PRELIMS REVISION-47

  1. Moringa which is being widely grown in Tamil Nadu can grow with relatively less water. The leaf and the seedpod of Moringa, commonly known as drumstick, find widespread culinary use.  Moringa Oleifera is a hardy plant common in the State. It has many commercial uses, including in water purification, healthcare, and cosmetics.
  2. Bijapur, or Vijayapura (in present day Karnataka) as it is now known, was the capital of the Adil Shahi dynasty from 1490 to 1686. It is famous for its impressive buildings and dargahs. The most magnificent mausoleum is that of the seventh ruler of the dynasty, Mohammad Adil Shah (1627-1656), called the Gol Gumbaz (round dome). Covering an area of 18,225 sq ft, Gol Gumbaz has the distinction of being the largest space covered by a single dome in the world, followed by the Pantheon in Rome. Its dome is the second largest, after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Built of of dark grey basalt and decorated plaster, the plain exterior of Gol Gumbaz is beautiful in its stark simplicity.
  3. Project Loon, a service by Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. is working on providing Internet access to rural and remote areas using high-technology helium balloons. The company uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 18 km to create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-LTE speeds.
  4. The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), which reports to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the National Security Advisor (NSA), will now have the same “norms of conduct” as the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). The NTRO also includes National Institute of Cryptology Research and Development (NICRD), which is first of its kind in Asia. The Act prevents employees of a notified agency from forming unions/associations, puts restrictions on the employee’s freedom of speech, bars any communication with the press, or publishing a book or other document without the permission of the head of the intelligence organisation. The NTRO was created after the 1999 Kargil conflict as a dedicated technical intelligence agency. NTRO hires many people from the private sector and the Act means they will have the same safety net and restrictions available to other spy agencies.
  5. National Crisis Management Committee(NCMC) is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary.
  6.  The National Disaster Management Authority has been constituted under the Disaster Management Act 2005, with the Prime Minister of India as its Chairman.
  7. The National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary.
  8. World over, four species of horseshoe crabs are found, of which two are in India. The horseshoe crabs are found along the upper east coast, restricted between Ganges and Godavari estuary. Much of the horseshoe crab population is now in Sundarbans in West Bengal and Bhitakanika in Orissa. They are hard-shelled bottom-dwelling arthropods that live both in estuarine and continental shelf of the sea floor. The lifespan of horseshoe crabs is about 30 years. The medical profession uses an extract from the horseshoe crab’s blue, copper-based blood, known as lysate to test the purity of medicines. Certain properties of this crab’s shell are also being used to speed blood clotting and to make absorbable suspensions. The International Union for Conservation of Natural Flora and Fauna has included horseshoe under ‘red list’ and declared the species as ‘Endangered.’ The Central government has included the horseshoe crab under the Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  9. In June 2017, the first orbital mission of GSLV MkIII took place with the launch of GSAT-19 (weighing 3136 kg) satellite. The upper stage of GSLV MkIII vehicle is a new cryogenic stage fully indigenously configured, designed and realised by ISRO. The cryogenic stage used liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen as propellants with a total loading of 28 tons. GSAT-19 is a high throughput communication satellite developed to help improve telecommunication and broadcasting areas.
  10. GSLV MkIII – GSLV Mk III is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO. The vehicle has two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage. GSLV Mk III is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is about twice the capability of GSLV Mk II. The two strap-on motors of GSLV Mk III are located on either side of its core liquid booster. Designated as ‘S200’, each carries 205 tons of composite solid propellant and their ignition results in vehicle lift -off . S200s function for 140 seconds. During strap-ons functioning phase, the two clustered Vikas liquid Engines of L110 liquid core booster will ignite 114 sec after lift -off to further augment the thrust of the vehicle. These two engines continue to function after the separation of the strap-ons at about 140 seconds after lift -off.