Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT): GMRT is a low-frequency radio telescope that helps investigate various radio astrophysical problems ranging from nearby solar systems to the edge of the observable universe. Located at Khodad, 80 km north of Pune, the telescope is operated by the National Centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA). NCRA is a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai.GMRT is a project of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), operating under TIFR. It consists of 30 fully- steerable dish-type antennas of 45-meter diameter each, spread over a 25-km region. GMRT is presently the world’s largest radio telescope operating at a meter wavelength.GMRT is a very versatile instrument for investigating a variety of radio astrophysical problems. Two of its most important astrophysical objectives are: to detect the highly red-shifted spectral line of neutral Hydrogen expected from proto-clusters or protogalaxies before they condensed to form galaxies in the early phase of the Universe; to search for and study rapidly rotating Pulsars in our galaxy. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars with extremely high densities. A pulsar is like a cosmic lighthouse as it emits radio beams that flash by the Earth regularly akin to a harbour lighthouse.
PM-PRANAM scheme: It aims to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers by incentivising the state. The states which will adopt alternative fertilisers will be incentivised with the subsidy that is saved by reducing the use of chemical fertilisers. The main objective of the scheme is to encourage the balanced use of fertilisers in conjunction with bio fertilisers and organic fertilisers. It will not have a separate budget. It will be financed by the savings of existing fertiliser subsidies under schemes. Half of the subsidy savings will be passed on to the state that saves the money as a grant. Out of this grant, 70% can be used to create assets related to the technological adoption of alternate fertilisers and alternate fertiliser production units at the village block, and district levels. The remaining 30% of grant money can be used to reward and encourage farmers, panchayats, and other stakeholders involved in fertiliser reduction and awareness generation. The government will evaluate the utilisation of fertilisers in terms of increase or decrease in overall consumption in a year vis-a-vis consumption over the past three years. The Integrated Fertilisers Management System (iFMS) is the platform envisaged to track the use of fertilisers.
State of Armaments, Disarmament and International Security: It is an annual assessment of the Sweden-based think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Highlights: As on January 2023, the world has 9,576 nuclear weapons in military stockpiles for potential use. That is 86 more than the number in January 2022. Around 2,000 of these ‘deployed’ weapons — nearly all of which belonged to Russia or the USA. Nine nuclear-armed states — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — continue to modernise their nuclear arsenals and have deployed several new nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable weapon systems in 2022. The estimate of the size of China’s nuclear arsenal increased from 350 warheads in January 2022 to 410 in January 2023.
India was estimated to have a growing stockpile of about 164 nuclear weapons, up from 160 the previous year. These weapons were assigned to a maturing nuclear triad of aircraft, land-based missiles and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).
Pakistan possessed approximately 170 nuclear warheads as of January 2023 — up from 165 from the previous year.