Current Affairs March 28, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 28, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. On 27th March, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully conducted its first-ever Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile test ‘Mission Shakti’ from the Dr AP J Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha. A DRDO-developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor Missile has successfully shot down a live satellite on a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is 300km from the earth, within three minutes. Hence, Mission Shakti is an important step towards securing India's safety, economic growth and technological advancement. With this feat, India has joined elite group of four along with US, Russia & China. A-SATs are space weapons designed to disable or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes. Most military satellites orbit up to 2,000 km above the earth's surface on LEO. However, no country has used A-SAT system in warfare till now. Several nations have shot down their own (defunct) satellites to demonstrate their ASAT capabilities in a show of force.

2. The researchers at IIT-Delhi have designed an “Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based low-power electronic hardware system” to easily detect Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB), Intestinal parasite, and Cervical cancer in a few milliseconds. The research is focused on building an intelligent Neuromorphic system which can be used for healthcare access in resource-constrained areas with limited access to human specialists. The approach demonstrated by the researchers is portable, low-power and can classify with high accuracy in detection of the diseases.The long-term impact and goal of this work will be to enable potential future deployment of the platform in rural and resource-constrained areas and improve the access to diagnostic health-care. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), cervical cancer is the 4th most frequent cancer in women with an estimated 570,000 new cases in 2018 representing 6.6% of all female cancers.

3. The World Theatre Day (WTD) is observed every year on 27th of March to draw attention to the power of the stage. It also tells the importance of theater arts as it continues to move, entertain, teach and change us. The day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the world organization for performing arts. The day is a celebration for those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”, and acts as a wake-up-call for governments, politicians and institutions which have not yet recognized its value to the people and to the individual and have not yet realized its potential for economic growth.

4. For the first time in the world, researchers at the GRAPES-3 muon telescope facility in Ooty have measured the electrical potential, size and height of a thundercloud that passed overhead on December 1, 2014. The study of thunderclouds is helpful in navigation of aircraft and preventing short circuits in aeroplanes. At 1.3 gigavolts (GV), this cloud had 10 times higher potential than the previous record in a cloud. This is not because clouds with such high potentials are a rarity, but rather, because the methods of detection have not been successful so far. The structure of Cloud is that clouds have negative charges along their lower side and positive charges on top and can be several kilometres thick. If balloons are used to measure the potential difference between the top and bottom, they will take hours to traverse the distance. Unfortunately, thunderstorms last only for about 15-20 minutes, and this method fails. The GRAPES-3 experiment (or Gamma Ray Astronomy PeV EnergieS phase-3) located at Ooty in Tamil Nadu and is designed to study cosmic rays with an array of air shower detectors and a large area muon detector.

5. The world's largest e-waste recycling facility has recently opened at the Dubai Industrial Park in United Arab Emirates (UAE) on an area of 280,000 square feet. 120 million dirhams ($5 million) project has been set up by “Enviroserve’ company with support of Swiss Government Export Finance Agency. It will service international e-waste recycling efforts across Africa, Middle East and Caucasus region. The facility will utilise state-of-the-art reclamation technology, which surpasses the European Union's standards for e-waste. It will process Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), refrigerant gas and specialized waste. It has a processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes of total integrated waste per year, of which 39,000 tonnes is e-waste. The facility can process the entire range of WEEE from consumer and industrial to commercial and military.

6. The researchers at IIT-Gandhinagar has conducted study of 89 urban areas in India. In it, they found that though there is an absolute increase in temperature during heat waves in both urban and non-urban areas, the urban areas are relatively cooler than the surrounding non-urban areas. At 1.94°C, the absolute increase in temperature during the day in non-urban areas during a heat wave was significantly higher than in urban areas (0.14°C). According to the analysis, urban areas were found to be relatively cooler than the surrounding non-urban areas during heat waves. At 44.5°C, the non-urban areas were warmer than urban areas (43.7°C). However, during the night, all urban areas were hotter than the surrounding non-urban areas. The study suggested that the lack of vegetation cover in summer after crops are harvested in rural areas may be the cause. The study was published in the journal ‘Environmental Research Communications’.

7. Ashitha (63), the renowned Malayalam writer, has passed away in Thrissur, Kerala on March 27, 2019. She portrayed the inner pangs and feelings of women through her touching stories and poems. Born at Pazhayannur in Thrissur on April 5, 1956, Ashitha had created her own space among women writers of Malayalam through her unique writing style and selection of topics for stories. The writer contributed in popularising haiku poems in Malayalam through her translations and her stories were known for the sensitive portrayal of life. Her notable works include 'Mazhameghangal', 'Oru Streeyum Parayathath', 'Vismaya Chhihnangal,' 'Apoorna Viramangal,' and 'Ashithayude Kathakal'.

8. Mankading is a method of run out where a bowler dismisses a non-striker by hitting the bails before bowling when the latter is outside the crease. Though this is a legally permissible dismissal, it is considered against the spirit of the game. The method is named after legendary Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad. During India’s tour of Australia in 1947, Vinoo Mankad had dismissed Bill Brown, not once but twice by removing the bails when he was outside the crease. It is in news recently because Kings XI Punjab captain and bowler Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Jos Buttler in a run out popularly called ‘Mankading’ during a match against Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur in 2019 IPL. The Laws of Cricket 41.16 states that a “Non-striker leaving his/her ground early: If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one in the over.” The law also states that if the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon as possible.

9. In the wake of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Facebook has launched two new India-specific -tools to boost civic engagement on its platform — Candidate Connect and Share You Voted. The first feature ‘Candidate Connect’ allows people to see short 20 second videos uploaded by candidates and cross compare them with what other candidates have to say on the same pre-selected topic in 12 Indian languages. While, the "Share You Voted" will provide people with polling information and enable them to announce and celebrate their vote. Facebook has also set up 24x7 response team for elections for monitoring and tracking of objectionable content in real time round the clock. The election response team will be based in Singapore and will work closely with the Election Commission of India (ECI).

10. Vinjamuri Anasuya Devi (99), the eminent folk artist, radio commentator, harmonium player, music composer and author, has passed away at Houston in the USA. She used music as a tool to spread the message of social equality in the days when the society considered women coming out of their homes as a taboo. Born on 1920 in Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), she had actively participated in Indian freedom struggle and represented her talent in front of freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarvepally Radhakrishnan. She had composed and sung “Jaya Jaya Jaya Priya Bharathi”, a famous patriotic song written by her uncle Devulapally Krishna Shastry. She recently published her two books, Bava Geetalu and Compilation of Folk Songs. She was honoured with a Doctorate by Andhra University in 1977 and received a lifetime achievement award in America and ‘Queen of Folk’ award in Paris.

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