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Prelim Bits 15-02-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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February 15, 2023

TARKASH Exercise

TARKASH, a joint exercise by the India and US has for the first time included Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) terror response in its drill

  • TARKASH is a joint exercise by the National Security Guard (NSG) and US Special Operations Forces (SOF).
  • It is currently being held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • CBRN terror response was included in the exercise due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
  • Last year, Russia accused Ukraine of orchestrating a chemical attack in Kharkiv to blame Russia and receiving aid from the western countries.

CBRN Weapons

  • They are classified as “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD) because of its ability to create mass casualties.

Chemical Weapons

Biological Weapons

Radiological Weapons

Mustard Gas


Nerve Agents




Botulinum Toxin





Dirty Bombs


Weaponized Radioactive Waste


Nuclear Weapons



The Indian Express|Indo-US exercise TARKASH


Aero India Show 2023

The 14th edition of Aero India Show: 2023, was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister in Yelahanka, Bengaluru.

  • It is a biennial international show on aerospace, defence and civil aviation.
  • The focus will be on displaying indigenous technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies, in line with ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ vision.
  • Theme - The runway to a billion opportunities
  • On behalf of the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence, the event was organized by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Defence Export Target

  • In the last five years, India’s defence equipment export has increased six times and reached USD 1.5 billion.

During the event, Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi set an ambitious target of $5 billion in defence exports by 2024-25 from the current $1.5 billion.

Defence Minister’s Conclave

  • A Defence Ministers’ Conclave will also be hosted in parallel with this year’s show.
  • Defence Ministers of friendly foreign countries will participate in the meeting based on the theme “Shared Prosperity through Enhanced Engagements in Defence (SPEED)


  1. The Hindu | Aero India 2023
  2. The Indian Express |PM Modi sets $5 bn defence export target



Micro quakes are preventing any large-scale earthquakes in India

  • Micro Earth Quake (Microquake) - It is a very low intensity earthquake with a magnitude of 2.0 or less.
  • India is located in a seismically active region where 59% of India's land mass is prone to earthquakes.
  • But frequent occurrences of micro earthquakes in India which releases the stored-up energy in a consistent time interval prevents any large-scale disasters.
  • Triple Junction - It is a point where 3 tectonic plates meet and interact.
  • These are important areas of geological activity that are rigid, compact and withstand a lot of stress.
  • If it breaks, the entire stress is released, causing a lot of damage.
  • The breaking of this tri-junction led to the recent massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
  • In India, the triple junction on India's western border with Pakistan was prevented by the micro-level earthquakes that often releases energy.
  • Couple Zone - It is a region where 2 tectonic plates horizontally slide past each other.
  • India is divided into four seismic zones based on the potential for earthquake activity in each region.
  • Seismic Zone - It is an area where there is a high probability of earthquakes due to the area’s geology.


India’s landmass

Zone V (Most Active)


Zone IV


Zone III


Zone II (Least Active)




  1. The Hindu|Micro quakes preventing large-scale event


Dayanand Saraswati & Arya Samaj

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently paid tribute to Dayanand Saraswati, a social reformer on his 200th birth anniversary.

  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born on 12th February 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat.
  • He was earlier named Mool Shankar Tiwari.
  • He was an Indian philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj.
  • He believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas.
  • Dayananda advocated the doctrine of Karma and Reincarnation.
  • He emphasized the Vedic ideals of brahmacharya, including celibacy and devotion to God.
  • Denouncing the idolatry and ritualistic worship, he worked towards reviving Vedic ideologies.
  • He was the first to give the call for "India for Indians"(swaraj) in 1876, a call later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak.
  • Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, India’s second President and an influential educationist, called Dayanand Saraswati “a maker of modern India”.
  • He established the Vedic schools for the education of girls and boys of all castes.
  • The DAV (Dayanand Anglo Vedic) schools came into existence in 1886 to realize the vision of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

Arya Samaj

  • Arya Samaj is a Hindu monotheistic socio-religious movement.
  • It was established by Swami Dayananda Saraswati in 1875 in Bombay. 
  • The Samaj opposes (Sanatan Dharma) worship of idols, animal sacrifice, rituals, basing caste upon birth, untouchability, child marriage, pilgrimages, priestly craft, and temple offerings.
  • It upholds the infallibility of the Vedas, the doctrines of karma.
  • It has worked to further female education and inter-caste marriage.


The Indian Express |Who is Dayanand Saraswati?


Delhi-Mumbai Expressway

Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi has recently inaugurated the first phase of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway.

  • The first phase covered the 246-km Delhi-Dausa-Lalsot section.
  • It will reduce the travel time from Delhi to Jaipur from 5 hours to about 3 hours.
  • The expressway provides Haryana, a landlocked state with connectivity to major sea ports and enable the increase of exports.


Key features of the expressway

  • State-of-art traffic management system
  • Provisions for rainwater harvesting with over 2000+ water recharge points
  • Dedicated 3m wide corridor for fibre optic cables, pipelines as well as solar power generation.


Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will be the India’s longest expressway.

The expressway is the first in Asia and only the second in the world to feature animal overpasses and underpasses to facilitate unrestricted movement of wildlife.

Quick Facts

  • A landlocked country does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie in internal drainage systems.
  • A total of 18 states in India are land-locked and they include all the states in the Northeast and all the states above the Tropic of Cancer.
  • Landlocked Union Territories of India are Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Delhi.
  • Double landlocked countries refers to countries that are not only landlocked, but are also surrounded by landlocked countries.


  1. The Indian Express | Delhi-Mumbai expressway
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