(The Hindu+ Indian Express + PIB + Other World Wide News)
Why in News:
The first ship ‘Visakhapatnam’, of the four Project-15B ships, was delivered to the Navy recently. It is a state-of-the-art stealth-guided missile destroyer, being built at the Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL).
Approx. 75% of the project is indigenous including weapons systems like medium-range SAMs, torpedo tube launchers, etc.
The design of the ships has been developed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design. These ships are equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and long-range Surface-to-Air missiles (SAM).
Project 15B and its significance
The project 15B ships are a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers (INS Kolkata,
INS Kochi, and INS Chennai).
The four ships are:
These ships feature enhanced stealth features over the earlier class which make it difficult to detect and also feature significant advances in automation and networking. These ships are propelled by four gas turbines in Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration.
The guided-missile Destroyers are deployed for various responsibilities like escort duties with the Carrier Battle Group to protect the Naval fleet against any air, surface, and underwater threats. These modern warships shall also give an extended Indo-Pacific capability to the Indian Navy against an ever-growing fleet of Chinese submarines.
Why in News:
Oceanographic Research Vessel (ORV) Sagar Nidhi is an ice-strengthened multidisciplinary vessel operated by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).
Note: An ice-strengthened ship is a ship made of steel. These ships are made to get through the ice in Antarctica and the Arctic.
Purpose: 1. Exploring the ocean resources, 2. Participation in search and rescue operations and in implementation of Deep Ocean Mission, 3. Carrying out geo-scientific, meteorological, and oceanographic research.
First Indian flagged research ship that reached the Antarctic waters. Research Vessel (Ships) is an important tool for ocean research and the development of ocean technology. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has at present has 6 ships namely Sagar Nidhi, Sagar Manjusha, Sagar Kanya, Sagar Sampada, Sagar Tara, and Sagar Anveshika.
Why in News:
Climate TRACE with the help of satellites could help track the global greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate TRACE (Tracking Real-Time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions) was launched in 2021 before COP26. It is a global coalition of nonprofits, tech companies, and universities.
Purpose: It was created to collect and share greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic (human) activities to facilitate climate action.
It uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze data from satellite imagery and sensor data to come up with accurate emissions estimates in near-real-time.
Significance: Climate TRACE is the world’s first comprehensive accounting of GHG emissions based primarily on direct, independent observation.
There is a new push in tech-firms for dominating the “Metaverse” technology. Recently Facebook renamed itself as “Meta” highlights one such push.
The “metaverse” is a network of always-on virtual environments in which many people can interact with one another and digital objects through virtual representations of themselves.
There are 3 key aspects of the metaverse: presence, interoperability and standardization.
Presence is the feeling of actually being in a virtual space, with virtual others. This sense of presence is achieved through virtual reality (VR) technologies such as head-mounted displays. It improves the quality of online interactions.
Interoperability means being able to seamlessly travel between virtual spaces with the same virtual assets. That is, one virtual representation created, can be used in different virtual worlds.
Standardization: These are common technological standards are essential for widespread adoption. This enables interoperability of platforms and services across the metaverse.
International organizations such as the “Open Metaverse Interoperability Group” define these standards.
It is extremely important to the future of the economy and society as a whole. Companies like Facebook are aiming to make it the setting for many online activities, including work, play, studying and shopping.
(Source : PIB)
Why in News:
Union minister for Jal Shakti has launched several initiatives during the 5th edition of Ganga Utsav.
Continuous Learning and Activity Portal (CLAP)
Developed by: National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) in association with Tree Craze Foundation.
Purpose of the Portal: It is an interactive portal that is working towards initiating conversations and action around the rivers in India. The Portal is also a platform to facilitate debates and discussions and express ideas on various issues pertaining to the environment, water and rivers.
Funded and supported by: The World Bank.
It was developed by IIT Kanpur. It documents the changes in River Ganga over the past 5-6 decades in terms of channel morphology, land use & land cover, river dynamics and associated issues.
It is an expedition led by the Ganga Task Force (GTF). They will travel across 23 stations along the river Ganga to help sensitize the local people and organizations like Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and Voluntary groups.
Note: GTF is a unit of a battalion of ex-servicemen deployed in the services of the Ganga with the approval of the Ministry of Defence for the period of four years till December 2020.
It is a national online quiz on Ganga, rivers, and the environment. The quiz was first conceptualized in 2019 as an educational program to sensitize children and youth towards River Ganga to strengthen the Namami Gange program.
Why in News:
A glacier in Antarctica has been experiencing rapid melting. It has now been named Glasgow Glacier in honour of Glasgow, Scotland.
This is because Glasgow is hosting the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Besides Glasgow Glacier, eight other nearby glaciers will also carry the names of cities where important climate reports were issued or policies were agreed. Source: BBC
Scientists from the University of Leeds in England have studied several glaciers in the Getz basin of Antarctica. They have found that 14 glaciers in this region are thinning by an average of 25% between 1994 and 2018 due to climate change.
They also found that 315 gigatonnes of ice were lost from the region in the last 25 years. Hence, they were naming these glaciers after cities will be a symbol of what is at stake and is also a great way to celebrate the international collaboration on climate change science and policy over the last 42 years.
Other glaciers named after cities
Geneva: Named after the world’s first climate conference in 1979. The conference set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Rio: Commemorates the first Earth Summit in 1992 where the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was opened for signatures.
Berlin: It is named after the first Conference of Parties (COP) in 1995 which assessed the progress of dealing with climate change.
Kyoto: It commemorates the formal adoption in 1997 of the protocol that legally bound developed countries to emissions reduction targets.
Bali: It marks the release of the IPCC fourth assessment report (AR4) in 2007.
Stockholm: It honours the IPCC fifth assessment report (AR5) approval session in 2014.
Paris: It memorializes the agreement of a legally binding treaty in 2015 that aimed to limit global temperature rise to well below 2C, preferably below 1.5C.
Incheon: It marks the meeting of the IPCC in 2018 to consider the special report on the impacts of 1.5 degrees of warming and the difference in risks of going to 2C.
Why in News:
India and UK have unveiled an ambitious plan for the world’s first transnational network of interconnected solar power grids: Green Grids Initiative: One Sun One World One Grid at COP26 at Glasgow.
The two Prime Ministers presented One Sun Declaration, endorsed by more than 80 countries, setting out OSOWOG’s aims.
It includes smart grids connecting millions of solar panels and charging points for electric vehicles, and micro-grids for rural communities and to ensure resilience during extreme weather events. It aims to provide countries across the world with clean energy drawn from the sun through a series of interconnected grids.
The Green Grids Initiative was first developed by the Climate Parliament, an international network of climate legislators.
Members: Australia, France, India, the US and UK are the main members of the initiative, which has the backing of 80 members of the 99 nation strong International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Potential benefits of OSOWOG
All the energy humanity uses in a year is equal to the energy that reaches the earth from the sun in a single hour. By trading energy from sun, wind and water across borders, OSOWOG can deliver more than enough clean energy to meet the needs of everyone on earth. This will lessen the need for storage and increase the viability of solar projects.
Reduction in carbon footprint and in the cost of energy.
Fostering of a spirit of cooperation among different countries and regions of the world