1. PSLV-C42 Mission
- ISRO’s PSLV in its 44th flight put into orbit two UK earth observation satellites in a textbook launch.
- Both the satellites together weighed about 889 kg, and the commercial launch was carried out under an arrangement Surrey Satellite Technologies Limited (SSTL) and ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation Limited.
- NovaSAR is an S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite intended for forest mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring and disaster monitoring while S-14 is a high-resolution Optical Earth Observation Satellite, used for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and for the disaster monitoring.
- The PSLV-C42 was only the third launch of PSLV after the rare failure it encountered in August last year due to problems in the heat shield.
- PSLV is a Medium-lift launch vehicle.
- It was developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing(IRS) satellites into sun-synchronous orbits, a service that was, until the advent of the PSLV in 1993, commercially available only from Russia.
- PSLV can also launch small size satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
Source-Times of India
2. Matru Vandana Saptah
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) recently marked the anniversary of the launch of the scheme as Matru Vandana Saptah.
- During this week, the States/UTs focused on IEC activities, pendencies under various parameters and escalating daily entry rate of applications.
- National level achievement of the scheme post a year’s implementation on grounds is 48.11 Lakhs of women enrollment under the scheme till September.
- Himachal Pradesh has been rated as the best-performing state in the country in implementing the PMMVY.
- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), previously Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), is a maternity benefits program run by the government of India.
- It was introduced in 2010 and is implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for the first live birth.
- It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare.
- In 2013, the scheme was brought under the National Food Security Act, 2013 to implement the provision of cash maternity benefit of ₹6,000 stated in the Act.
3. MPATGM (Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile)
- India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has conducted the first successful test firing of a new indigenously designed and developed man-portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM).
- The first successful test firing was followed by another MPATGM test launch on September 16, which also took place at the Ahmednagar test range.
- The MPATGM is a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), which has been under development by DRDO in partnership with Indian defense contractor VEM Technologies Ltd.
- Fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, the MPATGM reportedly boasts a top attack capability and has a maximum engagement range of about 2.5 km.
4. Global State of Democracy Index
The IDEA released its report The Global State of Democracy Index.
- The report records a significant dip in India’s record on civil liberties, personal integrity, and security, freedom of association, media integrity, gender equality.
- India and Sri Lanka have maintained relatively high scores in representative governments.
- At the country level, Afghanistan and Nepal have seen the most improvement in ensuring fundamental rights in the Asian region.
- South Asia shows a steady improvement on the yardstick that measures gender equality with Nepal standing out.
- In 2017, International IDEA launched the first Global State of Democracy report. The report provides evidence-based analysis and data on the global and regional state of democracy.
- Through six different chapters, the report also zooms in on challenges to democracy:
(c) Political parties
(e) Money in politics
(f) Democratic backsliding
- The Global State of Democracy Index (GSoD) looks at the trends in democratization from 1975 to 2017.
Source- The Indian Express
5. EyeROV TUNA
- India’s first underwater robotic drone was launched and handed over to the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO.
About the drone:
- It can send real-time videos of ships and other underwater structures to help with their repair and maintenance.
- It can be e-controlled using a laptop or a joystick.
- The robotic drone can be navigated up to a depth of 50 meters to take real-time HD video images to examine ship hulls or undersea cables or bridge moorings, eliminating the need for costlier and riskier manual inspection by divers.
- The development of the product of EyeROV was largely supported by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) through various schemes.
Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL)
- The Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory or NPOL is a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO).
- NPOL is responsible for the Research & Development of sonar systems, technologies for underwater surveillance, the study of the ocean environment and underwater materials.
Source- Times of India
6. Rajnath Singh to inaugurate smart border fence.
- Government to inaugurate two pilot projects of “smart” border fencing built under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) programme.
- The two projects, each covering a 5.5 km-border stretch along the International Border in Jammu.
- It is set to get a first-of-a-kind high-tech surveillance system that will create an invisible electronic barrier on land, water and even in air and underground.
- It will help the Border Security Force (BSF) detect and foil infiltration bids in the most difficult terrains.
Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) programme.
After the Pathankot attack, the government planned to stop infiltration on 2900 kilometers western border with Pakistan under the name Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS).
CIBMS involves deployment of a range of state-of-the-art surveillance technologies
- Thermal Imagers.
- Infra-red and laser-based intruder alarms that form an invisible land fence.
- Aerostats for aerial surveillance.
- Unattended ground sensors that can help detect intrusion bids through tunnels, radars, sonar systems to secure riverine borders.
- Fiber-optic sensors and a command and control system that shall receive data from all surveillance device in real time.
Source- Economic Times
7. Japan conducts the first submarine drill in disputed South China Sea
- Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force carried out a “practical” anti-submarine drill, including an exercise to spot enemy submarines with sonar devices.
- Submarine Kuroshio joined three Japanese warships in waters just southwest of the China-controlled Scarborough Shoal.
- Scarborough Shoal forms a triangle-shaped chain of reefs and rocks.
- It is a disputed territory claimed by the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and the Philippines.
- It formerly was administered by the Philippines, however, due to the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff, where China sent warships to invade the shoal, the administration of the shoal was taken by the People’s Republic of China.
Source- Economic Times
8. India’s only wetland cat is under multiple threats
- The fishing cat is a symbolic species of floodplains, deltas and coastal wetlands of South and Southeast Asia.
- They have a patchy distribution from Sind in Pakistan to Cambodia.
- In India, it is largely restricted to the floodplains of Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Sundarbans Delta and smaller coastal wetlands along the Bay of Bengal formed by Mahanadi, Godavari and Krishna rivers.
- In 2012, the West Bengal government officially declared the Fishing Cat as the State Animal.
- The Fishing Cat was recently downlisted to “Vulnerable” from “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List.
Source – Down to earth
9. India’s first exclusive dog park comes up in Hyderabad
- Hyderabad is set to get country’s first exclusive dog park.
- The park, which is spread over in 1.3 acres, has been developed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation at cost of Rs. 1.1 crore.
- The park will offer dog training and exercise equipment, splash pool, two lawns, an amphitheater, loo, cafe a walking track, off-leash areas for dogs.
Source- Financial Express