Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 17, 2018


Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924 – 2018)

  • The first non-Congressman at the top post to complete a full term

“If India is not secular, then India is not India at all”

GS4/Essay -

Enlighten about his Journey

Focus Article Science and Technology

ISRO's ambitious Aditya-L1 mission and NASA’s Parker Solar Probe


  • $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe
  • By the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • to get closer than any human-made object in history to the centre of our solar system

ISRO’S Future plans

  • ISRO has announced big plans to expand the scope of Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) activities above Earth's atmosphere.
  • From committing to 50 satellite launches in the next three years to setting a date for Chandrayaan-2's lift-off
  • The Aditya-L1.Mysteries of the Sun: ISRO's ambitious Aditya-L1 mission will try and uncover the secrets behind the solar corona.
  • Mysteries of the Sun: ISRO's ambitious Aditya-L1 mission will try and uncover the secrets behind the solar corona.

Enlighten about Aditya L1

  • Scheduled to be launched sometime in the next two years, the Aditya-L1 mission was originally christened Aditya-1 and was conceived as a 400-kg class satellite carrying just one payload: the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph.
  • It was scheduled to be launched in an 800-kilometre low-earth orbit.
  • It was then realised that a satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth orbit has the amazing advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any obstructions that eclipses may offer, which was when the mission was revised to be called the Aditya-L1 mission.

Enlighten about Lagrangian points

  • It refer to positions in orbits of two large bodies wherein a small object, affected only by the gravitational forces from the two larger objects, will maintain its position relative to them.
  • In this case, the small object is the ISRO satellite and the two large bodies are the Sun and Earth.
  • The Aditya-L1 will be inserted in a halo orbit around the L1, which is located some 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth, and will carry an additional six payloads.
  • The distance also means that the orbit is greater than the orbit of the moon around the Earth, hence the luxury of remaining unaffected by an eclipse (as illustrated below).Illustration of the L1 point. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
  • The primary payload on the Aditya-L1 satellite will, however, continue to be the coronagraph, which is meant to observe the solar corona.
  • A corona is an aura of plasma that envelopes the Sun and other stars and is visible to the naked eye during a total solar eclipse.
  • This corona of the Sun, which extends millions of kilometres into space will also be studied by the Parker Solar Probe.
  • In addition to this, Aditya-L1 will perform experiments and observe the Sun's Photosphere and the Chromosphere as well.
  • With the inclusion of multiple payloads, this project also provides an opportunity to solar scientists from multiple institutions within the country to participate in space-based instrumentation and observations.
  • Study to be conducted by the ISRO Satellite Centre and the Udaipur Solar Observatory.
  • The Aditya-L1 project has already been approved and will be launched in sometime in 2019-2020. the launch will take place around the beginning of the upcoming solar cycle, an event in which sunspots form and grow on the solar surface, before eventually diminishing over a period of 11 years.

Bilateral Relations

India – Nepal - Postal Highway Project


  • An additional amount of Rs. 470 million (Nepali) has been released by Nepal for Phase I of Postal Highway Project being constructed Southern Plains of Nepal.
  • To maintain fund liquidity for ongoing construction of 1 road packages under Postal Highway Project.

Enlighten about the project

  • India is providing financial assistance to Nepal since 1950 for infrastructure development as part of its multi-sectoral India-Nepal Economic Co-operation Programme.
  • With release of recent additional funds, India so far has release Rs 2.35 billion to Nepal out of total grant assistance of Rs. 8.00 billion committed to implement 14 packages under Packages 2-6 of Phase I of Post Highway Project.
  • The Package 1 of the Project comprising two road section have already been completed with help of India’s grant assistance worth Rs 1.02 billion.
  • Th two roads were opened for service in January 2017.

Enlighten about Postal Highway

  • It is also called Hulaki Rajmarg which runs across Terai region of Nepal, from Bhadrapur in east to Dodhara in west, cutting across entire width of the country.
  • It is oldest highway in Nepal constructed by Juddha Shumsher Jun Bahadur Rana and Padma Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana to aid transportation and facilitate postal services throughout the Himalayan nation


RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative

Implementing Department

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSA launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative to enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil t biodiesel.
  • Under this initiative, 64 companies at 10 locations have been identified to enable collection of used cooking oil.

Enlighten about the initiative

  • The initiative was launched nearly month after FSSAI notified standards for used cooking oil. According to FSSAI regulations, maximum permissible limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) have been set at 25%, beyond which the cooking oil is unsafe for consumption.
  • FSSAI is also working partnership with Biodiesel Association of India (BAI) and food industry to ensure effective compliance of used cooking oil regulations.

India and its tryst with cooking oil

  • India has potential to recover 220 crore litres of use cooking oil for production of biodiesel by 2022 through co-ordinated action
  • Currently, biodiesel produced from used cooking oil is very small, but robust ecosystem for conversion and collection is rapidly growing in India and soon will reach sizable scale.
  • FSSAI is also looking at introducing regulations to ensure that companies using large quantities of cooking oil hand it over t registered collecting agencies to convert it into biofuel.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) FSSAI

  • It is a nodal statutory agency responsible for protecting and promotion public health in India through regulation and supervision of food safety. It was
  • established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and operate under aegis of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

Sources – The Hindu PIB, Indian Express