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PRELIMS FACTS 11-05-2018

FACT # 1

MOUNT MERAPI

Why in news? Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted once again.

Mount Merapi:

  • It literally means ‘Fire Mountain’ in Indonesian and Javanese.
  • It is an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, Indonesia.
  • It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548.
  • It is located approximately 28 kilometres north of Yogyakarta city which has a population of 2.4 million.
  • Also, thousands of people live on the flanks of the volcano, with villages as high as 1,700 metres above sea level.
  • Merapi is the youngest in a group of volcanoes in southern Java.
  • It is situated at a subduction zone, where the Indo-Australian Plate is subducting under the Sunda Plate.
  • Part of the volcano is located in the Southeastern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire (a section of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and South East Asia).
  • Eruptions in the Merapi area began about 400,000 years ago and from then until about 10,000 years ago, eruptions were typically effusive, and the out flowing lava emitted was basaltic.
  • Since then eruptions have become more explosive with viscous andesitic lavas often generating lava domes.
  • Dome collapse has often generated pyroclastic flows, and larger explosions, which have resulted in eruption columns, have also generated pyroclastic flows through column collapse.
  • Typically, small eruptions occur every two to three years, and larger ones every 10–15 years or so.
  • Notable eruptions, often causing many deaths, have occurred in 1006, 1786, 1822, 1872, and 1930.
  • Thirteen villages were destroyed in the later one, and 1400 people killed by pyroclastic flows.
  • The very large eruption in 1006 is claimed to have covered all of central Java with ash.
  • The volcanic devastation is claimed to have led to the collapse of the Hindu Kingdom of Mataram.

FACT # 2

HEPATITIS C

Why in news?  Recently surveyed, Pahuli, a community of 200 families in Uttar Pradesh, were all tested positive for Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C:

  • Hepatitis C is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that primarily affects the liver.
  • It has the same mode of transmission as HIV, spreading through blood, injecting drugs, blood transfusion, sexual activity and from mother-to-child during pregnancy.
  • During the initial infection, people often have mild or no symptoms.
  • Occasionally a fever, dark urine, abdominal pain, and yellow tinged skin
  • The virus persists in the liver in about 75% to 85% of those initially infected.
  • Early on chronic infection typically has no symptoms.
  • Over many years, however, it often leads to liver disease and occasionally cirrhosis.
  • In some cases, those with cirrhosis will develop complications such as liver failure, liver cancer, or dilated blood vessels in the oesophagus and stomach.
  • There is no vaccine against the disease though it is curable.
  • Prevention includes harm reduction efforts among people who use intravenous drugs and testing donated blood.
  • Chronic infection can be cured about 95% of the time with antiviral medications such as sofosbuvir or simeprevir.
  • Peginterferon and ribavirin were earlier generation treatments which had a cure rate of less than 50% and greater side effects.
  • Getting access to the newer treatments, however, can be expensive.
  • The central government estimates that about 1.2 crore people are positive for Hepatitis C in the country.
  • This figure is six times the number of HIV/AIDS patients in the country.
  • The Indian government is yet to announce Hepatitis C policy to advance treatment.

FACT # 3

NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY DAY

 

Why in news?  May 11 is celebrated as National Technology Day in India.

 

National technology day:

  • National Technology Day is observed every year on 11th of May in India acting as a reminder of the anniversary of Shakti, Hansa-3 and Trishul.
  • The day highlights the important role of Science in our daily lives and encourages students to embrace Science as a career option.
  • Various events are organized in different technical institutes and engineering colleges to mark the day.
  • Competitions, quizzes, lectures, interactive sessions and presentations of various aspects of Science are managed globally.
  • The day is crucial for engineers, planners, scientists and others who are engaged in nation building and governance.
  • Based on following three immense breakthrough accomplishments by the engineers, scientists and technicians of the country, Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced 11th May as the National Technology Day.

 

“Shakti, the Pokhran Nuclear Test”:

  • The first nuclear test Pokhran with a code named as ‘Smiling Buddha’ was carried out in May, 1974.
  • The second test conducted was Pokhran II which was a series of five tests of nuclear bomb explosions, administered by India at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in May, 1998.
  • Pokhran II comprised of five detonations out of which the first one was a fusion bomb while the other four were fission bombs.
  • These nuclear tests evolved various sanctions against India by many major states, including United States and Japan.
  • The then Prime Minister shortly convened a press conference for the declaration of India as a full-fledged nuclear state.
  • Various names were attributed for these tests with the original name kept as ‘’Operation Shakti-98”, while the five nuclear devices were classified Shakti I through Shakti V.
  • Recently, the whole operation is called Pokhran II and the explosion of 1974 is called Pokhran I.

 

Hansa-3:

  • Becoming the sixth nuclear state of the world was not the sole thing India attained on that day.
  • Hansa-3, India’s foremost indigenous aircraft was flown in Bengaluru when the nuclear tests were being organized in Rajasthan.
  • Hansa-3 was developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories.
  • It was a two-seater, light general aviation plane which is utilized in the flying institutes for sports, pilot training, aerial photography, surveillance and projects related to the environment.

 

Trishul missile:

  • On 11th May, 1998, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) also accomplished the last test-fire of the Trishul missile.
  • Trishul was then introduced into service by the Indian Air Force and Indian Army.
  • A surface-to-air, quick-reaction, short-range missile, Trishul was a unit of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme of India which has resulted in the formation of Prithvi, Akash and Agni missile systems.

 

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