Prelims Revision

  1. B-52 long range strategic bombers belong to the U.S. Air Force.
  2. Kerala has become the first State to set up a price monitoring and research unit (PMRU) to track violation of prices of essential drugs and medical devices under the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO). The move comes more than five years after the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) proposed such a system for the States and the Union Territories. The new watchdog will offer technical help to the State Drug Controllers and the NPPA to monitor notified prices of medicines, detect violation of the provisions of the DPCO, look at price compliance, collect test samples of medicines, and collect and compile market-based data of scheduled as well as non-scheduled formulations.
  3. Polyester and other synthetic fibres such as nylon are major contributors of microplastic pollution in the environment. These materials, during production, processing and after use, break down and release microfibres that can now be found in everything and everyone. Synthetic fibres are petroleum-based products, unlike natural fibres such as wool, cotton and silk, which are recyclable and biodegradable. Mixed fibres that contain both natural and synthetic fibres are difficult or costly to recycle. Researchers suggest that switching to biosynthetic fibres may help prevent this.
  4. Sukhoi aircraft  is a joint venture of India and Russia
  5. Four islands in the Andamans and three in Lakshadweep have been identified for seaplane operations. Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep, Hutbay and Long in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Kavaratti, Agatti and Minicoy in Lakshadweep have been identified for seaplane operations.
  6. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved Phase-II of the Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme that aims to achieve a cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from rooftop solar projects by 2022. The programme will be implemented with a total central financial support of Rs. 11,814 crore. The Phase II programme provides for central financial assistance (for residential rooftop solar installations) up to 40% for rooftop systems up to 3kW and 20% for those with a capacity of 3-10kW. The second phase will also focus on increasing the involvement of the distribution companies (DISCOM).
  7. The Government approved the launch of the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan aimed at providing financial and water security to farmers. Through the scheme, farmers will be given financial assistance to set up solar panels in their unused or fallow land. The scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.
  8. A new study using ‘radio astronomy’ charts hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies discovered using a telescope that can detect light sources optical instruments cannot see. Radio astronomy allows scientists to detect radiation produced when massive celestial objects interact. The team used the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope in the Netherlands to pick up traces — or “jets” — of ancient radiation produced when galaxies merge. These jets, previously undetected, can extend over millions of light years. The LOFAR telescope is made up of a network of radio antenna across seven countries, forming the equivalent of a 1,300-km diameter satellite dish.
  9. A scientist who raised early alarms about climate change and popularised the term “global warming” has died. Wallace Smith Broecker was 87. The Columbia University professor died in New York. Mr. Broecker brought “global warming” into common use with a 1975 article that correctly predicted rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would lead to warming.
  10. Australia officially declared a Great Barrier Reef rodent extinct making it the first mammal believed to have been killed off by human-induced climate change. The rat-like Bramble Cay Melomys — whose only known habitat was a small sandy island in far northern Australia — has not been spotted in a decade. A ‘cay’ is a low bank or reef of coral, rock, or sand.