09 Jan, 2018
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1) India’s fastest supercomputer till date ‘Pratyush’ was unveiled and established at which institute on 8 January 2018? – Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune
Explanation: India’s fastest supercomputer “Pratyush” (meaning the Sun) was unveiled and dedicated to the nation at Pune based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) on 8 January 2018 by Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology. It is India’s first “multi-petaflops” supercomputer.
– ‘Pratyush’ is an array of computers that can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops. One petaflop is a million billion floating point operations per second and is a reflection of the computing capacity of a system. However, this supercomputer’s 2.8 petaflops facility will be installed at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast, Noida.
– ‘Pratyush’ would help the country with better forecasts in terms of monsoon, extreme events, tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes, air quality, lightning, fishing, hot and cold waves, flood and drought among others.
– According to IITM, Pratyush is the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world dedicated for weather and climate research, and follows machines in Japan, USA and the United Kingdom. It will also move an Indian supercomputer from the 300s to the 30s in the Top500 list, a respected international tracker of the world’s fastest supercomputers.
2) The bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia was signed on 7 January 2018 in which Saudi government has agreed to India’s decision to revive the option of sending Haj pilgrims through sea route also. The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims by waterways was stopped in which year? – 1995
Explanation: The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims between Mumbai and Jeddah by waterways was stopped from 1995. But Saudi government gave its green signal for India’s decision to revive the option of sending Haj pilgrims through sea route also in the annual Haj 2018 agreement signed between the two countries on 7 January 2018. The agreement was signed by India’s Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Haj and Umrah Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten.
– Indian Government is of the view that sending pilgrims through ships will help cut down travel expenses significantly and will be a revolutionary, pro-poor, pilgrim-friendly decision.
– Another advantage with ships available these days is they are modern and well-equipped to ferry 4,000 to 5,000 persons at a time. They can cover the 2,300-odd nautical miles one-side distance between Mumbai and Jeddah within just 3-4 days. Earlier, the old ships used to take 12 to 15 days to cover this distance.
3) What was the name of the legendary NASA astronaut who passed away on 5 January 2018 and was the only agency astronaut to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs and was known for his moon walks? – John Young
Explanation: Legendary astronaut John Young, who walked on the Moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, passed away on 5 January 2018. He was the only agency astronaut to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs, and the first to fly into space six times.
– Counting his takeoff from the Moon in 1972 as commander of Apollo 16, his blastoff tally stood at seven, for decades a world record.
4) Who became first Indian-American and first Asian to win a Golden Globe award for best actor on 7 January 2018? – Aziz Ansari
Explanation: Aziz Ansari, the US-born son of immigrants from Chennai, became the first Indian-American and first Asian to win a Golden Globe award for best actor. He won the award for comedy series ‘Master of None’ in which he plays the role of 30-year-old actor Dev Shah.
– Born in Columbia, South Carolina to immigrant parents from Tamil Nadu, Ansari was studying at New York University Stern School of Business when he changed tracks to become a stand-up-comedian, performing in Big Apple clubs and weekly shows.
5) Which film won the Best Film award (in Drama category) at the 2018 Golden Globes award ceremony held on 7 January 2018? – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Explanation: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – a film predicated on the aftermath of rape, won the Best Film award (in Drama category) at the 2018 Golden Globes award ceremony. Frances McDormand won the Best Actress award for this film while Best Actor award went to Gary Oldman for his performance in “Darkest Hour”.
– Guillermo Del Toro won the Best Director award for the film “The Shape Of Water”. On the other hand Sterling K Brown made history as the first African-American to win Best Actor award (for a television series) for his performance in TV series “Drama for This Is Us”.
– Oprah Winfrey was awarded the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement award.
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