The Saga of a Spy Balloon in US Airspace

Last week, the U.S. shot down a Chinese ‘spy’ balloon, days after the surveillance device was first spotted over American airspace, bringing the dramatic saga to a climax and dealing yet another blow to the already strained diplomatic relation between the two sides.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are spy balloons?
  2. What happened?

What are spy balloons?

What happened?

Earthquake In Turkey and Syria


A major earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing more than 2,600 people and flattening thousands of buildings as rescuers dug with bare hands for survivors.


GS-I: Geography (Geomorphology, Important Geographical Phenomenon, Earthquakes), GS-III: Disaster Management

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Earthquake
  2. Earthquake Waves
  3. Earthquake zones of India
  4. Measurement of earthquakes


Earthquake Waves

Body Waves

Body waves are generated due to the release of energy at the focus and move in all directions travelling through the body of the earth.

There are 2 types of body waves and they are, Primary waves [P] and Secondary [S] waves

Primary waves [P]: 

Secondary waves [S]: 

Surface waves

Earthquake zones of India

Zones of Seismicity

  1. Zone 1: Currently the Division does not include a Zone 1. NO area of India is classed as Zone 1.
  2. Zone 2: This region is liable to MSK VI or less and is classified as the Low Damage Risk Zone.
  3. Zone 3: This zone is classified as Moderate Damage Risk Zone which is liable to MSK VII.
  4. Zone 4: This zone is called the High Damage Risk Zone and covers areas liable to MSK VIII. Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, the parts of Indo-Gangetic plains (North Punjab, Chandigarh, Western Uttar Pradesh, Terai, North Bengal, Sundarbans) and the capital of the country Delhi fall in Zone 4.
  5. Zone 5: Zone 5 covers the areas with the highest risks zone that suffers earthquakes of intensity MSK IX or greater. The region of Kashmir, the Western and Central Himalayas, North and Middle Bihar, the North-East Indian region, the Rann of Kutch and the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands fall in this zone.

Measurement of earthquakes

The earthquake events are scaled either according to the magnitude or intensity of the shock.

  1. Richter scale – The magnitude scale is known as the Richter scale. The magnitude relates to the energy released during the quake. The magnitude is expressed in absolute numbers, 0-10.
  2. Mercalli scale – The intensity scale is named after Mercalli, an Italian seismologist. The intensity scale takes into account the visible damage caused by the event. The range of intensity scale is from 1-12.
  3. Medvedev–Sponheuer–Karnik scale – This is a macroseismic intensity scale used to evaluate the severity of ground shaking on the basis of observed effects in an area of the earthquake occurrence

Who are Hittites?

By studying juniper timbers, researchers from Cornell University & Cyprus Institute found that series of droughts may have precipitated Hittite empire’s collapse.

About Hittites:

Hittite empire:

What is the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM)?

The indigenous Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to be tested again with some changes suggested by the Army.

About Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM):

What is the Vikas Engine?

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully tested the throttling of Vikas, its workhorse launch-vehicle engine.

About Vikas Engine:

Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC):

What is Skye UTM?

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways recently unveiled Skye UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management), touted as the world’s most cutting-edge unmanned traffic management system.

About Skye UTM:

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