19,20,21& 22 Aug 2023 – Current Affairs
Daily Current Capsules
19,20,21 and 22 August 2023
CSIR Prima ET11
- Union Minister of State Science & Technology launched the CSIR Prima ET11, the first indigenous e-Tractor developed by the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur
- On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh released a book by CSIR-CIMAP and a compendium on 75 technologies developed by CSIR.
- The CSIR-CMERI will be celebrating the theme-based campaign “One Week One Lab” from 11-15 September 2023, showcasing the laboratory’s cutting-edge research, products and technologies, expertise and facilities to various stakeholders.
Know! about CMERI
- The Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (also known as CSIR-CMERI Durgapur or CMERI Durgapur) is a public engineering research and development institution in Durgapur, West Bengal, India.
- It is a constituent laboratory of the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).[
- This institute is the only national level research institute in the field of mechanical engineering in India.
- The CMERI was founded in February 1958 under the endorsement of the CSIR.
- It was founded to develop national mechanical engineering technology, particularly in order to help Indian industries.
Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP)
- Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways will launch the much-awaited Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP) on 22nd August 2023.
- This programme is a significant step forward in the Government’s commitment to improve road safety through raising the safety standards of motor vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes in India.
- The programme aims to provide a tool to the car customers to make a comparative assessment of crash safety of motor vehicles available in the market.
Know! about Bharat NCAP
- Under this programme, car manufacturers can voluntarily offer their cars tested as per Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 197.
- Based on the performance of the car in the tests, car will be awarded star ratings for Adult Occupants (AOP) and Child Occupant (COP).
- Potential car customers can refer to these star ratings to compare the safety standards of different vehicles and accordingly make their purchase-decision.
- It is expected that the demand for safer cars will increase, encouraging the car manufacturers to comply with customer needs.
Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP)
- It is a project of the Towards Zero Foundation, a UK-registered charity.
- The programme aims to promote the sale of safer cars in developing markets by empowering consumers with objective information about the safety of vehicles.
- Global NCAP supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the target to halve road deaths and injuries by 2030 (50 by 30), and the full implementation of the Global Plan for the UN’s Decade (and Second Decade) of Action for Road Safety especially the recommended activities for vehicles.
Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Bahadur
- The Prime Minister paid tributes to Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Bahadur on his birth anniversary.
Know! about Bir Chandra Manikya
- Maharaja (Bubagra) Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Debbarman – popularly known as the “Modern Architect of Tripura” was born on 19th August of 1908 in Tripura.
- He was the first to set up Higher educational institution in Tripura.
- He was the son of Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya Bahadur Debbarman.
- He was the king before the merger of Tripura with India.
- In 1862, he started the urbanisation of the Agartala. In 1871 he established the Agartala Municipality.
- Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarman is considered the father of modern architecture in Tripura, as the entire planning of present day Tripura was initiated during his rule. He was also an educationist.
- He is the first ruler who visited Europe and America from 1931 to 1939. He was considered one of the pioneers for the land reforms.
- It was for His farsightedness that he reserved land for the local indigenous people of Tripura (native Tripuri), whose outcome is said to be the present TTAADC (Tripura Tribal Area autonomous District councils) Areas.
- He died at a very young age of 39 in 1947. His premature death has really hindered in the process of development in Tripura and Tripuris in particular.
- INS Vagir, an Indian Navy (IN) submarine, is on an extended-range deployment.
- The deployment commenced in Jun 2023 and Vagir will reach Fremantle, Australia on 20 Aug 23.
- The submarine, which is the Indian Navy’s fifth Kalvari class submarine, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in Jan 2023 and is based in Mumbai.
- During her stay in Australia, INS Vagir will participate in various exercises with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) units on the West Coast of Australia.
- Concurrently, on the East coast of Australia, Indian Naval ships and aircraft are involved in Exercise MALABAR 23 from 11-21 Aug 23 and AUSINDEX 23 from 22-24 Aug 23.
India announces definition of Green Hydrogen
- In a significant move for the progress of the National Green Hydrogen Mission, the government has notified the Green Hydrogen Standard for India.
- The standard issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India outlines the emission thresholds that must be met in order for hydrogen produced to be classified as ‘Green’, i.e., from renewable sources.
- The scope of the definition encompasses both electrolysis-based and biomass-based hydrogen production methods.
- The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has decided to define Green Hydrogen as having a well-to-gate emission (i.e., including water treatment, electrolysis, gas purification, drying and compression of hydrogen) of not more than 2 kg CO2 equivalent / kg H2.
- The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power shall be the Nodal Authority for accreditation of agencies for the monitoring, verification and certification for Green Hydrogen production projects.
Know! about National Green Hydrogen Mission
- India has set its sight on becoming energy independent by 2047 and achieving Net Zero by 2070.
- To achieve this target, increasing renewable energy use across all economic spheres is central to India’s Energy Transition.
- Green Hydrogen is considered a promising alternative for enabling this transition.
- Hydrogen can be utilized for long-duration storage of renewable energy, replacement of fossil fuels in industry, clean transportation, and potentially also for decentralized power generation, aviation, and marine transport.
The National Green Hydrogen Mission was approved by the Union Cabinet on 4 January 2022, with the intended objectives of:
- Making India a leading producer and supplier of Green Hydrogen in the world
- Creation of export opportunities for Green Hydrogen and its derivatives
- Reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock
- Development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities
- Attracting investment and business opportunities for the industry
- Creating opportunities for employment and economic development
- Supporting R&D projects
The mission outcomes projected by 2030 are:
- Development of green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonne) per annum with an associated renewable energy capacity addition of about 125 GW in the country
- Over Rs. Eight lakh crore in total investments
- Creation of over Six lakh jobs
- Cumulative reduction in fossil fuel imports over Rs. One lakh crore
- Abatement of nearly 50 MMT of annual greenhouse gas emissions
Types Of Hydrogen Based On Extraction Methods
- Depending on the nature of the method of its extraction, hydrogen is categorised into three categories, namely, Grey, Blue and Green.
- Grey Hydrogen: It is produced via coal or lignite gasification (black or brown), or via a process called steam methane reformation (SMR) of natural gas or methane (grey). These tend to be mostly carbon-intensive processes.
- Blue Hydrogen: It is produced via natural gas or coal gasification combined with carbon capture storage (CCS) or carbon capture use (CCU) technologies to reduce carbon emissions.
- Green Hydrogen: It is produced using electrolysis of water with electricity generated by renewable energy. The carbon intensity ultimately depends on the carbon neutrality of the source of electricity (i.e., the more renewable energy there is in the electricity fuel mix, the “greener” the hydrogen produced).
Amrit Sarovars per district
- States have taken efforts to achieve the District level target of 75 Amrit Sarovar in each of the districts of the State with a exception in case of West Bengal, Punjab, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Bihar and Rajasthan wherein some of the districts are yet to achieve the target of 75 Amrit Sarovars per district.
Know! about Mission Amrit Sarovar
- Mission Amrit Sarovar has been launched by the Prime Minister on 24th April 2022 with an objective to provide sustainable water sources wherein every district is expected to construct/ rejuvenate a minimum of 75 Amrit Sarovar.
- The National target of 50,000 Amrit Sarovars has been achieved by following due guidelines of the Mission.
- This Mission is being implemented with a whole of Government Approach in which 8 Central Ministries/Department namely Dept. of Rural Development, Department of land resources, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Department of Water resources, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate changes, Ministry of Railway, Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways are participating.
- Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Application and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N) has been engaged as Technical partner for the Mission.
- The Mission works through the States and Districts, through refocusing of various schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi NREGS, XV Finance Commission Grants, PMKSY sub schemes such as Watershed Development Component, Har Khet Ko Pani besides States’ own schemes.
- The Mission encourages mobilization of citizen and non-govt resources for supplementing these efforts.
Prabal, India’s first long-range revolver, launched
- India’s first long-range revolver, ‘Prabal’, manufactured by state-owned enterprise Advanced Weapons and Equipment India (AWEIL), was launched at the Small Arms Factory (SAF)
- The revolver has a range of 50 metres
- This weapon is light weight, attractive and costs half the price of other revolvers available in this category.
- It is the first in the country that has side wing cylinder, which makes trigger pull easy
Lake Titicaca drying up
- Titicaca is only 30 cm away from reaching its record low of 1996 due to severe drought
- It is the largest freshwater lake in South America.
- The existence of this lake is in danger due to climate change, lack of rainfall, increase in evaporation due to rising temperature and disposal of urban waste.
- This lake is the habitat of more than 500 species of plants and animals, but recently there has been a decrease in the number of fish.
International Young Eco-Hero Awards 2023
- 17 teenage environmental activists in the world have recently been selected for this award, including 5 Indian youth.
- This award is given to children in the age group of 8 to 16 years by the US-based non-profit organization ‘Action for Nature’.
Badh Super Thermal Power Project
- Recently, the 660 MW unit of Barh Super Thermal Power Project located at Barh in Bihar’s Patna district was dedicated to the nation.
- It is a project of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), NTPC produces 90% of the total electricity of Bihar.
- The project was opposed for environmental reasons as it is close to the Himalayan range and requires stricter anti-pollution controls.
- The plant is to produce 3,300 (660X 3)MW of electricity. Remaining four units are already operational.
- A new variety of lotus flower called ‘Namoh 108’ has apparently been developed by the Lucknow Institute CSIR-NBRI (National Botanical Research Institute).
- It has 108 petals.
- The Namoh 108 lotus variety flowers from March to December “and is rich in nutrients.
- This is the first lotus variety whose genome is completely sequenced for its characteristics,”
- NBRI is a constituent institution of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
- The minister also launched the Lotus Mission.
- It is being undertaken in a mission mode like other priority schemes such as the National Honey and Bee Mission, National Bamboo Mission, National Food Security Mission, National Mission on Natural Farming, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture and Gokul Mission.
- This project is being undertaken in Mission mode
- The Minister also released the new variety of Aloe vera named ‘NBRI-Nihar’, a clonal selection having approximately 2.5 times high gel yield in comparison to Aloe vera.
- ‘NBRI-Nihar’ is found least affected against bacterial and fungal diseases.
- The report offers insights into career aspirations, job preferences, and expectations of younger Indians.
- The youth identify challenges relating to the economy as the most significant facing the nation.
- More than one in three (36%) Indians between the ages of 15 and 34 believe unemployment is the biggest problem before the country.
- About one in six (16%) think it is poverty, and 13% think it is inflation.
- About 6% of respondents identified corruption as the most significant challenge; 4% each identified problems in education and high population.
- The report was conducted across 18 states in which 9,316 respondents, aged 15 to 34, participated.
- Gender differences play a role. 42% of men see unemployment as their top concern, compared to 31% of women.
- Nearly 49% of the youth surveyed are currently engaged in some form of work.
- Of those working, 23% are self-employed, indicating an entrepreneurial spirit.
Jan Dhan Accounts cross 50 crore
- The Prime Minister has expressed happiness over the significant milestone in Jan Dhan Accounts. The number of Jan Dhan Accounts crossed 50 crore.
Padhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
- It is the national mission for the financial inclusion of poor people which aims at giving them universal access to financial services like banking, deposit account, remittance, pensions etc.
- It was launched on August 28, 2014. Now, after 9 years, the Jan-Dhan accounts have crossed the 50 crore mark, with 56 per cent of the accounts belonging to women
- 67 per cent of these accounts have been opened in rural and semi-urban areas.
- The deposits in these accounts are above Rs 2.03 lakh crore (trillion) and about 34 crore RuPay cards have been allotted to the owners of these accounts. The cards are given to the holders free of cost.
- As per the Finance Ministry, the average balance in the PMJDY accounts is Rs 4,076 and more than 5.5 crore accounts under this scheme are receiving Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) benefits. In this scheme, the subsidy is directly transferred to the accounts of the citizens who are living below the poverty line.
- PMJDY offers numerous advantages to the account holders if applied under this scheme.
- It includes a bank account without the requirement of a minimum balance, free-of-cost RuPay debit cards and an overdraft facility of up to Rs 10,000.
- Under this credit facility, the account holder can withdraw the funds from their current or savings account even if their bank balance is zero.
- It is a short-time loan which must be paid back by the lender.
India’s first 3D printed Post Office at Cambridge Layout, Bengaluru
- Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw inaugurated India’s first 3D-printed post office building in Bengaluru.
- The 3D-printed post office building at Cambridge Layout in the city with a built-up area of 1,021 square feet
- The construction of this post office building was carried out by construction company Larsen & Toubro Limited while IIT Madras provided technical guidance.
- This new construction technology was carried out through 3D-concrete printing technology, which is a fully automated building construction technology wherein a robotic printer deposits the concrete layer-by-layer as per the approved design and special grade concrete that hardens quickly is used to ensure bonding between the layers to print the structure.
- The entire construction activity was completed in a period of 45 days as compared to about six to eight months taken by the conventional method.
- Cost and time savings make 3D-concrete printing technology a viable alternative to conventional building practices.
Vindhyagiri – the sixth ship of project 17A
- Vindhyagiri, the sixth Stealth Frigate of Project 17A being built at GRSE, was launched by the Hon’ble President of India
- Project 17A Frigates are the follow-on class of the Project 17 (Shivalik Class) Frigates, with improved stealth features, advanced weapons & sensors and platform management systems.
- Seven Project 17A Frigates are under various stages of construction at MDL and GRSE.
- Over 75% of the orders of Project 17A, have been placed on indigenous firms including MSMEs
- Vindhyagiri is the third and final Project 17A frigate built by GRSE.
- The first-in-class ship, Nilgiri , was launched in September 2019 by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
- The first Project 17A frigate built by GRSE, Himgiri, was launched in December 2020.
- Seven vessels of the class are planned. Four are being built by MDL and three by GRSE.
- Six of the seven ships of the class have now been launched.
- The first two ships in the class, Nilgiri and Udaygiri are set to be commissioned with the Indian Navy in 2024.
Know! about Project 17A
- The Nilgiri-class frigate or Project 17A is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy.
- The frigates are built with extensive use of low-observability technologies, including new radar-absorbing coatings, composite materials and “faceted” shape superstructures.
- Project 17A is the largest surface combatant ever built by GRSE.
- It is also the first combat platform GRSE builds equipped with a gas turbine.
- For this reason, the company had to expand the infrastructure of the Kolkata shipyard and modernize production.
- The ship will be fitted with a 76mm main gun, two 30 mm AK-630M anti-aircraft artillery systems, two torpedo tubes, launchers for eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and 32 Barak-8 surface to air missiles.
- Its main radar will be the MF-STAR by IAI.
India Signs MoU with Trinidad and Tobago on sharing INDIA STACK
- India and Trinidad and Tobago have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on sharing of INDIA STACK — a collection of open APIs and digital public goods that aim to facilitate identity, data, and payment services on a large scale.
- The MoU was signed in the presence of officials from the Ministry of Electronics and IT, National E-Governance Division, MeitY and also from the Ministry of External Affairs.
- Since June 2023, India has already signed MoUs with countries namely Armenia, Sierra Leone, Suriname, and Antigua & Barbuda to share India Stack while many countries like Mauritius, Saudi Arabia have shown interest and are at an advanced stage of finalizing cooperation on IndiaStack.
- A similar MoU was signed with Papua New Guinea also last month, showcasing the growing interest and acceptance of the initiative on a global scale.
- The UPI which is also a part of India Stack, has been accepted in France, UAE, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
- The Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC launched the mobile application, “FloodWatch” with the aim of using mobile phones to disseminate information related to the flood situation and forecasts up to 7 days on a real-time basis to the public.
- The in-house developed user-friendly app has readable and audio broadcast and all the information is available in 2 languages, viz. English and Hindi.
Feature of the app
- Key feature of the app includes real-time flood monitoring where users can check up-to-date flood situation throughout the country.
- The app utilizes near real-time river flow data from various sources.
- The app also provides flood forecast at nearest location where users can check the flood advisory at the station nearest to them on the Home Page itself.
- Other key features include forecast using an Interactive Map where users can check the CWC Flood Forecast (up to 24 hours) or Flood Advisory (up to 7 days)
- The app will also provide State-wise/Basin-wise Flood Forecast (up to 24 hours) or Flood Advisory (up to 7 days)
- “FloodWatch” app utilizes advanced technologies such as satellite data analysis, mathematical modelling, and real-time monitoring to deliver accurate and timely flood forecasts.
Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region (PM-DevINE)-issue of revised guidelines
- The Government’s fully funded PM-DevINE scheme, announced in the 2022-23 Union Budget, supports North-East infrastructure and social projects aligned with PM GatiShakti
- Under ‘PM-DevINE’, all eight North Eastern Indian states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura will be covered.
- This scheme will complement existing Government of India and State Government initiatives, avoiding duplication by supporting projects not covered elsewhere.
- The objectives of “PM-DevINE” align with the Ministry of DoNER’s vision of accelerating sustainable development in the North Eastern Region to ensure improved living standards for its citizens.
- These goals encompass rapid and comprehensive growth through infrastructure and social projects, promoting youth and women’s livelihoods, and addressing developmental gaps across sectors.
- An Empowered Inter-Ministerial Committee (EIMC) will be established, chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
- This committee will include representatives from pertinent line Ministries, the North Eastern Council, and other relevant entities.
- EIMC addresses any issues forwarded by NEC or SLEC regarding project implementation challenges or guideline clarifications. It offers recommendations, potentially suggesting minor adjustments to Scheme provisions to alleviate difficulties.
- EIMC will meet as frequently as needed, but at least once in three months.
- Union Minister of Civil Aviation laid the foundation stone of Datia Airport in Madhya Pradesh
- The airport is being developed at a cost of around Rs. 50 crore and is expected to be complete by February 2024.
- As a part of the Regional Connectivity Scheme, UDAN, which aims to enhance connectivity by reaching the last mile, Datia Airport once operational will enhance regional connectivity, provide necessary amenities and facilities to people, and contribute to the overall growth of the region.
EXERCISE MALABAR -23 CONCLUDES
- The 27th edition of Exercise MALABAR, concluded on the East Coast of Australia off Sydney on 21 Aug 23.
- The exercise saw participation of Ships, Submarines and aircraft from the Indian Navy (IN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the US Navy (USN).
- Exercise MALABAR 23 was conducted in two phases, which included a harbour phase from 11-15 August 2023 and a sea phase from 16-21 August 2023.
- The Indian Navy was represented by indigenously built Destroyer INS Kolkata, Frigate INS Sahyadri and P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
- Other participating units included RAN ships HMAS Choules and HMAS Brisbane, USS Raphael Peralta, JS Shiranui, along with submarines, fighter aircraft, maritime patrol aircraft and shipborne helicopters.
- At the culmination of five days of multifarious exercises, Exercise MALABAR vividly showcased the strong cooperation, shared values and the collective ability of the four participating nations to ensure a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific promoting peace and security for all.
‘ASMITA’- AN ARMY WIVES WELFARE ASSOCIATION (AWWA) INITIATIVE
- The Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) organised the second season of ‘Asmita- Inspiring Stories by Army Wives’ in Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.
- The forum was organised to share inspiring stories of wives of Army personnel who have created a niche for themselves in various fields, with their perseverance and resilience, after overcoming numerous challenges.
- AWWA is an association that works for the welfare of the spouses, children and dependents of Army personnel.
- It is aptly called the invisible hand that shapes the punch of the Indian Army.
- The association was officially registered as a Welfare Society with the Registrar of Societies, Delhi Administration on 23 August 1966.
- Since its inception, AWWA has grown in its scope and reach. Today it stands proud as one of the largest NGOs in the country.
- ‘Asmita’ is a platform provided to courageous Army wives and achievers, who have shattered many glass ceilings to narrate their accounts and inspire others like them.
- It is a tribute to the struggle of the brave women, who faced fearful odds but still stood tall.
Mt Thelu Peak
- The National Cadet Corps (NCC) Boys & Girls Mountaineering Expedition to Mt Thelu Peak was flagged-off from New Delhi
- The team will attempt to scale Mt Thelu Peak by thrid week of September 2023.
- This is the 86th NCC Cadets Mountaineering Expedition since 1970.
- Mount Thelu Peak, with an altitude of 6,002m/19,692 ft, is located in the Gangotri Range of the Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand.
India-USA announces 1st Joint Call for proposal under MeitY-NSF research collaboration
- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) announced its 1st Joint Call for proposals under the MeitY- National Science Foundation (NSF) research collaboration.
- MeitY-NSF have signed an Implementation Arrangement (IA) on Research Collaboration in May 2023.
- This MeitY – NSF collaborative research opportunity focuses specifically upon discoveries and innovations in areas of mutual interest as highlighted in the Joint Statement made by Government of India and United State of America during Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in June 2023.
- In the 1st Joint Call, proposals in the areas of semiconductor research, next generation communication technologies/networks/systems, cyber-security, sustainability and green technologies and Intelligent Transportation Systems will be considered.
- The proposal submission will start from 21, Aug, 2023 and last date of proposal submission is 05, Jan,2024.
- Technology development may be in terms of development of prototypes, pilot scale demonstrations, field deployment and acceleration of technology transfer through this joint initiative.
Dibang Multipurpose Project
- NHPC Limited, India’s premier hydropower company, has signed an MoU with RITES, a Miniratna Schedule ‘A’ Central Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Railways, for construction of railway siding at Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, for NHPC’s 2,880 MW Dibang Multi Purpose Project.
- The 2,880-megawatt Dibang project in Arunachal Pradesh is estimated to take nine years to build.
- In a 90% dependable year, the project will produce 2880MW (12x240MW) of power, or 11223MU, of energy.
- When it is finished, the 278-meter-tall dam will be India’s tallest.
- The Project is in the Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh, on the Dibang River.
- The project envisages the construction of a 278m high Concrete Gravity Dam (above the deepest foundation level)
- The government of Arunachal Pradesh will receive 1346.76 MU, or 12 percent of the project’s cost, upon completion.
- Dibang Multipurpose Project is intended to be a hydroelectric project based on storage, with flood control serving as the primary objective.
- The substantial area downstream will not be flooded if the Dibang MPP is built.
- NHPC Limited is India’s premier Hydropower Company. NHPC’s total installed capacity is 7,097.2 MW of renewable power (including Wind & Solar), through its 25 power stations including 1,520 MW through subsidiaries.
- RITES Limited is a Miniratna (Category–I) Schedule ‘A’ Public Sector Enterprise and a leading player in the transport consultancy and engineering sector in India, providing diversified services across sectors and wide geographical reach.
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