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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Living Root Bridges

19th Aug 2020

Why in news?

  • New research investigates the Jing kieng jri or living root bridges structures and proposes to integrate them in modern architecture around the world. (“Baubotanik” is a field of research that promotes the use of plants as living building materials in structures).

About the bridges:

  • Living root bridges (also known as Jing Kieng Jri) are the aerial bridges that are built by weaving and manipulating the roots of the Ficus elastica or the Indian rubber tree.
  • These have been serving as connectors for generations in Meghalaya.
  • The bridges are made and maintained by individuals, families and communities from the indigenous Khasi and Jaintia people.
  • Spanning between 15 and 250 feet, the bridges are primarily a means to cross streams and riversand are world-famous tourist attractions.
  • The two most popular tourist spots are- Riwai Root Bridge and Umshiang Double Decker Bridge.

 

‘Ocean World’

 Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Why in news?

 

  1. Status of Ceres has been elevated from Dwarf Planet to “Ocean World” after analyzing the data collected by NASA’s DAWN Spacecraft.
  2. Currently the Dwarf Planet Ceres is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Why is Ceres termed as Ocean World?

  • Observations from the Dawn mission suggest the presence of briny liquid (salty water) water underneath the surface of Ceres.
  • It is located to be below 40 Km deep and hundreds of miles wide, making the dwarf planet water rich.
  • So, Ceres is termed as “Ocean World”. Till now Earth and Ceres are the only known “Ocean Worlds.”

What is a Dwarf Planet?

A celestial body is called a dwarf planet if it violates any of the below conditions

(i) The body should orbit around the Sun

(ii) It should have a clearly defined path around the Sun and should not be a satellite like the Moon.

(iii) It should have enough mass for its gravity to pull itself into a spherical shape.

  1. The above conditions are prescribed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
  2. Currently there are 5 dwarf planets in our Solar System- Pluto, Eris, Haumea, Make and Ceres.

 Which factors necessitates exploration of Ceres?

  1. Ceres was classified as a Dwarf planet in 2006.
  2. In 2015, NASA’s Dawn mission was launched to study the celestial bodies Ceres and Vesta. It studied Ceres’s surface, composition and history.
  3. According to the mission, Ceres could have hosted oceans for a significant part of their history.
  4. So, the possibility of the planet having water that other planets do not have is of significant interest.
  5. Signs of life on Ceres are looked out for as it is similar to Mars with an atmosphere warm enough to allow the water to flow through it.
  6. Studying this planet also provides insights about the formation of the Solar System as it is considered a Fossil from that time.

 

The International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The International Astronomical Union is an international association of professional astronomers, at the PhD level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy.

HeadquartersParis, France

 

Facts for Prelims:

Positive Pay System:

  • It is a new mechanism designed by RBI to end the cheque frauds like altering, counterfeiting and forging of financial instruments.
  • This system works for all cheques that have a value greater than 50,000/- and above.
  • In this the customer issuing a cheque needs to input the cheque details and upload the image of the cheque in their net banking.
  • Once the cheque is deposited in beneficiary’s bank and sent for clearing, the drawee bank (bank that issued the cheque) will cross check with the details uploaded by the customer.
  • The cheque will be honored only if the details of the cheque uploaded and the physical cheque are matched else get rejected.

 

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