- CURRENT AFFAIRS – 06/01/2024
- India’s real GDP growth for 2023-24 estimated at 7.3%
- Navy thwarts hijacking attempt in Arabian Sea
- Delhi HC tells Health Ministry to fix timelines for organ transplantation process
- Discovery of palaeolithic tools adds to understanding of human settlement
- The need to examine the examination system
- Cabinet clears PRITHVI initiative for ease of research in earth sciences
- ISRO tests fuel cell to potentially power space missions
CURRENT AFFAIRS – 06/01/2024
India’s real GDP growth for 2023-24 estimated at 7.3%
(General Studies- Paper III)
Source : TH
India’s real GDP growth for the fiscal year 2023-24 is estimated at 7.3%, a slight improvement from the previous year’s 7.2%.
- The National Statistical Office (NSO) released these figures, suggesting that the economy is likely to surpass the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) projection of a 7% uptick.
- Advance Estimates:
- The NSO’s advance estimates, based on data from the first six-eight months of the year, indicate that the first half of 2023-24 experienced a growth rate of 7.7%.
- The projections for the second half suggest a growth range of 6.9%-7%.
- While the NSO expects the growth in Gross Value Added (GVA) to ease slightly from 7% in 2022-23 to 6.9% in 2023-24, nominal GDP growth is projected at 8.9%, lower than the Budget estimate of 10.5%.
- Economists caution that this could lead to the fiscal deficit exceeding the targeted 5.9% of GDP, potentially reaching around 6%.
- Sectoral Analysis:
- GVA growth for the farm sector is estimated to decrease significantly from 4% in the previous year to 1.8% in 2023-24.
- The GVA uptick for Trade, Hotels, Transport, Communication, and Services is expected to moderate to 6.3% from the high of 14% in 2022-23.
- Concerns and Caution:
- Economists express concern about optimistic estimates and point to weak consumption growth at 4.4%, the slowest in the past two decades excluding the pandemic year of 2020-21.
- The share of private final consumption expenditure in GDP is expected to drop to 56.9% from 58.5% in the previous fiscal year.
- Analysts emphasize the importance of higher consumption growth for private investments to play a significant role in driving economic expansion.
- Private Investments and Government Role:
- The NSO predicts a rise in the investment rate to nearly 30% of GDP, driven by government capital expenditure.
- However, a key observation is the necessity of higher consumption growth to encourage private investments and, consequently, stimulate the overall economy.
- Manufacturing, Mining, and Construction GVA Growth:
- Manufacturing Gross Value Added (GVA) growth is expected to accelerate to 6.5% in 2023-24 from 1.3% in the previous year.
- Mining GVA is anticipated to rise by 8.1%, up from 4.6% in 2022-23.
- Construction GVA growth is projected to remain solid at 10.7% in 2023-24, building on the 10% uptick recorded in the previous fiscal year.
- Overall Real GDP Estimate:
- The National Statistical Office (NSO) estimates the Real GDP for 2023-24 to reach ₹171.79 lakh crore, compared to the provisional estimate of ₹160.06 lakh crore for 2022-23.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has pegged third-quarter real GDP growth for the current fiscal year at 6.5%, with a possible moderation to 6% in the January to March 2024 quarter.
- Caution and Considerations:
- The NSO emphasizes that these are early projections for 2023-24 and that factors such as improved data coverage, actual tax collections, expenditure on subsidies, and data revisions by source agencies could influence subsequent revisions.
- First Revised Estimates for 2022-23 are due on February 29, potentially leading to revisions in growth rates reflected in the advance estimates.
- Economists express caution and skepticism regarding the high growth assumptions, particularly for agriculture and construction.
- Concerns include a tepid outlook for agriculture due to weak kharif output, slow rabi sowing, and a potential temporary slowdown in capital expenditure ahead of the General Elections.
- ICRA chief economist believes that agriculture and construction GVA growth for the second half of 2023-24 may be lower than NSO estimates, and growth projections for the services sector are considered on the higher side.
About National Statistical Office (NSO)
The National Statistical Office (NSO) is a component of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (S&PI) in India.
- The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (S&PI) was established as an independent ministry on October 15, 1999.
- Its creation resulted from the merger of the Department of Statistics and the Department of Programme Implementation.
- The Ministry of S&PI operates through two primary wings, each dedicated to distinct functions.
- Statistics Wing (National Statistics Office – NSO):
- Responsible for statistical functions, it includes the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
- The CSO is an attached office, and the NSSO operates as a subordinate office under the Ministry’s control.
- As an attached office under the NSO, the CSO is responsible for compiling and disseminating national accounts statistics, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates and other economic indicators.
- Operating as a subordinate office under the NSO, the NSSO is tasked with conducting large-scale sample surveys on various socio-economic aspects, providing valuable data for policy formulation.
- Programme Implementation Wing:
- This wing focuses on aspects related to the implementation of programs and initiatives.
- Data Compilation:
- NSO is involved in the compilation of critical economic and social indicators, contributing to the overall understanding of the country’s development and performance.
- Sample Surveys:
- NSSO, within NSO, conducts extensive sample surveys that cover a wide range of subjects such as employment, consumer expenditure, health, education, and more.
- These surveys provide comprehensive and reliable data for policy analysis and decision-making.
- Data Compilation:
- Statistics Wing (National Statistics Office – NSO):
What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross Value Added (GVA)?
Gross Domestic Product (GDP):
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a comprehensive measure of the economic performance of a country.
- It represents the total monetary value of all goods and services produced within a country’s borders over a specific period, typically measured annually or quarterly.
- GDP is a key indicator of a nation’s economic health and is widely used to compare the economic performance of different countries or to analyze the economic growth or contraction of a single country over time.
- GDP can be calculated using three approaches, and the results from each approach should ideally match:
- Production or Output Approach: This approach calculates GDP by summing up the value of all goods and services produced in various sectors of the economy.
- Income Approach: GDP is calculated by adding up all incomes earned by individuals and businesses, including wages, profits, taxes, and subsidies.
- Expenditure Approach: GDP is calculated by adding up all expenditures made in the economy, including consumption, investment, government spending, and net exports (exports minus imports).
- The formula for GDP is:
- GDP= Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + (Exports−Imports)
Gross Value Added (GVA):
- Gross Value Added (GVA) is a closely related concept to GDP, but it focuses on the value generated by individual sectors of an economy.
- GVA represents the contribution of each economic unit (industry, sector, or producer) to the overall economy.
- It measures the value of goods and services produced by an economic entity less the cost of inputs and raw materials that are directly attributable to that production.
- GVA= Revenue−Cost of Goods and Services Used in Production
- GVA is often used to analyze the performance of specific sectors within the economy.
- The sum of the GVA from all sectors equals the GDP.
- GVA provides a more detailed picture of economic performance by showing how much value is added at each stage of the production process.
Navy thwarts hijacking attempt in Arabian Sea
(General Studies- Paper III)
Source : TH
In a positive turn of events, the Indian Navy’s Marine Commandos (MARCOS) successfully prevented a hijacking attempt in the North Arabian Sea.
- The incident involved the merchant vessel Lila Norfolk, which came under threat from an attempted hijacking.
- Evacuation and Response:
- MARCOS, the elite Marine Commandos of the Indian Navy, conducted a secure and safe evacuation of all 21 crew members, including 15 Indians, from the Lila Norfolk.
- The hijackers’ absence was confirmed through sanitization efforts by MARCOS.
- It is suggested that the pirates likely abandoned their hijacking attempt following a forceful warning from the Indian Navy’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and the interception by an Indian Naval warship, INS Chennai.
- Current Status and Support:
- INS Chennai, currently in the vicinity of Lila Norfolk, is providing support to restore power generation and propulsion for the vessel.
- The Indian Navy’s MARCOS boarded the Lila Norfolk, initiating the sanitization process to ensure the vessel’s safety.
- The vessel, en route from Brazil to Bahrain, came under threat approximately 460 nautical miles off the coast from Eyl, Somalia.
- The crew of Lila Norfolk, facing the hijack attempt, successfully gathered in the citadel—a fortified room within a ship providing safety and communication facilities.
- Recent Maritime Security Challenges:
- The incident is the second hijacking in the region, following the hijack of the Malta-flagged tanker m.v. Ruen last month by Somali pirates, currently located off the Somali coast.
- Houthi rebels in Yemen have targeted merchant ships in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea, including Indian-crewed vessels like m.v. Chem Pluto and m.v. Sai Baba.
- Indian Navy’s Response and Enhanced Surveillance:
- In response to these incidents, the Indian Navy has heightened maritime surveillance efforts in the Central and North Arabian Sea, deploying Task Groups comprising destroyers and frigates for security operations.
- Aerial surveillance, including long-range maritime patrol aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, has been increased to ensure comprehensive maritime domain awareness.
- Naval task groups have actively investigated numerous fishing vessels in the area, maintaining a vigilant presence.
- The Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) and Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC IOR) closely monitor white shipping, particularly Indian-flagged merchant vessels in the region.
- Coordination with the Coast Guard is in place to sustain enhanced surveillance within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
About the Arabian Sea
- The Arabian Sea is a region of the northern Indian Ocean, bordered by various countries and strategically located as a key maritime hub.
- Geographic Boundaries:
- The Arabian Sea is situated in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by the Arabian Peninsula to the west, the Gulf of Aden, and the Guardafui Channel to the west and northwest, Gulf of Oman and Iran to the northwest, Pakistan to the north, India to the east, the Laccadive Sea and the Maldives to the southeast, and Somalia to the southwest.
- The total area of the Arabian Sea is 3,862,000 square kilometers (1,491,000 square miles), and its maximum depth reaches 4,652 meters (15,262 feet).
- Key Features:
- The Gulf of Aden in the southwest connects the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea via the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb.
- The Gulf of Oman in the northwest links the Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf.
- Important branches include the gulfs of Khambhat and Kutch on the Indian Coast.
- The Arabian Sea has been a vital maritime route since ancient times, dating back to the 3rd or 2nd millennium BCE.
- It has facilitated significant marine trade routes connecting various regions.
- Major Seaports:
- Prominent seaports along the Arabian Sea include Kandla Port, Mundra Port, Pipavav Port, Dahej Port, Hazira Port, Mumbai Port, NhavaSheva Port (Navi Mumbai), Mormugão Port (Goa), New Mangalore Port, and Kochi Port in India.
- In Pakistan, major ports include the Port of Karachi, Port Qasim, and Gwadar Port.
- Iran is represented by the Chabahar Port, and Oman features the Port of Salalah.
- Notable islands within the Arabian Sea include Socotra (Yemen), Masirah Island (Oman), Lakshadweep (India), and Astola Island (Pakistan).
- Countries with coastlines on the Arabian Sea include Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, Iran, India, and the Maldives.
Delhi HC tells Health Ministry to fix timelines for organ transplantation process
(General Studies- Paper II)
Source : TH
In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has mandated specific timelines for the entire process of transplanting organs from living donors.
- Justice Prathiba M. Singh emphasized that the entire process, from the submission of the application to the final decision, should ideally not exceed 6 to 8 weeks.
- The court directed the Health Ministry to establish these timelines for each stage of the organ transplant process.
- Background and Petition:
- The judgment stems from a 2020 petition filed by a former Indian Air Force personnel seeking a kidney transplant.
- Unfortunately, the petitioner passed away in October 2021 while awaiting a transplant, prompting the High Court to further investigate the systemic issues contributing to delays in organ transplant procedures.
- Decision-making process
- Justice Singh underscored the life-threatening consequences of delays in organ transplant cases, emphasizing the critical nature of timely decision-making.
- The court called for the prescription of specific timelines under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014, particularly for the Authorisation Committee.
- The Authorisation Committee plays a crucial role in approving organ transplant procedures involving donors and recipients who are not close relatives.
- Its approval is essential, especially in cases driven by reasons of affection, attachment, or other special circumstances, to ensure non-commercial motives behind organ donation.
- Justice Singh stressed that the processing of forms, conduct of interviews, and decision-making should adhere to fixed timelines, preventing delays and potential life-threatening consequences.
- Prescribed Timeframes:
- The court ordered that the entire process, spanning from the submission of applications to final decisions, should ideally be completed within 6 to 8 weeks.
- Any appeals against the committee’s decisions should be concluded within a maximum of 30 days.
- Justice Singh emphasized that the legislation does not intend for extended delays in processing applications.
- Swift approvals are crucial to alleviate patient suffering, and quick rejections enable recipients to explore other options promptly.
About the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014
- The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014, is a set of regulations in India that complements the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994.
- These rules were formulated to govern the donation, retrieval, storage, and transplantation of human organs and tissues.
- The primary objective of the rules is to ensure ethical practices, transparency, and accountability in the processes related to organ transplantation.
- It seeks to prevent commercial dealings and exploitation in organ donation.
- Authorization Committees:
- The rules establish Authorization Committees at various levels, including state and union territory levels, to oversee and approve organ transplant procedures.
- These committees play a crucial role in evaluating applications and ensuring the legitimacy of organ donations.
- Eligibility Criteria for Donors and Recipients:
- The rules outline eligibility criteria for both living and deceased donors, specifying the conditions under which organ donation is permissible.
- It also establishes criteria for identifying suitable recipients, considering medical and ethical aspects.
- Waiting Lists and Allocation of Organs:
- Procedures for maintaining waiting lists for organ transplantation and the fair allocation of organs among potential recipients are defined in the rules.
- Priority is often given based on medical urgency and compatibility.
- The appointment of a transplant coordinator is mandated to facilitate communication between hospitals, organ procurement organizations, and Authorization Committees.
- The coordinator plays a key role in ensuring smooth coordination during the organ transplantation process.
- Penal Provisions:
- The rules include penalties for violations, including unauthorized removal of organs, commercial dealings in organs, and non-compliance with prescribed procedures.
- Legal consequences are specified to deter illegal practices and protect the integrity of the organ transplantation system.
Discovery of palaeolithic tools adds to understanding of human settlement
(General Studies- Paper I)
Source : TH
Recent floods in Telangana’s Mulugu district led to the unexpected discovery of Paleolithic quartzite tools.
- The tools, including hand axes, emerged in the dried-up bed of a stream after the floodwaters receded.
- The findings were reported in the stream between Gurrevula and Bhupatipuram villages in Mulugu district, Telangana, which had experienced extensive flooding in July 2023.
- This new archaeological discovery challenges existing understandings of human habitation in Telangana and central India.
- The findings push back the timeline for human activity in the region.
- The discovered stone axe, measuring 15.5cm in length, 11cm in width, and 5.5cm in thickness, belongs to the Lower Paleolithic period.
- Estimated to be around 30 lakh (3 million) years old, the tool dates back to the Paleolithic Age, also known as the Old Stone Age or Early Stone Age, lasting for approximately 10,000 years.
- Tools were identified based on chipping style, material, and size.
- Paleolithic hunter-gatherers commonly used heavy quartzite tools for activities such as cutting wood and hunting animals for food.
- Comparison with Previous Discoveries:
- Similar hand axes have been discovered globally, aligning with the characteristics of tools used during the Paleolithic period.
- The report draws parallels with the 1863 discovery of a Paleolithic site at Attirampakkam near Madras (present-day Chennai) by the East India Company’s Geological Survey team.
- The tools found there, made by early humans, are approximately 15 lakh (1.5 million) years old.
- The Paleolithic culture associated with these tools has been labeled the Madras Hand-Axe Industry or Madrasian Culture, signifying its historical significance.
About Paleolithic Age in Indian Ancient History
- The Paleolithic Age, also known as the Old Stone Age, is a significant period in human history characterized by the use of stone tools.
- The Paleolithic Age in India extends from around 2.5 million years ago to about 10,000 BCE (Before Common Era).
- It is divided into three sub-divisions: Lower Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic, and Upper Paleolithic.
- Lower Paleolithic (2.5 million – 200,000 years ago):
- Early humans in India primarily used simple tools made from large stones.
- Handaxes and cleavers were common tools during this phase, serving purposes such as hunting and butchering animals.
- Middle Paleolithic (200,000 – 40,000 years ago):
- This period witnessed the emergence of more refined tools, including blades and flakes.
- Homo sapiens, the anatomically modern humans, are believed to have appeared during the later part of the Middle Paleolithic.
- Upper Paleolithic (40,000 – 10,000 BCE):
- Advanced stone tools, and blades characterize this phase.
- There is evidence of increased sophistication in tool-making techniques, possibly indicating improved hunting strategies and more complex societal structures.
- Throughout the Paleolithic Age, the predominant lifestyle was that of hunter-gatherers.
- Early humans relied on hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants for sustenance.
- Nomadic lifestyles were common, as human groups moved in search of food resources.
- Evidence of artistic expressions, such as cave paintings and engravings, has been found in some regions.
- There are various Palaeolithic sites in India such as Belan Valley in UP, Pahalgam Valley in Jammu and Kashmir, sites in the Thar Desert, Atirampakkam near Chennai in Tamil Nadu, etc.
The need to examine the examination system
(General Studies- Paper II)
Source : TH
The recurring scandals during examination seasons in India, emphasizes the direct link between the credibility of examination systems and the standard of certificates issued by educational boards.
- The lack of trust in the examination system negatively impacts educational standards.
- Impact on Learning Patterns:
- The credibility crisis leads to a focus on preparing students for known examination patterns, often centered around memory testing.
- This narrows down teaching methods to rote memorization rather than fostering a broader skill set that prepares students for diverse assessments.
- The pursuit of achieving high pass percentages and inflating marks becomes a primary objective for educational administrations.
- This focus compromises the talent search for employers, as inflated marks may not accurately reflect a student’s actual capabilities.
- Decentralized System Challenges:
- India’s vast education landscape with over 1,100 universities and numerous affiliated colleges faces challenges in maintaining secrecy and standardization in examinations.
- Lack of proper checks and balances can lead to scandals, while excessive standardization hampers experimentation in assessment and curriculum.
- The transparency in teaching and assessment is crucial for ensuring the credibility of examinations and maintaining the standard of education.
- Secrecy without proper audits can lead to scandals, while excessive standardization stifles innovation.
- Issues with Summative Examinations:
- Summative examinations, designed to test and certify a student’s learning, face challenges related to validity over time and comparability across institutions.
- The inconsistency in the examination system raises concerns about its effectiveness in evaluating scholastic abilities beyond mere memory.
- Shortcomings in Question Papers and Evaluation:
- The instances of flawed question papers, including language errors, conceptual errors, and irrelevant questions fail to test higher-order learning.
- The evaluation of answer scripts is criticized for being indiscriminate, with grades often failing to reflect differences in students’ learning achievements.
- The employability of a graduate depends on higher order learning, while examination boards do not certify students on those skills.
- Our institutional examinations fail in this.
- Employers in real world, disregard institutional certification and have their own rigorous assessment of a candidate’s academic achievements and suitability for employment.
- This in turn has created a coaching market for competitive examinations and skilling.
- Challenges in Assessment Quality and the Need for Oversight
- Foundational Importance of Academic Courses:
- The role of academic courses in establishing a robust assessment system is very crucial.
- Despite regulatory emphasis on outcome-based learning and extensive advisories on curriculum design, pedagogy, and examinations, educational institutions often fall short in implementation due to the lack of regular and effective oversight.
- Inconsistencies in Syllabi and Classroom Teaching:
- While syllabi for graduate/diploma programs may appear comprehensive, a closer examination reveals inconsistencies and inadequacies.
- The actual classroom teaching often fails to meet the requirements for imparting higher-order thinking and skills, highlighting a gap between theoretical objectives and practical implementation.
- Thus, a simultaneous approach to curriculum change and examination reforms, emphasizing the need for transparency, oversight, and the involvement of professional bodies in curriculum design and teaching practices is advocated.
- Secrecy Issues in Assessment:
- Confidentiality in the examination process, from question paper setting to evaluation and mark sheet preparation, is identified as a challenge.
- The secrecy allows room for subpar work by some teachers and contributes to scandals in examinations.
- Larger examination systems aiming for uniformity and confidentiality are prone to malfunctioning and malpractices.
- Autonomy Regulations and Oversight Challenges:
- Regulatory bodies encourage academic autonomy for colleges, allowing them to conduct their own examinations.
- Autonomy regulations provide limited oversight authority for the affiliating university over the examination systems of autonomous colleges, leading to concerns about standardization.
- Need for Transparency, Oversight, and Minimum Standards:
- In a decentralized education system, while confidentiality and standardization matter less, ensuring a minimum standard becomes essential.
- Transparency and proper oversight are emphasized as key elements in examination systems to maintain credibility, prevent malpractices, and uphold a certain level of quality across educational institutions.
- Enhancing Credibility in Assessment Systems: Steps to Take
- Specifying minimum standards for learning outcomes and emphasizes the multitude of approaches available to achieve them is important.
- Academics across various disciplines contribute to curriculum design, pedagogy, and assessment systems, providing a rich pool of resources for educators.
- Continuous assessment through the course is advocated, placing the assessment process in the hands of teachers.
- Despite potential issues with subjective and lenient assessment, it is suggested that proper documentation and real-time oversight, including students’ participative assessment of teachers, can enhance the reliability of this system.
- Transparency is crucial in summative assessment and evaluation, with checks and balances in place.
- Technology is recognized as a valuable tool, offering standardized question paper setting, evaluation processes, and software solutions for various assessment needs.
- The codification of negligence, fraud, academic inadequacies, and other quality issues in assessments is necessary.
- Transparency in accessing the evaluation process by students and effective measures to address grievances are deemed essential.
- External Audit of Assessment Systems:
- An external audit of assessment systems in universities and school boards is deemed essential.
- These audit reports should cover all processes, adhering to established principles and benchmarks set by educationists.
- Grading examination boards based on transparency, reliability, and consistency should be part of audit reports, released promptly after major examination cycles.
- Comprehensive Student Assessment:
- Examination boards are urged to comprehensively assess students in a challenging manner.
- The grades should distinguish students based on their academic attainments.
- While confidentiality and consistency are desired features, the real strengths of examination systems lie in transparency, adhering to minimum acceptable standards, and ensuring credibility.
- Foundational Importance of Academic Courses:
Cabinet clears PRITHVI initiative for ease of research in earth sciences
(General Studies- Paper III)
Source : The Indian Express
The government has approved the ‘PRITHVI’ initiative, providing flexibility to the Ministry of Earth Sciences to pursue research and utilize funds allocated to five sub-schemes related to earth sciences over a five-year period.
- The allocated funds amount to Rs 4,797 crore, covering sub-schemes such as Atmosphere and Climate Research, Ocean Services, Polar Science, Seismology, and Research, Education, Training, and Outreach.
- The initiative aims to view earth system sciences holistically, integrating separate verticals such as atmosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and ocean science into one unit.
- This unified approach will enable cross-disciplinary projects and the pooling of funds allocated to different verticals for collaborative research.
- Under ‘PRITHVI,’ the Ministry of Earth Sciences will have the authority to award research projects to overseas institutes.
- This international collaboration is expected to enhance the scope and impact of earth sciences research.
- The initiative’s focus on cross-disciplinary projects is designed to promote a comprehensive understanding of earth system sciences.
- Additionally, by consolidating funds and encouraging collaborative research, ‘PRITHVI’ aims to facilitate ease of doing research in the field of earth sciences.
- The initiative aligns with the goal of addressing environmental challenges through integrated scientific exploration.
ISRO tests fuel cell to potentially power space missions
(General Studies- Paper III)
Source : The Indian Express
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved a successful demonstration of a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell in space.
- Launched aboard the PSLV on January 1, the fuel cell generated 180W power during a brief test.
- The fuel cell, developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), releases heat and water as byproducts, making it suitable for human space missions with the potential to meet multiple mission requirements.
- ISRO views this as a precursor to future power systems for space stations, aligning with India’s goal of establishing a space station in low earth orbit by 2035.
- The zero-emission fuel cells may also find applications on Earth, potentially replacing vehicle engines.
- Advanced Silicon-Based Fuel Cell
- ISRO successfully showcased an advanced silicon-based cell developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
- This cell presents a low-cost and lighter alternative to traditional lithium-ion cells, utilizing a silicon-graphite composite as an anode.
- Compared to conventional cells, this design allows for more lithium ions in a smaller mass, resulting in increased energy generation per unit weight.
- The hardware features a cost-effective and readily available design with crimped sealing, reducing fabrication costs significantly.
- The demonstrated silicon-based cell proved its ability to endure and perform effectively in the challenging conditions of space while on board the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM).
- ISRO envisions deploying these cells in upcoming operational missions, expecting a substantial 35-40% reduction in battery mass.