Today Current Affairs: 26th February 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
National Strategy For Additive Manufacturing Policy:
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) unveiled the National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing Policy.
Highlights of Policy:
- The policy aims to increase India’s share in global additive manufacturing to 5% within the next three years and add USD 1 billion to the gross domestic product.
- Further, it aims to develop 50 India specific technologies for material, machine and software, 100 new startups for additive manufacturing, 500 new products and train at least 1 lakh new skilled workers.
- The Policy postulate the tenets of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ that advocate self-reliance through the technological transformation of the production paradigm.
- 3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing which uses materials such as plastics and metals to convert products envisaged on computer-aided design to real three-dimensional items.
- 3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out/hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with, for instance, a milling machine.
- Intersection of Technologies: Additive Manufacturing is the next generation of digital manufacturing that allows the intersection of computing electronics, imaging and the emerging areas of Artificial Intelligence, pattern recognition and will create intellectual property and export opportunities.
- Additive Manufacturing (AM) has immense potential to revolutionize India’s manufacturing and industrial production landscape through digital processes, communication, imaging, architecture and engineering.
- The next wave of startups will emerge in this area.
- 3D printing traditionally has been used for prototyping. 3D printing has a lot of scope in making artificial limbs, stents, dental crowns, parts of automobiles and consumer goods, among others.
Issue Between Russia And Ukraine:
Russia has launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea, in what is being seen as the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II.
- Ukraine, a democratic country of 44 million people with more than 1,000 years of history, is the biggest country in Europe by area after Russia itself.
- It voted overwhelmingly for independence from Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union and says it aims to join Nato and the European Union.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has called Ukraine an artificial creation carved from Russia by enemies, a characterisation Ukrainians call shocking and false.
- The Russian President has also claimed that Ukraine is a puppet of the West and was never a proper state anyway.
- Putin has demanded guarantees from the West and Ukraine that it will not join NATO, a defensive alliance of 30 countries.
- He also wants Ukraine to be demilitarised and become a neutral state.
- But in January last year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged US President Joe Biden to let Ukraine join NATO. This greatly irked Russia as it does not want Ukraine to move towards European institutions such as NATO and the EU.
- Both Russia and the West see Ukraine as a potential buffer against each other.
- Russia considers Ukraine within its natural sphere of influence. Most of it was for centuries part of the Russian Empire, many Ukrainians are native Russian speakers and the country was part of the Soviet Union until winning independence in 1991.
Ombudsperson App For Mahatma Gandhi NREGA:
Union Minister for Rural Development Giriraj Singh launched Ombudsperson App for Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.
- Ministry of Rural Development has developed an Ombudsperson App for smooth reporting and categorization of grievances by Ombudsperson based on complaints he received from various sources viz. physical, digital and mass media, related to the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi NREG Scheme in the States/UTs.
- At present, the reporting of complaints, passing awards and disposal of complaints are in physical form. For the smooth reporting of complaints, passing awards and quick disposal of complaints Ombudsperson App is developed.
- This will strengthen Ombudsperson in the discharge of her/his duty in a hassle-free manner.
Vicarious Liability: Whats App
The Kerala High Court on February 23 said admins of WhatsApp groups are not liable for objectionable posts made by group members.
- The court examined whether the admin, the petitioner in the case, has vicarious liability or can be held liable for the act of the social media group member.
- Vicarious liability is a situation in which one party is held partly responsible for the unlawful actions of a third party.
- The third party also carries their own share of the liability.
- Vicarious liability can arise in situations where one party is supposed to be responsible for (and have control over) a third party and is negligent in carrying out that responsibility and exercising that control.
- Such a liability arises usually because of some or the other legal relationship between the two.
- This often occurs in the context of civil law—for example, in employment cases.
- In a criminal context, vicarious liability assigns guilt, or criminal liability, to a person for wrongful acts committed by someone else.
India’s first indigenously developed Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine for COVID-19, CORBEVAX, developed by Biological E Limited, has received approval for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI)for 12-18 years age group.
- CORBEVAXTM is a 2-dose vaccine administered intramuscularly and can be stored at 2ºC to 8ºC.
- The recombinant protein sub-unit vaccine developed from the Receptor Biding Domain (RBD) of the spike protein on the viral surface is adjuvanted with CpG 1018 and alum.
- Biological E. Limited (BE), a Hyderabad-based Pharmaceuticals & Biologics Company founded in 1953.
- The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) through Mission COVID Suraksha launched under AtmaNirbhar Bharat package 3.0 being implemented by BIRAC, is committed to development of safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines.
- This is the 2nd vaccine supported under the Mission, to have received EUA for the age group of 12-18 years.
Sustainable Cities India Program:
The World Economic Forum and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a jointly designed ‘Sustainable Cities India program’.
- The ‘Sustainable Cities India program’ intends to enable cities to decarbonize in a systematic and sustainable way that will reduce emissions and deliver resilient and equitable urban ecosystems.
- The Forum and NIUA will adapt the Forum’s City Sprint process and Toolbox of Solutions for decarbonization in the context of five to seven Indian cities across two years.
- The City Sprint process is a series of multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder workshops involving business, government, and civil society leaders to enable decarbonization, especially through clean electrification and circularity.
- As per the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2022, densely populated countries that are highly dependent on agriculture, such as India, are especially vulnerable to climate insecurity. Decarbonization in cities is a real opportunity to keep global warming well below 2°C and cities in India can make an enormous contribution in reaching this goal.
- The World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Carbon Cities’ mission is to create an enabling environment for clean electrification and circularity, resulting in urban decarbonization and resilience.
- Established in 1976, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is India’s leading national think tank on urban planning and development.
What Are CCUS?
According to a study conducted by Radboud University, most Carbon Capture and Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) technologies, which suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and convert it into fuel or other valuable products, might fail to help the world reach Net Zero emissions by 2050.
- The study noted that a majority of these systems are energy intensive and the resultant product can also release CO2 into the atmosphere.
- ‘Net zero emissions’ refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere.
- Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) encompasses methods and technologies to remove CO2 from the flue gas and from the atmosphere, followed by recycling the CO2 for utilization and determining safe and permanent storage options.
- CO2 captured using CCUS technologies is converted into fuel (methane and methanol), refrigerants and building materials.
- The captured gas is used directly in fire extinguishers, pharma, food and beverage industries as well as the agricultural sector.
- CCUS technologies can play an important role in meeting net zero targets, including as one of few solutions to tackle emissions from heavy industry and to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
- CCUS is considered an important tool to help countries halve their emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050.
- These goals are crucial to meet the Paris Agreement targets for restricting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (°C), and preferable to 1.5°C, over pre-industrial levels.
Applications of CCUS:
- Mitigating Climate Change: Despite the adoption of alternative energy sources and energy efficient systems to reduce the rate of CO2 emissions, the cumulative amount of CO2 in the atmosphere needs to be reduced to limit the detrimental impacts of climate change.
- Agriculture: Capturing CO2 from biogenic sources such as plants and soil to boost crop growth in a greenhouse could work.
- Industrial Use: Combining CO2 with steel slag – an industrial byproduct of the steel manufacturing process — to make construction materials compatible with the Paris Agreement goals.
- Enhanced Oil Recovery: CCU is already making inroads into India. For instance, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation signed a MoU with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) by injecting CO2.
Indian President will inaugurate a year-long celebration of the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Borphukan.
- Earlier, the Prime Minister called 17th century Ahom general Lachit Borphukan a symbol of India’s “Atmanirbhar military might”.
- Lachit Borphukan Born on 24th November, 1622, Borphukan was known for his leadership in the Battle of Saraighat, 1671 in which an attempt by Mughal forces to capture Assam was thwarted.
- He was the inspiration behind strengthening India’s naval force and revitalising inland water transport and creating infrastructure associated with it due to his great naval strategies.
- The Lachit Borphukan gold medal is awarded to the best cadet from the National Defence Academy.
- The medal was instituted in 1999 to inspire defence personnel to emulate Borphukan’s heroism and sacrifices.
- He died on 25th April, 1672.
- The battle of Saraighat was fought on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati in 1671.
- It is considered as one of the greatest naval battles on a river which resulted in the victory of Ahoms over the Mughals.
P-8I Patrol Aircraft:
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has delivered the 12th P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft to the Indian Navy. This completes the follow-on clause for four additional P-8I aircraft contracted in 2016.
- P-8I Aircraft is a long-range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft.
- It is an Indian variant of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing company developed as a replacement for the US Navy’s ageing P-3 fleet.
- With a maximum speed of 907 kmph and an operating range of over 1,200 nautical miles, the P-8Is detect threats and neutralize them if required, far before they come anywhere near Indian shores.
- The Indian Navy became the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft in 2009.
- The Navy had procured eight P-8Is under a USD 2.2 billion deal in 2009. The aircraft are part of the 312A Naval Air Squadron based at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.
- In 2016, the Navy exercised the optional clause for four more P-8Is in a deal worth over USD 1 billion.
- Further in May 2021, the US State Department approved the possible sale of six additional P-8I aircraft and related equipment, to India.
- The six P-8Is will come installed with encrypted communication systems since India has now signed the foundational agreement Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) with the US.