Germany Current Affairs

Germany rolls out world’s first hydrogen-powered train 

Germany has rolled out world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train. These locomotives named iLint trains emit zero emissions, making them eco-friendly. This train technology offers greener and quieter alternative to diesel on non-electrified railway lines. These hydrogen trains are manufactured by French TGV-maker Alstom and are commercially running on 100km route between towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany.

Hydrogen trains

Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen. This conversion process only emits steam and water, thus producing zero emissions. Excess energy produced is stored in ion-lithium batteries on board train.

These trains also make very little noise. Moreover, hydrogen fuel cells have advantages over batteries. Instead of recharging, they can easily be refueled like gas or diesel engine. It is also easier to build refueling infrastructure for these trains at railway stations.

These trains can run for around 1,000 km on a single tank of hydrogen, similar to the range of diesel trains. These trains offer attractive prospect to many cities scrambling to combat air pollution. The only disadvantage these hydrogen trains is that they are more expensive than fossil fuel-based trains.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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5 countries elected as non-permanent members of UNSC

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected South Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Germany and Belgium as non-permanent members of UN Security Council (UNSC). They will have two-year term beginning January 1, 2019.

These five non-permanent members were elected according to the following pattern

  • Two seats for Group of African states and Group of Asia-Pacific states,
  • One for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean states
  • Two seats for Western European and other states.

UN Security Council (UNSC)

UNSC is most powerful and one of the six principal organs United Nations. Under UN Charter it has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 members, including five permanent ones with the power of veto. The five permanent members are China, France, Russia, UK and US. 10 non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms each. Its powers include establishment of peacekeeping operations, establishment of international sanctions, and authorization of military action through UNSC resolutions. It is only UN body with authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

Functions of UNSC

UNSC is responsible for determining existence of threat against peace and to respond to act of aggression. It is also responsible for finding peaceful means to settle conflict or dispute between states. In some cases, it resorts to sanctions or even authorise use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. It also recommends to UNGA appointment of UN Secretary General and admission of new members to the UN.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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