Prelims Booster

4th July – Prelims Booster

Prerak Dauur Samman

Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the toolkit for Swachh Survekshan 2021, the sixth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India conducted by the MoHUA. The Ministry has also announced a new category of awards titled ‘Prerak Dauur Samman’ as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021.

Details –

The Prerak Dauur Samman has a total of five additional sub-categories – Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) – with top three cities being recognised in each.

In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorise cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows –

  • Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories,
  • Processing capacity against wet waste generated,
  • Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste,
  • Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing,
  • Percentage of waste going to landfills,
  • Sanitation status of cities.

Dharma Chakra Day/Asadha Poornima

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India, is celebrating Asadha Poornima on July 4, 2020, as Dharma Chakra Day

Put together by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), the event will see monks from countries such as Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, UK, US and Vietnam.

About Dharma Chakra Day –

  • Asadha Poornima falls on the first full moon day of the month of Asadha as per Indian sun calendar.
  • This day commemorates Buddha’s First Sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi, UP.
  • The day is also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”.
  • This day is also aptly observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their Gurus.

About Guru Poornima –

  • According to the Hindu calendar, Guru Purnima generally falls on a full-moon day in the Hindu month of Ashadh.
  • It is dedicated to Maharshi Veda Vyasa, the sage who is believed to have edited the sacred Hindu text, the Vedas and created the 18 Puranas, Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam.
  • For Buddhists, the festival marks the first sermon of Lord Buddha, which is said to have been delivered at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, on this very day.
  • It is also believed to mark the onset of monsoons.

Defence purchases by India

Recently, India has given a go-ahead to acquire certain defence equipment to boost the capabilities of its defence forces. Let us look at the purchases in brief.

Pinaka Missile System for the Army –

  • It will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted. It is an all-weather, indirect fire, free flight artillery rocket system.
  • It provides a unique capability to accurately deliver a devastatingly lethal and responsive fire against a variety of area targets such as exposed enemy troops, armoured and soft skin vehicles, communication centres, air terminal complexes, fuel and ammunition dumps.

Astra Missiles for Navy and Air Force –

  • Astra Missiles, with Beyond Visual Range capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of Navy and Air Force.
  • The BVR class of Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) system designed to be mounted on fighter aircraft and is “designed to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aircraft”.
  • The missile has all weather day and night capability. The missile is being developed in multiple variants to meet specific requirements. The ASTRA Mk-I Weapon System integrated with SU-30 Mk-I aircraft is being inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF). It can be launched in autonomous and buddy mode of operation with features for Lock-On-Before Launch (LOBL) and Lock-On After Launch (LOAL).

MIG 29 & Su-30 MKI Fighter Jets –

  • To address the long felt need of the Indian Air Force to increase its fighter squadrons, the government approved the procurement of 21 MIG-29 from Russia.
  • It is a twin-engine, multirole fighter jets, developed by the Soviets in 1970s, but has been upgraded since. Russia will also upgrade existing 59 Mig-29 aircraft of India. The deal will cost Rs 7,418 crore.
  • Government will also buy 12 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore.

Development of Long-Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems (LRLACM) for Navy and Air Force –

  • It is aimed at enhancing India’s firing range from between 400 km and 500 km of the Brahmos to 1000 km.
  • Presently, lead in projects have developed, demonstrated and matured critical cruise missile technologies such as aerodynamic configuration, vertical launch using solid booster, thrust vector control system, booster separation, in-flight wing deployment, in-flight engine start and long range way-point navigation system.
  • The seeker development and testing by DRDO laboratories, are demonstrated and is at a high-level of readiness. The proposed development of fully indigenous long-range land attack cruise missile can greatly enhance the operational capability of services.

First private train by 2023

India will see its first privately operated train running by April 2023 and the bidding process for this will be completed by April 2021.

Details –

  • The national transporter had invited requests for qualifications (RFQ) from private players recently to operate 151 trains covering 109 routes that might see investments of Rs 30,000 crore.
  • These trains will be operated on a revenue neutral model.
  • A big challenge before the Indian Railways will be the speed limit of 160 km per hour (kmph) set for these trains, because at present there is only one section that is fit to run trains at that speed. This year, the maximum speed limit on the Delhi-mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes was increased from 110 kmph to 130 kmph.
  • The Railways indicated that the plan to rope in private players came after an estimate showed that passenger traffic is expected to grow 55 per cent by 2030. In 2019, the Railways saw 8.4 billion passengers, which is expected to climb to 13 billion by 2030 and 18 billion by 2040.
  • Over 95 per cent of the trains will still be operated by the Indian Railways and only 5 per cent will come under public-private partnership mode.

Advantage –

  • It creates the environment for enhanced service quality and user experience for the passengers.
  • Indian Railways doesn’t have to suffer the losses associated with running these trains thanks to under-recovery of cost due to low fares and its own hefty overheads.
  • Indian Railways doesn’t have to suffer the losses associated with running these trains thanks to under-recovery of cost due to low fares and its own hefty overheads.
  • The government wants private players and maybe also its own PSU, along with Indian Railways, to share the load of pumping in more trains into the system.

Daily MCQs

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