21, December 2017

Solar Mission

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch the first solar mission, Aditya-L1.
  • Aditya-L1 mission is aimed at studying the Sun from an orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1 (L1) which is about 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth.
  • It would carry seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun, the corona in different wavebands.
  • Aditya-L1 is a fully indigenous effort with the participation of national institutions. Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru is the lead institute for the development of Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune is developing the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUIT) payload for Aditya-L1 mission.

Conduct of National Anthem and National Song

  • The singing/playing of National Anthem on various occasions and need for paying due respect to the National Anthem by observance of proper decorum on such occasions are regulated by ‘Orders relating to the National Anthem of India’ and ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971’.
  • Government has been sending Advisory to all States/UTs from time to time to comply with the instructions in this regard.
  • It was the desire of the Constituent Assembly of India, as expressed in the form of a statement made by its President on the 24th January, 1950, that the song Vande Mataram which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with the National Anthem, and shall have equal status with it.
  • Government hopes that every citizen of India will remember the historic role of the song in our freedom struggle and show due respect to the song when it is played or sung.

Cooperation Amongst Bimstec Countries in Disaster Management

  • Government of India hosted the first “BIMSTEC Annual Disaster Management Exercise” from 10th to 13th October, 2017 in the National Capital Region, India.
  • The main focus of BIMSTEC-DMEx 2017 was to strengthen the inter-governmental coordination efforts, create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation on disaster response among the member countries.

Swarn Project in Railways

  • The Ministry of Railways has decided to launch “Project Swarn” with the objective of significantly improving the passenger experience across 9 dimensions which include coach interiors, toilets, onboard cleanliness, staff behavior, catering, linen, punctuality, security, on-board entertainment.
  • “Project Swarn’ has been launched with the objective of improving the condition of Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.
  • Some of the coaches undergoing mid life rehabilitation at Bhopal workshop are being upgraded to make model rakes for Mahamana Trains. Presently, three such trains viz. from New Delhi to Varanasi, from Bhopal to Khajuraho and from Vadodara to Varanasi are plying.

  1. ISRO and NASA Collaboration

Source: PIB

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).

Key facts:

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 application, which include natural resources mapping & monitoring;

  1. Estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle;
  2. Assessing soil moisture;
  3. Monitoring of floods and oil slicks;
  4. Coastal erosion,
  5. Coastline changes & variation of winds in coastal waters;
  6. Assessment of mangroves;
  7. Surface deformation studies,
  8. Ice sheet collapses & dynamics etc.

Other than Project

The data obtained from NISAR mission is not meant for building climate resilience. However, the data acquired from this mission will be useful in developing certain applications, which include –

  1. Identifying crevasses in the glaciers hidden by fresh snow, where human movement takes place,
  2. Identifying the snowpack parameters as an input in Avalanche forecasts,
  3. Studying Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) hazards, and
  4. Identifying inundated area due to floods/ cyclones.

These applications could help in taking measures to minimise loss of human lives.


  • As per the information received, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has been working in tandem with National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, USA) for development of high resolution seasonal and long-term climate forecasts through Monsoon Mission and Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR) Programmes.
  • During 2010 to 2015, IITM and NOAA together developed high resolution models for seasonal predictions of Indian Summer Monsoon and long term climate forecasts under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
  • This MoU, concerning the study of “Dynamical Short range, Extended Range and seasonal Prediction of Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall”, has been extended till 2020, within the framework of the MoES-NOAA Partnership.

  1. Indigenous GPS

Source: PIB

India has deployed its own regional navigational system, namely NavIC comprising of a constellation of seven navigational satellites and associated ground segment for providing position, navigation and timing services to Indian region.

Key facts:

  • The IRNSS (NavIC) enables providing position, navigation and timing information that could be utilised for a large range of civil and strategic applications and services that include terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation; precise timing; disaster management and alert messages; mapping and Geodetic data capture; vehicle tracking and fleet management; visual & voice navigation for drivers, etc.
  • Seven satellites of NavIC constellation are currently in orbit, the realization of IRNSS-1I, by DOS/ISRO is under progress using a contract to a consortium of private companies for carrying out assembly, integration and testing of this satellite.
  • The satellite is planned for launch during first quarter of 2018.


IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India.

  • It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.
  • IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users. The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.
  • NavIC provides signals in a space covering India and its surroundings, this could be utilised by using receivers on ground to determine position and time accurately.
  • Signal in space is provided globally by GPS of USA, GLONASS of Russia, Galileo of Europe and Beiden of China.
  • Current global trend is to make use of ground receivers which utilise as many signals as available for providing timing and position solutions

More details: https://www.isro.gov.in/irnss-programme

  1. Project ‘Mausam’

Source: PIB

Project ‘Mausam’ is the initiative of Ministry of Culture to be implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the nodal agency with research support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Museum as associate bodies.

  • This project aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean ‘world’ – collating archaeological and historical research in order to document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean.
  • The main objective of the project is to inscribe places and sites identified under Project Mausam as trans-national nomination for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.


The unique idea of this project to showcase a Transnational Mixed Route (including Natural and Cultural Heritage) on the World Heritage List.

The Project

  • Focusing on monsoon patterns, cultural routes and maritime landscapes, Project ‘Mausam’ is examining key processes and phenomena that link different parts of the Indian Ocean littoral as well as those that connect the coastal centres to their hinterlands.
  • Broadly, Project ‘Mausam’ aims to understand how the knowledge and manipulation of the monsoon winds has shaped interactions across the Indian Ocean and led to the spread of shared knowledge systems, traditions, technologies and ideas along maritime routes.
  • These exchanges were facilitated by different coastal centres and their surrounding environs in their respective chronological and spatial contexts, and simultaneously had an effect on them.

The endeavour of Project ‘Mausam’is to position itself at two levels:

  1. At the macro level, it aims to re-connect and re-establish communications between countries of the Indian Ocean world, which would lead to an enhanced understanding of cultural values and concerns;
  2. At the micro level, the focus is on understanding national cultures in their regional maritime milieu.

The Project scope falls under several themes to be explored through various UNESCO Culture Conventions to which the Government of India is a signatory with the Ministry of Culture and ASI as nodal agency.

  1. India signs Financing Agreement with the World Bank for US$ 125 Million for “Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement Operation (Strive) Project.”

Source: PIB

A Financing Agreement for IDA Credit of USD 125 million (equivalent) for the “Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement Operation (STRIVE) Project” was signed by the Government of India with the World Bank.

  • The Objective of the operation is to improve access to quality and market-driven vocational training provided in it is and apprenticeships.
  • The result areas for the project include Improved Performance of Industrial Training Institutes; Increased Capacities of State Governments to Support Industrial Training Institutes and Apprenticeship Training; Improved Teaching and Learning; and Improved and Broadened Apprenticeship Training.

  1. Sendai Framework

Source: PIB

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), 2015-2030

The first national-level training of trainers programme to sensitise various Central Ministries and Departments on utilisation of Sendai Monitor for developing action plans for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The three-day workshop, organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-Global Education and Training Institute (UNISDR-GETI).

Key facts:

  • The SFDRR is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda and identifies targets and priority actions towards reducing disaster risks and implementing development that is both resilient and sustainable.
  • India is a signatory to SFDRR and is thus committed to work towards achieving the targets enshrined in the Framework.
  • Discussions on monitoring and evaluation of action plans, and follow-up activities to achieve the objectives outlined in the action plan were held. Participants were also briefed about the defined indicators that should be used for achieving the action plan.


  • Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
  • The Sendai Framework was adopted by UN Member States on 18 March 2015 at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 outlines seven clear targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks:

  1. Understanding disaster risk;
  2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
  3. Investing in disaster reduction for resilience and;
  4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

It aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction:


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