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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-18th January 2023

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Discovers New Exoplanet Named LHS 475b

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that the James Webb Space Telescope has discovered its first new exoplanet. Researchers have labelled the planet as LHS 475 b.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that the James Webb Space Telescope has discovered its first new exoplanet. Researchers have labelled the planet as LHS 475 b, and it’s roughly the same size as Earth. Located just 41 light-years away, the planet orbits very close to a red dwarf star and completes a full orbit in just two days. Researchers hope that in the coming years, owing to the Webb telescope’s advanced capabilities, they will be able to detect more Earth-sized planets. So far, most of the discovered exoplanets are similar to Jupiter as Earth-sized planets are much smaller in size and harder to discover with older telescopes.

More About This Discovery:

LHS 475b, It is roughly the same size as Earth, with a diameter of 99% that of Earth. It is a celestial, rocky planet located approximately 41 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Octane. It differs from Earth in two respects, first that it completes one orbit in only two days and secondly it is hundreds of degrees hotter than Earth.

About Exoplanet:

Exoplanets are planets that orbit other stars and are away from our solar system. The first confirmation of the detection of an exoplanet was in the year 1992. The first confirmation of the detection of an exoplanet was in the year 1992. According to NASA, more than 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered so far. Exoplanets come in different sizes. They can be large and gaseous like Jupiter and small and rocky like Earth. There is also variation in their temperature, which can range from extremely hot (Boiling Hot) to extremely cold (Freezing Cold).

Entire Country to be Covered by Doppler Weather Radar Network by 2025

The entire country will be covered by Doppler Weather Radar Network by 2025 to help predict extreme weather events more accurately, union minister Jitendra Singh said.

The entire country will be covered by Doppler Weather Radar Network by 2025 to help predict extreme weather events more accurately, union minister Jitendra Singh said, speaking at the foundation day of India Meteorological Department. Four new radars were added recently taking the number from 33 to 37. They include two at Murari Devi and Jot in Himachal Pradesh, and one each at Banihal Top in Jammu and Kashmir and Surkandaji in Uttarakhand covering a radius of 100 km.

More About This Deployment:

The IMD has taken proactive steps to increase the number of radars from 15 in 2013 to 37 in 2023 and will add 25 more in next 2-3 years, he said in presence of Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and LG of J&K—the three Himalayan States most prone to the extreme events in the country. While two more radars mean that 70 per cent of Himachal will be covered, there is need for more, including one at Lahaul-Spiti–which is also of strategic importance due to proximity to the China Border touching J&K and Ladakh. 

About Doppler effect:

Doppler Effect refers to the change in wave frequency during the relative motion between a wave source and its observer. 

It was discovered by Christian Johann Doppler who described it as the process of increase or decrease of starlight that depends on the relative movement of the star.

Doppler Effect works on both light and sound objects

Radars (Radio Detection and Ranging):

It is a device that uses electromagnetic waves in the microwaves region to detect location (range & direction), altitude, intensity and movement of moving and non-moving objects.

It has its own source of illumination (a transmitter) for locating targets.

What is Doppler Weather Radar (DWR):

It is a specialized radar that uses the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance.

It is designed to improve precision in long-range weather forecasting and surveillance using a parabolic dish antenna and a foam sandwich spherical radome.

It has the equipment to measure rainfall intensity, wind shear and velocity and locate a storm centre and the direction of a tornado or gust front.

It provides advanced information, enhancing the lead-time so essential for saving lives and property, in the event of natural disaster associated with severe weather.

Division of  Doppler Radars and their applications: Doppler radar can be divided into several different categories according to the wavelength which are L, S, C, X, K. 

Why Doppler radars:

Increasing incidents of flash floods and cloudbursts in the hill states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country due to climate change has led to increasing need for accurate forecasting for such events.

Accurate predictions are needed to save lives and forecast of weather, including monsoon and cyclones given the fact that India’s GDP is largely dependent on agriculture, short and long term planning and strategy development.

India’s Fiscal Deficit for FY23 Estimated at Rs 17.5 lakh crore, FY24 Rs 17.95 lakh crore: SBI

The fiscal deficit of the Indian government for FY23 will be about Rs.17.5 lakh crore. For FY23, total receipts of the Government would be higher than the budget estimates by around Rs 2.3 lakh crore.

The upcoming Indian budget for 2023-24 will be a challenging one for the government to follow the roadmap for fiscal consolidation amidst a global environment of declining inflation, said a top economist of State Bank of India in a report. For India, this could make things difficult to set a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) number significantly higher than 10 per cent, with a deflator about 3.5 per cent. But this could also mean a higher GDP growth than anticipated at about 6.2 per cent.

About Expenditure And Receipt of The Govt:

The fiscal deficit of the Indian government for FY23 will be about Rs.17.5 lakh crore. For FY23, total receipts of the Government would be higher than the budget estimates (BE) by around Rs 2.3 lakh crore, on account of higher direct tax receipts (about Rs 2.2 lakh crore), higher GST receipts (Rs 95,000 crore) but lower dividends (about Rs 40,000 crore), lower fuel tax net of cess (Rs 30,000 crore) and lower disinvestment receipts (about Rs 15000-20,000 crore).

Expenditure is likely to be on the higher side of the BE by around Rs 3 lakh crore on account of higher subsidy bill and additional spending announced by the Government. Taking this into account, the fiscal deficit of the Government in FY23 is expected to come at Rs 17.5 lakh crore. However, higher nominal GDP growth (15.4 per cent) estimates will help in keeping the fiscal deficit at 6.4 per cent of the GDP.

Future Budget Forecasts:

As regards FY24, the government’s expenditure is likely to increase by around 8.2 per cent over FY23 estimates to Rs 46 lakh crore. Subsidy bill which increased significantly in FY23 is estimated to be reduced in FY24 to around Rs 3.8-4 lakh crore and capital expenditure is expected to grow by 12 per cent.

Borrowings of the Govt:

As far as borrowing is concerned, net market borrowing of the Centre in FY24 will be around Rs. 11.7 lakh crore and with repayments of Rs 4.4 lakh crore, gross borrowing is expected at Rs 16.1 lakh crore. We believe a switch of about Rs 50,000 crore is also likely to be announced. In FY24, the overall gross borrowing by Centre and States is likely to be Rs 24.3 lakh crore (Rs. 22.2lakh crore in FY23) and net borrowings Rs. 17 lakh crore (Rs 16.7 lakh crore in FY23). We further believe that the Government will continue to rely on small saving schemes (Rs 5 lakh crore likely in FY24).

What Is Fiscal Deficit:

Fiscal Deficit is the difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government. The fiscal balance of a country is calculated by its government’s revenue followed by its expenditure in the provided financial year, the situation where the government expenses increase more than the revenue in a year is a fiscal deficit.

Current Fiscal Deficit of Govt of India:

The government has budgeted fiscal deficit to be Rs 16.61 lakh crore or 6.4 per cent of the GDP in the current year ending March 2023. The deficit is funded by market borrowings. The government’s fiscal deficit in end-November touched 59 per cent of the full year Budget Estimate on increased capital expenditure and slow growth in non-tax revenue.

ISRO ‘Shukrayaan I’ mission to planet Venus reportedly shifted to 2031

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and advisor to its space science programme, stated that the organisation has not yet received approval from the Indian government for the Venus mission.

Indian Space Research Organisation

P. Sreekumar, the Satish Dhawan Professor at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and advisor to its space science programme, stated that the organisation has not yet received approval from the Indian government for the Venus mission and that, as a result, the mission may be delayed until 2031. Shukrayaan I, the ISRO Venus mission, was scheduled to launch in December 2024. The concept was conceived in 2012; five years later, after the Department of Space got a 23% increase in the 2017–2018 budget, ISRO started preliminary investigations. In April 2017, the organisation requested payload proposals from research institutions.

Why this decision taken?

In the budget year 2022–2023, ISRO was given an allocation of 13,700 crores, a small increase from the previous year. Gaganyaan, the human spaceflight mission, received the majority of it. Various industry groups have created a wishlist ahead of the upcoming budget announcement and in response to recent reforms in the private spaceflight sector, which include increases in local manufacturing and procurement.

What is the best time to launch this mission?

The best time to launch from Earth to Venus is once every 19 months or thereabouts. In case it misses the 2024 window, ISRO has “backup” launch dates in 2026 and 2028. But every eight years, new better windows present themselves that further cut down on the quantity of fuel needed for takeoff.

Key points

The VERITAS and EnVision missions of the American and European space agencies, respectively, both have Venus missions scheduled for 2031, but “China might go anytime: 2026, 2027, whenever they want to go.”

The pandemic was mentioned by ISRO as the reason for delaying Shukrayaan I’s launch from mid-2023 to December 2024. Delays in manufacturing and obligations to commercial launch services have also had an impact on other ISRO projects, such as Aditya L1 and Chandrayaan III.

About the Shukrayaan-I 

Shukrayaan-I will be a mission for an orbiter. A high-resolution synthetic aperture radar and a ground-penetrating radar are two of its current scientific payloads. From an elliptical orbit, the mission will likely research Venus’s geological and volcanic activities, emissions on the surface, wind speed, cloud cover, and other planetary features.

21st VARUNA Naval Exercise between India and France begins

According to the Ministry of Defence, the 21st edition of  "Varuna" the bilateral naval exercise between India and France commenced on the western seaboard.

21st VARUNA Naval Exercise

According to the Ministry of Defence, the 21st edition of  “Varuna” the bilateral naval exercise between India and France commenced on the western seaboard. This edition of the exercise will witness participation of indigenous guided missile stealth destroyer INS Chennai, guided missile frigate INS Teg, maritime patrol aircraft P-8I and Dornier, integral helicopters and MiG29K fighter aircraft.

The French Navy will be represented by the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, frigates FS Forbin and Provence, support vessel FS Marne and maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique. The exercise will be conducted over five days from 16 to 20 January 2023 and will witness advanced air defence exercises, tactical manoeuvres, surface firings, underway replenishment and other maritime operations.

Units of both navies will endeavour to hone their war-fighting skills in maritime theatre, enhance their inter-operability to undertake multi-discipline operations in the maritime domain and demonstrate their ability as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the region. The exercise facilitates operational level interaction between the two navies to foster mutual cooperation for good order at sea, underscoring the shared commitment of both nations to security, safety and freedom of the global maritime commons.

IMF Bailout, India to back Sri Lanka’s Debt Restructuring Plan

India will support Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring plan as the island nation looks to trim its huge public expenditure to win approval for a crucial bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

India will support Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring plan as the island nation looks to trim its huge public expenditure to win approval for a crucial bailout from the International Monetary Fund. India formally notified that it would support Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring plan. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948, and policymakers have been grappling with multiple challenges over the past year including a shortage of dollars, runaway inflation and a steep recession. Sri Lanka owes India around $1 billion that will come under the debt restructuring plan. New Delhi also separately provided Sri Lanka with about $4 billion in rapid assistance between January and July last year, including credit lines, a currency swap arrangement and deferred import payments.

Need of The Assurances:

New Delhi’s backing comes at a critical time for Sri Lanka as it has to put its massively indebted public finances in order to unlock a $2.9 billion IMF loan that was agreed in September. Sri Lanka has to secure prior financing assurances from creditors, put its heavy debt burden on a sustainable path and increase public revenue before the global lender will disburse the funds. The IMF has stressed the importance of joint talks involving three of Sri Lanka’s main bilateral creditors – China, Japan and India.

Sri Lanka’s Budget Expenditure:

Sri Lanka’s cabinet said that it would cut its recurrent budget expenditure by 6% in 2023 and had approved a proposal to delay salaries of some public employees to manage public finances. The government is hoping to reduce its 2023 budget deficit to 7.9% of gross domestic product, from an expected 9.8% of GDP in 2022, or 2.2 trillion Sri Lankan rupees ($6.03 billion). 

National Startup Day 2023: Significance and History

16th January, the founding day of Startup India is commemmorated as the National Startup Day. The event is being celebrated since 2022.

National Startup Day 2023

16th January, the founding day of Startup India is commemmorated as the National Startup Day. The event is being celebrated since 2022. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announceent last year by calling startups as backbone of new India. The Central government has planned several events this year to celebrate the National startup day across the country as the part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. To celebrate the spirit of Indian startup ecosystem and mark this momentous day, DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) is organising Startup India Innovation Week from 10th – 16th January 2023.

National Startup Day 2023: Significance

The day is marked to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship and promote achievements of Indian startups. It is also commemorated to provide a platform for startup entrepreneurs to discuss innovation for India’s youth and their contribution to the economy. The motive behind encouraging the idea of entrepreneurship is to give a boost to schemes like Make-in-India.

National Startup Day: History

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the adoption of National Startup Day on January 16 last year. The same year India celebrated the first National Startup Day. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade had also planned to organise a felicitation ceremony for the winners of the National Startup Awards 2022.

About Startup India

Startup India has launched on 16th January, 2016, the Startup India Initiative is an initiative of the Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPIIT). It strives with the objective of supporting entrepreneurs, building a robust startup ecosystem and transforming India into a country of job creators instead of job seekers.

Under the Startup India Initiative,the key pillars include

Simplification and Handholding – Easier compliance, easier exit process for failed startups, legal support, fast tracking of patent applications and a website to reduce information asymmetry.

Funding & Incentives – Exemptions on Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax for eligible startups; a fund of funds to infuse more capital into the startup ecosystem and a credit guarantee scheme.

Incubation & Industry-Academia Partnerships – Creation of numerous incubators and innovation labs, events, competitions and grants.

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