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News in Short

News in Short - 31-December-2020

Cold wave intensifies in North India

Date: 31 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Cold wave conditions intensified in north India with fresh snowfall reported from hill areas, with parts of Haryana touching zero degree Celsius temperature.
  • Cold and dry northerly and north-westerly winds from the western Himalayas have been travelling through the plains, bringing the minimum temperatures down in north India.
  • In the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius. A severe cold wave is when the minimum is 2 degrees Celsius or less.

Haemoglobin invented by single protein

Date: 31 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • During a new study scientists have shown that while haemoglobin appeared independently in several species, it actually descends from a single gene transmitted to all by their last common ancestor.
  • Having red blood is not peculiar to humans or mammals. This colour comes from haemoglobin, a complex protein specialized in transporting the oxygen found in the circulatory system of vertebrates, but also in annelids, molluscs and crustaceans.
  • It was thought that for haemoglobin to have appeared in such diverse species, it must have been 'invented' several times during evolution. But recent research has shown that all of these haemoglobins born 'independently' actually derive from a single ancestral gene.

DRDO facility develops Quantum Random Number Generator

Date: 31 December 2020 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved another milestone in quantum technology by successfully developing a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG).
  • The DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory for Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT), has developed a QRNG which has the ability to detect random quantum events and convert those into a stream of binary digits.
  • Branch path-based QRNG relies on the principle that if a single photon falls on a balanced beam splitter, it will take either of the beam-splitter output paths randomly.
  • As the path chosen by the photon is random, the randomness is translated to a sequence of binary digits, also called bits.
  • Random numbers have essential roles in various fields ranging from quantum communication, cryptography applications like key generation, key wrapping, authentication along with scientific simulations, lotteries, and fundamental physics experiments.

Tata Sons to increase stake in AirAsia

Date: 31 December 2020 Tags: Services
  • AirAsia Group Berhad has executed a share purchase agreement with Tata Sons Private Ltd to sell 32.67% equity stake held by AirAsia Investment Ltd (AAIL) in AirAsia (India) Ltd (AAI). With this the holding of Tatas in AirAsia India has increased from 51% to 83.67%.
  • Air Asia India was initially formed in 2013 as a joint venture between Tata Sons, AirAsia Investment Ltd, and Telestra Tradeplace of Arun Bhatia having equity stake of 41.06%; 49; 9.94% respectively. The Tatas gradually increased stake to 51%.
  • Since the value of the transaction will not breach the 25% ratio, AirAsia Group would not require any approval of its shareholders for the transaction.
  • This transaction will reduce the cash burn of the company in the short term and allow AirAsia to concentrate on recover of its key ASEAN markets in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines in the long run.

Renowned fashion designer Pierre Cardin dies

Date: 31 December 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • Iconic French designer Pierre Cardin, who was known for his unique styles in the 1960s and 70s, has died at the age of 98.
  • Cardin was the first designer to sell clothes collections in department stores in the late 1950s, and the first to enter the licensing business for perfumes, accessories, and even food.
  • After World War II, he joined the Parisian fashion house of Paquin, where he helped design costumes for Jean Cocteau’s film Beauty and the Beast. He also worked at the couture house of Christian Dior.
  • He was most noted for his stark, short tunics and his use of vinyl, helmets, and goggles in the 1960s, which helped launch the so-called space-age look. Cardin later became famous for licensing his name for use on a variety of products.