Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 24th November 2020

    1.   ASPHALT

    • News: Chinese media reported there were 27 households, and the village was covered by asphalt roads and “has a public square, village committee, health room, police room, kindergarten, supermarket and plastic runway”.
    • About Asphalt:
      • Asphalt is a mixture of aggregates, binder and filler, used for constructing and maintaining roads, parking areas, railway tracks, ports, airport runways, bicycle lanes, sidewalks and also play- and sport areas.
      • Aggregates used for asphalt mixtures could be crushed rock, sand, gravel or slags. Nowadays, certain waste and by-products, such as construction and demolition debris, are being used as aggregates, which increases the sustainability of asphalt.
      • In order to bind the aggregates into a cohesive mixture a binder is used. Most commonly, bitumen is used as a binder, although nowadays, a series of bio-based binders are also under development with the aim of minimising the environmental impact of the roads.
      • An average asphalt pavement consists of the road structure above the formation level which includes unbound and bituminous-bound materials. This gives the pavement the ability to distribute the loads of the traffic before it arrives at the formation level.
      • The average production temperature of hot mix asphalt is between 150 and 180°C, but nowadays new techniques are available to produce asphalt at lower temperatures.
      • Asphalt mixtures can be produced at different temperatures:
      • Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
        • Hot asphalt mixes are generally produced at a temperature between 150 and 180 °C. Depending on the usage, a different asphalt mixture can be used.
      • Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)
        • A typical WMA is produced at a temperature around 20 – 40 °C lower than an equivalent Hot Mix Asphalt. Significantly less energy is involved and, consequently, less fumes are produced (as rule of thumb, a reduction of 25ºC produces a reduction of 75% of fumes emission). In addition, during the paving operations, the temperature of the material is lower, resulting in improved working conditions for the crew and an earlier opening of the road.
      • Cold Mix Asphalt
        • Cold mixes are produced without heating the aggregate. This is only possible, due to the use of bitumen emulsified in water, which breaks either during compaction or during mixing. Producing the coating of the aggregate. Over the curing time, water evaporates and strength increases. Cold mixes are particularly recommendable for lightly trafficked roads.


    • News: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday launched “Abhayam” mobile phone application which helps women and children travelling in taxis and autorickshaws to raise an alarm in case of any emergency.
    • Details:
      • To start with, 1,000 autorickshaws equipped with Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled GPS devices would be rolled out in Visakhapatnam city.
      • About 5,000 vehicles would be brought on to the platform by February 1, 50,000 by July 1 and 1 lakh by November 2021 covering Vijayawada and Tirupati and other towns later.
      • To be operated by the Transport Department, the Abhayam app would help the women in alerting the police by pressing a panic button in the event of their landing in trouble.
      • Disha app is handled by the police. The policemen would be able to reach out to the women in need in 10 minutes.
    • About Disha Bill:
      • The bill provides for awarding death sentence for offences of rape and gangrape and expediting trials of such cases to within 21 days.
      • The Act envisages the completion of investigation in seven days and trial in 14 working days, where there is adequate conclusive evidence, and reducing the total judgment time to 21 days from the existing four months. The AP Disha Act also prescribes life imprisonment for other sexual offences against children and includes Section 354 F and 354 G in IPC.
      • In cases of harassment of women through social or digital media, the Act states two years imprisonment for the first conviction and four years for second and subsequent convictions. For this, a new Section 354 E will be added in IPC, 1860.
      • The government of India has launched a National Registry of Sexual offenders but the database is not digitized and is not accessible to the public. In the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act, 2019, the Andhra Pradesh government will establish, operate and maintain a register in electronic form, to be called the ‘Women & Children Offenders Registry’.
      • This registry will be made public and will be available to law enforcement agencies.