1. Krishi Udan 2.0
- The government launched “Krishi Udan 2.0” to facilitate the movement of agricultural produce by air.
- Krishi Udan 2.0 has formulated with support from AAICLAS a 100% subsidiary of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Invest India
- Invest India is India’s national Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency, under the Union commerce ministry.
- It will be implemented at 53 airports across the country mainly focusing on the northeast and
- Seven focus routes and the agro products to be flown from there have been identified.
- Amritsar-Dubai for baby corn
- Darbhanga-rest of India for lichis
- Sikkim-rest of India for organic produce
- Chennai, Vizag, and Kolkata – far east for seafood
- Agartala-Delhi and Dubai for pineapple
- Dibrugarh to Delhi and Dubai for mandarin and oranges
- Guwahati-Hong Kong for pulses, fruits, and vegetables
2. Power can now be sold on the exchange
- Renewable energy companies have long had a grouse — often, the buyer of their power, usually a State government-owned utility, would refuse to buy their electricity, citing grid management issues. In such backdowns, the renewable energy generating company has no option but to suffer the loss of revenue.
- But now, with the launch of G-DAM, or the green-day-ahead-market by the Indian Energy Exchange, renewable energy companies have the option of selling their power on the exchange.
- G-DAM was formally launched. Sellers and buyers can submit sale or purchase bids during a window each day; the electricity would be delivered the following day.
- If an electricity distribution company, Discom, refuses to buy, the energy company now has the option of the market.
3. Metal-free photocatalysis
- Indian scientists from the Bengaluru-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research have designed a metal-free organic photocatalyst that can capture atmospheric carbon dioxide and convert it into usable methane.
- The research will ease the carbon stress on the environment and provide an alternative to fossil fuels.
- The scientists intend to convert atmospheric CO2 into methane through a photochemical process that utilizes solar light as a renewable energy source.
- The scientists will use a chemical called the conjugated microporous polymer (CMP) that will absorb the CO2 onto its surface and convert it to methane.
- To achieve this a robust and thermally stable conjugated microporous organic polymer using carbon-carbon coupling was produced, which was utilized as a heterogeneous organic catalyst.
The latest mutation of the coronavirus variant, AY4.2, which has been linked to a rise in cases in the United Kingdom, is “very infrequent” in India according to the report published by India SARS-CoV-2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG), the body that tracks the emergence of new variants.
- AY4.2 was responsible for a “slowly increasing” proportion of cases in the U.K.
- It is also present in multiple other countries and is seen in travelers to the U.K. from a large number of countries.
- It is not clear where AY4.2 originated or when.
- This lineage of the coronavirus has the mutations of Delta the dominant global variant and AY.4, a sub-lineage.
- The characteristic mutations were S: A222V on the spike protein; and Y145H, which were mutations are in the N terminal domain or the region of the coronavirus that doesn’t bind to the human cells.
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5. Integrated Teacher Education Programme
- The Ministry of Education notified a four-year Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP), which is a dual-major holistic bachelor’s degree offering BA-BEd, BSc-BEd, and BCom-BEd.
- The course will be offered from the 2022-23 academic session in pilot mode initially in about 50 selected multidisciplinary institutions across the country.
- According to the new National Education Policy (NEP), teacher engagement from 2030 onwards will be only through ITEP.
- This program enables a student-teacher to get a degree in education as well as a specialized discipline such as history, mathematics, science, arts, economics, or commerce.
- The integrated course will benefit students since they will save one year by finishing it in four years rather than the customary five years required by the present BEd plan.
- Admission for the same will be carried out by the National Testing Agency through the National Common Entrance Test.
6. Agni 5 Missile
India’s foremost Agni 5 ballistic missile was tested for the first time by the user agency, the Strategic Forces Command.
Agni 5 missile
- Agni 5 is India’s long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, which can hit a target with a precision that is 5,000 km away.
- This range puts almost the entire China within the missile’s target range.
- Though officially an ICBM needs a missile to have a range of at least 5,500 km, the Agni 5 is India’s closest contender for an ICBM
- It can reach countries across other continents, including parts of Africa and Europe.
- Though the government has claimed that it has a maximum range of around 5,000 km, several reports suggest that it can hit targets as distant as 8,000 km.
- The nuclear-capable missile can carry a warhead of around 1,500 kg and has a launch weight of 50,000 kg, making it one of the most potent missiles in the country.
- Agni 5 agile is that it is a “canisters” missile.
- It means that the missile can be launched from road and rail platforms, making it easier for it to be deployed and launched at a quicker pace.
Hypersonic Glide Vehicle that China tested
- It is reported that China had tested a new hypersonic missile, which is nuclear-capable, which circled the earth before moving towards its target, missing it by two dozen miles.
- While China denied the report claiming it to be a “spacecraft” and not a missile.
- But China demonstrated the capability in hypersonic glide vehicle technology, which raises strategic concerns not just for its neighbors like India, but even its rivals like the US.
- A hypersonic glide vehicle is launched by a rocket that moves in the Earth’s lower orbit, at more than five times to 25 times the speed of sound.
- The vehicle is capable of carrying nuclear payloads, which gives the launching country the strategic capacity to attack almost any target across the world.
How is it different from an ICBM
- Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, which have a range of over 5,500 km, has existed since around World War II.
- These missiles, meant to carry nuclear payloads, have the capacity to carry several warheads.
- While an ICBM follows a parabolic trajectory, Whereas a hypersonic glide vehicle orbits the earth at a lower height, and is maneuverable.
- The ability to change track or target, mid-trajectory, along with the speed, makes them tougher to track and defend against.
- According to the report, hypersonic missile’s capability gives them both offensive and defensive advantages.
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7. Economic Advisory Council
- New EAC was constituted after its tenure ended in the month of September 2021.
- It has been reconstituted for a period of two years
- Former RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan, NCAER director-general Poonam Gupta and IIM-Ahmedabad professor TT Ram Mohan were appointed as new part-time members.
- Other part time members are Debroy, Neelkanth Mishra, Sajid Chenoy and Neelkanth Mishra.
- While V Anantha Nageswaran, dean of IFMR Graduate School of Business in Korea University, has been removed as a member.
- Bibek Debroy will continue to be the chairman of the council.