Current Affairs

Prelims spotlight (05-01-2016)

Israel harnessing sunshine with world’s tallest solar tower

  • Location of the project - The Ashalim project, deep in the Negev desert
  • The solar towers are set to generate some 310 megawatts of power, about 1.6 per cent of the country’s energy needs
  • Solar towers use a method differing from the more common photovoltaic solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity. Instead, towers use a solar-thermal method — Thousands of mirrors focus the sun’s rays onto the tower, heating a boiler that creates steam to spin a turbine and generate electricity.

Food for thought

  • Recall national solar mission of India
  • Locate Israel in the world map and know its surrounding countries

Google doodle pays tribute to social reformer Savitribai Phule

  • She was the first woman teacher of the first women’s school in India and a pioneer in modern Marathi poetry.
  • Savitribai taught in the school which she and her husband, Jyotirao Phule, started in 1848 with just nine students on the rolls.
  • Born into a family of farmers in 1831, in Maharashtra, Savitribai, as was the practice then, was married when she was just nine to Jyotirao, who was 12.
  • The Government of Maharashtra has instituted an award in her name to honour women social reformers.

Food for thought



Earth-like snow, ice features found on Pluto

  • Scientists have found evidence of Earth-like snow and ice features on Pluto, using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather on our planet
  • They are known as Penitentes.
  • “Penitentes” — formed by erosion — are bowl-shaped depressions with spires around the edge and indicate presence of an atmosphere.
  • The groundbreaking research, done in collaboration with researchers at NASA and Johns Hopkins University, indicates that these icy features may exist on other planets where environmental conditions are similar.


Food for thought

  • Recall terrestrial planets of solar system
  • Recall which planets are called outer planets and inner planets