Current Affairs 15 April 2019 Digest 3: State of world population report by UNFPA; world’s biggest plane

Story 1: State of World Population Report-2019: UNFPA

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has recently launched its annual flagship report State of World Population-2019. Report titled “Unfinished business the pursuit of rights and choices” describe issues and information about population worldwide. This UNFPA report informs that India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion.

UNFPA report says despite global gains in securing sexual and reproductive rights over the past 50 years, many population groups are still left behind. Activists, advocates, public health specialists and many others have pushed relentlessly for the transformations we see around us today, but much remains to be done.

India Specific Findings

  • According to a report by the United Nations Population Fund, India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion, more than double the annual growth rate of China.
  • As per the report, the Indian population grew at average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019.
  • In comparison, China’s population stood at 1.42 billion in 2019, growing from 1.23 billion in 1994 and 803.6 million in 1969. China’s population grew at an average annual rate of 0.5 per cent between 2010 and 2019.
  • In India, total fertility rate per woman was 5.6 in 1969, dropping to 3.7 in 1994 and 2.3 in 2019.
  • The life expectancy at birth in 1969 was 47 years, growing to 60 years in 1994 and 69 years in 2019.
  • The report said 27 per cent of the country’s population was in the age bracket of 0-14 years and 10-24 years each, while 67 per cent of the country’s population was in the 15-64 age bracket. However, six per cent of the country’s population is of the age 65 and above.

Global Findings

  • Report says that the world’s population in 1969 was growing at about 2 per cent a year. At that rate, it would almost double within the next 25 years.
  • About 35 million women, girls and young people will need life-saving sexual and reproductive health services this year, as well as services to address gender-based violence, in humanitarian settings.
  • Every day, more than 500 women and girls including in countries with emergency settings, die during pregnancy and childbirth, due to the absence of skilled birth attendants or emergency obstetric procedures.
  • Education enhances women’s understanding of their place in society, provides them with the skills and information to exercise their voice in relationships, and enables them to negotiate for their own interests.
  • Every day, more than 500 women and girls including in countries with emergency settings, die during pregnancy.
  • Highlighting positive changes in the last half-century, the report shows that in 1969, the average number of births per woman was 4.8, compared with 2.9 in 1994, and 2.5 today.

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Story 2: World’s biggest aircraft successfully takes flight

World’s largest airplane took off for the very first time on April 13, 2019. Stratolaunch has built this aircraft in eight years. After its successful test flight, company hopes to use the twin-fuselage, six-engine, catamaran-style aircraft to launch satellite-bearing rockets into space by 2022. This test flight was done at Mojave Desert, California. Stratolaunch was founded in 2011 by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Its first flight duration was 2.5 hours at up to 17,000 ft or 5,200 meter above the sea level. As part of the initial flight, the pilots evaluated aircraft performance and handling qualities before landing successfully back at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Objective of Stratolaunch aircraft

The Stratolaunch aircraft is a mobile launch platform that will enable airline-style access to space that is convenient, affordable and routine. The reinforced centre wing can support multiple launch vehicles, weighing up to a total of 500,000 pounds.

Major Features

  • The plane weighs about 227,000 kg and has the biggest wingspan ever built, measuring 118 meter from one end to the other.
  • It is designed to carry nearly 250,000 kg between the two fuselages.
  • To support its size and weight, the vehicle has 28 wheels.
  • It can hold more than 113,000 kg of fuel.
  • The plane is powered by six Pratt & Whitney engines, which were originally designed for Boeing 747s.
  • Its landing gear, which includes 28 wheels, was also first designed for 747s.

About Stratolaunch Systems Corporation

Founded in 2011 by Paul G. Allen, Stratolaunch Systems Corporation believes in safeguarding Earth for future generations. We do this by enabling convenient, affordable, and routine, airline-style access to space that empowers the world’s problem solvers – so that they can collect rich and actionable data and drive advancements in science, research, and technology from space.

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