1. CONTRACT FOR PRIVATE MISSION TO MOON CALLED OFF
A contract to fly India’s first-ever private space mission to the moon on the PSLV rocket of the Indian Space Research Organisation, as part of the Google Lunar XPrize contest, has been cancelled, ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation confirmed.
2. SMILEYS IN REPORT CARDS FOR CLASSES I AND II
Students of Class I and II of government schools in Madhya Pradesh have a reason to smile: their next annual progress cards will carry smileys instead of grades.
In a bid to promote learning and teaching in a “fear-free atmosphere”, the Rajya Shiksha Kendra (RSK), or State Education Centre, has asked schools in MP to introduce the change this year.
As a result, nearly 16 lakh Class I and II students across the state will get report cards with smileys: three for those who have achieved efficiency; two for those at learning stage; and one for those who require more effort.
3. MAKE REHAB POLICY FOR KASHMIRI YOUTHS: CENTRE
The Centre directed the government in Jammu and Kashmir to formulate a surrender and rehabilitation policy, besides setting up a high-level committee to review all stone throwing cases against students in an effort to wean them away from militancy and radicalisation.
The Home Ministry also said that stone-throwing cases of non-grievous nature against students and youths should be closed. The ministry said an opportunity should be provided to the Kashmiri youth who have joined militancy for an alternative path to peace and prosperity.
The ministry has also advised the state government to constitute a high-level committee, headed by an officer of the rank of director-general or additional director-general of police, to review the remaining cases of stone throwing against students and youths.
The initiative comes within two months of the state government announcing an amnesty scheme for youths who are first-time offenders in cases of stone throwing. Under the scheme about 3,685 students and youths have got relief.
4. HPV VACCINE GETS IMMUNISATION NOD
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), an advisory body that recommends vaccines for India’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), has given the green signal to the introduction of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in the UIP.
5. CHINESE SCIENTISTS BREAK KEY BARRIER BY CLONING MONKEYS
Chinese scientists have cloned monkeys using the same technique that produced Dolly the sheep two decades ago, breaking a technical barrier that could open the door to copying humans. Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, two identical long-tailed macaques, were born eight and six weeks ago, making them the first primates — the order of mammals that includes monkeys, apes and humans — to be cloned from a non-embryonic cell.
It was achieved through a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which involves transferring the nucleus of a cell, which includes its DNA, into an egg which has had its nucleus removed.