Tuesday, August 25, 2020

“MY IAF”: Indian Air Force launches new mobile application for aspirants


As part of the ‘Digital India’ initiative, the Chief of the Air Staff, Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria has launched a mobile application named ‘My IAF’ containing career-related information with job details that are going to be useful for candidates.

How will it serve the candidates?

The app will serve the candidates by providing information regarding the selection process, training, pay scale, and other important details for the post of officer and airmen.

About the app

  • The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has developed the mobile app.
  • The app will provide brief information about the history and stories of IAF.
  • It contains entertaining videos and adventurous games.
  • Other than the candidates, one can have the experience to observe the aircraft in the inventory.
  • Real-time updates of IAF will also be visible.

What is the function of C-DAC?

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing is an autonomous scientific society, founded in 1988 and conducts its operation under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It is associated with various research initiatives related to the High-Performance Computing, Multilingual Computing and Heritage Computing, Professional Electronics, Software Technologies, Health Informatics, and Education.

Indian Air Force

IAF is the supreme air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. It was founded in 1932. It is headquartered at New Delhi (Vayu Bhawan). The motto of the organization is ‘Glory that touches the sky’. Arjan Singh is the first and only Officer to be promoted to the five star rank of Marshal of the Indian Air Force.

India’s longest ropeway service opened in Guwahati over Brahmaputra


Northeast Indian city, Guwahati has earned the longest river crossing ropeway in India across the Brahmaputra river. The project has been completed with an enormous effort of 11 years.

About the ropeway

  • It was installed by Kolkata-based Samir Damodar Ropeways.
  • The 1.8-kilometer long ropeway linked North Guwahati to Guwahati City.
  • The carrying capacity of the ropeway is 31, including 1 Operator.
  • It has been designed according to the relevant Indian and international standards.

What are the benefits of the ropeway?

  • It will reduce the travel time to cross the river which usually takes a long time using ferries.
  • It will ensure an uninterrupted transportation facility. Previously the rise in the river caused impediments in the transport as well as more prone to accidents.
  • A total of about 250 persons per hour would be able to cross the river.
  • The newly launched ropeway will boost tourism.
  • The ropeway provides a bird’s eye view of the Urvashi Island and Umananda Temple on Peacock Island.

Some facts about the ropeway system in India

  • Gulmarg Gondola is the second-highest cable car in the world and the highest and longest cable car in Asia.
  • Pavagadh Gujarat is the third busiest ropeway of India.
  • Haridwar Uttarakhand is the first city of India having two passenger ropeways.

Mansa Devi ropeways service is the busiest ropeway of India.

ASTROSAT detected UV light from a galaxy, 9.3 billion light-years away

Pune based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics confirmed that the AstroSat satellite has detected an extreme ultraviolet (UV) ray from a galaxy that is 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.


  • Astrosat is the first multi-wavelength space telescope launched by ISRO from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in 2015. 
  • It has a set of five unique X-ray and ultraviolet telescopes. The mission duration was planned for 5 years.

About the IUCAA led global team

  • The discovery of UV light was conducted by a team that consists of scientists from India, Switzerland, France, the USA, Japan, and the Netherlands.
  • The team was led by Dr. Kanak Saha.
  • The news of the discovery was published in an online, peer-reviewed, scientific journal called “Nature Astronomy”.
  • The team observed the galaxy that is located in the Hubble Extreme Deep Field.

Key findings could be made

  • It will help to find how the dark ages of the universe ended and transition in the light ages took place in the universe.

NASA’s previous approach

  • NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope was commissioned with the same objective as ASTROSAT but it failed to detect any UV emission. 
  • As reported by experts, the background noise in the ultraviolet detector of ASTROSAT is much less than that of the Hubble Space Telescope.

What is the special OMO which has been launched by the RBI? How does it impact the economy?

 The Reserve Bank of India recently declared that it is going to conduct simultaneous purchase and sale activities of government securities under the Open Market Operations for an amount of Rs 20,000 crore in two channels.

Open Market Operation (OMO)

  • An open market operation (OMO) is the activity of the central bank that is associated with giving or taking liquidity in its currency to the banks or from the banks. 
  • The central bank, (generally RBI In the case of India) can either buy or sell government bonds in the open market.

Impacts on the economy

  • OMO help to regulate the money supply in the economy.
  • Purchasing government securities injects the money supply in the economy.
  • Selling government securities flows out liquidity from the system.
  • RBI conducts the Open Market Operations through commercial banks.
  • OMO reduces the impact of liquidity on the interest rate and inflation rate.

RBI decided to buy government securities including
6.18% maturing on 4th November 2024.
8.24% maturing on 15th February 2027.
5.79% maturing on 11th May 2030.
7.95%maturing on 28th August 2032.

The purchase and sale operation of government securities at the same time includes purchasing government securities of longer maturities and selling the same amounts of securities of shorter maturities.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Atma Nirbhar Bharat, to get a boost with ‘Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge

 The ministry of electronics and IT of the government of India launched a contest titled ‘Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge’ with the vision of going one step further towards self-reliance or “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”. In the launching event, Union electronics and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated, the contest is going to provide impetus to the Start-up ecosystem, innovation as well as in the field of research in India.

Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge

The initiative aims at designing microprocessors for the development of various technological products. The challenge not only seeks innovative solutions for the future requirements of different sectors but it should also have the ability to overcome the domestic as well as global challenges regarding security, technological glitch, and import dependency.

  • Students from all levels and startup companies can participate in the challenge.
  • Prize money of total Rs. 4.30 crore will be provided by the government in the following way.
  • Total of 1 crore to 100 semi-finalists. For 25 finalists, a total of 1 crore and Rs. 2.3 crore for the top 10 teams.
  • Top 10 finalists will also have incubation support for 1 year.

‘Shakti’ and ‘Vega’:  ‘Shakti’ and ‘Vega’ are the names of two microprocessors,  indigenously developed by the Indian Institute of Technology,  Madras, and Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).

Atma Nirbhar app challenge: Previously, the Government of India had launched this program to identify the best designed Indian Apps that are being used by citizens. A total of 24 mobile apps won the challenges.

USD 1 billion loan approved by ADB for 2025 visioned Delhi-Meerut Rapid transit system


Manila based Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a total of 1 billion  USD  loan to provide assistance for the construction of modern, high-speed Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System. ADB’S finance will include the construction of railway tracks, station buildings, maintenance facilities, and traction, and power supply.


  • The project aims at smoothening regional connectivity by establishing transit options across the densely populated sectors of the National Capital Region connecting Delhi to Meerut in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

What is the Delhi-Meerut Rapid transit system?

  • Delhi-Meerut RRTS is an 82-kilometer long semi high-speed rail corridor that connects Delhi and Meerut via Ghaziabad. 
  • The network is the first of three priority rail corridors, planned under Phase-I of the RRTS project of NCR Transport Corporation.

What are the advanced features of the RRTS?

  • A high technology signaling system
  • Special constructional design set up for interchange with other modes transport
  • Special arrangement for women, children, elderly people, and differently-abled people

Long term objectives

  • The project will ensure safe, reliable, and uninterrupted travel considering the factor of air pollution and other environmental impacts.

Asian Development Bank

  • ADB is a regional development bank that was established in 1966 with the objective of social development including poverty alleviation through economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. 
  • It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.

ILO-ADB report: concern expressed on job loss of 41 lakh youth in India amid the Covid-19 pandemic

 The joint report of the International Labour Organization and the Asian Development Bank titled ‘Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific’ apprehended that the COVID-19 pandemic may hit with a job loss of 41 lakh youth in India. The report also added that a major percentage of job loss will be faced by the workers associated with the construction and farm sector.

What are the key findings of the report?

The report conducted a regional evaluation of the ‘Global Survey on Youth and COVID-19’. 

  • The youth of the age group of 15-24 are going to experience the maximum impact
  • The pandemic outbreak severely affected the apprenticeship and internship program.
  • The report considered three factors as responsible for this condition i.e. reduced working hours and wages, job losses, lack of training, and education.

Measures suggested by the report

  • The report suggested the government to take some actions with immediate effect on employment generation, training & education, and prevention of any further impact.
  • It suggested wage subsidies and public employment programs for the youths of India.
  • More inclusion of youth in the labor market with innovative solutions for better allocation of resources.

Global picture

  • The report showed an increasing trend of youth unemployment rates in countries like Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, China.

International Labour Organization

  • ILO is an agency under the United Nations whose objective is to set international labor standards for the advancement of social and economic justice. 
  • It was established in 1919 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland