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Day#10 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

NASA’s “The Mole”; Location of ‘Yellow Sea’; Orchha town; UNESCO’s World Heritage sites; Composite Water Management Index; ‘Molasses Basin’;
By IASToppers
August 05, 2019



What is NASA’s “The Mole” is all about?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

NASA’s “The Mole”

  • The Mole is the informal name given to, a digging device on Mars.
  • It is designed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).
  • It is part of the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3), an instrument designed to take the temperature below the surface of Mars.
  • HP3 measures the temperature of the interior to study the quantity of heat flowing out of Mars, and determine its source.
  • It will help scientists find similarities if any between the makeup of Earth and Mars, and look for clues on the Red Planet’s evolution.
  • The mole, a self-hammering device, can dig up to 5 m below the surface, but was unable to dig deeper than 30 cm.
  • This could be either because the soil failed to provide the kind of friction the mole was designed for, or because it encountered a large rock.



Which Indian state is known as Molasses basin in India?

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  • Mizoram is also known as Molasses basin because it is made up of unconsolidated deposits.

Enrich Your Learning:

‘Molasses Basin’

  • In geology, the name “molasse basin” is used in a general sense for a synorogenic (formed contemporaneously with the orogen) foreland basin of the type north of the Alps.
  • The Molasse basin is a foreland basin north of the Alps which formed during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs.
  • The basin is the type locality of molasse, which is a sedimentary sequence of conglomerates and sandstones, material that was removed from the developing mountain chain by erosion and denudation.


  • The term “molasse” refers to sandstones, shales and conglomerates that form as terrestrial or shallow marine deposits in front of rising mountain chains.
  • The molasse can sometimes completely fill a foreland basin, creating a nearly flat depositional surface.



The report Composite Water Management Index was launched by which government body?

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The report Composite Water Management Index was launched by NITI Ayog.

Enrich Your Learning:

Jal Shakti Abhiyan

  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan is a campaign for water conservation and water security.
  • This scheme was launched on 1st July 2019.
  • The strategy includes revival of traditional water bodies, reuse of wastewater without faecal contamination after treatment in urban areas and rainwater harvesting.
  • One key plan is to spend funds from the rural job scheme MGNREGA, the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme for renovation of water bodies in rural areas.

Key facts:

  • Per-capita availability has fallen from 1,816 cubic metres in 2001 to 1,544 cubic metres in 2011 in India.
  • As per the Composite Water Management Index brought out by Niti Aayog, 21 major cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, were expected to run out of groundwater by 2020.
  • According to a 2013 assessment on groundwater levels, 1,034 blocks among 6,584 have been categorised as “overexploited”.
  • “Overexploited” means exploitation of groundwater is more than the volume of recharge, leading to depletion.
  • 253 blocks were categorised as “critical”, or where exploitation of groundwater is close to the amount of recharge.
  • According to norms adopted by the Centre, safe drinking water supply in rural areas should be 40 litres per capita per day.
  • In 2017, the Centre had estimated the cost of providing piped water to each of the country’s 25 crore families at Rs 6 lakh crore nearly two-thirds of households are yet to get piped water.



‘Orchha town’ was recently in news. It is located on the bank of which river?

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  • Orchha is situated on the banks of the Betwa river.

Enrich Your Learning:

Orchha town in Madhya Pradesh on tentative list of UNESCO

  • The architectural heritage of Orchha town in Madhya Pradesh have been included in the tentative list of the UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
  • The town depicts peculiar style of the Bundela dynasty.
  • The proposal to include it in the tentative list of the UNESCO’s world heritage sites was sent by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to the United Nations (UN) body.

About Orchcha

  • It is located around 80 km away from Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh and 15 km from Jhansi of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Orchha was built by king Rudra Pratap Singh of Bundela dynasty in the 16th century.
  • The ancient town is famous for its Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha fort complex, Raja Mahal among others.
  • The Bundela architecture has Mughal influence since the two dynasties were very close.
  • The famous King of Bundela dynasty Veer Singh Dev was a close friend of Mughal emperor Jahangir.

Orchha is also famous for

  • Its two elevated minaret called Saavan and Bhadon and its four palaces,Jahangir Palace, Raj Mahal, Sheesh Mahal and Rai Praveen Mahal.
  • For its concept of open bungalows, stone work windows, animal statues depicting the culture of Bundelkhand.

Tentative list

  • According to the rules, to be a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, the heritage or any historical site first has to be on the tentative list.
  • After it makes to the tentative list, another proposal is sent to the UNESCO.

Key Facts

  • It is the only place in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king with a dedicated temple in his name called Sri Ram Raja Mandir.



Which part of Pacific Ocean is known as Yellow sea?

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  • The marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean, which is the northern part of East China Sea, is called the Yellow Sea.

Enrich Your Learning:

Location of ‘Yellow Sea’

  • The Yellow Sea is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean lying between mainland China on the west and north, and the Korean Peninsula on the east.
  • It is one of the world’s largest areas of continental shelf covered in shallow water.
  • The sea has China to the west and North and South Korea to the east.

Why Yellow Sea is called “Yellow”?

  • The name comes from the golden yellow colour that it gets from the sand particles and storms from the Gobi Desert and deposits of sand and silt brought by the Bohai Sea and Hai He River.

Key Facts:

  • The Yellow Sea receives annually more than 1.6 billion tons of sediments, mostly from the Yellow River (Huang He) and Yangtze River.
  • The Yellow Sea derives its name from the colour of the silt-laden water discharged from the numerous Chinese rivers that drain into its waters.

Location of ‘Yellow Sea’

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