Today’s Current Affairs: 7th Nov 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Small Modular Reactors:
The Indian Government is considering offering incentives, similar to a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, to encourage the manufacturing of small modular reactors (SMRs) with the goal of increasing nuclear power’s share in India’s energy production.
- The government aims to attract private investments and scale up SMR production to reduce costs.
- PLI schemes, introduced in 2020, provide financial incentives based on a share of the sales value and have been implemented in various sectors.
- Small modular reactors (SMRs) are advanced nuclear reactors with a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) per unit.
- This is about one-third of the generating capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors.
- SMRs are smaller than conventional nuclear reactors and can be built in one location, such as a factory, then shipped, commissioned, and operated at a separate site.
- This offers significant savings in cost and construction time.
- SMRs Can produce a large amount of low-carbon electricity
India Flags Off First International Cruise Liner:
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways flagged off the maiden voyage of the vessel Costa Serena, the first International Cruise Liner in India from Mumbai.
- The initiative aligns with the “Dekho Apna Desh” campaign, reflecting the government’s emphasis on promoting tourism.
- The development of cruise and lighthouse tourism is part of the Sagarmala Programme, which aims to establish India as the premier cruise hub in the Asia Pacific region by 2030.
- The goal is to increase the annual number of cruise passengers in India to 18 lakhs by 2030, up from the current figure of 4.72 lakhs.
- India plans to have 25 operational cruise terminals by 2047, with an estimated annual passenger count of 5 million.
NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, on a mission to observe Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, recently made an unexpected discovery.
- It found that the main belt asteroid Dinkinesh, which it was set to fly by, is actually a binary system of two asteroids bound together.
- Preliminary analysis suggests that the larger asteroid is about 790 meters wide, while the smaller one is approximately 220 meters in size.
- An asteroid is a rocky, metallic, or icy minor planet that orbits within the inner Solar System.
- Asteroids are smaller than planets but larger than meteoroids. They can range in size from 1-meter rocks to a dwarf planet almost 1000 km in diameter.
- Asteroids are remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago.
- Most of them can be found orbiting our Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt.
- Asteroids are also known as minor planets or planetoids.
- The larger forms of asteroids are also known as planetoids.
Lamprey : Two New Species
Chinese palaeontologists have discovered two new species of lamprey from fossils considered 160 million years old.
- Lamprey species are primitive fishlike jawless vertebrates placed with hagfishes in the class Agnatha.
- They belong to the family Petromyzonidae.
- They live in coastal and fresh waters and are found in temperate regions around the world, except Africa.
- The eel-like, scaleless animals range from about 15 to 100 centimetres (6 to 40 inches) long.
- They have well-developed eyes, one or two dorsal fins, a tail fin, a single nostril on top of the head, and seven gillopenings on each side of the body.
- They lack bones, jaws, and paired fins.
- The skeleton of a lamprey consists of cartilage; the mouth is a round sucking aperture provided with horny teeth.
- Not all lampreys spend time in the sea.
- Some are landlocked and remain in freshwater. Example: sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).
- Other lampreys, such as the brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri), also spend their entire lives in fresh water.
- They are nonparasitic, however, and do not feed after becoming adults; instead, they reproduce and die.
GST Amnesty Scheme:
The finance ministry has come out with an amnesty scheme for filing appeals against Goods and Services Tax (GST) demand orders.
- GST Amnesty Scheme will be open till January 31, 2024.
- It will be available for entities that were unable to submit their appeals against orders issued by the tax officer on or before March 31,
- The scheme aims to help those who missed the deadline for filing appeals due to various reasons, including administrative errors or unforeseen circumstances.
- The entities willing to avail of the scheme will have to pre-deposit 12.5 percent of the tax demand, against 10 percent
- This initiative can also promote enhanced compliance among taxpayers.
- A fair and lenient approach to appeal filing encourages better cooperation with tax authorities and a willingness to resolve disputes or clarify tax matters.
- This benefits both taxpayers and the tax administration by streamlining the appeal process and potentially reducing the need.
Alycaeus himalayae : New Snail Species
A new snail species named Alycaeus himalayae was recently discovered from a cave in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Alycaeus himalayae is a new snail species belonging to the genus Alycaeus.
- Alycaeus is a genus of small land snails.
- The genus is the first to be reported in India, as this genus is restricted to Southeast Asia and not known in the Indian region.
- This new species differs from all other Himalayan alycaeid species due to its yellowish, conical shell.
- The most similar shell in the vicinity is Stomacosmethis spratti from the Shan States, Myanmar.
- It differs from all other Alycaeus species by the characteristic trumpet-like projection on the outer side of the operculum.
- It is, so far, the only Alycaeus species inhabiting the Himalayas.
- All other known Alycaeus species are reported from Laos, Vietnam, southern Thailand, and Peninsular Malaysia.
Cnemaspis Rashidi : A New Species Of Gecko
A new species of gecko has been discovered in the Western Ghats near Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu.
- Cnemaspis Rashidi is a new species of gecko.
- So far, 93 species of gecko have been documented, and this is the 94th species.
- The new species is also called Rashid’s dwarf gecko, as it is the smallest among the genus.
- It is approximately two inches long from its snout to the
- It was found at an altitude of 1,245 metres at the Kottamalai estate near Rajapalayam.
- It displayed a combination of beautiful colour patterns of yellow, white and black adorning its back, making it stand out among its gecko relatives.
- It is endemic to the Western Ghats.
- Western Ghats is also called Sahyadri, north–south-running range of mountains in western India.
- It forms the crest of the western edge of the Deccan plateauparallel to the Malabar Coast of the Arabian Sea.
Panna Tiger Reserve:
A delegation of senior forest officers and frontline staff from Cambodia came for training at Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) and studied India’s tiger reintroduction programme and all its aspects.
- Panna Tiger Reserve is a critical tiger habitat located in the Vindhyan mountain range in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh.
- It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve by the Government of India in 1994
- It is characterised by a ‘Table Top’ topography.
- It consists of extensive plateaus and gorges.
- Ken River flows from south to north through the reserve.
- The dominant vegetation type is dry deciduous forest interspersed with grassland areas.
- It supports a sizable population of Sloth Bear, Leopard, and Striped Hyena.
- Other prominent carnivores are Jackal, Wolf, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, and Rusty Spotted Cat.
Apache Attack Helicopter:
The Indian Army is preparing to induct six Apache attack helicopters armed with Stinger air-to-air missiles, Hellfire Longbow air-to-ground missiles, guns, and rockets.
- Apache Attack Helicopter is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter.
- Country of Origin is United States
- Manufacturer by Boeing
- It is also known as the Apache Guardian.
- The AH-64E attack helicopter is the latest version of the Apache used by the US Army.
- Other purchasers: India, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE, and the UK.
- AH-64E Apache is designed and equipped with open systems architecture to incorporate the latest communications, navigation, sensor, and weapon systems.
- It has greater thrust and lift, joint digital operability, improved survivability, and cognitive decision-aiding.
- The AH-64E includes a new integrated infrared laserthat allows for easier target designation and enhanced infrared imagery that blends infrared and night vision capabilities..
Bulava Ballistic Missile : Successful Test Launch
Russia recently carried out a successful test launch of the Bulava ballistic missile, designed to carry nuclear warheads
- Bulava Ballistic Missile is a new Russian submarine-launched Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
- Development of this missile commenced in 1998.
- The first powered flight test of the Bulava missile occurred in September 2005. It’s first submerged test launch followed in December.
- It was designed to be deployed onto Russia’s Borey-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).
- It was designed to be the backbone of Moscow’s nuclear triad and has a range of over 8,000 kilometres (close to 5,000 miles).
- It is 12-13.5 m in length and has a diameter of approximately 2.0 m.
- Launch Weight: 36,800 kg
- It is a three-stage solid-fuel missile.
- It is designed to carry multiple warheads. Each warhead will strike a different target.
- It can carry six Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs).
- These MIRVs are capable of manoeuvring in-flight and re-targeting, in order to outmanoeuvre hostile air defences.
- It is stated that this missile has an accuracy of 350 m.