Daily Current Affairs: 18 January 2017

India gets associate membership of CERN

  • India formally became an associate member of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)
  • India had ‘observer’ status since 2004.
  • India can take part in meetings of the CERN Council and its committees but will not have voting rights on decisions of the council.
  • The membership will make Indian scientists eligible for staff appointments in CERN.
  • European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) is world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory. It is situated in North West suburbs of Geneva on France-Swiss Border. It was established in 1954.
  • It has 22 member states, four associate members (including India, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine) and three International Organisations have observer status.
  • The laboratory helps scientists and engineers probing fundamental structure of Universe using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems. Provide the necessary infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research including particle accelerators.
  • One of the major achievements of CERN is the discovery of the Higgs Boson which is popularly known as the God particle.

 Ministry of Railways launches ‘Mission 41K’

  • Mission 41K is a programme to save Rs. 41,000 crore of the Indian Railways’ expenditure on energy consumption over the next 10 years.
  • Measures to achieve this milestone includes moving 90% of traffic to electric traction over diesel from present 50% of the total rail traffic.
  • The railways will also procure more electricity at cheaper rates through open market instead of sourcing it through DISCOMs. Thereby it hopes to save as much as 25% on its energy expenses.
  • The Electrification Mission will help Indian Railways to reduce dependence on imported fuel, change energy mix, and rationalize the cost of energy for Railways.