Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 13 December 2022

India’s version of GPS

GS Paper -3 (Space Technology)

To promote the use of ‘NAVigation with the Indian Constellation’ (NavIC), the Indian version of GPS, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will introduce the L1 frequency in all its future satellites.

ISRO contribution in promoting it

  1. The seven satellites in the NavIC constellation, use two frequencies for providing positioning data — the L5 and S bands.
  2. The new satellites NVS-01 onwards, meant to replace these satellites will also have L1 frequency.
  3. The L1 is the oldest and most established GPS signals, which even the less sophisticated, civilian-use devices such as smartwatches are capable of receiving. Thus, with this band, the use of NavIC in civilian-use gadgets can go up.

What is NavIC?

  1. It is India’s home-grown alternative to GPS.
  2. Developed by ISRO, the navigation satellite system was first approved in 2006 at a cost of $174 million, but became operational only by 2018.
  3. At present, it consists of eight satellites, covering the whole of India and up to 1,500 km from its boundaries.
  4. The government said NavIC is as accurate as GPS; the performance of the NavIC system is on par with the other positioning systems.

Usage of NavIC:

  1. It is mainly being used in public vehicle tracking, to provide emergency warning alerts to fishermen venturing into the deep sea, and for tracking data related to natural disasters.
  2. The government is also pushing for its increased use in smartphones. In fact, the government is urging tech giants to make smartphones compatible with NavIC.
  3. According to the report, the government wanted that smartphones to support NavIC as well as GPS by January 2023, which phone makers had said was a very stiff deadline to meet.

Few applications of NavIC

  1. Transportation (terrestrial, aerial and marine)
  2. Location based services
  3. Personal mobility
  4. Resource monitoring
  5. Surveying and geodesy
  6. Scientific research
  7. Time dissemination and synchronisation
  8. Safety-of-life alert dissemination


Jan Dhan Account-Aadhaar-Mobile trinity

GS Paper - 3 (Economy)

India’s journey toward financial inclusion has witnessed various innovations in policy over the past few decades. In the early 1970s, this meant the pursuit of bank nationalisation and improving the presence of banking services in rural areas. The advent of Aadhaar in 2009 was a watershed moment, as it marked a paradigm shift in policy — towards the use of technology to drive financial inclusion.

Components of the JAM trinity

  1. The core components of the JAM architecture are the basic savings bank accounts provided under the Jan Dhan Yojana, the unique biometric identifier in the form of Aadhaar, and the rapidly increasing Mobile penetration in the country. Each of these components has a specific function within the DBT pipeline:
  2. The Aadhaar number helps identify those who are eligible for various government schemes and confirms their identity through biometrics.
  3. Since Aadhaar numbers are mapped to bank accounts, it also acts as an individual’s financial address, allowing ease of electronic welfare payments.
  4. Government transfers are pushed directly into citizens’ Jan Dhan Accounts, which are zero-balance, no-frills savings accounts.
  5. High mobile ownership ensures outreach and communication to citizens upon successful transfer of the welfare payment.

The JAM trinity has impacted financial inclusion in the following manner:

  1. Improving access to formal finance - One of the important thrusts under JAM was to improve bank account ownership by bringing banking to the bottom of the pyramid.
  2. Facilitating Direct Benefit Transfers - Further, as a key enabler of the DBT system, the JAM trinity has aided improvements in the delivery of government benefits to citizens.


Microbes Consume Most of Oxygen In Ocean

GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

The study examined marine microbes called Prokaryoplankton, a vast group of bacteria and archaea that constitute more than 90 percent of the cells in the ocean. Ocean Sciences suggests that a small fraction of marine microorganisms are responsible for most of the consumption of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide in the ocean.

Marine Microbes

  1. These organisms that help govern complex carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and ocean.
  2. Prokaryoplankton use organic matter to generate energy through a process called cellular respiration, which consumes oxygen and releases carbon dioxide.
  3. To estimate how much marine microbes respire, researchers have typically divided the sum of their respiration by the number of microbes.
  4. The overwhelmingly diverse types of organisms that comprise marine prokaryoplankton, each of which may function differently.
  5. "The confusing part is that the microbes that consume most of the oxygen and release most of the carbon dioxide are not the dominant ones in the oceans.
  6. The most prolific prokaryoplankton may draw energy from sunlight, which would help explain their abundance in open ocean ecosystems.
  7. To understand these single-celled organisms, the team developed a new method to link the functions and genetic codes of individual cells.

New Methods

  1. The new method uses fluorescent probes to observe what prokaryoplankton are actually doing. The more they respired, the brighter they became.
  2. They then measured this fluorescent signal and used it to sort the cells for subsequent genetic analysis.
  3. The technique to prokaryoplankton from the Gulf of Maine, as well as several locations in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea.
  4. The power computer models that need accurate information on the role of microorganisms in global carbon processes, including climate change.


World's first commercial moon lander

GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

Japanese space startup launched a spacecraft to the moon after several delays, a step toward what would be a first for the nation and for a private companyispace Inc's HAKUTO-R mission took off without incident from Cape Canaveral, Florida, after two postponements caused by inspections of its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

More about the Mission

  1. The national space agencies of the United StatesRussia and China have achieved soft landings on Earth's nearest neighbour in the past half century but no companies have.
  2. Mission success would also be a milestone in space cooperation between Japan and the United States at a time when China is becoming increasingly competitive and rides on Russian rockets are no longer available in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
  3. The name HAKUTO refers to the white rabbit that lives on the moon in Japanese folklore, in contrast to the Western idea of a man on the moon. The project was a finalist in the Google Lunar XPRIZE before being revived as a commercial venture.
  4. Next year is the Year of the Rabbit in the Asian calendar. The craft, assembled in Germany, is expected to land on the moon in late April.
  5. The company hopes this will be the first of many deliveries of government and commercial payloads. The ispace craft aims to put a small NASA satellite into lunar orbit to search for water deposits before touching down in the Atlas Crater.
  6. Privately funded ispace has a contract with NASA to ferry payloads to the moon from 2025 and is aiming to build a permanently staffed lunar colony by 2040.

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