GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

British Cyclist Mark Beaumont Sets World Record By Cycling Around The World In 79 Days.

Background-

  • A British cyclist has broken the world record for cycling around the world in 79 days – 44 days shorter than the previous record.
  • Mark Beaumont, 34, arrived at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris one day ahead of schedule after cycling 18,000 miles and an average of 240 miles per day.
  • The cyclist from Perthshire set a new world record in 2008 at 194 days, and it has been consistently broken over the years, with a previous record set at 123 days.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • Mr Beaumont’s schedule was gruelling, as Mr Beaumont slept five hours a night and was on his bike for over 16 hours per day.
  • Twenty-two years after he pedalled across Scotland in one day, he set off on 2 July, 2017 from Paris and cycled through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China, before reaching Australia and New Zealand. He returned through North American before “sprinting” through Portugal, Spain and France.
  • He said he was inspired by Jules Verne’s adventure novel Around The World In Eighty Days.
  • Rising at 4am every morning, he focused in terms of four-hour block, eating 9,000 calories a day and not thinking about the “magnitude of the world” ahead of him.
  • His team included a mechanic, nutritionist, manager and physiotherapist.
  • Mr Beaumont described the terrain in Russia and Mongolia as “unknown territory”. He had two falls, one of them in Russia on day nine, and he needed emergency dental treatment.
  • He also had to cycle in sub-zero temperatures, and through smog and forest fires in North America.
  • His trip was to raise money for Orkidstudio, which aims to benefit communities around the world by providing innovative infrastructure.

Sources- Independent.

 

GS Paper II- Governance, Social Justice.

Tripura Is First State To Set Up District Family Welfare Committees.

Background

  • Tripura on Monday, 18th September, 2017 became the first state in the country to set up family welfare district committees to deal with the issue of fake and biased complaints by women against their husbands, in-laws and husband’s relatives, as per an apex court directive.
  • State Governor Tathagata Roy in the presence of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and other high dignitaries formally launched the family welfare committees in all eight districts in Tripura at a function in Tripura High Court.
  • Tripura is the first state to have formed such committees, Tripura High Court Chief Justice T. Vaiphei said at the event.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Tripura High Court Judge Subhashish Talapatra said in the Rajesh Sharma versus state of Uttar Pradesh case, the Supreme Court on July 27 directed that each complaint of cruelty to a woman by her husband or his relatives, which does not involve tangible physical injuries or death, shall be referred to the family welfare committee of the district.
  • This apex court judgment is based on the court’s observations that section 498-A of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) is abused by some women, particularly to harass elderly in-laws. The apex court cited the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data in support.
  • The family welfare district committees may comprise para-legal volunteers or social workers or retired officers or even the wives of serving officers, but the panel members will not be called as witnesses if the police or magistrate decide to investigate a particular case.
  • Judge Talapatra told that over 80 per cent frivolous, fake and biased cases across the country are filed by a section of women against husband, in-laws and husband’s relatives.
  • Such fake and prejudiced cases are the cause of huge damage to a large number of families and harm the dignity of innocent people, Judge Talapatra said.
  • He said that the Supreme Court in its directions said that the new system to deal with the section 498-A of the IPC would be for six months and the National Legal Services Authority (NLSA) would submit a report in March (2018) before the apex court on the performance and outcome of the district family welfare committees across the country.
  • Both Governor Tathagata Roy and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in their speeches welcomed the Supreme Court’s steps.

Sources- Business-Standard.

GS Paper III- Technology, Security.

Indigenous Artillery Gun ATAGS Sets New Record In Range.

Background

  • The advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS), which is being jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the private sector, has set a world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km.
  • During trial firings at Pokhran last week, ATAGS registered the longest ever distance of 48.074 km, surpassing the maximum ranges of 35-40 km fired by any artillery gun system in this category.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • ATAGS is a 155mm, 52 calibre towed artillery gun being developed in mission mode by DRDO as a part of the Army’s artillery modernisation programme. The record was achieved with special ammunition, “high explosive – base bleed” (HE – BB) by the ATAGS variant developed by Kalyani Group.
  • The development is being done through a consortium based model, similar to that adopted for the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launch system. It was designed by DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune.
  • In addition, Bharat Forge Limited of Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System are involved in a big way, along with the Ordnance Factory Board. For instance, the barrel and breech mechanism, on both variants of ATAGS, was developed at Kalyani Group.
  • Summer trials are currently underway, and the next rounds are likely to be held in Sikkim in December.
  • The gun has several significant features, including an all-electric drive, high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, and an automated command and control system. It has a six round magazine, instead of a standard three round one. Also, the gun weighs slightly more than normal due to the larger chamber.
  • The Army has not inducted any new artillery gun since the Bofors in the 1980s.

Sources- The Hindu.