2. What is SMART – PDS System?
It is a system in which smart ration card is issued to the citizens.
Individuals shall carry these cards to the ration shop.
The card is screened for a code there. Upon verification, they place
their fingerprint over a fingerprint scanner to double-check their
What is the main objective of Smart PDS?
The aim of the SMART-PDS is to leverage Cloud and new-age
technologies to transform the Public Distribution System’s information
technology to standardize the operation and implementation. Under
this initiative, Smart Ration Cards are issued to make rations accessible
at fair-price shops.
Fingerprints of the beneficiaries are also recorded to ensure
transparency in all transactions.
Apart from this, the Food Corporation of India is in the process of
upgrading its grain storage godowns into 5-star facilities.
What is SMART-PDS?
3. New Variant of Hindustan 228-201 LW aircraft
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been
granted approval by the Directorate General of Civil
Aviation (DGCA) for a new variant of the Hindustan 228-
201 LW aircraft.
It is a modified form of Dornier-228 which the Indian
Navy and the Coast Guard have been using for short-
range maritime patrolling and surveillance.
This new variant belongs to the sub-5,700 kg aircraft
category. It can accommodate 19 passengers with a
maximum takeoff weight of 5,695 kg.
4. Methane Global Tracker report
The Methane Global Tracker report is the annual report released by the
International Energy Agency.
According to the latest report, fossil fuel companies released 120 million
metric tonnes of methane into the atmosphere last year.
This is just a slight decline from the unprecedented record created in
The report found that no effort has been taken by fossil fuel companies
to bring down emissions.
It revealed that cheap and readily available technologies can help bring
down methane emissions from the energy sector by 75 per cent.
Investments in such technologies are estimated to cost less than 3 per
cent of the net income received by the oil and gas industry in 2022.
These findings come after energy giants like BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, etc.
reported record profits in 2022, as a consequence of the Russia-Ukraine
5. Holistic Development of Great Nicobar Island
The Holistic Development of the Great Nicobar Island Project is being
criticised for its adverse impact on the island’s ecology and indigenous
This 166.10 sq. km project involves the construction of an airport, a
township, a container transhipment terminal, and a power plant.
The project requires the diversion of 130 sq km of forest land and the
logging of 8.5 lakh trees.
Recently, the Home Ministry asked that an 8.45 sq. km. airport
component is kept confidential, citing strategic imperatives.
The Environment Ministry has withheld all discussions on forest
clearance for the entire project recommended by the Forest Advisory
The FAC authorizes the diversion of forest land for projects, and there
is no information on when it cleared the proposal for this project.
6. Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen produced from renewable
sources such as wind and solar energy through a process called
Green hydrogen is considered a clean and sustainable energy
source that can be used in various sectors, including
transportation and industry, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
and mitigate climate change.
Due to its high economic potential and cost-effectiveness, it is
expected to become a widely adopted energy source in the
CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) and NTPC are
planning to collaborate to produce green hydrogen.
Also, the European Investment Bank and IREDA Ltd (state-owned
entity) are exploring a partnership to finance green hydrogen
projects in India.
Green Hydrogen in India
7. What is HTT-40 trainer aircraft?
The HTT-40 or Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 is a trainer aircraft developed
and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
It is being manufactured at facilities in Nashik and Bengaluru.
It contains over 56 per cent of indigenous content, which is expected to
increase to over 60 per cent.
The Union Cabinet recently approved the procurement of 70 HTT-40
Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) at the cost of Rs. 6,828.36 crores.
These aircraft will be supplied over a period of 6 years to address the
Indian Air Force’s shortage of basic trainer aircraft for the newly
This procurement is expected to provide direct jobs for over 1,500
personnel. It will also provide indirect employment opportunities for up
to 3,000 people in more than 100 MSMEs.
8. What is S-400 Triumf?
The S-400 Triumf is a surface-to-air missile system that was
developed in Russia in the 1990s as an upgrade to the S-300
It is a mobile system that was initially known as the S-300
PMU-3. The system was first put into service on April 2007.
The S-400 Triumf has advanced features such as a long-
range, high-altitude interception capability, and the ability to
track multiple targets simultaneously.
It can engage enemy targets like fighter jets, UAVs, cruise
missiles, ballistic missiles, etc. It has a range of up to 400 km.
9. Race Across India is Asia’s longest-ever cycle race. It was
accorded the Asian Ultracycling Championship by the World
It was kicked off recently from Srinagar in the Union Territory of
Jammu and Kashmir.
The final destination of this first-of-its-kind race is Kanyakumari in
Tamil Nadu, covering a distance of 3,655 kilometres over 12
As many as 29 cyclists have taken part in this race. Geeta Rao is
the only female participant in this race.
She is India’s first differently-abled Super Randonneur. Earlier she
received a silver medal at the Para-Cycling Championship 2022.
She lost her leg after suffering from polio at a young age.
What is Race Across India?
10. Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala
Sitharaman visited Gurudongmar lake recently.
She interacted with army personnel and offered prayers to this
The Gurudongmar lake is situated at an altitude of
approximately 17,800 feet in the Mangan district of Sikkim. It is
close to the Indo-China border.
It is one of the highest lakes in India. This lake is situated in the
Great Himalayas and is considered to be sacred by Buddhists,
Sikhs and Hindus.
It is named after Guru Padmasambhava – the founder of
Guru Padmasambhava visited this lake in the 8th century.
Where is Gurudongmar Lake?