Prelims 2020

30th July 2020 Daily Current Flash Cards

Blue macaw;Solar Energy Corporation of India; National Solar Mission; Natesa sandstone idol; Gurjara-Pratihara era architectures; Kangaroo; Aerial seeding; NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission; Past NASA’s mission on mars.
By IASToppers
July 30, 2020




What is the reason behind the launching of NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission when Earth and Mars are in good positions relative to each other for landing on Mars?

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Because it takes less power to travel to Mars at this time, compared to other times when Earth and Mars are in different positions in their orbits.

Enrich Your Learning:

NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission:

  • Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet.
  • It addresses high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key questions about the potential for life on Mars.
  • Perseverance takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself.
  • It provides opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars. These include:
  • Testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere,
  • Identifying other resources (such as subsurface water),
  • Improving landing techniques, and
  • Characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions
  • It is scheduled to launch on 30 July 2020, when Earth and Mars are in good positions relative to each other for landing on Mars.

Past NASA’s mission on mars:

  • 1992: Mars Observer
  • 1996: Mars Global Surveyor
  • 1997: Mars Pathfinder Mission with the Sojourner rover egressed on the Martian soil.
  • 1998: Mars Climate Orbiter
  • 1999: Mars Polar Lander/Deep Space 2
  • 2003: NASA would go on to send the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity to Mars.
  • 2007: Phoenix
  • 2012: Curiosity.




Define the term: Aerial seeding.

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  • Aerial seeding is a technique of plantation wherein seed balls – seeds covered with a mixture of clay, compost, char and other components – are sprayed on the ground using aerial devices, including planes, helicopters or drones.

Enrich Your Learning:

How does Aerial seeding technique work?

  • Seed pellets are dispersed in a targeted area by the low-flying drones, falling to the ground with the help of the coating of clay, compost, char and other material, that provides the required weight for seeds to drop on a predetermined location rather than disperse in wind.
  • These pellets will then sprout when there is enough rain, with the nutrients present within them helping in the initial growth.

What are the advantages of this technique? 

  • Areas that are inaccessible, have steep slopes, are fragmented or disconnected with no forest routes, making conventional plantation difficult, can be targeted with aerial seeding.
  • The process of the seed’s germination and growth is such that it requires no attention after it is dispersed – the reason why seed pellets are known as the “fire and forget” way of plantation.
  • They eliminate the need for ploughing and digging holes in the soil and the seeds do not need to be planted, since they are already surrounded by soil, nutrients, and microorganisms.
  • The clay shell of these pellets along with the other items in the mixture also protects them from birds, ants and rats.

What kind of species can be dispersed using aerial seeding?

  • The species selected have to be native to the area and hardy, with seeds that are of an appropriate size for preparing seedballs & have to have a higher survival percentage.
  • It is critical that the timing of the seeding be correct in order for the plantation to be successful.




Name the largest flying parrot species in the world.

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Answer: Blue macaw

Enrich Your Learning:


  • The kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods meaning “large foot”).
  • Kangaroos are indigenous to Australia.
  • There are 4 species of kangaroo, the Red, Antilopine, Eastern Grey and Western Grey Kangaroo.
  • Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head.
  • The kangaroo is a symbol of Australia and appears on the Australian coat of arms and on some of its currency.

Blue macaw:

  • It is a parrot native to central and eastern South America.
  • It is also known as the hyacinth macaw or hyacinthine macaw.
  • It is longer than any other species of parrot.
  • It is the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species.
  • Threat: Habitat loss and the trapping of wild birds for the pet trade.
  • Classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • Protected by its listing on Appendix I CITES.




Bateshwar Hindu temples, located in Madhya Pradesh, were constructed during__________. a) Gurjara-Pratihara Empire OR b) Satavahana Empire

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Answer: Gurjara-Pratihara Empire

Enrich Your Learning:

Natesa sandstone idol:

Why in news?

  • Natesa sandstone idol is returning to India after 22 years from London.

About Natesa:

  • Natesa is a rare sandstone idol in the 9th century Prathihara style of Rajasthan.
  • It was originally from the Ghateswara Temple, Baroli, Rajasthan.

Gurjara-Pratihara era architectures in India:

  • The Gurjara-Pratiharas ruled much of Northern India from the mid-7thto the 11th
  • There were sculptures and carved panels of architecture from the Gurjara-Pratihara era.
  • Temples were constructed in an open pavilion style.
  • One of the most notable architecture was Khajuraho, built by their vassals, the Chandelas of Bundelkhand.
  • Bateshwar Hindu temples (Madhya Pradesh) was constructed during the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire.
  • Most of the temples are dedicated to Shiva or Vishnu.
  • Most of them are built in the nagara style.
  • Baroli temples complex are eight temples, built by the Gurjara-Pratiharas, situated within a walled enclosure.
  • More than half of the great temples of Morena (MP) were built by the Gurjara-Pratiharas, or inspired by their architectural style.
  • The temples at Naresar exhibit the early stages of the nagara temples. The site also hosts the first example of the Valabhi shikhara in India.



Name the only Public Sector Undertaking dedicated to the solar energy sector in India.

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Solar Energy Corporation of India

Enrich Your Learning:

Solar Energy Corporation of India:

  • It is a CPSU under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • It is established to facilitate the implementation of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in 2011.
  • It is the only Public Sector Undertaking dedicated to the solar energy sector.
  • It is responsible for implementation of a number of government schemes:
  • VGF schemes for large-scale grid-connected projects under JNNSM,
  • Solar park scheme and grid-connected solar rooftop scheme,
  • A host of other specialised schemes such as:
  • Defence scheme,
  • Canal-top scheme,
  • Indo-Pak border scheme etc.
  • SECI is the leading PSU in the rooftop solar segment and has already commissioned over 54 MW capacity of rooftop solar projects under multiple government schemes.
  • Mandate: broaden to cover the entire renewable energy domain.
  • Renamed to Renewable Energy Corporation of India (RECI).

National Solar Mission:

  • Launched in 2010, aims to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.
  • It is one of the several initiatives that are part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • Objective: to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.


  • Deploying 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 and aims at reducing the cost of solar power generation in the country.
  • The target of 20GW by 2022 was later increased to 100 GW in the 2015 Union budget of India.




Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020

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