Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021
Current Affair 1:
High Strength Metastable Beta Titanium developed by DRDO.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a high strength titanium alloy on industrial scale for applications in aerospace structural forgings.
The high strength beta titanium alloys are unique due to their higher strength, ductility, fatigue, and fracture toughness – making them increasingly attractive for aircraft structural applications.
Something more about Titanium.
Where Does Titanium Come from?
Most of the world's titanium is produced by mining heavy mineral sands. These sands occur down-gradient from exposed masses of igneous rock such as gabbro, norite, and anorthosite.
When these rocks are broken down by weathering, the titanium minerals are among the most resistant. They are concentrated by weathering and transported downstream as grains of sand and silt. Eventually, they are deposited as sand along the coastline of a continent. This is where they are usually dredged or mined.
Titanium is produced commercially by reducing titanium (IV) chloride with magnesium. Titanium (IV) oxide is produced commercially by either the ‘sulphate process’ or the ‘chloride process’, both of which use the mineral ilmenite as a starting material.
- Titanium is as strong as steel but much less dense. It is therefore important as an alloying agent with many metals including aluminium, molybdenum and iron. These alloys are mainly used in aircraft, spacecraft and missiles because of their low density and ability to withstand extremes of temperature. They are also used in golf clubs, laptops, bicycles and crutches.
- Power plant condensers use titanium pipes because of their resistance to corrosion. Because titanium has excellent resistance to corrosion in seawater, it is used in desalination plants and to protect the hulls of ships, submarines and other structures exposed to seawater.
- Titanium metal connects well with bone, so it has found surgical applications such as in joint replacements (especially hip joints) and tooth implants.
- The largest use of titanium is in the form of titanium (IV) oxide. It is extensively used as a pigment in house paint, artists’ paint, plastics, enamels and paper. It is a bright white pigment with excellent covering power. It is also a good reflector of infrared radiation and so is used in solar observatories where heat causes poor visibility.
- Titanium (IV) oxide is used in sunscreens because it prevents UV light from reaching the skin. Nanoparticles of titanium (IV) oxide appear invisible when applied to the skin.
Titanium has no known biological role. It is non-toxic. Fine titanium dioxide dust is a suspected carcinogen.
Current Affair 2:
The textile industry is considered as the most ecologically harmful industry in the world. In the production process like bleaching and then dyeing, the subsequent fabric makes a toxin that swells into our ecosystem. Therefore, the need for eco-textiles is felt. Green textiles refer to clothing and other accessories that are designed to use the organic and recycled material.
Bamboo, corn husk, orange peels, pineapples, soya beans, eucalyptus, lotus stems, betel nut husks, nettle, hemp, aloe vera, rose petals, sugarcane, milk and even fish scales are no longer food or agri residues discarded as waste. They are increasingly becoming a favoured feedstock for the textile industry.
India generates over 500 million tons of agricultural and agro-industrial residues every year, according to official data of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Across the country, agricultural waste is managed largely by burning, which causes unintended environmental damage
Similarly, most aspects of conventional textile manufacturing immensely damage the environment. “For instance, polyester is plastic. Consumers and manufacturers both want to shift to better materials, but choosing between environment and economics has been an either-or choice. This is where agro-waste fabrics come into the picture. When crop waste becomes feedstock for textile manufacturing, both sectors become planet-friendly.
Why it is beneficial for farmers?
Manufacturing yarns from agri-waste requires one-sixth of water needed for producing cotton yarns. As we don’t cultivate the raw material and use only waste, we can argue that these are zero water footprint raw materials.
The work of eco-textile manufacturers is helping reduce fashion’s carbon footprint, it is also benefiting farmers by improving their livelihood prospects in rural areas. From spending money to dispose of crop residues, farmers are now earning extra income by selling agri-waste.
Global fibre production has reached well over 100 million tonne per year in 2019 and is expected to rise even further. Developing alternative fibre sources is more critical now than it’s ever been.
Current Affair 3:
The Equator Initiative is a UNDP-led partnership that brings together the UN, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.
The Equator Initiative accomplishes its goals through three action areas:
The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.
Equator Dialogues provide opportunities for people to share experiences, develop capacities and influence policy.
Equator Knowledge is a research, documentation and learning program focused on local best practice in sustainable development.
Current Affair 4:
National Council for Transgender Persons
The Centre has constituted the National Council for Transgender Persons to formulate policies, programmes, legislation and projects regarding members of the community for achieving equality and full participation by them.
The council was established by the Centre in exercise of the powers conferred by the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.
- The council has representatives from community members, five states and 10 central departments.
- Its chairperson will be the Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment while the vice-chairperson will be the junior minister in the ministry, according to the gazette notification.
- The other members will be from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry Home Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Minority Affairs ministry and Rural Development ministry among others, it said.
- The representatives of the state governments and union territories by rotation, one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions have also been announced.
- Also, five representatives of the transgender community (this is important), one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions have also been announced.
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