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Insights Daily Current Events, 30 March 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 30 March 2015

PSLV-C27 Successfully Launches India’s Fourth Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1D

ISRO`s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C27, recently successfully launched the 1425 kg IRNSS-1D, the fourth satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). This is the twenty eighth consecutively successful mission of the PSLV.

  • IRNSS-1D is the fourth of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. IRNSS-1A, 1B and 1C, the first three satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV on July 02, 2013, April 04, 2014 and October 16, 2014 respectively.

About Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System:

IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.

  • The IRNSS with a 1500km range will make India self-reliant on navigation and surveillance from outer space as it is expected to cover the Asian region.
  • IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users. The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.

Details:

IRNSS comprises of a space segment and a ground segment. The IRNSS space segment consists of seven satellites, with three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in inclined geosynchronous orbit. IRNSS-1A, the first satellite of the IRNSS constellation, has already started functioning from its designated orbital slot after extensive on orbit test and evaluation to confirm its satisfactory performance.

IRNSS ground segment is responsible for navigation parameter generation and transmission, satellite control, ranging and integrity monitoring and time keeping.

Applications of IRNSS:

  • Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
  • Disaster Management
  • Vehicle tracking and fleet management
  • Integration with mobile phones
  • Precise Timing
  • Mapping and Geodetic data capture
  • Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
  • Visual and voice navigation for drivers

Global Navigational Systems:

As of April 2013, only the United States NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian GLONASS are global operational GNSSs. China is in the process of expanding its regional Beidou navigation system into the global Compass navigation system by 2020. The European Union’s Galileo positioning system is a GNSS in initial deployment phase, scheduled to be fully operational by 2020 at the earliest. France (DORIS), India, and Japan are in the process of developing regional navigation systems.

Sources: PIB, ISRO, Wiki.

 

Saina becomes World No. 1

India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on has become the first woman badminton player from the country to be ranked number one in the world.

  • She is the second Indian player to achieve this feat, after legendary Prakash Padukone.

Details:

  • Badminton’s world ranking takes into account a player’s 10 best performances over the past 52 weeks.
  • Saina has now dislodged China’s Li Xuerui from the top spot.
  • The last time a non-Chinese achieved the World No. 1 status was in December, 2010 when Denmark’s Tine Baun had claimed the honour.

Sources: The Hindu.

 

DRDO to develop indigenous AWACS

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister, recently approved the development of an indigenous Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

  • The council allocated Rs. 5,113 crore for two systems based on the A-330 aircraft, which will be procured from Airbus. Eventually, six systems will be built for use by the Air Force. In all, the DAC cleared deals estimated at Rs.7,400 crore.

What are AWACS?

  • AWACS are radars mounted on an aircraft to provide seamless 360-degree coverage of the airspace.

The Air Force is currently operating three Israeli Phalcons based on Russian Il-76 aircraft. In addition, the DRDO is developing two smaller Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) based on the Embraer aircraft, scheduled to be delivered this year.

Sources: The Hindu.

 

Centre’s nod for Rs. 500 cr. corpus

The Union Agriculture Ministry recently approved the setting up of a price stabilisation fund (PSF) that was announced by Finance Minister in his July 2014 budget.

Details:

  • The fund, with a corpus of Rs. 500 crore, will be used to support market interventions for managing prices of perishable agri-horticultural commodities.
  • Initially, the fund is proposed to be used for onion and potato only. Losses incurred, if any, in the operations will be shared between the Centre and the States.
  • The fund will be used to advance interest-free loans to State governments and Central agencies to support their working capital and other expenses on procurement and distribution interventions for such commodities. These commodities will be procured directly from farmers or farmers’ organisations right at the farm gate or mandi levels and be made available at reasonable prices to consumers.
  • For this purpose, the States will set up a revolving fund to which the Centre and State will contribute equally. The ratio of Centre-State contribution to the State-level corpus in respect of northeast States will, however, be 75:25.
  • The revolving fund is being mooted so that requirements for all future interventions can be decided and met at the State level itself. The Central agencies will, however, set up their revolving fund entirely with advance from the Centre.

Sources: The Hindu.

 

Russia, Australia, Netherlands to join AIIB

A late surge among top European countries, including Germany, France, Britain, and now Russia along with Australia to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), has imparted a new sense of realism to Beijing’s Silk Road plans. If implemented, they are likely to shift the global balance of economic power towards Eurasia.

  • The decision of key European powers along with South Korea to join the bank, overriding strong objections from the United States, has split the Atlantic Alliance on this issue.
  • The AIIB’s apparent success has now brought into sharper focus China’s ‘One belt One Road’ initiative which requires massive investment, including finance from the $40 billion Silk Road fund, which the Chinese have separately established.
  • In order to ensure that there are no funding shortfalls, an action plan released recently by the Chinese government has asked countries along the Belt and Road to ensure that currency swap arrangements for payments are encouraged, and a bond market in Asia is fully developed.
  • Analysts point out that the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, backed by a solid financial institutional network, once implemented, is expected to accelerate the shift of geo-economic power away from the United States, towards Eurasia. More than 4.4 billion people, or 63% of the global population countries, are expected to benefit from China’s game-changing plans.

About AIIB:

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution proposed by China. The purpose of the multilateral development bank is to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • The AIIB was launched in Beijing last year to spur investment in Asia in transportation, energy, telecommunications and other infrastructure.
  • AIIB is regarded by some as a rival for the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which the AIIB says are dominated by developed countries like the United States and Japan.
  • Presently there are 22 members including China.
  • The authorised capital of AIIB will be $100 billion. AIIB’s headquarters is to be located in Beijing.
  • India is the second largest shareholder in the Bank after China.
  • It is being called as a very positive development in the sense that it opens up more borrowing opportunities.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

 

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