5th Sep. Prelims Sure Shot
Topic-Megalithic Sword unearthed in Kannur Village
- The State Archaeology Department in Kozhikode has unearthed what it calls a Megalithic era iron sword, a chisel and a few decorated pottery from a rock-cut cave at Pothuvachery in Kannur district.
- The 105-cm sword, said to be 2,500 years old, was found during a scientific clearance at the historical site.
- Megaliths refer to large stone structures that were constructed either as burial sites or as commemorative sites. The majority of megalithic sites are found in Peninsular India, concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
Topic-Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-Dhan Yojana
- Government of India is set to launch Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Man-Dhan scheme. It is a pension scheme for retailers and small traders.
- The pension scheme assures a minimum monthly pension of ₹3000 per month to small shopkeepers, retail traders and the self-employed people after attaining the age of 60 years once they have contributed to the scheme every month from the time of enrolment and till that age.
- Further, the Government of India will make matching contribution in the subscribers’ account
- The scheme is available to all small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with Goods and Services tax (GST) turnover below Rs.1.5 crore and aged between 18-40 years.
- To be eligible applicants should not be covered under the (a) National Pension Scheme (b) Employees’ State Insurance Scheme and the (c) Employees’ Provident Fund or (d) be an Income Tax assesses.
- The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except Aadhaar and bank account. Interested persons can enrol through Common Service Centres (CSC) spread across the country
- The scheme would target enrolling 25 lakh subscribers in 2019-2020 and 2 crore by 2023-2024.
Topic-Directorate General of Civil Aviation
- DGCA is India’s regulatory body for civil aviation. It comes under the aegis of Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
- As a regulatory body, it seeks to promote Safe and efficient Air Transportation through regulation and proactive safety oversight system in India.
- Enforce civil air regulations, air safety and airworthiness standards in India as per International standards.
Topic-Nuclear Reactors in India
- India has consciously proceeded to explore the possibility of tapping nuclear energy for the purpose of power generation. In this direction three-stage nuclear power programme was formulated by Homi Bhabha in the 1950s.
- Atomic Energy Act, 1962 was framed and implemented with the set objectives of using two naturally occurring elements Uranium and Thorium having good potential to be utilized as nuclear fuel in Indian Nuclear Power Reactors.
Three Stage programme
Stage one – Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor uses
- Natural UO2 as fuel matrix,
- Heavy water as moderator and coolant.
- In the reactor, the first two plants were of boiling water reactors based on imported technology. Subsequent plants are of PHWR type through indigenous R&D efforts. India achieved complete self- reliance in this technology and this stage of the programme is in the industrial domain.
- The future plan includes the setting up of VVER type i.e. Russian version of the Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) is under progress to augment power generation.
- MOX fuel (Mixed oxide) is developed and introduced at Tarapur to conserve fuel and to develop new fuel technology.
- Second stage of nuclear power generation envisages the use of Pu-239 obtained from the first stage reactor operation, as the fuel core in fast breeder reactors (FBR).
- Third phase of India’s Nuclear Power Generation programme is, breeder reactors using U-233 fuel.
- India’s vast thorium deposits permit design and operation of U-233 fuelled breeder reactors.
Topic-India in Top Ten nations in Gold reserves
- India has pipped the Netherlands to move into the list of top ten countries in terms of total gold reserves.
- According to the World Gold Council, India has gold reserves totalling 618.2 tonnes, which is marginally higher than the Netherlands’ reserves of 612.5 tonnes.
- Interestingly, in terms of individual countries, India actually ranks ninth since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) occupies the third position after the U.S. and Germany.
- U.S. leads the pack with 8,134 tonnes followed by Germany with 3,367 tonnes