Prelims Current Affairs 


1.Water Ice on the Moon

Source: ISRO study

Key Findings:

  • Water Ice Discovery: Increased chance of water ice in Moon’s polar craters.
  • Source of Ice: Outgassing during volcanic activity in the Imbrian period (3.8-3.2 billion years ago).
  • Ice Distribution: Twice as much ice in the northern polar region compared to the south.


  • Supports ISRO’s future lunar exploration plans, including establishing a human presence.
  • Confirms earlier findings from Chandrayaan-2 mission about water on the Moon.

Additional Moon Facts:

  • Only natural satellite of Earth.
  • Diameter: 3,474 kilometers (quarter Earth’s size).
  • Gravity: One-sixth of Earth’s gravity (significantly impacts tides).
  • Exhibits phases due to position relative to Earth and Sun.
  • India’s Lunar Missions: Chandrayaan-1 (2008), Chandrayaan-2 (2019), Chandrayaan-3 (2023). These missions studied the Moon’s composition, resources, and facilitated a soft landing on the South Pole.


2.Quark Matter in Neutron Stars

News: Most massive neutron stars likely contain quark matter.

  • Neutron Stars: Super-dense remnants of massive stars after supernovae.

About Quarks:

  • Fundamental building blocks of matter (elementary particles).
  • Never exist alone – combine in groups of 2 or 3 (hadrons).
  • Held together by gluons (another fundamental particle).
  • Fractional electric charges (unlike electrons).
  • 6 types: up, down, charm, strange, top, bottom.


3.Antarctic Treaty

Context: India to host 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Kochi, Kerala.

Treaty Details:

  • Signed in 1959, came into effect in mid-1960s.
  • Objective: Demilitarization, peaceful use, scientific cooperation & environmental protection of Antarctica.
  • Original Signatories: 12 countries.
  • Current Members: 56 parties (India joined in 1983).
  • Secretariat: Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Environmental Protocol (1991):

  • Designates Antarctica as a “natural reserve for peace and science”.
  • Bans commercial mining in Antarctica.
  • Reaffirmed by all parties in 2016.


4.Shaksgam Valley

India protests China’s construction of a road in the lower Shaksgam Valley in POK.

  • Shaksgam Valley or Trans Karakoram Tract:
    • Part of Hunza-Gilgit region of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).
    • Claimed by India, controlled by Pakistan.
    • Borders China’s Xinjiang province to the north.
  • Dispute:
    • Shaksgam valley ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963 (post-India-China war).
    • India never accepted the China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963.
  1. Article 361 of Indian Constitution

Grants immunity from legal proceedings to President and Governors during their term.

  • Key Points:
    • No criminal proceedings against President/Governor.
    • No arrest or imprisonment warrant can be issued.
  • Sub-clauses:
    • Immunity from criminal proceedings (even for personal malafides).
    • Immunity from arrest or imprisonment.
  • Supreme Court Judgement (Rameshwar Prasad v Union of India, 2006):
    • Immunity not absolute.
    • President’s conduct can be reviewed by designated bodies for investigating charges.
  1. Surge in Tobacco Prices

 Recent surge in global tobacco prices.

  • Reasons:
    • Unfavorable weather conditions (drought, unseasonal rain) in major producers (Brazil, Zimbabwe, Indonesia).
    • China restricting tobacco exports to support its domestic cigarette industry.
  • Tobacco Cultivation in India:
    • Important commercial crop, drought-tolerant, short duration.
    • Cultivation on marginal lands unsuitable for other crops.
    • Occupies only 0.24-0.3% of India’s arable land but highly labor-intensive and remunerative.
    • Major growing states: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, West Bengal.
    • Types: Flue-cured Virginia (FCV), Bidi, Cigar Filler, Hookah & Chewing tobacco.
    • India: 2nd largest producer and exporter (after China and Brazil).



7.Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra)

  • Also called Indian Antelope, found only in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Considered fastest animal after Cheetah.
  • Habitat: Open grassland, dry scrub, scrubland, light woodlands, agricultural margins.
  • Distribution: Native to India and Nepal (widespread in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu).
  • Protection Status: Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (Least Concern in IUCN Red List).


  1. Aravalli Range

 Oldest mountain range in India: Stretching over 692 km (430 mi) through Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and ending in Delhi.

  • Ecological Significance:
    • Natural barrier against desertification.
    • Regulates climate and supports diverse ecosystems.
    • Watershed for rivers like Sabarmati, Luni, and Banas.
  • Biodiversity: Dry deciduous forests, scrublands, grasslands, and various fauna.
  1. Liquid Nitrogen

Properties: Inert, colorless, odorless, non-flammable, non-corrosive, extremely cold (-196°C). Gas at room temperature.

  • Health Risks: Tissue damage, internal injuries, asphyxiation (especially for children, elderly, and those with respiratory problems).
  • Applications:
    • Culinary: Rapid freezing for smooth texture in high-end desserts like ice cream.
    • Cryotherapy: Recovery boost for athletes using chambers with liquid nitrogen vapor.
  • Recent News:
    • Supreme Court bans illegal mining in the Aravalli Range.
    • Tamil Nadu government bans liquid nitrogen use in food due to health concerns.

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