Given below are the daily current affairs for 30th Dec. 2020. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.
- SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- ‘TiHAN-IIT Hyderabad’
- DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory for Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT)
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
What are Zero coupon bonds?
The government has used financial innovation to recapitalise Punjab & Sind Bank by issuing the lender Rs 5,500-crore worth of non-interest bearing bonds valued at par.
- These are special types of zero coupon bonds issued by the government after proper due diligence and these are issued at par.
What are these special type of zero coupon bonds?
- These are “non-interest bearing, non-transferable special GOI securities”.
- They have a maturity of 10-15 years and issued specifically to Punjab & Sind Bank.
- These recapitalisation bonds are special types of bonds issued by the Central government specifically to a particular institution.
- It is not tradable, it is not transferable.
- It is held at the held-to-maturity (HTM) category of the bank as per the RBI guidelines. Since it is held to maturity, it is accounted at the face value (and) no mark-to-market will be there.
How do they differ from traditional bonds?
Though zero coupon, these bonds are different from traditional zero coupon bonds on one account — as they are being issued at par, there is no interest; in previous cases, since they were issued at discount, they technically were interest bearing.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- Inaugurated recently.
- It is India’s first Test bed for Autonomous Navigation Systems (Terrestrial and Aerial).
- Special Features of this Facility include Test Tracks, Emulation of Real-World Scenarios, State of the Art Simulation Technologies, Road Infrastructure, V2X Communication, Drone Runways and Landing Area and many more.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has sanctioned Rs. 135 crores to IIT Hyderabad under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to set up a Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation and Data Acquisition Systems (UAVs, RoVs, etc.).
What are Cyber Physical Systems (CPS)?
They are a new class of engineered systems that integrate computation and physical processes in a dynamic environment. CPS encompasses technology areas of Cybernetics, Mechatronics, Design and Embedded systems, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) among others.
About National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS):
- To harness the potential of this new wave of technology and make India a leading player in CPS, the Union Cabinet approved NM-ICPS in 2018.
- It had a total outlay of INR 3,660 crores for a period of five years.
The mission implementation would develop and bring:
- Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in the country,
- adoption of CPS technologies to address India specific National / Regional issues,
- produce Next Generation skilled manpower in CPS,
- catalyze Translational Research,
- accelerate entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development in CPS,
- give impetus to advanced research in CPS, Technology development and higher education in Science, Technology and Engineering disciplines, and
- place India at par with other advanced countries and derive several direct and indirect benefits.
- The Mission aims at establishment of 15 numbers of Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), six numbers of Application Innovation Hubs (AIH) and four numbers of Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP).
- These Hubs & TTRPs will connect to Academics, Industry, Central Ministries and State Government in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organizations across the country in a hub and spoke model.
DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory for Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT)
DRDO Young Scientists Laboratory Develops Quantum based technology for Random Number Generation.
- Random numbers have essential roles in many fields, such as quantum communication, cryptography (key generation, key wrapping, authentication, etc.), scientific simulations, lotteries and fundamental physics experiments.
- The generation of genuine randomness is generally considered impossible with classical means.
- Quantum Mechanics has the inherent potential of providing true random numbers and thus has become the preferred option for the scientific applications requiring randomness.
What’s in news?
- DYSL-QT has developed a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) which detects random quantum events and converts those into a stream of binary digits.
- The Laboratory has developed a fibre-optic branch path based QRNG.
- Branch path based QRNG is based on the principle that if a single photon is incident on a balanced beam splitter, it will take either of the beam-splitter output paths randomly.
- As the path chosen by the photon is random, the randomness is translated to a sequence of bits.
DRDO Young Scientists Laboratory:
- DRDO Young Scientist Laboratories (DYSLs) are five specialised research laboratories located in five different cities of India, inaugurated by the Prime Minister in January 2020.
- They are located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
- Each laboratory deals with a focused area of science – artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, cognitive technologies, asymmetric technologies and smart materials.
- The five labs are:
- Artificial Intelligence – Bengaluru
- Quantum Technologies – IIT Mumbai
- Cognitive Technologies – IIT Chennai
- Asymmetric Technologies – Kolkata (IIT Kharagpur’s Kolkata campus)
- Smart Materials – Hyderabad
Eye cancer therapy
BARC develops eye cancer therapy.
- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai develops eye cancer therapy in the form of the first indigenous Ruthenium 106 Plaque for the treatment of Ocular Tumours.
What are ocular tumours?
- Ocular tumours are tumours inside the eye.
- They are collections of cells that grow and multiply abnormally and form masses.
- Radiation and chemotherapy are two common types of treatment for ocular tumours.
- Radiation can be in the form of proton beam radiation or placement of radiation plaque on the eye.
Ruthenium 106 (Ru-106) plaque brachytherapy:
- Ruthenium 106 (Ru-106) plaque brachytherapy is used in the management of many types of tumours.
- Brachytherapy is a procedure that involves placing radioactive material inside the body.
- It is a type of radiation therapy used in the treatment of cancer.
- It is also known as internal radiation.
- It allows doctors to deliver higher doses of radiation to more specific areas of the body.
What’s in news?
- BARC has developed the first indigenous Ru-106 plaque.
- This is expected to reduce the cost of treatment of ocular tumour in the country.
- The newly developed plaque is said to be on par with international standards.
- BARC is India’s chief nuclear research facility founded in 1954.
- Headquartered in Mumbai, it is a multi-disciplinary research centre with extensive infrastructure for advanced research and development covering the entire spectrum of nuclear science, engineering and related areas.
- It comes under the Department of Atomic Energy.
- BARC’s core mandate is to sustain peaceful applications of nuclear energy, primarily for power generation.
- It manages all facets of nuclear power generation, from the theoretical design of reactors to, computerized modeling and simulation, risk analysis, development and testing of new reactor fuel materials, etc.
- It also researches spent fuel processing and safe disposal of nuclear waste.
- Its other research focus areas are applications for isotopes in industries, medicine, agriculture, etc.
- BARC operates a number of research reactors across the country.
Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI)
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has been nominated by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) as a member on the GAVI Board.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan will be representing the South East Area Regional Office (SEARO)/ Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) constituency on the GAVI Board.
- The GAVI Board is responsible for strategic direction and policymaking, oversees the operations of the Vaccine Alliance and monitors programme implementation.
- With membership drawn from a range of partner organisations, as well as experts from the private sector, the Board provides a forum for balanced strategic decision making, innovation and partner collaboration.
What is GAVI?
Created in 2000, Gavi is an international organisation – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
Gavi brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists.
- GAVI’s strategy supports its mission to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
- It contributes to achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by focusing on performance, outcomes and results.
- Its partners provide funding for vaccines and intellectual resources for care advancement.
- They contribute, also, to strengthening the capacity of the health system to deliver immunisation and other health services in a sustainable manner.
Giant Rock Bee Honey
Giant Rock Bee Honey added to Tribes India Collection.
- It is a unique variant of honey, sourced from Malayali Tribes of Tamil Nadu.
- Malayali is a tribal group from the Eastern Ghats in North Tamil Nadu.
- With a population of around 3,58,000, they are the largest Scheduled Tribe in that region.
- platform of Indian National Centre for Oceanic Information Services (INCOIS) was launched by the Union Minister for Science and Technology.
- It is the first of its kind digital platform for Ocean Data Management.
- Developed by Indian National Centre for Oceanic Information Services (INCOIS) of MoES.
- It includes a set of applications developed to organize and present heterogeneous oceanographic data by adopting rapid advancements in geospatial technology.
- It facilitates data visualization, data analysis to assess the evolution of oceanographic features, data fusion.
Meteorological (Met) Centre at Leh
- Inaugurated recently.
- Located at a height of 3500m, Met Center at Leh will be the highest meteorological centre in India.
- It will provide forecast for important tourist places like Nubra, Changthang, Pangong Lake, Zanskar, Kargil, Drass, Dha-Baima (Aryan valley), Khalsi among others.
You have made it to the end of today’s current affairs.
Take this free quiz right now to test what you learnt today – Click here