Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - December 05, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Statue of Goddess Annapurna being brought from Canada

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

  • A day before the Dev Deepawali programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the good news with the people of Varanasi about the return of an ancient statue of Goddess Annapurna from Canada to India.
  • While addressing the nation during Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Every Indian would feel proud to know that an ancient idol of Maa Annapurna is being brought back from Canada to India.”

Background

  • Over 100 years ago in 1913, this idol was stolen from a temple in Varanasi and smuggled out of the country.
  • In the 71st episode of his monthly radio programme, explaining the connection of Maa Annapurna with Varanasi, the prime minister said: “Mata Annapurna has a very special bond with Kashi. And the return of the idol is very pleasant for all of us. Like the statue of Mata Annapurna, many of our heritage has been victims of international gangs.”

Highlights

  • It is worth mentioning that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be celebrating this world-famous Dev Deepawali festival in his parliamentary constituency.
  • The prime minister will light the first diya at Rajghat to start the illumination of all 80 ghats that will be decked up with over 10 lakh diyas and colourful lights.

Source: Indian Express.

Biden names all-female senior White House communications team

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.


Context

  • US President-elect Joe Biden has announced an all-female senior White House communications team in what his office called a first in the country’s history.
  • Among those named to be part of the team was Jen Psaki who will serve as White House press secretary.

Background

  • Psaki, 41, has held a number of senior positions, including White House communications director for former President Barack Obama’s administration.
  • Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have sought to inject diversity in their appointments and nominations so far, ahead of their January 20 swearing-in.

Highlights

  • Biden’s office claims that this will be the first time the communications positions will be filled entirely by women.
  • Biden’s office claims that the move to appoint an all-women senior media team shows Biden’s continued commitment to building an administration that “looks like America”.
  • Four of the seven appointments are women of colour. Harris has called the team “barrier shattering”.
  • He has chosen former Barack Obama administration's State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki as his White House press secretary.

Source: Indian Express.

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HAL Delivers Biggest Ever Cryogenic Propellant Tank to ISRO

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

  • C32 LH2 is the largest-ever cryogenic propellant tank developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
  • It was delivered to ISRO recently.

Background

  • It is designed to increase the payload capability of ISRO’S Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) from 4 tonnes to 6 tonnes.
  • The aim is to create self-reliance with regards to carrying heavier communication satellites into space.

Highlights

  • It is a cryogenic propellant tank made of aluminium alloy.
  • The tank can load 5,755 kilo grams of propellant fuel.
  • Currently, India is dependent on French Guiana to launch heavier communication satellites (of 5 to 6 tonnes).
  • C32 LH2 will put an end to India’s dependence on a foreign country and will boost its self-reliance.
  • Cryogenic means low temperature.
  • They are fuels that require extremely low storage temperature.
  • They are generally used in space as the temperature is low.
  • Thus, the space environment cannot support combustion.
  • And therefore, highly low temperature fuels are needed.
  • Usually the cryogenic engines use liquid hydrogen as fuel and liquid oxygen as oxidiser.
  • This is because oxygen can be kept in liquid state that is below -183 degrees Celsius.
  • On the other hand, the liquid hydrogen is kept at -253 degree Celsius.
  • Liquid Oxygen is highly reactive and can be used as a propellant to carry heavy loads.

Source: AIR News.

New study explains important cause of fatal influenza

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • It is largely unknown why influenza infections lead to an increased risk of bacterial pneumonia.
  • Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now described important findings leading to so-called superinfections, which claim many lives around the world every year.

Background

  • The Spanish Flu was an influenza pandemic that swept across the world in 1918-20 and unlike many other pandemics disproportionately hit young otherwise healthy adults.
  • One important reason for this was so-called superinfections caused by bacteria, in particular pneumococci.

Highlights

  • Influenza is caused by a virus, but the most common cause of death is secondary bacterial pneumonia rather than the influenza virus per se.
  • Pneumococcal infections are the most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia and a leading global cause of death.
  • A prior influenza virus infection sensitizes for pneumococcal infections, but mechanisms behind this increase susceptibility are not fully understood.
  • Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now identified influenza-induced changes in the lower airways that affect the growth of pneumococci in the lungs.

Source: Science Daily.

Indian Oil launches country’s first 100 octane petrol

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


Context

  • IndianOil has launched the country’s first 100 octane rated petrol.
  • Branded as XP100, the premium grade petrol will initially be available in 10 cities across India.
  • The fuel costs Rs 160 per litre in Delhi.

Background

  • 100 octane petrol costs Rs 160 per litre.
  • The high octane fuel is currently available in 10 cities.

Highlights

  • Currently, the regular petrol marketed in India has a rating of 91 octane.
  • IndianOil's petrol with 100 octane, according to the company, is designed to give faster acceleration, significantly boost engine performance, and give better drivability, enhanced fuel economy, and engine life.
  • It exceeds IS-2796 specifications and is also an environment-friendly fuel with reduced tailpipe emissions.

Source: The Hindu.

Ramayana cruise service

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

  • The government will soon launch a luxury cruise based on the epic Ramayana on the Saryu River in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya, according to the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways.
  • Union minister for ports and shipping Mansukh Mandaviya held a review meeting for the implementation of cruise service.

Background

  • “It will be the first-ever luxury cruise service on the Saryu river (Ghagra/National Waterways-40) in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It aims to give a mesmerising experience to devotees with one-of-its-kind spiritual journeys while cruising through the famous ghats of the holy river Saryu,” the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways.

Highlights

  • The ministry has also released an artist’s sketch of the proposed cruise vessel that will be taking devotees on a ride.
  • Tourists on this ‘Ramcharitmanas Tour’, will be able to watch an exclusively made film of 45-60 minutes duration, based on the Ramcharitmanas by Goswami Tulsidas.
  • It will cover the period from the birth of Lord Ram to his coronation.
  • The tour will cover a distance of approximately 15-16km.
  • There will be several activities and selfie points inspired by the many episodes of television series on the Ramayana.
  • The tour will be followed by a Saryu Aarti.
  • The fully air-conditioned cruise boat’s interior will depict various scenes from the Ramayana.
  • The cruise boat will seat 80 tourists and will be equipped with bio-toilets and hybrid engines system to make it environment friendly.
  • It will also be equipped with kitchen and pantry facilities for the comfort of the tourists.
  • Tourists will be able to enjoy the scenic beauty of the ghats of Ayodhya through the panoramic glass windows.

Source: Hindustan Times.

Aadi-Mahotsav

Focus: GS1.                                

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

  • Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, launched the virtual edition of Aadi Mahotsav- Madhya Pradesh.
  • The 10-day long festival, commencing on December 1, 2020, is being hosted on the Tribes India website (tribesindia.com).

Background

  • The main focus is on the tribal craft and culture of Madhya Pradesh. Meena Singh, Minister for Tribal Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh and Ramesh Chand Meena, Chairman, TRIFED were the guests of honour for this online inauguration.
  • Addressing on the occasion, Arjun Munda said that the Virtual edition Aadi Mahotsav Madhya Pradesh is another effort to help in the transformation of tribal lives and livelihoods.

Highlights

  • Aadi Mahotsav is a national tribal festival and a joint initiative of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India & Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
  • The Aadi Mahotsav – A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Crafts, Cuisine and Commerce – is a successful initiative that was commenced in 2017.
  • The festival showcases traditional art and handicrafts and cultural heritage of the country.
  • It is an attempt to familiarise the people with the rich and diverse craft, culture of the tribal communities across the country, in one place.

Source: AIR News.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements with reference to Nagaland:
  • Nagaland is bordered by the state of Arunachal Pradesh to the north, Assam to the west, Manipur to the south and the Sagaing Region of Myanmar to the east.
  • Nagaland's capital city is Dimapur and its largest city is Kohima.
  • Nagaland became the 16th state of India on 1 December 1963.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

       A. 1 and 2 only
       B. 2 and 3 only
       C. 1 and 3 only
       D. AOTA

Solution: C

  1. Cyclonic Storm ‘Burevi’, recently seen in news, is likely to affect which of the following states in India?

       A. Tamil Nadu
       B. Gujarat
       C. Rajasthan
       D. Bihar

Solution: A

 

 

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