Sundar Pichai emphasizes Google's ongoing AI investment strategy

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet and Google, is emphasizing the company's commitment to advancing artificial intelligence (AI) while managing costs effectively. Google's primary focus is on making AI more accessible and valuable, with a significant project called the Search Generative Experience (SGE) at its core. The SGE integrates generative AI into Google Search, allowing users to access extensive information and receive comprehensive responses.

The company is expanding the availability of the SGE to India and Japan after receiving positive user feedback, with plans for further expansion to support various languages and regions.

Advertising remains a crucial part of Google's new Search experience. Pichai underlines the user-friendly nature of ads, which offer valuable options for taking action and connecting with businesses. Google is exploring new ad formats native to the SGE that leverage Generative AI to provide relevant, high-quality ads tailored to different stages of the user's search journey.

Pichai also mentions the progress of Google's AI chatbot, Bard, which can seamlessly integrate with various Google apps and services. Bard now offers relevant information from Google Workspace, Maps, YouTube, and Google Flights and Hotels. The "Google it" feature has been enhanced to provide additional sources for evaluating Bard's responses and exploring web-based information.

Google recently introduced Assistant with Bard, an AI-powered personal assistant that combines generative and reasoning capabilities with Assistant's personalized assistance. Users can interact with Bard through text, voice, or images, with plans to extend its availability to Android and iOS mobile devices.

AI plays a significant role in data analysis, and Google Cloud is recognized for its unified platform capable of handling structured and unstructured data. Duet AI, within Google Workspace, has gained strong adoption among thousands of companies and over a million trusted testers.

Alphabet reported consolidated revenues of $76.7 billion in the third quarter, representing an 11% increase in both reported and constant currency. The growth is primarily attributed to the Search platform. While total cost of revenues increased by 7% to $33.2 billion, YouTube advertising revenues reached $8 billion, driven by brand advertising and direct response efforts.

In summary, Google is committed to advancing its AI investments and using generative AI to enhance user experiences across its platform.


Amazon introduces face, fingerprint, and PIN sign-ins for enhanced security

Amazon Enhances User Security and Convenience with Passkey Feature

Amazon is taking a significant stride in bolstering user security and convenience by introducing passkey support for web browsers and iOS mobile shopping apps. This innovative feature empowers customers to establish passkeys in their Amazon settings, allowing them to leverage familiar authentication methods like facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, or device PIN for account access.

Dave Treadwell, the Senior Vice President of E-commerce at Amazon, clarified that this initiative is designed to provide customers with both ease of use and heightened security in their Amazon interactions. While traditional passwords remain relevant, Amazon perceives passkeys as a promising step towards a more secure and password-free online environment.

This new feature is currently accessible to all Amazon users via web browsers. Furthermore, it is gradually being introduced in the iOS Amazon Shopping app, with plans for extending support to the Android version in the near future.

How Passkey Works

Passkeys offer a distinct advantage over conventional passwords as they are less susceptible to being written down or guessed, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access. When customers employ a passkey on their device, it serves as compelling evidence that they possess and can unlock the device, eliminating the need to remember complex passwords or easily discoverable personal information like names and birthdays.

Customers can sign in to apps and websites using passkeys in a manner similar to unlocking their devices, whether through a fingerprint scan, facial recognition, or lock screen PIN. This approach furnishes an additional layer of security compared to passwords and one-time codes sent via text messages, which are susceptible to phishing attacks.

Amazon's adoption of passkey support aligns with the broader industry trend of fortifying security while streamlining user authentication. This development marks a significant stride towards a safer and more user-friendly online shopping experience.


Deadline Extended For Stakeholder Comments On TRAI's Draft Telecommunication Mobile Number Portabili

The latest update on the Draft Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Ninth Amendment) Regulations for 2023, inviting feedback from relevant parties, is now available on the TRAI website (

New Delhi: The deadline for receiving comments on the Draft Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Ninth Amendment) Regulations for 2023 by TRAI has been extended to the following month.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) unveiled the Draft Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Ninth Amendment) Regulations for 2023 on 27th September 2023. The original due date for written input from stakeholders was set for 25th October 2023.

In response to a request from an industry association for an extended comment submission period, it has been decided to postpone the final date for submitting written feedback until 8th November 2023, as stated in an official announcement.

"For comments, please forward them to Akhilesh Kumar Trivedi, Advisor (Network, Spectrum & Licensing), TRAI, ideally in electronic format at If you need any clarifications or additional information, you can reach Akhilesh Kumar Trivedi, Advisor (Network, Spectrum & Licensing), TRAI, at Telephone Number +91-11-23210481," a press release from the Ministry of Communications explained.

The Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulations for 2009 (8 of 2009), established by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, set out the regulatory framework for Mobile Number Portability (MNP) within the nation. To date, eight amendments have been made to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulations for 2009.

The Draft Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Ninth Amendment) Regulations for 2023, which seeks input from stakeholders, is now accessible on TRAI's website (


Flight Test Is A Great Success For Gaganyaan Mission: Former ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan

The Gaganyaan project has a vision of establishing human spaceflight capabilities through launching a crew of three individuals into a 400 km orbit for a 3-day mission, returning them safely to Earth by landing in Indian waters.

Thiruvananthapuram: Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan stated on Saturday that achieving 'TV-D1' (Test Vehicle Development Flight 1) marks a significant milestone in the Gaganyaan Mission's initial phase. "This is a notable achievement as it represents the first step towards the Gaganyaan project. This launch demonstrates ISRO's ability to assess, validate, and qualify their escape module designs," as Nambi Narayanan conveyed to ANI.

Furthermore, the scientist emphasised, "This module holds utmost importance because, throughout the process, we are responsible for human lives, ensuring the safe return of astronauts without any complications. Rigorous checks are being conducted."

Several parameters were monitored, and though there was an initial hiccup attributed to a minor monitoring system error, it concluded successfully. This marks just the initial phase; there is still a long journey ahead, he added.

"We must exercise extreme caution in these endeavours since projects of this nature have multiple applications. We must ensure that procedures are executed correctly. I consider this a significant achievement," Narayanan further remarked.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also conveyed his congratulations to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for successfully completing a pivotal test in India's inaugural human spaceflight programme, Gaganyaan.

Earlier today, former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair expressed that the prosperous launch of ISRO's unmanned test flight under 'Mission Gaganyaan' represents a "noteworthy milestone" for India's efforts to send humans into space in the near future. "I am genuinely pleased to hear that ISRO's TV-D1 mission has been successfully accomplished today..." Nair conveyed to ANI today.

Andhra Pradesh Governor S Abdul Nazeer also extended his felicitations to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists for their commendable achievement with 'TV-D1' in the Gaganyaan Mission.

The objectives of the TV-D1 launch within the mission included the flight demonstration and evaluation of Test Vehicle subsystems, a demonstration and evaluation of the Crew Escape System encompassing various separation systems, examination of crew module characteristics, and showcasing the deceleration system at higher altitudes, as well as its recovery.

The Gaganyaan project envisions human spaceflight capabilities by launching a crew of three individuals into a 400 km orbit for a 3-day mission, ensuring their safe return to Earth by landing in Indian waters. This initiative positions India as the fourth nation to execute a manned spaceflight mission, following the United States, Russia, and China.

Capitalising on the successes of Indian space ventures, including recent missions like Chandrayan-3 and Aditya L1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that India should now aim for new and ambitious goals. These aspirations include establishing the 'Bharatiya Antariksha Station' (Indian Space Station) by 2035 and sending the first Indian to the Moon by 2040.

source ANI


Google Maps to offer metro ticket booking in India: Here's how

In the coming months, folks in India will be able to conveniently book metro tickets right through the Google Maps app. This means that your travel planning experience is about to get a lot smoother and more interconnected.

Google is really stepping up its game in India, allowing all you users to book metro tickets directly using the highly popular Google Maps app. This exciting development is part of Google's deepening collaboration with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), which is India's open e-commerce network. At a recent Google for India event, they spilled the beans on this upcoming feature, promising that Google users will soon be able to book metro tickets right within the Google Maps app, thanks to their partnership with ONDC.

Now, let's dive into Google's collaboration with ONDC. Bikram Singh Bedi, who's the big boss as the Managing Director of Google Cloud India, made it known that this new feature will be available through buyer apps that are nicely integrated into the ONDC platform. Google and ONDC have already made quite a splash together. They even launched an accelerator program for sellers who are joining the open network. This program aimed to make ONDC infrastructure and core APIs easily accessible and came with a sweet $25,000 grant for eligible organizations that hopped on the network bandwagon.

To show their commitment to supporting digital commerce in India, Google introduced an all-India hackathon for startups and developers who are working on solutions for the open network. What's more, Google Cloud's generative AI tools are now up for grabs for both buyers and sellers stepping into the ONDC ecosystem.

But it's not just Google going solo; they stressed the significance of partnerships in this grand endeavor. They pointed out that working together with different stakeholders, such as the government, the financial ecosystem, startups, and others, is vital to bring these initiatives to life.

In addition to this, WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, has also come into the picture with a similar feature for metro ticket bookings in Bengaluru and Delhi. They're offering end-to-end ticket booking and payment support in collaboration with city metro train corporations.

The Google annual event in India had even more exciting announcements in store. They unveiled new lending options for Google Pay users and merchants, as well as several updates to their generative AI tools. On top of all that, Google has plans to kick off the manufacturing of Pixel phones right here in India. They're starting with the Pixel 8 series, which is a big move to reinforce their presence in the Indian market.


How to use dual WhatsApp accounts on one device: A step-by-step guide

The Dual WhatsApp Account feature is here to resolve these issues by enabling users to effortlessly switch between accounts within the app. This marks a significant improvement for individuals who need to handle both personal and professional WhatsApp accounts on a single device.

WhatsApp, which is under the ownership of Meta, is all set to introduce a handy new feature, making it easier for users to access multiple accounts on a lone device. This feature, known as the "Dual WhatsApp Account" feature, was officially announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook and is anticipated to be rolled out in the days to come.

At present, users who need to manage multiple WhatsApp accounts are left with no choice but to use an extra phone or tablet or engage in the cumbersome process of frequently logging in and out of accounts on a solitary device.

To make the most of this feature, users will need a second phone number, which could either be a physical SIM card or an e-SIM number. This implies that your device should support either multi-SIM functionality or e-SIM compatibility. Lacking a second phone number will make it impossible to set up a secondary WhatsApp account on a solitary device, as WhatsApp typically sends the one-time passcode for verification via SMS.

Let's take a step-by-step look at how to establish and employ multiple WhatsApp accounts on one device:

Ensure your WhatsApp app is up-to-date with the latest version.

Launch the app and access the Settings menu using the three-dot icon situated in the upper left corner.

Within the Settings, you will notice a small arrow located next to your name.

Tap on it and choose "Add account."

Input your second phone number and validate it using the code received through SMS or a call.

Once it's authenticated and set up, you can conveniently switch between accounts by selecting the arrow adjacent to your name.

Choose the desired account from the provided options.

This feature empowers users to tailor privacy and notification settings separately for each account. Moreover, users can independently enable other features such as muting or archiving conversations, erasing messages, or obstructing particular contacts for each account.

The Dual WhatsApp Account feature is poised to significantly simplify the lives of users who manage multiple WhatsApp accounts, such as one for personal use and another for professional purposes, all on a solitary device.


No more 3rd-party cookies: Google Drive changes download policy from January 2

Earlier this year, Google made an announcement regarding the termination of support for "Drive for desktop" on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and all 32-bit versions of Windows. Nevertheless, individuals using a 32-bit Windows version can still access Google Drive via a web browser.

Google has revealed a significant modification to its widely used cloud storage service, Google Drive. Commencing from January 2, 2024, users will no longer need to activate third-party cookies for file downloads. This change aligns with the broader industry trend of phasing out third-party cookies to enhance user privacy, a move already undertaken by browsers such as Google Chrome.

This decision is part of Google's effort to disable third-party cookies by default in its Chrome browser, reflecting similar measures adopted by Mozilla and Apple, all with the goal of enhancing online privacy standards.

This transition is poised to have a positive impact on the convenience, security, and privacy of Drive users. Specifically, this change will affect both Google Workspace clients and individual users with personal Google accounts.

For individuals whose workflows rely on Drive's download URLs or those who use applications dependent on Drive's download URLs, an adjustment will be necessary by January 2. Google recommends transitioning to the Drive and Docs publishing processes to ensure a seamless experience.

When handling Workspace files, including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms, users are urged to make use of the Google Docs publishing URL for a smooth download process.

Additionally, Google has introduced a valuable feature known as "search chips" for Drive. This feature empowers users to efficiently filter their files based on criteria such as file type, owner, and last modified date directly within the web application, simplifying the search process. This enhancement is designed to further enhance the overall user experience within Google Drive.


Gaganyaan: ISRO to launch first development flight of test vehicle on Oct 21 | Know where to watch

The Test Vehicle Development Flight (TV-D1) is aimed at testing the crew module (CM) that will carry Indian astronauts during the human spaceflight late next year. Find out how and where to watch on test day.

ISRO has stated that it will initiate the unmanned flight tests for the Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission by launching a test vehicle at 8 am on 21st October from the Sriharikota spaceport.

It has been mentioned that this will be a brief mission, and the visibility from the Launch View Gallery (LVG) will be limited.

The Gaganyaan project envisions demonstrating ISRO's human spaceflight capability by launching a human crew into an orbit of 400 km and safely returning them to Earth by landing in the Indian sea waters. The Test Vehicle Development Flight (TV-D1) is intended to test the crew module (CM) that will transport Indian astronauts during the human spaceflight late next year.

How and where can you view the test? "TV-D1 Flight Test: The test is scheduled for 21st October 2023, at 0800 Hrs. IST from the First launchpad at SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota. It will be a brief mission, and visibility from the Launch View Gallery (LVG) will be limited," ISRO posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The TV-D1 test flight involves launching the unmanned crew module into outer space, bringing it back to Earth, and recovering it after touchdown in the Bay of Bengal.

"Students and the Public can witness the launch from LVG at SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota, by registering at Registration will commence on 17th October 2023, at 18:00 Hrs. Latest updates will also be provided in that link," ISRO added.

What did ISRO chief say about the test? ISRO Chief S Somanath said, "We are scheduling this launch on 21st October. This is the testing of the crew escape system using a new rocket called a test vehicle. It's a liquid engine-powered rocket. On top of that, we have the crew module and crew escape system..."

Discussing the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today to assess the progress of the Gaganyaan Mission and outline the future of India's space exploration endeavours, Somanath said that the Prime Minister talked about India's plans for the future.

"PM Modi told us about the plans for the future. He said that we have to launch a man on the moon in 2040, there has to be the first human space flight. He also spoke of the Indian Space Station. We have to continue the Chandrayaan Mission and Gaganyaan Mission. So, we have to make a new rocket. There was a presentation on all of these. It is a matter of joy that he has endorsed all of these," he said.

ISRO chief details TV-D1 test flight Somanath on Saturday said that three more test vehicle missions would be launched under the Gaganyaan programme after the TV-D1 test flight on 21st October.

"The first test vehicle flight (of the Gaganyaan mission) will be conducted on 21st October. After that, we have planned for three more test missions, D2, D3, D4. We will hold thorough tests during the test flight sequence," Somanath said.

According to ISRO, the test vehicle is a single-stage liquid rocket developed for this abort mission.

The payloads consist of the Crew Module (CM) and Crew Escape System (CES) with their fast-acting solid motors, along with CM fairing (CMF) and Interface Adapters.

"The Crew Escape System with Crew Module will be separated from the Test Vehicle at an altitude of about 17 km. Subsequently, the abort sequence will be executed autonomously commencing with the separation of the CES and deployment of the series of parachutes, finally culminating in the safe touchdown of CM in the sea, about 10 km from the coast of Sriharikota," ISRO said.

The crew module is where the astronauts will be contained in a pressurised Earth-like atmospheric condition during the Gaganyaan mission.

source ISRO


ISRO To Conduct Crucial Test For Gaganyaan On Saturday, Check Details

In New Delhi, ISRO is gearing up for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission, a crucial aspect of its ambitious Gaganyaan human space mission. The mission is scheduled to take place this Saturday, between 7 am and 9 am, as confirmed by the space agency in a recent post on X.

The Test Vehicle, a single-stage liquid rocket specifically developed for this abort mission, carries payloads including the crew module (CM) and crew escape systems (CES), among other components.

This flight test is designed to simulate an abort scenario during the ascent trajectory. At an altitude of approximately 17 km, the crew escape systems with crude modules will be separated from the test vehicle. Following this separation, an autonomous abort sequence will initiate, involving the deployment of a series of parachutes and culminating in the safe landing of the crew module in the sea, roughly 10 km from the coast of Sriharikota.

The crew module, after undergoing integration and extensive electrical testing at ISRO's Bengaluru facility, was dispatched to Sriharikota on August 13. This test is a significant milestone for the Gaganyaan program, as it represents the integration of a near-complete system for a flight test. The success of this test flight will pave the way for subsequent qualification tests and unmanned missions, ultimately leading to the inaugural Gaganyaan mission with Indian astronauts.

ISRO Chief S. Somanath mentioned that there would be at least three more tests of a similar nature in the near future.

The Gaganyaan project aims to demonstrate India's human spaceflight capabilities by launching a crew of three members into a 400 km orbit for a 3-day mission and safely bringing them back to Earth, landing in Indian sea waters. If successful, this program will position India as the fourth country to accomplish a manned spaceflight mission, following the United States, Russia, and China.

A vital aspect of the Gaganyaan mission is the deployment of drogue parachutes, which are essential for stabilizing the crew module and reducing its velocity to a safe level during re-entry.

On August 23, India celebrated a historic achievement when the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully landed on the moon's South Pole. This made India the fourth country, after the US, China, and Russia, to achieve this remarkable feat. It marked the end of the disappointment stemming from the Chandrayaan-2 crash landing four years earlier.

After landing, the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover executed various tasks on the lunar surface, including identifying the presence of sulphur and other minor elements, recording temperature data, and monitoring their surroundings.

Following the successful Chandrayaan-3 mission, India launched its first solar mission, Aditya-L1, on September 2. The spacecraft has completed four earth-bound maneuvers and a Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) maneuver, successfully escaping Earth's gravitational influence.

In a recent development, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft performed a trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) lasting approximately 16 seconds, which was essential to maintain its intended path. This marks another significant milestone in India's space exploration endeavors.
image source ANI


India among the first to test Google's Desktop Discover Feed for enhanced search experience

Google is presently running tests for a Discover Feed feature on its desktop homepage in India. This feature aims to provide users with helpful content such as news headlines, weather forecasts, sports scores, and stock information. Even though the Discover Feed has been accessible on Google's mobile homepage, this marks the first instance of it being tried out on the desktop version. Lara Levin, a spokesperson from Google, confirmed the testing in India and indicated that if it proves successful, it may be extended to desktop users across the globe in the future.

This development holds significant importance, especially in India, where Google's homepage receives a substantial amount of traffic. The Discover Feed was initially introduced on Google's mobile homepage in the United States in 2018 and has since been made available worldwide. This feature not only assists users in staying up-to-date with news and related articles but also amplifies the engagement and informativeness of Google Search.

However, it's worth noting that not everyone may welcome this update, as it could potentially clutter Google's typically clean homepage. Currently, Google doesn't provide users with an option to opt out of the new Discover Feed.

It's also important to mention that this experimental interface from Google bears a resemblance to what Microsoft offers on its Bing search engine, which already boasts an extensive list of news stories and information. Unlike Google, Microsoft allows users to personalize their homepage and decide whether to enable the news feed.

In addition to this development, Google has recently introduced new features for its Search Generative Experience (SGE), including the capability to generate images from text prompts. This function is similar to Bing's Image Creator, which was unveiled a few months ago.

In essence, Google is simplifying tasks for users through AI-driven features like the Search Generative Experience (SGE) to enhance the search experience. SGE is an innovative search engine with AI capabilities designed to provide more comprehensive responses to user queries. This development reflects Google's ongoing efforts to make its services more interactive and user-friendly.


Decoding UPI Credit: From How It Works To Its Benefit - Here's A To Z About It

A few months ago, the UPI System was only used for transferring deposited funds.

New Delhi: Picture this – you're getting closer to the end of the month, and your savings are dwindling. No need to fret because you might soon have a financial superhero on your side! It's none other than the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, and think of it as a pre-approved safety cushion for your finances.

Imagine it as a secret stash of money you can tap into when the need arises. When you're out shopping or making payments, this magical credit line can come to your rescue.

Let's dive deep into how it operates and break down each aspect of it.

What Is Credit on UPI? Not too long ago, the UPI System was only used for transferring deposited funds. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently declared that the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) System will now include pre-approved credit lines provided by banks for transactions.

RBI's Decision On April 6, 2023, the Reserve Bank recommended expanding the use of the Unified Payments Interface by allowing transfers to and from pre-approved credit lines at banks.

What Can You Link to UPI? At present, UPI can be linked to savings accounts, overdraft accounts, prepaid wallets, and credit cards.

UPI Transactions Currently, UPI transactions can occur between bank deposit accounts and are occasionally facilitated by prepaid devices like wallets.


Microsoft Announces New AI Assistant 'Copilot' To Help In Daily Tasks - Check Launch Date, Features,

New Delhi: Microsoft has unveiled its highly anticipated AI assistant, 'Copilot,' which is set to function as an everyday AI companion. This chatbot will seamlessly incorporate the knowledge and intelligence of the internet, work-related data, and your current activities on your PC to provide enhanced assistance.

Think of it as an assisting hand that will be available within Windows 11, Microsoft 365, and in web browsers like Edge and Bing.

When can we expect its release?
The company will commence the rollout of Copilot in its preliminary version, as part of the complimentary Windows 11 update, starting from September 26.

Here are some exciting upcoming developments:
Microsoft has announced that the next Windows 11 update will introduce more than 150 new features, extending the capabilities of Copilot and introducing fresh AI-powered experiences to applications such as Paint, Photos, Clipchamp, and more, directly on your Windows PC.

Bing will now support the latest DALL.E 3 model from OpenAI, offering more personalized search results based on your search history. Additionally, it will provide an innovative AI-driven shopping experience and updates to Bing Chat Enterprise, enhancing its mobility and visual appeal.

Microsoft 365 Copilot will become accessible to enterprise customers on November 1, 2023, along with Microsoft 365 Chat, a novel AI assistant poised to revolutionize your work routine.

Here's a glimpse of the latest enhancements in the Windows 11 update:
Copilot in Windows (in preview) empowers you to accomplish tasks more swiftly and with less mental strain, simplifying tasks that were once complex.

The Snipping Tool now offers more versatile options for capturing content from your screen. With this update, you can extract specific text content from an image to paste into another application, or easily safeguard sensitive information using text redaction via text actions on the post-capture screen.

The new Outlook for Windows enables you to manage and synchronize multiple accounts, including Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and more, all within a single application.

Clipchamp, now equipped with auto compose, provides suggestions for scenes, automatic edits, and narratives based on your images and footage. This allows you to effortlessly create and edit videos for sharing with family, friends, and on social media like a seasoned professional.

Paint has received a significant AI-driven boost for drawing and digital creation, featuring background removal, layer support, and a preview of Cocreator, which leverages generative AI to enhance the Paint app's capabilities.


Efforts On To Wake Up Chandrayaan-3 From Sleep Mode, No Contact Yet With Vikram Lander, Pragyan Rove

Chandrayaan-3: The Indian space agency has mentioned that there have been no signals received from the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover. Nonetheless, they are persistently working towards establishing contact.

NEW DELHI: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) declared on Friday that they are putting in all efforts to reconnect with the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover to rouse the Chandrayaan-3 mission from its ''sleep mode.'' The esteemed Indian space agency has also confirmed that they have not picked up any signals from the Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover. Nevertheless, the attempts to establish communication will continue.

“Chandrayaan-3 Mission: We have been striving to reestablish communication with the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover to determine their wake-up status. Up till now, no signals have been received from them. Our efforts to make contact will persist,” ISRO stated on X (formerly Twitter).

After a 40-day voyage through space, the Chandrayaan-3 lander, 'Vikram', made a successful landing on August 23 at the previously unexplored lunar South Pole, marking India as the first country to achieve this milestone. After traveling more than 100 meters on the lunar surface from the landing point of the Vikram lander, known as the Shiv Shakti Point, the Pragyan Rover was securely parked and set into ''sleep mode'' on September 2.

India has also joined the exclusive club of nations, which includes the US, Russia, and China, who have accomplished a successful lunar landing mission. The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft safely deployed the Vikram lander on the lunar surface, achieving a horizontal position before landing.

Providing further insight into the reawakening process, former ISRO scientist Tapan Mishra mentioned that even if the rover doesn't reactivate and the lander functions, it would be considered a ''miracle.''

“Initially, the Chandrayaan lander rover was designed for just 14 days of operation. It is expected that the temperature will plummet to -140 degrees Celsius or even lower, reaching as low as -200 degrees Celsius at the Southern pole. At such extreme temperatures, plastic materials, carbon power materials, or electronics cannot endure; they will break. However, I am optimistic that ISRO must have implemented robust thermal management measures,” Mishra informed news agency ANI in Kolkata.

He added, “If they achieve success in thermal management, if ISRO's design proves effective, and when the lunar daytime commences, all the payloads on the lander and the rover may become operational. Even if the rover remains dormant and the lander functions, it would indeed be a remarkable achievement.”

Mishra emphasized that if it survives one lunar night, it can endure many more lunar nights. “And if this occurs, we will belong to a league that can operate the lunar lander and rover throughout the year. If it survives one lunar night, I am confident it can function for six months to a year. That would be a significant achievement,” he stated.

The spacecraft was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on July 14.


Indian engineering student builds AI model for real-time sign language translation

An Indian engineering student has crafted a groundbreaking AI model capable of converting American Sign Language (ASL) into English phrases.

This innovative AI system, developed by Priyanjali Gupta, a student at Vellore Institute of Technology, can proficiently identify and translate six fundamental ASL signs such as 'Hello,' 'I Love You,' 'Thank You,' 'Please,' 'Yes,' and 'No.'

Gupta harnessed the power of the TensorFlow Object Detection API and employed transfer learning with the ssd_mobilenet model to construct her AI marvel. She collected ASL gestures via a webcam, laying the foundation for her AI model. When questioned about the challenges she faced while creating a dedicated deep learning model for sign language recognition, Gupta candidly acknowledged the complexity of the task.

In a comment on a LinkedIn post, Gupta shared, "You are absolutely right; there's a long, long way to go to develop a flawless model that can be practically applied. Hopefully, we'll witness this in our lifetime."

Gupta's AI creation serves as a means for people to transcend communication barriers, offering a more accessible avenue to connect with the world. She has generously shared her project and code on her GitHub page, contributing to the greater good.

Photo Credit: REUTERS


Explained | Why is the government pushing for regulatory mechanisms for OTT services?

Why is the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India seeking opinions on the selective banning of OTT services like WhatsApp, Facebook, and others? Why are Telecom Service Providers advocating for regulation? Does a ban conflict with net neutrality principles?

The story unfolds as follows: On July 7, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) called for feedback on a consultation paper regarding the regulation of over-the-top (OTT) communication services. The paper also discusses the possibility of selectively banning these services. With most stakeholders having submitted their responses by the September 1 deadline, it is likely that the TRAI will issue guidelines soon, determining whether OTT services should be subject to regulation or allowed to continue as is.

So, what led to this discussion? The debate surrounding the selective banning of OTT services stemmed from a notice issued by a Parliamentary Standing Committee to the Department of Telecom (DoT). This was in response to concerns arising from these platforms, which have a wide-reaching impact.

It's essential to clarify that the consultation paper solely addresses OTT communication services like WhatsApp, Signal, Meta, Google Meet, Zoom, and others. It does not cover content-based OTTs like Netflix and Amazon Prime, as content regulation falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) rather than the TRAI.

Additionally, the TRAI has called upon stakeholders to define OTT and provide suggestions regarding cost-sharing arrangements between Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and OTT services.

Now, let's explore the conflict between TSPs and OTTs. Telecom Service Providers argue that OTTs should be regulated and charged because they rely on the infrastructure established by operators over the years. Currently, they operate without such regulations.

According to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), representing telecom giants like Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea, "OTT communication services have eroded telcos' revenues. These platforms offer a range of services, including multimedia messaging, instant messaging, and voice and video calls, over the internet. This reduces the need for traditional telecom services, such as voice calls and text messages, leading to a significant drop in telecom companies' revenue streams."

COAI asserts, "OTT communication service providers do not contribute financially to the government and do not invest in building network infrastructure in the country. They benefit from TSP-funded networks without contributing to the establishment and maintenance of digital infrastructure for access networks."

What is the proposed solution? COAI demands a policy framework that ensures large OTT service providers contribute fairly to telecom network operators based on criteria such as the number of subscribers or data usage. This contribution would compensate for increased data demands and support network expansion, ultimately benefitting the government financially.

Similarly, the Internet Service Providers Association of India suggests that if OTT services are substitutable services offered by licensed service providers, they should be subject to the same rules as telecom services, whether provided on an operator's network or over the internet.

But not everyone agrees with these proposals. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) argues that cost-sharing models, where the sending party network pays (SPNP) the network operator, would effectively charge consumers twice for the same service. This would increase the cost of accessing free or affordable content and contradict the principles of net neutrality, which call for network neutrality in transmitting all information.

The Internet Freedom Foundation also expresses concerns about the idea of selectively banning OTT services.

So, why would someone argue for banning OTT services? COAI suggests that licensing OTT communication services would make it easier to implement location-based access restrictions, thus giving the government more control. They propose source-level blocking to achieve desired outcomes without significant complications.

On the contrary, IAMAI believes that additional regulations for OTT services are unnecessary, and a selective banning framework is not required. The Broadband India Forum (BIF) firmly opposes selective bans, as they argue that OTT services are already adequately regulated under existing laws such as the IT Act, 2000, and the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

In conclusion, the TRAI's consultation paper has sparked a lively debate about the regulation and potential banning of OTT communication services, with Telecom Service Providers and OTT service providers advocating different positions. The outcome of this debate will likely have significant implications for the future of digital communication in India.

Photo Credit: REUTERS


23 private companies in race for SSLV technology transfer from ISRO

It is, perhaps, the first-ever instance where a space agency anywhere in the world has handed over the complete design of a launch vehicle to the private sector.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to enable the transfer of technology (ToT) for the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to a private company.

Back in July, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), which serves as the primary agency for boosting India's space economy by actively involving the private sector, issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) for the technology transfer of SSLV to Indian industries.

On September 14, IN-SPACe Chairman Pawan Goenka announced that 23 companies had submitted applications for the ToT.

Speaking at the International Conference on Space 2023, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr. Goenka stated, “Regarding SSLV’s ToT, we are handing over the launch vehicle lock, stock, and barrel, as they say, completely into the hands of the private sector. It is, perhaps, the first-ever instance where a space agency anywhere in the world has transferred the full design of a launch vehicle to the private sector. We received applications from 23 companies for the ToT, but we will only be able to grant it to one company.”

The deadline for proposal submissions in response to the EOI is September 25. The screening and identification of potential bidders will take place on October 30.

SSLV is a 3-stage launch vehicle with the capability to launch approximately a 500kg satellite into a 500-km planar orbit. According to ISRO, SSLV's key features include affordability, quick turnaround time, flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, on-demand launch feasibility, and minimal launch infrastructure requirements.

Mr. Goenka mentioned that in recent weeks, expectations from ISRO and the Indian space ecosystem as a whole have risen following the successful soft-landing of Chandrayaan-3’s lander on the Moon.

“These past few weeks have been remarkable, starting with the successful Chandrayaan-3 soft landing on the Moon, Aditya L-1 launch, and the G-20 summit. With Chandrayaan-3, we have achieved something extraordinary, which we haven't seen in a long time. It has, in a way, added more responsibility to the space sector. Now, the expectations from the Indian space sector have increased significantly, not just from ISRO but from everyone in the space ecosystem,” Mr. Goenka said.

IN-SPACe is actively working on creating comprehensive infrastructure for industries to support manufacturing.

“We are in the process of establishing plug-and-play infrastructure for industries. We are on the verge of entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with one State and collaborating with another State,” Mr. Goenka added.

source The Hindu


Explained | What is arXiv, and why is it still relevant for scientific research?

Around 2015, the machine learning community in India also embraced arXiv with great enthusiasm.

The background: The science and technology community has long been accustomed to reading research papers that are yet to undergo peer review. These papers, known as preprints, help scientists stay updated with the latest findings. This practice began over six decades ago when two biochemists and an administrator at the National Institute of Health (NIH) developed a method for researchers to share their early work with peers. Initially, this sharing was primarily paper-based, but by the early 90s, it had transitioned online. In 1989, Joanne Cohn, a physicist at Los Alamos National University, initiated an email list of preprints for her colleagues to facilitate this exchange of early research.

Over time, the sheer volume of papers became overwhelming as recipients' email inboxes filled up. Paul Ginsparg, a colleague of Cohn, had a brilliant idea. Ginsparg transformed the mailing list into a central repository accessible to anyone. The physics community quickly embraced this concept, and within two years, any new paper on particle physics was first posted on this platform, which we now know as arXiv.

What is arXiv?
ArXiv serves as a research hub for physicists, computer scientists, mathematicians, astronomers, and anyone engaged in serious research of any kind. Around 2015, the Indian machine learning community also enthusiastically adopted arXiv. By January 3, 2021, the repository had amassed a collection of over two million research papers. Unlike traditional journals, which can take six months or more to publish a paper due to the peer-review process, arXiv operates at lightning speed. It skips peer review, enabling rapid and widespread sharing of developments.

However, arXiv recently sparked controversy when Emily M. Bender, a renowned professor of natural language processing (NLP) and computational linguistics at the University of Washington, referred to it as "cancer." In a tweet, Bender criticized arXiv for disseminating what she called "junk 'science'" in a format that is indistinguishable from legitimate publications. She also highlighted how arXiv promotes a culture of haste, where anything older than six months is considered irrelevant in computer science.

Is ArXiv detrimental to research?
According to Bender, some researchers rush to publish just to stake their claim in a research area due to the immense hype surrounding AI and machine learning. She criticized this practice, stating that if you're worried about being scooped, you're probably not asking sufficiently interesting or original questions.

Bender also argued that arXiv's popularity has diminished the value of peer review. She claimed that many researchers boast about papers that were rejected from conferences but later gained high influence on arXiv. She noted that it's a fallacy to assume that every rejected paper is worthy.

Furthermore, Bender pointed out bias in arXiv's endorsement system, favoring "big names and big labs." ArXiv's endorsement policy states that it may grant automatic endorsements based on an individual's subject area, topic, past work, and academic affiliation. Those who wish to endorse a new submission can verify the paper's suitability for their research area. An author sends a six-character alphanumeric endorsement code to the endorser, who can enter it on an endorsement form. If they choose not to endorse, they can provide a reason in the form, which will be recorded as a negative vote. They can also opt out of the endorsement process entirely by not submitting the form.

How does arXiv's approval system function?
ArXiv employs a moderation system that publishes a paper if no moderator raises flags within a day of submission. With submissions reaching as high as 1,200 per day and only about 200 volunteer moderators spanning 150 categories, some researchers have complained that the moderation process is slow, opaque, and inconsistent.

Some criticisms of arXiv are valid. The platform has struggled to keep pace with user growth, prompting Ginsparg to move the server within Cornell in 2011. The limited number of moderators has been insufficient to handle the volume.

ArXiv's scientific director, Steinn Sigurdsson, acknowledged in January 2022 that arXiv had been understaffed and underfunded for years. In 2021, Ginsparg himself described arXiv's daily submission turnaround as "unforgiving."

While lists of moderator names for various sections were occasionally made public, most moderators for physics sections remained unnamed. ArXiv also reserves the right to reject papers without providing explanations.

What are the arguments in favor of arXiv?
Despite its flaws, arXiv remains invaluable for most independent researchers in India.

"It's very, very important. I am on it every day. Just free access for students and people like me means a lot, especially in AI research, which is evolving rapidly. These accusations are surprising to me," said Rahul Dandwate, a researcher working with the Generative AI platform

For some users, even if over-publishing is a concern, arXiv is not the root cause. "It's very important for AI researchers because it shortens wait times. I don't think arXiv is responsible for over-publishing, frankly, because all we're looking for is a citation," stated Thomas Scialom, a research scientist with Meta AI.

Photo Credit: AP


iPhone 15 Series With USB-C Port, Dynamic Island Launched; Check All Variants And Their Prices In In

In the 'Wonderlust' event held in New Delhi, Apple unveiled its iPhone 15 lineup, bringing in some exciting new features. The lineup comprises four models: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, each offering a unique set of features and price points. Keep scrolling to discover all the variants, their detailed specifications, and prices.

Starting with the basics, Apple has made a noteworthy shift in adopting the USB-C charging port instead of the familiar lightning cable for these new iPhones.

The iPhone 15 lineup includes the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, which cater to a wider audience, and the premium offerings - the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, which are targeted at those seeking top-tier performance.

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus:

These models feature a dynamic island design, powered by the A16 Bionic chip. They come equipped with a 48 MP primary camera, a back glass infused with vibrant colors, and an aluminum frame. In India, the iPhone 15 starts at Rs 79,900, while the iPhone 15 Plus starts at Rs 89,900. Customers can place their pre-orders starting Friday, September 15.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max:

The premium models, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, come with a sleek titanium frame for a premium appearance. They also include the dynamic island feature and an action button for added convenience. These high-end models start at Rs 1,34,900 and Rs 1,59,900, respectively.

Both the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus come in five eye-catching colors: pink, yellow, green, blue, and black.

According to Kaiann Drance, Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing, "iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus represent a significant advancement with exciting camera innovations, the intuitive Dynamic Island, and the powerful A16 Bionic chip. This year, we are taking computational photography to new heights with a 48MP main camera, a 24MP default for super-high-resolution photos, a 2x telephoto option, and next-generation portrait capabilities."

Here are some key features and specifications of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus:

Beautiful and Durable Design with an Advanced Display:

  • Available in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch display sizes
  • Dynamic Island for interactive alerts and Live Activities
  • Enhanced experiences for navigation, music control, real-time updates, and more

Powerful Camera for Super-High Resolution:

  • 48MP Main camera with quad-pixel sensor and fast autofocus
  • A16 Bionic chip for exceptional camera performance

USB-C Charging Port:

  • Universal USB-C connector for charging and data transfer

Powerful Connection Capabilities:

  • Convenient ways to charge and stay connected
  • USB-C compatibility with various Apple devices

Now, let's delve into the features and specs of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max:

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max:

  • Aerospace-grade titanium frame for durability and lightweight design
  • Customizable Action button for personalization
  • Powerful camera upgrades, including a 48MP Main camera system
  • Advanced features for photography, including Focus and Depth Control, Night mode, and Smart HDR
  • New 5x Telephoto camera exclusively on iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • A17 Pro for enhanced gaming and performance
  • Supercharged USB-C connector with USB 3 speeds

These premium models will be available in four elegant finishes: black titanium, white titanium, blue titanium, and natural titanium. Pre-orders for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max begin on Friday, September 15, with availability starting on Friday, September 22


China’s Chang’e moon missions | Explained

Since 2007, China has been launching lunar missions, including orbiters, landers, rovers, and sample-return spacecraft.

Now, let's look at the Chandrayaan-3 mission. On August 23 at 6:03 pm IST, the Chandrayaan-3 lander successfully touched down in the south polar region of the moon, marking India's historic achievement as the first country to softly land in this area. The Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover have conducted various surface tests since then. Currently, China's Yutu-2 rover is the only other active instrument on the moon.

Chandrayaan-3 is India's second attempt to land on the moon, following the Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019, which unfortunately ended in a crash.

In 2018, China landed a lander-rover module in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, although it's not as close to the south polar region as Chandrayaan's landing site. Both the Chinese and Indian missions are operational as of now.

Now, let's take a closer look at China's lunar missions.

Chang'e Missions
China has been launching lunar missions under the Chang'e program since 2007, which include orbiters, landers, rovers, and sample-return spacecraft.

Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 launched lunar orbiters.
Chang'e-3, on the other hand, launched the Yutu rover, which conducted various experiments on the lunar surface.
Initially conceived as a backup for Chang'e 3, Chang'e 4 successfully launched Yutu-2 on December 8, 2018, becoming the first rover to softly land on the moon's far side. After entering lunar orbit on December 12, 2018, Chang'e 4 completed orbital maneuvers and safely landed in the Von Karman crater within the South Pole-Aitken Basin on January 3, 2019. The rover operates during the lunar day while hibernating at night. The lander, Chang'e 4, continues to operate and serves as a communication relay between the rover and Earth's control stations, along with the orbiter Queqiao. However, specific details about the data collected and experiments conducted by the rover have not been publicly disclosed by the Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA).

Chang'e 5 was launched on November 23, 2020, with two lunar orbiters, a lander, and an ascent vehicle. Its primary mission was to collect surface samples from the Mons Rumker region of Oceanus Procellarum on the moon. After launch, Chang'e 5 completed lunar orbit maneuvers, and the descender spacecraft separated on November 29, 2020. It landed on Mons Rumker, a vast volcanic plain, equipped with a robotic arm, a coring drill, and a regolith storage chamber. The lander also had various instruments, including a Panoramic Camera, Lunar Regolith Penetrating Radar, and a Lunar Mineralogical Spectrometer. After collecting and storing 1.731 kg of lunar regolith from a 1-meter depth, the ascender module transported the sample container to the orbiter, which then returned it to Earth. The return capsule landed in Inner Mongolia, northern China, on December 17, 2020. Before its return, the orbiter separated and observed the sun from the earth-moon orbit, similar to India's Aditya L-1 satellite's current trajectory.

China has additional moon missions planned, including Chang'e 6, 7, and 8 in 2024, 2026, and 2027, respectively, before ultimately sending a crewed mission to the moon by 2030. Chang'e 6, serving as a backup to Chang'e 5, will also have a lander with a scooping arm and will land on the far side of the moon in the South Pole-Aitken Basin.

In 2026, Chang'e 7 is scheduled to expand lunar exploration by conducting detailed surveys, analyzing terrain, studying geological composition, and searching for water ice in permanently shadowed craters on the moon.

In 2027, Chang'e 8 will test the technologies necessary for establishing a lunar science base in the south pole. It will carry a lander, a rover, a flying detector, and a 3D-printing module.

The Chang'e lunar exploration missions have evolved since their inception in 2007. Initially, Chang'e 1 and 2 focused on lunar orbiters and high-resolution photos of the lunar surface. Chang'e 3, launched in 2013, included the Yutu rover, which explored a significant portion of the moon, collecting data about its elemental composition and subsurface. This mission showcased China's capability to softly land on the moon.

Chang'e 4 shifted the program's focus to the moon's southern shadowed regions. Launched in 2018, it successfully landed in the Von Karman crater within the South Pole-Aitken Basin and captured the first photos of the moon's far side from the surface. Equipped with spectrometers and radars, the rover studied the lunar surface's composition.

Chang'e 5 aimed to return lunar regolith samples to Earth, successfully bringing back 1.731 kg of lunar regolith. Remarkably, Chang'e 4's lander and Yutu-2 rover, which were initially designed for a two-month mission, remain operational and continue to send data and high-resolution photos from the far side of the moon, thanks to their radioisotopic heat sources that maintain their temperatures during lunar nights.

Chang'e 5 had a specific mission duration of 23 days, from its launch on November 23, 2020, to its return on December 16, 2020. After capturing lunar orbit on November 28, the lander and ascender separated and landed on the lunar surface on December 1. The lander collected samples for one lunar day before the ascender lifted off on December 3, transferring the samples to the return capsule. The lander ultimately crashed onto the moon's surface on December 7. The return capsule, equipped with parachutes, landed in northern China on December 16. Before entering Earth's orbit, the orbiter headed to the earth-sun L1 Lagrange point to study the sun.

As of 2021, the orbiter continued its observations of Earth and the sun and was en route to the moon. Some reports suggest that the Chang'e 5 orbiter may have performed a lunar flyby before heading towards asteroid 469219 Kamoʻoalewa, which is part of China's asteroid sample-return mission scheduled for 2025.


Ian Wilmut, a British scientist who led the team that cloned Dolly the Sheep, dies at age 79

The lamb's cloning marked the pioneering moment when scientists successfully persuaded a mature adult cell to mimic the behavior of a cell from a freshly fertilized embryo, all in a bid to create a genetically identical animal.

Ian Wilmut, the cloning trailblazer whose contributions were pivotal in bringing Dolly the Sheep into existence in 1996, has passed away, as confirmed by the University of Edinburgh in Scotland on September 11. He had reached the age of 79.

Wilmut ignited a global discourse on the morality of cloning when he disclosed that his team at the Roslin Institute for animal biosciences at the university had accomplished the cloning of a lamb using the nucleus of a cell from an adult sheep.

Initially, the lamb was referred to as "6LL3" in the academic paper detailing the research, but it was later affectionately named Dolly, inspired by the renowned singer Dolly Parton.

The lamb's cloning milestone represented the first instance where scientists were able to encourage a mature adult cell to mimic the behavior of a cell from a freshly fertilized embryo, resulting in the creation of a genetically identical animal.

Although Dolly's creation was hailed as a groundbreaking achievement by some scientists, it raised concerns and ethical dilemmas among many, leading critics to question the ethics of such experiments.

The year following Dolly's birth, then-US President Bill Clinton imposed a ban on the use of federal funds for human cloning, although he did not prohibit all cloning research.

Dolly's birth motivated other scientists to embark on cloning endeavors with various animals, including dogs, cats, horses, and bulls. Furthermore, it ignited discussions about the potential cloning of humans and extinct species.

In recent times, scientists have proposed the resurrection of the woolly mammoth through a combination of gene editing and cloning.

Dolly's creation was part of a broader project undertaken by scientists to develop genetically modified sheep capable of producing therapeutic proteins in their milk. Approximately six years after her birth, Dolly was euthanized by scientists due to an incurable lung tumor.

Wilmut, who was a trained embryologist, subsequently shifted his focus towards utilizing cloning techniques to generate stem cells with potential applications in regenerative medicine. His contributions played a crucial role in research aimed at treating genetic and degenerative diseases by facilitating the repair of damaged tissue.

The Roslin Institute reported that Sir Ian Wilmut was knighted in 2008 and retired from the university in 2012. Following his retirement, he delved into research on Parkinson's disease, following his own diagnosis with the condition.

"We are deeply saddened by the news of Sir Ian Wilmut's passing," stated Bruce Whitelaw, the director of the institute. Whitelaw lauded Wilmut as a "giant" in the field of science and emphasized that his work in bringing Dolly into existence had a transformative impact on scientific thought at the time.

Whitelaw also pointed out that the legacy of Wilmut's groundbreaking work in cloning Dolly continues to influence and drive advancements in the realm of regenerative medicine that we witness today.

As of now, there has been no immediate announcement regarding the date of Sir Ian Wilmut's demise, details of survivors, or funeral arrangements.

Photo Credit: AP


Aditya L1 mission | ISRO successfully conducts third earth-bound manoeuvre

The latest achieved orbit measures 296 km by 71767 km," the statement read. It also mentioned that the upcoming maneuver is scheduled for September 15th, around 2 a.m.

The third Earth-bound maneuver of the Aditya L-1 mission, aimed at studying the Sun, was executed successfully at ISTRAC, Bengaluru, in the early hours of September 10.

"ISTRAC, Bengaluru, has successfully conducted the third Earth-bound maneuver (EBN#3). During this operation, ISRO's ground stations in Mauritius, Bengaluru, SDSC-SHAR, and Port Blair tracked the satellite," ISRO shared on X (formerly Twitter).

The space agency further noted that the newly attained orbit measures 296 km by 71767 km, with two more maneuvers planned.

"The next maneuver (EBN#4) is scheduled for September 15, 2023, at around 02:00 Hrs. IST," ISRO confirmed.

After the final maneuver on September 18, Aditya-L1 will initiate a Trans-Lagrangian1 insertion maneuver, commencing its 110-day journey towards the L1 Lagrange point. Upon reaching the L1 point, another maneuver will secure Aditya-L1 in an orbit around L1, a gravity-neutral position between Earth and the Sun.

To reach L1, the spacecraft will execute orbital maneuvers utilizing its Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) engine.

Aditya-L1 is destined to remain approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth, continuously observing the Sun, which corresponds to about 1% of the Earth-Sun distance. On September 2, ISRO successfully launched India's inaugural solar observatory mission, Aditya-L1, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Furthermore, on September 7, ISRO delightedly shared a selfie and images of the Earth and the Moon captured by the camera onboard the Aditya-L1 solar mission spacecraft.

Photo Credit: X/@isro


Buzzing breakthrough: genetic engineering gives mosquito control an upgrade

The concept behind genetic manipulation of mosquitoes is to regulate their populations by interfering with their ability to reproduce.

Throughout human history, mosquitoes have persistently buzzed around, causing irritation with their constant bites and occasionally transmitting deadly diseases. The earliest known mosquitoes, dating back at least 70 million years, and evidence of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria from 2000 BC Egyptian mummies, remind us of their long-standing presence.

In addition to malaria, which claims over half a million lives annually and infects nearly 250 million people, mosquitoes also act as carriers for various other diseases, including dengue, Zika, lymphatic filariasis, and yellow fever. Consequently, our relationship with these tiny, blood-sucking insects has been far from harmonious.

Assistance from sequencing technology
The rapid urbanization of the world's populations, particularly in large, economically developing countries like India, has led to yearly increases in mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue. Coupled with the effects of climate change, mosquito-borne diseases have extended into new regions. An example of this is the recent indigenous cases of dengue in France.

It's no wonder that mosquito control is currently in the spotlight, with a continuous battle using various tools, ranging from mosquito nets to insecticides and the utilization of symbionts like Wolbachia. However, with mosquito resistance to insecticides on the rise, there's an urgent need for innovative mosquito control methods, even with the availability of a first-generation malaria vaccine currently being tested in endemic regions worldwide.

Over the past two decades, our capacity to read, sequence, edit, and manipulate the genomes of organisms has provided us with new tools in this fight. Thanks to advancements in next-generation sequencing techniques, we now possess whole genome sequences for multiple mosquito species. Notably, researchers from the University of California, the Tata Institute of Genetics and Society, and the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology have contributed to creating high-quality reference genomes for Anopheles stephensi, a major malaria-carrying mosquito (with the latter two institutes based in Bengaluru).

The availability of these high-quality sequences, combined with our ability to genetically manipulate them, presents unprecedented opportunities.

The gene drive
The core concept behind genetic manipulation of mosquitoes is to systematically control their populations by interfering with their reproductive processes. Scientists worldwide have developed various genetic modification approaches. A significant one in this endeavor is gene-drive technology, which ultimately leads to mosquitoes inheriting specific genes selectively, rather than following Mendelian genetics' traditional rules.

Gene-drive technology was initially proposed by Austin Burt, a professor at Imperial College London, in a 2003 paper published in Royal Society Proceedings. In this technique, a protein cuts the mosquito's DNA at a non-encoding part of the genome, triggering a natural cell mechanism to repair it. This forces the cell to incorporate a sequence called the "drive sequence" into the damaged section.

Numerous gene-drive versions exist in the scientific literature, all aimed at reducing mosquito populations' reproductive capabilities or rendering them sterile. Consequently, the malaria parasite cannot replicate within the mosquito's gut. In a recent study published in Science Advances, researchers at Imperial College London enhanced a gene expressed in mosquitoes' midguts to secrete two antimicrobial substances called magainin 2 and melittin. These substances are detrimental to the Plasmodium parasite's development in the midgut and also shorten female mosquitoes' lifespans. Computational models suggest that this approach could significantly disrupt malaria transmission.

Benefits and risks
In 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authorized the release of a genetically modified mosquito known as OX5034 in counties in Florida and Texas. Oxitec developed this mosquito with a gene sensitive to an antibiotic, tetracycline. The authorization followed extensive field trials conducted by the company in Brazil. Genetically modified male OX5034 mosquitoes mated with female mosquitoes, but a self-limiting gene prevented female offspring from surviving. Consequently, male mosquitoes would gradually disappear from the environment after approximately a dozen generations.

Genetically modified mosquitoes have also been tested in controlled outdoor conditions in India, Brazil, and Panama. Initial results from these trials showed promising reductions in mosquito populations, around 90% during the trials. Additional trials demonstrated significant decreases in dengue incidence as well.

These technologies offer both benefits and risks. One immediate implication is that the drastic reduction in mosquito populations could disrupt food chains and ecosystems that involve mosquitoes. Therefore, it's possible that other mosquitoes or insects might fill the ecological gap. As such, the short-term and long-term consequences remain not fully understood. Since the outcomes affect individuals, communities, and populations, determining the right course of action and the necessary processes poses a dilemma for policymakers.

A timeless struggle
It's not surprising that genetic engineering of mosquitoes and trials involving genetically modified mosquitoes face multifaceted challenges worldwide. Critics have expressed concerns about unintended consequences, such as unforeseen ecological disruptions or the potential spread of engineered genes beyond target mosquito populations.

Some of these concerns are valid and require extensive data collection, close monitoring, and multi-stakeholder discussions regarding the adoption of this technology. On the regulatory front, the Department of Biotechnology in India released comprehensive guidelines for genetically engineered insects earlier this year, outlining procedures and regulations for working with such insects in the country.

The battle between mosquitoes and humankind appears to be a timeless struggle, showcasing human ingenuity against persistent troublemakers aided by evolution.

Photo Credit: Syed Ali/Unsplash


MediaTek announces its first 3nm Dimensity chipset

Mediatek, in an exciting development, has unveiled its first-ever 3nm Dimensity chipset. This cutting-edge technology, produced in partnership with TSMC, is poised to hit the market in the latter half of 2024, causing a buzz in the tech world.

The flagship chipset from Mediatek, utilizing TSMC's 3nm process, is all set to make its way into a wide array of devices, ranging from smartphones and tablets to smart cars and various other gadgets.

TSMC's 3nm technology brings significant enhancements to the table. It promises an impressive 18% boost in speed while maintaining the same power levels or, alternatively, a remarkable 32% reduction in power consumption while maintaining the same speed. Additionally, it boasts a staggering 60% increase in logic density compared to its 5nm predecessor, as claimed by Mediatek.

Joe Chen, President of Mediatek, expressed his confidence in TSMC's consistent and high-quality manufacturing capabilities, allowing Mediatek to showcase its top-notch design in flagship chipsets. He emphasized that this partnership will result in high-performance and top-quality solutions for global customers, ultimately enhancing the user experience in the flagship market.

Dr. Cliff Hou, Senior Vice President of Europe and Asia Sales at TSMC, emphasized the significance of this collaboration. He highlighted how Mediatek's Dimensity SoC, powered by TSMC's cutting-edge semiconductor process technology, is bringing the industry's most advanced tech within reach of consumers, just like the smartphone in your pocket.

photo credit : The Hindu


Onlooker! Aditya-L1 camera takes a selfie, images of Earth, Moon

ISRO shares Earth and Moon images from Aditya-L1 solar mission spacecraft.

ISRO unveiled a 'selfie' and pictures of Earth and the Moon captured by Aditya-L1's onboard camera.

"Aditya-L1, headed for the Sun-Earth L1 point, captures selfies and snaps of Earth and the Moon," declared the Bengaluru-based national space agency on 'X'.

These images showcase the VELC (Visible Emission Line Coronagraph) and SUIT (Solar Ultraviolet Imager) tools as seen by Aditya-L1's camera on September 4, 2023.

ISRO also shares Earth and Moon images captured by the camera.
Photo Credit: X: ISRO/@isro


NASA’s LRO captures Chandrayaan-3 landing site on the Moon

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), based at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and overseen by the Science Mission Directorate at NASA's headquarters in Washington, is the managing entity for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Arizona State University is responsible for the management and operation of the LRO Camera (LROC).

Recently, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), while on its lunar mission, successfully located and captured an image of the landing site of the Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module on the Moon's surface.

According to NASA, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) achieved the Chandrayaan-3 lunar landing on August 23, 2023. This landing site is situated approximately 600 kilometers from the South Pole of the Moon. LROC, a part of LRO, acquired a unique oblique view of the lander four days later, resulting in a bright halo around the vehicle due to the interaction between the rocket plume and the Moon's fine-grained regolith (soil).

The management of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) falls under NASA's purview, with the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, playing a central role, overseen by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at their headquarters in Washington. Arizona State University is entrusted with the management and operation of LROC.

Launched on June 18, 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has amassed a wealth of data using its seven powerful instruments, contributing significantly to our understanding of the Moon.

Notably, the LRO recently captured an image of a new crater on the lunar surface, believed to be the impact site of Russia's Luna 25 mission. Unfortunately, the Luna 25 mission encountered a technical issue, leading to a crash on the Moon's surface on August 19.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has placed the lander Vikram and rover Pragyan, which has a mission duration of one lunar day (equivalent to 14 Earth days), into a dormant state. ISRO plans to reactivate both Vikram and Pragyan on September 22, once solar power is depleted and the batteries are drained. Prior to this, the lander successfully executed a hop experiment, elevating itself by about 40 cm as commanded and landing safely at a distance of 30–40 cm from its initial position.

Photo Credit: LROC


OpenAI defends alleged use of novels in training data sets for “innovation”

In a legal response to authors who alleged that OpenAI used their creative content without permission to develop its product, the company behind ChatGPT has defended its use of media.

OpenAI has justified its utilization of copyrighted materials, including novels, in datasets for training large language models (LLMs), arguing that fair use provides legal protection for such innovative practices.

In an official court document filed on August 28, OpenAI formally addressed the lawsuit brought by authors Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad, who asserted that the AI startup employed their copyrighted content to train ChatGPT. OpenAI has requested the dismissal of most of the claims, and it also referenced the class action complaint filed by authors Chris Golden, Sarah Silverman, and Richard Kadrey, who similarly claimed that their creative work had been utilized.

"Plaintiffs' Complaints primarily revolve around copyright claims. However, these claims misunderstand the scope of copyright law, as they fail to consider the limitations and exceptions (including fair use) that allow for innovations like the large language models currently leading the field of artificial intelligence. The fundamental purpose of copyright is to 'promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,'" stated OpenAI in its legal filing.

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Authors have previously alleged that Google and Meta also used copyrighted content for their AI products.

Certain authors have contended that ChatGPT's ability to partially summarize their work serves as evidence that it was trained on their novels. In a similar case against Google, one plaintiff claimed that the AI chatbot Bard reproduced parts of their book, nearly word-for-word.

Authors have further asserted that OpenAI, Google, and Meta have used copyrighted materials that are freely available on book piracy websites.

OpenAI emphasized in its filing that many previous court rulings have applied the fair use doctrine to acknowledge that it is acceptable for "innovators" to employ copyrighted content in "transformative ways."

Photo Credit: REUTERS


Finally, physicists have a way to ‘see’ inside short-lived nuclei

Scientists in Japan have added a groundbreaking tool in their pursuit of unraveling a long-standing enigma: a theory to elucidate the enigmatic configurations assumed by atomic nuclei.

Approximately 150 years ago, three scientists by the names of Ernest Rutherford, Hans Geiger, and Ernest Marsden exposed a slender gold foil to radiation. By analyzing the way the rays were altered by atoms in the foil, they ascertained that every atom possesses a dense core where its mass and positive charge are concentrated.

Fast forward 70 years, Robert Hofstadter led a team that bombarded electrons at thin foils. The higher energy of the electrons allowed them to 'probe' the nucleus. Through these interactions, the team gained insight into the arrangement of charges and magnetic fields inside a nucleus.

In both instances, physicists managed to 'peer' inside stable atoms and subsequently inside their nuclei by employing other particles.

Now, researchers at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan have taken a significant stride forward in this scientific tradition. They have demonstrated a setup capable of employing electron scattering to 'observe' unstable nuclei, including those that are not naturally occurring.

Previous experiments utilized thin foils that were easily manageable. However, the new approach is more sophisticated, employing an apparatus to contain the nuclei of caesium-137 atoms and ensure that electrons could interact with them, utilizing a system known as SCRIT. The reason this advancement took time is why a similar study couldn't have been conducted earlier.

The findings were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters on August 30.

The SCRIT advantage

To begin, the researchers accelerated electrons in a particle accelerator to energize them, subsequently colliding them into a block of uranium carbide. This generated a stream of caesium-137 ions (atoms devoid of electrons). Caesium-137 has a half-life of roughly 30 years.

Kyo Tsukada, an associate professor at the Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, and the primary author of the study, explained, "All systems are connected with vacuum pipes, and the process is executed swiftly. This technique has been designed for short-lived nuclei. If one's interest lies solely in long-lived nuclei, alternative methods such as chemical separation of radioactive isotopes might be considered."

The ions were then conveyed to the SCRIT system, an abbreviation for 'Self-Confining Radioactive-isotope Ion Target.'

Dr. Tsukada elaborated, "This method allows us to confine the target ions in three dimensions along the electron beam using the electric attractive force between the ions and the electrons. The resulting overlap between the target ions and the electron beam is very effective."

This 'overlap' significantly increased the likelihood of electron-ion collisions. According to Dr. Tsukada, SCRIT enabled the researchers to achieve this with as few as 108 caesium-137 ions, a far cry from the trillion-fold increase required without SCRIT.

"Furthermore, we recently developed an ion beam generation and beam-stacking system that enables us to extract the caesium-137 unstable nuclei as a pulsed beam immediately after the photo-fission of uranium," Dr. Tsukada added.

Enter quantum mechanics

The next step involved investigating the electron-ion interaction.

When light passes through a tiny, circular aperture, it casts a shadow on the opposite surface consisting of concentric circles of light and dark regions. This occurs because different segments of a light wave passing through the aperture are compelled to interfere with each other, producing the characteristic interference pattern on the surface.

When an electron is scattered by an atom's nucleus, it behaves like a wave during the interaction. After being scattered, the electron waves interfere with one another. The physicists employed a device known as a magnetic spectrometer to record the resulting interference pattern. This measurement process offers two significant advantages.

Firstly, interactions between particles can become convoluted. For instance, at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, scientists amass extensive data on proton-proton collisions and analyze them using cutting-edge algorithms and supercomputers. However, interactions involving electrons are more straightforward because the theory describing them is better understood. Moreover, information about a nucleus can be more readily extracted from the interference patterns created by electrons, constituting the first advantage.

The second advantage is that researchers could sidestep particle interactions necessitating more intricate theories by fine-tuning the energy of the electrons.

The collision of particles

To sum it up, the setup at RIKEN resulted in the creation of ions, their swift transport to SCRIT, where they were primed for their encounter with electrons. Subsequently, electrons, energized to a specific energy level, collided with the ions.

Based on the magnetic spectrometer's readings, the physicists concluded that the internal structure of a caesium-137 nucleus corresponds to what had been previously established through older studies and theoretical calculations.

This outcome is of paramount importance: physicists have now successfully tested a setup capable of scrutinizing the nuclear structure of short-lived atomic nuclei using electron scattering. While caesium-137 itself is not short-lived, Dr. Tsukada clarified, "This experiment serves as a demonstration of our facility, and caesium-137 was chosen as the initial example. All procedures are exactly the same as those employed for short-lived nuclear targets."

In essence, the physicists have unveiled a "femtoscope." Just as a light microscope can examine objects on the scale of micrometers, a femtoscope is a device equipped to explore the femtometer scale (10-15 m) of atomic nuclei.

This is a significant development as it introduces a novel tool into the arsenal of physicists as they embark on solving an age-old, unresolved issue: the absence of a comprehensive theory explaining the structure of atomic nuclei.

Over the years, physicists have encountered numerous atomic properties stemming from idiosyncrasies in their nuclei. One such phenomenon is the 'island of stability.' Ordinarily, the heavier the nucleus of an unstable element, the quicker it undergoes radioactive decay. However, scientists have identified some isotopes that decay more slowly than their weight would suggest.

When plotting a graph with the number of protons on one axis and the number of neutrons on the other, they observed that most isotope nuclei aligned along a straight line. Yet, some isotopes clustered around a proton count of 112. This grouping is referred to as the 'island of stability' since these nuclei display unusual stability. This particular proton count has been termed the 'magic number.'

There exist theories regarding the explanation of these islands – and possibly others like them – but they remain speculative. Physicists are hopeful that by employing a femtoscope, similar to the one constructed by the RIKEN team, they will be able to investigate the structures of nuclei expected to exhibit peculiar shapes, such as those with non-uniform densities of protons and neutrons, potentially leading to the discovery of a unified theory of nuclear structure within the gaps between anticipated and unexpected shapes.


Chandrayaan-3 | Vikram hops on the Moon and lands safely

In response to your request, here's the passage translated into Indian English with SEO-friendly keywords:

"On command, the Vikram lander fired its engines, lifting itself by about 40 cm as anticipated, and safely touched down at a distance of 30 to 40 cm.

The Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan-3 mission achieved a noteworthy milestone as it successfully carried out a hop experiment.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Tuesday that the lander had effectively executed a hop experiment. Following the command, it engaged its engines, rose by approximately 40 cm as planned, and landed safely 30-40 cm away.

This successful hop experiment and commencement have potential implications for upcoming missions, including those aimed at retrieving lunar samples and future human expeditions to the moon.

The lander, which carried the rover Pragyan, had a successful soft landing on August 23, after which Pragyan was deployed on the lunar surface.

"The Vikram Lander exceeded its mission goals, successfully completing a hop experiment.

Responding to commands, it propelled itself upwards by about 40 cm as expected and landed safely at a distance of 30-40 cm. Why is this important? This 'kickstart' boosts enthusiasm for future sample retrieval and human missions," the space agency shared on X (formerly Twitter).

Furthermore, ISRO confirmed that all systems operated as expected and remained in good condition.

"Ramp, ChaSTE, and ILSA were folded back and redeployed successfully after the experiment," ISRO added.

The lander, accompanied by the rover Pragyan, touched down softly on August 23, and Pragyan was later deployed on the lunar surface.

Since then, one of the instruments onboard Vikram, while conducting on-site measurements, identified the presence of plasma near the lunar surface. Additionally, two instruments detected and confirmed the presence of sulphur in the moon's southern polar region.

Moreover, Pragyan has covered a distance of over 100 meters from Vikram on the moon's surface.

On September 2, ISRO announced that Pragyan had completed its assigned tasks and had been safely parked in sleep mode. The battery was fully charged, and the solar panel was adjusted to receive sunlight at the next sunrise expected on September 22.

 Photo Credit: ISRO


Aditya-L1 lifts off to study the sun

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, or PSLV, gracefully ascended from Sriharikota at 11.50 a.m., embarking on one of its lengthiest journeys to place a spacecraft into a highly eccentric orbit around Earth.

India's maiden solar observatory mission, Aditya-L1, was inaugurated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on September 2.

In its 59th voyage, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carried the Aditya-L1 into the skies, departing from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at precisely 11.50 a.m.

Approximately 63 minutes post-liftoff, the Aditya-L1 was released into space, with the PSLV launching it into an exceedingly eccentric orbit around Earth at 12.53 p.m. This mission marked one of ISRO's most protracted PSLV flights in recent memory.

Following the successful launch, the Aditya-L1 will linger in Earth's orbit for 16 days, during which it will undergo five strategic maneuvers to gain the necessary velocity for its extended voyage toward the sun.

Subsequently, the spacecraft will execute a Trans-Lagrangian1 insertion maneuver, signaling the initiation of its 110-day course towards its destination around the L1 Lagrange point. Upon reaching the L1 point, another maneuver will anchor the Aditya-L1 into an orbit around L1, an equilibrium point between Earth and the sun governed by gravitational forces.

The spacecraft will carry out orbital adjustments using its Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) engine to attain the L1 position.

Aditya-L1 will position itself roughly 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, directed towards the sun, which corresponds to about 1% of the Earth-Sun distance.

Over its five-year mission life, Aditya-L1's payloads are anticipated to provide vital insights into various solar phenomena, including coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, pre-flare and flare activities, space weather dynamics, and particle and field propagation.

The seven payloads aboard Aditya-L1 include: Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS), High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS), Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX), Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA), and Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers.

The solar panels on Aditya-L1 have been successfully deployed, and the spacecraft is now generating power.

Following the launch, ISRO Chairperson S. Somanath remarked, "The Aditya-L1 spacecraft has been placed in a precisely intended elliptical orbit of 235 km by 19,500 km, thanks to the PSLV's exceptional precision. This mission mode is quite unique, with the PSLV's upper stage performing two burn sequences to position the primary satellite for the first time. Aditya-L1 will now commence its 125-day odyssey after a few maneuvers."

The inaugural orbit-raising maneuver is scheduled for September 3, around 11.45 a.m.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his congratulations, stating, "After the triumph of Chandrayaan-3, India continues its celestial voyage. Congratulations to our dedicated scientists and engineers at @isro for the successful launch of India's first Solar Mission, Aditya-L1. Our tireless scientific endeavors will persist in our quest to enhance our comprehension of the Universe for the benefit of all humanity."

Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Science & Technology Jitendra Singh added, "Congratulations India, congratulations ISRO... This is indeed a moment of sunshine for India, and the whole world watched this with bated breath."

The seven payloads aboard the Aditya-L1 satellite are as follows:

  1. Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC)
  2. Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)
  3. Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)
  4. High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)
  5. Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX)
  6. Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA)
  7. Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers

Aditya-L1 mission to mark 25th flight of PSLV-XL variant

On September 2, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to embark on its Aditya-L1 mission, and for this historic launch, they've chosen a variant of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). This PSLV variant has an impressive track record, having been the launch vehicle for India's pioneering missions to both the moon and Mars.

The upcoming PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 mission is a landmark event for India as it marks the country's inaugural solar mission. This mission also signifies a significant milestone for the PSLV-XL variant, which will be making its 25th flight.

The PSLV-XL is the most robust configuration of the PSLV, equipped with six strap-on motors, the maximum for this type of expendable launch vehicle. This configuration was first utilized during the launch of India's first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, in October 2008. Since then, it has been employed in several high-profile missions, including the Mars Orbiter Mission, known as Mangalyaan, launched in November 2013.

The last time the PSLV flew in the XL configuration was in November 2022 when it successfully deployed the EOS-06 satellite, the primary payload, along with eight nano-satellites into Earth's orbit.

Often referred to as 'ISRO's trusted workhorse,' the four-stage PSLV comes in various versions, featuring six strap-on motors (XL), four (QL), and two (DL) rocket strap-on motors to enhance the thrust provided by its first stage. These strap-ons are powered by the solid rocket propellant Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB).

Additionally, there's the CA (core alone) version, which doesn't use strap-on motors. The two previous PSLV missions, PSLV-C55 and PSLV-C56, conducted in April and July of this year, used the CA variant to deploy the TeLEOS-2 and DS-SAR satellites into orbit, respectively.

The highly anticipated PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 mission is scheduled for liftoff from Sriharikota at 11:50 a.m. on Saturday. The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is equipped with seven scientific payloads designed to study the sun and weighs in at 1,480.7 kg. This mission represents India's first space-based observatory-class solar mission. Following a four-month journey covering a staggering 1.5 million km, the spacecraft will be positioned in a halo orbit at the Lagrangian point L1.

Photo Credit: PTI


Countdown for India’s first solar observatory mission Aditya-L1 starts

The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is all set to soar into the sky on September 2, 2023, at 11:50 a.m., as it is scheduled for liftoff by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota.

The countdown for India's pioneering solar observatory mission, Aditya-L1, has officially begun at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

In a tweet from ISRO's official account, they declared, "The countdown leading to the launch at 11:50 Hrs. IST on September 2, 2023 has commenced."

This marks the 59th mission of the PSLV and the 25th mission employing the PSLV-XL configuration.

The PSLV will catapult the Aditya-L1 spacecraft into a highly eccentric earth-bound orbit.

ISRO reveals that the spacecraft will be positioned in a halo orbit around Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the sun-earth system, situated about 1.5 million km from Earth.

"A satellite positioned in the halo orbit around the L1 point enjoys the significant advantage of uninterrupted sun observations without any hindrance or eclipses. This offers a tremendous advantage for real-time observation of solar activities and their impact on space weather. The spacecraft carries seven payloads designed to scrutinize the photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layers of the sun (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors. From the unique vantage point L1 provides, four payloads will have a direct view of the sun, while the remaining three will conduct in-situ studies of particles and fields at Lagrange point L1, offering invaluable insights into the propagatory effects of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium," details the Aditya-L1 mission profile.

The data collected by the Aditya-L1 payloads is expected to provide crucial information to comprehend phenomena such as coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities, space weather dynamics, and the propagation of particles and fields.

The satellite carries seven payloads onboard, including the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS), High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS), Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX), Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA), and Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers.

The launch of Aditya-L1 follows India's historic achievement of becoming the fourth nation to successfully land on the moon and the first to land near the lunar south pole.
Photo Credit: PTI


Cdr Abhilash Tomy to advise ISRO on recovery of astronauts after splashdown

In April, Commander Abhilash Tomy achieved a historic feat by becoming the first Indian to successfully complete the esteemed Golden Globe Race (GGR) 2022.

Renowned circumnavigator and the sole Indian to accomplish the Golden Globe Race (GGR), Retired Commander Abhilash Tomy, will be guiding and mentoring two dedicated women officers from the Indian Navy, Lieutenant Commander Dilna and Lieutenant Commander Roopa. They are all set to embark on Sagar Parikrama IV, a remarkable sailing expedition around the world aboard the Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini, scheduled for the upcoming year. Commander Tomy is also presently collaborating with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for its human space mission, Gaganyaan. His expertise involves advising on the retrieval of astronauts from the sea.

Before the formal initiation of preparations for Sagar Parikrama IV, the Navy's Ocean Sailing Node entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Commander Tomy. The signing ceremony witnessed the presence of Vice Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, Controller of Personnel Services and Vice President of the Indian Naval Sailing Association (INSA), along with Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar, Commandant of the Naval War College. This significant development was announced by the Navy in a statement on Thursday.

Lieutenant Commander Dilna and Lieutenant Commander Roopa will constitute the team for the ambitious circumnavigation sailing voyage on the Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini next year. Both officers had previously participated in the seven-month-long, 17000-nautical-mile trans-oceanic "Goa to Rio & Back" Tarini Expedition.

"In the upcoming months, the two officers will undergo rigorous training for the mission under the guidance of Commander Tomy. This will encompass numerous short and extended sailing journeys across the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean," as communicated by the Navy. Commander Tomy will also offer mentorship to participants of other sailing expeditions and share his insights during motivational sessions at training institutions.

Sagar Parikrama IV will involve a crossing that has never been attempted before, marking a significant milestone in India's ocean sailing endeavors, as highlighted by the Navy.

Discussing his involvement with ISRO, Commander Tomy informed The Hindu that he is contributing to enhancing procedures for the retrieval of astronauts after their capsule splashes down in the sea upon return. "Upon landing, they touch down in the sea. ISRO required assistance in refining their protocols for sea-based recovery," he explained.

If all goes according to plan, a designated recovery point has been chosen, and the Navy will retrieve the astronauts. However, in the event of a mishap during landing, given the vast expanse of potential landing spots worldwide, a search and rescue operation will be initiated. "The Navy will take time to reach the location. It will involve a search and rescue process," he added.

While participating in the GGR in 2018, Commander Tomy sustained a severe back injury and found himself stranded in the southern Indian Ocean, approximately 1900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia, and 2700 nautical miles from Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari). He was ultimately rescued through a collaborative multinational search and rescue mission. Earlier this year, another GGR-2022 participant, Ian Herbert Jones, was rescued from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean just three days after raising a distress signal.

Commander Tomy underscored the critical role of emergency locator beacons, which possess sufficient endurance to allow rescue teams adequate time to reach individuals in remote oceanic regions.

In April, Commander Tomy etched his name in history by becoming the first Indian to successfully complete the prestigious GGR 2022, securing the second position after enduring a grueling 236 days alone at sea in a sailboat, in an awe-inspiring display of determination and endurance.

Photo Credit: The Hindu


Coronagraph of Aditya-L1 will send 1,440 images of sun a day

Aditya-L1, ISRO's much-anticipated mission, is all set for its launch on September 2 at 11.50 a.m. from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

The core payload of this pioneering scientific endeavor, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), is developed by the esteemed Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru. This advanced instrument will capture and transmit a remarkable 1,440 images of the sun each day to ground stations.

Hailing from the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the sun-earth system, located approximately 1.5 million km away from Earth, VELC will enable continuous monitoring of the sun's corona.

Although Aditya-L1 is slated for liftoff on September 2, there's an exciting cruise phase of over 100 days before it reaches the designated L1 position. Upon arrival, the observation window is anticipated to open, likely in the initial weeks of January 2024. Principal Investigator of the VELC payload, Ramesh. R, shared these details with The Hindu.

Professor Ramesh emphasized that the VELC payload is primed to deliver a staggering 1,440 daily images of the sun. The payload's design ensures that every minute, a new sun image is acquired, culminating in this impressive volume of data. The effective processing and timely dissemination of this data are key.

Considering the magnitude of this endeavor, Professor Ramesh expressed confidence in the IIA's and ISRO's readiness to handle such voluminous data. Their established systems are geared up for the task at hand.

Massive computing power is in place to manage the incoming data flow. The Indian Deep Space Network in Bylalu will facilitate the download of Level 0 data from the spacecraft. These data will be processed at the Payload Operations Centre within 24 hours and then sent to the Indian Space Science Data Centre for wider distribution.

Aside from the VELC payload, Aditya-L1 will carry six other payloads, extending the mission's duration to five years.

IIA Director Annapurni Subramaniam underscored the significance of the VELC payload, describing it as the spacecraft's cornerstone. From its vantage point at L1, the spacecraft will capture diverse images of the sun, enhancing our comprehension of its characteristics and the surrounding corona. Prof. Annapurni Subramaniam further highlighted the intricate nature of VELC, which specializes in observing specific spectral lines.

In summary, the launch of Aditya-L1 by ISRO is a highly anticipated event, with the VELC payload poised to unveil a wealth of insights about the sun and its corona, all thanks to India's scientific prowess.

Photo source PTI


Aditya-L1, first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun, to be launched on September 2

As per ISRO, the spacecraft will be positioned in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth.

Aditya-L1, India's inaugural space-based observatory for studying the sun, is set to be launched on September 2, as declared by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday.

"The launch of Aditya-L1, India's foremost space-based sun observatory, is planned for September 2, 2023, at 11:50 AM IST from Sriharikota," ISRO shared on X, previously known as Twitter.

According to ISRO, the spacecraft will be put into a halo orbit encircling the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, situated around 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. The spacecraft is anticipated to take over 120 days to reach the L1 point.

"A satellite positioned in the halo orbit near the L1 point holds a key advantage of continuously observing the sun without any obstructions or eclipses. This allows for enhanced monitoring of solar activities and their impact on space weather in real-time. The spacecraft carries seven distinct payloads for observing the photosphere, chromosphere, and the outer layers of the sun (the corona) using electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field sensors. From the unique vantage of L1, four payloads will directly capture sun observations, while the remaining three will conduct on-site investigations of particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1. This will provide crucial scientific insights into the propagation effects of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium," explains the Aditya L1 mission description.

The instruments aboard Aditya L1 are expected to offer vital insights into comprehending phenomena such as coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, pre-flare and flare activities, space weather dynamics, and the spread of particles and fields.

The satellite houses seven payloads: Visible Emission Line Coronagraph, Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope, Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer, High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer, Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment, Plasma Analyzer Package for Aditya, and Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers.
Photo Credit: ANI


Skyroot expects to double rocket launches amid Chandrayaan-3's success

The Hyderabad-based company, supported by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, GIC, is also targeting to secure additional funds by the end of next year.

Skyroot Aerospace, the pioneer of India's first private rocket launch in 2022, has set its sights on doubling its planned launches from the upcoming year, riding on the potential growth of the country's emerging private space industry due to the triumph of the Chandrayaan-3 moon mission.

The company, headquartered in Hyderabad and backed by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, GIC, is also aiming to raise additional capital by the conclusion of the following year, as per co-founder Pawan Kumar Chandana's statement to Reuters.

"Starting from 2024 onwards, our objective is to carry out a minimum of two launches annually, and this frequency might increase as we progress," explained Chandana, whose company is all set to launch its second rocket into space by year-end.

Chandana, a former scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), disclosed that he has been receiving "numerous inquiries from both global and domestic investors" interested in comprehending Skyroot's business, particularly since India achieved the historic feat of landing safely on the lunar south pole.

With the aim of reducing satellite launch expenses in an increasingly competitive industry, Skyroot conducted the first private rocket launch in India. This field is becoming more congested as various enterprises develop satellite networks to offer broadband services, requiring frequent small satellite launches.

Chandana conveyed that the company is charting a course to expand its workforce of 280 employees by 20% within the next two years to facilitate the anticipated surge in launch activities.

Furthermore, a fundraising endeavor is on the horizon for 2024, surpassing the $51 million obtained in the previous funding round led by GIC. Chandana didn't provide additional specifics but indicated, "Our current financial resources are substantial. Therefore, we anticipate our next major fundraising round, which will be the Series C round, to take place around the end of 2024.
Photo Credit: Reuters


Apple’s ‘Right to Repair’ volte-face is a big deal

Apple's surprising U-turn on its stance against the "right to repair" holds significance as it was one of the tech giants opposing the concept of allowing users to repair their own damaged devices.

Apple's stance took an unexpected turn on Thursday. The company, which was against the "right to repair" movement just a few years ago, has now become its newest supporter.

At one point, Apple's lobbyists reportedly informed Nebraska state legislators that providing users unauthorized repair access would attract hackers to the state. However, the iPhone manufacturer is now backing a crucial piece of legislation that grants consumers and third-party firms the authority to repair damaged electronic products.

Apple has endorsed the proposed legislation in its current form in a letter to Senator Susan Eggman, the sponsor of California's "right to repair" bill. The company believes that this law would benefit users, safeguard their privacy and security.

The endorsement from Apple is expected to alleviate concerns about industry compliance, according to Hayley Tsukayama, Associate Director of Legislative Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). This move is likely to make the bill more appealing to other states as well.

A Change in Perspective

In an ideal situation, when you buy a product, you should have the freedom to do whatever you wish with it. However, the concept of ownership began to shift with the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by U.S. lawmakers in the late 90s, aimed at curbing intellectual property theft.

This was a time when people primarily communicated through landline phones. Mobile devices were just gaining popularity, and dial-up connections were providing access to the emerging internet.

No one could have predicted the rise of the internet-powered smartphone era that emerged a decade later. Powerful hardware coupled with intricately designed software gave birth to the era of smart mobile devices, voice-activated speakers, and sleek computers.

These innovations extended beyond communication gadgets, impacting various industries. Today, nearly all manufactured products feature microchips supported by well-designed software. Proprietary software has become crucial as more devices rely on agile software for their functioning. However, this makes it difficult for consumers to repair devices that malfunction.

In the U.S., major tech companies had prohibited consumers and third-party repairers from fixing software-controlled devices, using the DMCA as a legal basis. This enabled these companies to retain control over repairs through authorized service centers.

The DMCA, enacted just before the turn of the millennium, protected original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) by preventing third-party repairers from bypassing software protection codes.

Copyright Office Intervenes

However, the U.S. Copyright Office recently permitted users to repair various devices, including automobiles. In 2021, the office introduced new exemptions to the DMCA, extending protection to consumer devices reliant on software codes.

Furthermore, multiple U.S. states have passed "right to repair" laws allowing consumers to repair their devices to some extent. States like Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York have enacted variations of these laws. Approximately 40 states are reportedly working on legislation to grant consumers the right to repair their products.

California aims to enact its own right to repair law following a disappointing outcome the previous year. The SB 244 bill, combined with the Song-Beverly Act, provides specific guidelines regarding the duration OEMs must supply parts and repair support.

The legislation covers a wide array of consumer products that can be repaired without involving a company-authorized service center. The law empowers the state to take legal action against manufacturers violating these regulations, imposing fines of up to $5,000 per day. However, gaming consoles and alarm systems are excluded due to security concerns.

To address concerns about intellectual property, the legislation doesn't require OEMs to share trade secrets or disclose a product's source code.

Apple's Change of Heart

Apple's change of heart, based in Cupertino, holds significance, especially considering its past clashes with antitrust regulators over consumer protection laws.

In 2018, Australia's antitrust regulator fined Apple $9 million (AUD) in a "bricking" case. This case involved Apple using a software update to disable numerous iPhones and iPads, subsequently refusing to unlock them when serviced by third-party entities. The company later issued a software patch to unlock the affected devices.

A growing movement advocating for the "right to repair" has pressured major tech companies, including Apple, to adapt. A couple of years ago, Apple introduced a self-service repair program that enabled users to buy parts and rent tools for repairing their devices. The SB 244 legislation is likely to amplify the influence of the "right to repair" movement.

According to Hayley Tsukayama from EFF, the California bill is more robust than the one passed in New York. It differs from Minnesota's legislation as well. For instance, California's bill covers devices sold to schools and builds upon the state's existing warranty law.

A Lesson for Tesla

Despite the growing momentum of the "right to repair" movement, its impact on the automobile industry, especially companies like Tesla, remains limited. Tesla faces legal challenges in California, accused of unlawfully restricting competition in car maintenance and repair. This has resulted in significant expenses for car owners.

Two lawsuits filed against Tesla allege that the company designed cars and repair policies to discourage the use of third-party shops not under Tesla's control. Such policies have led to prolonged wait times, which could have been minimized if owners had the option of choosing local repair shops.

The outcome of these lawsuits remains uncertain. In the absence of a comprehensive federal law covering the right to repair all consumer products, corporations continue to exert undue influence over buyers even after a sale.

Endorsement from major tech companies for such legislation can help lawmakers strike a balance between consumer advocates and businesses, streamlining the legislative process. Achieving consensus on a unified solution significantly enhances the chances of passing these laws, as highlighted by Hayley Tsukayama.
Photo Credit: Reuters


After Chandrayaan-3, Space Physics Lab at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre prepares to study solar wind

ISRO Depicts Aditya-L1 as the 'First Indian Space Mission to Explore the Sun' from a Halo Orbit around Sun-Earth's L1 Point.

Researchers at the Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), housed within the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), are gearing up to unlock the enigmas of solar wind as the Aditya-L1 mission, designed to scrutinize the sun, readies for launch in September.

The Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA) payload on board Aditya-L1, one of seven scientific instruments on this ambitious mission, was conceived by the SPL to gain profound insights into the phenomenon of 'solar wind,' the ceaseless flow of charged particles emanating from the sun.

S. Somanath, Chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), stated on Saturday that the launch is scheduled to take place from Sriharikota during the initial week of September.

Electron Energy
SPL's PAPA payload will meticulously examine the solar wind's composition, as per a senior ISRO official. "It will investigate the energy of electrons, as well as the energy and mass of protons and ions within it. The study will also encompass angular variations," conveyed the official.

For the SPL, the Aditya-L1 mission marks another significant milestone, following closely after the Chandrayaan-3 lunar expedition, in which it played a pivotal role with two essential scientific instruments. ISRO defines Aditya-L1 as the 'maiden Indian space mission focused on scrutinizing the sun' while orbiting the sun-earth system's Lagrangian point 1 (L1) from a halo orbit.

Weighing approximately 8 kg, PAPA shares space on the Aditya-L1 spacecraft with six other instruments developed by ISRO sibling units and collaborating scientific organizations. ISRO outlines these instruments as being designed "to investigate the chromosphere, photosphere, and outermost solar layers using electromagnetic and particle detectors."

ISRO will utilize an XL variant of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to situate the Aditya-L1 spacecraft into a low Earth orbit. Mr. Somanath mentioned in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday that the spacecraft has been integrated with the launch vehicle at Sriharikota. Following launch, it is projected to take 125 days to reach its designated position at L1.

Aboard the Chandrayaan-3 mission's Vikram lander, which softly landed on the moon on August 23, the SPL carried two instruments: Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) and the Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA).


Chandrayaan-3 success | PM lands in Bengaluru to greet, interact with ISRO scientists

Mr. Modi is all set to pay a visit to the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) here in Bengaluru. During this visit, he will receive an update from the top ISRO officials regarding the progress of our nation's third lunar expedition.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Bengaluru on Saturday morning directly from the Greek capital of Athens. His purpose is to extend his congratulations and engage with the ISRO scientists who are actively involved in the Chandrayaan-3 mission, India's lunar endeavor.

At the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), he will be provided with a detailed briefing by senior ISRO officials concerning the advancements made in our country's third lunar pursuit.

Sharing his excitement, the PM expressed in a social media post on 'X', "Just arrived in Bengaluru. Eagerly looking forward to connecting with our exceptional @isro scientists, whose remarkable achievements in the Chandrayaan-3 mission have brought immense pride to India! Their unwavering commitment and enthusiasm undeniably steer our nation's accomplishments in the space domain."

This visit comes following the conclusion of his four-day tour across South Africa and Greece. During his journey, he attended the 15th BRICS Summit held from August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg.

An official stated, "Mr. Modi reached Bengaluru directly after concluding his visits to South Africa and Greece."

Last Wednesday evening, as the Lander Module of the Chandrayaan-3 mission successfully made contact with the lunar surface, Mr. Modi virtually joined the ISRO team at the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISTRAC all the way from South Africa.
Photo Credit: AP


Pragyaan rover traverses 8 metres on lunar surface, its payloads turned on

On August 23, India created a historic moment as its third unmanned Moon mission successfully executed a flawless soft landing. This achievement marked a significant milestone as the lander module touched down on the lunar surface without any issues.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on August 25 that the Chandrayaan-3 rover, named 'Pragyaan', has effectively covered a distance of around eight meters. Additionally, the rover's various instruments have been activated for operation.

ISRO shared on their platform that all planned movements of the rover have been confirmed and validated. The rover has managed to traverse a distance of approximately 8 meters, with its scientific instruments, the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) and the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), now operational.

ISRO also reported that all payloads on the propulsion module, lander module, and rover are performing as intended.

The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is aimed at analyzing the chemical composition and understanding the mineralogical makeup of the lunar surface.

The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) will endeavor to determine the elemental composition (including Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Fe) of the lunar soil and rocks surrounding the landing area.

On August 24, ISRO activated the payloads on the Lander module, namely ILSA, RAMBHA, and ChaSTE.

ILSA's purpose is to measure seismic activity in the vicinity of the landing site, while RAMBHA is designed to study the plasma environment around the Moon.

Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) aims to measure the thermal properties of the lunar surface.

India's achievement on August 23 marked the successful landing of its third unmanned Moon mission. This accomplishment made India the fourth nation to achieve this feat, and notably, the first to successfully land on the uncharted south pole of Earth's natural satellite.


Chandrayaan-3’s Pragyan rover has begun mobility operations, says ISRO

Payloads onboard the lander and rover have been successfully activated, and they will now investigate the moon’s mineral composition and seismic activities in its atmosphere, as stated by S. Somanath, the Chairman of ISRO.

Soon after the Pragyan lunar rover emerged from the Vikram lander and embarked on its inaugural journey across the lunar terrain in the early hours of Thursday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the significant Chandrayaan-3 Mission was proceeding as planned, with all systems functioning smoothly. The instruments carried by the lander and rover will undertake a study of the moon’s mineral composition and seismic activities within its atmosphere, according to ISRO Chairman S. Somanath.

The autonomous rover's expedition on the lunar surface began a day after India achieved the distinction of becoming the fourth nation to achieve a successful lunar landing, sparking jubilant festivities both at ISRO and across the nation.

'Exploration on Lunar Terrain' "Chandrayaan-3 ROVER: Crafted in India, Tailored for the MOON! The Ch-3 Rover disembarked from the Lander and India commenced its lunar exploration!" ISRO posted on the social media platform X, on Thursday morning.

President Draupadi Murmu was the first to announce the successful release of the rover at 7 a.m. She stated, "Just a few hours following Vikram's landing, the Ch-3 Rover made its way onto the moon, signifying another triumphant phase of Chandrayaan 3. Alongside my fellow citizens and scientists, I eagerly await the insights and analyses that Pragyan will gather, further enriching our comprehension of the moon."

'Optimal Functioning of All Systems' Later in the evening, ISRO provided an update regarding mission operations and the instruments housed within the lander. The post read, "Chandrayaan-3 Mission: Every task is proceeding according to schedule. All systems are functioning normally. Payloads on the Lander Module – ILSA, RAMBHA, and ChaSTE – have been activated today. The rover's mobility operations have also been initiated. The SHAPE payload on the Propulsion Module was activated on Sunday."

Dr. Somanath verified the ongoing movement of the rover, affirming its smooth operation. He conveyed to the Press Trust of India that two instruments are present on the rover, with three instruments situated aboard the lander. All of these instruments have been sequentially activated.

He stated, "These instruments will primarily investigate the mineral composition and atmospheric conditions of the moon, as well as its seismic activities."

'Flawless Lunar Touchdown' Dr. Somanath also confirmed that the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft's Vikram lander executed a precise landing on the lunar surface, within the designated zone.

"The landing was executed flawlessly within the intended area. The landing coordinates were set at 4.5 km x 2.5 km – and, precisely at the center of this region, the landing site was identified. The landing occurred within 300 meters of that pinpointed location. This indicates that the landing was well within the designated area," he remarked."

photo : ISRO


Chandrayaan-3 | With moon now in India’s orbit, focus shifts to Pragyan rover

The Pragyan rover is all set to perform on-site chemical analysis of the lunar surface while on the move. Following the successful touchdown of Vikram, the lunar lander component of Chandrayaan-3, on August 23rd, attention now shifts to its onboard rover, Pragyan.

At the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network's Mission Operations Complex (MOX), preparations are in full swing to deploy the rover, which will conduct direct chemical assessments of the moon's surface during its journey.

"The Pragyan rover could emerge within the next few hours, although it might also take a day depending on the circumstances," stated ISRO Chairman S. Somanath.

Upon deployment, the rover is primed to undertake two pivotal experiments. Equipped with two key payloads—the LASER Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS)—Pragyan aims to achieve substantial scientific goals. The LIBS payload is tasked with qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis, yielding insights into chemical and mineralogical composition, thus enriching our knowledge of the lunar terrain.

Meanwhile, the APXS will decipher the elemental composition of lunar rocks and soil encompassing the landing region.

The Team Behind Chandrayaan-3's Triumph In the aftermath of ISRO's historic milestone of a successful south pole lunar landing, Mr. Somanath introduced the noteworthy contributors responsible for India's impeccable execution of the mission.

P. Veeramuthuvel, Project Director of Chandrayaan-3, expressed, "As the Project Director, achieving this milestone fills me with immense happiness and satisfaction. From launch to landing, every phase of the mission transpired flawlessly according to the schedule. We've now become the fourth nation to gracefully execute a lunar soft landing, and the first to accomplish this at the moon's southern pole."

Sreekanth, Mission Director of Chandrayaan-3, shared, "Being part of Chandrayaan-3 brings me great joy. As the Mission Director, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to every team member whose unwavering support led to the seamless execution of all mission aspects."

Kalpana K., Associate Project Director of Chandrayaan-3, hailed the achievement as a cherished moment, stating, "Our team has triumphed in flawlessly realizing our objectives after diligently rebuilding the spacecraft. This journey has been akin to breathing for us."

M. Sankaran, Director of U.R. Rao Satellite Centre, declared, "Today, we have realized the ambitions we set forth in 2019. Despite the four-year delay stemming from the Chandrayaan-2 setback in 2019, we have emerged triumphant.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Crafting safe Generative AI systems

Regulation is important, but not enough; a wider approach needs to be looked at

The era of Generative AI is upon us and has the potential to bring forth significant technical and societal changes. Large Language Models (LLMs) are predicted to contribute $2.6 trillion-$4.4 trillion annually to the global economy. A notable example of this impact can be seen in the ongoing trial of the Jugalbandi Chatbot in rural India (powered by ChatGPT). Jugalbandi aims to serve as a universal translator, taking queries in local languages, fetching answers from English-language sources, and presenting them in the user's native language. This service has the potential to democratize access to information and enhance the economic well-being of millions. And this is just one among many new services in development.

However, alongside the positive strides, this AI revolution also poses risks. One pressing issue is that AI-powered tools enable malicious actors to create artificial entities that are practically indistinguishable from humans online (using speech, text, and video). These actors can misrepresent themselves or others, potentially leading to a surge in issues like misinformation, disinformation, security breaches, fraud, hate speech, and public humiliation.

In the U.S., an AI-generated image depicting the Pentagon on fire caused disruptions in the stock markets. Fake Twitter and Instagram accounts spreading strong political opinions have been shared millions of times, contributing to heightened political polarization online. Cloned AI voices have been exploited to bypass bank customer authentication measures. An individual in Belgium reportedly took their own life after interactions with an LLM. Additionally, recent elections in Turkey were tainted by AI-generated deepfakes. With over a billion voters participating in upcoming elections across the U.S., India, the EU, the U.K., and Indonesia, the risk of malicious actors leveraging Generative AI for misinformation and election manipulation is steadily increasing.

Safety apprehensions linked to the deployment of Generative AI are rightfully a top priority for policymakers. The utilization of AI tools to distort identities or fabricate false information lies at the core of the safety discourse. Unfortunately, most of the proposed solutions under consideration appear to be inadequate. One common regulatory suggestion is to mandate that all digital assistants (also known as 'bots') clearly identify themselves as such and to criminalize the spread of fake media. While these measures might help establish accountability, they are unlikely to fully tackle the challenge. Established companies may comply by ensuring their AI bots self-identify and distribute accurate information. However, malicious actors will simply flout these rules, taking advantage of the trust built by compliant firms. What we truly require is a more conservative assurance framework where all digital entities are presumed to be AI bots or fraudulent operations unless proven otherwise.

Framework for Identity Assurance
Regulation is important, but it's insufficient; a broader strategy needs to be explored to enhance safety and credibility on the Internet. Drawing from our recent research at the Harvard Kennedy School, we propose an identity assurance framework. Identity assurance fosters trust between interacting parties by confirming the authenticity of the involved entities, enabling them to rely on each other's claimed identities. This framework should be adaptable to the diverse types of credentials emerging globally, not tied to any particular technology or standard, while still offering privacy safeguards. Digital wallets are particularly critical as they allow selective sharing of information and guard users against government and corporate surveillance. This identity assurance framework should encompass humans, bots, and businesses.

Presently, more than 50 countries are in the process of developing or issuing digital identity credentials, forming the basis for this identity assurance framework. India, with its Aadhaar system, is at the forefront of establishing safeguards for online identity assurance. The EU is also working on a new identity standard that will support online identity assurance, although widespread user adoption may take several years.

Identity assurance is also linked to the matter of information integrity. Information integrity ensures that the accessed content is genuine and was indeed published by the claimed source. This credibility rests on three pillars. First, source validation ensures that information originates from a known source or individual. Second, content integrity guarantees that the information hasn't been tampered with. Third, information validity, a contentious issue, can be achieved through automated fact-checking and reviews from the crowd.

Achieving both identity assurance and information integrity is no simple task. Identity assurance brings up familiar tensions—privacy versus surveillance, civil liberties versus security, anonymity versus accountability. Information integrity raises questions about censorship and the age-old query of 'who determines the truth?' As we strive to rebalance these two pillars online, it's important to recognize that each nation holds distinct values, and their tolerance for various risks may differ. Yet, these disparities can be managed within a larger framework.

The responsibility of ensuring the secure and safe deployment of Generative AI falls on global leaders. We must rethink our safety assurance paradigm and establish a trust framework to ensure worldwide identity assurance and information integrity. Beyond mere regulation, we must engineer our online safety.
 Photo Credit: Reuters


Chandrayaan-3 live updates | Vikram lander successfully lands on Moon; India becomes 4th country to

The Lander Module (LM) of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, which was launched on July 14, has successfully landed on the Moon’s surface on August 23. This achievement marks India as the fourth nation, following the former USSR, the U.S., and China, to accomplish a soft landing on the lunar surface.

With this triumphant landing, India has also become the first country to achieve a landing near the Moon’s south pole.

Indian cricketers are celebrating the landing of Chandrayaan-3’s module on the lunar surface. Current and former cricketers from India hailed this feat as “historic” and “extraordinary.”

In a video shared by the BCCI, the Indian cricket team can be seen celebrating while keeping track of the lunar module's updates on television, just a couple of hours before their final T20I against Ireland in Dublin.

India has now secured its place as the fourth country to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon and the first to do so near its south pole.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar praised ISRO for this remarkable achievement. He tweeted, “@ISRO represents the best of India. Humble, hardworking women & men, coming together, overcoming challenges, and making our tricolor fly high.”

“India must celebrate and congratulate the Chandrayaan-2 team, which was led by Shri K Sivan, along with Shri S Somanath’s #Chandrayaan3 team. Every hard landing has lessons which take us closer to a soft landing - on the moon, and in life,” Tendulkar added.

Star cricketer Virat Kohli wrote, “Many congratulations to the #Chandrayaan3 team. You have made the nation proud.. Jai Hind!” Spin stalwart Ravichandran Ashwin also praised the achievement, writing, “History. Congratulations @isro for this extraordinary accomplishment. #JaiHind.”

On August 23, 2023, India achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first nation to successfully land a craft on the Moon's south pole. This accomplishment is part of the escalating global competition in lunar exploration, involving established space powers as well as emerging players.

President Droupadi Murmu congratulated ISRO scientists on this momentous occasion. She described it as a proud moment for India and praised the historical significance of this achievement in a video message after witnessing the live telecast of the Moon landing.

Leading scientists and experts also expressed their enthusiasm for this monumental accomplishment. They emphasized that this achievement not only underscores India's influence in lunar exploration but also showcases the power of collaboration, determination, and advanced technology.

Prominent figures like the Director General of the European Space Agency, NASA administrator Bill Nelson, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also congratulated ISRO on its success.

The success of Chandrayaan-3's soft landing near the Moon’s south pole represents a collective achievement for every Indian, said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. He commended ISRO's continuous progress and the nation's pride in this accomplishment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the ISRO team and announced upcoming missions such as India's solar mission Aditya L1 and plans to send a mission to Venus.

In a historic moment, the Vikram lander has successfully achieved a soft landing on the lunar surface. This accomplishment places India in an elite group of nations, including the former USSR, USA, and China, to have achieved such a feat.
Photo: ISRO via AFP


Explained | What are the latest revisions to the process for acquiring a SIM?

The revised guidelines pertain to bulk purchase of SIM cards and mandate distributors, franchises, and agents involved in SIM card sales to undergo thorough verification, including police verification.

Recent Developments: On August 17, in an effort to combat cybercrimes and financial fraud more effectively, Union Minister for Telecommunications Ashwini Vaishnaw introduced two reforms. These reforms involve the revision of norms for bulk procurement of SIM cards and the registration of the final point of sale (PoS) by licensees or providers. These changes aim to strengthen the citizen-centric portal Sanchar Saathi, which was launched in May of this year with the same objective.

Understanding Sanchar Saathi:

In essence, the citizen-centric portal allows individuals to verify connections registered under their names, block lost or stolen mobile phones, report unauthorized connections, and authenticate device genuineness (prior to purchase) using the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). It operates through two modules: the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) and the Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP).

Sanchar Saathi has examined 1.14 billion active mobile connections so far. Among these, 6.6 million connections raised suspicion, leading to the disconnection of 5.2 million connections after failing re-verification. Additionally, 66,000 WhatsApp accounts were blocked, and 800,000 bank/wallet accounts linked to fraudsters were frozen. Furthermore, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has initiated over 300 First Information Reports (FIRs) against more than 1,700 dealers.

What's New in the PoS Reform?

Going forward, it is mandatory for SIM card distributors, agents, and franchises (all PoS) to be registered with the licensees or telecom network operators. The operator is responsible for conducting a rigorous verification of the PoS, including mandatory police verification for dealers.

Furthermore, the formal agreement for SIM card sales between the PoS and licensees must be documented. Existing SIM card providers have been given a year to comply with registration requirements.

If a PoS is found engaged in illegal activities, the agreement will be terminated, and the entity will be blacklisted for 3 years. A penalty of Rs 10 lakh will also be imposed.

The DoT believes these provisions will aid in identifying, blacklisting, and eliminating rogue PoS from the licensee's system, while encouraging ethical PoS practices. The aim is to reduce instances where dealers issue SIM cards to anti-social or anti-national elements using fraudulent methods.

Addressing Bulk SIM Card Misuse:

The latest regulations replace the practice of 'bulk procurement' of SIM cards (by businesses, corporations, or for specific events) with a 'business' connection approach—sizeable procurement by registered business entities. Minister Vaishnaw highlighted that 20% of bulk-procured SIMs were misused, often for automated calls via SIM-boxes. Additionally, some SIMs were used for a specific number of calls before being discarded.

The new norms aim to address these issues. While businesses can acquire any number of connections, they must fulfill Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for all end-users. This means the individual using the connection (the executive) must undergo KYC. The SIM will only be activated after successful KYC and premises/address verification.

To prevent Aadhaar misuse, demographic details must be captured by scanning the printed Aadhaar's QR code. Subscribers must complete the entire KYC procedure to replace their SIM; during this period, SMS facilities will be disabled for 24 hours.

In addition to thumbprints and iris-based authentication, facial biometric authentication is also permitted as part of the E-KYC process.

Moreover, according to the new norms, if a mobile number is disconnected, it cannot be allocated to another customer for 90 days.

Key Considerations:

Isha Suri, Research Lead at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), emphasized that despite the notification, the feasibility of enforcing the provisions down to the grassroots level needs assessment. Small local stores are also distributing SIM cards, making it essential to ensure they possess the required infrastructure and data safeguards.

Suri pointed out the need for clarity regarding agent requirements for data acquisition, processing, and retention.

Despite the existence of Aadhaar-based KYC measures for some time, fraud-related issues persist. Suri suggests that other factors might be contributing to the problem.

Lastly, Suri underscores the importance of striking a balance by acquiring only necessary data for its intended purpose.


Russian space agency chief blames decades of inactivity for Luna-25 lander's crash on the moon

The Luna-25 mission was originally planned to include a compact lunar rover, but experts later decided against this to enhance the spacecraft's dependability by reducing its weight, according to analysts focused on SEO-friendly keywords.

The chief of Russia's space agency stated on August 21 that the Luna-25 spacecraft had crashed into the moon due to a failure in shutting down its engines as required. He attributed this mishap to the nation's extended halt in lunar exploration.

The unmanned Luna-25 was slated to land on August 21, aspiring to be the pioneer in touching down on the moon's south pole, a region believed to harbor significant stores of frozen water and precious substances.

Yury Borisov, Director General of Roscosmos, explained that the spacecraft's engines were activated over the weekend to position Luna-25 in a "pre-landing orbit," but failed to deactivate properly, causing the lander to crash onto the lunar surface.

"Instead of the intended 84 seconds, it operated for 127 seconds. This was the key reason for the emergency," Borisov revealed in an interview with Russian state news channel Russia 24.

Roscosmos maintained communication with the spacecraft until 2:57 p.m. local time on Saturday, when contact was severed, leading to "the device transitioning into an open lunar orbit and colliding with the moon's surface," he disclosed.

Russia's lunar mission marked its first since 1976, during the Soviet Union era. The only nations to achieve successful moon landings so far are the Soviet Union, the United States, and China.

"The primary cause for these setbacks is the negative impact of discontinuing the lunar program for nearly five decades," Borisov noted, emphasizing that discontinuing the program now would be a grave mistake for Russia.

Luna-25 was in a race with an Indian spacecraft that launched on July 14, both aiming to be the first to reach the south pole of the moon. Their projected arrival on the moon was set between August 21 and August 23.

A previous Indian endeavor to land at the moon's south pole in 2019 concluded in failure when the spacecraft crashed into the lunar surface.

Luna-25's launch took place from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Far East on August 10. The spaceport is a personal initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin, pivotal to his aspirations of elevating Russia to a space superpower.

Prior to the launch, Roscosmos expressed its intention to demonstrate Russia's capability to deliver payloads to the moon and to secure Russia's consistent access to the lunar surface. Post-crash, the Russian space agency highlighted the moon mission's objective as ensuring long-term "defense capability" and "technological sovereignty." Borisov emphasized, "The competition for harnessing the moon's natural resources has started." He further stated, "In the coming times, the moon will serve as an ideal platform for exploring deep space." Sanctions imposed on Russia following its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict 18 months ago have had an impact on its space program, making it more challenging to access Western technology.

Initially, the Luna-25 was designed to carry a small lunar rover, but this concept was discarded to enhance the craft's reliability by reducing its weight, according to analysts.

The lunar south pole holds specific significance for scientists, as they speculate that the permanently shaded polar craters might house frozen water within rocks, which could be transformed into air and rocket fuel by future explorers.
Photo Credit: Reuters


ISRO may postpone soft landing on Moon to August 27 based on health of lander module: Official

ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization, has chalked out a plan for the gentle touchdown of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft at 06.04 p.m. IST on August 23.

As the scientists at ISRO gear up for the much-awaited soft landing of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the Moon's surface, the space agency might consider shifting the landing to August 27 if any unusual health indicators are detected in the lander module, as shared by a senior official.

The intended time for the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft's soft landing is set at 06.04 p.m. IST on August 23. This lunar mission took off from Sriharikota on July 14 at 2.35 p.m.

According to Nilesh Desai, the Director of ISRO Space Applications Centre, the main focus of the scientists is to decrease the spacecraft's speed as it approaches the lunar surface.

Desai explained, "On August 23, the lander is scheduled to attempt a landing on the Moon's surface from an altitude of 30km, with a velocity of 1.68 km per second. Our primary aim is to lower this speed due to the Moon's gravitational pull that will also have an impact."

He further added, "Failure to control this speed might result in a crash landing. If any of the lander module's health parameters show irregularities on August 23, the landing will be rescheduled for August 27."

Addressing concerns, Desai expressed optimism that the scientists will strive for a successful landing on the lunar surface. He detailed the landing process, "The landing process begins at 06.04 PM IST. Two hours prior, we will upload the necessary commands. We will assess the telemetry signal and evaluate the lunar conditions. If everything is in order, we aim for the landing on August 27."

Desai emphasized the significance of the last 17 minutes of the lander module's descent, explaining that the four-engine thrusters will initiate to reduce the speed. He further clarified, "When the lander is about 800 meters from the lunar surface and running on two engines, its speed will hit zero. From 800 meters to 150 meters, the lander module will descend vertically."

He stressed the importance of the data collected by the onboard sensors, which would aid in selecting the appropriate landing site. "Our sensors will provide precise data on the lander's speed and distance from the lunar surface," Desai stated.

Elaborating on the landing plan, he added, "We have formulated plans considering various scenarios for a safe landing on the lunar surface. Our target is to achieve a safe landing at a latitude of 70 degrees on the Moon's South Pole by August 23."

When questioned about the improvements in this mission, Desai assured, "We have made numerous upgrades this time. The hardware systems have been reinforced. We are confident about a successful soft landing on the lunar surface."

In case the mission is delayed until August 27, he mentioned, "We have identified an alternate landing site situated 400 km away from the primary landing area."

Regarding Russia's Luna-25 mission that experienced a crash landing on the Moon, Desai noted that even with substantial resources, Moscow faced difficulties. He highlighted ISRO's dedication to ensuring the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission after learning from past experiences.

Desai shared, "The previous Chandrayaan-2 mission encountered challenges during its soft landing. We have incorporated changes and introduced new sensors this time. We conducted extensive field trials and tests across various ISRO centers."

He concluded with optimism, saying, "We are confident this time. Our aspirations are supported by the well-wishes of the people."

Earlier on, ISRO confirmed that the mission is progressing as planned, with routine checks being conducted on the systems. "The mission is on track. Regular checks are being performed. The progress is steady," ISRO assured.

The successful soft landing of the Chandrayaan-3 lander module on the lunar surface would place India in the distinguished league of nations that have achieved lunar landings — including the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China.
Photo Credit: Reuters


Data | India tops AI projects in GitHub

In the year 2022, a substantial chunk of AI initiatives on GitHub, totaling 24.2%, were contributed by software developers in India.

During 2022, Indian software developers played a significant role by contributing to more than 24% of the AI-related projects on GitHub, marking the highest contribution globally. This data has been revealed in the latest Artificial Intelligence Index Report by Stanford University. However, when it comes to AI-related scholarly articles, China maintains a dominant position. Additionally, in terms of collaborative research on AI, the United States and China lead the way, surpassing other country pairings.

Count of Research Publications The graph presents a global representation of AI research publications. Between the years 2010 and 2021, there has been a notable increase in AI research publications, surging from 200,000 in 2010 to nearly 500,000 by 2021.

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Types of Published Work The chart provides an overview of the categories of AI publications across the world over the years. In the year 2021, journal articles accounted for 60% of all AI publications, followed by conference papers and submissions to repositories. The remaining portion included books, book chapters, theses, and documents of unidentified types.

Global Collaborations International collaborations between scholars, industry experts, and others have a pivotal role in advancing STEM disciplines. They facilitate rapid sharing of novel ideas and the expansion of research teams. The graph showcases significant international collaborations in AI from the year 2010 to 2021, excluding partnerships between the United States and China.

Prominent Collaborations Over the past 12 years, the primary collaborative efforts have been observed between the United States and China, with a nearly fourfold increase since 2010.

CSET* recorded collaborations across countries by identifying unique pairs of nations among authors for each research paper. For example, a publication featuring four authors from the U.S. and four from China is considered as a single U.S.-China collaboration.

Distribution of Journal Publications The graph illustrates the distribution of AI journal publications over the past 12 years, sorted by geographical regions.

The AI Index of this year recognizes India's growing significance in the realm of AI. However, China has consistently maintained its leading position.

Top Ten Institutions Since 2010, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been the institution with the highest output of AI research papers. Remarkably, nine out of the top ten institutions, in terms of the number of AI publications released, are from China, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology being the only exception. The graph presents the total AI publications released by each institution in the year 2021.

AI Projects on GitHub Starting from 2011, there has been a consistent upward trend in the number of AI-related projects hosted on GitHub, rising from 1,536 projects in 2011 to a staggering 347,934 by 2022.

India Leads in Contributions During 2022, a substantial 24.2% of AI projects on GitHub originated from software developers in India. Following India, the European Union and the United Kingdom contributed 17.3%, while the United States accounted for 14% of the AI projects.

Source: Nestor Maslej, Loredana Fattorini, Erik Brynjolfsson, John Etchemendy, Katrina Ligett, Terah Lyons, James Manyika, Helen Ngo, Juan Carlos Niebles, Vanessa Parli, Yoav Shoham, Russell Wald, Jack Clark and Raymond Perrault, "The AI Index 2023 Annual Report," AI Index Steering Committee, Institute for Human-Centered AI, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, April 2023.

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