Current Affairs – 2017 Current Affairs

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POSOCO-IMD Weather Portal & Web Portal ‘MERIT’ launched

Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal has launched Weather Portal for Power Sector & Web Portal ‘MERIT’ (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency).

POSOCO-IMD Weather Portal

The weather portal has been developed in association with POSOCO and IMD. The portal will have information regarding weather forecast to the state Discoms. The weather variations have an impact on load demand, energy production, transport and distribution management, as well as on energy prices. Extreme events associated with weather like heat waves or cold waves, windstorms or floods can have adverse impacts on the production and can inflict physical damage to the infrastructure. Hence, the portal aims to provide weather related information and help states to take pro-active steps regarding management and plan for infrastructure availability as well as to ensure cost effective and reliable supply.

MERIT

MERIT (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency) has been developed by Ministry of Power in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority. The Web portal provides information regarding the merit order of Electricity procured by States. The information includes daily state-wise marginal variable costs of all generators, daily source-wise power purchases of respective states/UTs with, energy volumes and purchase prices.

The Portal will help state Discoms in optimising their power procurement more efficiently and will help in lowering the cost of power to consumers.

The main advantages of the portal: Empowerment of consumers and facilitates participative governance; Disseminates information pertaining to marginal variable cost and source wise purchase of electricity transparently; Promotes economy and efficiency in operations; Optimization of the power procurement costs; Demystifies the utility portfolio and its complexity;  Facilitates renewable integration and handling of the variability and uncertainty of renewables; and Indication of supply side reliability, adequacy, and cost of power procurement.

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Fact Box: India’s Contribution to Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) Project

Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT)  is the world’s biggest telescope which would facilitate astronomers to observe the intricacies of the universe from earth.

Salient Facts

Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) is a multi- million dollar project being developed by an international consortium of Five countries including India. The other four countries are Canada, China, Japan and the U.S. In July 2013, five countries participating in the project had inked Master Partnership Agreement (MPA) for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

The ambitious next-generation telescope would be built at a cost of USD 1.47 billion. India will spend Rs 1,300 crore on the project. India’s contribution to the project will be more in terms of hardware than money.

The telescope which was expected to be started at Mauna Kea, Hawaii was stalled following protests by locals. The project site is still being finalised by the consortium of countries involved in the project. Hanle in Ladakh is one among the new sites that are being explored for the construction of the telescope.

The telescope is expected to be ready by 2020. The telescope when ready would offer astronomers with unparalleled power to observe the universe.

India has a 10% partner in the telescope project. Indian astronomers will get observational time in proportion to India’s share in the total project cost.

On the Indian side, the project will be handled by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Department of Atomic Energy. The project would be led by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, with the help of the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune.

TMT will be the first ground-based telescope to incorporate the technology of Adaptive Optics (AO) as an integral component of the telescope. India’s contributions will include fabrication of edge sensors, which sense relative displacement of segments due to gravity and temperature while tracking objects in the sky. India also has the responsibility to build the entire actuator system to provide the best possible image of objects in the sky.

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Nisha Dutt bags Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Nisha Dutt, Chief Executive Officer of Intellecap has become the first Indian woman leader to have been honoured with the “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” award at The 7th Asian Awards in London.
Nisha Dutt has been honoured in recognition of her work in making Intellecap a globally known enterprise that focuses on social capital. Her key contribution lies in integrating technology with challenges of healthcare, financial services, incubation and conceptualising programs such as Innovations Labs.

The previous winners of the award include Ratan Tata, Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Asha Bhosle, Zayn Malik etc.

In the Social Entrepreneur category, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Masa Kogure and Vikram Patel have been honoured with the award in the past.

Background

The Asian Awards is an annual awards function which was founded by businessman and philanthropist Paul Sagoo. The annual award ceremony takes place in the United Kingdom. The awards reward exemplary achievement across 14 categories such as business, philanthropy, entertainment, culture and sport.

Initially, the awards were presented to only those people born in or with direct family origin from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. In 2013, the awards have been thrown open to people of South and Eastern Asian origin.

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