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29th September Current Affairs

Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) at HAL

(GS-III: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology, and issues relating to intellectual property rights.)

In News:

President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) in Bengaluru.

Details:

The ICMF is dedicated to Rocket Manufacturing and its assembly for ISRO. The facility will boost self-reliance in the manufacturing of high-thrust rocket engines.

On January 5, 2014, India successfully flew GSLV-D5 with a cryogenic engine (made by ISRO through private industries) and became the sixth country in developing cryogenic engines.

About Cryogenic Technology:

Cryogenics is the study of the production and behavior of materials at extremely low temperatures (below -150 degree centigrade) to lift and place heavier objects in space.

A cryogenic engine provides more force with each kilogram of cryogenic propellant it uses compared to other propellants, such as solid and liquid propellant rocket engines, and is more efficient.

Cryogenic engine makes use of Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) as propellants which liquefy at -183 deg C and -253 deg C respectively.

About Cryogenic Fuels:

Fuels that are required to be stored at extremely low temperatures in order to maintain them in a liquid state are Cryogenic Fuels.

These fuels are used in machinery that operates in space (e.g. rocket ships and satellites) because ordinary fuel cannot be used because of the very low temperatures often encountered in space, and due to the absence of an environment that supports combustion (on Earth, oxygen is abundant in the atmosphere, whereas human-explorable space is a vacuum where oxygen is virtually non-existent). Cryogenic fuels most often constitute liquefied gases such as liquid hydrogen.

Importance of Cryogenic Technology for India:

Advancement of the Space Programme

Lighter weightand cost-effective.

Clean technology– Cryogenic technology uses Hydrogen and oxygen as fuel and releases water as a by-product.

Edge over other countriesin modern technology.

Supreme Court criticizes Center’s failure to settle mercy plea

In News:

The Supreme Court criticised the delay by the government to decide a mercy petition filed by Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is on death row for nearly 27 years for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Mercy Petition:

Mercy Petition is the last resort of a person when all the remedies available to him/her under the prevailing laws and the Constitution are exhausted. A mercy petition may be filed before the President of India under Article 72 or the Governor of the state under Article 161.

For seeking mercy petition, the death sentence by a sessions (trial) court must be confirmed by the High Court.

The death sentence convict has an option to appeal to the Supreme Court.

If the Supreme Court either refuses to hear the appeal or upholds the death sentence, then the convict or his relative can submit a mercy petition to the President of India (Articles 72) or the Governor of the State (161).

Pardon: It totally absolves/acquits the person for the offense and lets him go free like a normal citizen.

Kehar Singh v Union of India(1988):

SC reiterated its stand and held that the grant of pardon by the President is an act of grace and, therefore, cannot be claimed as a matter of right.

AVGAS 100 LL

In News:

The Centre on Monday launched indigenously-developed AVGAS 100 LL, a special aviation fuel meant for piston engine aircraft and unmanned ariel vehicles.

Details:

The fuel has been developed by Indian Oil Corporation.

About AVGAS 100LL:

Avgas or aviation gasoline is an aviation fuel that powers spark-ignited combustion engines in aircraft. It is different from conventional gasoline (petrol) used in motor vehicles as it contains tetraethyl lead, which is a highly toxic substance used to prevent engine knocking (premature detonation).

It is a higher-octane Aviation fuel meeting the product specifications with superior performance quality standards, as compared to imported grades.

The indigenous availability of AV GAS 100 LL will help reduce dependence on imports and address the associated logistical challenges. Country will be able to save precious foreign exchange with the in-house availability of this product. New step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Rediscovering the Bay of Bengal

(GS-II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings involving India and affecting India’s interests, Issues related to maritime development, etc)

In News:

The Bay of Bengal (the Bay) is experiencing an increase in geo-economic, geopolitical, and geo-cultural activity.

Fourth BIMSTEC summit(2018):

The 4th BIMSTEC summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The major focus of this year’s BIMSTEC was enhancing regional connectivity and trade.

The Kathmandu Declaration was adopted unanimously at BIMSTEC-2018.

India at 4th BIMSTEC Summit:

India announced the opening of the Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBS) at Nalanda University.

Importance of CBS:

It will offer collaborations in areas such as:

  • Geo-economics and geopolitics
  • Ecology, trade, and connectivity
  • Maritime security and Maritime law
  • Cultural heritage
  • Blue economy

Maritime engagement: This will strengthen India’s overall framework for maritime engagement.

Importance of Bay of Bengal:

Commerce hub: It is a major commerce hub for the Indian Ocean.

Connects east to west: It creates a conduit between the East and the West in terms of trade and culture.

Key sea lanes of communication: They are lifelines for global economic security.

Sea lanes are crucial to the energy security that powers the economies of many countries in the region.

Regional cooperation: It provides an opportunity for greater regional cooperation in the environmentally friendly exploration of marine and energy resources.

Biodiversity: The Bay has a biodiverse marine environment.

Home to many rare and endangered marine species and mangroves: which are essential to the survival of the ecology and the fishing sector.

Current Issues:

Bay’s ecosystem: It is going through an unprecedented crisis brought on by widespread environmental exploitation and geopolitical unrest.

Climate change and other problems: Problems such as population growth, altered land use, excessive resource exploitation, salinisation, sea level rise, and climate change are exerting significant strain on the Bay’s environment.

Operational discharge: From small and medium feeder ships, shipping collisions, unintentional oil spills, industrial waste, pollution

Non-biodegradable plastic litter: The accumulation of non-biodegradable plastic litter are all contributing to the deterioration of the Bay.

Threat to mangroves: The mangrove trees that protect the shore from the fury of nature are under more threat than ever.

Way forward:

Sustainable development of the region: For a better knowledge of challenges, and strategies and for the sustainable development of the region, more focused and interdisciplinary study is required on these issues.

Example foundation of CBS

Nautical neighbours develop a partnership and cooperate: It is essential for the maritime domain’s interrelated and interdependent nature, transnational character, and cross-jurisdictional engagement.

Expanding cooperation in maritime safety and security: By enhancing cooperation on maritime connectivity and the ease of maritime transit, and boosting investment possibilities in the maritime connectivity sector need immediate attention.

Littoral governments: They need to support and promote skill-building, research, and training.

Mobilize incentives and investments: To manage oceanic affairs more effectively, and support people as they switch to alternative lifestyles.