Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 29, 2018

Environment

Lancet Countdown 2018 report Indians faced almost 60 mn heatwave exposure events in 2016, says journal Average length of heatwaves in India ranged from 3-4 days compared with the global average of 0.8-1.8 days.

What

  • Indian policy makers must take a series of initiatives to mitigate the increased risks to health, and the loss of labour hours due to a surge in exposure to heatwave events in the country over the 2012-2016 period

Connect to the report

  • From 2014-2017, the average length of heatwaves in India ranged from 3-4 days compared to the global average of 0.8-1.8 days, and Indians were exposed to almost 60 million heatwave exposure events in 2016, a jump of about 40 million from 2012

Heatwaves

  • Heatwaves are associated with increased rates of heat stress and heat stroke, worsening heart failure and acute kidney injury from dehydration.
  • Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing morbidities are particularly vulnerable.
  • Almost 153 billion hours of labour were lost globally in 2017 due to heat, an increase of 62 billion hours from the year 2000.
  • India amongst the countries who most experience high social and economic costs from climate change

Recommendations made by the study

  • Identifying “heat hot-spots” through appropriate tracking of meteorological data and promoting “timely development and implementation of local Heat Action Plans with strategic inter-agency co-ordination, and a response which targets the most vulnerable groups.
  • A review of existing occupational health standards, labour laws and sectoral regulations for worker safety in relation to climatic conditions.
  • The India Meteorological Department had reported that from 1901 to 2007, there was an increase of more than 0.5°C in mean temperature, with considerable geographic variation, and climate forecasts by research groups project a 2.2-5.5°C rise in temperatures in northern, central and western India by the end of the 21st century.
  • The agriculture sector was more vulnerable compared to the industrial and service sectors because workers there were more likely to be exposed to heat.
  • The findings are significant for India as agriculture makes up 18% of the country’s GDP and employs almost half the population.
  • A recent World Bank report on South Asia’s hotspots predicted a 2.8% erosion of the country’s GDP by 2050, accompanied by a fall in living standards due to changes in temperature, rainfall and precipitation patterns.

Science and Technology

India's heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 to orbit in space on December 5

Highlights

  • The satellite will support BharathNet connecting gram panchayat for e-governance and digital platforms; VSAT terminals and for enterprise network and consumer broadband applications.

Connect to GSAT -11

  • India's heaviest communication satellite with high throughput GSAT-11 will be put into orbit by an Ariane-5 rocket of Arianespace from French Guiana
  • According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the GSAT-11 weighing 5,854 kg is the heaviest satellite built by it.
  • The satellite is scheduled for launch onboard Ariane-5 launch vehicle from French Guiana.
  • The satellite will be initially placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and will subsequently be raised to geostationary orbit by firing the satellite's onboard motor.
  • According to ISRO, GSAT-11 is the forerunner in a series of advanced communications satellites with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and islands.

Connect to the features of GSAT -11

  • The satellite with a mission life of 15 years will have 32 user beams (Ku band) and eight hub beams (Ka band) and the throughput data rate of 16 Gbps.
  • GSAT-11 will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country. It will also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications.
  • The Indian space agency said the GSAT-11 will be used to meet the increased data demands with high data rates over regions using spot beams.
  • The satellite will support BharathNet connecting gram panchayat for e-governance and digital platforms; VSAT terminals and for enterprise network and consumer broadband applications.
  • In April 2018, ISRO had recalled GSAT-11 from Arianespace's rocket port in French Guiana for further tests, to be on the safe side.

Connect to the failure of GSAT- 6A

  • The ISRO's move to call back GSAT-11 for further tests and be doubly sure of its performance may be due to the loss of the recently launched GSAT-6A satellite, soon after it was put into orbit on March 29.
  • ISRO suspected the failure of the power system in the satellite for the loss of communication link.
  • The satellites are powered by solar panels that charge the onboard batteries. The batteries are fully charged when the satellite is loaded on to the rocket.
  • According to experts, the power system could have failed due to some short-circuiting or arcing resulting in what is known in the space terminology 'loss of lock' or loss of contact with the ground station. Satellites in space are locked to ground stations for tracking and other purposes.
  • On March 29, Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) slung GSAT-6A in its intended orbit. From there the satellite was to be taken up further to its orbital slot by firing its onboard motors.
  • The first orbit raising operation was successfully carried out by firing the onboard motors for around 36 minutes on March 30 morning. The second orbit raising operation of GSAT-6A satellite was also successful as its motors were fired for about 53 minutes on March 31. After that, the communication link got snapped.

ISRO PSLV-C43 HysIS Mission

What

  • The countdown for the launch of PSLV-C43/HysIS mission began yesterday
  • The agency further added that it will be the 45th flight of PSLV while the PSLV-C43 will carry India’s earth observation satellite named HysIS along with 30 co-passenger satellites from eight other countries.

Connect to ISRO PSLV-C43 HysIS Mission

  • HysIS is an earth observation satellite which has been developed by ISRO while it is also the primary satellite onboard the PSLV-C43 rocket with a total mass of around 380 kgs.
  • The co-passengers of HysIS will include 1 Micro as well as 29 Nano satellites from 8 different countries.
  • These countries include United States of America (with 23 satellites), Canada, Columbia, Australia, Finland, Netherlands, Malaysia and Spain (with one satellite each).
  • The mission life of the HysIS satellite is estimated to be 5 years while the primary goal of the observation satellite is to study earth’s surface in visible, near infrared as well as shortwave infrared regions present in the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • The HysIS satellite will be placed in 636 kilometre polar sun synchronous orbit aka SSO while it will have an inclination of 97.957 degrees.
  • PSLV is a four stage launch vehicle compromising of alternating solid and liquid stages. On the other hand, the PSLV-C43 rocket is the Core Alone version of PSLV, which also happens to the lightest version of the launch vehicle.

Environment

Sustainable Blue Economy Conference

What

  • Nairobi, capital of Kenya.

Organising agencies

  • It was organized by Kenya and cohosted by Japan and Canada.

Theme

  • The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Connect to Sustainable Blue Economy Conference

  • It was held on momentum of UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris and UN Ocean Conference 2017 ‘Call to Action.
  • Over 17,000 plus participants from some 184 countries had participated in the conference.
  • India was represented Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari.

Blue Economy

  • It is economic benefit and value that is realized from Earth’s coastal and marine environment.
  • Sustainable Blue Economy is marine-based economy that provides social and economic benefits for current and future generations, restores, protects and maintains diversity, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems.

Sources – PIB ,The Hindu , livemint