Facts Corner-Part-33

Rat hole mining

  • Coal mining operations conducted by drilling a long narrow tunnel downwards from surface are known as rat hole mining.
  • In India, this form of mining is prevalent in Meghalaya.
  • This kind of mining is done by family members or community which is not under government
  • Siting the environmental (water pollution due to acidity) and health problems created by such mining NGT had banned rat hole mining in its 2014 order.

Heavy Water Board

  • HWB is constituent unit under DAE in the Central Government.
  • It is primarily responsible for production of Heavy Water (D2O) which is used as ‘moderator’ and ‘Coolant’ in nuclear power as well as research reactors.
  • It is also engaged with production of different types of nuclear grade solvents and extraction of rare materials.
  • HWB currently operates 7 heavy water plants around the country.

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline:

  • The Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI), also known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, is a natural gas pipeline project.
  • It is being developed by the Asian Development Bank.
  • This 1800-kilometre-long pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.
  • The TAPI pipeline will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas for a 30-year period.
  • India and Pakistan will get 38 mmscmd each, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.
  • The project will be operational by December 2019.

Dhanush missile:

  • Dhanush, also known as Prithvi-III, is a surface-to-surface missile.
  • It is a naval variant of the indigenously-developed ‘Prithvi’ missile.
  • It has a strike range of 350 km.
  • It is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg.
  • It can be used for both ship-to-ship and ship-to-surface strikes.
  • The single-stage, liquid-propelled ‘Dhanush’, has already been inducted into the defence services.

Khajuraho Dance Festival:

  • Khajuraho Dance Festival is annual cultural festival that highlights richness of various Indian classical dance styles.
  • During the festival, dances were performed in an open- air auditorium, in front of Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Sun God.
  • The festival showcased classical dances including Kathak, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Mohiniattam.
  • Khajuraho Temples is a group of Hindu and Jain Temples in Madhya Pradesh build by Chandela Dynasty between 950 and 1050 AD.
  • They are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The Khajuraho group of temples were built together but were dedicated to two religions, Hinduism and Jainism, suggesting a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among Hindus and Jains in the region.
  • The first recorded mention of the Khajuraho temples is in the accounts of Abu Rihan al Biruni in AD 1022 and the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta in AD 1335.

Khajuraho Temples:

  • The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures (about 10% of total sculptures).
  • The temples at Khajuraho are all made of Sandstone.
  • The largest temple at Khajuraho is the Kandariya Mahadeva temple which is attributed to king Ganda.
  • All the towers or shikhara of temple rise high, upward in curved pyramidal fashion, emphasizing temple’s vertical thrust ending in horizontal fluted disc called Amalaka topped with Kalasha or vase.
  • The erotic expression of sculptures in these temples gives equal importance in human experience as a spiritual pursuit, and it is seen as a part of the larger cosmic whole.

Super critical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) Brayton Test Loop:

  • It is first test loop technology coupled with solar heat source in world that will generate clean energy from power plants, including solar thermal.
  • The facility is part of Indo-US consortium- Solar Energy Research Institute for India and United States (SERIIUS).
  • It was developed by research group at inter-disciplinary centre for energy research of IISc as part of consortium.
  • Funding was provided by Department of Science and Technology (DS&T) under Indo-US Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre programme.
  • This facility uses supercritical CO2 (SCO2) instead of steam to generate more power.
  • This early stage research could potentially be useful for meeting the energy needs of the country. The new generation high efficiency power plants with closed cycle CO2 as the working fluid have the potential to replace steam based nuclear and thermal power plants, thus reducing the carbon foot print significantly.

Bagori Ganga Gram project:

  • Bagori Ganga Gram project is a solid and liquid waste management scheme.
  • Open Defecation Free village Bagori is one of the 24 pilot Ganga Villages picked up to be transformed into Ganga Grams this year.

New Swajal Project:

  • Swajal is a community owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply.
  • The project was inaugurated at Bagori.

Gangotri as Swachh Iconic Places:

  • The project aims to make Gangotri as Swachh Iconic Place (SIP). For this, CSR funds of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) will be used for making Gangotri SIP.
  • The SIP project is coordinated by Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation (MDWS), in collaboration with Union Ministries of Housing & Urban Affairs, Tourism, Culture, state governments, municipal and local agencies.

Olive Ridley sea turtle

  • The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting only in warmer waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • These turtles, along with their cousin the Kemps ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years, and the species is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.
  • The Olive Ridley turtles live in the Indian Ocean, but they can’t mate there.
  • Olive Ridley sea turtle has found place in Schedule – I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (amended 1991).
  • The sea turtles are protected under the ‘Migratory Species Convention’ and CITES (Convention of International Trade on Wildlife Flora and Fauna).
  • India is a signatory nation to all these conventions.

Gharimatha Marine Sanctuary

  • Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is a marine wildlife sanctuary located in Odisha.
  • It extends from Dhamra River mouth in the north to Mahanadi river mouth in the south.
  • It is very famous for its nesting beach for olive ridley sea turtles. It is the one of world’s most important nesting beach for turtles.


  • The Prithvi-II is a short-range surface-to-surface missile.
  • The missile is capable of carrying warheads weighing 500 kg to 1,000 kg.
  • Notably, Prithvi is India’s first indigenously-built ballistic missile.
  • With a strike range of 350 km, Prithvi-II is powered by twin-engines which use liquid propulsion.
  • It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
  • It is one of the five missiles being developed under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
  • The missile was inducted into the armed forces in 2003.

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