Current Affairs September 9

Green hydrogen


  • The forthcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from November 1-12, 2021 is to reexamcine the coordinated action plans to mitigate greenhouse gases and climate adaptation measures.
  • Governments are placing large bets in the hope of adopting a multi-faceted practical approach to utilise ‘Green hydrogen’ as a driving source to power our industries and light our homes with the ‘zero emission’ of carbon dioxide.


Hydrogen as energy source

  • Hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet, but rarely in its pure form which is how we need it. It has an energy density almost three times that of diesel.
  • This phenomenon makes it a rich source of energy, but the challenge is to compress or liquify the LH2 (liquid hydrogen);
  • It needs to be kept at a stable minus 253° C (far below the temperature of minus 163° C at which Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is stored; entailing its ‘prior to use exorbitant cost.
  • Black hydrogen is produced by use of fossil fuel, whereas pink hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, but using energy from nuclear power sources.
  • ‘Green hydrogen’, the emerging novel concept, is a zero-carbon fuel made by electrolysis using renewable power from wind and solar to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
  • This ‘Green hydrogen’ can be utilised for the generation of power from natural sources — wind or solar systems — and will be a major step forward in achieving the target of ‘net zero’ emission.
  • Presently, less than 0.1% or say ~75 million tons/year of hydrogen capable of generating ~284GW of power, is produced
  • The ‘production cost’ of ‘Green hydrogen’ has been considered to be a prime obstacle.
  • According to studies by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA), the production cost of this ‘green source of energy’ is expected to be around $1.5 per kilogram (for nations having perpetual sunshine and vast unused land), by the year 2030; by adopting various conservative measures.
  • The global population is growing at a rate of 1.1%, adding about 83 million human heads every year on the planet.
  • As a result, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts the additional power demand to be to the tune of 25%-30% by the year 2040
  • India is the world’s fourth largest energy consuming country (behind China, the United States and the European Union), according to the IEA’s forecast, and will overtake the European Union to become the world’s third energy consumer by the year 2030.
  • India is also gradually unveiling its plans.
  • The Indian Railways have announced the country’s first experiment of a hydrogen-fuel cell technology-based train by retrofitting an existing diesel engine
  • It is high time to catch up with the rest of the world by going in for clean energy, decarbonising the economy and adopting ‘Green hydrogen’ as an environment-friendly and safe fuel for the next generations.


Fragile X Syndrome


  • Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is caused by changes in a gene called FMR1 which make an important protein (FMRP). This protein is required for brain development.
  • In India, the lack of adequate screening and diagnostic facilities, the stigma attached to mental health, the absence of surveys in community settings, and bare minimum hospital data based on clinical experience have all kept FXS largely undetected.
  • According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 7,000 males and one in 11,000 females are affected with FXS.
  • FXS is the leading inherited cause of autism in 4% of the population worldwide.
  • The CDC estimates that one in 259 women and one in 800 men carry Fragile X.
  • A mother who is a carrier has a 50% chance of passing the mutated gene to her children, who will either be carriers or have FXS.
  • Men who are carriers do not pass the pre-mutation to their sons, but only daughters, who become carriers
  • The simplest tool for timely detection is a DNA test.
  • autism triggered by FXS is a behavioural condition.
  • The symptoms are learning difficulty, speech delay, aggressive behaviour, hyperactivity, attention deficit, fear of the unfamiliar, sensory processing disorders and problems in motor skills.
  • These cannot be cured, but early therapy can improve the individual’s quality of life
  • National Policy for Rare Diseases Act calls for systematic epidemiological studies on incidence and prevalence of rare diseases.
  • Without naming FXS directly, it recommends prenatal tests for lesser known single-gene and other genetic disorders.


SC on railway


  • The Supreme Court has held that the Railways will have to pay passengers compensation for the late running of trains if unable to establish or prove that the delay was due to reasons beyond its control.
  • “These are the days of competition and accountability.
  • If the public transportation has to survive and compete with private players, they have to improve the system and their working culture


Textile PLI plan


  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a ₹10,683 crore Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the textile sector with a view to “helping India regain its historical dominant status in global textiles trade”.
  • The incentives are designed to encourage investment in new capacities in man-made fibre (MMF) apparel, MMF fabrics, and 10 segments or products of technical textiles
  • Two-thirds of India’s textile exports now are cotton based whereas 66-70% of world trade in textiles and apparel is MMF-based and technical textiles.
  • India’s focus on the manufacture of textiles in the MMF sector is expected to help boost its ability to compete globally

About PLI

  • The scheme, which aimed to boost domestic manufacturing under the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and is expected to result in a minimum production worth more than $500 billion in five years
  • The scheme provides incentives to companies for enhancing their domestic manufacturing apart from focusing on reducing import bills and improving the cost competitiveness of local goods.
  • PLI scheme offers incentives on incremental sales for products manufactured in India.


Man-made fibres (MMF)

  • Fibres are classified in 2 groups; natural fibres and man-made fibres (MMF).
  • Natural fibres are fibres made by nature. Typical examples are cotton and wool, which are mainly used in textile clothing but there are many often natural fibres produced in smaller quantities such as e.g. silk, flax or hemp.
  • Man-made fibres (MMF) are fibres made by man. MMF can be organic or inorganic. Organic MMF can be made from natural materials like wood, or are made from synthetic polymers.
  • For more information, visit the website of BISFA – the International Bureau for the Standardisation of Man-made Fibres.
  • Viscose is a typical example and an important MMF, which is made from wood pulp, a cellulose material.
  • Other MMF are petroleum based synthetic fibres such as polyamide, polyester, acrylic, aramids, etc.
  • MMF are not only used in all kind of textiles and apparel, but also in a wide range of technical applications.