Henley & Partners, London-based worldwide citizenship and resident advisory organisation have issued the Henley Passport Index 2022.
The Henley Passport Index, launched in 2006, assesses countries’ passports according to the number of visa-free destinations accessible to its holders.
It assigns a value to passports based on their strength and mobility, as determined by an examination of data obtained only from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
IATA manages the world’s biggest and most accurate travel database.
It only accepts the passport of a country’s citizen and not diplomatic, emergency, or temporary in nature.
The index analyses the visa-free access granted to 227 travel locations by 199 different passports.
If no visa is needed, a score of 1 is assigned to that passport.
The same is true whether you enter the location using a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permission, or electronic travel authorization (ETA).
If a visa is necessary or a passport bearer is required to get a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) prior to departure, a score of 0 is awarded.
Japan and Singapore top the list of the world’s most powerful passports for 2022, since its inhabitants have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 192 countries.
Afghanistan (Rank 111) and Iraq (Rank 110) remain in the category of ‘worst passports to hold.’
India has improved its ranking and is now ranked 83rd, up from 90th, in the most powerful passport report, with a visa-free score of 60.
India now gets visa-free access to 60 countries globally, including Oman and Armenia.
Ruminal Acidosis in cattle
Why in News:
According to veterinarians, feeding too much sweet Pongal is detrimental to cows and results in Subacute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA).
When sugary meals enter the stomach of a cow, they undergo aberrant fermentation, resulting in a condition known as Subacute Ruminal Acidosis in cows and other ruminant animals (SARA).
In extreme situations, it is referred to as Ruminal Acidosis, a metabolic illness of cattle that affects both feedlot and dairy cattle.
Acidosis is often linked with the consumption of significant quantities of highly fermentable, carbohydrate-rich diets, which results in an abnormal quantity of acid being produced and accumulated in the rumen.
If an excessive amount of acid is created, it might potentially be lethal.
Symptoms – Liver abscesses, fluctuating intake, or lactation.
Animals get unwell as a result of Ruminal Acidosis, which kills millions of germs in their stomach, including a variety of protozoa, bacteria, and other microscopic species.
These microorganisms aid in the digestion of hay, grass, and other feed, enabling the cow to create delicious milk.
Appropriate treatment will be administered depending on the microbial health of the cow’s stomach.
However, the animal will need many days to recuperate; during this time, the milk output will be significantly reduced.
A More Advanced Variant of BrahMos
Why in News:
The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile’s extended range sea-to-sea version was successfully test-launched from the freshly commissioned stealth guided-missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam.
BRAHMOS is a long-range supersonic cruise missile system designed for universal use.
It is a collaborative effort of the DRDO (India) and NPOM (Russia).
BRAHMOS is available in two variants: Anti-Ship and Land-Attack.
Initially, the missile’s range was limited to 290 kilometres in accordance with Missile Technology Control Regime commitments (MTCR).
Following India’s entrance to the club in 2016, the range would be increased to 450 kilometres and then to 600 kilometres.
BRAHMOS Weapon Systems may be fired from land, sea, sub-sea, or air (Sukhoi-30s) against the surface and sea-based targets beyond the range of the radar.
The submarine-launched variant is capable of being launched from around 50 metres below the surface of the ocean.
Sukhoi-30s armed with BrahMos have a range of 1,500 kilometres without refuelling in mid-air.
The Indian Navy (IN) and the Indian Army have both incorporated and operationalized the system (IA).
Sir Creek agreement
Why in News:
Siachen and Sir Creek have long been referred to as “low hanging fruits” for India and Pakistan to resolve, and the two nations have had 13 rounds of Defence Secretary-level negotiations on Siachen, the most recent in June 2012. However, the matter has not yet been resolved.
Sir Creek – What is it?
Sir Creek is a 96-kilometer-long stretch of water in the Rann of Kutch marshlands that is disputed between India and Pakistan.
Originally known as Ban Ganga, Sir Creek was given its current name in honour of a British representative.
The Creek empties into the Arabian Sea and approximately separates Gujarat’s Kutch area from Pakistan’s Sindh Province.
What is the issue?
The point of contention is how the marine borderline between Kutch and Sindh should be interpreted.
Prior to India’s independence, the province territory was a part of British India’s Bombay Presidency. However, with India’s independence in 1947, Sindh was annexed by Pakistan, whereas Kutch remained an integral part of India.
Pakistan claims the whole stream in accordance with articles 9 and 10 of the Bombay Government Resolution1914 signed by the Sindh Government and Rao Maharaj of Kutch.
The decision that established the borders between the two territories included the creek, establishing the boundary as the stream’s eastern edge, colloquially known as the Green Line.
However, India asserts that the border is mid-channel, as illustrated in another 1925 map and established in 1924 with the construction of mid-channel pillars.
It references the Thalweg Doctrine in International Maritime Law to buttress its position, which provides that river borders between two nations may be separated by the mid-channel if the water body is navigable.
What is Sir Creek’s significance?
Apart from its strategic position, the primary value of Sir Creek is its fishing opportunities. Sir Creek is regarded as one of Asia’s greatest fishing grounds.
Another critical factor is the possibility of large oil and gas deposits under the sea that are now unexploited due to the anticipated gridlock on the subject.
Women's Health Technology Awards on a Global Scale
What’s the news?
The Global Women’s Health Tech Awards were given to two start-ups, NIRAMAI Health Analytics and InnAccel Technologies. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and BIRAC have aided these two businesses.
How are the Global Women’s Health Technology Awards determined?
The World Bank and the Consumer Technology Association announced the Award in August 2021.
The purpose of this award is to highlight creative firms that use technology to advance women’s health and safety in developing countries.
The prizes were divided into three categories: reproductive health and pregnancy, women’s and adolescent health in general, and women’s safety and security.
Why were NIRAMAI Health Analytics and InnAccel Technologies won the award?
NIRAMAI Health Analytics: The company has created a software-based medical device that identifies early-stage breast cancer in a simple and discreet manner for women of all ages, therefore filling a significant unmet need in cancer screening.
The created solution is a low-cost, accurate, automated, portable, contactless, non-radioactive, and painless cancer screening instrument with no known adverse effects.
InnAccel Technologies Limited: This company has created the Fetal Lite gadget. It is a next-generation, AI-powered foetal heart rate (FHR) monitor for moms in labour or post-37 weeks of gestation, based on foetal ECG signal extraction technology.
Piezoelectric effect in polymer nanoparticles
For the first time, Indian scientists have suggested an effective method for inducing the piezoelectric delta phase in polymer nanoparticles.
The Piezoelectric Effect – What Is It?
The Piezoelectric Effect refers to a material’s capacity to create an electric charge in response to mechanical stress.
The piezoelectric effect is unusual in that it is reversible, which means that materials that show the direct piezoelectric effect (the creation of electricity when given stress) also display the inverse piezoelectric effect (the generation of stress when an electric field is applied).
The piezoelectric effect is very helpful in a wide variety of applications, including sound creation and detection, high-voltage generation, electronic frequency generation, microbalances, and ultra-fine focusing of optical assemblies. Additionally, it serves as an ignition source for cigarette lighters.
What is the purpose of the scientific study?
There is a delta phase of the piezoelectric effect known as delta polymer (PVDF) that has received little attention owing to processing challenges.
Indian scientists have developed a device capable of achieving delta-phase in PVDF nanoparticles at the lowest electric field ever recorded. This gadget has a very high piezoelectric response.
This study would pave the way for the use of nanotechnology in this sector. Additionally, this will enable it to be used in touch sensors, acoustic sensors, and piezoelectric nanogenerators.