Insights Daily Current Events, 05 July 2016
Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Becomes First Port in Country to Implement Logistics Data Tagging of Containers
Jawaharlal Nehru Port has become the first port in the country to implement logistics data tagging of containers. The Port recently implemented the logistics data bank tagging of containers, first of its kind facility, which will help importers/exporters track their goods in transit through logistics data bank service.
How it operates?
An RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Tag) tag would be attached to each container which would be tracked through RIFD readers installed at different locations.
- This would provide the ‘Visibility’ and ‘Transparency’ of the EXIM Container Movement by covering the entire movement through rail or road till the ICDs (Inland Container Depot) and CFSs (Container Freight Station).
- This service will integrate the information available with various agencies across the supply chain to provide detailed real time information within a single window.
- This would help in reducing the overall lead time of the container movement across the western corridor and lower the transaction costs incurred by shippers and consignees.
What is RFID tagging?
RFID tagging is an ID system that uses small radio frequency identification devices for identification and tracking purposes. An RFID tagging system includes the tag itself, a read/write device, and a host system application for data collection, processing, and transmission. An RFID tag (sometimes called an RFID transponder) consists of a chip, some memory and an antenna.
RFID tags that contain their own power source are known as active tags. Those without a power source are known as passive tags. A passive tag is briefly activated by the radio frequency (RF) scan of the reader.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: conservation.
Impose Rs 5,000 fine for littering track: NGT to Railways
The National Green Tribunal has directed the Indian Railways to “strictly” impose fine of Rs 5,000 on those throwing waste on rail tracks and act against them effectively.
- The tribunal has also directed the Railways to produce a list of offenders who have been fined till date for throwing garbage and other waste on tracks.
- The tribunal has also slammed Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) for the delay in relocation and rehabilitation of slum clusters near the railway tracks.
The green panel had earlier slammed Railways over human defecation and other waste on rail lines and directed the authorities to expeditiously decide on rehabilitation of slum clusters located near the tracks. It had also asked the authorities to impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on those defecating and throwing waste on tracks and act against them effectively.
National Green Tribunal (NGT)
The National Green Tribunal has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
- The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
- The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.
- The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
- The sanctioned strength of the tribunal is currently 10 expert members and 10 judicial members although the act allows for up to 20 of each.
- The Chairman of the tribunal who is the administrative head of the tribunal also serves as a judicial member.
- Every bench of the tribunal must consist of at least one expert member and one judicial member. The Chairman of the tribunal is required to be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court of India.
- Members are chosen by a selection committee (headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India) that reviews their applications and conducts interviews.
- The Judicial members are chosen from applicants who are serving or retired judges of High Courts. Expert members are chosen from applicants who are either serving or retired bureaucrats not below the rank of an Additional Secretary to the Government of India (not below the rank of Principal Secretary if serving under a state government) with a minimum administrative experience of five years in dealing with environmental matters. Or, the expert members must have a doctorate in a related field.
Other notable facts:
- The Tribunal has Original Jurisdiction on matters of “substantial question relating to environment” (i.e. a community at large is affected, damage to public health at broader level) & “damage to environment due to specific activity” (such as pollution). However there is no specific method is defined in Law for determining “substantial” damage to environment, property or public health.
- The powers of tribunal related to an award are equivalent to Civil court and tribunal may transmit any order/award to civil court have local jurisdiction.
- Also Tribunal is competent to hear cases for several acts such as Forest (Conservation) Act, Biological Diversity Act, Environment (Protection) Act, Water & Air (Prevention & control of Pollution) Acts etc. and also have appellate jurisdiction related to above acts after establishment of Tribunal within a period of 30 days of award or order received by aggrieved party.
- The NGT Act says that decision taken by majority of members shall be binding and every order of Tribunal shall be final. Any person aggrieved by an award, decision, or order of the Tribunal may appeal to the Supreme Court within 90 days of commencement of award but Supreme Court can entertain appeal even after 90 days if appellant satisfied SC by giving sufficient reasons.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: awareness in space.
Juno successfully enters Jupiter orbit: NASA
NASA’s unmanned Juno spacecraft has successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit, after a five year journey.
Juno was launched nearly five years ago on a mission to study Jupiter’s composition and evolution. It’s the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo. Galileo was deliberately crashed into Jupiter on September 21, 2003, to protect one of its discoveries — a possible ocean beneath Jupiter’s moon Europa.
Galileo, launched in 1989, circled Jupiter for nearly a decade, beaming back splendid views of the planet and its numerous moons. It uncovered signs of an ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon Europa, considered a top target in the search for life outside Earth.
- The Juno spacecraft – named after the Roman goddess and wife of Jupiter – is packed with nine instruments capable of peering into the planet’s heart.
- It will fly 2,600 miles above the cloud tops – 3,000 miles closer to the surface than any other mission has ever achieved.
- Juno became the first spacecraft to cruise this far out into the solar system powered solely by the sun, beating Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft. A trio of massive solar wings sticks out from Juno like blades from a windmill, generating 500 watts of power to run its nine instruments.
- Juno, built by Lockheed Martin, is an armored spacecraft – its computer and electronics are locked in a titanium vault to shield them from harmful radiation. Even so, Juno is expected to get blasted with radiation equal to more than 100 million dental X-rays during the mission.
Once in position to begin its 20-month science mission, Juno will fly in egg-shaped orbits, each one lasting 14 days, to peer through the planet’s thick clouds, map its gargantuan magnetic field and probe through the crushing atmosphere for evidence of a dense inner core. The probe also will hunt for water in Jupiter’s thick atmosphere, a key yardstick for figuring out how far away from the sun the gas giant formed.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: awareness in space.
New Horizons’ next goal
After its historic first-ever flyby of Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons mission has received the green light to fly onward to an object deeper in the Kuiper Belt. NASA has extended its mission to go further into the Kuiper Belt to explore an ancient object, which is a remnant from the time when the planets in our Solar System first formed. The Kuiper Belt Object, the spacecraft is now heading for, is provisionally called 2014 MU69.
About New Horizons Mission:
New Horizons was launched on 19 January 2006, and has been travelling through space for the past nine years.
- Just over a year after launch, it passed Jupiter and used the giant world’s gravity to boost its velocity, as well as making scientific observations. This boost shortened the time to reach Pluto by years.
- In July 2015, New Horizons flew 12,500km above the dwarf planet’s icy surface, becoming the first spacecraft to explore Pluto.
- New Horizon’s core science mission is to map the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, to study Pluto’s atmosphere and to take temperature readings.
- The spacecraft was launched in 2006, before the big debate started over Pluto’s status as a planet. In August of that same year, the International Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet.
Kuiper belt is a region of the solar system beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune. It consist mainly small bodies or remnants from the solar system’s formation.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- Researchers from Belgium have built a sensitive electronic nose with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that can detect pesticides and nerve gas in very low concentrations. MOFs are like microscopic sponges. They can absorb quite a lot of gas into their minuscule pores. The chemical sensor can easily be integrated into existing electronic devices. The new MOF is the most sensitive gas sensor to date for dangerous substances. MOFs can measure very low concentrations, so we could use them to screen someone’s breath for diseases such as lung cancer and multiple sclerosis (MS) in an early stage.