Current Affairs-10 July 2023 (Wheat,EVs,Rain)

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PBW RS 1 Wheat – Current Affairs

PBW RS 1 Wheat

PBW Starch Resistant (RS) 1 wheat has been developed by the Ludhiyana-based institute known as Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). with this, PAU became the first institute to combine five novel alleles (genes) affecting the resistant starch level for developing this variety. Earlier, PAU released two varieties of PBW Zn1 with high Zinc content and PBW 1 chapati whose flour had premium quality chapati that remained fresh for a longer period.  

Features

  1. Lower Glycemic Index (It is used to measure how a specific food increases the blood sugar level) which would lead to lower digestibility of starch.
  2. The high content of resistant starch (30.3 %).
  3. High Amylose starch content (Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases)

Advantages

  1. From food security to nutritional security.
  2. less food requirement (a person having 4 chapatis will now need only 2 chapatis)
  3. reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  4. reduces the risk of diet-related diseases like obesity.

Disadvantages

  1. lower yield per hectare (close to 43 quintals per hectare which is less than the average yield of Punjab-48 quintals per hectare).

 

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) – Current Affairs

Norway and China have been leading the world in the case of Battery Electric vehicles (BEVs). India as a push for its net-zero targets BEVs as their main component. Moreover, the number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in India have crossed 1 million by mid-2022. However, there is scepticism regarding the success of EVs in India.

Types of EVs

  1. HEVs – Conventional Hybrid electric vehicles use a combination of an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) System with an electric propulsion system resulting in lower fuel usage. The battery of the vehicle is charged when the ICE is powering the drive train.
  2. Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) – It uses both electric power and ICE. It has rechargeable batteries which can give power whenever required.
  3. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) – NO ICE or fuel tank. runs entirely on rechargeable batteries—for example – Tesla Model S and Tata Nexon in India.
  4. Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) – They use hydrogen as fuel which combines with oxygen to produce electricity. residue – only water.

Issues with BEVs

  1. Upfront subsidy – Countries Norway, China, and the US are giving enormous subsidies to Evs. However, the issue with subsidies in India would be that the tax breaks for cars end up in the hands of the middle or upper middle class which are the potential buyer of the cars.
  2. Charging Network – According to the world bank, investing in the charging infrastructure is 4-7 times more effective than investing in upfront purchase subsidies. However, charging infra in India is poor and dominated by a mix of two-wheelers or three-wheelers.
  3. Electricity Source – In Norway, the batteries are charged mostly through renewable or green sources of energy. India’s total energy mix is still dominated by thermal power. if we change the Evs with powers from coal then also there are emissions being conducted at the source of the thermal production. This will negate the goal of net zero emissions.
  4. Value chain – India is considered a late runner in the case of Li-ion batteries and the production of semiconductors. China, Argentina, Chile, and Norway already dominate the market. This would lead to an import dependence shifting from crude oil to semiconductor items.

Chandrayan – 3 and South Pole of Moon – Current Affairs

Chandrayan – 3 which is a successor of Chandrayan 2 (a partial failure in 2019) is set to leave Earth on 14th July 2023 for satish dhawan space centre, Sriharikota. The Vehicle would be LMV – 3 and it would be a lander and rover mission. It is targeting to explore the south pole of the moon.

Why the south pole?

  1. The south pole of the moon has remained largely unexplored and there are many possibilities with the same.
  2. two instruments on Chandrayan 1 could trace the presence of water on the south pole of the moon
  3. As there is no sunlight on the south pole of the moon (because of the 1.5-degree tilt) water remains frozen and could be detected easily as compared to other parts.
  4. As the region is frozen the remains of anything could be there without much change. Hence it can be used for astronomical and solar studies.

Issues with the south pole?

  1. extremely low temperature about minus 230 degrees Celsius.
  2. different and difficult terrain including many hills and craters.
  3. The Equator of the Moon is comparatively easy to explore due to its smooth terrain and sunlight.
  4. The south pole of the moon is a PSR (permanently shadowed region) due to lack of sunlight.

Extreme Rainfall in July – Current Affairs

According to IMD, an extreme rainfall event has more than 205 mm of rainfall at a location within 24 hour period. This was observed majorly in entire north India like Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand etc. After the Uttarakhand floods in 2013, no year has passed without a rain-induced disaster.

  1. In June there was a deficit of 50% in rainfall.
  2. The Biparjoy cyclone reduced the deficit to 8%.
  3. But in July, there is a surplus rainfall of 26% leading to an overall surplus till now.

Experts are claiming that the extreme rainfall events are a convergence of the monsoon winds and western disturbances converging over north India in the first two weeks of July. This is also linked to climate change.

Arhar and Rain Deficit – Current Affairs

There has been a rain deficit in the southern part of India which is going to affect the Arhar (pigeon-pea) acreage in India. Also, the total area sown under the pulse crops has declined by ~18% by July 2023.

  1. Arhar is a rabi crop.
  2. It is cultivated mainly as an inter-crop with soybean, cotton and even moong and urad.
  3. There is Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Arhar.
  4. It is largely a rain-fed crop (~100 mm rainfall is required at the sowing and thereafter also.)
  5. Biggest producers – Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madya Pradesh, and Gujrat.
  6. The acreage under the Arhar has declined by ~50% in 2023.

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – Current Affairs

CBDC was launched by the RBI last year. Now, the RBI is planning to upgrade and scale up the same. Currently, around 5,000 – 10,000 transactions are being done per day using the retail CBDC as a pilot project launched by the RBI in December last year.

  1. RBI is aiming to scale up the CBDC transactions to 1 million per day by the end of December 2023.
  2. RBI will also link the UPI interface with the CBDC app to ensure interoperability between the UPI and CBDC. One can transact using the QR Code through the CBDC app. If the merchant has a CBDC account then the payment will go to the CBDC account. If he does not have the CBDC account then the payment will go to the UPI account.

Also Read

Indian Space Policy 2023-

India-US Summit-

Liberalised Remittances Scheme (LRS)

United Nations – Reforms and UNSC

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