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News in Short

News in Short - 23-January-2021

West Bengal forest minister Rajib Banerjee resigns

Date: 23 January 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • West Bengal Forest Minister and confidante of Mamata Banerjee, Rajib Banerjee quit the state cabinet.
  • Banerjee had been skipping cabinet meetings for a long time and had expressed his dissent over the functioning of the party.
  • Earlier Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari and former cricketer and Minister of State for Sports Laxmiratan Shukla had resigned from the government and party posts
  • While there is no formal announcement, Mr Banerjee is widely expected to join the BJP on January 31, when one of the party's top leaders, Home Minister Amit Shah, is scheduled to address a rally in Howrah.

Singer Narendra Chanchal dies

Date: 23 January 2021 Tags: Obituaries
  • Popular bhajan singer Narendra Chanchal passed away in Delhi due to age related illness. He was 80.
  • Chanchal was known for his religious songs and bhajans. Apart from performing at live events for a large part of his career, Chanchal was also famous for playback singing.
  • His songs like “Chalo Bulava Aaya Hai” from Avtaar and “Beshak Mandir Masjid Todo” from Bobby became immensely popular. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Singer for Bobby.

India Innovation Index

Date: 23 January 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • Karnataka has maintained its top position among the major states category in Niti Aayog’s India Innovation Index ranking.
  • Maharashtra has leapfrogged over Tamil Nadu to occupy the second place followed by Telangana, Kerala, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
  • Among Union Territories, and North-Eastern and hill states, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh occupy the top spots respectively.
  • The index will allow states to continue to evaluate their innovation environment and assess their progress. The division of innovation into two dimensions, namely innovation capabilities (Enablers) and innovation outcomes (Performance) will give the states a better perspective for identifying the critical focus areas.

Lockdown boosts household savings

Date: 23 January 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • The pandemic-driven lockdown has boosted household savings that have been falling steadily between 2014 and mid-2019, which is a 20-year high.
  • Surprisingly, a vast portion of this savings is in cash only, which soared by a whopping 135 per cent during the lockdown months.
  • Household savings constitute as much as 58 per cent of the gross capital formation while that of corporates is only 32 per cent.
  • Historically households have been funding a third of the capital formation of the rest of the economy. Overall financial surplus from households has remained steady for the last seven to eight years before rising from mid-2019.

MITs airplane concept to tackle air pollution

Date: 23 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • To combat the rising threat, a team of researchers at MIT have developed a concept hybrid-electric aeroplane propulsion system.
  • In the hybrid electric system, the gas turbine drives a generator, producing electricity to power aircraft’s wing-mounted, electrically-driven propellers.
  • To make this happen, they moved the power-generating gas turbine from the wings and integrated it with the plane’s cargo hold – where the generator is located.
  • This design will clean the exhaust before releasing harmful chemical into the atmosphere as it ensures post-combustion emissions pass through the control system.
  • The team estimates that the concept would eliminate 95% of aviation’s NOx emissions, and thereby reducing premature deaths by 92%.
  • Motor vehicles have an emission control system that washes out exhaust gas, limiting NOx in vehicular emission. This process could not be replicated in airplanes as the emission control system would interfere with the thrust required to lift off the aircraft.