Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

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India’s longest expressway inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh

India’s longest expressway connecting Agra and Lucknow was inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at Bangarmau in Unnao district of UP.

It has been built by the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) in a record time of 23 months.

Key Facts

  • The Agra-Lucknow Expressway is six-lane greenfield expressway having total length of 302-km. It has a design speed of up to 120 kms per hour.
  • It starts from Agra and passes through Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kannauj, Hardoi, Unnao, Kanpur to reach Lucknow.
  • It passes through four National Highways, two state highways and five rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Sai, Isan, and Kalyani.
  • The expressway will help cut down the time between Agra and Lucknow to just 3.5 hours, from the current 7 hours.
  • Moreover, it is expected to reduce the road travel time between Delhi and Lucknow to anywhere between 5 to 6 hours.
  • The expressway has 2 km dedicated stretch built for fighter jets to land and take-off in times of “war-like emergencies”. The six-lane expressway also can be expanded to 8-lane
  • It also has State-of-the-art Advance Traffic management System for safe & secure transit and reducing road accidents and helping even at the time of fog.
  • The entire Expressway is lined with metal beam crash barrier on both sides and wire fencing for safe & secure transit.

Note

During the inauguration ceremony, six fighter jets (Three Mirage 2000s and three Sukhois) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) touched down on a stretch of the expressway in simulated landings. This was the first time that IAF fighterjets took part in the inauguration of an expressway as part of Union Government’s plan to increasingly use highways as landing and take-off strips. In May 2015 an IAF Mirage 2000 had landed on the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh making it India’s first road runway.

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India ranks 20th on 2017 Climate Change Performance Index

India was placed at the 20th rank among the 58 countries on the 2017 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI).

The index was released by Germanwatch, an independent German NGO and Climate Action Network Europe.

What is CCPI?

  • The CCPI is an instrument designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. It is list of countries doing the most to combat climate change.
  • It aims to put social and political pressure on those countries which have, up until now, failed to take ambitious action on climate protection.
  • The index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries on the basis of standardised criteria.
  • These 58 countries together are responsible for about 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

Key Highlights of 2017 CCPI

  • First three spots in the list of 2017 CCPI rankings were left vacant. France was placed at 4th place, thus leads list for the first time. It was followed by Sweden (5th) and UK (6th).
  • The index underlines that countries like India are making “great efforts” in the fields of renewables and energy efficiency.
  • It emphasised that developing countries should choose a “cleverer and cleaner” development path and not ape industrialised nations.
  • Emerging economies of G20 like India (20), Argentina (36) and Brazil (40) have improved their ranking. India’s scores have improved slightly interms of renewables and energy efficiency.
  • Canada (55), Australia (57) and Japan (60) are in the bottom group countries and have been rated very poor the list.
  • The 2015 Paris Agreement has helped in encouraging the trends in switching towards the renewable energy, but the revolution in switching is very slow at the global level.
  • Many countries still lack in ambition in switching towards the renewable energy. World’s two largest emitters are USA and China were ranked 43rd and 48th respectively.

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Scientists discover Super Earth like exoplanet GJ 536b

Scientists have discovered a new ‘super Earth’ type exoplanet named as GJ 536b orbiting a very bright star near to our Sun.

The planet was jointly detected by Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) and the Geneva Observatory.

Key Facts

  • The exoplanet GJ 536b has a mass of around 5.4 Earth masses. It is orbiting a star much smaller and cooler than the sun
  • It is not within the star’s habitable zone and has short orbital period of 8.7 day. The luminosity of its star makes it an attractive candidate for investigating its atmospheric composition.
  • Besides, the planet’s short orbital period would come handy in conducting future studies of biological activity.

How GJ 536b was discovered?

It was detected using the HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Seeker) spectrograph on the 3.6M ESO Telescope (La Silla in Chile) and HARPS North on the Telescopio Nacional Galileo (TNG) Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafia in Spain). HARPS is a second-generation high-precision radial velocity planet finding spectrograph. It is the most successful planet finder after the Kepler Space Observatory

Astronomical terms

  • Exoplanet: It is a planet that does not orbit the Sun and instead orbits a different star, stellar remnant, or brown dwarf. It is also termed as extrasolar planet.
  • Super-earths: They are extrasolar planets which are larger than the Earth. However they have mass substantially below the solar system’s giant planets namely Neptune and Uranus.

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