12th Nov, 2020

Apophis expected to hit Earth in 2068

Asteroid Apophis may hit the Earth in 2068 due to a phenomenon called Yarkovsky effect. 

This effect has eventually accelerated the asteroid’s flow and also changed its path.

As per the new calculations by astronomers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, asteroid Apophis, which will also be extremely close to Earth on April 13, 2029, is deviating from its actual orbit and may crash into Earth in 2068.

According to a recent report, the sun can heat an asteroid in a non-uniform way, causing the space rock to radiate heat energy asymmetrically. 

This can cause a thrust or a tiny push in a certain direction, sometimes changing the path of the asteroid. 

This effect is called the Yarkovsky acceleration.

Before the discovery of Yarkovsky effect, the possibility of the collision was impossible. 

The detection of this effect acting on Apophis means that the 2068 impact scenario is still a possibility.

The asteroid was discovered in 2004.

It is named after the Greek God of Chaos. 

It is a 340-meter-wide asteroid. That’s about the size of three-and-a-half football fields. 

Air quality in Delhi continues to remain in ‘severe’ category

The air quality in Delhi continues to remain in ‘severe’ category. 

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, SAFAR has advised people to avoid all physical activity outdoors.

System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) 

Indigenously developed by: Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune

Run by: India Meteorological Department (IMD).


(1) To provide Real-time air quality index on 24×7 basis with colour coding along with 72-hour advance weather forecast;

(2) To issue Health advisory to prepare citizens well in advance.

Parameters monitoredPollutants: PM1, PM2.5, PM10, Ozone, CO, NOx (NO, NO2), SO2, BC, Methane (CH4), Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), Black Carbon, VOC’s, Benzene and Mercury.

Meteorological Parameters: UV Radiation, Rainfall, Temperature, Humidity, Wind speed, Wind direction, solar radiation.

The Scheme For Financial Support To PPPs in Infrastructure to be revamped and continued

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Continuation and Revamping of the Scheme for Financial Support to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Infrastructure Viability Gap Funding (VGF) Scheme till 2024-25 with a total outlay of Rs. 8,100 crore.

The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance introduced “the Scheme for Financial Support to PPPs in Infrastructure” (Viability Gap Funding Scheme) in 2006.

The revamped Scheme is mainly related to introduction of following two sub-schemes for mainstreaming private participation in social infrastructure:

Sub scheme–1

This would cater to Social Sectors such as Waste Water Treatment, Water Supply, Solid Waste Management, Health and Education sectors etc.

The projects eligible under this category should have at least 100% Operational Cost recovery.

The Central Government will provide maximum of 30% of Total Project Cost (TPC) of the project as VGF and State Government/Sponsoring Central Ministry/Statutory Entity may provide additional support up to 30% of TPC.

Sub scheme–2

This Sub scheme will support demonstration/pilot social sectors projects. 

The projects may be from Health and Education sectors where there is at least 50% Operational Cost recovery.

In such projects, the Central Government and the State Governments together will provide up to 80% of capital expenditure and upto 50% of Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs for the first five years.

Inter-Ministerial Committee set up To Strengthen The Capital Goods Sector

The government has set up a 22-member inter-ministerial committee in strengthening the Capital Goods (CG) Sector to make this sector globally competitive and to become the manufacturing hub for the world.

The Committee will look into issues pertaining to the Capital Goods Sector including technology development, mother technology development, global value chains, skill training, global standards, custom duties, etc.

Chairmanship: Secretary of Department Heavy Industries 

The committee shall meet quarterly

Operation Greens – Top To Total Scheme 

Under Operation Greens Scheme TOP to TOTAL, 50% transportation subsidy is now made available for air transportation for 41 notified fruits and vegetables from North-Eastern and Himalayan States to any place in India.

Airlines will provide the transport subsidy directly to the supplier by way of charging only 50% of the actual contracted freight charges and will claim the balance 50% from MoFPI as subsidy.

The scheme was approved and the amended Scheme Guidelines were notified in November 2020.

All consignment of notified fruits and vegetables irrespective of quantity and price would be eligible for 50% freight subsidy.

Eligible airports: All the airports in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim (Bagdogra), and Tripura from North-East, and Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh among the Hilly States.

The transportation subsidy was earlier extended under Operation Greens Scheme for Kisan Rail Scheme in December. 

Railways charge only 50% of freight charges on the notified fruits and vegetables.

Jingtang Port

Jingtang port was in news recently. 

The ship named Jag Anand been awaiting anchorage at the Chinese port Jingtang near Tangshan in China’s Hebei province since June this year.

China has cited COVID-19 regulations for denying departure to the ship 

The Port of Jingtang is an artificial deep-water international seaport on the coast of Tangshan Municipality, Hebei, in Northern China.

Jingtang port is located in Bohai bay (Bohai sea) close to the port of Tianjin.