Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2018

Tamu Massif: Largest volcano on Earth discovered

Scientists have found the single largest volcano in the world called Tamu Massif- a dead colossus deep beneath the Pacific Ocean. It is spanned across over an area of 310000 sq km and can be compared with Mars’ Olymus Mons volcano, the largest in the Solar System. The volcano was located around 2 km below the ocean. Previously, Mauna Loa in Hawaii was considered the largest volcano on Earth.

About Tamu Massif:
  • It is an extinct submarine shield volcano located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.
  • It is largest known volcano on Earth.
  • It is located in the Shatsky Rise about 1,600 km (990 mi) east of Japan.
  • Its summit lies about 1,980 m below the surface of the sea, and its base extends to a depth of about 6.4 km.The volcano is about 4,460 metres tall.


Quadricycle to hit country’s roads from Oct 2013

The government has issued a draft notification that intends to classify the quadricycle as a commercial vehicle under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules. It will facilitate introduction of quadricycle to Indian roads.

What is a Quadricycle?

Quadricycle is a four-wheeled vehicle that is bigger than an auto-rickshaw but smaller than a compact car and will be used for commercial purpose – transporting passengers and goods on non-highway stretches in cities and villages.

What does the draft notification on Quadricycle say?

As per the notification:

  • The use of quadricycles for transporting passengers as well as goods on non-highways will be allowed.
  • The vehicle must have a fully-enclosed body with a steering wheel, and that an empty quadricycle must not weigh more than 450 kg if used for transporting passengers and 550 kg if it’s is made for carrying cargo.
  • A passenger quadricycle will have the maximum seating capacity for 3 passengers and a driver, while the goods variant will be allowed to carry only one passenger along with the driver.
  • Materials such as rexin, cloth and plastic cannot be used to cover the sides or the top of a quadricycle.
  • Maximum length of the passenger variant at 3 metre, effectively disqualifying all compact cars from being used as quadricycles.
  • For a goods quadricycle, the maximum length has been set at 3.7 metre. The overall width of these vehicles must not exceed 1.5 metre.
  • The vehicles will have to comply with the emission norms stipulated for auto rickshaws, which are less rigorous than norms such as Bharat Stage III and IV that are mandatory for passenger cars.
Why government supporting the idea of quadricycle?

As per the government, the policy on quadricycles will provide a natural upgrade to the old three-wheeler auto rickshaws and will serve as a better form of transport with improved stability and modern features needed for intra-city transport.

Why there is opposition to the idea of quadricycle?

Many auto manufacturers in the country including Tata Motors, TVS Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra are against the idea, debating that quadricycles will take the Indian automotive industry back by many years. Currently, Bajaj Motors is the only automaker in India that has developed a four-wheeled passenger carrier, the RE60, and plans to launch it by the end of this fiscal.