PRADHAN MANTRI UJJWALA YOJANA (PMUY)
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
Tagline : Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan
The PMUY is a scheme to provide LPG (liquid petroleum gas) to households below the poverty line.
This is to have universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
The chief aim of this scheme to protect the health of the women and children in homes where unclean cooking fuels are used.
Under this scheme, 5 crore connections are to be provided to the people needing them.
BPL families will be offered a support of Rs.1600 per connection. This is for the cylinder, booklet, pressure regulator, safety hose, etc. and will be borne by the government itself.
Apart from these, the scheme also provides interest-free loans to buy stove and refill by oil marketing companies.
The connections would be given in the name of women of the households.
An initial outlay of Rs.8000 crore was sanctioned for the implementation of the scheme.
The authorities would identify BPL families based on the Socio Economic Caste Census data.
It is also a business opportunity to the tune of a minimum of Rs.10000 crore.
INDIAN OCEAN CONFERENCE
Fourth Indian Ocean Conference 2019 was recently held in Male, capital of Maldives.
The two-day conference was held from 3-4 September 2019.
Theme for 4th Indian Ocean Conference 2019 was: ‘Securing the Indian Ocean Region: Traditional and Non-Traditional Challenges’.
Conference discussion themes were grouped under 3 broad categories of :
➢ Marine Ecology
➢ Navigational Security
Chandrayaan-2 is the second lunar exploration mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), after Chandrayaan-1.
It consists of a lunar orbiter, the Vikram lander, and the Pragyan lunar rover, all of which were developed in India.
The main scientific objective is to map the location and abundance of lunar water via Pragyan.
REASON FOR SOUTH POLE:
The south polar region of the Moon has not received sunlight for billions of years and is among the coldest spots in the Solar System. This, Isro says, makes lunar south pole region ripe to contain tonnes of water and “an undisturbed record” of the Solar System’s origins.
MAPPING LIGHTNING ACROSS INDIA
According to the recently published “Mid-Monsoon 2019 Lightning Report”, Odisha recorded the maximum incidents of lightning and Uttar Pradesh recorded maximum deaths due to lightning during April – July 2019.
The report has been prepared by Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROPC), a non-profit organisation that works closely with India Meteorological Department (IMD).
It has been prepared by using IMD’s lightning forecasts including Nowcast, Indian Institute of Tropical Management-Pune’s lightning network data, NRSC and ISRO inputs.
This is for the first time, a report has mapped lightning strikes across the country, and the lives they have claimed. The report is part of an effort to create a database that can help develop an early warning system for lightning, spread awareness, and prevent deaths.
TRAVEL & TOURISM COMPETITIVENESS REPORT 2019:
India has moved up six places to rank 34th on the World Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019, released by the World Economic Forum.
India was ranked 40th in 2018.
Spain, France, Germany, Japan and the United States are the world’s most travel-ready nations.
Japan remains Asia’s most competitive travel and tourism economy, ranking 4th globally.
China is the largest travel and tourism economy in Asia-Pacific and 13th most competitive globally.
Published biennially, Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report and Index benchmarks the Travel & Tourism (T&T) competitiveness of 140 economies.
The 140 economies are ranked in four sub-indexes:
➢ Enabling environment,
➢ Travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions,
➢ Infrastructure, and ➢ Natural and cultural resources.
GLOBAL LIVEABILITY INDEX
The Economic Intelligence Unit considered 140 cities for rankings.
The ranking is based on a particular country’s scores in five broad categories, namely:
➢ Culture and Environment
Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, comfortable, undesirable or intolerable.
New Delhi with 118th rank has registered the biggest decline in Asia whereas Mumbai also fell two places since last year to rank 119th.
The decline in Mumbai’s rank was mainly due to a downgrade in its culture score.
New Delhi has fallen in the index because of downgrades to its culture and environment score as well as fall in the stability score owing to rising crime rates.
Among the BRICS countries, Suzhou from China was ranked highest at 75, while India’s capital New Delhi was ranked lowest at 118th.
Among the ten least liveable cities globally, three are from Asia which are:
➢ Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (135th)
➢ Pakistan’s Karachi (136th)
➢ Bangladesh’s Dhaka (138th)
The list is topped by Vienna (Austria) for the second consecutive year.
The ‘Samudrayaan’ is a part of the Ministry of Earth Sciences pilot project for deep ocean mining for rare minerals.
The project proposes to send a submersible vehicle with three persons to a depth of about 6000 metres to carry out deep underwater studies.
Currently submarines deployed can only go about 200 metres deep into the sea. The project will go deeper in phases with more trials and ocean mining is expected to commence in 2022.
The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, has undertaken Mission Samudrayaan and is expected to become a reality by 2021-22.
COUNTRY’S LONGEST ELECTRIFIED RAIL TUNNEL:
India’s longest electrified rail tunnel was recently inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh.
The 6.7 km long tunnel was constructed at a cost of Rs 437 crore and connects Cherlopalli and Rapuru.
Scientists have discovered that, contrary to existing assumptions, biological processes far out at sea are the most important factors determining how the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide.
This enhances the understanding of the link between the Southern Ocean — next to Antarctica — and the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
Scientists studied data collected as part of the ANDREX project (Antarctic Deep water Rates of Export) which measured the physical, biological, and chemical properties of the waters in the gyre between 2008 and 2010.
Carbon dioxide is absorbed in the surface oceans and stored in the deep seas, gradually, over a timescale of 100s to 1,000s years.
The Southern Ocean plays a critical role in how the carbon dioxide is taken out of the atmosphere, and knowing how it functions helps scientists understand this mechanism’s role during dramatic climate transitions in the past, such as the ice ages, and better predict the current and future climate change.
ASTEROID IMPACT DEFLECTION ASSESSMENT
It is an ambitious double-spacecraft mission to deflect an asteroid in space, to prove the technique as a viable method of planetary defence.
The mission, which includes NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), is known as the Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA).
The target is the smaller of two bodies in the “double Didymos asteroids” that are in orbit between Earth and Mars.
Didymos is a near-Earth asteroid system. Its main body measures about 780 m across; the smaller body is a “moonlet” about 160 m in diameter.
The project aims to deflect the orbit of the smaller body through an impact by one spacecraft.
Then a second spacecraft will survey the crash site and gather the maximum possible data on the effect of this collision.
TOOLS OF THE MISSION
NASA is building the Double Asteroid Impact Test (DART) spacecraft for launch in summer 2021.
It is planned to collide with the target at 6.6 km/s in September 2022.
Flying along with DART will be an Italian-made miniature CubeSat, called LICIACube, to record the moment of impact.
ESA’s contribution is a mission called Hera, which will perform a close-up survey of the post-impact asteroid, acquiring measurements such as the asteroid’s mass and detailed crater shape.
Hera will also deploy a pair of CubeSats for close-up asteroid surveys and the very first radar probe of an asteroid.
All this would allow researchers to model the efficiency of the collision.
This can help turn this experiment into a technique that could be repeated, as needed, in the event of a real threat.