PRELIMS REVISION-42

  1. International Astronomical Union (IAU), in 2006, voted to remove Pluto’s planetary status. The IAU, in 2006, designated Pluto a ‘dwarf planet’ along with Ceres in the asteroid belt and Xena, an object in the Kuiper belt, which is an icy ring of frozen objects that circle the solar system beyond Neptune’s orbit. The meeting defined three conditions for a celestial object to be called a planet: one, it must orbit the Sun; two, it should be massive enough to acquire an approximately spherical shape; three, it has to ‘clear its orbit’, that is, be the object that exerts the maximum gravitational pull within its orbit.  Owing to this third property, if an object ventures close to a planet’s orbit, it will either collide with it and be accreted, or be ejected out. However, Pluto is affected by Neptune’s gravity. It also shares its orbit with the frozen objects in the Kuiper belt. Based on this, the IAU deemed that Pluto did not ‘clear its orbit’. Dwarf planets, on the other hand, need only satisfy the first two conditions.
  2. Maqom music festival was held in Uzbekistan in September 2018. Maqom is the oriental system of music that is enhanced by string and percussion instruments across Asia.
  3. Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan is a member of the Dilli (Delhi) gharana. “Tiranga (tricolour) Malhar” raag that was composed by him in 2014 as a combination of three other raags — Megh Malhar, Surdasi Malhar and Mian ki Malhar. Dilli gharana was started to popularise and preserve the works of poet Amir Khusro (1253-1325). 
  4. PSLV-C-42, the lightest version of the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). It flyies in its core-alone version without six strap-on motors.
  5. ‘India State-level Disease Burden Initiative’ report 2018 – The report is a joint initiative of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  6. Visakhapatnam is considered a strategic location on the East Coast for the Indian defence forces as it is home for Ship Building Centre to build nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant class, Naval Alternate Operational Base at Rambilli, the second naval base after Eastern Naval Command headquarters, training centre for Marine Commandos and headquarters of the submarine arm.
  7. National Technical Research Organisation is the technical intelligence agency working directly under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Adviser.
  8.  ‘Pondicherry shark’ is an endangered species protected under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. They have been spotted in the East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem. Known as ‘Pala Sora’ in the local parlance, the Pondicherry Shark is on the verge of extinction.  Its conservation status is on a par with the tiger.
  9. International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) accepted Telangana government’s nomination of Sadarmatt anicut across river Godavari in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu in Kamareddy district in the ICID Register of Heritage Irrigation Structures. These two are over-century-old irrigation facilities.
  10. Bathukamma is floral festival celebrated predominantly by the Hindu women of Telangana and some parts of Andhra Pradesh. Every year this festival is celebrated as per Shathavahana calendar for nine days starting Bhadrapada Pournami till Durgashtami, usually in September–October of Gregorian calendar.