01&02, April 2018

Walong tri-junction

  • Indian troops deployed along the disputed Sino-India border in the Himalayan range of the Arunachal sector have increased their patrolling at a tri-junction of India, China and Myanmar to prevent a repeat of a Doklam-like standoff.
  • The tri-junction is located around 50 km from Walong, India’s easternmost town in Arunachal Pradesh, near the Tibet region.

  1. Point Nemo, Earth’s watery graveyard for spacecraft

Source: The Hindu

Scientists were initially planning to push the Tiangong-1 satellite to Point Nemo. However, they could not do so as they lost control of it. China’s defunct Tiangong-1 space lab mostly broke up on re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere above the South Pacific.

Point Nemo:

  • Point Nemo, or “ocean point of inaccessibility,” is a region in the South Pacific that is the loneliest place on the planet. It is used as a graveyard for controlled re-entries and a place where space junk can be dropped safely.
  • Point Nemo, named after the submarine captain in Jules Verne’s classic science fiction novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, is about 2,688 kilometers from the nearest land – Pitcairn Islands – which lies to the north of this point. Also, Motu Nui — one of the Easter Islands — lies to the northeast and Maher Island, part of Antarctica, to the south.
  • The region is safe to land all kinds of waste because there is also not much life in the water here. Coincidentally, it is also biologically not very diverse. So it gets used as a dumping ground — ‘space graveyard’ would be a more polite term — mainly for cargo spacecraft.

What is China’s Tiangong 1?

  • The Tiangong 1 module is China’s first spacecraft designed for orbital docking tests and space research. It’s name translates to “Heavenly Palace” in English. The Tiangong 1 space lab intended to serve as a space station module prototype for China, which is the third country (after Russia and the United States) to develop the capability to launch astronauts into space and return them safely to Earth.

  1. RemoveDebris system

Source: The Hindu

RemoveDebris system, a UK-led experiment to tackle space junk is set to head into orbit. The system is going to the International Space Station where astronauts are expected to set the experiment running in late May.

RemoveDebris mission:

  • RemoveDebris is an EU (European Union) research project to develop and fly a low cost in-orbit demonstrator mission that aims to de-risk and verify technologies needed for future ADR (Active Debris Removal) missions.
  • RemoveDebris is aimed at performing key ADR technology demonstrations (g., capture, deorbiting) representative of an operational scenario during a low-cost mission using novel key technologies for ADR. The project is based on and aimed at contributing to global/European ADR roadmaps.
  • A microsatellite called here RemoveSAT, will release, capture and deorbit two space debris targets, called DebrisSats, in sequence using various rendezvous, capture and deorbiting technologies thus demonstrating in orbit, key ADR technologies for future missions in what promises to be the first ADR technology mission internationally.

Background:

  • Space junk is an ever-growing problem with more than 7,500 tonnes of redundant hardware now thought to be circling the Earth. Ranging from old rocket bodies and defunct spacecraft through to screws and even flecks of paint – this material poses a collision hazard to operational missions.

  1. Fast track task Force

Source: The Hindu

The fast track task Force, a body under Ministry of Electronics and IT, has set target to achieve around 500 million mobile phone production in India by 2019, with value estimated to be around USD 46 billion.

Fast track task force:

  • Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) formed a Fast Track Task Force to re-establish growth in the country’s mobile handset and component manufacturing eco-system.
  • It has members from industry and government.
  • It promotes large-scale manufacturing/assembling activity to achieve production of 500 million units by 2019. This can create additional employment opportunities for 1.5 million approximately.
  • The task force has to create a roadmap to align technology, demand, standards and regulations for enhancing the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing across the supply chain for manufacturing mobile phone.

  1. National Register of Citizens (NRC)

Source: The Hindu

The verification of citizenship documents of 29 lakh married women, mostly migrant Muslims, for the Supreme Court-monitored exercise to update the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC) has begun in Assam. The verification of family trees and the documents of married women has to be completed by May 31, the deadline set by the court.

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

  • The NRC was introduced to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and recognise the Indian citizens in Assam. It was first prepared in 1951 and Assam is the only state having this arrangement.
  • Under NRC, immigrants who have documents proving that they entered Assam before 1971 will be considered Indian citizens and others have to show that they their ascendants have lived in Assam even before 1971.

National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in Assam

  • National Register of Citizens (NRC) updation basically means the process of enlisting the names of those persons (or their descendants) whose names appear in any of the Electoral Rolls up to 1971, 1951 NRC or any of the admissible documents stipulated.
  • The NRC will be updated as per the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

Significance of the move:

  • The publication of the updated NRC is indeed a positive step in so far as it puts to rest wild speculations about the extent of the illegal migrant population in Assam and the resulting polarisation that political parties have been exploiting to make electoral gains.

Way ahead:

  • The absence of any clear policy as to how to deal with the proclaimed illegal migrants has created a sense of unease in the minds of many presently residing in Assam. Further, while the NRC is being updated for Assam, there is no plan to prepare similar NRCs for the other states in the North East where illegal migration continues to be a volatile issue.
  • The need of the hour therefore is for the Union Government to allay apprehensions presently in the minds of the people of Assam and take steps to contain any adverse fallout after the publication of the final draft of the NRC. At the same time, it also needs to spell out what it intends to do with the persons whose names do not figure in the final NRC.

  1. Konark Sun Temple

Source: PIB

An aesthetically designed interpretation centre with world-class facilities that showcases the unique architectural features of Kalingan era was recently inaugurated at Sun Temple, Konark. The Indian Oil Foundation has developed the interpretation centre and the tourist facilitation centre at a cost of Rs. 45 crore.

Key facts:

  • Built in the 13th century, the Konark temple was conceived as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God, with 12 pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses.
  • It was built by King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of Ganga dynasty.
  • The temple is included in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for its architectural greatness and also for the sophistication and abundance of sculptural work.
  • The temple is perfect blend of Kalinga architecture, heritage, exotic beach and salient natural beauty.
  • It is protected under the National Framework of India by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act (1958) and its Rules (1959).
  • The Konark is the third link of Odisha’s Golden Triangle. The first link is Jagannath Puri and the second link is Bhubaneswar (Capital city of Odisha).
  • This temple was also known as ‘BLACK PAGODA’ due to its dark color and used as a navigational landmark by ancient sailors to Odisha. Similarly, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the “White Pagoda”.
  • It remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.

  1. Kalamkari art

Source: The Hindu

A ‘Kalamkari art museum’ has been opened at Pedana in Andhra Pradesh. The museum traces the history of the art and displays the process of extraction of natural colours from various sources.

Kalamkari:

  • Kalamkari is an ancient style of hand painting done on cotton or silk fabric with a tamarind pen, using natural dyes. The word Kalamkari is derived from a Persian word where ‘kalam‘ means pen and ‘kari‘ refers to craftsmanship.
  • There are two identifiable styles of Kalamkari art in India – Srikalahasti style and Machilipatnam style.
  • In the Machilipatnam style of Kalamkari, motifs are essentially printed with hand-carved traditional blocks with intricate detailing painted by hands.
  • On the other hand, Srikalahasti style of painting draws inspiration from the Hindu mythology describing scenes from the epics and folklore. This style holds a strong religious connect because of its origin in the temples.



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