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March 30th 2017 Science and Technology Current Affairs

About 6 Crore Soil Health Cards are Distributed to Farmers

  • The government of India distributed six crore soil cards against the target of 14 crore soil health cards distribution.
  • Soil Health Card Scheme aims to provide a Soil Health Card to every farmer in a Mission mode.
  • It is a Central Government scheme under which the central government provides financial assistance to State Governments for setting the Soil Testing Laboratories.
  • These laboratories will issue Soil Health Cards to farmers.
  • This scheme aims to promote soil testing services and issuance of soil health cards there by developing the nutrient management practices.
  • Under the scheme, the State Governments should adopt innovative practices for the involvement of NGOs, agricultural students, and the private sector in soil testing, determine soil health of villages, etc., in order to issue Soil Health Cards.
  • The cost for the implementation of the scheme will be shared between the Centre and states in the ratio of 75:25.

Importance of Soil Health Cards

  • A Soil Health Card displays all the soil health indicators and its associated parameters.
  • The indicators listed on the card will be based on the farmers’ knowledge on local natural resources and practical experience.
  • A Soil Health Card assesses the current status of soil healthand can determine the changes in the soil health due to land management and farm practices.
  • The soil health indicators listed in the soil health card can be assessed without the help of technical or laboratory equipment.
  • This card will also provide are commendation of fertilizersrequired for farm lands crop-wise.
  • Thiswill help to minimize the over usage of fertilizers and judicious use of soil nutrients.

Sands of Titan are Electrically Charged

  • Titan is the largest moons of the planet Saturn and is the sixth ellipsoidal moon for Saturn.
  • It is the only moon in the solar system known to have a dense atmosphere and is frequently termed as planet like themoon.
  • It is the second-largest among the moons present in the Solar System and is larger than Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system.
  • The largest is the Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.
  • It is the only object other than Earth where there is a clear evidence of the presence of stable bodies of surface liquid.
  • Titan has both surface and subsurface liquids with a robust nitrogen atmosphere.
  • Titan’s atmosphere is mainly composed of nitrogen which accounts for 98 percent.
  • Other Minor components are nitrogen-rich organic smog and methane and ethane clouds.
  • Titan’s methane cycle at a temperature of about −179.2 °C is analogous to water cycle of the Earth.
  • Recent studies by the scientists have shown that the sand particles on the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon are electrically charged.
  • This discovery explains why the sandy dunes on the Saturn’s satellite Titan form opposite to the direction of the wind-blown on this natural satellite.
  • The sandy dunes will be of almost 300 feet high.
  • When the wind blows hard enough on the surface, non-silicate granules present on the surface of the Titan get kicked up and hops in
  • These particles during their motion will collide and becomes frictionally charged.
  • These charged particles clump together and become resistant to further motion.
  • The particles can maintain the charge for days to months at a time and can attach to other hydrocarbon substances.

Over Last 110 Years, India’s Temperature Rose by 0.60 Degree

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) which was published in 2014, calculated that the averaged combined land, and ocean surface temperature of the world has risen by 0.85 degree Celsius from 1880 to 2012.
  • It also observed that many of the extreme weather and climate events like heavy precipitation, heat waves, and tropical cyclones had been observed from the past seventy years.
  • As per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) over the last 110 years, the mean temperature of our country has risen approximately 0.60 degree Celsius.
  • IMD studies have also indicated that in the last 30 years the extreme events like heat waves have risen.
  • In order tocombat this climate change, the government of India has launched the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in the month of June 2008.
  • This panel deals with the climate change and its related issues.
  • NAPCC comprises of eight missions dealing with the specific areas of habitat, water, solar energy, forestry, agriculture, enhanced energy efficiency, sustaining Himalayan ecosystems, and strategic knowledge for climate change.
  • These missions will address the problems of mitigating the effect of greenhouse gasses and adaptation to its adverse impacts on the environment such as habitat, forests, water resources and agriculture.
  • NAPCC have issued directions to all the states and UTs to prepare State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) to fulfill its objectives relating to climate change.
  • A total of thirty-two states and UTs have prepared SAPCC till now.

Planetary Waves Discovered on Sun

  • The Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have discovered waves that are similar to the large scale planetary waves called Rossby waves whichare found in the Earth’s climate.
  • On the Earth, these Ross by waves influence the local weather patterns.
  • Ross by waves on earth are associated with the formation of low and high-pressure systems, jet streams, etc., which in turn influence local weather events.
  • The waves discovered on the Sun may be having a direct relation with solar activity, such as the active regions, the formation of sunspots, and the eruption of solar flares.
  • These waves form in the rotating fluids of the atmosphere and the oceans.
  • As the Sun is also rotating and is made of plasma which acts a vast magnetized ocean, there is a high probability for the existence of Ross by-like waves.
  • This discovery of magnetized waves on the Sun helps in predicting the space weather in advance.
  • The main reason for this discovery is the availability of 360-degree view of the Sun.
  • NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) mission that includes two Spacecrafts orbiting the Sun; and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) between the Sun and the Earth had collectively provided a 360-degree view of the Sun.

A New Surveillance Ship INLCU L51 for Indian Navy

  • Recently, INLCU L51 was commissioned into the Indian Navy.
  • It is the First LCU Mk IV Class ship of the eight ships.
  • It was builtin Kolkata by M/s Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd.
  • The main aim of this ship in Indian Navy is to assist in its amphibious operations such as beaching operations
  • It has an endurance of 1500 nm.
  • This ship will also play a key role in maritime surveillance of Andaman & Nicobar Islands to prevent poaching, illegal fishing, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and other illegal
  • Andaman and Nicobar Command in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations will be enhanced with its arrival.

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