Daily Prelims Newsletter|15 July 2021|RaghukulCS|UPSC

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

15 July 2021-Thrusday

Table Of Contents

Science and Technology

  • Green Hydrogen
  • Nutrinos

Polity and Governance

  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

International Relations

  • Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

Science and Technology

Green Hydrogen

Why in News?

NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd, a subsidiary of NTPC  will set up the India’s first green Hydrogen Mobility project in Ladakh.

About Green Hydrogen:

  • Hydrogen when produced by electrolysis with the use ofrenewable energy is calledGreen Hydrogen.
  • It is said to haveno carbon footprint.
  • The hydrogen in use today is produced using fossil fuels, thus having carbon footprint.
  • Organic materials like fossil fuels, biomass etc. are used for releasing hydrogen through various chemical processes.

About Hydrogen Fuel:

  • Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel burned when with pure oxygen.
  • Uses of Hydrogen fuel
    • Fuel cells: Generate electricity.
    • Internal combustion engines like in vehicles.
    • Spacecraft propulsion

Properties of Hydrogen:

  • Hydrogen is the first element on the periodic table. It is also the lightest element.
  • Hydrogen is less dense than air, hence it rises in the atmosphere, because of which it is rarely found in its pure form, H2.
  • At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a nontoxic, non-metallic, odourless, colourless, and highly combustible gas.
  • It is the most abundant element in the universe.

Key Takeaways:

  • Molecular hydrogen is not available on Earth in convenient natural reservoirs.

Most hydrogen on Earth is bonded to oxygen in water and to carbon in live or dead and/or fossilized biomass.

  • Water is the most abundant compound of hydrogen found on earth.
  • Storage of hydrogen as a liquid requires cryogenic temperatures because the boiling point of hydrogen at one atmosphere pressure is −252.8°C.
  • Storage of hydrogen as a gas typically requires high-pressure tanks.
  • Hydrogen can also be stored on the surfaces of solids (by adsorption) or within solids (by absorption).

Benefits of hydrogen as a fuel:

  • No harmful emissions.
  • Non-toxic substance.
  • Hydrogen is three times as powerful as gasoline and other fossil fuels. It means that it can accomplish more with less.
  • It is fuel efficient. Compared to diesel or gas, it is much more fuel efficient as it can produce more energy per pound of fuel.
  • It is renewable. It can be produced again and again, unlike other non-renewable sources of energy.
  • Abundantly available.

Limitations in usage of Hydrogen Fuel:

  • Hydrogen does not occur in deposits or reserves abundantly like fossil fuel.
  • Hydrogen is far more expensive to produce using renewables.
  • Hydrogen-fuelled vehicles aremore expensive.
  • It is highly flammable, thus difficult to store.


    Why in News?

    The proposed underground India-based Neutrino Observatory has been clouded by uncertainty since its very inception in 2005 and the project is stalled since then.

    About Neutrinos:

    • The neutrino is also a tiny elementary particle, like protons and electrons, but arenot part of the atom. Such particles also exist in nature.
    • It has a very tiny mass and no charge.
    • It interacts extremely weakly with other matter particles. Hence, every second trillion of neutrinos falling on us pass unnoticed.
    • Source of Nutrinos:
      • Sun- Solar neutrinos
      • Stars:Stellar neutrinos,
      • Cosmic rays coming from beyond the solar system,
      • From the Big Bang from which our Universe originated.
      • They can also be produced in the lab.
    • The INO will study atmospheric neutrinos only. Solar neutrinos have much lower energy than the detector can detect.
    • Applications of Neutrino Science:
      • Properties of the sun
      • Constituents of the Universe
      • Probing early Universe
      • Medical Imaging, etc

    Polity and Governance

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

    Why in News?

    Recently, the death of Father Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, in judicial custody, has brought the stringent provisions of UAPA into the discussion.

    About UAPA, 1967:

    • The law aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities’ associations in India.
    • The Act gives absolute power to the central government, i.e., centre can deem an activity as unlawful by way of declaration through an Official Gazette.
    • It has provisions for death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.
    • Under provisions of UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.
    • It is applicable to the offenders in the same way, even if crime is committed on a foreign land outside India.
    • Subsequent Amendments’ to UAPA:
    • The 2004 amendment added Terrorist act to the list of offences for purpose of banning organisations engaged in terrorist activities.
    • The 2019 Amendment empowered central govt. to designate even individuals as terrorists on certain grounds provided in the Act.
    • The Act also empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by NIA.
    • The Act also empowers the officers of the NIA, of Inspector rank or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP/ACP or above rank officer in the state.

      International Relations

      Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

      Why in News?

      India has supported Syrian engagement with OPCW at UNSC.

      About OPCW:

      • It is an international organization established by the Chemical Weapons Convention, 1997.
      • Headquarters: Hague, Netherlands.
      • It aims to implement and enforce the non-proliferation treaty, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, or transfer of chemical weapons by the signatory states.
      • After the 2001 Relationship Agreement between the OPCW and the UN, the OPCW reports about its inspections and other activities to the UN through the office of the UN Secretary General.
      • OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,2013 for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.
      • OPCW is authorized to perform inspections to verify that signatory states are adhering to the convention.

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