tamim Iqbal cartwheeling.