Prelims current affairs
- Use of Winter Diesel in Ladakh
Why in News
- Recently, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has sought approval from the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) for the use of winter diesel by armed forces for operations in high altitude areas such as Ladakh.
- The winter diesel was introduced as a technological solution by the IOC in 2019 in high-altitude sectors like Ladakh, Kargil, Kaza and Keylong, which face the problem of freezing of diesel in their vehicles in extreme weather conditions.
- Winter Diesel is a specialised fuel for high altitude regions and low temperature regions such as Ladakh, where ordinary diesel can become unusable. It also meets the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specification of BS-VI
- Characteristics: Low Viscosity: It contains additives to maintain lower viscosity by enabling the fuel to remain fluid in such conditions. Regular diesel fuel contains paraffin wax which is added for improving viscosity and lubrication. At low temperatures, the paraffin wax thickens or “gels” and hinders the flow of the fuel in the car engine.
- Low Pour Point: It is the temperature below which the liquid loses its flow characteristics. It has a low pour point (as low as minus 30-degree Celsius
- Higher Cetane Rating: It has a higher cetane rating — which is an indicator of the combustion speed of diesel and compression needed for ignition.
- Lower Sulphur Content: It would lead to lower chemical deposits in engines and better performance.
Directorate General Quality Assurance
- The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) is under the Department Of
- Defence Production, Ministry of Defence. The organisation provides Quality Assurance (QA) cover for the entire range of Arms, Ammunitions, Equipments and Stores supplied to Armed Forces.
- More Metallic Moon: NASA
Why in News
- Recently, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has found evidence of greater quantities of metals such as iron and titanium on the Moon’s
- The metallic distribution was observed by the Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
- The first instrument, launched on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, mapped both polar regions of the Moon.
- The second instrument, currently flying on NASA’s LRO, has been mapping the different geologic units of the lunar surface.
- The Mini-RF findings were backed by metal oxide maps from the LRO Wide- Angle Camera, Japan’s Kaguya mission and NASA’s Lunar Prospector spacecraft, which showed that larger craters with their increased dielectric material were also richer in metals.
- The finding could aid in drawing a clearer connection between Earth and the Moon. NASA has now undertaken further research to find whether the same relation between metal deposits and crater size holds true on the southern hemisphere of the Moon.
- This would also shed more light on the concept of formation of moon and it componenets
- Article 78
Why in News
- Recently, the Prime Minister of India briefed the President on ‘issues of national and international importance’. The meeting took place against the backdrop of border tensions with China, economic crisis and the Covid-19
- Article 78 of the Constitution deals with the duties of the Prime Minister with respect to the furnishing of information to the President.
- As per Article 78, following are the duties of the Prime Minister: To communicate to the President all decisions of the Council of Ministers(CoM – Article 74) relating to the administration of the affairs of the union and proposals for legislation;
- To furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation as the President may call for;
- and If the President so requires, to submit for the consideration of the CoM, any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the CoM.
- Article 167 of the Constitution is a corresponding article in the state executive.
- Severe Cyclonic Storm Nisarga
Why in news
- IMD issues Preliminary Report on Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘NISARGA’ over the Arabian Sea from 1st – 4th June 2020.
- Nisarga originated from a low-pressure area that formed over southeast & adjoining east-central Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep area in the early morning of 31st May 2020, intensifying into a deep depression over the east-central Arabian Sea in the early morning and into the cyclonic storm in the noon of 2nd June.
- It continued to move north-eastwards, crossing the Maharashtra coast close to the south of Alibag as a Severe Cyclonic Storm (SCS) after that it weakened into a cyclonic storm in the evening over north-central Maharashtra and into a deep depression in the midnight of 2nd June 2020 over the same region.
- It lay as a low-pressure area over southeast Uttar Pradesh and adjoining Bihar in the afternoon of 5th June.
- The last cyclone, which crossed the Maharashtra coast, was the cyclonic storm, Phyan in 2009.
- Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA)
Why in news
- The GKRA was launched to start extensive public works to provide livelihood opportunities and create local employment to returnee migrants and similarly affected rural citizens.
- As part of this Abhiyan, Jal Jeevan Mission aims at providing household tap connections to every rural household and offers a huge opportunity to engage skilled, semi-skilled and migrant returnees in drinking water supply related works.
- States have been requested to start works in villages of these districts so that it will not only help to ensure an adequate quantity of water at the household level but will also help in providing employment to migrant returnees.
States have been advised to prioritize taking up works of ‘low hanging fruits’ i.e. by augmenting or retrofitting existing piped water supply schemes so that these villages become ‘Har Ghar Jal Gaon’ i.e. 100% Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) villages.