Facts Corner-Part-3

What is anti-smog gun?

  • With Delhi grappling with deteriorating air quality, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government will run a test trial of “anti-smog gun”, a machine that sprays water into the air, in Anand Vihar on Wednesday. Pollution levels in the national capital usually remain poor during winters primarily due to stubble burning from adjoining districts and rapid drop in temperature coupled with high moisture content, factors that trap particulates near the surface.
  • The trial run will be conducted at 10 am by the Department of Environment and Delhi Pollution Control Committee in presence of Environment Minister Imran Hussain.

What is Anti-smog gun? 

  • Anti-smog gun is a device that sprays atomised water into the atmosphere to reduce air pollution. Connected to a water tank and mounted on a vehicle, the device could be taken across the city to spray water to settle dust and other suspended particles.
  • Besides this, the Delhi government is mulling a series of other measures such as conversion of two-wheelers to electric vehicles, and banning diesel generator sets as part of its  ‘air action plan’.
  • According to sources, a similar machine is used in China. “This move is inspired by the Chinese water cannons that were used by the authorities there with some success. The idea is that it reduces air pollution by binding dust and other particulate matter, and bring them down to the ground level. This could be of use in an arid place like Delhi,”  sources said, adding that the plan has been made by looking at the three major sources of pollution–transport, industry, and road dust and fugitive emissions.

What are cultural rights?

  • Earlier this week, the Supreme Court reserved its judgment on Jallikattu, the bullock cart racing conducted in Tamil Nadu, and pointed out the importance of questions put by the petitioner. One of the questions was whether Jallikattu can be a cultural right. While the court will clarify if the race could be termed as a cultural right, it is pertinent to understand what a cultural right is.
  • Jallikattu is a traditional sport played in Tamil Nadu, where a bull is released in the crowd and people have to grab the hump of the bull in order to tame the animal.
  • The Indian Constitution does not state a black and white definition of a cultural right.
  • However, Article 29 states that minorities residing in India have a right to conserve their language, script and culture.
  • Article 29 is usually interpreted as minority rights and Article 51A mentions the value and preservation of the composite culture as a fundamental duty.
  • The Constitution adopted different approach to tribal communities due to the diversity and scattered communities residing in India.
  • Article 371 and its sub clauses read with Schedule 6 of the Indian Constitution permits self-governance in accordance to the customary laws of certain states. States not mentioned under Schedule 6 are covered under Schedule 5 instead, where scheduled areas could be created to protect the interest of communities.
  • The Supreme Court had passed the judgment on the matter earlier, protecting the bulls from violence and stated that they cannot be treated as “performing animals”. This ruling was however, challenged and the question of culture and custom re-opened the case to a judicial review.

What is INS Kalvari?

  • a potent Man o’ War capable of undertaking offensive operations will be commissioned into the Indian Navy at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai .
  • The first of the six Scorpene-class submarines is regarded as a very prestigious acquisition which embodies cutting edge technology and compares favourably with the best in the world. 
  • The construction of the Submarine, designated as MDL Yard 11875, commenced with the first cutting of steel at MDL on December 14, 2006. 
  • The ‘Boot Together’ of the submarine wherein the five separate sections were welded into one was completed on July 30, 2014. Interestingly, she is the first Indian Naval vessel to be built using this modular approach of  construction.
  • Touted to be the most capable weapon in Navy’s hold, the submarine has an overall length of 67.5 metres and a height of about 12.3 metres. 
  • The hull form, the fin and the hydroplanes are specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance. Her 360 battery cells (each weighing 750 kg) power the extremely silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor. Her stealth is further enhanced through the mounting of equipment inside the pressure hull on shock absorbing cradles.
  • Another thing that makes Kalvari a potent weapon is the the boat’s undersea warfare capability that comprises of a cluster of advanced weapons and sensors integrated into the Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS). The sonar suite is Low Frequency Analysis and Ranging (LOFAR) capable enabling long rage detection and classification.
  • Post classification, she may choose to engage the enemy by utilising either the sea skimming SM 39 EXOCET missiles (Flying Fish in French) or the heavy weight wire guided Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes.  Towards self-defence, she is fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys.
  • The submarine’s attack and search periscopes are equipped with Infrared/Low Light Level cameras and Laser Range finders.
  • The boat also has her two 1250 kW MAN Diesel Engines for rapidly charging batteries.
  • The submarine boasts of a highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System.
  • INS Kalvari was hauled out on Pontoon from the East Yard Dry Dock of MDL.

Armed Forces Flag Day:

  • Armed Forces Flag Day or Flag Day of India has been celebrated since 1949 and is dedicated towards commemorating the valour of servicemen as well as collecting welfare funds from the citizens of India to assist the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen in need as well as aid the widows and dependents of martyrs.
  • After India attained independence, the government felt the need to constitute a welfare fund to take care of the defence personnel. Hence, a committee was set up on August 28, 1949 that decided a Flag Day shall be celebrated annually on December 7. The reason it was called a flag day was because small flags were distributed across the country among the general population which served two purposes – collection of welfare funds and creating a sense of camaraderie and harmony between the Army and citizens. Over the years, the observance of the day became a tradition.
  • The day also reminds the citizens to care for the living heroes who were either wounded in action or retired from service at a fairly young age.
  • Each year, 60,000 defence personnel are compulsorily retired. The necessity to release personnel between 35-40 years of age is required in the armed forces so that the service personnel remain “young, physically fit and have qualities of discipline, drive and leadership.”
  • The Flag Day, therefore, highlights citizens’ responsibility and obligation towards looking after the disabled servicemen, and the widows and the dependants of martyrs. Citizens are thus urged on this day to take it as an opportunity to contribute generously to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF).
  • The Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) distributes token flags, car stickers in red, deep blue and light colours denoting the three Services. In man places, Armed Forces formations and units conduct programmes to raise charity. The KSB administers the AFFDF and it is operated by a managing committee that is headed by the defence minister.

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