Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 16 October 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. M-sand policy meeting to be held in November.

1. M-sand policy meeting to be held in November

News Summary

To regulate the unregulated sale of M-Sand, the Public Works Department(PWD) has planned to organize a meeting for policy on M-Sand. The meeting is expected to be held in November will all the stakeholders. This policy on M-Sand once created will have a legal framework for production and sale.

Prelims GS – Economic and Social Development

  • M-Sand is manufactured sand, obtained from specific hard rock (granite) using state-of-the-art International technology.
  • Manufactured Sand (M-sand) is the most common alternative of river sand, which has already gained prominence in some of the southern States.
  • It is produced by crushing of rocks, quarry stones to a stipulated size of 150 microns.
  • To arrive at the required grain size, existing coarser hard rock deposits are crushed in a series of crushers, and the crushed material is segregated in different fractions as suited to various construction activities.
  • The sand obtained through this process is further refined by removing fine particles and impurities through sieving and washing.
  • As per IS-383, the chemical characteristics and strength are similar to the river sand, and the same type of applications can be served using M-sand.
  • The bulk density and specific gravity of both are comparable as well as the chemical characteristics and strength of M-sand are similar to that of river sand as per IS-383.
  • M-sand has a silt content of around 0.2% and water absorption of 1.6%, as compared to 0.45% and 1.15% respectively, in river sand.
  • M-sand concrete has a marginally higher bond strength, and mortar made of M-sand shows higher compressive strength and modulus for masonry, over those of river sand.
  • M-sand is economically feasible, cheaper, and is superior as compared to river sand in many of the urban centers in India e.g. Bangalore

Advantages of M-Sand:

  • M Sand has a higher Fineness Modules Index compared to the natural river sand, which gives good workability for concrete.
  • Better abrasion resistance, higher unit weight, and lower permeability as M sand is free from silt and clay particles.
  • Less disruptive to the environment, as it helps in the reduction of sand mining from river beds.
  • Perfect grading and cubical shape of M Sand gives high strength and great durability to concrete.
  • M-Sand is more cost-effective than river sand due to low transportation costs and consistency in availability and helps in the reduction of pollution.
Sand and Minor Minerals:( 2019 Prelims Question)
  • Sand is classified as a “minor mineral”, minor mineral means building stones, gravel, ordinary clay, ordinary sand other than sand used for prescribed purposes, and any other mineral which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be a minor mineral; as defined under Section 3(e) of The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act).
  • Under the MMDR Act, the legal and administrative control over minor minerals vests with the State Governments, who have the powers to make rules to govern minor minerals.
  • Accordingly, different State Governments have made different rules for awarding, regulating, and administering the sand concessions granted under those rules.

Click here to know more about Sand Mining and M-Sands in the Report of Ministry of Mines.



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