News: July 13, 2020

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Research and Technology Information Technology
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 1/5

Apps And Portals In Focus

Centre

Apps

  • Aarogya Setu 
    • Developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
    • Its self assessment test is based on ICMR guidelines
    • When someone is tested COVID-19 positive, the testing lab shares this information with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),  the nodal government agency for COVID-19 testing, which then shares it with the Aarogya Setu server.
    • The App screen gives color codes green, yellow, orange, or red after doing risk assessment.
    • Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for air, train travel
  • e-Choupal 4.0 - By ITC Agri, and will provide end-to-end and personalized services to farmers on weather and markets on a real-time basis.
  • SWAYAM - Online portal by UGC, providing free online courses, however fees is required for certificate.
  • KURMA
    • App for turtle conservation. Provides a database for species identification, and location for nearest rescue centre
    • Developed by Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) in collaboration with the Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India

Portals

  • National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM), 2018
    • A dedicated e market, set up by Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is used for different goods & services procured by Government Organisations / Departments / PSUs.
      • Some States / UTs have signed an MoU to make procurement through GeM mandatory
      • Before GeM, Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) was used for facilitating procurement.
    • Provides online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all Central Government Departments, State Governments and PSUs
    • "Country of origin" must on products
  • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
    • A master database of 21 databases designed to provide real-time information to fight terror and crime to Union Cabinet cleared central agencies
    • Under Ministry of Home Affairs. First conceptualised in 2009, the project aims to go live by December 31, 2020.
    • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
  • Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping’ (ASEEM) - to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities

States

  • Delhi
    • Assess Koro na - Collecting data with a door to door survey done by Delhi government. It is done through BLO (Booth Level Officer), municipal corporation workers, ASHA workers, and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife)
    • Rozgaar Bazaar - focusses on those who lost their jobs and businesses during pandemic
  • Maharashtra
    • Mahajobs - job portal

[In News: Latest]

  • Delhi launches Rozgaar Bazaar for helping those who lost jobs in pandemic

Sub: International Relations
Topic: Internal Security Prevention and Security
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 2/5

Central Police Organization

Central Police Organization refers to police forces under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs - Intelligence Bureau (IB); Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI); Bureau of Police Research & Development. (BPRD); National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB); National Investigation Agency (NIA); Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad; North Eastern Police Academy, Shillong; National Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science. (NICFS); and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • CBI is the premier investigating police agency in India
  • It functions under Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances,
  • CBI is not a statutory body, and derives its powers from DSPE Act, 1946
  • History
    • CBI was formed through a Home Ministry resolution dated 1963,
    • Its history can be traced back to 1941 in Special Police Establishment (SPE).
    • Later Delhi Special Police Establishment Act,1946 (DSPE) transferred SPE to Home Department, and finally it acquired its name of CBI in 1963, based on Santhanam Committee recommendations.
  • Composition
    • Based on Lokayukta Act, 2013, CBI is to be headed by a director, based on recommendation from a three member committee of Prime Minister, Leader of opposition (or largest party), and CJI or supreme court judge.
    • Central Government shall appoint officers of the rank of SP and above in the CBI, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Central Vigilance Commissioner as Chairperson, the Vigilance Commissioners, the Secretary of the Home Ministry and the Secretary of the Department of Personnel.
    • CBI director's tenure can not be less than 2 years.
  • Investigation
    • CBI is required to obtain the prior approval of the Central Government before conducting any inquiry or investigation into an offence committed by officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in the Central Government and its authorities
    • CBI acts as the 'National Central Bureau' of Interpol in India, since 1966. All matters relating to the NCB are, however, dealt by the Ministry of Home Affairs,
    • Special Police Establishment (SPE) - A division of CBI, enjoys concurrent power of investigation under DSPE, 1946 along with state police forces. SPE takes cases which substantially concern Central or State Government affairs. SPE can also take up cases against employees of public undertakings or statutory bodies established and financed by the Central Government.

National Investigation Agency (NIA)

National Investigation Agency (NIA) was formed in the aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks

  • National Investigation Agency Act, 2008
    • NIA Act provides for setting up an agency at the central level with powers to probe terrorism and other crimes having national ramifications.
    • NIA is headed by a Director-General, appointed by central government, who has the same power as Director General of Police
    • The Act does not curtail powers of State Government to investigate and prosecute.
    • The Act makes the National Investigation Agency the only truly federal agency in the country, more powerful than the CBI
  • National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019
    • NIA can also investigate offences related to human trafficking, counterfeit currency, cyber-terrorism, offences under Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and manufacture or sales of the prohibited arms
    • Central and State governments can, on consulting High Court, designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.
  • Investigation
    • An investigation can be initiated based on report filed by State government to Central government, on any scheduled offence (as defined in Clause 2).
      • The NIA can only investigate cases which are listed in the Act’s schedule, which largely deal with the security and integrity of the country.
    • Central Government can transfer back case from NIA to state government.
    • Central Government can also suo-moto direct the agency to investigate, if it is of opinion a scheduled offence has been committed.
      • [In news] State Government oppose this
    • Central Government can constitute Special Courts to take cognizance of any scheduled offence with highest priority on day-to-day basis
    • Till NIA takes up the case, it shall be the duty of officer-in-charge of police station to continue investigation

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

  • NCRB was set up in 1986 to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators
  • It was set up based on the recommendation of the Task force and National Police Commission by merging the Directorate of Coordination and Police Computer (DCPC), Statistical Branch of BPR&D, Inter State Criminals Data Branch of CBI and Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI.
  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) - CCTNS was created in 2009 by Ministry of Home Affairs, and approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), with following objectives:
    • Creating State and Central level databases on crime and criminals. All State police are mandated to file FIRs in the CCTNS
    • Enable easy sharing of real-time information/ intelligence across police stations, districts and States.
    • Improved investigation and crime prevention.
    • Improved service delivery to the public/ stakeholders through Citizen Portals.

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • U.S. authorities have informed India about the provisional arrest of Tahawwur Rana, one of the key players in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, as he is "proposed to be extradited" in a case registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA)
    • Gruesome violence by State in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu
    • Kerala gold smuggling case
    • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
  • Aug, 20
    • Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Wednesday issued a notification allowing the transfer of Sushant Singh Rajput death case to the CBI

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Physics And Chemistry
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 3/5

Physics Concepts In Focus

Energy

Solar Energy

  • Electricity can be produced directly from solar energy using photovoltaic devices or indirectly from steam generators using solar thermal collectors to heat a working fluid.
  • Photovoltaic energy: Photovoltaic energy is the conversion of sunlight into electricity through a photovoltaic (PVs) cell, commonly called a solar cell.  A photovoltaic cell is  usually made from silicon alloys and gallium.
  • Sunlight is composed of photons, or particles of solar energy.  These photons contain various amounts of energy corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum.  When photons strike a photovoltaic cell, they may be reflected, pass right through, or be absorbed.  Only the absorbed photons provide energy to generate electricity, by separating negatively charged electrons from rest of the atoms. These electron produce electrical current that can be collected.
  • Solar Constant: The solar energy reaching unit area at outer edge of the earth’s atmosphere exposed perpendicularly to the rays of the Sun at the average distance between the Sun and earth
  • In 2015, India set a target of 175GW of power generation by 2022 in UN climate conference in Paris. Of this 100GW is to be generated in solar energy.
    • Currently its upto 50GW after Rewa solar plant.

Optics

Optical Fiber

  • Working: Optical fiber work on the principle of Total Internal Reflection
  • Total Internal Reflection
    • When light passes from a medium with one index of refraction (m1) to another medium with a lower index of refraction (m2), it bends or refracts away from an imaginary line perpendicular to the surface (normal line).
    • Total Internal Reflection occurs if the angle of incidence is greater than a certain limiting angle, called the critical angle.
    • At all angles less than the critical angle, both refraction and reflection occur in varying proportions.
  • Types: Normally, fiber optic cable comes in two types, namely, single mode fiber (SMF) and multi mode fiber (MMF). 
    • Single mode fiber i: Single mode fiber is the simplest structure. It contains a very thin core, and all signals travel straight down the middle without bouncing off the edges. Single mode fiber optic cables are typically used for CATV, Internet, and telephone applications
    • Multi mode fiber: Multimode fiber is the other type of fiber optic cable. It is about 10 times larger than a single mode cable. The light beams can travel though the core by following a variety of different paths, or in multiple different modes. These cable types can only send data over short distances. Therefore, they are used, among other applications, for interconnecting computer networks.
  • Of all materials, silica (mostly SiO2) is most widely used as it has wide wavelength range, low absorption, and low scattering losses. It also has high elasticity and doesnt absorb moisture from air (hygroscopic)
    • Although light signals do degrade over progressing distances, depending on the purity of the material used, the loss is much less compared to using metal cables.
  • Raman effect:  Raman effect is the inelastic scattering of photons by matter. When a light beam propagates in an optical fiber, spontaneous Raman scattering transfers (SRS) some of the photons to new frequencies, thus modifying the wavelength of light

Space

  • Gravitational wave
    • A gravitational wave is an invisible (yet incredibly fast) ripple in space. Gravitational waves travel at the speed of light and squeeze and stretch anything in their path as they pass by. 
    • They were first detected in 2015 by LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory). Comprising two enormous laser interferometers (LIGO detectiors) located 3000 kilometers apart, LIGO exploits the physical properties of light and of space. There is another detector VIRGO in Italy.

 

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • LIGO and VIRGO have detected an unusual compact object whose mass falls in between that of a typical black hole and a neutron star
  • July, 20
    • Rewa Ultra Mega Solar - 750 MW solar power project in Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh
  • Aug, 20
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an undersea optical fibre cable connecting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with Chennai 

Sub: Geography
Topic: Agriculture
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 4/5

Farming

Farming Techniques

Transplanted plantation of rice

  • In Northern Indo-Gangetic plains, paddy is traditionally cultivated through transplantation.
  • Under transplantation, farmers prepare small nurseries where the paddy seeds are sown and raised to seedlings. These seedlings are then transplanted into the main field.
  • For first three weeks, the field is irrigated regularly, and is puddled (flooded) to a depth of 4-5 cm, to stop weed growth by denying them oxygen, while soft tissues in paddy allow oxygen to penetrate through.
  • Puddling is stopped after tillering stage (grass shoots development).
  • Traditional plantation requires lesser seeds and less herbicides, but water requirement is very high, so it is more popular in rain fed rice growing states like Chhattisgarh

Direct Seeding of rice (DSR)

  • In DSR, seeds are sown directly into the field.
  • Field has to be leveled before sowing. Seeds are then broadcasted (scattering) and then tilled into the ground, along with herbicide treatment, as both seed and weed compete for resources
  • Direct sown rice consumes relatively less water compared to transplanted flooded rice also matures 10-15 days earlier than through the transplantation process. This gives farmers a wider window to manage rice straw before sowing the next wheat crop. The lack of time to prepare for the next crop forces farmers to burn the post-harvest stubble in October-November before sowing the next rabi wheat crop
  • DSR saves on water and labour cost, matures earlier; but requires herbicides, land leveling, and almost double seed requirement than traditional transplantation

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Farmers in Punjab opting for DSR because of labour shortage

Sub: Geography
Topic: Physical Geography Geomorphology
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/5

Earthquakes

  • Earthquakes are caused due to disequilibrium in any part of the crust of the earth. This can be due to a number of causes like volcanic eruptions, faulting and folding, gaseous expansion and contraction inside earth, hydrostatic pressure and plate movements.
  • The place of occurrence of earthquake is called focus and place on earth's surface which experiences it is called epicentre.
  • Earthquake waves are basically of two types - body waves and surface waves. Body waves are generated due to the release of energy at the focus and move in all directions traveling through the body of the earth. The body waves interact with the rocks and generate new set of waves called surface waves. These waves move along the surface. There are two types of body waves
    • P-waves / Primary waves: P-waves move faster and are the first to arrive at the surface. These are also called ‘primary waves’. P-waves vibrate parallel to the direction of the wave. This exerts pressure on the material in the direction of the propagation. As a result, it creates density differences in the material leading to stretching and squeezing of the material.
    • S-waves / secondary waves : S-waves arrive at the surface with some time lag, but they are more distructive. They can travel only through solid materials. The direction of vibrations of S-waves is perpendicular to the wave direction in the vertical plane. Hence, they create troughs and crests in the material through which they pass.
  • Mizoram quake zone - The epicentre of most of quakes in Mizoram is beneath Champhai district bordering Myanmar, caught between two subterranean faults - Churachandpur Mao Fault and the Mat Fault

[In News]

  • Mizoram quake zone caught between two geological faults

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