Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 17 August 2023

'PM-eBus Sewa' approved

GS Paper - 2 (Infrastructure)

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister approved the Rs 57,613 crore PM-eBus Sewa initiatives to augment the use of electric buses in 169 cities.  The scheme will augment city bus operations, under which priority will be given to cities having no organised bus service.

More about the Initiatives

  • These include all the capital cities of Union Territories (UTs), north eastern and hill states. The e-buses will be provided under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode for 10 years.
  • The scheme will cover cities of 3 lakh and above population and priority will be given to cities not having organised bus services.
  • Ten thousand e-buses will be deployed on public-private partnership (PPP) model in 169 cities.
  • Infrastructure will be upgraded in 181 cities under the Green Urban Mobility Initiatives.

The Scheme has two segments

Segment A – Augmenting the City bus services (169 cities)

  • The approved bus scheme will augment city bus operations with 10,000 e-buses on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
  • Associated Infrastructure will provide support for Development/ up-gradation of depot infrastructure; and Creation of behind-the-meter power infrastructure (substation, etc.) for e-buses.

Segment B– Green Urban Mobility Initiatives (GUMI): (181 cities)

  • The scheme envisages green initiatives like bus priorityinfrastructuremultimodal interchange facilitiesNCMC-based Automated Fare Collection Systems, Charging infrastructure, etc.
  • Support for Operation: Under the scheme, States/Cities shall be responsible for running the bus services and making payments to the bus operators.
  • The Central Government will support these bus operations by providing subsidies to the extent specified in the proposed scheme.

Boost to E-Mobility:

  • The scheme will promote e-mobility and provide full support for behind-the-meter power infrastructure.
  • Cities will also be supported for development of charging infrastructure under Green Urban Mobility Initiatives.
  • The support to bus priority infrastructure shall not only accelerate the proliferation of state-of-the-artenergy efficient electric buses but also foster the innovation in the e-mobility sector as well as development of resilient supply chain for electric vehicles.
  • This scheme shall also bring in economies of scale for procurement of electric buses through aggregation for e-buses.
  • Adoption to Electric mobility will reduce noise and air pollution and curb carbon emission.
  • Modal shift due to increased share of bus-based public transportation will lead to GHG reduction.


First ever Quantum superchemistry observed

GS Paper - 3 (Science and Technology)

Researchers have achieved a groundbreaking milestone as they observe "quantum superchemistry" for the first time within a laboratory setting. A long-standing theoretical conceptquantum superchemistry manifests when atoms or molecules sharing the same quantum state engage in chemical reactions at a heightened pace compared to those in differing quantum states. A quantum state encompasses specific characteristics of a quantum particle, such as its energy level or angular momentum.

What is Quantum superchemistry?

  • Quantum superchemistry refers to the application of quantum mechanics to the study of chemical reactions and processes at the molecular level.
  • It involves using quantum theory to describe and predict the behavior of atoms and molecules during chemical reactions, taking into account their wave-like nature and the principles of quantum mechanics.
  • Traditional chemistry relies on classical physics to describe chemical reactions, but quantum superchemistry offers a more accurate and detailed understanding of these reactions.
  • It takes into consideration phenomena like wave-particle dualityquantum tunneling, and the distribution of electron density in molecules, which are not fully explained by classical theories.
  • Quantum superchemistry has the potential to provide insights into complex chemical reactionsreaction mechanisms, and the behavior of molecules in various environments.
  • It can help researchers design new materialsoptimize chemical processes, and explore reactions that might be difficult to study using classical methods.
  • However, due to the complexity of quantum calculationsquantum superchemistry often requires advanced computational techniques and high-performance computers to accurately model and simulate.

How did scientists observe quantum superchemistry?

  • In their pursuit of unveiling this novel phenomenon, scientists undertook the challenge of aligning entire molecules within the same quantum state.
  • The outcomes of their efforts revealed that chemical reactions ensued collectively rather than individually when atoms or molecules partook in the same quantum state.
  • Additionally, the researchers observed that denser collections of atoms led to accelerated chemical reactions, reinforcing the phenomenon's occurrence.

What is Quantum physics?

  • Quantum physics, also known as quantum mechanics, is a fundamental branch of physics that deals with the behavior of matter and energy at the smallest scales, typically involving particles like atomselectrons, and photons.
  • It provides a framework for understanding the fundamental properties of nature that classical physics cannot adequately explain at the quantum level.


Digital India projects extended

GS Paper - 3 (Science and Technology)

Cabinet on 16 August 2023 approved extension of Digital India project with an outlay of Rs 14,903 crore. The minister said that the extended Digital India project will add on to the work done under the previous version of the scheme.

More about the Project

  • Prime Minister in the cabinet meeting has approved Digital India programme with outlay of Rs 14,903 crore.
  • Under the project 5.25 lakh IT professionals will be reskilled and upskilled and 2.65 lakh persons will be trained in IT.
  • Under the extended Digital India projectnine more super computers will be added under the National Supercomputing Mission (NCM). The minister said that 18 super computers have been deployed under NCM.
  • The Digital India programme was launched in July 2015 to enable the digital delivery of services to citizens.
  • The programme is now extended to a period of five years starting from 2021-2022 to 2025-2026.
  • The government will support over 1,200 startups from Tier-II, and –III cities during the extended period.

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