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Insights Current Events: 12th September 2014

Strong solar flare making its way towards Earth

A strong solar flare is blasting its way to Earth, but it will not cause many problems.

The power grid may see fluctuations because the storm will cause changes in Earth’s magnetic field, it won’t knock power systems off line.

It may cause slight disturbances in satellites and radio transmissions but nothing major disturbances.

What is a SOLAR FLARE?

A solar flare is a large explosion of magnetic energy in the Sun’s atmosphere which causes an intense burst of increased brightness. They cannot be detected by the naked eye from the surface of the earth but can be observed through telescopes, space x-rays and thermal imaging equipment.The amount of energy released by a flare can be equivalent to millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time – ten million times greater than that released by a volcanic eruption.

Often lasting just a few minutes, solar flares heat material to many millions of degrees and produce a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, including from radio waves to x-rays and gamma rays.

Flares occur in active regions around sunspots, where intense magnetic fields penetrate the photosphere to link the corona to the solar interior

 

Their occurrence:

A flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released – mostly in the active regions around sunspots. Their frequency varies from several a day, when the sun is particularly active, to less than one a week during quiet periods.

Large flares are less frequent than smaller ones. Solar activity varies within an 11-year cycle at the peak of which there are typically more sunspots and therefore more solar flares.

How do they affect the earth?

X-rays and UV radiation emitted by solar flares can cause long-lasting radiation storms in the Earth’s ionosphere – the uppermost part of the planet’s atmosphere – and trigger radio black-outs around the world.

Each flare produces streams of highly energetic particles in the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere that can present radiation hazards to spacecraft and astronauts.

Scientists have warned that a really big solar eruption could destroy satellites and wreck power and communications grids around the globe.

 

Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere of the Sun that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions. They are caused by intense magnetic activity, which inhibits convection by an effect comparable to the eddy current brake, forming areas of reduced surface temperature. They usually appear as pairs, with each sunspot having the opposite magnetic pole to the other.

AGNI 1 MISSILE

The Agni-1 is a short-range, road/rail-mobile, solid propellant ballistic missile. Falling between the short-range and medium-range categories, it fills the gap between India’s Prithvi systems and the Agni-2.It is indigenously-developed, single stage missile, powered by solid propellants.

The Agni-2 uses a two-stage motor platform, while the Agni-1 uses only a single stage motor which is based on the first-stage motor of the Agni-2 platform. It has a shorter range but a heavier payload than the Agni-2.

It has a range of 700 km with an impressive accuracy of 25 m. By reducing the payload, the Agni-1 will most likely be able to extend its range to 1,200 km, a distance which encompasses all of Pakistan. Its maximum payload of 2,000 kg can be equipped with a 20 or 45 kT nuclear warhead, or with conventional explosives.

 


 

MISSION SWACCH BHARAT

 

Mission Swacch Bharat aspires to realise Gandhiji’s dream of a Clean India through Jan Bhagidari.

Mission Swacch Bharat will be launched on October 2nd, with Gandhiji as the inspiration, to create a Clean India of Gandhiji’s dreams by the Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019.

 

Government offices upto Panchayat level shall be involved in a cleanliness drive that shall be conducted from September 25th, till Diwali.

PRADHAN MANTRI JAN DHAN YOJANA

 

The PMJDY has been conceived as a national mission on financial inclusion with the objective of covering all households in the country with banking facilities and having a bank account for each household. Financial inclusion or inclusive financing is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society, in contrast to financial exclusion where those services are not available or affordable.

 

The Prime Minister has categorically declared that a bank account for each household was a “national priority”.

 

It is a scheme for comprehensive financial inclusion. Accounts can be opened with zero balance.

The mission mode objective of the PMJDY consists of 6 pillars. During the 1st year of implementation under Phase I (15th August, 2014-14th August,2015), three Pillars namely(1)Universal access to banking facilities (2) Financial Literacy Programme and (3) Providing Basic Banking Accounts with overdraft facility of Rs.5000 after six months and RuPay Debit card with inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh and RuPay Kisan card, will be implemented.

Phase II, beginning from 15th August 2015 upto15th August,2018 will address,

 

(1) Creation of Credit Guarantee Fund for coverage of defaults in overdraft accounts

(2) Micro Insurance and

(3) Unorganized sector Pension schemes like Swavlamban.

 

In addition, in this phase coverage of households in hilly, tribal and difficult areas would be carried out. Moreover, this phase would focus on coverage of remaining adults in the households and students.

 

The implementation strategy of the plan is to utilize the existing banking infrastructure as well as expand the same to cover all households.

The major shift this time in this Financial Inclusion effort of the Government is that households are being targeted instead of villages as targeted earlier. Moreover both rural and urban areas are being covered this time as against only rural areas targeted earlier. The present plan pursues digital financial inclusion with special emphasis on monitoring by a Mission headed by the Finance Minister.