17.11.21 Daily UKPSC Current Affairs

 

 

UTTARAKHAND

 

Uttarakhand builds ‘India’s first’ grass conservatory

 

A grass conservatory spread across 2 acres and having 90 species of grass, which the Uttarakhand forest department claims to be the first of its kind in the country, was opened in Ranikhet on Sunday for the public.

The germplasm conservation centre – built by the research wing of the forest department over three years using compensatory afforestation (CAMPA) funds – displays scientific, ecological, medicinal and cultural information related to all 90 grass species.

 

The conservatory, which has segmented grass species into aromatic, medicinal, fodder, ornamental, religiously- important, agricultural and miscellaneous, aims to recognize the role of various types of grasslands in the ecosystem and promote threatened species. Authorities said carbon sequestration, the process of vegetation capturing and storing atmospheric carbon, has gone down due to urbanization, deforestation and intensive mining.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Russia starts delivery of S-400 missile systems to India

Russia has started the delivery of S-400 missile system to India, in a bid to boost India’s air-defence capabilities.

 

Russia started the delivery for deployment on schedule in 2021.

India bought this system for US$ 5 billion in 2018.

This deal between India and Russia became contentious amid a threat of sanctions from the United States on countries engaging in defence deals with Russia.

India had bought five units of S-400 system in 2018, for which it had made the first tranche of the payment of $800 million in 2019.

 

The S-400 is considered as the most advanced air-defence system worldwide. The missile is capable of protecting its air defence bubble against missiles, rockets, cruise missiles and aircraft. This system is available with China, that was deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, amid military standoff with India.

 

India launched 41st Scientific Expedition to Antarctica

 

The first batch of Indian contingent arrived at the southern white continent.

 

First batch comprises of 23 scientists and support staff. They reached the Indian Antarctic station Maitri recently.

 

Four more batches will land in Antarctica by air using DROMLAN facility. They will land by mid-January 2021, onboard chartered ice-class vessel MV Vasiliy Golovnin.

Major Programs of 41st expedition

 

41st expedition comprises of two major programs:

 

  1. The first program is “geological exploration of Amery ice shelf” at Bharati station. This programme will help in exploring the link between India and Antarctica in past.
  2. The second program is “reconnaissance surveys and preparatory work” to drill 500 meters of ice core near Maitri. This programme will help in improving the understanding of Antarctic climate, sea-ice, greenhouse gases from a single climate, and westerly winds.

Apart from accomplishing scientific programs, 41st expedition will replenish annual supplies of fuel, food as well as provisions & spares for operation & maintenance of life support systems set up at Maitri & Bharti.

 

Indian Antarctic programs started in 1981. It has completed 40 scientific expeditions. The programs helped in building three permanent research base stations in Antarctica:

 

  1. Dakshin Gangotri in 1983,
  2. Maitri in 1988 and
  3. Bharati in 2012.

 

NATIONAL

 

IQAir Air Quality Index

 

Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai are among the top ten most polluted cities in the world, according to the IQAir Air Quality Index.

Highlights:

♦ Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai are among the top 10 most polluted cities in the world, according to statistics from IQAir.

♦ With an AQI of 556, Delhi topped the list, while Kolkata and Mumbai, in 4th and 6th place, had AQIs of 177 and 169, respectively.

♦ Lahore, Pakistan, and Chengdu, China, are among the cities with the poorest AQI indexes.

IQ Air:

♦ IQ Air is an air quality and pollution city tracking service, a Switzerland-based climate organisation.

♦ IQAir is also a United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) technology partner (UNEP).

♦ An AQI of zero to 50 is regarded as ‘good,” 51 to 100 is considered satisfactory,’ 101 to 200 is considered moderate,’ 201 to 300 is considered ‘poor,’ 301 to 400 is considered very poor,’ and 401 to 500 is considered severe.’

 

Tech NEEV@75 Launched By Sci & Tech Ministry

The Ministry of Science and Technology launched “Tech NEEV@75” as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Highlights:

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister, met with successful start-ups, including those from tribal communities, on the occasion.

The minister also stated that by the end of 2022, the Central Government will establish 30 Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Hubs for Scheduled Tribes (STs) across the country.

These STI centres will aid in the development of tribal communities’ scientific potential as well as general socioeconomic growth.

The Department of Science and Technology has already established 20 of the 75 projected STI Hubs.

Through a variety of interventions across the farm, non-farm, and other linked livelihood sectors, these centres will directly assist 20,000 individuals.

“Tech NEEV@ 75” is a year-long commemoration of the role of science, technology, and innovation (STI) in enabling communities to achieve equitable and inclusive economic growth.

 

Recent data from ICRI on Stubble Burning Incidents

 

This report was published at the time when Delhi and its adjoining states are reeling from a thick blanket of smog and deadly fumes.

As a result of this, government has shut schools and take emergency measures to control pollution.

The Supreme Court also noted that, it has become a trend to blame farmers and their practice of stubble burning for all the pollution in Delhi.

Findings of the report

 

As per report, stubble burning incidents in the year 2021 are considerably lower in most states, with exception in Haryana.

 

In Haryana, stubble burning incidents has increased by 48.5 per cent in between September 15 and November 13, 2021.

 

In Punjab, the cumulative number of such incident is 21 per cent lesser as compared to However, since October 13, Punjab witnessed a 53.3 per cent jump in stubble burning incidents.

 

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