UPSC Prelims News of 8 November 2022
Indian Black Honeybee
Context: A new species of endemic honeybees has been discovered in Western Ghats.
About the Discovery:
- A new honeybee species has been spotted from the Western Ghats after a gap of more than 200 years. The last was Apis indica in 1798 by Fabricius.
- The new species has been scientifically named Apis karinjodian and given the common name Indian black honeybee.
- The discovery has increased the species of honeybees in the world to 11.
- The study:
- Apis karinjodian evolved from Apis cerana morphotypes that got acclimatized to the hot and humid environment of the Western Ghats.
- Molecular analysis of mitochondrial DNA was undertaken and molecular sequence data available in the public open database NCBI-GenBank also helped confirm the species status of the new honeybee.
- Range: The Indian black bee can be found across areas ranging from central Western Ghats and Nilgiris to the southern Western Ghats, covering the States of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu.
- Significance: The new species has ability to produce higher quantities of honey, which is thicker in consistency, opening new opportunities in apiculture.
National Bio-Energy Programme
Context: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has notified the National Bio-energy Programme.
- National Bio-energy Programme will continue from FY 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- The Programme has been recommended for implementation in two Phases
- The Phase-I of the Programme has been approved with a budget outlay of Rs. 858 crore.
Sub-Scheme under National Bio-energy Programme:
- Waste to Energy Programme (Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial and Agricultural Wastes /Residues) to support setting up of large Biogas, BioCNG and Power plants (excluding MSW to Power projects).
- Biomass Programme (Scheme to Support Manufacturing of Briquettes & Pellets and Promotion of Biomass (non-bagasse) based cogeneration in Industries) to support setting up of pellets and briquettes for use in power generation and non-bagasse based power generation projects.
- Biogas Programme to support setting up of family and medium size Biogas in rural areas.
Falcon Heavy Rocket
Context: SpaceX has launched the Falcon Heavy rocket into a geosynchronous Earth orbit, carrying satellites to space for the U.S. military in a mission named as U.S. Space Force (USSF)-44.
- The mission deployed two spacecraft payloads:
- TETRA 1 microsatellite created for various prototype missions in and around the geosynchronous earth orbit.
- It will also place the satellites for the Space Systems Command’s Innovation and Prototyping, for national defence purposes.
- Falcon Rocket:
- Debuted in 2018, SpaceX claims Falcon Heavy to be the most powerful rocket in the world today by a factor of two.
- It has a lifting capacity of around 64 metric tonnes into orbit.
- It can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy.
- Falcon Heavy: It has 27 Merlin engines, which together generate more than five million pounds of thrust at lift-off, equaling around eighteen 747 aircraft at full power.
- Merlin engines use RP-1 and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants in a gas-generator power cycle.
- These engines were designed for recovery and reuse.
- Space Systems Command (SSC): It is the oldest military space organisation in the United States Armed Forces.
- It is responsible for developing, acquiring, equipping, fielding and sustaining lethal and resilient space capabilities.
Law Commission of India
Context: The Central Government has constituted the 22nd Law Commission of India with former Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi as its Chairperson.
- Members: Justice KT Sankaran, Prof. Anand Paliwal, Prof. DP Verma, Prof.(Dr) Raka Arya and Shri M. Karunanithi as members of the Commission.
- The commission had been vacant since August 31, 2018, when its 21st chairperson, former Supreme Court judge BS Chauhan, retired from his post,
Law Commission of India:
- It is a non-statutory body and is constituted by a notification of the Government of India, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs with a definite terms of reference.
- Function: To carry out research in the field of law and the Commission makes recommendations to the Government (in the form of Reports) as per its terms of reference.
- Recommendations of the commission are not binding on the government.