Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 1, 2018

Department of Atomic Energy

Enlighten about the Ministry

  • The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is a department directly under the Prime Minister of India with headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
  • DAE has been engaged in the development of nuclear power technology, applications of radiation technologies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, industry and basic research.
  • DAE comprises five research centres, three industrial organisations, five public sector undertakings and three service organisations.
  • It has under its aegis two boards for promoting and funding extramural research in nuclear and allied fields, mathematics and a national institute (deemed university).
  • It also supports eight institutes of international repute engaged in research in basic sciences, astronomy, astrophysics, cancer research and education.

Enlighten about the events round the year

  • The Second Unit (1000 MWe) of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) went into commercial operation on March 31, 2017.
  • With this the installed nuclear power capacity has become 6780 MWe.
  • India has signed Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with Bangladesh in April this year along with two more complementary Agreements.
  • We are collaborating with our Russian and Bangladeshi partners on establishing Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh.
  • A 4.6 Meter Ship Borne Terminal (SBT) developed by DAE was integrated on a ship and deployed in Deep Sea.
  • The SBT successfully tracked the ISRO launch Vehicle PSLV-C38 during Cartosat-2E mission
  • DAE has developed a low-cost handheld 12-channel Tele-ECG machine which records all 12 ECG channels simultaneously and sends the report generated to the mobile phone of a doctor for advice.
  • The device is suited for diagnostic purposes at remote rural locations, saving crucial time normally required to shift the patient to a diagnostic centre.
  • Recently, a litchi processing plant was established at ICAR-National Research Centre on Litchi (NRCL), Mushahari, Muzaffarpur for extension of shelf-life of this perishable, popular fruit.
  • Demonstration of this technology has enthused the local bodies for taking forward the technology for the farmers in a big way. Extension of shelf life for this product will also encourage exports.
  • In the frontier science area, DAE is establishing a small underground research laboratory in one of the uranium mines for pursuing research on dark matter. This will enthuse scientists from all generations.

Department of Space

Enlighten about the Department

  • DoS is a department formed in 1972 responsible for administration of the Indian space program under PMO
  • It manages several agencies and institutes related to space exploration and space technologies.
  • Headquarters-Antariksh Bhavan, Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Preceding Department- Ministry of Energy Sources
  • Child Department- Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • ISRO under DoS management on 1 June 1972.
  • Indian space program under the DoS aims to promote the development and application of space science and technology for the socio-economic benefit of the country.
  • It includes two major satellite systems, INSAT for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management.
  • It has also developed two satellite launch vehicles, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), to place IRS and INSAT class satellites in orbit.

Department of Space manages the following agencies and institutes

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – The primary research and development arm of the DoS.
  • Antrix Corporation – The marketing arm of ISRO.
  • Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.
  • National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Gadanki.
  • North-Eastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC), Umiam.
  • Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), Mohali.
  • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram – India's space university.

ORGANISATION UNDER DEPARTMENT OF SPACE

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), 1969
  • National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) , 1992
  • Indian Institute If Space Science And Technology (IIST), 2007

Enlighten about ISRO

  • ISRO is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru.
  • Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration."
  • Formed in 1969, ISRO superseded the erstwhile Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) established in 1962 by the efforts of independent India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his close aide and scientist Vikram Sarabhai.
  • The establishment of ISRO thus institutionalized space activities in India.
  • It is managed by the Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister of The Republic of India

Enlighten about the events round the year PSLV – C37 and C38

  • In 2017 Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched 104 satellites, in a single launch, onboard PSLV-C37 on February 15, 2017 and
  • 31 satellites, in a single launch, on-board PSLV-C38 on June 23, 2017.
  • These satellites include – Two Indian Cartosat-2 series satellites, two Indian Nano-Satellites, one Nano satellite from Indian University and 130 foreign satellites from 19 countries, viz. Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UAE, UK and USA.
  • The Cartosat-2 series satellites are placed in a sun synchronous orbit with a designed mission life of 5 years.
  • The main objective of these satellites is to provide high resolution images of earth’s surface at sub-meter resolution (Black & White image) and at 2 meter resolution (4-band coloured image).
  • The images obtained from these satellites are useful in variety of applications requiring high resolution images, which include cartography, infrastructure planning, urban & rural development, utility management, natural resources inventory & management, disaster management.

GSLV Mark -II

  • India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-II (GSLV-F09) successfully launched the 2230 kg South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9) into its planned Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on May 05, 2017.
  • The launch of GSLV was its eleventh and took place from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, the spaceport of India.
  • This was the fourth consecutive success achieved by GSLV carrying indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage.

GSLV Mk-III

  • The first developmental flight (GSLV MkIII-D1) of India's heavy lift launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted on June 05, 2017 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota with the launch of GSAT-19 satellite.
  • This was the first orbital mission of GSLV MkIII which was mainly intended to evaluate the vehicle performance including that of its fully indigenous cryogenic upper stage during the flight. Weighing 3136 kg at lift-off, GSAT-19 became the heaviest satellite launched from the Indian soil.

GSAT-17

  • On June 29, 2017, GSAT-17 became India’s third communication satellite to successfully reach orbit in two months. GSAT-17 was launched by the European Ariane 5 Launch Vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana.

Space Seminar

  • A two-day International Seminar on Indian Space Programme: "Trends and Opportunities for Industry" was organized in New Delhi.
  • The seminar was organised by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Antrix Corporation Limited (the commercial arm of ISRO), in coordination with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  • The Two-day conference deliberated on the best practices, pursuit of the ongoing discussion process to support further work of India's Space Sector and facilitate to arrive at a coherent framework, where in India's Space Sector can start expanding the domestic and global opportunities through enhanced partnerships and collaborations.

AstroSat

  • India's multi-wavelength space telescope completed two years in orbit during the year and has successfully accomplished the difficult task of measuring X-ray polarisation.
  • In a paper published in ‘Nature Astronomy’, the team documented the results of their eighteen-month study of the Crab pulsar in the Taurus Constellation and measured the variations of polarisation as this highly magnetised object spins around 30 times every second.
  • This landmark measurement puts up a strong challenge to prevailing theories of high energy X-ray emission from pulsars.

MoUs

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Ministry of Science and Technology, in New Delhi
  • The MoU provides for time and frequency traceability services to ISRO by CSIR-NPL.

Mars Orbiter Mission

  • Mars Orbiter Mission successfully completed three years in its orbit on September 24, 2017, surviving well beyond its designed mission life of six months.
  • All Scientific payloads continue to provide valuable data of Mars surface and its atmosphere. Mars Colour Camera on-board MOM has acquired more than 700 images of Martian surface.
  • MOM atlas is published and updates on MOM images are regularly provided on ISRO website.
  • The observations drawn by scientists have been published in 20 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals.

NISAR

  • ISRO and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/NASA are jointly working on the development of Dual Frequency (L&S band) Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR).
  • The L-band SAR is being developed by JPL/NASA, while ISRO is developing S-band SAR.
  • The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of applications, which include natural resources mapping and monitoring; estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods and oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes and variation of winds in coastal waters; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies, ice sheet collapses and dynamics.

Ministry of Textiles

Enlighten about the Ministry

  • The Ministry of Textiles is responsible for the formulation of policy, planning, development, export promotion and regulation of the textile industry in India. This includes all natural, artificial, and cellulosic fibers that go into the making of textiles, clothing and Handicrafts.

First Mega International trade event-“Textiles India 2017”

  • The first ever mega international trade event for the textile sector was organized in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 30 June, 2017 - 2 July, 2017 to showcase the incredible strength and range of India’s textile and handicrafts industry.
  • Following institutional mechanisms have been set up to give effect to the recommendations of conferences and roundtables during Textiles India 2017
  • An inter-ministerial steering committee to oversee implementation of a Knowledge Network Management System (KNMS) for exchange of knowledge amongst academia, farming community and the industry on the productivity of natural fibres and diversification of their bye-products
  • An Inter-Ministerial Synergy Group on Man-Made Fibre (MMF) to formulate policy interventions to enhance growth and competitiveness of MMF industry in India
  • A Task Force on Textiles India to steer follow-up action on various outcomes of Textiles India 2017 for growth of the textiles sector

Powerloom Sector

  • “PowerTex India” has been launched on 1st April, 2017, with an outlay of Rs. 487 crores for three years to support 44 lakh workers/weavers.
  • The scheme has components relating to loom upgradation, infrastructure creation and concessional access to credit.

SAATHI

  • ‘SAATHI’ (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of Efficient Textiles Technology to Help Small Scale Industries) was launched jointly by Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Power to provide energy-efficient powerlooms, motors and rapier kits to small and medium powerloom units at no upfront cost.
  • Energy Efficient Services Limited (EESL) would procure and provide these equipments to the workers at no upfront cost and the worker would repay in installments to EESL over a period of 4 to 5 years.
  • A toll free helpline No. 1800220017 has been started at Office of the Textile Commissioner, Mumbai from 01.04.2017, to facilitate Powerloom weavers.

Dedicated website for Powerloom weavers

  • A dedicated website www.ipowertexindia.gov.in has been created whereby Powerloom weavers can apply online for various schemes under PowerTex India.
  • The entire process ranging from application and sanction of subsidy has been made online.
  • The beneficiary can also track the status of their application in iPowerTex android Mobile App.
  • The online portal and Mobile App are operational from 1st December, 2017 on optional basis. Online application will be made mandatory from 1st January, 2018.
  • Ministry of Textiles has introduced a new Converged Group Insurance Scheme for Powerloom weavers by clubbing Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti BimaYojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna (PMSBY) for the age group of 18 to 50 years and Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana(AABY) for the age group of 51 to 59 years, effective from May 2017.

Handloom and Handicraft sectors

  • Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, the first ever state-of-the-art trade centre and crafts museum at Varanasi, was dedicated to the public by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
  • Set up on a sprawling 7.5 acres of land, the centre would provide world-class marketing facilities to the weavers and artisans and would also boost the tourism potential of Varanasi.

India Handmade Bazaar

  • an online portal to provide direct market access facility to artisans and weavers, was launched.
  • The portal enables weavers & artisans to enter information about their products for easy understanding of customers/exporters.
  • Weavers and artisans can access the portal through their registered mobile number.

Weavers’ Mudra Scheme

  • It was launched last year to provide concessional credit to handloom weavers. A similar scheme was launched for handicraft artisans too

Hastkala Sahayog Shivirs

  • For the first time, a massive outreach programme for weavers and artisans was organized through Hastkala Sahayog Shivirs.
  • In the Shivirs, weavers and artisans received assistance in availing MUDRA loan, supply of looms, accessories and tool kits, Pahchan cards (ID cards), yarn passbooks and for enrolment of their children for formal education through NIOS and IGNOU.

MoU with Financial Corporations

  • An MoU was signed with National Backward Classes Finance Development Corporation (NBCFDC) and National Schedule Castes Finance Development Corporation (NSFDC), to implement schemes of Government of India for artisans and weavers belonging to OBC and SC categories in 14 identified clusters, with necessary forward linkages for income sustainability and enhancement.

Educational facilities to children of handloom weavers

  • Memorandums of Understanding were signed with IGNOU and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to provide customized educational services to weavers.
  • The Ministry of Textiles provides 75% of the fee in case of SC, ST, BPL and Women weaver families.

Kamala Devi Chattopadhya National Award

  • Kamala Devi Chattopadhya National Award’ for women weavers was introduced on on the occasion of International Women’s Day, on March 8.

Pushtaini Hunar Vikas Yojana

  • It was launched at Institute of Carpet Technology, Badohi to impart technical and soft-skills training to weavers from traditional carpet-weaving families.
  • On the lines of Bunkar Mitra helpline for handloom weavers, a dedicated helpline for artisans (helpline No. 1800 208 4800) was launched
  • The helpline provides 24x7 services in seven languages – Hindi, English, Kannada, Assamese, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.

India Handloom Brand

  • Indian Handlooms got worldwide recognition through India Handloom Brand (IHB) which guarantees high quality, authentic handloom items made with organic substances.
  • Partnerships have been entered into with 100 retail stores to sell exclusive India Handloom Brand items, out of which 25 retail stores have started operations.
  • 23 garment manufacturers are working with IHB producers for sourcing fabrics from IHB-registered weavers.
  • Leading garment brands have been working with IHB in bringing out a separate range of garment line using handlooms.

Technical Textiles

  • Technotex 2017, the 6th International Exhibition and Conference on Technical Textiles, was held from April 12 - 14, 2017 in Mumbai.
  • Maharashtra was the host state while Gujarat, Jharkhand and Karnataka participated as partner states.
  • Industry from 22 countries such as China, Taiwan, U.S.A., Japan, France, Ghana, Indonesia and Bangladesh exhibited their products at the exhibition.
  • Eleven Focus Incubation Centers (FICs) in Centres of Excellence and in IITs (Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur & Kharagpur) have been established at a cost of Rs. 59.35 crore. FICs will provide plug-and-play facility to potential entrepreneurs to enter technical textiles business.
  • The Government has also enhanced the rates under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) on readymade garments and made-ups from 2% to 4%.

Silk Sector Production of Import Substitute Raw Silk

  • The production of import substitute bivoltine silk in the country is expected to reach around 6,200 MTs in 2017-‘18 as compared to 5,266 MTs in 2016-‘17, registering an increase of 19%. Muga silk has recorded highest ever production.

Buniyaad machines

  • The indigenous automatic reeling machines and Buniyad reeling machines were launched to increase quality and productivity.
  • Buniyaad machines have also helped in doing away with the regressive practice of thigh reeling by women.

MoU for Sericulture

  • An MoU for cooperation in sericulture sector has been signed between Central Silk Board and Guangxi Agriculture Department, China on July 1, 2017 at Gandhinagar.
  • The MoU envisages collaboration between the two institutes to develop disease-resistant species of silkworm seeds.

Cotton Sector

  • India has acquired the first place in the world in cotton acreage, with an area of around 105 lakh hectares.
  • India has emerged the largest producer of cotton in the world, with a production of 345 lakh bales in 2016-17.
  • India is also the 2nd largest exporter of cotton.

MSP Operations for Cotton

  • To ensure remunerative price to cotton farmers, the Government of India has nominated the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) as nodal agency to undertake Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations in all cotton-growing states when prices of seed cotton (kapas) touches the MSP level.

Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme

  • A total of 3,504 cases have been approved under Amended Technology Fund Scheme (ATUFS), with a projected investment of Rs 12,426 crore against government subsidy of Rs 956.50 crore.

Unlocking potential of North Eastern Region in textiles

  • The Government of India organized the first ever North East Investment Summit focusing on manufacturing in textiles and allied sectors at Shillong to unveil the potential of the region as a global investment destination.
  • The Apparel & Garment Centre at Ampati, Meghalaya was inaugurated by the Union Textiles Minister. The Centre was set up under North East Textiles Promotion Scheme (NERTPS).

Skilling in Textile Sector

  • As part of the Government's broad focus on Skill Development, Ministry has been implementing Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS), an employment linked programme for meeting the skill requirement of textile industry.
  • More than 4.8 lakh people have been trained during last year of which 74% have been placed.

Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS)

  • The Union Cabinet gave its approval for a new skill development scheme covering the entire value chain of the textile sector excluding Spinning & Weaving in organized Sector, titled "Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS)" from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs. 1300 crore.
  • The scheme will have National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) compliant training courses with funding norms as per the Common Norms notified by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • The scheme will be implemented for the benefit of all sections of the society across the country including rural, remote, LWE affected, North East, J&K by imparting skills in the identified job roles. Preference will be given to various social groups, SC, ST, differently abled, minorities and other vulnerable groups.

Research And Development Scheme

National Sizing Survey of India

  • A project titled “National Sizing Survey of India” for developing Indian standard size of apparel has been sanctioned to National Institute of Technology (NIFT), at a total cost of Rs.31 crore.

Development of Value Added Textile Product

  • A project titled “Development of Value Added Textile Product From Different Fibres” in Himalayan Region has been sanctioned to the textile research association NITRA.

Web-based software system for Collection of Textile Statistical Return

  • Office of the Textile Commissioner has put in place a web-based software system - Textile Statistical Return System (TSRS), to collect necessary data from all textile units.
  • Around 500 units have been registered on this web portal.

Sources – PIB, Department of Space, Department of atomic energy, Ministry of Textiles , My Gov