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31st January 2023 (8 Topics)

Short News Article

Environment

Munroe Thuruthu: The sinking island of Kerala

A recent study revealed anthropogenic interventions as the main reason for the plight of Munroe Thuruthuresidents, Kerala’s first set of climate refugees.

  • Munroe Thuruthu  is slowly going under water
  • Munroe Island is located 27 km away from the heart of Kollam. 
  • It is a string of eight islets at the confluence of the Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada river. 
  • The island’s decline began with the construction of the Thenmala dam. 
  • Located 70 km away and constructed in the 1960s under the Kallada Irrigation Project, the dam blocked the flow of fresh water as a result of sediments from the Kallada river — the main determinant of the land’s fertility. 
  • Today the whole area has turned saline.

Environment

Red-headed vulture finally seen

For the first time since 2017, birders spotted a red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) in the Bhatti mines area of Delhi.

  • The red-headed vulture species feed on carcasses of medium sized and large mammals. 
  • Family: The red-headed vulture belongs to the family Accipitridae. 
  • Scientific Name: Sarcogyps calvus
  • Habitat: These red-headed vulture species are distributed in Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
  • Size: The red-headed vulture is a large bird, measuring 75 to 85 cm in length and weighing 3,500 to 5,500 grams.
  • IUCN Status: The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these bird species and has listed them as "Critically Endangered".

Science & Technology

IOC starts exportation of aviation gasoline

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has started the exports of aviation gasoline, which is used to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and small planes. 

  • Aviation gasoline is a high-octane aviation fuel with superior performance and quality standards compared to imported fuels. 
  • Usually, flying schools use this fuel for piston-engine aircraft. 
  • The gas is certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and will benefit around 35 flying schools in the country.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly being used in modern warfare, including in Russia-Ukraine, so the development marks an important milestone for India from the perspective of defense preparedness.
  • The beginning of fuel exports marks the entry of India into an estimated $2.7 billion global market.

Polity & Governance

Air Marshal A.P. Singh to be new Vice Chief of IAF

Air Marshal A P Singh has been appointed as the new Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force, officials said on January 30, 2023.

  • He will succeed Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, who will retire from service on January 31, 2023.
  • Air Marshal A P Singh is currently serving as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Central Air Command. He will take charge as the Vice Chief on Wednesday, the officials said.
  • He was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on December 21, 1984.
  • Air Marshal A P Singh is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College.

Science & Technology

Exercise Topchi 2023

 

This year’s edition of Exercise Topchi was recently conducted.

  • Indigenously manufactured weapon systems were the highlight of the Indian Army’s ‘Exercise Topchi’.
  • Exercise Topchi is an annual firepower demonstration and training exercise.
  • This edition of “Exercise Topchi” showcased the integrated employment of firepower and surveillance assets to include guns, mortars, rockets, drones, and aviation assets.
  • In line with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the highlight of the exercise was display and firing by indigenously manufactured artillery equipment viz K-9 Vajra, Dhanush, Indian field gun (IFG)/ light field gun (LFG) system and Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers.
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