Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 27 December 2022

Pralay tactical ballistic missiles cleared

GS Paper - 3 (Defence Technology)

In a major decision, the Defence Ministry has cleared the procurement of around 120 Pralay ballistic missiles for the Indian armed forces that will deploy them along the borders with China and Pakistan. At present, the Pralay ballistic missiles can take out targets from 150 to 500 kms and are extremely difficult to intercept for the enemy through interceptor missiles.

Some of the notable features of the ‘Pralay’ missile

  1. Developed by the DRDO, the ‘Pralay’ ballistic missile is a canisterised tacticalsurface-to-surface, and short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) for battlefield use.
  2. It can hit targets from a distance of 150 to 500 km and is extremely difficult to intercept by enemy interceptor missiles.
  3. It added that the missile is being further upgraded and its range can be extended significantly.
  4. Pralay is a Hindi word which means “apocalypse” or “to cause great destruction” or “damage”.
  5. The missile is designed to destroy enemy radarcommunication installations, command centres and airfields and follows a Quasi Ballistic Trajectory which means the object takes a low curved path after being shot.
  6. Pralay is powered by a solid fuel rocket motor and is a high explosive preformed fragmentation warhead that weighs somewhere between 350 kg to 700 kg which also accounts for its Penetration-Cum-Blast (PCB) and Runaway Denial Penetration Submunition (RDPS).
  7. It also has a speed of at least 2,000 km per hour and its missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation and integrated avionics.
  8. Additionally, like most tactical ballistic missiles it is mobile which means it can be used quickly on the battlefield.
  9. Pralay also has the ability to evade any anti-ballistic missile (ABM) interceptors by performing mid-air manoeuvres by using a manoeuvrable re-entry vehicle.
  10. The surface-to-surface missile is also reportedly intended to match China’s Dong Feng 12 (CSS-X-15) missile and can be compared to the Russian 9k 720 Iskander missile or the US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM).


  1. The DRDO began developing the Pralay missile in 2015 after being pushed for by the late General Bipin Rawat who served as India’s Chief of Army Staff.
  2. It was tested twice on two consecutive days, 21 December 2022 and 22 December 2022, last year. The launch took place from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island and met all the mission objectives.
  3. The second launch tested Pralay with a heavier payload and a different range, “to prove the precision and lethality of the weapon.


‘Bomb cyclone’ intensified

GS Paper - 1 (Cyclone)

The storm pummelling large swaths of the United States and Canada is what forecasters call a “bomb cyclone.” While this kind of storm is not exceedingly rare, this one is very strong, with high winds that are bringing heavy snow or rain to many areas. Storms can form when a mass of low-pressure air meets a high-pressure mass.

What is a ‘bomb cyclone’?

  1. The air flows from high pressure to lowcreating winds. What defines a bomb cyclone is how rapidly the pressure drops in the low-pressure mass — by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.
  2. This quickly increases the pressure differenceor gradient, between the two air masses, making the winds stronger. This process of rapid intensification has a name: bombogenesis.
  3. As the winds blow, the rotation of the Earth creates a cyclonic effect. The direction is counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (when viewed from above).
  4. As the area where the two air masses meet, called the Arctic front, moves northward and eastward, conditions for bombogenesis should continue moving as well, Moore said.
  5. But as the Arctic air spreads over most of the country it will eventually warmreducing the pressure difference.
  6. An intense blizzard (or snowstorm) is wreaking havoc across the United States and Canada, with more than 30 people confirmed dead so far in the US, and four people dead in Canada after a road accident on an icy path.


Veer BAL Diwas 

GS Paper -1 (Culture)

Every December, Sikhs mark the supreme sacrifice made by the children and mother of the 10th Guru, Gobind Singh ji. Shaheedi Jor Mela or Shaheedi Sabha is observed at Fatehgarh Sahib, which is attended by lakhs of people. In January 2022, the Centre announced that December 26 would be observed as ‘Veer BAL Diwas’.

More about the news:

  1. It commemorates the valour of ‘Chhote Sahibzaade’; the two youngest sons of the tenth Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh. Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, the two youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh, were bricked alive on the orders of Wazir Khan, the Mughal faujdar of Sirhind.
  2. The two Sahibzade were killed in 1704, in events sparked by the attack on Anandpur Sahib by the armies of the Mughals and the hill kings of present-day Himachal Pradesh.
  3. Guru Gobind Singh’s mother Mata Gujari Ji, and two other sons, Sahibzaada Ajit Singh Ji (18) and Sahibzaada Jujhar Singh Ji (14), were also martyred within a week.


What led to the attack?

  1. In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh was raising an army, established the Khalsa, which the hill kings and the Mughal Empire saw as a threat.
  2. The kings had several battles with the Sikhs in the last decade of the 17th century, but had been unable to dislodge them from Anandpur Sahib.
  3. The fateful attack of 1704 was led by Bilaspur King Bheem Chand and Handuria King Raja Hari Chand,they cordoned off AnadpurSahib with support from the Mughal empire.
  4. The Hindu kings and Muslim Mughal governors finally reached an agreement with the Sikhs, and swore there would be no war if Guru Gobind Singh left Anadpur Sahib.
  5. According to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Guru Gobind Singh left Anadpur Sahib on December 20, 1704. However, their opponents violated their oath and the Guru and his followers were attacked near the river Sarsa, at a distance of about 25 kilometres from Anandpur Sahib.


Vitamin K and its necessity

GS Paper -3 (Biology)

About the news:

Just like vitamins D, E, and B12, vitamin K is also equally important for the body. It is essential for the optimal clotting of blood and the prevention of excessive bleeding. However, unlike many other vitamins, vitamin K is not typically used as a dietary supplement.

More about the news:

It is a group of vitamins found in green vegetables. Vitamins K1 (phytonadione) and K2 (menaquinone) are commonly available in the form of supplements.

Vitamin K significance:

  1. It plays an essential role in wound healing and reversing the harmful effects of blood thinning medicines.
  2. It is also used in preventing bleeding disordersin newborns exhibiting hemorrhagic disease caused due to absence of vitamin K.
  3. It is also needed for promoting bone health. Along with vitamin D, it helps with the calcium-binding action required for the healthy functioning of the bones and gums.
  4. It strengthens the skeletal structure, increases bone density, and cuts down the chances of fracture when it comes to older people. It also helps with osteoporosis and bone loss.
  5. This vitamin prevents the mineralisation in the arterial walls and keeps the blood pressure under control, further allowing the heart to pump blood smoothly throughout the body, and enhancing heart health.
  6. It is also needed for dental health. It activates the production of osteocalcin, which is needed for the growth of new dentin (calcified tissue below the teeth’ enamel).
  7. It also makes the teeth strong from the root and prevents loss or decay.
  8. It is also needed to improve memory in senior citizens, used to manage the itching, experienced due to biliary cirrhosis, and also has been known to reduce blood cholesterol in people on dialysis.

Impacts of its deficiency:

  1. It can increase the chances of uncontrolled bleeding. Its deficiencies are rarely seen in adults, they are very common in newborns.
  2. single injection of vitamin K for newbornscan be helpful. It is also used to deal with the overdose of the blood thinner, Coumadin.
  3. It means easing bruising, small blood clots underneath their nails, bleeding from the area where the umbilical cord is removed, bleeding in the skin, nose, and gastrointestinal tract, and sudden bleeding in the brain.

Food sources of this vital vitamin K:

Food sources are spinach, asparagus, and broccoli, legumes like soybeans, eggs, strawberries, okra, cabbage, prunes, parsley, soybean, pumpkin, kiwi, avocado, blueberry, lettuce, cauliflower, cheese, milk, and yoghurt.