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Insights Daily Current Events, 27 November 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 27 November 2015

Achievements in Space Science

The details of the major achievements made in the field of space during the last one year and how they benefit our country are given below:

  1. Successful launch of India`s first interplanetary spacecraft, Mars Orbiter onboard Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C25 in November, 2013. On September 24, 2014, India`s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft was successfully placed into an elliptical orbit around planet Mars.

    Mars Orbiter Mission has benefitted the country by:

    (1) Technological up-gradation of the country in the area of space technology

    (2) Providing excellent opportunities in planetary research for the scientific community of the country and enthuse the younger generation.

  2. Successful launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) with an indigenous cryogenic engine & stage in January 2014. The GSLV-D5 injected the GSAT-14 Communications Satellite, weighing 1982 kg, into a precise Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.

    GSLV-D5 flight has benefitted the country by

    1. Achieving self-reliance in launching 2000 kg class communication satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
    2. GSAT-14 satellite has benefitted the country by augmenting the satellite communication infrastructure in the country with addition of 12 transponders.
  3. Successful launch of Indian navigational satellite IRNSS-1B, the second satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) onboard PSLV-C24 in April, 2014 and IRNSS-1C, the third satellite of IRNSS onboard PSLV-C26 in October, 2014.


    1. IRNSS is a constellation of seven satellites and currently three satellites (IRNSS-1A, 1B & 1C) are in orbit.
    2. With the planned completion of constellation, IRNSS will benefit the country by providing positioning services with an absolute position accuracy of better than 20 meters over Indian Land Mass and a region extending to about 1500 Kms around India.
  4. PSLV-C23 successfully launched French Earth Observation Satellite SPOT-7 along with four small satellites viz. AISAT (Germany), NLS 7.1 & 7.2 (Canada) and VELOX-1 (Singapore) in June, 2014 under commercial arrangements between ANTRIX and the respective foreign agencies.


  • The successful launch of French satellite SPOT-7 along with four other foreign satellites has benefitted the country by enhancing the reliability and commercial prospects of India`s PSLV in the global market.

Sources: PIB.

Delhi Declaration

The Delhi Declaration was passed at the end of the two-day international Inter-ministerial Conference on Population and Development which saw participation of Health Ministers and senior officers from 26 member countries of PPD.

Organized by: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with the Partners in Population and Development (PPD).

The Delhi Declaration acknowledges the following:

  1. The strategic value of Partners in Population and Development, which currently includes 26 member countries currently representing nearly 60% of the world’s population, to the attainment of national, regional and global goals on health, population and sustainable development through South-South Cooperation.
  2. It emphasizes the importance of demographic dividend as a critical window of opportunity for improving equitable population, health and socioeconomic outcomes, with a focus on investments and appropriate alignment of national legislation, policies and resource allocation for adolescents and youth, as well as older people.
  3. With the Delhi Declaration, the member countries have agreed to create an enabling environment, through laws, policies and entitlements, for children, adolescents, youth, women and men across the life course to realize their rights. They have also agreed to accord highest priority to institutionalize investments in the demographic dividend by integrating population issues into national development plans across sectors, including health; nutrition; education and skills development; employment for inclusive economic participation and resilience.
  4. The 26 member countries have committed to develop comprehensive, multi-sectoral plans to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls and ending gender inequality and discrimination in laws (formal and customary) and in policies. Recognize the importance of sexual and reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health services, as well as the importance of engaging men and boys, as entry points to address violence against women and girls.

Sources: PIB.


Apprentices (Amendment) Bill

The parliament has passed a Bill seeking to amend the Apprentices Act.

Aims of the Bill:

  • To make apprenticeship responsive to youth and industry, increase skilled labour, ease rules for employers to recruit apprentices and allow them to undertake demand-driven courses.
  • And to facilitate imparting of skills to youth.

Proposed amendment in Apprenticeship Act 1961:

  • The Bill amends the definition of appropriate government to include an establishment operating in four or more states to be regulated by the central government.
  • The Act sets the minimum age for being engaged as an apprentice at 14 years. The Bill adds that the minimum age for apprenticeship in designated trades related to hazardous industries shall be 18 years.
  • Drop clause which imprisons employers not implementing the Act; will now invite penalty in terms of fine
  • Companies can add new trades under the Act without Centre’s nod
  • Contractual workers, daily workers, agency workers, casual workers, etc to come under the Act
  • Holidays, leaves, shift working to be same for apprentices as regular workers
  • Providing apprenticeship training to non-engineering graduate and diploma holders
  • Allow employers to formulate their own policy for recruiting apprentices
  • The Bill states that the central government shall prescribe the number of apprentices to be engaged by an employer for designated trade and optional trade.

This step is seen as a positive one since it will help the country meet the growing requirement of skilled people whose number could rise to 2.4 million from the current level of 4,29,000.

The opposition have termed the legislation inadequate and demanded it be referred to a Parliamentary standing committee. The amendment Bill has also drawn opposition from the central trade unions.

Sources: The Hindu.

Bill passed for CBI chief’s appointment

The Lok Sabha passed the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Aim: The Bill is aimed at “smoothening” the process of selecting the CBI Director.

Among the provisions, the bill includes the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha on the three-member committee that selects the chief of the investigation agency.

Earlier, the committee included the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition.


The Opposition opposed the Bill on the continuance of a clause that said “no appointment of a [CBI] Director shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy or absence of a member in the panel.” It means that even if a member, or even two, on the three-member selection committee was not available, the government could appoint the CBI Director.

Sources: The Hindu.