China Current Affairs

Xian smog tower: China builds world’s biggest air purifier

China has constructed Xian smog tower, an experimental air purifying tower touted to be the world’s biggest at height of over 100 meters (328 feet) in an attempt to fight air pollution.

The tower is built in Xian in Shaanxi province and has brought positive effect on chronic smog problem in China. It is undergoing testing by researchers at Institute of Earth Environment at Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Xian smog tower

Xian smog tower project was announced in 2015 to find low-cost method to artificially remove pollutants from atmosphere such as PM2.5, nitrates and sulphur dioxide which are the most harmful to human health.

The polluted air is sucked into glasshouses of tower and is then heated up by solar energy. The hot air then moves through multiple cleaning filters and helps in reducing air pollution. The system in air purifier also works during winters as coatings on greenhouses enable glass to absorb solar radiation at higher efficiency.

According to its original design, the full-sized tower will reach 500 metres (1,640 feet) high with diameter of 200 metres (656 feet). This tower size will capture greenhouses in nearly 30 square kilometres and will be capable of purifying the air for small-sized city.

Signficance

During the tests, the tower has managed to produce more than 10 million cubic metres (353 million cubic feet) of clean air day since its launch. It was able to bring down the smog to moderate levels the day when air quality was severe. However, the results were preliminary as of now. It has also improved quality of air after observations were made over distance of 10 square kilometers in the past few months.

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India ranks 30th on WEF’s Global Manufacturing Index

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked India at 30th position among 100 countries on its Global Manufacturing Index (GMI).

The index was released as part of WEF’s first Readiness for the future of production Report which analysed development of modern industrial strategies and urges collaborative action.

Readiness for future of production Report

The report was developed by WEF in collaboration with A.T. Kearney. It analyses and measures how well positioned 100 countries will shape and benefit from changing nature of production through adoption of emerging technology as part of Fourth Industrial Revolution in production. It calls for new and innovative approaches to public-private collaboration are needed to accelerate transformation.

It has categorised 100 countries into four groups viz. Leading (strong current base, high level of readiness for future), High Potential (limited current base, high potential for future), Legacy (strong current base, at risk for future) or Nascent (limited current base, low level of readiness for future).

Key Highlights of Report

Top 10 countries in GMI: Japan, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, United States, Sweden, Austria and Ireland.

BRICS nations: China (25th), Russia (35th), Brazil (41st) and South Africa (45th). China was placed among ‘leading countries’. Indian and Russia were placed in ‘Legacy’ group while Brazil and South Africa are in ‘nascent’ ones.

The 25 ‘leading’ countries were placed in best position group to gain as production systems stand on brink of exponential change. No country was placed in frontier of readiness group.

About India: It is 5th-largest manufacturer in world with total manufacturing value added of over US $420 billion in 2016. Its manufacturing sector has grown by over 7% per year on average in past three decades and accounts for 16-20% of India’s GDP. Demand for Indian manufactured products is rising.

India was ranked 9th in terms of scale of production and at 48th place for complexity. It was ranked 3rd for market size. It was ranked poorly (90th or even lower) in parameters like female participation in labour force, trade tariffs, regulatory efficiency and sustainable resources.

Overall, India ranked better than its neighbours Sri Lanka (66th), Pakistan (74th) and Bangladesh (80th). Other countries that ranked below India include Turkey, Indonesia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius and UAE.

World Economic Forum

WEF is independent international organization committed to improving state of world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

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