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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 26-06-2024

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June 26, 2024

Javelin anti-tank missiles

Recently, India and the US discussed co-producing Javelin missiles in India.

  • About- It is a 3rd generation man-portable fire anti-tank guided missile (ATGMs).
  • It is developed and produced jointly by U.S. defence majors, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
  • It employs a top-down attack mode, striking tanks from above where the armour is the thinnest.
  • It is a highly lethal medium-range missile has been in full-rate production since 1994.
  • It is capable of defeating all known and projected armour, as well as soft and irregular targets.
  • Features
    • Weight- 22.1 kg.
    • Range- 2,500 metres to 4,750 meters.
    • Technology- It uses "fire-and-forget" technology with automatic infrared guidance, allowing it to self-guide to the target without external commands or target designation.

Fire-and-forget missiles require no further guidance after launch, allowing them to hit their target without needing the launcher to maintain line-of-sight or provide ongoing direction.

  • It is designed to defeat heavily armoured vehicles like main battle tanks, lighter military vehicles, fortifications, bunkers, and helicopters.
  • It’s reload and reacquire time is about one minute.
  • Significance for India - The anti-tank missiles will enable the Indian Army to meet its requirements to boost the weapon system.

Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

  • An Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) is a precision weapon designed to destroy armoured vehicles such as tanks.
  • It is primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily armoured military vehicles.
  • These are "fire-and-forget" missiles.
  • The missiles rely on an electro-optical imager (IIR) seeker, a laser, or a W-band radar seeker in the nose of the missile.

References

  1. The Economic times | Javelin anti-tank missiles
  2. Lockheedmartin|Javelin

 

Didymocarpus janakiae

Recently a new plant species, Didymocarpus janakiae discovered in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Genus- Didymocarpus.
    • The genus consists of 111 species out of which 27 species are present in India.
  • The species has been named in honour of Dr. E. K. Janaki Ammal, Indian botanist renowned for her contributions to botany, particularly in plant breeding, genetics, and cytology.
    • In 1931, she became the 1st Indian woman to be awarded a doctorate in botany in the US (University of Michigan).
  • Location- It is confined to the sub-tropical forests of West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Habitat- They thrive in undisturbed habitats such as moss-covered rocks, highlighting the ecosystem's pristine quality.
  • Other nomenclature- It is commonly known as stone flower which is part of the African violet family (Gesneriaceae).
  • Threat- It is under threat of habitat degradation caused by rapid development activities like road construction.
  • Conservation status – It is proposed for listing as Critically Endangered under IUCN guidelines.

Didymocarpus Janakaie

Reference

Hubnetwork | Didymocarpus janakiae

 

World Craft City

Recently, Srinagar is recognized as the 4th Indian city to attain the status of a 'World Craft City'.

  • Agency- World Craft Council (WCC).
  • Reason for selection- Since the 14th century the Srinagar has become known for its rich arts and crafts tradition and heritage.
  • Types of crafts in Srinagar- Handicrafts & handloom products, like Paper-machine, walnut wood carving, carpets, Sozni embroidery, Pashmina Kani shawls, and hand-knotted carpet
  • The J&K administration had applied for the recognition of Srinagar as World Craft City in 2021 together with recognition as UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Srinagar’s recognition as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City for Crafts in 2021.

  • These crafts, honed over centuries and passed through generations, have earned global recognition for their exceptional quality and craftsmanship.
  • Handicrafts are vital for local income, economic growth, and social bonds, driving the city's development.
  • Other World Craft Cities in India- Jaipur, Malappuram and Mysore are the other Indian cities that have previously been recognised as World Craft Cities.

World Craft Council (WCC)

  • It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization.
  • It is affiliated to UNESCO.
  • Establishment- 1964.
  • Aim- To promote the preservation, protection, and development of traditional crafts and foster economic development through crafts.
  • Objective- To promote
    • Fellowship among crafts persons worldwide,
    • Foster economic development through craft-related activities,
    • Organize exchange programs, workshops, conferences, seminars, and exhibitions, and
    • Offer encouragement and advice to artisans.

References

  1. The Indian Express | World Craft City
  2. World Crafts Council | About

 

Bio-bitumen

India plans to start large-scale production of bio-bitumen production from biomass or agricultural waste to reduce imports of the material used for asphalting of roads.

  • Bio-bitumen is known as biologically sourced bitumen that is derived from renewable biological sources rather than from fossil fuels.
  • It is made using non-petroleum-based renewable resources and can be made from vegetable oils, synthetic polymers, or both, making it a more sustainable model long term.

Bitumen is produced through the distillation of crude oil and also occurs naturally.

  • Properties- It typically retains the desirable characteristics of conventional bitumen, such as durability, waterproofing ability, and adhesion.
  • Advantages - Bio-bitumen has a potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on fossil fuels, offering a more sustainable alternative in construction and infrastructure projects.
  • It doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals, so it is safer for workers and the environment.
  • Applications- It can be used in similar applications as traditional bitumen, including asphalt paving for roads and as a binding agent in roofing materials and waterproof coatings.

Reference

The Economic Times | Bio-bitumen

 

Gigantic jets

Gigantic jets were recently witnessed over the Himalayan Mountains by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  • Gigantic jets are a rare and powerful type of lightning that can extend from the top of a cloud to the edge of space.
  • They are relatively a recent discovery in the field of atmospheric phenomena, having been documented only in the 21st century.
  • It is different from regular cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning.
  • The bottoms of Gigantic Jets look similar to blue jets, while the tops look similar to red sprites.

Giagntic jets

  • It occurs between some thunderstorms and the Earth's ionosphere high above them.
  • It pack 50 times the power of a regular lightning strike and can travel as high as 80 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.
  • Unlike familiar cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning, gigantic jets bridge the gap between thunderstorms and the Earth's ionosphere, soaring high above the storm clouds.

Reference

Indian express | Gigantic jets

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