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  • Category
    Miscellaneous
  • Published
    27th Nov, 2023
Geography (GS-I)
Cyclone Midhili

According to the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) latest cyclone update, ‘Cyclone Midhili’ could make landfall along the Bangladesh coast on November 18, 2023.

About:

  • The cyclone would be named ‘Midhili’ once it forms, a name contributed by the Maldives.
  • IMD predicted that the system could cross the Bangladesh coast between Mongla and Khepupara as a deep depression with wind speeds of 55-65 km/hr gusting to 75 km/hr.
  • Cyclone Midhili will be the second cyclone of the season in the Bay of Bengal after Cyclone Hamoon in late October.

Science and Technology
Discovery of rare metal in Sutlej

The discovery of tantalum in Sutlej is not only significant for Punjab but for India, given its value in terms of its use in electronics and semi-conductors.

About Tantalum:

  • Tantalum is a chemical element; it has symbol Ta and atomic number 73.
  • Previously known as tantalium, it is named after Tantalus, a figure in Greek mythology.
  • Tantalum is a very hard, ductile, lustrous, blue-gray transition metal that is highly corrosion-resistant.

Tantalum in India:

  • Tantalum may be making it to Himalayan region rivers due to movement of tectonic plates during earthquakes.
  • Tectonic plates in India are moving towards Eurasian region and in the process, rare minerals beneath the earth may have been making their way to Himalayan rivers.

International Relations (GS-II)
WOAH Regional Commission for Asia and the Pacific

India hosted the 33rd Conference of the WOAH (World Organization for Animal Health) Regional Commission for Asia and the Pacific from November 13 to 16, 2023.

About the event:

  • This 4-day event was organized by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, MOFAHD at New Delhi.
  • The delegates and representatives of global and regional organizations deliberated on pressing animal health issues like bird flu/avian influenza, rabies, FMD, ASF, LSD recognizing the need for a collaborative regional approach due to the borderless nature of these diseases.
  • Emphasizing the importance of information sharing and establishing multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms involving veterinary services, public health, and environmental health, including wildlife conservation, discussions underscored the necessity for robust policy and legal frameworks.

Indonesia expressed willingness to host the 34th WOAH regional conference for Asia and the Pacific.

Polity and Governance (GS-II)
National Tribal Youth Exchange program

The 15th National Tribal Youth exchange program will be held from tomorrow to the 28th November at Chennai.

About:

  • Under the programme camps will be conducted.
  • The training will be given by CRPF, BSF and NYKS
  • In the program, cultural events, classical and folk arts, educational sessions will be conducted in the seven day exchange program.
  • The camps will be conducted in 25 state capitals and more than 5000 youth from the socially backward districts and tribal areas will attend the program.

Science and Technology (GS-II)
Indian Navy launches anti-submarine warfare craft 'Amini'

The Indian Navy has launched its most advanced and State-of-the-art anti-submarine warfare shallow watercraft, named Amini.

About:

  • The vessel is named after a strategically important island in the Lakshadweep archipelago on India's western coast, almost 400 km off Kochi, Kerala.
  • This is the fourth in the series of eight anti-submarine warfare shallow watercrafts being built in India by domestic shipyards for the Indian Navy.
  • Four of these ships, each with more than 80 per cent indigenous content, have been launched this year.
  • The 77-meter-long anti-submarine warfare shallow watercraft has a displacement of 900 tonnes, a maximum speed of 25knots (46.3kmph) and an endurance of approximately 1800 Nautical miles (3333kms).
  • The contract for building eight anti-submarine warfare ships was signed between India's Defence Ministry and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, in April 2019.

Environment (GS-III)
Nest Initiative

Recently, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) of the Confederation of Indian Industry launched a rating and certification initiative ‘Nest’.

About the initiative:

  • Objective: To promote sustainable and eco-friendly constructions in the domestic housing sector.
  • It was proposed as part of the annual conference to be held at Chennai Trade Centre.

IGBC Green Building Congress 2023:

  • The annual IGBC Green Building Congress 2023, which will be held in the city after a gap of 10 years, would provide a platform for the construction industry stakeholders in the country to create a sustainable building environment for achieving net zero carbon emission goals.
  • The Tamil Nadu government will be the partner State for the Green Building congress 2023.
  • The World Green Building Council will be the support partner.
  • Under the initiative, the green building rating and certification programmes being covered under 31 categories encompassing;
  • Commercial space,
  • Factories,
  • Railway stations,
  • Special economic zones (SEZs), and
  • Schools.

Science and Technology (GS-III)
Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing a snake-like robot which it says can boost space exploration through its diverse adaptability to various terrains.

About:

  • The EELS system is a mobile instrument platform conceived to explore internal terrain structures, assess habitability and ultimately search for evidence of life.
  • It is designed to be adaptable to traverse ocean-world-inspired terrain, fluidized media, enclosed labyrinthian environments and liquids.
  • The EELS architecture is a snake-like, self-propelled robot and made of multiple, identical, segments containing both the actuation and propulsion mechanisms as well as the power and communication electronics to drive them.
  • EELS uses first-of-a-kind rotating propulsion units that act as tracks, gripping mechanisms and propeller units underwater, enabling the robot to access a plume vent exit and follow it to its ocean source.

Benefit:

  • This system can further Ocean World exploration by its diverse adaptability to various types of terrains.
  • EELS allows for deeper exploration into areas that were once unattainable.

Science and Technology (GS-III)
OneWeb becomes first pvt satcom co. to get nod for commercial satellite broadband

Bharti Group-backed OneWeb India has announced that it has received the necessary authorisations from space regulator Indian Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to launch Eutelsat OneWeb's commercial satellite broadband services in India.

About the information:

Facts:

Eutelsat OneWeb, earlier known as OneWeb, is a global constellation with 648 satellites orbiting earth in circular polar orbits at 1200 km altitude and shall provide about 21 Gbps throughput over India.

  • OneWeb India is the first organisation to be granted this authorisation.
  • Eutelsat OneWeb’, the low earth orbit operator, is part of Eutelsat Group.
  • This authorisation means Eutelsat OneWeb can launch commercial connectivity services as soon as spectrum allocation is granted by the Government.
  • IN-SPACe stated that OneWeb India aims to provide internet services to rural and unconnected areas and territorial waters of India on a 24×7 basis.
  • The authorisation has a validity period of five years and is subject to the assignment of the spectrum by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) for both the gateways and user terminal operations.

Science and Technology (GS-III)
Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC)

Recently, NASA has achieved "first light" in the early hours after its flight laser transceiver, which is a cutting-edge instrument aboard Psyche Mission.

About:

  • It is a laser space communication system, of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has achieved "first light" as it successfully transmitted data through laser over a distance of 10 million miles.
  • NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment has beamed a near-infrared laser encoded with test data from nearly 10 million miles (16 million kilometers) away – about 40 times farther than the Moon is from Earth – to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California.
  • This is the farthest-ever demonstration of optical communications.

Science and Technology (GS-III)
First indigenously developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile
  • Indian Navy and DRDO, successfully undertook Guided Flight Trials of the first indigenously developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile from Sea king 42B helicopter.
  • Missile is the first indigenous air-launched anti-ship cruise missile. It is a significant step towards self-reliance in niche missile technology, including seeker and guidance technologies.
  • With strike range of around 60 km, can travel at a speed of Mach 0.8.

Anti-ship cruise missile:

  • A guided missile designed for use against ships and large boats. Most are of the sea skimming variety, and use a combination of inertial guidance and active radar homing.
  • A large number of other anti-ship missiles use infrared homing to follow the heat that is emitted by a ship; it is also possible for anti-ship missiles to be guided by radio command all the way.

Science and Technology (GS-III)
Vajra Prahar: India-USA joint exercise

It is 14th Edition of the Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise.

  • The US contingent is represented by personnel from the 1st Special Forces Group (SFG) of US Special Forces. The Indian Army contingent is led by Special Forces personnel from the Eastern Command.
  • It was held in umroi, Meghalaya.

Aim

  • Sharing best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics.
  • To enhance inter-operability and strengthen defence cooperation.

Exercise includes

  • Joint plan and rehearse a series of Special Operations, Counter Terrorist Operations, and Air Borne operations in simulated conventional and unconventional scenarios in mountainous terrain.
  • Water borne insertion of troops, Precision engagement of targets at long ranges, Combat air controlling of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft’ besides ‘airborne insertion and sustenance of troops.

Science and Technology (GS-III) 
AUSTRAHIND-23

Recently, the Indian Armed Forces departed for Perth, Australia to participate in the second edition of the joint military exercise, AUSTRAHIND-23.

  • The exercise will be conducted from November 22 to December 6, 2023.

About:

  • The Indian contingent comprises 60 personnel from a Battalion of the GORKHA Rifles.
  • The Australian Army contingent comprising 60 personnel will be from the 13th Brigade.
  • One officer from the Indian Navy and 20 personnel from the Indian Air Force will also participate from the Indian side.
  • The Australian contingent will include 20 personnel each from the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.

Location in News
Sukhna Lake

Recently, 49 migratory birds species spotted at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake during a survey.

About the survey:

  • The most common species at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake was the Indian spot-billed duck with 39 sightings; followed by 22 jungle babbler and 18 common moorhen and great cormorant each has been spotted.
  • The Chandigarh Bird Club conducts an annual survey of Sukhna Lake to commemorate the ‘Birdman of India’, Dr Salim Ali, on his birth anniversary.

Do you Know?

The Punjab and Haryana high court has declared Sukhna Lake a “living entity” or “legal person” with rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.

The Sukhna Lake:

  • It is a man-made Lake and was built in 1958 by Le Corbusier, the architect of Chandigarh.
  • Located in the foothills of the Shivalik Hills, it was designed to collect runoff water from the Hills.
  • The Lake, which is in the process of being officially notified as a wetland, also has a nearby wildlife sanctuary that is home to Sambar, pangolin, wild boars, red jungle fowl, cobras and other species.
Location in News
Gulf of Guinea (GoG)

INS Sumedha is on an Extended Range Operational Deployment and is currently operating in the Atlantic Ocean along the West Coast of Africa.

  • During this period, INS Sumedha operated in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) undertaking a 31 days anti-piracy patrol.

Do you Know?

It is believed that the Gulf of Guinea today accounts for 7% and 4.5% of the world's gas and oil reserves, respectively.

About the location:

  • It is the most north-eastern part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, located off the western coast of Africa.
  • It is located at 0°0'N and 0°0'E, at the intersection of the Prime Meridian and the Equator.
  • The region is 3 million square kilometres, with 6,000 kilometres of coastline.
  • It has a relatively narrow continental shelf.
  • Because of the rivers that pour into it and the region's heavy rainfall, it has warm tropical waters with relatively low salinity.
  • The Volta and Niger Rivers are two of its primary tributaries.

Location in News
Pobitora Wildlife sanctuary

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and the Assam government to respond to a plea seeking directions to declare the area around Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary an eco-sensitive zone and remove all encroachments.

About the location:

  • It is located on the southern bank of the river Brahmaputra in Morigaon district, adjacent to Guwahati in Assam.
  • It was declared a reserve forest in 1971 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1987.
  • It is home to the highest population density of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros species (around 102 rhinos in an area of 38.8 sq. km).
  • Landscape: It is dominated by alluvial lowlands and marshland.
    • The Brahmaputra River offers a natural boundary to the premises of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary on the north, while the GarangaBeel offers a natural boundary to its south.
  • Flora:
    • 72% of Pabitora consists of wet savannah of Arundodonax, Erianthusravennae, Phragmiteskarka, Imperatacylindrica, and Saccharum spp.
    • Water hyacinth (Eichorniacrassipes) is a major problem, especially to waterfowl, as it forms thick mats on the water surface.
  • Fauna:
    • Besides rhinoceros, the other animals are leopard, wild boar, Barking deer, wild buffalo, etc.
    • It is also home to more than 375 species of resident and migratory birds, such as the Indian pied Hornbill, Osprey, Hill Myna, Kalij Pheasant, etc.

Species in News
Bewick’s swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii)

Scientists has highlighted that the Bewick’s swans are changing their behaviour in a warming world, with fewer making it back to the UK and those that do arriving late.

About the Species:

  • The smallest of the UK's wild swans, Bewick's have more black on their yellow bills than Britain's other long-distance migrant.
  • They’re the only one of our swan species to have an orange bill and can be found on a wide-range of water bodies, from a village pond to our largest lakes and are with us year-round.
  • They breed around the coasts of the Arctic Ocean in northern Russia, with small numbers coming to the UK to spend the winter.

Species in News
BSI scientists discover two new plant species on the Western Ghats

The species Musseanda conferta and Rungia longistachya were discovered during recent explorations.

About:

  • A team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have reported the discovery of two new plant species from the evergreen forest patches in the southern end of the Western Ghats.
  • The new species Musseanda conferta and Rungia longistachya were discovered during recent explorations by BSI scientists.
  • Rungia longstachya belongs to the family of Acanthaceae and was discovered from the moist places of Anamalai regions near the Idukki dam site in Kerala.
  • The plant is a herb and reaches height of up to 50 cm and grows in the margins of evergreen forests.
  • Only eleven species of Rungia have been reported from the Western Ghats.

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