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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Dec 07, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Biomass as a fuel

 

India has traditionally relied on biomass for its energy needs. Wood, bushes, straws and cow dung are regularly fed in household earthen stoves and small furnaces. Biomass power plants do the same process in a controlled environment to run steam turbines that produce electricity. The biomass power sector generates local employment because of its labour intensity but the sector is battling challenges like high running costs, feed procurement and competition from solar and wind which are comparatively cheaper to produce.

Biomass has a good scope considering India has a target of net-zero emissions by 2070. Currently, most of biomass energy production is captive which means industries are using biomass to run their own units to save on electricity bills especially in states where the industrial tariff is very high.

According to the October 2021 data of the central government, biomass-based power had a share of over 10 percent (10.1 gigawatts) in the 103 GW of total installed capacity of renewable power in India. While wind and solar power account for over 85 percent of the total installed capacity of renewable power in the country.

In fact, Punjab has the highest power potential from biomass in the country at 3,172 megawatts (MW) especially with the generation of 20 million tonnes of paddy straw. But the installed capacity is low. WHY?

  1. Primary challenge for biomass power generation is feed and the land required to grow and store this feed. Its cost depends on the local situation, distance from which procurement is happening and there is no formal regulation on this aspect. The everyday management is thus challenging.
  2. Paddy straw-based plant has more challenges as the raw material is high in silica, has low bulk density, high ash content and alkaline metals which result in incomplete combustion and adverse impact on the equipment.
  3. Unlike a solar energy park, which is a one-time investment, for biomass, deal with day-to-day issues like procurement and storage.
  4. Though we are able to overcome technological gaps, there are other challenges like we can’t use straw with high moisture because as that damages the machinery.
  5. Tough competition from other renewable sources like solar and wind is also proving to be a bane for biomass-based power producers.
  6. Focus is more towards solar as its generation cost is coming down because of the reducing cost of photovoltaic technology and batteries but in case of biomass the cost is going higher.

Current Affair 2:
Mysuru’s famous Chamundi Hill

 

All is not well with the Chamundi Hill, a popular tourist attraction near Mysuru. There have been four major landslides since 2019 and environmentalists blame indiscriminate construction atop the hill for them.

A team from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at Bengaluru had visited the Chamundi Hill after the last landslide.

  • They studied the landslide pattern and took samples from faults, joints and bedding surfaces, which are contact points between rock and soil and contribute to landslides.
  • The experts indicated that erosion had already set in and could be arrested only by not taking up any more construction activities as well as movement of heavy transport vehicles.

About:

Chamundeswari temple is situated on the top of Chamundi hill which is about 3,489 ft. above sea level and located at a distance of 13 Kms. from Mysore. The temple is dedicated to Sri Chamundeswari, the titular deity of the Mysore Royal Family also described as ‘Mahishasura Mardini’for having killed the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura.

 

Nandi: The colossal Nandi is one of the largest in India, 16 ft. (4.8 metres) tall at the front and 25 ft. (7.5 metres) in length. The magnificent pendent bell around its neck are exquisite Doddadevaraja was responsible for the creation of this colossal bull.

Current Affair 3:
What is ‘Greater Tipraland’?

 

Three months before elections to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), the state’s royal scion and former state Congress president Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma has given a call for a ‘Greater Tipraland’, covering Tripuris in and outside of the district council and even the Tripuri diaspora.

The new demand seeks to include every tribal person living in indigenous area or village outside the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) under the proposed model.

However, the idea doesn’t restrict to simply the Tripura tribal council areas, but seeks to include ‘Tiprasa’ of Tripuris spread across different states of India like Assam, Mizoram etc. as well, even those living in Bandarban, Chittagong, Khagrachari and other bordering areas of neighbouring Bangladesh.

 

The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) was constituted on January 18, 1982. It covers 68% of the total geographical area of the state and is home to over one-third of the total population of Tripura.

Current Affair 4:
World Malaria Report 2021

 

Just read these 6 points.

  1. Global efforts to tackle malaria suffered due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in 2020, according to the World Malaria Report 2021 released December 6.
  2. Globally, there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases in 2020 in 85 malaria endemic countries, increasing from 227 million in 2019, with most of this increase coming from countries in the WHO African Region.
  3. Six countries — Nigeria (27 per cent); the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12 per cent); Uganda (5%); Mozambique (4%); Angola (3.4%) and Burkina Faso (3.4%) — accounted for about 55 per cent of all cases globally.
  4. India accounted for 83 per cent of cases in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Sri Lanka was certified malaria-free in 2016 and remains malaria-free.
  5. India accounted for about 82% of all malaria deaths in the WHO South-East Asia Region.
  6. The WHO updated the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030 this year.

           

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