IMPORTANT EVENTS IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER
‘Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go’
The ‘Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go’ vision statement speaks of strengthening the strategic partnership between India and USA. This statement was released during PM Modi’s visit to Washington DC to meet President Obama
Yudh Abhyas 2014 concludes at Ranikhet
- The Indo-US defence exercise titled Yudh Abhyas concluded near
- The exercises, which commenced on September 17, were conducted in both Chaubbatia and Ranikhet.
- This edition of Yudh Abhyas, which lasted a total of 14 days, is the 10th of its kind that has been held.
- The joint exercise brought together troops from a Mountain Brigade of the Indian Army and Company and Brigade Headquarter of the US Army Yudh Abhyas first began in 2004 as part of USA’s Army Pacific Partnership Programme.
- This exercise aims to strength and broaden interoperability and defence cooperation between the two nations
Afghanistan and United States sign Bilateral Security Agreement
- After much delay, Afghanistan and US have signed a BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) that will chart the course for the two countries post withdrawal of majority of American troops. The BSA was signed in Kabul. This long term security pact will be crucial in deciding the nature of internal security in Afghanistan. Significantly, there is nothing in the BSA to stop the Americans from increasing their presence in Afghanistan if the situation calls for it.
- Stationing of troops-The NATO led coalition called the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led the war efforts in The ISAF once had 800 bases in Afghanistan. Now, it is down to 33 bases and 37,000 foreign troops. This number will further go down in accordance with the BSA.
- Under the BSA, US will retain access to 9 major land and airbases including the airfields in Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar. These bases will US access to not only Afghanistan but also to nearby tribal Pakistan
- The agreement enter into between Afghanistan and NATO is called Status of Forces agreement. The BSA was a precondition to the signing of this agreement. Under it, NATO has agreed to fund Afghanistan’s police and security forces till 2017.
- The NATO troops will focus on training, equipping and advising Afghan troops and will not engage in counterterrorism efforts. (The American Forces will be dealing with counter-terrorism efforts.) NATO led ISAF will have a training mission headquartered at Kabul and will also have six bases throughout Afghanistan.
Justice GS Singhvi appointed chairman of Competition Appellate Tribunal
The CCI whose predecessor was the MRTPC (Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission) was established to eliminate practices that adversely affect competition in different industries/areas and protect interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade.
Vayoshreshtha Samman 2014
- Vayoshreshtha Samman or The National Awards for Senior Citizens were presented by Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of Lok Sabha
- The government has been conferring Vayoshrestha Samman every year since 2005, but it has been given the status of a national award only since 2013. The Awards are given to eminent citizens and institutions in recognition of their outstanding services to the elderly people, especially indigent senior citizens.
- International Day of Older Persons is observed on the 1st of October every year in accordance with a UNGA resolution.
- This day is used to highlight the contributions of the elderly and also raise awareness about issues such as elderly abuse.
- The theme this year was ‘Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All’. The Vayoshreshtha Samman Awards are given every year on the International Day of Older Persons
Home Ministry issues notification for lifetime validity of PIO Cards
- The notification amends the rules of the PIO Card Scheme so that new recipients of PIO cards will receive cards that will be valid for the duration of their life, provided they are holders of valid passports. This lifetime validity will be applicable retrospectively to holders of PIO cards too if they possess a valid passport. Earlier, PIOs had cards which granted them a 15 year visa, which could then be extended for a term of 10 years at a time.
- A PIO refers to any person without Indian passport and not a citizen of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, who falls under any of the following categories Any person who has at any time held an Indian passport
- Any person whose parent(s) or grandparent (s) or great grandparents (s) was born in India or was a permanent resident in India. However, such a person should not have been a citizen of any other specific country
- Any person who is a spouse of a citizen of India or of a PIO who falls under any of the above two categories
- This scheme was launched in 15th September 2002. The aim of this scheme was to ensure easier travel of PIOs to India.
- Holders of PIO cards can avail of various benefits, the most important of which is travelling to India without a visa.
E-rickshaws recognized as special category three-wheeled vehicles
- The Ministry of Road Transport & Highway has issued a notification amending the Motor Vehicles Act, allowing e-rickshaws to ply in New Delhi. Earlier, a Delhi HC judgment had banned e-rickshaws due to safety concerns. But, the Centre has recognized e-rickshaws as a special category and has come out with guidelines for their usage. This decision has been taking by the government after taking into consideration the loss of livelihood caused to many e-rickshaw drivers because of the ban.
- What are e-rickshaws?: E-rickshaws or electric rickshaws are three wheeled vehicles that are operated with an electric motor.
Man Ki Baat’
PM Modi reached out to the common masses through a special speech titled ‘Man Ki Baat’ that was primarily aired on AIR (All India Radio), even though some television channels also aired it
Australia and Canada join US-led military action against ISIS
ISRO to launch M3M satellite of Canada
- Canada’s M3M (Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro-Satellite) is set to be launched by India’s PSLV rocket. The agreement for the same was signed by India’s Antriux and Canada’s COM DEV Intl. The satellite is due to be launched in July 2015. The satellite was built for the Canadian Department of National Defence, and is a communications satellite.
- Initially, the satellite was to have been launched on a Soyuz rocket in Russia. However, in light of the international restrictions on trade with Russia due to the Crimea and Ukraine crisis, Canada decided not to go ahead with the arrangement.
- The paramilitary CISF which has the responsibility of securing the Delhi Metro Network has launched ‘Operation Kali’ to better protect women using the metro especially in the ladies compartments. CISF has deployed 5,000 men and women personnel for securing the Delhi Metro Network.
- Under this Operation, CISF will deploy a special squad of undercover female commandos in the metros. These commandos have been trained to use the techniques of the martial arts form ‘Pekiti-Tirsia Kali’ to neutralize threats with the help of seemingly harmless objects that people carry everyday like pens or hairpins. They have also been trained to tackle multiple threats at a time. Other than this, some personnel in uniform will also be deployed.
- Pekiti-Tirsia Kali- This is a style of martial arts that has its origin in Philippines. It was founded in 1897, and is a combat oriented system. It is a form of close quarter combat where the focus is on offensive and counter offensive strategies instead of defensive moves. The style also involves using of a knife, machete or any edged or empty hand weapons. It has been adopted by elite Philippine military and law enforcement units.
- John O’Keefe and Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser have won the 2014 Nobel Prize for medicine for their work which has led to discovering the brain’s internal positioning system.
- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced its decision to award the Nobel Prize for Physics to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue lightemitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources
- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has announced that the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the year 2014 is being awarded to Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell and William E. Moerner “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”.
- The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2014 has been awarded to the French author, Patrick odiano, “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”.
- The Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Jean Tirole “for his analysis of market power and regulation”.
- The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children toeducation.” The Committee specifically pointed out how commendable it was for “a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism”.
Satyarthi is the eighth Nobel laureate to have been born in India. He is an adherent of Gandhian philosophy. He has upheld Mahatma Gandhi’s practice of engaging and conducting peaceful protests. He has focused his agitations against the exploitation of children for financial gain. He is the founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement). Through his NGO, he campaigns for protection of child rights and to abolish illegal human trafficking.
- Typhoon Phanfone made landfall near the city of Hamamatsu in Japan. Many parts of Japan faced torrential rain, with some areas receiving a month’s worth of rainfall in a matter of minutes
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to become first sitting President to appear at ICC
- Kenyan President Kenyatta has confirmed his appearance at The Hague, Netherlands on October 8 to respond to multiple charges against him at the ICC (International Criminal Court).
- Kenyatta faces five charges of crimes against humanity, inciting violence and organizing ethnic massacres that killed 1,200 people. He has denied all the charges that have been brought against him.
- Hit the Odisha coast by October 12. It also hit the Andhra Pradesh coastline.
- The name Hudhud has been given byOman, and it is derived from the name of an Afro-Eurasian bird.
Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills (MANAS)
- Government announces establishment of Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills (MANAS) MANAS will focus on providing skills, upgrading abilities and training members of minority communities in those sectors of the economy which are either facing a shortage or labour or where demand for labour is expected to
- MANAS will also train people so that they may be The National Minorities Development and FinanceCorporation (NMDFC) will provide assistance with credit for persons who have undergone training at MANAS and wish to establish their own business or be self employed.
- MANAS will also collaborate with multiple national andinternational agencies to provide certification and assistance with placement for the trainees, and also to secure funding for the program.
- A MoU was also signed by MANAS and the National Skill Development Corporation to establish an All India Collaborative Network for MANAS.
Government to revive Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change
- The Council was established in 2007. It was responsible for framing the NAPCC in 2008.
- The High Level Advisory group was given the role of co-coordinating action plans for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. It also advised the government on multiple climate change related issues and facilitated inter-ministerial cooperation and coordination in the arena of climate change.
- The reconstituted Council is expected to review the implementation of the eight missions and undertake a comprehensive reassessment of the country’s climate change policy. Moreover, the composition of the Council is expected to be tweaked to accommodate more members from the industrial sector.
- org is a global partnership between leaders in the field of technology, NGOs, local communities and experts who work together to bring internet connectivity to the two-thirds of world’s population that doesn’t have access to internet now.
- Founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg,launch the global internet project, Internet.org in Delhi
- Through Internet.org, Zuckerberg aims to make internet more accessible and affordable to all people around the world.
- In the next five years, the project aims to provide internet connectivity to 5 billion people in the world.
Japan Plus’ management team
- India has set up a ‘Japan Plus’ management team to follow through on the $35 bn that Japan has promised to invest in India over a span of five years via PPP and overseas development assistance.
- This is a follow through on the agreements and initiatives agreed to by India and Japan during PM Modi’s visit to Japan.
- The team will provide the Indian government assistance with respect to initiating, attracting, facilitating and fast-tracking of Japanese investments in The team will be responsible for all areas of investment promotion, research, outreach and issues post investment. It will also help identify areas for Indo-Japan collaboration and viable projects for Japanese investment.
- The team has been set up by DIPP (Department Of Industrial Policy and Promotion) and is operational from October 8. It consists of government officials from both The team will have four Indians and two Japanese, and will be coordinated by Kenichiro Toyofuku from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
World Bank Launches Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF)
- The World Bank (WB) has launched the GIF to specifically cater to the infrastructure needs of the emerging economies and developing The GIF will channel money towards bankable infrastructure project in such countries. GIF also places importance on sustainable development.
- Its key focus will be on climate friendly infrastructure investments and projects that will boost trade.
- Another areas where GIF could provide assistance it ensuring that all regulatory, environmental and social safeguards are met with while investing in large scale infrastructure projects. GIF will also work with private entities like asset management companies, private equity firms, pensions and insurance funds and commercial banks to tap into multiple sources of funding.
- World Health Organisation every year observes October 10 as the World Mental Health Day. The Day aims to make people sensitive to issues related to mental health and also become more aware of the mental health issues around the world.The theme for 2014 is “Living with schizophrenia”.
- UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011 adopted a Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Ever since, the day has been dedicated to the welfare of the girl child The theme of this year was Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence.
Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana
- On the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, PM Modi launched the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana
- The scheme is properly and religiously implemented will revolutionize the village economies and culture. It encourages MPs or Sansads to identify and develop one village from their respective constituency as a model village by 2016 and two more by 2019. This will ensure development of 2500 villages.
- MPs are required to pick one village with a population of 3000-4000 in plains and 1000-3000 in hills within a month of the launch.
- MPs cannot pick villages which belong to themselves or their spouses.
- The scheme requires them to draft a village development plan, motivate inhabitants to participate in growth via different activities, identify gaps in funding and mobilising MPLAD funds to create additional resources specifically from CSR initiatives of various corporate houses, in areas of sanitation and water supply.
- The outcomes of the same should cover a wide spectrum of indicators like health, nutrition and education through organising and monitoring immunization drives, improving standard and quality of midday mealschemes, improving Aadhaar enrolment, setting up “smart schools” with IT-enabled classrooms and elibraries, Panchayat infrastructure improvement under schemes such as MGNREGA and Backward Regions Grants Fund etc.
- Social development and harmony should be encouraged through activities like identifying and celebrating a village day, a village song and also laying stress on alternate modes of dispute resolution.
- The implementation will be ensured by web-based monitoring and an initial 5-month review by an independent agency. District Collectors will carry ground-level surveys along with monthly review meetings to monitor progress .
- The Man Booker Prize 2014 for fiction was awarded to Australian author Richard Flanagan, for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
India successfully launches IRNSS 1C
- IRNSS 1C, the next satellite in India’s IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System) series, was launched successfully on October 16 by ISRO. IRNSS 1C was launched on a PSLV C26 from Sriharikota.
- The satellite is similar to, and follows the IRNSS 1A and 1B which were launched in April 2013 and July 2014 respectively.
- The rocket lifted off at 1.32 am. The satellite weighed 1, 425.4 kg and was successfully placed into a sub geosynchronous transfer orbit just 20 minutes after the This was the 7th time that ISRO used an XL version of the PSLV rocket for its mission.
- The life of the satellite is estimated at 10 years
- IRNSS is a navigation system that will cover India, and also extend 1,500 kms from its boundaries. It will provide accurate position information to users in India and will also be used for terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, fleet management and for vehicle tracking. Basically it will provide two kinds of services, Standard Positioning Services, which is available to all users, and an encrypted service that is provided only to authorized users
- The complete IRNSS system will include three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 36,000 km above the Earth. The deployment of all the satellites was expected to be completed by 2015 at a cost of Rs. 1,420 cr.
- IRNSS is similar to other satellite navigation service providers like USA’s GPS (Global Positioning System), Russia’s Glonass, Europe’s Galileo, Japan’s Quasi Zenith and China’s Beidou.
First meeting of bilateral border mechanism between India-China held
- The first meeting of the talks on the bilateral border under the framework of the Border Affairs Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (BAWMCC) was held on October 16.
- The focus of the talks was on issues of mutual interest like border patrolling and managemet
- The BAWMCC was created in 2012, as a forum to address issues arising out of aggressive patrolling along the contentious The BAWMCC is co-chaired by the Joint Secretary (China Division) in the Ministry of External Affairs and his/her Chinese counterpart.
HRD ministry to introduce Tithi Bhojan in Schools in Mid Day Meal scheme
- The Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister has announced its decision to introduce the practice of ‘Tithi Bhojan’ as a part of the Mid Day Meal scheme.
- Tithi Bhojan was first successfully implemented in Gujarat, and will now be replicated across the country
- It seeks to involve the members of the community in the effort to provide nutritious and healthy food to the children
- The members of the community may contribute/sponsor either utensils or food on special occasions/festivals.
- This is completely voluntary, and the people in the community may contribute food items supplementary to the mid day already being provided like sweet, namkeen or sprouts.
- Greater participation and involvement of religious and charitable institutions is also being promoted
Nuclear capable Cruise Missile Nirbhay tested successfully
- India successfully tested Nirbhay, India’s first indigenously designed and developed long range sub-sonic cruise The missile was fired from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Odisha. Nirbhay maintained an accuracy better than 10 m throughout its path and covered a distance of more than 1000 km.
- Nirbhay is made wholly of parts indigenously developed in
- It is powered by a solid rocket motor booster developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) and the launch was from a mobile launcher specifically designed for Nirbhay by the Vehicles R&D Establishment (VRDE)
Arvind Subramanian appointed new Chief Economic Advisor of India
The India-LAC (Latin America and Carribean)investment conclave was held under the auspices of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce andIndustry) and Ministry of Commerce and Industry on October 16 and 17
SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation finalized
This agreement has been pending since 2010 and is an important step in developing a SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) on a regional basis
Government launches National Air Quality Index (NAQI)
- The Central government has launched a National Air Quality Index to provide an easy, understandable measure of air quality. For the next 45 days, the draft National Air Quality Index will be made available to stakeholders and register their comments.
- If the suggestions are accepted, changes will be made, and the Index will be formalized later this year, and made active by 2015.
- The NAQI was prepared by an expert group, set up the Ministry of Environment and Forests, comprising of renowned medical practitioners from hospitals and research The index is a part of the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
- The index will measure eight major pollutants, namely, particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead
- Currently, only particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide are being measured.
- The index will be based on real time monitoring, and the health risks will be easily identified through a colour coded system. The risks will be signified through six levels – good, satisfactory, moderately polluted, poor, very poor, and severe. Air quality is qualified as good if the level of air pollution if at least 50% below the permissible limits set by the Pollution Control authorities. The index will be extended to 46 cities having a population of more than one mn, and 20 state capitals over the next five years
- The NAQI allows for easy dissemination of information pertaining to air quality and risks associated with it. The simplicity of the NAQI also makes it accessible to the common man. The use of the colour coded system makes is easier for people to comprehend instantly.
- 246 cities in India monitor their air quality in some for, however, only 16 cities have real time monitoring. Eventually , the index will be expanded to cover cities with a population of more than half a million. The real time information will help the authorities deal immediately and effectively to counter the impacts of the air pollution.
Government formalizes the price formula for natural gas
- The Central Government has finalized a new pricing mechanism for natural The new gas pricing formula is believed to be much lesser than the formula suggested by the Rangarajan Committee.
- As per the new formula, domestic gas price will now increase from $4.2 per mmBtu (million British thermal unit) to $5.61 per mmBtu. The Rangarajan Committee has recommended revision of prices to $8.4 per mmBtu.
- This price will, however be revised every six months.
- This new gas pricing formula will be effective from the 1st of November
Hurricane Gonzalo made landfall on October 17 in Bermuda, with rain and winds of speed 175 km/h.
The Direct Benefits Transfer
- The Union Cabinet has approved the relaunch of the Direct Benefits Transfer scheme with some modifications.
- Some of the salient points pertaining to the new scheme are:-· Scheme is to launched in 54 districts from November 15, 2014 and in the rest of the country from January 1, 2015
- It will be implemented in mission mode between 10 November and 1 January 2015
- The subsidy amount to be given per domestic subsidized LPG cylinder shall remain fixed
- Future beneficiaries can receive the cash subsidies by linking theirAadhaar number with the LPG connection, and have their bank account as the primary option.
- Alternatively, they can also directly link their LPG connection with their bank account, and may or may not include Aadhaar as the secondary option. In any scenario, possession of an Aadhaar number will not be a requirement, which is in conformity with a SC verdict which said that Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory because it has no legal backing· Persons who have opened accounts under the newly introduced Jan Dhan Yojana can also link their LPG connection to such an account.
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas
- Birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, 31 October to be celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas
- The government will attempt to create awareness among the people about Sardar Patel’s contribution towards India’s freedom struggle and ensuring national integration in Sardar Patel played a pivotal role in the merger of princely states with British ruled India to form a sovereign united country called India
- The government will try to make RED a mass movement, reaching people from all avenues of life. The participation of the people shall be voluntary
- The government will try to make RED a mass movement, reaching people from all avenues of life. The participation of the people shall be voluntary.
Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK)
SBK was set up to attract CSR funds from the corporate sector and contributions from individuals and philanthropists. The funds accumulated in the SBK will be utilized to achieve the objective of Clean India or Swachh Bharat by 2019 through Swachh Bharat Mission.
Clean Ganga Fund (CGF)
The CGF was constituted to fund activities to clean and conserve the river, Ganga. The CGF also accepts voluntary contributions from NRIs and PIOs towards the CGF
The CGF will be managed by a Trust to be headed by the finance minister. The Secretariat of the Trust will be set up in the Ministry of Water Resources.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
- AIIB is an international financial institution that was proposed by China. It is expected to act as a balance of power with the WB, IMF and ADB all being controlled/dominated by the US, EU and Japan respectively.
- The Headquarters of the AIIB will be at Beijing, and the bank is expected to be operational in 2015.
- According to the agreement, the authorised capital of AIIB is US $100 bn and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around US $50 bn. The paid-in ratio will be 20%.
- The 21 members of the AIIB are China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
- A deep depression that has formed over the Arabian Sea is expected to turn into a tropical cyclone Nilofar. Nilofar has the potential to strengthen to the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane before its Arabian Peninsula landfall.
- In India, the North Gujarat coast is expected to bear the brunt of Nilofar. It is expected to land in Gujarat on October 31 with a wind speed of over 120 kmph
- Other than India, Nilofar is also expected to hit eastern Yemen or
- It is also expected to bring potentially heavy rainfall to parts ofPakistan, especially Karach
About Naming of cyclones
- In the West, hurricanes and tropical cyclones have been given their own names since 1953. This was done in accordance with a convention by Miami’s National Hurricane Centre and is maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO is an agent of the UN and based out of Geneva.
- However, South Asia and the Middle East did not adhere to this practice of naming storms till much later. In an effort to name the cyclones without offending any of the countries in the region, all the countries came together in 2004 to evolve a mechanism to name the tropical According to the agreed upon system, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand meet every year and each country submits its list of names. Each country gets a turn to name the storm in alphabetical order. Till now, the countries have decided on 64 names. Hudhud was a suggestion of Oman, while Nilofar was Pakistan’s suggestion.
SpaceX Dragon spacecraft
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has concluded its mission to the ISS (InternationalSpace Station) and returned to Earth. The spacecraft was launched in September in SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. This was Dragon’s fifth visit to the ISS.
- Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, orSpaceX, is a space transport services company that is headquartered in Hawthorne, California, USA
- It was founded in 2002 by formerPayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
- The goal behind the setting up of SpaceX was to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars
- SpaceX has developed two reusable launch vehicles: the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9, apart from a spacecraft called Dragon
- SpaceX is a holder of the following records:-· It was responsible for the first privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit
- It is the first privately funded company to successfully launch orbit and recover a spacecraft
- It is the first private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS
- Is the first private company to send a satellite intogeosynchronous orbi
Operation Herrick is the codename that was given to all British operations in Afghanistan since it committed forces in 2002. It comprises of UK’s role in the NATO led ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and USA’s Operation Enduring Freedom.
Camp Bastion formed the epicenter of UK’s operations in Afghanistan, even though it controlled another 136 small bases in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. The British had also built a 11,500 ft runway at Camp Bastion making it easy for the larger transport planes to fly in. The scale of operations there had increased to such an extent that Bastion became the third busiest British airport after Heathrow and Gatwick.
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan
- To uplift rural India.
- This programme will be launched in collaboration with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) across the country.
- The main idea for launching the programme is to provide definitive research that can be aligned with national development.
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It will be coordinated and steered by IIT Delhi.
- The programme, with the help of IITs, NITs and other leading technical institutions will prepare a roadmap for holistic rural development.
- It will involve engaging with communities around each institute and for their upliftment.
- Each IIT will identify 10 villages in its neighbourhood and work out technologies to solve the most pressing issues of the region.
- Different teams from these institutes will visit the villages, identify problems and then aim to find financiallyviable schemes.
- Once the solution is identified then they will involve the industry in this to solve the problem.
- Along with the HRD ministry and the institutes, some other ministries such as rural development and NGOs working in villages are also likely to be involved in the programme.
- Some of the problems that the institutes will be looking at are, supply of potable water, sanitation, energy and low cost housing.