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Science and technology

3D Printing

Why in news?

  • S. scientists have successfully built functional heart parts out of collagen using a 3D bio printer, a breakthrough they say could one day create entire organs.

3D Printing:

  • Three-dimensional printing (3-D printing), also known as Additive manufacturing (AM) is a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer.
  • It is basically a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
  • This is opposite of 'Subtractive Manufacturing’ which works on removal of material to create a desired object.
  • The first working 3-D printer was created in 1984 by Charles W. Hull of 3-D Systems Corp. The machine was named Sterolithgraphy Apparatus.
 
  • 3D printing starts by making a virtual design of the object to be created. Virtual design can be made using a 3D modelling program such as CAD (Computer Aided Design) or 3D scanners.
  • The 3D digital copy is then put into a 3D modelling program. The model is then sliced into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers in preparation for printing.
  • This prepared file is thus uploaded in the 3D printer which reads each slices in 2D format and then proceeds to create the object layer by layer and the resulting object has no sign of layering visible, but a 3 dimensional structure.

Applications of 3D Printing:

  • Defence and Aerospace: At present, AM technology in the aerospace and defence sector is broadly used for prototyping, repair of small parts and component manufacturing.
  • Health: Hearing aids have been made using 3D printing technology.
  • Bio printers: Organ printing or body part printing is being printed and some parts being used as implants of actual body parts. Example: Titanium pelvic, plastic tracheal splint, titanium jaw
  • Tissue engineering: Tissue engineering made remarkable progress with printing of 3D blood vessels. This was achieved 3D bio-printing technology and biomaterials through vascularisation of hydrogel constructs.
  • Dentistry: Dental Implants are being made on a commercial level using 3D printing technology
  • Prosthetics: 3D printing is being used to make surrogate body parts
  • Artificial organ: Additive manufacturing of stem cells has also led to various possibilities in printing artificial organs, although most of the work is still in the experimental stage
  • Manufacturing: 3D printing can be used to manufacture varied forms of products- from car or plane parts to sport goods, toys etc.
  • Customised products are able to be manufactured as customers can edit the digital design file and send to the manufacturer for productions.
  • Domestic Usage: 3D printers can be used in the home to make small objects such as ornamental objects, small toys etc.
  • Architecture, housing: The technology can be used for a variety of housing projects with application in custom luxury designer homes, large scale development projects, to temporary housing projects.
  • It could also enable engineers to design and build stiffer and safer geometries for houses.Further, can also help engineers to rebuild and restore old heritage designs quickly yet accurately.
  • Food: 3D printing enables fast automated and repeatable processes, freedom in design, as well as allowing large and easy variability of the cooking process which can be customized.
  • Education: Affordable 3D printers in schools may be used for a variety of applications which can aid students with learning better.

Economy

India slips to 7th largest economy in 2018 

Why in news?

  • India has slipped down to the 7thplace in the World Bank's global GDP rankings of 2018. 

World Bank's global GDP rankings of 2018:

About the news:

  • India has slipped down to the 7thplace in the World Bank's global GDP rankings of 2018 with the UK and France forging ahead to the fifth and sixth.
 
  • In 2017, India had emerged as the sixth largest economy, while France was pushed to the seventh place in the global GDP league table. 
  • The US remains the top economy with a GDP of $20.5 trillion in 2018. China was the second largest economy while Japan took the third place.
  • India’s GDP was at $2.7 trillion in 2018, while UK and France were at $2.8trillion. 
  • In 2017, India was at $2.65 trillion, UK at $2.64 trillion and France at $2.5 trillion.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

Why in news?

  • Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code was one of the success stories of India’s economic reforms says the Vice President.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code:

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is the new bankruptcy law which seeks to consolidate the existing frame work by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy.
  • It was brought to reduce the delay in resolution of insolvency and bankruptcy due to multiplicity of laws-Companies Act, SARFAESI Act, Sick Industrial Companies Act, and so on.
  • IBC, 2016 will override other existing laws on matters pertaining to Insolvency and Bankruptcy.

Salient Features of the IBC, 2016:

  • A unified code for greater legal clarity.
  • Fixed a timeline of 180 days, extendable by another 90 days, to resolve cases of insolvency or bankruptcy.
  • A new regulator — Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) [under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs] to exercise regulatory oversight over insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities.
  • National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to adjudicate bankruptcy cases over companies, limited liability entities while Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) to adjudicate cases over individuals and unlimited liability partnership firms.
  • It allows the debtor itself to initiate the insolvency-resolution process once it has defaulted on a debt.
  • Prioritization of claims by different classes of creditors and enabling provisions for solving cross border insolvency.

International relations

Global coalition to protect pollinators

Why in news?

  • Nigeria becomes fourth African nation to join global coalition to protect pollinators.

About the news:

  • Nigeria became the fourth African country to join the Global Coalition of the willing on Pollinators on July 2019.
  • Morroco becamea member in May 2019, Ethiopia was the first African nation to be part of this global coalition in 2017.  Burundi was the second African country to join this global group.
 
  • Other non-African nations such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic, Ireland and Mexico had joinedthe global group last year.

Global Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators:

  • The organisation was formed three 2016, to follow up on the findings of IPBES Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production, which found that many of the world’s pollinator species areon the decline.
  • The coalition now has 28 signatories including 17 European countries, five from Latin America and the Caribbean and four from Africa.
  • The agreement is a stepping stone to protect pollinators since 16.5 per cent of vertebrate pollinators are threatened with global extinction, say the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessments.
  • The assessment highlights that 75 per cent of food crops in the world and nearly 90 per cent of wild flowering plants depend, at least to some extent, on animal pollination.

Joining the coalition means adopting the following measures:

  • Taking action to protect pollinators and their habitats by developing and implementing national pollinator strategies
  • Sharing experience and lessons learnt in developing and implementing national pollinator strategies, especially knowledge on new approaches, innovations and best practices
  • Reaching out to seek collaboration with a broad spectrum of stakeholders—countries as well as businesses, NGOs, farmers and local communities
  • Developing research on pollinator conservation
  • Supporting and collaborating with each other—and those parties that are willing to join the coalition
UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements

Why in news?

  • The Union Cabinet approved the signing of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements resulting from mediation by India.

United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements:

  • It is also known as Singapore Convention on Mediation.
  • It was adopted by UN General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2018.
  • The Convention provides a uniform and efficient framework for the enforcement of international settlement agreements resulting from mediation and for allowing parties to invoke such agreements, akin to the framework that the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958) (the "New York Convention") provides for arbitral awards.
  • The Convention defines two additional grounds upon which a court may, on its own motion, refuse to grant relief. Those grounds relate to the fact that a dispute would not be capable of settlement by mediation or would be contrary to public policy.

Benefits of signing for India:

  • Signing of the Convention will boost the confidence of the investors and shall provide a positive signal to foreign investors about India's commitment to adhere to international practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
 
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty

Why in news?

  • S. formally withdraws from INF arms treaty.

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty:

  • The Treaty is signed between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on December 1987.
  • A crucial Cold War-era treaty banning the development, testing and possession of short and medium range ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range of 500-5,000 km. 
  • The INF Treaty limited the Cold War powers medium-range missiles, both conventional and nuclear.
  • The treaty, signed in 1987, was central to ending the arms race between the two superpowers, and protected America’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks.

Reasons of US withdrawal

  • US President Trump has alleged that Russia has violated treaty and has been violating it for many years.
  • This violation comes after Russia’s alleged development and deployment of Novator 9M729 missile (also known as SSC-8), that could strike Europe at short notice.

Current Affairs Capsules:

Guinea
  • Guinea is a west-coastal country in West Africa.
  • Guinea is a predominantly Islamiccountry, with Muslims representing 85 percent of the population.
  • Guinea's people belong to twenty-four ethnic groups.
  • French - the official language of Guinea
  • Capital – Conakry
Nagar Kirtan
  • It is a Sikhcustom involving the processional singing of holy hymns throughout a community.
  • For 1st time after Independence (1947), ‘Nagar Kirtan’ carrying Guru Granth Sahib which was taken out from Nankana Sahib District of Punjab province of Pakistan, arrived at Attari in Amritsar, India.
IMMUVAC and VPM1002
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched India’s first large-scale trial for two new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines named IMMUVAC and VPM1002.
  • These vaccines aim to prevent infection (pre-exposure) or prevent primary progression or reactivation of latent TB infection (post-exposure), all of which have critical role to play in India’s big fight against TB. Both vaccines have been manufactured by Indian pharmaceutical companies.
  • Immuvac: It is also known as mycobacterium indicus pranii (MIP).

Map Aidede Programme

Mountain passes of Himachal Pradesh
  • Rupin Pass
  • Chanderkhani Pass
  • Chanshal Pass 
  • Indrahar Pass
  • Saach Pass

PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION

  1. Consider the following statements:
  • Natural gas occurs in the Gondwana beds.
  • Mica occurs in abundance in Kodarma.
  • Dharwars are famous for petroleum.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • 1 and 2 (b)2 only          (c)2 and 3       (d)None
  1. Which of the following statements regarding laterite soils of India are correct?
  • They are generally red in colour.
  • They are rich in nitrogen and potash.
  • They are well-developed in Rajasthan and UP.
  • Tapioca and cashew nuts grow well in these soils.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only    (b )2, 3 and 4 only    (c)1 and 4 only     (d)2 and 3 only