Friday, April 19, 2024

Current Affairs March 22-03-2024 to 31-03-2024.

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1. ISRO Bags Prestigious Award for Chandrayan-3 Mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received the Aviation Week Laureates Award for its noteworthy accomplishments with the chandrayan-3 Mission. The award was accepted on behalf of ISRO by Sri Priya Ranganathan, Deputy Ambassador at the Indian Embassy in the US.

The Aviation week Laureates Award is renowned for recognising extraordinary accomplishments within the aerospace industry, and this year, it celebrated ISRO’s groundbreaking mission, chandrayaan-3. This mission, which cost a modest $75 million. Achieved a historic milestone by making a successful landing at the lunar South Pole. But the accolades do not stop there.

Chandrayaan-3 didn’t just land, it confirmed the presence of water in the region, a discovery that has profound implications for future lunar exploration and the possibility of sustaining life on the moon. Additionally, the mission detected sulphur nearby, adding another layer to our understanding of the Moon’s composition and resources.

The mission lander, Vikram, equipped with the Chandra’s surface. Thermophysical Experiment (chaSTE), provided valuable data on the lunar surface temperature, reaching a depth of 10 centimetres below the surface. Additionally, the Pragyan rover conducted in-situ experiments. Further contributing to the wealth of knowledge about the Moon.

2.Tech Mahindra, IBM Collaborate to Drive Digital Adoption

Tech Mahindra and IBM have joined forces to inaugurate a synergy Lounge in Singapore, aimed at accelerating digital adoption for enterprises across the Asia-pacific region. This collaboration seeks to leverage next-gen technologies to drive innovation and offer unique solutions to various industries. Tech Mahindra and IBM announces the opening of Synergy Lounge in Singapore. Located at Tech Mahindra’s campus, the Lounge aims to facilitate the adoption of next-gen technologies among enterprises in APAC. The Lounge will focus in technologies such as AI, Intelligence Automation, Hybrid Cloud, 5G, Edge Computing, and Cybersecurity.

Enterprises will be assisted in operationalizing these technologies to solve complex business problems and enhance efficiency. The Lounge is build on the Hex-I concept, comprising ignite, ideate, infuse, innovation and stages of implement. Different experience zones within the Lounge will cater to various technologies to aid enterprises in their digital transformation journey. The Synergy Lounge will serve as a co-innovation and co-development centre, for specifically focusing on AI and GenAI into business responsibly.

The Lounge will be open to enterprises worldwide for exploring joint solutions and testing prototypes. Industries such as media and entertainment, manufacturing, automotive, communication, healthcare, banking and financial services,  will benefit from this collaboration. A dedicated team will operate from the synergy Lounge to maximize synergies between Tech Mahindra and IBM.

Chetan Krishnamurty, Vice-president at IBM, highlights the common vision to bring advanced technology to solve complex business challenges.

3. India Launches Operation Indravati to rescue citizens

India launched operation Indravati to evacuate its citizens from violence-torn Haiti to the Dominician republic. External affairs ministers S Jaishankar confirmed the launch of the rescue effort through a social media post. Haiti, a caribbean country, has descended into chaos with the armed gangs taking over its streets The government has virtually disappeared.

India begins operation Indravati to evacuate its nationals from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. 12 Indians evacuated, fully committed to the security and well-being of our nationals abroad. The decision to launch operation Indravati follows earlier remarks by Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs during a recent press meet.

India doesn’t have an embassy in Haiti and the situation in the country is being monitored by the Indian mission at Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. There are between 75 and 90 Indians in Haiti and about 60 of them have registered with Indian authorities to return to India “if need be”, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a recent press meet.

4. PM Modi conferred with Bhutan’s highest civilian award

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being conferred with the “order of the Druk Gyalpo”. Bhutan’s highest civilian award, by Bhutan’s king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, at the Tendrelthang, Thimphu. PM received this award during the two-day state visit to the neighbouring nation. He is the first foreign Head of the government to receive the honour. Bhutan’s king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck presented Modi with honour which is announced during the 114th National Day Celebration on December 17,2021.

A statement from the Indian Embassy in 2021, when the announcement was made, said, “As per ranking and precedence established, the order of the Druk Gyalpo was instituted as the decoration for lifetime achievement and is the pinnacle of the honour system in Bhutan, taking precedence over all orders, decorations and the medals.

The award has been conferred to Prime Minister Modi is recognition of “ his outstanding contribution to the growth of India-Bhutan relations and for his distinguished service to the Bhutanese nation and people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that “order of the Druk Gyalpo” award will be dedicated to the 140 crore Indians.

5. Pushpak reuseable landing vehicle

The Indian space research organisation successfully conducted the second landing test of its reusable launch vehicle (RLV), Pushpak from the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in challakere near chitradurga in Karnataka. Pushpak (RLV-TD), the winged vehicle, landed autonomously with precision on the runway after being released from an off-nominal position.

The winged vehicle was lifted by the chinook helicopter of the Indian Air Force and was released from an altitude of 4.5km. After release at a distance of 4km from the runway, Pushpak autonomously approached the runway along with cross range corrections. It landed precisely on the runway and came to a halt using its brake parachute, landing gear brakes and nose wheel steering system.

 RLV-LEX-02 demonstrated the autonomous landing capability of RLV from off-nominal initial conditions at release from helicopter. RLV was mode to undertake more difficult manoeuvres with dispersions, correct both cross range and down range and land on the runway in a fully autonomous mode.

RLV-TD (Technology Demonstrator) is one of the most challenging endeavours of the Indian space agency towards developing essentials technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle to enable low-cost access to space. The configuration of RLV-TD is similar to that of an aircraft and combines the complexity of both launch vehicles and aircraft.

The winged RLV-TD has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, including hypersonic flight, autonomous landing and powered cruise flight.

6.The Threat of Lianas to Carbon Skins

Lianas , woody vining plants that thrive ion disturbed forest areas, have emerged as an unexpected menace to Earth’s  carbon skins. Their competitive nature for sunlight in the forest canopy supresses tress, thereby diminishing the forest’s capacity to sequester carbon.

The implications of liana dominance for global warming and carbon cycles has been emphasizes. Lianas exhibit higher competitive success over trees in disturbed forest areas, such as those affected by natural treefalls.

Forests recovering from disturbances lack structural support for tree growth, favoring liana proliferation. Topography influences sunlight availability and soil moistures levels, further favoring Lianas. There are some impacts on Liana dominance on forest ecosystem they are ,Liana proliferation can lead to decreased tree regeneration , growth, survival,altering forest structure and ecosystem function. This affects the subsequent recovery of forests following Disturbances. Lianas alter nutrient cycling within forests, decreasing overall  ecosystem resilience to environmental changes and making ecosystems more susceptible to further disturbances.      

7. World State of Global climate report 2023

It is an Annual Report published by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

Dozens of experts and partners contribute to the report, including UN organizations, National Meteorological and  Hydrological Services (NMHSs), and Global Data and Analysis Centres, as well as Regional

Climate Centres, the World Climate  Research Programme (WCRP), the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW), the Global Cryosphere Watch, and the Copernicus  Climate Change Service operated by ECMWF.

The heat content of the World’s oceans reached a record high in 2023, with the highest level of ocean heat content ever recorded. The increase

In ocean heat content is attributed to anthropogenic climate drivers such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and changes in land use.

While the majority of the World’s oceans are experiencing warming, relatively small regions,  such as the sub polar North Atlantic Ocean, are experiencing cooling. This cooling is linked to the slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a system of ocean  currents. AMOC is a system of ocean currents that circulates water  within the Atlantic Ocean bringing warm water north and cold water south.

8. A 900 Year old Chalukyan inscription discovered

A 900 year old Kannada inscription of the Kalyana Chalukya dynasty is found in a state of neglect at Gangapuram, a temple town, in Jadcherla mandal, Mahabubnagar. This was noticed by archaeologist Sivanagi Reddy, who visited the surroundings of Chowdamma temple on the outskirts of Gangapuram. The inscription was noticed lying uncared on a near tankbund.

It also records the remission of income accured through toll taxes called Vaddaravula and Hejjunk towards a perpetual lamp and incense of God Somanath. A careful reading of the inscription revealed, 1134 CE by the customs officers of Tailapa-III, son of the Kalyana Chalukya Emperor ‘Bhulokamalla’ someswara-III

Through the inscription was copied and published by the archaeology department long ago, sivanagi reddy sensitized local people on the historical significance of the inscription and the immediate need of preserving it for posterity.

9. Indian Navy’s Ongoing Operation Sankalp

The Indian Navy has responded to the manifesting of the Israel-Hamas conflict in the marine domain by the re-orienting and significantly enhancing the scope of its ongoing maritime security operations since mid-December of 2023 under the aegis of ‘Operation Sankalp’. The Navy undertook proactive actions during the Hijacking of Malta-flagged Bulk Carrier by MV Ruen.

The completion of 100 days of the ongoing maritime security operations under the aegis of ‘operation sankalp’. During this time, the Indian Navy has responded to 18 incidents and has played  a crucial role as the “First Responder” and preferred security partner in the Indian Ocean Region.

Based on the threat assessment in the region, the Indian Navy is conducting maritime security operations in three areas, the Gulf of Aden and adjoining areas, the Arabian sea and off the East coast of Somalia.

Since the last 100 days, the naval ships, aircraft and special forces have demonstrated an unflinching resolve to secure the seas and protect the maritime community from various non-traditional threats present in the region.

10. Forest fires in Eturnagaram wildlife sanctuary

Telangana is currently grappling with forest fires in Tadvai  region of Eturnagaram wildlife sanctuary in Mulugu and Amrabad Tiger Reserve. For the last few days the fires in eturnagaram sanctuary have been raging, posing a serious risk to wildlife across Tadvai, medaram, pedda venkatapur, shapally, and Lingala.

Principal chief conservator of forests RM Dobriyal states sees  an average 100-120 fire spots. RM Dobriyal said that often those who come for fishing in the river start fires while cooking food. Even local tribes such as chenchus collecting mahua flowers for making country liquor or medical purposes burn trees to make it easy to collect flowers. Sometimes the fires spirals out of control, like in Tadvai, and it is difficult to tame it.

Beedi leaf contractors also pay workers to set the forests on fire. It is difficult to keep a watch on them, we are conducting awareness campaigns. Fire season has started. Usually it is from march to June. We get regular real-time alerts from the forests survey of India based on ground heart mapping, We do some GIS based vetting and rush terms to the spot. In some cases, the terrain is so difficult that it takes four hours to reach.

11. India applied to ISBA to explore Afanasy Nikitin Seamount

India applied to the International Seabed Authority (ISBA), Jamaica, for rights to explore two vast tracts in the Indian Ocean seabed that are not part of its’s jurisdiction. The application to explore one of these regions, a cobalt-rich crust long known as the Afanasy Nikitin seamount, is a gambit by India. Rights to the region have already been claimed by Sri Lanka under a separate set of Laws.

The AN Seamount is a structural feature (400km long and 150km wide) in the Central Indian Basin, located about 3000km away from India’s coast. From an ocen depth of 4800 km it rises to about 1200 meter and as surveys from about two decades establish rich in deposits of cobalt, manganese, nickel and copper.

The rights are specific to areas that are part of the open ocean Around 60% of the world’s seas are open ocean and though believed to be rich in a variety of mineral wealth, the costs and challenges of extraction are prohibitive, currently no country has commercially extracted resources from open oceans.

12. Skyroot Aerospace Successful Test firing of Kalam-250

Skyroot Aerospace, a space-tech company, has successfully test-fired the stage2 of Vikram-1 space launch vehicle, named as Kalam-250, at the propulsion testbed of the  Indian Space Research Organisation, at its Satish Dhawan space centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The city based firm Vikram-1 launch is slated to be remarkable suborbital space launch of India’s first private rocket.

The test is done, which is lasted for 85 seconds, recorded a peak sea-level thrust of 186 kilonewtons which will translate to a fully expanded vaccum thrust of around 235kN in flight. Pawan Chandana, Co-Founder and CEO said This is a significant milestone for the Indian space industry, marking the successful test of the largest propulsion system ever designed and manufactured by the Indian private sector, and the first carbon composite-built motor tested at ISRO.

The test also had an important contribution from another centre of ISRO, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), which supplied its proprietary head-mounted safe arm (HMSA) for the test, used for the safe operation of the rocket stage.

13. BSE Launches beta version of T+O Settlement

 BSE and its clearing arm Indian Clearing Corporation Limited on Thursday announced the successful launch of the beta version of T+O Settlement , The beta version is implemented to ensure the smooth functioning of the shorter settlement cycle before its full-fledged launch. The beta version offers an offer for investors to transact in 25 securities in T+O settlement.

“Designed to settle trades on the same day they are executed , the T+O Settlement facilitates quicker receipt of funds and securities in investor accounts thereby reducing the risks associated with the time lag”, BSE India said in a statement.

Commenting on the launch, Sundararaman Ramamurthy, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at BSE ,said, “we are pleased to inform the successful implementation of the first T+O settlement cycle today (28 march 2024) , This is a significant step towards greater efficiency and reduced risk in our market. We are confident that this optional settlement cycle will contribute to the continued growth and development of the capital markets in India”.

14. New Lizard species discovered in India named after Van Gogh

Scientists from the Thackeray Wildlife Foundation in India have discovered a new species of lizard with a colouration so unique it reminds of Vincent van Gogh’s iconic painting. “ The Starry Night”.

The discovered made in the Southern Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu , has led to the lizard being aptly named Cnemaspis vangoghi , in honour of the Dutch post-impressionist painter.

The team, comprising Ishan Agarwal, Akshay Khandekar, and Tejas Thackeray, stumbled upon this new species during an expedition in April 2022, their findings, which have now been published in the prestigious journals Zookeys, highlight not only the biodiversity of Tamil Nadu but also the untapped mysteries waiting to be discovered in its terrain.

The discovery was part of a broader expedition aimed a exploring the biodiversity of the region.

“Tamil Nadu is an exceptionally biodiverse state , and we expect to name well over 50 new species of lizards by the time we are done with our expeditions,” shared Ishan Agarwal . Despite the challenges faced during their journey. Including Agarwal enduring over 500 tick bites , the team’s  efforts have shed light on the rich ecological tapestry of the area. Their restricted localities present an intriguing case of micro-endemism in low-elevation species.

Micro- endemism refers to a phenomenon in ecology and biogeography where a species or a group of species are restricted to a very small geographic area, often on the scale of a few square kilometers or even less.

15. Reliance buys 26% Stake in Adani Power’s Unit

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has bought a 26% stake in a Madhya Pradesh power project of Gautam Adani, and signed a pact to use the plant’s 500 MW of electricity for captive use. This is the first business collaboration between the two billionaires.

Mahan Energen Ltd (MEL), A wholly owned subsidiary of Adani Power Ltd, has agreed to allot 5 crore equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each of MEL to RIL at par. The proposed investment by Reliance is in compliance with the provisions of Electricity Rules, 2005 in terms of which the company, as a captive user, is required to own 26% proportionate ownership in 1 unit of MEL of 600 MW capacity.

Reliance and MEL have entered into a 20 year long term power purchase agreement for this purpose. MEL, a company engaged in generation and supply of power, was incorporated on October 19, 2005. The turnover of MEL, as per its audited standalone financial statement, for financial years 2022-2023, 2021-22 and 2020-21 was Rs. 2,730.68 crore, Rs. 1,393.59 crore and Rs. 692.03 crore, respectively.

The Investment is not a related party transaction and none of the company’s promoters, promoter group or group companies have any interest in the investment. The RIL Said, the investment is subject to customary conditions precedent including receipt of requisite approvals by MEL and is expected to be completed within 2 weeks of receipt of completion of conditions precedent and receipt of such approvals by MEL.

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