8, December 2016

1.Remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2A successfully launched

Source: PIB

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2A into its dedicated orbit.

    • It was launched onboard of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle  (PSLV)-C36 from first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.


  • It was PSLV’s 38th flight and XL version of the rocket was used. It was the 37th consecutive successful flight of the rocket.



  • Resourcesat-2A is a follow on mission to its predecessor remote sensing satellites Resourcesat-1 and Resourcesat-2, launched in 2003 and 2011 respectively.
  • Resourcesat-2A weighs 1,235 kg and is placed into an 817 km polar sun synchronous orbit (i.e. orbiting pole-to-pole). The mission life of Resourcesat-2A is five years.
  • It carries three payloads viz. high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner (LISS-4) camera, medium resolution LISS-3 camera, and coarse resolution Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) camera. These three cameras of different resolution.
  • These cameras will give regular micro and macro information on land and water bodies below, forests, farm lands and crop extent, coastal information, mineral deposits, rural and urban spreads besides helping in disaster management.

The PSLV rocket is a four stage/engine indigenous light-lifting rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively. It has emerged as the workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO offered for launching satellites for international customers. Between 1994 and 2016, the PSLV has launched a total of 121 satellites, of which 42 are Indian satellites and 79 satellites are from abroad.

  1. MoU between India and Afghanistan on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

Source: PIB

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and Afghanistan on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

  • The MoU envisages cooperation between the two countries for application of space technologies in education, agriculture, weather forecasting, telecommunications, rural health, sanitation, urban development, resource mapping navigation, remote sensing and any other areas mutually agreed upon.

The MoU will benefit both countries in the following manner:

  • Development of space sector in Afghanistan.
  • Burnish India’s credentials as a nation with advanced space technology, one that can also assist other countries.
  • Afghanistan will move towards self-reliance in the space sector.
  • Help deepen bilateral ties and mutual understanding and trust between India and Afghanistan.
  • Provide India with a foothold in Afghanistan’s strategic space and communication sector.
  • It will boost high-tech jobs in the two countries in both core Science & Technology and R&D fields, and also the field of implementation.

3.Expansion of the mandate of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund

Source: PIB

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the expansion of the mandate of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMIC-PITF Trust) and

  • Its  re-designation as National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust (NICDIT) for integrated development of Industrial Corridors with permission to utilize financial assistance already sanctioned within extended period up to 31SI March, 2022.


  • NICDIT would be an apex body under the administrative control of DIPP for coordinated and unified development of all the industrial corridors in the country.
  • It will channelize Gol funds as well as institutional funds while ensuring that the various corridors  are properly planned and implemented keeping in view the broad national perspectives regarding industrial and city development.
  • It will support project development activities, appraise, approve and sanction projects.
  • DMICDC will function as a knowledge partner to NICDIT in respect of all the Industrial Corridors in addition to its present DMIC work, till Knowledge Partner(s) for other Industrial Corridors are in place.
  • An Apex Monitoring Authority under the chairpersonship of the Finance Minister will be constituted to periodically review the activities of NICDIT and progress of the projects.
  • It will consist of Minister-in-charge of Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Minister of Railways, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Minister of Shipping, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and Chief Ministers of States concerned as Members.


To accelerate the growth in manufacturing and for ensuring scientifically planned urbanization, Government of India (Gol) has adopted the strategy of developing integrated Industrial Corridors in partnership with State Governments with focus on manufacturing. Five Corridors namely, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC), Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIG), Bengaluru- Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) and Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) have been planned for development by Government of India.

The five Industrial corridors presently cover the States, namely, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu.

4.SC seeks Parliamentary panel report on Lokpal amendments

Source: The Hindu

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to place before it a copy of the report of a Parliamentary standing committee suggesting amendments to the Lokpal law.


The court is hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause which has sought a direction to the Centre to make the appointment of chairperson and members of Lokpal as per the amended rules framed under Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

  • The NGO in its plea has also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that the procedure for selecting the chairperson and members of Lokpal must be transparent as envisaged under the Act.
  • According to the NGO, the inaction of the government in making the appointment of Lokpal is arbitrary and unreasonable and hence violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.


  • The appointment of anti-corruption ombudsman is hanging in balance since the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, which received Presidential assent on January 1, 2014 because the legislation provides for the LoP to be on the selection committee, but in the present Lok Sabha the largest opposition party does not have the required number of MPs for its leader to be designated as Leader of Opposition.
  • Earlier, the court had said the requirement of LoP on the panel was “dispensable” and can be substituted with the leader of the largest opposition party.
  • In Lok Sabha, the largest opposition party Congress has only 45 members and lacks the requisite 10% of total 545 seats, giving rise to the need to amend the present Lokpal Act.

The law provides for selection of chairperson and members of Lokpal by a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, LoP in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting SC judge nominated by the him, and an eminent jurist to be nominated by President of India on the basis of recommendations of first four members of selection panel.

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