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UPSC Prelims News 23rd September 2022

 

UPSC Prelims News of 23rd September 2022

 

Hybrid Propulsion System

Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully demonstrated a hybrid propulsion system.

More on the News

  • The flight equivalent 30 kN hybrid motor was used for the tests and was performed for 15 seconds on a 300-mm sounding rocket motor.
  • Fuel and oxidizer: Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB)-based aluminized solid fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidizer was used for the test.
    • Hybrid motor uses solid fuel and liquid oxidizer, as opposed to solid-solid or liquid-liquid combinations.
    • Both HTPB and LOX are environment friendly, but the cryogenic LOX is safer to handle.
  • Significance: The hybrid system is more efficient, greener and safer to handle and helps in development of new propulsion technologies for future missions.
    • Hybrid technology allows restarting and throttling capabilities on the motor.
    • The demonstration will help in conducting vertical landing experiments for spent-stage recovery in future.
Hybrid Propulsion System
Hybrid Propulsion System

UPSC Prelims News of 22nd September 2022

Maharatna Status

Context: The Rural Electrification Company (REC) has been accorded with the status of a ‘Maharatna’ Central Public Sector Enterprise.

Maharatna Status:

  • The grant of ‘Maharatna’ status to REC will provide enhanced powers to the company’s Board while taking financial decisions.
  • The board of Maharatna CPSE can make equity investments to carry out financial joint ventures and undertake mergers and acquisitions in India and abroad, subject to a ceiling of 15% of the Net Worth of the concerned CPSE, limited to Rs 5,000 crores in one project.
  • They can also enter into technology Joint Ventures or other strategic alliances with other companies.

About REC

  • REC is an NBFC focusing on Power Sector Financing and Development across India. It was formed in 1969.
  • The REC provides financial assistance to state electricity boards, state governments, independent power producers, central/state power utilities, rural electric cooperatives and private sector utilities.
  • REC has played an important role in the success of the flagship schemes of the Government of India such as DDUGJY and SAUBHAGYA and has contributed towards rural electrification goals in the country.
  • REC is currently the nodal agency for Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), which aims to revamp the distribution sector to reduce the financial & operational issues.
Maharatna Status
Maharatna Status

India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA)

Context: The 10th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission meeting was held in New York.

India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA)

About

  • It is a trilateral dialogue forum between India, Brazil and South Africa.
  • It was established in 2003 through Brasilia declaration.

Objectives

  • It aims to promote South-South cooperation and build consensus on issues of international importance.
  • It also aims at increasing the trade opportunities among the three countries, as well as facilitate the trilateral exchange of information, technologies and skills.
  • It promotes the international poverty alleviation and social development with main focus being on equitable development.
  • Headquarters: IBSA does not have a headquarters or a permanent executive secretariat.

Current Chair: India

IBSA Fund

  • The IBSA facility for poverty and hunger alleviation (IBSA Fund) was jointly established in 2004.
  • The fund is managed by The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

Ex IBSAMAR

  • It is a joint naval exercise between the IBSA countries.

 

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Context: An outbreak of Ebola has been declared in Uganda following the confirmation of a relatively rare Sudan strain case.

About Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

  • It is a rare and deadly disease in people and non-human primates. The viruses that cause EVD are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Transmission

  • Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts.
  • Animal to Human Transmission: Through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.
  • Human-to-Human Transmission: Via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola or objects that have been contaminated with such body fluids (like blood, feces, vomit).

Severity

  • After entering the body, the virus kills cells, making some of them explode. It wrecks the immune system, causes heavy bleeding inside the body, and damages almost every organ.
  • The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.

Strains of Ebola Virus:

  • There are five identified strains of Ebola virus, four of which are known to cause disease in humans: Zaire strain, Sudan strain, Tai Forest strain, and Bundibugyo strain.
  • The fifth, Reston strain causes disease in nonhuman primates.
  • Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire — have historically been responsible for major outbreaks.

Diagnosis: It is done using the following methods

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, etc.

Treatment

  • The Ervebo (rVSV-ZEBOV) vaccine has been highly effective in containing the disease. However, this vaccine has only been approved to protect against the Zaire strain of the virus.
Ebola Virus Disease
Ebola Virus Disease

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

Context: NASA is planning to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid to disrupt its path, under its DART mission.

What is Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission?

About

  • It is a NASA space mission aimed at testing a method of planetary defense against near-Earth objects (NEOs).
  • Under this, NASA will deliberately crash a spacecraft into the minor-planet moon Dimorphos of the double asteroid Didymos to assess the potential of a spacecraft impact to deflect an asteroid.
  • It is a joint project between NASA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).

Kinetic Deflector Technique

  • The DART mission is specifically testing a method called the kinetic deflector technique.
  • It works by changing the speed of a threatening asteroid by a small fraction of its total velocity, but by doing it well before the predicted impact so that this small nudge will add up over time to a big shift of the asteroid’s path away from Earth.

NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT)

  • The DART spacecraft will utilize the NEXT ion thruster, which is a successor to the NSTAR (The NASA Solar Technology Application Readiness) ion propulsion system.
  • It is a type of solar electric propulsion in which thruster systems use the electricity generated by the spacecraft’s solar panel to accelerate the xenon propellant to speeds of up to 90,000 mph.

UPSC Prelims News of 24th September 2022

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