Flash Cards

Day#54 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe;Biosensor technology; Joint Forest Management (JFM) and Community Forest Resources Management (CFR); ‘NASAMS-II’; Article 80 of the Constitution; Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs);
By IASToppers
September 25, 2019

 

 

What are the objectives of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe?

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Answer:

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to “touch” the sun.

Objectives:

  • To trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and
  • To explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.

Goals:

  • Determine structure and dynamics of magnetic fields at sources of solar wind.
  • Trace flow of energy that heats corona and accelerates solar wind.
  • Determine what mechanisms accelerate and transport energetic particles.
  • Explore dusty plasma near Sun and its influence on solar wind and energetic particle formation.

Key facts about the probe:

  • The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the sun’s atmosphere about 6.2 million miles from our star’s surface.
  • It is scheduled for launch in 2018 to explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
  • The probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the Sun.
  • The Parker Solar Probe will perform its scientific investigations in a hazardous region of intense heat and solar radiation.
  • The primary power for mission is dual system of solar panels (photovoltaic array). Secondary source consists of much smaller secondary array power that uses pumped-fluid cooling to maintain operating temperature

 

 

What are Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs)?

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Answer:

  • PWR is the most common type of nuclear reactor, representing about 60% of all nuclear power reactors in the world. PWRs are adopted in countries such as the United States, France, Japan, Russia and China.
  • PWRs use light water (ordinary water) for neutron moderation and reactor heat removal. The water inside the primary cooling circuit of PWR is under high pressure, and it will not turn into steam even under high temperature.
  • The primary circuit and the secondary circuit are completely separated, and heat energy will be transferred from the primary circuit to the secondary circuit. With a lower pressure in the secondary circuit, steam is raised to drive a turbine-generator to produce electricity.
  • These reactors use U235 of a typically 3%-4.5% enrichment.
  • PWR’s two cooling systems separate the reactor cooling water and steam for power generation. In the event of necessary venting, steam released will be free from radioactive products.

Commonly used nuclear reactors:

  • Power generation in all nuclear reactors are based on nuclear fission but the design of reactors may be different.
  • The commonly used reactor types in the world are the Pressurised Water Reactor, Boiling Water Reactor and Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor.

 

 

According to which Article of Indian constitution, the President of India select 12 special members of Rajya Sabha who have special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science etc.?

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Answer:

  • Article 80 of the Constitution.

Enrich your learning:

  • As per the article 80 of the Constitution, the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) is composed of not more than 250 members, of whom 12 are nominatedby the President of India from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.

Rationale behind principle of the nomination:

  • The rationale behind principle of the nomination is to facilitate the representation of eminent professionals and experts who cannot face direct elections.
  • By nominating them to Rajya Sabha, the State not only recognises their merit and confers honour on them, but also enables them to enrich the debates by their expertise and knowledge that they have in different areas.

 

 

With what does the term ‘NASAMS-II’ relate to?

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Answer:

  • NASAMS (National/Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) is a distributed and networked medium to long range air-defence system.

 About NASAMS-II:

  • It is an advanced air defence system.
  • It is highly adaptable mid-range solution for any operational air defence requirement.
  • It provides tailorable, state-of-the-art defence system that can maximise the ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, UAV or emerging cruise missile threats.
  • It is part of the air defence network guarding US capital city Washington DC. It is also deployed in several NATO countries.

About NASAMs

Significance for India:

  • India’s purchase of NASAMS-II will help in preventing 9/11-type on NCT Delhi.
  • It will also complement India’s other systems such as the medium and long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems under procurement.
  • With this, India will join league of nations including US, Russia and Israel etc. who have their own missile defence systems to protect their national capital regions.

 

 

What are the important differences between Joint Forest Management (JFM) and Community Forest Resources Management (CFR)?

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Answer:

Difference between Joint Forest Management (JFM) and Community Forest Resources Management (CFR):

  • Joint Forest Management (JFM) involves state forest departments and local communities.
  • In Community Forest Resources Management (CFR) local community plays a significant role in forest management and land use decision making by themselves in the facilitating support of government as well as change agents.
  • The policies and objectives of JFM are detailed in the Indian comprehensive National Forest Policy of 1988 and the Joint Forest Management Guidelines of 1990 of the Government of India.
  • Community forests managed in accordance with Van Panchayat Act is a hybrid of state ownership and community responsibility.
  • Usually a village committee known as the Forest Protection Committee (FPC) and the Forest Department enter into a JFM agreement.
  • CFR indicate that instead of encircling the forest with physical barriers it is the manner in which the process of forest demarcation is achieved holds importance.
  • The JFM are managed in accordance with the central government guidelines and are focused on commercial forestry and ensure environmental stability, maintenance of ecological balance and meet the subsistence requirements of the local people.
  • In its efforts to manage and control community forest CFR are guided by Revenue Department rules and by the technical advice of the Forest Department, they are not facilitators and advisors but are the protectors of the forest.

 

 

What is Biosensor technology? What are its applications?

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Answer:

What is Biosensor technology?

  • A biosensor is a biological detection system consists of a biological component combined with a transducer to perform measurement of a biochemical quantity.
  • The development of biosensors started with the invention of enzyme electrodes in 1962.
  • A typical biosensor includes a bio element such as an enzyme, antibody, or a cell receptor, and a sensing element or a transducer.
  • These two elements are combined together through a number of methods such as covalent bonding, matrix entrapment, physical adsorption and membrane entrapment.
  • Biosensors are operated based on the principle of signal transduction.
  • These components include a bio-recognition element, a bio transducer and an electronic system composed of a display, processor and amplifier.
  • The biosensor industry aims to create microscale technology that will be suitable for performing sample preparation, analysis and diagnosis all with one chip.

Types of Biosensors:

  • Resonant Biosensors
  • Optical Detection Biosensors
  • Thermal Detection Biosensors
  • Ion Sensitive Biosensors
  • Electrochemical Biosensors

Application of Biosensors:

  • Monitoring glucose level in diabetes patients
  • Food analysis
  • Environmental applications
  • Protein engineering and drug discovery applications
  • Wastewater treatment.

Advantages of Biosensors:

  • Rapid and continuous measurement
  • High specificity
  • Very less usage of reagents required for calibration
  • Fast response time
  • Ability to measure non-polar molecules that cannot be estimated by other conventional devices.

 

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