Prelims Revision-32

    1. The Strait of Malacca or Straits of Malacca is a narrow, 550 mi stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. As the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, it is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.
    2. US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law restricts defence purchases from Russia, Iran and North Korea.
    3. Igla-S is a man portable air defence system from Russia.
    4. An innovative drying technology, Solar Bubble Dryer (SBD), developed jointly by International Rice Research Institute, Philippines; Grainpro, a leading post-harvest solution providing company; and University of Hohenheim, Germany, was introduced. The SBD is a low-cost drying technology that aims to provide a simple and flexible alternative to sun-drying, while protecting from spillage, animals, weather and vehicles running over the grains. The quantitative loss in traditional sun-drying method is estimated to be in the range of 15 to 30% between harvesting and milling. After harvesting, moisture content in paddy is found between 20 to 24% and it needs to be brought down to below 14% in order to protect the stock from insect attack and fungus formation.The new technology has been developed in such a way that farmers can dismantle the machinery and reassemble it on their own. Power can be drawn both from solar energy and traditional electricity. The SBD is in use in almost all southeast Asian countries since 2016.
    5. Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is in Kerala.
    6. Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, which also includes the erstwhile Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, is a 391 square kilometres protected area in Chittur taluk in Palakkad district of Kerala. A recent survey held in the reserve spotted 221 varieties of butterflies, 11 of which were endemic to the area. Small Palm Bob, Silverstreak Blue, Orange-tail Awl, and Red-disc Bushbrown are species of butterflies found in the region. Buddha Peacock or Buddha Mayoori, which was recently declared as State butterfly of Kerala, was found in abundance in some areas of the forest.
    7. The 0.7 m GROWTH-India telescope located at the Indian Astronomical Observatory located in Hanle, Ladakh has made its first science observation which is a follow-up study of a nova explosion. Novae are explosive events involving violent eruptions on the surface of white dwarf stars, leading to temporary increase in brightness of the star. Unlike a supernova, the star does not go on to die but returns to its earlier state after the explosion. The telescope is potentially fully robotic and can operate on its own.This telescope can ‘slew’ or move its focus from one part of the sky to another in just about 10-15 seconds and its camera can view stellar objects that are thousands to millions of light years away. The GROWTH-India telescope is part of the Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen. Its goals are threefold: (1) Search for explosions in the optical regime whenever LIGO group detects a Binary Neutron Star merger (2) study nearby young supernova explosions. (3) Study nearby asteroids.
    8. Recently, Andhra Pradesh on Friday withdrew the “general consent” granted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), effectively curtailing the agency’s powers in the State without prior permission. The CBI and all agencies under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, will now have to approach the State government for permission for investigation on a case by case basis. General consent is the periodic approval by a State government to the CBI and other agencies covered by Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. The consent is necessary as the jurisdiction of these agencies is confined to Delhi and Union Territories under this Act.
    9. The withdrawal of ‘general consent’ by a State to the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) to exercise jurisdiction within its territory applies prospectively. The recent notifications issued by the Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal governments, withdrawing consent, would not have a retrospective effect. That is, the States’ withdrawal of consent affects only prospectively. The Supreme Court clarifies the position of law in KaziLhendupDorji vs Central Bureau of Investigation, a reported decision of 1994. The court reasoned that the State government’s withdrawal should not be allowed to stall a pending case.  The States have the statutory power to give consent to the CBI under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act and it is implicit that they can withdraw consent too. The act of withdrawal of consent can be judicially reviewed. Besides, withdrawal of consent is no bar for a constitutional court to use its inherent and extraordinary powers to order a CBI investigation into individual cases for purpose of “delivery of complete justice”. The withdrawal of general consent means CBI officers lose police powers under the Criminal Procedure Code in the State concerned and for registering a case. However, the CBI could continue to register new cases in other States, having links to the one in which the general consent has been rescinded.
    10. Scientists are updating the definition of the kilogram. The kilogram has been defined since 1889 by a shiny piece of platinum-iridium kept in Paris. The new definition involves an apparatus called the Kibble balance, which makes use of the constant to measure the mass of an object using a precisely measured electromagnetic force.

Categories: POINT IAS

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