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UPSC Prelims News 13 October 2022


UPSC Prelims News of 13 October 2022

Coal Gasification

Context: Ministry of Coal has signed MoUs with five leading PSUs for Coal gasification projects.

More on the News

  • The coal gasification projects are planned to be set up in West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
  • The method allows conversion of coal into syngas. This can be further processed for production of value-added chemicals.

Coal gasification:

  • Coal gasification is a process in which coal is partially oxidised to form a fuel gas.
  • It involves circulating gasification agents (air, oxygen, steam or carbon dioxide) into coal. The product gases are used for processing and utilization.
Coal Gasification
Coal Gasification
  • Benefits:
    • The coal gasification process allows reduction of imported natural gas or crude oil. This will help in saving Forex reserves.
    • It will make India self-reliant through capitalization of indigenous resources.
    • Setting up of coal gasification plants will create direct and indirect employment.
    • The hydrogen gas can be extracted from coal gasification to be used in fueling a hydrogen economy.
  • Concerns:
    • Coal gasification produces more carbon dioxide than a conventional coal-powered thermal plant.
    • Conversion of coal to syngas consumes large amount of energy.


  • It is a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and water vapour (H2O).
  • Syngas can be used in producing fertilizers, fuels, solvent and synthetic materials.

UPSC Prelims News of 12 October 2022


Sodium Discovered by Chandrayaan-2

Context: India’s Chandrayaan-2 has located and mapped an abundance of Sodium on Moon.

More on the News

  • The discovery was made using large area X-ray spectrometer, CLASS (Chandrayaan-2 large area soft X-ray spectrometer). CLASS provides clean signatures of the sodium line.
  • Two types of sodium atoms have been discovered; the one that are loosely bound on the surface and those that are part of the minerals.
  • External agents such as solar radiation is responsible for liberating the loosely bound atoms more easily thus acting as a source of the atoms in the lunar exosphere.
  • Significance: The amount of volatile elements, such as sodium, on the moon today can be used to test formation scenarios of the Earth-Moon system.


  • It was the second lunar mission of ISRO, aimed at exploring the unchartered South Pole. It consisted of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The lander and rover mission could not succeed due to technical glitch.
  • Other findings by Chandrayaan-2:
    • Discovery of hydroxyl & water molecules on Lunar Surface: Chandryaan-2 found the presence of hydroxyl (OH) as well as water molecules (H20) on the lunar surface.
    • Distribution of gas on lunar atmosphere: Chandrayaan-2 orbiter had made observations related to the distribution of an important gas (Argon-40) in the lunar exosphere.
    • Precious elements: The orbiter managed to discover minor elements such as chromium and manganese for the first time.
    • Study of the Sun: Instrument on the orbiter discovered huge amount of microflares outside the active regions of the Sun for the first time.


India’s First Slender Loris Sanctuary

Context: Tamil Nadu has declared Kadavur Reserve Forest as India’s first Slender Loris Sanctuary.

More on the News

  • A total of 11,806 hectares in the forest areas of the Karur and Dindigul districts will be merged to form the Kadavur Slender Loris Sanctuary.
India’s First Slender Loris Sanctuary
India’s First Slender Loris Sanctuary

About Slender Loris

  • About:
    • They are small nocturnal mammals which are arboreal in nature as they spend most of their life on trees.
    • The species acts as a biological predator of pests in agricultural crops and benefits farmers.
  • Species: There are two species of Slender Loris, the Red Slender Loris and the Grey Slender Loris.
  • Habitat:
    • Commonly found in the tropical scrub and deciduous forests as well as the dense hedgerow plantations bordering farmlands.
    • The Red Slender Loris is found in Sri Lanka while the Gray Slender Loris is found in Sri Lanka and India.
  • Threats
    • Destruction of habitat
    • Threat from poachers due to the misplaced belief that these animals have magical and medicinal powers.
    • Electrocution of live wires and road accidents.
  • Protection Status:
    • IUCN: Endangered
    • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
    • CITES: Appendix II


Vande Bharat Freight Train

Context: The Indian Railways is planning to launch high-speed freight trains on the Vande Bharat platform.

About Vande Bharat Freight Trains

  • The move is aimed at capturing high-value and time-sensitive cargo consignments presently being moved via other forms of transport.
  • Vande Bharat freight trains have been designed for palletised container transportation at a speed of 160 kmph.
  • The trains will have 1,800-mm wide rakes with automatic sliding doors with provisions to load reefer containers for temperature-sensitive cargo, a pneumatically retractable roller floor system with a locking facility for easy handling of pallets, and a total payload of 264 tonnes.
  • The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai is expected to roll out the first freight EMU rake on the Vande Bharat platform in December this year.

What are Vande Bharat Trains?

  • They are indigenously designed and manufactured, intercity, EMU trains operated by the Indian Railways.
  • The first Vande Bharat was manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme, at a cost of about Rs. 100 crore.
  • Features of Vande Bharat Trains:
    • They can achieve a maximum speed of 160 kmph, reducing journey time by 25% to 45%.
    • They operate without a locomotive and are based on a propulsion system called distributed traction power technology, by which each car of the train set is powered.
    • Intelligent braking system with power regeneration for better energy efficiency thereby making it cost, energy and environment efficient.
    • Passenger amenities including on-board Wi-Fi entertainment, GPS-based passenger information system, CCTVs, automatic doors in all coaches, rotating chairs and bio-vacuum type toilets like in aircraft.
    • Equipped with Indigenous train protection system KAVACH.

UPSC Prelims News of 14 October 2022


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