23.02.22 APSC Daily Current Affairs

ASSAM

 

Numaligarh Refinery to manufacture ethanol out of bamboo

Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) has collaborated with a Finnish company to manufacture ethanol out of bamboo

The MD said to reduce carbon emissions, the company is trying to get out of captive power generation and get connected to the grid for which it has do a power purchase agreement with a green power producer. He said that India needs to get out of the volatility of crude prices. According to him, since the northeast has plenty of water, hydrogen can be locally produced and be used as green fuel. He said there is a need to monetise gas reserves lying underneath and also storing of carbon dioxide in dead wells and reservoirs.

NORTH-EASTERN STATES

Arunachal Pradesh & Mizoram Statehood Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram on the occasion of statehood day in both states.

Highlights

  • The year 2022 marked the 36th State Foundation Day of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) was given a replacement name and a brand new identity as Arunachal Pradesh 50 years ago. Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged state on February 20, 1987.
  • Mizoram was the 23rd state of India. It had been made a state on February 20, 1987, with the 53rd Amendment Act of Indian Constitution, 1986.

Arunachal Pradesh Statehood Day 

  • Arunachal Pradesh is named “Land of Dawn-Lit Mountains,” a state in Northeast India from the erstwhile North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) region.
  • On February 20, 1987, it became a state and borders with states of Assam and Nagaland to the south.
  • It’s international borders with Bhutan, Myanmar, and China, and Itanagar is the capital. It’s the most important among the Seven Sister States of Northeast India by area.

Mizoram

  • It is one of the seven sister states of north-eastern India. Aizawl is its seat of state also as the capital city.
  •  Name of this state springs from Mizo and Ram’ which suggests land within the Mizo language. Thus, Mizoram means “land of the Mizos.”
  • It’s the southernmost landlocked state among the northeast region of India. The state shares borders with Tripura, Manipur, and Assam.
  • It also shares a 722-kilometer border with Bangladesh and Myanmar. It was established on February 20, 1987.INTERNATIONAL

     

    Hydrogen Train in Japan

     

    Japan has launched its first hydrogen-powered train. This unveiling is seen as a step towards the country’s objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The hydrogen-fuelled train was tested within the country in March.

    Highlights

    • “Hybari,” the two-car train costs over USD 35 million or 4 billion yen and might go up to 140 kilometers or 87 miles at a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour on a single hydrogen refueling.
    • The train was developed by East Japan Railway associated with Hitachi and Toyota Motor Corporation.
    • The nation has plans to interchange its diesel fleet with this hydrogen variant of trains and can also look to export them.
    • In 2030, commercial services are expected to start. To attain net-zero energy, Japan has made hydrogen a significant clean-energy source.

     

    World Thinking Day: 22 February

     

    World Thinking Day, initially referred to as Thinking Day, is widely known annually on 22 February by all Girl Scouts, Girl Guides, and other girl groups worldwide.

    • The day is observed to believe fellow brothers and sisters worldwide, address their concerns and understand the true meaning of guiding.
    • The theme for World Thinking Day 2022 is Our World, Our Equal Future.

     

     

    NATIONAL

     

    Nomura Business Resumption Index- Update

     

    For the week which ended on 2oth February, the Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) reached a record high of 122.8, up from 119.5 the previous week.

     

    The Index showed weak demand due to rising inflation and the scarring due to the pandemic, as the recovery remains uneven, with sluggish consumption and services even before the third COVID-19 wave.

     

    Findings of the index

     

    NIBRI, at present, has risen around 23 percentage points (pp) higher than pre-pandemic levels, and around 21pp higher than the third wave.

     

    The Index reported that Google workplace rose by 1.4 pp and retail & recreation mobility rose by 6 pp from the previous week, touching record highs. The Apple driving index increased by 11.3 points, the labor participation rate remained unchanged at 40.1 percent, and power demand increased by 0.4 percent following a 1.5 percent drop.

    The monthly data until the month of January suggests that the third wave had very little on demand, while the supply side remained intact.

     

     

    DBT Draft Paper on Synthetic Biology

     

    Department of Biotechnology has released a draft foresight paper on synthetic biology. In its paper, department has stressed on the need for a national policy to consolidate India’s stand on the issue.

     

    This 70-page document also notes that, India should avoid conflicting stands on science and policy.

    It looks not only at global policies and protocols that must be refer to develop such a policy but also defines synthetic biology and how intellectual property rights will be applicable in resulting processes and products.

    The paper was developed through a consultative process with experts from several organisations, non-profit organisations, and some people from the industry.

     

    Synthetic Biology refers to “science of using genetic sequencing, modification and editing, in order to create unnatural organisms or organic molecules which can function in living systems. Synthetic biology helps the scientists in designing and synthesising new sequences of DNA from scratch.

     

    MeitY: Draft Policy on India Data Office

     

    A draft data policy has been published by the central government. This policy states that all data collected, maintained, and generated, by every government ministry and agency shall be open and shareable. The government could also monetize and earn from detailed datasets that have undergone value addition.

     

    The policy has been named “Draft India Data Accessibility & Use Policy 2022.” It states that the Indian Data Council (IDC) and the India Data Office (IDO) will be in charge of forming metadata standards and enforcing them. IDC will act as the regulatory authority.

    The IDC will be made up of the IDO and data officers from five government departments, while the IDO will be set up by the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY) to streamline data sharing and access sharing across the government and other stakeholders.

     

    The IDC will be tasked with developing frameworks for defining high-value datasets, finalizing metadata standards and data, and monitoring policy implementation. The various State Governments and Departments will be nominated to the IDC on a rotating basis, with each department having a two-year term.

     

    Nomura Business Resumption Index- Update

     

    For the week which ended on 2oth February, the Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) reached a record high of 122.8, up from 119.5 the previous week.

     

    The Index showed weak demand due to rising inflation and the scarring due to the pandemic, as the recovery remains uneven, with sluggish consumption and services even before the third COVID-19 wave.

     

    Findings of the index

     

    NIBRI, at present, has risen around 23 percentage points (pp) higher than pre-pandemic levels, and around 21pp higher than the third wave.

     

    The Index reported that Google workplace rose by 1.4 pp and retail & recreation mobility rose by 6 pp from the previous week, touching record highs. The Apple driving index increased by 11.3 points, the labor participation rate remained unchanged at 40.1 percent, and power demand increased by 0.4 percent following a 1.5 percent drop.

     

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