1) Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV): ISRO is developing NGLV, which will replace its ‘trusted work horse’ PSLV in the future.
- ISRO’s NGLV will be a three-stage reusable heavy-lift vehicle.
- Payload capacity will be around 10 tonnes to Geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and twice the capacity to Low earth orbit (LEO).
- Potential applications: areas of deep space missions, launching communication satellites, future human missions and cargo missions.
- NGLV will feature semi-cryogenic propulsion for the booster stages which is cheaper and more efficient. It allows bulk manufacturing and the turnaround time is minimal.
2) Paddy straw pelletisation and torrefaction plants: The Union Environment Ministry recently released guidelines for grant of one-time financial support of ₹50-crore for utilisation of paddy stubble in thermal power plants and industries.
- Pelletisation: Paddy straw made into pellets that can be mixed along with coal in thermal power plants. This saves coal as well as reduces carbon emissions
- Torrefaction aims to enhance the fuel quality by addressing issues such as energy density, grindability, and storability. it is costlier but can deliver a product whose energy content is much higher and theoretically substitute for more coal in a power plant.
3) Split verdict: The Supreme Court recently delivered a split verdict in the Karnataka hijab ban case.
- A split verdict is passed when the Bench cannot decide one way or the other in a case, either by an unanimous decision or by a majority verdict. it can only happen when the Bench has an even number of judges.
- In case of a split verdict, the case is heard by a larger Bench, or an appeal can be preferred before the Supreme Court.
4) Global Hunger Index 2022: it is an annual report jointly published by two European NGOs, Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. Global Hunger Index was first published in 2006.
- Each country’s score is calculated based on a formula that combines four indicators: Undernourishment, Child Stunting, Child wasting and Child mortality
- Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are the regions with the highest hunger levels
- India has fallen to the 107th position from its 2021 position of 101st. Among the South Asian countries, India is ranked below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99)- serious category.
- Globally, the progress against hunger has largely stagnated in recent years, there is only a slight improvement. However, the 2022 GHI score is still considered “moderate”.
- Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chile, China and Croatia are the top five countries in GHI 2022.
5) Bio age: The increased integration of biotechnology in human life will bring in the bio age.
- Integration of life sciences with modern technology through the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), engineering of genes to enhance disease resistance, gene editing, and more, indicate that biotechnology is most likely to pervade our lives in the future.
It will mark the end of the digital Information Age