29 Nov 2022: Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Exam


Syllabus – 

Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.

Source – The Hindu

In News – 

SARAS 3, a radio telescope designed and built at the Raman Research Institute (RRI) here has provided clues to the nature of the Universe’s first stars and galaxies.

Background – 

  • Since its deployment in 2020 over the Dandiganahalli Lake and the Sharavati backwaters, astronomers and researchers have been able to ascertain the characteristics of radio bright galaxies produced just 200 million years after the Big Bang, or the Cosmic Dawn.

Research findings – 

  • The SARAS 3 telescope’s findings are the first to allow radio measurements of the averaged 21-centimeter line to shed light on the characteristics of the oldest radio noisy galaxies, which are often driven by supermassive black holes.
  • Less than 3% of the gaseous matter in early galaxies was transformed into stars, according to SARAS 3, and the earliest galaxies that were bright in radio emission were also strong in X-rays, which heated the cosmic gas in and around the early galaxies. 
  • These findings helped astronomers better understand the astrophysics of Cosmic Dawn.

SARAS-3 Radio Telescope – 

  • SARAS is a specialised, high-risk, high-gain Raman Research Institute experimental project.
  • To detect incredibly faint radio wave signals from the depths of time, from our “Cosmic Dawn,” when the first stars and galaxies formed in the early Universe, SARAS plans to design, build, and deploy in India a precise radio telescope.

Question for Practice – 

Consider the following phenomena: (2018)

  1. Light is affected by gravity.
  2. The Universe is constantly expanding.
  3. Matter warps its surrounding space-time.

Which of the above is/are the prediction/predictions of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, often discussed in media?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)

Semi Automated Offside Technology (SAOT)

Source – The Hindu

In News – 

In the current football world cup, FIFA uses SAOT to determine if a player is onside.

What is SAOT?

  • The technology consists of two components: a sensor inside the match ball (Adidas’s Al Rihla) that is held using suspension technology, and existing tracking tools that are part of the VAR system.
  • A network of antennae built around the playing field receives data in real-time (at a staggering 500 frames per second) each time the ball is struck. Additionally, there are 12 Hawk-Eye cameras placed all around the playing surface, which follow the ball and the players while tracking up to 29 different body points.
  • SAOT, which enables quick and highly accurate decisions, is created when the ball sensor and Hawk-Eye cameras combine. Artificial intelligence software is used to process these two data sets and produce automated offside alerts for the match officials.
Semi-Automated Offside Technology
Semi-Automated Offside Technology

Wet leasing of aircraft

Source – Indian Express

In News 

The civil aviation ministry has permitted Indian airlines to take wide-body aircraft on wet lease for up to a year in an effort to increase international air traffic.

Background – 

  • The largest airline in the nation, IndiGo, who planned to introduce B777 aircraft on a wet/damp leasing basis, requested the decision.
  • To avoid making large lump sum payments and to swiftly raise capacity temporarily, about half of the planes used by airlines across the world are leased rather than owned.

Wet leasing – 

  • Dry leasing refers to renting merely the aircraft, whereas wet leasing entails taking the aircraft along with the crew and engineers.
  • With the opportunity to extend the agreement for another 12 months, dry leasing was previously permitted for up to 12 months.
  • Wet leases are only permitted for a limited time since they are more difficult for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to supervise.

India-Palestine relations

Syllabus – 

International Relations

Source – Indian Express

In News – 

It is regrettable that India is hesitant to assist Palestine because this goes against the country’s own history of anti-colonial humanism.

Israel Map
Israel Map

Background – 

  • India and Palestine share many commonalities –
    • Both have a colonial history of subjugation
    • Both have been home to multiple religious communities with a complex sense of nationhood.
  • India’s position on Israel-Palestine has been one of sympathy and support for Palestinians for many years after independence.
  • The leaders of India’s anti-colonial movement were outspoken in their criticism of Israel’s occupying Palestine by force in order to create a homeland for Jews.
    • Gandhi, for instance, said that forcing Jews upon Arabs is unfair and 
  • During the 1947 and 1998 UN General Assembly Resolutions (UNGA), India submitted that
    • Independence for Palestine should be the primacy of any future plan for the country.
    • Right of Palestinians to self-determination
  • India was also among the first countries that recognised the Palestinian state.

Change in India’s approach toward Palestine – 

  • Experts claim that India has recently turned its back on Israeli atrocities against Palestinians.
  • India voted against resolutions on war crimes and violence in Palestinian territory in 2015 and again in 2021, turning a blind eye to human rights violations in Gaza.
  • However, a number of Indian civil society, educational, and cultural organisations continue to support the Palestinian cause in their efforts.
    • For instance, the work of the Indian Campaign for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel has emphasised how deeply unjust and morally repugnant it is for a violent occupier like Israel to exist.

Conclusion – 

Palestine is a moral issue that needs to be acknowledged by everyone on Earth, not only India. The universal principle of Justitia nemini neganda est—justice should not be denied to anybody, regardless of their faith or beliefs—justifies international solidarity for Palestine.

4th India-France Annual Defense Dialogue

Syllabus – 

Prelims: 4th India-France Annual Defense Dialogue, India-France Military Exercises, International Solar Alliance.

Mains: Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests, India-France Relations

Source – The Hindu

In News – 

Recently, the 4th India-France Defense Dialogue was held in India.

Key Highlights – 

Defence Industrial Cooperation – 

  • With a focus on “Make in India,” defence industrial cooperation was discussed by the two nations.
  • During the conversation, a wide range of bilateral, regional, and defence industrial cooperation issues were covered.

Military-to-Military Cooperation – 

  • The continued military-to-military collaboration, which has significantly risen in recent years, was discussed by both parties.
  • They acknowledged that their positions on a number of “strategic and defence matters were similar and shared a determination to cooperate more closely in bilateral, regional, and multilateral fora, with an emphasis on the Indo-Pacific area.

Indian Ocean Region – 

  • The topics discussed included ways to improve collaboration in areas of shared interest and marine issues in the IOR (Indian Ocean Region).
  • France underlined its involvement in the Indo-Pacific and the importance of India to their regional policy.
    • The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) are now chaired by France, and both nations work closely in these fora.

India-France Strategic Relations – 

  • Following the conclusion of the Cold War, in January 1998, India announced a “strategic relationship” with France, one of the first nations.
  • One of the few nations to endorse India’s choice to conduct nuclear weapons tests in 1998 was France.
  • The three services have regular defence exercises; viz.
    • Exercise Shakti (Army)
    • Exercise Varuna (Navy)
    • Exercise Garuda (Air Force)
      • Garuda VII was recently held in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
  • A Euro 7.87 billion intergovernmental agreement (IGA) for 36 Rafale multi-role fighter planes in fly-away condition was signed by India and France in 2016.
    • France has already delivered 35 Rafale fighters to India as of July 2022.
  • In 2005, India and a French company entered into a technology-transfer agreement to build six Scorpene submarines in India’s Malegaon dockyards.
  • The Agreement for the Provision of Reciprocal Logistics Support was also signed by the two nations.
    • The replenishment of gasoline, rations, spare parts, berthing, and maintenance for the other countries’ warships, military aircraft, and troops during routine port calls as well as during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief will be made easier thanks to this agreement (HADR).
  • Indian Ocean –
    • France must safeguard its former colonial assets in the Indian Ocean, which India uses as a sphere of influence.
    • In 2020, France joined the Indian Ocean Rim Association as its 23rd member (IORA).
      • The inclusion of a nation whose major landmass is not adjacent to the Indian Ocean into the IORA is a first.
  • France supported India’s request for a world terrorism conference. Both nations are in favour of setting up a new “No Money for Terror” international conference on preventing the financing of terrorism.
  • The India-France Administrative Economic and Trade Committee (AETC) offers a useful platform for evaluating and identifying measures to further enhance bilateral trade and investment as well as to expedite the resolution of market access concerns to the advantage of economic operators.
  • According to statistics supplied by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, France is the 11th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of USD 10.31 billion from April 2000 to June 2022, which represents 1.70% of all FDI inflows into India (DPIIT).
  • Fifty percent of France’s overall exports to India are in the aviation industry. The amount of French imports from India has also climbed 39% year over year (up 7% from 2019).
  • France has decided to take part in India’s 2025 Venus mission. Russian and French organisations collaborated to develop VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker), an instrument for ISRO’s Venus mission.

Way Forward – 

France is a natural partner in creating the new coalitions for an unknowable era since it has long prized an autonomous foreign policy. After the uncertainties caused by BREXIT in the region, France opens the door for increased involvement with Europe on global concerns.

Hopefully, the new alliances with France, Germany, and other similar-minded nations like Japan will prove to be much more significant for India’s impact on the world arena.

Himalayan yak 

Source – The Hindu

In News – 

The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved the Himalayan Yak as a ‘food animal’.

Details – 

  • The classification is anticipated to stop the population loss of high-altitude cattle.
  • Due to the lack of other agricultural activity in the higher reaches of the Himalayan region, where it is difficult for animals other than the yak to survive, the yak plays a multifaceted sociocultural and economic role for the pastoral nomads who rear it primarily for their nutritional and livelihood security.
  • Yak milk is extremely nutritive, rich in fat, contains necessary minerals, and has medical benefits, according to research at the NRC-Y. Churkum, churpi, ghee, and paneer are the traditional products made from yak milk.

5G airwave interference

Source – Indian Express

  • The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently expressed concerns regarding potential interference between aircraft radio altimeters and 5G C-Band spectrum as both devices operate in the mid C-Band frequency region.
  • The use of radio altimeters in the C-band ensures extremely accurate readings of the plane’s altitude. A radio altimeter gives immediate height-above-terrain information to various aircraft systems.
  • The C-Band creates a sweet spot for telecom service providers to roll out 5G services since it ensures coverage and high capacity, both of which lead to faster internet speeds.

Mauna Loa, Hawaii

  • Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, started erupting.
  • Hawaii, USA is a group of 8 volcanic islands in the central Pacific Ocean stretching in a crescent from Kure Island in the west to Hawaii in the east.
  • Volcanoes make up 51% of the Hawaii Island landmass.
Mauna Loa, Hawaii
Mauna Loa, Hawaii

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