Prelim Snippets 08-08-2019


Context: An eight-member expedition team set out from New Delhi to scale Europe’s highest peak, Mt Elbrus

  • It is a dormant volcano in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, near the border with Georgia.
  • It could be considered the highest mountain in Europe, notwithstanding that the Caucasus mountains are at the intersection of Europe and Asia, and it is the tenth most prominent peak in the world.


Context: Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati have developed a low-cost, hand-held device to detect bacteria, well almost instantaneously without the time-consuming cell culture and microbiological assays.

  • The team work has been recently patented as well as published in the July 2019 issue of ‘Journal of Materials Chemistry of the Royal Society of Chemistry’.
Present Scenario:
  • At present, the detection of bacteria in body fluids is done in laboratories.
  • The cells that are derived from the patient are initially cultured or grown so that enough of the bacterial cells are available for microbiological analysis.
  • Current diagnostic processes are frustratingly time-consuming especially when time is of the essence in administering treatment
Recent Development:
  • The new portable device uses an Organic Field Effect Transistor (OFET) to instantly detect the charges on the cell walls of bacteria.
  • The rapid detection kits are like those used for blood sugar monitoring.
  • The OFET is an electronic device that works on the principle that charges in the vicinity of the channels of certain semiconductors can induce a current in them.
  • Thus, the charges on the surface of the bacterium, induces a current in the OFET, which is registered and read.


Context: ISRO has announced its “Vikram Sarabhai Journalism Award in Space Science, Technology and Research”

  • Aim: To recognize and reward journalists who have actively contributed towards the field of space science, applications, and research.
  • The nominations are open to all Indians who have a good experience in journalism. The articles published from 2019 to 2020 will be considered
Two categories:
First Category:
  • It holds a cash price of Rs 5,00,000, a medal and citation and two journalists or freelancers of print media will be awarded.
  • Nominated candidates will be judged on the basis of the articles or success stories published in Hindi, English, or Regional languages in popular Periodicals, Science magazines, or Journals in India during the year 2019 to 2020.
Second Category:
  • It holds 3 cash prizes of Rs 3,00,000, 2,00,000 and 1,00,000 and citation each for journalists or freelancers of print media.
  • The articles or success stories published in Hindi, English, Regional languages in popular newspapers or news magazines in India during the one year as indicated in the proposal.


Context: An agreement was signed between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

  • Aim: To initiate a skill development programme for different levels of beneficiaries in the solar thermal energy sector.
  • The agreement is part of the ongoing MNRE-GEF-UNIDO project implemented jointly by UNIDO and to support capacity building and skill development of technical manpower in the Concentrated Solar Thermal Energy Technologies (CST)
  • It is used to replace conventional fossil fuels e.g. coal, diesel, furnace oil etc. and save costs and emissions in the industrial process heat applications.


Context: The 77th anniversary of the August Kranti Din, which is considered as one of the important milestones in the history of freedom struggle of our country, is being observed today.

  • In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave a clarion call to end the British rule and launched the Quit India Movement at the session of the All-India Congress Committee in Mumbai.
  • After the failure of Cripps Mission, Gandhiji gave the call to Do or Die in his Quit India speech delivered at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai.
  • He urged people to take part in nation-building activities in a constructive manner
  • The grateful country is today paying homage to the freedom fighters and remembering the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs during the freedom struggle.


Context: The remains of a super-sized parrot that stood more than half the height of an average human and roamed the Earth 19 million years ago have been discovered in New Zealand.

  • According to a report by an International Team of Palaeontologists published in the latest edition of Biology Letters, the size of the leg bones, the bird would have stood about 1m tall and weighed up to 7 kg
  • The parrot has been named Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its Herculean size and strength — and the unexpected nature of the discovery.
  • The bird was approximately the size of the giant “dodo” pigeon and twice the size of the critically endangered flightless New Zealand kakapo.
  • Evidence of the parrot was unearthed in fossils near Bathans in southern New Zealand, an area that has proved a rich source of fossils from the Miocene period which extends from about five million to 23 million years ago.
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