Department of Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2019

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Climate Vulnerability Index for India

Department of Science and Technology has decided to commission a study to assess the climate risks faced by States in India. This decision comes in the backdrop of completion of vulnerability study across 12 Himalayan States.

Vulnerability Study by the Himalayan States

The study was undertaken in the 12 Himalayan states viz. Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. The vulnerability was measured on a scale 0-1 with 1 indicating the highest possible level of vulnerability. The study indicates that:

  • Assam and Mizoram with a vulnerability score of 0.72 and 0.71 topped the vulnerability index.
  • Sikkim with the score of 0.42 was relatively less vulnerable.
  • The scores of other states are Jammu & Kashmir (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya and West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura (0.51 both), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) and Uttarakhand (0.45).
  • Assam is highly vulnerable to climate change because of factors like low per capita income, deforestation, a large number of marginal farmers, least area under irrigation, lack of alternative sources of income and high rates of poverty.
  • The report finds that low per capita income, low open forest area per 1,000 households and lack of irrigation coverage as the most important drivers of vulnerability in Himalayan states.
  • Other indicators include the percentage of area under slope, yield variability of food grains, forest cover, irrigation cover and access to healthcare.
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, the key factors are low female literacy and a high percentage of population above BPL.
  • In Nagaland, the key issues are the loss of forest cover, steep slope and high yield variability.

The vulnerability score was calculated based on eight parameters such as  percentage of area in districts under forests, yield variability of food grain, population density, female literacy rate, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below poverty line (BPL), average man-days under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), and the area under slope > 30%.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC

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IIT Kharagpur Inks MoU for High Performance Computing Facility & Data Center

IIT Kharagpur has signed an MoU with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to set up a 1.3 Petaflop high-performance computing facility and data centre funded under the National Supercomputing Mission.

The new supercomputing system would be used for specific challenge domains like cryptography, chemistry, molecular dynamics, drug discovery, artificial intelligence and data sciences where the new system would be utilized.

PetaFlop

PetaFlop is the measurement of computing power based on the frequency of mathematical calculations that can be done per second.

National Supercomputing Mission

National Supercomputing Mission initiated in 2015 is being implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) at an estimated cost of Rs.4500 crore over a period of seven years.

Objectives of the Mission
  • The Mission envisages empowering India’s national academic and R&D institutions spread by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.
  • To bring supercomputing within the reach of the large Scientific & Technology community in the country.
  • To provide a significant qualitative and quantitative improvement in R&D and higher education in the disciplines of Science & Technology.
  • To enable the country with a capacity of solving multi-disciplinary grand challenge problems.

The mission envisages installing vast supercomputing grid comprising of over 70 high-performance computing facilities spread across the county.

Month: Categories: Science & TechnologyUPSC

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