9 PM Current Affairs Brief – November 4th, 2019

First ever movement of container cargo on Brahmaputra (National Waterway -2)

News: The first ever container cargo consignment will sail on National Waterway-2 from Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) to the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) terminal at Pandu in Guwahati on 4 November, 2019.


About National waterways in India

  • As per the National Waterways Act, 2016, 111 have been declared as National Waterways (NW). These waterways pass through 24 states and two union territories, with an approximate total length of 20274 km
  • The Ganga – Bhagirathi – Hooghly river system between Haldia (Sagar) and Allahabad (1620 km) was declared as National Waterway-1 (NW-1) in 1986.
  • National Waterway-2: National Waterway 2 (NW-2) 891km long stretch in Brahmaputra River extending from Sadiya to the Dhubri near Bangladesh border in Assam.

Additional Information:

Inland Waterways Authority of India

  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is responsible for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
  • The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping.
  • It was established in 1986 and is headquartered in Noida.

Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT):

  • In 1972, India and Bangladesh signed the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT).
  • It is an agreement between the two governments for the transportation of goods and keeping their respective waterways navigable, while providing infrastructure facilities.

The Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) Route:

  • It extends from Kolkata (India) on NW-1 to Silghat (Assam) on NW-2 (River Brahmaputra) and Karimganj (Assam) on NW-16 (River Barak).
  • Further, two stretches of Bangladesh inland waterways viz. Sirajganj–Daikhawa & Ashuganj-Zakiganj on the IBP route are being developed on cost sharing basis (80% being borne by India & 20% by Bangladesh). The development of these two stretches is expected to provide seamless navigation to and from North East India through waterways via the IBP route.

Indian Army to have first Dhanush regiment by March 2020

News: The Indian Army will have the first regiment, using Dhanush artillery guns, in place by March 2020


About Dhanush Artillery Guns

  • Dhanush is the first indigenous long-range artillery gun.
  • It has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata and manufactured by the Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory.
  • The design of Dhanush is based on the Swedish Bofors Haubits FH77 which India imported in the 1980s.
  • Dhanush gun was officially inducted in Indian Army in April 2019.

Features of Dhanush:

  • It has a caliber of 155mm x 45mm.
  • It has a range of 36km and has demonstrated a range of 38 km with specialised ammunition.
  • The gun is fitted with an inertial navigation system having global positioning system (GPS)-based gun recording and auto-laying, and an enhanced tactical computer for on-board ballistic computations.
  • It also has an on-board muzzle velocity recording, an automated gun sighting system equipped with camera, thermal imaging, and laser range finder.

Additional Information:

Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)

  • It is an industrial organisation, functioning under the Department of Defence Production of Ministry of Defence. It came into existence in 1979 and is headquartered in Kolkata.
  • It is engaged in research, development, production, testing, marketing and logistics of a comprehensive product range in the areas of air, land and sea systems.
  • OFB comprises 41 ordnance factories, 9 Training Institutes, 3 Regional Marketing Centres and 4 Regional Controller of Safety.

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS): NavIC

News: Antrix has recently put forward two separate tenders to identify industries that can develop dedicated NavIC-based hardware and systems.


About Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS): NavIC

  • IRNSS (NavIC) is an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area. An Extended Service Area lies between primary service area and area enclosed by the rectangle from Latitude 30°South to 50° North, Longitude 30°East to 130°East.
  • Types of Services:
    • Standard Positioning Service (SPS): It will be provided to all the users.
    • Restricted Service (RS): It is an encrypted service which will be provided only to the authorised users (military and security agencies).
  • The space segment consists of the IRNSS constellation of eight satellites, NavIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation).
  • Three satellites are located in suitable orbital slots in the geostationary orbit and the remaining four are located in geosynchronous orbits with the required inclination and equatorial crossings in two different planes.
  • Some applications of IRNSS are:
    • Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
    • Disaster Management
    • Vehicle tracking and fleet management
    • Integration with mobile phones
    • Precise Timing
    • Mapping and Geodetic data capture
    • Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
    • Visual and voice navigation for drivers.

Additional Information:


  • Antrix Corporation Limited (ACL), Bengaluru is one of the commercial arm of ISRO. The other commercial arm of ISRO is the recently established NewSpace India Ltd.
  • ACL is a wholly owned Government of India Company under the administrative control of the Department of Space, Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • It was incorporated as a private limited company owned by Government of India in 1992 as a Marketing arm of ISRO.
  • The objective of Antrix is promotion and commercial exploitation of space products, technical consultancy services and transfer of technologies developed by ISRO. Another major objective is to facilitate development of space related industrial capabilities in India.

Geosynchronous orbit:

  • It is a path around the Earth where the orbital period matches the Earth’s rotation period. This path is in high Earth orbit (as it is placed at an altitude of 35790 km) . Telecommunications and other remote sensing satellites are placed in this orbit.

Geostationary Orbit (GSO):

  • It is a geosynchronous orbit with an inclination of zero, i.e. it lies on the same plane as that of the equator. It lies 35,786 km above earth’s equator.
  • A satellite in this orbit appears to be stationary as seen from the earth. The geostationary satellite remains at the same position throughout the day. Thus, it is used for applications which requires a direct line of communication between the satellite and the receiver (for example-direct TV broadcast).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the Fifth India International Science Festival

News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Fifth India International Science Festival at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata, on 5th November 2019.


About India International Science Festival

  • It is an annual event organised jointly by science and technology related Ministries and Departments of the Government of India and Vijnana Bharati (Vibha). The first IISF was held in 2015 in New Delhi.
  • Aim of IISF: It aims to build a strategy for inclusive advancement of Science and Technology. It seeks to instill scientific temper among the masses, showcase India’s contribution in the field of S&T over the years and encourage translation of its benefits to people.

2019 IISF

  • Theme of 2019 IISFRISEN India – Research, Innovation, and Science Empowering the Nation.
  • Vigyan Prasar is the nodal agency to coordinate the IISF 2019.

Additional Information:

About Vigyan Prasar:

  • It is an autonomous organisation of the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology. It was set up in 1989 to take on large-scale science and technology popularisation programmes.
  • Mandate: To promote and propagate a scientific and rational outlook in society.
  • Objectives: Undertaking, promoting and co-ordinating science popularization programmes and inculcation of scientific temper among the people.

About Department of Science & Technology

  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is a department within the Ministry of Science and Technology in India. It was established in May 1971.
  • It seeks to promote new areas of science and technology. It plays the role of a nodal department for organising, coordinating and promoting scientific and technological activities in India.
  • It also provides funds to various approved scientific projects in India. It further supports various researchers in India to attend conferences abroad and to go for experimental works.

About Vijnana Bharati

  • Vijnana Bharati or VIBHA, previously known as ‘Swadeshi Science Movement’ is a non-profit organisation.
  • It works towards popularization of science & implementation of modern technology & ancient sciences in India.
  • It was founded in 1991 by the eminent scientists of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru led by Prof. K.I. Vasu.

Annual fishing ban to protect Olive Ridleys in Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary

News: On November 1st, the Odisha forest department has put a ban on fishing in Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary. The ban will be in place till May 31, 2020.


About Olive Ridley Turtles

  • The Olive Ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles in the world.
  • They inhabit in the warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • It is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List. Further, it has been listed on Schedule – I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • The Indian Coast Guard also undertakes “Operation Olivia” every year. It is an Olive Ridley Turtle protection program.
  • The Olive Ridley turtles are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada. During Arribada, a large number of female turtles come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • An important breeding area for olive Ridleys in the Indian Ocean along the Bay of Bengal is Odisha. There are three major mass nesting areas:
    • Gahirmatha rookery (Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary) close to the mouth of Brahmani-Baitarani Rivers,
    • Devi river mouth and
    • Rushikulya river mouth
  • The major threats to Olive Ridley turtles are:
    • poor fishing practices,
    • development and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports, and tourist centres,
    • Poaching for their meat, shell and leather.

About Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary

  • Gahiramatha is located in Odisha’s Kendrapada district. It was declared a marine sanctuary in 1997.
  • It is known as the world’s largest Olive Ridley rookery
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