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18 May Current Affairs

National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Storage

In News:

The Cabinet has approved the proposal of Department of Heavy Industry for implementation of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme ‘National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage’ for achieving manufacturing capacity of Fifty (50) GigaWatt Hour (GWh) of ACC and 5 GWh of “Niche” ACC.

About the scheme:

It is a ₹18,100 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for building Tesla-style giga factories to manufacture batteries.

The plan is to set up 50 gigawatt hour (GWh) manufacturing capacity for advanced chemistry cell batteries by attracting investments totaling ₹45,000 crore.

As part of the scheme, each selected ACC battery storage manufacturer would have to commit to set up an ACC manufacturing facility of minimum 5GWh capacity and ensure a minimum 60% domestic value addition at the project level within five years.

What are Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC)?

ACCs are the new generation of advanced storage technologies that can store electric energy either as electrochemical or as chemical energy and convert it back to electric energy as and when required.

Significance of the scheme:

All the demand of the ACCs is currently being met through imports in India.

The National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage will reduce import dependence.

It will also support the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. ACC battery Storage manufacturers will be selected through a transparent competitive bidding process.

NITI Aayog report on digital financial inclusion

In News:

NITI Aayog and Mastercard have released a report titled ‘Connected Commerce: Creating a Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat’.


The report identifies challenges in accelerating digital financial inclusion in India and provides recommendations for making digital services accessible to its 1.3 billion citizens.

Challenges in accelerating digital financial inclusion:

  • Digital Exclusions.
  • Unfamiliarity With DBT.
  • Breeding of Corruption.
  • Inadequate Rural Banking.
  • Unsuccessful Banking Correspondent Model.
  • Accountability Issue.

Key recommendations in the report include:

Strengthening the payment infrastructure to promote a level playing field for NBFCs and banks.

Digitizing registration and compliance processes and diversifying credit sources to enable growth opportunities for MSMEs.

Building information sharing systems,including a ‘fraud repository’, and ensuring that online digital commerce platforms carry warnings to alert consumers to the risk of frauds.

Enabling agricultural NBFCs to access low-cost capital and deploy a ‘phygital’ (physical + digital) model for achieving better long-term digital outcomes. Digitizing land records will also provide a major boost to the sector.

To make city transit seamlessly accessible to all with minimal crowding and queues, leveraging existing smartphones and contactless cards, and aim for an inclusive, interoperable, and fully open system such as that of the London ‘Tube’.

How Israel’s Iron Dome intercepts rockets?

In News:

In the conflict between Israel and Palestine, both sides have taken to air strikes and rocket attacks.


Recently, rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome air defence system. It appeared that the rockets were hitting an invisible shield.

What is Iron Dome?

Deployed in 2011, it is a short-range, ground-to-air, air defence system that includes a radar and Tamir interceptor missiles that track and neutralise any rockets or missiles aimed at Israeli targets.

It is used for countering rockets, artillery & mortars (C-RAM) as well as aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Its success rate is over 90%.

How does it work, and what makes it so effective?

The Iron Dome has three main systems that work together to provide a shield over the area where it is deployed, handling multiple threats.

It has a detection and tracking radar to spot any incoming threats, a battle management and weapon control system (BMC), and a missile firing unit.

It is capable of being used in all weather conditions, including during the day and night.

What kind of systems does India have?

India has got S-400, which caters to the three threats (rockets, missiles and cruise missiles). But they have much longer range. S400 has to cater to shooting down missiles, aircraft in some 300 to 400 km range.

At the moment, India has Akash short-range surface-to-air missiles, and Russian systems including.

World Food Prize

In News:

Dr Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, a global nutrition expert of Indian descent has won the prestigious 2021 World Food Prize for her groundbreaking research in developing holistic, nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquaculture and food systems.

About the World Food Prize:

The World Food Prize is the foremost international honor recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

Fields Covered: Any field involved in the world food supply including plant, animal and soil science; food science and technology; nutrition, rural development, etc.

Eligibility: It is open for any individual without regard to race, religion, nationality or political beliefs.

Cash Prize: $2,50,000.

It is presented by the World Food Prize Foundation which has over 80 companies, individuals, etc. as donors.

Norman E. Borlaug, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in global agriculture, conceived the Prize. He is also known as the Father of the Green Revolution.

The World Food Prize was created in 1986 with sponsorship by General Foods Corporation.

It is also known as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture”.

M.S. Swaminathan, the father of India’s green revolution, was the first recipient of this award in 1987.