Prelim Snippets 05-11-2019


Why in News?
  • China has launched a new Earth observation satellite- Gaofen-7.
  • China launched a new high-resolution remote sensing satellite capable of providing stereoscopic imagery marking another important step as Beijing seeks to reduce reliance on foreign technology in topographic mapping.
  • A rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan satellite launch centre in northern China at 11:22am local time, carrying the Gaofen-7 high resolution satellite into its designated orbit.
  • Gaofen-7, a sub-metre resolution optical satellite, boasts the highest mapping accuracy among domestic peers, and can map China and even the world’s lands stereoscopically with a margin of error of less than a metre, according to CCTV.
  • The satellite, which will be used for land surveys, urban planning and statistical investigation, will help end China’s reliance on foreign imports in high-resolution stereo mapping, CCTV added.
  • The purpose of China’s satellite remote sensing project—the Gaofen series—is to help build an all-weather, 24-hour, global Earth remote sensing system by 2020 capable of monitoring the ground, atmosphere and oceans

2.Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)

Why in News?
  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is likely to recommend a probe by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) into allegations of siphoning funds by the beleaguered Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL) to a host of promoter-led entities.
About SFIO:
  • The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is a Statutory Corporate Fraud investigating agency in India under Companies Act, 2013.
  • It was established in January 2003 based on the recommendation of Naresh Chandra Committee on Corporate Governance and in backdrop of stock market scams due to failure of non-banking companies resulting in huge financial loss to the public.
  • It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs
  • It is involved in major fraud probes and is the coordinating agency with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation.
  • It is a Multi-Disciplinary Organization having experts from financial sector, capital market, accountancy, forensic audit, taxation, law, information technology, company law, customs and investigation.
  • These experts have been taken from various organizations like banks, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Comptroller and Auditor General and concerned organizations and departments of the Government.

3.Dwarf Planets

Why in News?
  • As of today, there are officially five dwarf planets in our Solar System. Now, there is a claimant for a sixth dwarf planet.
Hygiea: New dwarf in the Race:
  • Using observations made through the European Space Organization’s SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have now found Hygiea may possibly be a dwarf planet.
  • The most famous is Pluto, downgraded from the status of a planet in 2006. The other four, in order of size, are Eris, Make Haumea and Ceres.
  • Called Hygiea, it has so far been taken to be an asteroid. It lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
  • If it Qualifies, Hygiea will be the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System.
What makes a Hygiea Dwarf?
  • The International Astronomical Union sets four criteria for a dwarf planet, and Hygiea already satisfies three — it orbits around the Sun, it is not a moon, and it has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
  • The fourth requirement is that it have enough mass that its own gravity pulls it into a roughly spherical shape.According to the new study, VLT observations now show Hygiea satisfied that condition, too.
  • This is the first time astronomers have observed Hygiea in high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size.

 4.Artillery Gun Dhanush

  • The Indian Army has begun inducting the indigenously upgraded Dhanush artillery guns recently and plans to have the first regiment in place by March 2020.
  • Dhanush is the first indigenous artillery gun with a calibre of 155mm x 45mm. It is the first long range artillery gun to be produced in India, having a range of 38 km.
  • Dhanush is the indigenously upgraded variant of the Swedish-Bofors gun imported in the 1980s.
  • It has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata based on requirements of Indian Army and manufactured by Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) and 81 % of its components are indigenously sourced.
Features of Dhanush:
  • It is equipped with a navigation- based sighting system, on board ballistic computation and an advanced day and night direct firing system.
  • It has six round magazine, instead of standard three round.
Significance of Dhanush Artillery Gun:
  • Dhanush gun system has laid the foundations for India catapulting itself straight on to the world stage, India will soon emerge as a leading Artillery Gun design and manufacturer in the form of evolution of ATAGS, which would be the highly advanced version of Dhanush.
  • Self-propulsion unit allows the gun to deploy itself in mountainous terrains with ease. It will be deployed along the borders with Pakistan and China.
  • Dhanush gun has emerged as a reliable and robust gun system at par with the latest in the world and will increase the fire power of the Indian artillery manifold. It is truly Make in India
  • In future, it will potentially take over guns in this category. Dhanush’s long-range, light-weight and automation features will help it immensely.

5.National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT)

Why in News?
  • Vice President addresses the Silver Jubilee celebrations of NIOT in Chennai; seeks innovative solutions to conserve water and tackle climate change, pollution.
About NIOT:
  • NIOT is an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, established in 1993.
  • It has its main office at Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • The chief objective of the institute is to develop reliable indigenous technologies to solve the various engineering problems associated with the harvesting of non-living and living resources in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is about two-thirds of the land area of India.The institute engages in developing technologies for sustainable utilization of ocean resources.
  • It also engages in providing solutions to organisations working in the field.

6.(Environment Pollution Control Board) EPCB

Why in News?
  • Supreme court orders to end the stubble burning immediately.
  • EPCA is Supreme Court mandated body tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region.
  • It was notified in 1998 by Environment Ministry under Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • Its mandate is to protect and improve quality of environment and prevent and control environmental pollution in National Capital Region.
  • It is also mandated to enforce Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in NCR as per the pollution levels.
  • The Authority shall have the power Suo-moto or on the complaints made by the individual, reprensentive body or any organization in the field of the Environment.
  • It takes necessary steps for controlling vehicular pollution, ensuring complaints of fuel standard monitoring and controlling action for traffic planning and Management.

7.Dustlik 2019

Why in News?
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov presided over the Curtain Raiser of the first-ever India-Uzbekistan joint military drill.
About the Exercise:
  • Dustlik-2019-the first-ever India-Uzbekistan joint military exercise which began at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent on November 4, 2019.
  • The exercise will focus on counter-terrorism and continues till November 13.
  • During the exercise, an Indian Army contingent will train along with Uzbekistan Army.
  • The exercise will enable sharing of best practices and experiences between the Armed Forces of the two countries and will lead to greater operational effectiveness.

8.Coastal Flood Warning System app for Chennai (CFLOWS)

Why in News?
  • The Vice President launched Coastal Flood Warning System app for Chennai (CFLOWS- CHENNAI) developed by the NIOT.
  • It is a Coastal Flood Warning System app for Chennai.
  • It is India’s first integrated coastal flood warning system.
  • It was conceptualised by the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Union Government, after the devastating 2015 Chennai floods.
  • It is an integrated GIS-based decision support system to provide forecast on potential inundation 10 days in advance.It will be hosted and made operational at National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) with meteorological data inputs from India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).
  • The system can simulate the scenario and predict what will happen in a particular area.
  • It has 6 modules, including 3D visuals of flooding in infrastructure, buildings, roads and ward boundaries.

9.First ever movement of container cargo on Brahmaputra (NW -2)

Why in News?
  • The first cargo consignment will sail on National Waterway-2 from Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) to Pandu in Guwahati.
  • National Waterway 2 (NW-2) is a section of the Brahmaputra River having a length of 891 km between the Bangladesh border near Dhubri and Sadiya in Assam.
  • It was declared as NW No. 2 on 1 September 1988.
  • It has only one fixed terminals namely the Pandu Port while rest are floating which include Dhubri Port, Jogighopa, Tezpur, Silghat, Dibrugarh, Jamuguri, Bogibil, Saikhowa and Sadiya
  • NW-1 has witnessed healthy growth with the augmentation of navigation capacity of Ganga under Jal Marg Vikas Project.
  • The traffic on NW-1 has grown from 5.48 million tonnes in 2017-18 to 6.79 million tonnes in 2018-19.
  • Out of the total traffic of 6.79 million tonnes on NW-1, approximately 3.15 million tonnes is the EXIM trade between India and Bangladesh using the Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes.
Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) Route:
  • The Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh allows mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of their waterways for movement of goods vessels of both countries.
  • The IBP route extends from Kolkata (India) on NW-1 to Silghat (Assam) on NW-2 (River Brahmaputra) and Karimganj (Assam) on NW-16 (River Barak).
  • In addition to the above, India and Bangladesh have taken major steps to enhance utilization of waterways in the recent past.
  • An SOP to facilitate the movement of goods to and from India through Chittagong and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh has been signed by the two countries on 5th October 2019.
  • The proximity of these two ports will reduce logistics cost and improve trade competitiveness of North East states.
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