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Daily Current Affairs

20-October-2023

1) The 'Nuclear Briefcase': An Essential Element of Nuclear Control

Topic: GS3- Science and tech

Context:

  • Russian officers were spotted in China during Putin’s visit carrying a “nuclear briefcase.”

What is the Nuclear Briefcase?

  • It is a part of the mechanism for authorizing nuclear attacks and is also known as the “Cheget.”
  • A component of a secure communication system for transmitting nuclear strike orders.
  • Carried by the Russian President while traveling abroad.
  • Similar briefcases are carried by the Chief of General Staff and the Minister of Defence.

Examples of Activation in the Past:

  • In a crisis situation, a nuclear briefcase has only ever been “opened” once, in 1995.
  • In 1995, Russian officials mistook a rocket launch on the coast of Norway for a hostile American missile.
  • Leaders in Russia received the briefcases to prepare a response.
  • After some time, it was apparent what kind of launch it was, and the forces stood down.

Functioning of the System:

  • Russia’s electronic command-and-control systems get activated in a crisis when radar operators think there may be an enemy danger.
  • The information is passed through a number of hands before arriving at the three people carrying the nuclear briefcases.
  • It first passes through the radar operator, then travels through the intricate Kavkaz network which is a complex network of cables, radio signals, satellites, and relays.

Similar Systems in other countries:

  • The “Presidential Emergency Satchel,” as it is known, is the satchel used by the American president.
  • It was established under the presidency of John F. Kennedy in order to assure prompt verification of orders for nuclear strikes during the Cold War.

2) Safety Test for Gaganyaan

Topic: GS3 science and tech

Context:

  • In order to get ready for India’s ambitious Gaganyaan mission, which aims to send Indian astronauts into space, possibly by 2025, ISRO is carrying out a critical test called Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1).
  • The purpose of this test is to evaluate the Crew Escape System.

What is Crew Escape System

  • An essential part that ensures astronaut safety in crises is the Crew Escape System.
  • Astronaut safety is a top priority for ISRO, and the system is designed to offer a solid escape route.
  • Several systems, including those for separating the Crew Module and the astronauts’ evacuation, will be evaluated during the TV-D1 test.

Test Objectives:

  • TV-D1’s main goals are to show how well the Crew Escape System works and to guarantee astronaut safety in emergency situations.
  • It will test Crew Module separation and recovery while modeling an ascent trajectory with an emergency abort situation at a Mach number of 1.2.

Low-cost test vehicle:

  • In preparation for Gaganyaan, ISRO is making use of a low-cost Test Vehicle designed exclusively for testing systems and ideas.
  • The L110 Vikas engine, which is throttleable and restartable in the test vehicle, offers improved control over propellant utilization.

Stages of TV-D1 Mission:

  • After nearly a minute of flight, the Crew Escape System separates from the Test Vehicle during the TV-D1 test.
  • It takes the Crew Module around 90 seconds to detach from the escape mechanism and deploy parachutes for a controlled descent to the Bay of Bengal, where it will be recovered.

Current status:

  • In advancing towards the Gaganyaan mission, ISRO has accomplished important milestones.
  • The LVM3 rocket has been fully human certified, and numerous important parts, including the solid rocket booster that has been human rated, have undergone successful testing.
  • The four astronauts from the Indian Air Force who were chosen for the mission received their training in Russia.
  • The present plan is for an unmanned trip to launch at the start of the next year, with a potential human mission following in late 2024 or early 2025.Everything You Need To Know About 20 October 2023 : Daily Current Affair

3) Inauguration of India's First Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS)

Topic: Infrastructure

Context:

  • The Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) of India will have its first phase inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • This cutting-edge mass rapid transit system is committed to facilitating regional connectivity and has a top speed of 180 km/h.
  • Less than an hour will be needed to go from Delhi to Meerut.

The RRTS Project:

  • The National Capital Region (NCR) is the target area for the RRTS project, which aims to improve connectivity and access there in order to support sustainable and balanced urban development.
  • It was based on a study conducted by Indian Railways in 1998–1999 that investigated the viability of a network of fast commuter trains connecting different NCR areas.
  • In 2006, this idea was reevaluated in light of the Delhi Metro’s expansion to NCR cities including Gurgaon, Noida, and Ghaziabad.
  • Eight RRTS corridors were suggested by the National Capital Region Planning Board to link NCR towns and cities.Everything You Need To Know About 20 October 2023 : Daily Current Affair

Key Differences from Metro and Railways:

  • The RRTS network provides faster speeds as compared to metros, benefiting commuters who need to quickly cover wider distances throughout the NCR.
  • Compared to Indian Railways, RRTS offers a more comfortable ride while traveling shorter distances more frequently.

Objectives:

  • The RRTS seeks to enhance multi-modal connectivity while realizing the full potential of the NCR.
  • By encouraging commuters to take public transportation, it hopes to lessen traffic on the nation’s highways, subways, and trains.
  • The project’s economic goals include increasing employment and developing new business hubs inside the NCR.
  • It is anticipated that shorter travel distances will increase the region’s total economic productivity and encourage business activity in suburban areas of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana.

4) Hold digital crop survey from July 2024, Centre tells states

Topic: Science and tech

Context:

  • The current manual system of assessing agricultural land and productivity has drawn criticism from the Indian government due to its inefficiencies and proneness to mistakes.
  • With the exception of a few states, every state uses the old method, which causes errors and delays in the gathering and compilation of crop statistics.

Goals:

  • The objective is to improve agricultural output data’s efficiency, accuracy, and real-time availability, which has been a problem for the nation.

Transition to Digital Crop Survey System

  • Guidelines for implementing the Digital Crop Survey system have been developed by the Economics, Statistics, and Evaluation Division (ESED), a division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, in order to overcome these problems.
  • These regulations have been made available to states and UTs by the ministry.
  • This digital system will reportedly be put into use starting in July of the next year, during the agricultural year.

Guidelines for States and UTs

  • According to the new regulations, states and UTs must automate and digitize the procedure known as “area enumeration/girdawari” for obtaining data on crop area and sowing at the field level.
  • Starting with the agricultural year 2024–2025, a digital crop survey will be used to accomplish this.
  • In order to gather crop sown data for every plot in every season, States and UTs will use GPS-enabled mobile applications.
  • The gathered data will be shared at the village level with the Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare (DA&FW) through an API (Application Programming Interface).

Current Digital Initiatives in a Few States

  • Only a few states, including Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, already have digital data collection systems in place that utilize mobile applications with GPS capabilities.
  • Data from the Comprehensive Crop Estimation Survey (CCEs) and crop area are mostly collected using these systems.
  • Digital systems have also been established by states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, especially for documenting agricultural area.

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