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Prelim Bits 27-09-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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September 27, 2022

AVGAS 100 LL

The Centre launched the indigenously-developed aviation fuel AVGAS 100 LL.

  • The Aviation Gasoline, AVGAS 100 LL, is a higher-octane Aviation fuel that was developed by Indian Oil Corporation.
  • It is a special aviation fuel designed for use in turbo charged reciprocating piston engine aircrafts and Unmanned Ariel Vehicles.
  • It has been certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
  • It meets the product specifications with superior performance quality standards, as compared to imported grades.
  • Currently India is importing this product from European countries.
  • Significance - As demand for air transport in India is expected to increase manifolds in the future, there is going to be a huge demand for trained pilots also.
  • For this, the number of Flying Training Organisations and trainee aircraft for pilot training is also expected to increase significantly.
  • So, the launch of AVGAS 100 will serve the needs of a thriving aviation industry.

AV Gas market is expected to grow from the current $1.92 billion to $2.71 billion by 2029.

Reference

  1. https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/atmanirbhar-bharat-indigenously-developed-aviation-fuel-avgas-100-ll-launched-11664195378060.html
  2. https://www.aninews.in/news/business/india-set-to-become-self-reliant-in-aviation-fuel-avgas-100-ll-to-start-export20220926230230/
  3. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1862258

Avalanche Monitoring Radar

An avalanche monitoring radar has been installed in North Sikkim by the Army and Defence Geoinformatics and Research Establishment (DGRE), a lab under the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

The Defence Research Development Organisation is involved in forecasting and mitigation of avalanche hazards faced by the Army in the Himalayan region.

  • The first-of-its-kind Avalanche Monitoring Radar has been set up at an altitude of 15,000 feet in North Sikkim.
  • The radar has the capability to detect avalanches within 3 seconds of its trigger in the super high altitude areas.
  • This radar can also be employed to detect landslides.
  • The radar can see through snow, fog as well as in the night, making it an all-weather solution.
  • Working - The radar uses a series of short micro wave pulses, which are scattered at the target and can detect an avalanche.
  • The radar can permanently scan the targeted slope for avalanche release and track the path of the avalanche and its size in case it is triggered.
  • It covers an area of 2 sq.km, obviating the requirement to place additional instruments in dangerous avalanche-prone areas.
  • The radar is also linked to an alarm system, enabling automatic control and warning measures in case an avalanche is triggered.
  • Images and videos of the event are automatically recorded for future analysis by experts.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/in-a-first-in-india-avalanche-monitoring-radar-installed-in-north-sikkim/article65926554.ece
  2. https://www.businessinsider.in/india/news/india-installs-avalanche-monitoring-radar-in-sikkim/articleshow/94410760.cms
  3. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-first-avalanche-monitoring-radar-installed-north-sikkim-2004141-2022-09-24?utm_source=rss

Odisha's Encyclopedia on Tribes

Five edited volumes of ‘Encyclopedia of Tribes in Odisha’ was published by Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI) and Odisha State Tribal Museum.

Established in 1955, the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute is the premier and oldest Tribal Research Institute of the country.

  • As per 2011 census, tribes account for 22.85% of the Odisha’s population.
  • Odisha is home to third largest tribal population of India.
  • Odisha homes 62 tribes including 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • Majority of Scheduled Tribes live in hilly and forest regions.
  • Their economy is largely subsistence oriented, non-stratified and non-specialized.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-comes-up-with-encyclopedia-on-tribes/article65937550.ece?homepage=true
  2. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bhubaneswar/2022/sep/27/cm-naveen-unveils-first-of-its-kind-encyclopedia-on-tribes-of-odisha-2502389.amp
  3. https://www.scstrti.in/index.php/communities/tribes

Afghanistan - Not a Major Non-NATO Ally

The U.S. President has terminated the designation of Afghanistan as a Major Non-NATO ally (MNNA) of the United States.

  • In 2012, the US designated Afghanistan a MNNA ally.
  • The designation gave several facilities and concessions to Afghanistan in terms of defence and security-related assistance and equipment.
  • The change in Afghanistan's status follows the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country in 2021, ending nearly 20 years of war.
  • After this, Taliban captured power in Afghanistan.

Major Non-NATO Ally

  • The Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status was first created in 1987.
  • The United States can name a country MNNA under the Section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act.
  • With Afghanistan's status rescinded, the U.S. will have 18 major non-NATO allies.
  • They are Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia.
  • Taiwan is treated as an MNNA, without formal designation as such.

Recently, a resolution has been tabled in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate India as a major non-NATO ally.

  • Benefits - A major non-NATO ally is eligible for loans of material, supplies, or equipment from the US for cooperative research, development, testing, or evaluation purposes.
  • They are eligible as a location for U.S.-owned War Reserve Stockpiles to be placed on its territory outside of U.S. military facilities.
  • These countries can enter into agreements with the US for the cooperative furnishing of training (bi- or multi-lateral basis), if the financial arrangements are reciprocal and provide for reimbursement of all U.S. direct costs.
  • Eligible, to the maximum extent feasible, for priority delivery of Excess Defense Articles transferred under section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act (if located on the southern or south-eastern flank of NATO).
  • Eligible for consideration to purchase depleted uranium ammunition.
  • Allows funding to procure explosives detection devices and other counter-terrorism research and development projects under the auspices of the Department of State’s Technical Support Working Group.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-terminates-designation-of-afghanistan-as-major-non-nato-ally/article65929880.ece
  2. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/world/us-terminates-afghanistans-designation-as-major-non-nato-ally/article65929876.ece
  3. https://www.state.gov/major-non-nato-ally-status/

Coffee-ring Effect

  • When a drop of spilt coffee dries up, the outermost edge of the dried drop is a little darker than the centre, forming a darker ‘ring’. This is called the ‘coffee ring effect’.
  • This is caused by the outward drift of suspended coffee particles from the centre, causing a denser, darkened rim.
  • Now, researchers from IIT-Madras, have shown that after reaching the rim, as the drop dries, some of the particles undergo an inward drift too.

While the inward drift would persist for sub-micron-sized particles, it would decrease with particle size.

  • Gapped coffee ring - The inward movement takes place because the particles are ‘squished’ between the solid plate and the evaporating liquid interface.
  • Hence, the ‘coffee’ ring is not formed at the point where the liquid touches the solid, but there is a small gap between the outermost edge and the ring.
  • Using the theory of evaporating drops, the researchers could calculate the rate at which the liquid interface gets flattened.
  • Benefits - This research has applications in agriculture, forensic science and even disease diagnosis.
  • Understanding the drying of biologically relevant fluids like blood can help diagnose anaemic and hyperlipidaemic conditions.
  • The size-based separation of different molecules in biological fluids can provide useful information about disease conditions.
  • Generally, the coffee-ring effect has implications for the manufacture of high tech materials such as fuel cells, displays, and sensors.
  • That’s because these devices are made by depositing a coating onto a surface. (E.g.): Drop-casting (Depositing tiny droplets onto the surface).

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/new-insights-on-the-coffee-ring-effect/article65928897.ece
  2. https://www.rsc.org/news-events/journals-highlights/2018/sep/coffee-ring-effect/
  3. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b00797
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