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Insights Daily Current Events, 27 April 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 27 April 2015


Army Launches Operation Maitri

As part of the Nation’s overall relief effort for Nepal, Indian Army has launched Operation Maitri.

The following resources have been allocated so far as part of Operation Maitri, in support of the Nepalese Army’s relief effort:-

  • Medical Teams.
  • Engineer Task Forces(ETFs) consisting of manpower, skid steers and JCBs.
  • Blankets and 1,000 tents are on standby.
  • 10 INMARSATs for satellite communications have reached Nepal.

Sources: PIB.


An earthquake with an intensity of 7.9 on ritcher scale with epicenter 77 kilometer north-west of Kathmandu has been experienced in some parts of India.

  • The impact of the earthquake has been felt in almost all northern States in India particularly in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal.


  • The Earthquake has occurred at a depth of 10 Km with its Epicentral Region located in Nepal about 80 Km NW of Kathmandu.
  • More than 30 aftershocks have also been reported.
  • In geological terms, the tremor occurred like clockwork, 81 years after the region’s last earthquake of such a magnitude, in 1934.

Specific cause of the Earth Quake:

  • It was triggered by the India tectonic plate, which is moving northwards into central Asia. This results in thrust-faulting and has thrown up the Himalayan mountain range.
  • The India tectonic plate moving north at about 45mm a year is pushing under the Eurasian plate beneath the Himalayas.
    Two tectonic plates meet beneath the Himalayas along a fault line.
  • It has triggered several other significant earthquakes in this region, including the 1934 quake at Bihar, which reached a magnitude of 8.2; the 7.5 event at Kangra in 1905; and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which reached 7.6.

The Indian subcontinent collided with the Eurasia plate about 40 million to 50 million years ago.

Effects of the Earthquake:

As the plates push against each other, friction generates stress and energy that builds until the crust ruptures.

Why Nepal?

  • Nepal is prone to destructive earthquakes, not only because of the massive forces involved in the tectonic collision, but also because of the type of fault line the country sits on. Normal faults create space when the ground cracks and separates. Nepal lies on a so-called thrust fault, where one tectonic plate forces itself on top of another.
  • The most visible result of this is the Himalayan mountain range. The fault runs along the 1,400-mile range, and the constant collision of the India and Eurasia plates pushes up the height of the peaks by about a centimeter each year.


Earthquakes are the manifestations of sudden release of strain energy accumulated in the rocks over extensive periods of time in the upper part of the Earth.

Aftershock: An earthquake that follows a large magnitude earthquake called, ‘main shock’ and originates in or around the rupture zone of the main shock. Generally, major earthquakes are followed by a number of aftershocks, which show a decreasing trend in magnitude and frequency with time.

Fault: A weak plane in the Earth’s crust and upper mantle along which two blocks of rock mass rupture or slip past each other. Faults are caused by earthquakes and earthquakes are likely to reoccur on pre-existing faults, where stresses are accumulated.

Epicentre: It is the point on the surface of the earth, vertically above the place of origin (hypocentre) of an earthquake. This point is expressed by its geographical Coordinates in terms of latitude and longitude.

Sources: PIB, ET, Google, IMD.

Indian-origin scientist wins Heinz Award

Sangeeta Bhatia at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been named the recipient of the 2015 Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy, and Employment.

  • The award includes an unrestricted prize of $ 2,50,000.
  • The award was given for her work in tissue engineering and disease detection.
  • Sangeeta Bhatia has developed artificial human microlivers for drug testing. Artificial human microlivers are being used by many biopharmaceutical companies to test the toxicity of drug candidates.

The Heinz Awards annually recognise individuals for their extraordinary contributions to arts and humanities; environment; human condition; public policy; and technology, the economy, and employment.

Sources: The Hindu.

High costs push surgical care out of reach

The Global Surgery 2030 Study released recently says that five billion people globally do not have access to safe, affordable surgery and anaesthesia when they need them.

Important observations made by the Study:

  • A third of all deaths in 2010 — nearly 17 million lives lost in all — were from conditions treatable with surgery, such as appendicitis, fractures and childbirth complications.
  • Even among those who are able to access surgery, its costs often lead to financial ruin. A quarter of people worldwide who have a surgical procedure incur costs that they cannot afford, pushing them into poverty.
  • Areas with high incidence of acute abdominal mortality in India were more likely to be located further from a hospital capable of providing appropriate emergency surgical care than areas with low mortality. The odds only grew with distance from the hospital.

In the absence of surgical care, common, easily treatable illnesses become fatal.

Sources: The Hindu.

Jnanpith Award

Prime Minister of India recently presented the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2014 to Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade at a ceremony in Parliament House.

  • It is the highest literary honour in India and carries a purse of Rs. 11 lakh.
  • Nemade is the 50th recipient of this award and is the fourth Marathi writer to win the honour.

About the Award:

The Jnanpith Award is one of the two most prestigious literary honours in the country. The award was instituted in 1961.

  • Eligibility: Any Indian citizen who writes in any of the official languages of India is eligible for the honour.
  • Prior to 1982, the awards were given for a single work by a writer; since then, the award has been given for a lifetime contribution to Indian literature.
  • Seven women writers have won the award so far.

Sources: The Hindu.

Insights Secure Prelims 2015

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