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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-25th January 2023

Banwari Lal Purohit inaugurates North India’s largest floating Solar project in Chandigarh

Union Territory Administrator, Banwari Lal Purohit has inaugurated northern India’s largest floating solar power project of 2000kWp worth Rs 11.70 crore at waterworks, Sector 39.

Northern India’s largest floating solar power project

Union Territory Administrator, Banwari Lal Purohit has inaugurated northern India’s largest floating solar power project of 2000kWp worth Rs 11.70 crore at waterworks, Sector 39, Chandigarh. The inauguration was held in the presence of MP Kirron Kher. He also inaugurated a 500kWp floating solar project with fountains at Dhanas Lake.

About the floating solar power plant

The floating solar power plant at waterworks, Sector 39, has been installed at a cost of Rs 11.70 crore, including 10 years O&M (operations and maintenance), and the 500kWp floating solar power plant with fountains has been installed at Dhanas Lake at a total cost of Rs 3.34 crore, including 10 years O&M for the plant as well as for the fountains.

These projects have been designed and executed by CREST (Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science & Technology Promotion Society) and will generate a minimum of 35 lakh units (kWh) of solar energy per year with 20% module efficiency.

These projects have been designed and executed by CREST (Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science & Technology Promotion Society) and will generate a minimum of 35 lakh units (kWh) of solar energy per year with 20% module efficiency.

India’s Services Exports to Cross the Goal of 300bn $ in this Financial Year

The country's services exports going by the current trend, will cross the USD 300 billion target despite global economic uncertainties.

The country’s services exports are doing “extremely well” and going by the current trend these outbound shipments would register about 20 per cent growth in this fiscal and cross the USD 300 billion target despite global economic uncertainties, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said. He said that on the merchandise front also, exports are so far registering healthy growth despite the world being under recession, huge inflationary pressure, and overstocking of various commodities. With all these stress, where every global leader is talking of “very” tough times, India’s exports rose 9 per cent year-on-year during April-December 2022-23.

India’s Big Aim of Service Export:

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced that it is working on a plan to reach a services export target of USD 1 trillion by 2030.

What is the current exports scenario:

Globally, services trade accounts for less than 20% of total trade.

In India’s case, if all of exports (including oil and gems & jewellery) is taken, then the share of services is 40%.

Overall Export Performance:

During April-December 2022-23, overall exports rose 9 per cent to USD 332.76 billion while imports increased 24.96 per cent to USD 551.7 billion. Trade deficit during the nine-month period widened to USD 218.94 billion as against USD 136.45 billion in April-December 2021-22. In last fiscal year, the country’s merchandise shipments touched an all-time high of USD 422 billion.

According to the data of the commerce ministry, the estimated value of services export in April-December 2022 is USD 235.81 billion as compared to USD 184.65 billion in the year-ago period. In 2021-22, these exports touched an all-time high of USD 254 billion.

India’s exports contracted 12.2 per cent to USD 34.48 billion in December 2022, mainly due to global headwinds, and the trade deficit widened to USD 23.76 billion during the same period.

Services Sector in India:

India is the world’s seventh-largest services exporter. Share of the services sector accounted for 54% of the total Gross Value Added (GVA) in FY21. The services sector is a key driver of India’s economic growth, providing employment to nearly 26 million and contributing about 40% to India’s total global exports. The services sector has also been the largest recipient of foreign direct investment, making up for 53% of the total inflows between 2000 and 2021.

NASA to Test Nuclear-Powered Rocket by 2027 that will Make Space Travel Faster

The United States space agency NASA has said the country plans to test a spacecraft engine powered with nuclear fission by 2027.

The United States space agency NASA has said the country plans to test a spacecraft engine powered with nuclear fission by 2027, an advancement seen as key to long-haul missions including a manned journey to Mars. NASA will partner with the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the nuclear thermal propulsion engine and launch it into space, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said.

Name of The Project:

The project has been named the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations or DRACO. 

Significance of This Development:

With the help of this new technology, astronauts could journey to and from deep space faster than ever – a major capability to prepare for crewed missions to Mars. Using a nuclear thermal rocket allows for faster transit time, reducing risk for astronauts.

Other benefits to space travel include increased science payload capacity and higher power for instrumentation and communication.

In a nuclear thermal rocket engine, a fission reactor is used to generate extremely high temperatures. The engine transfers the heat produced by the reactor to a liquid propellant, which is expanded and exhausted through a nozzle to propel the spacecraft. Nuclear thermal rockets can be three or more times more efficient than conventional chemical propulsion

How will nuclear propulsion work:

Nuclear propulsion is based on two concepts Nuclear-Thermal Propulsion (NTP) and Nuclear-Electric Propulsion (NEP).

The NTP system includes a nuclear reactor that will heat liquid hydrogen (LH2) propellant and turn it into ionised hydrogen gas (plasma) that will then be channelled through nozzles to generate thrust.

NEP depends on a nuclear reactor to provide electricity to a Hall-Effect thruster (ion engine).

It will generate an electromagnetic field that will ionise and accelerate an inert gas (for example xenon) to create thrust.

NASA to Test Nuclear-Powered Rocket by 2027 that will Make Space Travel Faster

The United States space agency NASA has said the country plans to test a spacecraft engine powered with nuclear fission by 2027.

The United States space agency NASA has said the country plans to test a spacecraft engine powered with nuclear fission by 2027, an advancement seen as key to long-haul missions including a manned journey to Mars. NASA will partner with the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the nuclear thermal propulsion engine and launch it into space, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said.

Name of The Project:

The project has been named the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations or DRACO. 

Significance of This Development:

With the help of this new technology, astronauts could journey to and from deep space faster than ever – a major capability to prepare for crewed missions to Mars. Using a nuclear thermal rocket allows for faster transit time, reducing risk for astronauts.

Other benefits to space travel include increased science payload capacity and higher power for instrumentation and communication.

In a nuclear thermal rocket engine, a fission reactor is used to generate extremely high temperatures. The engine transfers the heat produced by the reactor to a liquid propellant, which is expanded and exhausted through a nozzle to propel the spacecraft. Nuclear thermal rockets can be three or more times more efficient than conventional chemical propulsion

How will nuclear propulsion work:

Nuclear propulsion is based on two concepts Nuclear-Thermal Propulsion (NTP) and Nuclear-Electric Propulsion (NEP).

The NTP system includes a nuclear reactor that will heat liquid hydrogen (LH2) propellant and turn it into ionised hydrogen gas (plasma) that will then be channelled through nozzles to generate thrust.

NEP depends on a nuclear reactor to provide electricity to a Hall-Effect thruster (ion engine).

It will generate an electromagnetic field that will ionise and accelerate an inert gas (for example xenon) to create thrust.

Balkrishna Doshi, pioneer of modernist architecture in India, passes away

Dr Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, who is widely revered for his contribution in the field of architecture, has passed away.

Dr Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, who is widely revered for his contribution in the field of architecture, has passed away. He was 95. For his outstanding contribution to the field of architecture, he was conferred with Pritzker Prize in 2018 and the coveted Padma Shri in 1976.  The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced that Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi will be the recipient of the 2022 Royal Gold Medal.

A Padma Bhushan awardee, Doshi was known for designing the buildings of the Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environment and Planning Technology (CEPT) and Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute. His style of architecture — an amalgam of European modernist, brutalist architecture with Indian sensibilities — won many hearts.

Career and Life of Dr Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi

Doshi graduated from the Sir JJ School of Architecture in Mumbai in 1950 and left for Europe soon after, beginning his journey in architecture with Corbusier in Paris between 1951 and 1954. On returning to India, he worked for Corbusier in Ahmedabad.

He was a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and had been on the selection committee for the Pritzker Prize, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He was also a fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects.

Apart from designing one of the finest buildings in Ahmedabad, Doshi also created designs for low-cost housing. His 1982 project, Aranya Low Cost Housing in Indore won him the 6th Aga Khan Award for Architecture. In another example of the international recognition of his works, Doshi was awarded France’s highest honour for the arts, the Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, in 2011.

Books he authored

The celebrated architect authored several books on art and architecture, including Paths Uncharted (2011), Balkrishna Doshi: Writings on Architecture and Identity (2019), and Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People (2019). Meanwhile, international architects ended up writing books on Doshi. This included William J R Curtis’s book Balkrishna Doshi: An Architecture for India, released in 2014.

Low Carbon Cruise Flagged off by Union Petroleum Minister on Mahabahu Brahmaputra

The Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India Hardeep S. Puri inaugurated the demo run of an Inland Water Vessel.

India Energy Week 2023 is going to be hosted in Bengaluru from 6th to 8th February 2023. The Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India Hardeep S. Puri inaugurated the demo run of an Inland Water Vessel powered by Methanol blended Diesel (MD15).

The Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Labour, and Employment, Government of India Rameswar Teki was also present during the inaugural ceremony.

Low Carbon Cruise Flagged off by Union Petroleum Minister on Mahabahu Brahmaputra – Key Points

The boat ride was done on a 50-seater motor launch marine vessel named ‘SB Gangadhar’.

The marine vessel is equipped with two Ruston make diesel engines (each engine of 105 hp). The boat will be run on MD-15 (15% methanol blended HSD).

Methanol is a low-carbon hydrogen carrier fuel that is produced from high-ash coal, agricultural residue, CO2 from thermal power plants, and natural gas. It is the best pathway for meeting India’s commitment to COP 21.

It is slightly lower in energy content than petrol and diesel, methanol can replace both these fuels in the transport sector, the energy sector, and retail cooking.

The Minister informed that in Assam, Assam Petrochemical Limited (APL), Namrup currently produces about 100 TPD of Methanol and is implementing a new project for the production of 500 TPD of Methanol.

He further added that work is in progress to set up Coal-to-Methanol plants in the country using indigenous technology, which is being developed by BHEL (Hyderabad and Trichy), Thermax, and IIT Delhi.

NITI Aayog’s ‘Methanol Economy’ program is aimed at reducing India’s oil import bill, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and converting coal reserves and municipal solid waste into methanol.

About India Energy Week 2023

India Energy Week 2023 is the first major event under India’s G20 Presidency, which follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge at COP26 to cut India’s emissions to net zero by 2070. India Energy Week is being held under the patronage of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India.

The only all-encompassing international energy event supported at the highest level of the Indian government, with participation from all the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), and officially supported by the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI).

After Co-Win, Govt Launches U-WIN To Digitise Universal Immunisation Programme

U-WIN, the programme to digitise India's Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) has been launched in a pilot mode in two districts of each state and Union Territory.

After the success of the Co-WIN platform, the government has now replicated it to set up an electronic registry for routine vaccinations. Named U-WIN, the programme to digitise India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) has been launched in a pilot mode in two districts of each state and Union Territory. Carrying vaccination cards of children and pregnant women, struggling to keep a tab on the next jab and other such hassles may soon become a thing of the past.

Significance of This Platform:

The platform will be used to register and vaccinate every pregnant woman, record her delivery outcome, register every newborn delivery, administer birth doses and all vaccination events thereafter.

The U-WIN is going to be the single source of information for immunisation services, updating vaccination status, delivery outcome, planning of RI sessions and reports like antigen-wise coverage, etc.

There will be digital registrations of all pregnant women and newborns for individualised tracking for vaccination, reminders for upcoming doses and follow-up of dropouts.

Healthcare workers and programme managers will be able to generate real-time data of routine immunisation sessions and vaccination coverage for better planning and vaccine distribution.

Digitisation of Immunisation:

For pregnant women and children, vaccine acknowledgement and immunisation card linked to ABHA ID (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) will be generated and all states and districts can access a common database to track and vaccinate beneficiaries. Besides, through the platform citizens can check nearby ongoing routine immunisation sessions, and book appointments.

All states and UTs have been sensitised on U-WIN functionalities and objectives for the pilot in 65 districts and staff and healthcare workers have been trained on all modules of U-WIN. With this the entire vaccination system including records will get digitised, easing the tracking of beneficiaries. Once the whole immunisation programme is digitised, beneficiaries will get certificates on the spot and they can also download them if they want to. These certificates will be stored in digi-lockers.

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