Today Current Affairs: 27th September 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF):
CSIR- Indian Institute of Petroleum has signed MOU with Air India, AirAsia and Vistara (all under TATA), for SAF to achieve net zero emissions (NZE).
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has put the target of net zero in the aviation sector by 2050.
- Sustainable aviation fuels are biofuels made from sustainable resources, such as forestry and agricultural waste and used cooking oil and can be blended with fossil jet fuel to reduce emissions.
- It is a ‘drop-in’ fuel, meaning it can be added with no changes needed to the aircraft.
- In 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted a global market-based mechanism, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), to address CO2 emissions from international aviation.
- Beginning in 2027, virtually all international flights will be subject to mandatory offsetting requirements
Rohini Sounding Rocket:
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning the 200th successful launch of the Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket in a row.
- RH-200 of the Rohini sounding rocket family has completed 198 consecutive successful flights.
- The 199th launch will happen in October 2022 during the World Space Week (4th-10th October) celebrations.
- The 200th will take place either towards the end of October or the beginning of November 2022.
- Sounding rockets are one or two stage solid propellant rockets used for probing the upper atmospheric regions and for space research.
- Sounding rockets take their name from the nautical term “to sound,” which means to take measurements.
- They also serve as easily affordable platforms to test or prove prototypes of new components or subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.
- The launch of the first sounding rocket (American Nike-Apache) from Thumba in 1963, marked the beginning of the Indian Space Programme and was the bedrock of all the vehicles built.
- ISRO began with the launch of indigenously built sounding rockets from 1965. The ISRO launched its own version – Rohini RH-75 – in 1967.
- In 1975, all sounding rocket activities were cluttered under the Rohini Sounding Rocket (RSR) Programme.
- The series of sounding rockets are called Rohini series with RH 200, RH 300 and RH 560 being the most important among them.
With much of the art in Sittanavasal either damaged or vandalised, the Archaeological Survey of India has undertaken conservation measures and also introduced digital checks to track public access.
- Sittanavasal is considered by historians to be one of the oldest inhabited areas in the district and a major centre of Jain influence.
- This is the only place in Tamil Nadu where we can see Pandya paintings.
- The artwork on the ceiling of the sanctum and the Ardha mandapam of Arivar Kovil is an early example of post-Ajanta cave paintings of the fourth to sixth centuries, done using the fresco-secco technique.
- The ceiling paintings show ‘bhavyas’ (exalted souls who work to achieve moksha or spiritual liberation) enjoying themselves in a pool, full of blooming lotuses; today much of it is obscured by patchy plastering.
- Faint outlines linger of dancing girls on the ‘ Ardha mandapam’ pillars.
Global Clean Energy Action Forum-2022:
At the Global Clean Energy Action Forum-2022 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States, India’s representative has said that “sustainable biofuels play a key role to reduce GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector.”
- The US, for the first time, hosted Global Clean Energy Action Forum, a joint convening of the 13th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM 13) and the 7th Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-7), from 21st to 23rd September 2022.
- The theme for CEM13/MI-7 is Rapid Innovation and Deployment.
- This means accelerating the pace and scale of innovation through collaboration and shared strategies for the deployment of clean energy technologies.
Objectives of the Forum:
- Define international clean energy leadership and collaboration in 2022 through an interactive, inspiring, and impactful event spotlighting global leaders fulfilling their climate pledges.
- Focus on actions that deliver a low-cost, zero-emissions energy future that provides opportunities for all, especially good-paying jobs.
- Demonstrate progress in moving along the innovation-to-deployment continuum at an unprecedented pace and scale to meet climate goals, and to innovate with a purpose.
The Central government announced a special tourist circuit named Ambedkar circuit, which encompasses five key sites associated with Dr B.R. Ambedkar.
- The government had first proposed the Ambedkar Circuit, or Panchteerth, in 2016, but the conceptualisation of the plan could be held recently.
- The five cities in the tourist circuit as announced by the government are:
- Janma Bhoomi- Ambedkar’s birthplace in Madhya Pradesh’s Mhow.
- Shiksha Bhoomi- the place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK.
- Deeksha Bhoomi- the place in Nagpur where he embraced Buddhism.
- Mahaparinirvan Bhoomi- the place of his demise in Delhi.
- Chaitya Bhoomi- the place of his cremation is in Mumbai.
- The idea is to attract tourists beyond the Dalit community, who mostly visit these places as a pilgrimage.
- The journey will include meals, ground transportation, and entry to the site.
- The creation of special circuits allows the government to focus better on the comprehensive development of all sites related to the theme, including infrastructure, road and rail connectivity, and visitor facilities.
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission: NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is about to launch its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.
- It is the first Kinetic Impactor Method of planetary defence, where a DART spacecraft will be colliding with the asteroid Dimorphos.
- The Kinetic Impactor Method involves sending one or more large, high-speed spacecraft into the path of an approaching near-earth object.
- This could deflect the asteroid into a different trajectory, steering it away from the Earth’s orbital path.
- Data obtained from DART’s crash will be compared to the data from various computer simulations run by scientists to ascertain whether this kinetic impactor method will remain a viable option in case of an actual threatening asteroid.
- Scientists don’t yet know the exact mass of Dimorphos but it is estimated to be around five billion kilograms.
- The DART spacecraft weighs around 600 kilograms.
- DART is a low-cost spacecraft.
- It has two solar arrays and uses hydrazine propellant for maneuvering the spacecraft.
- It also carries about 10 kg of xenon which will be used to demonstrate the agency’s new thrusters called NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster–Commercial (NEXT-C) in space.
- NEXT-C gridded ion thruster system provides a combination of performance and spacecraft integration capabilities that make it uniquely suited for deep space robotic missions.
- The spacecraft carries a high-resolution imager called Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation (DRACO).
- Images from DRACO will be sent to Earth in real-time and will help study the impact site and surface of Dimorphos (the target asteroid).
- DART will also carry a small satellite or CubeSat named LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids).
- LICIACube is expected to capture images of the impact and the impact crater formed as a result of the collision.
- The mission is to test the new technology to be prepared in case an asteroid heads towards Earth in the future.
- The aim is to test the newly developed technology that would allow a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and change its course.
- The target of the spacecraft is a small moonlet called Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”).
- Dimorphos orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos (Greek for “twin”).
- It is a suicide mission and the spacecraft will be completely destroyed.
Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry will launch Swachh Toycathon, a unique competition to make toys from waste.
- The competition will be open to individuals and groups to bring forth innovation in toy designs using dry waste.
- It will focus on efficient designs that can be replicated at a larger scale, and toys that comply with minimum safety standards.
- The competition will be hosted on MyGov’s innovate India portal.
- Center for Creative Learning, IIT Gandhinagar is the knowledge partner for the initiative.
National Action Plan for Toys 2020:
- It was introduced to promote the Indian toy industry including traditional handicrafts and handmade toys with the objective of establishing India as a global Toy hub.
- The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade along with 14 Ministries of Central Government is currently implementing various aspects of the National Action Plan for Toys.
Megh Chakra Operation:
The operation code-named “Megh Chakra” is being carried out following the inputs received from Interpol’s Singapore special unit based on the information received from the authorities in New Zealand.
- It is a pan-India drive against the circulation and sharing of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Highlights of the Megh Chakra Operation:
- Searches at 59 locations across 20 States and one Union Territory were conducted.
- It has been alleged that a large number of Indian nationals were involved in the online circulation, downloading and transmission of the CSAM using cloud-based storage.
- The operation is sought to collate information from various law enforcement agencies in India, engage with the relevant law enforcement agencies globally and coordinate closely through the Interpol channels on the issue.
- The probe had led to the identification of over 50 groups with more than 5,000 offenders, including the nationals of about 100 countries.
- A similar exercise code named “Operation Carbon” was conducted by CBI in November 2021.
The Prime Minister Modi has extended his warmest greetings to the Prime Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid and the Jewish people around the world on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah.
- Rosh HaShanah is the Jewish New Year.
- The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, literally “day of shouting or blasting.”
- It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days that occur in the late summer/early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.
- The High Holy Days comprise of Rosh HaShanah Yom Kippur, Pesach, (Passover), and Sukkot.
- Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar, as prescribed in the Torah, following the prescription of the Hebrew Bible to “raise a noise” on Yom Teruah.
Su-30MKI Fighter Aircraft:
Having taken delivery of all Su-30MKI fighter aircraft and the deal for contracting 12 more Su-30s meant to replace those lost over the years deferred against the backdrop of the Ukraine war, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is working to speed up the long-delayed upgrade of these frontline fighters.
- The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a twinjet multirole air superiority fighter developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- A variant of the Sukhoi Su-30, it is a heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter.
- The IAF is looking to add new weapons, avionics and sensors and engines on the Su-30MKIs to keep them contemporary for the next few decades.
- India had procured 272 Su-30s from Russia, a majority of which were assembled by HAL and around 11 jets were lost.
- The IAF has 12 Su-30 squadrons in service, and 40-50 aircraft are at HAL for overhaul repairs, officials said.
Internal Democracy Within Parties:
After taking action against registered unrecognised political parties (RUPPs) for failing to comply with norms, the Election Commission is likely to take up the issue of internal democracy within parties next, according to EC sources.
- Though the Representation of the People Act does not mandate internal elections, the EC’s guidelines for parties applying for registration under the Act state that the applicant should submit a copy of the party constitution.
- “There should be a specific provision in the Constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum of the party regarding organisational elections at different levels and the periodicity of such elections and terms of office of the office-bearers of the party (sic),” the EC guidelines say.
- A top official said the EC would nudge parties to follow the internal democracy commitments.
- However, the Commission does not have the power to deregister parties that fail to comply with the rules.
- Though it has asked the Law Ministry for the power to deregister political parties in the past, the proposal has not been implemented so far.
- The focus on internal democracy of parties comes after the EC’s extensive drive since May to de-list RUPPs that had not kept the Commission informed of change in address, PAN, names of office-bearers and other details.