Germany Current Affairs

Enter Your Email Address To Subscribe Current Affairs Daily Digest, Daily Quiz and other updates on Current Affairs:

G20 Digital Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy held in Germany

The G20 Digital Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy was held in Dusseldorf, Germany. Ministers responsible for the digital economy from G20 countries had participated in it.

It concluded with adaptation of declaration on ‘Shaping Digitalisation for an Interconnected World’.

Key Features of the declaration
  • It talks about the need for greater availability of affordable broadband connectivity, broader adoption of digital technologies and services improved digital skills and literacy, greater digital entrepreneurship for the digital economy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • It includes three annex papers on ‘Digital skills in vocational education and training’, ‘A Roadmap for Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future’ and ‘G20 Priorities on Digital Trade’.
  • It calls for collaboration between the countries and all stakeholders, including academia and private sector and sharing of best practices forms.
  • It calls for greater support for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which might be constrained by their scale in adoption of digital technologies. 
Background

The ministerial conference was held according to the G20 Task Force on the digital economy established in G20 summit held in Hangzhou, China in 2016. The G20 leaders summit held at Hangzhou had proposed to collectively leverage the opportunities and address challenges of an increasingly digital world, in order to enable a dynamic and thriving digital economy to drive inclusive global growth that benefits all.

About G20

  • The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making.
  • It is deliberating forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies on economic issues and other important development challenges.
  • It was started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Southeast Asian (Tiger economies) financial crisis.
  • It was established for studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
  • In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington DC, US. The group had played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis.
  • It comprises total 19 countries plus the European Union (EU), representing 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population.
  • Its members include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU.

Tags:

Scientists switch on the world’s largest artificial sun

Scientists from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have switched on world’s largest artificial sun – a device developed to help shed light on new ways of making climate-friendly fuels.

The artificial sun is giant honeycomb-like set-up of 149 spotlights, officially known as Synlight. It is located in Juelich. It uses xenon short-arc lamps normally found in cinemas to simulate natural sunlight.

Key Facts
  • The aim of Synlight experiment is to develop an optimal setup for concentrating natural sunlight to power a reaction to produce hydrogen fuel.
  • Its goal is to eventually use actual sunlight rather than the artificial light produced using electricity which is costly and requires as much electricity in four hours as a four-person household would use in a year.
  • Using the array, scientists are seeking to produce the equivalent of 10,000 times the amount of solar radiation by focusing the entire array on a single 8×8 in spot (20*20cm).
  • When light from all the lamps is aligned to concentrate on a single spot, it can generate temperatures of around 3,500 degree Celsius i.e. temperature two to three times of a blast furnace.
Significance of this experiment

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, but on earth it is relatively rare. One way to manufacture hydrogen is to split water (H2O) into its two elemental components – Hydrogen and oxygen, using electricity in electrolysis process. Synlight experiment will bypass usage of electricity by tapping into the enormous amount of solar energy that reaches Earth from sun. Hydrogen obtained from it will be used to be used in fuel cells, a clean source of energy that does not produce carbon emissions.

Tags:

Coradia iLint: World’s first zero-emissions hydrogen train unveiled in Germany

World first hydrogen-powered and zero-emission passenger train named as Coradia iLint was unveiled in Germany.

The first of its kind ecofriendly train has been developed by French rail company Alstom. The Coradia iLint only emits excess steam and condensed water into the atmosphere.

Key Facts

  • Coradia iLint is powered by a hydrogen fuel tank fitted on its roof. The fuel cell is supplied with hydrogen and oxygen from the air.
  • The fuel cell converts hydrogen and oxygen into electric power. Excess electric is stored with onboard lithium batteries.
  • The train is totally carbon-neutral and carbon-free which makes it a much more sustainable alternative conventional diesel trains.
  • Besides, the claims speeds of up to 87 miles per hour and has a hydrogen storage capacity for a 497-mile range.

Way forward

The testing of the hydrogen-powered train will be carried out by the end of 2016 in Germany. If the results prove successful, the trains will service the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line in Lower Saxony, Germany by December 2017.

Tags:

Advertisement

12345...1020...24