First set of earth pictures captured by Chandrayaan-2
Related Topics: ISRO, Chandrayaan-2
Why in News
ISRO released the first set of pictures of the earth captured by Chandrayaan-2, the country’s second moon mission launched a fortnight ago.
News in Detail
The pictures were captured by the L 14 camera on board Chandrayaan-2.
India’s second moon mission seeking to explore the unexplored Lunar south pole by landing a rover, was launched on July 22.
On August 2 afternoon, Chandrayaan 2 was given its fourth orbit raise as scheduled.
With this the spacecraft goes around Earth in an elliptical orbit of 277 km x 89,472 km.
It will continue orbiting Earth until August 14.
Meanwhile it will undergo its final orbit manoeuvre on August 6.
Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission to the moon, the first one being Chandrayaan-1.
The mission objective of Chandrayaan-2 is to develop and demonstrate the key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface.
It is unique because it will explore and perform studies on the south pole region of lunar terrain which is not explored and sampled by any past mission.
The mission is an important step in India’s plans for planetary exploration, a program known as Planetary Science and Exploration (PLANEX).
It comprises a fully indigenous Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan).
The Rover Pragyan is housed inside Vikram lander.
India will become Fourth country ever to soft land on the lunar surface.
Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS)
Related Topics: Environment & Biodiversity, Human-wildlife conflict, Wildlife Protection
Why in News
10 elephants move away from Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) and raid crops in Chittoor.
News in Detail
A 10-member herd of wild elephants which left the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary located at tri-State Palamaner-Kuppam-TN border three weeks ago, have been resorting to crop raids in about a dozen villages in Somala mandal of Punganur range.
Over 20 farmers of the adjoining villages came out with woes of losing their crops.
The menace of wild elephants moving close to the human habitations is posing a threat to the free movement of farmers in the fields and the schoolchildren as well.
When the big herd struck the region, it was earlier thought that they were from the Seshachalam forests and might have used the path of Rangampeta-Mangalampeta road.
However, clarity emerged among the forest officials that the herd was from the Koundinya sanctuary of the western belt.
About Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS)
The Kaundinya Wild Life Sanctuary (KWLS) is a wildlife sanctuary and an elephant reserve loacted in Andhra Pradesh.
It is the only sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh with a population of Asian elephants, which migrated after 200 years from neighbouring regions.
The sanctuary is covered by southern tropical dry deciduous and thorn forests.
Some of the important flora consists of Albizia amara, Acacia, Lagerstroemia, Ficus, bamboo, and a species which is a regeneration of Santalum album.
Rajasthan Protection From Lynching Bill, 2019
Related Topics: Mob lynching, Rule of Law
Why in News
In furtherance of the recommendations made by the apex court in Tehseen S. Poonawalla v. Union of India, the Rajasthan government has introduced the Rajasthan Protection From Lynching Bill, 2019.
If it gets passed, Rajasthan will be the second State after Manipur to have a dedicated law criminalising mob lynching as a special offence, in addition to other offences under the Indian Penal Code.
About the Bill
The Bill follows the Supreme Court’s recommendations in authorising the setting up of special courts, appointment of a dedicated nodal officer, and stipulating enhanced punishments.
However, its scope is more comprehensive as it not only criminalises acts of lynching, dissemination of ‘offensive material’ and fostering of a ‘hostile environment’, but also provides for relief, legal aid, compensation and rehabilitation.
The Bill defines lynching as an act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob (two or more persons) on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation and ethnicity.
The Bill says that police officers and district magistrates have to take measures to prevent lynching and related offences.
Section 8(c) of the Bill says that whoever commits an act of lynching, where the act leads to the death of the victim, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for life and a fine not be less than ₹1,00,000 and which may extend to ₹5,00,000.
What is Mob Lynching?
Lynching is an egregious manifestation of prejudice, intolerance, and contempt towards the rule of law.
Lynching is not just “mobocracy”; it is a collective hate crime.
For Instance, Lynching may be sparked variously by disputes over allegations of cow smuggling or slaughter, or wild rumours of cattle theft or child kidnapping, or something even as trivial as a seat in an unreserved train compartment.
With all its limitations, the Rajasthan Bill is evidence of political will by the State government.
However, legislation cannot act as a panacea; what is required is political commitment.
It is high time that the other States and the Centre show some urgency so that creeping threats are prevented from metastasising into an out-of-control monster.
Social media and messaging apps have to curtail false and inciting campaigns on its platform, but the larger trend is for the government to address.
Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles (QRSAM)
Related Topics: Air Defence System, DRDO
India successfully test-fired two Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles.
The two missiles were tested for different altitude and conditions.
The test flights successfully demonstrated robust control, aerodynamics, propulsion, structural performance and high manoeuvring capabilities, thus proving the design configuration.
This is the third developmental trial conducted by the DRDO for the Indian Army.
The first trial was conducted on June 4, 2017, and the second on July 14, 2018.
Both the tests were conducted successfully from the same base.
The systems have been tested in final configuration with RADAR mounted on a vehicle & missiles on the launcher.
The systems are equipped with indigenously-developed Phased array radar, Inertial Navigation System, Data Link & RF seeker.
The state-of-the-art missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the India Army.
The all-weather and all-terrain missile, which can be mounted on a truck and stored in a canister, is equipped with electronic counter measures against jamming by aircraft radars.
It uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km.
QR-SAM will complement the existing Akash short range SAM (surface-to-air missile) with a range of 25 kilometres which has already been inducted into the services.
World Breastfeeding Week
Related Topics: Malnutrition, National Nutrition Goals, SDG 2030
Why in News
The World Breastfeeding Week is observed every year from August 1 to 7.
News in Detail
The theme for 2019 World Breastfeeding Week is – “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”.
The objective of this theme is to aware parents about the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months because it has many benefits for the infant and the mother.
Focus of this year is on protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.
The Food and Nutrition Board under the Ministry of Women and Child Development is organizing a number of activities in the country.
At the grassroots level, various concerned departments are also organizing exhibitions on nutrition, displaying low-cost nutritious diets for infants and young children.
It was first observed in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and is now celebrated in more than 120 countries by UNICEF, WHO and their partners including individuals, organizations, and governments.
WABA was established on 1991 with goal to re-establish a global breastfeeding culture and provide support for breastfeeding everywhere.
As per the UNICEF report, about 60% of the world’s total infants are missing out of recommended six months of exclusive breastfeeding.
Mother’s milk has several qualities that help in developing disease resistance among newborns.
Exclusive breastfeeding is a very important source of energy and nutrients in children aged between 6–23 months.
It prevents infections such as diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections in early infancy and thus help in reducing infant mortality.
It decreases risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
It protects infants from obesity-related illnesses, diabetes and increases IQ.
The initiatives like National Breastfeeding week will help in breaking vicious cycle of malnutrition and aid Government to achieve National Nutrition Goals and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030.
Pashmina Products Receive BIS Certification
Related Topics: Hallmarking, Culture, Government Initiaves
Why in News
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has announced setting up Pashmina testing centre in Leh region of Jammu and Kashmir to check the quality of pashmina collected.
It will be set up in partnership with lab of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh.
Why BIS Certification
The certification will help curb the adulteration of Pashmina and also protect the interests of local artisans and nomads who are the producers of Pashmina raw material.
It will also assure the purity of Pashmina for customers.
BIS certification of Pashmina will discourage counterfeit or substandard products presently mislabelled and sold as genuine Pashmina in the market.
This initiative of hallmarking Pashmina will protect the interests of these families, motivate the younger generation to continue in this profession as well as encourage more families to take up this occupation.
Ladakh produces 50 MT of the finest grade of Pashmina in the world (12-15 microns) and this initiative will provide further impetus towards value addition of Pashmina in Ladakh.
Ministry of Textiles is processing a proposal for funding of Rs. 20 crore for a de-hairing plant for Leh which along with this initiative will lead to progress in the Pashmina sector in Ladakh.
The nomadic Pashmina herders live in the hostile and tough terrain of Changthang and are solely dependent on Pashmina for their livelihood.
At present, there are 2400 families rearing 2.5 lakh goats.
The Changthangi or Pashmina goat, is a special breed of goat indigenous to the high altitude regions of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
They are raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool, known as Pashmina once woven. The Textiles are handspun and were first woven in Kashmir.
The Changthangi goat grows a thick, warn undercoat which is the source of Kashmir Pashmina wool – the world’s finest cashmere measuring between 12-15 microns in fiber thickness.
These goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh.
The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy of Changthang, Leh and Ladakh region.
Make in India Initiative
Related Topic: Government schemes, DPIIT
Why in News
Government tenders worth over Rs 25,000 crore were either cancelled or modified and re-issued after the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) stepped in to change their conditions to promote ‘Made in India’ goods.
News in Detail
A tender worth Rs 8,000 crore was withdrawn and re-issued with modified conditions after the intervention of the DIPP which was related to setting up of a urea and ammonia plant for gasification.
A tender for the procurement of train set coaches was cancelled as the tender had certain restrictive conditions that were discriminatory against domestic manufacturers and favoured foreign players.
The move assumes significance as concerns have been raised by certain quarters about the restrictive and discriminatory clauses being imposed against domestic manufacturers and suppliers in tender documents for public procurement.
Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, 2017
Under the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, it was envisaged that all central government departments, their attached or subordinate offices and autonomous bodies controlled by the Government of India should ensure purchase preference be given to domestic suppliers in government procurement.
The government issued the order on June 15, 2017, to promote the manufacturing and production of goods and services in India and enhance income and employment in the country.
DPIIT is taking every step for effective implementation of public procurement order, 2017, to promote ‘Made in India’ products.
Any grievance related to the issue will be taken care of by the standing committee on the implementation of this order. It is chaired by the DPIIT Secretary.
Recently, Government has notified changing the name of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The renamed body will also be in charge of four new categories of responsibilities: the promotion of internal trade (including retail trade), the welfare of traders and their employees, matters relating to facilitating Ease of Doing Business and matters relating to start-ups.
The matters related to internal trade were earlier under the domain of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Make in India
Make in India is a national initiative launched by the Government of India in 2014 which is aimed at transforming India into a global design and manufacturing hub.
The initiative is designed to facilitate investments, scale-up skill development, encourage innovation, protect intellectual property rights with the overall objective of building the best in class manufacturing industry in India.
Under Make in India, governments at national and state levels shall strive to attract investments from across the globe in a bid to strengthen India’s manufacturing sector.
Machail Mata Yatra
Related Topics: Culture, Internal Security, Militancy in Kashmir
The 43-day-long ‘Machail Mata Yatra’ in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir was suspended due to security reasons.
The annual Amarnath Yatra has already been suspended due to security reasons.
Kishtwar was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago.
However, it was disturbed by the killing of state secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar in November 2018.
This was followed by assassination of senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a health centre in April 2019.
The recent announcement came close on the heels of an unexplained troop surge in the State, already one of the most militarised regions of the world.
About Machail Mata Yatra
Machail Mata is a Goddess Durga (also known by name Kaali or Chandi) shrine which is popularly known as Machail Mata.
It is located in Machail village, from where it derives its name, in Kishtwar District of Jammu region.
It is a 43-day-long journey which includes a trek of 30-km arduous route.
Thousands of devotees from across the country visit the scenic Paddar valley, also famous for its sapphire mines, during the yatra.