October 2019

Daily Current Affairs (28-10-19)

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

SEMI DIRAC METALS: NEW CLASS OF QUANTUM MATERIALS

News

  • Researchers from IIT Bombay have researched a specific category of two-dimensional nanomaterials, called semi-Dirac materials.
  • Through calculations, the researchers have shown that it is possible to engineer semi-Dirac materials to make optical filters and efficient thermoelectric nano devices.
  • Examples of semi-Dirac metals are systems such as TiO2/V2O3 nanostructures.

What are Dirac metals?

  • Dirac materials are a particular type of 2D materials that could be used to make electronics, and could also be useful in desalination and DNA sequencing.
  • In Dirac materials, the charge carriers move within the material at a velocity close to that of light.
  • Dirac metals differ from normal metals in that the energy depends linearly on the momentum.
  • This difference is responsible for their unique properties.

Semi-Dirac Metals

  • Semi-Dirac metals behave like Dirac metals in one direction and like normal metals in the perpendicular directions (since their microscopic structure is different along the two directions).
  • In semi-Dirac materials, the charge carrier movement is not the same in all directions within the 2D plane.
  • The charge carrier velocity is close to that of light in just one direction but much smaller in a direction perpendicular to the former.
  • This unique nature of semi-Dirac materials leads to some peculiarity in their electronic properties such as optical conductivity and thermoelectricity.

Significance

  • Thermoelectricity is a clean energy technology that uses waste heat to produce electricity typically in low power applications.
  • This technology is used in efficient cars, where it is used to keep lights on and to warm seats.
  • Spacecrafts like Voyager, which are too far from the sun to use solar energy can make use of thermoelectricity.
  • The researchers have shown theoretically that semi-Dirac materials can display thermoelectric properties. This new work paves the way for experimental studies on realising this.
  • The study also describes how to engineer atomic positions and defects to achieve exactly this effect.

[Source: The Hindu, researchmatters.in]

 

DEFENCE & SECURITY

DEFCOM 2019

News

The curtain raiser ceremony for DEFCOM 2019 was held recently.

About

  • DEFCOM 2019 will be held at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi on 26 and 27 November 2019.
  • It will seek to deliberate on the theme, “Communications as a Decisive Catalyst for Jointness”.
  • DEFCOM seminar, jointly organised by the Corps of Signals and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has evolved over the years to become a landmark symposium for collaboration between the Indian armed forces, academia, research and development organisations, and the Industry on aspects pertaining to Information and Communications Technology.
  • It has played a crucial role over the years in promoting collaboration between the armed forces and the industry in the Information and Communications Technology domain.
[Source: PIB]

 

ENVIRONMENT

UNEP COLOMBO DECLARATION ON SUSTAINABLE NITROGEN MANAGEMENT

News

  • Spearheaded by Sri Lanka, United Nations member states recently endorsed a proposed roadmap for action on nitrogen challenges called the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable Nitrogen Management.
  • The member states adopted the declaration at the two-day event in Sri Lanka, with support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Key Highlights

  • The Colombo Declaration has been developed with the technical support of the International Nitrogen Management System (INMS), a joint activity of the UNEP and the International Nitrogen Initiative supported by the Global Environment Facility.
  • The declaration aims to halve nitrogen waste by 2030.
  • As part of the Declaration, more than 30 countries endorsed United Nations plans for a campaign on sustainable nitrogen management called “Nitrogen for Life”.
  • The campaign stems from the Sustainable Nitrogen Management Resolution which was adopted during the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly held from 11 – 15 March 2019 at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The Colombo Declaration calls upon UN agencies, other international organizations, development partners, philanthropic agencies, academic and civil society organizations to support its implementation.
  • It further urges countries to conduct a comprehensive assessment on nitrogen cycling covering policy, implementation, regulation, and scientific aspects at a national level plus sensitize the citizens to understand the natural nitrogen cycle and how human impacts alter its balance.

Significance

  • Nitrogen is a critical element for building structures of living organisms and an essential element for the survival of all living things.
  • But, overuse of nitrogen has negative impacts on the planet, biodiversity and is a contributor to the climate crisis.
  • For the first time, governments have agreed to work together on a major quantitative global goal for improved nitrogen management.
  • The aspiration to halve nitrogen waste by 2030 offers a $100 billion opportunity to mobilize innovation for the nitrogen circular economy, while contributing to environment, health and livelihoods.

[Source: unenvironment.org]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

MUKHYAMANTRI KANYA SUMANGALA YOJANA
  • Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has launched “Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana”, a scheme for the girl child, in Lucknow.
  • The programme aims at empowering the girl child for which an amount of Rs 15,000 will be provided to every family in which a girl child takes birth.
  • Under the scheme, the state government will direct transfer funds in the account of the registered girls in a phased manner when a girl child will complete various achievements, like vaccination, admission in class 1, 5 and 9, graduation.
  • The scheme has been designed in a way that parents will have to take care of girl child”s health and education to avail its benefits.
INDO-FRENCH JOINT EXERCISE SHAKTI-2019
  • Indian and French armies will conduct joint counter-terrorism drills under ‘Exercise Shakti-2019’ in the Mahajan field firing range in Rajasthan from 31st October 2019 to 13th November 2019.
  • Series of ‘Exercise SHAKTI’ between India and France commenced in year 2011 and is conducted alternately in India and France.
  • The biennial bilateral exercise will be conducted from 31st October to 13th November 2019.
  • The joint exercise will focus on Counter Terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations Mandate.
  • The training will focus primarily on high degree of physical fitness, sharing of drill at tactical level and learning of best practices from each other.
  • The exercise aims at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the two Armies.
TROPICAL TITANS (PALLATHURUTHY BOAT CLUB)
  • Nadubhagom Chundan (snakeboat) rowed by Tropical Titans (Pallathuruthy Boat Club) continued its winning streak in the Champions Boat League (CBL) by finishing first in the boat race held at Kainakary in Alappuzha.
  • With this win, Tropical Titans has won seven out of the eight CBL races completed so far.
  • Kerala Tourism-organised Champions Boat League is a three-month championship with its 12 rounds being held on weekends coinciding with traditional water festivals.

 

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