Prelim Snippets 23-10-2019


Why in News?
  • Minister for Minority Affairs has decided to organise about 100 ‘HunarHaat’ in the next five years across the country to provide employment to lakhs of craftsmen.
  • HunarHaat is an exhibition of handicrafts and traditional products made by artisans from the Minority communities.
  • It is organized by Ministry of Minority Affairs.
  • The scheme aims to establish Hunar Hub in all the states where programs like HunarHaati and other cultural events are to be organized.
  • HunarHaat is organized under USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme.

2.Kolpak Rule

Why in News?
  • South African Test Cricket skipper Faf du Plesis believes that the Kolpak rule that lures South African players to retire from national team and play in England is hurting the South African Cricket.
  • Under the European Union Association Agreements, citizen of the countries that have free trade treaties with the EU, also have the same right.
  • The name originated from the Slovakian handball player MarosKolpak, who won a court case to become eligible to play in the German handball league.
  • Players from South Africa, Zimbabwe and several Caribbean countries are eligible for the Kolpak deals via the Cotonou Agreement with the EU.
  • So a South African cricketer can move to England, an EU member till Brexit happens, and ply his trade in county cricket.
  • However, a player must have a valid work permit for four years in the UK, or he needs to play a certain number of international matches.

3.Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

Why in News?
  • The ninth India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI) group meeting is scheduled to happen in New Delhi next week.
  • DTTI came about to expedite the scope of cooperation on defence technology that become narrow due to the presence of differing bureaucratic processes and legal requirements.
  • Essentially, DTTI is an initiative to provide increased US senior level oversight and engagement to get beyond these obstacles.
  • It is led by Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from the United States and Secretary for Defence Protection.
  • While DTTI is not a treaty or law, it is a flexible mechanism to make sure that senior leaders from both countries are engaged consistently to strengthen the opportunities in the field of defence.
  • Its central aims include strengthening India’s defence industrial base, exploring new areas of technological development and expanding U.S.-India business ties.
  • India’s defence industry was in a growing stage and that India was looking to acquire niche technology in manufacturing defence weapons and equipment.


  • In August 2018, the US granted to India the designation of Strategic Trade Authority Tier 1 or STA-1.
  • This is providing India with greater supply-chain efficiency by allowing US companies to export a greater range of dual-use and high-technology items to India under streamlined processes.
  • This authorisation is the equivalent of NATO allying with Japan, South Korea and Australia.

5.WiS and WiBS

Why in News?
  • The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has developed a Lithium-ion battery that will not catch fire.
WiS and WiBS:
  • Lithium-ion batteries are vulnerable to fire and explosion, which often happens without warning.
  • This is because they are built with flammable and combustible materials.
  • The researchers has announced the discovery of a new class of “water-in-salt” and “water-in-bisalt” electrolytes—referred to as WiS and WiBS.
  • The new class of electrolytes, when incorporated in a polymer matrix, reduces water activity and elevates the battery’s energy capabilities and life cycle.
  • This rids it of the flammable, toxic, and highly reactive solvents present in current Li-ion batteries. It’s a safe, powerful alternative.
Why it Matters:
  • Li-ion batteries have emerged as the energy storage vehicle of choice for portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid storage.
  • These safety advancements, the university release, mark a significant step forward in transforming the way Li-ion batteries are manufactured and used in electronic devices.
  • Li-ion batteries are already a constant presence in our daily lives, from our phones to our cars, and continuing to improve their safety is paramount to further advancing energy storage technology.

6.Grand Chord Route

Why in News?
  • Indian Railways has installed the most advanced Electronic InterlockingSystem on the Grand Chord route to reduce the travel time betweenDelhi and Howrah to 12 hours from the existing 17 to 19 hours.
About Grand Chord Route:
  • Grand Chord is part of the Howrah-Gaya-Delhi line and Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line.
  • It acts as a link between Sitarampur in West Bengal and Pt. DeenDayal Upadhyay Junction, Uttar Pradesh, and covers a stretch of450 kilometres falling in North Central Railway Zone.
  • The new Electronic system has replaced outdated 65-year oldmechanical signalling system at Tundla Junction in Uttar Pradeshon the route. This interlocking system at Tundla is the secondlargest in the country after Kharagpur Station in South EasternRailway.

7.Sukhna Lake

Why in News?
  • The Chandigarh administration have issued a draft notification fordeclaring Sukhna Lake as a wetland under the Wetland (Conservationand Management) Rule, 2017.
About Sukhna Lake:
  • It is a reservoir at the foothills (Shivalik hills) of the Himalayas.
  • This 3 km² rainfed lake was created in 1958 by damming the SukhnaChoe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills.
  • Sukhna Wetland is spread over 565 acres.The catchment area ofSukhna Wetland spreading over 10,395 acres as finalised by the Surveyof India includes 2,525 acres of Haryana and 684 acres of Punjab.
  • Sukhna Lake was declared a wetland more than 30 years ago as well.
  • In July this year, the Chandigarh Wetlands Authority had unanimouslydecided to declare the Sukhna Lake as a wetland.

8.Deepotsav Mela

  • The Uttar Pradesh government has granted the status of State fair tothe Deepotsav Mela to be held in Ayodhya during Deepavali.
  • During the festival over 5.5 lakh lamps will be lit on October 26.
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