Daily current affairs
NABH (Nextgen Airports for Bharat) Nirman initiative
- Minister for Civil Aviation stated that the government is committed to the building of airport capacity as part of NABH (NextGen Airports for BHarat) Nirman initiative.
- The three key aspects of NABH Nirman are
- Fair and equitable land acquisition
- Long-term master plan for airport and regional development and
- Balanced economics for all stakeholders.
- The air traffic of the country is increasing, both at domestic and international level.
- India airlines flew highest-ever domestic passengers by flying about 117 passengers during 2017.
UN report for social inclusion
- The UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2018 was launched recently.
- It urged countries to take advantage of high growth rate and share the benefits with the national society.
- The report on the Asia-Pacific region has also urged the regional powers to invest in inclusive and sustainable growth.
- The report described South and Southwest Asia as the fastest growing sub-region of the Asia-Pacific region.
- It also highlights the need to increase the social spending by the government.
- It is released by the UNESCAP (Economic and social commission for Asia-Pacific).
AI for Accessibility
- Microsoft is launching a $25 million initiative to use artificial intelligence to build better technology for people with disabilities.
- The Artificial Intelligence for accessibility initiative will include seed grants for startups, nonprofit organizations and academic researchers.
- Deeper investments and expertise from Microsoft researchers will also be provided.
- Microsoft has experimented with accessibility tools, such as a “Seeing AI” Smartphone app using computer vision and narration to help people navigate if they’re blind or have low vision.
- Microsoft’s translation tool also provides deaf users with real-time captioning of conversations.
Rariphotic Zone off the coast of Bermuda
- Oxford scientists have discovered an ocean zone off the coast of Bermuda with over 100 species new to science.
- The Rariphotic Zone (rare light zone) extends from 130 meters to 300 meters in depth.
- The zone joins five other areas which have distinct biological communities living and growing within them.Tanaids – minute crustaceans – dozens of new algae species and black wire coral that stand up to two meters high are some of the new species found.
- The team has also discovered a major algal forest on the summit of an underwater mountain 24 km off the coast of Bermuda.
- There are over 100,000 underwater mountains in seas across the globe yet less than 50 have been biologically sampled in detail
Purifying water using sunlight
- Scientists have developed a new technology that uses the sunlight to purify water with near-perfect efficiency.
- Researchers developed a method that used black, carbon-dipped paper in a triangular shape and using it to both absorb and vaporize water.
- It is simple, and the power source – the sun – is available everywhere.
- This technique uses low cost materials against developing advanced materials, such as metallic plasmonic and carbon-based nanomaterials.
- The low-cost technology described could provide drinking water in regions where resources are scarce, or where natural disasters have struck.
Share of tourism in green house gas emission
- The team led by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia found out that global comprehensive tourism footprint of tourism-related greenhouse gas emissions is larger than previously estimated.
- The world’s domestic and international tourism industry contributes to 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
- It is about four times greater than previously estimated.
- Small islands attract a disproportionate share of carbon emissions through international arrivals.
- The U.S. is responsible for the majority of tourism-generated emissions overall.
- It is growing faster than international trade and is already responsible for almost a tenth of global GHGs.