Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 28 October 2021

The Civil Aviation Ministry has notified a traffic management framework for drones under which public and private third-party service providers will manage their movement in the airspace under 1,000 feet.

Current air traffic management (ATM) systems have not been designed to handle the traffic from unmanned aircraft.

Insights

  1. Integration of unmanned aircraft in the Indian airspace using conventional means may require unmanned aircraft to be equipped with bulky and expensive hardware.
  2. This requires the creation of a separate, modern, primarily software-based, automated UAS Traffic Management system,  adding that such systems may subsequently be integrated into traditional ATM systems.
  3. The integration of UTM and ATM will be important to continuously separate manned and unmanned aircraft from each other in the airspace.
  4. The framework allows third-party service providers to give services such as registration, flight planning, dynamic deconfliction and access to supplementary data like weather, terrain and position of manned aircraft.
  5. A set of supplementary service providers will also be permitted under the framework to provide services such as insurance and data analytics to support the UTM ecosystem.
  6. DigitalSky platform shall continue to be the interface for government stakeholders to provide approvals and permissions to drone operators wherever required, according to the framework.
  7. All drones (except Nano drones operating in the green zone) shall be required to mandatorily share their real-time location
  8. It is shared through the network to the Centre either directly or through third-party service providers, it mentioned.

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2. Queen Heo Hwang-ok Memorial Park

On the banks of the Sarayu in Ayodhya, acres of green space, mostly known as Ram Katha Park, have been through a major beautification exercise.

Once inaugurated on November 4, the spruced-up space will be known as Queen Heo Hwang-ok Memorial Park after a Korean queen believed to have had Indian roots.

Earlier this month, the Delhi-based Korean Centre for Culture, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, showcased a musical depicting the story of the queen at Kamani Auditorium.

Queen Heo Hwang-ok

  1. She was a Korean queen who is believed to have been born Princess Suriratna of Ayodhya, daughter of King Padmasen and Indumati.
  2. Padmasen ruled the ancient kingdom of Kausala(Kosala), a region that extended from present-day UP to Odisha.
  3. Her story is described in Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of Three Kingdoms), a 13th-century collection of legends, folktales, and history of Korea’s three kingdoms — Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla — and some other regions.
  4. In 48 BC, the princess, then 16, traveled to Korea from the ancient land of ‘Ayuta’ and married Kim Suro, founder and King of Geumgwan Gaya in south-eastern Korea.
  5. She traveled by boat along with an entourage, having been sent by her father, who is said to have had a dream about her marrying Suro.
  6. She became the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya, believed to be located around modern-day Gimhae city in Southern Gyeongsang province.
  7. The couple is said to have had 12 children.

Memorial park in Ayodhya

  1. In 2000, India and South Korea signed an agreement to develop Ayodhya and Gimhae as sister cities.
  2. The memorial space was unveiled in 2001.
  3. In 2016, a proposal was sent by a South Korean delegation to refurbish the existing memorial.
  4. The memorial now comprises Queen and King pavilions with their busts in place, and a pond to represent Princess Suriratna’s journey.
  5. According to the legend, the princess had taken a golden egg to Korea, and the park includes an egg made of granite.

3. New Security Ink Developed

Indian scientists have developed a highly stable and non-toxic security ink from nano-materials that spontaneously emit light (luminescent) due to its unique chemical properties to combat the counterfeiting of branded goods, banknotes, medicine, certificates, and currency.

Current Scenario

  1. Luminescent ink is generally used as covert tags to combat counterfeiting.
  2. Most of the security inks available today are based on luminescent materials that absorb a high energy photon and emit low energy photon, technically called downshifting, where the covert tag is invisible under daylight, and it becomes visible under UV light.
  3. However, these single emission-based tags are prone to replication.
  4. To overcome this, luminescent ink with excitation-dependent luminescent properties (downshifting and upconversion) are advised.
  5. This is because increasing the number of parameters required to decode the tag decreases the possibility of decoding and replication.
  6. However, most of the materials reported recently for this purpose are based on fluorides which are less stable and highly toxic.

New Innovation

  1. A research group from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has developed non-toxic metal.
  2. The phosphate-based ink with excitation dependant luminescent properties which are highly stable under practical conditions such as temperature, humidity, and light, etc.
  3. The luminescent security ink developed by the researchers is based on lanthanide ions (Ln3+) doped Gd1-xBixPO4 nano-materials.
  4. It showed very strong downshifting as well as upconversion luminescence properties.
  5. Also, the downshifting luminescence color of the ink is highly dependent on the excitation wavelength making it difficult to decode the covert tag, it added.
  6. These luminescent nanomaterials were synthesized via a simple co-precipitation method.
  7. A composite was made with these nanoparticles and commercially available PVC gold medium ink.
  8. The composite ink was used to print patterns and letters on black paper.
  9. The patterns of this ink under different excitation wavelengths were found to be stable against various conditions which may occur during practical applications.

4. ROIP System

  1. In view of a much-needed solution for providing effective long-range Marine communication, the Radio over internet protocol (ROIP) System at Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata (SMP, Kolkata), was inaugurated last evening. ROIP system is being introduced as a marine communication mode, for the first time in any Major Indian Port.
  2. It shall cover the entire Hugli River Estuary from Kolkata to Sandheads, having base stations at 4 Locations. With this facility, vessels at Sandheads can be directly communicated via Radio, from Kolkata, especially during storms and inclement weather.

5. Climate Vulnerability Index

Environmental think tank Council on Energy, Environment, and Water have carried a first-of-its-kind district-level climate vulnerability assessment, or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI), in which it has analyzed 640 districts in India to assess their vulnerability to extreme weather events.

An assessment of the Index

  1. The CVI maps exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity.
  2. It helps map critical vulnerabilities and plan strategies to enhance resilience and adapt by climate-proofing communities, economies, and infrastructure.
  3. Instead of looking at climate extremes in isolation, the study looks at the combined risk of hydro-met disasters, which are floods, cyclones, and droughts, and their impact.
  4. The study does not take into consideration other natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Need of climate vulnerability index

  1. According to Germanwatch’s 2020 findings, India is the seventh-most vulnerable country with respect to climate extremes.
  2. Extreme weather events have been increasing in the country such as supercyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal, which is now the strongest cyclone to be recorded in the country
  3. . Recent events such as the landslides and floods in Uttarakhand and Kerala have also increased in the past decade.
  4. Another CEEW study has found that three out of four districts in India are extreme event hotspots, with 40 percent of the districts exhibiting a swapping trend, that is – traditionally flood-prone areas are witnessing more frequent and intense droughts and vice-versa
  5. IPCC states that every degree rise in temperature will lead to a three percent increase in precipitation, causing an increased intensification of cyclones and floods.

Highlights of the index

  1. According to CVI, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Bihar are most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts, and cyclones in India.
  2. While 27 Indian states and union territories are vulnerable to extreme climate events, 463 districts out of 640 are vulnerable to extreme weather events
  3. Dhemaji and Nagaon in Assam, Khammam in Telangana, Gajapati in Odisha, Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh, Sangli in Maharashtra, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu are among India’s most climate-vulnerable districts
  4. More than 80 percent of Indians live in districts vulnerable to climate risks – that is 17 of 20 people in India are vulnerable to climate risks, out of which every five Indians live in areas that are extremely vulnerable
  5.  More than 45 percent of these districts have undergone “unsustainable landscape and infrastructure changes’’.
  6. 183 hotspot districts are highly vulnerable to more than one extreme climate event
  7.  60% of Indian districts have medium to low adaptive capacity in handling extreme weather events – these districts don’t have robust plans in place to mitigate the impact
  8.  North-eastern states are more vulnerable to floods
  9. South and central are most vulnerable to extreme droughts
  10. 59 and 41 percent of the total districts in the eastern and western states, respectively, are highly vulnerable to extreme cyclones.

Toppers

  1. The CVI has ranked 20 states out of which Assam and Andhra Pradesh are the most vulnerable to extreme weather events, and Kerala, Tripura, and West Bengal are the least vulnerable.
  2. The study points out that the difference in the vulnerability of states ranked is marginal, making all states vulnerable.
  3. But Kerala and West Bengal have performed well comparatively, despite both being coastal states and dealing with the threat of cyclones and floods annually.
  4. The reason why these states have performed better is that they have stepped up their climate action plans as well as preparedness to handle an extreme weather event.

6. Board of Governors Meet AIIB

India’s Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister participated in the 6th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), via video conference.

About the Meet

  1. At their annual meeting, the Board of Governors takes key decisions on important matters relating to AIIB, and its future vision.
  2. As a founding member and the second-largest shareholder in AIIB, India also has one of the largest project portfolios within it.
  3. This year’s meet has been jointly organized by AIIB and the United Arab Emirates government on the theme of “Investing Today and Transforming Tomorrow”.

AIIB

  1. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.
  2. The Parties (57 founding members) to agreement comprise the Membership of the Bank.
  3. It is headquartered in Beijing.
  4. It commenced operations in January 2016.
  5. Fourteen of the G-20 nations are AIIB members including France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
  6. China is the largest shareholder with 26.61 % voting shares in the bank followed by India (7.6%), Russia (6.01%), and Germany (4.2 %).
  7. The regional members hold 75% of the total voting power in the Bank.

Various organs of AIIB

  1. Board of Governors: The Board of Governors consists of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. Governors and Alternate Governors serve at the pleasure of the appointing member.
  2. Board of Directors: Non-resident Board of Directors is responsible for the direction of the Bank’s general operations, exercising all powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors.
  3. International Advisory Panel: The Bank has established an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to support the President and Senior Management on the Bank’s strategies and policies as well as on general operational issues.

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7. ADB loans to Mizoram

  1. The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India today signed a $4.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) loan to support project preparation and design activities to improve urban mobility in Aizawl, the capital city of the northeastern state of Mizoram.
  2. The PRF supports the development of long-term solutions to improve urban mobility in Aizawl by identifying high-priority urban transport investments for the ensuing project and enhance its readiness
  3. The PRF will develop a Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for Aizawl that outlines the urban transport development strategy, build synergies with urban development planning initiatives in the state,

ADB

  1. It is a regional development bank.
  2. It was established on 19 December 1966.
  3. It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.
  4. It is an official United Nations Observer.
  5. The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
  6. It is modeled closely on the World Bank and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.
  7. As of 31 December 2019, ADB’s five largest shareholders are Japan and the United States (each with 15.6% of total shares), the People’s Republic of China (6.4%), India (6.3%), and Australia (5.8%).
  8. Dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

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8. US and India MOU

  1. The Navy will strengthen its anti-submarine capability with the Defence Ministry signing a contract with the US Government for the procurement of MK 54 Torpedo and expendable (chaff and flares) at a cost of Rs 423 crore.
  2. MK 54 Torpedo & expendable (chaff and flares) will strengthen the Navy’s anti-submarine capability
  3. US surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters will use these as a primary anti-submarine weapon

9. Writing for My Life: The Very Best of Ruskin

  1. A new anthology, “Writing for My Life”, released brings together some of the most exemplary stories, essays, poems, and memories by celebrated award-winning author Ruskin Bond.
  2. It is published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI).
  3. It comes 25 years after the publication of another anthology, “The Best of Ruskin Bond”.