Wednesday, April 26, 2017


 #1  GBU-43

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The United States on Thursday dropped biggest ever non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan to target its ISIS tunnels. The GBU-43 bomb used in the attack, has been nicknamed 'The Mother of All bombs', a name that aptly describes the destructive power that it must have.

1. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided explosive.

2. This is the first time that the US has used the MOAB bomb in combat.

3. The bomb, developed by Albert Weimorts of the United States military, was first tested in 2003.

4. After the testings, the bomb was manufactured only during the time of Iraq war in the year 2003, but was never used.

5. Soon, Russia developed its "Father of All Bombs", touted to be four times as powerful as the MOAB.

#2 Madan Mohan Malviya

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Eminent freedom fighter and educationist Madan Mohan Malviya was conferred with Bharat Ratna (posthumously), highest civilian award of the country.

His family members received the award from President Pranab Mukherjee at the glittering function held at Durbar hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

About Madan Mohan Malviya

  • Madan Mohan Malviya was an eminent educationist and politician notable for his role in India’s freedom struggle.
  • He was founder of Asia’s largest residential university – Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded in 1916.
  • Malviya was President of Indian National Congress (INC) and had served his term in 1909 and 1918.
  • He is also remembered for his stellar role in the Independence movement and his espousal of Hindu nationalism. He was one of the initial leaders of the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha.
  • He was Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946 and his efforts resulted in the launch of its Hindi edition named Hindustan Dainik in 1936.
  • He is also credited for popularizing the slogan of Satyameva Jayate which was later adopted as the national motto.
  • He was born on December 25, 1861 and was popularly known ‘Mahamana’. He died in 1946.


#3 SPARSH Campaign

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The Union Government has launched nationwide “Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)” on the occasion of Anti-Leprosy Day (observed on the last Sunday of January).
The day is observed every year on January 30 in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi who attained martyrdom on this day in 1948, to remember his selfless efforts and care for the people affected with Leprosy.

Need for Campaign

  • Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and it usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves. The mode of transmission of leprosy is still not known.
  • According to WHO, the diseased had affected 2,12,000 people globally in 2015. India alone reported 1,27,326 new cases, accounting for 60% of new  cases globally.
  • India is among the 22 countries considered as having a “high burden for leprosy” along with high transmission. The other high-burden countries were Brazil and Indonesia. 

Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign

  • The thrust of SLAC campaign is to promote community participation in diagnosis and treatment of leprosy in its early stages and to spread awareness about the disease to help in early diagnosis and treatment.
  • It seeks to promote decentralised community-based demand-driven approach from present centralised top-down delivery-driven approach to fight the disease.
  • It also seeks to empower local communities to take over the responsibility of sensitising people to not stigmatise and discriminate against those affected.


#4 HEFA - High Education Financing Agency !

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  • The HEFA will be jointly promoted by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and identified Promoter.
  • HEFA will have an authorised capital of 2,000 crore rupees and the government equity would be 1,000 crore rupees
  • It will be formed as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) within a PSU Bank or the Government-owned-NBFC (Promoter)
  • It would leverage the equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 crore for funding infrastructure and development projects of world class Labs in IIMs/IITs/NITs and such other institutions.
  • The HEFA will also mobilise CSR funds from Corporates/PSUs which will in turn be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on grant basis
  • The principal portion of the loan will be repaid through the ‘internal accruals’ of the institutions earned through the fee receipts, research earnings etc
  • All the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to join as members of the HEFA
  • For joining as members, the educational institution must agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals for a period of 10 years to the HEFA.
  • This escrow will secure the future flows that would be securitised by the HEFA for mobilising the funds from the market.
  • Each member institution would be eligible for a credit limit based on the amount agreed to be escrowed from the internal accruals as decided by HEFA.


#5   ATAGS -- Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System

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1) With a firing range of 40 kms, the gun boasts of advanced features such as quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, high mobility, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in direct fire mode.
2) ATAGS comprises of a breech mechanism, barrel, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunition. It has longer range, accuracy and precision and provides greater fire power, claims DRDO.

3) The system is configured with an all electric drive. The idea is the manufacture the gun in a way that it is maintenance free and offers reliable operation over a longer period of time.
4) DRDO’s nodal laboratory Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune takes the credit for the design & development of ATAGS, along with other DRDO laboratories.
5) DRDO aims to develop the artillery gun system with participation of private industry. Establishing indigenous critical defence manufacturing technologies, is one of the key focus areas of the project.
#6  Guillain Barre Syndrome

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Researchers from France have found first evidence that mosquito-borne Zika virus might cause a severe neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).

GBS is a rare condition in which the body’s immune system attacks a part of the nervous system that controls muscle strength leading to muscle weakness in the legs and arms. The syndrome is also be caused by bacterial infections as well as the dengue and chikungunya viruses transmitted by be vector Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (also host for Zika Virus).

Earlier in February 2016, World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern due to outbreak of Zika virus in Latin America and also rising cases of microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome. It is observed that there is 20-fold increase in the number of GBS cases during the Zika outbreak.

#7 Al Beruni

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Abu Rayhan Beruni or Alberonius (Latin) was a Persian Scholar and polymath of the 11th century. He accompanied Mahmud in his conquests to South Asia.

Al Beruni was the First Muslim Scholar to study India and its Brahmanical tradition. He is called father of Indology and the first anthropologist. He is called one of the earliest and greatest polymath of the Islamic World.

  • A 77 kilometer impact crater in moon is named after him : Al-Beruni Crater
  • Al Beruni, though travelled with Mahmud, but his successor Masud was his real patron.
  • Apart from his writing languages Arabic and Persian, he knew Sanskrit and Greek.

  • Al Beruni’s 146 works are on Astronomy (35 books (maximum)), Astrology, Chronology, Time Measurement, Geography, cartography, Mathematics, Mechanics, Medicine, Pharmacology, Gems, India, Literature etc.
  • It’s worth note that about India, he did not write much on battles and wars. He wrote on contemporary culture, traditions and customs. His book Taḥqīq mā l’l-Hind (“al-Bīrūnī’s India”) is also called “Indica” and is a work related to Indian Philosophy and religion.
  • The other book Kitab al-Qanun al-Mas’udi (Mas’udi Canon) is about Astronomy, Geography and Engineering, named after Mas’ud, son of Mahmud of Ghazni, to whom he dedicated.
  • Using astrolabe, he first calculated the height of the mountain by going to two points at sea level with a known distance apart and then measuring the angle between the plain and the top of the mountain for both points.

#8  Quantum Dots


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  • quantum dots are incredibly small particles. 
  • They range between 2 to 10 nanometers in diameter, which is equivalent to 50 atoms. Yes, atoms. 
  • You can't measure these things using your old school shatter proof ruler. It's this small size that gives quantum dots the unique properties to improve our tech.
  • The colour light that a quantum dot emits is directly related to its size; smaller dots appear blue, larger ones more red. 
  • In LCD screens they're applied as a way of eliminating the need for White LED backlights and colour filters.

  • Higher peak brightness – One of the reasons TV manufacturers like quantum dots is that they allow them to produce TVs with much higher peak brightness. This opens up some interesting possibilities, such as enabling support for 'high dynamic range' TVs that support standards such as Dolby Vision.
  • Better colour accuracy – Another big benefit of quantum dots is improved colour accuracy. The light produced by quantum dots is so closely tied to their size that they can be tuned very precisely to emit the exact kind of light needed. This means purer, cleaner whites and more precise colours.
  • Photodetectors 

  • Photovoltaics 

    Quantum dot solar cells are much more efficient and cost-effective when compared to their silicon solar cells counterparts. Quantum dot solar cells can be produced using simple chemical reactions and can help to save manufacturing costs as a result.

    Biological Applications 

    The latest generation of quantum dots have great potential for use in biological analysis applications. They are widely used to study intracellular processes, tumour targeting, in vivo observation of cell trafficking, diagnostics and cellular imaging at high resolutions.

    Quantum Computing 

    Quantum dots have paved the way for powerful ‘supercomputers’ known as quantum computers. Quantum computers operate and store information using quantum bits or ‘qubits’, which can exist in two states – both on and off simultaneously


ISRO's Bhuvan is the local variant of Google Earth or we can say ISRO's answer to Google Earth.

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  • The mapping service is called Bhuvan, which is the Sanskrit word for earth.
  • Bhuvan was launched in 2009 to mark the 90th birth anniversary of Vikram Sarabhai and the site's currently maintained by Hyderabad based National Remote Sensing Center.
  • The Indian space agency will use images taken at least a year ago by its seven remote-sensing satellites in orbit around the earth, including Cartosat-1 and Cartosat-2.
  • You can create and analyze the slope map with the new Slope Analysis tool available on Bhuvan 3D!
  • These satellites shoot images as small as a car on the street, to build a three-dimensional map of the world. Details such as roads and soil patterns on the maps would be available only for the Indian region, however.
  • Bhuvan, which uses high-resolution images, will comply with India’s remote sensing data policy, which does not allow online mapping services to show sensitive locations such as military and nuclear installations. High-resolution images are those that show locations of 1 sq. m or less on earth.
  • Bhuvan is one project where high technology will benefit common people. In the current economic slowdown, if someone needs to analyze land for a project, the platform could be used and at no cost.

#10 Supermoon

The Supermoon was observed after the moon was closest to the Earth at 356,509 km. This is for the first time moon came closest to Earth since 1948.

Last time, the moon came closer to earth on 26 January 1948. Next time the supermoon will be observed on 25 November 2034. During this time moon will be even closer than this year.

What is supermoon?

Supermoon or perigee full moon is a phenomenon that occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon being the closest to the Earth on its orbit. During this time, the natural satellite appears roughly 30% larger in area and 30% brighter than the smallest full moons. In terms of diameter, the width of the moon is about 14% wider than the smallest full moons.

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What causes a supermoon?

The moon’s orbit around Earth is ellipse (a kind of squashed circle) and not in a circle.  When an orbit is elliptical, Earth in the middle sits at one of two foci of ellipse. The moon is inevitably closer to the Earth when it passes one side of the ellipse and further away as it passes the other side. When it is at the closest side (called “perigee”) it is a full moon. If this distance is to closer to earth then it is called a supermoon.

Why are supermoons not all the same size?

The reason is that the shape of the ellipse that the moon draws around the Earth is changing all the time as it is pushed and pulled by other gravitational forces.

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