Today’s Current Affairs: 27th Dec 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Bharatiya Space Station : ISRO Module Station
India aims to establish its own permanent space station called ‘Bharatiya Space Station’ over the next 25 years.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set a target to launch the first module of this station by 2028.
- This is likely to be an 8-ton module launched using India’s LVM3 rocket.
- ISRO aims to have a fully operational space station with greater launch capacity, facilities for docking crew and cargo transporters, zero gravity research labs and more.
- To support the space station, ISRO is developing more powerful rockets capable of lifting 20–25-ton payloads to Low Earth orbit.
- These heavy lift vehicles will allow assembling a modular station by launching segments separately and joining them in space. They can also support possible future interplanetary missions.
- ISRO has also opened up the space sector to private players to spur research and innovation.
- Their participation can enhance launch services, satellite manufacturing and applications benefiting the public.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to commence the New Year with the anticipated launch of its pioneering polarimetry mission, XPoSat
- This mission marks a significant milestone as the country’s third space-based observatory, joining the ranks of the recently launched solar mission, Aditya-L1, and the 2015-launched AstroSat.
- The primary objective of the XPoSat mission is to study the “polarisation” of astronomical X-rays.
- This unique approach provides valuable insights into the processes that lead to X-ray emissions from celestial bodies. Polarimetry, as a method of studying astronomical phenomena, complements traditional imaging methods and involves analyzing fluctuations in light and energy radiated by celestial bodies.
- XPoSat carries two payloads in its low Earth orbit:
- POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays): Designed to make observations in the 8-30 keV range, POLIX is expected to observe around 40 bright astronomical sources of various categories during its planned five-year mission lifespan.
- XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing): Utilizing spectroscopy, XSPECT studies the electromagnetic spectrum generated by different matter, further enhancing the mission’s observational capabilities.
INS Imphal : Commissioned Into The Indian Navy
INS Imphal, the third warship of Project 15B forming the Visakhapatnam class stealth-guided missile destroyers, is set to be commissioned into the Indian Navy.
- The commissioning of INS Imphal holds special significance, being the largest and most advanced destroyer named after a city from the northeast.
- The Visakhapatnam class is recognized as one of the most advanced ship classes in the Indian Navy, capable of independent offensive operations.
- The arsenal of the Visakhapatnam class includes BrahMos surface-to-surface cruise missiles, vertically launched Barak-8 surface-to-air missiles, a 127 mm main gun, AK-630 30mm guns for close-point engagement, indigenously developed 533 mm torpedo launchers, and RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers.
- Strategically, destroyers play a vital role in naval operations, protecting fleets and carrier battle groups from short-range attackers.
- It can operate independently and is well-equipped for network-centric warfare, utilizing information technology and computer networking tools.
- This pays tribute to Manipur’s historical contributions to India’s freedom struggle, emphasizing the region’s importance in national security, sovereignty, and prosperity.
RoDTEP : Tax Remission Benefits For Sugar Exports
The Indian government is exploring options to reinstate tax remission benefits for sugar exports, which were excluded from the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme in June 2022.
- Sugar was moved to the ‘restricted’ category as a precautionary measure to enhance domestic availability and prevent a surge in prices.
- The sugar industry has appealed to reclassify sugar into the ‘free’ category with certain conditions, such as obtaining permissions from the Directorate of Sugar for exports.
- Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme has been introduced with the aim of neutralizing the taxes and duties incurred on exported goods that are not credited, remitted, or refunded in any manner, and thus, remain embedded in the export goods.
- The scheme provides a rebate for all hidden central, state, and local duties, taxes, and levies on exported goods that have not been refunded under any other existing scheme.
- The scheme is designed to be compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) principles.
India Skills Report 2024:
Wheebox in association with various agencies including All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Confederation of Indian Industry and Association of Indian Universities has published India Skills Report 2024, highlighting India’s skill landscape and the impact of AI (Artificial Intelligence) on the workforce
- Theme: Impact of AI on the Future of Work, Skilling & Mobility.
- The findings in this report are a result of the evaluation of 3.88 Lakhs candidates who took the Wheebox National Employability Test (WNET) across academic institutions in India.
Highlights of the India Skills Report 2024:
- India holds a prominent global position in AI skill penetration and talent concentration, showcasing a strong base of AI professionals.
- As of August 2023, there were 4.16 lakh AI professionals, poised to meet the increasing demand expected to reach 1 million by 2026.
- India has a 60%-73% demand-supply gap in key roles such as ML engineer, data scientist, DevOps engineer, and data architect.
- The overall young employability in India has shown improvement, reaching 51.25%. States like Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,
- Kerala, and Telangana demonstrate a high concentration of highly employable youth.
- Haryana has the highest employable youth concentration with 76.47% of test takers in this region scoring 60% and above on the WNET.
- Different age groups display varying levels of employability. For instance, in the 22 to 25 years age range, states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra stand out with high talent concentrations.
- Telangana has the highest concentration of employable talent in the age group of 18-21 with 85.45% found employable followed by Kerala 74.93% employable resources in this age group.
- Gujarat has the highest availability of employable resources in the age group of 26-29 with 78.24% in this age group found employable.
- Among top cities with employable talent in the age group of 18-21, Pune came first with 80.82% of candidates found highly employable, followed by Bengaluru, and then Trivandrum.
- For employability in the age group of 22-25 among top cities, Lucknow comes first at 88.89%, followed by Mumbai and then Bengaluru.
- Kerala is the most preferred state to work for both male and female employable talent, with Cochin being the most preferred area to work for female test takers.
- The integration of AI into learning science is seen as a key differentiator, enabling personalized, analytics-driven, and actionable insights. This integration is deemed essential for effective professional development.
- Companies are anticipated to invest more in upskilling initiatives, with a focus on early careers programs. The report foresees a significant portion of hiring being directed toward early career segments.
- The report emphasizes the need for collaborative efforts among government bodies, businesses, and educational institutions to address challenges and focus on inclusive upskilling initiatives to navigate the transformative journey catalyzed by AI.
MedTech Mitra Portal:
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare launched the MedTech Mitra portal.
- MedTech Mitra portal is an online portal that aims to assist medtech innovators in clinical evaluation, regulatory facilitation, and uptake of new products.
- The portal will be coordinated collaboratively by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), under the guidance of NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission.
- The MedTech Mitra platform, along with the recent medical devices policy and the production-linked incentive scheme, will together provide a boost to the medical devices sector and encourage domestic manufacturing of these devices.
- The new initiatives would facilitate indigenous development of affordable, quality MedTech devices and diagnostics, leading to a considerable reduction in the import dependence of this sector.
- It will ensure ease of innovation and doing R&D for emerging start-ups.
- It would provide end-to-end guidance to startups, making their journey from idea to product smooth. The platform will also help them bridge gaps and help in animal as well as clinical trials.
- It would also foster partnerships between engineers, scientists and clinicians, which was lacking in the sector.
In an unprecedented extension of its celestial duties, the spacecraft that delivered asteroid samples from Bennu, OSIRIS-REx, has embarked on a new mission, and NASA has renamed it as OSIRIS-APEX.
- OSIRIS-APEX is a mission to study the physical changes to asteroid Apophis that will result from its rare close encounter with Earth in April 2029.
- That year, Apophis’ orbit will bring it within 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometres) of Earth’s surface — closer to Earth than our highest-altitude satellites.
- The mission aims to observe the physical changes induced by Earth’s gravitational pull during Apophis’ flyby.
- These changes could include alterations in the asteroid’s orbit, rotation speed, and surface features such as quakes or landslides.
- The OSIRIS-APEX spacecraft will dip toward the surface of Apophis.
India’s first multi-wavelength space-based observatory AstroSat has detected bright sub-second X-ray bursts from a new and unique neutron star with ultrahigh magnetic field (magnetar).
- X-ray bursts occurs in low-mass X-ray binary systems where a neutron star and low-mass main sequence star are in orbit around one another.
- Due to their close proximity and the extreme gravity of the neutron star, the companion star overflows its roche-lobe and hydrogen is drawn into an accretion disk around the neutron star.
- This hydrogen is eventually deposited on the surface of the neutron star and immediately is converted into helium due to the extreme temperatures and pressures that exist there.
- A thin surface layer of helium is built up, and once a critical mass of helium is reached, it ignites explosively, heating the entire surface of the neutron star to several tens of millions of degrees releasing a sudden burst of X-rays.
- Once the outburst is over, the binary system temporarily returns to its quiescent state while the neutron star begins to re-accumulate the helium surface layer.
- The process repeats resulting in recurrent X-ray bursts.
- It generally occurs at regular intervals separated by several hours or days.
Veer Bal Diwas:
The Prime Minister of India will participate in the Veer Bal Diwas function at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi.
- Veer Bal Diwas is commemorated to honour the martyrdom of Baba Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh, the Sahibzade of 10th Guru Govind Singh Ji on 26th December every year.
- Guru Gobind Singh, the leader of the Sikhs in Punjab during the Mughal reign, had four sons. They were referred to as the four Sahibzade Khalsa.
- In 1699, Gobind Singh established the Khalsa.
- This elite warrior band had devout Sikhs with the aim to protect the innocent from religious persecution.
- While two of Guru Gobind Singh’s sons were killed fighting the Mughals, two other sons were bricked alive on the orders of Aurangzeb’s governor of Sirhind.
- The two younger sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh ji and Sahibzada Fateh Singh ji, attained martyrdom after being sealed alive in a wall.
Aerial strike on Ukraine, Russia recently employed its AS-24 KILLJOY hypersonic missile, which the country has projected as an “invincible weapon.
- AS-24 Killjoy is the western reporting name of the Kh-47M2 (Kinzhal), a nuclear-capable, Russian air-launched hypersonic ballistic missile.
- It was one of six “next generation” weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a speech in March 2018.
- It can reach speeds of up to Mach 10(12,350 km/hr).
- It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads with a payload of up to 480 kg and a thermonuclear option with a 10-50 kt warhead.
- It has a reported range of 1,500-2,000 km.
- It has a length of 8 m, a body diameter of 1 m, and a launch weight of approximately 4,300 kg.
- It is designed to be launched from MiG-31 fighter jetsat altitudes of about 18 km (59,000 ft).
- This missile manoeuvres during all stages of its flight to overcome hostile air defence systems.