900 319 0030

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

iasparliament Logo
December 15, 2021


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.


  • 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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.



Login or Register to Post Comments
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.



Free UPSC Interview Guidance Programme