- India’s first robotic telescope “Growth” opens its eyes to the universe
- The telescope located at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) at Hanle in Ladakh is the country’s first robotic telescope and the first one designed to observe dynamic or transient events in the universe.
- The facility is called as Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH).
- The fully robotic optical research telescope is designed to capture cosmic events occurring in timescales much shorter than light years – years, days and even hours.
- Universities and research institutes from the US, the UK, Japan, India, Germany, Taiwan and Israel are part of the initiative.
- The primary research objective of the project is time-domain astronomy, which entails the study of explosive transients and variable sources in the universe.
- The Rs 3.5 crore telescope is a joint project of the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB).
- The project is fully funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the PIRE project, administered by Indo US Science and Technology Forum.
- The 70 cm robotic telescope joins other larger facilities at IAO in Hanle – the Himalayan Chandra Telescope, the gamma-ray array telescope (HAGAR), and the imaging Cherenkov telescope (MACE).
Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO)
- It is located near Leh in Ladakh, India has one of the world’s highest sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes.
- It is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.
Source- Down to Earth
- Government to scrap subsidy for private electric cars under FAME India scheme
- The Centre plans to scrap cash incentives currently offered to buyers of electric cars under FAME India scheme because it neither makes a “substantial difference in promoting sales nor serves the purpose of a clean environment”.
- Currently, the government offers a discount of up to Rs 1.3 lakh on an electric car as part of its clean-energy programme, FAME (faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles).
- The current incentives on electric buses cover 60% of the cost of the vehicle. This will come down to 40%.
- This is being proposed to be removed in the new FAME Phase 2 draft policy drawn up by the heavy industries ministry.
- The government feels that the addition of cab aggregators like Ola and Uber to the list of subsidy beneficiaries would prompt these companies to go for electrics.
- The government had said it wants the entire car industry in India to switch to electric by year 2030.
- FAME scheme had a budget of under Rs 1,000 crore, the ministry has proposed to raise it to over Rs 9,000 crore in the second phase.
FAME India Scheme
- The FAME-India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (hybrid &) Electric vehicles in India) scheme was launched in 2015 under National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) with an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles in the country.
- Its objectives are to provide fiscal and monetary incentives for adoption and market creation of both hybrid and electric technologies vehicles in the country.
- It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry.
- The FAME India Scheme is aimed at incentivizing all vehicle segments that is 2-Wheeler, 3-Wheeler Auto, Passenger 4-Wheeler Vehicle, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses.
- The phase-1 of FAME India Scheme, which was originally for a period of 2 years i.e. up to 31st March 2017, was extended for a further period till 31st March 2018, with slight modification.
Source- Economic Times
- Nasscom launches programme “Women Wizards Rule Tech” to support women techies
- In an effort to increase the number of women at senior levels in the Information Technology (IT) industry, Nasscom unveiled its ‘Women Wizards Rule Tech’ programme for women techies.
- The initiative will aid women techies in core technologies like IT-Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), Business Process Management (BPM), product and research and development (R&D) sectors by equipping them with the skills required for an edge in their career.
- The Women Wizards Rule Tech was announced in March at the Nasscom Diversity and Inclusion Summit in Chennai as a joint initiative by the Nasscom Sector Skills Council and the Data Security Council of India.
Source- Business Standard
- Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme
- Pattiseema, the lift irrigation project, interlinks Godavari and Krishna Rivers through the Polvaram right canal.
- The project has one of the largest pump houses in Asia with 24 pumping units spread across an area of 7,476 square meters.
- These pumps deliver excess water drawn from the river Godavari in Pattiseema into the Polavaram Project Right Main Canal for the benefit of farmers in the Krishna river delta.
- The Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme will help revive the Krishna delta to its past glory and infuse life back into the Krishna that has dried up completely.
Source- The Hindu
- June 21- the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere
- June 21 was summer solstice, the longest day of the year as compared to the night — in the northern hemisphere.
- Winter solstice occurs on December 21 or 22 when the night hours are the longest.
- On each Tropic, the sun is directly overhead at noon once a year.
- When this happens on the Tropic of Cancer, it is summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.
- When on the Tropic of Capricorn, it is winter solstice.
- On the Equator, the sun is directly overhead on two days.
- These are the spring equinox in 21st March and the autumn equinox in 23rd
- Across Earth, day and night are of equal length on these two dates. On the Equator, day and night are equal every day.
But why are the hours of daylight not the same every day?
- The explanation lies in Earth’s tilt.
- The planet’s axis of rotation is tilted at an angle of 23.5°C.
- This tilt- combined with factors such as Earth’s spin and orbit- leads to variations in the duration of sunlight on any location on different days of the year.
- The tilt is also responsible for the different seasons.
- It is at latitudes higher than 66.5° (in either direction) that days of constant darkness or light occur.
Source- Indian Express