Daily Current affairs

Prelims Exam


1.Kamikaze Drone

Why in News ?

  • Russia’s use of Lancet kamikaze drones in the Ukraine conflict highlights complex global supply chain issues.
  • About:
    • A kamikaze drone (suicide drone/loitering munition) is a single-use unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to crash into its target.
    • Unlike traditional reusable drones, kamikaze drones carry explosives and are destroyed on impact.
    • Used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and precision strikes.
    • Advantages:
      • Launched from various platforms.
      • Relatively low cost compared to manned aircraft.
      • Precise strikes with minimal collateral damage.

Source : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/russias-killer-lancet-drone-are-running-on-us-ai/articleshow/110004683.cms



2.Oleander Plant

Why in News ?

  • Kerala temple boards banned oleander flowers in offerings after a woman’s death from accidental ingestion.
  • About:
    • Nerium oleander (oleander) is highly toxic due to cardiac glycosides in all its parts.
    • Symptoms of oleander toxicity: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, and death in severe cases.
    • Poisoning can occur through ingestion, inhalation of smoke, or skin contact.
    • Despite its dangers, oleander is popular for its attractive flowers and drought resistance.
  • Uses:
    • Ayurveda acknowledges traditional use of oleander components for various skin conditions and remedies.
    • Historical records mention its use for skin ailments and other health issues.
    • Caution: Healthcare professionals warn against unsupervised use due to its narrow therapeutic range and high toxicity.
  • Note
    • Cardiac glycosides are steroids that affect the heart muscle.
    • Their therapeutic value lies in strengthening and speeding up heart contractions.

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/kerala-banned-oleander-flowers-temple-offerings-9320431/



3.Ayushman Bharat Scheme

Why in News ?

  • A NITI Aayog report identified a significant gap in cancer screening services offered at Ayushman Bharat centers.

About Ayushman Bharat

Launched in line with the National Health Policy 2017, Ayushman Bharat aims to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in India. It comprises two interconnected components:

  • Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs): Established in February 2018, these centers were created by transforming existing Sub Centres and Primary Health Centres. They aim to bring Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC) closer to people’s homes. Services offered include maternal and child health care, management of non-communicable diseases, and free essential drugs and diagnostics.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY): Launched on September 23rd, 2018, in Ranchi, Jharkhand, PM-JAY is the world’s largest health insurance scheme. It provides a health cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 12 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 55 crore beneficiaries) constituting the bottom 40% of the Indian population. Families are identified based on deprivation and occupational criteria set by the Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011 (SECC 2011) for rural and urban areas respectively.

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/india/niti-aayog-report-finds-huge-gap-in-cancer-screening-at-ayushman-centres-9319273/


Science and Tech.

4.ISRO’s Success with 3D-Printed Engine

ISRO Achieves Milestone:

  • Successfully conducted a long-duration test of the 3D-printed PS4 engine for the PSLV launch vehicle.

About PS4 Engine:

  • Uppermost stage of PSLV with two liquid engines.
  • Uses nitrogen tetroxide (oxidizer) and monomethyl hydrazine (fuel).
  • Also used in the first stage’s (PS1) Reaction Control System.

3D Printing Revolutionizes Manufacturing:

  • Additive manufacturing creates 3D objects by layering materials under computer control.
  • Offers design flexibility, reduced waste, and complex geometry production compared to traditional methods.
  • ISRO’s innovative use of 3D printing for the PS4 engine has yielded significant benefits.

Source : https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2024/May/11/isros-engine-design-saves-raw-material-time



5.Rocky Exoplanets with Atmospheres Discovered

  • Astronomers found rocky planets with atmospheres outside our solar system.

55 Cancri e Planet:

  • A super-Earth exoplanet (Janssen).
  • Located in Milky Way galaxy, 41 light-years from Earth (Cancer constellation).
  • Rocky planet, larger than Earth, smaller than Neptune.
  • Orbits close to a dimmer star (every 18 hours).
  • 8.8 times Earth’s mass, double the diameter.
  • Orbits at 1/25th the distance between Mercury and the Sun (surface temp: 3,140°F).
  • Likely tidally locked (one side always faces star, like Earth’s moon).
  • Four gas giants also orbit its host star.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/astronomers-finally-detect-a-rocky-planet-with-an-atmosphere/article68160507.ece



6.Cook Islands

  • Self-governing island state in the South Pacific Ocean, in free association with New Zealand.
  • Location: Between Tonga to the west and French Polynesia to the east
  • Islands: 15 total (6 northern, 9 southern)
    • Northern: Low-lying coral atolls with light vegetation and white sand beaches (Manihiki, Nassau, Penrhyn, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Suwarrow)
    • Southern: Larger, volcanic islands with denser population (Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Manuae, Mauke, Mitiaro, Palmerston, Takutea)
  • Highest Point: Te Manga (652 meters) on Rarotonga
  • Population: Mostly on Rarotonga
  • Capital: Avarua (Rarotonga)

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/world/mining-the-ocean-floor-9318460/

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