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11th January 2023 (7 Topics)

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Art and Culture (GS-I)

U.S. fund to help restore Paigah Tombs in Hyderabad



The necropolis of noblemen dating from the Asaf Jahi era known as Paigah Tombs Complex in Hyderabad is set to be restored with funding by the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.


  • It is located 4 km southeast of Charminar, Paigah Tombs are 200-year-old tombs belonging to the nobility of the Paigah family.
  • Paigahs were the influential families in the Princely State of Hyderabad.
  • Currently, US Consulate Hyderabad is located in Paigah Palace located at Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet. From the palace, the Consulate is covering three states, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha.
  • Recent developments:
  • The US Embassy has recently commemorated 20 years of cultural collaboration with India through the AFCP with guests from the Ministry of Culture, the private sector, and civil society at a special celebration in New Delhi.

Science and Technology (GS-III)

Prithvi-II missile successfully tested-fired in Odisha


A successful training launch of a short-range ballistic missile, Prithvi-II, was carried out on January 10 from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.


  • Prithvi-II missile has been an integral part of India’s nuclear deterrence.
  • The missile struck its target with high accuracy.
  • The missile is powered by light propulsion twin engines, has a range of around 350 km and can carry 500-1,000 kg of warheads.
  • It uses an advanced inertial navigation system to strike the set target.
  • The Prithvi-II was earlier successfully test-fired during night hours in 2018 and in 2019.
  • Prithvi was developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

Environment (GS-III)

New reactor powered by sun can convert plastic, CO2 into fuel









Researchers from Cambridge university has found a way to turn PET plastic bottles and carbon dioxide into sustainable fuels like CO, syngas or formate  other valuable products ,using just the energy from the sun.


  • The research paper named Photoelectrochemical CO2-to-fuel conversion with simultaneous plastic reforming was published in Nature Synthesis journal.
  • Conversion of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and plastics — two of the biggest threats facing the natural world, into value-added products, driven by solar energy, is an important step in the transition to a more sustainable, circular economy.
  • However, it is challenging to convert the two simultaneously in an integrated process.

The process:

  • The researchers developed an integrated reactor with two separate compartments:
    • For plastic and
    • For greenhouse gases.
  • The reactor uses a light absorber based on perovskite — a promising alternative to silicon for next-generation solar cells.
  • The team designed different catalysts, which were integrated into the light absorber. By changing the catalyst, the researchers could then change the end product.

End products:

  • Tests of the reactor under normal temperature and pressure conditions showed the reactor could efficiently convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles and CO2 into different carbon-based fuels such as CO, syngas or formate, in addition to glycolic acid.
  • The reactor produced these products at a rate that is also much higher than conventional photo-catalytic CO2 reduction processes.

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