Contributed by Columnist Mr. Kaustav Pallav, the column provides key insights on weekly current affairs and a few selected and important news and development in recent week. (10th April to 16th April, 2022)
Another week all full of extravagant events, full of spring and merrier voices. India is celebrating spring despite rising inflation throughout the country, retail inflation touching a 17 month high at 6.95%, already breaching RBI’s threshold of 6%. However the worst is yet to surface when the rise in international fuel price will get fully transmitted in this month. Our neighbour Sri Lanka yet cloistered in their crisis announced a $51 Billion default, now trying to seek moratoriums on their sovereign bonds and help from IMF. Sri Lanka has increased taxes, says it shall need $3 Billion external help in the next six months that the crisis does not aggravate. To which India has extended a $1 Billion credit line help to import essential commodities. Here to the north, India’s another neighbour is witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases again. Shanghai has been set under a strict lockdown to maintain China’s Zero Covid-19 strategy. Further south in the ports of India, there has been an increase in activity. With Sri Lanka’s condition far away from improving, there is an increase in transhipment volume in ICTT in Kochi by almost 62% from last march. And about everything else, WTO sends to us a warning of a potential food crisis because of surging prices while also cutting down its global trade growth forecast for this year from 4.3% to 3% because of Russia-Ukraine war.
With these all, a few more:
Energy and Climate index list by NITI Aayog
Energy and climate Index by NITI Aayog aims to track developments and efforts made by states and UTs in the climate and energy sector. They have graded states based on six parameters which include discom’s performance, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The think tank has listed the states in two categories, large and small depending on their size and geography. Among the larger states Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab sees themselves in the top of the list and in the other category Goa tops the list followed by Tripura and Manipur.
Micro-swimmers as an intelligent drug delivery system
Micro-swimmers or microbots are researched to deliver drugs in human body with the help of light. Researchers at Max Plank Institute for Solid state research in Stuttgart and MPI-IS have built microbots of PHI Carbon Nitride in the size of 1-10 micrometre which can self propel when energised by light and that in real body conditions. Light shall also help in targeted delivery of drugs. PHI carbon Nitride being photocatalytic, just like solar cells, will convert photo energy into electrons and holes and these charges will indeed drive reactions in the surrounding liquid helping the microbots to swim.
Reforms in the electoral process!
In one petition, Advocate Ashwini Upadhaya petitioned the Supreme Court to declare political parties as illegal which indulges in promising or giving irrational freebies from the public funds before the elections. When asked, the ECI reasoned the court citing the top court’s judgement in the S. Subramanium Balaji case where the court said that ECI cannot intervene in the promises made by parties before election dates were declared. ECI remarked that it cannot deregister parties based on the parties promising freebies but if registered by fraudulent means. However it did say that the election regulation body has been asking the union government to empower it to deregister parties since 1998. In 2004 in a letter to the centre 22 proposals for reforms was sent, of which to empower ECI to deregister parties was also one.
Corrected GSLV ready to use
In its previous mission GSLV F-10/EOS-03, the upper cryogenic engine failed to ignite which ultimately compelled the mission to be aborted. The failure was found to happen because of a leak in the Vent and Relief valve for which the pressure in the liquid Hydrogen propellant tank could not be adequately build up. To avoid such failures again, scientists have strengthened the VRV to avoid such leakage and modifications made to assure sufficient pressure before the engine burns.
Global network of silk cities
Bengaluru has become India’s first city to join this elite club. Membership to this club to Bengaluru was launched by Isabelle Moulin, a very famous French textile artist. Isabelle has also wished and hinted that Murshidabad may become the second Indian city to join this club for its 300 year old tradition of silk weaving rooted since the days of Nawab Murshid Quli Khan when he shifted his capital from Dhaka to Murshidabad. This network of cities will help artisans to exchange knowledge and build trade relations. It currently has 13 best silk producing cities spread over 9 countries which have the same philosophy to protect silk and its related heritage.
That is all for this week, dear readers. With hopes and goodwill that we shall meet again with new stories the next week. Until then, take very good care of yourselves and everyone around. Happy spring all!
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