Recently, a tropical Cyclone named Cristobal has formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf of Mexico:
The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent.
It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba.
Favourable Conditions in Gulf Of Mexico:
Sea surface temperature is generally very high in southwestern Gulf of Mexico, which is to allow the system to strengthen.
Wind shear i.e. the increase in wind speed with height in the atmosphere, or a sharp change in wind direction, is low as the storm emerges over open water and begins its northward
The low wind shear favors strengthening of the system even if interaction with Mexico first weakens the storm.
Sunderbans Damaged in Cyclone Amphan
Recently, the Chief Minister of West Bengal highlighted that about 28% of the Sunderbans has been damaged by Cyclone Amphan and launched a drive for planting mangroves and trees to mark the World Environment Day (5th June).
The Indian Sunderbans, an area south of the Dampier Hodges line, is spread over 9,630 sq km, of which the mangrove forest accounts for 4,263 sq km.
1,200 sq km of that mangrove forest has been destroyed.
Mangroves not only reduce wind speed but break the waves during a storm surge caused by a cyclone.
Trees turned yellow and red after the cyclone mostly due to salinity and trees can only survive if the salinity of the soil comes down.
The damage has been much on the Indian side of the Sundarbans and not on the Bangladesh side.
The CM has directed the Forest Department to be prepared to plant 3.5 crore mangroves by 14th July which is celebrated as the World Forest Day.
163348 (2002 NN4): A Near-Earth Asteroid
Recently, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that a giant asteroid called as 163348 (2002 NN4), is expected to pass Earth on 6th June 2020.
However, it is approaching the Earth within the safe limit of distance.
163348 (2002 NN4):
It was discovered in July 2002 and is expected to approach the earth in June 2020.
The asteroid is estimated to be between 250-570 meters in diameter.
The asteroid is a Near-Earth Object and classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA).
Chances of hitting the earth and related Concerns:
According to NASA, the objects with large size pose a great risk to Earth due to the level of devastation and the impact they can cause.
Less than half of the estimated 25,000 NEOs that are 140 metres or larger in size have been found to date.
Draft Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2020
Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has notified the draft Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2020.
The draft rules have been issued at a time when the use of drones has increased due to a coronavirus lockdown, for purposes like surveillance, disinfection and videography.
Earlier, the government had issued drone regulations 1.0 and the drone regulations 2.0. The government has also finalized National Counter Rogue Drone Guidelines for handling the threats from Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
A set of rules notified by the government aims to regulate the production, import, trade, ownership, establishment of the drone ports (airports for drones) and operation of unmanned aircraft systems.
It also seeks to create a framework for drones use by businesses.
Recently, the iCommit initiative was launched on the occasion of the World Environment day (5th June).
The initiative is driven by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
iCommit initiative is centred around the idea of building an energy resilient future.
It is a clarion call to all stakeholders and individuals to continue moving towards energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability to create a robust and resilient energy system in the future.
The prerequisite for this goal is to create a flexible and agile power system.
A healthy power sector can help the nation in meeting the objective of energy access and security for all.
LiDAR Based Research in Tamar Valley
A U.K.-based team of archeologists has continued its research over the Tamar Valley through LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) despite lockdown due to Covid-19 in the country.
LiDAR is commonly used by geologists and surveyors to make high-resolution maps.
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges & variable distances.
Tamar valley is located in the south of England and is a rich archaeological landscape with many sites belonging to the Iron Age and Roman era.
The area is a World Heritage Site due to its historic mining activities.
Atal Innovation Mission: To promote Entrepreneurship
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Atal Innovation Mission came together to promote culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in areas of mutual interest.
The CSIR incubators will work under Atal Innovative Mission to support world class start ups in this new project. They will work together to bring up new models of innovation and set up CSIR innovation parks.
The CSIR will contribute its strong knowledge base and provide world class researchers to make the project success. The Atal Innovative Mission in the other hand will foster innovation in different sectors to strengthen innovative ecosystem in the country.
What is the plan?
The CSIR will stimulate research and innovation in collaboration with ARISE. The ARISE initiative of Atal Innovative Mission is currently working to stimulate research and innovation in the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).
Through close cooperation between Jigyasa and Atal Tinkering labs, problem solving mind sets are to be created in schools all over India. JIGYASA is a student scientist connect programme where more than 3 lakh students all over the country are exposed to science and technology.
Line of Actual Control: ITBP sanctions twin commands
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police launced twin commands in Guwahati and Chandigarh ti supervise its deployment of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The recent standoff between India and China in the regions of Ladakh and also in other parts of LAC is the main reason for the initiation commands. The western regions of the LAC are to be administered from the Chandigarh headquarters and the eastern from Guwahati.
What is the plan?
Around 90,000 personnel have been deployed in the border region. The commands that are being deployed were already sanctioned in October 2019. Around 35 to 28 batallions are to be deployed across the LAC border.
The commands deployed will administer movement of ITBP personnel. The commands will also streamline deployment, operations, intelligence and administrative movements of ITBP personnel in the region.
It is to be noted that the ITBP being deployed is trained for mountain warfare. The troops were also present with the Army during the recent stand off with the Chinese in the Ladakh area.