Current Affairs March 2016

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India’s first indigenously developed sonar dome flagged off

India’s first indigenous composites sonar dome, a ship’s underwater eyes and ears, was flagged off by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The sonar dome was dedicated to the nation dedicated to the nation and will be delivered to Mazgaon Docks, Mumbai for use in the warships of Indian Navy.

Key facts

  • The sonar dome is dsigned and produced by a Defence and Research Development Organisation’s (DRDO’s) Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) lab based in Pune.
  • It is a first of its kind in the country to be manufactured by the Goa-based composites manufacturing company Kineco.
  • The sonar dome functions as the ship’s underwater eyes and ears and mostly all anti-submarine warfare (ASW) ships have a sonar array fitted to the ship structure below the waterline.
  • The sonar dome is a structure is fitted over the sonar array to make it acoustically transparent in order to avoid exposure of its electronics and sensors to surrounding hostile environment.

With successfully building indigenous sonar dome, India joins a select group of nations which have the capability of realising large composites structure with complex geometry, high structural rigidity and multi-functional requirements with acoustic transparency.

Sonar: It is an acronym for SOund Navigation And Ranging. It is a technique that uses sound propagation (usually underwater) to navigate, communicate with or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels.


Sand-eating Micrixalus herrei tadpoles species found in Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered Sand-eating tadpole species named Micrixalus herrei in Western Ghats. The tadpole belongs to the so-called Indian Dancing Frog family, Micrixalidae.

They were discovered from the deep recesses of streambeds in the Western Ghats

Key facts

  • They get their name Micrixalidae, from their habit of waving their legs as a sign of territorial and sexual display while sitting on boulders in streams.
  • It lives in total darkness i.e. they are of fossorial [underground] nature and comes out after fully developing into a young frog.
  • Their fossorial nature is considered as a rare occurrence in the amphibian world.
  • These tadpole species have purple colour and possess muscular eel-like bodies. They have skin-covered eyes, which helps them to burrow through gravel beds.
  • They lack teeth but have powerful suckering mouths and have serrated jaw sheaths in order to prevent large sand grains from entering the mouth while feeding and moving through sand.
  • These tadpoles have ribs and whitish globular sacs also known as lime sacs for storing calcium carbonate.


Faustin Archange Touadera sworn in as new President of Central African Republic

Faustin Archange Touadera (58) took the oath of office as the new President of Central African Republic (CAR).

With this he becomes first elected leader of CAR since Muslim rebels had overthrown the government in early 2013. His presidency puts an end to a two-year transitional government that came into force in early 2014.

Touadera is well respected former mathemathics Professor. He had served as Prime Minister as former Prime Minister of ex-president Francois Bozize from January 2008 to January 2013.


In the February 2016, runoff elections Touadera as an independent candidate had emerged victorious by securing nearly 63 percent of the total votes. He had defeated Georges Anicet Dologuele of Union for Central African Renewal Party who had obtained just over or 37.3 percent votes.

Central African Republic: It is former French Colony and one of the world’s most chronically unstable countries. In early 2013, it had suffered the worst crisis in its history when mainly Muslim Seleka fighters in a coup had toppled President Francois Bozize. Since then it was in the throes of civil war and was torn by religious tensions, plagued by chaos on the brink of pre-genocidal scenario.