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Prelim Bits 15-12-2021 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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December 15, 2021

M-Sand

TN M-Sand Manufacturers’ Welfare Association has filed a writ petition to declare the TN Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage of Minerals & Mineral Dealers Rules of 2011 illegal and unconstitutional.

  • Manufactured Sand (M-Sand) is artificial sand produced from crushing hard granite stones into sand sized angular shaped particles, washed and finely graded to be used as construction aggregate.
  • M-Sand is the most effective and efficient substitute for river sand as it is the most robust sand. The size of M-Sand is less than 4.75mm.
  • M-Sand is used for the production of concrete for construction purpose.
  • The demand for M-Sand is high due to the depletion of river sand and fast-growing construction industries.

P-Sand

  • Plastering M Sand (P Sand) is a very fine grade of sand. It is free of silt and clay particles and has denser particle packing than natural sand.
  • It is used for wall plastering and brickwork purpose. It will provide plastering strength to the construction structure.
  • The proper and fine quality of sand material is a must when it comes to providing strength to any sort of building and construction structure.
  • Plastering M Sand is produced from hard granite stone which is cubically in shape with round edges washed and graded with consistency.
  • P Sand is used as a substitute for river sand which is used for preparing concrete, plastering and also other non-concrete constructions like flooring works, etc.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/two-common-drugs-found-effective-against-covid-19-in-early-testing/article37923226.ece
  2. https://www.stonasand.com/predominant-differences-between-the-plastering-m-sand-and-m-sand/

Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund

  • This Fund has been set up by the Government as MSMEs & Private companies need to be promoted and incentivized for their involvement in processing and value addition infrastructure.
  • The fund is Central Sector Scheme that had been proposed as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Beneficiaries - Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, Section 8 Companies, Private Companies and individual entrepreneurs.
  • Benefits - The beneficiaries are to contribute a minimum of 10% margin money as investment.
  • The balance 90% would be the loan component to be made available by scheduled banks.
  • The Government of India will provide 3% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries.
  • There will be 2 years moratorium period for principal loan amount and 6 years repayment period thereafter.
  • From the Credit Guarantee Fund, Credit guarantee would be provided to those sanctioned projects which are covered under MSME defined ceilings.
  • Guarantee Coverage would be upto 25% of Credit facility of borrower.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1781383
  2. https://vikaspedia.in/schemesall/schemes-for-entrepreneurs/animal-husbandry-infrastructure-development-fund

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

  • Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in implementing the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) as one of the Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • NMSA has been formulated for enhancing agricultural productivity especially in rain-fed areas focusing on integrated farming, water use efficiency, soil health management & synergizing resource conservation.
  • The Activities of the NMSA includes components to minimize the carbon footprint of agricultural activities.
  • NMSA includes programmatic interventions like,
    1. Soil Health Card (SHC),
    2. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY),
    3. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North-Eastern Region (MOVCDNER),
    4. Rain-fed Area Development (RAD),
    5. National Bamboo Mission (NBM) and
    6. Sub-mission on Agro Forestry (SMAF).
  • These and other programmes including Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
  • NMSA aims to evolve and implement strategies to make Indian Agriculture more resilient to the changing climate.
  • The progress of the 10 identified deliverables is being monitored regularly. The deliverables include,
    1. Area under organic farming; Production of Bio-fertilizers;
    2. Precision Irrigation;
    3. SRI / Direct Seeded Rice from Transplantation;
    4. Crop  diversification;
    5. Additional  Area  under plantation  in  Arable  land;
    6. Climate Resilient Varieties (CRV) Identified/ Released;
    7. Identification of genotypes of crops with enhanced CO2 fixation potential and less water consumption & Nutrients;
    8. Climate Resilient genotypes with greater adaptation to drought, flood, salinity and high temperature;
    9. Coverage of milch animals under ration balancing programme;
    10. Establishment of bypass protein feed making unit.
  • ICAR has launched a flagship network project ‘National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture’ (NICRA) in 2011.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1781437
  2. https://nmsa.dac.gov.in/
  3. https://vikaspedia.in/agriculture/policies-and-schemes/crops-related/krishi-unnati-yojana/national-mission-for-sustainable-agriculture-1/national-mission-for-sustainable-agriculture

Supersonic Missile Assisted Torpedo System

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed Supersonic Missile Assisted Torpedo (SMART) System gets successfully launched from Wheeler Island in Odisha.

  • The SMART system is a next generation long-range missile-based standoff torpedo delivery system.
  • [A torpedo is an underwater ranged weapon launched above or below the water surface, self-propelled towards a target, and with an explosive warhead designed to detonate either on contact with or in proximity to the target.]
  • The SMART system has been designed to enhance anti-submarine warfare capability far beyond the conventional range of the torpedo.
  • This canister-based missile system consists of advanced technologies viz. 2- stage solid propulsion, electro-mechanical actuators and precision inertial navigation.
  • The missile can cover a range of distances.

Wheeler Island

  • Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, is an island off the coast of Odisha, India, around 150 kms east of Bhubaneswar.
  • The island was originally named after English commandant Lieutenant Hugh Wheeler.
  • Odisha government has formally renamed it as APJ Abdul Kalam island as a tribute to the former President of India on his 2nd death anniversary (2017).
  • The Integrated Test Range missile testing facility is located on the island, and serves as the test facility for most of India's missiles.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1780944
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supersonic-missile-assisted-torpedo-system-successfully-launched-drdo/article37945095.ece          
  3. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/drdo-successfully-tests-supersonic-missile-assisted-torpedo-system/articleshow/88257794.cms

Black Box of the Earth

A steel vault that will record the Earth’s warming weather patterns is being built in Tasmania Australia, an Australian island state off the south coast.

  • This vault is dubbed as the ‘Black Box of the Earth’, is a 33-foot-long box made of 3-inch-thick steel.
  • The Earth’s Black Box will operate much like a plane’s Black Box, which records an aircraft’s final moments before crashing.
  • It will listen to what we say and do.
  • It will create an archive that could be critical to piecing together the missteps that should humanity be destroyed by climate change.
  • Data - The box will record leaders’ actions (or inaction) by scraping the internet for keywords relating to climate change from newspapers, social media and peer-reviewed journals.
  • It will collect daily metrics - average oceanic and land temperatures, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and biodiversity loss.
  • Eventually, the data will be stored on a giant, automated, solar-powered hard drive with a capacity to collect information for about 50 years.
  • Tasmania was chosen for its relative geopolitical and environmental safety.
  • The vault   will be designed to be resilient against threats including cyclones, earthquakes and, with its sloped walls, attacks by vandals.

Reference

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/earth-black-box-climate-change-7666757/

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