9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 2nd, 2020

PM Modi says ISRO is planning to launch satellite Aditya to study Sun

News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that ISRO is planning to launch a satellite called Aditya L1 to study the sun.

Facts:

About Aditya L1

  • It will be India’s first satellite to study the sun. It is scheduled to be launched in 2021 aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL) from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Aim: To study the Sun’s corona (outer layer of the sun) from a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1.
  • Objectives:
  • Realization and launch of a satellite in a Halo orbit around L1,
  • Understanding solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics,
  • Study of chromospheric and coronal heating and
  • Observe the in-situ particle and plasma environment to provide data for the study of particle dynamics from the Sun.
  • Payload: Its main payload is the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC)

Additional Information:

Lagrangian points:

  • Lagrangian points are the positions near two large bodies in orbit where a smaller object maintain its position relative to the large orbiting bodies.
  • At these points, a) the gravitational forces of the two large bodies, b) the centripetal force of
  • orbital motion, and c) the Coriolis acceleration match up in a way that cause the small object to maintain a stable or nearly stable position
  • There are 5 such points as shown in the diagram.
  • The path followed by an artificial satellite around a Lagrange point is known as Halo orbit.

Coronal Mass Ejections: It is a significant release of plasma and accompanying magnetic field from the solar corona.

Solar Flare: It is an increased brightness on the Sun, usually observed near its surface and in close proximity to a sunspot group.

11-day long ‘Dhanu Jatra’ begins at Bargarh in western Odisha

News: 11-day long ‘Dhanu Jatra’ began at Bargarh in western Odisha.

Facts:

About Dhanu Jatra:

  • It is an annual drama-based open-air theatrical festival celebrated in and around Bargarh city, Odisha. The festival began in 1947-48.
  • The Jatra is based on the mythological story of Lord Krishna and his demon uncle King Kansa.
  • It is considered to be the world’s largest open-air theatrical festival.
  • The Ministry of Culture has accorded National Festival status to Dhanu Jatra in November 2014.

PM Modi to disburse Rs 12,000 crore to 6 crore farmers under PM Kisan

News: The centre will release third instalment of PM KISAN of Rs. 2000 for December 2019-March 2020. The Prime Minister will also distribute Krishi Karman Awards.

Facts:

About PM KISAN Scheme:

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% funding from Government of India. It was announced in February 2019.
  • Under the Scheme, income support of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to all farmer families across the country in three equal instalments of Rs.2000/- each every four months.
  • Definition of the family for the Scheme is husband, wife and minor children. The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the State / UT Governments.
  • The scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

About Krishi Karman Awards

  • Krishi Karman Awards are given to best performing States in foodgrain production. The award was constituted in 2010-11 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • There are a total number of 7 awards:
    • Awards for States with highest food grain production in three identified categories –large, medium and small producers
    • 4 awards, one each for the highest production under rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses.

Government launches web portal to block stolen, lost mobile phones

News: The government has launched a web portal, ‘Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)’ in Delhi.

Facts:

About CEIR

  • It is a database of the International Mobile Equipment (IMEI) numbers of blacklisted handsets.
  • All network Operators can share black listed mobile devices on CEIR. Devices blacklisted in one network will not work on other networks even if the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card in the device is changed.
  • Objectives of CEIR:
    • Curtail the counterfeit mobile phone market 
    • Blocking of lost/theft mobiles thus discouraging mobile phone theft
    • Protect consumer interest by informing about fake and cloned mobiles
    • Facilitate IMEI based lawful interception
    • Maintain database of all valid mobile equipment.
  • Implementation: It is implemented by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications.
  • Background: The idea of CEIR was first conceived in the National Telecom Policy, 2012.

Additional Information:

International Mobile Equipment (IMEI) numbers

  • It is a 15 digit unique identification code for each mobile phone.
  • It is used to improve operations and deter theft and counterfeit.

India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations

News: India and Pakistan exchanged a list of their nuclear installations under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations 

Facts:

About Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations

  • The agreement was signed in 1988 and came into force in 1991.
  • It mandates India and Pakistan to:
  • Refrain from undertaking, encouraging or participating in any action aimed at causing the destruction or damage to any nuclear installation or facility in the other country.
  • Inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the agreement on the first of January of every calendar year.

Chhattisgarh government launches financial scheme for labourers

News: Chhattisgarh government has launched ‘Mukhyamantri Vishwakarma Nirman Shramik Mrityu evam Divyang Sahayta Yojana’ 

Facts:

About ‘Mukhyamantri Vishwakarma Nirman Shramik Mrityu evam Divyang Sahayta Yojana’

  • It seeks to provide fixed compensation for registered construction and unorganised labourers in the event of death on work or disability.
  • On the death of a registered labourer at work, financial aid of Rs 1 lakh will be provided to the family members.
  • A financial aid of Rs 50,000 will be provided in case of disability caused to a registered labourer due to accident at work.

Gujarat: 10,000 cameras to be used for 2020 lion census

News: The Asiatic Lion Census is scheduled to take place in May 2020

Facts:

  • The Gujarat forest department conducts lion census every five years in Asiatic Lion Landscape, which includes Gir National Park and Sanctuary.

About Asiatic Lion

  • It is listed as ‘Endangered’ under the IUCN Red List.
  • It is listed in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • The only surviving free-ranging population of the Asiatic lion exists in the Gir forest, Gujarat.
  • According to the 2015 Lion Census, there are 523 Asiatic Lions.

Note: The African Lion is listed as Vulnerable under the IUCN Red List.

Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • It is situated in the Saurastra region of Gujarat. The Gir National park was established in 1965.
  • It is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests Eco region
  • The major perennial rivers of the Gir region are Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval.
Map Guj Nat Parks Sanctuary.png

Additional Information:

‘Asiatic Lion Conservation Project’

  • Launched by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, it aims to protect and conserve the Asiatic Lion.
  • It is a 3 year long conservation project. It focuses on
    • disease management,
    • habitat improvement and eco-development,
    • robust wildlife health service with a dedicated veterinary institute,
    • addressing to man-wild animal conflict issues,
    • voluntary relocation of Protect Area inhabitants (Maldhari tribe),
    • monitoring and tracking of animals,
    • creating a wildlife crime cell.

Explained: What are role, powers of CDS?

News: General Bipin Rawat has been appointed as the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

Facts:

  • CDS: It is a permanent position for a combined head of the tri-services i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force. The CDS will be a Four-star General.

Role and Functions:

  1. Be the principal military adviser to the Defence Minister on all tri-service matters.
  2. Be one of the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. As a permanent chair, CDS will:
    1. Administer all tri-service organisations and commands.
    1. Be a member of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by the Defence Minister
    1. Be a member of the Defence Planning Committee headed by the National Security Adviser (NSA).
    1. Function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
    1. Implement the five year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan (DCAP) and the two year roll on Annual Acquisition Plans.
    1. Coordinate operation, logistics, transport, training, support services communications, etc. of the three Services
  3. CDS will also head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), to be created within the Ministry of Defence and function as its Secretary. The mandate includes:
  4. Promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the Services 
  5. Facilitating restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources
  6. Promoting use of indigenous equipment by the Services.

Additional Information:

Chief of Staffs Committee (CoSC)

  • The senior most chief among the three forces is appointed as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee having a four star ranking.
  • He is responsible for the inter-services synergy but being the first among equals, he does not have any significant powers. It remains more of a ceremonial post.

Current Departments of Ministry of Defence

  1. Department of Defence: Headed by Defence Secretary
  2. Department of Defence Production: Headed by Secretary Defence Production
  3. Department of Defence Research and Development: Headed by DRDO Chief
  4. Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare: Headed by Secretary Ex-Servicemen Welfare
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