SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Technology in Space and Defence
- Russian military deployed a new intercontinental weapon, the Avangard hypersonic missile system that can fly 27 times the speed of sound.
- Russia claimed that it is the only country in the world that has hypersonic weapons.
What is the Avangard hypersonic missile?
- It is a reentry body carried atop an existing ballistic missile, which has the capability to manoeuvre.
- Its manoeuvring capability makes it difficult to predict its trajectory and gives it the ability to protect itself from the air and ballistic missile defences by delivering nuclear warheads to targets, for instance, in Europe and the US.
- The origins of the Avangard can be traced back to the mid-1980s, when Russia first started research on hypersonic warheads.
- The Avangard missiles have a range of over 6,000 km, weigh approximately 2,000 kg and can withstand temperatures of over 2000 degree celsius.
- Avangard can presumably reach speeds upto Mach 20 and can be used to deliver nuclear and conventional payloads.
What are Hypersonic Weapons?
- Hypersonic weapons are the ones that can fly at speeds greater 5000 km/hr (more than 5 Mach).
- These weapons fly low, remaining in the endo-atmospheric region (generally at altitudes below about 90 km), thereby reducing the chances of their detection by radar systems.
- The hypersonic weapons have such speeds that can allow them to strike anywhere on the earth in under an hour.
Two Main Versions of Hypersonic Weapons
Currently two versions of hypersonic weapons are being developed.
Hypersonic Cruise Missiles (HCM)
It is a typical cruise missile which is ‘all the way powered’ to achieve hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 or higher.
Hypersonic Glide Vehicles (HGVs)
- It is called a ‘wave-rider’ because it uses the shock waves generated by its own flight as a lifting surface to enhance the lift-to-drag ratio to reach the hypersonic regime of Mach 5 or even more.
- It is launched by any solid propellant rocket/missile which can give it the initial boost and momentum up to a point after which the wave rider phenomenon can be sustained by the hypersonic vehicle on its own.
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
History [Paper-I]: Modern Indian History
Why in News?
On December 27, 1911, the National Anthem was first sung at the Calcutta session of the Congress.
About National Anthem
- ‘Jana Gana Mana’ is the first stanza of the Bengali hymn, ‘Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata’, written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
- A slightly varied version of the song was adopted by Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army in 1941 as the national anthem, called ‘Shubh Sukh Chain’, which also became popular in India.
- ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was adopted as the country’s National Anthem by the Constituent Assembly of India on January 24, 1950, the last day of its last session.
- Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds.
- A short version consisting of first and last lines of the stanza (playing time approximately 20 seconds) is also played on certain occasions.
- Reverence to the National Anthem is a Fundamental duty in India.
- According to Article 51A (a) of the Constitution: “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem”.
[Source: Indian Express]
FACTS OF THE DAY
- Union Territory of Ladakh celebrated Losar Festival on 27 December 2019, to mark the Ladakhi or Tibetan New Year.
- The festival is held annually on the 1st Day of the Eleventh Month of Tibetan Calendar correlating to a date in the Gregorian calendar.
- This is first Losar Ladakh Region celebrating as Union Territory.
NATIONAL TRIBAL DANCE FESTIVAL
- The 2019 edition of National Tribal Dance Festival has begun in Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh.
- The National Tribal Dance Festival is being organized in Chhattisgarh for the first time. More than 1300 participants from 25 states & UTs of the country and six countries are participating in this three-day dance fest.
- CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) has developed a new low-cost technology to produce Geranium saplings.
- Geranium is one of the important aromatic plants, yielding an essential oil which is highly priced for its very profound and strong rose-like odour.
- Geranium acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-septic agent. It has several medicinal values.
- The development has been made under Aroma Mission.
CENTRAL REPOSITORY OF INFORMATION ON LARGE CREDITS (CRILC)
- Reserve Bank directed large cooperative banks to report all exposures of Rs 5 crore and more to the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC), a move aimed at early recognition of financial distress.
- The Reserve Bank has created a CRILC of commercial banks, all India financial institutions and certain non-banking financial companies with multiple objectives, which, among others, include strengthening offsite supervision and early recognition of financial distress.
- Earlier in its bi-monthly monetary policy, the RBI had decided to bring Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) with assets of Rs 500 crore and above under the CRILC reporting framework.
- To start with, UCBs will be required to submit CRILC report on quarterly basis with effect from December 31, 2019.
FIRST TRIAL RUN OF DOUBLE STACK TRAIN
- The First Trial Run of Double Stack Train was conducted on newly built Rewari-Madar section of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC).
- The Rewari-Madar section is in Haryana State (for approximately 79 Km in Mahendragarh & Rewari districts) and Rajasthan State (for approximately 227 Km in Jaipur, Ajmer, Sikar, Nagaur & Alwar districts).
- Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation India Limited (DFCCIL) will run freight trains at the maximum speed of 100 Kmph hour as against the current maximum speed of 75 kmph on Indian Railway tracks.
- Average speed of freight trains will also be increased from existing speed of 26 kmph on Indian Railways lines to 70 kmph on Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC).
- Double-stack rail transport is a form of intermodal freight transport where railroad cars carry two layers of intermodal containers.
- Kerala government has accorded administrative sanction for 2,450 crore to Fisheries Department’s Punargeham project to rehabilitate 18,685 fishermen living within 50 m from the coastline.
- The project has been conceived to provide safe housing for all fisher families residing in areas vulnerable to sea erosion.
- Selected fisher families from nine coastal districts will be the beneficiaries of the project.
- While 1,398 crore will be allocated from Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), Fisheries Department will provide the rest Rs. 1,052 crore.
- As part of the project, each family will receive 10 lakh, which includes Rs. 6 lakh for purchasing land and Rs. 4 lakh for construction.