UPSC Current Affairs: 9th November 2020

DRDO developed a fire detection and suppression system

  • The DRDO has developed a fire detection and suppression system for passenger buses. The technology can detect fire in buses in less than 30 seconds. 

Key Highlights:

  • The technology was developed by the Delhi based Centre for fire explosive and environment safety of DRDO. 
  • The fire detection and suppression system consist of a water tank of 80 litres of capacity, network of tubing with 16 atomizers and 6.8 kilograms of Nitrogen cylinder. 
  • The nitrogen cylinder installed is pressurized to 200 bar.
  • Also, it can extinguish the fire in 60 Seconds.
  • The system has an aerosol generator with which the fire suppression can be achieved within 5 seconds. 
  • The system has been developed as a defence spin off Technology.
  • Though there is fire threat in all vehicles, the system has been specially developed for sleeper coaches and school buses.
  • According to the report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2019 around 1,51,417 deaths occured in India due to road accidents. 
  • The report was released under the title “Road accidents in India, 2018”. The report says that the number of road accidents has increased by 2.4 % as compared to that of 2017.
  • The road crashes are the main reason for fire accidents in vehicles. The system developed by the DRDO aims to prevent such fire accidents. 
  • According to the report, 48% of the deaths caused by road accidents occurred due to road crashes.
  • Therefore, the system has a very significant role to play in preventing vehicle fires.

About aerosol fire suppression:

  • The fire detection and suppression system developed by the DRDO works on aerosol fire suppression concept. 
  • Under the aerosol fire suppression, a combination of gases matter and microparticles are used to flood the region under fire. 
  • These particles remove oxygen, e-Heath and hinder the chain reaction that is causing the fire. Bottomline, the aerosol fire suppression system works by removing heat.
  • They are well suited to suppress class A, B and C fires.

About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):

  • DRDO works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
  • It is working to establish a world class science and technology base for India and provides our Defence Services decisive edge by equipping them with internationally competitive systems and solutions.

Genesis & Growth:

  • DRDO was established in 1958 after combining Technical Development Establishment (TDEs) of the Indian Army and the Directorate of Technical Development & Production (DTDP) with the Defence Science Organisation (DSO).
  • Starting with 10 laboratories, DRDO has now grown to a network of 52 laboratories which are deeply engaged in developing defence technologies covering various disciplines, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing and simulation, special materials, naval systems, life sciences, training, information systems and agriculture.
  • Presently, the Organisation is backed by over 5000 scientists and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and supporting personnel.
  • Several major projects for the development of missiles, armaments, light combat aircrafts, radars, electronic warfare systems etc are on hand and significant achievements have already been made in several such technologies.


  • Design, develop and lead to production state-of-the-art sensors, weapon systems, platforms and allied equipment for our Defence Services.
  • Provide technological solutions to the Services to optimise combat effectiveness and to promote well-being of the troops.
  • Develop infrastructure and committed quality manpower and build strong indigenous technology base.


UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)


  • Recently Indian diplomat Vidisha Maitra was elected as a member to the Assembly for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2021.

Key points:

  • UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) is a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly.
  • ACABQ consists of 16 members appointed by the Assembly in their individual capacity.
  • ACABQ ensures that fund contributions to the UN system are put to good effect and that mandates are properly funded.
  • The 193-member General Assembly appoints members of the Advisory Committee.
  • Members are selected on the basis of broad geographical representation, personal qualifications and experience.

The major functions of the Advisory Committee are:

  • To examine and report on the budget submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly
  • To advise the General Assembly concerning any administrative and budgetary matters referred to it.


Sudan removed from State sponsors of Terrorism List


  • Sudan was removed from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

Key points:

  • India has welcomed its removal. Also, India welcomed the normalisation of Sudan’s relations with Israel.Sudan-Israel.
  • After UAE, Bahrain, Sudan became the third country to normalise its relations with Israel in the last two months. 
  • On October 23, 2020, Sudan normalised its ties with Sudan through a deal brokered by US President Donald Trump.

About State Sponsors of Terrorism List:

  • It is a list generated by the United States. The list consists of countries that are repeatedly providing support to international terrorism. 
  • International Terrorism is a brand provided by United Nations through resolution process at the General Assembly. 
  • For instance, in 2019, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar was designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations. 
  • This means that a country helping the terrorist will be put under State Sponsors of Terrorism list.
  • The list was first generated in 1979 with Iraq, South Yemen, Libya and Syria. Later Cuba was added in 1982, Ira in 1984, North Korea in 1988 and Sudan in 1993. South Yemen, Libya and Cuba have been removed from the list. North Korea was removed and readded again in 2017.
  • Therefore, currently, only three countries are on the list. They are North Korea, Iran and Syria.
  • Sudan was included in the list because the ruler of Sudan Omar al-Bashir was suspected to have been supporting militant groups. His rule has now been toppled in the country.


Ambedkar Social Innovation Incubation Mission


  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched the Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission (ASIIM) under Venture Capital Fund for SCs with a view to promoting innovation and enterprise among SC students studying in higher educational institutions.

Key points:

  • Under the initiative, 1,000 SC youth will be identified in the next four years with start-up ideas through the Technology Business Incubators in various higher educational institutions.
  • They will be funded 30 lakh rupees in three years as equity funding to translate their start-up ideas into commercial ventures.
  • Successful ventures would further qualify for venture funding of up to five crore rupees from the Venture Capital Fund for SCs.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice had launched the Venture Capital Fund for SCs (VCF-SC) in 2014-15 with a view to developing entrepreneurship amongst the SC/Divyang youth and to enable them to become ‘job-givers’.
  • The objective of this fund is to provide concessional finance to the entities of the SC entrepreneurs.


AIM- Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0


  • ‘AIM–Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0’ is a 14-day virtual programme for Indian and Russian school children.

Key points:

  • It is the first Indo-Russian bilateral youth innovation initiative, launched by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).
  • AIM–Sirius programme seeks to develop technological solutions (both web- and mobile-based) for the two countries.
  • Under the program students and educators and mentors will create 8 virtual products and mobile applications addressing global challenges in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.
  • Innovations developed by the student teams will leverage 21st-century technologies such as app development, artificial intelligence, block chain, machine learning etc.

About  Atal Innovation Mission (AIM):

  • The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative set up by the NITI Aayog to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country, based on a detailed study and deliberations on innovation and entrepreneurial needs of India in the years ahead.
  • AIM is also envisaged as an umbrella innovation organization that would play an instrumental role in alignment of innovation policies between central, state and sectoral innovation schemes incentivizing the establishment and promotion of an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship at various levels – higher secondary schools, science, engineering and higher academic institutions, and SME/MSME industry, corporate and NGO levels.
  • Long term goals of AIM include establishment and promotion of Small Business Innovation Research and Development at a national scale (AIM SBIR) for the SME/MSME/startups, and in rejuvenating Science and Technology innovations in major research institutions of the country like CSIR (Council of Scientific Industrial Research), Agri Research (ICAR) and Medical Research (ICMR) aligned to national socio-economic needs.