September 2019

Daily Current Affairs (16-09-19)

HOW CLIMATE CHANGE WILL AFFECT BANANA PRODUCTION?

Related Topics: Agriculture, Climate Change

News

A study published in Nature Climate Change suggests that with continued warming, the banana yield gains could slow down or even reverse in some countries leading to a drop in yields by 2050.

Key Highlights of the Study

  • The study shows that 27 countries — accounting for 86 per cent of the world’s dessert banana production — have on average seen increased crop yield since 1961 due to the changing climate resulting in more favourable growing conditions.
  • These gains could be significantly reduced, or disappear completely, by 2050 if climate change continues at its expected rate.
  • 10 countries — including the world’s largest producer and consumer of banana, India and the fourth largest producer, Brazil — are predicted to see a significant decline in crop yields.
  • At the same time, certain other countries — Ecuador and Honduras, and many in Africa — will witness an overall increase in crop yields.
  • India could experience a major reversal with predicted negative effects of future climate change compared to positive effects in the past.
  • But the decline in production due to climate change in the case of India may be mitigated by strong, technology-driven measures to increase the yield.

Significance

  • Bananas are recognised as the most important fruit crop — providing food, nutrition and income for millions in both rural and urban areas across the globe.
  • It is grown throughout the tropics and subtropics.
  • Such international trade can play a pivotal role to local and national economies in producing countries.
  • Given this importance, predicting the potential impacts of climate change on banana production systems is crucial to ensuring its long-term survival.

Banana Production

  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), India is the world’s number one producer of banana with 29 million tonnes produced per year between 2010 and 2017.
  • Over 29% of the world’s banana production is in India.
  • The average yield of banana in India is around 60 tonnes per hectare, according to the FAO.
  • During the same period (2010 and 2017), China, which is second largest producer globally, produced about one-third of India — 11 million tonnes per year.
[Source: The Hindu, Indian Express]

 

60 YEARS OF DOORDARSHAN

Related Topics: Information & Broadcasting, Prasar Bharati

News

Doordarshan turned 60 on September 15, 2019, bringing back memories of a golden period when entertainment in the country revolved around serials such as Mahabharata, Fauji and Malgudi Days.

About Doordarshan

  • Doordarshan is an autonomous public service broadcaster founded by the Government of India, which is one of two divisions of Prasar Bharati.
  • It is one of India’s largest broadcasting organisations in terms of studio and transmitter infrastructure, having been established on 15 September 1959.
  • It also broadcasts on digital terrestrial transmitters.
  • DD provides television, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional India, as well as overseas, through the satellite network.

Timeline

  • Doordarshan began as an experiment on September 15, 1959.
  • It became a service in 1965, when it began beaming signals to reach television sets in living rooms in and around the national capital.
  • By 1972, services were extended to Mumbai and Amritsar and then to seven other cities by 1975.
  • All this time, it was part of the national broadcaster, All India Radio.
  • On April 1, 1976, it transited to become a separate department in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • Over the years, Doordarshan has grown into a network operating 34 satellite channels, besides providing free-to-air DTH service.

[Source: The Hindu, ddnews.gov]

 

SURVEY OF INDIA (SoI)

Related Topics: Science & Technology, Digitisation of Land Titles

News

  • India’s oldest scientific department, the Survey of India (SoI) — historically tasked with mapping the country — will for the first time rely on drones to map the country.
  • The aim is to map 75% of India’s geography— about 2.4 million sq km of the 3.2 million sq km — within the next two years.

High Resolution Maps

  • Currently the best SoI maps have a resolution of 1:2500, meaning a 1 cm on the map represent 2500 cm on the ground.
  • The maps being prepared, according to senior officials associated with the project will be of 1:500 resolution, meaning 1 cm will represent 500 cm.

Use of Drones

  • The organisation aims to procure about 300 drones — so far about 30 have been sourced — for the gargantuan exercise.
  • However forests, hills and deserts are likely to be left out.
  • As a prelude, the SoI, which is affliated to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has signed agreements with 6 districts in Haryana, 2 in Karnataka and 2 in Maharashtra to undertake such drone-based mapping exercises.

Significance

  • A major consequence of the drone-based exercise will be the mapping of settled habitations in villages (called abaadi areas in legal parlance).
  • Mapping will create high resolution maps of land in villages facilitating the digitisation of land titles in villages.
  • Based on the availability of accurate maps, residents will finally be able to get property cards as well as proper legal titles to their lands.

About Survey of India

  • It is the National Survey and Mapping Organization of the country under the Department of Science & Technology
  • It is the oldest scientific department of the Govt. of India.
  • It was set up in 1767 and has evolved rich traditions over the years.
  • It bears a special responsibility to ensure that the country’s domain is explored and mapped
  • It provides base maps for expeditious and integrated development.
  • It ensures that all resources contribute with their full measure to the progress, prosperity and security of the country now and for generations to come.
  • It is headquartered in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
[Source: The Hindu, ddnews.gov]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

DRONE ATTACK ON SAUDI OIL PLANTS

Saudi Arabia has temporarily halted production at two Aramco oil facilities that were attacked by Yemeni rebels, interrupting about half of the company’s total output. The attacks resulted in a temporary suspension of production at Abqaiq and Khurais plants. Drone attacks on two major oil facilities knocked 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) off production — close to 6% of the global crude supplies. Abqaiq is the world’s largest oil processing plant and can handle up to seven million bpd, some 70% of total Saudi output. It is located near Ghawar oilfield, the biggest in the world with reserves of over 60 billion barrels and a daily output capacity of six million bpd.

BLACKEST OF ALL MATERIALS

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a material that they claim is 10 times blacker than anything that has previously been reported. The material is made from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, or CNTsmicroscopic filaments of carbon that the team grew on a surface of chlorine-etched aluminum foil. According to a study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, the foil captures more than 99.96% of any incoming light, making it the blackest material on record. The material may be useful in optical blinders that reduce unwanted glare or to help space telescopes spot orbiting exoplanets.

VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO SILICON DIODES

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune have fabricated a non-silicon, organic–inorganic hybrid diode that not only shows high electrical conductivity but also high current rectification ratio. The current rectification ratio obtained is comparable with commercial silicon diodes. A diode allows current to flow in only one direction. A diode is said to have a high current rectification ratio when the flow of current in one direction is manifold high compared with the current flow in the reverse direction.

 

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