CURRENT AFFAIRS


3rd Sep, 2020

 

Star Formation in Dwarf Galaxies

 

Recently, astronomers from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) have found out the reasons behind intense star formation in some dwarf galaxies.

Hydrogen in these dwarf galaxies is found to be irregular and sometimes not moving in well-defined orbits (non-symmetric hydrogen distribution).

Some Hydrogen around these galaxies is also detected in forms of isolated clouds, plumes, and tails 

Scientists used the Devasthal Fast Optical Telescope (DFOT) near Nainital (Uttarakhand) and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Maharashtra.

Dwarf galaxies are the most abundant type of galaxy in the universe but are difficult to detect due to their low luminosity, low mass and small size.


National Clean Air Programme to be modified

 

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to modify the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) 

NCAP proposes 20-30% reduction of air pollution by 2024.

 

NGT’s directions

Deadline to reduce air pollution by 20-30% by 2024 needs to be reduced.

Increase the target of reduction.

Review the action in terms of shift to e-vehicles and CNG vehicles, intensifying public transport systems, mechanical cleaning of roads, improvement in fuel quality, etc.

Ensure the assessment and installation of the requisite number of Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Systems within six months.

 

NCAP

It was launched by the MoEFCC in January 2019.

It is the first-ever effort in India to frame a national framework for air quality management with a time-bound reduction target.

It seeks to cut the concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 by at least 20% in the next five years, with 2017 as the base year for comparison.

The plan includes 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 states and Union territories,

They were identified by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.


Controlling Dengue Using Wolbachia Bacteria

 

Researchers from the World Mosquito Program have used mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria to successfully control dengue in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Wolbachia

Wolbachia are natural bacteria present in up to 60% of insect species, including some mosquitoes.

It is not usually found in the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

It is safe for humans, animals and the environment.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Dengue and other diseases such as chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever 

However, it cannot spread the disease when it is artificially infected with Wolbachia.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus (Genus Flavivirus)

The dengue vaccine CYD-TDV or Dengvaxia was approved by the US Food & Drug Administration in 2019.

It is the first dengue vaccine to get the regulatory nod in the US.

Dengvaxia is basically a live, attenuated dengue virus which has to be administered in people of ages 9 to 16 who have laboratory-confirmed previous dengue infection and who live in endemic areas.


World’s largest solar tree developed 

 

Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI) has developed the World’s Largest Solar Tree.

It is installed at CSIR-CMERI Residential Colony, Durgapur, West Bengal.

The installed capacity of the Solar Tree is above 11.5 kilowatts peak (kWp). 

It has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power.

There are a total of 35 Solar PV Panels in each tree with a capacity of 330 wp each.

The inclination of the arms holding the Solar PV Panels are flexible and can be adjusted as per requirement.

This feature is not available in Roof-Mounted Solar facilities.

Each Solar Tree will cost Rs 7.5 lakhs.

The interested MSMEs can align their Business Model with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers, for developing a

Renewable Energy based Energy Grid.

 

PM-KUSUM Scheme

Ministry- Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).

The scheme aims to add solar and other renewable capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.

It provides for installation of solar pumps, grid connected renewable power plants and solarization of existing grid-connected agricultural pumps.

The Scheme is being implemented through State Government Agencies.

The PM KUSUM scheme has three components.

Component-A- 10,000 megawatts (MW) of decentralised ground mounted grid-connected renewable power plants.

Component-B- installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar powered agriculture pumps and

Component-C- solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps.

The Component-A and Component-C will be implemented on pilot mode for 1000 MW capacity and one lakh grid connected agriculture pumps respectively and thereafter, will be scale-up on success of pilot run.

Component-B will be implemented in full-fledged manner.


Global Innovation Index 2020 released 

 

Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 was recently released. 

Released by: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

India’s rank: 48th

India has climbed 4 spots. 

With this, India ranked in the top 50 countries for the first time in the Global Innovation Index.

World’s most-innovative economies: (1) Switzerland, (2) Sweden, (3) USA, (4) UK and (5) Netherlands.

India ranks in the top 15 in indicators such as ICT services exports, government online services, graduates in science and engineering and R&D-intensive global companies.

India is the lower middle-income economy with the highest innovation due to universities like IIT Delhi and Bombay, IIS Bengaluru and other top scientific publications.

India was at the 52nd position in 2019 and was ranked 81st in the year 2015. 

The WIPO had also accepted India as one of the leading innovation achievers of 2019 in the central and southern Asian region.

The 2020 edition of the GII presents the annual innovation ranking of 131 economies.

Its 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication.

The theme of GII, 2020 – Who Will Finance Innovation? 


Adjusted Gross Revenue to be Paid in 10 Years

 

Recently, the SC allowed telecom companies (telcos) 10 years’ time to pay their Adjusted Gross

Revenue (AGR) dues to the government.

The telecom operators would make the payment of 10% of the total dues as demanded by the Department of Telecom by 31st March 2021.

The yearly installments would commence from 1st April, 2021 up to 31st March, 2031.

The installments need to be paid by 31st March every year.

In the event of any default in making payment of annual installments, interest would be levied as per the agreement along with penalty and interest on penalty automatically without reference to court.

Besides, it would be punishable for contempt of court.

Compliance with the court order should be reported by the telcos and the telecom department every year on 7th April.

The sale of spectrum by telcos facing insolvency proceedings shall be decided by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

 

Adjusted Gross Revenue

AGR is a fee-sharing mechanism between the government and the telcos who shifted to the ‘revenue-sharing fee’ model in 1999, from the ‘fixed license fee’ model.

In this course, telcos are supposed to share a percentage of AGR with the government.

The telecom sector was liberalised under the National Telecom Policy, 1994 after which licenses were issued to companies in return for a fixed license fee.


Multi-State Phishing Scam

 

Recently, Haryana Police has identified a phishing racket which accessed over 300 nationalized and private bank accounts across many states.

Frauds were done with Phishing and use of e-SIMs as the main conduit.

Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone, or text message.

E-SIM cannot be removed as opposed to physical SIM cards, which can be removed.

The e-SIMs enables users to change service providers through a simple process.

Multiple networks and numbers can be stored on a single e-SIM too, so one can have more than one number.


Crete Island

 

Crete Island was recently in news with regard to the Turkey-Greece standoff.

Turkey has renewed calls for dialogue with rival Greece that would lead to the fair sharing of resources in the eastern Mediterranean, which is the major point of contention.

Both countries’ forces have been conducting military exercises in the seas between Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete.

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea.


 






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