NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)
NISAR recently got a send-off ceremony at the American space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California to be shipped to India in a special cargo container flight.
Key facts about NISAR:
- NISAR is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) observatory jointly developed by NASA and ISRO.
- It is an SUV-size satellite weighing 2,800 kilograms.
- It consists of both L-band and S-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instruments, which makes it a dual-frequency imaging radar satellite.
- NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes in our planet’s surface.
- SAR is capable of penetrating clouds and can collect data day and night regardless of the weather conditions.
- NASA has provided the L-band radar, GPS, a high-capacity solid-state recorder to store data, and a payload data subsystem. ISRO has provided the S-band radar, the GSLV launch system, and spacecraft.
- It also consists of a large 39-foot stationary antenna reflector made of a gold-plated wire mesh which will be used to focus “the radar signals emitted and received by the upward-facing feed on the instrument structure.
- Mission Objectives:
- It will measure Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses, providing information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater.
- NISAR will observe Earth’s land and ice-covered surfaces globally with 12-day regularity on ascending and descending passes.
What is Perform, Achieve & Trade (PAT) Scheme?
The Director of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) recently said that the Government of India has made impressive progress in recent years in accelerating energy efficiency in industrial sectors through its flagship program Perform, Achieve & Trade (PAT) Scheme.
About Perform, Achieve & Trade (PAT) Scheme:
- PAT Scheme is a flagship program under the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE).
- Implementing Agency: It is implemented by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the aegis of the Ministry of Power.
- Objective: PAT scheme aims at reducing Specific Energy Consumption (SEC),e., energy use per unit of production for Designated Consumers (DCs) in energy-intensive sectors, with an associated market mechanism to enhance the cost-effectiveness through certification of excess energy saving, which can be traded.
- Energy Saving Certificates (ESCerts):
- The excess energy savings are converted into tradable instruments called Energy Saving Certificates (ESCerts) that are traded at the Power Exchanges.
- Trading Platform: The two Power Exchanges, India Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange India Limited (PXIL) provide the trading platform for ESCerts.
- Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is the market regulator for the trading of ESCerts.
- PAT Scheme is implemented in cycles of 3 years each, where the Designated Consumers (DCs) are assigned SEC reduction targets.
- Designated Consumers (DCs) who fall short of their targets bid for the purchase of ESCerts.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE):
- BEE is a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Power.
- The Government of India set up BEE on 1st March 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
- Mission: Develop policy and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles within the overall framework of the Energy Conservation Act (EC Act), 2001.
- Primary Objective: To reduce energy intensity in the Indian economy.
What is the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)?
- It is one of the eight national missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
- Objective: NMEEE aims to strengthen the market for energy efficiency by creating a conducive regulatory and policy regime.
- BEE fosters innovative and sustainable business models in the energy efficiency sector.
- The mission is implemented since 2011.
- Implementing Agencies: Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
Recently, the Naval variant of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft undertakes its maiden landing onboard the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant.
About INS Vikrant:
- It is the first ever indigenously designed and constructed aircraft carrier which will strengthen the country’s stand as a ‘Blue Water Navy’.
- The ship has been designed in-house by Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and constructed by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited.
- India also joined the elite group of nations – the US, Russia, France, the UK and China – who are capable of designing and constructing aircraft carriers.
- Also, with a displacement of 43,000 tonnes when fully loaded, INS Vikrant is set to be the seventh largest among the carriers or carrier classes in the world.
Historical facts about INS Vikrant
- INS Vikrant, with pennant number R11, was the first-ever aircraft carrier that was operated by the Indian Navy.
- The ship was officially laid down in 1943 and was being built for the Royal Navy as HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) Hercules when the constitution was put on hold after World War II ended.
- Like many other ships at the time, the under-construction HMS Hercules was put up for sale by the United Kingdom and was purchased by India in 1957.
- The construction work was completed and the ship was commissioned in the Indian Navy as INS Vikrant in 1961.
Recently, scientists have traced the mechanisms of the toxic action of cobra venom.
- The Cytotoxins (CTXs) are an essential class of the non-enzymatic three-finger toxin family and are ubiquitously present in cobra venoms.
- These low-molecular-mass toxins, contributing to about 40 to 60% of the cobra venom proteome, play a significant role in cobra venom-induced toxicity, more prominently in dermonecrosis (local effects).
- Some CTXs are also responsible for depolarizing neurons and heart muscle membranes, thereby contributing to cardiac failures frequently observed in cobra-envenomed victims. Consequently, they are also known as cardiotoxins (CdTx).
- Interestingly, the proportion of cobra venom CTXs varies dramatically across different cobra species.
- Usually, venoms from African spitting cobras have a higher proportion of CTXs than the Asiatic cobra ones, indicating geographical variation in snake venom composition.
Key facts about the Cobra
- Cobras (genus Naja) are widely distributed over Asia and Africa.
- Cobra bites are responsible for large mortality and morbidity on these continents, including the Indian sub-continent.
- Cobra venoms are neurotoxic. However, they also exhibit local cytotoxic effects at the envenomed site, and the extent of cytotoxicity may vary from species to species.
What is the Upper Bhadra Project?
Finance Minister recently announced a grant of ₹5300 crore for the Upper Bhadra Irrigation Project.
About Upper Bhadra Project:
- It is a major lift irrigation Scheme under implementation in the central region of Karnataka State.
- To provide sustainable irrigation facility in khariff season.
- It also proposes to recharge ground water tables and provide drinking water by filling 367 tanks with six tmcft water in drought-prone taluks.
- It is planned to irrigate an extent of 2,25,515 hectares by micro irrigation in drought-prone districts of Chikkamagalur, Chitradurga, Tumkur and Davangere.
- It envisages lifting upto17.40 TMC of water in first stage from Tunga river to existing Bhadra reservoir and lifting 29.90 TMC of water in second stage from Bhadra reservoir to Tunnel near Ajjampura, in Tungabhadra sub-basin of Krishna basin.
- In 2022, Central government gave national project statusto “Upper Bhadra Project”.
- It is a sacred river in southern India that flows through the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.
- The ancient name of the river was Pampa.
- It is formed by the confluence of two rivers, the Tunga River and the Bhadra
- Origin: Both Tunga & Bhadra Rivers are originated on the eastern slops of the Western Ghats.
- Tungabhadra River flows in east, joins Krishna River and then drains into Bay of Bengal.
- Sangameshwaram Temple is located at the confluence of the Tungabhadra and Krishna
- The Historic city ‘Hampi’ is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
- Major Tributaries: Tunga, Kumudvati, Varada, Bhadra, Vedavathi, and Handri.