1) Human Development Index 2021: The HDI released by the UNDP in its Human Development Report.
- It measures average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development,
A long and healthy life, Access to education and A decent standard of living.
- It is calculated using the following four indicators
Life expectancy at birth, Mean years of schooling, Expected years of schooling, and
Per capita Gross National Income.
- Findings – Switzerland, Norway and Iceland topped the HDI 2021.
- India ranked 132nd among 191 countries and territories on the HDI 2021-2022. Last year, the country ranked 131.
2) Climate Tipping Elements: Climate tipping elements are certain large-scale systems on Earth that are essential for its sustenance.
- There are certain thresholds of these elements known as ‘tipping points’, beyond which even a slight change in them can become unstoppable, leading to catastrophic consequences.
- Of the 16, nine are ‘core tipping elements’ affecting the climate of the Earth in general.
- The remaining seven were categorized as ‘regional tipping elements’ that had an impact on the climate of various regions but could also interact with climate elements from other regions. The Amazon rainforest is an example of a core tipping element while the west African monsoon is considered to be a regional tipping element.
3) India’s Sex Ratio Improves: An analysis of the 5th National Family Health Survey 2019-2021 (NFHS-5) showed that the sex ratio is 108 boys per 100 girls.
- This is an improvement from 111 boys in 2011, where it had been for two decades.
- However, the study prepared by the Pew Research Centre has revealed that there is still some room for improvement as the ratio was 105 boys per 100 girls in 1950.
4) Spent Nuclear Fuel: Spent nuclear fuel, also called used nuclear fuel, is the fuel that has undergone a reactor campaign and is no longer useful for sustaining the nuclear fission chain reaction in a thermal reactor.
- Spent fuel discharged from a power reactor contains residual 235U and converted plutonium, as well as fission-product and transuranic wastes.
- Spent nuclear fuel is highly radioactive and potentially very harmful. Spent fuel is dangerous because it contains a mixture of fission products, some of which can be long-lived radioactive waste, and also plutonium which is highly toxic. This necessitates remote handling and shielding.
5) Qimingxing-50: China’s first fully solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle, Qimingxing-50, or Morning Star-50, has successfully completed its maiden test flight with all onboard systems functioning optimally.
- The high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV can stay airborne for long durations.
- Flies above 20-km altitude where there is stable airflow with no clouds.
- Helps these drones to make the maximum use of solar equipment to stay functional for extended durations. In fact, the drone can operate without a break for months, even years.