Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 17, 2018

Environment

More river stretches are now critically polluted: CPCB

What

  • The number of polluted stretches in India’s rivers has increased to 351 from 302 two years ago
  • The number of critically polluted stretches — where water quality indicators are the poorest — has gone up to 45 from 34, according to an assessment by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • The CPCB says several of the river’s stretches — in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh — are actually far less polluted than many rivers in Maharashtra, Assam and Gujarat.
  • These three States account for 117 of the 351 polluted river stretches.
  • Based on the recommendations of the National Green Tribunal, the CPCB last month apprised the States of the extent of pollution in their rivers.

Mithi among the worst

  • The most significant stretches of pollution highlighted by the CPCB assessment (which is yet to be published) include the
  • Mithi river — from Powai to Dharavi — with a BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) of 250 mg/l,
  • The Godavari — from Someshwar to Rahed — with a BOD of 5.0-80 mg/L
  • The Sabarmati — Kheroj to Vautha — with a BOD from 4.0-147 mg/l
  • The Hindon — Saharanpur to Ghaziabad — with a BOD of 48-120 mg/l.

Biochemical Oxygen Demand

  • The CPCB, since the 1990s, has a programme to monitor the quality of rivers primarily by measuring BOD, which is a proxy for organic pollution — the higher it is, the worse the river.
  • The health of a river and the efficacy of water treatment measures by the States and municipal bodies are classified depending on BOD, with a BOD greater than or equal to 30 mg/l termed ‘priority 1,’ while that between 3.1-6 mg/l is ‘priority 5.’
  • The CPCB considers a BOD less than 3 mg/l an indicator of a healthy river.

State Specific

U.P. to launch first-ever dial-FIR

Where

  • The Uttar Pradesh Police are set to launch a first of its kind dial-FIR scheme in the country where a common man can register regular crimes without going to a police station even as it is preparing an online photographic dossier of criminals that will be provided to policemen on 22,000 new i-pads.
  • The Uttar Pradesh Police is also expanding the counter-terror combat and response grid in the State by training over 100 fresh commandos in special skills including a maiden batch of women personnel
  • The aim is to enhance the strength of the ATS both qualitatively and quantitatively, he said.
  • The state is soon going to start an e-FIR or dial-FIR scheme in the state.

Ease of doing it online

  • All the small paper application-based things like getting domestic help verification, lost and found complaint, obtaining permission for taking out a procession, getting character certificate from police...a total of 22 domains of police permissions can be obtained from home online, without the citizen coming to the police station, he said.

Online dossier of criminals

  • To combat crime, an online dossier of criminals in the state has also been prepared
  • The investigating officers in various districts of the state will be given 22,000 new i-pads soon on which we have fed a dossier of over 1-lakh small and big criminals.
  • Once they reach a crime spot they will show photos of the probable suspects of the area and other places, based on initial leads.
  • This dossier would help in solving a case fast as the suspects can be identified quickly
  • U.P. is the only second state to prepare such a localised online criminal database after Punjab.

Science & Technology

ISRO launches two U.K. satellites The PSLV-C42 carrying the two satellites from the U.K. in Sriharikota

What

  • The PSLV-C42 lifted off and vanished into the thick black clouds, carrying two satellites from the United Kingdom – NovaSAR and S1-4 from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre
  • The lightest version of the PSLV, flying in its core-alone version without the six strap-on motors, the PSLV-C-42 rose into the skies
  • The two satellites were placed in the desired orbit by ISRO.
  • This was the 12th such launch of a core-alone version of the PSLV by ISRO.
  • The two satellites, owned by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) were placed in a circular orbit around the poles, 583 km from Earth.
  • The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation earned more than ₹220 crore on this launch.

Enlighten about the NovaSAR technology

  • The NovaSAR is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-band SAR platform.
  • It will be used for ship detection and maritime monitoring and also flood monitoring, besides agricultural and forestry applications.
  • The S1-4 will be used for environment monitoring, urban management, and tackling disasters.
  • This unique mission is mainly for ‘ascending daytime node’ launch.
  • Chandrayaan-2 is planned for a window from January 3 to February 16, 2019 that we are targeting.

Report

Family-owned firms fare better: CSRI

What

  • Indian family-owned businesses are among the best in Asia, accounting for more than 50% of the top 30 performers in terms of growth and profitability.
  • India is the third largest market globally in terms of number of family-owned companies, according to a latest study.

Enlighten about the study

  • Shares of Indian family-owned companies generated an average annual return of 13.9% since 2006, compared to 6% recorded by their non-family-owned peers, and such Indian firms, on an average, generated some of the highest absolute cash flow returns on investment across Asia-ex Japan group, showed an analysis by Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI).
  • India was ranked number three with 111 companies, with the top spot being occupied by China with 159 companies, followed by the U.S. with 121.
  • The surveys show that family-owned companies have a greater focus on long-term quality growth than non-family-owned companies.
  • Greater family ownership also tends to increase the use of longer-term financial targets for management remuneration and family-owned companies prefer conservative funding structures for investments
  • The study defines a family business as one where either direct shareholding by founders or descendants is at least 20% or the voting rights held by the founders or descendants is at least 20%.
  • Interestingly, the study further found that family-owned companies across emerging markets were much younger than their peers in developed markets.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR

  • It was established by the Government of India in September of 1942 as an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India.
  • It runs 38 laboratories/institutes, 39 outreach centers, 3 Innovation Centers and 5 units throughout the nation, with a collective staff of over 14,000, including a total of 3987 scientists and 6454 technical and support personnel.
  • Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • The research and development activities of CSIR include aerospace engineering, structural engineering, ocean sciences, life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environmental science

Environment

Pollution cools monsoon days Study says aerosol emissions cause temperature drop of 1 degree Celsius

What

  • Increased emissions of aerosols into the atmosphere due to pollution are beginning to have a definite cooling effect of 1 degree C during the Indian summer monsoon period
  • The increased cooling is seen during the day, while the night time temperature is increasing, thus shrinking the diurnal temperature difference.

Diurnal temperature

  • The diurnal temperature difference is what drives the convection process (where water evaporates and reaches the atmosphere as water vapour), and development of clouds.

Enlighten about how it happened

  • As diurnal temperature difference decreases, the lower layer of the atmosphere will reduce in height and come closer to the earth’s surface.
  • This will cause more aerosols to get into the atmosphere, thus impacting the lower atmospheric turbulence, which may eventually affect the distribution of moisture and rainfall.
  • The increased concentration of aerosols in the atmosphere also tends to change the shape and characteristics of rain-bearing clouds, leading to extreme rainfall events but weakened monsoon rainfall
  • Rain-bearing clouds were found to increase in number and height when aerosol emission is higher.
  • The clouds also tend to have a far higher number of ice particles that are smaller in size when aerosol loading is higher, thus reducing the efficiency of water droplet growth
  • The report found that when there is high aerosol loading, there will be more water droplets in the atmosphere.
  • Once the droplets reach above the freezing level, ice formation begins. Heat is given off when ice formation processes begin. This acts as a fuel to make the cloud grow taller and thicker
  • When aerosol loading is higher, the anvil (cloud top) contains more number of smaller ice particles, which tend to reflect the shortwave radiation from the top of the cloud, leading to increased cooling of the earth’s surface.
  • Cooling by shortwave radiation surpasses warming by longwave radiation, leading to net reduction in daytime temperature during the summer monsoon

National

PM attends Ashara Mubaraka – commemoration of martyrdom of Imam Husain (SA) in Indore

What

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed a huge gathering of Dawoodi Bohra community, at Ashara Mubaraka, the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husain (SA), in Indore.

Enlighten about The Dawoodi Bohras community

  • They are a sect within the Ismā'īlī branch of Shia Islam.
  • They fast in the month of Ramadan, perform Haj and Umrah and give Zakat.
  • The Dawoodi Bohras, being Ismailis and thus Jafaris, were included as Muslims in the Amman Message.There are some criticisms of the Amman message.
  • In all matters of prayer, dress, physical comportment and even avoidance of financial interest, they are highly conservative.
  • At the same time, they eagerly adopt any and every aspect of modern or Western culture that is not specifically forbidden.
  • Far from displaying the anti-Western attitudes sometimes found among other revivalist groups, Bohras proudly send their children to Britain or the United States for education, exhibit greater gender equality than most communities of the subcontinent and have become Internet pioneers uniting members of their far flung denomination into a worldwide cyber congregation

Defence

ICGS Vijaya

What

  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned indigenously built patrol vessel ICGS Vijaya in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • It is second in the series of 98 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) commissioned by ICG.
  • ICGS Vijaya It has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

Enlighten about ICGS Vijay

  • It is 98-metre long ship.
  • It can carry one twin engine helicopter and four high speed boats, including two inflatable boats for boarding.
  • It is fitted with advanced technology navigation and communication equipment and sensors.
  • ICGS Vijaya will be based at Paradip, Odisha.
  • It will be deployed extensively for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance and other duties as enshrined in Coast Guard charter.
  • It will also undertake search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol operations.

Environment

Chiller Star Labelling Program

Launched by

  • Union Ministry of Power

What

  • The ministry has launched Chiller Star Labelling Program to encourage deployment of energy efficient chiller systems in the country.

Why

  • It was launched as part of occasion of 24th World Ozone Day and 31st Anniversary of Montreal Protocol, which will be observed on 16th September 2018.

Enlighten about Chiller Star Labelling Program

  • The program was formulated by Bureau of Energy Efciency (BEE).
  • It envisages providing star rating in terms of its energy performance.
  • Initially, the program has been launched on voluntary basis and will be valid upto 31st December 2020.
  • BEE has developed online registration platform for easy and expeditious approval under this program.
  • It will allow manufacturers to register online for availing appropriate star rating of chiller equipment.
  • The star labelling chillers will help promote advancement technology for central HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and will also facilitate energy efficient solutions for large commercial and industrial applications.

Enlighten about Chillers

  • Chillers are used extensively for space conditioning of buildings and for industrial process cooling applications.
  • The size of Indian chiller market which stood at 1 Million Tonne per year at 2017 and is projected to grow at CAGR of 3.6% fuelled by growth in the retail, hospitality and infrastructure projects.
  • Chillers, being energy intensive system, contribute more than 40% of total energy consumption in commercial buildings.
  • Hence it is important to optimize energy performance of chillers and create awareness amongst the end users to adopt transition towards energy efficient chillers

State Specific

Nahargarh Biological Park Rajasthan’s first lion safari was inaugurated

Where

  • The park is located on Delhi-Jaipur National Highway in the Aravalli foothills, nearly 12 kilometers from state capital Jaipur

Lion safari

  • The lion safari project is located at biological park spread across 38 hectare.
  • Lions in this park were brought from Junagarh, Gujarat under an exchange programme.
  • Total of 10 lions will be released in the park in a phased manner.
  • The park will serve for breeding lions and also centre of attraction for tourists.

Defence

EyeROV TUNA India’s first underwater robotic drone

  • Recently it was handed over to Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • This underwater drone will be used by NPOL for research and development activities

EyeROV TUNA

  • It has been designed and developed indigenously by Kochi-based start-up IROV Technologies Pvt Ltd (EyeROV).
  • It is smart micro-ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) or underwater drone.
  • It design is at par with global standard and has operational capabilities to work in harsh and critical underwater environment.
  • It is also equipped to perform variety of functions, including inspection of ship hulls, undersea cables or bridge moorings, ship farms, dams, port structure and bridge foundations and also in various underwater research operations.

Sources – The Hindu , PIB , Indian express