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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 25-06-2024

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June 25, 2024

UNESCO City of Literature

Recently, Kozhikode is officially declared as India's first UNESCO 'City of Literature'.

  • Agency- UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).
  • Reason for selection- Kozhikode combines a rich historic past with modern developments and is home to numerous artists and boasts over 500 functioning libraries.
  • Every year, the city of Kozhikode hosts the Kerala Literature Festival, one of the largest in Asia.
  • The city is home to some of India’s renowned writers, including Vaikom Muhammed Bashir, MT vasudevan Nair, S. K. Pottekkatt, Thikkodiyan and P. Valsala Sanjayan, contributed to the diversity of Malayalam literature and culture.

World Cities Day is a United Nations observance day, observed on October 31st every year.

  • State government’s recognition- The state government of Kerela announced to celebrate June 23 as 'City of Literature' Day from next year onwards.

UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

  • It is to promote cooperation among cities which recognized creativity as a major factor in their urban development.
  • Launch - Year2004
  • Eligibility - UNESCO’s member states and associate members
  • Updation - Time Once every 2 years
  • Total Cities (2023) - 350 in more than 100 countries
  • UCCN creative fields - Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music.
  • Other cities that received UNESCO recognition were:

City

Creative fields

Bukhara

Crafts and Folk Art

Casablanca

Media Arts

Chongqing

Design

Kathmandu

Film

Rio de Janeiro

Literature

Ulaanbaatar

Crafts and Folk Art

References

  1. The Hindustan times| UNESCO City of Literature
  2. UNESCO | Creative Cities Network

 

Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) Programme

The Union government has increased the Fertilizer Sector's allocation under the SIGHT Programme.

  • Aim - To support the domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and the production of Green Hydrogen.
  • Umbrella Mission - It is a sub component under the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
  • It caters the need of the fertilizer sector.
  • Nodal Ministry- Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • Implementing agency- The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)
  • Financial incentive- SIGHT Programme consists of 2 distinct financial incentive mechanisms.
    • Incentive for manufacturing of electrolysers
    • Incentive for production of green hydrogen.

National Green Hydrogen Mission

  • About- It aims to accelerate the deployment of Green Hydrogen as a clean energy source, will support the development of supply chains that can efficiently transport and distribute hydrogen.
  • Launched in - January 2023.
  • Target- To achieve production capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum of Green Hydrogen in the country by the year 2030.
  • Significance- The Mission will drive major decarbonization of the economy, decrease reliance on fossil fuel imports, and position India as a leader in Green Hydrogen technology and markets.

References

  1. PIB | SIGHT Programme
  2. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy | National Green Hydrogen Mission

 

Space Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM)

Recently, the Space Variable Objects Monitor spacecraft is launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

  • The Space Variable Objects Monitor spacecraft is a combination of small telescopes.
  • The primary objective of satellite is to look for gamma-ray bursts across the universe.
  • It is a 1st astronomical satellite jointly developed by China and France.
  • Weight - 930-kilogram.
  • Carrier rocket- It was placed in a low-Earth orbit by a Chinese Long March 2C carrier rocket.
  • Payload of SVOM- It consists of 4 payloads, two developed by the France and two by the China.
    • France- ECLAIRs and MXT telescopes, which will detect and capture the GRBs.
    • China- The Gamma Ray Burst Monitor (GRB), measure the spectrum of GRBs and Visible Telescope (VT), will detect and observe visible emissions produced immediately after a GRB.
  • The satellite will measure and study their electromagnetic radiation properties.

Gamma-ray bursts

  • GRBs are bursts of highly energetic gamma rays, which last from less than a second to several minutes.
  • They are known to occur in distant realms of the universe, and can erupt with a quintillion (a 10 followed by 18 zeros) times the luminosity of the Sun.
  • There are two types of GRBs, short GRBs and long GRBs.
    • Short GRBs- Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with durations typically less than 2 seconds.
    • Long GRBs- Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with durations typically greater than 2 seconds, often lasting up to several minutes.

Reference

The Indian Express | Space Variable Objects Monitor

 

Project Nimbus

STEM students from over 100 universities have pledged to boycott Google and Amazon until both companies cease their involvement with Project Nimbus.

  • Project Nimbus- It is a joint contract provided to Google and Amazon to provide cloud computing services and infrastructure to the Israeli government.
  • It is a multi-year project, intended to give a comprehensive, in-depth response to the provision of public cloud services for government ministries, auxiliary units and related bodies.
  • The primary beneficiary of this project is Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
  • Aim- It aims to address challenges in various sectors of the country like healthcare, transportation, and education.
  • It is signed in 2021.
  • Objective- The execution of this project will allow Israel to perform large-scale data analysis, AI training, database hosting, and other forms of powerful computing using Google’s technology.
  • This technology allows for further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

Reference

Indian Express | Project Nimbus

 

Lake Natron & Flamingos

  • Lake Natron is an alkaline or saline lake in Arusha Region of Tanzania.
  • It is located in the Gregory Rift, which is part of the East African Rift Valley.
  • It is situated on the border of Kenya and Tanzania.
  • It is a part of Lake Natron Basin, a Ramsar Site wetland of international significance.

A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on Wetlands.

  • The Southern Ewaso Ngiro River, which originates from central Kenya is the main source of water supply for the Lake.
  • The Gelai volcano is at the lake’s southeastern edge.
  • It is one of the most outstanding soda lakes in Africa because of the high PH of water which is always about 12.
  • The lake is a regular feeding ground for the majority of the East Africa’s lesser flamingos.

Lake Natron

Flamingos

  • Common Name - Greater Flamingo
  • Scientific Name - Phoenicopterus roseus
  • Appearance - Flamingos are famous for their bright pink feathers, stilt-like legs, and S-shaped neck.
  • Their pink color comes from a carotenoid pigment present in the algae and crustaceans they eat.
  • Diet - shrimp, snails, and plantlike water organisms called algae
  • Flamingos build nests that look like mounds of mud along waterways.
  • Habitat - It is usually found in shallow, saline, alkaline wetlands, such as salt lakes, coastal lagoons, intertidal mudflats, and saltworks during the breeding season.
  • Distribution – It inhabits Africa, the Middle East, southern Europe, and the Indian subcontinent.
  • Greater flamingos produce a loud goose-like honking call, 'ka-haunk'.
  • Greater flamingo is the state bird of the Gujarat.

Greater Flamingo

References

  1. Down to Earth | Climate impact on Tanzania’s Lake Natron
  2. National Geographic | Flamingos
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