26, September 2016

  1. ISRO successfully launches 8 satellites into two different orbits

Source: The Hindu

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for first time has successfully launched eight satellites into two different orbits in a single mission. PSLV 35.

It was ISRO’s longest and most complex mission. These satellites were launched onboard of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C35 (PSLV C35) from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta.

PSLV’s longest-ever flight

  1. The PSLV-C35 in its 37th flight will be launched from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.  The total weight of all the eight satellites is about 675 kg.
  2. The SCATSAT-1 will be released first into a 730 km Polar Sunsynchronous Orbit (SSO) after about 17 minutes and the rest will be injected into a lower orbit of 689 km after around two hours. The flight is PSLV’s longest ever.
  3. There will be two re-ignitions of the launch vehicle for this purpose. The launch team engineers will shut down and restart the fourth and last stage of the vehicle twice during the flight.
  4. Besides SCATSAT-1, the others are PRATHAM and PISAT, two academic satellites from India; ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N (all from Algeria); and Pathfinder-1 and NLS-19, from the USA and Canada, respectively.
  5. This will be the 15th flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration with the use of solid strap-on motors.
  6. The mission objectives of SCATSAT-1 are to help provide weather forecasting services, cyclone detection and tracking. It has a design life of 15 years.
  7. The five-kg student satellite PISAT carries an imaging camera as payload to capture imagery of 185 km x 135 km area with about 80m/pixel resolution. The satellite is developed by students of PES University, Bengaluru.
  8. The other student satellite, PRATHAM, is developed by IIT Bombay.
  9. The PSLV has so far launched 39 remote-sensing satellites of ISRO, including the Chandrayaan-1 of 2008 and the Mars mission of 2013-14.
  10. It has also orbited 74 foreign commercial and university satellites in a global trend where the demand for its category of launch services is increasing.

2.Tamil Nadu tops national average in remittances

Source: The Hindu

 ‘Remittances and its impact on financial inclusion and development in India’ by Western Union, the world’s biggest money transfer firm.

Remittances constituted 4% of India’s GDP at $69 billion in 2015, making it the biggest recipient of international remittances

However, State-wise distribution differs:

Kerala: Remittances constitute 36% of the state GDP

Tamil Nadu: 14% of state GDP in 2015, almost three times the national average.

3.Indus Water Treaty

Source: The Hindu

At a time when States within India are unable to find an amicable solution to sharing water from rivers that flow between them, India and Pakistan are living examples of how water resources can be shared through legal frame work.

For 56 years, both India and Pakistan are peacefully sharing the water of Indus and its tributaries, The Indus Water Treaty.

  • The Indus Waters Treaty was signed on September 19, 1960 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan
  • It was brokered by the World Bank
  • The treaty administers how river Indus and its tributaries that flow in both the countries will be utilised
  • According to the treaty, Beas, Ravi and Sutlej are to be governed by India, while, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum are to be taken care by Pakistan.
  • However, since Indus flows from India, the country is allowed to use 20% of its water for irrigation, power generation and transport purposes
  • A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty & it solves disputes arising over water sharing.
  • The Treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably
  • Chinese angle: Though Indus originates from Tibet, China has been kept out of the Treaty; if China decides to stop or change the flow of the river, it will affect both India and Pakistan
  • Climate change is causing melting of ice in Tibetan plateau, which scientists believe will affect the river in future.
  • It may be noted that both India and Pakistan are still at loggerheads over various issues since Partition, but there has been no fight over water after the Treaty was ratified.

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