4th May 2021 | UPSC Current Affairs

4th May Current Affairs MCQs 

Daily Current Affairs MCQsHistory MCQPolity MCQ Video Series


AYUSH 64

Relevance: Health-Related issues

Context: AYUSH 64 found useful in the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19.

What is AYUSH 64?

  • AYUSH 64, a poly-herbal formulation developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), is useful in the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate Covid-19 infection as an adjunct to standard care.
  • AYUSH 64 comprises aqueous bark extract, aqueous rhizome extract, aqueous extract of the whole plant and fine-powdered seed pulp. It is an extensively studied, scientifically developed, safe and effective Ayurveda formulation.
  • Initially, the drug was developed for Malaria in 1980 and now is repurposed for COVID-19.
  • But patients on AYUSH 64 will still require monitoring to identify any worsening of disease requiring more intensive therapy with oxygen and other treatment measures provided during hospitalisation.
  • There are several significant other beneficial effects of AYUSH 64 on general health, fatigue, anxiety, stress, appetite, general happiness and sleep, which were also observed.

About CCRAS

  • It is an autonomous body of the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy)
  • It is an apex body in India for the formulation, coordination, development and promotion of research on scientific lines in the Ayurveda and Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine.
  • Objectives of CCRAS:
  • The formulation of aims and patterns of research on scientific lines in Ayurvedic Sciences.
  • To undertake any research or other programmes in Ayurvedic Sciences.
  • The prosecution of and assistance in research, the propagation of knowledge and experimental measures generally in connection with the causation, mode of spread and prevention of diseases.
  • To initiate, aid, develop and coordinate scientific research in different aspects, fundamental and applied of Ayurvedic Sciences and to promote and assist institutions of research for the study of diseases, their prevention, causation and remedy.
  • To finance enquiries and researches for the furtherance of objects of the Central Council.
  • To prepare, print, publish and exhibit any papers, posters, pamphlets, periodicals and books for the furtherance of the objects of the Central Council and contribute to such literature.


Autonomous Vehicles

Relevance: Science and Technology

Context: UK becomes the first country to announce the regulation of the use of self-driving vehicles at slow speeds on motorways.

About the issue

  • Britain will update the country’s Highway Code for the safe use of self-driving vehicle systems.
  • It will start with Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) – which use sensors and software to keep cars within a lane, allowing them to accelerate and brake without driver input.
  • The use of ALKS would be restricted to motorways, at speeds under 60 km per hour.
  • The UK forecasts that by 2035 around 40% of new UK cars could have self-driving capabilities, creating up to 38,000 new skilled jobs.

What are Autonomous Vehicles?

  • An autonomous car is a vehicle capable of sensing its environment and operating without human involvement. A human passenger is not required to take control of the vehicle at any time, nor is a human passenger required to be present in the vehicle at all.
  • An autonomous car can go anywhere a traditional car goes and do everything that an experienced human driver does.

How do they work?

  • Autonomous cars rely on sensors, actuators, complex algorithms, machine learning systems, and powerful processors to execute software.
  • Autonomous cars create and maintain a map of their surroundings based on a variety of sensors situated in different parts of the vehicle. Radar sensors monitor the position of nearby vehicles.
  • Video cameras detect traffic lights, read road signs, track other vehicles, and look for pedestrians. Lidar (light detection and ranging) sensors bounce pulses of light off the car’s surroundings to measure distances, detect road edges, and identify lane markings. Ultrasonic sensors in the wheels detect curbs and other vehicles when parking.
  • Sophisticated software then processes all this sensory input, plots a path, and sends instructions to the car’s actuators, which control acceleration, braking, and steering. Hard-coded rules, obstacle avoidance algorithms, predictive modelling, and object recognition help the software follow traffic rules and navigate obstacles.

What are the 6 Levels of Autonomous Vehicles?

  • The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defines six autonomous vehicle levels for driving, which range from Level 0 (completely manual) to Level 5 (completely autonomous).


Tianhe

Relevance: Science and Technology

Context: China launches a key module of a space station planned for 2022.

What is Tianhe?

  • The module, named “Tianhe”, or “Harmony of the Heavens”, was launched on the Long March 5B, China’s largest carrier rocket, from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on the southern island of Hainan.
  • Tianhe is the main living quarters for three crew members in the Chinese space station (Tiangong Space Station), which will have a lifespan of at least 10 years.
  • Tianhe has a total length of 16.6 meters (55 feet), a maximum diameter of 4.2 meters and a living space of 50 cubic meters,

About Tiangong Space Station

  • The Tiangong space station will be completed by the end of 2022 and will orbit Earth at an altitude of 340 to 450 kilometres. It is a mission of the China National Space Administration.
  • Tiangong will operate for at least ten years and scientific, technological, and industry application experiments will be conducted onboard.
  • The plan is to have three astronauts on board for six-month stints, and Tiangong will be able to accommodate up to six astronauts during crew transfers.
  • Tiangong will consist of three modules. Tianhe will be the core module that will provide the living quarters for the astronauts as well as the command and control centre for the space station.
  • Meanwhile, the Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 modules will be the space laboratories from which all experiments will be conducted.
  • The Tiangong space station will be T-shaped, with the Tianhe core module at the centre and the Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 laboratory modules on each side. Each module will have a mass of approximately 20 tonnes, and the entire orbital complex will have a combined mass of 66 tonnes.

About Long March-5

  • The Long March-5, is also known as CZ-5, China’s most powerful rocket and a critical ingredient in the nation’s ambitious space programme, can carry a maximum payload of 25 tonnes into low Earth orbit and 14 tonnes into geosynchronous orbit.


NavIC

Relevance: Science and Technology

Context: National Telecommunications Institute for Policy Research, Innovation and Training (NTIPRIT) conducts webinar on “NavIC — Opportunities for the Telecom Industry”

What is NavIC?

●    The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, with an operational name of NavIC, is an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India.

●    It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area. The system currently consists of a constellation of seven satellites, with two additional satellites on the ground as stand-by.

●    The 3 of the 7 satellites are in geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEOs) and the rest 4 geostationary satellites (GSO).

●    IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users. The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.

About NTIPRIT:

  • National Telecommunications Institute for Policy Research, Innovation and Training (NTIPRIT) is the apex training institute of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • NTIPRIT was established in the year 2010 as National Telecom Academy. In 2011 Department of Telecommunications accorded approval to enhance the scope of activities of the academy and renamed it as National Telecommunications Institute for Policy Research, Innovation & Training.
  • Since then, besides meeting the training needs of DoT officers, NTIPRIT also conducts training programs for law enforcement agencies in India.


Aditya-L1 Support Cell (AL1SC)

Relevance: Science and Technology

Context: Aditya-L1 Support Cell (AL1SC) has been launched.

About Aditya-L1 Support Cell (AL1SC)

  • It is a joint effort of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) , an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology.
  • AL1SC is set up at the transit campus of ARIES at Haldwani, Uttarakhand.
  • It is designed to develop specific tools to assist guest observers/researchers to prepare to observe proposals for Aditya-L1 observations and will assist ISRO with the design and development of the required analysis software for handling scientific data.
  • The centre will also provide the co-aligned data from other observatories around the world that can complement the data obtained from Aditya-L1 allowing users to accomplish the science goals beyond the capabilities of the Aditya-L1.
  • It will help build a solar features event knowledge base which will be the compendium of different solar features seen on the surface of the Sun and in the heliosphere.

About Aditya L1

  • It is the first Indian mission to study the Sun and is scheduled for launch in 2022.
  • The mission will be undertaken in collaboration between various labs of ISRO, along with institutions like the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, and Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER),
  • It will be inserted in a halo orbit around Lagrange Point 1, which is 5 million km from the Earth.
  • ISRO categorises Aditya L1 as a 400 kg-class satellite that will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
  • The space-based observatory will have seven payloads (instruments) on board to study the Sun’s corona, solar emissions, solar winds and flares, and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), and will carry out round-the-clock imaging of the Sun.

About Lagrange Points

  • Lagrange Points are positioned in space where the gravitational forces of a two-body system (like the Sun and the Earth) produce enhanced regions of attraction and repulsion.
  • These can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Relevance: Science and Technology

Context: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing global problem to which the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may further contribute.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?

  • AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
  • As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.
  • Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
  • Antimicrobials including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals and plants.

How do bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites acquire AMR?

  • There are two main ways that bacterial cells can acquire antibiotic resistance:
  • Through mutations that occur in the DNA of the cell during replication.
  • Through horizontal gene transfer.
  • Main causes of antibiotic resistance :
  • Over-prescription of antibiotics
  • Patients not finishing the entire antibiotic course
  • Overuse of antibiotics in livestock and fish farming
  • Poor infection control in health care settings
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation
  • Absence of new antibiotics being discovered

How COVID is affecting AMR?

  • In the era of COVID Antibiotics and repurposed antiretrovirals are contributing much to the AMR too without substantial medical research.
  • Commonly used antibiotics are Azithromycin, Doxycycline and commonly used antiretroviral are Favipiravir, Remdesivir are in heavy use among COVID patients.


May Day 2021

Relevance: International Bodies

Context: May 1 is the International Day of Workers or International Labour Day.

History of Labour Day

  • Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement in the United States in the 19th Century.
  • In 1889, the Marxist International Socialist Congress adopted a resolution for a great international demonstration in which they demanded that the workers should not be made to work for more than 8 hours a day.
  • After this, it became an annual event and May 1 was celebrated as Labour Day.

About International Labour Day

  • It is dedicated to workers and labourers across the world. This day celebrates labourers and encourages them to be aware of their rights. It has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement.
  • Popularly known as May Day, the day is observed in countries such as India, Cuba and China among other countries.
  • On this day, people across the world observe the day by conducting protest and March for the rights of workers and save them from exploitation. International Labour Day is a public holiday in many countries.

Labour’s Day in India

  • In India, Labour’s Day is a national holiday. The first Labour’s Day was celebrated in 1923 in Chennai. This day was observed by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan.
  • On this day, communist leader Malayapuram Singaravelu Chettiar asked the government that May 1 should be considered as a national holiday to symbolise the efforts and work of the workers.
  • This day is also known as Kamgar Divas, Kamgar Din and Antrarashtriya Shramik Divas in India.


Public Buildings And Fire Safety

Relevance: Disaster Management

Context: There have been deadly fires in hospital buildings during the 2nd wave of COVID-19.

The present condition regarding Fire Safety

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) says 330 people died in commercial building fires in 2019, while fatalities for residential or dwelling buildings were much higher at 6,329.
  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has also stipulated requirements for fire safety in public buildings, including hospitals, which incorporate elements of the National Building Code (NBC), besides design guidelines on maintaining minimum open safety space, protected exit mechanisms, dedicated staircases, and crucial drills to carry out evacuations.
  • Electrical faults are cited as the leading cause of fires, but State governments are also widely criticised for being lax with building safety laws and for failing to equip public buildings with modern technology.
  • Fire outbreak is the third biggest risk to business continuity and operations, according to India Risk Survey (IRS) 2018.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs in 2017 told Parliament that the country in 2012 had just 2,987 fire stations against the requirement of 8,559, a shortfall of 65 per cent.

What are the codes for fire safety?

  • The National Building Code of India published by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the recommended document for all buildings across the country. The chapter on ‘Fire and Life Safety is instrumental in the way the exits and staircases are laid out and electrical circuits and water tanks are mapped.
  • It does not mean, however, that the building is fire-proof, only that it can be fire retardant. Every building should get a fire safety audit done every year, where a fire officer comes to check on all the parameters and codes.
  • NBC recommends the location of buildings by type of use in specific zones to ensure that industrial and hazardous structures do not coexist with residential, institutional, office and business buildings.
  • It specifies the technical requirements for special buildings, high rises, educational and institutional buildings higher than 9 metres, and those with an area of over 300 square metres.

How to stop such incidences?

  • In December 2020, the Supreme Court directed all States to carry out fire safety audits of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals. It has become evident that State forces lack the manpower to inspect and ensure compliance with safety codes, including the NBC, where it is mandatory.
  • One option is to make heavy fire liability insurance compulsory for all public buildings, which would offer protection to occupants and visitors and bring about the external inspection of safety.


POLAR WANDER

Relevance: Geography

Context: Melting glaciers due to climate change caused Earth’s axis to shift since the mid-90s.

What is Polar Wandering?

  • Polar wanderingis the migration of the magnetic poles over Earth’s surface through geologic time.
  • They have been affected due to the melting of glaciers (it has also affected the rotation of Earth) and other factors caused by humans, namely climate change.
  • The Earth spins around its axis similar to a top. If the weight of the top changes, the spinning top would start to lean. This is the same thing that to Earth when the weight gets shifted.
  • The drift happened as the melting glaciers redistributed water which made the direction of the polar wander turn and accelerate.
  • The latest research has shown that the Earth’s North and South poles have moved since the mid-1900s. This study was conducted by researchers from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
  • The new study uses data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and observations from the 2018 project GRACE-FO to explain the drift in the Earth’s axis due to glacier melting.

What is the GRACE-FO mission?

  • The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission is a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).
  • GRACE-FO, which launched May 22, 2018, will work on tracking Earth’s water movement to monitor changes in underground water storage, the amount of water in large lakes and rivers, soil moisture, ice sheets and glaciers, and sea level caused by the addition of water to the ocean.


Positron: The Antimatter Counterpart of the Electrons

Relevance: Science and Technology

Context: Cosmic rays propagating through Milky Way interact with matter producing an excess antimatter counterpart of the electron.

What is a Positron?

  • A positron is a particle of matter with the same mass as an electron but an opposite charge. It is a form of antimatter because, when a positron encounters an electron, the two annihilate to yield energy.
  • Positron is the antimatter counterpart of the electron.
  • The positron was discovered in 1933 by the American physicist Carl Anderson. Anderson was studying the cosmic rays particles with a Wilson chamber or cloud chamber.
  • Positrons are emitted in the positive beta decay of proton-rich (neutron-deficient) radioactive nuclei and are formed in pair production, in which the energy of a gamma ray in the field of a nucleus is converted into an electron-positron pair.
  • Positrons with energy more than 300 GeV are lower in comparison to what astronomers expect. This behaviour of positrons between 10 and 300 GeV is what astronomers call the ‘positron excess’.
  • Researchers from the Raman Research Institute(RRI), Bengaluru, an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology have resolved the phenomenon of the positron excess. Their proposal is simple –– cosmic rays while propagating through the Milky Way galaxy interact with matter producing other cosmic rays, primarily electrons and positrons.
  • The Milky Way consists of giant clouds of molecular hydrogen. Cosmic rays, produced in supernovae explosions propagate through these clouds before they reach the Earth. Cosmic rays interact with molecular hydrogen and can give rise to other cosmic rays.

What is Antimatter?

  • Antimatter is the opposite of normal matter. More specifically, the sub-atomic particles of antimatter have properties opposite those of normal matter. The electrical charge of those particles is reversed. Antimatter was created along with matter after the Big Bang, but antimatter is rare in today’s universe
  • Antimatter was first predicted in 1928 by English physicist Paul Dirac.
  • For every particle there exists a corresponding antiparticle, exactly matching the particle but with opposite charge.


P8-I ANTI SUBMARINE AIRCRAFT

Relevance: Defence-related issues

Context: U.S. clears sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft to India

What is P8-I?

  • It is the Indian version of the P-8A Poseidon Aircraft manufactured by Boeing.
  • It is based on the Boeing 737 commercial aircraft and India was its first international customer.
  • It plays a crucial role in being the eyes of the Indian Navy and carrying out critical maritime operations.
  • It is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions; the P-8 delivers the highest levels of quality, reliability, and operability.
  • The P-8I is not just responsible for coastal patrolling but is also used for other critical missions like search-and-rescue, anti-piracy, and supporting operations of other arms of the military.

India and P-8I.

  • The Navy had procured eight P-8Is in a $2.2-billion deal in 2009 with the optional clause for four more.
  • The aircraft are part of the 312A Naval Air Squadron based at Arakkonam(INS Rajali) in Tamil Nadu with a secondary centre at INS Kochi.
  • With India having signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) foundational agreement with the U.S., the six aircraft will come fitted with encrypted systems.


Putola Nach.

Relevance:  Art and culture

Context: Assam string puppetry rides COVID campaign for revival.

About the issue

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an Assam-based trust with the opportunity to focus on a near-forgotten form of string puppetry called Putola Nach.
  • In collaboration with the UNICEF-Assam, the Anamika Ray Memorial Trust (ARMT) has produced three short videos using string puppetry for creating mass awareness on COVID appropriate behaviour.
  • The video ‘COVID Shatru (Enemy)’ is based on a king, who preaches safety measures after the spread of the novel coronavirus threatens to devastate his realm.

What is Putola Nach?

  • It means Puppet dance, performed in three different styles in the different areas of Assam. The sculpted form of the puppets, their costumes and manipulation vary according to regional style.
  • They are carved from wood and follow the various artistic styles of a particular region. In some areas of West Bengal, rod-puppets used to be of human size.
  • The Bengal rod-puppets, which survive are about 3 to 4 feet in height and are costumed like the actors of Jatra, a traditional theatre form prevalent in the State.
  • These puppets have mostly three joints. The heads, supported by the main rod, is joined at the neck and both hands attached to rods are joined at the shoulders.
  • The Ramayana, either in its entirety or by episodes, is performed, as well as scenes from the Mahabharata. The puppeteers also add dialogues or chants taken from bhaona, the local traditional theatre.
  • The puppeteers each holding one puppet, stand behind a head-high curtain and while manipulating the rods also move and dance imparting corresponding movements to the puppets.
  • While the puppeteers themselves sing and deliver the stylized prose dialogues, a group of musicians, usually three to four in numbers, sitting at the side of the stage provide the accompanying music with a drum, harmonium and cymbals. The music and verbal text have close similarity with the Jatra theatre.
  • The putala nach is also called putala bhaona due to its ancient link (16th century) with bhaona theatre.


Tajikistan – Kyrgyzstan border conflict

Relevance: International relations

Context: Kyrgyzstan said at least 31 people have been killed in heavy clashes at its disputed border with Tajikistan.

Why there is a conflict?

  • The conflict in the Kyrgyz-Tajik border is the product of ill-Soviet mapmakerson dividing lines for Soviet republics, after the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991.
  • Both nations have claimed the area around the water supply facility in Kok-Tash.             
  • The restrictions on access to waterand territorial claims that communities have living in this region regard as theirs have often led to deadly clashes.
  • The meandering boundary between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is particularly tense as over a third of its 1,000-km (600-mile) length is disputed. Restrictions on access to land and water that communities regard as theirs have often led to deadly clashes in the past.

Impact on India

  • India has strategic interests in Central Asia which range from counterterrorism to energy resources which gives it stakes in preventing the escalation of the fight. The Tajik civil war of the 1990s saw radical Islamic parties exploiting the divisions within the country which disrupted India’s position within the region.
  • Already India has to counter Chinese and Pakistani spheres of influence in Central Asia. The US and Russia, the dominant powers of the region, allow India to function within their aegis.
  • Tajikistan hosts India’s first overseas military base at Farkhor. The base allows proximity to events unfolding in Afghanistan but also a check on Pakistani activities.
  • India and Kyrgyzstan conduct two weeks Joint Special Forces Exercise “Khanjar.”

Places in News

  • Vorukh is a jamoat (third-level administrative divisions) in northern Tajikistan.
  • Central Asia includes Kazakhstan (Nur-Sultan), Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek), Uzbekistan (Tashkent), Tajikistan (Dushanbe), Turkmenistan(Ashgabat)


 Sutra model

Relevance:

Context: Ministry of Science and Technology working on the SUTRA model for charting the trajectory of COVID-19.

What is Sutra Model?

  • It is a mathematical model to predict the spread of the virus.
  • This mathematical model can only predict future with some certainty so long as virus dynamics and its transmissibility don’t change substantially over time.
  • This model can also provide a mechanism to predicting alternate scenarios corresponding to various policy decisions such as non-pharmaceutical interventions.
  • The Scientists working on the SUTRA model continued their efforts to better estimate the future trajectory of the pandemic.


Operation Samudra Setu 2

Relevance: Health

Context: Seven Indian Navy Ships Deployed for Operation Samudra Setu II.

 More on News:

  • In support of the nation’s fight against Covid-19 and as part of operation ‘Samudra Setu II’,  seven Indian Naval ships viz.Kolkata, Kochi,  Talwar, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa and Airavat have been deployed for shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from various countries.

What is Operation Samudrasetu?

  • Operation Samudra Setu was launched on 05 May 2020.
  • It has been launched as part of the national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa (Landing Platform Dock), and Airavat, Shardul and Magar (Landing Ship Tanks) participated in this operation which lasted over 55 days and involved traversing more than 23,000 kilometres by sea.
  • Indian Navy has previously undertaken similar evacuation operations as part of Operation Sukoon in 2006 (Beirut) and Operation Rahat in 2015 (Yemen).


India UK virtual summit

Relevance: International Relations

Context: India and UK has hold a virtual meet recently.

More on News:

  • India and UK enjoy a Strategic Partnership since 2004.
  • It has been marked by regular high level exchanges and growing convergences in diverse areas.
  • The Summit proved is an important opportunity for India to elevate multi-faceted strategic ties and enhance cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
  • Both leaders of the Countries has discussed Covid19 cooperation and the global efforts to fight the pandemic.
  • A comprehensive Roadmap 2030 has been launched during the Summit.
  • This comprehensive roadmap will pave the way for further expanding and deepening India-UK cooperation over the next decade across five key areas, namely people-to-people relationship, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action and healthcare.


System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) 

Relevance: Environment

Context: SAFAR indicated that Delhi’s air quality deteriorated from ‘moderate’ to ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’.

More on News:

  • An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.

What is SAFAR?

  • It is an initiative of the Ministry of Earth Science.
  • SAFAR envisages a research based management system where strategies of air pollution mitigation go hand in hand with nation’s economic development to target a win-win scenario.
  • It aims to provide location specific information on air quality in near real time and its forecast 1-3 days in advance for the first time in India. It has been combined with the early warning system on weather parameters.
  • The SAFAR system is developed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, along with ESSO partner institutions namely India Meteorological Department (IMD) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).
  • The implementation of SAFAR is made possible with an active collaboration with local municipal corporations and various local educational institutions and governmental agencies in that Metro city.
  • The ultimate objective of the project is to increase awareness among general public regarding the air quality in their city well in advance so that appropriate mitigation measures and systematic action can be taken up for betterment of air quality and related health issues.
  • It engineers awareness drive by educating public, prompting self-mitigation and also to help develop mitigation strategies for policy makers.


Solar Energy Harnessing Plant

Relevance: Economy

Context: Indian Army has inaugurated the First Green Solar Energy harnessing plant North Sikkim.

More on News:

  • The Plant uses Vanadium based battery technology.
  • The Army in its quest for harnessing renewable energy for its troops inaugurated this plant in collaboration with IIT Bombay.
  • The project will immensely benefit troops in the forward areas and will be environment friendly.

About Sikkim

  • Sikkim is borderedby the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and northeast, by Bhutan to the southeast, by the Indian state of West Bengal to the south, and by Nepal to the west.


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