September 2019

Daily Current Affairs (08-09-19)

VIKRAM LANDER

Related Topics: Science &Technology, Chandrayaan-2

News

  • The Vikram lander was to make a historic first soft landing near the moon’s South Pole at 1.55 a.m. on September 7.
  • Vikram lost its earth link when it was 1 km and about 3 minutes from touchdown.
  • The Orbiter would continue to observe the moon’s surface and its exosphere for a year by encircling the natural satellite.

Vikram Lander

  • The Lander of Chandrayaan 2 is named Vikram after Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme.
  • It was designed to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days.
  • The Lander was designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface.
  • The Lander carried three scientific payloads to conduct surface and subsurface science experiments.

Vikram Payloads

  • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity: Will characterise the seismicity around the landing site
  • Chandra’s Surface Thermo-physical Experiment: Will examine the Moon’s thermal conductivity and temperature gradient
  • Langmuir Probe: Will conduct ionosphere studies on the lunar surface

Why there is a deadline for establishing contact?

  • Lander and rover were supposed to be functional only for 14 days from the day of their touchdown.
  • Lunar days and nights are equivalent to 14 Earth days.
  • The nights on the Moon can be very cold, especially in the South Polar Region where Vikram is lying.
  • Temperatures could drop to as low as -200°C.
  • The instruments aboard the lander are not designed to withstand that kind of temperature.
  • The electronics would not work and would get permanently damaged.

Chandrayaan-2 Mission

  • It was India’s second mission to the moon, the first one being Chandrayaan-1
  • Chandrayaan 2 was designed to explore and perform studies on the South Pole region of lunar terrain which was not explored and sampled by any past mission.
  • It comprised a fully indigenous Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan). The Rover Pragyan was housed inside Vikram lander.
[For more details regarding Chandrayaan-2,

https://kas.talentacademy.co.in/2019/07/23/chandrayaan-2-a-giant-leap-for-indias-space-programme/] [Source: The Hindu, Indian Express]

 

NATIONAL GENOMIC GRID (NGG)

Related Topics: Science &Technology, National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB)

News

Government has announced its plan to set up a National Genomic Grid, which will study genomic data of cancer patients from India.

National Genomic Grid

  • The grid to be formed will be in line with the National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) set up at the Indian Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
  • The initiative will be taken forward based on the standard operating procedures set by IIT Madras and guidance from ICMR.
  • The grid will have four parts, with the country divided into east, west, north and south.

Significance

  • It will collect samples from cancer patients to study genomic factors influencing cancer and identifying the right treatment modalities for the Indian population.
  • The genomic samples will help researches to have India-specific studies on cancers.
  • NGG will enhance the cancer research to the next level and make treatment viable for people of different economic classes.

About National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB)

  • It is a state-of-the-art non-profit community based tissue biobank.
  • It is a joint initiative of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), Chennai.
  • The NCTB is functioning in close association with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
  • NCTB, which has the capacity to stock 50,000 genomic samples from cancer patients, already has samples from 3,000 patients.
  • The government is planning to set up the National Genomic Grid in the same style with pan-India collection centres by bringing all cancer treatment institutions on board.
[Source: The Hindu]

 

TRAVEL AND TOURISM COMPETITIVENESS INDEX 2019

Related Topics: Reports &Indices, World Economic Forum

News

Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index for 2019 has been released by the World Economic Forum (WEF)

Performance of India

  • India’s ranking improved from 40th to 34th, the greatest improvement over 2017 among the top 25 per cent of all countries ranked in the report.
  • India, which accounts for the majority of South Asia’s T&T (travel and tourism) GDP, remains the sub-region’s most competitive T&T economy.
  • From a sub-regional perspective, the India has better air infrastructure (33rd) and ground and port infrastructure (28th), international openness (51st) and natural (14th) and cultural resources (8th).
  • India also greatly improved its business environment (89th to 39th), overall T&T policy and enabling conditions (79th to 69th), infrastructure (58th to 55th) and information and communications technology (ICT) readiness (112th to 105th).
  • However, India still needs to enhance its enabling environment (98th), tourist service infrastructure (109th) and environmental sustainability (128th).

Global Ranking

  • Spain held on to the top spot in the ranking, followed by France, Germany and Japan, with the United States replacing the UK in the top five.
  • Others in the top 10 list include the United Kingdom at the 6th place, Australia (7th), Italy (8th), Canada (9th) and Switzerland (10th).
  • Japan remains Asia’s most competitive travel and tourism economy, ranking 4th globally, while China is by far the largest travel and tourism economy in Asia-Pacific and 13th most competitive globally (up two spots).
  • Pakistan (121st) remains the least competitive country in South Asia when it comes to T&T, including the region’s least favourable safety and security (134th) conditions.

Key Findings

  • The biennial study showed resilient growth in travel and tourism sector, with scores rising in most countries, but also warned of an approaching ‘tipping point’, where factors like less expensive travel and fewer tourist barriers increase demand to unsustainable levels.
  • Asia-Pacific was one of the fastest-growing travel and tourism regions in this year’s ranking.
  • As per the report, China, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil and India — which are not high-income economies but rank in the top 35 in the overall list — stand out in the Cultural Resources and Business Travel Pillar through their combination of rich natural and cultural resources and strong price competitiveness.

About Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI)

  • The Index measures the set of factors and policies that enable sustainable development of travel and tourism sector which contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.
  • The 140 economies were ranked in four sub-indexes: enabling environment, travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions, infrastructure, and natural and cultural resources.
  • Together, these four sub-indexes include a total of 14 pillars, which are used to score a country’s overall travel and tourism competitiveness.
  • The index has been developed in the context of the World Economic Forum’s Industry Programme for Aviation, Travel and Tourism, as part of the Platform for Shaping the Future of Mobility.
  • It is undertaken in close collaboration with data partners Bloom Consulting, STR Global, International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
[Source: Business Standard, weforum.org]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC)

Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr. Jitendra Singh has laid the foundation stone of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), marketing complex in Guwahati, Assam. The NERAMAC Limited was incorporated in the year 1982 as a Government of India Enterprise. Its registered office is located at Guwahati. NERAMAC is a pioneer marketing organization in the field of Agri-Horti sector of the North-eastern region, involved in supporting farmers right from the fields and upto the markets to the end consumers through registered FPO/FPCs.

SLINEX 2019

The bilateral maritime exercise between India and Sri Lanka (SLINEX 2019) commenced on 7 September 2019 at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh). Sri Lankan Navy has sent two offshore patrol vessels SLNS Sindurala and SLNS Suranimala to India to participate in the exercise. The joint drills will see wide-ranging naval exercises between the navies of India and Sri Lanka, including helicopter operations. It will enable both navies to rehearse and improve own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.

CENTRALISED TECHNOLOGY VERTICAL (CTV)

Government has decided to set up a Centralised Technology Vertical (CTV) in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to handle complex financial crimes, like 2G scam, coal block irregularities, Ponzi schemes and capital market scams. The Rs 99 crore CTV would provide real-time support in investigation with access to data warehouses, equipped with big data analytics, data mining tools. Former CBI Director Anil Sinha had mooted the proposal for CTV in 2015.

 

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