Prelim Bits 08-11-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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November 08, 2022

Utah Salt Flats

The glistening white salt of the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats is shrinking near the Utah-Nevada line.

  • The Bonneville Salt Flat is found west of the Great Salt Lake, in Western Utah.
  • Both the Bonneville Salt Flats and the Great Salt Lake are remnants of the prehistoric lake - Lake Bonneville.


  • The Salt Flat stretching over 30,000 acres, is located near the Utah-Nevada border.
  • The salt surface contains potassium, magnesium lithium and sodium chloride (common table salt).
  • Environment - The vegetation is sparse owing to the salty soil.
  • Ponds and marshy areas can be found in spots near the edges of the flats and they provide critical habitat for plants and animals.


  • The salt flat is growing thinner and the overall footprint has shrunk to about half of its peak size in 1994.
  • Racing - The slat flat is perfectly flat and has a thick crust of salty soil.
  • The crust keeps tires cool at high speeds and provides an ideal surface for racing.
  • Bonneville Speedway is a part of the salt lake used as motor race ground.
  • Potash Mining - Potash, a potassium-based salt is extracted from the salt lakebed.
  • The briny water in the aquifer below the flats is depleting faster due to potash mining.
  • Drought - The landscape relies on the seasonal flood to maintain its size and footprint.
  • Fails in seasonal flooding leads to recede or leaves behind an unstable layer of salt.


  1. The Hindu - Search for solutions drives race to save Utah salt flats
  2. Bonneville Salt Flats - Utah

National Bio Energy Programme

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has notified to continue the National Bioenergy Programme for the period from FY 2021-22 to 2025-26.

  • The National Bio Energy Programme will aid the use of huge surplus biomass, cattle dung, and industrial and urban bio-waste available in the country for energy recovery.
  • The Programme has been recommended for implementation in 2 Phases - Phase-I (budget outlay of Rs. 858 crore) and Phase-II.
  • The National Bioenergy Programme will comprises of 3 sub-schemes:
    1. Waste to Energy Programme
    2. Biomass Programme
    3. Biogas Programme
  • Waste to Energy Programme - A programme on Energy production from Urban, Industrial and Agricultural Wastes /Residues.
  • To support setting up of large Biogas, BioCNG and Power plants (excluding MSW to Power projects).
  • Biomass Programme - A scheme to Support Manufacturing of Briquettes & Pellets and Promotion of Biomass (non-bagasse) based cogeneration in Industries.
  • The pellets and briquettes produced can be used in power generation and non-bagasse based power generation projects.
  • Biogas Programme - To support setting up of family and medium size Biogas in rural areas.
  • The National Bio Energy Programme will also give an extra push in the form of a 20% higher standard Central Financial Aassistance pattern for the north-eastern region.


  1. PIB - MNRE notifies National Bio Energy Programme
  2. Live Mint - The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
  3. EconomicTimes - Renewable energy ministry to continue Bio Energy Programme till 2025-26

Guru Nanak Jayanti

Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab this year is observed as the 553rd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

  • Guru Nanak Jayanti also known as Guru Nanak's Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Dev Ji Jayanti.
  • The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak is celebrated on the Full Moon day of the Indian lunar month, Kartik.

Guru Nanak (1469-1539)

  • Guru Nanak is the first Guru of Sikhs.
  • Guru Nanak was born in a Hindu merchant family in Nankana Sahib Village near the river Ravi in Punjab (present day Pakistan).
  • He travelled widely before establishing a centre at Kartarpur (Dera Baba Nanak on the river Ravi).
  • Ideology - He rejected sacrifices, ritual baths, image worship, austerities and the scriptures of both Hindus and Muslims.
  • For Baba Guru Nanak, the Absolute or ‘Rab’ had no gender or form. He emphasized the importance of the worship of one God.  
  • He proposed a simple way to connect to the Divine by remembering and repeating the Divine Name, expressing his ideas through hymns (shabad in Punjabi).
  • Gurdwara - Baba Guru Nanak organised his followers into a community and set up rules for congregational worship (sangat) involving collective recitation.
  • Irrespective of their former creed, caste or gender, his followers ate together in the common kitchen (langar).
  • The sacred space thus created by Guru Nanak was known as Gurdwara.
  • Successor - He appointed one of his disciples, Angad (2nd Guru), to succeed him as the guru.

Guru Granth Sahib

  • The 5th preceptor, Guru Arjan, compiled Guru Nanak’s hymns along with those of his four successors in the Adi Granth Sahib.
  • Adi Granth Sahib also has hymns written by other religious poets like Baba Farid, Ravidas and Kabir.

The Mughal emperor Jahangir ordered the execution of Guru Arjan in 1606.

  • The 10th preceptor, Guru Gobind Singh, included the compositions of the 9th guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and this scripture was called the Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Guru Granth Sahib is the holy scripture of the Sikhs written in Gurmukhi script.

Khalsa Panth

  • Under Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh community got consolidated as a socio-religious and military force.
  • He laid the foundation of the Khalsa Panth (army of the pure).
  • The Khalsa Panth is defined by its five symbols: kes (Uncut long hair), kangha (comb), kachha (a pair of shorts), karha (steel bangle), and kirpan (sword).


  1. Live Mint - Guru Nanak Jayanti today: history, significance
  2. PIB - PM greets people on Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Make-2 project

Indian Army has approved project sanction orders for five Make -2 projects providing impetus to Atma Nirbhaarta.

  • The Indian Army has 43 ongoing projects under the Make II procedure of Capital Acquisition.
  • 17 out of 43 projects have been initiated through suo-moto proposals received from the industry.
  • The 5 products ordered by Indian Army under Make-2 project are
  1. High-Frequency Man Packed Software Designed Radio,
  2. Drone Kill System,
  3. Infantry Training Weapon Simulator,
  4. 155mm Terminally Guided Munitions and
  5. Medium Range Precision Kill System.

MAKE Projects

  • Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 encourages indigenous designing and manufacturing of defence items.
  • The Make category of capital acquisition in Defence Procurement Procedure is a vital pillar for the Make in India initiative.
  • It enables indigenisation of high end technology systems in the defence industry.
  • The ‘Make’ Procedure aims to achieve the objective of self-reliance by involving greater participation of Indian industries including the private sector through the following mechanisms.


(Government Funded)


(Industry Funded)

This involves the design and development of equipment, systems, major platforms or upgrades thereof by the industry.

This includes design & development and innovative solutions by Indian vendor for development of prototypes.

The Government provides financial support up to 70% of prototype development cost or a maximum INR 250 crore per Development Agency.

No Government funding is provided for this but it has the assurance of procurement on successful prototype development.


  1. Live Mint - Indian Army approves five Make-2 projects
  2. India Today - Indian Army approves five Make II projects
  3. Times Now - Indian Army approves Project Sanction Orders of five Make II projects
  4. Make In India - Defence Manufacturing


Researchers have developed a Nano-biosensor for detecting lycopene.

The Nano-biosensor uses a portable smartphone-based upconverting reusable fluorescent paper strip to detect lycopene in tomatoes.

Upconversion is a process where light can be emitted with photon energies higher than the light generating the excitation.

  • Lycopene is a phytochemical with high commercial value.
  • It is a type of carotenoid found in high amounts in tomatoes and also present in pink grapefruit, watermelons and papaya.
  • It is responsible for the red to pink colours seen in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and other foods.
  • It is also synthesised by plants and microorganisms but cannot be synthesised by the human body and can only be obtained via diet.
  • It is a potent antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and heart diseases.
  • High intake of lycopene-rich foods shows a reduced risk of several cancers, notably prostate cancer.


  • They are natural pigments present mainly in fruits and vegetables.
  • They are responsible for colours from yellow to red that also have a role as non-nutrients.
  • α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene are few examples of carotenoids.


  1. Down To Earth - Researchers develop reusable, paper-based lycopene sensors
  2. ScienceDirect – Lycopene



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