Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 28, 2017

Science & Technology

India’s Aditya-L1 – to study solar phenomena

  • India will send ISRO’s solar mission in 2019 or 2020 Aditya-L1 to a vantage point in space, known as the L1 Lagrange point, to do imaging and study of the sun.
  • This launch will happen in the early part of the next solar cycle - an occurrence in which sunspots form on the face of the sun, growing in size and number and eventually diminishing, all over a period of eleven years
  • The so-called L1 point is 1.5 million kilometres away.
  • Here, due to the delicate balance of gravitational forces, the satellite will require very little energy to maintain its orbit. Also it will not be eclipsed from the sun.
  • The 1,500-kg class satellite will be programmed to orbit this point and image the sun’s magnetic field from space for the very first time in the world.
  • Among the few, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a NASA-ESA collaboration involving America and Europe, and NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) are at L1 exclusively to study the sun and space weather, respectively.
  • Aditya-L1 is expected to be the very first to study from space two months from the time of launch, the magnetic field of the sun’s corona.
  • The corona is the outer layer that we see during total solar eclipses. It will be the first 100% Indian mission
  • Earlier, the NASA-ESA mission SOHO was launched in 1995, and while it made many discoveries, its coronagraph, meant to image the sun, broke down shortly after the mission commenced.
  • Hence there is currently no satellite imaging the sun from space. Aditya-L1 will not only fill this gap it will also literally, look deeper into the sun than SOHO. “The nominal mission lifetime is expected to be five years, though it is expected to go on for much longer, perhaps even ten
  • The mission will carry seven payloads,consisting of a coronagraph, equipment that will image the sun using ultraviolet filters, X-ray spectrometers, and particle samplers all being made within the country.
  • The largest payload, or instrument, aboard the satellite, will be the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VLEC). This can view the sun more closely than has been done before even by SOHO.
  • Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC): It is largest payload or instrument aboard Aditya-L1 satellite. It will study diagnostic parameters of solar corona and dynamics and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). It can also measure magnetic field of solar corona down to tens of Gauss.
  • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS): It will be used for monitoring X-ray flares (1–30 keV) for studying the heating mechanism of the solar corona.
  • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS): It will be used to study hard X-ray emission from 10 keV to 150 keV during the impulsive phase of solar flares.
  • Solar Ultraviolet Image Telescope (SUIT): It will take images of spatially resolved Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near UV region and measure solar irradiance variations.
  • Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA): It will study composition of solar wind and its energy distribution throughout the lifetime of mission.
  • Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX): It will study the variation of solar wind properties, its distribution and spectral characteristics.
  • Magnetometer: It will be used to measure magnitude and nature of interplanetary magnetic field

China successfully launches remote sensing satellites

  • China has successfully launched remote sensing satellites designed to conduct electromagnetic probes and other experiments.
  • The satellites whose numbers were not specified yet were launched on board of Long March-2C rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan province.

Enlighten about it

  • The satellites were carried by Long March-6 rocket, a new generation of liquid-fuelled carrier rocket developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
  • The launch was the 256th mission of the Long March rocket family.
  • These satellites have successfully entered their preset orbit and they will conduct electromagnetic probes and other experiments. China earlier had launched three remote sensing satellites

Sports

Gopi Thonakal becomes 1st Indian man to win Asian Marathon Championship

  • Gopi Thonakal created history by becoming first Indian man to win Asian Marathon Championship. He achieved the feat in the 16th edition of the prestigious event held at Dongguan in China.
  • He clocked 2 hours 15 minutes and 48 seconds to clinch gold medal. Uzbekistan’s Andrey Petrov won silver mdeal while Byambalev Tseveenravdan of Mongolia won bronze medal.

Asian Marathon Championships

  • It is a biennial international competition in marathon road running for Asian athletes.
  • It is organised by the Asian Athletics Association. It was established in 1988 after 42.195-kilometre race was dropped from programme of events at Asian Athletics Championships.
  • Asha Agarwal in 1985 had won women’s title (gold medal) when the marathon was part of biennial Asian Track and Field Championships.
  • Later in 1992, India’s Sunita Godara also had gold medal.

Bilateral Relations

India – Russia sign comprehensive anti- terror pact

  • India and Russia have signed comprehensive anti-terror pact agreement for enhancing bilateral cooperation in tackling all forms of terrorism and countering threat posed by narcotics.
  • The agreement was signed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Russia’s Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev in Moscow after they held wide-ranging talks.

Enlighten about the Takeaways of visit

  • Both countries emphasized need to strength of relationship between them which has been consolidated in past 70 years in all areas.
  • They underlined that cooperation in field of security is important aspect of bilateral relationship between them to further strengthen cooperation to combat terrorism, extremism and radicalism.
  • They also agreed that terrorism must be fought unitedly and there were no good or bad terrorists.
  • They also agreed to cooperate in combating new challenges, cooperate in building a data base, and in training of police and investigative agencies and enhance exchange of information. They also agreed to hold next Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting to counter terrorism in 2018.

Enlighten about the agreements

  • Joint Action Plan for countering threat posed by narcotics
    It aims at countering threat posed by narcotics and agreement will provide legal framework for bilateral cooperation in this field. It will be for period 2018-20.
  • Updated and more comprehensive agreement on Cooperation on Security:
    The agreement provides a comprehensive approach for cooperation in security related issues, including Information Technology (IT) Crimes, Counterfeiting currency, Illicit Trafficking in Human Beings, Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Economic Crimes, Crimes related to Intellectual Property (IPs), Cultural Property amongst others. The agreement will replace earlier agreement signed in October 1993 in order to consolidate benefits accrued in the field of security and jointly fight new and evolving risks and threats.

Social Reforms

Intensive Training programme to train Elected Women Representatives of PRIs by Govt.

  • The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) launched intensive training program for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Master Trainers in New Delhi.
  • It is capacity building program organized by National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) of WCD Ministry.
  • It aims to train approximately twenty thousand EWRs covering nearly 50 EWRs from each district by March 2018.

Enlighten about it –

  • It is for first time ever initiative of this scale has been taken up to train EWRs who will go out and administer villages professionally.
  • The training two lakh women sarpanches across country under this program will help to bring important changes such as to create model villages.
  • It also will help prepare women as political leaders of future.
  • The training will also include simple engineering skills to give them insight into women’s issues as well as focus on education and financial matters.

Significance

  • The Capacity building of EWRs is critical to empower women to participate effectively in governance processes.
  • This program will help them assume leadership roles expected of them and guide their villages towards a more prosperous future.

Energy/Power Sector

INSPIRE - 2017

International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency

  • The first edition of International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2017) was held in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
  • The five-day symposium was organized by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in partnership with World Bank and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).

Enlighten about INSPIRE – 2017

  • INSPIRE 2017 is international conference that aimed to bring together various stakeholders such as policy makers, innovators, financiers, influencers to showcase best practices in sector.
  • Its objective was to provide common platform for energy efficiency community to discuss energy efficiency policies, emerging technologies, market transformation strategies, delivery and business-model driven transformations.
  • It also intended to create platform for deliberations and sharing of best practices around energy efficiency policy solutions, high-impact research, innovative financing and implementation that are driving large scale market transformations in India and across the globe.
  • Several global organizations like Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Energy Agency (IEA), International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), Clean Energy Ministerial, Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency participated in it.

Bilateral Agreements

India- Greece – signed Air Service Agreement

  • India and Greece have signed Air Services Agreement (ASA) and MoU on Cooperation (MoC) in field of New and Renewable Energy.
  • The agreements were signed after bilateral talks between External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and her visiting counterpart Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Kotzias in New Delhi.
  • The two ministers held detailed discussion on all aspects of bilateral relationship. They also re-affirmed commitment to further expand cooperation in mutually beneficial spheres.

Enlighten about ASA

  • ASA is signed between countries to decide on number of flights that airlines can fly into each other’s countries. Under it, there is no restriction on flights or seats.
  • The ASA between India and Greece will allow airlines from Greece to operate unlimited flights to six Indian metropolitan airports and Indian carriers can fly to Greece without any such restriction.
  • It makes Greece first country with which India has open sky arrangement under our new civil aviation policy 2016.

Multilateral Exercises

Immsarex 2017

What –

  • International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) -2107

Where –

  • Bangaladesh

When –

  • November 26 to 28 2017.
  • The exercise is taking place under the aegis of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). It was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.

Enlighten about IMMSAREX-2017

  • From India, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba participated in the exercise to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. Indian Naval Ships (INS) Ranvir, Sahyadri, Gharial and Sukanya along with one Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8I participatied in the exercise.
  • Extraordinary Conclave of Chiefs (ECoC)’ meeting of IONS was also held.
  • It focused upon activities being undertaken by IONS in-addition to review progress made by three IONS Working Group (IWG)- Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR), Maritime Security and Information Exchange and Interoperability.
  • The ships and aircraft of IONS members and observers including China (has observer status) and Pakistan also participated in exercise.

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

  • The IONS is regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by India Navy in February 2008.
  • It is voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of littoral states of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.
  • It endeavours to generate flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on way ahead.
  • There are 35 members – navies of IONS represented by heads of their navies. Under IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on HADR, IS&I and maritime security (anti-piracy).

WHO guidelines

WHO releases guidelines for the first time on child sex abuse

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) for first time has formulated clinical guidelines on responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused.
  • The guidelines are grounded in human rights standards and ethical principles.
  • They will assist frontline health care providers — general practitioners, gynaecologists, nurses and others — who may directly receive victim of sexual abuse or may identify sexual abuse during course of diagnosis and treatment.

Enlighten about the guidelines –

  • WHO’s first of kind gender sensitive guidelines provide first line support to child or adolescent in response to the disclosure of sexual abuse.
  • It offers HIV post-exposure prophylaxis and adherence support to those who have been raped and who present within 72 hours.
  • It offers emergency contraception to girl child who has been raped and who present within 120 hours (5 days).
  • It takes into consideration STI (sexually transmitted infections) presumptive treatment or prophylaxis in settings where laboratory testing is not feasible.
  • It also takes in considerations cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with trauma focus for those have PTSD symptoms and diagnosis. It also offers Hepatitis B and HPV vaccination.
  • It also calls upon health care providers about informing obligation on victims and their non-offending caregivers to report abuse and limits of confidentiality before interviewing them.

Significance

  • The guidelines put best interests of children first by ensuring confidentiality and privacy, respecting their autonomy and wishes and addressing needs with vulnerabilities such as LGBT adolescents.
  • They will assist WHO member states to ensure health and well-being of children and adolescents.
  • It will also strengthen implementation of Global Plan of Action on strengthening health systems in response to violence against women and girls and against children that was endorsed by World Health Assembly in 2016.

World Health Organization (WHO)

  • The WHO is specialized agency of United Nations that acts as coordinating authority on international public health.
  • It was established in April 1948 and succeeded Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its headquarters is located at Geneva.