GS Paper I- Geography of the World/ India.

Ministry Of Petroleum And Natural Gas Celebrates World BioFuel Day On 10th August 2017.

Background-

  • Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas celebrated the World Biofuel Day 2017 on 10th August.
  • Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan said that the objective of “World Biofuel Day” is to sensitize youths, farmers and other stakeholders about the benefits of biofuel and seek their involvement in Biofuel programme run by the Government.
  • Highlighting the various efforts made by the Government in the BioFuel sector, Pradhan said that The World BioFuel Day will be celebrated across 100 districts of the country in various states to create awareness about the bio fuel programme. These awareness campaigns are scheduled to be held from 11th to 14th August 2017 in partnership with stakeholders of the Bioenergy sector.

Highlights Of The Event–

  • The Minister highlighted that the energy needs for Transportation and Domestic use in the country requires for 80 percent import of crude. The Prime Minister has given a task to cut down the crude import by 10% by 2022. Pradhan said that a roadmap on the use of biofuels will help in achieving this target. Promoting biofuels creates jobs, fosters economic growth, supports farmers and helps improve energy security for country.
  • The Ministry will be coming out with the BioFuel Policy soon. The policy will take into consideration various facets like Role of Government, Return on investment, Minimum Assurance etc. Recently Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was made responsible for BioFuel Policy. Pradhan added that both the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas will be working towards more utilisation of biofuels.
  • Pradhan said that approx $2 Billion is being invested by the Government Companies by way of R&D on Second Generation (2G) Biofuel Refineries across the country. Ways are being explored on conversion of urban, rural waste to fuel; use of waste/barren lands for cultivation of feedstock for 2G biofuels. The Minister said that the potential for the bio fuel industry in India would be around Rs 1 Lakh Crore in the next 1 to 2 years.
  • The Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Mr. Nitin Gadkari stressed upon the importance of biofuels as cost effective and environment-friendly substitutes to conventional fuels. He said that besides bringing down pollution, biofuels produced indigenously from agricultural waste, plants like bamboo, non-edible oilseeds, or municipal waste will help reduce the country’s huge import burden. It will also generate employment and boost the economy of rural areas, including the North East and the barren wastelands of the country.
  • India has brought in the necessary regulations for flexi engines. Nagpur city is running 55 buses on 100 percent bio ethanol and another 50 on Bio CNG derived from methane from sewage water. This is in addition to a 200 strong fleet of electric taxis and autos.

Sources- The Free Press Journal.

 

GS Paper II- International Relations.

Dhaka To Open Diplomatic Station In Chennai.

Background

  • Bangladesh will soon open a new diplomatic station in Chennai. Official sources from Bangladesh said on Monday, 7th August, 2017 that the new post was likely to focus on medical tourism and educational centres that drew thousands of Bangladesh citizens to India every year.
  • The main focus of the new diplomatic station in Chennai will be to address the needs of Bangladeshi citizens who visit India for medical and educational purposes. Medical treatment, especially super-specialty treatment of kidney, eye and neurological issues available in southern India, is the best in the region, which draws our citizens to India in large numbers.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The decision to open the new station in Chennai was taken on 7th August, 2017, during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
  • Bangladesh at present has a High Commission in Delhi, two Deputy High Commissions in Kolkata and Mumbai, and two Assistant High Commissions in Guwahati and Agartala. The outpost in Agartala was the latest to be upgraded in the past decade.
  • Bangladesh emerged as the largest overseas user of India’s health services sector during 2015-16. Reports suggest that out of the 4,60,000 foreign patients treated in Indian hospitals, nearly 165,000 were from Bangladesh.
  • The total number of Bangladeshi patients generated $0.34 billion in revenue for India during the period, which was studied by the Directorate-General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics. Bangladeshis have also emerged as the largest number of foreign tourists to India mainly due to medical tourism.
  • During the April (2017) visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, both sides also concluded an agreement to help family members of the veterans of the 1971 war get medical treatment in Indian hospitals.
  • Banglaesh is opening 17 new diplomatic missions across the world, including the new one in Chennai.

Sources- The Hindu.

 

GS Paper III- Technology.

ISRO To Develop Full-Fledged Hyper-Spectral Imaging Earth Observation Satellite.

Background

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch another sattelite for observing the planet Earth. It will be a niche Earth observation (EO) satellite called the Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS) which can see in various colour bands and will have a range of applications. This is a great feat for ISRO as only a few space agencies in the world have this technology.
  • There is no specific time-frame yet for its launch, an ISRO spokesman said, adding that meanwhile, the new chip, technically called an “optical imaging detector array,” that they have created for it would be tested and perfected.
  • ISRO first tried it out in an 83-kg IMS-1 experimental satellite in May 2008. The same year, a hyperspectral camera was put on Chandrayaan-1 and used to map lunar mineral resources.

About The HySIS Satellite-

  • The satellite can see in 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground.
  • It can be used for a range of applications from monitoring the environment, crops, looking for oil and minerals, military surveillance.
  • The HySIS satellite has critical chip called an ‘optical imaging detector array’ which has been indigenously developed by ISRO.
  • The chip-set of the satellite for imaging has been designed by the payloads development centre, Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad.
  • It was manufactured in Chandigarh at ISRO’s electronics arm, the Semi-Conductor Laboratory.
  • It can read upto 1000 x 66 pixels.

What is Hyperspectral Imaging?-

  • Hyperspectral imaging or hyspex imaging (imaging spectroscopy) combines the power of digital imaging and spectroscopy. It collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Hyspex’ imaging enables distinct identification of objects, materials or processes on Earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space.
  • It has ability to add a new dimension to the usual optical imagers.
  • The hyspex technology is still very niche and evolving with time and in recent times, it has become trend that is being experimented with globally.

Sources- India Today, The Hindu.