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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 06 June 2022

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

Table of Content

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Interpol

2. Ethanol Blending Programme

 

GS Paper 3:

1. eVTOL

2. Never again will there be a coal shortage

3. Tiangong Space Station: China marks new space milestone


Interpol

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Important International Institutions, agencies, and fora – their Structure, Mandate.

 Context:

  • Preparations are afoot for the 90th Interpol General Assembly, to be held in Delhi.

 

What is Interpol?

  • The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
  • Headquartered in Lyon, France, it is the world’s largest international police organization, with seven regional bureaus worldwide and a National Central Bureau in all 195 member states.
  • Interpol was conceived during the first International Criminal Police Congress in 1914, which brought officials from 24 countries to discuss cooperation in law enforcement.
  • Interpol provides investigative support, expertise, and training to law enforcement worldwide, focusing on three major areas of transnational crime: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime.
    • Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, intellectual property infringement, and white-collar crime.
    • The agency also facilitates cooperation among national law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks.
  • However, Interpol is itself not a law enforcement agency.

 

Current Affairs 

What is the Interpol General Assembly?

  • It is Interpol’s supreme governing body, and comprises representatives from all its member countries.
  • It meets annually for a session lasting approximately four days, to vote on activities and policy.
  • Each country is represented by one or more delegates at the Assembly, who are typically chiefs of law enforcement agencies.
  • The Assembly also elects the members of the Interpol Executive Committee, the governing body which “provides guidance and direction in between sessions of the Assembly”.

 

Interpol and India

  • The CBI is the designated nodal body for the Interpol in India. It works in close coordination with the Interpol and other member countries for the sharing of inputs related to trans-national crimes and persons wanted by enforcement agencies across the world.
  • India has been a member since 1956.
  • Like any member nation, India maintains a National Central Bureau, which serves as the national platform for cooperation between domestic law enforcement units and the international police community.
  • The NCB is the designated contact point for the Interpol.
  • India has collaborated with the Interpol, in tackling a myriad of organised crimes such as poaching, wildlife trafficking, spurious drugs, and fake medicine rackets, among others.

 

 

Instalinks

Prelims Link

  1. What is Interpol.
  2. Overview of Interpol’s crime programmes.

Mains Link

Highlighting the intent behind setting up of Interpol, discuss the challenges the organisation faces, along with the possible solution to make it more effective.

 

Q 1. Consider the following statement about Interpol

  1. Interpol is not a law enforcement agency
  2. India has been a member of Interpol since its inception.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

Source: The Hindu

Ethanol

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors

 

Context:

Indian Prime Minister briefed, that India has achieved 10% ethanol blending ahead of the deadline.

 

What is Ethanol Blending Programme?

  • Ethanol is an agro-based product, mainly produced from a by-product of the sugar industry, namely molasses.
  • Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme was launched in January, 2003.
    • The programme sought to promote the use of alternative and environment-friendly fuels and to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.

 

Current Affairs

 

Need for Ethanol blending in India

  • Ethanol has become one of the major priorities of 21st Century India.
  • Mixing 20 percent ethanol in petrol holds multiple attractions for India.
    • First, it can potentially reduce the auto fuel import bill by a yearly $4 billion, or Rs30,000 crore.
    • Second, it also provides for farmers to earn extra income if they grow produce that helps in ethanol production.
    • Third, is the fact that ethanol is less polluting than other fuels and, per the NITI Aayog paper, “offers equivalent efficiency at a lower cost than petrol”.
  • Use of ethanol-blended petrol decreases emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the expert committee noted. Higher reductions in CO emissions were observed with E20 fuel — 50 per cent lower in two-wheelers and 30 percent lower in four-wheelers.

 

Recent related developments

  • The procedure of procurement of ethanol under the EBP has been simplified to streamline the entire ethanol supply chain and remunerative ex-depot price of ethanol has been fixed.
  • To facilitate achieving of new blending targets, a “grid” which networks distilleries to OMC depots and details quantities to be supplied has been worked out.
  • State-wise demand profile has also been projected, keeping in view distances, capacities, and other sectoral demands
  • Further, The Government of India has advanced the target for 20% ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.

 

Instalinks

 Prelims Link

  1. What is Ethanol Blending Programme?
  2. Need for EBP
  3. Potential for EBP

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for Ethanol Blending Programme, highlighting how the measures could help address the related issues in India.

 

Sources: The Sources 

 

Q 2. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding Ethanol Blending Programme?

  1. The Government of India has advanced the target for 20% ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030
  2. India has achieved the 10% ethanol blending ahead of the deadline.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

eVTOL

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life.

 

Context:

 

The Union Civil Aviation Minister, recently said that the Government of India is exploring the possibility of inviting manufacturers of Electric Vertical Take off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft to set up base in India.

 

What is eVTOL?

  • As the acronym suggests, an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is one that uses electric power to hover, take off, and land vertically.
  • Most eVTOLs also use what is called as distributed electric propulsion technology which means integrating a complex propulsion system with the airframe.
  • This is a technology that has grown on account of successes in electric propulsion based on progress in motor, battery, fuel cell, and electronic controller technologies and also fuelled by the need for new vehicle technology that ensures urban air mobility (UAM).

 

Current Affairs

 

Challenges associated

  • As the technology so far is a mix of unpiloted and piloted aircraft, the areas in focus include “crash prevention systems”.
  • There are also issues such as ensuring safety in case of powerplant or rotor failure.
  • Aircraft protection from cyberattacks is another area of focus.

 

More on eVTOL

  • The global market for eVTOLs was put at $8.5 million in 2021 and is to grow to $30.8 million by 2030.
  • The demand will be on account of green energy and noise-free aircraft, cargo carrying concepts, and the need for new modes of transport.
  • Also, the Government of India is exploring the possibility of inviting manufacturers of Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft to set up base in India.

 

Instalinks

Prelims Link

  1. What is eVTOL?
  2. Developments that are enabling eVTOL

Mains Link

The challenges associated with eVTOL, need to be addressed before they become new vehicles of Urban Air Mobility. Comment.

 

Q 3 Which of the statements regarding eVTOL are correct?

  1. eVTOL needs a runway to perform its operations
  2. They possess the potential to reduce emissions, in Urban Mobility

 

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the Above

Source: The Hindu 

Never again will there be a coal shortage

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Change in industrial policy and their effects, Infrastructure, energy, etc.

 

Context

  • The Union Coal Minister said that there was a shortage of coal due to an extraordinary situation.
  • The demand for power went up due to improved economic activity, but at the same time power plants operating on imported gas and coal stopped producing power because of high gas and coal prices.
  • Coal prices increased from$40 a tonne to $210 a tonne. Also, power plants operating with blended coal (partly imported) stopped importing and began demanding domestic coal.

 

Coal:

  • It originates from organic matter wood, when large tracts of forests are buried under sediments, wood is burnt and decomposed due to heat from below and pressure from above.
  • This phenomenon makes coal but takes centuries to complete.
  • Classification of Coal(on the basis of carbon content and time period):

Anthracite:

  1. It is the best quality of coal with the highest calorific value and carries 80 to 95% carbon content.
  2. It ignites slowly with a blue flame and is found in small quantities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bituminous:

  1. It has a low level of moisture content with 60 to 80% of carbon content and has a high calorific value.
  2. Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh have deposits of Bituminous.

Lignite:

  1. It carries 40 to 55% carbon content and is often brown in colour with high moisture content thus, gives smoke when burnt.
  2. Rajasthan, Lakhimpur (Assam), and Tamil Nadu have deposits of Lignite.

Peat:

It is the first stage of transformation from wood to coal with low calorific value and less than 40% carbon content.

 

Current Affairs     

                

  • The top 5 States in terms of total coal reserves in India are: Jharkhand > Odisha > Chhattisgarh > West Bengal > Madhya Pradesh.
  • The leading coal producers of the world include China, US, Australia, Indonesia, India.

 

Coal Blending:

  • Coal blending is a practice that has been undertaken by many power stations to provide a consistent feedstock of fuel for power generation or to meet different requirements such as solving transportation problems, fuel cost, reducing slagging, and SOx emission.
  • Low-grade (high ash) coal can be mixed with higher-grade (imported) coal without deterioration in thermal performance of the boiler, thus reducing the cost of generation.

 

Coal Gasification:

  • Coal gasification is a process in which coal is partially oxidized with air, oxygen, steam, or carbon dioxide to form a fuel gas.
  • This gas is then used instead of piped natural gas, methane, and others for deriving energy.
  • In-situ gasification of coal – or Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) – is the technique of converting coal into gas while it is still in the seam and then extracting it through wells.
  • It produces Syngas which is a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and water vapour (H2O).
  • Syngas can be used to produce a wide range of fertilizers, fuels, solvent, and synthetic materials.

 

India’s Dependence on coal:

  • The installed capacity for coal-based power generation across the country was 2.04 lakh megawatt (MW). This accounts for about 5% of power from all sources.
  • Coal-based power stations are retired periodically which happens all the time. But is not fast enough nor are new additions being halted.
  • Coal is still most inexpensive compared with other present sources of energy.
  • According to the IEA’s Coal Report 2021, India’s coal consumption will increase at an average annual rate of 9% to 1.18billon tonnes in 2024.

 

Current Affairs

Current Affairs

 

Impact of coal on the environment:

  • The threat of global warming is looming over the planet, bringing unprecedented natural calamities. An effective way to keep the danger at bay is to cut the use of fossil fuels coal, natural gas, and oil. About 80% of the world’s energy requirements are met by these three fuels.
  • Coal emits nearly twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas and about 60% more than oil, on a kilogram comparison having a greater role in global warming.
  • Combusting coal also leaves behind partially burnt carbon particles that feed pollution and trigger respiratory disorders.
  • The power sector in India, which uses the majority of the coal, accounts for 49% of total carbon dioxide emissions, compared with the global average of 41%.

 

Insta Links:

Prelims link:

Coal, types of coal

Content of different varieties of coal

Geographic locations of coal-producing states in India and the world

Coal blending

Coal gasification

Mains Link:

The demand for coal energy is going to increase over the next decade. Critically analyze its impact on energy and the environment.

 

Q 4.Consider the following statements:

  1. Syngas contains carbon monoxide but negligible amounts of carbon dioxide.
  2. In Coal, gasification coal is reduced to produce coal gas and fertilizers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • 1 only
  • 2 only
  • Both 1 and 2
  • Neither 1 nor 2

Tiangong Space Station: China marks new space milestone

GS Paper 3:

SyllabusAwareness in space

 

Context: Three Chinese astronauts docked at the country’s space station on Sunday.

About China’s Space Station:

  • The space station will operate in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 340-450 km above Earth’s surface.
  • Tiangong, which means“heavenly palace”, is expected to become fully operational by the end of the year and is set to be operational for at least 10-15 years

Significance of the space station:

  • The low orbit space station would be the country’s eye from the sky, providing round the clock bird’s-eye view for its astronauts on the rest of the world.
  • It shall aid China’s aim to become a major space power by 2030.
  • It replicates the International Space Station (ISS), from which China was excluded.

Comparing with the International Space Station:

The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada)

  • ISS is now the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit. The Chinese station will be smaller and similar in design, meaning it will have limited capacity for astronauts (three versus six on ISS).
  • The completed station will be similar to the Soviet Mir station that orbited Earth from the 1980s until 2001.

But the ISS is scheduled to be decommissioned after 2024 to leave place for the Lunar Gateway, a small outpost that will orbit the Moon. This is an international initiative part of the US-led Artemis Programme that again sees China excluded.

 

Current Affairs

 

Concerns about Chinese monopoly?

  • Until the gateway is launched, however, Tiangong – which will be placed in lower Earth orbit and have an expected life of 15 years – will probably remain the only functioning space station. Some worry this makes it a security threat, arguing its science modules could be easily converted for military purposes, such as spying on countries.

Others planned space stations:

  • Lunar Gateway: involving four of the ISS partner agencies: NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It is planned to be both the first space station beyond low Earth orbit and the first space station to orbit the Moon.
  • The Russian Orbital Service Station is scheduled to begin construction in 2025.
  • Starlab is the name given to the planned LEO space station designed by Nanoracks for commercial space activities uses.
  • Indian Human Spaceflight Programme: India plans to deploy a 20-tonne space station as a follow-up programme of the Gaganyaan mission, it will be deployed in 5–7 years after the completion of the Gaganyaan project.

 

Instalink

Prelims link:

  1. About ISS
  2. Upcoming space stations
  3. Countries involved

 Mains link:

Discuss the consequences and concerns associated with china being a major space power.

 

Q 5.Consider the following statements:

  1. International space station is a joint project between five space agencies, with India as a technical partner.
  2. China’s Tiangong Space Station will replace ISS in the lower earth orbit.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

1 only.

2 only.

Both

None

/ 6 June CA, Today's Article

Facts for Prelims:

 

Norovirus:

Context: Cases of norovirus infection have been found in Kerala.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is also sometimes referred to as the ‘stomach flu’ or the ‘winter vomiting bug’. It can be transmitted through contaminated food, water, and surfaces. The primary route is oral-fecal.

It is similar to diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus and infects people across age groups. Disease outbreaks typically occur aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories, and other closed spaces.

Current Affairs

Gait analysis:

Context: ‘gait test’ helped establish the identity of the accused in the Mumbai rape-murder

 

Gait is defined as a manner of walking or moving on foot. Gait analysis is a technique in podiatry medical care and the treatment of the foot, which is used to evaluate and diagnose conditions that affect walking and posture.

Gait analysis techniques have now been borrowed by forensic sciences experts to identify suspects in criminal cases. 

 

World’s first fishing cat census done at Chilika:

The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia, listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Fishing cat populations are threatened by the destruction of wetlands and have declined severely over the last decade. The fishing cat is the state animal of West Bengal.

According to a census conducted by Chilika Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with The Fishing Cat Project (TFCP) the Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, has 176 fishing cats.

Current Affairs


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