Prelim Bits 19-04-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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April 19, 2022

Al-Aqsa Mosque

After a weekend of violence in and around Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound a rocket was fired into Israel from the Palestinian enclave of Gaza. It was shot down by Israel’s anti-rocket defences.

  • Al-Aqsa Mosque has been the most sensitive site in the Israel-Palestine conflict as both sides have made rival claims over it.
  • The 35-acre Al-Aqsa Compound includes
    1. The Dome of the Rock (An Islamic shrine),
    2. The four minarets,
    3. The historic gates of the compound, and
    4. The mosque itself.
  • The hilltop Al-Aqsa compound lies in the Old City of Jerusalem, a World Heritage site.
  • Al-Aqsa is holy for 2 of the 3 monotheistic world religions - Islam & Judaism.
  • Islam - The lead-domed Al-Aqsa mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam after Makkah and Medina.
  • It is inside the Al-Aqsa compound, and it is referred to as al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, by Muslims.
  • According to the Islamic scripture, Masjid al-Aqsa, meaning the farthest mosque, is where Prophet Muhammad reached at the end of his night journey, or Isra, from the sacred mosque of Makkah.
  • It is from the rock inside the Dome of the Rock that the Prophet is believed to have ascended to heaven.
  • Judaism - Al-Aqsa is also referred to as Temple Mount by the Jews, the holiest place in Judaism.
  • Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism as it is believed to be the site of the first and the second biblical temples.
  • Jews can visit the Temple Mount but are not allowed to pray here.

The Western or Wailing Wall, atop which the Al-Aqsa compound stands, is the only remaining part of the biblical temple, and this is where Jews from Israel and across the globe come to pray.


  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/gaza-rockets-intercepted-claims-israel/article65333624.ece
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/why-clashes-took-place-at-the-al-aqsa-mosque-compound/article65331918.ece?homepage=true
  3. https://www.firstpost.com/world/explained-why-al-aqsa-mosque-in-jerusalem-is-a-regular-site-of-conflict-between-israel-and-palestine-10570061.html

e-DAR Portal

The Supreme Court has recently received a demonstration of a web-based portal e-DAR to streamline data of Motor Vehicle Accidents and Claims sought under the Act.

  • e-DAR (e-Detailed Accident Report) is a web portal developed by the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in consultation with insurance companies.
  • It will provide instant information on road accidents with a few clicks and help accelerate accident compensation claims, bringing relief to victims’ families.
  • Digitalised DAR will be uploaded on the portal for easy access.
  • eDAR will be linked to the Integrated Road Accident Database (iRAD).
  • From iRAD, applications to more than 90% of the datasets would be pushed directly to the e-DAR.
  • Stakeholders like the police, road authorities, hospitals, etc., are required to enter very minimal information for the e-DAR forms.
  • Thus, e-DAR would be an extension and e-version of iRAD.
  • Benefits - The e-DAR portal would conduct multiple checks against fake claims by conducting a sweeping search of vehicles involved in the accident, the date of accident, and the FIR number.
  • It would be linked to other government portals like Vaahan and would get access to information on driving licence details and vehicles.
  • For the benefit of investigating officers, the portal would provide geo tagging of the exact accident spot along with the site map.
  • This would notify the investigating officer on his distance from the spot of the incident in the event the portal is accessed from any other location.
  • Details like photos, video of the accident spot, damaged vehicles, injured victims, eye-witnesses, etc., would be uploaded immediately on the portal.
  • Apart from the state police, an engineer from the Public Works Department or the local body will receive an alert on his mobile device and they examine the accident site and feed the required details.
  • Hotspots for accidents would also be identified so as to obtain solutions to avoid accidents at these hotspots.


  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/e-dar-portal-to-speed-up-accident-compensation-claims/article6532462ece
  2. https://www.latestlaws.com/latest-news/morth-gave-demonstration-of-edar-mact-portal-to-supreme-court-read-order-184224/

National Capital Goods Policy, 2016

  • Ministry of Heavy Industries seeks to provide technology development as well as environment friendly technologies in the industry through innovative policies/schemes.
  • Accordingly, to strengthen the Capital Goods sector the National Capital Goods Policy, 2016 was laid out in which it is recommended to take initiatives to accelerate the growth of the Capital Goods Sector.
  • National Capital Goods Policy, 2016 is the National Policy For Development of Heavy Industries.
  • Vision - The National Capital Goods Policy is formulated with the vision to increase the share of capital 24 goods contribution from present 12% to 20% of total manufacturing activity by 2025.
  • Mission - The policy is envisaged to achieve the following missions:
    1. To become one of the top capital goods producing nations of the world by raising the total production to over twice the current level;
    2. To raise exports to a significant level of at least 40% of total production and become a net exporter of capital goods;
    3. To improve technology depth in Indian capital goods from the current basic and intermediate levels to advanced levels and
    4. To build local champions or large scale Indian corporations.
  • The objectives of the Policy are:
    1. To increase the total production in excess of ~Rs. 750,000 Cr by 2025
    2. To increase direct domestic employment to at least 5 million and indirect employment 25 million by 2025
    3. To increase the share of domestic production in India's capital goods demand from 60% to 80% by 2025 and in the process improve domestic capacity utilization to 80-90%.
    4. To increase exports to 40% of total production (Rs 300,000 Cr) by 2025,
    5. To significantly enhance availability of skilled manpower with higher productivity in the capital goods sector.
    6. To improve ‘technology depth’ in capital goods sub-sectors by increasing research intensity in India.
    7. To promote standards to enhance the quality regime in the capital goods sector through relevant standards to propel the sector and curb inflow of sub-standard capital goods
    8. To enhance growth and build capacity of SMEs to compete with established domestic and international firms and become national and global champions of capital goods in the future.


  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1812492
  2. https://heavyindustries.gov.in/writereaddata/Content/Capital%20Goods%20Policy%20Final.pdf
  3. https://pib.gov.in/newsite/printrelease.aspx?relid=145622


A P8I Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft of the Indian Navy has arrived at Darwin, Australia.

  • Recently, Boeing delivered India’s 12th maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare P-8I aircraft.
  • The first of these aircraft was inducted in 2013, and it made India the first country outside the United States to get one.
  • P-8I is the Indian variant of the P-8s, which are used by the Indian Navy since 2013.
  • The aircraft is a multi-mission aircraft with state of the art sensors, proven weapons systems, and a globally recognised platform.
  • It is designed for
    1. Long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW),
    2. Anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and
    3. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
  • Tech specs - The P-8I can fly as high as 41,000 feet. It has two engines, and has a top speed of 490 knots.
  • It has a short transit time, which reduces the size of the “Area of Probability when searching for submarines, surface vessels or search and rescue survivors”.
  • It is also used for low altitude, and humanitarian, and search and rescue missions.
  • Apart from the US and India, the P-8 has been chosen by six other militaries in the world.




Manufactured for the Indian Navy

P-8A Poseidon

Flown by the US Navy, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

It has also been selected by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Republic of Korea Navy, and the German Navy.


  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1815846
  2. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-p-8i-indian-navy-boeing-aircraft-7790672/
  3. https://www.boeing.co.in/products-and-services/defense-space-and-security/boeing-defense-space-and-security-in-india/p-8I.page

Cyclopean Wall

Bihar government has sent a fresh proposal to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to get Cyclopean wall listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Built before 3rd century BC, the 2,500-years-old Cyclopean Wall is among the oldest examples of cyclopean masonry in the world.
  • The Cyclopean Wall of Rajgir is a 40 km long wall of stone which encircled the ancient city of Rajgir to protect it from external enemies.
  • [The ancient city of Rajgir was the capital city of King Bimbisara and his son Ajatshatru who were contemporaries of the Buddha.]
  • The Cyclopean Wall is believed to have been built in the pre-Mauryan era, using massive undressed stones.
  • Similarity - The Cyclopean Wall at Rajgir is similar to “Frontiers of the Roman Empire” that runs through Germany, UK and Northern Ireland, which was included on UNESCO’s world heritage list in 1987.
  • The wall at Rajgir is also similar to Cyclopean Walls of Mycenae, an ancient city in Greece.
  • Bihar is the home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are,
    1. Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda,
    2. Mahabodhi temple of Bodhygaya.


  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/patna/bihar-unesco-heritage-tag-cyclopean-wall-7871141/
  2. https://tourism.bihar.gov.in/en/destinations/nalanda/cyclopean-wall
  3. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/bihar-govt-to-remind-asi-for-inclusionof-cyclopean-wall-on-unesco-list/articleshow/90878622.cms
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