GREEN HYDROGEN FUEL CELL BUS
Why in news?
Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri launched India’s first green hydrogen fuel cell bus at
Kartavya Path in Delhi.
The initiative is part of Indian Oil’s efforts to conduct operational trials of 15 fuel cell buses powered by green hydrogen on designated routes in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.
What is Green Hydrogen?
Green hydrogen is hydrogen gas (H2) produced through a process called electrolysis, using renewable energy sources
such as wind, solar, or hydropower.
Unlike “grey” or “blue” hydrogen, which are produced from natural gas and emit carbon dioxide (CO2) during production,
green hydrogen is considered environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral.
Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy stored in hydrogen and oxygen into electrical
energy, with water as the only byproduct.
They are highly efficient and have various applications, making
them a crucial component of the green hydrogen ecosystem.
Production of Green Hydrogen
Electrolysis: Green hydrogen is primarily produced through water electrolysis. This process involves passing an electric
current through water to split it into hydrogen and oxygen gases.
Two common types of electrolyzers are proton exchange membrane (PEM) and alkaline electrolyzers.
Renewable Energy Sources: To ensure the “green” status of hydrogen, it is crucial to power the electrolysis process with
renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, or hydropower.
This ensures that no carbon emissions are associated with the hydrogen production process.
Green hydrogen fuel cells have a wide range of applications:
Transportation: Hydrogen fuel cells can power vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and trains, providing a clean
alternative to traditional internal combustion engines.
Energy Storage: Green hydrogen can store excess energy from renewable sources, enabling grid stability and energy supply during periods of high demand.
Industrial Processes: Hydrogen is used in various industrial applications, including refining, chemicals, and steel production,
and can replace grey hydrogen in these processes to reduce carbon emissions.
Power Generation: Fuel cells can be used for distributed power generation and backup power in remote areas.
Aerospace: Hydrogen fuel cells are being explored for applications in aircraft and spacecraft due to their high energy
Clean Energy: Green hydrogen is produced without emitting greenhouse gases, making it a clean energy source.
High Energy Density: Hydrogen has a high energy density, making it suitable for long-duration energy storage.
Versatility: Hydrogen can be used in various sectors, from transportation to industry, making it a versatile energy carrier.
Reduced Dependence on Fossil Fuels: Green hydrogen reduces reliance on fossil fuels and contributes to energy diversification.
Cost: Hydrogen production through electrolysis can be expensive, particularly when renewable energy sources are not
Storage and Transportation: Hydrogen is challenging to store and transport due to its low density, requiring infrastructure
Efficiency: Electrolysis processes and fuel cells need further advancements to improve energy efficiency.
Competition: Hydrogen faces competition from other clean energy technologies like batteries and carbon capture.
Source – Indian Express
Why in news?
Vibrio vulnificus is a marine bacterium that has the potential to become a significant threat to coastal populations in the future. This bacterium is expected to proliferate due to the ideal environmental conditions resulting from warmer oceans and high rainfall.
About Vibrio Vulnificus
Origin and Transmission
Vibrio vulnificus is naturally found in marine environments, particularly in warm coastal waters with low salinity. It can
enter the human body through two main routes:
o People can contract Vibrio vulnificus by eating raw or undercooked seafood contaminated with the bacterium. This
can lead to symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever.
o Another mode of transmission is through open wounds or cuts coming into contact with waters where Vibrio vulnificus is present. This can result in a severe and potentially life- threatening flesh-eating disease, with a mortality rate of 15-50%. Symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus infection can vary depending on the mode of transmission
Consumption of Infected Raw Shellfish: When ingested, Vibrio vulnificus can cause symptoms such as diarrhoea,
vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. In some cases, these symptoms can be severe, especially in individuals with weakened
Exposure to Wounds: When the bacterium enters the body through wounds, it can lead to localized symptoms such as pain, swelling, and redness at the site of infection. This can progress to necrotizing fasciitis, a life-threatening condition
characterized by the rapid death of skin and soft tissue. If the infection enters the bloodstream, it can result in septicemia,
which can lead to more severe symptoms, including high fever, confusion, and organ failure.
Certain individuals are at a higher risk of severe Vibrio vulnificus infections, including those with comorbidities such as chronic liver disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. Immunocompromised individuals are also more susceptible to the bacterium.
Antibiotics are often administered to combat the infection.
However, the effectiveness of treatment decreases if the
bacterium has entered the bloodstream.
In severe cases, especially when the infection has progressed to
gangrene or septicemia, surgical procedures such as
amputation may be necessary.
Source – Indian
What is NavIC?
o NavIC or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is designed with a constellation of 7 satellites and a
network of ground stations operating 24×7.
There are a total of eight satellites however only seven remain active.
Three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
o The constellations’ first satellite (IRNSS-1A) was launched on 1 st July 2013 and the eighth satellite IRNSS-1I was
launched in April 2018.
With the seventh launch of the constellation’s satellite (IRNSS-1G), IRNSS was renamed NavIC by India’s
Prime Minister in 2016.
o It was recognised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a part of the World-Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) for operation in the Indian Ocean Region in 2020.
Terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation;
Vehicle tracking and fleet management (especially for
mining and transportation sector);
Integration with mobile phones;
Precise timing (as for ATMs and power grids);
Mapping and geodetic data capture.
What is the Significance?
It gives real time information for 2 services i.e standard positioning service open for civilian use and Restricted
service which may be encrypted for authorized users like for military.
India became one of the 5 countries having their own navigation system. So, India’s dependence on other countries for navigation purposes reduces.
It will help scientific & technological advancement in India. It is important for the country’s sovereignty and
In April 2019, the government made NavIC-based vehicle trackers mandatory for all commercial vehicles in the
country in accordance with the Nirbhaya case verdict.
Also, Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled mobile chipsets supporting NavIC
Further with extensive coverage, one of the stated future uses of the project includes sharing of the project with the SAARC nations. This will help in integrating the regional navigation system further and a diplomatic goodwill gesture from India towards countries of the region.
What are the Issues and Intended Improvements?
o ISRO plans to replace at least five satellites with the improved L-Band, which would enable it to offer better
global positioning services to the public as several satellites of the constellation have outlived their lives.
Five more satellites will be launched periodically to
replace the defunct satellites.
The new satellites will have L-1, L-5 and S Band.
L1, L2 and L5 are GPS frequencies, where L1 frequency is used to track GPS satellite location, L2 frequency is used to track the health of the GPS satellites and the L5 frequency is used to improve accuracy for civilian use such as aircraft precision.
S band operate on a wavelength of 8-15 cm and a frequency of 2-4 GHz. Because of the wavelength and
frequency, S band radars are not easily attenuated. This makes them useful for near and far range weather observation.
Long Code for Strategic Sector:
o Currently ISRO is providing only short code. Now, the short code has to become long code for strategic sector use so that the signal cannot be breached or spoofed or made non-available.
o It will be done so that the user base can be widened and to make it user friendly.
o Currently, the mobile phones in India haven’t been made compatible to process its signals.
o The Indian government has been pressing manufacturers to add compatibility and has set a deadline of January 2023 but media reports suggest this is unlikely before2025.
Which are the other Navigation Systems operational in the world?
Four global systems:
o GPS from the U.S.
o GLONASS from Russia.
o Galileo from European Union
o BeiDou from China.
Two regional systems:
o NavIC from India
o QZSS from Japan.
What is the need for NavIC when already others are Operating?
GPS and GLONASS are operated by defence agencies of the respective nations.
It is possible that the civilian service can be degraded or denied.
NavIC is an independent regional system over the Indian region and does not depend on other systems for providing
position service within the service region.
It is fully under the control of the Government of India. Way Forward
To make NavIC truly global like GPS, more satellites would need to be placed in an orbit closer to earth than the current
Right now, NavIC’s reach is only 1,500 km beyond Indian territory. But for our ships and airplanes travelling beyond that
we’d need satellites in Medium Earth Orbit. To make this global at some point, we can keep adding MEO satellites.
Source – PIB, The Hindu
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958
Why in news?
The Union Home Ministry extended for another six months the disturbed area status in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958:
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 is an act of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.
The Central Government, or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or
part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.
The Act in its original form was promulgated by the British in response to the Quit India Movement in 1942.
It was then titled the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance, 1942.
After Independence, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru decided
to retain the Act, which was first brought in as an ordnance and then notified as an Act in 1958. In What Type of Situation
AFSPA can be Invoked?
Section 3 of the Act says special powers can be granted to theIndian Armed Forces when a part of a state/UT or even the
whole state/UT “is in such a disturbed or dangerous conditionthat the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is
What Special Powers does the AFSPA confer on the Armed Forces?
Once an area has been designated as a ‘disturbed area’, the Act provides the armed forces with the following special powers:
To open fire or use force, even causing death, against any person in contravention to the law for the time being or carrying arms and ammunition;
To arrest any person without a warrant, on the basis of “reasonable suspicion” that they have committed or are about to
commit a cognizable offence;
To enter and search any premises without a warrant;
To destroy fortified positions, shelters, structures used as hide- outs, training camps or as a place from which attacks are orlikely to be launched.
These powers are augmented under Section 6 of the Act, which grants the personnel involved in such operations immunity from prosecution without sanction.
Section 6 notes, “no prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding can be instituted, except with the previous sanction
of the Central Government”.
Currently AFSPA is Imposed in Which States?
Assam was the first state to come under the AFSPA in 1958.
Currently, AFSPA is in place in entire UT of Jammu & Kashmir, eight districts of Assam, certain areas of Manipur, Arunachal
Pradesh & Nagaland.
Why is AFSPA Controversial?
With special powers accorded to the armed forces, there have been multiple allegations of “fake encounters” and other human rights violations by the security forces in ‘disturbed’ areas.
A public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court claimed that at least 1,528 extra-judicial killings took place in
Manipur between 2000 and 2012.
The petition alleged that a majority of these killings were carried out in cold blood while the victims were in custody and were
Activists such as Irom Sharmila have protested the existence of the AFSPA. She undertook a 16-year-long hunger strike against the law.
In July 2016, the Supreme Court directed the armed forces and police not to use “excessive or retaliatory force” in even areas declared ‘disturbed’ where the AFSPA is applicable.
Source: The Hindu.