Daily Current Affairs – 2020
Topic: For Prelims and Mains
Why in news?
Saksham is strengthening its foot print as a flagship Fuel Conservation mega campaign program of the country.
- ‘Saksham’ is an annual one-month long, people-centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Petroleum Conservation Research Association
- PCRA has been creating awareness amongst the general public about the need for fuel conservation and adopting tips for saving the fuel.
- PCRA has prepared a comic book jointly with NCERT on the theme ‘Fuel Conservation’ aimed at younger generation especially the school children and is available on E-Pathshala on NCERT website.
- Petroleum Conservation and Research Association (PCRA) in association with Institute of Petroleum-Dehradun has developed high energy efficient PNG burner/Gas stove for household.
- On mass awareness about fuel conservation, PCRA has developed an animated documentary ‘Pollution Ka Solution” which is available on PCRA website and YouTube.
- The annual Saksham National Competition which generally is launched in the month of July, involving schools and students in Essay, Painting and Quiz competition is a big hit now.
Oldest Material on Earth
Why in news?
Recently, scientists have found 4.6 to 7-billion-year-old presolar grains of Silicon Carbide (SiC) in the Murchison meteorite which fell in Australia in 1969.
Key Points :
The presolar grains of Silicon Carbide is the oldest solid materials ever found.
- These grains are formed before the solar system’s formation and thus termed as “presolar grains”.
- The presolar grains are very rare, found only in about 5% of meteorites that have fallen to Earth.
It may reveal the phenomenon of formation of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. As the presence of Silicon Carbide in the meteorite are samples of stardust.
It also provides clues about the rate of star formation in the Milky Way galaxy.
Stardust is formed by the material ejected from stars and carried by stellar winds, getting blown into interstellar space.
- The stellar wind is a flow of gas ejected from the upper atmosphere of a star.
- Interstellar space is defined as that which lies beyond a magnetic region that extends about 122 Astronomical Unit (AU) from the sun.
During the solar system’s birth, this dust was incorporated into everything that formed including the planets and the sun but survived intact until now only in asteroids and comets.
Silicon Carbide (SiC) :
- Silicon carbide also known as Carborundum is a compound of silicon and carbon.
- Silicon carbide is a semiconductor material and is an emerging material for applications in semiconductor devices.
- It is one of the most important industrial ceramic materials.
- It is widely used as an abrasive and steel additive and structural ceramic.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
Island Development Agency (IDA):
Recently, the sixth meeting of the Island Development Agency held in New Delhi.
- In the meeting, the progress made under the “Holistic development of islands” program was reviewed.
About the IDA:
- The Union Government constituted the Island Development Agency on 1stJune, 2017 for the development of islands.
- The meetings of the Agency is chaired by the Union Home Minister.