Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life achievements of Indians in Science & Technology.
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Why in News:

  • Election commission announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on the successful test-firing of an anti-satellite missile test (ASAT) did not violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).


  • The EC took the decision based on the report of a 5-member committee of officers which found that the prime minister did not violate the provision of Part VII of the code covering the ‘party in power’ in the poll code. Part VII of the Code covering the “party in power” says that “the misuse of official mass media during the election period for the coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements shall be scrupulously avoided”. The committee has concluded that there was no misuse of official mass media


What is Anti-Satellite Missile (ASAT)?

  • They are missile-based systems to attack moving satellites. So far the United States, China and Russia were the only ones who’ve reported the ability to shoot down space objects from ground or airborne sources.
  • The development of such systems was at the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union

Why was the test done now?

  • The test was done to verify that India has the capability to safeguard our space assets. It is the Government of India’s responsibility to defend the country’s interests in outer space.
  • The tests were done after India acquired the required degree of confidence to ensure its success, and reflects the intention of the government to enhance India’s national security.

Steps taken by India to conduct the test:

  • It is mandatory for any missile test, India did issue a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to airline authorities across the world informing them about an impending missile test. This notice does not have to specify the kind of missile being tested, only the flight path and the region affected are specified. NOTAM: It is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight

What is Mission Shakthi:

  • Mission Shakti is a joint programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  • India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability, and Entire effort is indigenous. Till now, only the US, Russia and China had the capability to hit a live target in space. The test was carried out from the Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam Island launch complex off the coast of Odisha by the DRDO. Since the test was done in the lower  atmosphere, whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks. Mission Shakti does not violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty of which India is a signatory. The treaty prohibits only weapons of mass destruction in outer space, not ordinary weapons.


  • The ASAT test test was not directed against any country. India’s space capabilities neither
  • threaten any country nor are they directed against anyone.
  • The anti-satellite missile test provides deterrence against threats to our growing space- based assets from long-range missiles and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles.
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